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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
 

   
April-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 4984 April 1, 2003 - JULITO D. VITRIOLO, ET AL. v. FELINA DASIG

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1485 April 1, 2003 - FIDEL ISIP, JR. v. VALENTINO B. NOGOY

  • A.M. Nos. P-02-1620, P-02-1621, P-02-1622 & P-96-1194 April 1, 2003 - MELINDA F. PIMENTEL v. PERPETUA SOCORRO M. DE LEOZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1643 April 1, 2003 - DIMAS ABALDE v. ANTONIO ROQUE

  • G.R. No. 137782 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO R. NICOLAS

  • G.R. No. 138470 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 143084 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE TORELLOS

  • G.R. No. 148635 April 1, 2003 - MARILLA MAYANG CAVILE, ET AL. v. HEIRS OF CLARITA CAVILE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149453 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. PANFILO M. LACSON

  • A.M. No. 01-1-13-RTC April 2, 2003 - RE: Report on the Examination of the Cash and Accounts

  • A.M. No. P-02-1545 April 2, 2003 - ZENAIDA C. GUTIERREZ, ET AL. v. RODOLFO V. QUITALIG

  • G.R. No. 139412 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONALD CASTILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 149028-30 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO CABALLERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149893 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELCHOR RABAGO

  • A.C. No. 4958 April 3, 2003 - FIDEL D. AQUINO v. OSCAR MANESE

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1436 April 3, 2003 - JAIME C. TARAN v. JOSE S. JACINTO

  • A.M. No. P-02-1595 April 3, 2003 - TIMOTEO M. CASANOVA, JR. v. FELIZARDO P. CAJAYON

  • A.M. No. P-02-1650 April 3, 2003 - ZENAIDA REYES-MACABEO v. FLORITO EDUARDO V. VALLE

  • G.R. Nos. 111098-99 April 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PIO BISO

  • G.R. Nos. 143976 & 145846 April 3, 2003 - SPS. OSCAR and HAYDEE BADILLO v. ARTURO G. TAYAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144444 April 3, 2003 - STATE INVESTMENT TRUST v. DELTA MOTORS CORP.

  • G.R. No. 150978 April 3, 2003 - POWTON CONGLOMERATE v. JOHNNY AGCOLICOL

  • G.R. No. 155875 April 3, 2003 - AGAPITO CRUZ FIEL, ET AL. v. KRIS SECURITY SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1482 April 4, 2003 - ILUMINADA SANTILLAN VDA. DE NEPOMUCENO v. NICASIO V. BARTOLOME

  • A.M. No. P-03-1690, MTJ-01-1363 & 01-12-02-SC April 4, 2003 - ESTRELLITA M. PAAS v. EDGAR E. ALMARVEZ

  • G.R. No. 108405 April 4, 2003 - JAIME D. VIERNES, ET AL. v. N;RC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117020 April 4, 2003 - VIRON TRANSPORTATION CO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125938 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL JANSON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140756 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN GONZALES ESCOTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141631 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERDINAND FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 143135 April 4, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. DAMAYAN NG PUROK 14, INC.

  • G.R. No. 143779 April 4, 2003 - FRANCISCA L. MARQUEZ v. SIMEON BALDOZ

  • G.R. Nos. 145309-10 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VIRGILIO FLORES

  • G.R. Nos. 144476 & 144629 April 8, 2003 - ONG YONG, ET AL. v. DAVID. S. TIU, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149022 April 8, 2003 - CARMENCITA D. CORONEL v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1428 April 9, 2003 - ARFRAN L. QUIÑONES v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1580 April 9, 2003 - RENE ESPINA v. JUAN A. GATO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1630 April 9, 2003 - HEINZ R. HECK v. ANTHONY E. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 119255 April 9, 2003 - TOMAS K. CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126968 April 9, 2003 - RICARDO BALUNUECO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128568 April 9, 2003 - SPS. REYNALDO and ESMERALDA ALCARAZ v. PEDRO M. TANGGA-AN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132371 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Q. SIMBAHON

  • G.R. No. 133003 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LAWRENCE MACAPANPAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141258 April 9, 2003 - TOMASA SARMIENTO v. SPS. LUIS & ROSE SUN-CABRIDO ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 141314 & 141369 April 9, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. REPRESENTED BY ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD v. MERALCO

  • G.R. No. 143004 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CLIDORO

  • G.R. No. 143432 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TERENCIO L. FUNESTO

  • G.R. No. 146034 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LASTIDE A. SUBE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146815 April 9, 2003 - HEIRS OF PEDRO, ET AL. v. STERLING TECHNOPARK III ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147468 April 9, 2003 - SPS. EDUARDO & JOSEFINA DOMINGO v. LILIA MONTINOLA ROCES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147745 April 9, 2003 - MARIA BUENA OBRA v. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM

  • G.R. No. 148727 April 9, 2003 - SPS. HERMOGENA AND JOSE ENGRESO v. NESTORIA DE LA CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149038 April 9, 2003 - PHIL. AMERICAN GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. PKS SHIPPING COMPANY

  • G.R. No. 149110 April 9, 2003 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. CITY OF CABANATUAN

  • G.R. No. 149422 April 10, 2003 - DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM v. APEX INVESTMENT AND FINANCING CORP.

  • G.R. No. 149578 April 10, 2003 - EVELYN TOLOSA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143540 April 11, 2003 - JOEL G. MIRANDA v. ANTONIO C. CARREON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148138 April 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY VIAJEDOR

  • A.M. No. P-02-1645 April 21, 2003 - GILBERT HOWARD M. ATIENZA v. JOSEPHINE V. DINAMPO

  • A.M. No. P-03-1695 April 21, 2003 - ARTEMIO H. QUIDILLA v. JUNAR G. ARMIDA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1756 April 22, 2003 - AURORA S. GONZALES v. VICENTE A. HIDALGO

  • G.R. No. 127745 April 22, 2003 - FELICITO G. SANSON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129163 April 22, 2003 - VOLTAIRE ARBOLARIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138650-58 April 22, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO SINORO

  • G.R. No. 140707 April 22, 2003 - NORGENE POTENCIANO, ET AL. v. DWIGHT "IKE" B. REYNOSO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146942 April 22, 2003 - CORAZON G. RUIZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152329 April 22, 2003 - ALEJANDRO ROQUERO v. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1763 April 24, 2003 - JOSE B. TIONGCO v. FLORENTINO P. PEDRONIO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1770 April 24, 2003 - MELISSA E. MAÑO v. CAESAR A. CASANOVA

  • G.R. No. 123968 April 24, 2003 - URSULINA GANUELAS, ET AL. v. ROBERT T. CAWED, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137182 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABDILA L. SILONGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137458-59 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS G. BATOCTOY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137601 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WINCHESTER ABUT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139230 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL DANIELA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143672 April 24, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. GENERAL FOODS (PHILS.), INC.

  • G.R. No. 145915 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VILMA Z. ALMENDRAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147038 April 24, 2003 - RICHARD TEH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1370 April 25, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. AGUSTIN T. SARDIDO

  • G.R. No. 118749 April 25, 2003 - SPS LORENZO and LORENZA FRANCISCO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141187 April 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONNIE A. MACTAL

  • A.C. No. 5225 April 29, 2003 - SPS. WILFREDO & LYDIA BOYBOY v. VICTORIANO R. YABUT, JR.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1453 April 29, 2003 - EDITHA PALMA GIL v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1615 April 29, 2003 - PEDRO MAGNAYE v. ERIBERTO R. SABAS

  • G.R. No. 119858 April 29, 2003 - EDWARD C. ONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122363 April 29, 2003 - VICTOR G. VALENCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127002 April 29, 2003 - JEREMIAS L. DOLINO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135394 April 29, 2003 - JOSE V. DELA RAMA v. FRANCISCO G. MENDIOLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139841 April 29, 2003 - EMILIO C. VILLAROSA v. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141518 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLARENCE ASTUDILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142015 April 29, 2003 - RURAL BANK OF STA. IGNACIA v. PELAGIA DIMATULAC

  • G.R. No. 147230 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO R. REMERATA

  • G.R. No. 150656 April 29, 2003 - MARGARITA ROMUALDEZ-LICAROS v. ABELARDO B. LICAROS

  • A.C. No. 4724 April 30, 2003 - GORETTI ONG v. JOEL M. GRIJALDO

  • A.M. No. CA-99-9-P April 30, 2003 - MAGTANGGOL GABRIEL v. VIRGINIA C. ABELLA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1445 April 30, 2003 - MEDARDO M. PADUA v. IRENEO S. PAZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1599 April 30, 2003 - LEANDRO T. LOYAO v. MAMERTO J. CAUBE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1600 April 30, 2003 - DOMINADOR. AREVALO, ET AL. v. EDGARDO S. LORIA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1696 April 30, 2003 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. ZENAIDA T. STA. ANA

  • A.M. RTJ No. 03-1761 April 30, 2003 - JOSE B. CUSTODIO v. JESUS V. QUITAIN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1775 April 30, 2003 - ISAGANI A. CRUZ v. PHILBERT I. ITURRALDE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1779 April 30, 2003 - JOVENCITO R. ZUÑO, ET AL. v. ARNULFO G. CABREDO

  • G.R. Nos. 107789 & 147214 April 30, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116326 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT LEE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121211 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONETO DEGAMO

  • G.R. No. 121637 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO GREFALDIA

  • G.R. No. 125761 April 30, 2003 - SALVADOR P. MALBAROSA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126568 April 30, 2003 - QUIRINO GONZALES LOGGING CONCESSIONAIRE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126911 April 30, 2003 - PHIL. DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127141 April 30, 2003 - SPS. EMMANUEL and MELANIE LANTIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128378 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT GOMEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128512 & 128963 April 30, 2003 - DARIO P. BELONGHILOT v. RTC OF ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE

  • G.R. No. 129090 April 30, 2003 - RICARDO B. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129895 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO C. DALAG

  • G.R. No. 134940 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CATALINO MELENDRES

  • G.R. No. 138266 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO CABRERA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 139876 April 30, 2003 - WILLIAM TIU and/or THE ROUGH RIDERS v. JULIO PASAOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140753 April 30, 2003 - BENJAMIN S. SANTOS v. ELENA VELARDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141375 April 30, 2003 - MUNICIPALITY OF KANANGA v. FORTUNITO L. MADRONA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142435 April 30, 2003 - ESTELITA BURGOS LIPAT, ET AL. v. PACIFIC BANKING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142591 April 30, 2003 - JOSEPH CHAN, ET AL. v. BONIFACIO S. MACEDA

  • G.R. Nos. 144445-47 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GENARO BIONG

  • G.R. No. 146099 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMEL SANIDAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146481 April 30, 2003 - ARTURO G. RIMORIN, SR. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146685-86 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN M. HILET

  • G.R. Nos. 146862-64 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GAUDENCIO D. UMBAÑA

  • G.R. No. 146886 April 30, 2003 - DEVORAH E. BARDILLON v. BARANGAY MASILI of Calamba, Laguna

  • G.R. No. 146923 April 30, 2003 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147033 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO UMAYAM

  • G.R. Nos. 148394-96 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER ELIARDA

  • G.R. No. 150179 April 30, 2003 - HEIRS OF WILLIAM SEVILLA, ET AL. v. LEOPOLDO SEVILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 150820-21 April 30, 2003 - SPS. ANTONIO and GENOVEVA BALANON-ANICETE, ET AL. v. PEDRO BALANON

  • G.R. No. 154037 April 30, 2003 - IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF BENJAMIN VERGARA, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 127745   April 22, 2003 - FELICITO G. SANSON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 127745. April 22, 2003.]

    FELICITO G. SANSON, CELEDONIA SANSON-SAQUIN, ANGELES A. MONTINOLA, EDUARDO A. MONTINOLA, JR., Petitioners-Appellants, v. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, FOURTH DIVISION and MELECIA T. SY, As Administratrix of the Intestate Estate of the Late Juan Bon Fing Sy, Respondents-Appellees.

    D E C I S I O N


    CARPIO MORALES, J.:


    Before this Court is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court assailing the Court of Appeals Decision on May 31, 1996 and Resolution of December 9, 1996.cralawred

    On February 7, 1990, herein petitioner-appellant Felicito G. Sanson (Sanson), in his capacity as creditor, filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Iloilo City a petition, docketed as Special Proceedings No. 4497, for the settlement of the estate of Juan Bon Fing Sy (the deceased) who died on January 10, 1990. Sanson claimed that the deceased was indebted to him in the amount of P603,000.00 and to his sister Celedonia Sanson-Saquin (Celedonia) in the amount of P360,000.00. 1

    Petitioners-appellants Eduardo Montinola, Jr. and his mother Angeles Montinola (Angeles) later filed separate claims against the estate, alleging that the deceased owed them P50,000.00 and P150,000.00, respectively. 2

    By Order of February 12, 1991, Branch 28 of the Iloilo RTC to which the petition was raffled, appointed Melecia T. Sy, surviving spouse of the deceased, as administratrix of his estate, following which she was issued letters of administration. 3

    During the hearing of the claims against the estate, Sanson, Celedonia, and Jade Montinola, wife of claimant Eduardo Montinola, Jr., testified on the transactions that gave rise thereto, over the objection of the administratrix who invoked Section 23, Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Court otherwise known as the Dead Man’s Statute which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 23. Disqualification by reason of death or insanity of adverse party. — Parties or assignors 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 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. (Emphasis supplied)

    Sanson, in support of the claim of his sister Celedonia, testified that she had a transaction with the deceased which is evidenced by six checks 4 issued by him before his death; before the deceased died, Celedonia tried to enforce settlement of the checks from his (the deceased’s) son Jerry who told her that his father would settle them once he got well but he never did; and after the death of the deceased, Celedonia presented the checks to the bank for payment but were dishonored 5 due to the closure of his account. 6

    Celedonia, in support of the claim of her brother Sanson, testified that she knew that the deceased issued five checks 7 to Sanson in settlement of a debt; and after the death of the deceased, Sanson presented the checks to the bank for payment but were returned due to the closure of his account. 8

    Jade, in support of the claims of her husband Eduardo Montinola, Jr. and mother-in-law Angeles, testified that on separate occasions, the deceased borrowed P50,000 and P150,000 from her husband and mother-in-law, respectively, as shown by three checks issued by the deceased, 9 two to Angeles and the other 10 to Eduardo Montinola, Jr.; before the deceased died or sometime in August 1989, they advised him that they would be depositing the checks, but he told them not to as he would pay them cash, but he never did; and after the deceased died on January 10, 1990, they deposited the checks but were dishonored as the account against which they were drawn was closed, 11 hence, their legal counsel sent a demand letter 12 dated February 6, 1990 addressed to the deceased’s heirs Melicia, James, Mini and Jerry Sy, and Symmels I & II but the checks have remained unsettled. 13

    The administratrix, denying having any knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the claims, nevertheless alleged that if they ever existed, they had been paid and extinguished, are usurious and illegal and are, in any event, barred by prescription. 14 And she objected to the admission of the checks and check return slips-exhibits offered in evidence by the claimants upon the ground that the witnesses who testified thereon are disqualified under the Dead Man’s Statute.

    Specifically with respect to the checks-exhibits identified by Jade, the administratrix asserted that they are inadmissible because Jade is the daughter-in-law of claimant Angeles and wife of claimant Eduardo Montinola, Jr., hence, she is covered by the above-said rule on disqualification.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    At all events, the administratrix denied that the checks-exhibits were issued by the deceased and that the return slips were issued by the depository/clearing bank. 15

    After the claimants rested their case, the administratrix filed four separate manifestations informing the trial court that she was dispensing with the presentation of evidence against their claims. 16

    Finding that the Dead Man’s Statute does not apply to the witnesses who testified in support of the subject claims against the estate, the trial court issued an Order of December 8, 1993, 17 the dispositive portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, Judicial Administratrix Melecia T. Sy, is hereby ordered, to pay, in due course of administration, creditors-claimants Felicito G. Sanson, in the amount of P603,500.00; Celedonia S. Saquin, in the amount of P315,000,00; 18 Angeles A. Montinola, in the amount of P50,000.00 and Eduardo Montinola, Jr., in the amount of P50,000.00, from the assets and/or properties of the above-entitled intestate estate.

    On appeal by the administratrix upon the following assignment of errors:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I.


    THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT DISMISSING THE CLAIM[S] FOR FAILURE TO PAY THE FILING FEES THEREON

    II.


    THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT DISMISSING THE CLAIM[S] BECAUSE [THEY ARE] ALREADY BARRED BY THE LAW OF LIMITATIONS OR STATUTE OF NON-CLAIMS

    III.


    THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT CLAIMANT[S’] EVIDENCE OF THE CLAIM IS INCOMPETENT UNDER THE DEAD MAN’S STATUTE, AND INADMISSIBLE.

    IV.


    THE ALLEGED CHECKS ARE INADMISSIBLE AS PRIVATE DOCUMENTS. 19

    the Court of Appeals set aside the December 8, 1993 Order of the trial court, by Decision of May 31, 1996, disposing as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the order appealed from is hereby set aside and another order is entered dismissing the claims of:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Felicito G. Sanson in the amount of P603,500.00;

    2. Celedonia S. Saquin in the amount of P315,000.00; 20

    3. Angeles A. Montinola, Jr. the amount of P150,000.00; and

    4. Eduardo Montinola, Jr., in the amount of P50,000.00 against the estate of the deceased JUAN BON FING SY.

    No pronouncement as to costs.

    SO ORDERED. (Emphasis supplied)

    The claimants’ Motion for Reconsideration 21 of the Court of Appeals decision having been denied by Resolution of December 9, 1996, 22 they filed the present petition anchored on the following assigned errors:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    FIRST ASSIGNED ERROR

    RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS, 4TH DIVISION, ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE TESTIMONY OF JADE MONTINOLA IS INSUFFICIENT TO PROVE THE CLAIMS OF CLAIMANTS ANGELES A. MONTINOLA AND EDUARDO A. MONTINOLA, JR.

    SECOND ASSIGNED ERROR

    RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS, 4TH DIVISION, ERRED IN FINDING THAT CLAIMANT FELICITO G. SANSON IS DISQUALIFIED TO TESTIFY [ON] TIME CLAIM OF CELEDONIA SANSON-SA[Q]UIN AND VI[C]E VERSA. (Emphasis in the original) 23

    With respect to the first assigned error, petitioners argue that since the administratrix did not deny the testimony of Jade nor present any evidence to controvert it, and neither did she deny the execution and genuineness of the checks issued by the deceased (as well as the check return slips issued by the clearing bank), it was error for the Court of Appeals to find the evidence of the Montinolas insufficient to prove their claims.

    The administratrix counters that the due execution and authenticity of the checks-exhibits of the Montinolas were not duly proven since Jade did not categorically state that she saw the filling up and signing of the checks by the deceased, hence, her testimony is self-serving; besides, as Jade had identical and unitary interest with her husband and mother-in-law, her testimony was a circumvention of the Dead Man’s Statute. 24

    The administratrix’s counter-argument does not lie. Relationship to a party has never been recognized as an adverse factor in determining either the credibility of the witness or — subject only to well recognized exceptions none of which is here present — the admissibility of the testimony. At most, closeness of relationship to a party, or bias, may indicate the need for a little more caution in the assessment of a witness’ testimony but is not necessarily a negative element which should be taken as diminishing the credit otherwise accorded to it.25cralaw:red

    Jade’s testimony on the genuineness of the deceased’s signature on the checks-exhibits of the Montinolas is clear:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    Q: Showing to you this check dated July 16, 1989, Far East Bank and Trust Company Check No. 84262, in the amount of P100,000,00, is this the check you are referring to?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: There appears a signature in the face of the check. Whose signature is this?

    A: That is the signature of Mr. Sy.

    Q: Why do you know that this is the signature of Mr. Sy?

    A: Because he signed this check I was . . . I was present when he signed this check.

    x       x       x


    Q: Showing to you this check dated September 8, 1989, is this the check you are referring to?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: Why do you know that this is his signature?

    A: I was there when he signed the same.

    Q: Showing to you this Far East Bank and Trust Company Check No. 84262 dated July 6, 1989, in the amount of P50,000.00, in the name of Eduardo Montinola, are you referring to this check?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: Whose signature is this appearing on the face of this check?

    A: Mr. Sy’s signature.

    Q: Why do you know that it is his signature?

    A: I was there when he signed the same.

    x       x       x 26 (Emphasis supplied)

    The genuineness of the deceased’s signature having been shown, he is prima facie presumed to have become a party to the check for value, following Section 24 of the Negotiable Instruments Law which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Section 24. Presumption of Consideration. — Every negotiable instrument is deemed prima facie to have been issued for a valuable consideration; and every person whose signature appears thereon to have become a party thereto for value. (italics in the original; Emphasis supplied),

    Since, with respect to the deceased issued to the Montinolas, the prima facie presumption was not rebutted or contradicted by the administratrix who expressly manifested that she was dispensing with the presentation of evidence against their claims, it has become conclusive.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    As for the administratrix’s invocation of the Dead Man’s Statute, the same does not likewise lie. The rule renders incompetent: 1) parties to a case; 2) their assignors; or 3) persons in whose behalf a case is prosecuted.

    x       x       x


    The rule is exclusive and cannot be construed to extend its scope by implication so as to disqualify persons not mentioned therein. Mere witnesses who are not included in the above enumeration are not prohibited testifying as to a conversation or transaction between the deceased and a third person, if he took no active part therein.

    x       x       x 27 (Emphasis supplied)

    Jade is not a party to the case. Neither is she an assignor nor a person in whose behalf the case is being prosecuted. She testified as a witness to the transaction. In transactions similar to those involved in the case at bar, the witnesses are commonly family members or relatives of the parties. Should their testimonies be excluded due to their apparent interest as a result of their relationship to the parties, there would be a dearth of evidence to prove the transactions. In any event, as will be discussed later, independently of the testimony of Jade, the claims of the Montinolas would still prosper on the basis of their documentary evidence — the checks.

    As to the second assigned error, petitioners argue that the testimonies of Sanson and Celedonia as witnesses to each other’s claim against the deceased are not covered by the Dead Man’s Statute; 28 besides, the administratrix waived the application of the law when she cross-examined them.

    The administratrix, on the other hand, cites the ruling of the Court of Appeals in its decision on review, the pertinent portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The more logical interpretation is to prohibit parties to a case, with like interest, from testifying in each other’s favor as to acts occurring prior to the death of the deceased.

    Since the law disqualifies parties to a case or assignors to a case without distinguishing between testimony in his own behalf and that in behalf of others, he should be disqualified from testifying for his co-parties. The law speaks of "parties or assignors of parties to a case." Apparently, the testimonies of Sanson and Saquin on each other’s behalf, as co-parties to the same case, falls under the prohibition. (Citation omitted; italics in the original and Emphasis supplied)

    But Sanson’s and Celedonia’s claims against the same estate arose from separate transactions. Sanson is a third party with respect to Celedonia’s claim. And Celedonia is a third party with respect to Sanson’s claim. One is not thus disqualified to testify on the other’s transaction.

    In any event, what the Dead Man’s Statute proscribes is the admission of testimonial evidence upon a claim which arose before the death of the deceased. The incompetency is confined to the giving of testimony. 29 Since the separate claims of Sanson and Celedonia are supported by checks-documentary evidence, their claims can be prosecuted on the bases of said checks.

    This brings this Court to the matter of the authenticity of the signature of the deceased appearing on the checks issued to Sanson and Celedonia. By Celedonia’s account, she "knows" the signature of the deceased.

    x       x       x


    Q: Showing to you these checks already marked as Exhibit "A" to "E", Please go over these checks if you know the signatures of the late Juan Bon Fing Sy on these checks?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: Insofar as the amount that he borrowed from you, he also issued checks?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: And therefore, you know his signature?

    A: Yes, sir.

    x       x       x 30

    Sanson testified too that he "knows" the signature of the deceased:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: I show you now checks which were already marked as Exhibit "A" to "G-1" — Saquin, please go over this if these are the checks that you said was (sic) issued by the late Juan Bon Fing Sy in favor of your sister?

    A: Yes, these are the same che[c]ks.

    Q: Do you know the signature of the late Juan Bon Fing Sy?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: And these signatures are the same signatures that you know?

    A: Yes, sir.

    x       x       x 31

    While the foregoing testimonies of the Sanson siblings have not faithfully discharged the quantum of proof under Section 22, Rule 132 of the Revised Rules on Evidence which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    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. . . .,

    not only did the administratrix fail to controvert the same; from a comparison 32 with the naked eye of the deceased’s signature appearing on each of the checks-exhibits of the Montinolas with that of the checks-exhibits of the Sanson siblings all of which checks were drawn from the same account, they appear to have been affixed by one and the same hand.

    In fine, as the claimants-herein petitioners have, by their evidence, substantiated their claims against the estate of the deceased, the burden of evidence had shifted to the administratrix who, however, expressly opted not to discharge the same when she manifested that she was dispensing with the presentation of evidence against the claims.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    WHEREFORE, the impugned May 31, 1996 Decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby SET ASIDE and another rendered ordering the intestate estate of the late Juan Bon Fing Sy, through Administratrix Melecia T. Sy, to pay:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1) Felicito G. Sanson, the amount of P603,500.00;

    2) Celedonia S. Saquin, the amount of P315,000.00; 33

    3) Angeles Montinola, the amount of P150,000.00; and

    4) Eduardo Montinola, Jr., the amount of P50,000.00. representing unsettled checks issued by the deceased.

    SO ORDERED.

    Puno, Panganiban, Sandoval-Gutierrez and Corona, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo at 7–8.

    2. Id. at 8, 33.

    3. Id. at 34.

    4. Exhibits "A" – "G" — Saquin.

    5. Transcript of Stenographic Notes (TSN), September 16, 1992 at 4–5.

    6. Exhibits "A-1" – "G-1" .

    7. Exhibits "A" – "E" — Sanson.

    8. TSN, October 1, 1992 at 2–5.

    9. Exhibits "A" and "B" — Angeles Montinola.

    10. Exhibit "A" — Eduardo Montinola.

    11. Exhibits "A-1" and "B-I" — Angeles Montinola; Exhibit "C" — Eduardo Montinola.

    12. Exhibit "D" — Angeles Montinola; Exhibit "B" — Eduardo Montinola.

    13. TSN, September 18, 1992 at 4–9.

    14. Joint Record on Appeal Against the Order Granting the Claims of Angeles A. Montinola and Eduardo A. Montinola, Jr. at 15 and 21; Joint Record on Appeal Against the Order Granting the Claims of Felicito Sanson and Celedonia Samson-Saquin at 15 and 23.

    15. Joint Record on Appeal Against the Order Granting the Claims of Angeles A. Montinola and Eduardo A. Montinola, Jr. at 16–17; Joint Record on Appeal Against the Order Granting the Claims of Felicito Sanson and Celedonia Sanson-Saquin at 18 and 24.

    16. Rollo at 43.

    17. Id. at 32–47.

    18. It is noted that the total amount of checks-exhibits of Celedonia Sanson-Saquin is P360,000.00. She did not, however, move to reconsider the amount of P315,000.00 ordered to be paid to her.

    19. Court of Appeals (CA) Rollo at 40–41, 100–101.

    20. Vide footnote 18.

    21. Rollo at 72–96.

    22. Id. at 99.

    23. Id. at 12.

    24. Id. 127–129.

    25. People v. Bandoquillo, 167 SCRA 549 (1988).

    26. TSN, September 18, 1992 at 2–7.

    27 Jovito R. Salonga, PHILIPPINE LAW ON EVIDENCE, 3rd Edition, 1964 at 194.

    28. Rollo at 17.

    29. Vide Martin’s Rules of Court in the Philippines, Vol. 5, 158 (1996).

    30. TSN, October 1, 1992 at 3.

    31. TSN, September 16, 1992 at 4.

    32. Sec. 22 of Rule 132 provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    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.

    x       x       x


    33. As prayed in the Petition before this Court.

    G.R. No. 127745   April 22, 2003 - FELICITO G. SANSON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.


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