Rape victim's credibility is important

Rape is generally unwitnessed and oftentimes, the victim is left to testify for herself. Thus, in resolving rape cases, the victim’s credibility becomes the primordial consideration. If a victim’s testimony is straightforward, convincing and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things, unflawed by any material or significant inconsistency, it passes the test of credibility and the accused may be convicted solely on the basis thereof.[1]It is important that the rape victim's testimony is candid, frank and straightforward, there appearing to be nothing unnatural or illogical. Moreover, it helps that the allegations are supported by the medical findings of a doctor who testifies in court. Where a victim’s testimony is corroborated by the physical findings of penetration, there is sufficient basis for concluding that sexual intercourse did take place. A rape victim’s account is sufficient to support a conviction for rape if it is straightforward, candid and corroborated by the medical findings of the examining physician, as in the present case.[2][3]

Also, “[c]ourts usually give greater weight to the testimony of a girl who is a victim of sexual assault, especially a minor, as in this case, because no woman would be willing to undergo a public trial and put up with the shame, humiliation and dishonor of exposing her own degradation were it not to condemn an injustice and have the offender apprehended and punished.”[4]

[1] People v. Arcosiba, G.R. No. 181081, September 4, 2009, 598 SCRA 517, 526, citing People v. Baligod, 583 Phil. 299, 305 (2008).

[2] People v. Corpuz, 517 Phil. 622, 637 (2006).

[3] People v. Manigo, G.R. No. 194612, January 27, 2014.

[4] People v. Castro, 594 Phil. 665, 674 (2008).