Factual findings of trial courts entitled to highest degree of respect

It is the policy of the Court, founded on reason and experience, to sustain the factual findings of the trial court in criminal cases on the rational assumption that it is in a better position to assess the evidence before it; consequently, findings of the trial court are entitled to the highest degree of respect and will not be disturbed on appeal in the absence of any showing that the court overlooked, misunderstood or misapplied some facts or circumstances of weight and substance which if considered would have affected the result of the case. It is the trial court and not any court on appeal that can best ascertain the credibility of witnesses. [G.R. No. 114266. December 4, 1996]