Criminal Due Process

Article 3, SECTION 14, Philippines Constitution (CRIMINAL DUE PROCESS)

----- Military Tribunals -----

Olaguer v. Military Commission

–subversion – The trial contemplated in the Constitution is trial by judicial process and military tribunals are not courts; A military court is ousted with jurisdiction where it did not accord accused a chance to adduce evidence. Once a deprivation of a constitutional right is shown to exist, the tribunal that rendered the judgment in question is deemed ousted of jurisdiction.

----- Due process -----

Scoty’s Department Store v. Micaller

– discharge of employee – Court of Industrial Relations, no criminal jurisdiction;

----- Presumption of innocence -----

US v. Luling

– customs; wharf watchman
– Presumption of innocence; The state has the right to declare what acts are criminal, within certain well-defined limitation and also a right to specify what acts or acts shall constitute a crime, as well as what proof shall constitute as PRIMA FACIE evidence of guilt, and then to put upon the defendant the burden of showing that such act or acts are innocent and were not committed with any criminal intent.

People v. Mingoa

– malversation of public funds – There is no constitutional objection to the passage of a law providing
that the presumption of innocence may be overcome by a contrary presumption founded upon the experience of human conduct, and enacting what evidence shall be sufficient to overcome such presumption of innocence.

----- Right to Counsel -----

People v. Holgado

– slight illegal detention – When an accused unaided by counsel qualifiedly admits his guilt to an ambiguous or vague information, it is not prudent for the trial court to render a serious judgment finding the accused guilty of a capital offense without absolutely any evidence to determine and clarify the true facts of the case;

Duties of court when defendant appears without any attorney:

1) inform him that he has a right to have an attorney before arraignment;

2) after, court must ask him if he desires to have an attorney;

3) if he desires but unable to employ an attorney, court must assign an attorney de oficio;

4) if he desires to procure one on his own, court must hive him reasonable time to do so; In criminal
cases, there can be no fair hearing unless the accussed be given an opportunity to be heard by counsel.

People v. Sim Ben

– indecent and immoral cinematographic films – The recommendation of the fiscal that only a fine be imposed upon Sim Ben does not mean that he is not guilty of the crime he is being charged; A promise to recommend a specific penalty such as fine does not render the sentence void of the Court ignores the recommendation and metes out a penalty which is provided by law.

Delgado v. CA

– estafa thru falsification of public/official documents – A part who was not represented by a member of the bar is entitled to a new trial, otherwise, there would be a denial of due process.

----- Right to be informed ------

People v. Regala

– murder with assault upon an agent of a person in authority – defective information; Accused cannot be convicted of the complex crime of homicide with assault absent any allegations in the information of the essential elements of an assault that appellant knew that the assault victim was an agent of a person in authority; The fact that the crime of assault was proved by evidence of the prosecution without any objection on the part of the accused does not cure the defect because to do so would be convicting an accused of a crime not properly alleged in the information.

People v. Ortega

– person cannot be convicted of homicide through drowning in an information that charged murder by means of stabbing – The hornbook doctrine is that an accused cannot be convicted of an offense, unless it is clearly charged in the complaint or information.

----- Right to speedy trial ------

Conde v. Rivera and Unson

– municipal midwife of Laguna – Philippine organic and statutory law expressly guarantee that in all
criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to have a speedy trial; Where a prosecuting officer, without good cause, secures postponements of the trial of a defendant against his protest beyond a reasonable time, accused is entitled relief through mandamus or habeas corpus.

----- Right to impartial trial ------

Mateo Jr. v. Villaluz

– cold neutrality of an impartial judge – Due process cannot be satisfied in the absence of that degree of objectivity on the part of a judge sufficient to assure litigants of his being fair and just; What a trial requires is an impartial and disinterested tribunal.

----- Right to public trial ------

Garcia v. Domingo

– trial conducted in an air conditioned room – Public trial – when anyone interested in observing the
manner a judge conducts proceedings;

----- Compulsory process/ confrontation -----

Fajardo v. Garcia

– request to serve written interrogatories to a doctor – The constitutional guarantee to an accused to
compulsory process to secure the production of evidence in his behalf was not violated by the trial judge who refused to grant the request of the accused for leave to serve written interrogatories to his doctor who treated their injuries who already left abroad. That the said medical testimony on the injuries they sustained was vital to their defense can still be adduced thru other witnesses and hospital records.

People v. Ortiz-Miyake

– hearsay rule – the right of confrontation is not absolute as it is recognized that it is sometimes impossible to recall or produce a witness who has already testified in a previous proceeding, in which event, his previous testimony is made admissible as a distinct piece of evidence by way of exception to
the hearsay rule; Exception contemplated by law covers only the utilization of testimonies of absent witness made is previous proceedings BUT DOES NOT cover previous decisions or judgments (if used –
proof only that he was previously convicted of a crime BUT not guilty in a subsequent case.

People v. Seneris

– parricide; prosecution witness died – While the right of confrontation and cross-examination are fundamental rights, they can be waived expressly or impliedly by conduct amounting to a renunciation of the right; If the party was given the opportunity to confront or cross-examine a witness but failed to take advantage of it, he forfeits the right and the testimonies given in direct examination will be received or ed on record; Where the prosecution witness was partially cross-examined but prior to the next hearing, he dies, his testimony cannot be stricken off the record.

---- Trial in absentia; right to be present -----

Carredo v. People

– malicious mischief – Accused may be compelled to be present at the trial for the purposes of identification unless he unqualifiedly admits in open court after his arraignment that he is the person
named; The provision in the constitution allowing trial in absentia means that he waives his right to meet the witnesses face to face; an express waiver of appearance has the same effect; HOWEVER, such waiver of right does NOT release the accused from his obligation under the bond to appear in court whenever so required; the accused may waive the right but not the obligation to appear in court.