Accused's right to due process includes FREEDOM from surprise

In the matter of amending a criminal information, what is primarily guarded against is the impairment of the accused's right to intelligently know the nature of the charge against him. This right has been guaranteed the accused under all Philippine Constitutions and incorporated in Section 1 (b), Rule 115, of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure. In a criminal case, due process requires that, among others, the accusation be in due form, and that notice thereof and an opportunity to answer the charge be given the accused, hence, the constitutional and reglementary guarantees as to accused's right "to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him." An accused should be given the necessary data as to why he is being proceeded against and not be left in the unenviable state of speculating why he is made the object of a prosecution, it being the fact that, in criminal cases, the liberty, even the life, of the accused is at stake. It is always wise and proper that the accused be fully apprised of the charge against him in order to avoid any possible surprise that may lead to injustice. [G.R. No. 119601. December 17, 1996]