Mandatory Trial By Jury
And Exceptions



Section 1. An indictment over a crime at which the criminal defendant, or the accused, may suffer the penalty of imprisonment with a minimum period of one year or more shall be tried before a trial jury unless such criminal defendant waives his right to jury trial by pleading guilty to the crime charged against him.

Section 2. In the event of a plea bargaining for the purpose of securing a lesser penalty of imprisonment by the criminal defendant, the presiding judge or any public official or any other person, except the prosecution and defense counsels, shall, under no circumstance, get involved in the plea bargaining process.

Section 3. Any person, public official, or judge, except the prosecution and defense counsels, who shall interfere, directly or indirectly, in the plea bargaining process shall be guilty of the crime of obstruction of justice.

Section 4. The role of the presiding judge shall be ministerial for the purpose of recording the guilty plea of the criminal defendant upon full compliance of all requirements under this Article.

Section 5. (a) Before a criminal defendant is allowed to enter into a plea bargaining agreement, he must, under penalty of perjury, be required to file: (1) A verified statement of his assets, liabilities and networth (SALN) regarding his financial standing; and (2) A list of name or names of the person or persons to whom he may have given or consigned to, which actually is, or are, a part or portion of the listed assets with its, or their, corresponding monetary value. Such statement shall include all assets he received from the date he entered public service, except the value of his regular salary and legal money allowances, if he is an official or employee of any government instrumentality, up to the date he enters his plea.

(b) If upon investigation, it is shown that he falsified his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth, including distribution of assets, and name or names of recipient or recipients thereof, his plea for reduced penalty of imprisonment shall be disapproved, or revoked if the falsity is discovered after his plea and he shall further incur criminal liability of imprisonment of the crime for obstruction of justice.

Section 6. No plea bargaining agreement shall be approved unless the criminal defendant shall have fully paid his civil liability and monetary penalty fines to the public treasury of the government entity, department,bureau,or office, or to the person or private entity, directly aggrieved of the crime or crimes he has committed. The monetary penalty fines imposed shall be credited to the general fund of the judicial branch of the government.

Section 7. The civil liability of, including monetary penalty fines imposed upon, the criminal defendant in the event of his conviction in a jury trial, as determined by the court, or adjudged against him in a separate civil action, shall not be extinguished by his action for insolvency or bankruptcy and shall not be subject to any prescriptive period of collection.

Section 8. If the accusation against the criminal defendant consists of two or more crimes, he shall be required to serve no less than the minimum penalty of imprisonment imposed on the most serious crime charged or the maximum penalty of the lesser serious crime charged against him, whichever imposes the longer period of penalty of imprisonment, as part of the condition in the plea bargaining agreement with the criminal defendant.

Section 9. If a criminal defendant is allowed to plead guilty to a lesser offense and allowed to post bail, he shall be required to surrender his passport to the court. Failure of the prosecutor or presiding judge in requiring compliance of this provision wittingly or negligently shall render such prosecutor or judge criminally liable for obstruction of justice upon investigation and indictment by a grand jury.

Section 10. A criminal defendant, or the accused, in a crime punishable with a maximum penalty of less than one (1) year of imprisonment may be tried without a trial jury unless the accused demands for such trial by jury and, if so demanded, no increase in penalty of imprisonment or fine shall be imposed if found guilty by the jury. The foregoing sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, shall likewise apply to the civil liability and imprisonment penalty of the criminal defendant under this section.

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