Arraignment and plea - This is what happens during arraignment.
1. The accused must be arraigned before the court where the complaint or information was filed or assigned for trial. The arraignment shall be made in open court by the judge or clerk by furnishing the accused with a copy of the complaint or information, reading the same in the language or dialect known to him, and asking him whether he pleads guilty or not guilty. The prosecution may call at the trial witnesses other than those named in the complaint or information.
2. The accused must be present at the arraignment and must personally enter his plea. Both arraignment and plea shall be made of record, but failure to do so shall not affect the validity of the proceedings.
3. When the accused refuses to plead or makes a conditional plea, a plea of not guilty shall be entered for him.
4. When the accused pleads guilty but presents exculpatory evidence, his plea shall be deemed withdrawn and a plea of not guilty shall be entered for him.
5. When the accused is under preventive detention, his case shall be raffled and its records transmitted to the judge to whom the case was raffled within three (3) days from the filing of the information or complaint. The accused shall be arraigned within ten (10) days from the date of the raffle. The pre-trial conference of his case shall be held within ten (10) days after arraignment.
6. The private offended party shall be required to appear at the arraignment for purposes of plea bargaining, determination of civil liability, and other matters requiring his presence. In case of failure of the offended party to appear despite due notice, the court may allow the accused to enter a plea of guilty to a lesser offense which is necessarily included in the offense charged with the conformity of the trial prosecutor alone.
8. Unless a shorter period is provided by special law or Supreme Court circular, the arraignment shall be held within thirty (30) days from the date the court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the accused. The time of the pendency of a motion to quash or for a bill or particulars or other causes justifying suspension of the arraignment shall be excluded in computing the period.
Note that there is a duty of court to inform accused of his right to counsel. – Before arraignment, the court shall inform the accused of his right to counsel and ask him if he desires to have one. Unless the accused is allowed to defend himself in person or has employed counsel of his choice, the court must assign a counsel de officio to defend him.