People v Dimaano; G.R. No. 95231; 15 Jun 1992; 209 SCRA 819

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Accused-appellants were arrested in connection with a robbery with homicide incident at a subdivision. They were presented unassisted by a counsel to the private complainant and her witnesses in a police line-up.

Whether or not accused-appelants’ right to counsel was violated during the confrontation.

NO. When the appellants were identified by the complainants at the police line-up, the former had not yet been held to answer for the criminal offense for which they have been charged and convicted. The police could not have, therefore, violated their right to counsel as the confrontation between the state and them had not yet begun. A police line-up is not part of the custodial inquest, hence, the appellants were not yet entitled, at such stage, to counsel.

Decision appealed from is AFFIRMED with modification.

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