Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Credibility of witnesses
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, V. GIRALYN P. ADALIA ACCUSED-APPELLANT. G.R. No. 235990, January 22, 2020 .
“x x x.
In cases where the issue rests on the credibility of witnesses, as in this case, it is important to emphasize the well-settled rule that "appellate courts accord the highest respect to the assessment made by the trial court because of the trial judge's unique opportunity to observe the witnesses firsthand and to note their demeanor, conduct and attitude under grueling examination."
We explained in Reyes, Jr. v. Court of Appeals that the findings of the trial court will not be overturned absent any clear showing that it had overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight or substance that could have altered the outcome of the case, viz.:
Also, the issue hinges on credibility of witnesses. We have consistently adhered to the rule that where the culpability or innocence of an accused would hinge on the issue of credibility of witnesses and the veracity of their testimonies, findings of the trial court are given the highest degree of respect. These findings will not be ordinarily disturbed by an appellate court absent any clear showing that the trial court has overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight or substance which could very well affect the outcome of the case. It is the trial court that had the opportunity to observe 'the witnesses' manner of testifying, their furtive glances, calmness, sighs or their scant or full realization of their oaths. It had the better opportunity to observe the witnesses firsthand and note their demeanor, conduct and attitude under grueling examination. Inconsistencies or contradictions in the testimony of the victim do not affect the veracity of the testimony if the inconsistencies do not pertain to material points. (Emphasis supplied)
X x x.”