Thursday, November 11, 2010

CASE DIGEST ON JOAQUIN V. NAVARRO

For more case digests visit http://www.pinaylawyer.com

case digest, case digests, supreme court case digests, supreme court case digest, pinaylawyer.com, www.pinaylawyer.com, case digest, case digest of, case digest on, supreme court case digest, supreme court case digests

CASE DIGEST ON JOAQUIN V. NAVARRO [93 P 257] - F: On 2/6/45, while the battle for the liberation of Mla. was raging, the spouses Joaquin Navarro, Sr. (JN, Sr.) and Angela Joaquin (AJ), together w/ their 3 daughters and their son Joaquin, Jr. (JN, Jr.) and the latter's wife, sought refuge in the ground floor of the building known as the German Club. During their stay, the bldg. was packed w/ refugees, shells were exploding around, and the Club was set on fire. Simultaneously, the Japanese started shooting at the people inside the bldg, especially those who were trying to escape. the 3 daughters were hit and fell on the ground near the entrance; and JN, Sr. and his son decided to abandon the premises to seek a safer haven. They could not convince AJ, who refused to join them, and so JN, Sr. and his son, JN, Jr. and the latter's wife dashed out of the burning edifice. As they came out, JN, Jr. was shot in the head by a Japanese soldier and immediately dropped. The others lay flat on the ground in front of the Club premises to avoid the bullets. Minutes later, the Club, already on fire, collapsed, trapping many people, presumably including AJ. JN, Sr., Mrs. JN, Jr. managed to reach an air raid shelter nearby and stayed there for about 3 days, until they were forced to leave bec. the shelling tore it open. They fled but unfortunately met Japanese patrols who fired at them, killing the two.
The trial court found the deaths to have occurred in this order: 1st. The Navarro girls; 2nd. JN, Jr.; 3rd. AJ; 4th. JN, Sr. The CA found that the deaths occurred in the following order: 1st. The Navarro girls; 2nd. AJ; 3rd. JN, Jr.; 4th JN, Sr.

HELD: Where there are facts, known or knowable, from w/c a rational conclusion can be made, the presumption (in the Rules of Court) does not step in, and the rules of preponderance of evidence controls.
Are there particular circumstances on record from w/c reasonable inference of survivorship bet. AJ and her son can be drawn? Is Francisco Lopez' (the sole witness) testimony competent and sufficient for the purpose?
It is our opinion that the testimony contains facts quite adequate to solve the problem of survivorship bet. AJ and JN, Jr. and keep the statutory presumption out of the case. It is believed that in the light of the conditions painted by Lopez, a fair and reasonable inference can be arrived at, namely: that JN, Jr. died before his mother.
While the possibility that the mother died before the son can not be ruled out, it must be noted that this possibility is entirely speculative and must yield to the more rational deduction from proven facts that it was the other way around. JN, Jr., was killed, while running, in front of, and 15 meters from the Club. Still in the prime of life, 30, he must have negotiated that distance in 5 seconds or less, and so died w/in that interval from the time he dashed out of the bldg. AJ could have perished w/in those 5 or fewer seconds, but the probabilities that she did seem very remote.
According to Lopez' testimony, the collapse of the club occurred about 40 minutes after JN, Jr. died, and it was the collapse that killed AJ. The CA said that the interval bet. JN, Jr.'s death and the breaking down of the edifice was "minutes." Even so, it was much longer than 5 seconds, long enough to warrant the inference that AJ was still alive when her son expired.
The CA mentioned several causes, besides the bldg's collapse, by which AJ could have been killed. All these causes are speculative. xxx Nor was AJ likely to have been killed by falling beams bec. the bldg. was made of concrete and its collapse, more likely than not, was sudden. As to fumes, these do not cause instantaneous death; certainly, not w/in the brief space of 5 seconds bet. her son's departure and his death.
It will be said that all this is indulging in inferences that are not conclusive. Sec. 69 (ii) of R 123 does not require that the inference necessary to exclude the presumption therein provided be certain. It is the "particular circumstances from w/c it (survivorship) can be inferred" that are required to be certain as tested by the rules of evidence. In speaking of inference the rule can not mean beyond doubt, for "inference is never certainty, but it may be plain enough to justify a finding of fact."
In conclusion, the presumption that AJ died before her son is based purely on surmises, speculations, or conjectures w/o any sure foundation in evidence. The opposite theory is deduced from established facts w/c, weighed by common experience, engender the inference as a very strong probability. Gauged by the doctrine of preponderance of evidence by w/c civil cases are decided, this inference ought to prevail.

For more case digests visit http://www.pinaylawyer.com

case digest, case digests, supreme court case digests, supreme court case digest, pinaylawyer.com, www.pinaylawyer.com, case digest, case digest of, case digest on, supreme court case digest, supreme court case digests

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment