Substantial compliance with accused's right to be informed of nature of charge

Pursuant to Section 8, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, we have decided to motu proprio take cognizance of the resolution issued by the investigating prosecutor in I.S. No. 92-0197 dated June 2, 1992, which formed the basis of and a copy of which was attached to the information for rape filed against herein appellant. Therein, it is clearly stated that the offended party is suffering from mental retardation. We hold, therefore, that this should be deemed a substantial compliance with the constitutional mandate that an accused be informed of the nature of the charge against him. More importantly, appellant cannot feign ignorance of the victim's mental condition considering that they are first cousins and very close in their association, aside from the fact that appellant lives only around half a kilometer away from the house of the victim. The element of surprise on the part of the defense can definitely not be invoked in this case, hence it cannot be said that appellant was in any way deprived of the opportunity to adequately prepare for his defense. [G.R. No. 118823. November 19, 1996]