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Opinion Rule


Sec. 48. General rule. – The opinion of a witness is not admissible, except as indicated in the following sections.

Sec. 49. Opinion of expert witnesses. – The opinion of a witness on a matter requiring special knowledge, skill, experience or training which he is shown to possess, may be received in evidence.

Sec. 50. Opinion of ordinary witnesses. – The opinion of a witness for which proper basis is given, may be received in evidence regarding -

(a) The identity of a person about whom he has adequate knowledge;

(b) A handwriting with which he has sufficient familiarity; and

(c) The mental sanity of a person with whom he is sufficiently acquainted.

The witness may also testify on his impressions of the emotion, behavior, condition or appearance of a person.


NOTES:

Is the opinion of a witness admissible in evidence? 

General rule: NO. The opinion of a witness is not admissible.

Reason: The opinion of the witness has no relevance to the case.


When is opinion of a witness is admissible?

The opinion of a witness is admissible:

1. On a matter requiring special knowledge, skill, experience or training (SKET) which he is shown to possess, that is, when he is an expert thereon;

2. Regarding the identity of a person about whom he has adequate knowledge;

3. Regarding the handwriting of a person with which he has sufficient familiarity or when he is an expert witness;

The law allows that an ordinary witness identify the signature of somebody. One does not have to be an expert. But he has to establish familiarity with the signature (secretary-boss’ signature)

4. On the mental sanity of a person with whom he is sufficiently acquainted or if the latter is an expert witness;

Because, chances are, if one knows the person very well, he will be the first one to detect some changes in the person. Witness need not be expert in Psychiatry.

5. On the emotion, behavior, condition or appearance of a person (ABCE) which he has observed;

6. On ordinary matters known to all men of common perception such as the value of ordinary household articles (Galian vs. State Assurance Co., 29 Phil. 413).

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