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Regional State Prosecutor Region 7

Rules on Appeals
Rules on Appeals July 10, 2000

DEPARTMENT CIRCULAR NO. 70-A SUBJECT: DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY TO REGIONAL STATE PROSECUTORS TO RESOLVE APPEALS IN CERTAIN CASES In order to expedite the disposition of appealed cases governed by Department Circular No. 70 dated July 3, 2000 ("2000 NPS RULE ON APPEAL"), all petitions for review of resolutions of Provincial/City Prosecutors in cases cognizable by the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts, except in the National Capital Region, shall be filed with the Regional State Prosecutor concerned who shall resolve such petitions with finality in accordance with the pertinent rules prescribed in the said Department Circular. The foregoing delegation of authority notwithstanding, the Secretary of Justice may, pursuant to his power of supervision and control over the entire National Prosecution Service and in the interest of justice, review the resolutions of the Regional State Prosecutors in appealed cases. This Circular shall be published once in two (2) newspapers of general circulation, after which it shall take effect on September 1, 2000.ARTEMIO G. TUQUERO Secretary of Justice July 3, 2000 DEPARTMENT CIRCULAR NO. 70 SUBJECT: 2000 NPS RULE ON APPEAL In the interest of expeditious and efficient administration of justice and in line with recent jurisprudence, the following Rule governing appeals from resolutions of prosecutors in the National Prosecution Service, to be known as the 2000 NPS Rule on Appeal, is hereby adopted. SECTION 1. Scope. - This Rule shall apply to appeals from resolutions of the Chief State Prosecutor, Regional State Prosecutors and Provincial/City Prosecutors in cases subject of preliminary investigation/ reinvestigation. SECTION 2. Where to appeal. An appeal may be brought to the Secretary of Justice within the period and in the manner herein provided. SECTION 3. Period to appeal. The appeal shall be taken within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the resolution, or of the denial of the motion for reconsideration/reinvestigation if one has been filed within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the assailed resolution. Only one motion for reconsideration shall be allowed. SECTION 4. How appeal taken. An aggrieved party may appeal by filing a verified petition for review with the Office of the Secretary, Department of Justice, and by furnishing copies thereof to the adverse party and the Prosecution Office issuing the appealed resolution.SECTION 5. Contents of petition. - The petition shall contain or state: (a) the names and addresses of the parties; (b) the Investigation Slip number (I.S. No.) and criminal case number, if any, and title of the case, including the offense charged in the complaint; (c) the venue of the preliminary investigation; (d) the specific material dates showing that it was filed on time; (e) a clear and concise statement of the facts, the assignment of errors, and the reasons or arguments relied upon for the allowance of the appeal; and (f) proof of service of a copy of the petition to the adverse party and the Prosecution Office concerned. The petition shall be accompanied by legible duplicate original or certified true copy of the resolution appealed from together with legible true copies of the complaint, affidavits/sworn statements and other evidence submitted by the parties during the preliminary investigation/ reinvestigation. If an information has been filed in court pursuant to the appealed resolution, a copy of the motion to defer proceedings filed in court must also accompany the petition. The investigating/reviewing/approving prosecutor shall not be impleaded as party respondent in the petition. The party taking the appeal shall be referred to in the petition as either "Complainant-Appellant" or "Respondent- Appellant". SECTION 6. Effect of failure to comply with requirements. The failure of the petitioner to comply with any of the foregoing requirements shall constitute sufficient ground for the dismissal of the petition. SECTION 7. Action on the petition. The Secretary of Justice may dismiss the petition outright if he finds the same to be patently without merit or manifestly intended for delay, or when the issues raised therein are too unsubstantial to require consideration. If an information has been filed in court pursuant to the appealed resolution, the petition shall not be given due course if the accused had already been arraigned. Any arraignment made after the filing of the petition shall not bar the Secretary of Justice from exercising his power of review. SECTION 8. Comment. Within a non-extendible period of fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy of the petition, the adverse party may file a verified comment, indicating therein the date of such receipt and submitting proof of service of his comment to the petitioner and the Prosecution Office concerned. Except when directed by the Secretary of Justice, the investigating/reviewing/approving prosecutor need not submit any comment. If no comment is filed within the prescribed period, the appeal shall be resolved on the basis of the petition. SECTION 9. Effect of the appeal. Unless the Secretary of Justice directs otherwise, the appeal shall not hold the filing of the corresponding information in court on the basis of the finding of probable cause in the appealed resolution. The appellant and the trial prosecutor shall see to it that, pending resolution of the appeal, the proceedings in court are held in abeyance. SECTION 10. Withdrawal of appeal. Notwithstanding the perfection of the appeal, the petitioner may withdraw the same at any time before it is finally resolved, in which case the appealed resolution shall stand as though no appeal has been taken. SECTION 11. Reinvestigation. If the Secretary of Justice finds it necessary to reinvestigate the case, the reinvestigation shall be held by the investigating prosecutor, unless, for compelling reasons, another prosecutor is designated to conduct the same. SECTION 12. Disposition of the appeal. The Secretary may reverse, affirm or modify the appealed resolution. He may, motu proprio or upon motion, dismiss the petition for review on any of the following grounds: That the petition was filed beyond the period prescribed in Section 3 hereof; That the procedure or any of the requirements herein provided has not been complied with; That there is no showing of any reversible error;
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Regional State Prosecutor Region 7

That the appealed resolution is interlocutory in nature, except when it suspends the proceedings based on the alleged existence of a prejudicial question; That the accused had already been arraigned when the appeal was taken; That the offense has already prescribed; and That other legal or factual grounds exist to warrant a dismissal. SECTION 13. Motion for reconsideration. The aggrieved party may file a motion for reconsideration within a non-extendible period of ten (10) days from receipt of the resolution on appeal, furnishing the adverse party and the Prosecution Office concerned with copies thereof and submitting proof of such service. No second or further motion for reconsideration shall be entertained. SECTION 14. Repealing clause. This Circular supersedes Department Order No. 223 dated June 30, 1993 and all other Department issuances inconsistent herewith. SECTION 15. Effectivity. This Circular shall be published once in two (2) newspapers of general circulation, after which it shall take effect on September 1, 2000. ARTEMIO G. TUQUERO Secretary of Justice The Witness Protection Program (Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Program, R.A. 6981) What is the Witness Protection Program? It is a program established under Republic Act No. 6981,. "The Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act", which seeks to encourage a person who has witnessed or has knowledge of the commission of a crime to testify before a court or quasijudicial body, or before an investigating authority, by protecting him from reprisals and from economic dislocation. Who can be admitted into the Program? - Any person who has knowledge of or information on the commission of a crime and has testified or is testifying or is willing to testify. - A witness in a congressional investigation, upon the recommendation of the legislative committee where his testimony is needed and with the approval of the Senate President or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the case may be. - A witness who participated in the commission of a crime and who desires to be a State witness.

- An accused who is discharged from an information or criminal complaint by the court in order that he may be a State witness. Who are disqualified for admission into the Program? An applicant will not be admitted into the program if: - The offense in which his testimony will be used is not a grave felony; - His testimony cannot be substantially corroborated in its material points; - He or any member of his family within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity has not been threatened with death or bodily injury or there is no likelihood that he will be killed, forced, intimidated, harassed or corrupted to prevent him from testifying or to testify falsely or evasively because or on account of his testimony; and - If the applicant is a law enforcement officer even if he will testify against other law enforcement officers. The immediate members of the applicant may, however, be admitted into the program. How is a person admitted to the Program? The person in danger or his or her family may get an application form from the Secretariat, Witness Protection Security and Benefit Program. This is at the Department of Justice building in Padre Faura, Manila . The applicant may also get the form from the nearest Regional State Prosecutor. The proceedings involving the application for admission, the action taken thereon and the information or documents submitted in support of the application are confidential. They cannot be released without the written order of the Department of Justice or the proper court What happens if an applicant is qualified to be a witness? The witness is required to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Government. What benefits may a witness under the Program receive? The benefits include the following: - Security protection and escort services. - Immunity from criminal prosecution and not to be subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for any transaction, matter or thing concerning his compelled testimony or books, documents or writings produced. - Secure housing facility. - Assistance in obtaining a means of livelihood. - Reasonable traveling expenses and subsistence allowance while acting as - Free medical treatment, hospitalization and medicine for any injury or witness. - Burial benefits of not less than Ten Thousand pesos (P10,000.00) if the participation in the Program.
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a witness.

illness incurred or suffered while acting as a

witness is killed because of his

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Regional State Prosecutor Region 7

- Free education from primary to college level for the minor or dependent permanently incapacitated.

children of a witness who dies or is

- Non-removal or demotion in work because of absences due to his being a witness and payment of full salary or wage while acting as witness. What will happen to a witness who refuses or fails to testify? He may be arrested or detained and prosecuted for perjury or contempt. When is a witness discharged from the Program? A witness is discharged: - When he has already testified or has completed his witness duty; - If he fails or refuses to testify; - If he is no longer regarded as a necessary witness; or - If the danger falls away. What benefits are given to a witness who is honorably discharged from the Program? After being honorably discharged as a witness, he and any member of his family within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity may be relocated in an area where he will be safe and/or given a new personal identity. He may also be given one-time financial assistance for his support and that of his family.Board of Claims What is the law creating the Board of Claims ? Republic Act No. 7309 is the law creating the Board of Claims under the Department of Justice granting compensation for victims of unjust imprisonment or detention and victims of violent crimes. What is the rationale for the enactment of the law? One of the more vexing problems in the area of justice and human rights is the implementation of the constitutional provision against the deprivation of life, liberty and property without due process of law. Persons have been accused and imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, only to be subsequently acquitted. Government and society have become notably indifferent to victims of crimes and criminals. A judicial way of filing a claim for compensation may be too long. Congress opted for an administrative procedure of filing the claims by creating the Board of Claims. Who may apply for compensation? - A person who was unjustly accused convicted and imprisoned and subsequently released by virtue of a judgment of acquittal; - Person who was unjustly detained and released without being charged; - A person who is a victim of arbitrary detention by the authorities as final judgment of the court; or defined in the Revised Penal Code under a

- A person who is a victim of a violent crime which includes rape and offenses committed with malice which resulted in death or serious physical and/or psychological injuries, permanent incapacity or disability, insanity, abortion, serious trauma, or committed with torture, cruelty or barbarity. When should a claim be filed? The claim should be filed with the Board by he person entitled to compensation under this Act within six (6) months after being released from imprisonment or detention or from the date he suffered damage or injury; otherwise he is deemed to have waived his claim. How is a claim filed? A claimant may file a claim with the board by filling up an application form provided for the purpose with the Secretariat of the Board of Claims, Department of Justice, Padre Faura Street , Ermita, Manila . Thereafter, he will be interviewed and he will be duly notified of the action taken by the Board. How much is given to a qualified applicant? • For the victims of unjust imprisonment, the compensation shall be based on the number of months of imprisonment and every fraction thereof shall be considered one month, but in no case shall such compensation exceed ONE THOUSAND PESOS (P1,000.00) per month. In all other cases the maximum for which the Board may approved a claim shall not exceed TEN THOUSAND PESOS (P10,000.00) or the amount necessary to reimburse the claimant the expenses incurred for hospitalization, medical treatment, loss of wage, loss of support or other expenses directly related to the injury, whichever is lower to be determined by the Board.When is the effective date of R.A. 7309 for the purpose of processing of applications for payment of claims? Sec. 12 of R.A. No. 7309 provides: "This Act shall take effect after its publication in two (2) newspapers of general R. A. No. 7309 was published on 13 April 1992 in the Philippine Star and Philippine Daily Inquirer, hence, the effectivity day of R.A. No. 7309 is 14 April 1992. The provisions of the Act shall be applied prospectively. All incidents or bases for filing an application under Sec. 3 of R.A. 7309 must have happened on or after 14 April 1992 and within the period provided for in No. 4, to be covered by the law.May the decision of the Board of Claims be appealed? Yes, Section 8 provides that: "Any aggrieved claimant may appeal, within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the resolution of the Board, to the Secretary of Justice whose decision shall be final and executory."

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