Sie sind auf Seite 1von 17

People v. Alfredo Dulin, G.R. No.

171284, June 29, 2015  When he returned to the scene, he found Batulan at Danao’s door,
Bersamin, First Division with Dulin wielding a sharp pointed instrument, about 6-7 inches long.
 Scared for his safety, he rushed to the Barangay Hall to ask help from
Topic: General Concepts Edwin Cabalza and Nanding Buenaflor to bring Batulan to the
SUMMARY - Batulan stabbed Dulin who was able to wrest the knife from the former. Accused Dulin was Provincial Hospital in Carig, Tuguegarao.
witnessed by several people to have stabbed Batulan to death. RTC convicted Dulin of murder. CA
affirmed this ruling but modified the civil liability. Dulin now argues that he should be convicted of
homicide only as there is no qualifying circumstance. He argues that there was incomplete self-defense.
(3) Estelita Batulan:
 Tamayao went to her house around 10pm of the same date to tell her
RATIO - The accused who pleads self defense admits the authorship of the crime. The burden of
proving self-defense rests entirely on him, that he must then prove by clear and convincing evidence the
that Dulin stabbed her husband in Danao’s house;
concurrence of the following elements.  She fainted while rushing to Danao’s house;
Dulin posits that the totality of circumstances constituted incomplete self-defense. The Court rejected the
 She regained consciousness and went to the hospital, and on the way
argument. He should have proved the elements of incomplete self-defense. there, she met Barangay Captain Meman who told her “Finally,
Freddie Dulin killed your husband as he vowed to do”. In the hospital,
FACTS she was told that her husband sustained 2 wounds in the back and
several stab wounds in front and was in the ICU before he died.
January 7, 1991 – Information was filed, averring that on or about August 22,  She said that Barangay Captain Meman went to her husband’s wake
1990, in the Municipality of Tugeugarao, Province of Cagayan, accused Dulin and repeated what he said about Dulin. When she confirmed about
alias Freddie was armed with a sharp bladed instrument, with intent to kill, with the statement, he said “I’m sorry I cannot go and declare what I have
evident premeditation and with treachery did then and there willfully, unlawfully stated because I am afraid of Freddie and he will kill all those persons
and feloniously attack, assault and stab Francisco Batulan, inflicting upon him who will testify in their favor”.
several stab wounds on different parts of his body which caused his death.  She mentioned the heated discussion between her husband and his
nephew, Seong Bancud, in from of Danao’s house in April 1990. Then,
Four witnesses were presented during trial. Dulin wielded a knife and tried to stab her husband. Dulin was pacified
when she went to aid her husband but she heard him say “You will
(1) Alexander Tamayao: soon have your day, I will kill you.”
 At 10pm of August 22, 1990, a young man ran from the house of
Vicente Danao to the house of the deceased Batulan. He shouted that (4) Dr. Nelson Macaraniag:
his “Uncle Totoy”, the deceased, was stabbed;  Batulan was brought to the Cagayan Valley Regional Hospital in a
 Tamayao ran to Danao’s house which was 30 meters away and saw state of shock from his 12 stab wounds;
Dulin stab Batulan who was prostrate face down;  Macaraniag was part of the 3 teams that conducted the surgery on
 Dulin was on top of Batulan and holding him by the hair with his left Batulan. The Medico-Legal Certificate attesting that Batulan died on
hand, and thrusting the knife at the latter with his right hand; August 24, 1990 at 12:15 am and that he sustained 12 “lacerated
 Tamayao then ran to Batulan’s house and informed Dulin’s wife, wounds” and stated the cause of death is “Hypovolemic shock
Estelita Batulan (Tamayao’s aunt) about the incident. He then went secondary to Massive Hemothorax secondary to Multiple stab
home. wounds”.
 Tamayao mentioned the long standing grudge between Batulan and  He clarified that there were clerical errors in the preparation of the
Dulin because he saw them fighting in April 1990 and heard Dulin say Certificate because his handwritten records indicated that the victim
on two occasions: “He will soon have his day and I will kill him”. sustained stab wounds and not lacerated wounds. One of the clerks
could have misread his handwriting.
(2) Romulo Cabalza (barangay tanod):
 He was in his house around 10pm of the same date when he heard ACCUSED DULIN:
the commotion in Danao’s house which was facing his house;  Testified that he was in his house on that same evening in Atulayan Norte,
Tuguegara, Cagayan with 5 other people. Nicanor Annariao and
 Carolina, Danao’s daughter, was screaming for help. He looked for
Raymond Soriano went to his house to see the fighting cocks being sold
another barangay tanod;
by Alberto Eugenio. Alberto was not yet there and only arrived at 8pm to
talk with Raymund and Nicanor about the price. After the sale, Alberto
served Nicanor and Raymund food, and Dulin and Jun Danao went with the means employed to prevent or repel the unlawful aggression; and (3)
the 2 to the highway to get a tricycle. On the way, Angel Bancud called lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.
out and Dulin asked the others to go ahead and he would catch up.
 Dulin approached Bancud and Batulan, Dulin’s mother’s cousin, stabbed  Unlawful aggression is the most important element and it is the condition
him on the right side of his body and in the left hand. Dulin said “Uncle sine qua non for upholding self-defense as a justifying
you hit me (Dinigrasya nakun)”; circumstance.
 Batulan replied “I will kill you”. So Dulin ran to the upper level of
Carolina Danao’s house. Batulan chased him and stabbed him again  Dulin argues that all elements were present in this case. The Court affirms
several times; the CA’s rejection of this argument and observed that although Batulan
 They grappled for the weapon and Dulin wrested it from Batulan. Dulin initiated the attack, the unlawful aggression from Batulan ceased
the stabbed Batulan and they struggled until Dulin felt weak and fell to the once Dulin had wrested the weapon from him. Dulin had control of the
ground; weapon. Whatever he did after constituted retaliation against Batulan.
 Dulin regaind consciousness the next day at the hospital. Retaliation is not the same as self-defence.
 Dulin said there was no grudge between him and Batulan but said that
the barangay captain would summon him to bring Batulan home every  Dulin further argues that Batulan continued to follow him to end Dulin’s
time the later would be drunk at night. life and there was no gap in the aggression initiated by Batulan. The
Court rejected this argument and said that Dulin admitted
 Erlinda Danao, Records Officer of the Cagayan Valley Regional Hospital, successfully disarming Batulan and running away from him.
authenticated the hospital records which showed that Dulin was also
injured.  Batulan, albeit the initial aggressor against Dulin, ceased to be the
aggressor as soon as Dulin had dispossessed him of the weapon.
 December 29, 1997 - The RTC convicted Dulin of murder and
appreciated the privileged mitigating circumstance of incomplete  Whatever Dulin did thereafter – like stabbing Batulan with the weapon –
self-defense. constituted retaliation against Batulan. In this regard, retaliation was
not the same as self-defense. In retaliation, the aggression that the victim
 August 26, 2005 - Dulin argued that his crime should be homicide and not started already ceased when the accused attacked him, but in self-
murder. The CA affirmed the conviction and modified the civil liability. defense, the aggression was still continuing when the accused injured the
The award of actual damages was deleted. But he was to pay the heirs aggressor. As such, there was no unlawful aggression on the part of
P20k for temperate damages and P50k for moral damages. Batulan to justify his fatal stabbing by Dulin.
January 12, 2006 - The CA denied his MR. WON incomplete self defense was proved – NO
ISSUES  With Batulan’s aggression having ceased from the moment Dulin
disarmed him, there would be no incomplete self-defense.
In this case, the testimonies of the witnesses for the prosecution mentioning  Also, he stabbed Batulan several times which shows that Dulin did not try
the statement of Dulin such as “He will soon have his day and I will kill him” to defend himself or repel attack but tried to inflict injury.
were not taken into consideration by the court. Its decision was based merely
on the narration of Dulin who admitted of the act of stabbing but argues self- WON the RTC and CA erred in appreciating the attendance of treachery
defense. – YES
W/N there was self-defense – NONE  There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against
persons, employing means and methods or forms in the execution thereof
 The accused who pleads self defense admits the authorship of the crime. which tend to directly and specially ensure its execution, without risk to
The burden of proving self-defense rests entirely on him, that he must himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make.
then prove by clear and convincing evidence the concurrence of the
following elements: (1) unlawful aggression; (2) reasonable necessity of
 Two conditions must concur to prove treachery: one, the assailant Mado
employed means, methods or forms in the execution of the criminal act  On February 1, 2010, at around 10:00 pm, he was watching the dance
which give the person attacked no opportunity to defend himself or to session being held, and he saw the victim enter the dance area and
retaliate; and two, said means, methods or forms of execution were challenge the people seated on one table to a fight.
deliberately or consciously adopted by the assailant.  When the victim saw Raytos, he pointed at Raytos and said "You are the
one I want" and Raytos answered saying "I [h]ave no fault against you."
 ITC, treachery should not be appreciated because the stabbing did not  Then, the victim drew a knife from his waist and stabbed Raytos but the
take Batulan by surprise because the latter was sufficiently forewarned. latter was able to parry the stabbing blow and wrested possession of the
He had the opportunity to defend himself, or to escape, or even to recover knife from the victim.
control of the weapon. The essence of treachery is that the attack comes o Raytos used both his hands in parrying the stabbing blow
without warning, or is done in a swift, deliberate and unexpected manner, delivered by the victim and when Raytos got hold of the knife, he
affording the hapless, unarmed and unsuspecting victim no chance to stabbed the front portion of the victim's body.
resist or to escape, without the slightest provocation on the part of the o Mado did not see anything more because Raytos ran away after
victim. the incident, and a commotion then ensued.

Version of the Prosecution:

C2021 Edgardo Papiona y Hermo (Papiona):
People v Raytos  On February 1, 2010, at around 12:00 a.m., he was in front of his house
G.R. No. 225623, June 7, 2017 with Raytos and 10 others having a dance session as it was just the day
after their barangay fiesta.
Ponente: Caguioa, J.
 While he was dancing with the victim, Raytos approached them and said
that he wanted to dance with the victim. Papiona acceded and went to the
FACTS side of the road just an arm's length away from the dance area.
Version of Defense:  From his position at the side of the road, he saw Raytos stab the victim
Raytos (Accused) when the latter turned his back from Raytos while dancing.
o He saw Raytos hold the right back shoulder of the victim and stab
 Raytos testified that he knew the victim, David Araza, since birth the latter's back several times with the use of a knife measuring 8
 On February 1, 2010, at around 8:00 pm, he was invited by Indo Sabio to in. long.
partake on some leftovers from the fiesta and to join them as a dance  Raytos then went to a hilly portion of their barangay while Papiona helped
session was being held. in loading the victim on a truck and in bringing the latter to the hospital. He
 At around 11:30 pm, David Araza (victim) passed by Purok 1 and was did not hear any argument from both the victim and Raytos prior to the
approached by Edgar Papiona, and the two danced. incident. 3 days later, the victim died.
 After they danced, the victim approached the table where Anita Sabio was Romeo Nacase y Tarayo (Nacase)
seated and invited her to dance, but the latter refused. Thereafter, the  On February 1, 2010, at around 9:00 pm, he was having a drinking
victim and Edgar Papiona danced again. spree with the victim and a certain Dado Nacase.
 After dancing, the victim approached again Raytos' table and asked who  He saw the victim and Edgar dancing and while the two danced, he
was brave enough while drawing a knife tucked in the waistband of his saw Raytos pull a knife from his pocket and approach the victim from
pants. the back.
o Raytos tried to escape by moving backwards and, while doing so,  When the victim was about to tum around, Raytos took hold of the
he got hold of the victim's right hand. victim's shirt and stabbed the victim in the back.
o Raytos twisted the victim's arm, got hold of the knife and then  He was about 4 meters away when the incident happened.
stabbed the victim several times on the chest.  He did not hear the victim and Raytos argue or talk before the stabbing
o He delivered 3 successive stabbing blows in a quick and swift incident.
manner because he panicked. RTC: Raytos guilty of the crime of Murder qualified by treachery
o He ran away immediately and surrendered himself to the CA: affirmed Raytos' conviction while modifying the award of damages.
barangay officials and they proceeded to the police station.
ISSUE/S wresting possession of the knife from Araza. After doing so, Raytos Araza
Whether Raytos' guilt for the crime of Murder was sufficiently proven beyond stabbed numerous times, leading to the latter's demise.
reasonable doubt? Yes. o The Court finds this narration of events to be incredible.
o Testimonial evidence, to be believable, must not only proceed
from the mouth of a credible witness but must also be credible
RULING: following common experience and leading to the inference of its
Appeal is DISMISSED for lack of merit. probability under the circumstances.
o Here, it is difficult to imagine how Raytos, while attempting to
RATIO: escape, was suddenly able to grab hold of Araza's hand and
after relieving the latter of the knife, proceeded to stab him
 ITC, the opposing sides are incessant on the truthfulness of their version multiple times in quick succession
of the story, which differ in material points of fact  But even if the Court were to believe this version of the events, it is evident
o the State, on one hand, has successfully presented strong that no unlawful aggression can be deduced. Stated differently, there was
evidence of guilt for Murder, while Raytos, on the other hand, clearly no imminent danger on the person of Raytos as would justify
maintains his innocence based on his plea of self-defense. his killing Araza.
 The issue of whether the accused acted in self-defense is essentially a  Unlawful aggression is predicated on an actual, sudden, unexpected, or
question of fact. imminent danger - not merely a threatening or intimidating action.
o The RTC's assessment of the credibility of witnesses is accorded  In People v. Dulin, the Court had the occasion to elaborate on the kinds
great weight and respect, especially when affirmed by the CA. and nature of unlawful aggression:
o In the absence of a clear showing that the lower courts erred in o Unlawful aggression is of two kinds: (a) actual or material unlawful
their appreciation of the facts, or in their application of the aggression; and (b) imminent unlawful aggression.
pertinent laws and jurisprudence to such facts, their findings will o Actual or material unlawful aggression means an attack with
no longer be disturbed on appeal. physical force or with a weapon, an offensive act that positively
 In fine, given the concurrent findings of guilt made by both the RTC determines the intent of the aggressor to cause the injury.
and CA, SC finds that no cogent reason exists to reverse Raytos' o Imminent unlawful aggression means an attack that is impending
conviction. or at the point of happening; it must not consist in a mere
threatening attitude, nor must it be merely imaginary, but must be
Raytos Failed To Establish The Elements Of Self-Defense offensive and positively strong (like aiming a revolver at another
 A plea of self-defense admits the commission of the act charged as a with intent to shoot or opening a knife and making a motion as if
crime; accordingly, the onus probandi falls on the accused to prove that to attack). Imminent unlawful aggression must not be a mere
such killing was justified - failure to discharge which renders the act threatening attitude of the victim, such as pressing his right hand
punishable. to his hip where a revolver was holstered, accompanied by an
 accused must establish: angry countenance, or like aiming to throw a pot.
o (i) that there was unlawful aggression by the victim;  In People v. Escarlos, the Court ruled that the mere drawing of a knife
o (ii) that the means employed to prevent or repel such aggression by the victim does not constitute unlawful aggression, whether
were reasonable; and actual or imminent, as the peril sought to be avoided by the accused
o (iii) that there was lack of sufficient provocation on his part. was both premature and speculative
 Of the three, unlawful aggression is the foremost requirement; absent such o Unlawful aggression presupposes actual, sudden, unexpected or
element, self-defense, whether complete or incomplete, cannot be imminent danger - not merely threatening and intimidating action.
appreciated. Uncertain, premature and speculative was the assertion of
 Raytos failed to establish unlawful aggression on the part of the victim, appellant that the victim was about to stab him, when the latter
David Araza. had merely drawn out his knife. There is aggression, only when
 In his version of the incident, Raytos claimed that Araza drew a knife from the one attacked faces real and immediate threat to one's life. The
his left waist following a brief exchange of words between them. Raytos peril sought to be avoided must be imminent and actual, not just
then moved back, allegedly intending to escape, but instead ended up speculative.
 People v. Borreros, the Court likewise held that the act of drawing a gun  Accordingly, the Court affirms the uniform findings of the RTC and CA and
from the waist could not yet be categorized as unlawful aggression. adopts the latter's appreciation of the evidence on record.
 Applying to this case, Araza's alleged act of simply drawing a knife
from his waist fell short of the threshold required by law and  Even assuming arguendo that unlawful aggression was present on the
prevailing jurisprudence. At that point, and as correctly observed by part of Araza, there was no longer any danger on Raytos' person from the
the courts below, there was yet no actual risk or peril to the life or moment he disarmed the former by wresting possession of the knife.
limb of Raytos.  When an unlawful aggression that has begun has ceased to exist, the one
 Parenthetically, the Court notes the testimony of Mado, the other witness who resorts to self-defense has no right to kill or even to wound the former
for the defense, who supplied additional details on the incident. In his aggressor. Aggression, if not continuous, does not constitute aggression
narration of events, Mado was purporting to show unlawful aggression on warranting defense of one's self.
the part of Araza, claiming that the latter actually delivered stabbing blows o Here, Raytos admitted that after obtaining possession of the
to Raytos weapon, he no longer had any reason to stab Araza as in fact,
o “David Araza drew his fan knife from his waist and stabbed there was no showing that the latter persisted in his alleged
Lorenzo Raytos, ma'am.” purpose of wanting to hurt Raytos. Thus, based on his own
 Despite such positive testimony, however, this was not given any weight statements, Raytos overstepped the acceptable boundaries of
by the RTC in arriving at a judgment of conviction, even noting certain self-preservation when he deliberately inflicted fatal injuries on
inconsistencies in the testimonies of the defense witnesses. The following Araza, even when the purported aggression had already
material portions in Mado's cross-examination sheds light on his credibility ceased. By killing Araza, Raytos was no longer acting in self-
as a witness for the defense: defense but in retaliation against the former.
o Q - This is not the first time that you testified before this
Honourable Court, [a]m I right, Mr. Mado? The Qualifying Circumstance Of Treachery Was Sufficiently Established By
o A - It's my first time. The Evidence
o Q - Are you sure of that, Mr. Mado?  Treachery or alevosia, is present when the offender adopts means,
o A - Yes, ma'am. methods, or forms in the execution of the felony that ensure its commission
o Q - Is it not a fact Mr. Mado that you were here before this without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party
Honourable Court years ago to testify in favour of one in accused might make.
the name of Pablo Hilvano?  Alevosia is characterized by a deliberate, sudden and unexpected assault
o A - Yes, ma'am. It was long (sic) time ago. from behind, without warning and without giving the victim a chance to
o Q - And that Pablo Hilvano was even acquitted on that case defend himself or repel the assault and without risk to the assailant.
because of your corroborative testimony?  In appreciating such circumstance, the RTC disposed as follows:
o A - Yes, ma'am. o The victim was dancing when he was attacked. There was no
o Q - So, it is now clear and you are changing your answer that it is confrontation. No forewarning. His dancing partner was even
not the first time you testified before this Honourable Court. misled into believing that accused only wanted to dance with the
o A - Yes, ma'am. victim. But of course, it was just an excuse, so that it would be
o Q - So, your previous answer was a lie? easier for the accused to attain his purpose. It was so sudden that
o A - Yes, ma'am. even the others were unprepared to do anything to prevent the
 Notably, nowhere in his testimony did Raytos make mention of any attack or at least minimize the injuries. It was an unexpected
threatening behavior from Araza, aside from the drawing of the knife, occurrence right in the middle of a celebration which was intended
which would have necessitated immediate retaliation on his part. to be a joyous one.
o Worse, Mado's testimony was unsupported by the Medico Legal  The medico legal report shows the following wounds:
Report dated February 4, 2010. o (+) stab wound, scapular area, (R) 2 cm.
o Were the testimony of Mado true, that Araza actually delivered o (+) stab wound, posterior axillary line (R), 3 cm.
stabbing blows to Raytos, such material detail would certainly o (+) stab wound, (R) flank area, 3.5 cm.
have been mentioned by the latter during his testimony, especially o (+) stab wound, infrascapular area, (L)
considering that his freedom was hanging in the balance.
 These wounds clearly disprove the claim of accused that he was suddenly
able to stab the victim because he wrestled with him, because actually,
there was no fight that preceded the attack. There was plainly, murder.
 To stress, the testimonies of the witnesses for the prosecution were INC Shipmanagement, Inc. v. Rosales
unwavering as to the manner of killing - that Raytos suddenly G.R. No. 195832 | 1 Oct 2014 | Brion, J. | Castillo, A.R.L.
stabbed Araza from the back while holding the latter's shoulder.
o Further, that there were other people around that could have lent Facts:
their help to Araza is inconsequential as treachery considers only  INC, in behalf of its foreign principal Interorient Shipping Co., hired
the victim's means of defense at the time of the attack. Rosales for 10 months as Chief Cook for M/V Franklin Strait under a
o Thus, so long as the accused deliberately employed means to contract based on the POEA Standard Employment Contract (POEA-
ensure the commission of the crime without risk to himself from SEC)
retaliation by the victim, treachery can be properly appreciated.  Feb 2006: while on board the vessel, Rosales experienced severe chest
 In People v. Rellon, the victim was stabbed from behind while he was pain and breathing difficulties, coupled with numbness on his left arm
watching the singing and dancing during the Sinulog festival. Interestingly, o He underwent a coronary angiogram and an angioplasty in the left
the accused therein, as in this case, claimed self-defense in stabbing the anterior artery of his heart in the US, provided by the company at
victim. Said the Court: its own expense
o Accused Rellon saw Arsenic Ram sitting at the roadside when the o Rosales was thereafter declared unfit to work and was advised to
latter suddenly stood up, took his knife and thrust it towards continue treatment in his home country
Rellon. Accused was able to ward off the thrust by holding the  Rosales was diagnosed by Dr. Nicomedes Cruz in Makati Medical Center
deceased's arm and grappled for the possession of the knife. to be suffering from acute myocardial infarction secondary to coronary
Having succeeded in getting the knife, accused accidentally artery disease, hypertension and diabetes mellitus
stabbed the deceased in the right chest. After the stabbing o He underwent a coronary artery by-pass graft surgery at the
incident, the accused left the scene. Philippine Heart Center
o The trial court held that the crime committed was murder. It  Rosales was assessed by Dr. Cruz to have Grade 7 permanent disability
appreciated treachery when it took note of the fact that the victim (moderate residuals of disorder) under the POEA-SEC but was later
was suddenly stabbed from behind while he was watching the
reassessed by Dr. Efren Vicaldo to have a total disability rating of Grade
Sinulog dance. 1 (highest)
o The trial court stated: Treachery was appreciated in cases where
 Rosales claimed permanent total disability benefits under the POEA-SEC
the victim while sitting on the ground unarmed and absolutely
based on Dr. Vicaldo’s Grade 1 disability rating, but INC denied the claim
unprepared, and without the least suspicion of the danger he was
 Rosales filed a complaint for disability benefits, illness allowance,
incurring was suddenly and abruptly assaulted by the 2 accused,
reimbursement of medical expenses, damages, and attorney’s fees
without a word being uttered, and the first blow hit him on the nape
against INC before the Arbitration Branch of the NLRC
of the back, knocking him backwards to the ground, and as he
o Rosales based his claim on Dr. Vicaldo’s Grade 1 disability rating
tried to get up he was stabbed in the abdomen x x x. The same
o Rosales stated that he was incapacitated to work for more than
thing happened in the case at bar. The characteristic and
120 days
unmistakable manifestation of alevosia is the deliberate, sudden
o Rosales questioned Dr. Cruz’ competency since Dr. Cruz did not
and unexpected attack of the victim from behind, without any
actually perform the medical procedures, but based it only on the
warning and without giving him an opportunity to defend himself
report of Dr. Dizon. Moreover, Rosales argued that Dr. Cruz is not
or repel the initial assault x x x. When appellant stabbed the victim,
a cardiologist but a general and cancer surgeon whose
the latter was sitting on a bench watching the singing and dancing
assessment was partial since he was a company-designated
during the Sinulog festival. The victim was engrossed in the
merrymaking when suddenly appellant stealthily stabbed him from
o INC argued that Dr. Cruz only gave a Grade 7 disability rating
behind. An attack from behind is treachery x x x.
based on his post-treatment evaluation of Rosales; that under the
 Proceeding from the foregoing, the Court finds no reason to overturn the
POEA-SEC, it is the company-designated physician who is tasked
concurring findings of the RTC and the CA with respect to the qualifying
to assess the fitness of a seafarer and to give the corresponding
circumstance of treachery.
disability benefits rating
o INC also pointed out that the award of disability benefits is not repatriation while he is undergoing treatment; he could not work during this
dependent on the impairment of earning capacity but on the period and hence was on temporary total disability
gravity of the injury sustained  Permanent disability transpires when the inability to work continues
 LA found for Rosales, giving credence to Rosales’ arguments (above); beyond one hundred twenty (120) days, regardless of whether or not
NLRC reversed, basing Rosales’ entitlements on Dr. Cruz’ assessments, he loses the use of any part of his body. In comparison with the concept
as the latter had thoroughly examined and overseen Rosales’ treatment of permanent disability, total disability means the incapacity of an
from repatriation to the issuance of Rosales’ disability grading, while Dr. employee to earn wages in the same or similar kind of work that he
Vicaldo only attended to Rosales once was trained for, or is accustomed to perform, or in any kind of work
 CA granted Rosales’ appeal and reversed NLRC that a person of his mentality and attainments can do. It does not
o More than 120 days lapsed wherein Rosales had not been able to mean absolute helplessness.
work o In disability compensation, it is not the injury that is
o Despite medical treatment and 2 major heart operations, compensated; it is the incapacity to work resulting in the
Rosales’s illness persisted; these facts are more than sufficient to impairment of one's earning capacity
conclude that Rosales could no longer perform his duties as Chief o Thus, while Rosales was entitled to temporary total disability
Cook, leading to the gross impairment of Rosales’ earning benefits during treatment, it does not follow that he should likewise
capacity and warranting Grade 1 permanent total disability be entitled to permanent total disability benefits when his disability
benefits was assessed post-treatment
 He had permanent disability because he was out of work
Issues: and could not work for more than 120 days
1. W/N CA erred in finding GAD in the ruling of the NLRC that the disability  But the extent of his disability (total/partial) is determined,
is measured in terms of gradings, not by the number of days of actual not by the number of days he could not work, but the
inability to work. YES. disability grading the doctor recognizes based on his
2. W/N CA erred in finding GAD in the ruling of the NLRC that in a conflict capacity to work and earn his wages
of findings between the company-designated physician and the private  Doctor’s findings should prevail as he/she is equipped with the proper
physician, it is the company-designated physician’s findings that should discernment, knowledge, expertise and experience; this serious
prevail. YES. consideration cannot be determined by simply counting the days
2. Non-referral to a third physician, whose decision shall be considered as final
1. It is the doctor’s findings which should prevail over the simple lapse of the and binding, constitutes a breach of the POEA-SEC
120-day period  Re: the conflicting claims of Dr. Cruz and Dr. Vicaldo, the POEA-SEC
 ART. 192(c)(1), LC: The following disabilities shall be deemed total and provides that “[i]f a doctor appointed by the seafarer disagrees with the
permanent: assessment, a third doctor may be agreed jointly between the [e]mployer
(1) Temporary total disability lasting continuously for more than 120 and the seafarer. The third doctor's decision shall be final and binding on
days, except as otherwise provided in the Rules. both parties.”
 This should be read in relation with Sec. 2, Rule X, Book IV, IRR, and o In other words, the company can insist on its disability rating even
Section 20(B)(3) of the POEA-SEC against a contrary opinion by another doctor, unless the seafarer
o expresses his disagreement by asking for the referral to a third
o Vergara v. Hammonia Maritime Services: If the 120 days initial doctor who shall make his or her determination and whose
period is exceeded and no such declaration is made because the decision is final and binding on the parties
seafarer requires further medical attention, then the temporary  Since Rosales signed the POEA-SEC, he bound himself to abide by its
total disability period may be extended up to a maximum of 240 conditions throughout his employment
days, subject to the right of the employer to declare within this o ITC, after obtaining a medical certificate from Dr. Vicaldo
period that a permanent partial or total disability already exists classifying his illness as Grade 1 (contrary to Dr. Cruz' Grade 7
 The law and jurisprudence show that INC is obligated to pay for the assessment), Rosales immediately proceeded to secure the
treatment of Rosales, plus his basic wage, during the 120-day period from services of a counsel and filed this complaint
o No explanation was ever given for the failure to comply with the Republic of the Philippines v. Ludyson C. Catubag
POEA-SEC, or indication of an earnest effort to secure
compliance with the POEA-SEC G.R. No. 210580
 To definitively clarify how a conflict situation should be handled,
upon notification that the seafarer disagrees with the company doctor's Ponente: Reyes, Jr., J.
assessment based on the duly and fully disclosed contrary assessment
from the seafarer's own doctor, the seafarer shall then signify his intention 04/18/2018
to resolve the conflict by the referral of the conflicting assessments to a
third doctor whose ruling, under the POEA-SEC, shall be final and binding Digester: Gueco
on the parties. Upon notification, the company carries the burden of
initiating the process for the referral to a third doctor commonly agreed
between the parties. SUMMARY: Catubag (who has been working overseas since 2001) and
 The complaint was thus premature and should have been dismissed as Shanaviv (who stayed behind in the Philippines) were married in 2003.
early as the LA’s level Prior to that, they have been cohabiting as husband and wife and their
 The disregard for the third-doctor-referral provision of the POEA-SEC is union begot 2 children. On July 12, 2006, while working abroad, Catubag
unfortunate considering that the provision is intended to settle disability was informed by his relatives that Shanaviv left their house and never
claims at the parties' level where the claims can be resolved more speedily returned. He took an emergency vacation and flew back home. He
than if they were to be brought to court inquired about his wife's whereabouts from their friends and relatives in
 Even granting that the complaint should be given due course, the Cagayan and Bicol. He aired over Bombo Radyo Philippines regarding the
company-designated physician’s assessment should prevail over the fact of disappearance of his wife. He searched various hospitals and
private physician’s, since Dr. Cruz had thoroughly examined and treated funeral parlors in Tuguegarao City and nearby municipalities.
Rosales from the time of his repatriation until his disability grading was
issued (Feb 20, 2006 to Oct 10, 2006). In contrast, Dr. Vicaldo only In 2012, Catubag filed with RTC a petition to have his wife declared
attended to Rosales once (Nov 9, 2006). presumptively dead. RTC granted. In 2013, petitioner elevated the RTC
judgment to CA via a petition for certiorari on the ground that Catubag
Petition GRANTED. CA Decision SET ASIDE. Complaint DISMISSED. failed to establish a “well-founded belief” that his wife was dead. CA
dismissed because no MFR was filed. Petitioner filed MFR, CA denied.
Hence, this petition for certiorari.
In determining whether or not there was a “well-founded belief”, the Court
looked at the cases of Republic vs. Granada, Cantor, and Orcelino-
Villanueva. The Court held that Catubag’s efforts in searching for
Shanaviv fall short of the degree of diligence required by jurisprudence.
He could have easily convinced the Court otherwise by providing evidence
which corroborated his "earnest-efforts." Yet, no explanation or
justification was given for these glaring omissions.


 Prior to the celebration of their marriage in 2003, private respondent

and Shanaviv had been cohabiting with each other as husband and
wife. Their union begot 2 children: Mark Bryan A. Catubag and Rose
Mae A. Catubag, born on May 18, 2000 and May 21, 2001,
 In 2001, in order to meet the needs of his family, private respondent o Petitioner's main contention is that private respondent failed
took work overseas. Meanwhile, Shanaviv stayed behind in the to establish a "well-founded belief' that his missing wife was
Philippines to tend to the needs of their children. already dead.
 On June 26, 2003, private respondent and Shanaviv tied the knot in  CA: [September 3, 2013] dismissed the petition because no motion for
Rizal, Cagayan. The marriage was solemnized by Honorable Judge reconsideration was filed with the court a quo. The CA ruled that such
Tomas D. Lasam at the Office of the Municipal Judge, Rizal, Cagayan. defect was fatal and warranted the immediate dismissal of the petition.
 Sometime in April 2006, private respondent and his family were able  On September 18, 2013, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration,
to acquire a housing unit located at Rio del Grande Subdivision, Enrile but the same was denied by the CA in its Resolution dated December
Cagayan. Thereafter, private respondent returned overseas to 6, 2013.
continue his work. While abroad, he maintained constant  Hence, this Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the
communication with his family. Rules of Court.
 On July 12, 2006, while working abroad, private respondent was
informed by his relatives that Shanaviv left their house and never ISSUE/S
returned. In the meantime, private respondent's relatives took care of
the children.  W/N private respondent complied with the essential requisites of
 Worried about his wife's sudden disappearance and the welfare of his a petition for declaration of presumptive death under Article 41
children, private respondent took an emergency vacation and flew of the Family Code. [Relevant to topic “presumption of law”]
back home. Private respondent looked for his wife in Enrile Cagayan,  W/N petitioner's resort to a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 to
but to no avail. He then proceeded to inquire about Shanaviv's challenge the decision of the RTC declaring Shanaviv presumptively
whereabouts from their close friends and relatives, but they too could dead was proper;
offer no help.
o Private respondent travelled as far as Bicol, where Shanaviv
was born and raised, but he still could not locate her. RULING: WHEREFORE the petition is GRANTED. Accordingly, the Decision
 Private respondent subsequently sought the help of Bombo Radyo dated May 23, 2013 of the Regional Trial Court of Tuao, Cagayan, Branch 11
Philippines, one of the more well-known radio networks in the
and the Resolutions dated September 3, 2013 and December 6, 2013
Philippines, to broadcast the fact of his wife's disappearance. He
searched various hospitals and funeral parlors in Tuguegarao and in rendered by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. S.P. No. 131269 are
Bicol, with no avail. hereby ANNULED and SET ASIDE. Consequently, the petition of private
respondent Ludyson C. Catubag to have his wife, Shanaviv G. Alvarez-
PROCEDURE Catubag, declared presumptively dead is DENIED. SO ORDERED.

 On May 4, 2012, after almost 7 years of waiting, private respondent

filed with the RTC a petition to have his wife declared presumptively
dead. RATIO:
 RTC: [May 23, 2013] granted the petition
o WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. SHANAVIV G. W/N private respondent has sufficiently complied with the essential
ALVAREZ-CATUBAG is hereby adjudged PRESUMPTIVELY requisites in a petition for declaration of presumptive death (no)
DEAD only for the purpose that petitioner LUDYSON C.
CATUBAG may contract a marriage subsequent to what he  Prevailing jurisprudence has time and again pointed out 4 requisites
had with SHANAVIV G. ALVAREZ-CATUBAG without under Article 41 of the Family Code that must be complied with for the
prejudice to the reappearance of the latter. SO ORDERED. declaration of presumptive death to prosper:
 On August 5, 2013, petitioner, through the OSG, elevated the o (1) the absent spouse has been missing for four consecutive
judgment of the RTC to the CA via a Petition for Certiorari under Rule years, or two consecutive years if the disappearance occurred
65 of the Revised Rules of Court. where there is danger of death under the circumstances laid
down in Article 391 CC
o (2) the present spouse wishes to remarry.  A perusal of the cases of Republic vs. Granada, Cantor, and Orcelino-
o (3) the present spouse has a well-founded belief that the Villanueva reveal the circumstances which do not meet the Court's
absentee is dead. standards in establishing a "well-founded belief."
o (4) the present spouse files for a summary proceeding for the
declaration of presumptive death of the absentee. Republic v Granada
 In seeking a declaration of presumptive death, it is the present spouse  The present spouse alleged that she exerted efforts in locating her
who has the burden of proving that all the requisites under Article 41 absent spouse by inquiring from the latter's relatives regarding his
of the Family Code are present. whereabouts.
o Since it is private respondent who asserts the affirmative of  The Court ruled against the present spouse and stated that the mere
the issue, then it is his duty to substantiate the same. He who act of inquiring from relatives falls short of the diligence required by
alleges a fact has the burden of proving it and mere law. The present spouse did not report to the police nor seek the aid
allegations will not suffice. of mass media. Even worse, she did not even bother to present any
 The records reveal that private respondent has complied with the 1st, of the absent spouses' relatives to corroborate her allegations.
2nd, and 4th requisites. Thus, what remains to be resolved is W/N
private respondent successfully discharged the burden of Cantor
establishing a well-founded belief that his wife is dead.  The present spouse alleged that she exerted "earnest efforts" in
 The Court in Cantor, pointed out that the term, "well-founded belief' attempting to locate her missing husband. She claimed that she made
has no exact definition under the law. Such belief depends on the inquiries with their relatives, neighbors, and friends as to his
circumstances of each particular case. As such, each petition must be whereabouts. She even stated that she would take the time to look
judged on a case-to-case basis. through the patient's directory whenever she would visit a hospital.
 This is not to say that there is no guide in establishing the existence  Despite these alleged "earnest efforts," the Court still ruled otherwise.
of a well-founded belief that an absent spouse is already dead. It held that the present spouse engaged in a mere "passive-search"
In Republic vs. Orcelino-Villanueva, the Court, through Justice  Applying the "stringent-standards" and degree of diligence required by
Mendoza, provided that such belief must result from diligent efforts to jurisprudence, the Court pointed out four acts of the present spouse
locate the absent spouse. Such diligence entails an active effort on which contradict the claim of a diligent and active search:
the part of the present spouse to locate the missing one. The mere o (1) the respondent did not actively look for her missing
absence of a spouse, devoid of any attempt by the present spouse to husband. It can be inferred from the records that her hospital
locate the former, will not suffice. visits and her consequent checking of the patients' directory
o “The well-founded belief in the absentee's death requires the therein were unintentional. She did not purposely undertake a
present spouse to prove that his/her belief was the result of diligent search for her husband as her hospital visits were not
diligent and reasonable efforts to locate the absent spouse planned nor primarily directed to look for him.
and that based on these efforts and inquiries, he/she believes o (2) she did not report Jerry's absence to the police nor did she
that under the circumstances, the absent spouse is already seek the aid of the authorities to look for him. While a finding
dead. It necessitates exertion of active effort (not a mere of well-founded belief varies with the nature of the situation in
passive one). Mere absence of the spouse (even beyond the which the present spouse is placed, under present conditions,
period required by law), lack of any news that the absentee we find it proper and prudent for a present spouse, whose
spouse is still alive, mere failure to communicate, or general spouse had been missing, to seek the aid of the authorities
presumption of absence under the Civil Code would not or, at the very least, report his/her absence to the police.
suffice. The premise is that Article 41 of the Family Code o (3) she did not present as witnesses Jerry's relatives or their
places upon the present spouse the burden of complying with neighbors and friends, who can corroborate her efforts to
the stringent requirement of "well-founded belief' which can locate Jerry. Worse, these persons, from whom she allegedly
only be discharged upon a showing of proper and honest-to- made inquiries, were not even named. As held in Nolasco, the
goodness inquiries and efforts to ascertain not only the absent present spouse's bare assertion that he inquired from his
spouse's whereabouts but, more importantly, whether the friends about his absent spouse's whereabouts is insufficient
absent spouse is still alive or is already dead.” as the names of the friends from whom he made inquiries
were not identified in the testimony nor presented as o As held in the previous cases, failure to present any of the
witnesses. persons from whom inquiries were allegedly made tends to
o (4) there was no other corroborative evidence to support the belie a claim of a diligent search.
respondent's claim that she conducted a diligent search.  Second, private respondent did not seek the help of other concerned
Neither was there supporting evidence proving that she had a gov’t agencies, namely, the local police authorities and the NBI.
well-founded belief other than her bare claims that she o In Cantor, the Court reasoned that while a finding of well-
inquired from her friends and in-laws about her husband's founded belief varies with the nature of the situation, it would
whereabouts. still be prudent for the present spouse to seek the aid of the
authorities in searching for the missing spouse.
Orcelino-Villanueva o Absent such efforts to employ the help of local authorities, the
 The present spouse began her "search" by returning home from her present spouse cannot be said to have actively and diligently
work overseas to look for her missing husband. She then inquired from searched for the absentee spouse.
her in-laws and common friends as to his whereabouts. The present  Finally, aside from the certification of Bombo Radyo's manager,
spouse even went as far as Negros Oriental, where the absent spouse private respondent bases his "well-founded belief' on bare assertions
was born. Additionally, the present spouse claimed that 15 years have that he exercised earnest efforts in looking for his wife.
already lapsed since her husband's disappearance. o His bare assertions, uncorroborated by any kind of evidence,
 The Court held that that it was erroneous for the lower courts to grant falls short of the diligence required to engender a well-
the petition for declaration of presumptive death. The present spouse's founded belief that the absentee spouse is dead.
allegations should not have been given credence because:  Taken together, the Court is of the view that private respondent's
o Applying the standard set forth by the Court in Cantor, Edna's efforts in searching for his missing wife, Shanaviv, are merely passive.
efforts failed to satisfy the required well-founded belief of her Private respondent could have easily convinced the Court
absent husband's death. otherwise by providing evidence which corroborated his
o Her claim of making diligent search and inquiries remained "earnest-efforts." Yet, no explanation or justification was given
unfounded as it merely consisted of bare assertions without for these glaring omissions. Again, he who alleges a fact has the
any corroborative evidence on record. She also failed to burden of proving it by some other means than mere allegations.
present any person from whom she inquired about the  Stripped of private respondent's mere allegations, only the act of
whereabouts of her husband. She did not even present her broadcasting his wife's alleged disappearance through a known radio
children from whom she learned the disappearance of her station was corroborated. This act comes nowhere close to
husband. In fact, she was the lone witness. establishing a well-founded belief that Shanaviv has already passed
o Following the basic rule that mere allegation is not evidence away. At most, it just reaffirms the unfortunate theory that she
and is not equivalent to proof, the Court cannot give credence abandoned the family.
to her claims that she indeed exerted diligent efforts to locate  To accept private respondent's bare allegations would be to apply a
her husband. liberal approach in complying with the requisite of establishing a well-
founded belief that the missing spouse is dead.
The present case o In Republic vs. CA (Tenth Div.), the Court cautioned against
 Applying the foregoing standards discussed by the Court in Cantor, such a liberal approach. It opined that to do so would allow
Granada, and Orcelino-Villanueva, the Court finds that private easy circumvention and undermining of the Family Code.
respondent's efforts falls short of the degree of diligence required by  Spouses may easily circumvent the policy of the laws on marriage by
jurisprudence for the following reasons: simply agreeing that one of them leave the conjugal abode and never
 First, private respondent claims to have inquired about his missing return again. Thus, there is a need for courts to exercise prudence in
wife's whereabouts from both friends and relatives. Further, he claims evaluating petitions for declaration of presumptive death of an absent
to have carried out such inquiries in the place where they lived and in spouse. A lenient approach in applying the standards of diligence
the place where his wife was born and raised. required in establishing a "well-founded belief' would defeat the State's
o However, private respondent failed to present any of policy in protecting and strengthening the institution of marriage.
these alleged friends or relatives to corroborate these  On this basis, it is clear that private respondent failed to fulfill the
"inquiries." No explanation for such omission was given. requisite of establishing a well-founded belief that the absentee
spouse is dead. Thus, the RTC should have denied private PEOPLE v LIKIRAN
respondent's petition for declaration of presumptive death.
G.R. No. 201858 | June 4, 2014
W/N the resort to a petition for certiorari was proper (yes)
Reyes, J.
 Since what is involved in the instant case is a petition for declaration
of presumptive death, the relevant provisions of law are Articles 41, Group 1 – Protacio
238, and 253 of the Family Code. These provisions explicitly provide
that actions for presumptive death are summary in nature. SUMMARY
 Consequently, parties cannot seek reconsideration, nor appeal
There was a barrio dance, where the victim was present. After a brawl,
decisions in summary judicial proceedings under the Family Code
because by express mandate of law, judgments rendered thereunder accused-appellant Jenny and his brother went on rampage – the former had a
are immediately final and executory. knife while the latter had a gun. Jerome, the brother, shot Sareno several times
o Republic of the Phils. vs. Bermudez-Lorino, citing Atty. Veloria and when he was down, accused-appellant stabbed him on the back. RTC and
vs. Comelec  The right to appeal is not a natural right nor is CA convicted accused-appellant of the crime of murder.
it a part of due process, for it is merely a statutory privilege.
Since, by express mandate of Article 247 of the Family Code,
all judgments rendered in summary judicial proceedings in
Family Law are "immediately final and executory," the right to FACTS
appeal was not granted to any of the parties therein. The
Republic of the Philippines, as oppositor in the petition for  March 19, 2000: On the eve of the town fiesta during a dance at the
declaration of presumptive death, should not be treated basketball court, the victim Sareno was present, together with the
differently. It had no right to appeal the RTC decision of witnesses that testified in favor of the prosecution – Dagangon,
November 7, 2001. Mercado, and Goloceno
 It is well settled in our laws and jurisprudence that a decision that has  After a few hours, Jerome Likiran, accused-appellant’s brother,
acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable. As such, it may punched Mercado
no longer be modified in any respect even if the modification is meant o Goloceno was about to assist when he saw Jerome had a
to correct erroneous conclusions of fact or law and whether it will be short firearm, while accused-appellant Jenny Likiran was
made by the court that rendered it or by the highest court of the land. holding a hunting knife
 While parties are precluded from filing a motion for reconsideration or  Jerome approached Sareno and shot him several times
a notice of appeal, in a petition for declaration of presumptive death,  When Sareno fell, accused-appellant stabbed him on the back
they may challenge the decision of the court a quo through a petition o Dagangon saw the incident first-hand since he was only three
for certiorari to question grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack meters away
of jurisdiction.  When they brough Sareno to the hospital, he was already dead at
 In Republic vs. Sarenogon, Jr., the Court outlined the legal remedies point after suffering multiple gunshot wounds and a stab wound at the
available in a summary proceeding for the declaration of presumptive left scapular area
death. If aggrieved by the decision of the RTC, then filing with the CA  Accused-appellant’s defense:
a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 would be proper. Any o Denied involvement in the crime
subsequent decision by the CA may then be elevated to the o Admitted he was at the dance, but that he did not go outside
Court via a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45. but stayed within the area where the sound machine was
 Considering the foregoing, the Court finds that petitioner's resort located
to certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to challenge the o Other witnesses testified for the defense
RTC's Order declaring Shanaviv presumptively dead was proper.  Edgar Indanon said he saw the stabbing incident, but
it was an unknown person who did it
 Eleuterio Quiñopa said he was with the brothers Dr. Dael is admitted as proof of fact and cause of death due to
inside the dance hall multiple stab wound scapular area
 RTC found accused-appellant guilty and that prosecution was able to o Stipulation of facts during pre-trial is allowed by Rule 118
establish culpability – convicted of the crime of murder o Although the pre-trial agreement was only signed by both
o Dagangon’s positive identification was sufficient to convict sides’ counsels, it may be admitted given that the defense
o Rejected Jenny’s defense of denial, as it was not supported failed to object to its admission
by evidence and that he failed to prove that it was impossible  Death certificate issued in the regular performance of duty is prima
for him to be at the scene of the crime facie evidence of the cause of death of the victim
 CA affirmed RTC decision in toto  Accused-appellant is bound by his admission of Sareno’s cause
o Sustained the RTC’s finding of treachery of death
o However, it found that there was no conspiracy as the  Accused-appellant is criminally liable for the natural and logical
information failed to contain such allegation consequence resulting from his act of stabbing Sareno
o Also found that evidence failed to establish abuse of superior o Stab wound he inflicted contributed to Sareno’s death
strength o Quinto v Andres: “The offender is criminally liable for the death
 Accused-appellant is protesting his conviction now of the victim if his delictual act caused, accelerated or
o Failure to prove the identity of the assailant and his culpability contributed to the death of the victim”
 Treachery, however, is not present
o Not present when killing is not premeditated
ISSUE o Fact that shooting and stabbing was a spur of the moment
incident, a result of a brawl that happened
W/N accused-appellant Jenny Likiran is guilty of the crime of murder - YES o Failure to show deliberate planning of the means to harm
o Sareno was an innocent bystander who just became a target
of the rampage
RATIO  Penalty
o Indeterminate penalty of 10 years of prision mayor medium to
 First duty of prosecution is to prove the identity of the criminal – this 14 years, 8 months and 1 day of reclusion temporal
was adequately established by the testimony of Dagangon o P50,000 civil indemnity, P50,000 moral damages, P30,000
o The place where the crime occurred was lighted actual damages, P10,000 attorney’s fees
o He was only three meters away
o Positive identification by a prosecution witness of the
accused is entitled t greater weight than alibi and denial KROHN v. CA
o Absence of any ill motive on the part of a witness to falsely
testify G.R. No. 108854
 Accused-appellant asserts that the information charged him of murder
committed by attacking, assaulting, stabbing, and shooting June 14, 1994
o Argued that the evidence on record established Sareno was
shot by some other person BELLOSILLO, J.:
o But the testimony of Dagangon identified accused-appellant
and his brother Jerome
 Relevant to the current issue of WAIVER: accused-appellant contends
that the cause of death was not made an issue in the court a quo CASE
and that the Certificate of Death was admitted during the pre-trial
conference as proof of the fact and cause of death Petition for review on certiorari (invoking the rule on privileged communication
 Pre-trial agreement states that one of the matters stipulated and between physician and patient, seeking to enjoin her husband from disclosing
admitted by both sides was that the Certificate of Death issued by
contents of a confidential psychiatric report to be used on annulment o First, because the very issue in this case is whether or not the
proceedings) respondent had been suffering from psychological incapacity;
o Secondly, when the said psychiatric report was referred to in
the complaint, the respondent did not object thereto on the
ground of the supposed privileged communication between
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY patient and physician.
o What was raised by the respondent was that the said
 Edgar Krohn, Jr., and Ma. Paz Fernandez were married, and had three psychiatric report was irrelevant. So, the Court feels that in the
children. The relationship between the couple developed into a stormy interest of justice and for the purpose of determining whether
one the respondent as alleged in the petition was suffering from
 Ma. Paz underwent psychological testing to ease the marital strain, psychological incapacity, the said psychiatric report is very
which proved futile. In 1973, they finally separated in fact. material and may be testified to by petitioner (Edgar Krohn,
 Edgar was able to secure a copy of the confidential psychiatric report Jr.) without prejudice on the part of the respondent to dispute
on Ma. Paz prepared and signed by Drs. Cornelio Banaag, Jr., and the said report or to cross-examination first the petitioner and
Baltazar Reyes. later the psychiatrist who prepared the same if the latter will
o He obtained a decree ("Conclusion") from the Tribunal be presented.
Metropolitanum Matrimoniale in Manila nullifying his church  RTC: denied the Motion to Reconsider Order and directed that the
marriage with Ma. Paz on the ground of "incapacitas Statement for the Record filed by Ma. Paz be stricken off the record.
assumendi onera conjugalia due to lack of due discretion A subsequent motion for reconsideration filed by her counsel was
existent at the time of the wedding and thereafter." likewise denied.
o The decree was confirmed and pronounced "Final and  CA: dismissed the petition for certiorari. The MR was likewise denied.
Definite." Hence, the instant petition for review.
 Edgar filed a petition for the annulment of his marriage with Ma. Paz  Petitioner now seeks to enjoin the presentation and disclosure of the
before the trial court, citing the Confidential Psychiatric Evaluation contents of the psychiatric report and prays for the admission of her
Report which Ma. Paz merely denied in her Answer as "either Statement for the Record to form part of the records of the case.
unfounded or irrelevant." o Since Sec. 24, par. (c), Rule 130, of the Rules of
 At the hearing, Edgar took the witness stand and tried to testify on the Court prohibits a physician from testifying on matters which
contents of the Confidential Psychiatric Evaluation Report. he may have acquired in attending to a patient in a
o This was objected to on the ground that it violated the rule on professional capacity, "WITH MORE REASON should be third
privileged communication between physician and patient. be PROHIBITED from testifying on privileged matters
 Ma. Paz filed a Manifestation expressing her "continuing objection" to between a physician and patient or from submitting any
any evidence, oral or documentary, "that would thwart the physician- medical report, findings or evaluation prepared by a physician
patient privileged communication rule," and submitted a Statement for which the latter has acquired as a result of his confidential and
the Record asserting among others that "there is no factual or legal privileged relation with a patient."
basis whatsoever for petitioner (Edgar) to claim 'psychological o The reason behind the prohibition is to facilitate and make
incapacity' to annul their marriage, such ground being completely safe, full and confidential disclosure by a patient to his
false, fabricated and merely an afterthought." physician of all facts, circumstances and symptoms,
o Before leaving for Spain where she has since resided after untrammeled by apprehension of their subsequent and
their separation, Ma. Paz instructed her counsel to oppose the enforced disclosure and publication on the witness stand, to
suit and pursue her counterclaim even during her absence. the end that the physician may form a correct opinion, and be
o Edgar opposed Ma. Paz' motion to disallow the introduction of enabled safely and efficaciously to treat his patient.
the confidential psychiatric report as evidence, and moved to o To allow her husband to testify on the contents of the
strike out Ma. Paz' Statement for the Record. psychiatric evaluation report "will set a very bad and
dangerous precedent because it abets circumvention of the
 RTC admitted the Confidential Psychiatric Evaluation Report in
rule's intent in preserving the sanctity, security and confidence
to the relation of physician and his patient." Her thesis: what
cannot be done directly should not be allowed to be done encourage him to make a full disclosure to his physician of his
indirectly. symptoms and condition
o Her Statement for the Record simply reiterates under oath o this prevents the physician from making public information
what she asserted in her Answer, which she failed to verify as that will result in humiliation, embarrassment, or disgrace to
she had already left for Spain when her Answer was filed. the patient.
o Her "Statement for the Record is a plain and simple pleading o The physician-patient privilege creates a zone of privacy,
and is not as it has never been intended to take the place of intended to preclude the humiliation of the patient that may
her testimony;" hence, there is no factual and legal basis follow the disclosure of his ailments. Indeed, certain types of
whatsoever to expunge it from the records. information communicated in the context of the physician-
 Private respondent Edgar Krohn, Jr., however contends that "the rules patient relationship fall within the constitutionally protected
are very explicit: the prohibition applies only to a physician. Thus . . . zone of privacy, including a patient's interest in keeping his
the legal prohibition to testify is not applicable to the case at bar where mental health records confidential.
the person sought to be barred from testifying on the privileged o Thus, it has been observed that the psychotherapist-patient
communication is the husband and not the physician of the privilege is founded upon the notion that certain forms of
petitioner." antisocial behavior may be prevented by encouraging those
o According to him, the Rules sanction his testimony in need of treatment for emotional problems to secure the
considering that a husband may testify against his wife in a services of a psychotherapist.
civil case filed by one against the other.  Petitioner's discourse while exhaustive is however misplaced. Lim
o that privileged communication may be waived by the person v. Court of Appeals clearly lays down the requisites in order that the
entitled thereto, and this petitioner did so when she gave her privilege may be successfully invoked:
unconditional consent to the use of the psychiatric evaluation (a) the privilege is claimed in a civil case;
report when it was presented to the Tribunal Metropolitanum (b) the person against whom the privilege is claimed is one duly
Matrimoniale which took it into account in deciding whether authorized to practice medicine, surgery or obstetrics; (c) such person
their marriage was null and void. acquired the information while he was attending to the patient in his
o Further, petitioner also gave her implied consent when she professional capacity; (d) the information was necessary to enable him
failed to specifically object to the admissibility of the report in to act in that capacity; and, (e) the information was confidential and, if
her Answer where she merely described the evaluation report disclosed, would blacken the reputation (formerly character) of the
as "either unfounded or irrelevant." Failure to interpose a patient.
timely objection at the earliest opportunity to the evidence  ITC, the person against whom the privilege is claimed is not one duly
presented on privileged matters may be construed as an authorized to practice medicine, surgery or obstetrics. He is the
implied waiver. patient's husband who wishes to testify on a document executed by
o With regard to the Statement for the Record filed by petitioner, medical practitioners. This does not fall within the claimed prohibition.
private respondent posits that this in reality is an amendment Neither can his testimony be considered a circumvention of the
of her Answer and thus should comply with pertinent prohibition because his testimony cannot have the force and effect of
provisions of the Rules of Court, hence, its exclusion from the the testimony of the physician who examined the patient and executed
records for failure to comply with the Rules is proper. the report.
o Petitioner indulged heavily in objecting to the testimony of
private respondent on the ground that it was privileged.
ISSUE: W/N the privilege may be successfully invoked – NO, it cannot. o She invoked the rule on privileged communications but never
questioned the testimony as hearsay—a fatal mistake.
RATIO o For, in failing to object to the testimony on the ground that it
was hearsay, counsel waived his right to make such objection
 The treatise presented by petitioner on the privileged nature of the and, consequently, the evidence offered may be admitted.
communication between physician and patient is not doubted.
o statutes making communications between physician and
patient privileged are to inspire confidence in the patient and WHEREFORE, the instant petition for review is DENIED for lack of merit.
Magsino v. Magsino testimony of Gates reiterating the doubts on her expertise and to
suppress related evidence particularly the psychological evaluation
Feb 18, 2019 report by reason of inadmissibility of hypnotically-induced recollection.
 In its Order dated October 11, 2010, the RTC denied the motion to
Reyes expunge the testimony on the ground of waiver of objection for failure
to timely question the qualifications of the witness.
Topic: Admissibility and probative value  Hence, Melissa filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals
(CA) ascribing grave abuse o f discretion on the part o f the RTC.
The OG Case: Petition to Fix the Rights of the Father Pendente Lite with  CA affirmed the RTC.
Prayers for the Issuance of a Temporary Protection Order and Hold Departure  Hence this Petition.

Facts: Issue: Did the CA commit an error by denying petitioner’s motion to expunge
the testimony of gates?
 Respondent and petitioner were married on December 6, 1997 and
their union was blessed with two children Held: No.
 Sometime in 2005 Melissa started suspecting Rolando of sexually
molesting their children. Ratio:
 This is because she sees the children playing with their genitals and
when asked, they said they learned it from their papa.
 Thus to protect the children from abuse she left the home and took the
children to their grandparents.  In order to exclude evidence, the objection to admissibility of evidence
 In July 2008, Rolando filed the aforesaid petition must be made at the proper time, and the grounds specified.
 During pre-trial, Rolando manifested that he would be presenting,  Grounds for objections not raised at the proper time shall be
among other witnesses, Dr. Cristina Gates (Gates), who will testify on considered waived, even if the evidence was objected to on some
the mental status and fitness of Rolando to exercise parental authority other ground.
 At the hearing, Gates was presented as an expert witness. She also  Thus, even on appeal, the appellate court may not consider any other
discussed the findings contained in Rolando's psychological ground of objection, except those that were raised at the proper time.
evaluation report.  Section 35, Rule 132 of the 1997 Rules of Court, provides when to
 Applying clinical hypnosis, phenomenological-existential study and make an offer of evidence
historical-contextual approach, Gates opined that Rolando could not  Section 36, Rule 132 of the same rules, provides when objection to
have molested the minors. the evidence offered shall be made,
 As retrieved from Rolando's memory while under hypnotic trance,  In other words, objection to oral evidence must be raised at the earliest
Gates narrated that the children have accidentally witnessed their  possible time, that is after ·the objectionable question is asked or after
parents in the act of sexual intercourse for several occasions and the answer is given.
explained that this experience caused them to develop sexual  The objections interposed by petitioner - as to both oral and
hyperactivity. documentary evidence - were not timely made.
 Gates was then subjected to cross-examination.  Petitioner should have objected during the course of Gates' direct
 But before propounding any questions, Melissa's counsel, in open testimony on her qualifications as an expert witness and explaining
court, moved to strike out the direct testimony of Gates on grounds the mechanics of the psychological examination which she conducted
that her expertise had not been established and that any evidence on respondent.
derived from hypnotically-induced recollection is inadmissible.  The reason why offer must be made at the time the witness is called
 The RTC ruled to retain the testimony as part of the record subject to to testify and the objection thereto be made, so that the court could
a continuing objection on the qualification of the witness. right away rule on whether the testimony is necessary on the ground
 On June 5, 2010, Melissa's counsel filed a Motion to Expunge the of irrelevancy, immateriality or whatever grounds that are available at
the onset.
 It bears to stress however that allowing the testimony does not mean
that courts are bound by the testimony of the expert witness.
 It falls within the discretion of the court whether to adopt or not to adopt
testimonies of expert witnesses, depending on its appreciation of the
attendant facts and applicable law.
 Objections to documentary evidence should likewise be timely raised.
 True, petitioner acted prematurely when it objected to the
psychological report at the time when it is still being identified.

Obiter/Relevant Discussion:

 At any rate, it must be stressed that admissibility of evidence

should not be confused with its probative value.
 Admissibility refers to the question of whether certain pieces of
evidence are to be considered at all, while probative value refers
to the question of whether the admitted evidence proves an
 Thus, a particular item of evidence may be admissible, but its
evidentiary weight depends on judicial evaluation within the
guidelines provided by the rules of evidence.

Hence, Petition is Denied.