Affidavit of Recantation
On the probative value of an affidavit of recantation, courts look
with disfavor upon recantations because they can easily be secured
from witnesses, usually through intimidation or for a monetary
Recanted testimony is exceedingly unreliable. There is always the
probability that it will be repudiated.
(Molina vs. People. 259 SCRA 138)
Example Question 1998 Bar Examination
If the accused on the witness stand repeats his earlier
uncounseled extrajudicial confession implicating his co-
accused in the crime charged, is that testimony admissible in
evidence against the latter? [3%]
Answer: Yes. The accused can testify by repeating his earlier
uncounseled extrajudicial confession, because he can be
subjected to cross-examination.
People v. Nardo 353 SCRA 339 (2001)
(A) was charged with rape by his 14-year old daughter. He was convicted
by the Trial Court and sentenced to death. (A) raised the defense that
the victim desisted in pursuing the case against her father by showing
two letters. However, these were not subscribed and sworn to by the
Should the letters be admitted in order to acquit the accused?
Held: No. A recantation of a testimony is exceedingly unreliable for
there is always the probability that such recantation may later on be
itself repudiated. Courts look with disfavor upon retractions because
they can easily be obtained from witnesses through intimidation or
for monetary consideration. A retraction does not necessarily negate
an earlier declaration. Especially, recantations made after the
conviction of the accused deserve only scant consideration. Even if
sworn to, the victim’s recantation could hardly suffice to overturn
the finding of guilt by the Trial Court which was based on her own
clear and convincing testimony given during a full-blown trial. An
affidavit of recantation, being usually taken ex parte, would be
considered inferior to the testimony given in open court.