violation of their right when they maintain the Provincial Prosecutor as their

Violation of their right when they maintain the

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violation of their right, when they maintain the Provincial Prosecutor as their counsel. Furthermore the accused was convicted of statutory rape, there being no impediment of the complainant’s right to counsel. In fact an examination of related provisions in the constitution concerning the right to counsel, will show that the “preference in the choice of counsel” pertains more aptly and specifically to a person under investigation rather that one who is the accused in a criminal prosecution. People vs. Onabia. In convicting an accused, it is not enough that proof beyond reasonable doubt has been adduced; it is also essential that the accused has been duly afforded his fundamental rights. Rufino Mirandilla Bermas pleaded not guilty to the crime of rape, complainant Manuela Bermas, 15 years old, was raped by her own father, appellant Rufino Bermas, while she was lying down on a wooden bed inside their house. The defense proffered the testimony of the accused, who denied the charge, and that of his married daughter, Luzviminda Mendez, who attributed the accusation made by her younger sister to a mere resentment by the latter. The defendant averred that the accused was denied his constitutional right to effective and vigilant counsel. Was the accused denied the right to counsel? Answer: Yes. This Court finds and must hold, most regrettably, that accused-appellant has not properly and effectively been accorded the right to counsel. So important is the right to counsel that it has been enshrined in our fundamental law and its precursor laws. Indeed, even prior to the advent of the 1935 Constitution, the right to counsel of an accused has already been recognized under General Order No. 58, dated 23 April 1900, stating that a defendant in all criminal prosecutions is entitled to counsel at every stage of the proceedings, and that if he is unable to employ counsel, the court must assign one to defend him. The constitutional mandate is reflected in the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedures which declares in Section 1, Rule 115, thereof, that it is a right of the accused at the trial to be present in person and by counsel at every stage of the proceedings from the arraignment to the promulgation of the judgment. The presence and participation of counsel in the defense of an accused in criminal proceedings should never be taken lightly. People vs. Bermas. Antonio Pedres was accused of the crime of rape. The undersigned Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of Albay, upon written complaint of Maribel Pedres, offended party, assisted by her aunt, Julita M. Garcia, hereby accuses Antonio Pedres of the crime of rape, the above-named accused, with lewd design and in grave violation of his moral ascendancy and thru force and intimidation, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously had sexual intercourse with his own daughter, the herein offended party, Maribel M. Pedres, against her will and consent, to her damage and prejudice.
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