2016 (Political Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 1

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Political Law Instructions; 2016 Political Law Questions: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]

-I-

The contents of the vault of ABC company consisting of cash and documents were stolen. Paulyn, the treasurer of ABC, was invited by the Makati City Police Department to shed light on the amount of cash stolen and the details of the missing documents. Paulyn obliged and volunteered the information asked. Later, Paulyn was charged with qualified theft together with other suspects. Paulyn claims her rights under the Constitution and pertinent laws were blatantly violated. The police explained that they were just gathering evidence when Paulyn was invited for a conference and she was not a suspect at that time. Rule on her defense. (5%)

7 comments

  1. The defense of Paula is untenable. As held in a number of cases, an accused who volunteers information to the police after being invited thereon does not violate the Bill of Rights.

    In this case, Paula was not even deemed to be under custodial investigation for the Constitutional Protection to set in because she was invited as part of normal police work and not as a suspected offender.

    1. The defense of Paula is tenable. It is not voluntarily acts all the information she give, because she was obliged and volunteered the information asked during the custodial investigation . The absence of independent lawyer of her own choice to assist her during the custodial investigation will nullify any evidence obtained and it shall not be use against her in any proceeding.

      Paula’s Constitutional right of assistance of independent lawyer and her own choice was violated during the custodial investigation.

      Hence, Paula contention is tenable.

  2. The contention of paulyn is correct because she was under custodial investigation. The act of inviting her in the conference is in the guise of custodial investigation. Miranda rights should be observed when the makati police started asking questions. Since she was denied her rights, all the evidences extracted from her are all inadmissible under the doctrine of poisonous tree. Thus,Paulyn is right.

  3. Paulyn’s defense is meritorious.

    Under the expanded definition of custodial investigation, any person who is invited for questioning by police officers are deemed to be under custodial investigation. Corollarily, among the constitutional rights of persons under custodial investigation are the following: (a) to be informed of his rights (1) to remain silent and that anything he says may be and will be used against him, and (2) to have the assistance of a competent and independent counsel, preferrably of his own choice. If he cannot afford the services of counsel, he shall be provided with one. Such person must also be assisted by counsel during custodial investigation.

    Here, when Paulyn underwent custodial investigation by being invited for questioning by the police officer, she was not informed of her miranda rights, nor was she assisted by counsel.

    Hence, her defense has merit.

  4. The defense of Paula is correct.

    The law provides that, “Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have an impartial and competent counsel preferrably of his own choice, if he cannot afford tohave a counsel, he must be provided with one.This right cannot be waved except in writing and in the presence of a counsel.

    Any evidence obtained in violation of the aforesaid provisions of the law shall be inadmissible as evidence.

    In the given facts of the case, during the questioning of Paula, the Police officers did not informed her of her rights as provided for in the said law and this is considered as a violation of the law.Those evidences gathered during the custodial investigation are considred as inadmissible as stated in the law. Clearly, the rights of Paula have been violated.

    Ergo, the defense of Paula is correct.

  5. Paulyn’s defense is tenable.

    Under the Bill of Rights, a person under investigation should be informed of his rights to remain silent and to have independent and competent counsel preferably of his own choice, if he cannot afford to have a counsel, he must be provided with one. This right cannot be waved except in writing and in the presence of a counsel. Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.

    In the present case, the invitation of the Makati Police to Paulyn is already akin to custodial investigation, and since she was not appraised of her constitutional rights, any confession or admission she made, regardless if she volunteered it, shall be inadmissible in evidence against her.

    Hence, Paulyn has a valid defense.

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