The “Academy” vs. the “Prevention Program”

I heard in the radio yesterday a funny but valid comment. While the opposition is running a “Witness Academy,” the administration is running the “Witness Prevention Program.”

With the proliferation of witnesses and recantations, please bear in mind the following:

1. Corroboration is the key. By corroboration I mean in two senses, namely: internal, where the testimony corroborates itself and external, where other witnesses affirm the same facts testified to by a witness.

2. Back read to my previous post on Impugning a Witness’ Testimony. Here, we tackle issues on bias, interest and integrity of a testimony.

3. Finally, the general rule is that recantations are not given much weight in the determination of a case[Tan Ang Bun v. Court of Appeals, et al., G. R. No. L-47747, February 15, 1990, People v. Lao Wan Sing, 46 SCRA 298 (1972), as cited in Lim, Sr. vs. Felix, G.R. Nos. 94054-57, 19 February 1991]. Here, I think the quality of the recantation deserves to be examined through the same standards I have stated above.

4. But generally, I would discard the entire testimony of a recanting witness because I would not know at what point he was telling the truth and what point he was lying. Trust and credibility are like crystal glass. Once broken, it cannot be repaired. The testimony, has already been “tainted.”

Just a few reminders to those out there fond of forming opinions about the “Academy” and the “Prevention Program.”


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