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RULE 116

ARRAIGNMEN
T AND PLEA
Arellano, Aloha
Barradas, Renier
Eguia, Ezra Eve
Opada, Eden Marie
SECTION 1. ARRAIGNMENT AND PLEA; HOW MADE.-

(a) The accused must be arraigned before the


court where the complaint or information was
filed or assigned for trial. The arraignment
shall be made in open court by the judge or
clerk by furnishing the accused with a copy of
the complaint or information, reading the
same in the language or dialect known to
him, and asking him whether he pleads guilty
or not guilty. The prosecution may call at the
trial witnesses other than those named in the
complaint or information.
(b) The accused must be present at
the arraignment and must
personally enter his plea. Both
arraignment and plea shall be
made of record, but failure to do
so shall not affect the validity of
the proceedings.

(c) When the accused refuses to


plead or makes a conditional plea,
a plea of not guilty shall be
entered for him. (1a)
(d) When the accused pleads guilty but
presents exculpatory evidence, his plea shall
be deemed withdrawn and a plea of not guilty
shall be entered for him. (n)

(e) When the accused is under preventive


detention, his case shall be raffled and its
records transmitted to the judge to whom the
case was raffled within three (3) days from
the filing of the information or complaint. The
accused shall be arraigned within ten (10)
days from the date of the raffle. The pre-trial
conference of his case shall be held within
ten (10) days after arraignment. (n)
(f) The private offended party shall be required to appear
at the arraignment for purposes of plea bargaining,
determination of civil liability, and other matters
requiring his presence. In case of failure of the offended
party to appear despite due notice, the court may allow
the accused to enter a plea of guilty to a lesser offense
which is necessarily included in the offense charged with
the conformity of the trial prosecutor alone. (cir. 1-89)

(g) Unless a shorter period is provided by special law or


Supreme Court circular, the arraignment shall be held
within thirty (30) days from the date the court acquires
jurisdiction over the person of the accused. The time of
the pendency of a motion to quash or for a bill or
particulars or other causes justifying suspension of the
arraignment shall be excluded in computing the period.
(sec. 2, cir. 38-98)
Arraignment a mandatory requirement that
seeks to give the accused the opportunity, at
the first instance, to know why the prosecuting
arm of the government has been mobilized
against him and to plead. At the arraignment
the accused may enter a plea of guilty or not
guilty. ( Sec. 1, Part VII, DOJ NPS Manual)

Purpose of Arraignment: to inform the


accused of the nature of the charge against
him. (People vs Cabale, May 8, 1990); basis:
consti. (1987) , Sec. 14 (1) & (2).
HOW ARRAIGNMENT IS MADE: [OJCRP]

In open court where the complaint or


information has been filed or assigned for trial
By the judge or clerk of court
By furnishing the accused with a copy of the
complaint or information
Reading it in a language or dialect known to
the accused
Asking accused whether he pleads guilty or not
guilty
WHEN ARRAIGNMENT SHOULD BE HELD

General Rule:
Accused should be arraigned within 30
days from the date the court acquires
jurisdiction over the person of the accused
unless a shorter period is provided for by
law. The time of the pendency of a motion
to quash or for a bill of particulars or other
causes justifying suspension of the
arraignment shall be excluded in computing
the period.
WHEN SHOULD AN ACCUSED BE ARRAIGNED WITHIN A SHORTER PERIOD?

1. Accused is under preventive detention, his case shall


be raffled and its records transmitted to the judge to
whom the case was raffled within 3 days from the filing of
the information or complaint. The accused shall be
arraigned within 10 days from the date of the raffle. (R.A.
8493: Speedy Trial Act)

2. Where the complainant is about to depart from the


Philippines with no definite date of return, the accused
should be arraigned without delay. (R.A. 4908: An Act
Requiring Judges of Courts to Speedily Try Criminal Cases
wherein the Offended Party is a Person about to Depart
from the Phil. With No Definite Return)
3. Cases under R.A. 7610 (Child Abuse Act), the trial
shall be commenced within 3 days from arraignment.

4. Cases under R.A. 9165 (Dangerous Drugs Act)

5. Cases under SC AO 104 96 (i.e. heinous crimes,


violations of the intellectual property rights
law, kidnapping, robbery & carnapping), these
cases must be tried continuously until terminated
within 60 days from commencement of the trial and
to be decided within 30 days from the submission of
the case.
WHEN SHOULD A PLEA OF NOT GUILTY BE ENTERED?

1. Accused pleaded Not Guilty.

2. Accused refuses to plead.

3. Accused makes a conditional or qualified plea of guilt.(Ex. Accused


pleads guilty but adds inunahan niya ako eh)

4. Accused plea is ambiguous or indefinite.

5. Accused pleads guilty but presents exculpatory evidence. (Ex.


Evidence prove complete self-defense) As a consequence thereof,
plea shall be deemed withdrawn and the plea of not guilty shall
be entered for him otherwise there shall be no standing plea for the
accused.
SEC. 2. PLEA OF GUILTY TO A LESSER OFFENSE.-

At arraignment, the accused, with the


consent of the offended party and
prosecutor, may be allowed by the trial
court to plead guilty to a lesser offense
which is necessarily included in the offense
charged. After arraignment but before trial,
the accused may still be allowed to plead
guilty to said lesser offense after
withdrawing his plea of not guilty. No
amendment of the complaint or information
is necessary. (sec. 4, circ. 38-98)
Plea Bargaining it is a process whereby the accused,
the offended party and the prosecution work out a
mutually satisfactory disposition of the case subject to
the courts approval.

It usually involves the defendants pleading guilty to a


lesser offense or to only one or some of the counts of a
multi count indictment in return for a lighter sentence
than that for the graver charge.

It precludes the filing and prosecution of the offense


originally charged in the information, except when the
plea of guilty to a lesser offense is without the consent
of the offended party and the prosecutor.
TYPES OF PLEAS: (1) NOT GUILTY PLEA ; (2) GUILTY PLEA

PLEAS

o Plea to lesser offense during arraignment provided there is consent of

the offended party and of the prosecutor to the plea of guilty to a lesser
offense that is necessarily included in the offense charged.

o Plea to lesser offense after arraignment but before trial the accused

may still be allowed to plead guilty to a lesser offense after withdrawing his
previous plea of not guilty. No amendment to the complaint or information is
necessary.

o Plea to lesser offense after trial has begun , a change of plea to a


lesser offense may be granted by the judge, with the approval of the
prosecutor and the offended party if the prosecution does not have
sufficient evidence to establish the guilt of the accused for the crime
charged. The judge cannot on his own grant the change of plea.
SEC. 3. PLEA OF GUILTY TO CAPITAL OFFENSE;
RECEPTION OF EVIDENCE.

When the accused pleads guilty to


a capital offense, the court shall
conduct a searching inquiry into
the voluntariness and full
comprehension of the
consequences of his plea and shall
require the prosecution to prove
his guilt and the precise degree of
culpability. The accused may
present evidence in his behalf. (3a)
Improvident Plea it is a plea without
information as to all the circumstances
affecting it; based upon a mistaken assumption
or misleading information or advice.

EFFECT:
Conviction will be set aside if the plea of guilty

is the sole basis for the judgment. However,


the court may validly convict the accused if
such conviction is supported by adequate
evidence of guilt independent of the plea itself.
COURTS ACTION WHEN THE ACCUSED PLEADS GUILTY TO A CAPITAL OFFENSE:

1. Conduct a searching inquiry into the


voluntariness and full comprehension of the
consequences of the plea.

2. Require the prosecution to prove the guilt and


the precise degree of culpability of the accused
for the purpose of imposing the proper penalty.

3. Accused may in his behalf be allowed to


present evidence if he so desires.
EFFECT OF NON COMPLIANCE OF RULE 116, SECTION 3
(JURISPRUDENCE: PPL V ROGELLIO GUMIMBA)

If the conviction of the accused was


based on an improvident plea of
guilt, it must be set aside only if such
plea is the sole basis of judgment.

If the conviction of the accused was


based on sufficient, reliable, and
credible evidence, the said conviction
must be sustained.
PEOPLE V. SEVILENO

Facts:
Accused admitted to the raping and killing of a 9-year-old

child. He pleaded guilty of the crime charged against him.


When this case was called for the presentation of evidence
for the accused, counsel for the accused manifested that he
had no evidence to present in favor of the accused except
the plea of GUILTY made in open court.

In view thereof, the above-entitled case is hereby submitted


for decision based on the evidence presented by the
prosecution without the accused presenting evidence in his
behalf except the plea of GUILTY which is admitted by the
prosecution. So, the accused was sentenced to death.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the judge committed grave abuse of discretion? ;
Whether or not in convicting the accused and imposing upon him the
penalty of death as it failed to observe the required procedure for cases
where the accused pleads guilty to a capital offense when arraigned.

HELD / Reason:
Hence, the judge committed grave abuse of discretion when he did not

do searching inquiry upon the plead of guilty of the accused on a


capital offense. Instead the judge only asked two questions. For only a
clear, definite and unconditional plea of guilt must be accepted by the
trial courts and there is no such rule that says upon the plead of guilt by
the accused he will automatically be convicted.

So, Convicting the accused PAULINO SEVILLENO Y VILLANUEVA alias


Tamayo of Rape with Homicide and sentencing him to DEATH is
ANNULLED and SET ASIDE and the case is REMANDED to the court of
origin for the proper arraignment and trial of the accused until
terminated.
PEOPLE VS. ALICANDO
(251 SCRA 293; G.R. NO. 117487, DECEMBER 2, 1995)

Facts:
Appellant was charged with the crime of rape with homicide of
Khazie Mae Penecilla, a minor, four years of age, choking her with
his right hand. The incident happened after appellant drank liquor.
A neighbor, Leopoldo Santiago found the victims body and the
parents and police were informed. Appellant was living in his
uncle's house some five arm's length from Penecilla's house.
Appellant was arrested and interrogated by PO3 Danilo Tan.

He verbally confessed his guilt without the assistance of counsel.


On the basis of his uncounselled verbal confession and follow up
interrogations, the police came to know and recovered from
appellant's house, Khazie Mae's green slippers, a pair of gold
earrings, a buri mat, a stained pillow and a stained T-shirt all of
which were presented as evidence for the prosecution.
He was arraigned with the assistance of
Atty. Rogelio Antiquiera of the PAO.
Appellant pleaded guilty. The RTC
convicted him. Hence an automatic
review for the imposition of death
penalty.

Issue:
Whether or Not the death penalty was
proper.
Held:
No. The records do not reveal that the Information against the
appellant was read in the language or dialect known to him.

The Information against the appellant is written in the English


language. It is unknown whether the appellant knows the English
language. Neither is it known what dialect is understood by the
appellant. Nor is there any showing that the Information couched in
English was translated to the appellant in his own dialect before his
plea of guilt.

The RTC violated section 1(a) of Rule 116, the rule implementing the
constitutional right of the appellant to be informed of the nature and
cause of the accusation against him. It also denied appellant his
constitutional right to due process of law. It is urged that we must
presume that the arraignment of the appellant was regularly
conducted. When life is at stake, we cannot lean on this rebuttable
presumption. There could be no presumption. The court must be sure.
The trial court violated section 3 of Rule 116 when it
accepted the plea of guilt of the appellant. Said
section requires that the court shall conduct a
searching inquiry the voluntariness and full
comprehension of the consequences of his plea and
require the prosecution to prove his guilt and the
precise degree of culpability. The accused may also
present evidence in his behalf.

The trial court simply inquired if appellant had physical marks


of maltreatment. It did not ask the appellant when he was
arrested, who arrested him, how and where he was
interrogated, whether he was medically examined before and
after his interrogation, etc. It limited its efforts trying to
discover late body marks of maltreatment as if
involuntariness is caused by physical abuse alone.
SEC. 4. PLEA OF GUILTY TO NON-CAPITAL OFFENSE;
RECEPTION OF EVIDENCE, DISCRETIONARY.

When the accused pleads guilty to


a non-capital offense, the court
may receive evidence from the
parties to determine the penalty to
be imposed. (4)
PEOPLE V. MENDOZA
G.R. NO. L-80845, MARCH 14, 1994

Facts:
Storeroom of the Bukidnon National School of Home

Industries (BNSHI) in Maramag was ransacked


Responsibility for the robbery with force upon things

was laid on accused Juan Magalop, Petronilo


Fernandez and Ricarte Dahilan
Magalop pleaded "guilty

Fernandez pleaded "not guilty

The arraignment of Dahilan was deferred as he was

"not mentally well


Respondent Judge acquitted Magalop and Fernandez
Issue:
Was the acquittal of Magalop proper?

Held:
Yes.

When the accused pleads guilty to a non-

capital offense, the court may receive


evidence from the parties to determine the
penalty to be imposed.
The totality of evidence presented failed to

prove the guilt of the accused.


SEC. 5. WITHDRAWAL OF IMPROVIDENT PLEA OF
GUILTY.

At any time before the judgment of


conviction becomes final, the court
may permit an improvident plea of
guilty to be withdrawn and be
substituted by a plea of not guilty.
(5)
INSTANCES OF IMPROVIDENT PLEA:

1. Plea of guilty was compelled by violence


or intimidation
2. Accused did not fully understand the
meaning and consequences of his plea
3. Insufficient information to sustain
conviction of the offense charged
4. Information does not charge an offense
5. Court has no jurisdiction
PEOPLE V. EDUARDO DE OCAMPO GONZAGA
G.R. NO. L- 48373, JANUARY 30, 1984

Facts:
Accused Gonzaga was indicted for the

crime of murder
Not adequately informed of the nature

of the crime imputed against him and


the consequences of his plea. Nor does
it appear that the averments in the
information, including the qualifying and
aggravating circumstances were
explained to him.
Issue:
Was there an improvident plea?

Held:
Yes.

The records of the case have shown


that accused was charged, arraigned
and convicted hastily without him
understanding the nature of the crime
imputed against him and the
consequences of his plea.
SEC. 6. DUTY OF COURT TO INFORM ACCUSED OF HIS
RIGHT TO COUNSEL.

Before arraignment, the court shall


inform the accused of his right to
counsel and ask him if he desires
to have one. Unless the accused is
allowed to defend himself in
person or has employed counsel of
his choice, the court must assign a
counsel de oficio to defend him.
(6a)
4-FOLD DUTY OF THE COURT WHEN ACCUSED
APPEARS WITHOUT COUNSEL:

1. Inform the defendant that he has a right to an


attorney before being arraigned
2. After informing him, court must ask the defendant
if he desires to have the aid of an attorney
3. If he desires but is unable to employ one, the
court must assign an attorney de oficio to defend
him
4. If the accused desires to procure an attorney of
his own, the court must grant him reasonable time
to do so
SEC. 7. APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL DE OFICIO.

The court, considering the gravity of the


offense and the difficulty of the questions
that may arise, shall appoint as counsel de
officio such members of the bar in good
standing who, by reason of their experience
and ability, can competently defend the
accused. But in localities where such
members of the bar are not available, the
court may appoint any person, resident of
the province and of good repute for probity
and ability, to defend the accused. (7a)
WHO MAY BE APPOINTED AS COUNSEL DE OFICIO:

Members of the bar in good standing

In localities where such members of the


bar are not available, the court may
appoint any person, resident of the
province and of good repute for probity
and ability, to defend the accused.
PUBLIC ATTORNEYS OFFICE, MAXIMO B. USITA, JR. AND WILFREDO
C. ANDRES, PETITIONERS V. THE HON. SANDIGANBAYAN, SPECIAL
DIVISION, RESPONDENT. G.R. NOS. 154297-300
Facts:
On March 15 and 18, 2002, Atty. Persida V. Rueda-Acosta, Chief Public Attorney of

PAO personally appeared before respondent Special Division of the Sandiganbayan


to request the relief of the appearance of PAO as de oficio counsel for accused
President Joseph Estrada and Jose Estrada in their criminal cases before the
Sandiganbayan.

On May 8, 2002, the Chief Public Attorney filed an Urgent and Ex-Parte Motion to be
Relieved as Court-Appointed Counsel with the Special Division of the
Sandiganbayan, praying that she be relieved of her duties and responsibilities as
counsel de oficio for the said accused on the ground that she had a swelling
workload consisting of administrative matters and that the accused are not indigent
persons; hence, they are not qualified to avail themselves of the services of PAO.

On May 14, 2002, the remaining eight PAO lawyers filed an Ex-Parte Motion To Be
Relieved As Court-Appointed Counsels with respondent Court on the ground that the
accused, former President Joseph Estrada and Jose Estrada, are not indigents;
therefore, they are not qualified to avail themselves of the services of PAO.
Issue:
The issue is whether or not respondent
committed grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction in issuing the subject
Resolutions retaining two PAO lawyers
to act as counsels de oficio for the
accused who are not indigent persons.
Held:
The Court holds that respondent did not gravely abuse
its discretion in issuing the subject Resolutions as the
issuance is not characterized by caprice or
arbitrariness.

At the time of PAOs appointment, the accused did not


want to avail themselves of any counsel; hence,
respondent exercised a judgment call to protect the
constitutional right of the accused to be heard by
themselves and counsel during the trial of the cases.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED for being


moot.
SEC. 8. TIME FOR COUNSEL DE OFICIO TO PREPARE
FOR ARRAIGNMENT.

Whenever a counsel de oficio is


appointed by the court to defend
the accused at the arraignment, he
shall be given a reasonable time to
consult with the accused as to his
plea before proceeding with the
arraignment. (8)
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

V. RAFAEL ESTOCADA ALIAS "BOY ESTOCADA",


ANTONIO ESTOCADA, LUDOVICO ESTOCADA ALIAS
"LODONG", ROQUE ESTOCADA, ALADINO ESTOCADA
ALIAS "DINDIN", AND FERNANDO LATA, DEFENDANTS-
APPELLANTS, MANUEL M. PAREDES, RESPONDENTS.
G.R. NO. L-31024; FEBRUARY 29, 1972
SEC. 9. BILL OF PARTICULARS.

The accused may, before


arraignment, move for a bill of
particulars to enable him properly
to plead and prepare for trial. The
motion shall specify the alleged
defects of the complaint or
information and the details
desired. (10a)
WHAT IS A BILL OF PARTICULARS?

A written statement used in both civil and


criminal actions that is submitted by a plaintiff or
a prosecutor at the request of a defendant, giving
the defendant detailed information concerning
the claims or charges made against him or her.

A bill of particulars is neither a pleading nor proof


of the facts it states, but, rather, an elucidation of
a pleading. It is not to be used as a discovery
device to learn the evidence or strategy to be
used at trial by the opposing party.
(Motion for Bill of Particulars)

(CAPTION)

MOTION FOR BILL OF PARTICULARS

Defendant, through the undersigned counsel and unto this Honorable Court, respectfully avers:

1. That the plaintiff's complaint in paragraph 5 alleges:

From August 3 to December 2003, defendant never paid anything to herein plaintiff. The check that he issued as partial
payment for the first month also bounced. x x x(underscoring supplied)

2.The said allegation is not averred with sufficient definiteness and particularity, specifically it does not mention the amount of
the check therein mentioned, its check number, date, and the drawee bank;

3.That a more definite statement on the matters as above-indicated is necessary in order to enable the defendant to prepare
its responsive pleading because from the very onset of this controversy, the main dispute was on what was actually and
exactly agreed upon by the parties as the amount of monthly rentals on the lease of plaintiff's property;

4.However, due to the fact that defendant corporation had to transfer its liaison offices depending on its project sites, the
check stub where the above-mentioned check came from was probably misplaced and could no longer be found;

5.That a bill of particulars or a more definite statement as to particulars of the said check which was allegedly issued by the
defendants as partial payment for the first month would definitely simplify the issues in this case, and hopefully uncomplicate
the negotiations between the parties for an amicable settlement.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, defendant most respectfully prays that an order be issued by this Honorable Court requiring the plaintiff to make
more definite statement as to the particulars of the check mentioned in paragraph 5 of his complaint, particularly stating its
amount, check number, date, and the name of the drawee bank.

_____________, Philippines, __Date__.

(COUNSEL)

(NOTICE OF HEARING)

(EXPLANATION)

COPY FURNISHED:
SEC. 10. PRODUCTION OR INSPECTION OF MATERIAL
EVIDENCE IN POSSESSION OF PROSECUTION.

Upon motion of the accused showing good cause and


with notice to the parties, the court, in order to prevent
surprise, suppression, or alteration, may order the
prosecution to produce and permit the inspection and
copying or photographing of any written statement given
by the complainant and other witnesses in any
investigation of the offense conducted by the
prosecution or other investigating officers, as well as any
designated documents, papers, books, accounts, letters,
photographs, object, or tangible things not otherwise
privileged, which constitute or contain evidence material
to any matter involved in the case and which are in the
possession or under the control of the prosecution,
police, or other law investigating agencies. (11a)
PEOPLE VS. PALACIO
Facts:
In an information dated 23 October 1956, subscribed by the Provincial

Fiscal and filed in the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur on 8


November 1956, Jose Badiable alias Cabayo, Epifanio Cornelio,
Ernesto Ponciano, Lee Perfecta Ponciano Lee(Silvestre) and Jimmy
Ponciano Lee were charged with murder for the death of Jaime Salinel.

Counsel for the defense asked the Court to order the prosecution to
furnish the defendants with at least all of the names of the witnesses
for the prosecution.

The private prosecutor answered that he had no objection to the


motion and asked that he be granted fifteen days within which to
submit the names of the witnesses.
On 11 September 1957 the defendants filed a motion inviting
the attention of the Court to the fact that the prosecution had
not complied with its order to furnish them with a list of all the
names of the witness for the prosecution and prayed that the
prosecution be limited to the presentation of witnesses whose
names appear in the information.

At the trial on 17 April 1958 the prosecution called Estelita


Niebres, Soledad Abao, Jose Seguerra (or Ceguera)and Jose
Ibarando (or Juan Ibarondo), whose names do not appear as
witnesses in the information, to take the witness stand and
testify.

Counsel for the defense objected to their taking the witness


stand to testify. The Court disallowed them from taking the
witness stand and giving their testimony.
Issue:
Whether the prosecution be allowed to present witnesses
not included in the list to testify.

Held:
The defendant must be arraigned before the court in

which the complaint or information has been filed unless


the cause shall have been transferred elsewhere for trial.

The arraignment must be made by the court or clerk, and


shall consist in reading the complaint or information to
the defendant and delivering to him a copy thereof,
including a list of witnesses, and asking him whether he
pleads guilty or not guilty as charged.
The prosecution may, however, call
at the trial witnesses other than
those named in the complaint or
information. Therefore, the
prosecution need not furnish the
defendant with a list of all its
witnesses.

Counsel for the defense should have


asked for the exclusion of all the
witnesses who have not testified under
and pursuant to section 14, Rule 115.
SEC. 11. SUSPENSION OF ARRAIGNMENT.

Upon motion by the proper party, the arraignment shall be


suspended in the following cases:

(a) The accused appears to be suffering from an unsound mental


condition which effectively renders him unable to fully understand
the charge against him and to plead intelligently thereto. In such
case, the court shall order his mental examination and, if
necessary, his confinement for such purpose;

(b) There exists a prejudicial question; and

(c) A petition for review of the resolution of the prosecutor is


pending at either the Department of Justice, or the Office of the
President; provided, that the period of suspension shall not exceed
sixty (60) days counted from the filing of the petition with the
reviewing office. (12a)