Update: Electronic Evidence for Criminal Cases (People v. Enojas)

Ang vs. Court of Appeals, GR 182835, 20 April 2010; Second Division, Abad [J], provided:

Four. Rustan claims that the obscene picture sent to Irish through a text message constitutes an electronic document. Thus, it should be authenticated by means of an electronic signature, as provided under Section 1, Rule 5 of the Rules on Electronic Evidence (A.M. 01-7-01-SC).

But, firstly, Rustan is raising this objection to the admissibility of the obscene picture, Exhibit A, for the first time before this Court. The objection is too late since he should have objected to the admission of the picture on such ground at the time it was offered in evidence. He should be deemed to have already waived such ground for objection. [People v. Mendoza, G.R. No. 180501, December 24, 2008, 575 SCRA 616, 625-626]

Besides, the rules he cites do not apply to the present criminal action. The Rules on Electronic Evidence applies only to civil actions, quasi-judicial proceedings, and administrative proceedings. [A.M. No. 01-7-01-SC, Rule 1, Section 2] (Emphasis mine)

However, People v. Enojas, GR 204894, 10 March 2014, Third Division, Abad [J], provided:

As to the admissibility of the text messages, the RTC admitted them in conformity with the Court’s earlier Resolution applying the Rules on Electronic Evidence to criminal actions. [A.M. No. 01-7-01-SC, Re: Expansion of the Coverage of the Rules on Electronic Evidence, September 24, 2002.] Text messages are to be proved by the testimony of a person who was a party to the same or has personal knowledge of them. [Id., Rule 11, Section 2] Here, PO3 Cambi, posing as the accused Enojas, exchanged text messages with the other accused in order to identify and entrap them. As the recipient of those messages sent from and to the mobile phone in his possession, PO3 Cambi had personal knowledge of such messages and was competent to testify on them. (Emphasis mine)

The latter case does not confront directly the obiter in Ang v. Court of Appeals, but the recognition of the 2002 resolution expanding the coverage of the rules on electronic evidence in People v. Enojas is clear.

The Rules on Electronic Evidence apply to criminal cases.

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