Qualification of a witness

The qualification of a person to testify rests on the ability to relate to others the acts and events witnessed. Towards that end, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court makes clear who may and may not be witnesses in judicial proceedings, to wit:
Section 20. Witnesses; their qualifications. - Except as provided in the next succeeding section, all persons who can perceive, and perceiving, can make known their perception to others, may be witnesses.

Religious or political belief, interest in the outcome of the case, or conviction of a crime unless otherwise provided by law, shall not be a ground for disqualification. (18a)

Section 21. Disqualification by reason of mental incapacity or immaturity. - The following persons cannot be witnesses:

(a) Those whose mental condition, at the time of their production for examination, is such that they are incapable of intelligently making known their perception to others;

(b) Children whose mental maturity is such as to render them incapable of perceiving the facts respecting which they are examined and of relating them truthfully. (19a)

As the rules show, anyone who is sensible and aware of a relevant event or incident, and can communicate such awareness, experience, or observation to others can be a witness. Age, religion, ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, or social status are not necessary to qualify a person to be a witness, so long as he does not possess any of the disqualifications as listed the rules. The generosity with which the Rules of Court allows people to testify is apparent, for religious beliefs, interest in the outcome of a case, and conviction of a crime unless otherwise provided by law are not grounds for disqualification. (Cavili v. Judge Florendo, No. L-68680, October 9, 1987)

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