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Rule 21 Now, under Section 1, you may wonder what do you 2.

The court of the place where the


SUBPOENA mean by subpoena for the taking of his deposition? deposition is to be taken we will discuss
That will be discussed in relation to Rule 23. that when we reach Rule 23;

Section 1. Subpoena 3. The officer or body authorized by law to


and subpoena duces tecum. Sec. 2. By whom do so in connection with investigations
Subpoena is a process issued. The subpoena may conducted by said officer or body Now,
directed to a person be issued by: even administrative bodies or quasi-
requiring him to attend and a) the court before judicial officers are authorized to issue
to testify at the hearing or whom the witness is subpoena like the Labor Arbiter in
the trial of an action, or at required to attend; connection with investigation conducted
any investigation conducted b) the court of the by said officer or body;
by competent authority, or place where the
for the taking of his deposition is to be taken; 4. Any Justice of the Supreme Court or of
deposition. It may also c) the officer or body the Court of Appeals in any case or
require him to bring with authorized by law to do so investigation pending within the
him any books, documents, in connection with Philippines So, practically any justice
or other things under his investigations conducted can issue a subpoena to attend a
control, in which case it is by said officer or body; or particular case although it is not before
called a subpoena duces d) any Justice of the the SC. They are empowered to issue a
tecum. (1a, R23) Supreme Court or of the subpoena.
Court of Appeals in any
Rule 21 applies to both civil and criminal cases. case or investigation Q: Can you subpoena a PRISONER to appear in
pending within the court?
Q: What are the types of subpoena under the law? Philippines. A: YES, but the law says that the judge should be
A: The following are the types of subpoena: When application for very careful to find out whether it is issued for a valid
1.) Subpoena Ad Testificandum; and a subpoena to a prisoner purpose because there is a risk. If a prisoner is going
2.) Subpoena Duces Tecum is made, the judge or to be brought out in jail because he has to testify in a
officer shall examine and case, that might be an occasion for him to escape. So,
study carefully such the court should be very careful about that. The court
SUBPOENA AD TESTIFICANDUM is a process directed to application to determine should have to find out whether it is necessary.
a person requiring him to attend and to testify at the whether the same is made
hearing or trial of an action, or at any investigation for a valid purpose. And take note, No person sentenced to death,
conducted by competent authority, or for the taking of No prisoner reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment and who is
his deposition. So you are required to appear there and sentenced to death, confined in a penal institution shall be brought outside
testify in court. reclusion perpetua or life the said penal institution for appearance or attendance
imprisonment and who is in any court unless authorized by the Supreme Court.
SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM is a process directed to a confined in any penal This is something new.
person where it requires him to bring with him any books, institution shall be
documents or other things under his control. So, in brought outside the said Sec. 3. Form and contents. A subpoena
other words we are more interested in his documents, penal institution for shall state the name of the court and
which are in his custody. Whereas in ad testificandum, appearance or attendance the title of the action or investigation,
we are more interested in his oral testimony. in any court unless shall be directed to the person whose
authorized by the attendance is required, and in the
Now, take note that a subpoena is a process, Supreme Court. (2a, R23) case of a subpoena duces tecum, it
which requires a witness to testify not only during the shall also contain a reasonable
hearing or the trial of his case but also any investigation Q: Who are authorized to issue subpoena? description of the books, documents
conducted by competent authority like the prosecutor A: The following: or things demanded which must
conducting a preliminary investigation or quasi-judicial 1. The court before whom the witness is appear to the court prima facie
bodies such as the Labor Arbiter or the Senate Blue required to attend the most common is relevant. (3a, R23)
Ribbon Committee. the court where the court is pending;

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Now, can a subpoena be quashed? To quash Well, the best example is if it violates Section 3 The court may quash a subpoena ad testificandum on
means to have it dissolved. What are the grounds to it does not contain a reasonable description of the the ground that the witness is not bound thereby.
quash a subpoena? book, documents or things demanded.

Sec. 4. Quashing a Q: When is a witness not bound by a subpoena?


subpoena. The court may Second Ground: THE RELEVANCY OF THE BOOKS OR A: The best answer is Section 10 of this rule if
quash a subpoena duces DOCUMENTS DOES NOT APPEAR your residence is more than 100 kilometers from the
tecum upon motion place of trial. So, you cannot compel by subpoena from
promptly made and, in any Meaning, there appears to be no connection Davao to come to Cebu to testify because that is more
event, at or before the time between the documents, which are being sought, and than 100 kms., even if you are willing to pay for his
specified therein if it is the issues in the case. transportation and stay in Cebu.
unreasonable and
oppressive, or the relevancy Example, in a collection case, you were required In either case, the subpoena may be quashed for
of the books, documents or to bring your birth certificate, marriage contract, etc. failure to tender the witness fees and kilometrage
things does not appear, or if allowed by the Rules.
the person in whose behalf Third Ground: THE PERSON IN WHOSE BEHALF THE
the subpoena is issued fails SUBPOENA IS ISSUED FAILS TO ADVANCE THE In either case, whether subpoena duces tecum
to advance the reasonable REASONABLE PRODUCTION THEREOF or ad testificandum, the last sentence says, You must
cost of the production also tender the witness fees and kilometrage allowed
thereof. This is a very common situation: by this rules. Ano ba yang witness fees? I think thats
The court may quash a Rule 141, yun bang pamasahe. There is a computation
subpoena ad testificandum A bank received his subpoena duces tecum, there. How much you have to pay the witness for his
on the ground that the Present to court the ledger of the return check of transportation and witness fees. That is different from
witness is not bound somebody. And this check was issued and sent to you the reasonable cost and reproduction in the first
thereby. In either case, the four years ago. Do you know the inconvenience when paragraph. So, these are the grounds for questioning a
subpoena may be quashed a company is asked to bring to court documents subpoena.
on the ground that the especially yung matagal na? Practically, the company
witness fees and has to assign the employee out of his usual job. He is
kilometrage allowed by pulled out from his usual job to look for these in the Sec. 5. Subpoena for
these Rules were not archives. Maybe it will take him two or three days to depositions. Proof of service
tendered when the locate and then he will be required to go to court of a notice to take a
subpoena was served. (4a, where you will miss your work because you will be in deposition, as provided in
R23) court and yet the person who demand the subpoena sections 15 and 25 of Rule
duces tecum has never been bothered to pay service 23, shall constitute
GROUNDS TO QUASH SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM fee for that. Meaning, dapat magbayad siya sufficient authorization for
reasonable cost. the issuance of subpoenas
To quash there must be a motion filed. for the persons named in
Of course, the law does not say how much. Sa said notice by the clerk of
Grounds for quashing a subpoena duces tecum: gobyerno nga papirma ka lang diyan ng isang pirma the court of the place in
bayad ka na ng service fee. How much more in the which the deposition is to
1.) If the subpoena duces tecum is private sector, where you are requiring a company to be taken. The clerk shall
unreasonable and oppressive; look for a document? He is the one to look and then not, however, issue a
2.) The relevancy of the books, things or somebody will go to court. He will not be reporting for subpoena duces tecum to
documents does not appear; work and yet you have not even offered anything to any such person without
3.) the person in whose behalf the the company. an order of the court. (5a,
subpoena is issued fails to advance R23)
the reasonable cost for the production
thereof. Now, lets us skip Section 5 for the meantime
GROUND TO QUASH SUBPOENA AD because that is deposition.
First Ground: IF THE SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM IS TESTIFICANDUM
UNREASONABLE AND OPPRESSIVE Sec. 6. Service.
Service of a subpoena shall

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be made in the same him pay the cost of such warrant
manner as personal or Sec. 7. Personal and seizure, if the court should
substituted service of appearance in court. A determine that his disobedience was
summons. The original shall person present in court willful and without just cause
be exhibited and a copy before a judicial officer (Section 8). That is what you call a
thereof delivered to the may be required to testify warrant to arrest a recalcitrant
person on whom it is served, as if he were in witness.
tendering to him the fees attendance upon a 2.) Declare him in contempt of court for
for one days attendance subpoena issued by such failure to obey the subpoena
and the kilometrage court or officer. (10, R23) (Section 9)
allowed by these Rules,
except that, when a GENERAL RULE: You cannot be compelled to
subpoena is issued by or on testify if you have not been served with a subpoena. ENFORCEABILITY OF SUBPOENA
behalf of the Republic of the EXCEPTION: Section 7 a person present in
Philippines or an officer or court before a judicial officer maybe required to testify, Sec. 10. Exceptions.
agency thereof, the tender as if he is under subpoena. The provisions of sections
need not be made. The 8 and 9 of this Rule shall
service must be made so as not apply to a witness who
to allow the witness a FAILURE TO APPEAR; CONSEQUENCES resides more than one
reasonable time for hundred (100) kilometers
preparation and travel to Sec. 8. Compelling attendance. In case from his residence to the
the place of attendance. If of failure of a witness to attend, the place where he is to testify
the subpoena is duces court or judge issuing the subpoena, by the ordinary course of
tecum, the reasonable cost upon proof of the service thereof and travel, or to a detention
of producing the books, of the failure of the witness, may prisoner if no permission
documents or things issue a warrant to the sheriff of the of the court in which his
demanded shall also be province, or his deputy, to arrest the case is pending was
tendered. (6a, R23) witness and bring him before the obtained. (9a, R23)
court or officer where his attendance
The first sentence says, Service of the subpoena is required, and the cost of such Provisions regarding the compelling of
shall be made in the same manner as personal or warrant and seizure of such witness attendance (Sec. 8) and contempt (Sec. 9) do not apply
substituted service of summons. That is a new shall be paid by the witness if the where:
provision. So, the mode of service of summons, service court issuing it shall determine that 1. the witness resides more than 100 kilometers
in person or substituted is also the manner of serving his failure to answer the subpoena from his residence to the place where he is to testify by
subpoena. So there is now a substituted service of was willful and without just excuse. the ordinary course of travel (Viatory right).
subpoena. You can leave it to the wife. (11, R23) Note: This refers only to civil and not to criminal
cases (Ganorga vs. Quitain GR No. 891, July 21, 1977)
1. The original shall be exhibited and a copy Sec. 9. Contempt. Failure by any
thereof delivered to the person on whom it is served; person without adequate cause to 2. Permission of the court in which the detention
2. tendering to him the fees for one day's obey a subpoena served upon him prisoner's case is pending was not obtained.
attendance or kilometrage allowed by the Rules; except shall be deemed a contempt of the
that, when a subpoena is issued by or on behalf of the court from which the subpoena is This 100-km distance does not apply if it is a criminal
Republic of the Philippines or an officer or agency issued. If the subpoena was not case where the accused would like to seek the
thereof, the tender need not be made; issued by a court, the disobedience compulsory process issued to secure the attendance of
3. the service must be made so as to allow the thereto shall be punished in witnesses in his behalf because that is a superior right.
witness a reasonable time for preparation and travel to accordance with the applicable law
the place of attendance; and or Rule. (12a, R23) That is how the SC interpreted it in the case of
4. if the subpoena is duces mecum, the reasonable PEOPLE vs. MONTEJO (21 SCRA 722 [1965]),
cost of producing the books, documents, or things Consequences if the witness refuses to appear after he reiterated in GENORGA vs. QUITAIN (78 SCRA 94)
demanded shall also be tendered. was subpoenaed: that the 50-km (now 100-km) limitation applies only to
1.) You can ask the court to issue a civil cases, but not to criminal cases, especially if the
warrant for his arrest and to make person to be subpoenaed is a defense witness because

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of the constitutional right of the accused which is a right any books,
which cannot be curtailed by the Rules of Court. documents, or other things under his control, in which 4. Compelling attendance of witnesses;
case it is called a subpoena duces Contempt
SUMMONS vs. SUBPOENA tecum. Rule 21, Sec. 8. Compelling attendance.
In case of failure of a witness to attend, the court or
1. SUBPOENA is directed to a 2. Subpoena ad testificandum judge issuing the subpoena, upon
witness; whereas A process directed to a person requiring him to attend proof of the service thereof and of the failure of the
SUMMONS is directed to a defendant and to testify at the hearing or the witness, may issue a warrant to the
in a civil case; trial of an action, or at any investigation conducted by sheriff of the province, or his deputy, to arrest the
competent authority, or for the taking of his deposition. witness and bring him before the court or officer where
2. In SUBPOENA, the witness is (Rule 21, Section 1) his attendance is required, and the cost of such warrant
directed to appear in court to and seizure of such witness shall be paid by the witness
testify or to bring documents; Who issues subpoena? if the court issuing it shall determine that his failure to
whereas 1. The court before whom the witness is required to answer the subpoena was willful and without just
In SUMMONS, the defendant is attend; excuse.
informed that a complaint is 2. The court of the place where the deposition is to be
filed against him and he must taken; Rule 21, Sec. 9. Contempt.
file a responsive pleading within 3. The officer or body authorized by law to do so in Failure by any person without adequate cause to obey
the period otherwise, judgment connection with investigations a subpoena served upon him shall
can be rendered; conducted by said officer or body; or be deemed a contempt of the court from which the
4. Any Justice of the SC or of the CA in any case or subpoena is issued. If the subpoena was not issued by
3. In SUBPOENA, the witness will investigation pending within the a court, the disobedience thereto shall be punished in
be declared in contempt or his Philippines (Rule 21, Sec. 2) accordance with the applicable law or Rule.
attendance can be compelled by
the issuance of a warrant for his What are the contents of subpoena?
arrest; whereas It shall state the name of the court and the title of the 5. Quashing of subpoena
In SUMMONS, a judgment in default action or investigation, shall be Rule 21, Sec. 4. Quashing a subpoena.
will be rendered against the directed to the person whose attendance is required, The court may quash a subpoena duces tecum
defendant who fails to comply. and in the case of a subpoena duces upon motion promptly made and, in any
tecum, it shall also contain a reasonable description of event, at or before the time specified therein if it is
4. SUBPOENA applicable to both criminal the books, documents or things unreasonable and oppressive, or the
and civil case; whereas demanded which must appear to the court prima facie relevancy of the books, documents or things does not
SUMMONS applies only to civil cases. relevant (Rule 21, Sec. 3) appear, or if the person in whose
behalf the subpoena is issued fails to advance the
5. In SUBPOENA, there is a 100-km 3. Service of subpoena reasonable cost of the production thereof.
limitation of its enforceability; Rule 21, Sec. 6. Service.
whereas Service of a subpoena shall be made in the same The court may quash a subpoena ad testificandum
In SUMMONS, there is no distance manner as personal or substituted on the ground that the witness is not
limitation. service of summons. The original shall be exhibited bound thereby. In either case, the subpoena may be
and a copy thereof delivered to the quashed on the ground that the witness fees and
person on whom it is served, tendering to him the fees kilometrage allowed by these Rules were not tendered
Reviewer- for one days attendance and the when the subpoena was served.
Subpoena (Rule 21) kilometrage allowed by these Rules, except that, when
a subpoena is issued by or on behalf of the Republic of
1. Subpoena duces tecum the Philippines or an officer or agency thereof, the
Rule 21, Section 1. Subpoena and subpoena duces tender need not be made. The service must be made
tecum. so as to allow the witness a reasonable time for
Subpoena is a process directed to a person requiring him preparation and travel to the place of attendance. If
to attend and to testify at the the subpoena is duces tecum, the
hearing or the trial of an action, or at any investigation reasonable cost of producing the books, documents or
conducted by competent authority, or for the taking of things demanded shall also be
his deposition. It may also require him to bring with him tendered.

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