Assessment of the credibility of witnesses

The assessment of the credibility of witnesses is within the province of the trial court.[1] All questions bearing on the credibility of witnesses are best addressed by the trial court by virtue of its unique position to observe the crucial and often incommunicable evidence of the witnesses' deportment while testifying, something which is denied to the appellate court because of the nature and function of its office. The trial judge has the unique advantage of actually examining the real and testimonial evidence, particularly the demeanor of the witnessesHence, the trial judge's assessment of the witnesses' testimonies and findings of fact are accorded great respect on appeal. In the absence of any substantial reason to justify the reversal of the trial court's assessment and conclusion, like when no significant facts and circumstances are shown to have been overlooked or disregarded, the reviewing court is generally bound by the former's findings. The rule is even more stringently applied if the appellate court has concurred with the trial court.[2]

[1] People v. Abaigar, G.R. No. 199442, April 7, 2014: People v. Bisda, G.R. No. 140895, July 17, 2003
[2] People v. Barcela, G.R. No. 208760, April 23, 2014