Criminal Justice System of the Philippines

3958 Words Sep 1st, 2014 16 Pages
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—
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Any person who—while in custody or otherwise deprived of liberty—is under investigation for the commission of an offense, has the following constitutional rights, among others:
1) He must be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel; 2) No torture, force, violence, threat, indimidation or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him; secret detention

places, solitary, in communicado or other similar forms of detention are prohibited; and
3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of the foregoing shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.
c. Refer the case and the suspects to the Office of the Public Prosecutor or
Municipal Trial Court for preliminary investigation or directly to the Municipal
Trial Court for trial and judgment.
II. PROSECUTION PROCESS
The investigation and prosecution of all cases involving violations of penal laws are lodged with the Department of Justice
(DOJ) through its National Prosecution
Service (NAPROSS).
The DOJ is headed by the Secretary of
Justice with three Undersecretaries assisting him.
Aside from being the prosecution arm of the government, the DOJ shall have the following powers and functions:
a. Act as principal law agency

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