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Common Reputation

Sec. 41Common reputation. — Common reputation existing previous to the controversy, respecting facts of public or general interest more than thirty years old, or respecting marriage or moral character, may be given in evidence. Monuments and inscriptions in public places may be received as evidence of common reputation. (Rule 130, Rules of Court)

Matters that may be established by common reputation:

1)  Facts of public or general interest more than 30 years old;
2)  Marriage and related facts;
3)  Individual moral character.

Requisites for admissibility of hearsay evidence as to common reputation

1. common reputation
2. existing previous to the controversy
3. respecting either -

      a.  facts of public or general interest more than 30 years old, or
      b.  marriage or
      c.  moral character

Facts must be of public or general interest

Matters of public interest are those of national interest while matters of general interest are those affecting inhabitants of a particular region or community.


1)  The facts must be of public or general interest and more than 30 years old.

2) The common reputation must have been ancient, i.e. 30 years or one generation old.

3)  The reputation must have been one formed among a class of persons who were in a position to have some sources of information and to contribute intelligently to the formation of the opinion.

4)  The common reputation must have been existing prior to the controversy.

Common reputation may be established by:

1. Testimonial evidence of competent witnesses
2. Monuments and inscriptions in public places
3. Documents containing statements of reputation


City of Manila v. Del Rosario
5 Phil 227 (1905)

The third witness, Juan Villegas, testified that the land in question was formerly included in the Gran Divisoria, and that all the land included in it belonged to the city. In this particular his testimony is at variance with that of the precediing witness, who testified that the land belonged to the Central Government. Villega’s testimony was merely hearsay. It consisted of what he had learned from some of the oldest residents in that section of the city. His testimony was introduced by the plaintiff apparently for the purpose of proving that the city was generally considered the owner of the land, drawing from this fact the presumption of actual ownership under paragraph 11, section 334, of the Code of Civil Procedure. Such testimony, however, does not constitute the "common reputation" referred to in the section mentioned. "common reputation," as used in that section, is equivalent to universal reputation. The testimony of this witness is not sufficient to establish the presumption referred to.

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