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PEOPLE v ALICANDO 251 SCRA 293 PUNO; December 12, 1995

NATURE Automatic review FACTS - Alicando was charged of rape with homicide for the death of Khazie Penecilla on June 12, 1994 in Iloilo City. In the process of raping Khazie, he choked her thus causing her death. > Khazie’s father Romeo was having a drink with two friends in Romeo’s house. Alicando eventually joined them. At around 4:30 PM, Romeo’s friends left. > At around 5:30 PM, Rebada, one of Penecilla’s neighbors, spotted Khazie by the window of Alicando’s house. Khazie offered to buy yemas from Rebada but Alicando closed the window. Rebada then heard Khazie crying so she approached the house and saw through an opening between the floor and the door that Khazie was being raped. > Khazie did not come home so Romeo and his wife looked for her. Rebada did not tell them what she saw. > In the morning, Khazie’s corpse was found under the house of Santiago, another neighbor. Rebada then told the Penecillas what she knew. > Alicando was arrested and her verbally confessed his guilt to PO3 Tan without the assistance of counsel. Based on his confession and follow-up interrogations, Khazie’s slippers were recovered from Alicando’s home along with a stained T-shirt and pillow. - June 29, 1994 – Alicando was arraigned and pleaded guilty. After the plea of guilt, the trial court ordered the prosecution to present its evidence. - July 20, 1994 – The trial court sentenced Alicando to death by electric chair or, if the penal facilities would be available by then, by gas poisoning. ISSUE WON the accused was properly meted the sentence of death HELD NO 1. Arraignment of the accused was null and void Ratio During arraignment, the complaint or the information should be read in a language or dialect which the accused understands. Reasoning - The trial judge failed to follow the procedure outlined in Rule 116 of the RoC. - The information was written in English and it was unknown whether or not the accused could understand English well. It could not be said with certainty that the accused was informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. 2. The plea of guilt was null and void. Ratio Rule 116, Sec. 3 provides that in a plea of guilt, the court should ascertain that the accused voluntarily entered into the plea and fully comprehends the ramifications of such a plea and, in addition, the prosecution should also be required to prove his guilt and the precise degree of culpability. Reasoning - This rule is a restatement of the doctrine laid down in People vs. Apduhan. The searching inquiry of the trial court must be focused on: (1) the voluntariness of the plea, and (2) the full comprehension of the

Reasoning . In other words. yet were considered by the trial court convicting the appellant. illegally seized evidence is obtained as a direct result of the illegal act. 12 of the 1987 Constitution which requires the assistance of counsel for the accused as well as provides for the right of the accused to remain silent and to be informed of the nature of the accusation against him and that these rights cannot be waived subject to exceptions. .The rule is based on the principle that evidence illegally obtained by the State should not be used to gain other evidence because the originally illegally obtained evidence taints all evidence subsequently obtained. . 3 modifies priorituis prudence that a plea of guilt even in capital offenses is sufficient to sustain a conviction charged in the information without need of further proof. they are still insufficient as evidence.The questions of the trial court failed to show the voluntariness of the plea of guilt of the appellant nor did the questions demonstrate appellant's full comprehension of the consequences of his plea. 3.Even if the evidence gathered were admissible.This is in violation of Art. Ratio “Fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine: once the primary source (the "tree") is shown to have been unlawfully obtained. The "fruit of the poisonous tree" is at least once removed from the illegally seized evidence. .The rule requires that after a free and intelligent plea of guilt the trial court must require the prosecution to prove the guilt of the appellant and the precise degree of his culpability beyond reasonable doubt. questions regarding the presence or absence of maltreatment of the accused are deemed insufficient when a record of events in the penal facility indicate that Alicando suffered a hematoma from being locked up in a cell with violent inmates upon his arrest. Sec. Alicando’s house. > There was no testimony that the shirt in question was worn by the accused when he committed the crime. Some prosecution evidence. > The alleged bloodstains on the pillow and shirt were never proven with laboratory tests. any secondary or derivative evidence (the "fruit") derived from it is also inadmissible. These are inadmissible evidence for they were gathered by PO3 Tan of as a result of custodial interrogation where appellant verbally confessed to the crime without the benefit of counsel. > With regard to comprehension. Sec. were inadmissible. but it is equally inadmissible. whereas the "fruit of the poisonous tree" is the indirect result of the same illegal act. A violation of this provision renders the evidence gathered inadmissible. the trial court inadequately warned Alicando that a plea of guilt would result to a mandatory of penalty of death without explaining to him what mandatory meant. offered independently of the plea of guilt of the appellant. Rule 116. > The records do not clearly illustrate the personality profile of the accused. . socio-economic status and educational background of the accused were not examined. It was not unnatural for him to have a shirt with bloodstains because he was a . 3. > With regard to voluntariness. > The age.consequences of the plea.

to indicate in the record the fact that the information was read in the language or dialect known to the defendant even if the same was in fact actually complied with by the lower court. > When the appellant pleaded guilty in open court. even in Metro Manila alone. the appellant was clearly assisted by counsel. It is also the burden of the prosecution to show that the evidence derived from confession is not tainted as "fruit of the poisonous tree.butcher. it was held that “a searching inquiry .. Dayot. the lower court should require the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused and the precise degree of his culpability 3. in fact went out of its way to repeatedly inform the defendant of the nature of his plea and the implications of the plea he was making. > The rule on arraignment and plea does not absolutely require that the same be indicated in the record of every criminal case > Rule 116 contains nothing requiring trial courts. one observes that the bulk of proceedings in our trial courts. intimidating robes.The plea of guilt was not improvident. the court should conduct a searching inquiry into the voluntariness and full comprehension of the consequences of the accused's plea.” 2. And yet.and that his guilty plea has not therefore been given improvidently ..other by actual threats of physical harm from malevolent quarters or simply because of his. > There is nothing on the record which would warrant a finding that the information was not read in the language or dialect known to the appellant.The burden to prove that an accused waived his right to remain silent and the right to counsel before making a confession under custodial interrogation rests with the prosecution. . He did not put up any defense with regard to the evidence and the testimonies and even . There is no rule on conducting inquiry except that in People vs. the Judge's. > The trial court." Dispositive The Decision convicting accused of the crime of Rape with Homicide and sentencing him to suffer the penalty of death is annulled and set aside and the case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings. He was asked a number of times if he was sure of the plea he was making. SEPARATE OPINION KAPUNAN [dissent] . > The records fail to indicate that appellant questioned his plea of guilty at any stage of the trial. on its own.There was substantial compliance with the requirements for arraignment and plea. which have all been complied with in this case: 1. compels the judge to content himself reasonably that the accused has not been coerced or placed under a state of duress . the court should inquire whether or not the accused wishes to present evidence on his behalf and should allow him to do so if he so desires . including the process of arraignment is conducted in the vernacular > Three things which need to be accomplished after the accused in a criminal case enters a plea of guilty to a capital offense.

It does not affect the requirement compelling the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused and the precise degree of his culpability. > The accused’s silence can counter the assertion of the Court that the plea of guilt was improvident. where a direct and specific accusation of crime is made. > The absence of an extra-judicial confession does not detract from the efficacy or validity of appellant's plea of guilty. An innocent person will defend himself so silence can be understood as a person deferring to do just that. The testimony of a lone witness. > The doctrine is not without its exceptions. + Another exception refuses to treat the doctrine as absolutely sacred if the evidence in question would have been inevitably discovered under normal conditions.The physical evidence objected to falls under the exclusionary rule. . free from signs of impropriety or falsehood. Silence is assent as well as consent. be regarded under some circumstances as a quasi-confession. . particularly in those areas where the victim was last seen. and the evidence in dispute in the instant case falls within those exceptions. and may. . > The 1987 Constitution's exclusionary rules absolutely forbid evidence obtained from illegal searches and seizures or evidence resulting from uncounseled custodial investigations of accused individuals. Nowhere in the rules does it state that an extra-judicial confession is a prerequisite for a conviction based on a plea of guilty.There is adequate legal evidence to sustain the trial court’s conviction with moral certainty. + The discovery of the victim's body near the house of the accused would have naturally led authorities to undertake a more thorough investigation of the site. the more appropriate question in such cases is whether the evidence to which the objection is made would not have been discovered at all but for the illegality or would have been discovered anyway by sources or procedures independent of the illegality. + Under one of the recognized exceptions of the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine.directed the police to the location of the evidence. is sufficient to convict an accused even if uncorroborated.