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CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

WEAVING A TAPESTRY OF EVENTS


TO SUSTAIN A CONVICTION

Submitted by:

Bernardo, Michelle Anne

Dela Cruz, James

Mendoza, Charisse Ann

Natividad, Jan Elna

Panopio, Maren Dynel

Raagas, Vittorio Ignatius

Submitted to:

Atty. David Robert C. Aquino, CSEE

March 4, 2016
The Teleological Theory focuses on the natural order which is discovered through common
human reason and validated by human experience. According to this theory, laws are rules for man to
realize his basic natural goods that became societys common good when shared. It may be applied to this
SCRA annotation since the appreciation of evidence may be likened to the discovery of the natural
order which is found through common human reason and human experience. The High Court defines
circumstantial evidence as collateral facts and circumstances from which the main fact in issue may be
inferred based on reason and common experience.

Looking at it closely, the definition of natural order and circumstantial evidence is similar to
each other in that it is based on reason and experience. What may be inferred from their similarity is that
whenever circumstantial evidence is used to uphold a decision against a person, then the natural order is
being restored and the natural law is applied.

Moreover, the Teleological theory treats the law as a law for as long as it pursues the precepts of
reason: reasonableness, justice, equality, and fairness. In this case, properly applying circumstantial
evidence shall be in accordance with the law according to its definition by the teleological school of
thought.

For the Functional or Sociological approach, it simply aims to bring justice in the society by
assuring that every part of the society contributes for its welfare by balancing the diverse interests of its
citizens. The only way that this theory may be applied to this SCRA annotation is by allowing the
judiciary to do what is just in order to assure that justice is served in order to preserve harmony in the
society. That the overlapping interests by the parties in a case may be balanced through circumstantial
evidence submitted to the courts.

Under the Positivist theory, the law is purely a product of human will. There is no underlying
principle or content that the law must conform. It need only be procedurally correct to be valid. So if the
appreciation of circumstantial evidence was made in accordance to the Rules of Court, then it shall be
considered correct under the eyes of the Positivist theorists. But this is what the High Court tries to warn
us about. That there are pitfalls on relying too much on circumstantial evidence. Especially since the
procedure provided for under the judicial system is far from perfect and flaws are encountered in every
step of the criminal proceedings.

This is how the Interpretivist theory may be related to in this situation. This school of thought
focuses on the principles that best explains or justifies the law and is construed as to having a moral rights
based dimension. Under this theory, the validity of a law is not solely based on whether it is procedurally
correct or not. Rather, it is more concerned with the substantive rights of a person.

The Once-Upon-a-Time Approach postulates the idea that laws are not simply made, it is in the
making. It rolls a story struck in real events and that it is a part of that countrys culture and history no
matter how positive or negative it may be. In a country such as ours which is a melting pot of different
cultures, it is difficult to apply the law as it is written. Therefore, its story on how the law originated and
what it ought to be must be considered. That the application of the law depends on the intention of the
accused when the act was perpetrated and it need not be strictly procedural so that justice may be served.

In Critical Legal Theory, which espouses that we must be wary upon the laws imposed as it is
used as a vehicle to promote the wishes of the dominant group. Therefore, under this theory,
circumstantial evidence must be applied very cautiously as it may be used to serve the personal interest of
one party as exemplified in the case which this article is rooted from.

The Get-Real Theory gives us the gist of how things or certain events revolve about the law.
Stressing on the principle mentioned that the court should follow, which is: It is better to set free ten men
who might be probably guilty of the crime charged than to convict one innocent man for the crime he did
not commit. The annotation gives the idea that there is no truth inside the courtroom; it is just a matter of
your own version of what happened versus theirs.

Moreover, according to Justice Holmes, in deciding a case, a man should always think from the
perspective of the bad man because at the end of the day, the bad man cares only for the consequences of
law and what the courts will do to him. Innately, everyone acts the same way that the bad man does and
the differences in everyones action creates a combination of all our perception which subsequently
creates the consequences and roles we will be facing in the future. In the end, no matter what those
differences may be, in reality, due process is written and interpreted by the court the same way it is with
everyone and in the same manner.

Legal Formalism or conceptualism holds that the law is a strict science governed by formal
axioms, legal principles, and rules of logic; it is a by-the-book approach best demanded from certain
elements of the legal system who may abuse their discretionary powers. In this annotation regarding a
recent case, it speaks of the in-depth explanation and clarification of the concept of circumstantial
evidencethe underlying concept behind its use and acceptance in a court of law, and the pit-falls and
errors one must avoid when relying on it.
The focal point of formalism is that it is up to the lawmakers to question the wisdom of the law or
to change the law, not the judge or the implementing agent whose function is to use the rules of analytic
thinking in applying the law to a particular case. For the concept of circumstantial evidence to be free
from any obscurity or ambiguity so that it can be easily understood by a judge or an implementing agent
and for proper application in cases, the author Atty. David Robert Aquino discussed the important
principles that should be kept in mind which are: presumption of innocence, unbroken chain, fair and
reasonable conclusion, and burden of proof. Bearing in mind that formalism is also referred to as
textualism or the plain meaning approach to the law and originalism or the original meaning
approach to the Constitution which this annotation utilized in toto.

As in the words of the author, Everyone knows what circumstantial evidence is. Law students
get to know this concept firsthand in their foray into criminal procedure and evidence. Even the ordinary
man on the street is familiar with this term owing to its use in television and movies. Yet, [a] recent case
brings once again to light what circumstantial evidence is all about. x x x the High Court, once again,
enlightens us on the proper appreciation of such evidence.

It is not enough to uphold a conviction based on circumstantial evidence. As we read the law, we
will see that the lawmakers provide for certain requisites and exceptions before one can be convicted of a
crime. It goes to show that our laws and judges still give due regard to our basic rights as a citizen and
also gives us the opportunity to re-educate us on the concept of circumstantial evidence -- its appreciation
and application in a court of law