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Answer the following briefly:

(a) What elements should concur for circumstantial evidence to be sufficient for conviction?

(b) When is bail a matter of judicial discretion?

(c) Give at least two instances when a peace officer or a private person may make a valid
warrantless arrest.

(d) What is a tender of excluded evidence?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(a)

The following elements should concur for circumstantial evidence to be sufficient for conviction:

a) There is more than one circumstance.

b) The facts from which the inferences are derived are proven.

c) The combination of all the circumstances is such as to produce a conviction beyond


reasonable doubt. [S4 R133]
(d)

Tender of excluded evidence is the remedy of a party when the evidence he has offered is
excluded by the court.

If documentary or object evidence is excluded by the court, the offeror may have the
same attached to or made part of the record. If the evidence excluded is oral, the offeror may state for the
record the name and other personal circumstances of the witness and the substance of the proposed
testimony. (S40 R132).

Police officers arrested Mr. Druggie in a buy-bust operation and confiscated from him 10 sachets
of shabu and several marked genuine peso bills worth P5,000.00 used as the buy-bust money during the
buy-bust operation.
At the trial of Mr. Druggie for violation of R.A. No. 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act
of 2002), the Prosecution offered in evidence, among others, photocopies of the confiscated marked
genuine peso bills. The photocopies were offered to prove that Mr. Druggie had engaged at the time of
his arrest in the illegal selling of dangerous drugs.

Invoking the Best Evidence Rule, Atty. Maya Bang, the defense counsel, objected to the
admissibility of the photocopies of the confiscated marked genuine peso bills.

Should the trial judge sustain the objection of the defense counsel? Briefly explain your answer.

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

No, the trial judge should not sustain the objection that invokes the best evidence rule.

The Supreme Court has held that the best evidence rule applies only to documentary evidence,
not to object or testimonial evidence.

Here the marked money is object not documentary evidence since it is being offered to prove not
its contents but its existence and use in the buy-bust operation. [People v. Tandoy, 192 SCRA 28 (1990)]

Immediately before he died of gunshot wounds to his chest, Venancio told the attending physician, in a
very feeble voice, that it was Arnulfo, his co-worker, who had shot him. Venancio added that it was also
Arnulfo who had shot Vicente, the man whose cadaver was lying on the bed beside him.

In the prosecution of Arnulfo for the criminal killing of Venancio and Vicente, are all the statements
of Venancio admissible as dying declarations? Explain your answer.

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

No, not all the statements of Venancio are admissible as dying declarations.

Under the Rules on Evidence, a dying declaration is admissible as an exception to the hearsay
rule provided that such declaration relates to the cause of the declarant’s death.

Venancio’s statement that it was Arnulfo who shot him is admissible as a dying declaration. The
same related to Venancio’s own demise. It may be inferred that Venancio had consciousness of his
impending death since he suffered gunshot wounds to his chest which would necessarily be mortal
wounds.
However, Venancio’s statement that it was Arnulfo who shot Vicente is not admissible as a dying
declaration since it did not relate to the cause of the declarant’s death but to the death of another person.

In an attempt to discredit and impeach a Prosecution witness in a homicide case, the defense counsel
called to the stand a person who had been the boyhood friend and next-door neighbor of the Prosecution
witness for 30 years. One question that the defense counsel asked of the impeaching witness was:
"Can you tell this Honorable Court about the general reputation of the prosecution witness in your
community for aggressiveness and violent tendencies?"

Would you, as the trial prosecutor, interpose your objection to the question of the defense
counsel? Explain your answer.

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Yes, I as the trial prosecutor, would interpose my objection to defense counsel’s question on the
ground of improper impeachment.

Under the Law on Evidence, an adverse party’s witness may be properly impeached by reputation
evidence provided that it is to the effect that the witness’s general reputation for honesty, truth, or integrity
was bad. [S11 R132] The reputation must only be on character for truthfulness or untruthfulness. [Cordial
v. People, 166 SCRA 17]

Here the evidence is not on the Prosecution witness’s general reputation for honesty, truth, or
integrity but on his aggressive and violent tendencies. The evidence had nothing to do with the witness’s
character for truthfulness or untruthfulness. Hence the impeachment was improper.
III.

While passing by a dark uninhabited part of their barangay, PO2 Asintado observed shadows and heard
screams from a distance. PO2 Asintado hid himself behind the bushes and saw a man beating a woman
whom he recognized as his neighbor, Kulasa. When Kulasa was already in agony, the man stabbed her
and she fell on the ground. The man hurriedly left thereafter.

PO2 Asintado immediately went to Kulasa’s rescue. Kulasa, who was then in a state of hysteria, kept
mentioning to PO2 Asintado “Si Rene, gusto akong patayin! Sinaksak niya ako!” When PO2 Asintado was
about to carry her, Kulasa refused and said “Kaya ko. Mababaw lang to. Habulin mo si Rene.”

The following day, Rene learned of Kulasa’s death and, bothered by his conscience, surrendered to the
authorities with his counsel. As his surrender was broadcasted all over media, Rene opted to release his
statement to the press which goes:

“I believe that I am entitled to the presumption of innocence until my guilt is proven beyond
reasonable doubt. Although I admit that I performed acts that may take one’s life away, I hope and pray
that justice will be served the right way. God bless us all. (Sgd.) Rene”

The trial court convicted Rene of homicide on the basis of PO2 Asintado’s testimony, Kulasa’s
statements, and Rene’s statement to the press. On appeal, Rene raises the following errors:

1. The trial court erred in giving weight to PO2 Asintado’s testimony, as the latter did not have any
personal knowledge of the facts in issue, and violated Rene’s right to due process when it considered
Kulasa’s statements despite lack of opportunity for her cross-examination.

2. The trial court erred in holding that Rene’s statement to the press was a confession which, standing
alone, would be sufficient to warrant conviction. Resolve. (4%)

Rene’s contentions have no legs to stand on.


Under the Rules of Evidence, testimonies based on personal knowledge and part of res gestae
are given probative value to convict the accused. Personal knowledge pertains to a witness’ testimony
derived from is own perception of the criminal acts, while part of res gestae whish is an exception to the
hearsay rule pertains to a statement made by a victim before, during or immediately after the
commission of a crime by the accused. On the other hand, confessions to be taken as mitigating
circumstance must be made with the acknowledgment of the confessant’s guilt.

Here, PO2 Asintado’s testimonies were based on personal knowledge as well as a part of res
gestae, hence sufficient to convict Rene. On the other hand, the press release cannot be considered as a
confession absent Rene’s acknowledgment of guilt. Hence, Rene’s contentions should be denied.