Republic Act No. 157             June 19, 1947
AN ACT CREATING A BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Section 1. There is hereby created a Bureau of Investigation under the Department of Justice which shall have the following functions:
(a) To undertake investigations of crimes and other offenses against the laws of the Philippines, upon its own initiative and as public interest may require;
(b) To render assistance, whenever properly requested in the investigation or detection of crimes and other offenses;
(c) To act a national clearing house of criminal and other informations for the benefit and use of all prosecuting and law-enforcement entities of the Philippines, identification records of all persons without criminal convictions, records of identifying marks, characteristics, and ownership or possession of all firearms as well as of test bullets fired therefrom;
(d) To give technical aid to all prosecuting and law-enforcement officers and entities of the Government as well as the courts that may request its services;
(e) To extend its services, whenever properly requested in the investigation of cases of administrative or civil nature in which the Government is interested;
(f) To undertake the instruction and training of a representative number of city and municipal peace officers at the request of their respective superiors along effective methods of crime investigation and detection in order to insure greater efficiency in the discharge of their duties;
(g) To establish and maintain an up-to-date scientific crime laboratory and to conduct researches in furtherance of scientific knowledge in criminal investigation;
(h) To perform such other related functions as the Secretary of Justice may assign from time to time.
Section 2. The Bureau of Investigation shall be headed by a Director who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines with the consent of the Commission on Appointments of the Congress of the Philippines, and shall receive an annual compensation of seven thousand two hundred pesos.
Section 3. The composition and size of the personnel of the Bureau of Investigation shall be determined by the Director of the Bureau of Investigation: Provided, That the present personnel of the Division of Investigation shall be transferred to, and form the nucleus of, the new Bureau.
Section 4. Appointments to positions in the Bureau of Investigation shall be made only according to merit and fitness to be determined as far as practicable by competitive mental and physical examination and after adequate instruction and training. Promotions shall be made with due regard to seniority and past record of efficiency: Provided, That such personnel as shall be appointed for general investigation shall be, as far as practicable, graduates of recognized laws schools or colleges or members of the bar, and, whenever a special need arises, certified public accountants and those with at least ten years experience and training in other law-enforcement organizations.
Section 5. Members of the investigation staff of the Bureau of Investigation shall be peace officers, and as such have the following powers:
(a) To make arrests, searches and seizures in accordance with existing laws and rules;
(b) To issue subpoena or subpoena duces tecum for the appearance at Government expense of any person for investigation;
(c) To take and require sworn truthful statements of any person or persons so summoned in relation to cases under investigation, subject to constitutional restrictions;
(d) To administer oaths upon cases under investigation;
(e) To possess suitable and adequate firearms for their personal protection in connection with their duties and for the proper protection of witnesses and persons in custody: Provided, That no previous special permit for such possession shall be required;
(f) To have access to all public records and, upon authority of the President of the Philippines in the exercise of his visitorial powers, to records of private parties and concerns.
Section 6. The Division of Investigation of the Department of Justice shall be abolished.
Section 7. All unexpended appropriations, supplies, materials, and scientific equipment of the Division of Investigation shall be transferred to the Bureau of Investigation.
Section 8. For purposes of this Act, there is hereby appropriated from the National Treasury not otherwise set aside, in addition to the sum already appropriated for the Division of Investigation, the sum of five hundred thousand pesos for the salaries and wages, traveling and other expenses of personnel, for the purchase of necessary supplies, materials and equipment, and for other purposes.
Section 9. Commonwealth Act Numbered One hundred and eighty-one as well as any other act or provisions of act inconsistent herewith is hereby repealed.
Section 10. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Approved: June 19, 1947
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