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Republic of the Philippines Ratio:

SUPREME COURT As to the first issue: (Citing a relative case)


Manila A variance of a few months between the time set out in the
indictment and that established by the evidence during the trial has
FIRST DIVISION been held not to constitute an error so serious as to warrant reversal
of a conviction solely on that score. Hence, where the information sets
G.R. No. 72994 January 23, 1991 the date of commission of a robbery at March 25, 1900, evidence was
allowed to show that the offense was actually perpetrated on the 5th
or 6th of March; and an amendment of an information so as to change
FELICISIMO ROCABERTE, petitioner, the year therein stated to that following it, was allowed it appearing
vs. that the alteration impaired none of the defendant's rights.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and HON. ANDRES S. SANTOS,
Judge, RTC, Tagbilaran, Bohol, respondents. Where, however, there was a variance of several years between
the time stated in the information, 1947, and the proof of its actual
Narvasa, J: commission adduced at the trial, 1952, the dismissal of the case by
the Trial Court was sustained by this Court, since to allow amendment
Facts: of the indictment to conform to the evidence would be violative of
Petitioner Felicisimo Rocaberte and two others were charged defendant's constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause
with Theft for stealing and carrying away of construction of the accusation against him.
materials.
In the Information charging them of the felony, the time of the As to the second issue:
commission stated was from 1977 to December 28, 1983. A defect in the averment as to the time of the commission of the
The accused, thru their counsel de officio, moved to quash the crime charged is not, however, a ground for a motion to quash under
information alleging that the statement of the time of Rule 116 of the Rules of Court. Even if it were, a motion for quashal
commission of the felony charged, "from 1977 to December on that account will be denied since the defect is one that can be cured
1983 was fatally defective as there was so great a gap as to by amendment; instead, the court shall order the amendment to be
defy approximation in the commission of one and the same made by stating the time with particularity.
offense.
The accused added that the variance was certainly unfair to The remedy against an indictment that fails to allege the time
them for it violates their constitutional right to be informed of the commission of the offense with sufficient definiteness is a motion
before the trial of the specific charge against them and deprives for a bill of particulars, provided for in Section 6, Rule 116 of the Rules
them of the opportunity to defend themselves. of Court of 1964.
The motion was denied. Hence, it was elevated to the Supreme
Court. Bill of particulars. Defendant may, at the time of or before
arraignment, move for or demand a more definite statement or
Issues: a bill of particulars of any matter which is not averred with
Whether or not the Information is seriously defective. sufficient definiteness or particularity to enable him properly to
Whether or not a motion to quash is the proper remedy in the plead or prepare for trial. The motion shall point out the defects
case at bar. complained of and the details desired.

Held:
Yes, the Information against Rocaberte is indeed seriously
defective.
No, a defect in the averment as to the time of the commission
of the crime charged is not a ground for a motion to quash.