Statutory Rights of the Accused in the Philippines; The important Key Points

Everyone is given a fair trial as the law stipulates. Statutory itself is the permission or granting. In other words, Statutory Rights are the enactment of rights provided by the State or Government. An accused in a criminal proceeding has an entitled right to defend himself in the court.

It is the right of every person, citizens of the Philippines to be informed of these Statutory Rights and what are these rights.

To be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Beyond a reasonable doubt

­-on a legal standpoint one must remain innocent until the prosecution proves its case. The criminal conviction of the defendant must have the rightful evidence to eliminate any reasonable doubt in the mind of the judge.

To be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.

-another protection to be received by the accused to ensure he will receive a fair trial. This entitles the defendant to be informed of the crime charged against him. The indictment should contain the allegation with a clear description.

Indictment

It should seek to establish the grounds of the complaint before the accused. The notice is of high importance as a part of the procedural due process required by the state.

To be present and defend in person and by counsel at every stage of the proceedings, from arraignment to promulgation of the judgment. 

-every person has the right to be defended by counsel. The defendant must not be compelled of the accusation and is entitled to a due process. In which the law may grant him to secure his voice in the proceedings.

To testify as a witness in his own behalf but subject to cross-examination on matters covered by direct examination. His silence shall not in any manner prejudice him.

-testimony of the accused in his own behalf can be submitted in the court trial, however, bound for cross-examination. The consistency of the statement must be observed to decide the case rightfully by the court. In criminal proceedings, if the defendant prefers to silence himself that cannot be used against him in any manner. Unless there is a piece of solid evidence presented in the court that points all the aggression during the arraignment.

Criminal Procedures

To be exempt from being compelled to be a witness against himself.

-it means that to prescribe an option for himself to refuse to answer incriminating questions and not a prohibition of inquiry. It is just simply securing the witness whether or not he or she took part in the said crime. (People v. Ayson, at pp. 27-28).

To confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him at the trial. Either party may utilize as part of its evidence the testimony of a witness who is deceased, out of or can not with due diligence be found in the Philippines, unavailable, or otherwise unable to testify, given in another case or proceeding, judicial or administrative, involving the same parties and subject matter, the adverse party having the opportunity to cross-examine him.

Cross-examine

-direct examinations of witnesses must be done properly. It is to cross-examine witnesses on both parties. The goal is to build a concise, clear and organize witness testimony wherein he or she took part in or participated.

To have compulsory process issued to secure the attendance of witnesses and production of other evidence in his behalf.

-the court may seek jurisdiction over an individual or meaning the court exercises jurisdiction to compel an individual to make an appearance in the court of law. The court may issue a subpoena and arrest warrant to call out a witness.

Evidence

To have speedy, impartial and public trial.

-the trial should be conducted far and in accordance with the law-abiding criminal procedures and the rules of court. It should not be oppressive and free from vexatious. There are factors to consider whether or not if the accused has been deprived of the speedy arraignment. These are as follows: Length of delay, Reason of the delay, The defendant’s assertion of his right, Prejudice to the defendant. (Corpuz v Sandiganbayan).

To appeal in all cases allowed and in the manner prescribed by law. 

-if an accused has been indicted an appeal may be raised to be presented at the higher court. When an appeal is filed it is being reviewed by a higher court. Reviewing through the evidence presented to the lower court the appeal court will look at it and determine whether or not there’s a legal error. Depending on the court’s decision, it may promulgate to confirm, modify, set aside or even order a new trial.

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