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Ordoño vs. Daquigan Case Digest


Facts:

In 1970, Avelino Ordoño was charged with having raped his daughter, Leonora. The Fiscal presented the wife, Catalina Ordoño as the second prosecution witness. After she had stated her personal circumstances, the defense counsel objected to her competency, invoking the marital disqualification rule found in Rule 130 of the Rules of Court which then provides:

Sec. 20. Disqualification by reason of interest or relationship. — The following persons cannot testify as to matters in which they are interested, directly or indirectly, as herein enumerated:

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(b) A husband cannot be examined for or against his wife without her consent; nor a wife for or against her husband without his consent, except in a civil case by one against the other or in a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other;

xxx xxx xxx

Counsel claimed that Avelino had not consented expressly or impliedly to his wife's testifying against him. The trial court overruled the objection. Avelino's MR was denied; hence, he filed the instant action for certiorari and prohibition.


Issue:

Whether the rape committed by the husband against his daughter is a crime committed by him against his wife within the meaning of the exception found in the marital disqualification rule.

Should the phrase "in a criminal case for a crime committed by one against the other" be restricted to crimes committed by one spouse against the other, such as physical injuries, bigamy, adultery or concubinage, or should it be given a latitudinarian interpretation as referring to any offense causing marital discord?


Held:

Yes. When an offense directly attack or directly and vitally impairs, the conjugal relation, it comes within the exception to the statute that one shall not be a witness against the other except in a criminal prosecution for a crime committed by one against the other. Using this criterion, it can be concluded that in the law of evidence the rape perpetrated by the father against his daughter is a crime committed by him against his wife. (Ordoño vs. Daquigan, G.R. No. L-39012, January 31, 1975)

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