People v de la Cruz; G.R. Nos. 91865-66 and 92439-40; 06 Jul 1993; 224 SCRA 506

in Legal Chyme by

Accused-appellant was apprehended on the strength of information given by his father of appellant having confessed to killing and burying his common-law wife. At the police station, appellant volunteered the information and led the police authorities to the said place where they dug the ground in the presence of residents thereat and recovered eight bones.

Whether or not accused-appellant’s declarations were inadmissible for having been taken without the assistance of counsel.

YES. The accused’s so-called admission, given after his arrest and during his custodial investigation, was obtained in total disregard of his rights as guaranteed by the Constitution. The accused was not informed of his right to remain silent and to counsel, and that if he cannot afford to have the counsel of his choice, he would be provided with one. There is no evidence at all to indicate that he decided to waive such right. And even if he did waive it, no written waiver, executed in the presence of counsel, was identified or offered in evidence.

Accused-appellant is ACQUITTED of homicide.

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