GRAND JURY GRAFT STOPPER
By Atty. Marlowe Camello
The Grand Jury Graft Stopper Anti-Corruption Device for Philippine Cities is a set of ready made drafted laws for certain Philippine cities. All that a resident-citizen or a group of anti-corruption crusaders of each city shall do is copy the drafted law and sponsor to launch for its enactment by means of the people's initiative under Republic Act 6735, the Referendum and Initiative Law of the Philippines:
NOTE: I just realize and discovered that the "Petition Forms", except for Manila, may need some amendment or revision to comply with sufficiency requirements of RA 6735. Let the author, Marlowe Camello, know before you start to sponsor the suggested jury system. His email is: MCamello@verizon.net (Please copy/paste) to your email. He will help you in writing the needed correction.
If the name of your city is not listed above and you are interested to enact the Grand Jury system in your city, please email your request to this author at email@example.com . He would be glad to prepare the Grand Jury draft law for your city.
A Grand Jury (or GJ) is a group of private citizens and its function is to investigate serious crimes and indict crime offenders directly in court without seeking permission from any government authority. It is composed of 23 members, all college graduates, and must not be holding any position in the government. Its members are anonymous. By law, it is created and its members are chosen secretly and by lottery (randumly) under the supervision of a judge. Only the judge who swears them to office can know their names and he is required to deposit all personal records of its members in an accredited bank within 24 hours after he administers their oath of office.
Establishing the Grand Jury System (as well as the Trial Jury System) is based under the people's power and authority clause in Article 2, Section 1, of the Constitution. The people's power and authority is more supreme (sovereign) than the powers of any public official whose powers and authority are in Article VI, Congress; Article VII, Executive; and Article VIII, Judiciary - all below Article II, the People's power, in the constitution, which says: "Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them", the People.
The Grand Jury is the most powerful anti-graft entity in the United States. Most Americans don't know its existence because of the high secrecy it operates plus the fact that its members are not known to the public. Even a U.S. President cannot escape indictment in court by this entity if he commits any acts of corruption or any crime. It is difficult to retaliate against its members because they cannot be easily identified. They conduct their investigation proceedings in a secret room and only one witness at a time is admitted for questioning.
With Grand Juries in your city, these entities can even investigate and indict for the crime of obstruction of justice any fiscal or prosecutor and/or a judge who is delaying the disposition of cases in his care to favor a party to a case or perhaps waiting for a bribe before he will act. Of course, the GJ can investigate any type of act of corruption including tampering of votes, aka: "dagdag/bawas" of votes during election and indict a candidate who instigated such acts.
The members of a Grand Jury will not be afraid to decide to investigate and indict in court against any grafter, money launderer, or any type of a criminal offender even if he is the most powerful official in the land because they are anonymous. They cannot be easily identified. As private citizens, the members of this entity will have no fear for their jobs with their private employers from being sabotaged, unlike fiscals, prosecutors, or judges, they are afraid of being fired by the appointing or recommending high officials to their public positions.
Under the proposed jury draft laws, the members serve for no more than 6 months from Jan to Jun and from July to December in which new members are sworn in each time. They obtain information such as names and addresses about crimes, crime offenders, and witness from tipsters or whistle blowers by advertising in the newspapers. Tipsters don't need to disclose their names. Only the names and addresses of crime suspect and witnesses that they know of.
Crime suspects do not know that they are being investigated by the GJ and the only time they learn the accusation against them is when one is about to be arrested upon a warrant of arrest on the basis of the GJ indictment in court.
The grand jury has the power to issue subpoena or subpoena duces tecum. It has the power to file a criminal complaint for disobedience to its subpoena the crime of obstruction of justice. It can also file the same complaint for obstruction of justice against any person or public official who shall interfere with the service of its subpoena or prevention of execution of an arrest warrant based on its criminal complaint before the court.
The GJ is not a court. It has no power to order the arrest of a crime offender. Such offender can be arrested only after the GJ has filed an accusation, technically called the "indictment", in court against the suspected crime offender upon an arrest warrant issued on the basis of its court complaint.
The GJ has no power to compel the crime suspect to appear before this Body by subpoena because it would be a violation of the right of the crime suspect to remain silent about an alleged crime he is being accused of.
The GJ is not bound by the hearsay rule of evidence. Because it is not a court, it cannot be compelled to admit in its grand jury investigation room any crime suspect or his attorney to cross examine a witness who is subpoenaed to appear before the GJ. It has no obligation to inform the accused of the nature of the accusation against him because there is no accused to speak of in the GJ investigation. Neither does the GJ have the obligation to inform the "accused" of his right to "remain silent" or to "obtain the assistance of a lawyer" because the GJ has neither power to order detention of a crime suspect nor the power to compel the crime suspect to appear at the grand jury room for questioning.
In the proposed law drafts, givers in bribery shall be given automatic immunity from prosecution if they reveal and testify against the recipients of their bribe. If the giver refuses to testify, the grand jury will charge him for the crime of obstruction of justice and not for bribery.
Members of the GJ (and Trial Jury) are chosen by lottery. No public official is authorized to appoint a jury member. Jurors will be compensated for serving in the jury. For GJ members, they will be paid twice the rate of the minimum wage law. For members of the trial jury, they get paid the minimum wage.
All jurors will be provided with noon time meal for each day of service as well as transportation in reporting to and back home for jury service. In case of serious injury or death in the course of jury service, the injured juror will be provided with medical treatment, or in case of death his next of kin will be paid indemnity up to two hundred thousand pesos. Failure of a citizen to serve for jury service when summoned for that purpose will be liable for the crime of obstruction of justice or be held in contempt of court with punishment of actual incarceration in jail.
For a quick bird's eye view of how the Grand Jury and Trial Jury operate, please visit the jury diagram web site below:
(Click for the Jury Diagram Here).
The forms needed to operate the Jury Systems can be obtained from the following web sites:
For Grand Jury Forms.
For Trial Jury Forms.
Although the jury draft laws are given out free of charge, the author would be greatly delighted if any user of his work product may kindly inform him of their interest of availing with his recommendation for the adoption of their local jury systems law.