CASE BRIEF 2008-0356
CASE: People of the Philippines vs. Moises Oliva Orbita [G.R. No. 172091 March 31, 2008]
PONENTE: Velasco, Jr., J.:
SUBJECT: Rape; Credibility of Witness
FACTS: For allegedly raping AAA, a minor, Orbita was charged for the crime of rape.
When arraigned, Orbita pleaded not guilty to the offense charged.
AAA was six years old when she testified in court.
Orbita interposed the defense that the credibility of AAA’s testimony became doubtful when she could not describe a male private organ.
Whether or not failure of the victim to accurately describe a male organ affects her credibility.
AAA’s alleged failure to accurately describe what a male organ looks like, does not affect her credibility. Considering her tender age, she cannot be expected to accurately describe it. What prevails is AAA’s testimony––it being simple and straightforward––which the offender would have no other recourse but to rebut as his last ditch effort, by posing his insignificant defense.
The accused may be convicted solely on the testimony of the victim, provided that such testimony is credible, natural, convincing, and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things.
AAA’s testimony was strongly supported by the evidence of the prosecution culled from the records that leaves no doubt as to her credibility. And what reinforces the credibility of her testimony is the fact that she was only six years old when she testified and, indubitably, her statements rang true.
A) Failure to accurately describe what a male organ looks like, does not affect credibility.
B) In rape cases, the accused may be convicted solely on the testimony of the victim, provided that such testimony is credible, natural, convincing, and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things.
‘Stand by things decided’ ~ Stare Decisis