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BENJAMIN DY vs CA (Manalo and Paramount Development Bank) surrounding execution of the petitioner's documentary evidence

GR no. 97929 Dec. 17, 1991 were even narrated.

FACTS:

Bienvenido Manalo purchased Lot 2 from Paramount Development


Bank (Paramount). Thereby, a deed of absolute sale was duly
registered and a TCT was issued in favor of Manalo. Consequently,
Manalo and Parmount entered into a contract of sale involving Lot 3
wherein they agreed that P3,000 will be paid in advance and the
balance in installments. The Contract to Sell stipulated that the
mortgagor of Lot 3 having defaulted, Paramount would institute
foreclosure proceedings and allow Manalo to take possession of the
lot upon its purchase thereof at the auction sale. The bank also
agreed to execute a Deed of Absolute Sale once it acquired title to
the lot and upon full payment of the balance by Manalo.

When Manalo was about to occupy the lots, he found that they had
been fenced by Benjamin Dy, who claimed to be the owner of the
properties. Manalo then demanded from Paramount that it eject Dy
from the property, however it failed to do so. Thus, Manalo filed a
complaint against Paramount.

Consequently, Petitioner Dy intervened in the case alleging that he is


the owner of the subject lots, having purchased it from his father
(Dy Hong) who acquired them from Dona Agripina Subdivision, as
evidenced by two receipts issued to him by the seller. Petitioner
further claimed that the private respondents knew that he was the
owner of the lots.

The trial court held that Paramount was bound to place Manalo in
peaceful possession of lot 2 in accordance with the express warrant
in the Deed of Absolute Sale and that Manalo has the right to
suspend payment of the balance of the purchase price. It further
held that the evidence of ownership presented by Dy was
insufficient, consisting as it did only of the two receipts and the deed
of sale from his father. No deed of sale from the Doña Agripina
Subdivision was submitted. There was no proof either that the
disputed lots belonged to the subdivision as the evidence of record
showed that the land was originally owned by one Eusebio Lopez,
who mortgaged it to Paramount.

CA affirmed in toto the trial court’s decision.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the receipts presented by Petitioner Dy are
sufficient to prove his ownership of the lots.

RULING: NO

Dy’s evidence of his ownership consisted only of the deed of sale


executed and signed by his father, the receipts supposedly issued by
the Dona Agripina Subd., and his own testimony.

The two receipts allegedly issued by the subdivision are private


documents. In proving their due execution and genuineness, it is not
sufficient that the witness state in a general manner that the person
whose signature appears thereon the one who executed the
document. The testimony of an eye witness authenticating a private
document must be positive, categorically stating that the document
was actually eye-witness by the person whose name is subscribed
thereto. The Court notes that in the case at bar, the details
MALAYAN INSURANCE CO., INC. vs PHIL. NAILS AND WIRES CORP. hearsay, as this doctrine is defined in Section 36, Rule 130 of the
GR No. 138084 April 10, 2002 Rules of Court.

FACTS: However, she is not qualified to testify on the shortage in the


delivery of the imported steel billets. She did not have personal
Respondent Philippine Nails and Wires Corporation insured against knowledge of the actual steel billets received. Even though she
all risks its shipment of 10,053.400 metric tons of steel billets valued prepared the summary of the received steel billets, she based the
at P67,156,300 with petitioner Malayan Insurance Company Inc. The summary only on the receipts prepared by other persons. Her
shipment delivered was short by 377.168 metric tons. For this testimony on steel billets received was hearsay. It has no probative
shortage, respondent claimed insurance forP2,698,637.04, value even if not objected to at the trial.
representing the value of undelivered steel billets, plus customs
duties, taxes and other charges paid by respondent. Petitioner
refused to pay. 2. Petitioner avers that King failed to properly authenticate
respondents documentary evidence.
Respondent filed a complaint against Petitioner for sum of money
representing said lost and/or undelivered cargo. Petitioner moved to Petitioner’s contention is meritorious. Under the rules on evidence,
dismiss the complaint, but the motion was denied. documents are either public or private.Private documents are those
that do not fall under any of the enumerations in Section 19, Rule
Respondent filed a motion to admit and amended complaint which 132 of the Rules of Court. Section 20 of the same law, in turn,
the trial court granted. Due to petitioner’s failure to file an answer, provides that before any private document is received in evidence,
respondent moved to declare petitioner in default. The trial court its due execution and authenticity must be proved either by anyone
granted the said motion and allowed the presentation of evidence who saw the document executed or written, or by evidence of the
ex parte. Respondent presented its lone witness, Jeanne King. genuineness of the signature or handwriting of the maker. Here,
respondent’s documentary exhibits are private documents. In this
Petitioner filed its answer with compulsory counterclaim. Upon case, respondent admits that King was none of the aforementioned
motion by the respondent, the trial court expunged from the persons. She merely made the summary of the weight of steel billets
records the answer for late filing. based on the unauthenticated bill of lading and the SGS
report. Thus, the summary of steel billets actually received had no
The trial court rendered a judgment by default in favor of the proven real basis, and Kings testimony on this point could not be
respondent. The CA denied petitioner’s appeal and affirmed the trial taken at face value.
court’s decision.
With the exception concerning the summary of the weight of the
steel billets imported, respondent presented no supporting evidence
ISSUES: concerning their authenticity. Consequently, they cannot be utilized
1. WON the testimony of Jeanne King is hearsay, thus to prove less of the insured cargo and/or the short delivery of the
without probative value. imported steel billets. In sum, we find no sufficient competent
2. WON the respondent should have authenticated the evidence to prove petitioners liability.
documentary evidence it submitted at the trial.

RULING:
1. Petitioner Malayan Insurance Co., Inc., contends that Jeanne Kings
testimony was hearsay because she had no personal knowledge of
the execution of the documents supporting respondents cause of
action, such as the sales contract, invoice, packing list, bill of lading,
SGS Report, and the Marine Cargo Policy. Petitioner avers that even
though King was personally assigned to handle and monitor the
importation of Philippine Nails and Wires Corporation, herein
respondent, this cannot be equated with personal knowledge of the
facts which gave rise to respondents cause of action. Further,
petitioner asserts, even though she personally prepared the
summary of weight of steel billets received by respondent, she did
not have personal knowledge of the weight of steel billets actually
shipped and delivered.

At the outset, we must stress that respondents cause of action is


founded on breach of insurance contract covering cargo consisting
of imported steel billets. To hold petitioner liable, respondent has to
prove, first, its importation of 10,053.400 metric tons of steel billets
valued at P67,156,300.00, and second, the actual steel billets
delivered to and received by the importer, namely the
respondent. Witness Jeanne King, who was assigned to handle
respondents importations, including their insurance coverage, has
personal knowledge of the volume of steel billets being imported,
and therefore competent to testify thereon. Her testimony is not
CLEOFAS vs ST. PETER MEMORIAL PARK, INC. Nazario Roque were all in the possession of respondent St. Peters
GR No. 84905 Feb. 1, 2000 and not with the proper custodians or repositories thereof and that
the alleged assignment bears only a thumbmark of Antonio Cleofas
FACTS: although there is proof of his competence to sign the same. The
The property subject of the present controversy is Lot No. 719 of the respondents elevated again the case to the SC which affirmed the
Piedad Estate situated in the Municipality of Caloocan, Rizal, trial court’s decision.
containing an area of 215,264 square meters. It forms part of the
land covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 614 of the Registry of Again, respondents St. Peter Memorial Park and Banco Filipino
Deeds of Rizal, in the name of the Government of the Philippines. moved to reconsider the aforesaid decision. In their prayer for
another new trial, respondents have manifested that in view of the
On March 20, 1909, the Director of Lands, as administrator of the adverse finding as to the genuineness of the deed of assignment,
Piedad Estate, executed a contract in favor of Antonio Cleofas, they continued their search for evidence to bolster their contention
(predecessor-in-interest of herein petitioners) known as Sales that the deed of assignment of Sale Certificate No. 923 was a
Certificate No. 923. Antonio Cleofas took possession of the lot and genuine document properly filed in a government office and
occupied the same until his death sometime in 1945. confirmed by entries in the records of the same. The Court set aside
its decision of July 30, 1979 and remanded the case to the trial court
Antonio's title was burned in a fire sometime in 1933. Subsequently, of Quezon City for new trial.
when petitioners tried to reconstitute the lost certificate, they
discovered that the lot was already registered in the name of herein In the second new trial, respondents presented photocopies of OCT
respondent St. Peter Memorial Park. Hence, they filed on October No. 543 of the Tala Estate which contain an entry of the sale by
31, 1970 a suit against respondents for annulment of certificate of Antonio Cleofas in favor of Narciso and Martin covering lot no. 719
title and recovery of possession before then Court of First Instance of the Piedad Estate and the Notarial Register of Notary Public Jose
of Rizal which was docketed as Civil Case No. Q-15001. In their Ma. Delgado, showing entries of the deed of sale executed by the
complaint, petitioners prayed, among others, that they be declared Director of Lands in favor of Trino Narciso and Aniceto Martin over
the rightful owners of Lot No. 719, that the title of their lot 719. On the basis of the new evidence presented by respondents,
predecessor, Antonio Cleofas, be reconstituted and that all the trial court on November 20, 1985 rendered judgment dismissing
certificates of title over said lot issued in the names of the petitioners' complaint. The trial court opined that the deed of
respondents be declared null and void. assignment was not found in the possession of the person in which it
would naturally be found because the deed of conveyance was
Respondent Memorial Park, filed its answer alleging inter alia: that misrecorded in a memorandum sheet of OCT No. 543 of the Tala
while Lot No. 719 was originally sold to Antonio Cleofas by the Estate.
government, Cleofas subsequently assigned his rights to a certain
Aniceto Martin and Trino Narciso, in whose favor Transfer Certificate Petitioners appealed to the CA but were denied. The Court of
of Title No. 21893 was issued on June 17, 1932; that Martin and Appeals anchored its ruling on the doctrine that a title which
Narciso in turn conveyed the property to Nazario Roque on May 11, emanated from a spurious source may be the root of a valid title.
1937 resulting in the issuance of TCT No. 32258; and that Nazarios Petitioners now challenge the court's decision before this Court
transfer certificate of title was cancelled and the property was arguing that the Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretion when
passed on to his heirs, Carmen and Basilisa Roque from whom it disregarded pertinent and material facts of the case and went
respondent St. Peter Memorial Park purchased the lot. beyond the issues raised. They assert that the doctrine relied upon
by the Court of Appeals is not applicable to the case at bar because
The trial court rendered a decision in favor of the petitioners in the three trials held, the only point raised is the spurious
declaring them as the rightful owners of lot 719. Respondents character of the alleged deed of assignment.
Memorial Park and Banco Filipino filed a joint motion for new trial
on the ground of newly discovered evidence consisting of ISSUE:
documents to show that the title issued to Antonio Cleofas refers to WON the deed of assignment executed by Antonio Cleofas in favor
lot 640 and not lot 719 of the Piedad Estate. Said motion was denied of Narciso and Trino is authentic despite Memorial’s possession of it.
by the court. Thereafter, filed with the SC a petition for certiorari
and prohibition to set aside the trial court’s order denying their RULING: YES
motion. The Court granted the petition and remanded the case to Respondent St. Peter Memorial's possession of the documents is
the CFI for new trial. reasonable considering that it is the vendee of the subject lot. In
other words, it is reasonably expected that respondent, as
At the new trial, respondents introduced new evidence to show that successor-in-interest of the assignees Trino and Narciso, and the
Antonio Cleofas is the awardee of Lot 640 of the Piedad Estate as purchaser of the subject lot, be found in the possession of the
evidenced by Deed No. 18562 dated August 10, 1929, as well as TCT documents. The custody to be shown for the purpose of making a
No. 15694 covering the same lot. It is their theory that Sheet 15 of document evidence without proof of execution is not necessarily
Original Certificate of Title No. 614 which is the basis of petitioners' that of the person strictly entitled to the possession of the said
title over the subject lot, referred to Lot No. 640 and not to Lot 719. document. It is enough that if the person in whose custody the
The CFI rendered a decision in favor of the petitioners. The trial document is found is so connected with the document that he may
court found the Deed of Assignment in favor of Martin and Narciso, reasonably be supposed to be in possession of it without
predecessors of herein respondent St. Peter Memorial Park, fraud.[16] Thus, documents are said to be in proper custody where
spurious. The trial court dwelled on the fact that the Assignment of they are in the place in which, and under the care of the person with
Certificate of Sale No. 923[6] executed by Antonio Cleofas in favor of whom, they would naturally be, as, for instance, where they are
Martin and Narciso, Deed No. 25874[7] executed by the Director of found among the family papers of the persons entitled thereto, or
Lands in favor or Martin and Narciso conveying lot 719 to the latter where they are found in the hands of an agent of the parties
and the deed of sale executed by Martin and Narciso in favor of beneficially interested.
SANSON vs CA state that she saw the filling up and signing of the checks by the
GR No. 127745 April 22, 2003 deceased, hence, her testimony is self-serving.

FACTS: While the foregoing testimonies of the Sanson siblings have not
faithfully discharged the quantum of proof under Section 22, Rule
Petitioner-appellant Felicito G. Sanson (Sanson), in his capacity as 132 of the Revised Rules on Evidence which reads:
creditor, filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Iloilo City a
petition for the settlement of the estate of Juan Bon Fing Sy (the Section 22. How genuineness of handwriting proved. The
deceased) who died on January 10, 1990. Sanson claimed that the handwriting of a person may be proved by any witness who believes
deceased was indebted to him in the amount of P603,000.00 and to it to be the handwriting of such person because he has seen the
his sister Celedonia Sanson-Saquin (Celedonia) in the amount person write, or has seen writing purporting to be his upon which
of P360,000.00. the witness has acted or been charged and has thus acquired
knowledge of the handwriting of such person. x x x,
Petitioners-appellants Eduardo Montinola, Jr. and his mother
Angeles Montinola (Angeles) later filed separate claims against the not only did the administratrix fail to controvert the same; from a
estate, alleging that the deceased owed them P50,000.00 comparison with the naked eye of the deceaseds signature
and P150,000.00, respectively. appearing on each of the checks-exhibits of the Montinolas with that
of the checks-exhibits of the Sanson siblings all of which checks
By Order of February 12, 1991, the RTC appointed Melecia T. Sy, were drawn from the same account, they appear to have been
surviving spouse of the deceased, as administratrix of his estate. affixed by one and the same hand.

During the hearing of the claims against the estate, Sanson, In fine, as the claimants-herein petitioners have, by their evidence,
Celedonia, and Jade Montinola, wife of claimant Eduardo Montinola, substantiated their claims against the estate of the deceased, the
Jr., testified on the transactions that gave rise thereto, over the burden of evidence had shifted to the administratrix who, however,
objection of the administratrix who invoked Section 23, Rule 130 of expressly opted not to discharge the same when she manifested
the Revised Rules of Court otherwise known as the Dead Mans that she was dispensing with the presentation of evidence against
Statute. the claims.

The administratrix, denying having any knowledge or information


sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the claims, nevertheless
alleged that if they ever existed, they had been paid and
extinguished, are usurious and illegal and are, in any event, barred
by prescription. And she objected to the admission of the checks and
check return slips-exhibits offered in evidence by the claimants upon
the ground that the witnesses who testified thereon are disqualified
under the Dead Mans Statute. Specifically with respect to the
checks-exhibits identified by Jade, the administratrix asserted that
they are inadmissible because Jade is the daughter-in-law of
claimant Angeles and wife of claimant Eduardo Montinola, Jr.,
hence, she is covered by the above-said rule on disqualification. At
all events, the administratrix denied that the checks-exhibits were
issued by the deceased and that the return slips were issued by the
depository/clearing bank. After the claimants rested their case, the
administratrix filed four separate manifestations informing the trial
court that she was dispensing with the presentation of evidence
against their claims.

The trial court rendered a decision in favor of the petitioners finding


that the Dead Man’s Statute does not apply in the case. The
respondent appealed the case to the CA which set aside the order of
the trial court and dismissed the claims of the petitioners. Hence,
the present petition.

ISSUE:
WON the handwriting of the deceased in the checks presented as
evidence by the petitioners has been adequately proved. (one of the
issues in this case)

RULING: YES

The administratrix counters the allegations of the petitioners stating


that the due execution and authenticity of the checks-exhibits of the
Montinolas were not duly proven since Jade did not categorically
MARIANO vs ROXAS evidence pursuant to Section 50, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules on
AM No. CA-02-14-P July 31, 2002 Evidence which provides:
Sec. 50. Opinion of ordinary witnesses. The opinion of a witness for
FACTS: which proper basis is given, may be received in evidence regarding
xxx
Complainant Leonora Mariano filed an administrative case with the (b) A handwriting with which he has sufficient familiarity; and
CA charging respondent Susan Roxas, Clerk III, with forgery and xxx
dishonesty.
Corollarily, Section 22, Rule 132 of the same Rules provides that:
In the Report and Recommendation of the Assistant Clerk of Court in
the investigation she conducted, it was shown that complainant Sec. 22. How genuineness of handwriting proved. The handwriting
Mariano sold to respondent Roxas a total of P55,700 worth of of a personmay be proved by any witness who believes it to be the
jewelries, payable on installment. After several payments by Roxas, handwriting of such person because he has seen the person write,
an unpaid balance was left. To pay the balance, Roxas executed a or has seen writing purportingto be his upon which the witness has
written authority to the Court Cashier for Mariano to get her acted or been charged, and has thus acquired knowledge of the
benefits. Pursuant thereto, Mariano received from the Court Cashier handwriting of such person. Evidence respecting the handwriting
partial payments. However, Roxas subsequently revoked the said may also be given by a comparison, made by the witness or the
authority on the ground that she overpaid Mariano. The amounts court, with writings admitted or treated as genuine by the party
she claimed as overpayments referred to alleged payments made by against whom the evidence is offered, or proved to be genuine to
her in 3 installments which are evidenced by receipts purportedly the satisfaction of the judge.
signed by Mariano. Mariano denied that she received the alleged
payments and that she signed and issued those receipts since those
signatures are forgeries. She also claimed that she never issues
typewritten receipts as the one Mrs. Roxas presented evidencing her
alleged payment on January 25, 2001 and on February 15, 2001.This
fact was corroborated by her witness, Lorna Caraga, a friend and
former officemate who affirmed that the signature on the
aforementioned receipts are not Mrs. Marianos whose signature she
is familiar with and whom she knows as one who does not issue
typewritten receipts. Moreover, an examination of the receipts
which Mrs. Mariano claims to be forged (Exhs. C-3 and 3-C, C-4 and
3-d) show to the naked eye that there are differences from her
genuine signatures, thus supporting Mrs. Marianos and Mrs. Caragas
statements that those signatures are forged and not those of Mrs.
Mariano. Hence, Mrs. Mariano has established by sufficient
evidence that Mrs. Roxas still has an unpaid balance of P12,110.00
(Exh. F-1) and that the two receipts she presented whose signatures
Mrs. Mariano disowns and the other unsigned receipt are not
accurate records of the transactions between them and do not
prove that Mrs. Roxas had overpaid complainant.

Thus, the Assistant Clerk of Court recommended that Roxas be


found guilty of misconduct and be ordered to pay the balance of her
debt to Mariano. The CA affirmed the said recommendation.
Respondent Roxas filed a motion for reconsideration but was
denied. In a letter, the CA transmitted to the SC the records of the
case.

ISSUE:
WON the testimony of Caraga is admissible.

RULING: YES

The receipts she presented to prove that she overpaid complainant


P6,425.00 were forged. As found by the CA, there are marked
differences between the signatures in the receipts and complainants
specimen signature which are easily discernible by the naked
eye. That the receipts are not genuine was confirmed by Lorna
Caraga. She testified that she is familiar with the signature of
complainant who was her officemate for a period of 5 years in the
Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 130, Caloocan City. In many
occasions, complainant signed documents in her presence. Her
opinion as to complainants genuine signature is admissible in
PARMA vs CA According to petitioner, it was private respondent’s counsel who
GR No. 109370 July 11, 1995 volunteered to make the verification as to the authenticity of the
letter complaint. This assertion is bereft of merit. It was petitioner’s
FACTS: duty to authenticate the said handwritten letter-complaint because
it was his main evidence to prove prior physical possession.
Private respondent was issued Original Certificate of Title No. P-
4123 by the Land Registration Commission by virtue of the approval
of his free patent application over a parcel of land. Subsequently, he
filed an action for forcible entry to evict petitioner Rogelio Parma
from the said parcel of land. The Municipal Trial Court found
petitioner to have possessed the land long before the issuance of
private respondent’s title and dismissed the case for lack of
jurisdiction. The court was of the view that the issue was not of
possession but of ownership, hence, cognizable only by the RTC.

The RTC sustained the judgment not on lack of jurisdiction of the


inferior court but on the ground that private respondent failed to
prove his case. On appeal, the CA reversed the decision of the
Regional Trial Court. Hence, this petition.

Private respondent presented as proof of ownership his original


certificate of title and the affidavits of some of his tenants and the
barangay captain attesting to the claim of forcible entry.

Petitioner claimed prior possession of the litigated portion and


presented the following exhibits: a) the letter-complainant dated
September 22, 1986 sent to the Bureau of Lands prior to the
issuance of private respondent’s title b) the Notice/Letter dated
November 7, 1986 sent by the District Land Officer of Calapan,
Oriental Mindoro, directing both petitioner and private respondent
to appear before him regarding the land in dispute; c) the
complainant/protest addressed to the Bureau of Lands dated July 8,
1987; and d) the affidavits of two neighbors of petitioners who
attested to his possession for about ten years of some three
hectares of land, including the litigated portion.

The Court of Appeals held that the letter-complainant is self-serving,


. . . a machine copy, unclear as to its proper receipt in the Bureau of
Lands and unconfirmed by the said office or any representative
thereof, and apparently, disregarded when the Office subsequently
approved petitioner’s (Private respondent’s) free patent application.
. . . The said evidence cannot be considered as indicative of prior
possession of the portion litigated."

ISSUE:
WON the letter-complaint has any probative value.

RULING: NONE

The alleged letter-complainant dated September 22, 1986, has no


probative value. It was never certified by the Bureau of Lands. Under
Section 25, Rule 132 of the Revised Rules on Evidence.

"Whenever a copy of a document or record is attested for purpose


of evidence, the attestation must state, in substance, that the copy
is a correct copy of the original, or a specific part thereof, as the case
may be. The attestation must be under the official seal of the
attesting officer, if there be any, or if he be the clerk of a court
having a seal, under the seal of such court."

Inspite of the fact that a subpoena duces tecum had been issued
ordering the Bureau of Lands to produce the original of the letter-
complaint, no representative from said office appeared to testify as
to the existence thereof.