Pre-trial and Pre-trial Conference
Section 1. Pre-trial; mandatory in criminal cases. – In all criminal cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Municipal Trial Court and Municipal Circuit Trial Court, the court shall, after arraignment and within thirty (30) days from the date the court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the accused, unless a shorter period is provided for in special laws or circulars of the Supreme Court, order a pre-trial conference to consider the following:
(a) plea bargaining;
(b) stipulation of facts;
(c) marking for identification of evidence of the parties;
(d) waiver of objections to admissibility of evidence;
(e) modification of the order of trial if the accused admits the charge but interposes a lawful defense; and
(f) such matters as will promote a fair and expeditious trial of the criminal and civil aspects of the case.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A PRE-TRIAL?
> The purpose is to expedite proceedings
WHEN IS PRE-TRIAL REQUIRED?
> Pre-trial is mandatory in all criminal cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, RTC, MTC and MCTC
WHEN SHOULD IT BE CONDUCTED?
> After arraignment, and within 30 days from the date the court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the accused
> An exception to the rule is when the accused is under preventive detention. The case shall be raffled within 3 days. Arraignment shall be done within 10 days after the raffle. Ten days thereafter, the pre-trial.
WHAT SHOULD THE ORDER FOR PRE-TRIAL CONFERENCE CONTAIN?
1. The presence of the accused and more importantly the offended party, for purposes of plea bargaining and determination of civil liability. Remember that plea bargaining isn’t allowed in cases involving violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act.
2. Referring the matter for preliminary conference to the clerk of court.
3. Warning that evidence not offered during preliminary conference shall be inadmissible except if because of good cause and under the discretion of the court
WHO SHOULD PRESIDE IN A PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE?
> Clerk of court will preside the preliminary conference
WHAT SHOULD THE CLERK OF COURT DO IN PRESIDING OVER THE PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE?
1. The clerk of court is given a vital role in the speedy disposition of cases
2. He shall serve as the mediator or arbitrator between the accused and offended party for the two parties to reach a settlement as to the civil liability of the accused
3. He shall serve as mediator between the parties with regard plea bargaining
4. He shall serve as mediator in the stipulation of facts between the accused and offended party
5. He shall oversee the introduction and marking of documentary evidence
6. He shall see that the evidence is genuine and duly executed
7. He shall oversee the conference if there will be any waiver to objections over admissibility of evidence
8. In case the accused gives a lawful defense, he will indicate that there would be a modification of the order of trial
1. A preliminary conference precedes a pre-trial. It is officiated by the clerk of court. The clerk of court plays a vital role in the speedy disposition of cases.
2. Often times, there would be no pre-trial anymore but the trial would commence and the judge would issue the decision for the disposition of the case.
3. The pre-trial conference is conducted for the expeditious disposition of the case. What happens in the conference is more than what meets the eye.
4. There is now an amendment in the new rules providing for the parties to talk with each other absent their lawyers. Lawyers often times are stumbling blocks in the speedy disposition of
5. In the pre-trial and preliminary conference, there is narrowing of conflict between the parties. In furtherance of this, the judge is sanctioned to allow the number of witnesses to be presented, limit the trial days, etc.
6. Remember that any evidence not presented or marked during the pre-trial conference shall not be admitted during the trial. This is done to make the presentation of evidence mandatory for the
parties to the case. Additional evidence shall only be allowed if there is good cause and for furtherance of justice
7. Evidence is genuine and duly executed—in relation to notarial law when the lawyer admits to the genuineness and due execution of the documentary evidence presented.
8. The preliminary conference is to minimize the things to be discussed during the pre-trial conference that would be conducted by the judge. After the pre-trial conference, a pre-trial order shall
be issued. This will serve as the bible for the rest of the proceedings.
9. See the Revised Rules on Pre-trial issued during August 2004.
WHEN WILL THE JUDGE PRESIDE?
> During the pre-trial