Criminal law, News, Rules of Court, tweets

People vs. Janet Lim-Napoles Sept 9 arraignment: Legal Scenarios

People vs. Janet Lim- Napoles for serious illegal detention. News peg: DZMM reported that the accused filed an urgent “Motion for a Bill of Particulars” in this case at 4pm today.

        The following are the pertinent provisions on the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure on this:  

“Rule  116 Arraignment and Plea. Section 9.            Bill of particulars. — The accused may, before arraignment, move for a bill of particulars to enable him properly to plead and to prepare for trial. The motion shall specify the alleged defects of the complaint or information and the details desired. (10a)

      “Section 10. Production or inspection of material evidence in possession of prosecution. — Upon motion of the accused showing good cause and with notice to the parties, the court, in order to prevent surprise, suppression, or alteration, may order the prosecution to produce and permit the inspection and copying or photographing of any written statement given by the complainant and other witnesses in any investigation of the offense conducted by the prosecution or other investigating officers, as well as any designated documents, papers, books, accounts, letters, photographs, objects or tangible things not otherwise privileged, which constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the case and which are in the possession or under the control of the prosecution, police, or other law investigating agencies. (11a)

       “Section 11.      Suspension of arraignment. — Upon motion by the proper party, the arraignment shall be suspended in the following cases:

       “ (a)The accused appears to be suffering from an unsound mental condition which effective renders him unable to fully understand the charge against him and to plead intelligently thereto. In such case, the court shall order his mental examination and, if necessary, his confinement for such purpose;

        “ (b)There exists a prejudicial question; and

         “(c)A petition for review of the resolution of the prosecutor is pending at either the Department of Justice, or the Office of the President; provided, that the period of suspension shall not exceed sixty (60) days counted from the filing of the petition with the reviewing office. (12a)”

 

     A motion for a bill of particulars is filed by an accused who thinks that the Information (formal charge) against him/her is too general. In other words, the accused wants to find out from the prosecution: What overt acts in detail are you charging me with and what evidence do you have against me? This is based on the right of the accused to be informed of the charges against him/her, or to be informed of the particularities of the overt acts he/she is accused to have committed.

      The arraignment is on Sept. 9; if the Court grants the urgent “Motion for a Bill of Particulars” before Sept. 9, the prosecution must  file the bill of particulars asked for on or before Sept. 9. If the Court does not act promptly on the motion or, if  the Court grants and the prosecution complies,  but the accused is not satisfied with the bill of particulars , the accused on Sept. 9  may either move for a suspension of the arraignment (reset or defer) on grounds of a prejudicial question under Sec. 11 (abovequoted).

       If a motion for suspension is denied right there and then, and the accused is compelled to enter a plea, the accused may refuse — the court would then order that a plea of “not guilty” be entered for the accused.

      Motions, motions. Act on the motions before Sept. 9, okay?

     I haven’t seen the Information (formal charge) for serious illegal detention filed against Janet Lim-Napoles, and therefore would have to refrain from giving an opinion on how detailed or how general it is. 

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