G.R. No. L-46392 – 145 SCRA 360 – Political Law – Due Process
Delgado together with 3 others were charged for estafa causing the frustration of one medical student. Delgado was assisted by one Atty. Yco. The said lawyer has filed for multiple postponement of trial and one time he failed to appear in court by reason of him being allegedly sick. No medical certificate was furnished. The court was not impressed with such actuation and had considered the same as Delgado’s waiver of her right to trial. The lower court convicted her and the others. She appealed before the CA and the CA sustained the lower court’s rule. Delgado later found out that Yco is not a member of the IBP.
ISSUE: Whether or not due process was observed.
HELD: The SC ruled in favor of Delgado. An accused person is entitled to be represented by a member of the bar in a criminal case filed against her before the Regional Trial Court. Unless she is represented by a lawyer, there is great danger that any defense presented in her behalf will be inadequate considering the legal perquisites and skills needed in the court proceedings. This would certainly be a denial of due process.