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Marital Privilege Rule


Sec. 24Disqualification 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.  (Rule 130, Rules of Court)



Requisites for the Disqualification By Reason of Marital Privilege to Apply (Spousal Privilege):
  1. There must be a valid marriage between the husband and wife;
  2. There is a communication received in confidence by one from the other; 
  3. The confidential communication was received during the marriage.

Instances When the Privilege Cannot Be Claimed: 

  1. With respect to communications made prior to the marriage of the spouses
  2. With respect to communication not intended to be kept in confidence (ex. dying declaration of a husband to his wife as to who was his assailant since it is intended to be reported)
  3. When the information is overheard by a third party whether he acquired the information legally or not. (A third person is not covered by the prohibition. Provided: There must be no collusion between the 3rd person and one of the spouses. )
  4. In a conspiracy between spouses to commit a crime - since it is not the intention of the law to protect the commission of a crime.
  5. When the spouses are living separately and there is an active hostility. But if there is a chance to reconcile, then this privilege will apply.
  6. When waived 

● Any information received during the marriage is presumed to be confidential .

● Waiving Sec 22 does not prevent the spouse from invoking sec 24 and vice versa. So even if the information is not confidential, the spouse may still invoke sec 22 which is an absolute disqualification. 


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