Recidivism: to allege or not to allege?

On the aggravating circumstance of recidivism, the trial court properly appreciated the same though not alleged in the information. Article 14(9) of the Revised Penal Code defines a recidivist as "one who, at the time of his trial for one crime shall have been previously convicted by final judgment of another crime embraced in the same title of this Code."

To prove recidivism, it is necessary to allege the same in the information and to attach thereto certified copies of the sentences rendered against the accused. Nonetheless, the trial court may still give such aggravating circumstance credence if the accused does not object to the presentation of evidence on the fact of recidivism. (G.R. Nos. 134777-78. July 24, 2000)

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