Witnesses react differently to seeing killing incident

It must also be considered that, as elucidated by the statements of Aviles himself, he and Contapay had never met before the stabbing incident. Contapay cannot therefore, could not have been impelled by ill will or evil intent in testifying against Aviles whom he did not know prior to the incident.

Neither is the Supreme Court persuaded by Aviles argument that it is more consistent with human nature that a persons attention would be caught up in the ongoing struggle, rather than in trying to recognize the attacker. Different people react differently to a given situation, and there is no standard form of behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange, startling or frightful experience. Witnessing a crime is one novel experience which elicits different reactions from witnesses for which no clear-cut standard of behavior can be drawn. This is especially true if the assailant is physically near the witness.
In People v. Aquino, the Supreme Court even held that: There is no standard rule by which witnesses to a crime may react. Often, the face and body movements of the assailant create an impression which cannot be easily erased from the memory of witnesses x x x.

This finding of credibility on the part of Contapay likewise obliges the Supreme Court to affirm the ruling of the trial court and the Court of Appeals finding Aviles guilty of slight physical injuries. Contapays testimony was the evidence presented to prove not only the killing of Arenas, but likewise the stabbing of Contapay himself who had tried to help Arenas. (G.R. No. 172967; December 19, 2007)