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Confession


Sec. 33Confession. — The declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged, or of any offense necessarily included therein, may be given in evidence against him. (Rule 130, Rules of Court)

What is confession?

● Confession is the declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged, or of any offense necessarily included therein.

● Confession is a categorical acknowledgement of guilt made by an accused in a criminal case, without any exculpatory statement or explanation. If there is an allegation of a justification for the act, it is merely an admission.


How confession may be made?

● Confession can be made orally or in writing. If it is in writing, it is NOT required to be under oath.

● A confession is not required to be in any particular form. It may be oral or written, formal or informal in character. It may be recorded on video tape, sound motion pictures, or tape. However, while not required to be in writing to be admissible in evidence, it is advisable, if not otherwise recorded by video tape or other means, to reduce the confession to writing. This adds weight to the confession and helps convince the court that it was freely and voluntarily made. If possible the confession, after being reduced to writing, should be read to the defendant, have it read by defendant, have him sign it, and have it attested by witnesses. (People vs. Satorre, G.R. No. 133858. August 12, 2003)


When is the rule applicable?

This rule is applicable only in criminal cases.


Confession of judgment – made in a civil case where the party expressly admits his liability


Judicial confession vs. Extrajudicial confession

1.  Judicial confession is made before a court in which the case is pending and in the course of legal proceedings therein. Extrajudicial confession is made in any other place or occasion.

2.  Judicial confession, by itself, can sustain a conviction. Extrajudicial confession cannot sustain a conviction unless corroborated by evidence of the corpus delicti.

3. A judicial confession is admissible against the declarants co-accused since the latter are afforded opportunity to cross-examine the former. An extrajudicial confession may be given in evidence against the confessant but not against his co-accused as they are deprived of the opportunity to cross-examine him. 


Exceptions to the rule that confessions of an accused may be given in evidence against him and incompetent against his co-accused:

a) When several accused are tried together, confession made by one of them during the trial implicating the others is evidence against the latter (People vs. Impit Gumaling, 61 Phil. 165);

It is true that under the rule, statements made by a conspirator against a co-conspirator are admissible only when made during the existence of the conspiracy. However, as the Court ruled in People v. Buntag, if the declarant repeats the statement in court, his extrajudicial confession becomes a judicial admission, making the testimony admissible as to both conspirators. (People vs. Janjalani, G.R. No. 188314, January 10, 2011)

b) When one of the defendants is discharged from the information and testifies as a witness for the prosecution, the confession made in the course of his testimony is admissible against his co-defendants, if corroborated by indisputable proof (People vs. Bautista,40 Phil. 389);

c) If a defendant after having been apprised of the confession of his co-defendant ratifies or confirms said confession, the same is admissible against him (People vs. Orenciada and Cenita,47 Phil. 970);

d) Interlocking confessions – Where several extra-judicial confession had been made by several persons charged with an offense and there could have been no collusion with reference to said several confessions, the fact that the statements therein are in all material respects identical, is confirmatory of the confession of the co-defendant, and is admissible against his other co-defendants (People vs. Badilla, 48 Phil. 718);

e) A statement made by one defendant after his arrest, in the presence of his co-defendant, confessing his guilt and implicating his co-defendant who failed to contradict or deny it, is admissible against his codefendant (22 CJS 1441);

f) When the confession is of a conspirator and made after conspiracy in furtherance of its object, the same is admissible against his co-conspirator; and

g) The confession of one conspirator made after the termination of a conspiracy is admissible against his co-conspirator if made in his presence and assented to by him, or admitted its truth or failed to contradict or deny it (Wharton on Evidence).


Cases:
People v. Yip Wai Ming(1996)

Any confession, including a re-enactment, without admonition of the right to silence and to counsel,
and without counsel chosen by the accused is inadmissible in evidence.

People v. Sarmiento, 147 SCRA 252 (1987) 

A confession, to be admissible, must have been executed in the presence of counsel. Waiver of right to counsel must be with the assistance of counsel.


People v. Marra, 236 SCRA 565 (1994) 

Where the confession was made even before the accused was under custodial investigation, it is admissible even if he was not assisted by counsel. Custodial investigation involves any questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way. Only after the investigation ceases to be a general inquiry into an unsolved crime and begins to focus on a particular suspect, the suspect is taken into custody, and the police carries out a process of interrogations that lends itself to eliciting incriminating statements that the accused is said to be under custodial investigation.


People v. Sumayo, 70 SCRA 488 (1976) 

Where the extra-judicial confessions of the accused are consistent in many material details and manifest amazing consistency and accuracy in the narration of events and of facts which could not have been known to the police investigators if the same were not voluntarily given by the accused, such statements are admissible against the accused on the doctrine of interlocking confessions.

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