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1829 (―Penalizing Obstruction of Apprehension and Prosecution of Criminal Offenders‖). Full text here. What is the stated purpose of PD 1829? As stated in the law, its purpose is to discourage public indifference or apathy towards the apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders, it is necessary to penalize acts which obstruct or frustrate or tend to obstruct or frustrate the successful apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders. What is the penalty for “Obstruction of Justice”? The penalty is imprisonment, fine or both. Imprisonment ranges from 4 years, 2 months and 1 day to 6 years ( prision correccional in its maximum period). The fine ranges from P1,000 – P6,000. Who may be charged under PD 1829? Any person — whether private or public — who commits the acts enumerated below may be charged with violating PD 1829. In case a public officer is found guilty, he shall also suffer perpetual disqualification from holding public office. What are the acts punishable under this law? The law covers the following acts of any person who knowingly or willfully obstructs, impedes, frustrates or delays the apprehension of suspects and the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases: a. Preventing witnesses from testifying in any criminal proceeding or from reporting the commission of any offense or the identity of any offender/s by means of bribery, misrepresentation, deceit, intimidation, force or threats. b. Altering, destroying, suppressing or concealing any paper, record, document, or object with intent to impair its verity, authenticity, legibility, availability, or admissibility as evidence in any investigation of or official proceedings in criminal cases, or to be used in the investigation of, or official proceedings in, criminal cases. c. Harboring or concealing, or facilitating the escape of, any person he knows, or has reasonable ground to believe or suspect, has committed any offense under existing penal laws in order to prevent his arrest, prosecution and conviction. d. Publicly using a fictitious name for the purpose of concealing a crime, evading prosecution or the execution of a judgment, or concealing his true name and other personal circumstances for the same purpose or purposes. e. Delaying the prosecution of criminal cases by obstructing the service of process or court orders or disturbing proceedings in the fiscals’ offices, in Tanodbayan, or in the courts. f. Making, presenting or using any record, document, paper or object with knowledge of its falsity and with intent to affect the course or outcome of the investigation of, or official proceedings in, criminal cases. g. Soliciting, accepting, or agreeing to accept any benefit in consideration of abstaining from, discontinuing, or impeding the prosecution of a criminal offender. h. Threatening directly or indirectly another with the infliction of any wrong upon his person, honor or property or that of any immediate member or members of his family in order to prevent a person from appearing in the investigation of, or official proceedings in, criminal cases, or imposing a condition, whether lawful or unlawful, in order to prevent a person from appear ing in the investigation of or in official proceedings in criminal cases. i. Giving of false or fabricated information to mislead or prevent the law enforcement agencies from apprehending the offender or from protecting the life or property of the victim; or fabricating information from the data gathered in confidence by investigating authorities for purposes of background information and not for publication and publishing or disseminating the same to mislead the investigator or the court. What are some of the instances when questions against charges under PD 1829 reached the Supreme Court? In Posadas vs. Ombudsman (G.R. No. 131492, 29 September 2000), certain officials of the University of the Philippines (UP) were charged for violating PD 1829 (paragraph c above). The UP officers objected to the warrantless arrest of certain students by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). According to the Supreme Court, the police had no ground for the warrantless arrest. The
UP Officers, therefore, had a right to prevent the arrest of the students at the time because their attempted arrest was illegal. The ―need to enforce the law cannot be justified by sacrificing constitutional rights.‖ In another case, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile was charged under PD 1829, for allegedly accommodating Col. Gregorio Honasan by giving him food and comfort on 1 December 1989 in his house. ―Knowing that Colonel Honasan is a fugitive from justice, Sen. Enrile allegedly did not do anything to have Honasan arrested or apprehended.‖ The Supreme Court ruled that Sen. Enrile could not be separately charged under PD 1829, as this is absorbed in the charge of rebellion already filed against Sen. Enrile.
TO STRICTLY PENALIZE OFFENSES AGAINST THE PROPER ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE:
A CRITIQUE OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE 1829 “PENALIZING OBSTRUCTION OF APPREHENSION AND PROSECUTION OF CRIMINAL OFFENDERS”
by Allan Verman Y. Ong
“The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice.” Mahatma Gandhi
Introduction: Tracing the Roots of the Crime of Obstruction of Justice
At an early date, the punishment of acts of obstructing the due administration of justice was recognized as absolutely essential to the existence of courts and their efficiency in performing the functions for which they were created. The great object for the existence of courts is the ascertainment of truth, and this can only be done fairly and impartially when all persons having knowledge of the transactions at issue are allowed to come before the courts for examination without hindrance from anyone. Thus, under American penal law, the obstruction of the administration of justice is an indictable offense under the common law, and by statute in most states.
force or threats. 1981. deceit. which has developed a wealth of case law on this matter. Despite the admirable purpose of the statute. Under this subsection. Note that if any of the foregoing acts is committed by a public official or employee. will be used for its illustrative value. it was noted that crime and violence continue to proliferate despite the sustained vigorous efforts of the government to effectively contain them and that there was a need to discourage public indifference or apathy towards the apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders. if the accused believes that an . The prohibition pertains to the use of means such as bribery. there is a dearth of jurisprudence on PD 1829. misrepresentation. theorizing why the Supreme Court seems to have been hesitant in the application thereof. intimidation. misrepresentation. This paper analyzes the law against obstruction of justice. to supplement the lack of Philippine jurisprudence on the matter. Presidential Decree 1829 “Penalizing Obstruction of Apprehension and Prosecution of Criminal Offenders” was enacted into law on January 16. frustrates or delays the apprehension of suspects and the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases by committing any of the following nine acts. The Supreme Court has only adjudicated four cases applying the law of PD 1829. Upon its enactment. intimidation. American jurisprudence. and gives a critique of the law. or threats of force. suffer perpetual disqualification from holding public office. PD 1829: Penalizing Acts that Constitute Obstruction of Justice The general meaning of “obstruction of justice” denotes an interference with the orderly administration of law. PD 1829 penalizes any person who knowingly or willfully obstructs. Therefore. he shall in addition to the penalties provided thereunder. impeding or obstructing those who seek justice in court or those who have duties or power of administering justice therein. force.In the Philippines. impedes. under American jurisprudence. it is illegal to cause a person to inform falsely. Thus. These acts will be discussed separately on enumeration. the act of obstructing the communication of information relating to the matters mentioned above is proscribed. presents a survey of the cases where the Supreme Court makes its pronouncements applying the law. it was necessary to penalize acts which obstruct or frustrate or tend to obstruct or frustrate the successful apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders. (a) preventing witnesses from testifying in any criminal proceeding or from reporting the commission of any offense or the identity of any offender/s by means of bribery. which was to serve to bridge a huge gap in Criminal Law. I.
or object. or admissibility as evidence in any investigation of or official proceedings in. PD 1829 provides that if any of the acts mentioned in the law is penalized by any other law with a higher penalty. or other matter or thing about to be produced in evidence and is not limited to written evidence but can extend to the destruction of contraband narcotics. as accessories. A call to another requesting that he give false information to the police is not constitutionally-protected speech. 2) concealing or destroying the body of the crime or the effects or instruments thereof. take part. record. and without having participated therein. has committed any offense under existing penal laws in order to prevent his arrest prosecution and conviction. But there is no other law which penalizes this same act. or facilitating the escape of. (c) harboring or concealing. those who. intending to obstruct justice. or official proceedings in. provided the accessory acts . to mislead the investigation and not tell the investigators the true and complete facts support a conviction for obstruction of justice. unlawfully sought to induce others. suppressing or concealing any paper. legibility. criminal cases. Allegations that the defendant. suppressing. or destroying evidence. in order to prevent its discovery and 3) harboring. instrument of writing. subsequent to its commission. But this act does not seem to be penalized under Philippine penal law. The Revised Penal Code penalizes. destroying. may be prosecuted for the crime of obstruction of justice. Under American jurisprudence. concealing or assisting in the escape of the principal of the crime. the higher penalty shall be imposed. Some states specifically make it a crime to destroy evidence with the intent to impair its availability as evidence in an investigation or official proceeding. criminal cases. either as principals or accomplices. knowing that it is being sought by investigating officers. document.official proceeding or investigation is pending or about to be instituted. availability. The act of giving false testimony is penalized under the Revised Penal Code as well as the act of refusing to answer. as the term “object” encompasses an unending variety of physical objects. in connection with an investigation. by three acts: 1) profiting or to assisting the offender to profit by the effects of the crime. and is punishable as obstruction of justice. (b) altering. or has reasonable ground to believe or suspect. or to be used in the investigation of. having knowledge of the commission of the crime. authenticity. one who knowingly and willfully impedes a lawfully conducted police investigation of a crime by secreting. any person he knows. Tampering with evidence pertains to the destruction or concealment of any book. paper. with intent to impair its verity. record.
parricide. Various crimes such as kidnap for ransom. conceal or assist in the escape of the author of crimes such as kidnap for ransom. Private persons who harbor. parricide. PD 1829 penalizes under the present subsection penalizes the act of harboring or concealing. Article 19 of the Revised Penal Code. concealing. parricide. qualified rape. So in the problem. and he is penalized as a principal. and crimes related to prohibited drugs. the person who helps the criminal escape is not criminally liable because crime is kidnapping. Here. . the Revised Penal Code does not penalize a person who harbors. or who is known to be habitually guilty of some other crime.with abuse of his public functions. murder. But the Code does not penalize private persons who harbor. 1829. or whenever the author of the crime is guilty of treason. or facilitating the escape of the offender. The third type of accessory is central to the analysis presented in this paper. destructive arson. Such an offender if violating Presidential Decree No. conceals or assists in the escape of an author of a crime other than those specifically enumerated therein – treason. conceal or assist in the escape of the principal of any crime (not light felony) with abuse of his public functions. or an attempt to take the life of the Chief Executive. 1829 is no longer an accessory. or an attempt on the life of the President. murder. or an attempt against the life of the President. it may still be punishable under this particular subsection of PD 1829. and 2. 19 of the Code. Public officers who harbor. the standard of the Revised Penal Code. has committed any offense under existing penal laws in order to prevent his arrest. prosecution and conviction. there are two classes of accessories contemplated under the third type of accessory: 1. there is no specification of the crime to be committed by the offender for criminal liability to be incurred for harboring. and the offender need not be the principal – unlike paragraph 3.  Thus. He is simply an offender without regard to the crime committed by the person assisted to escape. but under Presidential Decree No. murder. However. Under the Revised Penal Code. the person who gives such aid is criminally liable. although the subject acts may not bring about criminal liability under the Revised Penal Code. Thus. conceal or assist in the escape of the author of the crime – guilty of treason. or is known to be habitually guilty of some other crime. or facilitating the escape of any person he knows or has reasonable ground to believe or suspect. are of the same gravity with the crimes listed under Art.
if the damage concerns private interest. or knowledge of the crime. otherwise. PD 1829 applies only where the person who knowingly or willfully obstructs. This special law does not require that there be prior conviction. the penalty provided for in Art. evading the execution of a judgment or causing damages. Art. It is a malum prohibitum. There is yet no case of the Supreme Court which clarifies this apparent duplicity. the wording of this particular subsection seems to imply that the acts must be done to evade a sentence on oneself. 1829. impedes. The illegal use of a fictitious name under this article must be for the three said reasons.000 pesos. However. the principal must first be found guilty of the crime charged. or concealing his true name and other personal circumstances for the same purpose or purposes. the offense may be punishable as estafa through the use of a fictitious name. It thus appears that the penalty is more stringent in PD 1829. concealed or assisted in the escape did not violate Art. frustrates or delays the apprehension of suspects and the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases by committing any of the mentioned acts. If the principal is acquitted. This particular act seems to be penalized also under the Revised Penal Code. Art. evading prosecution or the execution of a judgment. So PD 1829 and Art. either treason. to evade the execution of a judgment or to cause damage.” So this means that before the civilian can be held liable as an accessory. But not Presidential Decree No. murder. 178 of the RPC do not seem to penalize the same offense. It is interesting to note that this particular act does not seem to be penalized under American jurisprudence on obstructing justice. or assists the escape of the principal. or attempt to take the life of the Chief Executive. So should a person be penalized . the RPC requires that the principal be found guilty of certain specified crimes. conceals. 178 which penalizes the use of fictitious name and the concealment of true name of a person to allow himself. However. 178 is arresto mayor and a fine not to exceed 500 pesos. so there is no need for guilt. the civilian who harbored. in the case of a civilian who harbors. 19 of the RPC. In turn. The paragraph uses the particular word “guilty.Under paragraph 3. it is interesting to note that the penalty provided for in PD 1829 is prision correccional in its maximum period. or both. Article 19 of the Revised Penal Code. The same articles also penalizes any person who conceals his true name and other personal circumstances. not another person as provided in PD 1829. or a fine ranging from 1. However.000 to 6. to conceal a crime. (d) publicly using a fictitious name for the purpose of concealing a crime. That is as far as the Revised Penal Code is concerned. 178 penalizes the act of using fictitious names for purposes of concealing a crime. parricide.
the convicted person can be made to suffer a greater penalty. falsification of evidence with corrupt intent is an endeavor to obstruct justice. criminal cases. and violates a statute dealing with obstruction of an officer in the discharge of his duty. or in the courts. since the officer is acting in this situation as part of the judicial machinery. A state statute dealing with presentation of false documents for the purpose of misleading a public servant deals only with the use of false documents in court. 178. A misrepresentation statute applies to the concealment of true facts as well as to the assertion of what is false. It is to be noted that a state court has noted that a person who obstructs an officer that is attempting to carry out a court decree may be convicted of obstructing the due course of justice. To support a conviction. . Under American jurisprudence. American law on obstructing justice makes it a crime to obstruct the exercise of rights or performance of duties under federal court orders. and the investigation must be of an actual criminal matter. Furnishing false information includes withholding information or providing information that intentionally misleads. it must be given with the intent to impede an investigation. there must be proof that the defendant had actual knowledge of the court order and intentionally obstructed justice. document. or official proceedings in. the statute is designed to reach the actions of non-parties who are beyond the traditional reach of the contempt sanction. (f) making. (e) delaying the prosecution of criminal cases by obstructing the service of process or court orders or disturbing proceedings in the fiscal's offices. This intent need not be proved by direct evidence but can be inferred from the surrounding circumstances. and not just of obstructing an officer in the execution of process. paper or object with knowledge of its falsity and with intent to affect the course or outcome of the investigation of. Three elements are required to convict one under a false reporting statute. not with the use of a genuine document as part of the support of a false alibi. Although certain acts that violate the statute may also constitute criminal contempt. The same observations apply to Philippine penal law. in Tanodbayan. presenting or using any record. A false information statute may require that the information be given with the intent to prevent the prosecution and with knowledge that the information was untrue.under this subsection rather than Art. There must be a false statement to a peace officer. A suspect who gives a false identification to a police officer impedes the course of an investigation.
 Given that the act penalized in this subsection is similar to paragraph three of Art. or impeding the prosecution of a criminal offender. This act seems to fall under the definition since the offense can only be committed by one who is responsible for the prosecution of a criminal offender. the acts are punishable are likewise not limited to criminal investigations. gift or present received by such officer. in consideration of any offer. or impede. appraisal and claim commissioners. or agreeing to accept any benefit in consideration of abstaining from.000 to 6. honor or property or that of any immediate member or members of his family in order to prevent such person from appearing in the investigation of. 210. 210 on Direct Bribery. 210 of the Revised Penal Code. or imposing a condition. or endeavor to influence. The provision shall apply to assessors. in connection with the performance of his official duties. experts or any other person performing public duties. direct bribery is committed by any public officer who shall agree to perform an act constituting a crime. obstruct or impede. whether lawful or unlawful. The penalty to be imposed upon the public officer shall be prision correctional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its minimum period and a fine not less than three times the value of such gift. in order to prevent a person from appearing in the investigation of or in official proceedings in. or under PD 1829. criminal cases. whether he is prosecuted under Art. by means of threats of force or by any threatening letter or communication. which penalizes the public officer when the act of bribery constitutes the act of refraining from doing something which it was his official duty to do. promise. . Under PD 1829. what shall be the penalty imposed? PD 1829 imposes the general penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period. criminal cases. 210 imposes the penalty of special temporary disqualification. or official proceedings in. and on account of a benefit. Therefore. obstruct. personally or through the mediation of another. it is made an offense by federal statute for one to influence. discounting. abstains from. In addition to this. the accused shall be imposed the penalty provided for under Art. This penalty is lighter than that given under Art. (h) threatening directly or indirectly another with the infliction of any wrong upon his person. the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before a federal department or agency. 210 on bribery. arbitrators. accepting. discounts or impedes the prosecution thereof. Art. or both.(g) soliciting. This particular subsection of PD 1829 is similar to paragraph three of Art. To wit. Under American jurisprudence. or a fine ranging from 1. 210.000 pesos.
a corrupt attempt to influence a pending administrative proceeding may also include the use of legitimate arguments for concealed or falsified ends. the obstructionneed not be successful as one who endeavors to obstruct a proceeding may be convicted. and not the members of Congress themselves. However. This act is not punishable elsewhere in Philippine penal law and it is only PD 1829 which penalizes the said act. (i) giving of false or fabricated information to mislead or prevent the law enforcement agencies from apprehending the offender or from protecting the life or property of the victim. Art. subornation of perjury. This appears to be applicable as well under PD 1829. These include unlawfully obtaining and using unreleased grand jury transcripts and attempts to transmit or sell transcripts of secret grand jury testimony to persons under investigation. has committed any offense under existing penal laws in order to prevent his arrest prosecution and conviction. since that subsection penalizes harboring or concealing. without disclosing that the request was made in return for a cash payment by the target. . any person he knows. threats. Under American law on obstruction of justice. and the like. an agreement between co-defendants that one codefendant would absent himself as to cause a mistrial. but the criminal act contemplated in this subsection pertains to those participants who were supposed to aid in the investigation. or fabricating information from the data gathered in confidence by investigating authorities for purposes of background information and not for publication and publishing or disseminating the same to mislead the investigator or to the court. these such acts are penalized under other acts that constitute obstruction of justice. The acts penalized under this subsection seems to be similar to those penalized under subsection (c) of the same PD 1829. There is also no requirement that the means used to obstruct justice beper se illegal. American jurisprudence likewise provides that although most instances when there was obstruction of justice have been based on acts of bribery. or has reasonable ground to believe or suspect. falsification of documents. 143 of the Revised Penal Code penalizes the commission of acts tending to prevent the meeting of Congress and similar bodies. since this subsection does not require that the wrong inflicted on the person to prevent such person from appearing in an investigation or proceeding must constitute a crime.It has been indicated that the act must be calculated to obstruct the administration of the law to constitute a violation of the statute. persuading a co-defendant to absent himself from trial in order to improperly secure its postponement and such acts constitute the crime of obstruction of justice. or facilitating the escape of. such as asking an investigator for a favor that would benefit the target of an investigation.
There are four cases reported where the accused was charged of PD 1829. Lt. These cases are as follows. frustrating or delaying the apprehension of Honasan by harboring or concealing him in his house. Jurisprudential Pronouncements on PD 1829: A Dearth of Pronouncements Despite the admirable purpose of the statute and its interstitial nature which is to bridge certain gaps in the law. 1989 precluded the prosecution of the Senator for harboring or concealing the Colonel on the same occasion under PD 1829. Enrile v. Petitioner Enrile claimed that the pending charge of rebellion complexed with murder and frustrated murder against Senator Enrile as alleged co-conspirator of Col. Omar U. Col. since the obstruction of justice statute should not be used to give to the attorney’s notes or verbal requests the quality of process. A. there has hardly been PD 1829 which have reached the Supreme Court. 1829 with the Regional Trial Court of Makati. it is not a crime under American jurisprudence to advice the recipient of a letter from a prosecutor not to comply with the prosecutor’s request to come to court and enter a plea. on the basis of their alleged meeting on December 1. Hon. and he was charged to be a coconspirator of Ex. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan. Honasan. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile was charged with rebellion complexed with murder in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City for activities connected with the December 1989 coup d’ etat. Both the RTC and the CA denied him relief on this ground and he filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. The information charged Enrile for willfully and knowingly obstructing.However. And associating with a person whose conditions of probation forbid such association does not come within the meaning of the federal obstruction of justice statute. either as a means necessary to its commission or as an unintended effect of an activity that constitutes rebellion. Government prosecutors filed another information charging him for violation of Presidential Decree No. Amin. The Supreme Court invoked its ruling in the case of People v. Amin In the case of Juan Ponce Enrile v. Hernandez where the Court laid down the doctrine operating to prohibit the complexing of rebellion with any other offense committed on the occasion thereof. The Court observed: . II. impeding.
Knowing that Colonel Honasan is a fugitive from justice. The crime of rebellion consists of many acts – it is described as a vast movement of men and a complex net of intrigues and plots and jurisprudence tells us that acts committed in furtherance of the rebellion though crimes in themselves are deemed absorbed in the one single crime of rebellion. the act of harboring or concealing Col. If a person can not be charged with the complete crime of rebellion for the greater penalty to be applied. Gringo Honasan. 1989 in his house. petitioner's alleged act of harboring or concealing was for no other purpose but in furtherance of the crime of rebellion thus constituting a component thereof. And because of such failure the petitioner prevented Col. 1829. Enrile allegedly did not do anything to have Honasan arrested or apprehended. neither can he be charged separately for two (2) different offenses where one is a constitutive or component element or committed in furtherance of rebellion. 1829. xxxxxxxxx The prosecution in this Makati case alleges that the petitioner entertained and accommodated Col. Thus.This doctrine is applicable in the case at bar. Honasan's arrest and conviction in violation of Section 1 (c) of PD No. . the Supreme Court granted the petition and quashed the information. It was motivated by the single intent or resolution to commit the crime of rebellion. Sen. The splitting of component elements is readily apparent. 1829. xxxxxxxxx x x x [T]he factual allegations supporting the rebellion charge constitute or include the very incident which gave rise to the charge of the violation under Presidential Decree No. Under the Department of Justice resolution there is only one crime of rebellion complexed with murder and multiple frustrated murder but there could be 101 separate and independent prosecutions for "harboring and concealing ' Honasan and 100 other armed rebels under PD No. The Court held that since petitioner is now facing charges of rebellion in conspiracy with the fugitive Col. Honasan is clearly a mere component or ingredient of rebellion or an act done in furtherance of the rebellion. In this case. being in conspiracy with Honasan. It cannot therefore be made the basis of a separate charge. Honasan by giving him food and comfort on December 1.
134 and 135 of the Revised Penal Code. By its very nature. Additionally. B. identified him as a member of the New People's Army. one of whom shot the fallen policeman four times as he lay on the ground. the man and his companions boarded a tricycle and fled. an off-duty policeman was walking when a man suddenly walked beside him fired a gun at the policeman's right ear and killed the policeman. a police informer." should have been deemed absorbed in the crime of rebellion under Arts. Elias Lovedioro y Castro was charged and convicted in the Regional Trial Court for the crime of Murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. This argument is specious in rebellion cases. Appellant claims that the lower court erred in holding him liable for murder and not rebellion. claiming that he did not fire the fatal shot but merely acted as look-out in the liquidation of Lucilo. rebellion is essentially a crime of masses or . hence. and identified with the crime of rebellion punished in Articles 134 and 135 of the RPC. Finally. he avers that he should have been charged merely as a participant in the commission of the crime of rebellion under paragraph 2 of Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code and should therefore have been meted only the penalty of prision mayor by the lower court. prosecution under one law will not bar a prosecution under the other. After taking the latter's gun. he contends that because the killing of Lucilo was "a means to or in furtherance of subversive ends. All crimes." The Supreme Court held that the gravamen of the crime of rebellion is an armed public uprising against the government.The Court noted the prosecution’s theory that harboring or concealing a fugitive is punishable under a special law while the rebellion case is based on the Revised Penal Code. A witness identified the man who fired at the deceased as Elias Lovedioro y Castro. People v. merged in. become absorbed in the crime of rebellion and cannot be isolated and charged as separate crimes in themselves. The Solicitor General in turn avers that the crime committed by appellant may be considered as rebellion only if the defense itself had conclusively proven that the motive or intent for the killing of the policeman was for "political and subversive ends. whether punishable under a special law or general law. or committed in furtherance thereof. The man who shot Lucilo had three other companions with him. He claims that Armenta. the petitioner's alleged act of harboring or concealing which was based on his acts of conspiring with Honasan was committed in connection with or in furtherance of rebellion and must now be deemed as absorbed by. Clearly. Elias Lovedioro In the case of People v. Elias Lovedioro. which are mere components or ingredients.
motive. then it becomes stripped of its "common" complexion. Clearly. Ruling in favor of Senator Enrile and holding that the prosecution for violation of P. better than any individual. any ordinary act. being a state of mind which the accused. like homicide. it becomes imperative for our courts to ascertain whether or not the act was done in furtherance of a political end.D. is perpetrated for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to the Government the territory of the Philippine Islands or any part thereof. No. In deciding if the crime committed is rebellion. 92163 and 92164) a case decided on June 5. The political motive of the act should be conclusively demonstrated. against the prosecution's contention.D.R. the burden of demonstrating political motive falls on the defense. The Supreme Court observed and ruled: x x x This Court held. not murder. that rebellion and violation of P. This peculiarity was underscored in the case of People v. as well as such common crimes as may be committed to achieve a political purpose. the former acquires the political character of the latter. If a crime usually regarded as common. 1990. In such cases. assumes a different color by being absorbed in the crime of rebellion.multitudes involving crowd action. being part and parcel of the crime of rebellion. One aspect noteworthy in the commission of rebellion is that other acts committed in its pursuance are. was absorbed in the crime of rebellion being motivated by. Amin was instructive in this regard. Hernandez. inasmuch as. political motive should be established before a person charged with a common crime-alleging rebellion in order to lessen the possible imposable penalty-could benefit from the law's relatively benign attitude towards political crimes. however grave. Divested of its common complexion therefore. 1829 cannot prosper because a separate prosecution for rebellion had already been filed and in fact decided. 1829 could be tried separately 14 (on the principle that rebellion is based on the Revised Penal Code while P. that the act for which the senator was being charged. and related to the acts for which he was charged in Enrile vs. knows.D. Nos. absorbed in the crime itself because they acquire a political character. 1829 is a special law). though punishable under a special law. The decisive factor is the intent or motive. Salazar (G. by law. which carries a lighter penalty than the crime of murder. the Court said: . which cannot be confined a priori within predetermined bounds. The Court said that the ruling in Enrile v. political crimes are those directly aimed against the political order. thus: In short.
and mere membership in an organization dedicated to the furtherance of rebellion would not. deliver. [I]intent or motive is a decisive factor. Ramiro for inquest. They were however charged in an Information where they were alleged to have conspired and confederated together and mutually helped each other. did then and there wilfully and unlawfully sell or offer for sale 306. Jaime B. The burden of proof that the act committed was impelled by a political motive lies on the accused. the motive for the act is completely different.  In this case. Medina and accused Virgilio Carlos were apprehended by members of the Narcotics Intelligence and Suppression Unit (NISU) under the Philippine National Police Narcotics Command (PNP-NARCOM) for selling Methamphetamine hydrochloride without authority of law. by and of itself. therefore. suffice. that is in furtherance of rebellion. If Senator Ponce Enrile is not charged with rebellion and he harbored or concealed Colonel Honasan simply because the latter is a friend and former associate. Appellant added that. transport or distribute any regulated drug. It must be established by clear and satisfactory evidence. . that if no political motive is established and proved. In cases of rebellion. while Medina stated that he was only supposed to buy the regulated drug at the agreed price of P250.71 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride.The attendant circumstances in the instant case. People v. But if the act is committed with political or social motives. It follows. not having been authorized by law to sell. then it should be deemed to form part of the crime of rebellion instead of being punished separately. the accused should be convicted of the common crime and not of rebellion. Carlos merely drove the car used by them. C. motive relates to the act. Carlos denied any involvement in the transaction by claiming that he merely accompanied appellant to the place of the sale. dispense. however constrain us to rule that the theory of absorption in rebellion cases must not confine itself to common crimes but also to offenses under special laws which are perpetrated in furtherance of the political offense. which is a regulated drug. Medina and Carlos. Political motive must be alleged in the information.00 when the policemen arrived and arrested them.000. at his request. The two were brought before Assistant City Prosecutor Lillian H. Medina and Carlos PD 1829 was applied only tangentially in the case of People v.
It held that in the case at bar. For. He was positively identified as the driver of the car carrying accused Carlos and the regulated drugs. appellant signaled to his companion indicating such fact. fraud or disguise or even that the same should aggravate his liability in the present case. fraud or disguise led to the escape and nonarrest of Virgilio Carlos. moreover. that appellant and his co-accused acted in unison and. His preceding inquiry about the money and the succeeding signal to communicate its availability reveal a standing agreement between appellant and his co-accused under which it was the role of appellant to verify such fact from the supposed buyer before Carlos would hand over the shabu. The Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the trial court.71 grams of shabu. While we share the trial court's disgust over the still unexplained escape of accused Carlos. therefore. No other conclusion could follow from appellant's actions except that he had a prior understanding and community of interest with Carlos. appellant was not merely present in a passive manner at the scene of the crime as he contends. upon learning that the poseur-buyer had the money. In the same decision. But the lower court considered the ruling sentencing the appellant to death due to its appreciation of the aggravating circumstances of craft. hence it apparently imputes the same to appellant. he was sentenced to suffer the supreme penalty of death. even assuming ex gratia argumenti that appellant . an alias warrant of arrest was issued by the court for the arrest of accused Virgilio Carlos. saying that the lower court erred in finding a conspiracy between him and Virgilio Carlos. appellant went down to check if the buyer brought the money while Carlos waited inside the car.The court below rendered judgment holding that appellant conspired with accused Carlos in the illegal sale of 306. Medina sought the reversal of the ruling. The court stated that craft. He definitely took an active participation in the sale of the shabu. It is undeniable. fraud or disguise as aggravating circumstances against herein appellant. the sale could not have gone through as Carlos could have withdrawn from the deal had he not received that signal from appellant. As the trial court appreciated the presence of craft. When the duo arrived at the agreed place. we cannot approve its attribution to herein appellant as the author of such craft. Without such participation of appellant. The Supreme Court found that a comprehensive search in the records of this case do not reveal these circumstances: The reason for this can be found in the very rationale adopted by the lower court in appreciating the said circumstances against appellant in the dispositive portion of its decision. Then. that appellant knew the true purpose of Carlos in going to the restaurant. fraud or disguise.
Soller v. To be considered as an aggravating circumstance and thereby resultantly increase the criminal liability of an offender. Sandiganbayan and People. it is obvious that the aggravating circumstances involved do not pertain to the offense charged in the information and are completely unrelated to the crime of illegal sale of shabu. they cannot be considered as aggravating circumstances. Soller v. Preciosa M. the Supreme Court held that the lower court erred in considering against herein appellant the supposed aggravating circumstances of craft. fraud or disguise. In fact. if indeed they were present in the case. perjury. fraude and disfraz. In view of the foregoing. This was a case for certiorari. Sandiganbayan The most recent case applying PD 1829 is Prudente D. for that matter. 1829 cannot be construed or constituted as mere aggravating circumstances. Soller. Mario Matining and Rommel Luarca” wherein petitioners are charged with Obstruction . can find application at all to the dismissal of the case against Carlos. prohibition and mandamusraising the issue of the propriety of the assumption of jurisdiction by the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Cases entitled “People of the Philippines vs. adopted in our Revised Penal Code. Josefina Morada.had a part in the release of Carlos. They are penalized under the law as liable under PD 1829 and they must be made liable as such. The Supreme Court here verified that acts punishable under Presidential Decree No. Besides. Prudente D. it must not be factually and legally discrete therefrom. or are included by the law in defining a crime and prescribing the penalty therefor. the same must accompany and be an integral part or concomitant of the commission of the crime specified in the information. The violation of Section 15 subject of the amended indictment was consequently committed without any aggravating circumstance. Soller. D. and although it is not necessarily an element thereof. The court a quo should have borne in mind that the charge against appellant is for illegal sale of shabu and not for obstructing the apprehension and prosecution of a criminal offender or. Rodolfo Salcedo. it is highly problematical whether the Spanish legal concept of astucia. if such circumstances in themselves constitute punishable crimes.
It appears that in the evening of March 14. 1997. Preciosa Soller. An autopsy was conducted on the same night on the cadaver by petitioner Dr. and his wife Dr. to assist in the autopsy considering that the procedure involved sawing which required male strength. Macabael’s consent was obtained before the autopsy. the Municipal Mayor. who is also a doctor. and availability as evidence in the investigation of criminal case for murder against the accused Vincent Soller. and petitioner Josefina Morada. the son of herein respondents. and claimed. among others that Jerry Macabael was brought to their private medical clinic because it was there where he was rushed by his companions after the shooting. 1829.D. Petitioners filed a Motion to Quash on the principal ground that the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over the offenses charged. then the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the entire case and over all the co-accused. His body was brought to a medical clinic located in the house of petitioner Dr. (b) concealing his brain. Rural Health Midwife. Sanitary Inspector. Preciosa Soller with the assistance of petitioner Rodolfo Salcedo. Jerry Macabael a municipal guard. and that Mrs. Prudente Soller. (c) falsely stating in police report that he had several gunshot wounds when in truth he had only one. and (d) falsely stating in an autopsy report that there was no blackening around his wound when in truth there was. was shot and killed along the national highway at Bansud. and if the Mayor is indeed properly charged together with that official. that petitioner Prudente Soller. But two Information were indeed filed with the Sandiganbayan charging the petitioners for criminally alter and suppress the gunshot wound and conceal the brain of Jerry Macabael with intent to impair its veracity. A complaint was later filed against the petitioners by the widow of Jerry Macabael with the Office of the Ombudsman charging them with conspiracy to mislead the investigation of the fatal shootout of Jerry Macabael by: (a) altering his wound . was merely requested by his wife Preciosa Soller.of Apprehension and Prosecution of Criminal Offenders as defined and penalized under P. No. who was the Municipal Health Officer. The Sandiganbayan denied petitioners’ Motion to Quash on the ground that the accusation involves the performance of the duties of at least one of the accused public officials. Vincent M. Soller. . Oriental Mindoro while driving a motorcycle together with petitioner Soller’s son. Petitioners Soller denied having tampered with the cadaver of Jerry Macabael. authenticity. who is the Municipal Health Officer.
the provisions of the law should be inquired into. The Court found: The action here was instituted with the filing of the Informations on May 25. Furthermore. as the case may be. In this case. the Informations subject of Criminal Cases Nos.” People vs. xxxxxxxxx In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary Grade “27” or higher. pursuant to their jurisdictions as provided by Batas Pambansa Blg.1829. Neither are there specific allegations of facts to show the intimate relation/connection between the commission of the offense charged and the discharge of official functions of the offenders. For this purpose in criminal cases. 129. the jurisdiction of the court is determined by the law at the time of the commencement of the action.e. Hilario. that the obstruction of and apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders was committed in relation to the office of petitioner Prudente Soller. fail to allege that petitioners had committed the offenses charged in relation to their offices. 25521 and 25522 quoted earlier. though improper or irregular of his official functions.D. i. exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional trial court. 1999 charging the petitioners with the offense of Obstruction of Apprehension and Prosecution of Criminal Offenders as defined and penalized under Section 1. metropolitan trial court. The court held that the rule is that in order to ascertain whether a court has jurisdiction or not. and municipal circuit trial court. as prescribed in the said Republic Act 6758. the jurisdiction of the court must appear clearly from the statute law or it will not be held to exist. Paragraph b of P. amended. As early as Montilla vs. or military and PNP officers mentioned above.The Supreme Court found the petition meritorious. Montejoenunciated the principle that the offense must be intimately connected with the office of the offender and perpetrated while he was in the performance. whose office as Mayor is . municipal trial court. It cannot be presumed or implied. the Supreme Court interpreted the requirement that an offense be committed in relation to the office to mean that “the offense cannot exist without the office” or “that the office must be a constituent element of the crime. The Supreme Court observed that the bone of contention here is whether the offenses charged may be considered as committed “in relation to their office” as this phrase is employed in Section 4 of PD 1892.
the Information in Criminal Case No. there was no allegation that the offense of altering and suppressing the gunshot wound of the victim with intent to impair the veracity. or has reasonable ground to believe or suspect. Analyzing the Seeming Non-Use of the Law PD 1829’s purposes are admirable and the acts they penalize should truly be proscribed in order for the efforts of law enforcers to bear fruit. Indeed the offenses defined in P. Moreover. it is necessary for there to be a meaningful exercise of law enforcement. and accordingly public office is not an element of the offense. But the cases surveyed reveal that there has hardly been any conviction even under . the son of herein petitioners spouses Prudente and Preciosa Soller”. any person he knows. So the petition was granted and the orders were set aside for being void for lack of jurisdiction. The provision of PD 1829 which has been used in the cases has been that in subsection (c) of Section 1 of the law which penalizes the act of harboring. Thus there is a categorical indication that the petitioners spouses Soller had a personal motive to commit the offenses and they would have committed the offenses charged even if they did not respectively hold the position of Municipal Mayor or Municipal Health Officer.D. for failure to show in the informations that the charges were intimately connected with the discharge of the official functions of accused Mayor Soller. Persons who obstruct the acts of administration of justice do not harm society as much as the acts of the criminal who is sought to be brought to justice. 25521) or of giving false and fabricated information in the autopsy report and police report to mislead the law enforcement agency and prevent the apprehension of the offender (Criminal Case No. Although the petitioners were described as being “all public officers. then being the Municipal Mayor. 25522 states that the fabrication of information in the police and autopsy report “would indicate that the victim was shot by Vincent Soller. Nevertheless.included in the enumeration in Section 4 (a) of P. 1606 as amended. SPO II. PO I. III. for citizens not to hamper the acts of law enforcers. Municipal Health Officer. concealing.D. has committed any offense under existing penal laws in order to prevent his arrest prosecution and conviction. 25522) was done in the performance of official function. 1892 may be committed by any person whether a public officer or a private citizen. authenticity and availability as evidence in the investigation of the criminal case for murder (Criminal Case No. Sanitary Inspector and Midwife”. the offenses charged in the subject criminal cases fall within the exclusive original function of the Regional Trial Court. Consequently. or facilitating the escape of. not the Sandiganbayan.
that relatives will harbor. law enforcement agencies hardly use this ground to penalize those who help out other relatives. conceal or facilitate the escape of other relatives who have committed crimes. destroying. deceit. or admissibility as evidence in any investigation of or official proceedings in. It would be inconceivable that these acts have never been performed in the course of criminal trials in the Philippines. as it is found. legibility. or altering. The act of drafting legislation is in the realm of another political body and the Executive is mandated to apply the law. record. force or threats. the law which penalizes such acts which constitute the obstruction of justice. Because perhaps of this ground. The first is that the criminals who are themselves in conspiracy with each other do not obtain aid from those who are not in conspiracy with them. The other acts penalized under PD 1829 which would preventing witnesses from testifying in any criminal proceeding or from reporting the commission of any offense or the identity of any offender/s by means of bribery. or to be used in the investigation of. even as it appears to be the most commonly committed ground. since such persons would merely be doing what is “natural” for them under the given circumstances. or even accepted. intimidation.this act of obstructing justice. or object. they do not need third persons who have not participated in the crime to aid them in their escape. misrepresentation. regardless of the criminal nature of the act. with intent to impair its verity. But this is dangerous. But the fact still remains that hardly has any case been tried and reviewed in the Supreme Court regarding PD 1829. or even the fact of whether or not to enforce a particular piece of legislation. There can be two reasons for the seeming non-use of this provision of the law. authenticity. Such acts are logically those which are performed in the course of the prosecution of a criminal. Does this mean that litigation has descended to such a level that these acts which should actually constitute obstruction of justice are no longer prosecuted. document. because both sides – the prosecution and defense – routinely resort to them anyway. criminal cases. because of the strong filial bonds that exist among families. because law enforcement agencies have no choice as to the law which they are to enforce. criminal cases. and anyone who complains of such acts by the other party would be asking for relief from the court with unclean hands? Conclusion: A Law Whose Time Has Come . The fact that PD 1829 has not been prosecuted may reveal the reasons why the high rates of criminality have not been abated. or official proceedings in. The second is that the cultural norms that move Philippine society has made it common. suppressing or concealing any paper. availability. despite the efforts of law enforcement agencies. Thus.
The law on obstruction of justice is a law which is actively used in American courts to prosecute those individuals who impede the administration of justice by the performance of certain acts. law enforcement agencies have to be hard hearted in order to bring about the ends that is contemplated by all criminal laws. Sec. Sec.  PD 1829. Whereas Clauses ¶ 1. But the good aims of the law cannot be met when there has been an observed non-use of the law. 27.  58 AmJur 2d Obstructing Justice § 1.html (last accessed Aug. for the betterment of all that belong to that society. ¶ 2. This is no recommendation that the government do everything in order to convict. If the pillars of the criminal justice system are to attain the ends by which they were created for. Sec. Rather. private citizens and other third parties must not deter in the arrest. And to be fair.  Id.  Id. Ormsby. 214 SW 788).  58 AmJur 2d Obstructing Justice § 2 (citing People v.quincy.PD 1829 is essential to the effective functioning of the courts and the effective action of law enforcement agencies. this is merely a call on citizens not to impede in the just prosecution of criminal cases. “Seven Blunders of the World That Lead to Violence. there are hardly any cases elevated up to the Supreme Court which charges persons for violations of PD 1829. 2003). Shackelford v. It is inconceivable that these same acts are not performed in the Philippines. in order for it to be fair. 123 Mich App 658. People v. 310 Mich 291. that of bring order to society. But despite of this inconceivability.  Mahatma Gandhi.  58 AmJur 2d Obstructing Justice § 34.  PD 1829. it is necessary that society does not thwart the efforts of the criminal justice system in providing a solution for crimes. . Has this arisen out of the reluctant of public officers to involve themselves in charging other with crimes which they find that they themselves could have committed in the first place? This cannot be the case because justice should be blind. Somma. 17 NW2d 187.  Id. The law that prohibits obstruction of justice is good law even up to the present time as the government intensifies its campaign against crime.” available at http://www. 1 ¶ 2. 1 (a). prosecution and trial of these persons who are charged with crimes.edu/~ hardeja/flag. In order to do so. 185 Ky 51. 2. Commonwealth. 333 NW2d 117. PD 1829 seeks to penalize such behavior that constitutes the obstruction of justice when private citizens are remiss in this duty which they owe to other members of society.  PD 1829.
 99 Phil.  Id.  90 Phil. Reyes. and for Other Purposes. ¶ 3. Art. destructive arson. 687 P2d 648.  GR 127157. 613. Vixie 532 F2d 1277). 1 (g). 182 penalizes the giving of false testimony in civil cases. Sec. No. 1 (b). Sec.  PD 1829. The Revised Penal Code 558-59 (14d ed. as amended.  PD 1829. qualified rape. and Art.  58 AmJur 2d Obstructing Justice § 24.  As defined and punished in Chapter Two to Six.R.  G.  Id. 1990. to wit. 1 (c).com/ks/cybertarget/SPL_paper. Nov.  58 AmJur 2d Obstructing Justice § 27.  Florenz Regalado.  Id.  G. 1 (i). supra note x.  PD 1829. 49. Art. 93335. 9 Kan App 2d 728.  Id.htm . 13. parricide. Title Seven of the Revised Penal Code. 29.  58 AmJur 2d Obstructing Justice § 26.  PD 1829.  Revised Penal Code. 184 penalizes the offering of false testimony in evidence. (citing US v.  58 AmJur 2d Obstructing Justice § 40.R.  Republic Act 7659.angelfire. 1 (d). (citing US v.  PD 1829.  Id. Mitchell 372 F Supp 1239).  99 Phil.R. 1 (a). Art. Criminal Law Compendium 387-88 (2003). 181 penalizes giving of false testimony favorable to the defendant. 1 (e).  Regalado. Sec.” imposes the penalty of death on all these crimes. Amin.  Enrile v. 144261-62. No. 183 penalizes the giving of false testimony in other cases and perjury in solemn affirmation.  G. “An Act to Impose t he Death Penalty on Certain Heinous Crimes. Sec. Sec.  108 Phil.  Id. 1 (c). supra.  PD 1829.  Id.  Id.  Id. and crimes related to prohibited drugs. Art. Sec. 112235. Latimer.  189 SCRA 573 (1990). Other Special Penal Laws. 180 penalizes false testimony against a defendant. Amending for That Purpose the Revised Penal Code. 1 (h). 535-536 (1956). (citing State v.  58 AmJur 2d Obstructing Justice § 43. 19.  Luis B. § 41.  58 AmJur 2d Obstructing Justice § 43. murder. (referring to the crimes committed by the public officers).  Revised Penal code. Sec. 1 (f).  Id. 1 (b). May 9. 1998). treason.  PD 1829. at 379. Sept. 210 ¶ 1. No. 2001. 515 (1956). Art. ¶ 4. Art. http://www. 515.  PD 1829. Sec. kidnap for ransom. 1998. Sec. 1995. July 13. Sec. Revised Penal Code.  PD 1829. Sec.
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