Facts: 

A petition for certiorari was assailed wherein a parcel of land situated in barangay bangad, binangonan, province of rizal is in dispute. 

The land was originally declared for taxation purposes in the name of Sinforoso Mendoza, father of the respondent. But an affidavit shows that the tax declaration in the name of Sinforoso was cancelled and subsequently declared in the name of margarito mendoza. Sinforoso died in 1930.

Petitioners were the daughters of margarito mendoza who was the brother of sinforoso. While respondent is the present occupant of the land. 

The RTC ruled in favor of the petitioners stating that such land in dispute is owned and covered in the name of Margarito Mendoza who are the petitioners herein based on the affidavit of tax declaration presented.

The CA however reversed the TC because the genuineness and the due execution of the affidavit had not been sufficiently established. And that no notary public or any witness was presented in the execution of the affidavit nor any expert or competent witness attested to the genuineness of the questioned signatures.

Hence this petition the SC. petition has no permit

Issue: WON th the CA was correct in not considering the affidavit as an exception to the general rule that an affidavit is classified as hearsay evidence, unless the affiant is placed on the witness stand. 

Held: 

Petitioners  dispute the CA’s ruling that affidavit was not the best evidence of their father’s ownership of the disputed land because the “affiant was not placed on the witness stand” (affidavits are classified as hearsay evidence unless affiants are placed on the witness stand) 

The petitioner’s allegations are untenable, before a private document offered as authentic can be received as evidence, its due execution and authenticity must be proved first. Since the father is already deceased, a document before being admitted as exceptions to hearsay under the “dead man’s statute” there must be compliance with the following elements:

  1. That the declarant is dead, insane or unable to testify
  2. That the declaration concerns a fact cognizable by the declarant
  3. That at the time the declaration was made, he was aware that the same was contrary to his interest
  4. That circumstances render improbable the existence of any motive to falsify 

In thisi case, one of the affiants happens to be the respondent, who is still ALIVE and who testified that the signature in the affidavit was not hers. A declaration against interest is not admissible if the declarant is available to testify as a witness.

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