Witness credibility impaired by unexplained, long silence about incident

What initially struck the Courts attention as to cautiously and skeptically consider the testimony of Agustin Tan, the sole eyewitness, is his long silence about the incident which remained unbroken until during the questioning conducted by the fiscal on September 27, 1993. No reason was proferred for Agustin Tans silence for seven years despite his professed close ties of friendship with the victim and his family. Indeed, if any iota of credibility were to be attached to this witness, the most natural thing for him to have done was to bring the matter to the proper authorities or to the superior officials of the COMELEC and offer himself as a witness especially as he claimed himself to be an election officer, i.e., a member of the Board of Inspectors. This he failed to do. In fact, Agustin Tan did not even inform his wife and other close relatives of what he had witnessed immediately thereafter. On this score, we lift from People vs. Quiritan, the following: Altogether, the prosecution proferred no convincing explanation why two supposedly material witnesses were not presented to the police investigators. The almost two-year silence of Pacolanang and Sabanal may well give rise to the suspicion that they were ill-motivated and unworthy of credence. [G.R. No. 119722. December 2, 1996]