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MATILDE, JR.

v JABSON
GR. Nos. L-38392
December 29, 1975

FACTS:
Three (3) informations were filed against Crisanto Matilde, Jr. and others (laborers at Markes
Agro-Chemical Enterprises). They were charged with qualified theft (PD 133). The items involved were
boxes of insecticides belonging to the company.
The informations were amended twice — the first, on the value of the article involved in one
case, and the second, on the nature and character of the offense, changing it from "qualified theft" to
"simple theft" by deleting the phrase "with grave abuse of confidence". In the said amendments,
Matilde withdrew his previous plea of not guilty. Upon re-arraignment, Matilde pleaded guilty to the
crime of simple theft alleged in the three informations. He was convicted in the three cases.
Matilde filed a motion for reconsideration, contending that in the absence of any allegation in
the information alleging specifically all the elements of the offense defined and penalized under PD 133,
he cannot be convicted and penalized under said decree. CFI denied the MfR.

ISSUE:
Can the CFI contention validly impose upon Matilde the penalty prescribed by PD 133?

HELD:
No. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation against him.
The RoC Rule 110, Section 8 – The acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense
must be stated in an ordinary and concise language so as to enable a person of common understanding
to know what offense is intended to be charged; and to enable the court to pronounce proper
judgment.
The main purpose of this requirement is to enable the accused to prepare his defense. He is
presumed to be innocent and has no independent knowledge of the facts that constitute the offense
with which he is charged.
The informations charge Matilde simply with theft. Nowhere is it alleged that the articles stolen
were materials or products which Matilde was "working on or using or producing" as employee or
laborer of the complainant. The fact that Matilde is charged with simple theft "in relation to PD 133" is
insufficient.

Doctrine:
The Constitution guarantees that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be informed of
the nature and cause of the accusation against him.
An accused person cannot be convicted of a higher offense than that with which he is charged in
the complaint or information on which he is tried. He has a right to be informed as to the nature of the
offense with which he is charged before he is put on trial, and to convict him of a higher offense than
that charged in the complaint or information on which he is tried would be an authorized denial of that
right.