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1. United States vs. Antipolo [G.R. No. L-13109.

6, 1918.] ISSUE: W/N Susana Ezpeleta, widow of the victim, should be
TOPIC: Disqualification by reason of privileged allowed to testify YES
According to Greenleaf, the rationale for the rule that
FACTS: neither the husband nor the wife can testify for or against
Antipolo was charged with the Murder of Fortunato Dinal. the other in a proceeding is to secure domestic happiness by
Trial Court convicted him of Homicide. placing the protecting seal of the law upon all confidential
The Trial Judge refused to permit Susana Ezpeleta, the communications between husband and wife; and whatever
widow of the man whom the Antipolo is accused of has come to the knowledge of either by means of the
having murdered, to testify as a witness on behalf of the hallowed confidence which that relation inspires, cannot be
defense concerning certain alleged dying declarations. afterwards divulged in testimony even through the other
o She was asked: "On what occasion did your party be no longer living.
husband die?" o This case DOES NOT fall with the text of the statute
The fiscal objected on the following ground: "I object to or the reason upon which it is based.
the testimony of this witness. She has just testified that o The purpose of the rule is to protect accused persons
she is the widow of the deceased, Fortunato Dinal, and against statements made in the confidence
that being so I believe that she is not competent to engendered by the marital relation, and to relieve the
testify under the Rules of Procedure in either civil or husband or wife to whom such confidential
criminal cases, unless it be with the consent of her communications might have been made from the
husband, and as he is dead and cannot grant that obligation of revealing them to the prejudice of the
permission, it follows that this witness is disqualified other spouse.
from testifying in this case in which her husband is the Obviously, when a person at the point of death as a
injured party." result of injuries he has suffered makes a statement
Counsel for defendant insisted that the witness was regarding the manner in which he received those
competent, arguing that the disqualification which the injuries, the communication so made is in no sense
fiscal evidently had in mind relates only to cases in confidential. On the contrary, such a communication is
which a husband or wife of one of the parties to a made for the express purpose that it may be communicated
proceeding is called to testify; that the parties to the after the death of the declarant to the authorities concerned
prosecution of a criminal case are the Government and in inquiring into the cause of his death.
the accused; that, furthermore, the marriage of Dinal to The rule1 relates only to cases when one the spouses is a
the witness having been dissolved by the death of her party to the case. The word afterwards refers as to when a
husband, she is no longer his wife, and therefore not marriage has been dissolved otherwise than by the death of
subject to any disqualification arising from the status of one of the spouses as, for instance, by decree of
marriage. annulment or divorce.
o The testimony is further insisted as it is sufficient The declarations of a deceased person while in
at this time to say some of them would be both anticipation of certain impending death, concerning
material and relevant, to such a degree that if the circumstances leading up to the death, are
proven to the satisfaction of the court, they might
have lead to the acquittal of the accused, as they
purported to relate to the dying declarations of 1 Section 58 of General Orders No. 58 follows: "A husband cannot be examined for
the deceased, concerning the cause of his death, or against his wife without her consent; nor a wife for or against her husband
without his consent; nor can either, during the marriage or afterwards, be, without
the general purport being that his injuries were the consent of the other, examined as to any communication made by one to the
due to a fall and not to the acts imputed to the other during the marriage; but this exception does not apply to a civil action or
accused. proceeding for a crime committed by one against the other."
admissible in a prosecution of the person charged
with killing the declarant.