Section 36, Rule 130 of the Rules of Evidence states:
Sec. 36. Testimony generally confined to personal knowledge; hearsay excluded. – A witness can testify only to those facts which he knows of his personal knowledge; that is, which are derived from his own perception, except as otherwise provided in these rules.
Simply put, a witness can only testify as to what he had seen, heard, smelled, tasted and touched/felt. If a witness will be testifying on what another person had seen, heard, smelled, tasted and touched/felt, that would be hearsay, recycled, “second-hand” testimony.
A dead giveaway to hearsay testimony: “X told me that he saw Y …”
You’ll see two or more layers of testimony before you actually encounter the one that actually had seen, heard, smelled, tasted and touched/felt the fact in question. That’s hearsay.
What are the exceptions?
I’ll discuss only one (the one that is derrived from, but not really stated in the rules) for now. It’s called independent relevant statements.
Simply put, if a witness does not testify as to the truth or falsity of another’s statement, but merely on the fact that other person made such statement if that fact is relevant to the case, it shall be allowed.
“The General bragged to me that if it wasn’t for him, they would not stayed in power,” said Sandy.
This is not admissible to prove that truth of the General’s statements. But it can be admissible to prove that the General made such statements in the first place, because the witness is merely testifying on what he heard the General say.
“Richard told me that he and Angel are already ‘M.U’ (Mag-un…),” testified Angelu.
This is not admissible to prove that Richard and Angel are already “M.U.” But it is admissible to prove that Richard told Angelu those exact words…(because is merely testifying on what she heard, duh?).
I will discuss the other exemptions to the hearsay rule as soon as they become relevant…
Oh, I can still fit in a few burgers in my schedule…That’s all for now…