Practice Relating to Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees
Section C. Presumption of innocence
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:
- To be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved beyond reasonable doubt.
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:
a) To be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved beyond reasonable doubt.
In its judgment in the Valencia case in 1991, the Supreme Court of the Philippines stated:
Procedural due process demands that [a] respondent lawyer should be given an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses against him. He enjoys the legal presumption that he is innocent of the charges against him until the contrary is proved.
In its judgment in the Lucero case in 1991, the Supreme Court of the Philippines stated:
Basic is the rule that an accused must be presumed innocent until his guilt is established by proof beyond reasonable doubt. It simply means that the evidence must engender moral certainty or constitute that degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind.
In its judgment in the Hernandez case
in 1996, the Supreme Court of the Philippines stated: “The rule prohibiting the stipulation of facts in criminal cases is grounded on the fundamental right of the accused to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the corollary duty of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.”
In the Binamira case before the Supreme Court of the Philippines in 1997, in which the appellant appealed the decision of a lower court that had convicted him of the crime of robbery with homicide, the court reversed and set aside the lower court’s decision and ordered his immediate release from confinement. In doing so, the court noted:
[W]e must stress that mere suspicions and speculations can never be the bases of a conviction in a criminal case. Our Constitution and our laws dearly value individual life and liberty and require no less than moral certainty or proof beyond reasonable doubt to offset the presumption of innocence. Courts – both trial and appellate – are not called upon to speculate on who committed the crime. The task of courts, rather, is to determine whether the prosecution has submitted sufficient legally admissible evidence showing beyond reasonable doubt that a crime has been committed, and that the accused committed it. In this case, the prosecution has failed to present adequate proof demonstrating beyond reasonable doubt that Appellant Armando Binamira y
Alayon was the culprit who robbed and killed Jessie Flores y
In its judgment in the Cosep case in 1998, the Supreme Court of the Philippines stated:
It is axiomatic that in every criminal prosecution, if the state fails to discharge its burden of proving the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt, it fails utterly. Accordingly, when the guilt of the accused has not been proven with moral certainty, it is our policy of long standing that the presumption of innocence of the accused must be favored and his exoneration be granted as a matter of right.