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People vs. Dimaano Case Digest


The acts or omissions complained of must be alleged in such form as is sufficient to enable a person of common understanding to know what offense is intended to be charged, and enable the court to pronounce proper judgment. No information for a crime will be sufficient if it does not accurately and clearly allege the elements of the crime charged. Every element of the offense must be stated in the information. 

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Facts: 

In 1996, Maricar Dimaano charged her father, Edgardo Dimaano with two (2) counts of rape and one (1) count of attempted rape.

The complaint for attempted rape stated as follows:

That on or about the 1st day of January 1996, in the Municipality of Paraaque, Metro Manila, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, try and attempt to rape one Maricar Dimaano y Victoria, thus commencing the commission of the crime of Rape, directly by overt acts, but nevertheless did not perform all the acts of execution which would produce it, as a consequence by reason of cause other than his spontaneous desistance that is due to the timely arrival of the complainant's mother.


Issue:

Did the complaint or information for attempted rape sufficiently alleged the specific acts or omissions constituting the offense?


Held:

No. For complaint or information to be sufficient, it must state the name of the accused; the designation of the offense given by the statute; the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the approximate time of the commission of the offense, and the place wherein the offense was committed.

What is controlling is not the title of the complaint, nor the designation of the offense charged or the particular law or part thereof allegedly violated, these being mere conclusions of law made by the prosecutor, but the description of the crime charged and the particular facts therein recited. The acts or omissions complained of must be alleged in such form as is sufficient to enable a person of common understanding to know what offense is intended to be charged, and enable the court to pronounce proper judgment. No information for a crime will be sufficient if it does not accurately and clearly allege the elements of the crime charged. Every element of the offense must be stated in the information. What facts and circumstances are necessary to be included therein must be determined by reference to the definitions and essentials of the specified crimes. The requirement of alleging the elements of a crime in the information is to inform the accused of the nature of the accusation against him so as to enable him to suitably prepare his defense. The presumption is that the accused has no independent knowledge of the facts that constitute the offense.

Notably, the above-cited complaint upon which the appellant was arraigned does not allege specific acts or omission constituting the elements of the crime of rape. Neither does it constitute sufficient allegation of elements for crimes other than rape, i.e., Acts of Lasciviousness. The allegation therein that the appellant 'tr[ied] and attempt[ed] to rape the complainant does not satisfy the test of sufficiency of a complaint or information, but is merely a conclusion of law by the one who drafted the complaint. This insufficiency therefore prevents this Court from rendering a judgment of conviction; otherwise we would be violating the right of the appellant to be informed of the nature of the accusation against him. (People vs. Dimaano, G.R. No. 168168, September 14, 2005)

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