People of Judge Villarama; G.R. No. 99287; 23 Jun 1992; 210 SCRA 246

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Private respondent was charged for illegal possession, custody and control of a regulated drug. He entered a plea of not guilty during his arraignment. After the prosecution has rested its case, private respondent filed a request to plead guilty to a lesser offense which respondent judge granted notwithstanding the opposition from prosecution.

Whether or not a review of private respondent’s change of plea and his conviction to a lesser offense will violate his constitutional right against double jeopardy.

NO. The right against double jeopardy applies in cases where both the fiscal and the offended party consent to the private respondent’s change of plea. Otherwise, the private respondent cannot claim such privilege.

Petition is GRANTED. Judgment and order of the lower court are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The case is REMANDED to the trial court for continuation of trial.

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