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I. A. 2. y.

PEOPLE v. HERIDA
GR Number 127158
March 5, 2001
Art. III
FACTS:
On May 16, 1995, an information was filed before the City Prosecutor of Quezon City
charging the accused of murder. It was alleged that the two conspired together to attack, assault,
and employ personal violence upon Herlito Delara. They mauled and stabbed him with knives
and bolos inflicting serious and mortal stab wounds which caused the death of Delara. The
accused were arraigned on July 31, 1995 and they pleaded not guilty. The trial on the merits
proceeded. The trial court rendered that Herida was guilty of murder and Jamila was acquitted
because his guilty was not proven beyond reasonable doubt.
In the instant appeal, the accused alleges that the trial court was biased against him and
that his right to a fair and impartial trial was violated. He even pointed out that over 70% of the
testimonies for the prosecution was elicited by the judge, while the cross-examination of the
defense witness was conducted by the judge himself.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the lower court denied the accused of his constitutional right to due
process of law?
HELD:
No. When the transcripts of the proceedings were examined, it was shown that the trial
court intensively question the witnesses, out of the 182 questions asked of the prosecutions eyewitness, 79 (43%) were asked by the judge. However, it was noted that the witnesses of the
defense were intensively questioned as well. The sworn affidavits of material witnesses were
adopted as direct testimonies but since they are often incomplete and inaccurate, the
investigating officer should clarify on the important matters.
The Court ruled that the behavior of the judge under the circumstance cannot be
considered as biased or prejudiced. It is their task to elicit the facts on the issues involved, clarify
ambiguous remarks by witnesses, and address points which may be overlooked by the counsels.

Prepared by: Cecille Diane DJ. Mangaser