People v Crisologo; G.R. No. 74145; 17 Jun 1987; 150 SCRA 653

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Accused-appellant is a deaf-mute convicted of robbery with homicide. he was informed of the charge against him through sign language but only by a childhood acquaintance. Despite the trial court’s repeated request for a sign language during the trial, said expert was not provided even until the decision convicting accused-appellant had been rendered.

Whether or not accused-appellant was deprived of his right to be presumed innocent

YES. The absence of an interpreter in sign language who could have conveyed to the accused the full facts of the offense with which he was charged and who could also have communicated the accused’s own version of the circumstances which led to his implication in the crime deprived the accused of a full and fair trial and a reasonable opportunity to defend himself.

Appealed decision is REVERSED. Accused is ACQUITTED.

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