Charging homicide with 'superior strength abuse,' amendment to "murder" mere formal

The real nature of the criminal charge is determined not from the caption or preamble of the information nor from the specification of the provision of the law alleged to have been violated, they being conclusions of law which in no way affect the legal aspects of the information, but from the actual recital of facts as alleged in the body of the information. Petitioner in the case at bench maintains that, having already pleaded "not guilty" to the crime of homicide, the amendment of the crime charged in the information from homicide to murder is a substantial amendment prejudicial to his right to be informed of the nature of the accusation against him. He utterly fails to dispute, however, that the original information did allege that petitioner stabbed his victim "using superior strength". And this particular allegation qualifies a killing to murder, regardless of how such a killing is technically designated in the information filed by the public prosecutor. [G.R. No. 119601. December 17, 1996]