People v Balisacan; G.R. No. L-26376; 31 Aug 1966; 17 SCRA 1119

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Defendant-appellee was charged with homicide. Despite pleading guilty during his arraignment, he was allowed to present evidence to prove mitigating circumstances. On the basis of his testimony, the trial court rendered a decision acquitting the accused.

Whether or not the People’s appeal would place the accused in double jeopardy.

NO. Testifying to prove mitigating circumstances after pleading guilty to the charge had an effect of vacating accused plea of guilty. The trial court should have required him to plead anew on the charge, or at least directed that a new plea of not guilty be entered for him. Here having been no standing plea at the time the court rendered its judgment of acquittal, there can be no double jeopardy with respect to the appeal.

Judgment appealed from is SET ASIDE and the case is REMANDED to the court for further proceedings under another judge.

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