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Case No.

1073
PEOPLE v. PAROJINOG
G.R. No. 95850
November 18, 1991
FACTS OF THE CASE
Petitioner Parojinog along with 18 other co-accused were charged with triple murder before the RTC of
Ozamiz City.
In the case at bar, the chief of police of Ozamiz City along with 10 other police officers were ambushed by
the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New Peoples Army. As a result, three police officers died
on the spot.
On August 1987, petitioner was investigated by police authorities and his alleged participation in the
ambush. Consequently, he confessed his participation during the investigation and said that he surrendered
to the Governor of Misamis Occidental. In his extra-judicial confession, he stated that he is a member of
the CPP-NPA and that they were tasked to collect rice from the barrios. They also planned the ambush
against the police officers which resulted to the death of three.
It was stated that before the investigation and confession, petitioner was informed of his constitutional right
to counsel and that if he did not have any, a lawyer is available. Having agreed to avail the assistance of a
counsel, Atty. Fuentes was assigned to the job. The records also showed that throughout the investigation,
the lawyer assisted the petitioner. After the investigation, petitioner was also asked to sign his extra-judicial
confession, which was subsequently sworn upon by the petitioner. However, in the petition herein,
petitioner Parojinog alleged that Atty. Fuentes was out during the investigations and that the lawyer was
not his choice, but of the policemens.
ISSUE/S
Whether or not the extra-judicial confessions of petitioner were admissible in evidence.
HELD/RATIO
As the Court ruled, the fate of the case at bar lies on the admissibility and non-admissibility of the
confessions made by petitioner. Petitioner argues that the lawyer given to him was not present during the
custodial investigation and that the same was not his choice but the authorities. The testimonies belie the
claims of petitioner. As the Court ruled, the constitutional provision on the right of the accused to counsel
provides that a person under investigation for the commission of an offense may choose his own counsel
but if he cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. While the initial choice of the
lawyer in the latter case is naturally lodged in the police investigators, the accused really has the final choice
as he may reject the counsel chosen for him and ask for another one.
In the case at bar, there was no showing that the petitioner objected to the appointment of Atty. Fuentes as
his counsel throughout the entire investigation proceedings. Finally, the court ruled, he apparently
acquiesced to the choice of the investigators. He complained for the first time that Atty. Fuentes was not
his choice only during trial. Thus, it was too late.

Prepared by: Antonio Dominic G. Salvador