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[PEOPLE v. CONBADO DE MESA Y RACI](http://lawyerly.ph/juris/view/c2731?user=fbGU2WFpmaitMVEVGZ2lBVW5xZ2RVdz09)
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[ GR No. 49121, Sep 29, 1944 ]

PEOPLE v. CONBADO DE MESA Y RACI +

DECISION

74 Phil. 740

[ G.R. No. 49121, September 29, 1944 ]

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. CONBADO DE MESA Y RACI, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

D E C I S I O N

OZAETA, J.:

Appellant pleaded guilty to the following information:
"The undersigned accuses Conrado de Mesa y Raci of the crime of Murder, committed as follows:

"That on or about the 7th day of October, 1943, in Diliman District, City of Manila, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Court, the above-named accused, Conrado  de Mesa y Raci, with evident premeditation and treachery and taking advantage of the night-time which was purposely sought by him, voluntarily, maliciously,  illegally and criminally treacherously attacked and assaulted Mateo Alvarez, a duly qualified member of the  Metropolitan Constabulary while in the performance of his duties, to wit:  while on patrol in the barrio of Balara, Diliman District, Manila,  by shooting said Mateo Alvarez from behind with a .45 caliber pistol, inflicting upon said Mateo Alvarez serious gunshot wound perforating the left lung and other vital parts of his body which caused His death as a consequence.  All contrary to law."
and was  then and there sentenced to suffer reclusion perpetua and to indemnify the heirs of the deceased in the sum of P2,000.

From that sentence he appealed to this Court.  His attorney de ofico  finds no error in the sentence of the trial court and in effect recommends its confirmation.

But as the  Solicitor General correctly observes, the crime charged  in the  body of the  information was not  simple murder but the complex crime of murder with assault upon an agent of authority, for which the penalty provided by law is death an indivisible penalty  which cannot be  affected by the mitigating circumstance of plea of guilty. The Solicitor General further  observes:
"It is evident, however, that the crime charged and  described in  the information  has not been correctly apprehended.  Both the prosecution  and the defense, as well as the court, understod that the crime of which the accused pleaded guilty is murder, all having been  obviously misled by the descriptive designation 'murder' appearing at the caption of the information, and failed to take into consideration the allegations contained in its body, which allegations constitute the real  and true crime charged, to wit, murder with assault upon an agent of authority.  Had the accused been  fully  apprised of the gravity of the offense and the consequent penalty, he would have perhaps not entered the plea of guilty.  Upon this ground we believe that the record  should be remanded for  a new arraignment and trial."
We fully agree with the Solicitor General.  Following  the case of U. S. vs. Agcaoili,  31 Phil.,  91,  inasmuch as  the information charges a capital offense and there is possibility that the accused misunderstood its gravity on account of the misleading introductory paragraph of the information wherein  the offense charged was qualified as simple murder, the trial court should have explained to the accused the true nature of the offense charged and  the penalty involved in order to avoid all reasonable possibility of  the accused's entering a plea of guilty improvidently or without a clear and precise understanding of its meaning and effect, and should have taken the  prosecution's evidence in support of the allegations of the  information  in  order to be able to judge correctly the  extent of defendant's guilt.

The sentence appealed from is set  aside and the case is ordered remanded to the trial court  for new arraignment and trial, with the  costs of  this instance de oficio.

Yulo, C.J., Horrilleno, Paras,  and Bocobo, JJ., concur.

MORAN, J., concurs in the result.

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