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CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

RULE 116 ARRAIGNMENT & PLEA Provision: 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 him1, 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, pleas 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 (1a) (d) When the accused pleads guilty but presents exculpatory evidence, his plea shall be deemed withdrawn and a plea of not guilty shall be entered for him.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 3 days from the filing of the information or complaint. (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. (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 of particulars or other causes justifying suspension of the arraignment shall be excluded in computing the period. (sec. 2, cir. 38-98)

Notes: 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] 1. 2. 3. 4.
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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

Jurisprudence: People v Alicando, 251 SCRA 293 (1995) & People v Estomaca, 256 SCRA 421 (1996)

5. 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 exculpatory2 evidence. (Ex. Evidence prove complete selfdefense) As a consequence thereof, plea shall be deemed withdrawn and the plea of not guilty shall be entered for him3 otherwise there shall be no standing plea for the accused.4 Note: Offended Party is required to appear personally in the arraignment for the purpose of plea bargaining, determination of civil liability and other matters requiring his presence. In cases where offended party fails to appear despite due notice, the trial court may allow the accused to plead guilty to a lesser offense necessarily included in the offense charged with the conformity of the trial prosecutor alone. Trial in absentia may be conducted only after valid arraignment. Accused must personally appear during arraignment and enter his plea and his counsel cannot enter plea on his behalf.
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Definition: explains a justification for a wrongful act or provide reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the defendant or accused. (Source: Law Guide) 3 Rule 116, Sec. 1(d) 4 If there is no standing plea, the accused cannot invoke double jeopardy later on

There is a presumption that accused has been validly arraigned. Generally, judgment is void if accused has not been validly arraigned but if accused went into trial without being arraigned, subsequent arraignment will cure the error provided that the accused was able to present evidence and cross examine the witnesses of the prosecution during trial. Provision: Section 2. Plea of guilty to a lesser offense. At arraignment, the accused, with the consent of the offended party and the 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, cir. 38-98) Plea Bargaining it is 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 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. 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. 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. Note: Before the accused may be allowed to plead guilty for a lesser offense the presence and consent of the offended party is required. If the plea of guilty to a lesser offense is made without the consent of the prosecutor and the offended party, the conviction of the accused shall not be a bar to another prosecution for an offense charged in the former information (no double jeopardy) If the offended party fails to appear during arraignment, the court may allow the accused to plead guilty to a lesser offense with the conformity of the trial prosecutor alone. Provision: Section 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)

Note: A plea of guilty results in the admission of all the material facts in the complaint or information, including the aggravating circumstances. Because of this, the court should only accept a clear, definite, and unconditional plea of guilty. Plea of guilty be considered a mitigating circumstance if made before the prosecution starts to present evidence. 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.

EFFECTS OF IMPROVIDENT PLEA: 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 independence of the plea itself.

COURTS ACTION WHEN THE ACCUSED PLEADS GUILTY TO A CAPITAL OFFENSE: 1. Conduct a searching inquiry5 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; GR NOs 141129 -33) 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.6

SOURCES: Ateneo Bar Central Reviewer on Criminal Procedure ; Lakas Atenista, Inigo Reviewer(Criminal Procedure), Rules of Court

Reason for searching inquiry: (1) to determine if the accused really understood his plea for guilty of a capital effect and its effects

Elements of Searching Inquiry: Judge must convince himself (1) that the accused is entering the plea voluntarily and
intelligently; (2) that the accused is really guilt and that there exists a rational basis for a finding of guilt based on his testimony; (3) inform the accused of the exact length of imprisonment and the certainty that he will serve it in a national penitentiary or penal colony. 6 Conviction of accused is sustained if the basis of judgment is the sufficient, reliable and credible evidence because then it is predicated not merely on the plea of guilty of the accused but on evidence that proves his commission of the offense charged against him