PD 1829

Presidential Decree No. 1829


PENALIZING OBSTRUCTION OF APPREHENSION AND PROSECUTION OF CRIMINAL OFFENDERS

Whereas, crime and violence continue to proliferate despite the sustained vigorous efforts of the government to effectively contain them;

Whereas, to discourage public indifference or apathy towards the apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders, it is necessary to penalize acts which obstruct or frustrate or tend to obstruct or frustrate the successful apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law do hereby decree and order the following:

SECTION 1. The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period, or a fine ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 pesos, or both, shall be imposed upon any person who knowingly or willfully obstructs, impedes, frustrates or delays the apprehension of suspects and the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases by committing any of the following acts:

(a) Preventing witnesses from testifying in any criminal proceeding or from reporting the commission of any offense or the identity of any offender/s by means of bribery, misrepresentation, deceit, intimidation, force or threats;

(b) Altering, destroying, suppressing or concealing any paper, record, document, or object with intent to impair its verity, authenticity, legibility, availability, or admissibility as evidence in any investigation of or official proceedings in criminal cases, or to be used in the investigation of, or official proceedings in, criminal cases;

(c) Harboring or concealing, or facilitating the escape of, any person he knows, or has reasonable ground to believe or suspect, has committed any offense under existing penal laws in order to prevent his arrest, prosecution and conviction;

(d) Publicly using a fictitious name for the purpose of concealing a crime, evading prosecution or the execution of a judgment, or concealing his true name and other personal circumstances for the same purpose or purposes;

(e) Delaying the prosecution of criminal cases by obstructing the service of process or court orders or disturbing proceedings in the fiscals’ offices, in Tanodbayan, or in the courts;

(f) Making, presenting or using any record, document, paper or object with knowledge of its falsity and with intent to affect the course or outcome of the investigation of, or official proceedings in, criminal cases;

(g) Soliciting, accepting, or agreeing to accept any benefit in consideration of abstaining from, discontinuing, or impeding the prosecution of a criminal offender;

(h) Threatening directly or indirectly another with the infliction of any wrong upon his person, honor or property or that of any immediate member or members of his family in order to prevent a person from appearing in the investigation of, or official proceedings in, criminal cases, or imposing a condition, whether lawful or unlawful, in order to prevent a person from appearing in the investigation of or in official proceedings in criminal cases;

(i) Giving of false or fabricated information to mislead or prevent the law enforcement agencies from apprehending the offender or from protecting the life or property of the victim; or fabricating information from the data gathered in confidence by investigating authorities for purposes of background information and not for publication and publishing or disseminating the same to mislead the investigator or the court.

If any of the acts mentioned herein is penalized by any other law with a higher penalty, the higher penalty shall be imposed.

Note:

The penalty is imprisonment, fine or both. Imprisonment ranges from 4 years, 2 months and 1 day to 6 years (prision correccional in its maximum period). The fine ranges from P1,000 – P6,000.((pnl-law.com)

SEC. 2. If any of the foregoing acts is committed by a public official or employee, he shall, in addition to the penalties provided thereunder, suffer perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

SEC. 3. This Decree shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 16th day of January, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty-one.

What are some of the instances when questions against charges under PD 1829 reached the Supreme Court?

In Posadas vs. Ombudsman (G.R. No. 131492, 29 September 2000), certain officials of the University of the Philippines (UP) were charged for violating PD 1829 (paragraph c above). The UP officers objected to the warrantless arrest of certain students by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). According to the Supreme Court, the police had no ground for the warrantless arrest. The UP Officers, therefore, had a right to prevent the arrest of the students at the time because their attempted arrest was illegal. The “need to enforce the law cannot be justified by sacrificing constitutional rights.”

In another case, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile was charged under PD 1829, for allegedly accommodating Col. Gregorio Honasan by giving him food and comfort on 1 December 1989 in his house. “Knowing that Colonel Honasan is a fugitive from justice, Sen. Enrile allegedly did not do anything to have Honasan arrested or apprehended.” The Supreme Court ruled that Sen. Enrile could not be separately charged under PD 1829, as this is absorbed in the charge of rebellion already filed against Sen. Enrile.(pnl-law.com)

2005 Bar Exam Question

During a PNP buy-bust operation, Cao Shih was arrested for selling 20 grams of
methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) to a poseur-buyer. Cao Shih, through an
intermediary, paid Patrick, the Evidence Custodian of the PNP Forensic Chemistry
Section, the amount of Php500,000.00 in consideration for the destruction by Patrick
of the drug. Patrick managed to destroy the drug.

State with reasons whether Patrick committed Obstruction of Justice under PD 1829.

Patrick committed the crime of Obstruction of Justice although the feigner penalty imposable on direct bribery or infidelity in the custody of documents shall be imposed. Section 1 of P.D.No.1829  refers merely to the imposition of the higher penalty and does not preclude prosecution for obstruction of justice, even if the same not constitute another crime.

Alternative Answer:

Obstruction of Justice is not committed in this case, because the act of destroying evidence in his custody is already penalized by another law which imposes a higher penalty.

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