Sec. 38. Declaration against interest. – The declaration made by a person deceased, or unable to testify, against the interest of the declarant, if the fact asserted in the declaration was at the time it was made so far contrary to declarant's own interest, that a reasonable man in his position would not have made the declaration unless he believed it to be true, may be received in evidence against himself or his successors in interest and against third persons.
Requirements for admissibility
1. Declarant must be deceased or unable to testify
2. It relates to a fact against the interest of the declarant;
3. At the time he made said declaration the declarant was aware that the same was contrary to his aforesaid interest; and
4. The declarant had no motive to falsify and believed such declaration to be true.
2) Declarant’s successors-in-interest;
3) Third persons
● A declaration against interest is the opposite of a a self-serving declaration which is a statement favorable or intended to advance the interests of the declarant. Consequently, a self-serving declaration is inadmissible as being hearsay if the declarant is unavailable as a witness.
● A declaration admitting that he was the one who killed the victim, made by a declarant who died shortly thereafter, is admissible where another person was subsequently charged as the killer of the same victim, under the theory that said declaration was one against the penal interest of the declarant. (People vs. Toledo and Holgado, 51 Phil 825.
Admission against interest vs. Declaration against interest
Admission against interest are those made by a party to a case or by one in privity with or identified in legal interest with such party, and are admissible whether or not the declarant is available as a witness.
Declarations against interest are those made by a person who is neither a party nor in privity with a party to the suit, are secondary evidence but constitute an exception to the hearsay rule, and are admissible only when the declarant is unavailable as a witness.
Declaration against interest vs. Admission by privies
Sec. 31. Admission by privies. – Where one derives title to property from another, the act, declaration, or omission of the latter, while holding the title, in relation to the property, is evidence against the former.
Declaration against interest
1. Exception to hearsay
2. Evidence against even the declarant, his successor in interest, or 3rd persons
3. Declarant is dead or unable to testify
4. Relates to any interest
5. Declaration must be against the interest of the declarant
Admission by privies
1. One of 3 exceptions to res inter alios acta
2. Evidence against the successor in interest of the admitter
3. Admitter need not be dead or unable to testify
4. Relates to title to property
5. Admission need not be against the admitter’s interest.
Viacrusis v. CA, 44 SCRA 176 (1972) Previous recognition of ownership in another by a party in possession of property in dispute is admission against interest which may be received even against third persons.
People v. Toledo, 51 Phil. 825 (1928) Declaration against interest, as an exception to the hearsay rule, covers not only pecuniary interest, but also penal interest.
People v. Majuri, 96 SCRA 472 (1980)
Fuentes v. CA, 253 SCRA 430 (1996)