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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
March-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 51765 March 3, 1997 - REPUBLIC PLANTERS BANK v. ENRIQUE A. AGANA, SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 93397 March 3, 1997 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99425 March 3, 1997 - ANTONIO RAMOS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 100487 & 100607 March 3, 1997 - ARTURO JULIANO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106581 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO FLORES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110419 March 3, 1997 - UERM-MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114383 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL COREA

  • G.R. No. 116437 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PABLITO ANDAN

  • G.R. No. 117161 March 3, 1997 - RAMON INGLES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120704 March 3, 1997 - BARTOLOME C. CARALE, ET AL. v. PAMPIO A. ABARINTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123321 March 3, 1997 - ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123361 March 3, 1997 - TEOFILO CACHO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125198 March 3, 1997 - MSCI-NACUSIP v. NWPC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 84449 March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENEDICTO JAVIER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102876 March 4, 1997 - BATAAN SHIPYARD AND ENG’G CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118607 March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULITO FRANCO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1335 March 5, 1997 - INOCENCIO BASCO v. LEO H. RAPATALO

  • G.R. No. 126576 March 5, 1997 - RICARDO M. ANGOBUNG v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 83598 March 7, 1997 - LEONCIA BALOGBOG, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 94994-95 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LILIBETH CACO

  • G.R. No. 106212 March 7, 1997 - PROGRESS HOMES, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108395 March 7, 1997 - HEIRS OF TEODORO GUARING, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 108604-10 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FEDERICO A. BURCE

  • G.R. No. 113420 March 7, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113905 March 7, 1997 - LEOPOLDO ALICBUSAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116211 March 7, 1997 - MEYNARDO POLICARPIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116512 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM O. CASIDO, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1353 March 11, 1997 - DANILO B. PARADA v. LORENZO B. VENERACION

  • G.R. No. 127066 March 11, 1997 - REYNALDO O. MALONZO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117169 March 12, 1997 - PHILTREAD WORKERS UNION, ET AL. v. NIEVES R. CONFESOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121917 March 12, 1997 - ROBIN CARIÑO PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 99301 & 99343 March 13, 1997 - VICTOR KIERULF, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100333 March 13, 1997 - HILARIO MAGCALAS, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103611 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR HERBIETO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107131 March 13, 1997 - NFD INT’L. MANNING AGENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108454 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEDDY QUINAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109779 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR MAÑOZCA

  • G.R. No. 110067 March 13, 1997 - LINDA T. ALMENDRAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111478 March 13, 1997 - GEORGE F. SALONGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111567 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEODORICO AVILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116123 March 13, 1997 - SERGIO NAGUIAT, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116228 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EPIFANIO GAYON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116352 March 13, 1997 - J. & D.O. AGUILAR CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116596-98 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORENZO TOPAGUEN

  • G.R. No. 117266 March 13, 1997 - CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST VENTURA O. DUCAT, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 117955-58 March 13, 1997 - HERMINIGILDO TOMARONG, ET AL. v. ANTONIO C. LUBGUBAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119058 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERLINDA VILLARAN

  • G.R. No. 120853 March 13, 1997 - RUDY ALMEDA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122427 March 13, 1997 - BENJAMIN LAZA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123881 March 13, 1997 - VIVA PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 91694 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SABAS CALVO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97626 March 14, 1997 - PHIL. BANK OF COMMERCE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114387 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO DEVILLERES

  • G.R. No. 120592 March 14, 1997 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK EMPLOYEES UNION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121765 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RANDOLF B. MONTEALTO

  • G.R. No. 122646 March 14, 1997 - ADELIA C. MENDOZA v. ANGELITO C. TEH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112229 March 18, 1997 - RAYMOND PE LIM v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 114924-27 March 18, 1997 - DANTE NACURAY, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119321 March 18, 1997 - CATALINO F. BAÑEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Bar Matter No. 712 March 19, 1997 - PETITION OF AL ARGOSINO TO TAKE THE LAWYER’S OATH

  • G.R. Nos. 100382-100385 March 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO TABACO

  • G.R. No. 111157 March 19, 1997 - ITOGON-SUYOC MINES, INC. v. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117029 March 19, 1997 - PELTAN DEVELOPMENT, INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121112 March 19, 1997 - FELICIDAD MIRANO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127325 March 19, 1997 - MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1159 March 20, 1997 - COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. WILLIAM C. SEVILLO

  • G.R. No. 88684 March 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR LACBANES

  • G.R. No. 95551 March 20, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. CONCEPCION S. ALARCON VERGARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107019 March 20, 1997 - FRANKLIN M. DRILON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116404 March 20, 1997 - FRANCISCO LUNA, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117218 March 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERRY NALANGAN

  • G.R. No. 119599 March 20, 1997 - MALAYAN INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127456 March 20, 1997 - JESUS A. JARIOL, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-96-1091 March 21, 1997 - WILFREDO NAVARRO v. DEOGRACIAS K. DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 107699 March 21, 1997 - ALEX JACOBO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116692 March 21, 1997 - SAMAR II ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117097 March 21, 1997 - SAMAHAN NG OPTOMETRISTS SA PILIPINAS, ET AL. v. ACEBEDO INTL. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118436 March 21, 1997 - HEIRS OF MANUEL A. ROXAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118836 March 21, 1997 - FEDERICO DORDAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122728 March 21, 1997 - CASIANO A. ANGCHANGCO, JR. v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123037 March 21, 1997 - TEODORO Q. PEÑA v. HRET, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1184 March 24, 1997 - NBI, ET AL. v. RODOLFO TULIAO

  • G.R. No. 106588 March 24, 1997 - RAUL H. SESBREÑO v. CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-89-318 March 25, 1997 - LUCIANA Vda. DE ARAGO v. PATERNO T. ALVAREZ

  • G.R. No. 96229 March 25, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GLORIOSA S. NAVARRO

  • G.R. No. 124137 March 25, 1997 - ROY M. LOYOLA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126298 March 25, 1997 - PATRIA C. GUTIERREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99032 March 26, 1997 - RICARDO A. LLAMADO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101817 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE IMMACULATA

  • G.R. No. 107801 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSARIA V. IGNACIO

  • G.R. No. 110613 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGAR VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 113470 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO CORBES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115951 March 26, 1997 - ZEBRA SECURITY AGENCY, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117378 March 26, 1997 - GIL CAPILI, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117408 March 26, 1997 - NATIONAL INVESTMENT AND DEV. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117604 March 26, 1997 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118332 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO PEREZ

  • G.R. No. 119528 March 26, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121031 March 26, 1997 - ROSAURO I. TORRES v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122013 March 26, 1997 - JOSE C. RAMIREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124333 March 26, 1997 - NATIVIDAD P. ARAGON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119877 March 31, 1997 - BIENVENIDO ONGKINGCO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  •  




     
     

    G.R. No. 118607   March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULITO FRANCO

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 118607. March 4, 1997.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JULITO FRANCO y TIANSON, Accused-Appellant.

    The Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee,

    Edilberto Balce for Accused-Appellant.


    SYLLABUS


    1. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; EXTRA-JUDICIAL CONFESSION NOT OFFERED IN EVIDENCE, WITHOUT PROBATIVE VALUE. — The trial court convicted the appellant on the basis principally of his alleged extra-judicial confession. This is evident from the assailed decision which even quoted the pertinent portions of the aforementioned extra-judicial confession. But gospel truth as it may seem, we cannot stamp with approval the trial court’s undue consideration and reliance on this extra-judicial confession for, as the records reveal, the same was not offered in evidence by the prosecution. Neither were its contents recited by the appellant in his testimony. It was a grave error for the trial court, therefore, to have considered the same, let alone be the basis of appellant’s conviction.

    2. ID.; COURTS; SHALL NOT CONSIDER EVIDENCE NOT FORMALLY OFFERED. — The court shall consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. So fundamental is this injunction that litigants alike are corollarily enjoined to formally offer any evidence which they desire the court to consider.

    3. ID.; ID.; ID. RATIONALE. — Mr. Chief Justice Moran explained the rationale behind the rule in this wise: . . . "the offer is necessary because it is the duty of a judge to rest his findings of facts and his judgment only and strictly upon the evidence offered by the parties to the suit."cralaw virtua1aw library

    4. ID.; EVIDENCE; FACT THAT DOCUMENT IS IDENTIFIED AND MARKED AS AN EXHIBIT DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT HAS BEEN OFFERED. — It cannot be argued either that since the extra-judicial confession has been identified and marked as Exhibit, "N" by the prosecution in the course of the cross-examination of the appellant, then it may now be validly considered by the trial court. Indeed, there is a significant distinction between identification of documentary evidence and its formal offer. The former is done in the course of the trial and is accompanied by the marking of the evidence as an exhibit, while the latter is done only when the party rests its case. Our settled rule incidentally is that the mere fact that a particular document is identified and marked as an exhibit does not mean that it has thereby already been offered as part of the evidence of a party.

    5. ID.; ID.; HEARSAY EVIDENCE; TESTIMONY OF POLICE INVESTIGATOR REGARDING STATEMENT OF APPELLANT TO HILDA AND MARIBEL ADMITTING GUILT, HEARSAY. — The testimony of Police investigator Pat. Nestor Napao-it on appellant’s alleged separate confession/admission to Hilda Dolera and Maribel Diong, which the trial court invariably considered in its decision as establishing the truth of the facts asserted therein, is hearsay. In the terse language of Woodroffes, said testimony is "the evidence not of what the witness knows himself but of what he has heard from others." And whether objected to or not, as in this case, said testimony has no probative value.

    6. ID.; ID.; NO PROBATIVE VALUE GIVEN FOR FAILURE TO OBJECT TO INCOMPETENT EVIDENCE. — To repeat, the failure of the defense to object to the presentation of incompetent evidence, like hearsay, does not give such evidence any probative value.

    7. ID.; ID.; HEARSAY EVIDENCE; ORIGINAL AND ADDITIONAL SWORN STATEMENTS OF AFFIANTS NOT CALLED TO THE WITNESS STAND, INADMISSIBLE FOR BEING HEARSAY. — Anent the issue of admissibility of Exhibits "F" and "G" — original and additional sworn statements of Maribel Diong, and Exhibits "H" and "I" — original and additional sworn statements of Hilda Dolera, it assumes significance to note that their admission in evidence has been seasonably objected to by the appellant on the ground that they are hearsay. Our reading of the assailed decision, however, reveals that the foregoing exhibits were undoubtedly considered by the trial court as establishing the truth of the facts asserted therein. And therein lies another fatal error committed by the trial court because, without Maribel Diong and Hilda Dolera being called to the witness stand to affirm the contents of their sworn statements, the allegations therein are necessarily hearsay and therefore inadmissible. A contrary rule would render nugatory appellant’s constitutional right of confrontation which guarantees him the right to cross-examine the witnesses for the prosecution.

    8. ID.; EVIDENCE; WEIGHT AND SUFFICIENCY; EVIDENCE ADDUCED BY PROSECUTION IN CASE AT BAR, NOT SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME APPELLANT’S RIGHT TO BE PRESUMED INNOCENT. — Truly, it is our policy to accord proper deference to the factual findings of the court below especially when the issue pertains to credibility of witnesses. But no such issue is involved here. Instead, the principal issue raised herein is whether or not the evidence adduced by the prosecution are sufficient to overcome appellant’s constitutional right to be presumed innocent. We believe in the negative, hence, we acquit.


    D E C I S I O N


    FRANCISCO, J.:


    Appellant JULITO FRANCO y TIANSON was charged with 1 and convicted 2 of the crime of robbery with homicide. 3 He was sentenced to reclusion perpetua and directed to indemnify Dunkin’ Donut and the heirs of Aurelio Cuya, in the amounts of P12,000.00 and P30,000.00, respectively. Contending "that the trial court erred in convicting . . . him . . . [based] on evidence illegally obtained," 4 appellant now interposes this appeal. For its part, the Solicitor General recommended appellant’s acquittal on the ground that "his guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt." 5

    The appeal is impressed with merit.

    Quoted hereunder is the narration of the factual antecedents of this case, as summarized by the Solicitor General in its Manifestation, 6 and duly supported by the evidence on record:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On August 9, 1991 at around 6:45 a.m., Angelo Tongko, then an employee of Dunkin Donut located at Quintin Paredes [Street], Binondo, Manila, discovered the lifeless body of Aurelio Cuya, a security guard of the said establishment (tsn, Nov. 19, 1991, pp. 2-3). Upon discovery of the lifeless body, Tongko informed his co-workers, (ibid, p. 3) who then reported the matter to the police (ibid. p, 3).

    Upon investigation by the police, the branch supervisor of Dunkin Donut informed the police that the total sales of the establishment on August 8, 1991 in the amount of P10,000.00 and which was allegedly kept in the safety locker in the same place where the dead body was found, was missing (ibid, p., 7, Exh. K). The supervisor of the security agency where the victim was employed also informed the police that he suspected the appellant as the culprit (ibid, p. 15, Exh. K). Acting on this allegation by the supervisor, the police proceeded to the place of appellant and were able to interview Maribel Diong ("Diong") and Hilda Dolera ("Dolera") (ibid, p. 15; Exh. L). The police then tried to convince Diong and Dolera, who allegedly told the police that appellant allegedly confessed to them that he killed somebody in the evening of August 8, 1991 (ibid). Diong and Dolera were not presented in court to substantiate their affidavits.

    Based on the alleged statements of Diong and Dolera, the police formed a team to apprehend the appellant who allegedly had an agreement to meet Dolera (Exh. L). On August 10, 1991, appellant was apprehended by the police in front of Jollibee Restaurant in Caloocan City (ibid, pp. 9, 16). Allegedly recovered from the appellant were the amount of P2,415.00 and one handgun which was in his cousin’s residence (ibid, p. 16).chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary

    Thereafter, appellant was brought to the police headquarters where his confession (Exh. N) was taken on August 12, 1991 allegedly on his freewill and with the assistance of a lawyer (ibid, pp. 13-14). A booking and arrest report was also prepared by Pat. Nestor Napao-it on August 12, 1991 (Exh. J). 7

    The trial court convicted the appellant on the basis principally of his alleged extra-judicial confession. 8 This is evident from the assailed decision which even quoted the pertinent portions of the aforementioned extra-judicial confession. 9 But gospel truth as it may seem, we cannot stamp with approval the trial court’s undue consideration and reliance on this extra-judicial confession for, as the records reveal, the same was not offered in evidence by the prosecution. 10 Neither were its contents recited by the appellant in his testimony. 11 It was a grave error for the trial court, therefore, to have considered the same, let alone be the basis of appellant’s conviction.

    We thus reiterate the rule that the court shall consider no evidence which has not been formally offered. 12 So fundamental is this injunction that litigants alike are corollarily enjoined to formally offer any evidence which they desire the court to consider. 13 Mr. Chief Justice Moran explained the rationale behind the rule in this wise:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    . . . "the offer is necessary because it is the duty of a judge to rest his findings of facts and his judgment only and strictly upon the evidence offered by the parties to the suit." 14

    It cannot be argued either that since the extra-judicial confession has been identified and marked as Exhibit "N" by the prosecution in the course of the cross-examination of the appellant, 15 then it may now be validly considered by the trial court. Indeed, there is a significant distinction between identification of documentary evidence and its formal offer. 16 The former is done in the course of the trial and is accompanied by the marking of the evidence as an exhibit, while the latter is done only when the party rests its case. Our settled rule incidentally is that the mere fact that a particular document is identified and marked as an exhibit does not mean that it has thereby already been offered as part of the evidence of a party. 17

    From the records, it appears that not a single person witnessed the incident. In fact, aside from the testimony of police investigator Pat. Nestor Napao-it, none of the other three prosecution witnesses, to wit: (1) Angelo Tongko — a Dunkin’ Donut employee who testified to have found the body of Aurelio Cuya inside the supervisor’s room of the establishment in the early morning of August 9, 1991, 18 (2) Dr. Marcial Cenido — the physician who autopsied the body of Aurelio Cuya, and who testified on the cause of the latter’s death; 19 and (3) Teresita Cuya — the wife of Aurelio Cuya who testified on the civil aspect of the case, 20 ever imputed, directly or indirectly, to the appellant the commission of the crime. With respect to the testimony of Pat. Nestor Napao-it, 21 there is no dispute that his testimony on the conduct of the investigation is admissible in evidence because he has personal knowledge of the same. 22 However, his testimony on appellant’s alleged separate confession/admission to Hilda Dolera and Maribel Diong, which the trial court invariably considered in its decision as establishing the truth of the facts asserted therein, is hearsay. In the terse language of Woodroffes, said testimony is "the evidence not of what the witness knows himself but of what he has heard from others." 23 And whether objected to or not, as in this case, said testimony has no probative value. 24 To repeat, the failure of the defense to object to the presentation of incompetent evidence, like hearsay, does not give such evidence any probative value.

    Anent the issue of admissibility of Exhibits "F" 25 and "G" 26 — original and additional sworn statements of Maribel Diong, and Exhibits "H" 27 and "I" 28 — original and additional sworn statements of Hilda Dolera, it assumes significance to note that their admission in evidence has been seasonably objected to by the appellant on the ground that they are hearsay. 29 The trial court nonetheless admitted them "as part of the testimony of Pat. Nestor Napao-it." 30 While we agree that these exhibits are admissible in evidence, their admission should be for the purpose merely of establishing that they were in fact executed. 31 They do not establish the truth of the facts asserted therein. 32 In this case, our reading of the assailed decision, however, reveals that the foregoing exhibits were undoubtedly considered by the trial court as establishing the truth of the facts asserted therein. And herein lies another fatal error committed by the trial court because, without Maribel Diong and Hilda Dolera being called to the witness stand to affirm the contents of their sworn statements, the allegations therein are necessarily hearsay 33 and therefore inadmissible. A contrary rule would render nugatory appellant’s constitutional right of confrontation which guarantees him the right to cross-examine the witnesses for the prosecution.

    Truly, it is our policy to accord proper deference to the factual findings of the court below especially when the issue pertains to credibility of witnesses. But no such issue is involved here. Instead, the principal issue raised herein is whether or not the evidence adduced by the prosecution are sufficient to overcome appellant’s constitutional right to be presumed innocent. We believe in the negative, hence, we acquit.

    WHEREFORE, the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 33, convicting the appellant of the crime of robbery with homicide is REVERSED. Appellant JULITO FRANCO y TIANSON is hereby ACQUITTED and his immediate release from prison is ordered unless he is being held on other legal grounds. No costs.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    It is SO ORDERED.

    Narvasa, C.J., Davide, Jr., Melo and Panganiban, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Information dated August 15, 1991; Record, p. 1.

    2. Regional Trial Court of Manila (RTC), Branch 33, decision dated December 9, 1992, penned by Judge Rodolfo G. Palattao; Rollo, pp. 12-19.

    3. Defined and penalized under Article 294 par. (1) of the Revised Penal Code.

    4. Memorandum for the Accused-Appellant dated September 23, 1995, p. 14; Rollo, p. 45.

    5. Manifestation, dated January 25, 1996, p. 20; Rollo, p. 77.

    6. Rollo, pp. 59-78.

    7. Id.; Rollo, pp. 60-61.

    8. Appellant was then assisted by Atty. Apolinario Marasigan of the Public Attorneys Office.

    9. RTC decision, p. 6; Rollo, p. 17.

    10. See TSN, Teresita Cuya, January 21, 1992, pp. 3-5.

    11. See Tabuena v. C.A., 196 SCRA 650 (1991).

    12. Rules of Court, Rule 132, Sec. 34.

    13. De Castro v. CA, et. al., 75 Phil 824, citing Ayala v. Valencia, 5 Phil. 182.

    14. Comments on the Rules of Court, Vol. 6, 1980 edition, p. 123, citing U.S . v. Solana, 33 Phil. 582 and Dayrit v. Gonzales, 7 Phil. 182.

    15. TSN, Julito Franco, August 4, 1992, p. 20.

    16. Republic of the Philippines v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 112708-09, March 29, 1996, citing People v. Santito, Jr., 201 SCRA 87, 95 (1991); People v. Sayat, 223 SCRA 285, 296 (1993)

    17. People v. Gecomo, 254 SCRA 82, 101 (1996); Tabuena v. C.A., 196 SCRA 650, 654 (1991).

    18. His testimony was cut-short by Prosecutor Formoso because, as the trial court observed, the robbery aspect of the crime cannot be established through his testimony (TSN, Angelo Tongko, November 19, 1991, pp. 3 and 5).

    19. TSN, Marcial Cenido, January 7, 1991, pp. 3-4.

    20. TSN, Teresita Cuya, January 21, 1991, pp. 1-3.

    21. In the course of his testimony the following exhibits were marked, and therefore, considered part of his testimony: (1) Exhibit "J" — Booking Sheet and Arrest Report; (2) Exhibit "K" — Advance Information Report; and (3) Exhibits "L" and "M" — Progress Reports.

    22. Rule 130, Section 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. (Emphasis ours)

    23. Woodroffes, Law on Evidence, 9th edition, p. 512.

    24. People v. Abelardo Parungao, G.R. No. 125812, November 28, 1996, People v. Ronnie Villaviray and Edgar Guttierez, G.R. No 105084, September 18, 1996; Philippine Home Assurance Corp. v. C.A. et. al., G.R. No. 106999, June 20, 1996; People v. Cabintoy, 247 SCRA 442 (1995); Baguio v. C.A., 226 SCRA 366 (1993); People v. Damaso, 212 SCRA 547 (1992); People v. Nebreja, 203 SCRA 45 (1991).

    25. Folder of Exhibits, pp. 7-8.

    26. Id., p. 9.

    27. Id., p. 10.

    28. Id., p. 11.

    29. Supplemental Opposition to the Offer of Evidence, dated February 8, 1992; Record, pp. 30-38.

    30. RTC Order, dated March 17, 1992; Record, p. 68.

    31. See Gotesco Investment Corp. v. Chatto, 210 SCRA 31 (1992), and Cornejo v. Sandiganbayan, 142 SCRA 566 (1987); See also People v. Porras, G.R. Nos. 114263-64, March 29, 1996.

    32. People v. Cusi, Jr., 14 SCRA 944 (1965); See Wharton on Evidence, Sec. 254; Greenleaf on Evidence, See. 100; People v. Mcrea, 32 Cal. 98; People v. Estrado, 49 Cal. 171.

    33. People v. Santos, 139 SCRA 583 (1985).

    G.R. No. 118607   March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULITO FRANCO




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