Positive identification v. No motive

Which is superior: positive identification or lack of proof of motive? Otherwise put, when there is no proof that the accused has motive to commit the crime, will positive identification be enough ground to find the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt? Appellant argues that since the prosecution witnesses testified that there was no altercation between him and Flores, it follows that no motive to kill can be attributed to him. This is an inconsequential argument. Proof of motive is not indispensable for a conviction, particularly where the accused is positively identified by an eyewitness and his participation is adequately established. In People vs. Galano, we ruled that in the crime of murder, motive is not an element of the offense, it becomes material only when the evidence is circumstantial or inconclusive and there is some doubt on whether the accused had committed it. In the case before us, no such doubt exits as De Leon and Tablate positively identified appellant.In a last-ditch attempt to cast doubt on the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, appellant questions why their statements were taken only on January 29, 1998 when the incident happened on November 6, 1997. The two-month delay is hardly an indicium of a concocted story. It is but natural for witnesses to avoid being involved in a criminal proceeding particularly when the crime committed is of such gravity as to show the cruelty of the perpetrator. Born of human experience, the fear of retaliation can have a paralyzing effect to the witnesses. Thus, in People vs. Dacibar, we held that the initial reluctance of witnesses to volunteer information about a criminal case is of common knowledge and has been judicially declared as insufficient to affect credibility, especially when a valid reason exists for such hesitance. (People v. Delos Santos, G.R. No. 135919, 09 May 2003, 403 SCRA 153)