FIRST DIVISION, G.R. No. 188956, March 20, 2013, ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES RETIREMENT AND SEPARATION BENEFITS SYSTEM, PETITIONER, VS. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.
"x x x.
However, there is no substantive or procedural rule which requires a witness for a party to present some form of authorization to testify as a witness for the party presenting him or her. No law or jurisprudence would support the conclusion that such omission can be considered as a failure to prosecute on the part of the party presenting such witness. All that the Rules require of a witness is that the witness possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications provided therein. Rule 130 of the Rules on Evidence provides:
SEC. 20. Witnesses; their qualifications.–Except as provided in the next succeeding section, all persons who can perceive, and perceiving, can make known their perception to others, may be witnesses.
x x x x
Cavili v. Judge Florendospeaks of the disqualifications:
Sections 19 and 20 of Rule 130 provide for specific disqualifications. Section 19 disqualifies those who are mentally incapacitated and children whose tender age or immaturity renders them incapable of being witnesses. Section 20 provides for disqualification based on conflicts of interest or on relationship. Section 21 provides for disqualifications based on privileged communications. Section 15 of Rule 132 may not be a rule on disqualification of witnesses but it states the grounds when a witness may be impeached by the party against whom he was called.
x x x The specific enumeration of disqualified witnesses excludes the operation of causes of disability other than those mentioned in the Rules. It is a maxim of recognized utility and merit in the construction of statutes that an express exception, exemption, or saving clause excludes other exceptions. (In ReEstate of Enriquez, 29 Phil. 167) As a general rule, where there are express exceptions these comprise the only limitations on the operation of a statute and no other exception will be implied. (Sutherland on Statutory Construction, Fourth Edition, Vol. 2A, p. 90) The Rules should not be interpreted to include an exception not embodied therein. (Emphasis supplied.)
A reading of the pertinent law and jurisprudence would show that Ms. Aban is qualified to testify as a witness for the petitioner since she possesses the qualifications of being able to perceive and being able to make her perceptions known to others. Furthermore, she possesses none of the disqualifications described above.
The RTC clearly erred in ordering the dismissal of the subject application for land registration for failure to prosecute because petitioner’s witness did not possess an authorization to testify on behalf of petitioner. The court a quo also erred when it concluded that the subject case was not prosecuted by a duly authorized representative of the petitioner. The OSG and the court a quo did not question the Verification/Certificationof the application, and neither did they question the authority of Mr. Azcueta to file the subject application on behalf of the petitioner. Case records would reveal that the application was signed and filed by Mr. Azcueta in his capacity as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the petitioner, as authorized by petitioner’s Board of Trustees. The authority of Mr. Azcueta to file the subject application was established by a Secretary’s Certificate attached to the said application. The asseveration that the subject case was not prosecuted by a duly authorized representative of the petitioner is thus unfounded.
Interestingly enough, the respondent itself agrees with the petitioner that the dismissal of the subject application by the court a quo on the ground of failure to prosecute due to lack of authority of the sole witness of the petitioner is unfounded and without legal basis.
x x x."