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Narrative Structure Analysis of Judicial Affidavits of Selected Filipino Witnesses

Ivan Claude L. Manzo


Faculty of Arts and Letters, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines
ivanmanzo101@gmail.com
Abstract
In recent years, judicial affidavits have been used in the Philippines. Judicial affidavits are
made by lawyers and witnesses who reconstruct the reality of the crime through
transcribed interrogation. The series of questions and answers contains an implied
narrative. This study focuses on the narrative element of judicial affidavits, particularly
on its narrative structure. It uses 10 judicial affidavits of selected Filipino witnesses to
determine the macro-structural components present in judicial affidavits. It further
examines the organizational sequence of these components and more specifically, it
analyzes the different micro-structural patterns within the judicial affidavits. It likewise
discusses the various methods used by lawyers and witnesses to evaluate the
occurrences in their narratives. This paper argues that judicial affidavits of selected
Filipino witnesses have the same macro-structural components of personal narratives, as
presented by Labov (1997), with the exception of the abstract. The sequence of the
macro-structural components suggests that lawyers and witnesses tend to evaluate the
plot of the narratives. The study observed that this sequence can occur in a continuous
repetition which makes it a feature of judicial affidavits. The study further analyzes the
narrative element of the judicial affidavits by delving into its micro-structure which
reveals that lawyers and witnesses combine different macro-structural components in a
single episode. The study also proposes new ways of categorizing the macro-structural
component of evaluation.
Key words: narrative structure analysis, judicial affidavits, selected Filipino witnesses