RULE 129. WHAT NEED NOT BE PROVED.
I. INTRODUCTION. Principles on the correlation between allegations, proof, and favorable judgment.
A. Each Party Must Prove His Own Allegation. Allegations in pleadings do not prove themselves. No party wins by having the most allegations, or that the allegation of causes of actions or defenses are crafted in the strongest and most persuasive language. All allegations remain but as allegations or propositions. Hence every party to a case, who desires that a favorable judgment be rendered in his favor, must present evidence to support his claim, cause of action or defense be it in the form of object evidence, documents, or testimonies of witnesses.
Likewise, the court limits itself to only such evidence as were properly presented and admitted during the trial and does not consider matters or facts outside the court.
B. A Party Can Not Prove What He Did Not Allege (Non Alegata Non Proba). A party however is not authorized to introduce evidence on matters which he never alleged. Hence plaintiff will not be permitted to prove a cause of action which is not stated in his complaint, and the defendant will not be permitted to prove a defense which he never raised in his Answer. In criminal cases, the Prosecution is not permitted to prove a crime not described in the Information or to prove any aggravating circumstance not alleged in the Information.
C. But a party may be relieved from presenting evidence on certain matters, such as on the following:
1. Matters or facts subject of judicial notice
2. Matters or facts subject of judicial admission
3. Matters or facts which are legally presumed
4. Matters or facts stipulated upon
5. Matters or facts which are exclusively within the knowledge of the opposing party
6. Matters or facts which are irrelevant .
7. Matters or facts in the nature of negative allegations subject to certain exceptions
I. CONCEPT: Refers to the act of the court in taking cognizance of matters as true or as existing without need of the introduction of evidence, or the authority of the court to accept certain matters as facts even if no evidence of their existence has been presented. The action is often expressed thus” “The court takes judicial notice of…”
II. Purpose: To save time, labor and expenses. It is based on expediency and convenience.
III. General Classification of Matters Subject of Notice
A. Adjudicative Matters- those facts related to the case under consideration and which may affect the outcome thereof.
1. In a case where the accused set up denial and alibi being then in Manila, court may take judicial notice that normal travel time by bus from Manila to Baguio City is between 6 to 7 hours
2. Where the accused set up accidental shooting, the court may take notice that a revolver does not fire accidentally because pressure must be applied to the trigger
3. Where a witness claimed to have seen a person by the light of day at around 6:00 PM on December some 10 meters away, courts may take notice of the shortened days in December and that by 6:30 there is no more day light.
B. Legislative Matters- those facts which relate either to: (i) the existence of a law or legal principle (ii) the reason, purpose or philosophy behind the law or of a legal principle as formulated by the legislature or the court (iii) the law or principle itself.
The following are examples:
1. The need to protect Filipino OFWs as a primary reason behind the Migrant Workers Act or the increase in the incidence of drug related crimes as reason for the increase in the penalty for violation of the drug law
2. That the passage of the Anti Terrorism Law and the Anti-Money Laundering Law were influenced by the demands of the international community
3. Taking notice of the increase in the age of criminal liability
4. That documents presented in the Register of Deeds are recorded according to the date and time of their presentation
5. The policy of the law as regards bail in heinous crimes or of the policy of the state against the use of illegal means to obtain evidence
6. Gun Ban during election period
IV. Limitations. The taking of judicial notice maybe abused and might unfairly favor a party who is unable to prove a material point. Conversely the non-taking notice of a fact might unduly burden a party where proof is not readily available or impossible to obtain and proof thereof is unnecessary, but still the court refuses to take notice of the fact.
A. As to what may be taken notice of: the matter must be one covered by section 1 or is authorized under Section 2 of Rule 129.
B. As to the procedure: there must be a prior hearing pursuant to Section 3.
Section 1. Matters the taking notice of which is mandatory.
INTRODUCTION: If a fact falls under any of the matters enumerated, then the court may not compel a party to present evidence thereon and necessarily, it may not decide against the party for the latter’s failure to present evidence on the matter. The enumeration is exclusive.
I. As to Foreign States: their existence and territorial extent; forms of government ( monarchial, presidential, parliamentary, royalty), symbols of nationality ( flag, national costume, anthem).
A. Limitation: However the recognition of a foreign state or government is subject to the decision of the political leadership
II. The Law of Nations: the body of principles, usages, customs and unwritten precepts observed by, and which governs, the relations between and among states.
A. Examples: (i). The Principle of Equality of States (ii) Sovereign Immunity of visiting Heads of States and the protocol observed for said visiting dignitary such as the 21 gun salute (iii) The Diplomatic Immunity of foreign diplomatic representatives (iv) recognition of piracy as a crime against humanity
III. The Admiralty and Maritime Jurisdiction of the World and their Seals
IV. The Philippine as a state
A. Its constitution and political history: the political set up of the government
1. As a Spanish colony, American colony, as a commonwealth, as a republic; Martial law years; the political upheavals such as the assassination of B. Aquino, EDSA I and II
2. The cabinet system in the Office of the President
3. Previous Presidents; the trial and conviction of Erap and his subsequent pardon
4. The administrative division into regions, provinces, municipalities, cities, barangays and into sitios or puroks
5. Manila as the capital and the capital towns of the provinces; the location of major rivers, lakes and mountains
6. Contemporary political developments such as the ongoing communist rebellion and muslin secessionist movement
7. Wars in which the Philippines participated
B. The official acts of the legislature, executive and judicial departments
1. That congress is a bicameral body; the form of leadership in each house; the process of legislation; the committee system; laws which were passed
2. State visits of the presidents; ratification of treaties; executive orders and decrees; declaration of state of emergencies
3. Grants of amnesty
4. Holding of peace negotiations with the rebels
5. Membership in the UN and other regional organizations as well as the hosting of the ASEAN in Cebu
6. Decisions of appellate courts
V. The Laws of Nature: Examples:
1. laws relating to science which are so well known such as that the DNA of each person being distinct, or blood groupings as proof of filiation; or of finger prints and dententures being distinct and dissimilar from one person to another.
2. The law of gravity, mathematical equations, weights and measurements
3. The solar system, the planets and stars
4. The composition and decay of matter
5. The birth and period of gestation of human beings
6. The occurrence of natural phenomenon provided these are constant, immutable and certain, otherwise these occurrences are “freaks of nature”
a). the changing of the season
b). the cycle of day and night
c). the difference in time between places on earth
d). the variation in vegetation
VI. Measures of Time: into seconds, minutes, days, weeks months and years
VII. Geographical Division of the World such as the number and location of the continents, and the major oceans, the division into hemispheres; longitudes and latitudes
Section 2. Matters the taking of which is discretionary.
I. This section authorizes a court to take judicial notice of certain matters in its discretion. The matters fall into three groups: 1. Those which are of public knowledge 2. Those which are capable of unquestionable demonstration and 3. Matters ought to be known to judges because of their judicial functions.
II. First Group: Matters of Public Knowledge.
A. These are matters the truth or existence of which are accepted by the public without qualification, condition or contention.
1. Notoriety of the Facts in that the facts are well and publicly known. The existence should not be known only to a certain portion of the community
2. The matter must be well and authoritatively settled and not doubtful or uncertain
3. The matter must be within the limits of the territorial jurisdiction of the court
1. The existence and location of hospitals, public buildings, plazas and markets, schools and universities, main thoroughfares, parks, rivers and lakes
2. Facts of local history and contemporary developments including political matters. For example: the creation of the city or town, previous and present political leaders or officials; the increase in population; traffic congestion in main streets. The existence and location of the PMA in Baguio City
III. Second Group: Matters Capable of Unquestionable Demonstration
A. These are matters which, even if not notorious, can be immediately shown to exist or be true so as to justify dispensing with actual proof.
1. That poison kills or results to serious injury
2. That boiling water scalds
3. Striking the body with a sharp instruments results to rupturing the skin and to bleeding
4. Shooting on the head kills
5. Hunger results to a weakened physical condition
6. Vehicles running at top speed do not immediately stop even when the brakes are applied and will leave skid marks on the road
IV. Third Group: Matters Ought To Be Known to Judges because of their Judicial Functions
A. These are matters which pertain to the office of the Judge or known to them based on their experience as judges
1. The behavior of people to being witnesses such as their reluctance to be involved in cases thus requiring the issuance of subpoenae to them; the varied reaction of people to similar events
2. Procedures in the reduction of bail bonds
V. Principles Involved
A. The matter need not be personally known to the judge in order to be taken judicial notice of, as in fact the judge maybe personally ignorant thereof
B. Personal knowledge by the Judge of a fact is not necessarily knowledge by the Court as to be the basis of a judicial notice
C. As to whether a party can introduce contrary proof: (1). If the matter is one subject of mandatory judicial notice, contrary proof is not allowed (2). If the matter is one which the court is allowed to take notice in its discretion, the prohibition applies to civil cases only, but in criminal cases, the accused may still introduce contrary proof as part of his right to defend himself.
VI. Judicial Notice of Certain Specific Matters
A. As To Foreign Laws.
1. As a general rule, Philippine Courts cannot take judicial notice of the existence and provisions/contents of a foreign law, which matters must be alleged and proven as a fact. If the existence and provisions/contents were not properly pleaded and proven, the Principle of Processual Presumption applies i.e. the foreign law will be presumed to be the same as Philippine Laws and it will be Philippine Laws which will be applied to the case.
2. Exceptions or when Court may take judicial notice of a foreign law
a. When there is no controversy among the parties as to the existence and provision of the foreign law
b. When the foreign law has been previously ruled upon the court as to have acquired actual knowledge of it. For example: Knowledge of the Texan law on succession based on the Christiansen cases; notice of the existence of the Nevada Divorce Law
c. The foreign law has been previously applied in the Philippines e.g. the Spanish Codigo Penal
d. The foreign law is the source of the Philippine Law e.g. the California Law on Insurance, the Spanish Civil Code
e. When the foreign law is a treaty in which the Philippines is a signatory it being part of the Public International Law
B. Domestic Laws, Administrative Rules and Regulations
1. As to laws, rules and regulations of national applications, their passage and effectivity and provisions are governmental matters which must be noticed mandatorily
2. As to laws of local application:
a. For lower Courts: they may take notice of ordinances, resolutions and executive or administrative orders enforced within the town nor city where they sit
b. For the RTCs: they may do so only when a case has been appealed to them and the lower court has taken notice thereof
c. For appellate courts: on appeal and all those enforced within any town or city in the Philippines
C. Decisions of Courts
1. Decisions of appellate courts must be taken notice of mandatorily by trial courts
2. As to the records of cases pending or decided by other courts: these may not be taken judicial notice of
3. As to Records of Other Cases Pending Before the Same Court
a).. As a general rule, courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of the contents of records of other cases tried or pending in the same court, even when these cases were heard or actually pending before the same judge.
b). However, this rule admits of exceptions, (i). as when reference to such records is sufficiently made without objection from the opposing parties Reference is by name and number or in some other manner by which it is sufficiently designated or (ii) when the original record of the former case or any part of it, is actually withdrawn from the archives by the court’s direction, at the request or with the consent of the parties, and admitted as part of the records of the case then pending (Calamba Steel Center Inc. vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. April 28, 2005)
D. Commercial Usages and Practices: those pertaining to business, occupation or profession. Notice may be taken only of those which are well known and established. Examples:
1. The closure of banks on Saturdays and Sundays and of the banking hours being until 3:00 P.M.
2. Practice of considering checks as sale if not presented within 6 months
3. The establishment of ATM machines to facilitate the openning of accounts and withdrawal of money
4. The practice of requiring tickets for persons to enter theaters and movie houses or to ride in public transports
5. The holding of graduation exercises by schools and universities every end of the semester
6. The public auction of unredeemed articles by pawn shops
7. Courts take judicial notice that before a bank grants a loan secured by a land, it first undertakes a careful examination of the title, as well as a physical and on-the-spot investigation of the land offered as security. Hence it cannot claim to be a mortgagee in good faith as against the actual possessor of the land ( Erasustada vs. C.A., 495 SCRA 319)
8. That no official receipts are issued by sidewalk or market vendors
E. Customs, Habits and Practices of People: Notice may be taken only of those which are generally known and established and uniformly acted upon. Particular customs, and those peculiar only to certain people must be established as a fact. Examples:
1. Variations in handwriting
2. The instinct of self preservation
3. Sleeping habits of people in the barrios
4. Rituals digging and cleansing of bones of buried loved ones among certain tribes and other tribal practices, must be proved as a fact
5. What about the natural shyness of the Filipina woman?
F. As to religious matters: Courts may take notice of the general tenets or beliefs of a particular group including their organizational structures, but not as to specific practices, tenets and dogmas. Examples:
1.Thus notice maybe taken of the belief Catholics consider Jesus as God, whereas the INC do not but as a man, and the Muslims regard Him merely as a prophet lesser in stature to Mohammed
2. That the Pope is the titular head of the Catholic Church while the Dalai Llama is head of the Tibetan Monks; Mecca is the Holiest City of the Muslims; the Muslim belief in Ramadan; the belief in reincarnation among the Hindus and Buddhists while the Christians believe in resurrection after death; whereas Christians believe in heaven the Buddhist have their Nirvana. Notice is proper of the Christian Bible and the Muslim Koran as their respective Holy Books.
Section 3. When Hearing Is Necessary
I. When and How Notice is taken.
A. By the Trial Court : either Motu Proprio or upon motion by a party .Generally this is during the trial or presentation of evidence, but it maybe made thereafter but before judgment and only upon a matter which is decisive of the issue.
B. By the appellate court: before Judgment
II. Need for Hearing
A. If motu proprio, the Court must announce its intention and give the parties the opportunity to give their view on whether or not the matter is a proper subject of judicial notice.
B. If on motion of a party, the opposing party must likewise be given the opportunity to comment thereon.
Sec. 4: An admission, verbal or written, made by a party in the course of the proceedings in the same case, does not require proof. The admission maybe contradicted only by a showing that it was made through palpable mistake or that no such admission was made.
I. CONCEPT- The act or declaration of a party in voluntary acknowledging or accepting the truth or existence of a certain fact. The admission maybe Judicial or Extra Judicial and in either case, they may be oral or written.
A. Judicial- those made in the course of the proceedings of the case in which they are to be used as evidence. This is governed by section 4.
B. Extra-Judicial- those made elsewhere but not in the course of the proceedings where they are to be used as evidence.
II. Effect of Judicial Admissions:
A. Upon the party making the admission: The party making the admission is bound by it. The admission is conclusive as to him. He will not be permitted to introduce evidence which will vary, contradict or deny the fact he has admitted.
1.“The exception is found only in those rare instances when the trial court, in the exercise of its discretion and because of strong reasons to support its stand, may relieve a party from the consequences of his admission”
2. All such evidence to the contrary are to be disregarded by the court even in the absence of an objection by the adverse party.
a). “ The rule on judicial admissions found its way into black-letter law only in 1964 but its content is supplied by case law much older and in many instances more explicit than the present codal provision. In the early case of Irlanda vs. Pitarque (1918) this court laid down the doctrine that acts or facts admitted does not require proof and cannot be contradicted unless it can be shown that the admission was made through palpable mistake. The rule was more forcibly stated …in the 1918 decision in Ramirez vs. Orientalist Co. “ an admission made in a pleading cannot be controverted by the party making such admission, and all proof submitted by him contrary thereto or inconsistent therewith should simply be ignored by the court, whether objection was interposed by the opposite party or not” (Heirs of Clemenia vs. Heirs of Bien, 501 SCRA 405)
b). Joshua Alfelor vs. Hosefina Halasan (March 31, 2006)
The spouses Telesforo and Cecilia Alfelor died leaving behind several heirs. One of the children was Jose who himself died leaving behind children and a wife named Teresita . In1998 the heirs filed a complaint for partition of the estate of their deceased parents. A certain Hosefina Halaan filed a Motion for Intervention claiming she is the legal wife of Jose. Teresita and the other petitioners filed a Reply in Intervention where Teresita stated she knew of the previous marriage of Jose; that Hosefina left Jose in 1959 and there had been no news of her since then; that Jose revealed he did not annul his marriage to Hosefina because he believed in good faith to Hosefina. During the hearing of the Motion for Intervention, Teresita admitted several times she knew of the previous marriage of Jose to Hosefina. Since Hosefina did not appear during the hearing to support her claim, of being the first wife her motion was denied.
Issue: Was there need to prove the existence of the first marriage?
Held: No. The admission in the Reply in Intervention and the testimony of Teresita as to the previous marriage qualifies as a Judicial Admission.
A party who judicially admits a fact cannot later challenge that fact as judicial admissions are waiver of proof; production of evidence is dispensed with. A judicial admission also removes an admitted fact from the field of controversy. Consequently, an admission made in the pleading cannot be controverted by the party making such admissions and are conclusive as to that party, and all proof to the contrary or inconsistent therewith should be ignored, whether objection is interposed by the party or not. The allegation statements or admissions are conclusive against the pleader. A party cannot subsequently take a position contrary to or inconsistent with what was pleaded.
B. Upon the opposite party: He need not introduce any evidence on the matter which was admitted.
III. Sources of Judicial Admissions:
A. Voluntary Admissions
1. Admissions contained in the allegations in the pleadings
a. In a civil case: The plaintiff is bound by the statement of causes of actions in his Complaint including the number, nature and circumstances thereof, as well as the statement of facts in support thereof. The defendant is bound by the facts alleged in the Complaint which he expressly admits in his Answer; by his own statement of facts; by the nature, number and circumstances of the defenses contained in his Answer. They are similar bound by the allegations of facts in their Reply, Comment or Rejoinder to each other’s pleadings.
b. As to amended pleadings: one view holds that the original pleadings ceased to be part of the records and cease to be judicial admissions. If at all they may constitute extra-judicial admissions which will have to be formally offered in evidence. Another view, as that of Justice F. Regallado says amended pleadings are still covered by section 4.
c. In a criminal case, the narration of facts in the body of the Information are deemed admissions by the Prosecution
2. Admissions and Stipulations made during the Preliminary Conference and/or Pre-Trial which are reduced into writing and signed by the party and his counsel.
a). But in criminal cases, there can be no stipulation as to circumstances which qualifies a crime or increase the penalty to death.
b). Example: In criminal cases of theft or robbery there can be stipulation as to the ownership or possessor of the property, the value thereof; the arrest or surrender of the accused; identity of the accused
3. Admissions and stipulations made during the course of the trial itself, which need not be reduced in writing
4. Compromise agreements, which thus can be the basis of a judgment which is immediately executory.
5. Admissions by way of responses or answers to requests for admissions or interrogatories pursuant to Rule 26 (Modes of Discovery)
B. Involuntary Admissions: those where it is the law which declares that a party is deemed to have admitted a fact.
1. Section 8 of Rule 8 directs that (a) failure to specifically under oath an actionable document is an admission of its genuiness and due execution (b) failure to deny the material averments of the Complaint is an admission of the truth thereof
C. Effect of a Withdrawn Plea of Guilt: A plea of guilty is an admission of the factual allegations of the Information but not conclusions of law. The former plea is not an admission because the accused has the right to change his plea of guilty to not guilty
III. By Whom Made:
A. By the parties themselves
B. By the counsel under the principle of agency: exceptions: In civil cases (i) when the admission amounts to a surrender, waiver, or destruction of the client’s cause (ii) if the compromise is for an amount less than that demanded by the client (iii) those which are due to the gross and inexcusable ignorance or negligence of counsel
In criminal cases:
Example: PP. vs. Hermones (March 6, 2002). FACTS: In a prosecution for rape the counsel for the accused filed a manifestation stating that the accused is remorseful and was intoxicated when he raped his foster daughter and he will present evidence of intoxication, plea of guilt and lack of intent. Are these conclusive upon the accused? HELD: No. The authority of an attorney to bind his client as to any admissibility of fact is limited to matters of judicial procedure but not to admissions which operate as a waiver, surrender or destruction of the client’s cause.