Private respondent claimed that his ancestor Alfredo Tabernilla bought the property of Jose Peralta in 1926. Respondent also claimed that Petitioner’s parent could stay for free in the said property in exchange of paying the realty tax. Years later, the petitioner took possession of the said property that led to the filing of a complaint by the Private respondent. The RTC then ruled and found that the Private responded as the true owner of the property. Petitioner appealed, insisting that the RTC ruled based on evidence not officially presented in the trial, and that the court used the testimony in another case as evidence in the present case. The RTC denied the appeal which the petitioner was constraint to elevate it to the CA, which the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. Hence the elevation of this case to the SC.
Whether the trial court committed error in taking judicial notice of Tabuena’s testimony in a case it had previously heard which was closely connected with the case before it.
Yes, It is clear, though, that this exception is applicable only when, “in the absence of objection,” “with the knowledge of the opposing party,” or “at the request or with the consent of the parties,” the case is clearly referred to or “the original or part of the records of the case are actually withdrawn from the archives” and “admitted as part of the record of the case then pending.” These conditions have not been established here. On the contrary, the petitioner was completely unaware that his testimony in Civil Case No. 1327 was being considered by the trial court in the case then pending before it. As the petitioner puts it, the matter was never taken up at the trial and was “unfairly sprung” upon him, leaving him no opportunity to counteract.