Arraignment And Plea How Made

Section 1.

   - It means for bringing the accused into court and informing him of
     the nature and cause of the accusation against him.

How Arraignment is made:
1. In open court where the complaint or information has been filed or
   assigned for trial.
2. By the judge or clerk of court
3. By furnishing the accused with a copy of the complaint or information
4. Reading it in a language or dialect known to the accused
5. Asking accused whether he pleads guilty or not guilty

When Arraignment Should be Held
   - Accused should be arraigned within 30 days from the date the court
     acquires jurisdiction over his person, unless a shorter period is
     provided for by law. The time of the pendency of a motion to quash
     or a bill of particulars or other causes justifying suspension of
     arraignment shall be excluded in computing the period.

When Arraignment Is Held Within A Shorter Period:
1. When an accused is under preventive detention, his case should be
   raffled within 3 days from filing and accused shall be arraigned
   within 10 days from receipt by the judge of the records of the
   case (RA 8493 Speedy Trial Act)
2. Where the complainant is about to depart from the Philippines with
   no definite date of return, the accused should be arraigned without
   delay (RA 4908)
3. Cases under RA 7610 (Child Abuse Act), the trial shall be commenced
   within 3 days from arraignment
4. Cases under the Dangerous Drugs Act
5. Cases under SC AO 104-96, i.e., heinous crimes, violations of the
   Intellectual Property Rights Law, these cases must be tried
   continuously until terminated within 60 days from commencement of
   the trial and to be decided within 30 days from the submission of
   the case.

Notes on Arraignment:

Trial in absentia may be conducted only after valid arraignment.

Accused must personally appear during arraignment and enter his plea
(counsel cannot enter plea for accused)

Accused is presumed to have been validly arraigned in the absence of
proof to the contrary.

Generally, judgment is void if accused has not been validly arraigned

If accused went into trial without being arraigned, subsequent
arraignment will cure the error provided that the accused was able to
present evidence and cross-examine the witnesses of the prosecution
during trial.

When A Plea Of “Not Guilty” Should Be Entered:
1. When accused so pleaded
2. When he refuses to plead
3. When he makes a conditional or qualified plea of guilt (Ex. Accused
   pleads guilty but adds “pero hindi ko sinasadya”)
4. When the plea is indefinite or ambiguous
5. When he pleads guilty but presents exculpatory evidence (ex. Evidence
   to prove complete self-defense)

NOTE: if the accused who pleaded guilty presents exculpatory evidence,
his plea of guilty is withdrawn. The judge must order the accused to
plead again or at least direct that a new plea of “not guilty” be
entered for him, otherwise there shall be no standing plea for the
accused. This is significant because if there is no standing plea, the
accused cannot invoke double jeopardy later on.

Presence of Offended Party
   - The private offended party is required to appear in the
     arraignment for the purpose of plea bargaining, determination of
     civil liability and other matters requiring his presence.

     In case the offended party fails to appear despite due notice,
     the trial court may allow the accused to plead guilty to a lesser
     offense necessarily included in the offense charged with the
     conformity of the trial prosecutor alone.


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