Section 1. Pre-trial; mandatory in criminal cases

Pre-trial is MANDATORY in all criminal cases.

The court shall after arraignment and within 30 days from the time
the court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the accused, unless
a shorter period is provided for by law, order a pre-trial. Its main
objective is to achieve an expeditious resolution of the case.

Things To Consider During Pre-Trial
1. plea bargaining
2. stipulation of facts
3. marking for identification of evidence
4. waiver of objections to admissibility of evidence
5. modification of the order of trial if the accused admits the charge
   but interposes a lawful defense (reverse trial)
6. other matters that will promote a fair and expeditious trial of the
   civil and criminal aspects of the case

Section 2. Pre-trial agreement

Required Form Of Pre-Trial Agreement:
1. must be in writing
2. signed by the accused
3. signed by counsel

NOTE: If the required form is not observed, the pre-trial agreement
cannot be used against the accused. This is contrary to the rule on
stipulations of facts during trial which only requires the signature
of counsel in order to be valid.

Purpose of the Rule
   - The requirements in Section 2 are intended to further safeguard
     the rights of the accused against improvident or unauthorized
     agreements or admissions which his counsel may have entered into
     without his knowledge.

Section 3. Non-appearance at pre-trial conference

The court may impose proper penalties and sanctions for non-appearance
during the pre-trial conference by the counsel for the accused or the
prosecutor without acceptable cause. The reason for this is in order
to enforce the mandatory nature of pre-trial in criminal cases.

The sanctions may be in the form of reprimand, fine, or imprisonment.
Inasmuch as this is similar to indirect contempt of court, the penalty
for indirect contempt of court may be imposed.

He court may only impose sanctions for non- appearance on counsel or
the prosecutor, not on the accused. The reason why the accused is not
required to appear is that to include him among the mandatory parties
might violate his constitutional right to remain silent.

Section 4. Pre-trial order

Pre-Trial Order
   - It is an order issued by the court reciting the actions
     taken, the facts stipulated and the evidence marked
     during the pre-trial conference. Such order binds the
     parties and limits the trial to those matters not
     disposed of.