Section 6. Duty of court to inform accused of his right to counsel
4 Fold Duty Of Court When Accused Appears Without Counsel:
1. Inform the defendant that he has a right to an attorney before
2. After informing him, court must ask the defendant if he desires
to have the aid of an attorney.
3. If he desires but is unable to employ one, the court must assign
an attorney de oficio to defend him.
4. If the accused desires to procure an attorney of his own, the
court must grant him reasonable time to do so.
Failure to comply with this 4-fold duty amounts to a violation due
Section 7. Appointment of counsel de oficio
Counsel De Oficio
- He is counsel appointed by the court to represent and defend the
accused in case he cannot afford to employ one himself.
Who May Be Appointed Counsel De Oficio:
1. Such members of the bar in good standing who can competently defend
2. In localities where such members of the bar are not available,
any resident of the province of good repute for probity and ability.
Duty of the Court to Appoint Counsel During Arraignment vs During Trial
- During arraignment, the court has an affirmative duty to inform
the accused of his right to counsel and to provide him with one
in case he cannot afford it. The court must act on its own
volition unless the right is waived by the accused.
During trial, it is the accused who must assert his right to
counsel. The court will not act unless the accused invokes his
Section 8. Time for counsel de oficio to prepare for arraignment.
What Constitutes Reasonable Time
- It depends on the circumstances surrounding the case such as the
gravity of the offense, complexity of the allegations, whether a
motion to quash or a bill of particulars has to be filed, etc.
Generally, reasonable time to prepare for trial is 2-15 days.
Generally, reasonably time to prepare for arraignment is 30 mins
to 1 hour.
NOTE: Counsel for the accused must expressly demand the right to
be given reasonable time to consult with the accused. Only when
so demanded does denial thereof constitute reversible error and a
ground for new trial.