To begin with, it is well-settled that the rules of evidence are not strictly applied in proceedings before administrative bodies such as the BOM. Although trial courts are enjoined to observe strict enforcement of the rules of evidence,in connection with evidence which may appear to be of doubtful relevancy, incompetency, or admissibility, we have held that:
[I]t is the safest policy to be liberal, not rejecting them on doubtful or technical grounds, but admitting them unless plainly irrelevant, immaterial or incompetent, for the reason that their rejection places them beyond the consideration of the court, if they are thereafter found relevant or competent; on the other hand, their admission, if they turn out later to be irrelevant or incompetent, can easily be remedied by completely discarding them or ignoring them.
From the foregoing, we emphasize the distinction between the admissibility of evidence and the probative weight to be accorded the same pieces of evidence. PNOC Shipping and Transport Corporation v. Court of Appeals teaches:
Admissibility of evidence refers to the question of whether or not the circumstance (or evidence) is to be considered at all. On the other hand, the probative value of evidence refers to the question of whether or not it proves an issue.