Heide M. Estandarte (GR156851-55)
While the Bill of Particulars is not allowed under the Rules of Procedure of the Office of the Ombudsman and therefore should not be the basis for determining what specific criminal charges should be filed against herein petitioner, it behooves the Ombudsman to accord the petitioner her basic rights to due process in the conduct of the preliminary investigation.
Virata vs. Sandiganbayan (114331)
A bill of particulars is a complementary procedural document consisting of an amplification or more particularized outline of a pleading, and being in the nature of a more specific allegation of the facts recited in the pleading. It is the office of the bill of particulars to inform the opposite party and the court of the precise nature and character of the cause of action or defense which the pleader has attempted to set forth and thereby to guide his adversary in his preparations for trial, and reasonably to protect him against surprise at the trial.
Domondon vs. Sandiganbayan (GR 166606)
While the Speedy Trial Act of 1998 sets the time limit for the arraignment and trial of a case, these however do not preclude justifiable postponements and delay when so warranted by the situation. Section 2 of SC Circular 38-98 provides that the period of the pendency of a motion to quash, or for a bill of particulars, or other causes justifying suspension of arraignment, shall be excluded.
Thus in People v. Tee, we held that the right to a speedy trial is deemed violated only when: 1) the proceedings are attended by vexatious, capricious, and oppressive delays; 2) when unjustified postponements are asked for and secured; 3) when without cause or justifiable motive a long period of time is allowed to elapse without the party having his case tried.
Baritua vs Mercader (GR 136048)
Petitioners argue that the Court of Appeals erred when it passed sub silencio on the trial courts failure to rule frontally on their plea for a bill of particulars.
We are not impressed. It must be noted that petitioners counsel manifested in open court his desire to file a motion for a bill of particulars. The RTC gave him ten days from March 12, 1985 within which to do so. He, however, filed the aforesaid motion only on April 2, 1985 or eleven days past the deadline set by the trial court. Moreover, such motion was already moot and academic because, prior to its filing, petitioners had already filed their answer and several other pleadings to the amended Complaint.