THE SEVENTH anniversary of the massacre of 58 civilians, including 32 journalists, in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao, draws our community once again to gather together, move through the motions of protest, raise voices to plea for justice for the victims and their surviving families. Some of the orphaned children are now young adults, the infants and toddlers left behind by fallen media workers are grown, with little memory of their lost parents. The widows, parents, brothers, and sisters have ceased their deep mourning perhaps because life must go on.

This year we are struck sharply by the impact of the impunity, the failure of the state to punish. Less than a week ago, a dictator was laid to rest in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, to favor his family’s request for military honors and a place for his remains among heroes. Ferdinand Marcos claimed the presidency for life, manipulating the political system, controlling the economy for his personal gain and those of his cronies, his military and police dealing with every challenge to authority with warrantless arrests and detention, torture, salvaging, causing countless dissidents to disappear. Last Friday, the military did all to please his family, as a favor to the sitting president.

Meanwhile, the Ampatuan trial has taken so long, we need to rouse our memories to revive the cause. This long wait and the Marcos burial in the LNMB are different kinds of political phenomena, but these show up the state’s uneven instruments for justice and the unequal responses to the needs of the rich and the poor. Both reflect the culture of impunity that afflicts all citizens, especially those who have no means for legal representation in courts when their rights or lives are taken.

The trial of the 195 accused in Ampatuan Massacre was designed for delay, a nod to another political alliance. A lengthy trial allows more time for highly paid lawyers to manipulate the court system, argue through technical loopholes. Delays can wear down or lose witnesses and their testimonies. Sanctioned by the rules of court, the system seems designed only for lawyers and those who can afford them.

Three years ago, in December 2013, the Supreme Court has passed a resolution to allow the judge to decide cases against the accused separately, but no rulings have been made as yet on any of the persons charged. Meanwhile, the bail petition of the primary accused, Datu Andal “Unsay”Ampatuan Jr. is still pending. Indeed, the prosecution lost two witnesses who were killed in separate incidents.

Under the previous administration, an official of the Department of Justice (DOJ) had assured the public and the families of the massacre victims that there will be convictions by the end of President Aquino’s term in 2016. That deadline has now passed.

The call for justice is not for victims alone but for all Filipinos. For what can the future hold for us if the state, its officials and instruments serve only the rich and powerful. The culture of impunity is selective. Conviction and punishment are decided quickly when the offenders are poor and without the means to pay for legal defense.

This call for justice points to the need of reform of the judicial system. Its weaknesses sustain the conditions of impunity which in turn punishes us all equally.

Text by Jil Danielle Caro, Photos and Video by Davinci Maru


Kin of victims, various groups, media organizations, advocates, and individuals held a demonstration in Mendiola, Manila yesterday to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre.

Seven years ago, the deadliest single attack on media in the Philippine history happened at Sitio Masalay, Barangay Salman, Ampatuan. Moreover, the Ampatuan Massacre is also considered as the worst incident of electoral violence in the country.

Fifty eight (58) were killed, including 32 media workers, 9 from the Mangudadatu clan, 6 supporters, 3 lawyers, 2 van drivers and 6 incidental victims, or those who were during the checkpoint at the time of interception.

The full names of the Ampatuan massacre victims are as follow:

Media workers:

  • Benjie Adolfo
  • Henry Araneta
  • McDelbert Arriola
  • Rubello Bataluna
  • Arturo Betia
  • Romeo Jimmy Cabillo
  • Marites Cablitas
  • Hannibal Cachuela
  • Jepon Cadagdagon
  • John Caniban
  • Lea Dalmacio
  • Noel Decina
  • Gina Dela Cruz
  • Jhoy Duhay
  • Jolito Evardo
  • Santos Gatchalian
  • Bienvenido Legarte, Jr.
  • Lindo Lupogan
  • Ernesto Maravilla
  • Rey Merisco
  • Marife Montaño
  • Rossell Morales
  • Victor Nuñez
  • Ronnie Perante
  • Joel Parcon
  • Fernando Razon
  • Alejandro Bong Reblando
  • Napoleon Salaysay
  • Francisco Subang
  • Andres Teodoro
  • Daniel Tiamson
  • Reynaldo Momay

Mangudadatu Clan:

  • Bai Genalin Tiamzon Mangudadatu
  • Bai Eden Gaguil Mangudadatu
  • Bai Farinah Mangudadatu Hassan
  • Rowena Ante Mangudadatu
  • Surayyda Gaguil Bernan
  • Wahida Ali Kaliman
  • Mamotabai Mangudadatu
  • Raida Abdul Sapalon
  • Faridah Sabdullah Gaguil


  • Pinky Balayman
  • Lailani Balayman
  • Eugene Demillo Pamansag
  • Abdillah Ayada
  • Rahima Palawan
  • Meriam Calimbol


  • Cynthia Oquendo
  • Concepcion Brizuela Jayme
  • Catalino Oquendo

Van Drivers:

  • Norton Edza Ebus
  • Razul Daud Bulilo

Incidental Victims:

  • Wilhelm Palabrica
  • Mercy Catalino Palabrica
  • Eduardo Lichonsito
  • Cecille Lichonsito
  • Daryll Vincent de los Reyes
  • Anthony Ridao

The massacre led to a tremor not only to the country, but to the world. Moreover, it highly contributed to the movement to end impunity and call to stop killings, as well as harassment of journalists in all forms, in the Philippines and across the globe.

Justice Delayed, Justice Denied

Today, seven years later, justice is still denied.


The Ampatuan clan patriarch and alleged mastermind, Andal Ampatuan Sr., already died of liver cancer last July 17, 2015 at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Quezon City.

Andal Ampatuan Sr.’s death prior to his verdict due to stagnant justice granted him to be extinguished from his criminal liability, as per Philippines’ Rule on Criminal Procedure.

On the other hand, Sajid Islam Ampatuan, one of the accused, was granted freedom through a P11.6-million bail.

Branch 221 Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City ordered the immediate release of Sajid Islam Ampatuan through an order made on March 9, 2015.

Moreover, the case trial remains slow.

Four (4) witnesses have been murdered throughout the trial namely: Alijol Ampatuan, Suwaib Upham, Dennis Sakal, and Esmail Amil Anog.

As of January 14, 2015, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility in its Ampatuan Trial Watch initiative, reported that the number of accused for the massacre has already led to 246, which include local government officials and police officers.


Arlyn Lupogan, 40, wife of slain journalist Lindo Lupogan thanked all those who are present in the commemoration, “Wala po akong masabi kundi magpasalamant sa lahat ng sumusuporta sa amin na makamtam namin ang hustisya, lalo na sa NUJP na laging sumusuporta sa amin, sa mga anak namin, sa pagtustos ng pag-aaral ng mga anak namin. Sa mga media po, maraming salamat, at sa lahat po ng mga estudyante rito na sumusuporta, taon-taon na lang. (I have nothing to say but thank you to all those who support to attain justice, especially to NUJP which always supports us, our children and their studies. To the media, thank you very much, and to all the students here who support every year.),” Lupogan said.

“Pitong taon na po. Pitong taon na na nangarap kami ng hustisya. Sana, ‘wag niyo kalimutan ang nangyari sa mga mahal naming sa buhay, sa brutal na pagpasalang sa kanila. (It has been seven years. For seven years, we have been dreaming of justice. I hope that you would not forget what happened to our loved ones, and the manner on which they were killed.)”

Call for genuine media freedom

According to the National Union of Journalist in the Philippines (NUJP), a 25-year study done by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) placed the Philippines second to Iraq, based on journalist killings.


Virgilio Cuizon, founder of NUJP-Europe, said about the Ampatuan trial that “Wala pang nangyayari. Talagang zero justice. (Nothing is happening. Zero justice.)”

When asked about NUJP’s efforts in assisting the trial and advancing the interests of the Philippine press, Cuizon said that “Patuloy po ang pakikipag-ugnayan ng NUJP sa Kongreso, sa Senado, sa mga eskwelahan, para lamang mabigyan ng pansin ang kaso. (The NUJP continuously reach out to the Congress, Senate, and universities for the case.)”

“Sinusubaybayan po namin ang pamilya ng mga nasawi, at pinipilit po naming matulungan sa pag-aaral ang kanilang mga anak. May programa po kami talaga na pag-aaralin ang mga anak ng mga nasawing journalists, lalo na ng mga biktima ng Ampatuan massacre. (We keep in touch with the family of the victims, and we ensure that we are able to help their children with their studies. We have a program to help slain journalists’ children with their studies, especially the children of the victims of the Ampatuan massacre.), ” Cuizon added.

Regarding his expectations from the Duterte administration, Cuizon said, “Ineexpect po natin ay bigyan talagang pansin, seryosohin, at ikulong ang dapat makulong. (I expect that [President Duterte] will address, take seriously [the Ampatuan massacre trial], and to imprison those who should be put behind bars.)”

“Biglang laya talaga ang pamamahayag. ‘Wag habulin, ‘wag ikulong, ‘wag patayin [media workers]. (Give genuine freedom to journalism. Do not go after, do not imprison, and do not kill [media workers]).”

On the other hand, Jose Mari Callueng, National President of the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), the oldest and broadest alliance of student publications in Asia-Pacific, is hopeful of the administration’s sincerity in the formation of Task Force Media Killings, and related the issue of impunity to campus press.


“Kung totoo po ang Duterte sa kanilang call in forming Task Force Media Killings, this should reflect justice for the 32 journalists, and the other more. Sa span ng 25 years, mahigit kumulang 100 ang namatay na journalists eh, and lalo pa itong lumalala nang lumalala. (If the Duterte Administration is true to its call in forming Task Force Media Killings, this should reflect justice for the 32 journalists, and more. In the span of 25 years, more or less 100 journalists were killed, and it continuously worsens.),” said Callueng.

“Sa paghingi natin ng hustisya, hinihingi rin natin ang hustisya para sa campus press. Hindi malayo. Nire-reiterate natin na hindi malayo ang kinakaharap ng mainstream media sa kinakaharap ng campus press. Inaatake rin kami sa iba’t ibang porma: censorship, withholding of funds, nandiyan din ang harassment sa amin. Nire-red tag din ang mga campus press na ito na tagapamahayag lamang ng katotohanan. (In our quest for justice, we also want justice for the campus press. It is not different. We reiterate that the problems faced by the mainstream media is not different with those of the campus press. We are also being attacked in various forms: censorship, withholding of funds, and harassment. We are being red-tagged when we all do is tell the truth.),” Callueng added.

“Kaya inaasahan natin na the Task Force Media Killings should also reflect to campus level. Hindi lang naman mainstream media ang biktima, pati campus press. (We expect that the Task Force Media Killings should also reflect to campus level. The mainstream media is not the lone victim, but also the campus press.)”

“Inaasahan natin na ‘di na tayo dapat aabot ng isa pang taon muli…Dapat ngayon na ay mabigay ang hustisyang hinihingi ng pamilya ng mga biktima. (We expect that there will no longer be another year. Justice should be given now.),” Callueng ended. – November, 2016

Quote 1, ICC Prosecutor

THE PROSECUTOR of the international Criminal Court on Thursday served notice to the government of the Philippines that anyone inducing or engaging in “acts of mass violence… including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing, in any other manner, to the commission of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC is potentially liable to prosecution before the Court.”

In a statement posted on the ICC’s official website, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said ICC was aware of the “worrying extrajudicial killings of alleged drug users and users, which may have led to over 3,000 deaths in the past three months.”

Bensouda said ICC was “deeply concerned” about these killings “and the fact that public statements of high officials of the Republic of the Philippines seem to condone such killings and further seem to encourage State forces and civilians alike to continue targeting these individuals with lethal force.”

“Extra-judicial killings,” the statement said, “may fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court… if they are committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population pursuant to a State policy to commit such an attack.”

The Philippines, it added, “is a State Party to the ICC and as such, the Court has jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on the territory or by nationals of the Philippines since 1 November 2011, the date when the Statute entered into force in the Philippines.”

Quote 3. ICC Prosecutor

The full text of Bensouda’s statement follows:

Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda concerning the situation in the Republic of the Philippines

“My Office is aware of worrying reported extra-judicial killings of alleged drug dealers and users in the Philippines, which may have led to over 3,000 deaths in the past three months. I am deeply concerned about these alleged killings and the fact that public statements of high officials of the Republic of the Philippines seem to condone such killings and further seem to encourage State forces and civilians alike to continue targeting these individuals with lethal force.

Extra-judicial killings may fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “Court”) if they are committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population pursuant to a State policy to commit such an attack.

The Republic of the Philippines is a State Party to the ICC and as such, the Court has jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on the territory or by nationals of the Philippines since 1 November 2011, the date when the Statute entered into force in the Philippines.

Let me be clear: any person in the Philippines who incites or engages in acts of mass violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing, in any other manner, to the commission of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC is potentially liable to prosecution before the Court.

My Office, in accordance with its mandate under the Rome Statute, will be closely following developments in the Philippines in the weeks to come and record any instance of incitement or resort to violence with a view to assessing whether a preliminary examination into the situation of the Philippines needs to be opened.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecution of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Office has been conducting investigations in: Uganda; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic (two separate investigations); Kenya; Libya; Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Georgia. The Office is also conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Afghanistan; Burundi; the registered vessels of Comoros, Greece and Cambodia; Colombia; Gabon; Guinea; Iraq/UK; Palestine, Nigeria and Ukraine.
Source : Office of the Prosecutor

Quote 2. ICC Prosecutor

07 October 2016

On the first 100 days of the Duterte Administration, the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition (R2KRN) cites the issuance of Executive Order No. 2 on the Freedom of Information as a good start, but stresses that so much more has yet to be done to guarantee the full enjoyment of the people’s right to know.

R2KRN sees EO No. 2 (Operationalizing in the Executive Branch the People’s Constitutional Right to Information and the State Policies to Full Public Disclosure and Transparency in the Public Service and Providing Guidelines Therefor) as a landmark step, and acknowledges the work being done by various government agencies to prepare their People’s FOI Manual and implementing details. However, R2KRN submits that the lists of proposed exceptions that had been collated by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) must be reviewed and narrowed down through executive action and legislation. Further, the crux and lifeblood of a truly responsive FOI – practice by public officials and citizens and a culture of transparency in all government agencies – remain a work in progress under the Duterte Administration.

The Peope’s FOI Manual and Uneven Response from Agencies

Today marks the 77th day since the signing of EO No. 2 on July 23, 2016. That means 43 more days remain before EO No. 2 is fully rolled out on November 19. By then, as per the letter of the EO, all executive agencies shall have prepared their respective People’s FOI Manuals and formulated their respective implementing details.

The member organizations of R2KRN have sought to engage at least five line agencies, two oversight bodies, as well as the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), on these tasks. Thus far, our member organizations have received varying responses. While some agencies have expressed openness to engagement, other agencies have yet to reply. We believe that agencies actively engaging stakeholders in the formulation of their manuals will go a long way in promoting a culture of transparency in those agencies, and will prepare relevant personnel for active interaction with the public on FOI.

Need to Address Confusion on Exceptions

Pursuant to the directive of EO No. 2 for the DOJ and the OSG to prepare an inventory of exceptions, the two agencies submitted separate inventories to the Office of the President. The DOJ’s inventory listed 156 proposed exceptions, and the OSG, 55 proposed exceptions. The unfortunate release of these “draft” inventories by the Presidential Communications Office without proper briefing on their nature and status only served to confuse citizens and could undermine support for EO No. 2. R2KRN has been assured by the lawyers of the Office of the Executive Secretary that the supposed inventory of exceptions to EO No. 2 are for now proposals that will still have to be reviewed and trimmed in consultation with FOI advocates.

What needs to be emphasized is that the inventory must first of all be faithful to exceptions that have clear legal basis under the Constitution and existing laws and jurisprudence. The inventory must neither add nor subtract. Also, the number of proposed exceptions in the DOJ and OSG inventories has proved to be misleading. There are a number of laws that provide confidentiality of specific information, but these generally fall within categories or classes of recognized exceptions. It became all the more confusing that the proposed inventories of the two agencies included draft legislation pending in Congress, as well as judicial notices, even as EO No. 2 covers only the agencies within the executive branch.

R2KRN’s own study led by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and law professors tapped for expert assistance finds that the inventory can be grouped into eleven (11) categories. The nature of these categories of exceptions needs to be understood well by both the government and the public. Evaluating the reasonability of these categories of exceptions should be the focus of scrutiny, rather than the uncategorized number of proposed exceptions in the DOJ and OSG lists, which only serves to frustrate public expectations that EO No. 2 will enable, rather than restrain, the people’s constitutional right to know.

Progress on the Legislative Front

R2KRN notes with guarded hope that there has been progress on the legislative front. The passage of a Freedom of Information law by Congress that will cover all agencies in all the branches of the government, as well as the Constitutional Commissions, remains our unbending, primordial goal. This has been R2KRN’s constant advocacy over the last 15 years, and even EO No. 2 will not soften our resolve to achieve this.

R2KRN has emphasized early on that legislation will be a positive addition to the EO in respect to the following matters: (1) expanding the coverage of FOI standards beyond the executive branch; (2) reviewing the exceptions to limit these to only those that are reasonable and necessary; (3) introducing criminal liability where appropriate; and (4) affording further institutionalization of transparency and accountability in all public agencies, by strength of law.

At the Senate, the Committee on Public Information and Mass Media chaired by Senator Grace Poe has already conducted public hearings on FOI bills last September 19 and 29. At the House of Representatives, the House Committee on Public Information has conducted a public briefing on its work last Sept. 13 and scheduled its first committee hearing on October 11.

In recent Congresses, the Senate has delivered early on the FOI in contrast to extended deliberations at the House of Representatives. In the 15th and 16th Congress, the major missing link to the FOI’s passage had been the absence of clear, firm endorsement by then President Benigno S. Aquino III and the leaders of the House of Representatives. With President Duterte’s commitment to FOI signaled by EO No. 2, R2KRN harbors hope once more that his “super majority” coalition in both chambers of Congress will now be more responsive to the people’s clamor for the swift passage of the FOI law.

Big Balance of Work Ahead

R2KRN reiterates its support for EO No.2 as a measure that clarifies procedural and substantive issues that hamper the people’s right to access information with clear public interest, in the custody of public agencies.

At the same time, R2KRN emphasizes that EO No. 2 is just a first step, a challenge even for both public officials and citizens to embrace the big balance of work ahead.

Aside from executive agencies providing the implementing details for EO No. 2, there is the task of making the People’s FOI Manual people-friendly.

Two, pending the passage of the FOI law, R2KRN hopes that local government units and Constitutional Commissions will promptly launch parallel efforts to adopt similar administrative procedures to promote transparency and access to information in their respective offices.

Three, on the matter of exceptions, R2KRN wishes to promote its study on exceptions to asisst the Office of the Executive Secretary and other executive agencies in finalizing the inventory of exceptions under EO No. 2.

Four, R2KRN commits full and unqualified support for the review of the outdated information classification guidelines embodied in Memorandum Circular No. 78 that has been cited in the repealing clause of EO No. 2.

Finally, R2KRN pledges to endeavor to nurture a vibrant community of advocates, civil society organizations, and professional associations actively engaged in FOI practice, precisely to test, push, and promote transparency, accountability, and good governance that EO No. 2, and hopefully, a good FOI law, could and should offer all our citizens.


07 October 2016


Atty. Eirene Jhone E. Aguila, Co-convenor
0919 999 4578,

Ms. Malou Mangahas
02 433 0331,

Ms. Jenina Joy Chavez
0918 902 6716,




By Karol Ilagan

PCIJ wins NSM Award, oct 2016
CITATION. PCIJ Executive Director Malou Mangahas (second from left) with Philippine Statistics Authority’s National Statistician. Dr. Lisa Grace S. Bersales, Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, and Dr. Johannes P/ Jutting, PARIS21 manager. Photo by Karol Ilagan

A PCIJ story on the pre-campaign ad spending of candidates who ran in the May 2016 elections won recognition in the 6th National Statistics Month (NSM) Media Awards held Monday, October 3, at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City.

PCIJ Executive Director Malou Mangahas, who wrote the report, won the online category award “for her invaluable contribution and support in promoting the use of statistics through media for the benefit of the Filipino people.” This is Mangahas’s third NSM award. In 2014, she received the award for the Online Investigative Category and in 2013, won the Outstanding Award for Print and TV Broadcast Categories.

In the report “Net worth vs. P6.7-B pol ads bill: Top bets in debt, deficit spending?,” Mangahas found that the many of the candidates running for national positions in the 2016 elections could not finance multi-million-peso ad campaigns because most of them have little to modest assets. The more affluent ones, she also found, would have gone bankrupt if they paid their pre-campaign ads using their own money.

To complete the report, Mangahas compared the value of pre-campaign ads bought by candidates to the net worth indicated in their 2014 Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth or SALN. The story was part of PCIJ’s three-part series on the election spending of candidates. PCIJ’s former Research Director Earl Parreno and Content Producer Vino Lucero also contributed to the report.

Angela Lorraine Celis of Malaya Business Insight bagged the print category award for her news report tackling poverty. Catherine Talavera of The Manila Times and Keith Richard Mariano of BusinessWorld were also recognized as finalists in the print category.

GMA-7’s documentary program I-Witness also won the television category award for its episode “Buwis Butil” by Jay Taruc. A special citation was also given to Francis Cancino of DZRB in the radio category.

The Philippine Statistics Authority, then the National Statistical Coordination Board, launched the awards in 2009 to recognize the role of journalists in promoting and communicating statistical information.

This year’s NSM Media Awards coincides the celebration of the 27th National Statistics Month and the 13th National Convention on Statistics with the theme “Sustainable Development: Making Statistics Count.”

In September 2015, member-states of the United Nations, including the Philippines, adopted a new development agenda “to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.” Building on the Millennium Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes 17 goals, 169 targets, and 230 indicators.

In May 2016, the Philippine Statistics Authority issued Resolution No. 4 to provide guidelines for government agencies to provide data support related to the monitoring and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. — PCIJ, October 2016

* Inilathala ng Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG)
* Isinalin sa Filipino ng Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

Know Your Rights 5-1


* Manatiling tikom ang bibig, at asistihan ng abogado na may kakayanan na iyong pinili kapag ikaw ay isinalang na sa interrogation.

* Hindi isailalim sa torture, manhandling, intimidation, solitary confinement, incommunicado detention, panloloko, o pangako ng gantimpala o kaluwagan sa anumang paraan (droga, hypnosis, atbp.) na maaring makapanghina ng loob o malayang pag-iisip mo.

* Bigyan ng access sa daglian at sapat na tulong medikal.

* Iharap sa inquest sa lalong madaling panahon at hindi lalagpas sa:
– 12 oras matapos kang ma-aresto dahil sa paglabag sa batas na may parusang hindi mabigat (light offense);
– 18 oras matapos kang ma-aresto dahil sa paglabag sa batas na may parusang medyo mabigat (less grave offense);
– 36 oras matapos kang ma-aresto dahil sa paglabag sa batas na may parusang mabigat (grave offense).

Know Your Rights 5-2
Bago magsimula at pagkatapos ng interogasyon, ito ang iyong mga karapatan:

* Ipaalam sa iyo na may karapatan kang humiling na sumailalim sa physical examination ng isang mahusay na doktor na iyong pinili.

* Kung hindi mo kayang magbayad sa serbisyo ng isang doktor, bigyan ng access sa isang mahusay at walang kinikilingang doktor na gagampan sa physical examination mo (mas mainam na babae ang doktor kung ikaw ay isang babae).

Know Your Rights 5-3

Sa isang inquest proceeding na isasagawa ng isang civilian prosecutor, dapat suriin kung ligal o hindi ang iyong pagka-aresto. Ang prosecutor, maaring:

(a) Mag-utos na palayain ka (kahit mayroon o wala pang full-blown investigation na naisagawa);

(b) Ipagtibay na ligal ang iyong pagka-aresto at ihanda ang kaukulang complaint o impormasyon na isasampa sa trial court. Madalas na tinatanong ng prosecutor ang na-aresto kung nais niyang magkaroon ng preliminary investigation, at kaugnay nito, kung siya ay pipirma ng waiver o pagpapaubaya ng kanyang mga karapatan. Huwag pumirma sa waiver nang hindi batid o nasabihan ng posibleng epekto o kahihinatnan nito. Kapag pumirma sa waiver — at ito ang madalas nangyayari — maaring mananatili ka sa detention center, habang naghihintay ng preliminary investigation. Kapag pumirma sa waiver, maaring mangahulugan din na ipinapaubaya mo na rin ang karapatan mong magsampa ng kaso laban sa mga umaresto sa iyo.

Know Your Rights 5-4

Isang inquest proceeding ang dapat isagawa ng isang sibilyan na prosecutor upang masuri kung ligal ang naganap na pagka-aresto sa iyo.

Kapag nagpasya ang prosecutor na iligal o labag sa batas ang pagka-aresto sa iyo, dapat niyang irekomenda sa City o Provincial Prosecutor na palayain ka. Gayunman, ang pagpapalaya sa iyo ay maaring idaan sa isang regular na preliminary investigation.

Kapag napagtibay ng prosecutor na legal ang iyong pagka-aresto, tatanungin ka niya kung nais mong sumailalim sa isang preliminary investigation. Kapag sumang-ayon ka, tatanungin ka niya kung sang-ayong kang pumirma ng waiver ayon sa Article 125 ng Revised Penal Code, at sa tulong ng isang abogado, o kung walang abogado, ng isang responsableng tao na iyong pinili. Ang pagpirma mo ng waiver ay nangangahulugan din na sumasang-ayon ka na manatili sa kulungan habang isinasagawa ang iyong preliminary investigation.

Know Your Rights 5-5

Kung ayaw mog dumaan sa preliminary investigation o tumutol na pumirma ng waiver, isasagawa ng prosecutor ang inquest sa pamamagitan ng pagsuri ng mga sworn statement/affidavit ng complainant at witnesses, at ng iba pang ebidensiyang isinumite ng complainant. Kung sa pagpapasya ng prosecutor ay may probable cause laban sa iyo, ihahanda niya ang karampatang complaint o impormasyon laban sa iyo at i-rerekomenda niya sa City o Provincial Prosecutor na isumite ang kaso sa korte.

Know Your Rights 5-6

Masasabing may probable cause kung batay sa mga ebidensiyang isinumite sa inquest prosecutor ay kapani-paniwalang may krimeng naganap at ikaw ay posibleng may kinalaman o kasalanan dito.
Kung kasapi ng pulisya at military ang nagtatanong at nag-iimbestiga sa iyo, ang mga karapatan mo ay:

– Manatiling tikom ang bibig.

– Magkaroon ng mahusay at walang kinikilingang abogado, at mas mainam pa, na ikaw mismo ang pumili.

– Bigyan ng abogado, kung hindi mo kayang kumuha ng sarili mong abogado.

– Humiling na sumailalim ka sa physical examination ng isang mahusay at independent na doktor na iyong pinili, at kung hindi mo kayang magbayad ng doktor, bigyan ng isang mahusay at independent na doktor na mgasasagawa ng physical examination sa iyo. (mas mainam na babae ang doktor kung ikaw ay isang babae); at

– Ipaalam sa iyo na ito ang mga karapatan mo, at anuman ang iyong maging pahayag ay maaring magamit laban sa iyo sa korte.

Know Your Rights 5-7

Sa paglilitis ng krimen o criminal prosecutions, it ang mga karapatan mo:

– Huwag pilitin na tumestigo laban sa sarili mo.

– Manatiling tikom ang bibig at magkaroon ng abogado.

– Malaman kung ano ang uri at dahilan ng mga akusasyon laban sa iyo.

– Magkaroon ng mabilis, bukas, at patas na paglilitis.

– Magsampa ng apela kung ikaw ay ma-convict.

– Ituring na inosente hangga’t hindi napapatunayang nagkasala.

– Humarap at lumahok ka ayt iyong abogado sa pagdinig ng mga akusasyon.

– Matulungan ng mga proseso ng korte upang sapilitang lumahok ang mga witness at mailabas ang mga ebidensiya para maipagtanggol mo ang iyong sarirli,

– Personal na makita at ma-cross-examine ang mga witness laban sa iyo.

Know Your Rights 5-8

Kapag ikaw ay iniharap na sa hukom o judge, magsampa ng formal complaint kung ikaw ay pinagkaitan ng abogado, sapilitang pina-amin, pinagbuhatan ng kamay, tinorture, o tinakot.

Mapalaya sa bisa ng makatwirang halaga ng piyansa, maliban lang kung ikaw ay nahaharap sa kasong may parusang kamatayan, reclusion perpetua o panghabangbuhay na pagkakakulong, at matibay ang ebidensiya na ikaw ay guilty.

– Kahit man lumaya ka matapos magbayad ng piyansa, maari mo pa ring kwestiyunin kung ligal ang naging pag-aresto sa iyo, o kung ligal ang warrant of arrest laban sa iyo, basta naipahayag mo ang iyong mga pagtutol na ito bago ang iyong arraignment o ang pagbasa ng kaso sa korte laban sa iyo.

Know Your Rights 5-9

Lahat ng mga officer at kasapi nila sa pulisya at militar na may tungkulin sa pag-aresto, pagkulong, pag-imbita, at pag-imbestiga ng mga suspek sa anumang krimen ay dapat na sumunod sa mga itinakdang intiakdang procedures, guidelines, at duties, nila, mula sa iyong pagka-aresto at habang inuusig sa detention center. Itinakda ng Korte Suprema ang mga patakarang ito sa kasong People v. Mahinay (G.R. No. 122485, 1 February 1999).

Know Your Rights 5-10

– Dapat ipaalam sa iyo sa wika na batid at naiintindihan mo ang dahilan ng iyong pagka-aresto. Dapat ipakita sa iyo ang iyong warrant of arrest. Lahat ng abiso, impormasyon, at pahayag nila sa iyo ay dapat nasa wika na batid at naiintidihan mo.

– Dapat mabigyan ka ng warning na may karapatan kang maging tikom ang bibig, at anumang sabihin mo ay maaring magamit na ebidensiya laban sa iyo.

– Dapat ipaalam sa iyo na may karapatan kang matulungan sa lahat ng pagkakataon ng mahusay at walang kinikilingan na abogado na ikaw mismo ang pumili.

– Dapat ipaalam sa iyo na kung wala kang abogado o hindi mo kayang magbayad ng abogado, bibigyan ka ng abogado; maari ring kumuha ng abogado para sa iyo ang korte, kung nais mo o ng iyong kinatawan na magsumite ng petisyon para rito.

– Kahit man meron o wala kang abogado, dapat ipaalam sa iyo na walang anumang imbestigasyon na maaring maganap sa loob ng detention center, liban na lang kung kasama mo ang iyong abogado o pumirma ka na ng waiver ng iyong mga karapatan.

Know Your Rights 5-11

– Dapat ipaalam sa iyo na may karapatan ka, sa lahat ng pagkakataon, na makausap sa pinakamabilis na paraan (telepono, text, radyo, sulat, o messenger) ang iyong abogado, miyembro ng pamilya, doktor, pari o ministro na pinili mo o ng iyong pamilya; dapat ipaalam sa iyo na may karapatan kang tumanggap ng bisita at makausap ang anumang accredited na national o international non-government organizations.

– Dapat ipaalam sa iyo na may karapatan kang ipaubaya o i-waive ang anumang karapatan mo sa boluntaryo, malinaw, at matalinong paraan, at naiintindihan mo ang maaring kahinatnan o epekto ng iyong waiver.

Know Your Rights 5-12

– Dapat ipaalam sa iyo na kung pipirma ka ng waiver para magkaroon ng abogado, ito ay dapat maisulat sa harap ng iyong abogado; kung hindi, dapat ipaalam sa iyo na walang bisa o void ang waiver mo, kahit na ipilit mo pa at nagdesisyon kang magbigay ng statement o pahayag.

– Dapat ipaalam sa iyo na maari kang magdesisyon sa anumang paraan at sa anumang yugto ng proseso na ayaw mo nang matanong pa, at sa puntong ito ay dapat matigil ang interrogation kung ito ay nagaganap na, o dapat wala nang interrogation na maganap pa.

– Dapat ipaalam sa iyo sa kabila ng iyong initial waiver na manatiling tikom ang bibig, magkaroon ng abogado, o anupamang karapatan mo, maari mo pa ring gamitin ang mga karapatang ito sa anumang yugto ng proseso, kahit na nagbigay ka na ng ilang statement o pahayag.

– Dapat ipaalam sa iyo na anumang statement o ebidensiya na nakuha sa paraang labag sa mga procedures o guidelines na ito — na nagpapatibay o tumatanggi sa mga paratang sa iyo — ay hindi katanggap-tanggap na ebidensiya sa korte.

Know Your Rights 5-13

(a) Karaniwang gawi ng mga investigating officer ang pagbigay sa taong na-aresto ng isang confession na nakasulat na at kailangan na lang pirmahan. May pagkakataon na ang suspek ay tinatakot na pumirma na kahit hindi pa nito nababasa ang nakasulat sa confession. At dahil bawal na sa ilalim ng Konstitusyon ang mga confession na nakuha sa suspek na walang abogadong kasama, maaaring may abogado nang isinasama ang mga imbestigador sa kanilang pag-alok ng confession sa mga suspek. Manatiling buo ang loob pero magalang. Manindigan na gusto mong kumuha ng sariling abogado at sabihan ang imbestigador na nais mong makita ang iyong abogado. Dahil batid na nila na alam mo ang iyong mga karapatan, mas maiiwasan na ikaw ay maharap sa sakuna o sapilitiang paaminin sa anumang akusasyon sa iyo, habang nakakulong.

Know Your Rights 5-14

(b) Kung hindi ipinaalam sa iyo na may karapatan kang manahimik, magkaroon at pumili ng mahusay at walang kinikilingang abogado, ang arresting officer o empleyado o investigating officer na hindi nagpabatid sa iyo ng mga karapatang ito, maari siyang maparusahan ng multa o pagkakulong o ng parehong parusa .

(k) Kung hindi ipinaalam sa iyo na maari kang magkaroon at pumili ng abogado na mahusay at walang kinikilingan ng sinumang arresting officer, emploeyado or investihgating officer, maari siyang maparusahan ng multa o pagkakulong o ng parehong parusa.

(d) Sinuman ang magpipigil o magbabawal sa iyong abogado, miyembro ng pamilya, doktor, o ministro ng simbahan na bumisita at makipag-usap sa iyo, eksaminin at gamutin ka, o bigyan ka ng spiritual service, anumang oras sa araw, o kung may dagling pangangailangan, anumang oras sa gabi, ay maaring maharap sa parusang multa at pagkakulong.


* To remain silent and to be assisted by a competent lawyer of your choice when questioned or interrogated.
* Not to be subjected to torture, manhandling, solitary confinement, incommunicado detention, intimidation, deceit, promises of reward or leniency of or any means (drugs, hypnosis, etc.) that vitiate or weaken your free will.

*To immediate access to proper and adequate medical treatment.

* To be brought for inquest as soon as possible but not later than:
– 12 hours after arrest for a light offense
– 18 hours after arrest for a less grave offense
– 36 hours after arrest for a grave offense

*Before and after interrogation, to the following rights:
• To be informed of your right to demand physical examination by an independent and competent doctor of your own choice;
• If you cannot afford the services of a doctor, to be provided by the Government with a competent and independent doctor to conduct the physical examination (preferably a female doctor if you are female);

The legality of your arrest must be determined in an inquest proceeding conducted by a civilian prosecutor.

If the inquest prosecutor finds that your arrest was unlawful, he or she must recommend to the City or Provincial Prosecutor that you be released. Your release, however, may be subject to a regular preliminary investigation.

If the prosecutor finds that your arrest was lawful, he or she will ask if you desire to avail of a preliminary investigation and if so, will make you execute a waiver of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code with the assistance of a lawyer. Signing the waiver means that you agree to remain in detention while your preliminary investigation is ongoing.

Note: While the rules on inquest provide that if no lawyer is available, the waiver of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code may be made with the assistance of a responsible person of your choice, Section 2(e) of R.A. 7438 [The Code of Custodial Investigation] requires that the waiver must be done in the presence of the detainee’s counsel “otherwise the waiver shall be null and void and of no effect.” Section 6 of Rule 112 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure likewise provides that the waiver of Article 125, RPC must be made in the presence of counsel.

If you do not opt for a preliminary investigation or refuse to execute the waiver, the inquest prosecutor will proceed with the inquest by examining the sworn statements/affidavits of the complainant and witnesses and other supporting evidence submitted by the complainant. If the prosecutor finds that probable cause exists, he or she will prepare the corresponding complaint or information against you and recommend to the City or Provincial Prosecutor that it be filed in court.

Probable cause exists when the evidence submitted to the inquest prosecutor engenders a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and that you are probably guilty of committing it.

* If you are questioned or investigated by the police or military, you have the following rights, among others:

– To remain silent;

– To have competent and independent counsel, preferably of your own choice;

– To be provided with counsel if you cannot afford one;

– To demand a physical examination by an independent and competent doctor of your own choice (or if you cannot afford the services of a doctor, to be provided by the Government with a competent and independent doctor to conduct the physical examination, preferably a female doctor if you are female); and

– To be informed of these rights, and to be told that anything you say may be used against you in court.

* In all criminal prosecutions, you have the following rights:

– Not to be compelled to testify against yourself;
– To remain silent and to counsel;
– To be informed of the nature and causes of the accusation against you;
– To have a speedy, public, and impartial trial;
– To appeal any conviction;
– To be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved;
– To be present and heard by yourself and counsel;
– To avail yourself of court processes to secure the compulsory attendance of witnesses and the presentation of evidence in your defense; and
– To meet the witnesses face-to-face and to cross-examine them.

* When you are brought before the Judge, to make a formal complaint if you have been denied counsel, forced to confess, or manhandled, tortured or intimidated.

* To be released on reasonable bail, unless you are charged with a crime punishable by death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment and the evidence of your guilt is strong.

– Release on bail does not bar you from challenging the validity of your arrest nor the legality of the warrant of arrest, provided you raise these challenges before being arraigned.

* All arresting, detaining, inviting, investigating officers and their companions must follow and observe the following procedures, guidelines, and duties, at the time of your arrest and again during your custodial investigation. These guidelines, procedures, and duties were laid down by the Supreme Court in People v. Mahinay (G.R. No. 122485, 1 February 1999):

– You must be informed in a language known and understood by you of the reason for your arrest, and you must be shown the warrant of arrest. All other warnings, information or communication must also be in a language known to and understood by you.

– You must be warned that you have the right to remain silent and that any statement you make may be used as evidence against you.

– You must be informed that you have the right to be assisted at all times and have the presence of an independent and competent lawyer of your own choice.

_ You must be informed that if you have no lawyer or you cannot afford the services of a lawyer, one will be provided for you; and that a lawyer may also be engaged by any person on your behalf, or may be appointed by the court upon petition by you or by one acting on your behalf.

– Whether or not you have a lawyer, you must be informed that no custodial investigation in any forum shall be conducted except in the presence of your lawyer or unless you have validly waived any of your rights.

– You must be informed that you have the right, at any time, to communicate or confer by the most expedient means (telephone, text message, radio, letter, or messenger) with your lawyer, any member of your family, any medical doctor, priest or minister you choose or one chosen by your immediate family or lawyer; you must also be informed that you have the right, at any time, to be visited by and to confer with duly accredited national or international non-government organizations.

– You must be informed that you have the right to waive any of your rights provided you do so voluntarily, knowingly, intelligently, and you understand the consequences of your waiver.

– If you waive your right to a lawyer, you must be informed you must waive your right in writing in the presence of your lawyer, otherwise you must be warned that your waiver is void even if you insist on your waiver and you choose to speak.

– You must be informed that you may indicate in any manner at any time or stage of the process that you do not wish to be questioned and that once you make such indication, you may not be interrogated, if the interrogation has not yet begun, or the interrogation must cease if it has already begun.

– You must be informed that your initial waiver of your right to remain silent, your right to counsel, or any of your rights, does not bar you from invoking your rights at any time during the process, regardless of whether you have answered some questions or volunteered some statements.

– You must also be informed that any statement or evidence obtained in violation of any of the above procedures or guidelines, whether inculpatory or exculpatory, in whole or in part, is inadmissible in evidence.

(a) A common practice of investigating officers is to present a person arrested with a confession already drawn up and ready for signature, then to intimidate the suspect into signing the statement without reading it. And since uncounselled confessions have been disallowed under the Constitution, the investigating officers may have lawyers to assist you during the confession. Remain firm, but respectful. Insist that you would like to get your own lawyer, and ask for the opportunity to get in touch with your lawyer. Since they now know that you know your rights, the chances that you will be manhandled or coerced into confessing are reduced.

(b) If you have not been informed of your rights to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel of your choice, the arresting officer or employee or the investigating officer who fails to inform you of your rights is liable to suffer a fine or penalty of imprisonment, or both.

(c) If the arresting officer or employee or the investigating officer or anyone acting upon their orders or in their place fails to provide you with competent and independent counsel if you cannot afford the services of your own counsel, s/he is liable to suffer a fine or a penalty of imprisonment, or both.

(d) Whoever obstructs, prevents, or prohibits your lawyer, any member of your family, any medical doctor or religious minister from visiting and conferring privately with you, or from examining and treating you, or from ministering to your spiritual needs, at any hour of day, or, in urgent cases, of the night, is liable to suffer the penalty of imprisonment and a fine.

* Inilathala ng Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG)
* Isinalin sa Filipino ng Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ)

Know Your Rights 4-1


Gawin ang mga sumusunod na hakbang pag-iingat:

* Huwag lumabas ng bahay na nag-iisa. Ang mga kaso ng disappearance at salvaging o extrajudicial killing ay dumarami kapag walang witness na pwedeng tumestigo ukol sa paghuli sa mga biktima.

* Iwasan ang mga kugar kung saan walang nakakakilala sa iyo.

* Huwag manatiling nag-iisa sa bahay o saan mang lugar.

* Sabihan ang iyong pamilya at mga kaibigan na may posibilidad na ikaw ay ma-aresto at kung ano ang dapat nilang gawin sakaling mangyari ito. Sabihan sila kung sino ang dapat hingan ng tulong, paano sila ma-kontak, at kung saan-saan ka dapat hanapin.

Know Your Rights 4-2

* Bago lumabas ng bahay, sabihan ang iyong pamilya ang mga kaibigan kung saan ka pupunta, kanino ka makikipagkita, gaano katagal kang mawawala, at kung ano ang dapat nilang gawin sakaling hindi ka makabalik sa oras, o hindi makarating sa iyong destinasyon o appointment. Kung may cell phone ka, mag-text sa mga kaibigan at pamilya para malaman nilang nakarating ka na sa iyong detsinasyon at allis muli sa susnod na apppintment.

* Kapag lumalabas ng bahay, palagiang magdala ng sapat nd identification cards, at iwasang magbiibit ng anumang delikadong bagay na maaring ituring na incriminating.

* Sakaling ikaw ay arestuhin, tiyakin na alam ng mga tao sa paligid na ikaw ay inaaresto at kung sino-sino ang umaaresto sa iyo. Kung kakailangan, sumigaw o gumwa ng eksena upang maakit angpansin ng mga tao sa paligid na ikaw ay inaaresto. Kung may cellphone ka, tumawag o mag-text sa iyong pamilya, mga kaibigan, at abogado upang malaman nila na ikaw ay inaaresto.

Know Your Rights 4-3

* Ang nga kaso ng disappearance o salvaging ay maaring mabawasan kung masasamahan o masusundan ka ng iyong pamilya, mga kaibigan, at mga tao sa paligid matapos na ikaw ay maaresto. Sa ganitong paraan, malalaman ng mga pulis na marami ang may alam na ikaw ay nahuli at mahalaga sa kanila ang iyong kaligtasan. Agad-agad, sabihan ang iyong abogado o isang respetadong miyembro sa lokalidad (pari, guro, doktor, civic leader) kung ano ang nagyari, at hilingin na mabilisang dumalaw sila sa iyo.

* Habang nakakulong na, dapat na bisitahin ka agad-agad ng iyong pamilya at mga kaibigan at padalhan ng mga gamit (pagkain, babasahin, gamot, damit, atbp) sa mga araw na bawal silang bumisita, Huwag pumayag na mailabas ka ng detention center nang walang kasamang abogado o miyembro ng pamilya mo.

Know Your Rights 4-4

* Kahit na may matibay kang impormasyon na huhulihin o isa-salvage ka na, hindi dapat magtago. Mas mainam na papuntahin ang iyong abugado o iba pang responsableng kinatawan upang magtanong kung meron ngang warrant of arrest para sa iyo, at upang humiling ng appointment na maiharap ka ng personal sa mga otoridad, nang may sapat na garantiya sa iyong kaligtasan.

Samantala, ihanda ang sarili — aralin nang lubos ang iyong mga karapatan, alamin kung ano ang dapat mong gawin sakaling ikaw ay mahuli, at siguruhing ikaw ay ligtas at protektado ang iyong mga karapatan.


Take the following precautions:

* Do not go out alone. The risk of enforced disappearance and extrajudicial execution or “salvaging” increases if no one witnesses or is willing to testify to the arrest of the person who disappeared or was salvaged.

* Avoid going to places where no one knows you.

* Do not stay at home or elsewhere alone.

* Tell your family or friends of the possibility of your being arrested, and what to do in case you are arrested. Tell them specifically who to run to for help, how to get in touch with them, and where to search for you.

* Before going out, tell your family or friends where you are going, whom you will see, why, how long you expect to be out, and what to do if you fail to return on time, or fail to reach your destination or keep your appointment. If you own a cell phone, send a text message to your friends or family informing them that you have reached your destination and are proceeding to your next appointment.

* When you go out, always carry adequate identification, and avoid carrying anything that could be construed as incriminating.

* In case you are being arrested, see to it that people know that you are being arrested and by whom. If necessary, shout or make a scene to attract attention to your arrest. If you own a cell phone, call or send a text message to your family, friends, and lawyers to inform them that you are being arrested.

* Disappearances and salvaging can be prevented or minimized if your family, friends or even bystanders will accompany or follow you and your arresting officers to learn where you are being taken and to show concern over your safety. As soon as possible, they should notify a lawyer or respected member of the community (a priest, teacher, doctor, or civic leader) who, in turn, should try to visit you immediately.

* During detention, your family and friends should visit you as often as possible, and send things to you (food, magazine, medicines, clothes, etc.) on days they cannot or are not allowed to visit. Never agree to be taken out of jail or the detention center by anyone unless accompanied by your lawyer or a member of your family.

* Even if you have reliable information that there is a plan to arrest or salvage you, it is not advisable to go into hiding. Instead, request your lawyer or other responsible person to inquire if there is a warrant for your arrest, and if there is, to arrange for you to present yourself to the proper authorities under adequate guarantee for your safety. Meanwhile, prepare yourself by reviewing your rights and deciding what you will do if you are arrested, to protect your safety and enforce your rights.