Modes of discovery

Justice Florenz D. Regalado (cited in G.R. No. 240053, October 09, 2019) instructs, viz (Regalado, Florenz D., REMEDIAL LAW COMPENDIUM, VOLUME I, 9th Edition, 2004, at 334-335):
  1. Rules 23 to 28 provide for the different modes of discovery that may be resorted to by a party to an action, viz
  1. Depositions pending action (Rule 23);
  2. Depositions before action or pending appeal (Rule 24);
  3. Interrogatories to parties (Rule 25);
  4. Admission by adverse party (Rule 26);
  5. Production or inspection of documents or things (Rule 27); and
  6. Physical and mental examination of persons (Rule 28);

Rule 29 provides for the legal consequences for the refusal of a party to comply with such modes of discovery lawfully resorted to by the adverse party.

  1. In criminal cases, the taking of the deposition of witnesses for the prosecution was formerly authorized by Sec. 7, Rule 119 for the purpose of perpetuating the evidence to be presented at the trial, without a similar provision for defense witnesses. However, in the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, only the conditional examination, and not a deposition, of prosecution witnesses was permitted (Sec. 7, Rule 119) and this was followed in the latest revision (Sec. 15, Rule 119).
  2. Depositions are classified into:
  1. Depositions on oral examination and depositions upon written interrogatories; or
  2. Depositions de bene esse and depositions in perpetuam rei memoriam.

Depositions de bene esse are those taken for purposes of a pending action and are regulated by Rule 23, while depositions in perpetuam rei memoriam are those taken to perpetuate evidence for purposes of an anticipated action or further proceedings in a case on appeal and are now regulated by Rule 24.

  1. The court may determine whether the deposition should be taken upon oral examination or written interrogatories to prevent abuse or harassment. (De los Reyes vs. CA, et al, L-27263, Mar. 17, 1975)

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