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81.

Is the extrajudicial confession of a suspect obtained


without the assistance of a lawyer, but speaks of gospel
truth, admissible in evidence?
No. In PEOPLE VS. GALIT, 135 SCRA 465, PEOPLE VS.
PANFILO CABILES, 284 SCRA 199; and PEOPLE VS. TAN, 286
SCRA 207, it was held that even if the confession of the accused
speaks the truth, if it was made without the assistance of counsel, it is
inadmissible in evidence regardless of the absence of coercion or
even if it was voluntarily given.
In order that a confession is admissible, the following requisites
must be present:
the confession must be voluntary;
the confession must be made with the assistance of a competent and
independent counsel;
the confession must be express; and
the confession must be in writing.
The above requirements, however, are not applicable when the
suspect makes an spontaneous statement, not elicited through
questioning by the authorities, BUT GIVEN IN AN ORDINARY
MANNER WHEREBY THE ACCUSED ORALLY ADMITTED HAVING
COMMITTED THE CRIME. This was the decision of the Supreme
Court in the case of PEOPLE VS. ANDAN, March 3, 1997 when the
accused made a voluntary and verbal confession to the Municipal
Mayor that he committed the crime imputed to him. As such, his
uncounselled confession isadmissible in evidence.
82. What are the two (2) kinds of Coerced or Involuntary
Confessions under Section 12, Art. III of the Constitution?
The two (2) kinds of Involuntary or Coerced Confessions under Art.
III, Section 12 of the Constitution. These are:
confession which are the product of third degree methods such as
torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation; and
those which are given without the benefit of Miranda Warnings.
PEOPLE VS. OBRERO, 332 SCRA 190

83. What is the status of coerced confessions as evidence in


court?
Coerced or involuntary confessions are inadmissible as
evidence being the fruit of the poisoned tree.
84. Is the right to counsel satisfied if the suspect was
assisted by the Station Commander of the Western Police
District while he was being investigated by the policemen of
the same station? How about if the investigation is being
conducted by the NBI and the suspect was ordered assisted
by a lawyer-applicant therein?
There is no compliance of the constitutional requirement of
competent and independent counsel to assist an accused during
custodial investigation when the accused was assisted by the Station
Commander of the WPD, Atty. De los Reyes, while being investigated
by other policemen of the same police station because the interest of
the police is naturally adverse to the accused. In fact, the SC in the
case of PEOPLE VS. JANUARIO, 267 SCRA 608 held that a lawyer
applying for a position in the NBI could not validly assist an accused
being investigated then by the NBI. (PEOPLE VS. OBRERO, 332
SCRA 190)
85. Is the Right to Counsel available to a suspect during a
police line-up?
The Supreme Court had conflicting decisions on this aspect but
ended up with the rule that since the accused will not be made to
make any testimony during the police line-up, then he is not under
custodial investigation and therefore, there is no need for him to be
assisted by a lawyer. ( P vs. Usman Hassan, 157 SCRA 261;
Gamboa vs. Judge Cruz, 162 SCRA 642; DE LA TORRE VS. CA,
294 SCRA 196 and PEOPLE VS. HATTON)
86. Is there a valid custodial investigation if the lawyer who
assisted him during custodial investigation is a public
attorney who was not chosen by the accused himself but
given to him free of charge? Could the Fiscal also represent
the accused during custodial investigation to satisfy the

requirement of the Constitution that the accused is assisted


by counsel?
The counsel must be the choice of the accused or suspect. (P.
vs. Alegria, September 28, 1990) Also, the Fiscal could not have
protected the rights of the suspect, even if they are known to each
other, since the Fiscal is there for the private complainant. (P. vs.
Matos-Viduaya, September 11, 1990)
87. If the extrajudicial admission or confession of the
accused is declared inadmissible as evidence, must the
accused be acquitted as a matter of right?
No. In PEOPLE VS. ROLANDO FELIXMINIA y CAMACHO, GR
No. 125333, March 20, 2002, the Supreme Court held that though the
extrajudicial confession of the accused was declared inadmissible for
violation of his right to counsel, if there are evidence sufficient to
prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt, like circumstantial evidence,
then he can still be convicted of the crime charged. This is so
because [1] the compromising circumstances were duly proven which
were consistent with each other and which lead with moral certainty
to the conclusion that he was guilty of the crime charged; and [2] the
totality of such circumstances eliminated beyond doubt the possibility
of his innocence. In People vs. Mahinay, it was held that conviction
may be had on circumstantial evidence provided the following
requisites are present: [a] there is more than one circumstance; [b]
the facts from which the inferences are derived are proven; and [c]
the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce a
conviction beyond reasonable doubt.
88. May a convicted person be released from jail through
recognizance?
No. In ATTY. JULIANA ADALIM-WHITE VS. JUDGE ARNULFO
BUGTAS, RTC 2 BORONGAN, SAMAR, 475 SCRA 175, it was held
that respondent Judge is guilty of gross ignorance of the law for
ordering the release of Bagaporo pending the approval of his
application for parole and before the completion of the minimum
period of the sentence imposed upon him. It is patently erroneous to
release a convict on recognizance. Section 24, Rule 114 provides

that there shall no bail for a convict after final judgment. The only
exception is when the convict applies for Probation before he
commences to serve his sentence and that the offense and the
penalty for the offense is within the purview of the Probation Law.
Sections 5 and 16 of Rule 114 of the Rules of Court (on the different
kinds of bail) APPLIES ONLY TO AN ACCUSED UNDERGOING
PREVENTIVE IMPRISONMENT DURING TRIAL OR ON APPEAL.
THEY DO NOT APPLY TO A PERSON CONVICTED BY FINAL
JUDGMENT AND ALREADY SERVING SENTENCE.
89. May a judge require cash bond only?
No. The Rules provides for four (4) ways of posting bond and it
is grave abuse of discretion to require cash bond only. (Almeda vs.
Villaluz, 66 SCRA 38).
90. May an accused charged of a capital offense and the evidence of
guilt is strong be granted bail?
Yes. The purpose of the bond is to assure the court of the
presence of the accused during the trial of his case. If the probability
of flight is nil, then the accused may be allowed to post bail.
(BELTRAN VS. THE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, April, 2007)
Source:
Pre-Bar Quizzer in Political Law (Doctrinal Rulings, Requisites and
Definitions)
July, 2008 by Atty. Larry D. Gacayan
College of Law, University of the Cordilleras
Baguio City