early stage of the proceeding the respondent is already accorded the right to

Early stage of the proceeding the respondent is

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early stage of the proceeding, the respondent is already accorded the right to be informed of the criminal complaint against him. The significance of the right to preliminary investigation as a key component of an accused‘s right to due process has been upheld by the Supreme Court in a long line of cases. ―This procedure (in Section 3, Rule 112 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure) is to be observed in order to assure that a person undergoing such preliminary investigation will be afforded due process‖ 11 . In a more recent case, the Supreme Court likewise held: ―A preliminary investigation is the crucial sieve in the criminal justice system which spells for an individual the difference between months if not years of agonizing trial and possibly jail term, on the one hand, and peace of mind and liberty, on the other hand. Thus, we have characterized the right to a preliminary i nvestigation as not ―a mere formal or technical right‖ but a ―substantive‖ one, forming part of due process in criminal justice. 12 Not only that, the Supreme Court in these cases emphasized that the denial of the right to preliminary investigation, being a key component of the accused‘s right to due process, invalidates the proceedings had on a case. In the case of Secretary of Justice v. Lantion 13 the Supreme Court also held, to wit: In a preliminary investigation which is an administrative investigatory proceeding , Section 3, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court guarantees the respondent's basic due process rights, granting him the right to be furnished a copy of the complaint, the affidavits, and other supporting documents, and the right to submit counter-affidavits and other supporting documents within ten days from receipt thereof. Moreover, the respondent shall have the right to examine all other evidence submitted by the complainant .” X x x True to the mandate of the due process clause, the basic rights of notice and hearing pervade not only in criminal and civil proceedings, but in administrative proceedings as well. Non-observance of these rights will invalidate the proceedings . Individuals are entitled to be notified of any pending case affecting their interests, and upon notice, they may claim the right to appear therein and present their side and to refute the position of the opposing parties (Cruz, Phil. Administrative Law, 1996 ed., p. 64). 11 Cruz, Jr. vs. People, 233 SCRA 439. 12 Ladlad vs. Senior State Prosecutor Velasco, et al., G.R. Nos. 172070-72; G.R. Nos. 172074-76 ; and G.R. No. 175013, 01 June 2007; Go vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 101837, 11 February 1992, 206 SCRA 138. 13 322 SCRA 160,
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During the last hearing of this case on 27 October 2008, the prosecutor tried to come up with a lame excuse why the accused was not notified of any proceeding regarding the filing of the Amended Information and ended up with a blatant admission that ―no subpoena was sent to the parties particularly to the accused because they have filed the Amended Information on the sole basis of the affidavit of Vincent Silva naming the other accused‖ ( page 17, TSN, 27 October 2008
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