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Rocaberte V People

Facts:
Rocaberte and two others were charged with the crime of theft.
The Information states:
That on or about the period from 1977 to December 28, 1983
at the of ofshore of West Canayaon, municipal of GarciaHernandez, province of Bohol, Philippines, the above-named
accused, conspiring, confederating and helping each other,
with intent to gain and without the consent of the owner, did
then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
take, steal and carry away the following properties...
Rocaberte moved to quash the information, alleging that the
statement of the time of commission of the felony charged,
"from 1977 to December 1983, a period of 7 years," or "about
2,551 days," was fatally defective; there was "so great a gap
as to defy approximation in the commission of one and the
same ofense"; "the variance is certainly unfair to the
accused for it violates their constitutional right to be informed
before the trial of the specific charge against them and
deprives them of the opportunity to defend themselves. The
trial court denied the motion. Hence, the appeal.
Issue:
Is a defect in the averment as to the time of the commission of
the crime charged a ground for a motion to quash?
Held:
The rules of criminal procedure declare that a complaint or
information is sufficient if it states the approximate time of the
commission of the ofense. Where, however, the statement of
the time of the commission of the ofense is so general as to
span a number of years, i.e., "between October, 1910 to
August, 1912," it has been held to be fatally defective because
it deprives the accused an opportunity to prepare his defense.
A defect in the averment as to the time of the commission of
the crime charged is not, however, a ground for a motion to
quash under Rule 116 of the Rules of Court. Even if it were, a
motion for quashal on that account will be denied since the
defect is one that can be cured by amendment.
The remedy against an indictment that fails to allege the time
of the commission of the ofense with sufficient definiteness is
a motion for a bill of particulars.
The information against Rocaberte is indeed seriously
defective. It places on him and his co-accused the unfair and
unreasonable burden of having to recall their activities over a
span of more than 2,500 days. It is a burden nobody should be
made to bear. The public prosecutor must make more definite
and particular the time of the commission of the crime of theft
attributed to Rocaberte and his co-defendants. If he cannot,
the prosecution cannot be maintained, the case must be
dismissed.
People V Lizada
HELD: On the contention of accused-appellant in said case that
his conviction for rape in December 1992 was remote from the
date (November 1995) alleged in the Information, so that the
latter could no longer be considered as being as near to the
actual date at which the ofense was committed as provided
under Section 11, Rule 110 of the Rules on criminal Procedure,
as amended, the Supreme Court held:
Accused-appellant nevertheless argues that his conviction for
rape in December 1992 is so remote from the date (November
1995) alleged in the information, so that the latter could no
longer be considered as being as near to the actual date at
which the ofense was committed as provided under Rule 110,
11.
This contention is also untenable. In People v. Garcia, this
Court upheld a conviction for ten counts of rape based on an
information which alleged that the accused committed multiple
rape from November 1990 up to July 21, 1994, a time
diference of almost four years which is longer than that

involved in the case at bar. In any case, as earlier stated,


accused-appellants failure to raise a timely objection based on
this ground constitutes a waiver of his right to object
Moreover, when the private complainant testified on how
accused appellant defiled her two times a week from 19961998, accused appellant raised nary a whimper of protest.
Accused-appellant even rigorously cross-examined the private
complainant on her testimony on direct examination. The
presentation by the prosecution, without objection on the part
of the accused-appellant, of evidence of rape committed two
times a week from 1996 until1998 (which includes September
15, 1998 and October 22, 1998) to prove the charges lodge
against him constituted a waiver by accused-appellant of his
right to object to any perceived infirmity in, and in amendment
of, the aforesaid Informations to conform to the evidence
adduced by the prosecution.
People V Delos Santos
HELD: In reodica V CA, the SC ruled that if a reckless,
imprudent, or negligent act results in two or more grave or less
grave felonies, a complex crime is committed. Thus, in Lapuz V
CA, the accused was convicted, in conformity with Article 48 of
the RPC, of the complex crime of homicide with serious
physical injuries and damage to property through reckless
imprudence, an was sentences to a single penalty of
imprisonment, instead of two penalties imposed by the trial
court. Also, in Soriao V CA, the accused was convicted of the
complex crime of multiple homicide with damage to property
through reckless imprudence for causing a motorboat to
capsize, thereby drowning to death its 28 passengers.
People V Manalili
HELD: The hornbook doctrine in our jurisdiction is that an
accused cannot be convicted of an ofense, unless it
is clearly charged in the complaint or
information. Constitutionally, he has a right to be informed of
the nature and cause of the accusation against him. To convict
him of an ofense other than that charged in the complaint or
information would be violative of this constitutional right.
(People v Ortega July 25, 1997) Indeed, the accused cannot be
convicted of a crime, even if duly proven, unless it is alleged or
necessarily included in the information filed against him.
As stated in the case of People V Legaspi (246 SCRA 206),
Their conviction can only be limited to the crime alleged or
necessarily included in the allegations in the separate
informations. What controls is the description of the ofense as
alleged in the information.[31] While the trial court can hold a
joint trial of two or more criminal cases and can render a
consolidated decision, it cannot convict the accused of a
complex crime constitutive of the various crimes alleged in the
two informations. Thus, the accused were deprived of their
constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of
the accusation against them.
It is hornbook doctrine, however, that what determines the real
nature and cause of the accusation against an accused is the
actual recital of facts stated in the information or complaint
and not the caption or preamble of the information or
complaint nor the specification of the provision of law alleged
to have been violated, they being conclusions of law. (Pecho v
People 262 SCRA 518)
The SC is not unaware of the rule that an information charging
more than one ofense is fatally defective and may be quashed
on the ground of duplicity of ofenses. However, when the
accused fails, before arraignment, to move for quashal of such
information and goes to trial thereunder, he thereby waives
the objection, and may be found guilty of as many ofenses as
those charged in the information and proved during the trial. In
this case, the appellants failed to move for quashal before
arraignment; thus, they are deemed to have waived the defect
and are considered charged with the ofenses of illegal
possession of firearms and multiple murder. Indeed, they were
not deprived of their constitutional right to be informed of the
accusation against them.