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Antonio Lejano vs People of the Philippines G.R. No.

176389/People of the
Philippines vs Webb, et. al. G.R. No. 176864
Posted by bestre on Friday, January 21, 2011
A case digest on Evidence decided by the Supreme Court December 14, 2010.
Jessica Alfaro was the state witness of the popular case of Vizconde massacre. She
was an asset of the NBI prior to being a witness in the Vizconde massacre. Jessica
Alfaro positively identified Hubert Jeffrey P. Webb along with the other accused as
among those who participated in the commission of the crime charged against
them. The trial court and the Court of Appeals gave credence to the testimony of
Jessica Alfaro and convicted the accused. However, the accused questioned the
credibility of the witness as having concocted said testimony using her skill as an
NBI informer. According to Atty. Artemio Sacaguing, former head of the NBI AntiKidnapping, Hijacking, and Armed Robbery Task Force (AKHAR) Section, Jessica
Alfaro mentioned a possible witness to the Vizconde massacre. When forced to bring
out her witness, Jessica Alfaro could not provide one and said that she can assume
to be the witness of the case. This testimony of Atty. Artemio Sacaguing was not
rebutted by the prosecution.

Whether or not Jessica Alfaro is a credible witness and that her testimony is
sufficient to convict the accused of the crime committed.

The Supreme Court ruled on the contrary. Jessica Alfaro's testimony was
uncorroborated. There exist inconsistencies which the Highest tribunal could not
ignore. According to the Supreme Court, "Rather, to be acceptable, the positive
identification must meet at least two criteria: First, the positive identification of the
offender must come from a credible witness. She is credible who can be trusted to
tell the truth, usually based on past experiences with her. Her word has, to one who
knows her, its weight in gold. And second, the witness story of what she personally
saw must be believable, not inherently contrived. A witness who testifies about
something she never saw runs into inconsistencies and makes bewildering claims.
Ultimately, Alfaros quality as a witness and her inconsistent, if not inherently
unbelievable, testimony cannot be the positive identification that jurisprudence
acknowledges as sufficient to jettison a denial and an alibi."

Jessica Alfaro's story was not supplanted with evidence and did not corroborate to
testimonies of other prosecution witnesses. In toto, Jessica Alfaro's testimony was
made by an experienced NBI asset who has access to official records and made her
testimony based on the official records made available to her.

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Labels: digested case/case digest (remedial law)