I Is a legal process adapted by acivilized society in the prevention andsolution of crimes which is carried onthrough INVESTIGATION and thepersons suspected thereof is takeninto legal custody, prosecuted in acourt of law, and punished if foundguilty, or acquitted if found innocent,provision being made for his/hercorrection and rehabilitation
An overview of the Philippine Criminal Justice system The Philippines, like any other countrythat function under a system of ademocratic society, operates its criminaljustice system apparatus whereby societyidentifies, investigates, accuses, triesconvicts, punishes, and rehabilitationcriminal offenders. Hence, the PhilippinesCriminal Justice System may be viewed inthree (3) challenging perspectives, suchas the following:
First It assert the idea of deterrence, the notion that the threat of sanctions can prevent crimes by creating a fear of punishment for those who might break the law;Second It adheres on the principles of the retribution, the idea that criminal offenders deserve to suffer for the harm they have done, and their punishment should be proportionate to the harm inflicted; andThird It support on the notion of behavioral change, which proposes that criminal sanctions should aim to reform convicted criminal offenders so that they will stay away from crime in the future.
THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AS PART OF THE TOTAL SOCIAL SYSTEM IN THE PHILIPPINES In the Philippines the criminal justice line-agencies is composed of, the Police, Prosecution, Court, Correctional Institutions, Community ,as it is illustrated in the diagram below.
Economic systemEducational system Technological system Health care system Political system Criminal Justice system Other systems
PROSECUTION LAW ENFORCEMENTJUDICIAL COMMUNITY CORRECTIONAL
The Formal Criminal Justice Process One way of understanding the CriminalJustice is to view it as a process that takescriminal offender through a series of the decisionpoints beginning with the arrest and concludingwith the reentry into society. A comprehensiveview of formal Criminal Justice process wouldnormally start with the interactions of the criminaljustice components as it is shown on thediagram below whereby the flow of violatorspasses through criminal Justice Systemsequential order.
Community Violators CorrectionalLaw Enforcement Court Prosecutor Flow of violators through the Criminal Justice System
Police/Law Enforcement Specifically, the first stage in thecriminal justice process pertainspolice or Law enforcement activitieswhich is carried on throughINVESTIGATION of crimes that arereported to or discovered by thepolice or Law enforcers.
A. POLICE INVESTIGATION1.Initial contact The initial contact with the criminal justicesystem takes place as a result of a policeactions. Example. A police assigned on patrol observed aperson actually committing a crime, or contactedby a victim who reports a crime, the policerespond by going to the scene of the crime toinvestigate.
2. Investigation The purpose of the investigatory stage is to gather sufficient evidence to identify the suspect and support a legal arrest. The process of investigation includes but not limited to:a. Surveillance and observation of suspectsb. Taking of photographs surreptitiously or otherwise
c. Interview of persons with personal knowledge of factsd. Entrapment suspects ( with consent of the court) when feasiblee. Search of premises or persons and seizures of objects, subject to constitutional and statutory safeguardsf. Examination of public and other available records pertaining to persons involved in crimes
Arrest The arrest power of the police involved thetaking of a person into custody in accordancewith lawful order and holding the person toanswer for a violation of the criminal law. Custody The moment after an arrest is made ,the detained suspect is considered underpolice custody and is now restricted of hisfreedom of movement. The police maywish to search the suspect for weapon orcontraband.
Charging If the arresting officer or his superior believe that sufficient evidence exists the person is charge with specific crime for which he had been arrested. NOTE: In every stage of these processes, the police is mandated by law to appraise the person or suspect of his constitutional rights, otherwise the failure (intentional or unintentional) of the police will be held criminally liable for noncompliance thereof.B. REFERRAL After the formal investigation has been completed the police has to referred the investigation repiort to the prosecutors office, including the evidences (Physical or documentary proof) and the suspect if he is in custody.
C. COURT APPEARANCE/DUTY The police (investigator orarresting officer) when summon by thecourt must appear in court to stand aswitness for the prosecution.
PROSECUTION The prosecution arm of the government isgenerally vested in the department of justice(Administrative code of 1987) under thedirection, supervision and control of thesecretary of justice where the interest of thegovernment is in issue. The prosecution serviceis made up of the Chief State Prosecutor, TheRegional Prosecutors, The ProvincialProsecutors, The City/Municipal Prosecutors,and such others Prosecutorial offices as may beestablish by law.
Secretary of the Dept. of Justice Undersecretary of the Dept. of JusticeCHIEF STATE PROSECUTOR Investigation andAppeal Prosecution DivisionDivision Legal Opinion DivisionRegional Sate Prosecutor, ProvincialProsecutor City Municipal Prosecutor
1. EVALUATE, screen and review the police investigation report referred to them or other complaint filed directly with them by individual persons (e.g. private citizens who are victims or have personal knowledge of crime, government officers in charge with the enforcement of the law violated.)
2. FILE THE CORRESPONDING INFORMATION OR CRIMINAL COMPLAINT in the proper court of law on the basis of the evaluation of the proof (evidence at hand)3. PROSECUTE The alleged offender in the court of law. That is, if the element of the crime alleged to have been committed is present. It is the prosecutor task of bringing the offender to the court through criminal proceedings.
THE PUBLIC ATTORNEY’S OFFICE (PAO)THE DEFENDER The 1987 Philippine Constitution state in part, “in all criminal prosecution, the accused shall enjoy the rights to have assistance of counsel.” Everyone rich or poor, is entitled to be defended by a Public Defense attorney when charges are brought against him or her, that is, if the individual cannot afford to pay or hire a private defense counsel, the states must provide one free of charge.
As soon as a person is arrested he or sheneeds a defense attorney. If such a need doesnot immediately come to mind, the policeroutinely remind the suspect that, “you have theright to Attorney.” And, the role of the defenseattorney begins almost as soon as the arrestoccurs, for the accused needs the assistance ofcounsel to make sure that the interrogation andother pretrial procedures are conducted in aconstitutional manner. The defense counsel mayeven conduct his own investigationindependently to assert the defense of theaccused.
The organizational structure of the department of justice show the office of the Public Attorney and its functions Secretary of JusticeUndersecretary of Justice PUBLIC ATTORNEY’S OFFICE Regional Offices District/City Offices
Function To provide free legal assistance and services to indigent members of society.Objectives Humanitarian and democratization of justice.Activities 1. to render legal assistance, advice and counseling to indigents; 2. to render legal documentation services to indigents; 3. to extend mediation services to indigents; 4. to represent indigents or immediate members of their families in all civil and criminal cases, including administrative and labor cases; and 5. to assist or represent indigents detention prisoners upon request.
COURT Are the judicial tribunals upon which thejudicial power of the government is vested in oneSupreme Court and such other courts that maybe established by law. The Supreme Court is thehighest court of the land. It is a review court oflast resort, for no appeal lies its judgments andfinal orders. It exercise appellate jurisdiction overcases decided by the Court of Appeals orRegional Trial Courts. As a rule only question oflaw may be raised in appeal to it.
Appeals to the Supreme Court are never amatter of right. The only exception to this rule iswhen the penalty of death, reclusion perpetua,or life imprisonment has been imposed either bythe Regional Trial Court (RTC) or the Court ofAppeals; where the case goes automatically tothe Supreme Court for review, even if theaccused does not appeal. And in any of thesethree cases (penalty of death, reclusionperpetua, or life imprisonment) the issues offacts and law may be raised before and decidedby the Supreme Court
Judicially, the power of the courts are: 1. To settle actual controversiesinvolving rights which legally demandableand enforceable, and 2. To determine whether or not therehas been a grave abuse of discretionamounting to lack or excess of jurisdictionon the part of any branch or instrumentallyof the gevernment.
Jurisdiction of the Courts Jurisdiction as used in a judicial point of viesis defined as the power to try and decide or hearand determine a cause. To try and hear simply means to receiveevidence from the parties (including theirarguments according to fixed of rules). To decide or to determine means to resolvethe dispute by applying the law to the facts(established by evidence).
THE BASIC COURT SYSTEM IN THE PHILIPPINES In the Supreme Court (SC)Philippines theregular courts Review Courtengage in the Court of Appealsadministration (CA)of justice isorganized intofour (4) levels Regional Trialas depicted in Court (RTC)the following Trial courts Metropolitan TCdiagram MTCC MCTC
THE FOUR-LEVEL INTEGRATED COURT SYSTEM IN THE PHILIPPINES FIRST LEVEL COURTSA. Metropolitan Trial CourtsB. Municipal Trial Courts (in Cities)C. Municipal Circuit Trial Courts They try and decide only the particular types or classes of cases specified by law. Criminal action within their respective jurisdiction includes those involving violation of city and municipal ordinances committed within their respective jurisdictions, and offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years.
SECOND LEVEL COURTS At the second level courts are theRegional Trial Courts which composes ofseveral branches. They are courts ofgeneral jurisdiction; they try and decidenot only the particular or kind of casesassigned to them by law, but also thosewhich are not otherwise within thejurisdiction of the courts of the first level.
THIRD LEVEL COURT At the third level is the Court ofAppeals (CA). It is essentially an appellatecourt (not a trial court), it review casesappealed to it from the Regional TrialCourts. It may review cases on Questionof facts and law.
FOURTH LEVEL COURTAt the fourth level court is the SupremeCourt (SC). It is the highest court of theland. It is the court of last resort, for noappeal lies from its final judgments andfinal orders. It exercises appellatejurisdiction over cases decided by theCourt of Appeals or the Regional TrialCourts. As a rule, only question of lawmay be raised in appeal to it.
In Summary, the role of the Courts in criminal action proper start with: a. issuance of the Warrant of Arrest b. to Arraignment c. to Pre-trial Conference d. to trial e. to judgment f. an d finally to the execution of the sentence.
CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS The fourth stage in the Criminal Justiceprocess refers to the penal or correctionalprocess which primarily involved in the custodyand safe-keeping of convicts criminal offenders.Hence, when the court find the accused guilty(as charged) beyond reasonable doubt, itsentence him with the corresponding penalty.And, if the penalty becomes final and executory,the offender is passed on the CorrectionalInstitutions.
Further, as a form of punishment, theisolation of the convicts by imprisonmentfor the period laid down by the courts, or inextreme cases, their execution by themethod prescribed by law, includingcorrection and rehabilitation, are functionsundertaken by the institution, set up by thelaw; that is, the Bureau of Corrections,The Parole and Probation Administration
COMMUNITY The fifth stage in the criminal justice processrefers to the participation of the community atlarge in the detection and prevention of all formof criminal activities. In particular, members ofthe community having knowledge of factsrelevant to the investigation and prosecution ofcrimes, are expected to cooperate with the lawenforcers and investigators, by reporting crimesand giving of evidence against the offenders.The community (law-abiding citizens) is a potentsource of information as regards to crimes andcriminals.
Information Filed Decision to Preliminary Charge Examination Arrest or Defendant NOTInvestigation Held to Answer C.T Decision to Charge C.T Guilty Parole Pleading Convicted Plea and/or Convicted Negotiation Arraignment Probation Not Trial Guilty Case TerminatedC.T Acquitted C.T Release after service of sentence ROUTE OF THE ACCUSATORY PLEADING IN FELONY PROSECUTION