Category Archives: LawNotes

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.

List of changes in the Philippine Insurance Code (PD612 viz RA 10607)

The Insurance Code during the Marcos period was promulgated under Presidential Decree 612. Presidential Decree 612 was amended by Presidential Decrees 1141, 1280, and 1455. The Insurance Code supposedly was revised under Presidential Decree 1460 (The attachment thereto [or the copy of the alleged revision] is not usually available online, if it exists). Presidential Decree 1460 was amended by Presidential Decree 1814 and Batas Pambansa 847 (Presidential Decree 1814 is one of the Presidential Decrees in question under the landmark case of Tanada v. Tuvera, GR L-63915, 24 April 1985 [Decision] and 29 December 1986 [Resolution], and it remains a question whether such laws and issuance were subsequently published, as government promulgations online are not consistent in the details as to where and when such laws have been published. Whether they were actually published would be a matter that would need verification).

Republic Act 10607 was promulgated on 15 August 2013 and was meant to revise the Insurance Code of the Philippines. It referred to a revision of Presidential Decree 612 and not 1460.

Reading the revisions made by Republic Act 10607, in one legal document, is convenient for many, while further piecemeal amendments thereto are not yet present. For someone who has read the Insurance Code or has studied it, the absence of indications of which parts have been amended or merely renumbered provides an additional task in determining the same. This is quite important as legal literature may have expounded matters relevant to the provisions, and the verification task is necessary so as to reuse prior literature for provisions which were not modified, else merely renumbered. Considering that the old law provides for 424 sections, and the new law provides 448 sections, the act of verification takes time.

To help reduce the redundancy of efforts to verify the same, here is a list to determine the changes, whether substantial or not.

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Notes Repository (AUSL 2002-2006; Narratives; Political Law)

Constitutional Law II, Political Review [SY 2005-2006, Dean Mariano Magsalin Jr.]

These narratives were part of the content of “Notes in Constitutional Law II based on Dean Magsalin’s 2004-2005 syllabus” (2005; referred as “NCL2,” hereafter). There are a total of 472 case narratives in the linked documents.

The foreword in said compilation provided, in part:

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This work was created as Berne’s personal notes for Constitutional Law II, during the summer of 2005, in anticipation of the reading requirements for the second part of Political Law Review. The facts in the cases were deliberately longer than standard digests to allow a semi-detailed and chronological statement of facts, allowing in turn, a better understanding of the circumstances antecedent to the cases.

This work is shared to Arellano University School of Law students to allow those who do not have the luxury of time to completely read the full text of the cases assigned with an alternative source of materials to comply with the minimum requirements to prepare in class. The efforts aimed to aid co-students in their studies should not be a signal for students’ laxity in their studies. This work is designed as a suppletory, not a primary, material for studies involving the Bill of Rights. Students are encouraged to read the original text of the cases and the books of various authorities tackling the subject matter, for proper guidance. Students are further encouraged to create their own notes to develop their own methods of synthesis of the assigned readings.

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I. General Considerations (PDF, 128.7 KB; NCL2, pp. 3-4)

II. Powers of the State

III. Bill of Rights

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Notes Repository (AUSL 2002-2006; Haystacks)

It was during the second year of my law school studies (SY 2003-2004) that I started to create a new format for my case notes, since I observed that some cases in the previous year were reiterated in the higher subjects. Resort to previously made digests was inappropriate, since the issues focused were different. I created these notes, which I called “Haystacks,” to outline all legal details provided in the cases’ discussions, to serve as source documents when I would need to create case digests, appropriate to the issues relevant to the subjects in which the cases could be reiterated anew.

Haystacks

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Notes Repository (AUSL 2002-2006; Narratives)

Case digests would have been sufficient to focus on relevant doctrines articulated in the cases required in class. However, the short form designed for handwritten digests was inadequate to respond — as to certain details — to certain questions a professor would ask during recitations. Hence, I had to prepare longer narrations of the case (i.e. as much as possible, on a chronological manner), with the holding somehow combining the case doctrine and the ultimate outcome of the case.

Narratives

  • Corporation Law, Commercial Law Review (SY 2005-2006, Prof. Zarah Villanueva-Castro) (PDF, 883.0 KB)
  • Negotiable Instruments Law, Commercial Law Review (SY 2005-2006, Prof. Zarah Villanueva-Castro) (PDF, 524.3 KB)
  • Insurance Law, Commercial Law Review (SY 2005-2006, Prof. Zarah Villanueva-Castro) (PDF, 492.3 KB)

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Law Compilation (AUSL Constitutional Law I, 2011)

I started to teach a minor subject “Technology and the Law” during the first semester of SY 2008-2009, in Arellano University School of Law. It was only in June 2011, for the first semester of SY 2011-2012, when I was offered to teach a foundation subject, that is Constitutional Law I. I compiled the relevant laws outlined in the preliminary chapters of the syllabus therein for my own preparation. Such compilations are shared similarly below.

  • Annex 2 (PDF, 779.9 KB)
    • Contains the English text of 1899 Malolos Constitution, McKinley’s Instructions (7 April 1900), The Philippine Bill of 1902, The Philippine Autonomy Act (1916, Jones Law), The Philippine Independence Act (1934, Tydings-McDuffie Law), 1935 Philippine Constitution, 1943 Philippine Constitution, 1973 Philippine Constitution, Proclamation 1 (1986), Proclamation 3 (1986), Proclamation 58 (1987), and the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
  • Annex 3 (PDF, 919.2 KB)
    • Contains the English text of the Treaty of Paris of 1898, Treaty Between Spain and the United States for the Cession of Outlying Islands of the Philippines, Convention regarding the Boundary between the Philippine Archipelago and the State of North Borneo, Republic Act 3046, Republic Act 5446, Republic Act 5446, Presidential Decree 1596, Presidential Decree 1599, and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982.
    • Should include Republic Act 9522, among others, on the next update.
  • Annex 4 (PDF, 169.4 KB)
    • Contains Commonwealth Act 63, Republic Act 106, Republic Act 2639, Republic Act 3834, Commonwealth Act 473, Republic Act 530, Presidential Decree 725, Republic Act 8171, Republic Act 9139, and Republic Act 9225.

Notes Repository (AUSL Project Phoenix 2008)

When I passed the bar in 2007, Atty. Jaime “Jimmy” N. Soriano took me under his wing, at the e-Law Center of the Arellano University School of Law. In 2008, in anticipation of the 2008 bar examination, Jimmy pursued a project, called “Project Phoenix,” which was aimed to assist a very special set of bar examinees for that year. He tasked me to gather doctrinal updates or reiteration, for Political Law and Civil Law, from cases decided in 2007. The contents of the documents below were the one submitted to Jimmy.

I take this opportunity to thank Jimmy, who has been an older brother to me. May he rest in peace.

[+] Atty. Jaime N. Soriano (3 January 1961 – 30 July 2012)

For those who may not be aware, he introduced Creative Commons in the Philippines (being its first Project Lead in the country); and was a primary proponent (being the copyright holder of optical-based legal resource “PhilJuris”) of the free online legal resource “LawPhil ,” the latter being maintained and further developed by the Arellano Law Foundation .