Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Retraction, recantation of testimony; probative value of. - OCA vs Morante : AM P-02-1555 : April 16, 2004 : Per Curiam : En Banc : Decision

[A.M. No. P-02-1555. April 16, 2004]
OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, complainant, vs. ATTY. EDGAR ALLAN C. MORANTE, Clerk of Court, Regional Trial Court, Las Pias City, Branch 275,respondent.

“x x x.

First. In People v. Ballabare,[77] we held that a retraction of a witness does not necessarily negate an original testimony. For this reason, the Court looks with disfavor upon such retractions because testimonies can easily be obtained from witnesses through intimidation or for monetary consideration. Moreover, any reconsideration must be tested in a public trial, with sufficient opportunity given to the adverse party affected by it to cross-examine the recanting witness. Hence, when confronted with a situation where a witness recants his testimony, courts must not automatically exclude the original testimony solely on the basis of recantation.They should determine which testimony should be given credence through a comparison of the original testimony and the new testimony, applying the general rules of evidence.[78] We have also held that it is absurd to disregard a testimony that has undergone trial and scrutiny by the Court and the parties simply because an affiant withdraws his testimony. Olavere and Momma executed their affidavits only after the formal investigation had been concluded and the case submitted for report and recommendation by the Investigating Justice.

X x x.”