Definition of Terms and Compliance



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ARTICLE V
DEFINITION OF TERMS AND COMPLIANCE

As used in this law, the Jury Systems Law, the term:

Section 1. “Obstruction of Justice” shall mean and include, but not limited to, the following acts:

(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 fiscal's offices, in Ombudsman, or in the courts;

(f) Making or presenting an oral statement or testimony under oath 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, a criminal case before a grand jury or a crime investigating body or a trial court.

(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 such 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 appearing 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.

(j) Contacting by a lawyer or an associate or friend of such lawyer with a public official for the purpose of securing the influence of such public official to communicate with a judge, or presiding judge in a bench or jury trial or a juror to obtain a judgment or verdict in favor of his case.

(k) Active or passive co-operation of an employer, job supervisor or co-employee with any person or public official to influence the decision of its employee, subordinate or co-employee who is serving as a juror on a matter being tried in a jury trial.

(l) Failure of a juror to comply with his mandatory duty to report within thirty (30) days to a grand jury from the date of his receipt of any direct solicitation or request from any person, public official, his employer or job supervisor or co-employee asking such juror to make a decision over a case he is sitting as juror in favour of the soliciting person, public official, his employer or job supervisor or co-employee.

(m) Failure of an employer, job supervisor, or co-employee of a juror to comply with his mandatory obligation within thirty (30) days from the receipt by such employer, job supervisor, or co-employee to report to a grand jury of any solicitation from any person or public official with the view of influencing such juror in making his decision over a case he is sitting in a jury trial.

(n) A decision by a juror in a jury trial based on a solicitated decision by any person, public official, employer, job supervisor or co-employee regardless of whether such juror has received a bribe or not, or intentional failure to write in his vote in the jury ballot for a jury verdict.

(o) Failure of a presiding judge in a bench trial or jury trial of his mandatory obligation to report to a grand jury within thirty (30) days of his receipt of a solicitation or request from any person or public official with the view of influencing the decision of a case in his court or of the jury over whom he is presiding.

(p) Failure of a government prosecutor to comply with his mandatory duty to commence within three (3) days from the date of filing of a government criminal accusation the act of securing the grand jury indictment by submitting to the grand jury all documentary proof of court filing and every prima facie evidence of a crime with the information whether the accused is in the custody of the government or not arising from a criminal accusation that has been originally filed in court by the government or by the government prosecutor.

(q) Disobedience by any public official or person of a writ of amparo, writ of habeas corpus, or writ of habeas data issued by the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Regional Trial Courts, Metropolitan or Municipal Trial or Circuit Courts and Shari’a District or Circuit Courts.

(r) Disobedience by any public official or person of a subpoena, subpoena duces tecum or summons issued by the Ombudsman, Commission on Audit, Commission on Elections, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Human Rights, through their deputies, in matters within their respective jurisdictions to investigate.

(s) Intentional failure of a person or witness of his obligation to tell the truth in his testimony before a grand jury.

(t) Disclosure to another person or public official, or failure by a witness, also known as “invitee”, to comply with his legal obligation to strictly keep in secrecy of his receipt and possession of a subpoena, subpoena duces tecum, or summons, issued by a grand jury to appear as a witness before such grand jury. Disclosure by the witness to his personal attorney specifically for confidential legal consultation shall not be a violation of this prohibition and the attorney under no condition, and with pain for disciplinary action by disbarment, shall disclose to anyone such confidential consultation.

(u) Disobedience or refusal by any person or public official to testify before a grand jury by disregarding his receipt of a subpoena, subpoena duces tecum, or summons issued by such grand jury pursuant to the grand jury power in Article III, Section 1(d)(d-1).

(v) Preventing by any person or public official of a witness from testifying before a grand jury who has received a summons, subpoena or subpoena duces tecum from the grand jury by any means including aiding such witness to leave the country or by detaining such witness for any purpose.

(w) Termination, demotion in rank or position or relocation of employment of a witness who has received a subpoena, subpoena duces tecum, or summons from a grand jury or who testifies or has testified before such grand jury and such termination, demotion in rank or position or relocation of employment has been initiated by an employer, or superior public official, member of a board of directors or trustees of a corporate entity, quasi-government entity or government owned or controlled corporation.

(x) Refusal by a witness who is a giver or an offer or in the crime of bribery to testify before the grand jury against the recipient of his bribe and such witness has been granted full immunity from prosecution pursuant to Presidential Decree 749 when such grant of immunity has been stated in the subpoena, subpoena duces tecum or summons issued by such grand jury upon the witness.

(y) Interference or participation in court or from elsewhere by telephone, email communication, or by any electronic device by any person or public official in the impaneling of jury members for a jury trial other than the presiding judge, government prosecutor, and the defense attorney or interference by such person or public official of a court or jury trial proceedings.

(z) Failure of a trial presiding judge in a jury trial to comply with his mandatory duty to report to the grand jury within thirty (30) days of the act of interference or participation of any person or public official in the impaneling of the jury members on a case for jury trial before his court room.

(aa) Failure of a subordinate officer or employee in the public service to perform his mandatory duty within thirty (30) days of his knowledge to secretly report said knowledge to a grand jury for investigation of an act or omission defined as obstruction of justice by his superior officer or co-employee.

(bb) Failure or neglect of a police or military officer to comply with his personal mandatory obligation to provide preference of protection to a citizen who is serving as a juror in a grand jury or trial jury proceeding over and above the safety of any public official from physical injury or psychological harm or death from an imminent peril within the jurisdiction of command of said police or military officer. Said officer need not be in his official uniform at the time the perilous situation was taking, or about to take, place.

(cc) Omission, deviation or alteration by the presiding judge in the reading or issuance of the statutory basic jury instruction in Article VI, Section 3, of the Jury System Law with the intention of giving undue favor or disfavor, or advantage or disadvantage, to a party or witness in a jury trial.

(dd) Failure or refusal by a presiding judge to comply with his mandatory duty to report to the grand jury within thirty (30) days of the dismissal of a criminal case before his court for the reason that the prosecutor failed to prepare in the presentation of his evidence or for presenting a procured affidavit of desistance from the complaining witness or victim at the scheduled firm commencement date of the jury trial of his case.

(ee) Surreptitious attendance or intrusion in the inaugural grand jury formation proceedings under Section 3(a)(b) in Article III of this law by any person or public official or government employee or permission by a clerk of court or presiding judge to allow such person or public official or government employee to observe the said inaugural grand jury formation proceedings.

(ff) The arrest or detention of a person with or without cause who is a juror in a grand jury or trial jury while reporting to and from between his place of jury duty and his residence by any police agent or by any other person including his instigator whether public official or not in violation of this rule shall be liable for indictment of obstruction of justice by the grand jury.

(gg) Purposely delaying by a vehicle driver or operator in delivering a juror whom he has provided a ride, whether paid or as a courtesy passenger, to a juror in delivering such juror to, or by deviating from, the general direction of his intended travel to the court, such driver or operator shall be liable for indictment for obstruction of justice by a grand jury.

(hh) An open announcement by a driver or transportation operator by means of a visible placard in his vehicle to the effect that he is a provider for a courtesy ride for a juror or jurors along the way to their destination courts is hereby prohibited. Violation of this provision shall be punishable as an act of obstruction of justice. The driver or operator of such vehicle and its passenger juror are hereby forbidden to talk with each other on any subject matter that may be related to the case for jury trial and for which such passenger has been summoned to serve for jury duty. Violation of this rule shall subject such vehicle driver or operator and such passenger in his vehicle liable for indictment by the grand jury for obstruction of justice.

(ii) Failure of a person to appear to testify as a witness in a civil or criminal trial before a court of law who has been properly served and has received, upon proof of his receipt of a summons or subpoena or subpoena duces tecum at the instance of the complaint of a requesting party for the appearance of such witness in the referenced scheduled trial.

(jj) Willful refusal or failure of a person, public official, or an official of a responsible party by the use of an illegal or dilatory act or acts or act of defalcation of funds or property by such person, public official, or official of a responsible party to prevent the implementation of a civil or criminal duty to perform, or settle, upon a court order or jury verdict that has become final and executory.

(kk) Departure from the Philippines by a person or public official for a foreign jurisdiction or country for any purpose knowing that he has committed a criminal offense that is punishable by imprisonment in jail for a period of one year or more regardless of whether such departure has been authorized or ordered, or not, by any official of the government. Any person or public official who shall issue such authorization or order for the departure of such crime offender under investigation, knowing or having been informed of the crime or possible crime he has committed, shall be similarly liable for the commission of, and imprisonment for, the crime of obstruction of justice.

(ll) Suppression by, or failure of, a government or private prosecutor or fiscal, or by a presiding judge in conspiracy with such government or private prosecutor or fiscal, to disclose to the accused or his defense counsel, if represented, any exculpatory evidence in his possession in favour of the accused prior to, or during, the jury trial.

"(mm) Public display or parading of a crime suspect as an exhibit prior to conviction in any manner by any person or public officer in custody of the crime suspect shall constitute obstruction of justice and a violation of his right to innocence and human rights. He shall be entitled to claim moral damages in the sum of two hundred thousand pesos jointly and severally against such person or officer and the government entity such person or officer represents in addition to fine and imprisonment for obstruction of justice. Subsequent conviction or acquittal of the crime suspect shall not extinguish the civil and criminal liabilities of said person or public officer and the public entity he represents prior to the conviction or acquittal of the crime suspect. In the event of death of the crime suspect, his heirs shall have the power to pursue his claim."

(nn) Forcing a crime suspect to confess his alleged crime by any person or public officer through torture or any forceful means in which case the penalty for such obstruction of justice shall be seven years and one day to ten years and one day. Such crime suspect shall be entitled to claim moral damages in the sum of two hundred thousand pesos jointly and severally against such person or officer and the government entity such person or officer represents in addition to fine and imprisonment for obstruction of justice. Subsequent conviction or acquittal of the crime suspect shall not extinguish the civil and criminal liabilities of said person or public officer and the public entity he represents prior to the conviction or acquittal of the crime suspect. In the event of death of the crime suspect, his heirs shall have the power to pursue his claim."

(oo) Failure of a lawyer or lawyers of the president in attending at the scheduled firm trial date of the president who has been criminally indicted by the Grand Jury. In addition for conviction of obstruction of justice, such a lawyer or lawyers shall be disbarred from the Roll of Attorneys.

(pp) Disclosure or publicity of additionally discovered evidence or names of witnesses to any person or member of the media by a government prosecutor, or his successor, in pursuing to trial in his charge a matter relating to a grand jury indictment.

(qq) Preparation by, or dictation of, an attorney in making an affidavit of desistance contrary to the intended will of the affiant victim or witness.

(rr) Conversation by an attorney with a trial juror on duty on any matter outside the jury trial proceedings while a case at hand is still in progress prior to the reading of the jury verdict in said case. If the attorney is a counsel to any party to the case at hand, such attorney shall be liable for disbarment in addition to the penalty for obstruction of justice.

(ss) Failure of the lead attorney or counsel of the president to attend a firm date of trial when the president is on trial before a trial jury upon the indictment by a grand jury shall be liable for the crime of obstruction of justice on complaint by any citizen or any member of the media before such grand jury.

(tt) The act of filing by any person of a preemptive impeachment complaint in Congress against the convicted president with the view of protecting such president from being impeached or any public official who is removable by impeachment as a result of his conviction in accordance with the Jury Systems Law shall be deemed an act of, and shall render such person criminally punishable for, obstruction of justice.

(uu) The act of preventing or discouraging, in any manner, a citizen who has receive a summons for jury duty from serving as a juror in a jury trial or the confiscation of the summons to such citizen for jury duty to prevent said citizen from fulfilling his duty to serve as a trial juror shall be criminally punishable as an act of obstruction of justice.

(vv) The act of disclosing any grand jury investigation, except the act of filing of its indictment in court, by any of its members or by any witness who has received a grand jury summons or who has testified before said Body shall be criminally punishable as an act of obstruction of justice.

(ww) (1) The act of knowingly participating in any sham or mock judicial trial, hearing or proceedings shall be criminally punishable as an act of obstruction of justice. This provision does not apply to classroom or televised drama proceedings for educational purposes.

(2) Likewise, any act of filing or threatening to file a criminal or civil complaint before a prosecutor's office or before a grand jury or before a court of law knowing that such act is based on a completely false allegation of facts for the purpose of harassing, or intimidating, or threatening, or punishing, to prevent or discourage another from performing a lawful activity shall be criminally punishable as an act of obstruction of justice.

(3) Any lawyer who shall provide legal assistance in committing the act or acts described in the immediate preceding sub-sections (1) or (2), knowing that the action of his client is a total falsity, shall likewise be held liable for the crime of obstruction of justice.

(4) Any member of a grand jury who shall be criminally liable for committing the crime of bribery shall be deemed a public officer as defined in Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines. However, no indictment against such member of the grand jury shall be filed in court, until his term of grand jury service shall have already expired.

(xx) The act of any indicted government official referred to in Article III, Section 28, sub-paragraph (g), in refusing to be taken into government custody by an arresting officer after such arresting officer has announced the execution of an arrest warrant upon such indicted government official shall be criminally punishable as an act of obstruction of justice in addition to such other crimes he may have committed.

(yy) Violation of the prohibited acts in Article I of this Law shall subject the violator liable for the crime of obstruction of justice as the context of the provision in said Article demands imperative obedience.

(zz) Any surreptitious act of giving a false testimony or official report by an investigator, or by the supervisor of such investigator, of a crime to prevent or suppress further investigation of the crime, or to prevent the prosecution of a person believed to be the probable responsible offender of a crime, or to cover-up the commission of a crime, punishable by imprisonment in jail regardless of the prescribed period of incarceration of such crime shall be punishable as an act of obstruction of justice.

Section 2. “Employer” shall mean any natural person who hired the juror to perform a certain job with, or without, pay for the former’s personal affairs or business regardless of permanence or length of time of employment for such person;

Section 3. “Job supervisor” shall mean any person towards whom the juror receives instructions in executing his job at any given time or location. It likewise includes a member of a board of directors or trustees of a corporation, government owned or controlled corporation or quasi-public corporation as well as a public official who may be a supervisor over a juror who is an undisclosed subordinate employee in the organization of such supervisor.

Section 4. “Co-employee” shall mean any person with whom the juror is employed in the same employer or organization of any nature or purpose.

Section 5. “Public official” or “public officer” as used in the context of the jury systems law means any person who holds an employment or activity, mentally or manually, in the public service or any instrumentality or branches of the Republic of the Philippines including government owned and controlled corporation or quasi- government corporation, by election, written or verbal appointment from another public officer or from a private citizen or usurpation of office by an impostor, regardless of position, title, rank, amount of compensation or intended length or permanence of service.

Section 6. “Public service” is any function or activity, mental or physical labor, by any person for the operation of any instrumentality or branches and level of the government of the Republic of the Philippines including service in government owned or controlled corporations and quasi-government corporations.

Section 7. Disbarment - Any person who is found guilty of obstruction of justice shall automatically lose his membership in the Roll of Attorneys in the Supreme Court. If such person has been appointed to any public position in any branch, instrumentality or commission of the government including position in any government owned or controlled or quasi-public corporation by virtue of his membership in said Roll of Attorneys, he shall further lose such public position.

Section 8. Right of subrogation and monetary reimbursement of criminal and civil liability in favor of the government over, and from, acts of public official - Notwithstanding any existing law, statute, decree, or rule to the contrary, any monetary award or judgment in favor of a plaintiff in a criminal or civil case against a public official or employee arising from the unlawful act or acts of such official or employee in the course of the performance of his official duties, shall be satisfied as follows:

(a) Such monetary award or judgment shall be charged and paid in advance within thirty (30) days from the finality of award or judgment to the prevailing litigant against any public funds budgeted or allotted to the office, bureau, commission, government branch or department or government instrumentality, government owned or controlled corporation or quasi-government corporation of which the losing party is employed or has the authority to supervise provided that the said related government instrumentality or entity is likewise sued as a co-defendant of the losing party in the same criminal or civil action.

(b) Any public official or employee who shall delay the payment of the monetary award or judgment to the prevailing party as required in the foregoing subsection (a) shall be liable for the crime and punishment of obstruction of justice upon the instance of such prevailing party or his conservator, or estate in case of death.

(c) The paying government entity shall have the absolute right of reimbursement from the private funds of such public official or employee including from his salary, retirement benefits, and his other emoluments by reason of his official position by election or by appointment, directly or indirectly, and from his private business or enterprise, or of his estate in the event of his death, until fully paid regardless of the location of his assets and funds in the Philippines or in other countries with the assistance of the Philippine Consulate office in such other countries.

(d) The monetary liability of such public official or employee herein shall include liability incurred prior to the passage of this law if convicted for violation of its forgiving clause in Article III, Section 29 hereof and as described above shall not prescribe and shall not be extinguished by his act, or act of his heirs, of filing a petition for insolvency or bankruptcy before any court of law.

Section 9. Obstruction of Justice after the fact - Negligent or intentional failure of a person, government employee, officer, or official, by reason of his position, title, or rank by appointment or by election to a public office in the national or local government unit or instrumentality, armed or police services, including government owned or controlled, or quasi-government corporation under the control or supervision of his position, title, or rank to report, or to continue to report, to the grand jury the commission of a serious crime that occurred prior to his assumption of his position, title or rank shall be punishable as an act of "Obstruction of Justice after the fact". If the failure to act is the result of his negligence, the penalty shall be imprisonment in jail for 3 to 5 years, and if the failure to act is intentional, the penalty shall be imprisonment in jail for 5 to 7 years, plus forfeiture of all benefits from public service and perpetual disqualification from holding any public office.

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