M a n i l a

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 77 December 6, 1972


WHEREAS, Republic Act No. 5180 (prescribing a uniform system of preliminary investigation), grants the complainant and respondent in a preliminary investigation the right to confront and cross-examine each other and their witnesses;

WHEREAS, the said procedure is time-consuming and not conducive to the expeditious administration of justice;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081, dated September 21, 1972 and General Order No. 1 dated September 22, 1972, as amended, do hereby decree as follows:

1. Section 1 of Republic Act No. 5180 is hereby amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 1. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary and except when an investigation has been conducted by a judge of first instance, city or municipal judge or other officer in accordance with law and the Rules of Court of the Philippines, no information for an offense cognizable by the Court of First Instance shall be filed by the provincial or city fiscal or any of his assistants, or by the Chief State Prosecutor or his assistants, without first conducting a preliminary investigation in the following manner:

a) All complaints shall be accompanied by statements of the complainant and his witnesses as well as other supporting documents. The statements of the complainant and his witnesses shall be sworn to before the investigating fiscal or state prosecutor. He shall examine them and satisfy himself that their statements were voluntarily executed and understood by them.

b) If on the basis of the complainant's sworn statements and documents submitted there does not appear to be prima facie case, the investigating fiscal or state prosecutor shall dismiss the case; if a prima facie case is established by complainant's evidence, he shall notify the respondent by issuing a subpoena requiring him to submit at an indicated date which shall not be more than ten (10) days from receipt of the subpoena, counter-affidavits and other supporting documents. To the subpoena shall be attached a copy of the complaint, the sworn statements and other documents submitted. Other evidence submitted shall be made available for examination of the respondent or his counsel. The statements of the respondent and his witnesses shall also be sworn to before the investigating fiscal.

c) Whenever necessary, the fiscal or state prosecutor may subpoena either or both parties or their witnesses and propound clarificatory question, during which both complainant and respondent shall be afforded an opportunity to be present but without right to examine or cross-examine.

"The investigating fiscal or state prosecutor shall help both the complaint and the respondent and their witnesses in the preparation and execution of their affidavits if so requested to do so.

"The fiscal or state prosecutor shall certify under oath in the information to be filed by him that he has examined the complainant and his witnesses, that on the basis of the sworn statements and other evidence submitted before him that there is reasonable ground to believe that a crime has been committed and that the accused is probably guilty thereof, that the accused was informed of the complaint and of the evidence submitted against him and that he was given an opportunity to submit controverting evidence: Provided, That no assistant fiscal or state prosecutor may file an information except with the prior authority or approval of the city or provincial fiscal or chief state prosecutor and only in a case in which he himself conducted the preliminary investigation."

2. All provisions of existing laws, orders, rules and regulations contrary to or inconsistent with the provision of this Decree are hereby repealed.

3. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 6th day of December, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-two.

The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation