Plea of guilty to lesser offense; downgraded offense controls judgment, proceedings

The fact that the lesser offense, and its necessary lower penalty, resulted from a plea bargaining agreement is of no moment as far as the penalty to be imposed is concerned. Plea bargaining is authorized by the present Rules and is in fact required to be considered by the trial court at the pre-trial conference. The felony of homicide which must constitute the basis for the penalty to be imposed having been agreed upon among the requisite parties and approved by the trial court itself, that downgraded offense and its lower penalty shall control the adjudgment of and any further proceedings before the court a quo. [G.R. No. 123991. December 6, 1996]