Can text messages be used in court to prove infidelity/adultery in the Philippines?

Text messages may be used as evidence if you are able to authenticate the same in a manner prescribed under the Rules on Electronic Evidence (REE).

Under Sec. 1 (k) of the REE, text messages are considered “Ephemeral electronic communication”.

Ephemeral electronic communication, to be admissible as evidence, must be proven by the testimony of a person who was a party to the same or has personal knowledge thereof. In the absence or unavailability of such witnesses, other competent evidence may be admitted (Sec. 2, Rule 11, REE).

In the case of Zaldez Nuez vs. Elvira Cruz Apao1, the Supreme Court admitted the exchange of text messages between Zaldy and Elvira as evidence against the latter as it was duly authenticated in accordance with Sec 2, Rule 11 of the REE.

The authentication, in this case, was done as follows: complainant who was the recipient of said messages and therefore had personal knowledge thereof testified on their contents and import. Respondent herself admitted that the cellphone number reflected in the complainant’s cellphone from which the messages originated was hers. Respondent and her counsel signed and attested to the veracity of the text messages between her and complainant.

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  1. Zaldy Nuez v. Elvira Cruz-Apao, A.M. No. CA-05-18-P (Supreme Court of the Philippines 2005).