Blog Lecture No. 7: Admission by Silence

Put down your lunches and listen to another one of my blog-lectures. This time, let us tackle a short topic called admission by silence.

Does silence mean yes? Is there such a thing as admission by silence?

Yes there is such a thing. While the right to remain silent is a basic constitutional right of any accused, Section 32, Rule 130 of the Rules of Evidence says:

Sec. 32. Admission by silence. – An act or declaration made in the presence and within the hearing or observation of a party who does or says nothing when the act or declaration is such as naturally to call for action or comment if not true, and when proper and possible for him to do so, may be given in evidence against him.

The requirements for this to apply are as follows:

  1. There must be an act or declaration by one person
  2. This act or declaration must be made in the presence or within earshot of another party
  3. This act of declaration must be of such nature as to natually call that other person to action or comment if not true.
  4. Even when proper and possible for this other party to act or comment (to deny it), he remains silent.

Can you give a concrete example?

Richard and Bobby were talking in a loud voice within earshot of Angel and Angelu.

Richard said to Bobby, “You know, Angel already agreed to be my girlfriend.”

When Angel heard this, she turned to the two yakking men, looked at them but was silent…

Angel’s silence may be admissible as evidence to prove that Richard and Angel are already “on.”
Bobby and Angelu can testify that Angel was silent when Richard made his revelation…

(This is especially useful if you are the lawyer for the accused [Richard, in our example] in a rape case…filed by Angel…)

Any application to “Gloriagate”?

Its application here, I think, is very limited and very theoretical. This probably has to be in a personal conversation context like my example above and not in the battle of speeches and press releases, like we have now.

Of course, the press corps can just ask her point blank. If she is silent, it may mean a yes.

But she can just argue, “Of course I answered…and my answer is I will not answer it…”

So this time, she may have every reason to invoke her right to remain silent because cheating is an election offense (aside from being an impeachable one).

But of course, you are all welcome to disagree with me and argue the opposite way…You’ll get points depending on the soundness of your arguments…

Already, Sen. Salonga and Rep. Escudero may have something to say about this…

Anything else I have to know?

Only that admissibility does not equal credibility. A judge may allow (or admit) this kind of evidence into the records but it does not necessarily mean the judge will believe it.

Now go back to eating…Me too, I’m hungry!

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Blog Lecture No. 7: Admission by Silence

  1. It’s a nice legal analysis over GMA’s silencio to controversial recordings.

    Praise you for having this kind of blog, whew! it’s a free law class online, really!!! No need to pay for 1T/per unit tuition fee. More power to this blog. This blog prompted me to develop my own. Will monitor your blog for future legal opinions regarding current event and issues, especially about Pinoy politics. More power to Punzi’s Corner Blog!!!

  2. Really? 1K per unit (per sem!) in law school? Noong panahon ko wala pang P10T per sem…sa Makati pa ako nag-aaral non…

    BTW, thanks, I’m flattered (and it takes a lot to flatter me… because if you’ve been through what I’ve been through, you’ll learn… oh, I digress).

    This blog started out as a personal journal to chronical our lives (me and my kids). But somehow, it became what it is now… I’m already thinking of spinning off the personal portion to another blog… but that’s still up in the air.

    Anyway, thank you and continue blogging!

    regards

  3. Yes, that’s how expensive to study nowadays, especially laws study, di pa sikat school ko ñan ha, it’s still in its early childhood.

    Well compared to other blog, yours is well oragnized, focused, with mechanics and coherence. Short lecture yet informative.

    Law-stud-bloggers must be thankful for this kind of blog, it’s keeping us aware and abreast of legal aspects of current events and issues confronting the present administration and the nation as a whole.

    Just curious…can you lecture on or share with us how your study habits, secrets or tips that brougt you to the bar?

    Keep up this selfless blog!

    Best luck to your kids!

  4. Back read to about the time the bar results came out. I already blogged about my “secrets” in passing the bar… including overcoming notoriously bad handwriting!

    It’s very detailed and it was a series of blogs…not just one…

  5. Thank you, Punzi…just finished reading those passing-the-bar-related-blogs. My reactions later…need to sleep now, still have work tom.

  6. Very well explained. 🙂

  7. Sam

    Andami ko talagang natutunan sa lecture series mo Atty. Gawa ka kaya ng isang blog na parang pang free legal advises.This helps a lot. Kahit mga opinion mo lang. First time sa pinoy blog yan kung sakali man. Suggestion ko lang po. Mabuhay ka, Atty. Punzi!

  8. Salamat, Sam. I’ll take your suggestion under advisement…

  9. shucks.. parang damn if you damn if you don’t pala ang admission in silence.It’s quite hard to put yourself in this situation. Pag di ka nag react people will assume something else na. Di ba confusing ang law na ito? nalilito ako your honor!

  10. Yes it’s confusing. But if any confusion goes in favor of the accused. But this is legally speaking only…You know how the Filipino’s imagination works…heheheh!

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