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ZULUETA VS CA- LIM VS CA

ZULUETA VS CA

The intimacies between husband and wife do not justify any one of them
in breaking the drawers and cabinets of the other and in ransacking
them for any telltale evidence of marital infidelity. A person, by
contracting marriage, does not shed his/her integrity or his right to
privacy as an individual and the constitutional protection is ever available
to him or to her.

FACTS:

Petitioner Cecilia Zulueta is the wife of private respondent Dr.Alfredo Martin. On


March 26, 1982, petitioner entered the clinic of her husband, forcibly opened the
drawers and cabinet in her husbands clinic and took 157 documents consisting of
private correspondence between Dr. Martin and his alleged paramours, greetings
cards, cancelled checks, diaries, Dr. Martins passport, and photographs. The
documents and papers were seized for use in evidence in a case for legal separation
and for disqualification from the practice of medicine which petitioner had filed
against her husband.

Dr. Martin brought the action for recovery of the documents and papers and for
damages against Zulueta, with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch X. The trial
court declared the documents and papers to be properties of private respondent,
ordered petitioner to return them to private respondent and enjoined her from using
them in evidence. In appealing from the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming
the trial courts decision.

ISSUE:

WON evidence presented by Zulueta is admissible in court

RULING:

No. The documents and papers in question are inadmissible in evidence. The
constitutional injunction declaring the privacy of communication and
correspondence [to be] inviolable is no less applicable simply because it is the wife
(who thinks herself aggrieved by her husbands infidelity) who is the party against
whom the constitutional provision is to be enforced. The only exception to the
prohibition in the Constitution is if there is a lawful order [from a] court or when
public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law. Any violation of this
provision renders the evidence obtained inadmissible for any purpose in any
proceeding.

The intimacies between husband and wife do not justify any one of
them in breaking the drawers and cabinets of the other and in ransacking
them for any telltale evidence of marital infidelity. A person, by
contracting marriage, does not shed his/her integrity or his right to
privacy as an individual and the constitutional protection is ever available
to him or to her.

The law insures absolute freedom of communication between the


spouses by making it privileged. Neither husband nor wife may testify for
or against the other without the consent of the affected spouse while the
marriage subsists. Neither may be examined without the consent of the
other as to any communication received in confidence by one from the
other during the marriage, save for specified exceptions. But one thing is
freedom of communication; quite another is a compulsion for each one to share
what one knows with the other. And this has nothing to do with the duty of fidelity
that each owes to the other.

LACUROM VS JACOBA

The marital privilege rule, being a rule of evidence, may be waived by


failure of the claimant to object timely to its presentation or by any
conduct that may be construed as implied consent. This waiver applies
to Jacoba who impliedly admitted authorship of the 30 July 2001 motion.

FACTS:

The Jacoba-Velasco-Jacoba Law Firm is counsel for plaintiff Alejandro


R. Veneracion (Veneracion) in a civil case for unlawful detainer against defendant
Federico Barrientos (Barrientos).The Municipal Trial Court of Cabanatuan City render
ed judgment in favor of Veneracion but Barrientos appealed to the Regional Trial
Court. The case was raffled to Branch 30 where Judge Lacurom was sitting as
pairing judge.

Veneracions counsel filed a Motion for Reconsideration (with Request for


Inhibition, dated 30 July 2001 (30 July 2001 motion). On 6 August 2001,
Judge Lacurom ordered Velasco-Jacoba to appear before his sala and explain why
she should not be held in contempt of court for the very disrespectful, insulting and
humiliating contents of the 30 July 2001 motion. In her answer, Velasco-
Jacoba claimed records will show that the undersigned counsel did not actually or
actively participate in this case. Velasco-Jacoba claimed that it was, in fact, her
husband who prepared the motion and made her sign the pleading without reading
it, in trusting blind faith on her husband of 35 years with whom she entrusted her
whole life and future.

Judge Lacurom found Velasco-Jacoba guilty of contempt.


Judge Lacurom issued another order this time directing Jacoba to explain why he
should not be held in contempt. Jacoba denied that he typed or prepared the 30 July
2001 motion. Against Velasco-Jacobas statements implicating him, Jacoba invoked
the marital privilege rule in evidence. Judge Lacurom later rendered a decision
finding Jacoba guilty of contempt of court.

Judge Lacurom filed the present complaint against respondents before the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

ISSUE:

WON Velasco-Jacobas statement pointing to him as the author of the motion is


admissible as evidence against him.

RULING:

YES. The Court cannot easily let Jacoba off the hook. Firstly, his Answer with Second
Motion for Inhibition did not contain a denial of his wifes account.
Instead, Jacoba impliedly admitted authorship of the motion by stating that he
trained his guns and fired at the errors which he perceived and believed to be
gigantic and monumental.

Secondly, we find Velasco-Jacobas version of the facts more plausible, for two
reasons: (1) her reaction to the events was immediate and spontaneous,
unlike Jacobas defense which was raised only after a considerable time had elapsed
from the eruption of the controversy; and (2) Jacoba had been
counsel of record for Veneracion in Civil Case No. 2836, supporting Velasco-
Jacobas assertion that she had not actually participate[d] in the prosecution of the
case.

Moreover, Jacoba filed a Manifestation in Civil Case No. 2836, praying that
Judge Lacurom await the outcome of the petition for certiorari before deciding the
contempt charge against him. This petition for certiorari anchors some of its
arguments on the premise that the motion was, in fact, Jacobas handiwork.

The marital privilege rule, being a rule of evidence, may be waived by


failure of the claimant to object timely to its presentation or by any
conduct that may be construed as implied consent. This waiver applies
to Jacoba who impliedly admitted authorship of the 30 July 2001 motion.

No doubt, the language contained in the 30 July 2001 motion greatly exceeded the
vigor required of Jacoba to defend ably his clients cause. We recall his use of the
following words and phrases: abhorrent nullity, legal monstrosity, horrendous
mistake, horrible error, boner, and an insult to the judiciary and an anachronism in
the judicial process. Even Velasco-Jacoba acknowledged that the words created a
cacophonic picture of total and utter disrespect.

UNITED STATES VS DALMACEO ANTIPOLO

The wife may testify for the state in cases of this character as to any other
fact known to her. It cannot be contended that the dying declaration
testified to by the witness was a confidential communication made to her;
on the contrary, it was evidently made in the furtherance of justice for the
express purpose that it should be testified to in the prosecution of the
defendant.

FACTS:

Dalmaceo Antipolo was charged with the murder of Fortunato Dinal. The trial court
convicted him of homicide and from that decision he has appealed. One of the
errors assigned is based upon the refusal of the trial judge to permit Susana
Ezpeleta, the widow of Dinal, to testify as a witness on behalf of the defense
concerning certain alleged dying declarations. The witness was called to the stand
and having stated that she is the widow of Fortunato Dinal was asked: "On what
occasion did your husband die?" To this question the fiscal objected upon the
following ground that she is not competent to testify under the rules of procedure in
either civil or criminal cases, unless it be with the consent of her husband, and as
he is dead and cannot grant that permission, it follows that this witness is
disqualified from testifying in this case in which her husband is the injured party.
Counsel for defendant insisted that the witness was competent, arguing that the
disqualification which the fiscal evidently had in mind relates only to cases in which
a husband or wife of one of the parties to a proceeding is called to testify; that the
parties to the prosecution of a criminal case are the Government and the accused;
that, furthermore, the marriage of Dinal to the witness having been dissolved by the
death of her husband, she is no longer his wife, and therefore not subject to any
disqualification arising from the status of marriage.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the marital disqualification applies to a dying declarations made by


either spouse.

RULING:

No. On grounds of public policy the wife cannot testify against her husband as to
what came to her from him confidentially or by reason of the marriage relation, but
this rule does not apply to a dying communication made by the husband to
the wife on the trial of the one who killed him. The declaration of the
deceased made in extremes in such cases is a thing to be proven, and this
proof may be made by any competent witness who heard the statement.
The wife may testify for the state in cases of this character as to any other fact
known to her. It cannot be contended that the dying declaration testified to by the
witness was a confidential communication made to her; on the contrary, it was
evidently made in the furtherance of justice for the express purpose that it should
be testified to in the prosecution of the defendant. The Supreme Court found that
the trial court erred in excluding the testimony of the witness Susana Ezpeleta, and
that by reason of such exclusion, the accused was deprived of one of his essential
rights. That being the case, a new trial must be granted.

PEOPLE VS FAUSTO CARLOS

For documents of communication coming into the possession of a third person, a


distinction should obtain, analogous to that already indicated for a client's
communications; i. e., if they were obtained from the addressee by voluntary
delivery, they should still be privileged (for otherwise the privilege could by
collusion be practically nullified for written communications); but if they were
obtained surreptitiously or otherwise without the addressee's consent, the
privilege should cease.

The fact that he had the letter in his possession is no indication of


acquiescence or assent on his part. The letter is therefore nothing but pure
hearsay and its admission in evidence violates the constitutional right of the
defendant in a criminal case to be confronted with the witnesses for the prosecution
and have the opportunity to cross-examine them. In this respect there can be no
difference between an ordinary communication and one originally privileged.

FACTS:

It appears from the evidence that the victim of the alleged murder, Dr. Pablo G.
Sityar, on March 3, 1924, in Mary Chiles Hospital, performed a surgical operation
upon the defendant's wife for appendicitis and certain other ailments. Defendant,
suffering from some stomach trouble, entered the Philippine General Hospital where
he remained until May 18, 1924. While in the hospital her received a letter from
Doctor Sityar asking the immediate settlement of the account for the professional
services rendered his wife.

In the afternoon of May 26th the defendant again went to the office of the deceased
and found him there alone. According to the evidence of the prosecution, the
defendant then, without any preliminary quarrel between the two, attacked the
deceased with a fan-knife and stabbed him twice. The deceased made an effort to
escape but the defendant pursued him and overtaking him in the hall outside the
office, inflicted another wound upon him and as a consequence if the three wounds
he died within a few minutes. The defendants made his escape but surrendered
himself to the Constabulary at Malolos, Bulacan, in the evening of the following day.

The defendant admits that he killed the deceased but maintains that he did so in
self-defense.

The trial court found that the crime was committed with premeditation and
therefore constituted murder. This finding can only be sustained by taking into
consideration Exhibit L, a letter written to the defendant by his wife and seized by
the police in searching his effects on the day of his arrest. It is dated May 25, 1924,
two days before the commission of the crime and shows that the writer feared that
the defendant contemplated resorting to physical violence in dealing with the
deceased.

Counsel for the defendant argues vigorously that the letter was a privileged
communication and therefore not admissible in evidence. The numerical weight of
authority is, however, to the effect that where a privileged communication from one
spouse to another comes into the hands of a third party, whether legally or not,
without collusion and voluntary disclosure on the part of either of the spouses, the
privilege is thereby extinguished and the communication, if otherwise competent,
becomes admissible.

ISSUE:

WON the letter between defendant and his wife was a privileged communication
between spouses hence inadmissible as evidence to aggravate defendants crime
RULING:

Professor Wigmore states the rule as follows:

For documents of communication coming into the possession of a third person, a


distinction should obtain, analogous to that already indicated for a client's
communications; i. e., if they were obtained from the addressee by voluntary
delivery, they should still be privileged (for otherwise the privilege could by
collusion be practically nullified for written communications); but if they were
obtained surreptitiously or otherwise without the addressee's consent, the
privilege should cease. The letter in question was obtained through a search for
which no warrant appears to have been issued and counsel for the defendant cites
the causes of Boyd and Boyd vs. United States (116 U.S., 616) and Silverthorne
Lumber Co. and Silverthorne vs. United States (251 U.S., 385) as authority for the
proposition that documents obtained by illegal searches of the defendant's effects
are not admissible in evidence in a criminal case.

The letter was written by the wife of the defendant and if she had testified at the
trial the letter might have been admissible to impeach her testimony, but she was
not put on the witness-stand and the letter was therefore not offered for that
purpose. If the defendant either by answer or otherwise had indicated his assent to
the statements contained in the letter it might also have been admissible, but such
is not the case here; the fact that he had the letter in his possession is no
indication of acquiescence or assent on his part. The letter is therefore
nothing but pure hearsay and its admission in evidence violates the constitutional
right of the defendant in a criminal case to be confronted with the witnesses for the
prosecution and have the opportunity to cross-examine them. In this respect there
can be no difference between an ordinary communication and one originally
privileged.

The question is radically different from that of the admissibility of testimony of a


third party as to a conversation between a husband and wife overheard by the
witness. Testimony of that character is admissible on the ground that it
relates to a conversation in which both spouses took part and on the
further ground that where the defendant has the opportunity to answer a
statement made to him by his spouse and fails to do so, his silence implies
assent. That cannot apply where the statement is contained in an
unanswered letter.

Exhibit L is excluded, there is in our opinion not sufficient evidence in the record to
show that the crime was premeditated.
BLANDINA HILADO VS JOSE GUTIERREZ DAVID, ET AL

If a person, in respect to his business affairs or troubles of any kind,


consults with his attorney in his professional capacity with the view to
obtaining professional advice or assistance, and the attorney voluntarily
permits or acquiesces in such consultation, then the professional
employment must be regarded as established.

It does not matter if the information relayed is confidential or not. So long as the
attorney-client relationship is established, the lawyer is proscribed from
taking other representations against the client.

FACTS:

In April 1945, Blandina Hilado filed a complaint to have some deeds of sale annulled
against Selim Assad. Attorney Delgado Dizon represented Hilado. Assad was
represented by a certain Atty. Ohnick.

In January 1946, Atty. Vicente Francisco replaced Atty. Ohnick as counsel for Assad
and he then after entered his appearance in court.

In May 1946 or four months later, Atty. Dizon filed a motion to have Atty. Francisco
be disqualified because Atty. Dizon found out that in June 1945, Hilado approached
Atty. Francisco to ask for additional legal opinion regarding her case and for which
Atty. Francisco sent Hilado a legal opinion letter.

Atty. Francisco opposed the motion for his disqualification. In his opposition, he said
that no material information was relayed to him by Hilado; that in fact, upon hearing
Hilados story, Atty. Francisco advised her that her case will not win in court; but
that later, Hilado returned with a copy of the Complaint prepared by Atty. Dizon;
that however, when Hilado returned, Atty. Francisco was not around but an
associate in his firm was there (a certain Atty. Federico Agrava); that Atty. Agrava
attended to Hilado; that after Hilado left, leaving behind the legal documents, Atty.
Agrava then prepared a legal opinion letter where it was stated that Hilado has no
cause of action to file suit; that Atty. Agrava had Atty. Francisco sign the letter; that
Atty. Francisco did not read the letter as Atty. Agrava said that it was merely a letter
explaining why the firm cannot take on Hilados case.

Atty. Francisco also pointed out that he was not paid for his advice; that no
confidential information was relayed because all Hilado brought was a copy of the
Complaint which was already filed in court; and that, if any, Hilado already waived
her right to disqualify Atty. Francisco because he was already representing Assad in
court for four months in the said case.

Judge Jose Gutierrez David ruled in favor of Atty. Francisco.


Issue:

Was there an attorney-client relationship between plaintiff and Atty. Francisco?

Held:

YES. Hence, Atty. Francisco cannot act as counsel against Hilado without the latters
consent.

As ruled by the Supreme Court, to constitute an attorney-client relationship,


it is not necessary that any retainer should have been paid, promised, or
charged for; neither is it material that the attorney consulted did not
afterward undertake the case about which the consultation was had. If a
person, in respect to his business affairs or troubles of any kind, consults
with his attorney in his professional capacity with the view to obtaining
professional advice or assistance, and the attorney voluntarily permits or
acquiesces in such consultation, then the professional employment must
be regarded as established.

Further:

An attorney is employed-that is, he is engaged in his professional capacity as a


lawyer or counselor-when he is listening to his clients preliminary statement of his
case, or when he is giving advice thereon, just as truly as when he is drawing his
clients pleadings, or advocating his clients cause in open court.

Anent the issue of what information was relayed by Hilado to Atty. Francisco: It does
not matter if the information relayed is confidential or not. So long as the
attorney-client relationship is established, the lawyer is proscribed from
taking other representations against the client.

Anent the issue that the legal opinion was not actually written by Atty. Francisco but
was only signed by him: It still binds him because Atty. Agrava, assuming that he
was the real author, was part of the same law firm. An information obtained from a
client by a member or assistant of a law firm is information imparted to the firm, his
associates or his employers.

Anent the issue of the fact that it took Hilado four months from the time Atty.
Francisco filed his entry of appearance to file a disqualification: It does not matter.
The length of time is not a waiver of her right. The right of a client to have a lawyer
be disqualified, based on previous atty-client relationship, as counsel against her
does not prescribe. Professional confidence once reposed can never be divested by
expiration of professional employment.
TEODORO REGALA, ET AL VS SANDIGANBAYAN

GENERAL RULE:

A lawyer may NOT invoke the privilege and refuse to divulge the name or
identity of his client

SUBJECT TO EXCEPTIONS

Client identity is privileged where a strong probability exists that revealing the
clients name would implicate that client in the very activity for which he sought the
lawyers advice.

XXX

Disclosure would open the client to civil liability.

Government's lawyers have no case against an attorney's client unless, by revealing


the client's name, the said name would furnish the only link that would form the
chain of testimony necessary to convict an individual of a crime.

FACTS:

As members of the ACCRA Law Firm, ACCRA LAWYERS and ROCO admit that they
assisted in the organization and acquisition of the companies included in Civil Case
No. 0033, and in keeping with the office practice, ACCRA lawyers acted as
nominees-stockholders of the said corporations involved in sequestration
proceedings.

ACCRA LAWYERS were included as defendants in the Third Amended Complaint on


the strength of the following allegations:

14. Defendants Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. & ACCRA LAWYERS

plotted, devised, schemed, conspired and confederated with each other in setting
up, through the use of the coconut levy funds, the financial and corporate
framework and structures that led to the establishment of UCPB, UNICOM,
COCOLIFE, COCOMARK, CIC, and more than twenty other coconut levy funded
corporations, including the acquisition of San Miguel Corporation shares and its
institutionalization through presidential directives of the coconut monopoly.

ACCRA LAWYERS subsequently filed their COMMENT AND/OR OPPOSITION with


Counter-Motion that respondent PCGG similarly grant the same treatment to them
(exclusion as parties-defendants) as accorded private respondent ROCO.
In its Comment, respondent

PCGG set the following conditions precedent for the exclusion of ACCRA LAWYERS,
namely:

(a) The disclosure of the identity of its clients;

(b) Submission of documents substantiating the lawyer-client relationship; and

(c) The submission of the deeds of assignments ACCRA LAWYERS executed in favor
of its clients covering their respective shareholdings

ISSUE:

WON the attorney-client privilege prohibits petitioners ACCRA lawyers from


revealing the identity of their clients and the other information requested by the
PCGG.

WON the lawyers fiduciary duty (uberrimei fidei) may be asserted in refusing to
disclose the identity of clients (name of ACCRALAWYERS' clients) under the facts
and circumstances obtaining in the instant case? YES, may refuse on the basis of
fiduciary duty!

RULING:

An effective lawyer-client relationship is largely dependent upon the degree of


confidence which exists between lawyer and client which in turn requires situation
which encourages a dynamic and fruitful exchange and flow of information. It
necessarily follows that in order to attain effective representation, the lawyer must
invoke the privilege not as a matter of option but as a matter of duty and
professional responsibility.

GENERAL RULE:

A lawyer may NOT invoke the privilege and refuse to divulge the name or
identity of his client

As a matter of public policy, a clients identity should NOT be shrouded in mystery.


Under this premise, the general rule in our jurisdiction (as well as in the US) is that a
lawyer may NOT invoke the privilege and refuse to divulge the name or identity of
his client.

Why?

First, the court has a right to know that the client whose privileged information is
sought to be protected is flesh and blood.
Second, the privilege begins to exist only after the attorney-client relationship has
been established. The attorney-client privilege does not attach until there is a client.

Third, the privilege generally pertains to the subject matter of the relationship.

Finally, due process considerations require that the opposing party should, as a
general rule, know his adversary. A party suing or sued is entitled to know who his
opponent is.

He cannot be obliged to grope in the dark against unknown forces.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE:

1) Client identity is privileged where a strong probability exists that revealing the
clients name would implicate that client in the very activity for which he sought the
lawyers advice.

2. Disclosure would open the client to civil liability.

3. Government's lawyers have no case against an attorney's client unless, by


revealing the client's name, the said name would furnish the only link that
would form the chain of testimony necessary to convict an individual of a crime.

4. Relevant to the subject matter of the legal problem on which the client seeks
legal assistance

5. Nature of the attorney-client relationship has been previously disclosed and it is


the identity which is intended to be confidential

6. OTHERS: Privileged Communication Laws Applicable

In the case at bar, the instant case falls under at least two exceptions to
the general rule. (KP: Exception 1 & 3 above)

First, disclosure of the alleged clients name would lead to establish said
clients connection with the very fact in issue of the case, which is
privileged information, because the privilege, as stated earlier, protects
the subject matter or the substance (without which there would be no
attorney-client relationship).

The link between the alleged criminal offense and the legal advice or legal service
sought was duly established in the case at bar, by no less than the PCGG itself. The
key lies in the three specific conditions laid down by the PCGG which constitutes
ACCRA LAWYERS ticket to non-prosecution should they accede thereto:

(a) the disclosure of the identity of its clients;


(b) submission of documents substantiating the lawyer-client relationship; and

(c) the submission of the deeds of assignment ACCRA LAWYERS executed in favor
of their clients covering their respective shareholdings.

From these conditions, particularly the third, we can readily deduce that the clients
indeed consulted the ACCRA LAWYERS, in their capacity as lawyers, regarding the
financial and corporate structure, framework and set-up of the corporations in
question. In turn, ACCRA LAWYERS gave their professional advice in the form of,
among others, the aforementioned deeds of assignment covering their clients
shareholdings.

There is no question that the preparation of the foretasted documents was part and
parcel of ACCRA LAWYERS legal service to their clients.

More important, it constituted an integral part of their duties as lawyers. ACCRA


LAWYERS, therefore, have a legitimate fear that identifying their clients would
implicate them in the very activity for which legal advice had been sought, i.e., the
alleged accumulation of ill-gotten wealth in the aforementioned corporations.

Furthermore, under the third main exception, revelation of the clients name would
obviously provide the necessary link for the prosecution to build its case, where
none otherwise exists. It is the link, in the words of Baird, that would inevitably
form the chain of testimony necessary to convict the (client) of a. . . crime.

We have no choice but to uphold ACCRA LAWYERS right not to reveal the
identity of their clients under pain of the breach of fiduciary duty owing to
their clients, because the facts of the instant case clearly fall within
recognized exceptions to the rule that the clients name is not privileged
information.

If we were to sustain respondent PCGG that the lawyer-client confidential privilege


under the circumstances obtaining here does not cover the identity of the client,
then it would expose the lawyers themselves to possible litigation by their clients in
view of the strict fiduciary responsibility imposed on them in the exercise of their
duties.

RAYMUNDO SAURA JR VS ATTY LALAINE LILIBETH AGDEPPA


The information requested by petitioners is not privileged. The petitioners
are only asking for the disclosure of the amount of the sale or account for
the proceeds.

FACTS:
Respondent handled the settlement case involving a piece of property owned in
common by the petitioners with other siblings. It appears that the negotiations for
the settlement of the property dragged on for three years. Petitioners learned that
the administrators of the property, with the assistance of the respondent, who in
fact notarized the Deed of Sale, sold the property without the knowledge and
participation of petitioners. Petitioners allege that despite repeated demands,
respondent have refused to disclose the amount of the sale or account for the
proceeds. The petitioners have thus been constrained to institute criminal and civil
actions.

However, at the scheduled hearing, there was no appearance for the respondent
despite receipt of the copy of the petition. To date, no response has been forth
coming from respondent.

Issues
Is the respondent correct in saying that she could not answer the charges against
her without divulging certain pieces of information in violation of the attorney-client
privilege?

Held
NO. The request for the information regarding the sale of the property and to
account for the proceeds is not a violation of the attorney-client privilege. Rule 130,
Section 24 (b) of the Rules of Court provides:

"SECTION 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication. The


following persons cannot testify as to matters learned in confidence in the following
cases:

xxx xxx xxx

(b) An attorney cannot, without the consent of his client, be examined as to


any communication made by the client to him, or his advice given thereon in the
course of, or with a view to, professional employment, nor can an attorney's
secretary, stenographer, or clerk be examined, without the consent of the client and
his employer, concerning any fact the knowledge of which has been acquired in
such capacity."
The information requested by petitioners is not privileged. The petitioners
are only asking for the disclosure of the amount of the sale or account for
the proceeds. Petitioners certainly have the right to ask for such
information since they own the property as co-heirs of the late Ramon E.
Saura and as co-administrators of the property. Hence, respondent cannot
refuse to divulge such information to them and hide behind the cloak of
the attorney-client relationship.

JOEL SANVICENTE VS PEOPLE

An admission is something less than a confession, and is but an


acknowledgment of some fact or circumstance which in itself is insufficient
to authorize a conviction, and which tends only to establish the ultimate
fact of guilt

The letter marked as Exhibit LL is not admissible it being a hearsay. It is


noteworthy that the statements in the letter were made by petitioners
counsel, who even began his narration of the events with the phrase:
According to my client.

Facts:
Petitioner was charged with homicide for the killing of one Dennis Wong y Chua.
Petitioners counsel, Atty. Leonardo A. Valmonte, turned over to Police Station 9
petitioners .45 caliber Mark IV pistol. He also wrote a letter addressed to P/Major
Antonio Diaz, Station Commander of PNP Station 9, CPDC, Anonas Road, Quezon
City which reads as follows:

XXX

According to my client, Joel Sanvicente, on said date, place and hour above he
just withdrew from the Far East Bank and Trust Co., Katipunan branch a large
amount of cash. On his way out of the bank, said victim immediately attacked him
to grab the money he has just withdrew (sic). My said client pulled out his gun (duly
licensed with Permit to carry) and fired a warning shot upwards. Still the deceased
continued his attack and grabbed his gun. After a brief struggle, my client was
forced to shoot the deceased in the defense of his person and money. My client will
submit a formal statement during the proper preliminary investigation, if needed.

XXX

For all intense (sic) & purposes, this letter shall serve as a voluntary surrender,
without admission of guilt on the part of my client.
After trial, the prosecution filed its Formal Offer of Exhibits, which included the letter
of petitioners counsel to P/Maj. Antonio Diaz, marked as Exhibit LL. The trial court
admitted all the prosecutions exhibits.

Petitioner filed a Motion To Dismiss (On Demurrer to Evidence) based on the ground
of, among others, prosecutions evidence are totally hearsay/incompetent, hence,
inadmissible and the guilt of the accused was not proven by positive evidence
beyond reasonable doubt. The trial court issued an Order dismissing the case
together with the civil aspect thereof for insufficiency of evidence.

ISSUE:

WON trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in preventing the prosecution
from establishing the due execution and authenticity of Exhibit LL which, it claimed,
positively identified petitioner as the perpetrator of the crime charged.

RULING

The prosecution, which relied primarily on Exhibit LL as the basis for the
indictment against petitioner, however, contested the dismissal of the case
allegedly because the trial court prevented it from further identifying the
genuineness and due execution of said document in the manner that it wanted.[31]

The crux of the problem lies in the confusion between the due execution of a
piece of documentary evidence vis--vis the truth of its contents. Likewise at the core
of the dilemma is the fundamental distinction between an admission and
a confession. The prosecution maintains that the letter, Exhibit LL, constituted a
confession.

An admission is defined under Rule 130, Section 26 of the Rules of Court as the
act, declaration or omission of a party as to a relevant fact. A confession, on the
other hand, under Rule 130, Section 33 is the declaration of an accused
acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged or any offense necessarily included
therein.

More particularly, a confession is a declaration made at any time by a person,


voluntarily and without compulsion or inducement stating or acknowledging that he
had committed or participated in the commission of a crime. The term admission,
on the other hand, is usually applied in criminal cases to statements of fact by the
accused which do not directly involve an acknowledgment of the guilt of the
accused or of criminal intent to commit the offense with which he is charged.[34]

In short, in a confession, an accused acknowledges his


guilt; while there is no such acknowledgment of guilt in an admission.
In other words, an admission is something less than a confession, and is but an
acknowledgment of some fact or circumstance which in itself is insufficient to
authorize a conviction, and which tends only to establish the ultimate fact of guilt.

There is no question that the letter dated June 14, 1995 is an


admission, not a confession, because of the unmistakable qualification in its last
paragraph that

For all intense (sic) & purposes, this letter shall serve as a voluntary
surrender, without admission of guilt on the part of my client.

It cannot be denied that the contents of Exhibit LL, particularly with regard
to the details of the shooting communicated by petitioner to Atty. Valmonte, is
privileged because it is connected with the business for which petitioner retained
the services of the latter.

Pertinent to this is Section 24 (b) of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, to wit:

SEC. 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication. The following


persons cannot testify as to matters learned in confidence in the following cases:

xxxxxxxxx

(b) An attorney cannot, without the consent of his client, be examined as to any
communication made by the client to him, or his advice given thereon in the course
of, or with a view to, professional employment nor can an attorneys secretary,
stenographer, or clerk be examined, without the consent of the client and his
employer, concerning any fact the knowledge of which has been acquired in such
capacity; x x x.

The court agree with the trial court that the letter marked as Exhibit LL is hearsay
inasmuch as its probative force depends in whole or in part on the competency and
credibility of some person other than the witness by whom it is sought to produce
it. It is the evidence not of what the witness knows himself but of what he
has heard from others. In the case at bar, it is noteworthy that the statements in the
letter were made by petitioners counsel, who even began his narration of the
events with the phrase: According to my client.
CAROLINA ABAD GONZALES VS CA

Section 24 (c), Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. The rule on confidential
communications between physician and patient requires that: a) the action in which
the advice or treatment given or any information is to be used is a civil case; b) the
relation of physician and patient existed between the person claiming the privilege
or his legal representative and the physician; c) the advice or treatment given by
him or any information was acquired by the physician while professionally attending
the patient; d) the information was necessary for the performance of his
professional duty; and e) the disclosure of the information would tend to
blacken the reputation of the patient.

The privilege of secrecy is not abolished or terminated because of death


as stated in established precedents.

FACTS:

On April 18, 1972, petitioners Carolina Abad Gonzales, Dolores de Mesa Abad and
Cesar de Mesa Tioseco sought the settlement of the intestate estate of their
brother, Ricardo de Mesa Abad, before the then Court of First Instance of Manila. On
May 9, 1972, petitioners amended their petition by alleging that the real properties
listed therein as belonging to the decedent, were actually only administered by the
latter, the true owner being their late mother, Lucila de Mesa. The trial court
appointed Cesar de Mesa Tioseco as administrator of the intestate estate of Ricardo
de Mesa Abad. Petitioners executed an extrajudicial settlement of the estate of
their late mother Lucila de Mesa to which the Register of Deeds canceled the TCT
under Ricardo Abads name and issued in the name of the herein petitioners.

Subsequently, private respondents filed a Motion to set Aside the proceedings as


they claim that they are the common law wife of Ricardo Abad for 27 years and his
natural children whose existence were deliberately concealed by herein petitioners
to deprive them of their rights to the estate of Abad. Private respondents filed a
motion to annul the extra-judicial partition executed by petitioners and prayed that
Cecilia Abad be appointed as administrator.
Petitioners argue that the children were not of Ricardo Abad but the children of
Honoria Empaynado with Jose Libunao, hence are not entitled to the estate.

Petitioners presented, among others, the affidavit of Dr. Pedro Arenas, [8] Ricardo
Abads physician, declaring that in 1935, he had examined Ricardo Abad and found
him to be infected with gonorrhea, and that the latter had become sterile as a
consequence thereof.

Trial court decided in favor of the private respondents. Appeals dismissed.

ISSUE:

WON Dr. Arenas affidavit is admissible as evidence

RULING:

NO. As to Dr. Arenas affidavit, the same was objected to by private respondents
as being privileged communication under Section 24 (c), Rule 130 of the Rules
of Court. The rule on confidential communications between physician and
patient requires that: a) the action in which the advice or treatment given
or any information is to be used is a civil case; b) the relation of physician
and patient existed between the person claiming the privilege or his legal
representative and the physician; c) the advice or treatment given by him
or any information was acquired by the physician while professionally
attending the patient; d) the information was necessary for the
performance of his professional duty; and e) the disclosure of the
information would tend to blacken the reputation of the patient.

Petitioners do not dispute that the affidavit meets the first four requisites. They
assert, however, that the finding as to Ricardo Abads sterility does not blacken the
character of the deceased. Petitioners conveniently forget that Ricardo Abads
sterility arose when the latter contracted gonorrhea, a fact which most assuredly
blackens his reputation. In fact, given that society holds virility at a premium,
sterility alone, without the attendant embarrassment of contracting a sexually-
transmitted disease, would be sufficient to blacken the reputation of any
patient. We thus hold the affidavit inadmissible in evidence. And the same remains
inadmissible in evidence, notwithstanding the death of Ricardo Abad.

The privilege of secrecy is not abolished or terminated because of death


as stated in established precedents. It is an established rule that the purpose
of the law would be thwarted and the policy intended to be promoted thereby would
be defeated, if death removed the seal of secrecy, from the communications and
disclosures which a patient should make to his physician. After one has gone to
his grave, the living are not permitted to impair his name and disgrace his
memory by dragging to light communications and disclosures made under
the seal of the statute.

NELLY LIM VS CA

REQUISITES. In order that the privilege may be successfully claimed, the


following requisites must concur: "1. the privilege is claimed in a civil case; 2. the
person against whom the privilege is claimed is one duly authorized to practice
medicine, surgery or obstetrics; 3. such person acquired the information while
he was attending to the patient in his professional capacity; 4. the information was
necessary to enable him to act in that capacity; and 5. the information was
confidential, and, if disclosed, would blacken the reputation (formerly character) of
the patient."

CONDITIONS. These requisites conform with the four (4) fundamental conditions
necessary for the establishment of a privilege against the disclosure of certain
communications, to wit: "1. The communications must originate in a confidence that
they will not be disclosed. 2. This element of confidentiality must be essential to the
full and satisfactory maintenance of the relation between the parties. 3. The relation
must be one which in the opinion of the community ought to be sedulously fostered
4. The injury that would inure to the relation by the disclosure of the
communications must be greater than the benefit thereby gained for the correct
disposal of litigation."

PHYSICIAN-PATIENT PRIVILEGE; SCOPE. The physician may be considered to


be acting in his professional capacity when he attends to the patient for curative,
preventive, or palliative treatment. Thus, only disclosures which would have been
made to the physician to enable him "safely and efficaciously to treat his patient"
are covered by the privilege. It is to be emphasized that "it is the tenor only of the
communication that is privileged. The mere fact of making a communication, as well
as the date of a consultation and the number of consultations, are therefore not
privileged from disclosure, so long as the subject communicated is not stated."

FACTS:

Petitioner Nelly Lim and private respondent are lawfully married to each other. On25
November 1987, Private respondent filed with the RTC of Pangasinan,
a petition for annulment of such marriage on the ground that petitioner has been
allegedly suffering from a schizophrenia before, during and after the marriage and
until the present. After the issues were joined and the pre-trial was terminated, trial
on the merits ensued. Private respondents counsel announced that he would
present as his next witness the Chief of the Female Services of the National Mental
Hospital, Dr. Lydia Acampado, a Doctor of Medicine who specializes in Psychiatry.
Petitioners counsel opposed the motion on the ground that the testimony sought to
be elicited from the witness is privileged since the latter had examined the
petitioner in a professional capacity and had diagnosed her to be suffering from
schizophrenia. Petitioner's counsel argued that having seen and examined
the petitioner in a professional capacity, Dr. Acampado is barred from testifying
under the rule on the confidentiality of a physician - patient relationship. Counsel
for private respondent contended, however, that Dr. Acampado would be
presented as an expert witness and would not testify on any information acquired
while attending to the petitioner in a professional capacity. The trial court denied
the motion and allowed the witness to testify. Dr. Acampado thus took the witness
stand, was qualified by counsel for private respondent as an expert witness and was
asked hypothetical questions related to her field of expertise. She neither revealed
the illness she examined and treated the petitioner for nor disclosed the results of
her examination and the medicines she had prescribed. Petitioner filed with the
public respondent Court of Appeals a petition to prohibit him from proceeding with
the reception of Dr. Acampados testimony. However, the Court of Appeals
promulgated a resolution denying due course to the petition.

ISSUE:

WON the Court of Appeals seriously erred in not finding that all the essential
elements of the rule on physician-
patient privileged communication under Section 21, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court
(Section 24, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Evidence) exist in the case at bar.

RULING:
SEC. 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication.

The following persons cannot testify as to matters learned in confidence in the follo
wing cases: x x x(c) A person authorized to practice medicine, surgery or obstetrics
cannot in a civil case, without the consent of the patient, be examined as to any
advice or treatment given by him or any information which he may have acquired in
attending such patient in a professional capacity, which information was necessary
to enable him to act in that capacity, and which would blacken the reputation of the
patient.

This rule on the physician-patient privilege is intended to facilitate and


make safe full and confidential disclosure by the patient to the physician
of all facts, circumstances and symptoms, untrammeled by apprehension
of their subsequent and enforced disclosure and publication on the
witness stand, to the end that
the physician may form a correct opinion, and be enabled safely and effica
ciously to treat his patient. It rests in public policy and is for the general
interest of the community.

Since the object of the privilege is to protect the patient, it may be waived if no
timely objection is made to the physicians testimony.

In the first place, Dr. Acampado was presented and qualified as an expert witness.
As correctly held by the Court of Appeals, she did not disclose anything
obtained in the course of her examination, interview and treatment of the
petitioner; moreover, the facts and conditions alleged in the hypothetical problem
did not refer to and had no bearing on whatever information or findings the doctor
obtained while attending to
the patient. There is, as well, no showing that Dr. Acampados answers to the
questions propounded to her relating to the hypothetical problem were
influenced by the information obtained from the petitioner. Otherwise stated, her e
xpert opinion excluded whatever information or knowledge she had about
the petitioner which was acquired by reason of the physician-patient
relationship
existing between them. As an expert witness, her testimony before the trial court
cannot then be excluded. Also, Dr. Acampado never disclosed any information
obtained from the petitioner regarding the latters ailment and the treatment
recommended therefore.