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Salient features of the Revised Guidelines for Continuous Trial of accused appears to be suffering from an unsound mental condition,

ndition, b.)
Criminal Cases a valid prejudicial question in a civil action is invoked during the
pendency of the criminal case, c.) an interlocutory order or incident in
1. It applies to all newly-filed criminal cases, including those the criminal case is elevated to a higher court which issued a TRO or
governed by Special Laws and Rules1, in the First and Second Level writ of preliminary injunction, d.) when the accused has jumped bail
Courts, the Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals. It also before arraignment and cannot be arrested by the bondsman.
applies to pending criminal cases with respect to the remainder of the
proceedings. It shall not apply to cases under the Rule on Summary 11. Arraignment and Pre-trial shall be set within ten (10) calendar
Procedure. days from date of the court’s receipt of the case for a detained
accused, and within thirty (30) calendar days from the date the court
2. Trial shall be held from Monday to Thursday at exactly 8:30 A.M. acquires jurisdiction over a non-detained accused. The setting shall be
and 2:00 P.M2. Hearing on motions, arraignment and pre-trial, and incorporated in the commitment order or in the approval of the bail in
promulgation of judgment of decisions are in the morning of Fridays.3 other cases. Notices shall be sent to the accused, his/her counsel,
3. Motions for inhibitions based on Rule 137 shall be resolved private complainant or complaining law enforcement agent, public
immediately or within two calendar days from filing. prosecutor, and witnesses whose names appear in the information for
purposes of plea-bargaining, arraignment and pre-trial.
4. Prohibited motions shall be denied outright before the arraignment
without need of comment. 12. In multiple cases, the court, upon personal examination of the
accused may allow a waiver of the reading of the information upon
5. The following are the prohibited motions: the full understanding and express consent of the accused and his/her
counsel, which consent shall be expressly stated in both the
1. Motion judicial determination of probable cause. minutes/certificate of arraignment and the order of arraignment.
2. Motion for preliminary investigation filed beyond the five (5) day
period in inquest proceedings4 or when preliminary investigation is 13. Plea bargaining except in drug cases shall immediately proceed,
required5 or allowed in inquest proceedings and the accused failed to provided the private offended part in private crimes, or the arresting
participate despite due notice. officer in victimless crimes, is present to give his/her consent with the
3. Motion for reinvestigation of the prosecutor who recommends the conformity of the public prosecutor. Thereafter, judgment shall
filing of the information once the information has been filed before immediately be rendered in the same proceedings.
the court (1) if the motion is filed without prior leave (2) when
preliminary investigation is required and has been actually conducted, 14. If the accused pleads guilty to the crime charged in the
and the grounds relied upon in the motion are not meritorious, such as information, judgment shall be immediately rendered, except in those
issues of credibility, admissibility of evidence, innocence of the cases involving capital punishment.
accused, or lack of due process when the accused was actually
notified, among others. 15. If no plea bargaining or plea of guilty, the court shall immediately
4. Motion to quash information when the ground is not one of those proceed with the arraignment and the pre-trial. The schedule of the
stated in the rules.6 trial dates, for both the prosecution and the accused, shall be
5. Motion for bill of particulars that does not conform to the rules.7 continuous and within the periods provided in the Regular
6. Motion to suspend arraignment based on grounds not stated by the Rules/Special Rules. The trial dates may be shortened depending on
rules8. the number of witnesses to be presented.From the time of the
7. Petition to suspend criminal action based on prejudicial question arraignment and pre-trial, it shall be set for trial within thirty (30)
when no civil case has been filed9. days. Trial on the merits shall be conducted for a period of six (6)
months only and promulgation of judgment is set within ninety (90)
6. Motion for postponement is prohibited, except if it is based on acts days from submission of the case for decision for regular rules.
of God, force majeure or physical inability of the witness to appear
and testify. If the motion is granted based on said exceptions, the For drug cases, trial shall be finished not later than sixty (60) days
moving party shall be warned that the presentation of its evidence from filing of the information. Decision shall be rendered within
must still be finished on the dates previously agreed upon. A motion fifteen (15) days from submission of case for decision.
for postponement shall at all times be paid with the Office of the
Clerk of Court. The Branch COC shall not accept the motion unless For environmental cases, from arraignment and pre-trial, it shall be set
accompanied by the original receipt. for hearing within thirty (30) days. Trial on the merits shall be
conducted for a period of three (3) months then filing of memoranda
7. If a party fails to qualify for PAO services, the IBP shall provide is within thirty (30) days and the decision shall be rendered within
free legal assistance to the party. The IBP shall submit the list of sixty (60) days from the last day to file memoranda. Disposition
lawyers to the Executive Judge for possible appointment as counsel de period shall be within ten (10) months from date of arraignment.
officio in such cases.
For intellectual property right cases, from arraignment and pre-trial, it
8. Where only the civil liability is being prosecuted, the head of the shall be set for hearing within thirty (30) days. Trial on the merits
prosecution office may issue a written authority to a private shall be conducted for a period of sixty (60) days then filing of
prosecutor who may prosecute in the absence of the public memoranda is within thirty (30) days and the judgment shall be
prosecutor.10 rendered within ninety (90) days from submission of case for
9. Consolidation of cases may be done even before raffling provided a decision.
motion for consolidation accompanies the filing before the Office of
the Clerk of Court. If a new case is filed involving an accused who 16. Pre-trial shall proceed even in the absence of parties provided,
has been subjected to further investigation by the office of the they were notified and the counsel for the accused and the public
prosecutor over an incident involving the same subject matter as that prosecutor are present. The documentary evidence for both parties
of the already raffled information, the new case shall be assigned shall be marked. The pre-trial order shall immediately be served upon
directly to the court where the earlier case is pending, provided, there the parties and counsel on the same day after the termination of the
is a motion for consolidation from the office of the prosecutor that pre-trial. Courts must strictly comply with the rules.12
accompanies its filing in court. The proceedings already had in the old 17. The following shall be referred to mediation:
case may be adopted.
a. B.P Blg 22.
10. Archiving of cases shall be done within the period prescribed b. SSS Law13.
under the guidelines11. A criminal case shall be archived only if, after c. Pag-Ibig Law.14
the issuance of the warrant of arrest, the accused remains at large for d. Theft under Art. 308, RPC.
six (6) months from the delivery of the warrant to the proper peace e. Estafa under Art. 315(1), RPC, except estafa under Art. 315 (2) and
officer. Such case may likewise be archived when proceedings therein (3).
are ordered suspended for an indefinite period because: a.) the f. Other forms of swindling under Art. 316, RPC.
g. Swindling of a minor under Art. 317, RPC. 23. The court shall encourage the accused and the prosecution to avail
h. Other deceits under Art. 318, RPC. of Secs. 12 and 13 and 15, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court15.
i. Malicious Mischief under Art. 327, RPC.
j. Libel by means of writings or similar means under Art 355, RPC. 24. In the absence of the counsel de parte, the hearing shall proceed
k. Threatening to publish and offer to present such publication for a upon appointment by the court of a counsel de officio.
compensation under Art. 356, RPC.
l. Prohibited publication of acts referred to in course of official 25. The offer of evidence, the comment/objection thereto, and the
proceedings under Art. 357, RPC. court ruling thereto shall be made orally in open court on the same
m. Grave Slander (Grave Oral Defamation)- of serious and insulting day after the presentation of the last witness either for the prosecution
nature under Art. 358, par. 1, RPC. or for the defence. The court shall ensure that the offered evidence are
n. Simple Slander ( Oral Defamation)- not of a serious and insulting submitted to court on the same day it is offered.
nature under Art. 358, RPC.
o. Grave Slander by Deed- of a serious nature under Art. 359, par. 1, 26. The court shall inquire from the accused his/her desire to move for
RPC. leave of court to file demurrer to evidence or to proceed in presenting
p. Simple Slander by Deed- not of a serious nature under Art. 359, his/her evidence. If the accused orally moves for leave of court to file
par. 2, RPC. a demurrer to evidence, the court shall orally resolve the same. If the
q. Incriminating innocent person under Art. 363, RPC. motion for leave is denied, the court shall issue an order for the
r. Intriguing against honour under Art. 364, RPC. accused to present and terminate his/her evidence on the dates
s. Libel under R.A. 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012) previously agreed upon, and to orally offer and rest his/her case on the
where the liability may be civil in nature. day his/her last witness is presented. If accused insists on filing the
t. Criminal negligence under Title 14, RPC, where the liability may be demurrer to evidence without leave, the previously scheduled dates
civil in nature, and for the accused to present evidence shall be cancelled. The demurrer
u. Intellectual property rights cases where the liability may be civil in shall be resolved by the court within a non-extendible period of thirty
nature. (30) calendar days from the date of the filing of the comment or lapse
of the ten (10)-day period to comment.
18. The referral of the case for mediation shall be made only after the
arraignment and the pre-trial/preliminary conference. The mediation If the motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence is granted,
shall be terminated within a non-extendible period of thirty (30) and the demurrer to evidence is denied, the accused shall likewise
calendar days. Except those case mentioned above, criminal cases present and terminate his/her evidence, one day apart, morning and
under the Rule on Summary Procedure shall not be referred to afternoon and shall orally offer and rest his/her case on the day his/her
mediation. last witness is presented.

19. Petition for bail filed after the filing of the information shall be set 27. The court shall strictly adhere to the rule that a witness has to be
for summary hearing after arraignment and pre-trial. It shall be heard fully examined in one (1) day.
and resolved within a non-extendible period of thirty (30) days from
the date of the first hearing, except in drug cases which shall be heard 28. The submission of memoranda is discretionary on the part of the
and resolved within twenty (20) calendar days. The accused need not court which in no case shall exceed twenty-five (25) pages in length,
present evidence to rebut the prosecution’s evidence. Motion for single-spaced, on legal size paper, using size 14 font. Its filing is non-
reconsideration on the resolution of petition for bail shall be resolved extendible and shall not suspend the running of the period of
within a non-extendible period of ten (10) calendar days from date of promulgation of the decision.
submission of the motion.
29. Judges who conducted the trial and heard the testimonies of
20. For First Level Courts, in all criminal cases, including those witnesses shall submit the case for decision even if the transcript of
covered by the Rule on Summary Procedure , the testimonies of stenographic notes are incomplete or missing. If the case was heard
witnesses shall consist of the duly subscribed written statements given completely by another judge, not the judge tasked to write the
to law enforcement officers or the affidavits or counter-affidavits decision, the latter shall direct the stenographers concerned to submit
submitted before the investigating prosecutor and if such are not the complete transcripts within the period of thirty (30) calendar days
available, testimonies shall be in the form of judicial affidavits. The from date of his/her assumption to office.
trial prosecutor may opt to dispense with the sworn statements
submitted to the law enforcement officers and instead prepare judicial 30. The judge shall announce in open court and include in the order
affidavits or modify or revise the said sworn statements. submitting the case for decision, the date of the promulgation of its
decision which shall not be more than ninety (90) calendar days from
21. For Second Level Courts, Sandiganbayan and Court of Tax the date the case is submitted for decision, except when the case is
Appeals, where the demeanor of the witnesses is not essential, like the covered by special Rules and other laws which provide for a shorter
forensic chemist, medico-legal officers, investigators, auditors, period.
accountants, engineers, custodians, expert witnesses and other similar
witnesses, who will testify on the authenticity, due execution and the 31. A motion for reconsideration of judgment of conviction or motion
contents of public documents and reports, and in criminal cases that for new trial under Rule 121 filed within the reglementary period of
are transactional in character, such as falsification, malversation, fifteen (15) days from promulgation shall be resolved within a non-
estafa or other crimes where the culpability or innocence of the extendible period of ten (10) calendar days from the submission of the
accused can be established through documents, the testimonies of the comment of the prosecution or even in the absence of comment.
witnesses shall be the duly subscribed written statements given to law
enforcement officers or the affidavits or counter-affidavits submitted 32. The physical inventory of cases and preparation of the semestral
before the investigating prosecutor, and if such are not available, report16 shall not suspend court hearings.
testimonies shall be in the form of judicial affidavits.
33. All courts covered by the Revised Guidelines shall accomplish
22. During the pre-trial/preliminary conference, the court shall require and submit a periodic report of data in a form to be generated and
the parties to stipulate on the testimonies of witnesses who have no distributed by the Committee.
personal knowledge of the material facts constituting the crimes, such
as, forensic chemists, medico-legal officers, investigators, auditors, 34. Non-compliance with the Revised Guidelines, including failure to
accountants, engineers, custodians, expert witnesses and other similar observe the timelines and deadlines herein provided, is a ground for
witnesses, who will testify on the authenticity, due execution and the disciplinary action.
contents of public documents and reports; corroborative witnesses;
and those who will testify on the civil liability. This is without
prejudice to additional direct and cross examination questions.