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Family Reputation or Tradition Regarding Pedigree

Evidence Rule 130

Sec. 40Family reputation or tradition regarding pedigree. — The reputation or tradition existing in a family previous to the controversy, in respect to the pedigree of any one of its members, may be received in evidence if the witness testifying thereon be also a member of the family, either by consanguinity or affinity. Entries in family bibles or other family books or charts, engravings on rings, family portraits and the like, may be received as evidence of pedigree. (Rule 130, Rules of Court)

Requisites for admissibility:

(a) There is a controversy in respect to the pedigree of any members of a family;

(b) The reputation or tradition of the pedigree of the person concerned existed ante litem motam or
previous to the controversy; and

(c) The witness testifying to the reputation or tradition regarding the pedigree of the person concerned must be a member of the family of said person, either by consanguinity or affinity.


● de Leon: note that in family tradition, the declarant must be dead or unable to testify. In family reputation or tradition, there is not even a declarant to speak of; just a witness who was aware of an exiting family reputation or tradition.


Cases:

People v. Alegado
201 SCRA 37 (1991) 

Testimony of a witness and the witness’ grandfather as to the date of birth and age of the witness is evidence on family tradition which is admissible as an exception to hearsay.


Ferrer v. de Inchausti
38 Phil 905 (1918) 

Entries in family bibles or other family books or charts, engravings on rings, family portraits and the like, to be admissible as an evidence of pedigree, need NOT be proven to have been made at the same time as the occurrence of the events documented.


Sec. 40. Family reputation or tradition regarding pedigree. – The reputation or tradition existing in a family previous to the controversy, in respect to the pedigree of any one of its members, may be received in evidence if the witness testifying thereon be also a member of the family, either by consanguinity or affinity. Entries in family bibles or other family books or charts, engravings on rings, family portraits and the like, may be received as evidence of pedigree.


Jison vs. CA
G.R. No. 124853. February 24, 1998

Rule 130, Section 40, provides:

Section 40. Family reputation or tradition regarding pedigree. -- The reputation or tradition existing in a family previous to the controversy, in respect to the pedigree of any one of its members, may be received in evidence if the witness testifying thereon be also a member of the family, either by consanguinity or affinity. Entries in family bibles or other family books or charts, engravings on rings, family portraits and the like, may be received as evidence of pedigree. (underscoring supplied)

It is evident that this provision may be divided into two (2) parts: the portion containing the first underscored clause which pertains to testimonial evidence, under which the documents in question may not be admitted as the authors thereof did not take the witness stand; and the section containing the second underscored phrase. What must then be ascertained is whether Exhibits S to V, as private documents, fall within the scope of the clause and the like as qualified by the preceding phrase [e]ntries in family bibles or other family books or charts, engravings on rights [and] family portraits.

We hold that the scope of the enumeration contained in the second portion of this provision, in light of the rule of ejusdem generis, is limited to objects which are commonly known as family possessions, or those articles which represent, in effect, a family's joint statement of its belief as to the pedigree of a person. These have been described as objects openly exhibited and well known to the family, or those which, if preserved in a family, may be regarded as giving a family tradition. Other examples of these objects which are regarded as reflective of a family's reputation or tradition regarding pedigree are inscriptions on tombstones, monuments or coffin plates.

 

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