Practice Relating to Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees
Section D. Information on the nature and cause of the accusation
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) provides:
While not in combat:
8. Inform the troops that a child taken in custody by government forces in an area of armed conflict should be informed of his/her constitutional rights and shall be treated humanely.
Some of [these] basic rights are “the right to remain silent”, “the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty”, “the right to be notified of the charge,” “right to counsel”, “right to presence of parents or guardian”, and the “right to confront and cross examine witnesses.”
The Philippines’ Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure (2000), in the rule dealing with the rights of the accused at trial, states:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be entitled to the following rights:
(b) To be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.
The Philippines’ Rule on Juveniles in Conflict with the Law (2002) states:
Sec. 26. Duty of the Family Court to Protect the Rights of the Juvenile. – In all criminal proceedings in the Family Court, the judge shall ensure the protection of the following rights of the juvenile in conflict with the law:
b) To be informed promptly and directly of the nature and cause of the charge against him, and if appropriate, through his parents or legal guardian.
The Philippines’ Republic Act No. 9372 (2007) states:
Rights of a Person under Custodial Detention.
– The moment a person charged with or suspected of the crime of terrorism or the crime of conspiracy to commit terrorism is apprehended or arrested and detained, he shall forthwith be informed, by the arresting police or law enforcement officers or by the police or law enforcement officers to whose custody the person concerned is brought, of his or her right: … (b) [to be] informed of the cause or causes of his detention in the presence of his legal counsel.
In its judgment in the Espinosa case in 2003, the Supreme Court of the Philippines stated:
Arraignment is an indispensable requirement of due process. It consists of the judge’s or the clerk of court’s reading of the criminal complaint or information to the defendant. At this stage, the accused is granted, for the first time, the opportunity to be officially informed of the nature and the cause of the accusation. Thus, arraignment cannot be regarded lightly or brushed aside peremptorily.