GRAND JUROR'S OATH
(With a Bow to keep Secrecy)
The Oath of the members of the grand jury is unique in the sense that they are bound by it to secrecy. Keeping secrecy of grand jury investigation is a top obligation of the members of a grand jury.
The power of the Grand Jury to act is triggered by the oath taking of its members. Their oath shall be administered by the Executive Regional Trial Judge.
We may recall that the formation of the grand jury starts with an advertised invitation by the Clerk of Court for grand jury membership in a newspaper with a general circulation in its jury district. A Jury District, for purposes of the jury system, is actually the congressional district where the Court house of the Executive Regional Trial Judge is located.
The invitation for grand jury membership shall show the following:
1. The required qualification for membership; their compensation and protection benefits;
2. The location where to secure an application;
3. Membership is voluntary and there is no limit as to number
of applicants although only 23 members shall be chosen;
4. The members to be chosen shall be determined by lottery;
5. The period during which application shall be submitted;
6. The place where the application shall be filed which must be deposited in a lottery bin in the office of the Clerk of Court after the qualification of the applicant is determined; Each application shall be stamped with a Security ID Number (aka: SIDN) and a pair of that same number shall be given to, and kept by, the applicant. The applicant shall then use the SIDN as his ticket for admission into the court room where the applicants shall be selected. If he loses or forgets his SIDN, he will not be allowed to enter the court room where the selection of the members of the grand jury shall be picked.
7. The date and time of the selection by lottery shall take place; and
8. The address and exact location of the lottery where to pick the members which is the Court Room of the Executive Regional Trial Judge.
The selection of the grand jury membership will be conducted with high degree of confidentiality.
The only persons allowed to enter the court room where the members shall be chosen are: The Executive Regional Trial Judge, the Clerk of Court, and all applicants who had submitted their application and were dropped inside the lottery bin. Only those with Security ID Number (SIDN) will be allowed to enter the court room. Everyone else will be excluded from the room.
None of the members of the public, the media, or any public official or employee of any government office of any kind and level of governance shall be admitted in the court room.
Once everybody who is allowed to get into the court room is determined, the Executive Judge shall then announce the procedure of picking the members.
The Executive Judge shall order the Clerk of Court to pick from the lottery bin one application at a time and the Clerk shall then submits the same to the Executive Judge. The Judge shall then announce 3 times the Security ID Number of the Application that was picked. He shall not announce the name of the applicant.
The judge shall take possession every application pulled and he is obliged to keep in a bank vault the application for safekeeping. He shall not keep a photocopy, or take note elsewhere the name of the chosen grand jury member.
Whoever is the owner of the SIDN picked from the lottery bin shall respond by raising his hand but he must remain seated and should not stand.
The above process shall continue until 23 members are chosen.
After the 23 applicants are picked, the Executive Judge shall then order all those applicants whose SIDNs were not picked to step out of the court room.
Immediately thereafter, the Executive Judge shall then take the Oath of Office of the 23 chosen grand jury members.
GRAND JUROR'S OATH
The following is the Oath the newly selected members of the grand jury shall take and administered and led by the Executive Judge:
"I will support the Constitution of the Philippines and all laws made in pursuance thereof and in conformity therewith,
"I will diligently inquire into, and true presentment make, of all public offenses against the people of the Philippines, committed or triable within this municipality or city as well as within this province, or judicial district, or within any judicial district of the Philippines, of which the Grand Jury shall have or can obtain legal evidence.
"I will keep my own counsel, and that of my fellow grand jurors and of the government, and will not, except when required in the due course of judicial proceedings or authorized by statute, disclose the testimony of any witness examined before the Grand Jury, nor anything which I or any other grand juror may have said, nor the manner in which I or any other grand juror may have voted on any matter before the Grand Jury.
"I will present no person through malice, hatred or ill will, nor leave any unpresented through fear, favor, or affection, or for any reward, or the promise or hope thereof;
"But in all my presentments I will present the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, according to the best of my skill and understanding, so help me God."
End of the Grand Juror's Oath
After the new members of the Grand Jury has taken their office, they will then receive their Grand Jury Standard Instruction. Additionally, they will also receive a "GJ-WITNESS Interrogation Plan" as their guide to interrogate a witness.