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Evidence: Rule 130 - Rules of Admissibility


Rule 130
Rules of Admissibility


A. OBJECT (REAL) EVIDENCE

Sec. 1. Object as evidence. — Objects as evidence are those addressed to the senses of the court. When an object is relevant to the fact in issue, it may be exhibited to, examined or viewed by the court. 


B. DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

Sec. 2. Documentary evidence. — Documents as evidence consist of writing or any material containing letters, words, numbers, figures, symbols or other modes of written expression offered as proof of their contents. 




Sec. 3. Original document must be produced; exceptions. — When the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no evidence shall be admissible other than the original document itself, except in the following cases:
  1. When the original has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court, without bad faith on the part of the offeror;
  2. When the original is in the custody or under the control of the party against whom the evidence is offered, and the latter fails to produce it after reasonable notice;
  3. When the original consists of numerous accounts or other documents which cannot be examined in court without great loss of time and the fact sought to be established from them is only the general result of the whole; and
  4. When the original is a public record in the custody of a public officer or is recorded in a public office. 
Sec. 4. Original of document. —
  1. The original of the document is one the contents of which are the subject of inquiry.
  2. When a document is in two or more copies executed at or about the same time, with identical contents, all such copies are equally regarded as originals.
  3. When an entry is repeated in the regular course of business, one being copied from another at or near the time of the transaction, all the entries are likewise equally regarded as originals. 

2. SECONDARY EVIDENCE

Sec. 5. When original document is unavailable. — When the original document has been lost or destroyed, or cannot be produced in court, the offeror, upon proof of its execution or existence and the cause of its unavailability without bad faith on his part, may prove its contents by a copy, or by a recital of its contents in some authentic document, or by the testimony of witnesses in the order stated. 

Sec. 6. When original document is in adverse party's custody or control. — If the document is in the custody or under the control of adverse party, he must have reasonable notice to produce it. If after such notice and after satisfactory proof of its existence, he fails to produce the document, secondary evidence may be presented as in the case of its loss. 


Sec. 7. Evidence admissible when original document is a public record. — When the original of document is in the custody of public officer or is recorded in a public office, its contents may be proved by a certified copy issued by the public officer in custody thereof. 


Sec. 8. Party who calls for document not bound to offer it. — A party who calls for the production of a document and inspects the same is not obliged to offer it as evidence. (6a)



3. PAROL EVIDENCE RULE

Sec. 9. Evidence of written agreements. — When the terms of an agreement have been reduced to writing, it is considered as containing all the terms agreed upon and there can be, between the parties and their successors in interest, no evidence of such terms other than the contents of the written agreement.


However, a party may present evidence to modify, explain or add to the terms of written agreement if he puts in issue in his pleading:


(a) An intrinsic ambiguity, mistake or imperfection in the written agreement;

(b) The failure of the written agreement to express the true intent and agreement of the parties thereto;


(c) The validity of the written agreement; or

(d) The existence of other terms agreed to by the parties or their successors in interest after the execution of the written agreement.


The term "agreement" includes wills. 

4. INTERPRETATION OF DOCUMENTS

Sec. 10. Interpretation of a writing according to its legal meaning. — The language of a writing is to be interpreted according to the legal meaning it bears in the place of its execution, unless the parties intended otherwise. 

Sec. 11. Instrument construed so as to give effect to all provisions. — In the construction of an instrument, where there are several provisions or particulars, such a construction is, if possible, to be adopted as will give effect to all. 


Sec. 12. Interpretation according to intention; general and particular provisions. — In the construction of an instrument, the intention of the parties is to be pursued; and when a general and a particular provision are inconsistent, the latter is paramount to the former. So a particular intent will control a general one that is inconsistent with it.


Sec. 13. Interpretation according to circumstances. — For the proper construction of an instrument, the circumstances under which it was made, including the situation of the subject thereof and of the parties to it, may be shown, so that the judge may be placed in the position of those who language he is to interpret. 


Sec. 14. Peculiar signification of terms. — The terms of a writing are presumed to have been used in their primary and general acceptation, but evidence is admissible to show that they have a local, technical, or otherwise peculiar signification, and were so used and understood in the particular instance, in which case the agreement must be construed accordingly. 


Sec. 15. Written words control printed. — When an instrument consists partly of written words and partly of a printed form, and the two are inconsistent, the former controls the latter. 


Sec. 16. Experts and interpreters to be used in explaining certain writings. — When the characters in which an instrument is written are difficult to be deciphered, or the language is not understood by the court, the evidence of persons skilled in deciphering the characters, or who understand the language, is admissible to declare the characters or the meaning of the language. 


Sec. 17. Of Two constructions, which preferred. — When the terms of an agreement have been intended in a different sense by the different parties to it, that sense is to prevail against either party in which he supposed the other understood it, and when different constructions of a provision are otherwise equally proper, that is to be taken which is the most favorable to the party in whose favor the provision was made. 


Sec. 18. Construction in favor of natural right. — When an instrument is equally susceptible of two interpretations, one in favor of natural right and the other against it, the former is to be adopted. (16)


Sec. 19. Interpretation according to usage. —An instrument may be construed according to usage, in order to determine its true character. 



C. TESTIMONIAL EVIDENCE

1. QUALIFICATION OF WITNESSES

Sec. 20. Witnesses; their qualifications. — Except as provided in the next succeeding section, all persons who can perceive, and perceiving, can make their known perception to others, may be witnesses.

Religious or political belief, interest in the outcome of the case, or conviction of a crime unless otherwise provided by law, shall not be ground for disqualification. 


Sec. 21. Disqualification by reason of mental incapacity or immaturity. — The following persons cannot be witnesses:


(a) Those whose mental condition, at the time of their production for examination, is such that they are incapable of intelligently making known their perception to others;

(b) Children whose mental maturity is such as to render them incapable of perceiving the facts respecting which they are examined and of relating them truthfully.


Sec. 22. Disqualification by reason of marriage. — During their marriage, neither the husband nor the wife may testify for or against the other without the consent of the affected spouse, except in a civil case by one against the other, or in a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other or the latter's direct descendants or ascendants.

Sec. 23. Disqualification by reason of death or insanity of adverse party. — Parties or assignor of parties to a case, or persons in whose behalf a case is prosecuted, against an executor or administrator or other representative of a deceased person, or against a person of unsound mind, upon a claim or demand against the estate of such deceased person or against such person of unsound mind, cannot testify as to any matter of fact occurring before the death of such deceased person or before such person became of unsound mind. 


Sec. 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged communication. — The following persons cannot testify as to matters learned in confidence in the following cases:


(a) The husband or the wife, during or after the marriage, cannot be examined without the consent of the other as to any communication received in confidence by one from the other during the marriage except in a civil case by one against the other, or in a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other or the latter's direct descendants or ascendants;


(b) An attorney cannot, without the consent of his client, be examined as to any communication made by the client to him, or his advice given thereon in the course of, or with a view to, professional employment, nor can an attorney's secretary, stenographer, or clerk be examined, without the consent of the client and his employer, concerning any fact the knowledge of which has been acquired in such capacity;


(c) A person authorized to practice medicine, surgery or obstetrics cannot in a civil case, without the consent of the patient, be examined as to any advice or treatment given by him or any information which he may have acquired in attending such patient in a professional capacity, which information was necessary to enable him to act in capacity, and which would blacken the reputation of the patient;


(d) A minister or priest cannot, without the consent of the person making the confession, be examined as to any confession made to or any advice given by him in his professional character in the course of discipline enjoined by the church to which the minister or priest belongs;


(e) A public officer cannot be examined during his term of office or afterwards, as to communications made to him in official confidence, when the court finds that the public interest would suffer by the disclosure. 


2. TESTIMONIAL PRIVILEGE

Sec. 25. Parental and filial privilege. — No person may be compelled to testify against his parents, other direct ascendants, children or other direct descendants. 



3. ADMISSIONS AND CONFESSIONS

Sec. 26 . Admission of a party. — The act, declaration or omission of a party as to a relevant fact may be given in evidence against him.


Sec. 27. Offer of compromise not admissible. — In civil cases, an offer of compromise is not an admission of any liability, and is not admissible in evidence against the offeror.


In criminal cases, except those involving quasi-offenses (criminal negligence) or those allowed by law to be compromised, an offer of compromised by the accused may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt.


A plea of guilty later withdrawn, or an unaccepted offer of a plea of guilty to lesser offense, is not admissible in evidence against the accused who made the plea or offer.


An offer to pay or the payment of medical, hospital or other expenses occasioned by an injury is not admissible in evidence as proof of civil or criminal liability for the injury. 


Sec. 28. Admission by third party. — The rights of a party cannot be prejudiced by an act, declaration, or omission of another, except as hereinafter provided. 


Sec. 29. Admission by co-partner or agent. — The act or declaration of a partner or agent of the party within the scope of his authority and during the existence of the partnership or agency, may be given in evidence against such party after the partnership or agency is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. The same rule applies to the act or declaration of a joint owner, joint debtor, or other person jointly interested with the party. 


Sec. 30. Admission by conspirator. — The act or declaration of a conspirator relating to the conspiracy and during its existence, may be given in evidence against the co-conspirator after the conspiracy is shown by evidence other than such act of declaration. 


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. 


Sec. 32. Admission by silence. — An act or declaration made in the presence and within the hearing or observation of a party who does or says nothing when the act or declaration is such as naturally to call for action or comment if not true, and when proper and possible for him to do so, may be given in evidence against him. 


Sec. 33. Confession. — 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. 



4. PREVIOUS CONDUCT AS EVIDENCE

Sec. 34. Similar acts as evidence. — Evidence that one did or did not do a certain thing at one time is not admissible to prove that he did or did not do the same or similar thing at another time; but it may be received to prove a specific intent or knowledge; identity, plan, system, scheme, habit, custom or usage, and the like. (48a)

Sec. 35. Unaccepted offer. — An offer in writing to pay a particular sum of money or to deliver a written instrument or specific personal property is, if rejected without valid cause, equivalent to the actual production and tender of the money, instrument, or property. (49a)



5. TESTIMONIAL KNOWLEDGE

Sec. 36. Testimony generally confined to personal knowledge; hearsay excluded. — A witness can testify only to those facts which he knows of his personal knowledge; that is, which are derived from his own perception, except as otherwise provided in these rules. 




6. EXCEPTIONS TO THE HEARSAY RULE

Sec. 37. Dying declaration. — The declaration of a dying person, made under the consciousness of an impending death, may be received in any case wherein his death is the subject of inquiry, as evidence of the cause and surrounding circumstances of such death.

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 is 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.


Sec. 39. Act or declaration about pedigree. — The act or declaration of a person deceased, or unable to testify, in respect to the pedigree of another person related to him by birth or marriage, may be received in evidence where it occurred before the controversy, and the relationship between the two persons is shown by evidence other than such act or declaration. The word "pedigree" includes relationship, family genealogy, birth, marriage, death, the dates when and the places where these fast occurred, and the names of the relatives. It embraces also facts of family history intimately connected with pedigree. (33a)


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. 


Sec. 41. Common 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. 


Sec. 42. Part of res gestae. — Statements made by a person while a starting occurrence is taking place or immediately prior or subsequent thereto with respect to the circumstances thereof, may be given in evidence as part of res gestae. So, also, statements accompanying an equivocal act material to the issue, and giving it a legal significance, may be received as part of the res gestae. 


Sec. 43. Entries in the course of business. — Entries made at, or near the time of transactions to which they refer, by a person deceased, or unable to testify, who was in a position to know the facts therein stated, may be received as prima facie evidence, if such person made the entries in his professional capacity or in the performance of duty and in the ordinary or regular course of business or duty. 


Sec. 44. Entries in official records. — Entries in official records made in the performance of his duty by a public officer of the Philippines, or by a person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law, are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated.


Sec. 45. Commercial lists and the like. — Evidence of statements of matters of interest to persons engaged in an occupation contained in a list, register, periodical, or other published compilation is admissible as tending to prove the truth of any relevant matter so stated if that compilation is published for use by persons engaged in that occupation and is generally used and relied upon by them therein. 


Sec. 46. Learned treatises. — A published treatise, periodical or pamphlet on a subject of history, law, science, or art is admissible as tending to prove the truth of a matter stated therein if the court takes judicial notice, or a witness expert in the subject testifies, that the writer of the statement in the treatise, periodical or pamphlet is recognized in his profession or calling as expert in the subject. 


Sec. 47. Testimony or deposition at a former proceeding. — The testimony or deposition of a witness deceased or unable to testify, given in a former case or proceeding, judicial or administrative, involving the same parties and subject matter, may be given in evidence against the adverse party who had the opportunity to cross-examine him.




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

Sec. 49. Opinion of expert witness. — The opinion of a witness on a matter requiring special knowledge, skill, experience or training which he shown to posses, may be received in evidence. (43a)


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.


8. CHARACTER EVIDENCE

Sec. 51 . Character evidence not generally admissible; exceptions: —

(a) In Criminal Cases:


(1) The accused may prove his good moral character which is pertinent to the moral trait involved in the offense charged.


(2) Unless in rebuttal, the prosecution may not prove his bad moral character which is pertinent to the moral trait involved in the offense charged.


(3) The good or bad moral character of the offended party may be proved if it tends to establish in any reasonable degree the probability or improbability of the offense charged.

(b) In Civil Cases:


Evidence of the moral character of a party in civil case is admissible only when pertinent to the issue of character involved in the case.

(c) In the case provided for in Rule 132, Section 14. (Rule 130, Rules of Court)


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