RULE 119 TRIAL SECTION 1. time to prepare for trial. – After a plea of not guilty is entered, the accused shall have at least fifteen (15) days to prepare for trial. The trial shall commence within thirty (30) days from receipt of the pre-trial order. (see. 6, Cir. 38-98)
SEC. 2 continuous trial until terminated; postponements. – Trial once commenced shall continue from day to day as far as practicable period of time for good cause. (2a)
The court shall, after consultation with the prosecutor and defense counsel, set the case for continuous trial on a weekly or other short-term trial calendar at the earliest possible time so as to ensure speedy trial. In no case shall the entire trial period exceed on hundred eighty (180) days from the first day trial, except as otherwise authorized by the Supreme Court. (sec. 8 cir. 38-98)
The time limitations provided under this section and the preceding section shall not apply where special laws or circulars of the Supreme Court provided for a shorter period of trial.
SEC. 11. Order of trial. – the trial shall proceed in the following orders:
The prosecution shall present evidence to prove the charge, in the proper case, the civil liability.
The accused may present evidence to prove his defense and damages, if any, arising from the issuance of a provisional remedy in the case.
The prosecution and the defense may, in that order, present rebuttal and sur-rebuttal evidence unless the court, in furtherance of justice, permits them to present additional evidence bearing upon the main issue.
Upon admission of the evidence of the parties, the case shall be deemed submitted for decision unless the court directs them to argue orally or to submit written memoranda.
When the accused admits the act or omission charged in the complaint or information but interposes a lawful defense, the order of trial may be modified. (3a)
SEC. 16. Trial of several accused. – when two or more accused are jointly charged with an offense, they shall be tried jointly unless the court, in its discretion and upon motion of the prosecutor or any accused, orders separate trial for one or more accused. (8a)
SEC. 17. Discharged of accused to be state witness. - when the two or more persons are jointly charged with the commission of any offense, upon motion of the prosecution before resting its case, the court may direct one or more of the accused to be discharged with their consent so that they may be witnesses for the state when, after requiring the prosecution to present evidence and the sworn statement of each proposed state witness at a hearing in support of the discharge, the court is satisfied that:
There is absolute necessity for the testimony of the accused whose discharge is requested;
There is no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed, except the testimony of said accused;
The testimony of said accused can be substantially corroborated in its material points;
Said accused does not appear to be the most guilty; and
Said accused has not at any time been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude.
Evidence adduced in support of the discharged shall automatically form part of the trial. If the court denies the motion for discharge of the accused as state witness, his sworn statement shall be inadmissible in evidence. (9a)
SEC. 18. Discharge of accused operates as acquittal. – the order indicated in the preceding section shall amount to an acquittal of the discharge accused and shall be a bar to future prosecution for the same offense, unless the accused fails or refuses to testify against his accused in accordance with his sworn statement constituting the basis for his discharge. (10a)
6. when Discharge Made
The discharge contemplated by the rule is one effected or which can be effected at any stage at any stage of the proceedings, from the filing of the information to the time the defense starts to offer any evidence (people vs. Aninon. 158 SCRA 701) and is a matter that lies within the sound discretion of the trial court. (Mangubat vs. Sandiganbayan, 135 SCRA 731)
7. Requisites of Discharged
Before effecting the discharge, the should –
Require prosecution to present evidence and the sworn statement of the proposed witnesses at a hearing in support of the discharge.
Require submission of sworn statement of each proposed witness at a hearing in support of the discharge and ascertain is the conditions fixed by Section 17 of Rule 199 are complied with, namely:
There is absolute necessity for the testimony of the accused whose discharge is requested
There is no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed, except the testimony of the accused.
The testimony of said accused can be substantially corroborated in its material points. The testimony of a which is not materially corroborated is not sufficient for conviction. (Barretto vs. SandiganBayan, 144 SCRA 176)
Said accused does not appear to be most guilty. Meaning of not the most guilty is not the least guilty. (sec. 6; People vs. Court of Appeals, 131 SCRA 107  the rule does not require that he be the “least guilty “but only that he not be “the most guilty”. (People vs. Faltado, 84 Phil. 89)
Although an accused did not commit any of the stabbings, it is a mistake to discharge him as a state witness where he is bound in a conspiracy. All the perpetrators of the offense bound in conspiracy are equally guilty. (People vs. Ramirez, G.R. Nos. 65345-47, January 31, 1989, 169 SCRA 711)
11. Absolute Certainty Not Required
Absolute Certainty Not Required. (People vs. Court of Appeals, 124 SCRA 338 ) in coming his conclusion as to the necessity for the testimony of the accused whose discharge is requested; as to the availability or non-availability of other director and the like, the judge must rely in a large part upon the suggestions and information furnished by the state prosecutors. (People vs. Court Appeals, 131 SCRA 109 [19841)
The reason is obvious. The public prosecutor should know better than the court, and the defense for that matter, as to which of the accused would best qualify to be discharge to become a state witness. He is also supposed to know the evidence in his possession and whom whom he needs to establish his case. (People vs. Ocimar, 212 SCRA 646 )
Discharge when there is conspiracy
When there is a conspiracy for example, and the crime is committed clandestinely, then the discharge of a conspirator is necessary to testify against the other conspirator. A conspiracy can be establishing by the testimony of a co-conspirator, (People vs. Villamor, 110 SCRA 199 ) in a conspiracy which was done in secret, there is a necessity to discharge one of the accused to provide direct evidence of the commission of the crime. (U.S vs. Barredo, 32 Phil. 444 [1915) for who else outside the conspiracy can testify on what was concocted between the conspirators, but they themselves?
14.d. Effects of Discharge
(a) evidence adduced in support in support of the discharge shall outomatically form part of the trial. (Sec. 9, 1bid.)
If the court denies the motion to discharge of the accused as state witness, his sworn statement shall be inadmissible in evidence. (1bid.)
Discharge of accused operates as an acquittal and bar to father prosecution prosecution for the same offense. (Sec. 10, 1bid)
Discharged of accused operates as an acquittal and bar to further prosecution for the same offense. (Sec. 10, 1bid.)
Exception (a) Unless accused fails or refused to testify against his co-accused in
accordance with his sworn statement constituting the basis of his discharged. (1bid.)
Failure to testify refers exclusively to defendant’s will or fault. (People vs. Mendiola, et al., 82 Phil. 741
Extrajudicial Confession; Admissibility; where an accused who turns States’s evidence on a promise of immunity but later retracts and fails to keep his part of the agreement, his confession of his participation in the commission of the crime is admissible as evidence against him. (People vs. Beberino, 79 SCRA 694)
Once discharged even if one or all of the conditions required for discharge dis not really exist, that fact does not affect the legal consequences of the discharge and the admissibility and credibility of his testimony if, otherwise admissible and credible. (People vs. Bautista, 106 Phil. 39; People vs. Mangulabnan, G.R No. 65864, August 16, 1991, 200 SCRA 611; People vs. Ferrere, supra)
SEC. 21. Exclusion of the public. - the judge may, motuproprio, exclude the the public from the courtroom if the evidence to be produced during the trial is offensive to decency or public morals. He may also, on motion of the accused, exclude the public from the trial except court personnel and the counsel of the parties. (13a)
SEC. 22. Consolidation of trials of related offenses. – charges for offenses founded on the same facts or forming part of a series of offenses of similar character may be tried jointly at the discretion of the court. (14a)
Purpose of Consolidation
The object of consolidation is to avoid multiplicity of suits, guard against oppression or abuse, prevent delay, clear congested dockets, simplify the work of the trial court, save unnecessary costs and expense. In brief, consolidation seeks to attain justice with the least expense and vexation to the litigants. Elsewhere, the present tendency is to permit consolidation whenever possible and irrespective of diversity of the issues involved. (Palanca vs. Querubin, 30 SCRA 732
SEC. 23. Demurrer to evidence, - After the prosecution rests its case, the court may dismiss the action on the ground of insufficiency of evidence (1) on its own initiative after giving the prosecution the opportunity to be heard or (2) upon demurrer to evidence filed by the accused with or without leave of court.
If the court denies the demurrer to evidence filed with leave of court, the accused may adduce evidence in his defense. When the demurrer to evidence filed without leave of court, the accused waives the right to present evidence and submits the case for judgment on the basis of the evidence for the prosecution. (15a)
The motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence shall specifically state its grounds and shall be filed within a non-extendible period of five (5) days after the prosecution rests its case. The presecution may oppose the motion within a non-extendible period of five (5) days from its receipt.
If leave of court is granted, the accused shall file the demurrer to evidence within a non-extendible period often (10) days from notice. The prosecution may oppose the demurrer to evidence within a similar period from its receipt.
The order denying the motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence or the demurrer shall not be reviewable by appeal or by certiorari before judgment. (n0