Principles in deciding rape cases

A rape case usually involves the word of one person against another. How should a court decide rape cases?

In several cases, the Supreme Court has stated that the following principles should be applied in deciding rape cases:

(1) an accusation of rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to disprove;

(2) due to the nature of the crime of rape in which only two persons are usually involved, the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution; and

(3) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits
and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence
for the defense.

Due to the nature of this crime, conviction for rape may be solely based on the complainant’s testimony provided it is credible, natural, convincing, and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things. (People of the Philippines vs. Baraoil, G.R. No. 194608, July 9, 2012).


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