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Rights of an Accused During Trial

The geist of the petitioner herein started when Juan Ponce Enrile
divulged that Joseph Estrada received more than 200M from jueteng,
which was followed by the privilege speech of the minority leader,
Guingona, entitled I accused that the petitioner herein received 70M
from Singson.

Calls for the resignation of the petitioner aired. Among those who
called for it were the archbishop Cardinal Sin, former president Cory
Aquino, and Ramos.

House Speaker Villar transmitted the Articles of Impeachment which
was signed by 115 members, or more than ! of all the members of
the House of Representatives to the Senate. Atty. Edgardo Espiritu
who served as petitioners Secretary of Finance took the witness
stand alleging that the petitioner herein that he has a Jose Velarde
account showing that he has 3.3B. People also assembled in EDSA
shrine praying for the resignation of the Petitioner, and even some
130, 000 member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines withdraw
their support.

On January 20, President Arroyo had her oath as the new President
of the Philippines. This take over of the position was also recognized
by other State and when even the Former President of the United
States called her to show recognizance.

Whether or not the prosecution of petitioner Estrada should be
enjoined due to prejudicial publicity.

The Supreme Court answered in negative.

There are two principal and philosophical schools of though how to
deal with the rain unrestrained publicity during the investigation and
trial of high prole cases.

1. British Approach - approach the problem with the
presumption that publicity will prejudice a jury. Thus
English courts readily stay and stop criminal trials when
the right of an accused to fair trial suffers a threat.
2. American Approach - Assume a skeptical approach
about the potential effect of pervasive publicity on the
right of an accused to a fair trial. They have developed
different strains of tests to resolve this issue: substantial;
probability of irreparable harm, strong likelihood, clear
and present danger..

The contention of the petitioner cannot be sustained that he was
denied the right to impartial trial due to prejudicial publicity. The press
does not simply publish information about trials but guards against
the miscarriage of justice by subjecting the police, prosecutors and
judicial processes to extensive public scrutiny and criticism.And
publicity does not prove by itself that it so permeated the mind of the
trial judge and impaired his impartiality.

There must be proof and allegation that the judges have been unduly
inuenced, not simply that they might be, by the barrage of publicity.

In the case at bar, the records DO NOT show that the trial judge
acquired a xed opinion as a result of prejudicial publicity, which is
incapable of change even by evidence presented during the trial.

Wherefore, the petition was denied.

Petitioner herein was found guilty beyond reasonable grounds for
malversation of funds.

As supervising accounting clerk in the Ofce of the Provincial
Treasurer of Nueva Vizcaya, the petitioner was designated Acting
Supervising Cashier in the said ofce. In this capacity he received
collections, disbursed funds and made bank deposits and
withdrawals pertaining to government accounts.

When his take over was terminated, a transfer of accountabilities was
effected between the petitioner and his successor. The certicate of
turnover revealed a shortage of P72, 823.08

A letter of demand was required to produce the missing amount but
he was able to pay only P10, 159.50. The balance was again
demanded and was reduced by P12, 067.51.

On September 27, 1982 a nal letter of demand was sent to the
herein petitioner for the total deciency of P50, 596.07. The demand
not having been met, an information for malversation of the said
amount was led against him.

In defense, the petitioner claimed that the amount was malversed by
other person.

He avers that the amount was made by unliquidated withdrawal
made by the Paymaster Diosdado Pineda.

These withdrawals were shown in four vouchers from the PNB dated
as two vouchers on December 22, 1980, December 23, 1980 and
December 29, 1980.

As to the amount of P50,000, the highest Court is not disposed to
give credence to his claim that same has not been liquidated by the
paymaster for the following reasons.

1. Check No 958525 is only of four checks issued and encashed for the
same purpose - to pay salary differentials as well as salary wages of
provincial ofcials and employees of Nueva Vizcaya.
2. There seems to be no logical reason why Checks 956639 and
958525 could not have been liquidated together by Diosdado Pineda
who used the proceeds to pay salary differentials of government
ofcials and employees of the province of Nueva Vizcaya.
3. Diosdado Pineda, who was presented as a prosecution witness
swore that he duly liquidated the proceeds of the four checks.
4. And the claim of the petitioner that he was absent when the checks
were withdrawn, was absent.

These ndings are factual and cannot be disturbed.

Whether or not equipoise rule is applicable in the case at bar to
presume the innocence of the accused.

No. The equipoise rule claimed by the petitioner is not applicable in
this case since it is only applicable when the defense and
prosecution have evenly equal evidence and that the presumption of
innocence shall be tilted with the accused.

Petitioner herein was charged of separate counts of illegal
possession of rearms and illegal possession of marijuana before the
Court of First Instance of Rizal. .

However the trials were postponed and reset for 11 times for the
reason either that the prosecutions witnesses were absent, there was
no scal to try , and or there were no records that can be shown with
regard to the reason why the trial was reset or postponed.

On November 14, 1983, the prosecution moved for provisional
dismissal of the case because again, the witnesses had not

Then one of the witnesses, moved to revive the case which was
granted by the judge of the lower court.

The petitioner moved for motion for reconsideration which was
denied and another motion for reconsideration to the appellate court,
which was denied.

Whether or not the trial should be dismissed since the right to a
speedy trial has been violated

Yes. The court has the moral and legal obligation to see that the
proceedings come to an end and that the accused is discharged from
the custody of the law. The Supreme Court laid down the legal
proposition that, where a prosecuting ofcer, without good cause,
secured postponements of the trial of a defendant against his protest
beyond a reasonable period of time, as in the case at bar for more
than one year, the accused is entitled to relief.

In the records, the accused had never been absent at these aborted
hearings. He was prepared to be tried, but either the witnesses
against him were not present, or the prosecutor himself was absent,
of the court lacked material time.

The prosecution witnesses repeatedly failed to appear at the
scheduled hearings and all the prosecution did was to perfunctorily
move for a resetting, without exerting earnest efforts to secure their
attendance. This shows lack of interest.

Wherefore the decision of the trial court is hereby set aside, and the
case against Caes is dismissed.


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Speedy trial is for criminal proceedings as deemed by section 14, article 3
of the constitution.
Speedy disposition of cases applies to all cases, as deemed by section
16, article 3 of the constitution.