Republic of the Philippines Congress of the Philippines Metro Manila Eighth Congress

Republic Act No. 7438

April 27, 1992

AN ACT DEFINING CERTAIN RIGHTS OF PERSON ARRESTED, DETAINED OR UNDER CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION AS WELL AS THE DUTIES OF THE ARRESTING, DETAINING AND INVESTIGATING OFFICERS, AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:: Section 1. Statement of Policy. – It is the policy of the Senate to value the dignity of every human being and guarantee full respect for human rights. Section 2. Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or Under Custodial Investigation; Duties of Public Officers. – (a) Any person arrested detained or under custodial investigation shall at all times be assisted by counsel. (b) Any public officer or employee, or anyone acting under his order or his place, who arrests, detains or investigates any person for the commission of an offense shall inform the latter, in a language known to and understood by him, of his rights to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel, preferably of his own choice, who shall at all times be allowed to confer privately with the person arrested, detained or under custodial investigation. If such person cannot afford the services of his own counsel, he must be provided with a competent and independent counsel by the investigating officer.lawphi1Ÿ (c) The custodial investigation report shall be reduced to writing by the investigating officer, provided that before such report is signed, or thumbmarked if the person arrested or detained does not know how to read and write, it shall be read and adequately explained to him by his counsel or by the assisting counsel provided by the investigating officer in the language or dialect known to such arrested or detained person, otherwise, such investigation report shall be null and void and of no effect whatsoever. (d) Any extrajudicial confession made by a person arrested, detained or under custodial investigation shall be in writing and signed by such person in the presence of his counsel or in the latter's absence, upon a valid waiver, and in the presence of any of the parents,

As used in this Act. (c) The amount of Three hundred fifty pesos (P350. provided that if the municipality of city cannot pay such fee. (f) Any person arrested or detained or under custodial investigation shall be allowed visits by or conferences with any member of his immediate family. or by any national non-governmental organization duly accredited by the Commission on Human Rights of by any international non-governmental organization duly accredited by the Office of the President. (e) Any waiver by a person arrested or detained under the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code. (a) The amount of One hundred fifty pesos (P150. Assisting Counsel. or any medical doctor or priest or religious minister chosen by him or by any member of his immediate family or by his counsel. except those directly affected by the case. fiancé or fiancée. those charged with conducting preliminary investigation or those charged with the prosecution of crimes.elder brothers and sisters. nephew or niece. his spouse. without prejudice to the liability of the "inviting" officer for any violation of law. – Assisting counsel is any lawyer. grandparent or grandchild. such extrajudicial confession shall be inadmissible as evidence in any proceeding. In the absence of any lawyer. the municipal judge. otherwise.lawphi1©alf (b) The amount of Two hundred fifty pesos (P250. the province comprising such municipality or city shall pay the fee: Provided.00) if the suspected person is chargeable with light felonies. or priest or minister of the gospel as chosen by him. . shall be in writing and signed by such person in the presence of his counsel.00) if the suspected person is chargeable with a capital offense. the municipal mayor. parent or child. no custodial investigation shall be conducted and the suspected person can only be detained by the investigating officer in accordance with the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code. The fee for the assisting counsel shall be paid by the city or municipality where the custodial investigation is conducted. The assisting counsel other than the government lawyers shall be entitled to the following fees. district school supervisor.00) if the suspected person is chargeable with less grave or grave felonies. otherwise the waiver shall be null and void and of no effect. brother or sister. The person's "immediate family" shall include his or her spouse. "custodial investigation" shall include the practice of issuing an "invitation" to a person who is investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed. or under custodial investigation. Section 3. That the Municipal or City Treasurer must certify that no funds are available to pay the fees of assisting counsel before the province pays said fees. uncle or aunt. and guardian or ward.

at any hour of the day or.000. 857. or from examining and treating him. – Republic Act No. and a fine of four thousand pesos (P4. No.00) or a penalty of imprisonment of not less than eight (8) years but not more than ten (10) years.lawphi1Ÿ Republic of the Philippines Congress of the Philippines Metro Manila . prevents or prohibits any lawyer. detained or under custodial investigation for the commission of an offense if the latter cannot afford the services of his own counsel. any security officer with custodial responsibility over any detainee or prisoner may undertake such reasonable measures as may be necessary to secure his safety and prevent his escape. Section 6. detained or under custodial investigation of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. is hereby repealed. detained or under custodial investigation.000. or from ministering to his spiritual needs. Approved: April 27. or any medical doctor or priest or religious minister chosen by him or by any member of his immediate family or by his counsel. Section 5. Penalty Clause. who fails to inform any person arrested. or anyone acting upon orders of such investigating officer or in his place. shall suffer a fine of Six thousand pesos (P6. The same penalties shall be imposed upon a public officer or employee. who fails to provide a competent and independent counsel to a person arrested. any member of the immediate family of a person arrested. executive orders or rules and regulations. Other laws. The penalty of perpetual absolute disqualification shall also be imposed upon the investigating officer who has been previously convicted of a similar offense. from visiting and conferring privately with him. or both. presidential decrees. 1992. or any investigating officer.00). – (a) Any arresting public officer or employee.lawphi1© The provisions of the above Section notwithstanding. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in any daily newspapers of general circulation in the Philippines. of the night shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than four (4) years nor more than six (6) years. in urgent cases. (b) Any person who obstructs.Section 4. Effectivity. or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are repealed or modified accordingly. Repealing Clause. as amended.

Where counsel for the accused or the prosecutor does not appear at the pre-trial conference and does not offer an acceptable excuse for his/her lack of cooperation. the pre-trial justice or judge may impose proper sanctions or penalties. order a pre-trial conference to consider the following: (a) Plea bargaining. Pre-Trial Order. AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT. the court shall issue an order reciting the actions taken. or public policy. The agreements in relation to matters referred to in Section 2 hereof is subject to the approval of the court: Provided. Section 5. public morals. modified. otherwise the same shall not be used in evidence against the accused. Regional Trial Court. (d) Waiver of objections to admissibility of evidence. . . AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:: Section 1. Nonappearance at Pre-Trial Conference. Section 3. . METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT.In all cases cognizable by the Municipal Trial Court. That the agreement on the plea of the accused to a lesser offense may only be revised. MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT." Section 2.After the pre-trial conference. (c) Marking for identification of evidence of parties.Tenth Congress Republic Act No. Section 4. APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR. or annulled by the court when the same is contrary to law. Title. 8493 February 12. after arraignment. .This Act shall be known as the "Speedy Trial Act of 1998.All agreements or admissions made or entered into during the pre-trial conference shall be reduced to writing and signed by the accused and counsel. and the Sandiganbayan. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT. Mandatory Pre-Trial in Criminal Cases. Such order shall bind the parties. Pre-Trial Agreement. Metropolitan Trial Court. and (e) Such other matters as will promote a fair and expeditious trial. Municipal Circuit Trial Court. . the justice or judge shall. the facts stipulated. 1998 AN ACT TO ENSURE A SPEEDY TRIAL OF ALL CRIMINAL CASES BEFORE THE SANDIGANBAYAN. and evidence marked. (b) Stipulation of Facts. .

after consultation with the public prosecutor and the counsel for the accused. . the time limit with respect to the period from arraignment to trial imposed by Section 7 of this Act shall be one hundred eighty (180) days. For the second twelve-month period the time limit shall be one hundred twenty (120) days. Section 10. judge or court in which the charge is pending. Time Limit Between Filing of Information and Arraignment and Between Arraignment and Trial. except as otherwise authorized by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court pursuant to Section 3. or from the date the accused has appeared before the justice. where a plea of not guilty is entered.Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 7 of this Act. . Exclusions. or a fine of One thousand pesos (P1. If the accused pleads not guilty to the crime charged. Section 6. or where the penalty prescribed by law does not exceed six (6) months imprisonment. the justice or judge shall. he/she shall state whether he/she interposes a negative or affirmative defense. Section 9.The following periods of delay shall be excluded in computing the time within which trial must commence: (a) Any period of delay resulting from other proceedings concerning the accused.In criminal cases involving persons charged of a crime. except that the court retrying the case may extend such period but in any case shall not exceed one hundred eighty (180) days from the date the order for a new trial becomes final if unavailability of witnesses or other factors resulting from passage of time shall make trial within thirty (30) days impractical. while an affirmative defense may modify the order of trial and require the accused to prove such defense by clear and convincing evidence. set the case for continuous trial on a weekly or other short-term trial calendar at the earliest possible time so as to ensure speedy trial. Section 7. Trial shall commence within thirty (30) days from arraignment as fixed by the court.If the accused is to be tried again following an order of a court for a new trial. including but not limited to the following: . whichever date last occurs. unless modified by the court to prevent manifest injustice. A negative defense shall require the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. irrespective of other imposable penalties. Section 8.The arraignment of an accused shall be held within thirty (30) days from the filing of the information. the accused shall have at least fifteen (15) days to prepare for trial. and for the third twelve-month period the time limit with respect to the period from arraignment to trial shall be eighty (80) days.limit the trial to matters not disposed of and control the course of action during the trial. In no case shall the entire trial period exceed one hundred eighty (180) days from the first day of trial. . Extended Time Limit.000.00) or both. except those subject to the Rules on Summary Procedure. the trial shall commence within thirty (30) days from the date the order for a new trial becomes final. for the first twelve-calendar-month period following its effectivity. . Time Limit Following an Order for New Trial. Time Limit for Trial. Thereafter. Rule 22 of the Rules of Court. .

in addition. (6) delay resulting from a finding of the existence of a valid prejudicial question. (e) A reasonable period of delay when the accused is joined for trial with a co-accused over whom the court has not acquired jurisdiction. (b) Any period of delay resulting from the absence or unavailability of the accused or an essential witness. he/she is attempting to avoid apprehension or prosecution or his/her whereabouts cannot be determined by due diligence. an accused or an essential witness shall be considered absent when his/her whereabouts are unknown and. not to exceed thirty (30) days. (4) delay resulting from hearings on pre-trial motions: Provided. or proceedings relating to change of venue of cases or transfer from other courts. and (7) delay reasonably attributable to any period. (5) delay resulting from orders of inhibition.(1) delay resulting from an examination of the accused. and hearing on his/her mental competency. (d) If the information is dismissed upon motion of the prosecution and thereafter a charge is filed against the accused for the same offense. or as to whom the time for trial has not run and no motion for severance has been granted. (f) Any period of delay resulting from a continuance granted by any justice or judge motu propio or on motion of the accused or his/her counsel or at the request of the public prosecutor. or physical incapacity. That the delay does not exceed thirty (30) days. An accused or an essential witness shall be considered unavailable whenever his/her whereabouts are known but his/her presence for trial cannot be obtained by due diligence or he/she resists appearing at or being returned for trial. (3) delay resulting from interlocutory appeals. any period of delay from the date the charge was dismissed to the date the time limitation would commence to run as to the subsequent charge had there been no previous charge. if the justice or judge granted such continuance on the basis of his/her . (2) delay resulting from trials with respect to charges against the accused. during which any proceeding concerning the accused is actually under advisement. (c) Any period of delay resulting from the fact that the accused is mentally incompetent or physically unable to stand trial. or any offense required to be joined with that offense. For purposes of this subparagraph.

or result in a miscarriage of justice. its reasons for finding that the ends of justice served by the granting of such continuance outweigh the best interests of the public and the accused in a speedy trial. (c) Upon receipt of such notice. or cause a notice to be served on the person having custody of the prisoner mandating such person to so advise the prisoner of his/her right to demand trial.findings that the ends of justice served by taking such action outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial. . the public attorney shall promptly seek to obtain the presence of the prisoner for trial. or is serving a term of imprisonment in any penal institution. due to the number of accused or the nature of the prosecution or otherwise. such person shall cause notice to that effect to be sent promptly to the public attorney. the prisoner shall be made available to that public attorney. (d) When the person having custody of the prisoner receives from the public attorney a properly supported request for temporary custody of the prisoner for trial. the public attorney shall promptly: (a) Undertake to obtain the presence of the prisoner for trial. Remedy Where Accused is Not Brought to Trial Within the Time Limit. Section 12. . that it is unreasonable to expect adequate preparation within the periods of time established by this Act. If at any time thereafter the prisoner informs the person having custody that he/she demands trial. Public Attorney's Duties Where Accused is Imprisoned. either orally or in writing. . No such period of delay resulting from a continuance granted by the court in accordance with this subparagraph shall be excludable under this section unless the court sets forth. Section 13. Factors for Granting Continuance. No continuance under subparagraph (f) of Section 10 shall be granted because of general congestion of the court's calendar. the person having custody of the prisoner shall promptly advise the prisoner of the charge and of his/her right to demand trial. among others. so unusual and so complex. either because he/she is charged of a bailable crime and has no means to post bail.If the public attorney knows that a person charged of a crime is preventively detained. (b) Upon receipt of a notice. Section 11.If an accused is not brought to trial within the time limit required by Section 7 of this Act as extended . (b) Whether the case taken as a whole is so novel. or lack of diligent preparation or failure to obtain available witnesses on the part of the public prosecutor. or is charged of a non-bailable crime. in the record of the case. which a justice or judge shall consider in determining whether to grant a continuance under subparagraph (f) of Section 10 of this Act are as follows: (a) Whether the failure to grant such a continuance in the proceeding would be likely to make a continuation of such proceeding impossible.The factors.

the facts and circumstances of the case which led to the dismissal. without prejudice to any appropriate criminal and/or administrative charges to be instituted by the proper party against the erring counsel if and when warranted. the seriousness of the offense. and (3) by denying any defense counsel or public prosecutor the right to practice before the court considering the case for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days. by imposing a fine not exceeding.00). . and the impact of a reprosecution on the implementation of this Act and on the administration of justice. Sanctions. (b) files a motion solely for the purpose of delay which he/she knows is totally frivolous and without merit. as follows: (1) in the case of a counsel privately retained in connection with the defense of an accused. In determining whether to dismiss the case with or without prejudice.by Section 9. the public prosecution or public attorney: (a) knowingly allows the case to be set for trial without disclosing the fact that a necessary witness would be unavailable for trial. the information shall be dismissed on motion of the accused. The court shall follow the procedures established in the Rules of Court in punishing any counsel or public prosecutor pursuant to this section. or (d) otherwise willfully fails to proceed to trial without justification consistent with the provisions of this Act. the court may. regulations. Section 15. Section 14. administrative orders and circulars which shall seek to accelerate the disposition of criminal . fifty percent (50%) of the compensation to which he/she is entitled in connection with his/her defense of the accused.The Supreme Court shall promulgate rules. .In any case in which counsel for the accused. (2) by imposing on any appointed counsel de officio or public prosecutor a fine not exceeding Ten thousand pesos (10. Failure of the accused to move for dismissal prior to trial or entry of a plea of guilty shall constitute a waiver of the right to dismissal under this section. The accused shall have the burden of proof of supporting such motion but the prosecution shall have the burden of going forward with the evidence in connection with the exclusion of time under Section 10 of this Act. the court shall consider. among other factors. punish any such counsel or attorney. Rules and Regulations.000. The authority to punish provided for by this section shall be in addition to any other authority or power available to the court. (c) makes a statement for the purpose of obtaining continuance which he/she knows to be false and which is material to the granting of a continuance.

Section 20. administrative orders and circulars formulated shall provide sanctions against justices and judges who willfully fail to proceed to trial without justification consistent with the provisions of this Act.000. Funding.For the effective implementation of the rules. executive orders. . presidential decrees. Act Not a Bar to Speedy Trial Claim Under the Constitution. Thereafter.cases. Section 18.No provision of this Act shall be interpreted as a bar to any claim of denial of speedy trial as required by Article III.00) annually shall be appropriated from the allocation of the Supreme Court under the General Appropriations Act.In case any provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional. administrative orders and circulars promulgated under this Act. Section 19. the amount of Twenty million pesos (P20. That Section 7 of this Act shall become effective after the expiration of the aforementioned thirdcalendar-month period provided in Section 9 of this Act. .000. 1998 . regulations. Section 17. .All laws. rules and regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in any newspaper of general circulation: Provided. Approved: February 12. Separability Clause. Effectivity. Repealing Clause. . regulations. The rules. . such additional amounts as may be necessary for its continued implementation shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act. the other provisions shall remain in effect. Section 14(2) of the 1987 Constitution. Section 16.

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