PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLEE, VS. FABIAN URZAIS Y LANURIAS, ALEX BAUTISTA, AND RICKY BAUTISTA ACCUSED, G.R. No. 207662, April 13, 2016. - The Lawyer's Post.
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The equipoise rule states that where the inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable of two or more explanations, one of which is consistent with the innocence of the accused and the other consistent with his guilt, then the evidence does not fulfil the test of moral certainty and is not sufficient to support a conviction. The equipoise rule provides that where the evidence in a criminal case is evenly balanced, the constitutional, presumption of innocence tilts the scales in favor of the accused.11
The basis of the acquittal is reasonable doubt, which simply means that the evidence of the prosecution was not sufficient to sustain the guilt of accused-appellant beyond the point of moral certainty. Proof beyond reasonable doubt, however, is a burden particular to the prosecution and does not apply to exculpatory facts as may be raised by the defense; the accused is not required to establish matters in mitigation or defense beyond a reasonable doubt, nor is he required to establish the truth of such matters by a preponderance of the evidence, or even to a reasonable probability.12
It is the primordial duty of the prosecution to present its side with clarity and persuasion, so that conviction becomes the only logical and inevitable conclusion. What is required of it is to justify the conviction of the accused with moral certainty. Upon the prosecution’s failure to meet this test, acquittal becomes the constitutional duty of the Court, lest its mind be tortured with the thought that it has imprisoned an innocent man for the rest of his life.13 The constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty can be overthrown only by proof beyond reasonable doubt.14
In the final analysis, the circumstances narrated by the prosecution engender doubt rather than moral certainty on the guilt of accused-appellant.
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