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Section 1. Concept.

Inquest is an informal and summary investigation conducted b y a public prosecutor in criminal cases involving persons arrested and detained without the benefit of a warrant of arrest issued by the c ourt for the purpose of determining whether or not said persons should remain un der custody and correspondingly be charged in court. SEC. 2. Designation of Inquest Officers. TheCity or Provincial Prosecu-tor shall designate theProsecutors assigned toinquest duties and shallfurnish the Philipp ine Na-tional Police (PNP) a list of their names and their sche-dule of assignme nts. If,however, there is only oneProsecutor in the area, allinquest cases shall be re-ferred to him for appropri-ate action.Unless otherwise di-rected by the C ity or Pro-vincial Prosecutor, thoseassigned to inquest dutiesshall discharge th eir func-tions during the hours of their designated assign-ments and only at the police stations/headquarters of the PNP in order to expedite and facilitate the disposi-tion of inquest cases. SEC. 3. Commencement and Termination of Inquest. The inquest proceedingsshall be considered commenced upon receipt by the Inquest Officer from the law en-forcem ent authorities of the complaint/referral documents which should include: a. the affidavit of arrest; b. the investigation report; c. the statement of the complainant and witnesses; and d. other supporting evidence gathered by the police in the course of the lattersi nvestigation of the criminal incident involving the arrested or detained person. The inquest Officer shall, as far as practicable, cause the affidavit of arrest andstatements/affidavits of the complainant and the witnesses to be subscribed a nd swornto before him by the arresting officer and the affiants. The inquest proceedings must be terminated within the period prescribed underthe provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended. * SEC. 4. Particular Documents Required in Specific Cases. The submission, present ation of the documents listed herein below should as far as practicable, be re-q uired in the following cases by the Inquest Officer. Violation of the Anti-Fencing Law (PD 1612) a. a list/inventory of the articles and items subject of the offense; and b. statement of their respective value Illegal Possession of Explosives (PD 1866) a. chemistry report duly signed by the forensic chemist and b. photograph of the explosives, if readily available. Violation of the Fisheries Law (PD 704) (now RA 8550) a. photograph of the confiscated fish, if readily available; and b. certification of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources; Violation of the Forestry Law (PD 705) a. scale sheets containing the volume and species of the forest products confiscated, number of pieces and other important details such as estimated value of t heproducts confiscated; b. certification of Department of Environment and Natural Resources/Bureau of Fo rest Management; and c. seizure receipt. The submission of the foregoing documents shall no absolutely be required if the reare other forms of evidence submitted which will sufficiently establish the fa

cts soughtto be proved by the foregoing documents. SEC. 5. Incomplete documents. When the documents presented are not com-plete to establish probable cause, the Inquest Officer shall direct the law enforcementag ency to submit the required evidence within the period prescribed under the prov i-sions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended; otherwise, the Inq uest Officer shall order the release of the detained person and, where the inque st is conducted outside of office hours, direct the law enforcement agency conce rned to file the case withthe City or Provincial Prosecutor for appropriate acti on. SEC. 6. Presence of the detained person. The presence of the detained personwho is under custody shall be ensured during the proceedings. However, the production of the detained person before the Inquest Officer may be dispensed with in the following cases: a. if he is confined in a hospital; b. if he is detained in a place under maximum security; c. if production of the detained person involve security risks; or d. if the presence of the detained person is not feasible by reason of age, heal th,sex and other similar factors.The absence of the detained person by reason of any of the foregoing factors mustbe noted by the Inquest Officer and reflected in the record of the case. SEC. 7. Charges and counter-charges. All charges and counter-charges arisingfrom the same incident shall, as far as practicable, be consolidated and inquested j ointlyto avoid contradictory or inconsistent dispositions. SEC. 8. Initial duty of the inquest officer. The Inquest Officer must first dete r-mine if the arrest of the detained person was made in accordance with the prov isions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 5, Rule 113 of the 1985 Rules on Cri minal Procedure,as amended, which provide that arrests without a warrant may be effected: a. when, in the presence of the arresting officer, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; or b. when an offense has in fact just been committed, and the arresting officer ha spersonal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has commi tted it. For this purpose, the Inquest Officer may summarily examine the arresting offi-c ers on the circumstances surrounding the arrest or apprehension of the detained per-son. SEC. 9. Where arrest not properly effected. Should the Inquest Officer find that the arrest was not made in accordance with the Rules, he shall: a. recommend the release of the person arrested or detained; b. note down the disposition of the referral document; c. prepare a brief memorandum indicating the reasons for the action taken; and d. forward the same, together with the record of the case, to the City or Provin -cial Prosecutor for appropriate action. Where the recommendation for the release of the detained person is approved byth e City or Provincial Prosecutor but the evidence on hand warrant the conduct of aregular preliminary investigation, the order of release shall be served on the officer having custody of said detainee and shall direct the said officer to ser ve upon the detainee the subpoena or notice of preliminary investigation, togeth er with the copies of the charge sheet or complaint, affidavits or sworn stateme nts of the complainant andhis witnesses and other supporting evidence. SEC. 10. Where the arrest property effected. Should the Inquest Officer find tha

t the arrest was properly effected, the detained person should be asked if he de siresto avail himself of a preliminary investigation, if he does, he shall be ma de to execute awaiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code , as amended, with theassistance of a lawyer and, in case of non-availability of a lawyer, a responsible personof his choice. The preliminary investigation may be conducted by the Inquest Officer himself or by any other Assistant Prosecutor to whom the case may be assigned by theCity or Provincial Prosecutor, which inv estigation shall be terminated within fifteen(15) days from its inception. SEC. 11. Inquest proper. Where the detained person does not opt for a prelimi-na ry investigation or otherwise refuses to execute the required waiver, the Inques t Officer shall proceed with the inquest by examining the sworn statements/affid avits of the complainant and the witnesses and other supporting evidence submitt ed to him. If necessary, the Inquest Officer may require the presence of the complainant an dwitnesses and subject them to an informal and summary investigation or examinat ionfor purposes of determining the existence of probable cause. SEC. 12. Meaning of probable cause. Probable cause exists when the evidencesubmi tted to the Inquest Officer engenders a well-founded belief that a crime has bee ncommitted and that the arrested or detained person is probably guilty thereof. SEC. 13. Presence of probable cause. If the Inquest Officer finds that probablec ause exists, he shall forthwith prepare the corresponding complaint/information withthe recommendation that the same be filed in court. The complaint/informatio n shallindicate the offense committed and the amount of bail recommended, if bai lable.Thereafter, the record of the case, together with the prepared com-plaint/ information, shall be forwarded to the City or Provincial Prosecutor for appropr i-ate action.The complaint/information may be filed by the Inquest Officer himse lf or by anyother Assistant Prosecutor to whom the case may be assigned by the C ity or ProvincialProsecutor. SEC. 14. Contents of information. The information shall, among others, contain: a. a certification by the filing Prosecutor that he is filing the same in accord ancewith the provisions of Section 7, Rule 112 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Pro cedure, asamended, in cases cognizable by the Regional Trial Court; b. the full name and alias, if any, and address of the accused; c. the place where the accused is actually detained; d. the full names and addresses of the complainant and witnesses; e. a detailed description of the recovered item, if any; f. the full name and address of the evidence custodian; g. the age and date of birth of the complainant or the accused, if eighteen (19) years of age or below; and h. the full names and addresses of the parents, custodians or guardians of themi nor complainant or accused, as the case may be. SEC. 15. Absence of probable cause. If the Inquest Officer finds no probablecaus e, he shall: a. recommend the release of the arrested or detained person; b. note down his disposition on the referral document; c. prepare a brief memorandum indicating the reasons for the action taken; and d. forthwith forward the record of the case to the City or Provincial Prosecutor forappropriate action. If the recommendation of the Inquest Officer for the release of the arrested or de-tained person is approved, the order of release shall be served on the office r havingcustody of the said detainee. Should the City or Provincial Prosecutor disapprove the recommendation of re-lea

se, the arrested or detained person shall remain under custody, and the correspo nd-ing complaint/information shall be filed by the City or Provincial Prosecutor or by anyAssistant Prosecutor to whom the case may be assigned. SEC. 16. Presence at the crime scene. Whenever a dead body is found and there is reason to believe that the death resulted from foul play, or from the unlawful acts oromissions of other persons and such fact has been brought to his attentio n, the InquestOfficer shall: a. forthwith proceed to the crime scene or place of discovery of the dead person ; b. cause an immediate autopsy to be conducted by the appropriate medico-legaloff icer in the locality or the PNP medico-legal division or the NBI medico-legal of fice, asthe case may be; c. direct the police investigator to cause the taking of photographs of the crim escene or place of discovery of the dead body; d. supervise the investigation to be conducted by the police authorities as well asthe recovery of all articles and pieces of evidence found thereat and see to it that thesame are safeguarded and the chain of the custody thereof properly re corded; and e. submit a written report of his finding to the City or Provincial Prosecutor f orappropriate action SEC. 17. Sandiganbayan cases. Should any complaint cognizable by the Sandi-ganba yan be referred to an Inquest Officer for investigation, the latter shall, after con-ducting the corresponding inquest proceeding, forthwith forward the complet e record tothe City or Provincial Prosecutor for appropriate action.