Bar Q and A #26

The confession of Jose Walangtakot is inadmissible in evidence. The warning given to him is insufficient in accordance with the ruling in People v. Duero, 104 SCRA 379, he should have been warned also that he has the right to remain silent and that any statement he makes may be used as evidence against him. Besides, under Art. III, Sec. 12(1) of the Constitution, the counsel assisting a person being investigated must be independent. Assistant Fiscal Aniceto Malaputo could not assist Jose Walangtakot. As held in People v. Viduya, 189 SCRA 403, his function is to prosecute criminal cases. To allow him to act as defense counsel during  custodial  investigations would render nugatory the constitutional rights of the accused during custodial investigation. What the Constitution requires is a counsel who will effectively undertake the defense of his client without any conflict of interest. The A of Jose Walangtakot indicates that he did not fully understand his rights. Hence, it cannot be said that he knowingly and intelligently waived those rights.

According to the ruling in People v. Mirantes, 209 SCRA 179, such receipt is in effect an extrajudicial confession of the commission of an offense. Hence, if it was signed without the assistance of counsel, in accordance with Section 12(3), Article IV of the Constitution, it is inadmissible in evidence. (People v. Duhan, 142 SCRA 100)

NO, the statements of A cannot be presented in court as his confession. He was not assisted by counsel during the actual questioning. There is no showing that the lawyer who belatedly conferred with him fully explained to him the nature and consequences of his confession. In People v. Compil 244 SCRA 135, the Supreme Court held that the accused must be assisted by counsel during the actual questioning and the belated assistance of counsel before he signed the confession does not cure the defect.

The NBI was not correct in dismissing Atty. Santos and appointing Atty. Barroso in his stead. Article III, Section 12(1) of the 1987 Constitution requires that a person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have no less than "competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice". This is meant to stress the primacy accorded to the voluntariness of the choice under the uniquely stressful conditions of a custodial investigation. The appointment of Atty. Barroso is questionable because he was visiting a relative working in the NBI and thus his independence is doubtful. Considering that Mariano was deprived of counsel of his own choice, the statement is inadmissible in evidence. (People v. Januario, G.R. No. 98252, February 7, 1997)

YES. The writ of amparo is an extraordinary and independent remedy that provides rapid judicial relief, as it partakes of a summary proceeding and requires only substantial evidence to make the appropriate interim and permanent reliefs to the petitioner. It serves both preventive and curative reliefs in addressing extrajudicial abduction and torture. Temporary protection orders are merely intended to assist the Court before it can arrive at a judicious determination of the amparo petition. A temporary protection order, being an interim relief, can only be granted before final adjudication on the amparo case is made. The privilege of the writ of amparo, once granted, already entails the protection of the aggrieved party. Thus, since  the writ of amparo was already granted and issued, there is no more need to issue a temporary protection order (Yano v.   Sanchez,   G.R.   No.   186640,   Feb.   11,   2010; Rodriguez v. Macapagal-Arroyo, G.R. Nos. 191805 & 193160, Nov. 15, 2011)

a.) Custodial investigation refers to any questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody [People v. Basay, G.R. No. 86941, March 3, 1993]. The rights of a person under custodial investigation include the right to remain silent, the right to have competent and independent counsel, and the right to be informed of these rights. [Art. III, Sec. 12(1)]

b.) NO, PNP’s denial of Mrs W’s request is not violative of her right to counsel. In administrative proceedings need not be clothed with the attributes of a judicial proceeding. Thus, while desirable, the right to counsel is not available in administrative proceedings. Since the proceedings involved in this case is an investigation being conducted by a PNP committee, which is administrative and not a custodial investigation, Mrs. W is not entitled to the assistance of counsel. [Cudia v. The Superintendent of the PMA, G.R. No. 211362, February 24, 2015].

In accordance with Art. III. sec. 13 of the Constitution, Johann may be denied bail if the evidence of his guilt is strong considering that the crime with which he is charged is punishable by reclusion perpetua. It is thus not a matter of right for him to be released on bail in such case. The court must first make a determination of the strength of the evidence on the basis of evidence already presented by the prosecution, unless it desires to present some more, and give the accused the opportunity to present countervailing evidence. If having done this the court finds the evidence not to be strong, then it becomes the right of Johann to be admitted to bail. The error of the trial court lies in outrightly denying the motion for bail of Johann.