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Evidence: Rule 132 - Presentation of Evidence


Rule 132
Presentation of Evidence

A. EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES


Section 1. Examination to be done in open court. — The examination of witnesses presented in a trial or hearing shall be done in open court, and under oath or affirmation. Unless the witness is incapacitated to speak, or the questions calls for a different mode of answer, the answers of the witness shall be given orally. (1a)

Section 2. Proceedings to be recorded. — The entire proceedings of a trial or hearing, including the questions propounded to a witness and his answers thereto, the statements made by the judge or any of the parties, counsel, or witnesses with reference to the case, shall be recorded by means of shorthand or stenotype or by other means of recording found suitable by the court.

A transcript of the record of the proceedings made by the official stenographer, stenotypist or recorder and certified as correct by him shall be deemed prima facie a correct statement of such proceedings. (2a)

Section 3. Rights and obligations of a witness. — A witness must answer questions, although his answer may tend to establish a claim against him. However, it is the right of a witness:

(1) To be protected from irrelevant, improper, or insulting questions, and from harsh or insulting demeanor;

(2) Not to be detained longer than the interests of justice require;

(3) Not to be examined except only as to matters pertinent to the issue;

(4) Not to give an answer which will tend to subject him to a penalty for an offense unless otherwise provided by law; or

(5) Not to give an answer which will tend to degrade his reputation, unless it to be the very fact at issue or to a fact from which the fact in issue would be presumed. But a witness must answer to the fact of his previous final conviction for an offense. (3a, 19a)

Section 4. Order in the examination of an individual witness. — The order in which the individual witness may be examined is as follows;

(a) Direct examination by the proponent;

(b) Cross-examination by the opponent;

(c) Re-direct examination by the proponent;

(d) Re-cross-examination by the opponent. (4)

Section 5. Direct examination. — Direct examination is the examination-in-chief of a witness by the party presenting him on the facts relevant to the issue. (5a)

Section 6. Cross-examination; its purpose and extent. — Upon the termination of the direct examination, the witness may be cross-examined by the adverse party as to many matters stated in the direct examination, or connected therewith, with sufficient fullness and freedom to test his accuracy and truthfulness and freedom from interest or bias, or the reverse, and to elicit all important facts bearing upon the issue. (8a)

Section 7. Re-direct examination; its purpose and extent. — After the cross-examination of the witness has been concluded, he may be re-examined by the party calling him, to explain or supplement his answers given during the cross-examination. On re-direct-examination, questions on matters not dealt with during the cross-examination, may be allowed by the court in its discretion. (12)

Section 8. Re-cross-examination. — Upon the conclusion of the re-direct examination, the adverse party may re-cross-examine the witness on matters stated in his re-direct examination, and also on such other matters as may be allowed by the court in its discretion. (13)

Section 9. Recalling witness. — After the examination of a witness by both sides has been concluded, the witness cannot be recalled without leave of the court. The court will grant or withhold leave in its discretion, as the interests of justice may require. (14)

Section 10. Leading and misleading questions. — A question which suggests to the witness the answer which the examining party desires is a leading question. It is not allowed, except:

(a) On cross examination;

(b) On preliminary matters;

(c) When there is a difficulty is getting direct and intelligible answers from a witness who is ignorant, or a child of tender years, or is of feeble mind, or a deaf-mute;

(d) Of an unwilling or hostile witness; or

(e) Of a witness who is an adverse party or an officer, director, or managing agent of a public or private corporation or of a partnership or association which is an adverse party.

A misleading question is one which assumes as true a fact not yet testified to by the witness, or contrary to that which he has previously stated. It is not allowed. (5a, 6a, and 8a)

Section 11. Impeachment of adverse party's witness. — A witness may be impeached by the party against whom he was called, by contradictory evidence, by evidence that his general reputation for truth, honestly, or integrity is bad, or by evidence that he has made at other times statements inconsistent with his present, testimony, but not by evidence of particular wrongful acts, except that it may be shown by the examination of the witness, or the record of the judgment, that he has been convicted of an offense. (15)

Section 12. Party may not impeach his own witness. — Except with respect to witnesses referred to in paragraphs (d) and (e) of Section 10, the party producing a witness is not allowed to impeach his credibility.

A witness may be considered as unwilling or hostile only if so declared by the court upon adequate showing of his adverse interest, unjustified reluctance to testify, or his having misled the party into calling him to the witness stand.

The unwilling or hostile witness so declared, or the witness who is an adverse party, may be impeached by the party presenting him in all respects as if he had been called by the adverse party, except by evidence of his bad character. He may also be impeached and cross-examined by the adverse party, but such cross-examination must only be on the subject matter of his examination-in-chief. (6a, 7a)

Section 13. How witness impeached by evidence of inconsistent statements. — Before a witness can be impeached by evidence that he has made at other times statements inconsistent with his present testimony, the statements must be related to him, with the circumstances of the times and places and the persons present, and he must be asked whether he made such statements, and if so, allowed to explain them. If the statements be in writing they must be shown to the witness before any question is put to him concerning them. (16)

Section 14. Evidence of good character of witness. — Evidence of the good character of a witness is not admissible until such character has been impeached. (17)

Section 15. Exclusion and separation of witnesses. — On any trial or hearing, the judge may exclude from the court any witness not at the time under examination, so that he may not hear the testimony of other witnesses. The judge may also cause witnesses to be kept separate and to be prevented from conversing with one another until all shall have been examined. (18)

Section 16. When witness may refer to memorandum. — A witness may be allowed to refresh his memory respecting a fact, by anything written or recorded by himself or under his direction at the time when the fact occurred, or immediately thereafter, or at any other time when the fact was fresh in his memory and knew that the same was correctly written or recorded; but in such case the writing or record must be produced and may be inspected by the adverse party, who may, if he chooses, cross examine the witness upon it, and may read it in evidence. So, also, a witness may testify from such writing or record, though he retain no recollection of the particular facts, if he is able to swear that the writing or record correctly stated the transaction when made; but such evidence must be received with caution. (10a)

Section 17. When part of transaction, writing or record given in evidence, the remainder, the remainder admissible. — When part of an act, declaration, conversation, writing or record is given in evidence by one party, the whole of the same subject may be inquired into by the other, and when a detached act, declaration, conversation, writing or record is given in evidence, any other act, declaration, conversation, writing or record necessary to its understanding may also be given in evidence. (11a)

Section 18. Right to respect writing shown to witness. — Whenever a writing is shown to a witness, it may be inspected by the adverse party. (9a)

B. AUTHENTICATION AND PROOF OF DOCUMENTS

Section 19. Classes of Documents. — For the purpose of their presentation evidence, documents are either public or private.

Public documents are:

(a) The written official acts, or records of the official acts of the sovereign authority, official bodies and tribunals, and public officers, whether of the Philippines, or of a foreign country;

(b) Documents acknowledge before a notary public except last wills and testaments; and

(c) Public records, kept in the Philippines, of private documents required by law to the entered therein.

All other writings are private. (20a)

Section 20. Proof of private document. — Before any private document offered as authentic is received in evidence, its due execution and authenticity must be proved either:

(a) By anyone who saw the document executed or written; or

(b) By evidence of the genuineness of the signature or handwriting of the maker.

Any other private document need only be identified as that which it is claimed to be. (21a)

Section 21. When evidence of authenticity of private document not necessary. — Where a private document is more than thirty years old, is produced from the custody in which it would naturally be found if genuine, and is unblemished by any alterations or circumstances of suspicion, no other evidence of its authenticity need be given. (22a)

Section 22. How genuineness of handwriting proved. — The handwriting of a person may be proved by any witness who believes it to be the handwriting of such person because he has seen the person write, or has seen writing purporting to be his upon which the witness has acted or been charged, and has thus acquired knowledge of the handwriting of such person. Evidence respecting the handwriting may also be given by a comparison, made by the witness or the court, with writings admitted or treated as genuine by the party against whom the evidence is offered, or proved to be genuine to the satisfaction of the judge. (23a)

Section 23. Public documents as evidence. — Documents consisting of entries in public records made in the performance of a duty by a public officer are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. All other public documents are evidence, even against a third person, of the fact which gave rise to their execution and of the date of the latter. (24a)

Section 24. Proof of official record. — The record of public documents referred to in paragraph (a) of Section 19, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record, or by his deputy, and accompanied, if the record is not kept in the Philippines, with a certificate that such officer has the custody. If the office in which the record is kept is in foreign country, the certificate may be made by a secretary of the embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept, and authenticated by the seal of his office. (25a)

Section 25. What attestation of copy must state. — Whenever a copy of a document or record is attested for the purpose of evidence, the attestation must state, in substance, that the copy is a correct copy of the original, or a specific part thereof, as the case may be. The attestation must be under the official seal of the attesting officer, if there be any, or if he be the clerk of a court having a seal, under the seal of such court. (26a)

Section 26. Irremovability of public record. — Any public record, an official copy of which is admissible in evidence, must not be removed from the office in which it is kept, except upon order of a court where the inspection of the record is essential to the just determination of a pending case. (27a)

Section 27. Public record of a private document. — An authorized public record of a private document may be proved by the original record, or by a copy thereof, attested by the legal custodian of the record, with an appropriate certificate that such officer has the custody. (28a)

Section 28. Proof of lack of record. — A written statement signed by an officer having the custody of an official record or by his deputy that after diligent search no record or entry of a specified tenor is found to exist in the records of his office, accompanied by a certificate as above provided, is admissible as evidence that the records of his office contain no such record or entry. (29)

Section 29. How judicial record impeached. — Any judicial record may be impeached by evidence of: (a) want of jurisdiction in the court or judicial officer, (b) collusion between the parties, or (c) fraud in the party offering the record, in respect to the proceedings. (30a)

Section 30. Proof of notarial documents. — Every instrument duly acknowledged or proved and certified as provided by law, may be presented in evidence without further proof, the certificate of acknowledgment being prima facie evidence of the execution of the instrument or document involved. (31a)

Section 31. Alteration in document, how to explain. — The party producing a document as genuine which has been altered and appears to have been altered after its execution, in a part material to the question in dispute, must account for the alteration. He may show that the alteration was made by another, without his concurrence, or was made with the consent of the parties affected by it, or was otherwise properly or innocent made, or that the alteration did not change the meaning or language of the instrument. If he fails to do that, the document shall not be admissible in evidence. (32a)

Section 32. Seal. — There shall be no difference between sealed and unsealed private documents insofar as their admissibility as evidence is concerned. (33a)

Section 33. Documentary evidence in an unofficial language. — Documents written in an unofficial language shall not be admitted as evidence, unless accompanied with a translation into English or Filipino. To avoid interruption of proceedings, parties or their attorneys are directed to have such translation prepared before trial. (34a)

C. OFFER AND OBJECTION

Section 34. Offer of evidence. — The court shall consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. The purpose for which the evidence is offered must be specified. (35)

Section 35. When to make offer. — As regards the testimony of a witness, the offer must be made at the time the witness is called to testify.

Documentary and object evidence shall be offered after the presentation of a party's testimonial evidence. Such offer shall be done orally unless allowed by the court to be done in writing. (n)

Section 36. Objection. — Objection to evidence offered orally must be made immediately after the offer is made.

Objection to a question propounded in the course of the oral examination of a witness shall be made as soon as the grounds therefor shall become reasonably apparent.

An offer of evidence in writing shall be objected to within three (3) days after notice of the unless a different period is allowed by the court.

In any case, the grounds for the objections must be specified. (36a)

Section 37. When repetition of objection unnecessary. — When it becomes reasonably apparent in the course of the examination of a witness that the question being propounded are of the same class as those to which objection has been made, whether such objection was sustained or overruled, it shall not be necessary to repeat the objection, it being sufficient for the adverse party to record his continuing objection to such class of questions. (37a)

Section 38. Ruling. — The ruling of the court must be given immediately after the objection is made, unless the court desires to take a reasonable time to inform itself on the question presented; but the ruling shall always be made during the trial and at such time as will give the party against whom it is made an opportunity to meet the situation presented by the ruling.

The reason for sustaining or overruling an objection need not be stated. However, if the objection is based on two or more grounds, a ruling sustaining the objection on one or some of them must specify the ground or grounds relied upon. (38a)

Section 39. Striking out answer. — Should a witness answer the question before the adverse party had the opportunity to voice fully its objection to the same, and such objection is found to be meritorious, the court shall sustain the objection and order the answer given to be stricken off the record.

On proper motion, the court may also order the striking out of answers which are incompetent, irrelevant, or otherwise improper. (n)

Section 40. Tender of excluded evidence. — If documents or things offered in evidence are excluded by the court, the offeror may have the same attached to or made part of the record. If the evidence excluded is oral, the offeror may state for the record the name and other personal circumstances of the witness and the substance of the proposed testimony.

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