part of res gestae

Res Gestae
literally means things done. It includes circumstances, facts,
and declarations incidental to the main facts or transaction
necessary to illustrate its character and also includes acts,
words, or declarations which are closely connected therewith
as to constitute part of the transaction.

2 Types of Res Gestae
1. Spontaneous Statements
2. Verbal Acts

Spontaneous Statements
Spontaneous statements in connection with a startling occurrence
relating to that fact and in effect forming part thereof

1. There must be a startling occurrence
2. The statement must relate to the circumstances of the
   startling occurrence
3. The statement must be spontaneous

Verbal Acts
Statements accompanied by an equivocal act material to the
issue and giving it a legal significance

1. The act or occurrence characterized must be equivocal
2. Verbal acts must characterize or explain the equivocal act
3. Equivocal act must be relevant to the issue
4. Verbal act must be contemporaneous with the equivocal act

Parts of Res Gestae Grounds For Admissibility
1. Necessity – natural and spontaneous utterances are more
   convincing than the testimony of the same person on the
2. Trustworthiness – the statement is made indistinctively.
   The facts speaking thru the party not the party talking about
   the facts.

It is essential that spontaneous statements should have been
caused by something startling enough to produce nervous
excitement. The declarant must be a witness to the event to
which the utterance relates. He must have personally observed
the fact. What the law distrusts is not the “after speech” but
the after thought.

Distinctions between Res Gestae in connection with a homicidal 
act and dying declaration
1. Res Gestae
   May be made by the killer himself after or during the killing
   or that of a third person

   Dying Declaration
   Can be made only by the victim

2. Res Gestae
   May precede or be made after the homicidal attack was

   Dying Declaration
   Made only after the homicidal attack has been committed

3. Res Gestae
   Justification in the spontaneity of the statement

   Dying Declaration
   Trustworthiness based upon in its being given in awareness
   of impending death

Distinctions between verbal acts and spontaneous statements
1. Verbal Acts
   The res gestae is the equivocal act

   Spontaneous Statements
   The res gestae is the startling occurrence

2. Verbal Acts
   Verbal act must be contemporaneous with or accompany the
   equivocal act.

   Spontaneous Statements
   Statements may be made prior, or immediately after the
   startling occurrence.

What are the requisites for spontaneous exclamations as part 
of the res gestae ?
      Suggested Answer
      a. The res gestae is an equivocal act.
      b. The equivocal act must be material to the issue.
      c. The statement or question must be necessary for the
         understanding of the equivocal act.
      d. The statement must accompany the equivocal act.
         (Tracy's Handbook, 62 Ed., p. 222)

Give examples of spontaneous exclamations as part of the 
res gestae.
      Suggested Answer
      a. A conversation between two accused immediately after
         the commission of the crime overheard by prosecution
         witnesses. (People v. Reyes, 82 Phil. 563)
      b. A statement made by a wounded person shortly after a
         violent occurrence heard by another.
      c. The statement made by a shooting victim to persons
         who answered his cries for help that the accused shot him.

Explain the concept of res gestae.
      Suggested Answer
      A matter incidental to the main fact and explanatory of it,
      including acts and words which are so closely connected
      therewith as to constitute a part of the transaction, and
      without a knowledge of which the main fact might not be
      properly understood. (20 Am. Jur. 553)

      NOTES AND COMMENTS: What is admissible as part of res gestae
      is not the details of an occurrence, but the human assertions
      or statements about those details. (20 Am. Jur. 553-556)

Rationale behind admissibility of res gestae or why res gestae 
is an exception to the hearsay rule:
1. Necessity because such natural and spontaneous utterances
   are more convincing than the testimony of the same person on
   the stand. (Mobile v. Ascraft, 48 Ala. 31)
2. Trustworthiness because these statements are made instinctively.
   (Wesley v. Sate, 53 Ala. 182)

Bar Exam 2005
Dencio barged into the house of Marcela, tied her to a chair and
robbed her of assorted pieces of jewelry and money. Dencio then
brought Candida, Marcela's maid, to a bedroom where he raped her.
Marcela could hear Candida crying and pleading: "Huwag! Maawa ka
sa akin!" After raping Candida, Dencio fled from the house with
the loot. Candida then untied Marcela and rushed to the police
station about a kilometer away and told Police Officer Roberto
Maawa that Dencio had barged into the house of Marcela, tied the
latter to a chair and robbed her of her jewelry and money.
Candida also related to the police officer that despite her pleas,
Dencio had raped her. The policeman noticed that Candida was
hysterical and on the verge of collapse. Dencio was charged with
robbery with rape. During the trial, Candida can no longer be
located. (8%)

a. If the prosecution presents Police Officer Roberto Maawa to
testify on what Candida had told him, would such testimony of
the policeman be hearsay? Explain.

No. The testimony of the policeman is not hearsay. It is part of
the res gestae. It is also an independently relevant statement.
The police officer testified of his own personal knowledge, not
to the truth of Candida's statement, i.e., that she told him,
despite her pleas, Dencio had raped her. (People v. Gaddi,G.R.
No. 74065, February 27,1989)

b. If the police officer will testify that he noticed Candida
to be hysterical and on the verge of collapse, would such
testimony be considered as opinion, hence, inadmissible?

No, it cannot be considered as opinion, because he was testifying
on what he actually observed. The last paragraph of Sec. 50,
Rule 130, Revised Rules of expressly provides that a witness may
testify on his impressions of the emotion, behavior, condition or
appearance of a person.