CA upholds credibility of witnesses found by trial court; SC agrees

The determination of the competency of witnesses to testify rests largely with the trial court. As reiterated by this Court, the trial judge's assessment of the credibility of the witnesses' testimonies are accorded great respect on appeal in the absence of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial judge who has the advantage of actually examining both real and testimonial evidence including the demeanor of the witnesses as they present the same. A careful review of the records of the case before us reveals no cogent reason to warrant a departure from the findings of the trial court with respect to Ardel's credibility. It is the trial court that had the unequalled opportunity to observe the "quality of Ardel's perceptions and the manner she can make them known to the court." And as found by the trial court, "she clearly narrated in detail how she was sexually assaulted by the accused, Ferdinand Balisnomo. Her story is impeccable and rings true throughout and bears the stamp of absolute truth and candor." [G.R. No. 118990. November 28, 1996]