Case in Point | Requisites of newly discovered evidence


The question of whether evidence is newly discovered has two aspects: a temporal one, i.e., when was the evidence discovered, and a predictive one, i.e., when should or could it have been discovered. It is to the latter that the requirement of due diligence has relevance. We have held that in order that a particular piece of evidence may be properly regarded as newly discovered to justify new trial, what is essential is not so much the time when the evidence offered first sprang into existence nor the time when it first came to the knowledge of the party now submitting it; what is essential is that the offering party had exercised reasonable diligence in seeking to locate such evidence before or during trial but had nonetheless failed to secure it.

The Rules do not give an exact definition of due diligence, and whether the movant has exercised due diligence depends upon the particular circumstances of each case. The phrase is often equated with "reasonable promptness to avoid prejudice to the defendant." In other words, the concept of due diligence has both a time component and a good faith component. The movant for a new trial must not only act in a timely fashion in gathering evidence in support of the motion; he must act reasonably and in good faith as well. Due diligence contemplates that the defendant acts reasonably and in good faith to obtain the evidence, in light of the totality of the circumstances and the facts known to him. "Under the Rules of Court, the requisites for newly discovered evidence are: (a) the evidence was discovered after trial; (b) such evidence could not have been discovered and produced at the trial with reasonable diligence; and (c) it is material, not merely cumulative, corroborative or impeaching, and is of such weight that, if admitted, will probably change the judgment "(Chua v. People, G.R. No. 196853, July 13, 2015, Del Castillo, J).

Trending

Powered by Blogger.