Remedial Law: Evidence – Classroom Notes and Reviewer

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Scope:

Rules of Court on Evidence – Rules 128-134
A.M. 01-7-01-SC: Rules on Electronic Evidence
Chain of Custody Rule under RA 9165 Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2012.
A.M. 06-11-05 SC: Rule on DNA Evidence
A.M. 01-7-01-SC: Rules on Electronic Evidence
A.M. 004-07-SC: Rules on Examination of Child Witness; Also Sexual Abuse Shield Rule
A.M. 12-8-8-SC: Judicial Affidavit Rule
RA 6981 Witness Protection Security & Benefit Act
RA 7438 Act Defining Certain Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained, or Under Custodial Investigation

Sources:

Ampuan Evidence Reviewer
Atty. Henedino Brondial’s Remedial Law Syllabus for the cases
Atty. Willard Riano’s Evidence for notes and the sequencing of topics

Click to Download the PDF File:

Remedial Law – Evidence Reviewer v1.0

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Case Brief: Bayan KMP vs. Ermita

BAYAN, KARAPATAN, KILUSANG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS (KMP), GABRIELA, Fr. Jose Dizon, Renato Constantino, Jr., Froyel Yaneza, and Fahima Tajar, Petitioners,

vs.

EDUARDO ERMITA, in his capacity as Executive Secretary, Manila City Mayor LITO ATIENZA, Chief of the Philippine National Police, Gen. ARTURO M. LOMIBAO, NCRPO Chief Maj. Gen. VIDAL QUEROL, and Western Police District Chief Gen. PEDRO BULAONG, Respondents.

G.R. No. 169838 April 25, 2006

FACTS:

The first petitioners, Bayan, et al., allege that they are citizens and taxpayers of the Philippines and that their rights as organizations and individuals were violated when the rally they participated in on October 6, 2005 was violently dispersed by policemen implementing Batas Pambansa (B.P.) No. 880.

The second group consists of 26 individual petitioners, Jess del Prado, et al., who alleged that they were injured, arrested and detained when a peaceful mass action they held on September 26, 2005 was preempted and violently dispersed by the police. They further assert that on October 5, 2005, a group they participated in marched to Malacañang to protest issuances of the Palace which, they claim, put the country under an “undeclared” martial rule, and the protest was likewise dispersed violently and many among them were arrested and suffered injuries.

The third group, Kilusang Mayo Uno, et al., allege that they conduct peaceful mass actions and that their rights as organizations and those of their individual members as citizens, specifically the right to peaceful assembly, are affected by Batas Pambansa No. 880 and the policy of “Calibrated Preemptive Response” being followed to implement it.

KMU, et al., claim that on October 4, 2005, a rally KMU co-sponsored was to be conducted at the Mendiola bridge but police blocked them along C.M. Recto and Lepanto Streets and forcibly dispersed them, causing injuries to several of their members. They further allege that on October 6, 2005, a multi-sectoral rally which KMU also co-sponsored was scheduled to proceed along España Avenue in front of the University of Santo Tomas and going towards Mendiola bridge. Police officers blocked them along Morayta Street and prevented them from proceeding further. They were then forcibly dispersed, causing injuries on one of them. Three other rallyists were arrested.

All petitioners assail Batas Pambansa No. 880, some of them in toto and others only Sections 4, 5, 6, 12, 13(a), and 14(a), as well as the policy of CPR. They seek to stop violent dispersals of rallies under the “no permit, no rally” policy and the CPR policy recently announced.

Petitioners Bayan, et al., contend that Batas Pambansa No. 880 is clearly a violation of the Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other human rights treaties of which the Philippines is a signatory.

They argue that B.P. No. 880 requires a permit before one can stage a public assembly regardless of the presence or absence of a clear and present danger. It also curtails the choice of venue and is thus repugnant to the freedom of expression clause as the time and place of a public assembly form part of the message for which the expression is sought. Furthermore, it is not content-neutral as it does not apply to mass actions in support of the government. The words “lawful cause,” “opinion,” “protesting or influencing” suggest the exposition of some cause not espoused by the government. Also, the phrase “maximum tolerance” shows that the law applies to assemblies against the government because they are being tolerated. As a content-based legislation, it cannot pass the strict scrutiny test.

Petitioners Jess del Prado, et al., in turn, argue that B.P. No. 880 is unconstitutional as it is a curtailment of the right to peacefully assemble and petition for redress of grievances because it puts a condition for the valid exercise of that right. It also characterizes public assemblies without a permit as illegal and penalizes them and allows their dispersal. Thus, its provisions are not mere regulations but are actually prohibitions.

Furthermore, the law delegates powers to the Mayor without providing clear standards. The two standards stated in the laws (clear and present danger and imminent and grave danger) are inconsistent.

ISSUE:

Whether or not B.P. No, 880 which delegates powers to the Mayor provides clear standards.

RULING:

Yes. As to the delegation of powers to the mayor, the law provides a precise and sufficient standard – the clear and present danger test stated in Sec. 6 (a). The reference to “imminent and grave danger of a substantive evil” in Sec. 6 (c) substantially means the same thing and is not an inconsistent standard. As to whether respondent Mayor has the same power independently under Republic Act No. 7160 is thus not necessary to resolve in these proceedings, and was not pursued by the parties in their arguments.

The so-called calibrated preemptive response policy has no place in our legal firmament and must be struck down as a darkness that shrouds freedom. It merely confuses our people and is used by some police agents to justify abuses. On the other hand, B.P. No. 880 cannot be condemned as unconstitutional; it does not curtail or unduly restrict freedoms; it merely regulates the use of public places as to the time, place and manner of assemblies. Far from being insidious, “maximum tolerance” is for the benefit of rallyists, not the government. The delegation to the mayors of the power to issue rally “permits” is valid because it is subject to the constitutionally-sound “clear and present danger” standard.

RATIO: Examples of standards held sufficient. – The following are legislative specifications are among those which have been held to state a sufficiently definite standard for administrative action in specific fields… “a clear and present danger,” and “imminent and grave danger of a substantive evil.”

Case Brief: US vs. Barias

THE UNITED STATES, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
SEGUNDO BARIAS, Defendant-Appellant.
G.R. No. 7567. November 12, 1912.

Facts:
In 1904, Congress, through a law (Act No. 1136), authorized the Collector of Customs to regulate the business of lighterage. Lighterage is a business involving the shipping of goods by use of lighters or cascos (small ships/boats). The said law also provides that the Collector may promulgate such rules to implement Act No. 1136. Further, Act No. 1136 provides that in case a fine is to be imposed, it should not exceed one hundred dollars. Pursuant to this, the Collector promulgated Circular No. 397.
Meanwhile, Aniceto Barrias was caught navigating the Pasig River using a lighter which is manually powered by bamboo poles (sagwan). Such is a violation of Circular No. 397 because under said Circular, only steam powered ships should be allowed to navigate the Pasig River. However, in the information against Barrias, it was alleged that the imposable penalty against him should be a fine not exceeding P500.00 at the discretion of the court – this was pursuant to Circular No. 397 which provides:
For the violation of any part of the foregoing regulations, the persons offending shall be liable to a fine of not less than P5 and not more than P500, in the discretion of the court.
Barrias now challenged the validity of such provision of the Circular as it is entirely different from the penal provision of Act. No. 1136 which only provided a penalty of not exceeding $100.00 (Note at that time the peso-dollar exchange was more or less equal).

ISSUE:
Whether or not the penal provision in the Circular is valid.

HELD:
No. The Commissioner cannot impose a different range of penalty different from that specified by Congress. If the Collector is allowed to do so, then in effect, it is as if he is being delegated the power to legislate penalties. One of the settled maxims in constitutional law is, that the power conferred upon the legislature to make laws cannot be delegated by that department to anybody or authority. Where the sovereign power of the State has located the authority, there it must remain; only by the constitutional agency alone the laws must be made until the constitution itself is changed. The power to whose judgment, wisdom, and patriotism this high prerogative has been entrusted can not relieve itself of the responsibility by choosing other agencies upon which the power shall be developed, nor can its substitutes the judgment, wisdom, and patriotism and of any other body for those to which alone the people have seen fit to confide this sovereign trust.
This doctrine is based on the ethical principle that such a delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate by the instrumentality of his own judgment acting immediately upon the matter of legislation and not through the intervening mind of another. The Collector cannot exercise a power exclusively lodged in Congress. Hence, Barrias should be penalized in accordance to the penalty being imposed by Act No. 1136. In this case, the Supreme Court determined that the proper fine is $25.00.

 

Essay: Feasibility of Public-Private Partnerships

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When I took my Legal Research and Legal Writing subjects, we were asked to write a paper any relevant legal issues.  In the end, I came up with this:

 

FEASIBILITY OF PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

Based from the facts surrounding the establishment of MRT3

jeffsarabusingwordpress_feasibilityofPPP

Scope:

  • Background of Public-Private Partnership
  • RA 7718 (BOT Law) and its Implementing Rules and Regulations

 

Do note that I wrote the paper years ago and my views have changed.  Nonetheless, I posted it here for scholarly purposes, just in case the reader is about do to a research on the same topic in the future.

The sources of the information are properly cited in the paper itself.

—–

Disclaimer: The author merely published his notes from the classroom discussions and recitations. He does not guarantee the full accuracy of the data. If you see any wrong information, please tell and the author will be more than happy to correct it. After all, “false knowledge is more dangerous that outright ignorance”.

Case Brief: Garcia vs. CA

G.R. No. 119063 January 27, 1997

JOSE G. GARCIA, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and ADELA TEODORA P. SANTOS, respondents.

 

FACTS:

Petitioner Jose G. Garcia filed an Affidavit of Complaint with the Q.C. Prosecutor’s Office, charging his wife, private respondent Adela Teodora P. Santos with Bigamy.

In the RTC trial, it was mentioned that the accused was previously married with Reynaldo Quiroca, and without the said marriage having been dissolved, subsequently contracted the second marriage with the petitioner.

Private respondent filed a Motion to Quash alleging prescription of the offense as ground. She contended that by the petitioner’s admissions in his testimony in a Civil Case and in his complaint filed with the Civil Service Commission, the petitioner discovered the offense as early as 1974. Pursuant then to Art 91 of the RPC, the period of prescription of the offense started to run therefrom. Thus, the offense charged prescribed in 1989, or 15 years after its discovery by the petitioner.

The CA, although gave credence to the respondent’s evidence and recognized that the 15 year prescriptive period had certainly lapsed. However, the quashal of an information based on prescription could only be invoked before or after arraignment and even on appeal.

Hence, this appeal to remand the case in the RTC for further proceedings.

 

ISSUE:

Whether or not the CA committed a reversible error in affirming the Trial Court’s order granting the motion to quash the information for bigamy based on prescription.

 

HELD:

The petitioner’s contention that a motion to quash cannot go beyond the information in Criminal Case No. Q-92-27272 which states that the crime was discovered in 1989, is palpably unmeritorious. Even People v. Alaga,  which he cites, mentions the exceptions to the rule as provided in paragraphs (f) and (h) of Section 2, and Sections 4 and 5 of the old Rule 117, viz., (a) extinction of criminal liability, and (b) double jeopardy. His additional claim that the exception of extinction can no longer be raised due to the implied repeal of the former Section 4, Rule 117 of the Rules of Court occasioned by its non-reproduction after its revision, is equally without merit. No repeal, express or implied, of the said Section 4 ever took place. While there is no provision in the new Rule 117 that prescribes the contents of a motion to quash based on extinction of criminal liability, Section 2 thereof encapsulizes the former Sections 3, 4, and 5 of the old Rule 117. The said Section 2 reads as follows:

Sec. 2. Foms and contents. — The motion to quash shall be in writing signed by the accused or his counsel. It shall specify distinctly the factual and legal grounds therefor and the court shall consider no grounds other than those stated therein, except lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged. (3a, 4a, 5a).

It is clear from this Section that a motion to quash may be based on factual and legal grounds, and since extinction of criminal liability and double jeopardy are retained as among the grounds for a motion to quash in Section 3 of the new Rule 117, it necessarily follows that facts outside the information itself may be introduced to grove such grounds. As a matter of fact, inquiry into such facts may be allowed where the ground invoked is that the allegations in the information do not constitute the offense charged. Thus, in People v. De la Rosa, SC stated:

As a general proposition, a motion to quash on the ground that the allegations of the information do not constitute the offense charged, or any offense for that matter, should be resolved on the basis alone of said allegations whose truth and veracity are hypothetically admitted. However, as held in the case of People vs. Navarro, 75 Phil. 516, additional facts not alleged in the information, but admitted or not denied by the prosecution may be invoked in support of the motion to quash.

In Criminal Case No. 92-27272, the trial court, without objection on the part of the prosecution, allowed the private respondent to offer evidence in support of her claim that the crime had prescribed. Consequently, the trial court, upon indubitable proof of prescription, correctly granted the motion to quash. It would have been, to quote De la Rosa, “pure technicality for the court to close its eyes to [the fact of prescription) and still give due course to the prosecution of the case” — a technicality which would have meant loss of valuable time of the court and the parties.

 

Case Brief: Uy and Roxas vs. CA

WILLIAM UY and RODEL ROXAS, petitioners,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, HON. ROBERT BALAO and NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, respondents.
G.R. No. 120465. September 9, 1999

Facts:

William Uy and Rodel Roxas are agents authorized to sell 8 parcels of land by the owners thereof. By virtue of such authority, they offered to sell the lands, located in Benguet to National Housing Authority (NHA) to be utilized and developed as a housing project. On 14 February 1989, the NHA Board passed Resolution 1632 approving the acquisition of said lands, with an area of 31.8231 hectares, at the cost of P23.867 million, pursuant to which the parties executed a series of Deeds of Absolute Sale covering the subject lands. Of the 8 parcels of land, however, only 5 were paid for by the NHA because of the report it received from the Land Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that the remaining area is located at an active landslide area and therefore, not suitable for development into a housing project. On 22 November 1991, the NHA issued Resolution 2352 cancelling the sale over the 3 parcels of land. The NHA, through Resolution 2394, subsequently offered the amount of P1.225 million to the landowners as daños perjuicios.

On 9 March 1992, petitioners Uy and Roxas filed before the RTC Quezon City a Complaint for Damages against NHA and its General Manager Robert Balao. After trial, the RTC rendered a decision declaring the cancellation of the contract to be justified. The trial court nevertheless awarded damages to plaintiffs in the sum of P1.255 million, the same amount initially offered by NHA to petitioners as damages.

Upon appeal by petitioners, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court and entered a new one dismissing the complaint. It held that since there was “sufficient justifiable basis” in cancelling the sale, “it saw no reason” for the award of damages. The Court of Appeals also noted that petitioners were mere attorneys-in-fact and, therefore, not the real parties-in-interest in the action before the trial court. Their motion for reconsideration having been denied, petitioners seek relief from the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
1. Whether or not there was legal basis for rescinding the sale.
2. Whether or not the respondent CA erred in dimissing the subject complaint, finding that the petitioners failed to join as indispensable party plaintiff the selling lot-owners.

HELD:

1) Yes. The right of rescission or, more accurately, resolution, of a party to an obligation under Article 1191 is predicated on breach of faith by the other party that violates the reciprocity between them. The power to rescind, therefore, is given to the injured party. Article 1191 states that “the power to rescind obligations is implied in reciprocal ones, in case one of the obligors should not comply with what is incumbent upon him. The injured party may choose between the fulfillment and the rescission of the obligation, with the payment of damages in either case. He may also seek rescission, even after he has chosen fulfillment, if the latter should become impossible.” In the present case, the NHA did not rescind the contract. Indeed, it did not have the right to do so for the other parties to the contract, the vendors did not commit any breach, much less a substantial breach, of their obligation. Their obligation was merely to deliver the parcels of land to the NHA, an obligation that they fulfilled. The NHA did not suffer any injury by the performance thereof the cancellation was not a rescission under Article 1191. Rather, the cancellation was based on the negation of the cause arising from the realization that the lands, which were the object of the sale, were not suitable for housing.

Cause is the essential reason which moves the contracting parties to enter into it. In other words, the cause is the immediate, direct and proximate reason which justifies the creation of an obligation through the will of the contracting parties. Cause, which is the essential reason for the contract, should be distinguished from motive, which is the particular reason of a contracting party which does not affect the other party. Ordinarily, a party’s motives for entering into the contract donor affect the contract. However, when the motive predetermines the cause, the motive may be regarded as the cause.

In this case, it is clear, and petitioners do not dispute, that NHA would not have entered into the contract were the lands not suitable for housing. In other words, the quality of the land was an implied condition for the NHA to enter into the contract. On the part of the NHA, therefore, the motive was the cause for its being a party to the sale. SC held that the NHA was justified in canceling the contract. The realization of the mistake as regards the quality of the land resulted in the negation of the motive/cause thus rendering the contract inexistent. The Supreme Court denied the petition.

2) No. Section 2, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court requires that every action must be prosecuted and defended in the name of the real party-in-interest. The real party-in-interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. “Interest,” within the meaning of the rule, means material interest, an interest in the issue and to be affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere interest in the question involved, or a mere incidental interest. Cases construing the real party-in-interest provision can be more easily understood if it is borne in mind that the true meaning of real party-in-interest may be summarized as follows: An action shall be prosecuted in the name of the party who, by the substantive law, has the right sought to be enforced. Where the action is brought by an attorney-in-fact of a landowner in his name, (as in our present action) and not in the name of his principal, the action was properly dismissed because the rule is that every action must be prosecuted in the name of the real parties-in-interest (Section 2, Rule 3, Rules of Court).

Petitioners claim that they lodged the complaint not in behalf of their principals but in their own name as agents directly damaged by the termination of the contract. Petitioners in this case purportedly brought the action for damages in their own name and in their own behalf. An action shall be prosecuted in the name of the party who, by the substantive law, has the right sought to be enforced. Petitioners are not parties to the contract of sale between their principals and NHA. They are mere agents of the owners of the land subject of the sale. As agents, they only render some service or do something in representation or on behalf of their principals. The rendering of such service did not make them parties to the contracts of sale executed in behalf of the latter. Since a contract may be violated only by the parties thereto as against each other, the real parties-in-interest, either as plaintiff or defendant, in inaction upon that contract must, generally, either be parties to said contract. Petitioners have not shown that they are assignees of their principals to the subject contracts. While they alleged that they made advances and that they suffered loss of commissions, they have not established any agreement granting them “the right to receive payment and out of the proceeds to reimburse themselves for advances and commissions before turning the balance over to the principals.

Notes: Tips on Sentence Construction

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Back in our Legal Technique and Logic class, we were taught how to construct sentences properly.  We were asked by our professor to look for several sentences from several jurisprudence and apply those that we learned to make it better.  The results were as follows:

Choosing Words

1. Learn to avoid simplicity jargons.

Original Version: Under this ruling, either of the spouses Go may bring an action against Navarro to recover possession of the Kargo Enterprises-leased vehicles which they co-own. (Navarro v. Escobido, GR No. 153788, Nov 27, 2009).

Revised version: Under this ruling, either of the spouses Go may sue Navarro to recover possession of the Kargo Enterprises-leased vehicles which they co-own

2. Use strong & precise words. Minimize is, are, was, were

Original Version: The first error assigned by counsel for the appellant is addressed to this conclusion of the lower court and is to the effect that article 256 of the Penal Code is no longer in force. (People v. Perez, GR No. 21049, Dec 22, 1923)

Revised version: The first error assigned by counsel for the appellant, addressing the conclusion of the lower court, and is to the effect that article 256 of the Penal Code is no longer in force.

3. Turn –ion words into verbs when you can

Original Version: The RTC set aside the Probation Officer’s recommendation and granted private respondent’s application for probation in its order of April 23, 1993. (People v. Evangelista, GR No. 110898, Feb 20, 1996)

Revised Version: The RTC set aside that which was recommended by Probation Officer, and granted private respondent application for probation in its order of April 23, 1993.

4. Simplify wordy phrases

Original Version: In 1911, Sir Frederick Pollock said that the codification of English law was perfectly feasible and was to be expected in the near future. (A Treatise on Equity Jurisprudence As Administered in the United States of America)

Revised Version: In 1911, Sir Frederick Pollock said that the codification of English law was perfectly feasible and was to be expected soon.

5. Avoid doublets & triplets

Original Version: However, if demand was not made, then the loans had not yet become due and demandable. (General Milling Corp v. Ramos, GR No. 193723, Jul 20, 2011)

Revised Version: However, if demand was not made, then the loans had not yet become due.

6. Refer to people & companies by name

Original version: On the day the writ was supposed to be implemented, respondent allegedly told complainant that a surveyor was needed to measure the subject area inside the garage. Complainant thus engaged the services of an engineer. (Bautista v. Cruz, A.M. No. P-12-3062, Jul 25, 2012).

Revised version: On the day the writ was supposed to be implemented, respondent Cruz allegedly told complainant Bautista that a surveyor was needed to measure the subject area inside the garage. Bautista thus engaged the services of an engineer.

 

In another class activity, we also did the following:

1. Omit needless words.
People v. Perez, GR No. 21049, Dec 22, 1993.
Original Version: The trial judge found as a fact, and we think with abundant reason, that it had been proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused made use of the language stated in the beginning of this decision and set out in the information.
Revised Version: We agree with the trial judge that it was proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused made use of the language being alleged against him

2. Keep your average sentence length to about 20 words.
People v. Perez, GR No. 856, Apr 18, 1949.
Original Version: Count No. 1 alleges that the accused, together with the other Filipinos, recruited, apprehended and commandeered numerous girls and women against their will for the purpose of using them, as in fact they were used, to satisfy the immoral purpose and sexual desire of Colonel Mini, and among such unfortunate victims, were Felina Laput, Eriberta Ramo alias Miami Ramo, Eduarda Daohog, Eutiquia Lamay, Feliciana Bonalos and Flaviana Bonalos.
Revised Version: Count No. 1 alleged that the accused forced the victims to satisfy the sexual desires of Colonel Mini.

3. Keep the subject, verb, & object together toward the beginning of sentence.
Mercado v. Nambi, AC No. 7158, Mar 9, 2015
Original Version: Considering that this appears to be respondent’s first infraction, we find it proper to impose on him the penalty of reprimand with warning that commission of the same or similar infraction will be dealt with more severely.
Revised Version: We find it proper to impose on him the penalty of reprimand with warning that commission of the same or similar infraction will be dealt with more severely, considering that this appears to be respondent’s first infraction.

4. Prefer the active voice over passive voice.
Toledo-Banaga v CA, GR No. 127941, Jan 28, 1999
Original Version: That decision became final and executory after petitioner Banaga’s petition for review was dismissed by this Court for lack of merit
Revised Version: The decision became final and executor after court dismissed Banaga’s petition for review for lack of merit.

5. Use parallel phrasing for parallel ideas.
CliffsNotes Writing: Grammar, Usage, and Style Quick Review, 3rd Edition
Original Version: He described skiing in the Alps, swimming in the Adriatic, and the drive across the Sahara Desert.
Revised Version: He described skiing in the Alps, swimming in the Adriatic, and driving across the Sahara Desert.

6. Avoid multiple negatives
The Legal Observer, Or, Journal of Jurisprudence, Volume 16
Original Version: According to al-Murtada, it is not impossible to assume that God knows when mukallafin (duty-bound individuals) perform acts, they do so because such performance accords to what they believe to be a rational duty and in conflict with rational prohibitions.
Revised Version: According to al-Murtada, it is possible to assume that God knows when mukallafin (duty-bound individuals) perform acts, they do so because such performance accords to what they believe to be a rational duty and in conflict with rational prohibitions.

7. End sentences emphatically
People v. Collado, Gr No. 135667-70, Mar 1, 2001
Original Version: I told him “don’t,” because I was hurt, because he is pressing his legs on my legs.
Revised Version: I was hurt because he is pressing his legs on my legs, so I told him “don’t’’.