Criminal Justice System of the Philippines

Topics: Lawyer, Prosecutor, Criminal law Pages: 8 (3947 words) Published: August 20, 2014
RESOURCE MATERIAL SERIES No. 53

THE ROLE AND FUNCTION OF THE PROSECUTION IN THE
PHILIPPINE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Menrado Valle-Corpuz*
INTRODUCTION
The criminal justice system, essentially,
is the system or process in the community
by which crimes are investigated, and the
persons suspected thereof are taken into
custody, prosecuted in court and punished,
if found guilty, provisions being made for
their correction and rehabilitation.
Prior to the advent of American
sovereignty in the country, we had the
Spanish law on criminal procedure. The
Royal Decree of September 4, 1884, by
virtue of which the Penal Code in force in
the archipelago, as amended in accordance
with the recommendations of the Code
Committee, and its accompanying law—
the Provisional Law on Criminal
Procedure—were published and applied in
the Philippines pursuant to the Royal
Decree of December 17, 1884. It became
effective four months after its publication
in the Gaceta de Manila. In addition, the
compilation of the Laws of Criminal
Procedure of 1879 and the Law of Criminal
Procedure of 1882 also formed part of our
law on the subject.
During the American occupation,
General Otis issued General Orders No. 58
on April 23, 1990, which was amended at
various times. Some of the amendments
were: Act No. 194, providing for
preliminary investigations; Act No. 440,
relating to counsels de officio; Act No. 590,
providing for preliminary investigations by
Justices of the Peace of provincial capitals;
Act No. 2677, prescribing the procedure of
appeals of cases originating in the Justice
* State Prosecutor II, National Prosecution Service,
Department of Justice, Philippines.

272

of the Peace Courts to the Supreme Court;
Act No. 2709, regarding the exclusion of
an accused to be utilized as a government
witness; and Act No. 2886, changing the
name of the party who should prosecute
the criminal action from that of “The
United States” to “The People of the
Philippines.”
The Philippine criminal justice system
is composed of five parts or pillars, namely,
law enforcement, prosecution, judiciary,
penology, and the community.
I. LAW ENFORCEMENT PROCESS
The law enforcement consists of the
officers and men of the Philippine National
Police (PNP), the National Bureau of
Investigation (NBI), and other agencies.
When they learn of the commission of
crimes or discover them, their duty is to:
a. Investigate the crime which may take
the form of surveillance and observation
of suspects, other persons and premises;
interviewing persons with knowledge of
facts directly or indirectly connected with
the offense; taking photographs
(surreptitiously or otherwise); arranging
for entrapment; searching premises and
persons subject to constitutional and
statutory safeguards; and examining public
and other available records pertaining to
the persons involved and getting copies of
pertinent entries.
The police officers, in other words, collect
evidence for use in the prosecution of the
suspects in the court. This may consist of
the testimony of witnesses, including
invited suspects, which are invariably
taken down in question-and-answer form;

107TH INTERNATIONAL TRAINING COURSE
PARTICIPANTS’ PAPERS
writings and objects, e.g., gun, knife, other
weapons used in the commission of the
crime, clothing of the victim, etc.
b. Arrest suspects by virtue of a warrant
of arrest issued by a judge on the basis of
evidence submitted by them or under
circumstances justifying a warrantees
arrest.
The instances when an arrest without
warrant may be lawfully effected by a peace
officer or a private person are as follows:
(1) When in his presence, the person to
be arrested has committed, is
actually committing or is attempting
to commit an offense;
(2) When an offense has in fact just been
committed, and he has personal
knowledge of facts indicating that the
person to be arrested has committed
it; and...

References: 6. Executive Order No. 292 dated July 25,
1987, otherwise known as the
7. DOJ Order No. 223 dated June 30,
1993C (Revised Rules on Appeal from
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