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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
September-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 137538 September 3, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN v. HON. FRANCISCO B. IBAY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1249 September 4, 2001 - PHIL. GERIATRICS FOUNDATION, ET AL. v. LYDIA QUERUBIN LAYOSA

  • A.M. No. P-00-1373 September 4, 2001 - ELIZABETH A. TIONGCO v. ROGELIO S. MOLINA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1501 September 4, 2001 - JOSEPHINE D. SARMIENTO v. ALBERT S. SALAMAT

  • A.M. No. P-01-1502 September 4, 2001 - CRESENCIO N. BONGALOS v. JOSE R. MONUNGOLH and VICTORIA D. JAMITO

  • A.M. No. P-99-1357 September 4, 2001 - SHERWIN M. BALOLOY v. JOSE B. FLORES

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1651 September 4, 2001 - PROSECUTOR LEO C. TABAO v. JUDGE FRISCO T. LILAGAN

  • G.R. No. 125359 September 4, 2001 - ROBERTO S. BENEDICTO and HECTOR T. RIVERA v. THE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 126859 September 4, 2001 - YOUSEF AL-GHOUL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127181 September 4, 2001 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132709 September 4, 2001 - CAMILO L. SABIO, ET AL. v. INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134490 September 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOEL BRAGAT

  • G.R. Nos. 135356-58 September 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELECIO SAGARINO

  • G.R. No. 138923 September 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANITA AYOLA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1344 September 5, 2001 - LYDIO ARCILLA, ET AL. v. LUCIO PALAYPAYON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128145 September 5, 2001 - J.C. LOPEZ & ASSOCIATES v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133886 September 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. OSCAR PARBA

  • G.R. No. 134101 September 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELINO O. LLANITA

  • G.R. No. 136054 September 5, 2001 - SEVERINA SAN MIGUEL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132714 September 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO LALINGJAMAN

  • G.R. Nos. 139064-66 September 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO ARCE

  • G.R. No. 140529 September 6, 2001 - JOSE P. LOPEZ v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141400 September 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EVANGELINE GANENAS

  • Admin. Case. No. 4863 September 7, 2001 - URBAN BANK v. ATTY. MAGDALENO M. PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 114858-59 September 7, 2001 - COLUMBUS PHILIPPINES BUS CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 126352 September 7, 2001 - GSIS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127261 September 7, 2001 - VISAYAN SURETY & INSURANCE CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129644 September 7, 2001 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131805 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO HERMOSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132064 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ISAGANI BAYENG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132320 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CONRADO OJERIO

  • G.R. Nos. 135402-03 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IAN GONZAGA

  • G.R. No. 136779 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNEL ASUNCION

  • G.R. No. 142065 September 7, 2001 - LENIDO LUMANOG v. HON. JAIME N. SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 142875 September 7, 2001 - EDGAR AGUSTILO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144877 September 7, 2001 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. VERONICA AGUIRRE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1506 September 10, 2001 - GEORGE S. BICBIC v. DHALIA E. BORROMEO

  • G.R. Nos. 104769 & 135016 September 10, 2001 - AFP MUTUAL BENEFIT ASSO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118943 September 10, 2001 - MARIO HORNALES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130362 September 10, 2001 - INT’L FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES (PHIL.) v. MERLIN J. ARGOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138485 September 10, 2001 - DR. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. 141970 September 10, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK v. FLORO T. ALEJO

  • G.R. No. 145588 September 10, 2001 - ESPERIDION LOPEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140398 September 11, 2001 - FRANCISCO DELA MERCED, ET AL. v. GSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121877 September 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ERLINDA GONZALES

  • G.R. Nos. 138431-36 September 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIOSCORA M. ARABIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140903 September 12, 2001 - HENRY SY v. COMMISSION ON SETTLEMENT OF LAND PROBLEMS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-1-4-03-SC September 13, 2001 - RE: REQUEST FOR LIVE RADIO-TV COVERAGE OF THE TRIAL IN THE SANDIGANBAYAN OF THE PLUNDER CASES AGAINST FORMER PRESIDENT JOSEPH E. ESTRADA v. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA and INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • A.M. No. 00-4-188-RTC September 13, 2001 - REQUEST OF MR. OSCAR T. LLAMAS FOR RE-ASSIGNMENT OSCAR T. LLAMAS v. EMMANUEL LACANDOLA AND ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 120009 September 13, 2001 - DOLE PHILIPPINES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 122095 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DOMINGO DAWISAN

  • G.R. No. 127913 September 13, 2001 - RCBC v. METRO CONTAINER CORP.

  • G.R. No. 132354 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DEOMEDES IGLESIA

  • G.R. Nos. 136840-42 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO NAVARETTE

  • G.R. No. 137250-51 September 13, 2001 - PABLO MARGAREJO v. HON. ADELARDO ESCOSES

  • G.R. No. 138972-73 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUGENIO B. MARQUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140512 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PETER PELERAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142043 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELSON BITUON

  • G.R. No. 142430 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONNIE QUINICIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142444 September 13, 2001 - OFELIA D. ARTUZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142649 September 13, 2001 - ANTONIO C. SAN LUIS v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143702 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZALDY MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 129212 September 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARIO LACUESTA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1575 September 17, 2001 - ISAGANI RIZON v. JUDGE OSCAR E. ZERNA

  • A.M. No. RTJ 99-1498 September 17, 2001 - VICENTE P. LIM v. JUDGE JACINTA B. TAMBAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111584 September 17, 2001 - PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS and SPOUSES SALVADOR Y. CHUA and EMILIA U. CHUA

  • G.R. No. 135644 September 17, 2001 - GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM v. SPOUSES GONZALO and MATILDE LABUNG-DEANG

  • G.R. No. 135912 September 17, 2001 - ODIN SECURITY AGENCY v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138219 September 17, 2001 - GERARDO V. TAMBAOAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138943-44 September 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HENRY ALMAZAN

  • G.R. No. 141209 September 17, 2001 - ANTONIA HUFANA, ET AL. v. WILLIAM ONG GENATO

  • A. C. No. 5043 September 19, 2001 - ABEDIN L. OSOP v. ATTY. V. EMMANUEL C. FONTANILLA

  • G.R. No. 135936 September 19, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GUALBERTO MIRADOR alias "GOLING"

  • G.R. No. 144400 September 19, 2001 - DOMINGO O. IGNACIO v. COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1369 September 20, 2001 - GUILLERMA D. CABAÑERO v. JUDGE ANTONIO K. CAÑON

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1371 September 20, 2001 - ATTY. NESCITO C. HILARIO v. JUDGE ROMEO A. QUILANTANG

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1472 September 20, 2001 - SPOUSES HERMINIO, ET Al. v. HON. DEMETRIO D. CALIMAG

  • A.M. No. P-01-1483 September 20, 2001 - EDNA FE F. AQUINO v. ISABELO LAVADIA

  • G.R. No. 116938 September 20, 2001 - LEONILA GARCIA-RUEDA v. REMEDIOS A. AMOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127405 September 20, 2001 - MARJORIE TOCAO and WILLIAM T. BELO v. COURT OF APPEALS and NENITA A. ANAY

  • G.R. No. 130399 September 20, 2001 - PUBLIC UTILITIES DEPARTMENT v. HON. TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA

  • G.R. Nos. 135068-72 September 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAXIMO RAMOS

  • G.R. No. 137674 September 20, 2001 - WILLIAM GO KIM HUY v. SANTIAGO GO KIM HUY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139410 September 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SILVERIO AGUERO

  • G.R. No. 140898 September 20, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE ISHIKAWA AMBA

  • A.M. No. P-99-1289 September 21, 2001 - JUDGE NAPOLEON S. DIAMANTE v. ANTHONY A. ALAMBRA

  • G.R. Nos. 119609-10 September 21, 2001 - PCGG v. HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Division), ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128876 September 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MANOLITO FELIZAR y CAPULI

  • G.R. No. 132384 September 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARLON GADIA

  • G.R. No. 134596 September 21, 2001 - RAYMUND ARDONIO v. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 142889 September 21, 2001 - EXECUTIVE LABOR ARBITER RICARDO N. OLAIREZ v. OMBUDSMAN ANIANO A. DESIERTO

  • G.R. No. 145416 September 21, 2001 - GOLDEN HORIZON REALTY CORPORATION v. SY CHUAN

  • A.M. No. 99-6-79-MTC September 24, 2001 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT

  • A.M. No. P-01-1512 September 24, 2001 - TERESITA H. ZIPAGAN v. JOVENCIO N. TATTAO

  • G.R. Nos. 132442-44 September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. BERNARDINO ARANZADO

  • G.R. Nos. 135524-25 September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MANOLITO AGUSTIN

  • G.R. No. 141897 September 24, 2001 - METRO CONSTRUCTION v. CHATHAM PROPERTIES

  • G.R. No. 144404 September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LEODEGARIO BASCUGUIN Y AGQUIZ

  • G.R. Nos. 127759-60 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PO3 NOEL FELICIANO

  • G.R. Nos. 134527-28 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SERAPIO REY alias APIONG

  • G.R. Nos. 136867-68 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODRIGO GALVEZ y JEREZ

  • G.R. No. 137612 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FRANCISCO ANTINERO BERIARMENTE

  • A.C. No. 4497 September 26, 2001 - MR. and MRS. VENUSTIANO G. SABURNIDO v. ATTY. FLORANTE E. MADROÑO

  • A.C. No. 4990 September 26, 2001 - ELENA ZARATE-BUSTAMANTE and LEONORA SAVET CATABIAN v. ATTY. FLORENTINO G. LIBATIQUE

  • G.R. No. 122824 September 26, 2001 - AURORA F. IGNACIO v. VALERIANO BASILIO,

  • G.R. No. 123058 September 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO NAPUD, JR.

  • G.R. No. 129107 September 26, 2001 - ALFONSO L. IRINGAN v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS , ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129530-31 September 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. WILFREDO OLARTE

  • G.R. Nos. 138308-10 September 26, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PABLO SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 142564 September 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. HILGEM NERIO y GIGANTO

  • G.R. Nos. 143108-09 September 26, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • Adm. Case. No. 5505 September 27, 2001 - SEVERINO RAMOS v. ATTY. ELLIS JACOBA and ATTY. OLIVIA VELASCO JACOBA

  • G.R. No. 131864-65 September 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SHERJOHN ARONDAIN and JOSE PRECIOSO

  • G.R. Nos. 134963-64 September 27, 2001 - ALFREDO LONG and FELIX ALMERIA v. LYDIA BASA

  • G.R. No. 137676 September 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ATTY. ROBERTO DIONISIO

  • G.R. No. 144035 September 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE M. BASQUEZ

  • A.M. No. P-00-1391 September 28, 2001 - LIBRADA D. TORRES v. NELSON C. CABESUELA

  • G.R. No. 122425 September 28, 2001 - FLORDELIZA H. CABUHAT v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 124535 September 28, 2001 - THE RURAL BANK OF LIPA CITY, ET AL. v. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125154 September 28, 2001 - DIGNA VERGEL v. COURT OF APPEALS and DOROTEA-TAMISIN GONZALES

  • G.R. No. 125442 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FERNANDO ARELLANO y ROBLES

  • G.R. No. 127232 September 28, 2001 - GOLDENROD v. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and PATHFINDER HOLDINGS (PHILIPPINES)

  • G.R. No. 127241 September 28, 2001 - LA CONSOLACION COLLEGE, ET AL. v. NLRC , ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134128 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GERARDO DE LAS ERAS y ZAFRA

  • G.R. No. 134928 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FILOMENO BARNUEVO. ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140789-92 September 28, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALIPIO CARBONELL and DIONISIO CARBONELL

  • G.R. No. 145371 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. BEN AQUINO and ROMEO AQUINO

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    G.R. No. 144404   September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LEODEGARIO BASCUGUIN Y AGQUIZ

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. 144404. September 24, 2001.]

    PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. LEODEGARIO BASCUGUIN Y AGQUIZ, Accused-Appellant.

    D E C I S I O N


    BUENA, J.:


    There is an alarming increase of heinous crimes being committed in the country. Notwithstanding the existence of the death penalty, criminal cases involving rape with homicide is a constant subject of our automatic review. In the exercise of our review power, we seek justice not merely for the victim but for the accused as well to guarantee that his constitutional rights are safeguarded.

    Leodegario Bascuguin, herein accused-appellant, was charged with the crime of rape with homicide before the Regional Trial Court of Balayan, Batangas [Branch X]. At his arraignment on August 5, 1999, he appeared without the assistance of counsel. The trial court assigned a counsel de officio. He pleaded guilty to the crime charged. A series of questions were propounded by the trial court to test accused-appellant’s voluntariness and comprehension of the consequences of his plea. Trial on the merits was conducted thereafter to allow the prosecution to prove his guilt and the precise degree of culpability.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Prosecution evidence showed that the victim, Marissa Moral, was last seen on June 4, 1999, at around 7:00 in the evening by Rolando de Mesa, a tricycle driver, on board the tricycle driven by Accused-Appellant. Later that evening, at around 8:30 p.m., while accused-appellant was going towards the direction of Balayan town proper, Rolando saw him again but failed to notice whether accused-appellant had a passenger on board. 1 That same evening, Domingo Liwanag, while on his way home from work, noticed the tricycle which the accused-appellant drives, parked near the waiting shed at Brgy. Calan, Balayan, Batangas. While passing the area, he heard a lady shout but ignored the same because the area was said to be hunted.

    At around 11:50 p.m., Marissa Moral was reported missing. The police officers in Balayan, Batangas conducted an investigation. Upon an information that a patient was being treated for tongue injury at the Don Manuel Lopez Memorial District Hospital, police officers rushed to the hospital and saw the patient in the person of Accused-Appellant. The police officer who testified in court declared that when accused-appellant was questioned as to the cause of his tongue injury, he narrated that Marissa Moral was his passenger and, when he was about to leave the tricycle terminal, a man and a woman boarded. The man sat behind him, while the lady sat beside Marissa Moral. While he was driving, he was hit by a hard object on his nape, causing him to black out. Upon regaining-consciousness, his tongue was already injured and his three [3] passengers were gone. Such declarations prompted the police officers to invite him to the police station for further investigation.

    On June 5, 1999 at around 1:30 in the morning, upon an information from Brgy. Chairman Felix Liwanag that his son, Domingo Liwanag, saw accused-appellant’s tricycle parked in front of the waiting shed at Brgy. Calan, Balayan, Batangas, the police officers, accompanied by relatives of Marissa Moral, proceeded thereto. When they arrived, they found a muddled portion of the sugarcane plantation with visible tricycle marks, and found a hair clip belonging to Marissa Moral. At around 6:00 in the morning, the police officers returned to the area to further investigate. On their way back to the police station, they found the body of Marissa Moral with thirteen [13] stab wounds, in the canal along the national road, naked from the waist down. The body was brought to the funeral parlor where an autopsy was conducted.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Prosecution evidence consisted of (i) hair strand and one abaca rope found inside the tricycle driven by accused-appellant; (ii) a piece of stone found at the back of the waiting shed in Brgy. Calan, Balayan, Batangas; (iii) a pair of maong pants and two pieces of panty found near the body of the victim; (iv) the Hanford (men’s underwear) brief, sleeveless undershirt or sando, blue t-shirt and a pair of curdoroy pants belonging to accused-appellant, which were given by accused appellant’s father to the police; and, (v) a sample fingernail of accused-appellant taken by the medico-legal of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). The foregoing pieces of evidence were submitted to the NBI for forensic examination which revealed that the fingernail, pair of maong pants belonging to the deceased, and the abaca rope, all gave positive results for human blood showing reactions to Group "A" similar to the victim’s blood group.

    After the prosecution rested its case, Accused-appellant did not present evidence for his defense.

    On June 15, 2000, the trial court rendered its decision finding Leodegario Bascuguin guilty beyond reasonable doubt of rape with homicide, sentenced him to death and to pay the heirs of the victim the amount of P75,000.00 as indemnity, and P50,000.00 as moral damages plus costs.

    Due to the penalty imposed, the case is now before us on automatic review. Accused-appellant posits that the lower court gravely erred (a) in holding him guilty of the crime charged based on his improvident plea of guilt; (b) in not asking him if he desires to present evidence in his behalf and allow him to do so if he desires in blatant contravention of Sec. 3, Rule 116 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure; and (c) in convicting and sentencing him to suffer death penalty despite the insufficiency of circumstantial evidence against him.

    The Solicitor General in his Manifestation and Motion in lieu of Brief, similarly questions the validity of the proceedings had in the court a quo, and seeks to set aside the judgment of conviction, and recommends the remanding of the case to the court a quo for proper arraignment and trial.

    The procedure observed by the trial court at the arraignment of accused-appellant is graphically illustrated in the Transcript of Stenographic Notes [TSN] herein quoted as follows —

    "COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Ready for arraignment? You asked the accused if he has a counsel?

    "CLERK OF COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (Note: Asking the accused)

    "ACCUSED:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    None, sir.

    "COURT

    Atty. Macasaet, I will appoint you as counsel de officio for the accused.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    "ATTY. MACASAET:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Yes, Your Honor.

    "ATTY. MACASAET:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    May I confer with the accused, Your Honor. The accused is ready for arraignment, your Honor.

    "COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Arraigned (sic) the accused.

    (Note: the Clerk of Court is reading the Information to the accused)

    "CLERK OF COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The accused pleaded (sic) guilty, your Honor, for the crime charged.

    "COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    You ask the accused if he knows the consequences of his plea.

    "COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q Do you know that the penalty impossible (sic) in cases of this nature is death?

    "ACCUSED:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Yes, sir.

    "COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q Do you know that in your plea of guilt you can be sentenced by the Court?

    "ACCUSED:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Yes, sir.

    "COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q Do you admit having raped Marissa Moral?

    "ACCUSED:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Yes, sir.

    "COURT:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q Do you admit that after raping Marissa Moral you stabbed and killed her?

    "A Yes, sir." 2

    The OSG impugns the proceedings had in the court a quo on its alleged failure to communicate in a language known to accused-appellant the information filed against him. On the scheduled arraignment, what was recorded in the TSN was" (NOTE: The Clerk of Court is reading the Information to the accused)." The OSG claims that the information was read in English 3 and insinuates that the same was not understood by Accused-Appellant.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Basic is the precept that every person accused of a crime must know the nature and cause of accusation against him. 4 This is effected, among others, by the reading of the information in a language understood by the person accused. Reading the TSN, we are left to speculate on whether the information was actually read in the dialect known to accused-appellant, or whether it was translated to him or explained in a manner he can comprehend. What is visible to us is the cryptic recording of the proceedings in the court a quo. Nevertheless, the trial court’s decision declared that the information was read in Tagalog, a language known to Accused-Appellant. 5 Granting, on presumption of correctness, that the information was read in Tagalog as declared by the trial court, still, we cannot admit accused-appellant’s conviction on the basis of his improvident plea of guilt.

    One of the constitutional guarantees of due process is the right of an accused to be heard by himself and counsel. The trial court gave accused-appellant a counsel de officio to represent him. However, Accused-appellant impugns such assignment contending that he was not given the opportunity to choose his own counsel. 6 What is visible from the TSN is the fact that when the court asked accused-appellant if he has a lawyer, and upon responding that he has none, the trial court appointed a counsel de officio, as follows - COURT: Ready for arraignment? You ask(ed) the accused if he has a counsel?; CLERK OF COURT: (Note: Asking the accused); ACCUSED: None, sir.; COURT: Atty. Macasaet, I will appoint you as counsel de officio for the accused."cralaw virtua1aw library

    When the case was heard, Section 8 Rule 116 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that when a counsel de officio is assigned by the court to defend the accused at the arraignment, he shall be given at least one [1] hour to consult with the accused as to his plea before proceeding with the arraignment. In this case, the substance of the lawyer-client conference made before the arraignment is being challenged. Both the OSG and accused-appellant cry foul to the hasty consultation made by counsel de officio.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    It appears from the records that after the appointment of a counsel de officio, the arraignment immediately followed. As glaringly reflected in the records, the appointed counsel de officio conferred with the accused only for a few minutes, thus — COURT: Atty. Macasaet, I will appoint you as counsel de officio for the accused; ATTY. MACASAET: Yes, Your Honor; ATTY. MACASAET: May I confer with the accused, Your Honor. The accused is ready for arraignment, your Honor."cralaw virtua1aw library

    A criminal case is a serious matter that deserves serious attention especially in cases involving capital punishment. Under the present Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, whenever a counsel de officio 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. 7 Counsel de officio’s haste in proceeding with the arraignment falls short of the standard mandated by the rules for an effective and adequate counseling. The limited time allotted for consultation with accused-appellant seriously casts doubt on whether counsel de officio has indeed sufficiently explained to the accused-appellant the crime charged, the meaning of his plea, and its consequences.

    A criminal case involves the personal liberty of an accused and inadequate counseling does not satisfy the constitutional requirement of due process. What is evident in this case is that counsel de officio merely conferred with accused-appellant and proceeded immediately with the arraignment, indicative of his failure to effectively provide accused-appellant with qualified and competent representation in court.

    We do not condone the crime committed by a person indicted for a criminal offense. It is imperative however to balance our zealousness to punish the malefactor and the government’s prosecutory machinery directed against the accused vis-a-vis the recognition of his constitutional rights. 8 Courts must see to it that an accused must be afforded a qualified and competent representation. Where it appears that a counsel de officio resorted to procedural shortcuts that amounted to inadequate counseling, the Court will strike down the proceedings had in order to promote a judicious dispensation of justice. Therefore, given the attendant circumstances of this case, this Court cannot send accused-appellant to the death chamber, for no matter how outrageous the crime charged might be, or how depraved the offender would appear to be, the uncompromising rule of law must still prevail. Verily, a judgment of conviction cannot stand upon an invalid arraignment. In the interest of substantial justice then, this Court has no recourse but to remand the case to the trial court for further and appropriate proceedings. 9

    ACCORDINGLY, the judgment of the court a quo in Criminal Case No. 4371 convicting accused-appellant Leodegario Bascuguin of the crime of rape with homicide is ANNULLED AND SET ASIDE. Said case is REMANDED to the trial court for further and appropriate proceedings conformably with the above disquisition.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C J., Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Pardo, Gonzaga-Reyes, Ynares-Santiago, De Leon, Jr., and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. TSN, September 9,1999, p. 9.

    2. TSN, August 5, 1999, pp. 2-4.

    3. Rollo, p. 85.

    4. see People v. Cutamora et al, G.R. Nos. 133448-53, October 6, 2000.

    5. Rollo, p. 19 & 60; records, p. 89.

    6. Rollo, p. 51.

    7. Section 8, Rule l 16, as amended effective December 1, 2000.

    8. Section 14, Article III, 1987 Constitution —

    "(1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.

    "(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him . . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

    9. People v. Tizon, 317 SCRA 632, 640 [1999].

    G.R. No. 144404   September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LEODEGARIO BASCUGUIN Y AGQUIZ


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