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FORUM SHOPPING

When forum shopping exists.

Forum shopping exists when, as a result of an adverse judgment in one forum, a party seeks another and
possibly favorable judgment in another forum other than by appeal or special civil action for certiorari. There is also forum
shopping when a party institutes two or more actions or proceedings grounded on the same cause, on the gamble that
one or the other court would make a favorable disposition. (Mun. of Taguig v. CA, G.R. No. 142619, September 13, 2005,
469 SCRA 588; Fels Energy, Inc. v. The Province of Batangas, et al., G.R. No. 168557, February 16, 2007).

Factor that determines the existence of forum shopping.

An important factor in determining the existence of forum shopping is the vexation caused to the courts and the
parties-litigants by the filing of similar cases to claim substantially the same reliefs. The rationale against forum shopping
is that a party should not be allowed to pursue simultaneous remedies in two different fora. Filing multiple petitions or
complaints constitutes abuse of court processes, which tends to degrade the administration of justice, wreaks havoc upon
orderly judicial procedure, and adds to the congestion of the heavily burdened dockets of the courts. (Wee v. Galvez, G.R.
No. 147394, August 11, 2004, 436 SCRA 96; Fels Energy Inc. v. Province of Batangas, et al., G.R. No. 168557, February
16, 2007).
There is forum shopping when there exist: (a) identity of parties, or at least such parties as represent the same
interests in both actions, (b) identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being founded on the same facts,
and (c) the identity of the two preceding particulars is such that any judgment rendered in the pending case, regardless of
which party is successful, would amount to res judicata in the other. (Fels Energy, Inc. v. The Province of Batangas, et al.).

SUCCINCTLY has the Supreme Court explained forum shopping in Emilio S. Young vs John Keng Seng A.K.A. John Sy in
G.R. No.143464 dated March 5, 2003, thus: More accurately, however, forum shopping is the institution of two or more
suits in different courts, either simultaneously or successively, in order to ask the courts to rule on the same or related
causes and/or to grant the same or substantially the same reliefs. It is an act of malpractice that is prohibited and
condemned because it trifles with the courts and abuses their processes. It degrades the administration of justice and
adds to the already congested court dockets.

To stamp out this abominable practice of trifling with the administration of justice, the Supreme Court promulgated
Administrative Circulars 28-91 which are now embodied as Section 5 of Rule 7, of the Rules of Court.

Supreme Court Administrative Circular No. 04-94 amended Administrative Circular No. 28-91 and requires the plaintiff or
principal party to execute a certification against forum shopping to be simultaneously filed with the complaint or initially
pleading.

Section 5 of Rule 7 of the Rules of Court provides: Certification against forum shopping The plaintiff or principal party
shall certify under oath in the complaint or other initiatory pleading asserting a claim for relief, or in a sworn certification
annexed thereto and simultaneously filed therewith

(a) that he has not theretofore commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in any court, tribunal,
or quasi-judicial agency and, to the best of his knowledge, no such action or claim is pending therein

(b) If there is such other pending action or claim, a complete statement of the present status thereof, and

(c) If he should thereafter learn that the same or similar action has been filed or is pending, he shall report that fact within
five days therefrom to the court wherein his aforesaid complaint or initiatory pleading has been filed.

Failure to comply with the foregoing requirements shall not be curable by mere amendment of the complaint or other
initiatory pleading but shall vexation be caused for the dismissal of the case without prejudice, unless otherwise provided
upon motion and after hearing. The submission of a false certification or non-compliance with any of the undertaking
therein shall constitute indirect contempt of court, without prejudice to the corresponding administrative and criminal
actions. If these acts of the party or his counsel clearly constitute forum shopping, the same shall be ground for summary
dismissal with prejudice and shall constitute direct contempt, as well as a cause for administrative sanctions.

The Supreme Court, in the case of Alonso, et al. vs Relamida, En Banc, AC No. 8481, August 3, 2010 suspended Atty.
Ibaro B. Relamida Jr. for violating the Rules on Res Judicata and Forum Shopping.
The Supreme Court suspended him for six months from the practice of law and admonished that a repetition of the same
or similar act will be dealt with accordingly.
In dismissing a case based on forum shopping, it is important to consider the vexation caused (to) the courts and party
litigants by a party who asks different courts to rule on the same or related causes or grant the same or substantially the
same reliefs. Thus, to determine whether a party violated the rule against forum shopping, the most important factor to ask
is whether the elements of litis pendential are present, or whether a final judgment in one case will amount to res
judicata in another. Otherwise stated, the test for determining forum shopping is whether in the two (or more) cases
pending, there is identity of parties rights or causes of action, and reliefs sought.
The Supreme Court reminded lawyers against forum shopping when it said in Alonso, et al. vs Relamida, All lawyers
must bear in mind that their oaths are neither mere words nor empty formality. When they take their oath as lawyers, they
dedicate their lives to the pursuit of justice. They accept the sacred trust to uphold the laws of the land. As the first Canon
of the Code of Professional Responsibility states: (a) lawyer shall uphold the Constitution, obey the laws of the land and
promote respect for law and legal processes. Moreover, according to the lawyers oath they took, lawyers should not
wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit, nor give aid or consent t the same.
RES JUDICATA

Res judicata refers to the rule that a final judgment or decree on the merits by a court of competent jurisdiction is
conclusive of the rights of the parties or their privies in all later suits on all points and matters determined in the former
suit.5

The elements of res judicata are as follows: (1) the former judgment or order must be final; (2) the judgment or order must
be on the merits; (3) it must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties; (4)
there must be, between the first and the second action, identity of parties, of subject matter and cause of action.

RES JUDICATA- the Latin term for "a matter [already] judged", and may refer to two things: in both civil
law and common law legal systems, a case in which there has been a final judgment and is no longer subject to appeal.
[1]; and the term is also used to refer to the legal doctrine meant to bar (or preclude) continued litigation of such cases
between the same parties, which is different between the two legal systems. In this latter usage, the term is synonymous
with"preclusion".

Elements of Res Judicata

1. The former judgment must be final

2. Judgment must be on the merits of the case

3. The former decision is rendered by the court having jurisdiction over the subject.

4. There is similar identity of parties, subject matter and cause of action for both cases.

Cause of action - defined as "an act or omission of second party in violation of the legal right or rights of the other, and its
essential elements are legal right of the plaintiff, correlative obligation of the defendant, and act or omission of the
defendant in violation of said legal right."

TEST FOR APPLICATION OF RES JUDICATA

In the application of the doctrine of res judicata, if it is doubtful whether a second action is for the same cause of action as
the first, the test generally applied is to consider the Identity of facts essential to their maintenance, or whether the same
evidence would sustain both. If the same facts or evidence would sustain both, the two actions are considered the same
within the rule that the judgment in the former is a bar to the subsequent action. If, however, the two actions rest upon
different states of facts, or if different proofs would be required to sustain the two actions, a judgment in one is no bar to
the maintenance of the other.

Two main rules: bar by former judgment and conclusiveness of judgment.

BAR BY FORMER JUDGMENT

The doctrine of res judicata is set forth in Section 47 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, as follows:

Sec. 47. Effect of judgments or final orders. The effect of a judgment or final order rendered by a court of thePhilippines,
having jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment or final order, may be as follows:

xxx

(b)In other cases, the judgment or final order is, with respect to the matter directly adjudged or as to any other matter that
could have been raised in relation thereto, conclusive between the parties and their successors in interest by title
subsequent to the commencement of the action or special proceeding, litigating for the same thing and under the same
title and in the same capacity; and
(c)In any other litigation between the same parties or their successors in interest, that only is deemed to have been
adjudged in a former judgment or final order which appears upon its face to have been so adjudged, or which actually and
necessarily included therein or necessary thereto.

The principle of res judicata lays down two main rules: (1) the judgment or decree of a court of competent jurisdiction on
the merits concludes the litigation between the parties and their privies and constitutes a bar to a new action or suit
involving the same cause of action either before the same or any other tribunal; and (2) any right, fact, or matter in issue
directly adjudicated or necessarily involved in the determination of an action before a competent court in which a judgment
or decree is rendered on the merits is conclusively settled by the judgment therein and cannot again be litigated between
the parties and their privies whether or not the claims or demands, purposes, or subject matters of the two suits are the
same.[50] The first rule which corresponds to paragraph (b) of Section 47 above, is referred to as bar by former
judgment; while the second rule, which is embodied in paragraph (c), is known as conclusiveness of judgment.

CONCLUSIVENESS OF JUDGEMENT- states that a fact or question which was in issue in a former suit and was there
judicially passed upon and determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, is conclusively settled by the judgment therein
as far as the parties to that action and persons in privity with them are concerned and cannot be again litigated in any
future action between such parties or their privies, in the same court or any other court of concurrent jurisdiction on either
the same or different cause of action, while the judgment remains unreversed by proper authority. It has been held that in
order that a judgment in one action can be conclusive as to a particular matter in another action between the same parties
or their privies, it is essential that the issue be identical. If a particular point or question is in issue in the second action,
and the judgment will depend on the determination of that particular point or question, a former judgment between the
same parties or their privies will be final and conclusive in the second if that same point or question was in issue and
adjudicated in the first suit (Nabus v. Court of Appeals, 193 SCRA 732 [1991]). Identity of cause of action is not required
but merely identity of issue.

Justice Feliciano, in Smith Bell & Company (Phils.), Inc. v. Court of Appeals (197 SCRA 201, 210 [1991]),
reiterated Lopez v. Reyes (76 SCRA 179 [1977]) in regard to the distinction between bar by former judgment which bars
the prosecution of a second action upon the same claim, demand, or cause of action, and conclusiveness of judgment
which bars the relitigation of particular facts or issues in another litigation between the same parties on a different claim or
cause of action.

The general rule precluding the relitigation of material facts or questions which were in issue and adjudicated in
former action are commonly applied to all matters essentially connected with the subject matter of the litigation. Thus, it
extends to questions necessarily implied in the final judgment, although no specific finding may have been made in
reference thereto and although such matters were directly referred to in the pleadings and were not actually or formally
presented. Under this rule, if the record of the former trial shows that the judgment could not have been rendered without
deciding the particular matter, it will be considered as having settled that matter as to all future actions between the parties
and if a judgment necessarily presupposes certain premises, they are as conclusive as the judgment itself.

Under the principle of conclusiveness of judgment, when a right or fact has been judicially tried and determined by a court
of competent jurisdiction, or when an opportunity for such trial has been given, the judgment of the court, as long as it
remains unreversed, should be conclusive upon the parties and those in privity with them. Simply put, conclusiveness of
judgment bars the relitigation of particular facts or issues in another litigation between the same parties on a different
claim or cause of action.[53]
LITIS PENDENCIA

ABATEMENT OR DISMISSAL OF ACTION; LITIS PENDENTIA

In order to constitute a ground for the abatement or dismissal of an action, litis pendentia must exhibit the concurrnece of
the following requisites: (a) identity of parties, or at least such as representing the same interest in both actions; (b)
identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being founded on the same facts; and (c) identity in the two cases
should be such that the judgment that may be rendered in the pending case would, regardless of which party is
successful, amount to res judicata in the other.

litis pendentia refers to a situation where two actions are pending between the same parties for the same cause of action,
so that one of them becomes unnecessary and vexatious.

Litis pendentia exists when the following requisites are present:


identity of the parties in the two actions; substantial identity in the causes of action and in the reliefs sought by the
parties;
and the identity between the two actions should be such that any judgment that may be rendered in one case,
regardless of which party is successful, would amount to res judicata in the other

LITIS PENDENTIALitis pendentia:

"a pending suit." same parties, same cause. Interposed as a ground for the dismissal of a civil action pending in court.Litis
pendentia as a ground for the dismissal of a civil action refers to that situation wherein another action is pending between
the same parties for the same cause of action, such that the second action becomes unnecessary and vexatious

Requisites for litis pendentia:(a) identity of parties or at least such as representing the same interests in both actions(b)
identity of rights asserted and reliefs prayed for, the relief being founded on the same facts(c) the identity in the two cases
should be such that the judgment that may be rendered in one would, regardless of which party is successful, amounts to
res adjudicata in the other.

Forum shopping exists where the elements of litis pendentia are present, or where a final judgment in one case will
amount to res judicata in the final other.

Doctrine of Estoppel an unlicensed foreign corporation doing business in thePhilippines may bring suit in Philippine
courts against a Philippine citizen or entity who had contracted with and benefited from said corporation. A party is
estopped from challenging the personality of a corporation after having acknowledged the same by entering into a
contract with it. This doctrine of estoppel to deny corporate existence and capacity applies to foreign as well as domestic
corporations.45 The application of this principle prevents a person contracting with a foreign corporation from later taking
advantage of its noncompliance with the statutes chiefly in cases where such person has received the benefits of the
contract.
EXECUTION OF JUDGEMENT

Section 1 and Section 2 of Rule 39 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure provides, as follows:

Section 1. Execution upon judgments or final orders. Execution shall issue as a matter of right, on motion, upon a
judgment or order that disposes of the action or proceeding upon the expiration of the period to appeal therefrom if no
appeal has been duly perfected.

If the appeal has been duly perfected and finally resolved, the execution may forthwith be applied for in the court of origin,
on motion of the judgment obligee, submitting therewith certified true copies of the judgment or judgments or final order or
orders sought to be enforced and of the entry thereof, with notice to the adverse party.
RIGHTS OF A WITNESS:

Constitutional Law

Bill of rights; right of confrontation. The examination of witnesses must be done orally before a judge in open court.
This is true especially in criminal cases where the Constitution secures to the accused his right to a public trial and to
meet the witnesses against him face to face. The requirement is the safest and most satisfactory method of investigating
facts as it enables the judge to test the witness credibility through his manner and deportment while testifying. It is not
without exceptions, however, as the Rules of Court recognizes the conditional examination of witnesses and the use of
their depositions as testimonial evidence in lieu of direct court testimony. Go, et al. v. The People of the Philippines and
Highdone Company, Ltd., et al., G.R. No. 185527, July 18, 2012.

Bill of rights; right of confrontation; conditional examination of witnesses. But for purposes of taking the deposition
in criminal cases, more particularly of a prosecution witness who would foreseeably be unavailable for trial, the testimonial
examination should be made before the court, or at least before the judge, where the case is pending as required by the
clear mandate of Section 15, Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure

Certainly, to take the deposition of the prosecution witness elsewhere and not before the very same court where the case
is pending would not only deprive a detained accused of his right to attend the proceedings but also deprive the trial judge
of the opportunity to observe the prosecution witness deportment and properly assess his credibility, which is especially
intolerable when the witness testimony is crucial to the prosecutions case against the accused

The right of confrontation, on the other hand, is held to apply specifically to criminal proceedings and to have a twofold
purpose: (1) to afford the accused an opportunity to test the testimony of witnesses by cross-examination, and (2) to allow
the judge to observe the deportment of witnesses. The Court explained in People v. Seneris [G.R. No. L- 48883, August
6, 1980] that the constitutional requirement insures that the witness will give his testimony under oath, thus deterring lying
by the threat of perjury charge; it forces the witness to submit to cross-examination, a valuable instrument in exposing
falsehood and bringing out the truth; and it enables the court to observe the demeanor of the witness and assess his
credibility. Go, et al. v. The People of the Philippines and Highdone Company, Ltd., et al., G.R. No. 185527, July 18,
2012.
Republic Act No. 6981 April 24, 1991

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A WITNESS PROTECTION, SECURITY AND BENEFIT PROGRAM AND FOR OTHER
PURPOSES

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled::

Section 1. Name of Act. - This Act shall be known as the "Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act".

Section 2. Implementation of Program. - The Department of Justice, hereinafter referred to as the Department, through its
Secretary, shall formulate and implement a "Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Program", hereinafter referred to as
the Program, pursuant to and consistent with the provisions of this Act.

The Department may call upon any department, bureau, office or any other executive agency to assist in the
implementation of the Program and the latter offices shall be under legal duty and obligation to render such assistance.

Section 3. Admission into the Program. - Any person who has witnessed or has knowledge or information on the
commission of a crime and has testified or is testifying or about to testify before any judicial or quasi-judicial body, or
before any investigating authority, may be admitted into the Program:

Provided, That:

a) the offense in which his testimony will be used is a grave felony as defined under the Revised Penal Code, or its
equivalent under special laws;lawphi1

b) his testimony can be substantially corroborated in its material points;

c) he or any member of his family within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity is subjected to threats to
his life or bodily injury or there is a likelihood that he will be killed, forced, intimidated, harassed or corrupted to prevent
him from testifying, or to testify falsely, or evasively, because or on account of his testimony; and

d) he is not a law enforcement officer, even if he would be testifying against the other law enforcement officers. In
such a case, only the immediate members of his family may avail themselves of the protection provided for under this Act.

If the Department, after examination of said applicant and other relevant facts, is convinced that the requirements of this
Act and its implementing rules and regulations have been complied with, it shall admit said applicant to the Program,
require said witness to execute a sworn statement detailing his knowledge or information on the commission of the crime,
and thereafter issue the proper certification. For purposes of this Act, any such person admitted to the Program shall be
known as the Witness.

Section 4. Witness in Legislative Investigations. - In case of legislative investigations in aid of legislation, a witness, with
his express consent, may be admitted into the Program upon the recommendation of the legislative committee where his
testimony is needed when in its judgment there is pressing necessity therefor: Provided, That such recommendation is
approved by the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the case may be.

Section 5. Memorandum of Agreement With the Person to be Protected. - Before a person is provided protection under
this Act, he shall first execute a memorandum of agreement which shall set forth his responsibilities including:

a) to testify before and provide information to all appropriate law enforcement officials concerning all appropriate
proceedings in connection with or arising from the activities involved in the offense charged;

b) to avoid the commission of the crime;lawphi1

c) to take all necessary precautions to avoid detection by others of the facts concerning the protection provided him
under this Act;

d) to comply with legal obligations and civil judgments against him;

e) to cooperate with respect to all reasonable requests of officers and employees of the Government who are
providing protection under this Act; and

f) to regularly inform the appropriate program official of his current activities and address.1awphi1
Section 6. Breach of the Memorandum of Agreement. - Substantial breach of the memorandum of agreement shall be a
ground for the termination of the protection provided under this Act: Provided, however, That before terminating such
protection, the Secretary of Justice shall send notice to the person involved of the termination of the protection provided
under this Act, stating therein the reason for such termination.

Section 7. Confidentiality of Proceedings. - All proceedings involving application for admission into the Program and the
action taken thereon shall be confidential in nature. No information or documents given or submitted in support thereof
shall be released except upon written order of the Department or the proper court.

Any person who violates the confidentiality of said proceedings shall upon conviction be punished with imprisonment of
not less than one (1) year but not more than six (6) years and deprivation of the right to hold a public office or employment
for a period of five (5) years.

Section 8. Rights and Benefits. - The witness shall have the following rights and benefits:ITC-ALF

(a) To have a secure housing facility until he has testified or until the threat, intimidation or harassment disappears or
is reduced to a manageable or tolerable level. When the circumstances warrant, the Witness shall be entitled to relocation
and/or change of personal identity at the expense of the Program. This right may be extended to any member of the family
of the Witness within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.

(b) The Department shall, whenever practicable, assist the Witness in obtaining a means of livelihood. The Witness
relocated pursuant to this Act shall be entitled to a financial assistance from the Program for his support and that of his
family in such amount and for such duration as the Department shall determine.

(c) In no case shall the Witness be removed from or demoted in work because or on account of his absences due to
his attendance before any judicial or quasi-judicial body or investigating authority, including legislative investigations in aid
of legislation, in going thereto and in coming therefrom: Provided, That his employer is notified through a certification
issued by the Department, within a period of thirty (30) days from the date when the Witness last reported for work:
Provided, further, That in the case of prolonged transfer or permanent relocation, the employer shall have the option to
remove the Witness from employment after securing clearance from the Department upon the recommendation of the
Department of Labor and Employment.

Any Witness who failed to report for work because of witness duty shall be paid his equivalent salaries or wages
corresponding to the number of days of absence occasioned by the Program. For purposes of this Act, any fraction of a
day shall constitute a full day salary or wage. This provision shall be applicable to both government and private
employees.

(d) To be provided with reasonable travelling expenses and subsistence allowance by the Program in such amount
as the Department may determine for his attendance in the court, body or authority where his testimony is required, as
well as conferences and interviews with prosecutors or investigating officers.

(e) To be provided with free medical treatment, hospitalization and medicines for any injury or illness incurred or
suffered by him because of witness duty in any private or public hospital, clinic, or at any such institution at the expense of
the Program.

(f) If a Witness is killed, because of his participation in the Program, his heirs shall be entitled to a burial benefit of
not less than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) from the Program exclusive of any other similar benefits he may be
entitled to under other existing laws.

(g) In case of death or permanent incapacity, his minor or dependent children shall be entitled to free education, from
primary to college level in any state, or private school, college or university as may be determined by the Department, as
long as they shall have qualified thereto.

Section 9. Speedy Hearing or Trial. - In any case where a Witness admitted into the Program shall testify, the judicial or
quasi-judicial body, or investigating authority shall assure a speedy hearing or trial and shall endeavor to finish said
proceeding within three (3) months from the filing of the case.

Section 10. State Witness. - Any person who has participated in the commission of a crime and desires to be a witness for
the State, can apply and, if qualified as determined in this Act and by the Department, shall be admitted into the Program
whenever the following circumstances are present:
(a) the offense in which his testimony will be used is a grave felony as defined under the Revised Penal Code or its
equivalent under special laws;

(b) there is absolute necessity for his testimony;

(c) there is no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed:

(d) his testimony can be substantially corroborated on its material points;

(e) he does not appear to be most guilty; and

(f) he has not at any time been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude.

An accused discharged from an information or criminal complaint by the court in order that he may be a State Witness
pursuant to Section 9 and 10 of Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Court may upon his petition be admitted to the Program
if he complies with the other requirements of this Act. Nothing in this Act shall prevent the discharge of an accused, so that
he can be used as a State Witness under Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Court.

Section 11. Sworn Statement. - Before any person is admitted into the Program pursuant to the next preceding Section he
shall execute a sworn statement describing in detail the manner in which the offense was committed and his participation
therein. If after said examination of said person, his sworn statement and other relevant facts, the Department is satisfied
that the requirements of this Act and its implementing rules are complied with, it may admit such person into the Program
and issue the corresponding certification.

If his application for admission is denied, said sworn statement and any other testimony given in support of said
application shall not be admissible in evidence, except for impeachment purposes.

Section 12. Effect of Admission of a State Witness into the Program. - The certification of admission into the Program by
the Department shall be given full faith and credit by the provincial or city prosecutor who is required not to include the
Witness in the criminal complaint or information and if included therein, to petition the court for his discharge in order that
he can utilized as a State Witness. The Court shall order the discharge and exclusion of the said accused from the
information.

Admission into the Program shall entitle such State Witness to immunity from criminal prosecution for the offense or
offenses in which his testimony will be given or used and all the rights and benefits provided under Section 8 hereof.

Section 13. Failure or Refusal of the Witness to Testify. - Any Witness registered in the Program who fails or refuses to
testify or to continue to testify without just cause when lawfully obliged to do so, shall be prosecuted for contempt. If he
testifies falsely or evasively, he shall be liable to prosecution for perjury. If a State Witness fails or refuses to testify, or
testifies falsely or evasively, or violates any condition accompanying such immunity without just cause, as determined in a
hearing by the proper court, his immunity shall be removed and he shall be subject to contempt or criminal prosecution.
Moreover, the enjoyment of all rights and benefits under this Act shall be deemed terminated.

The Witness may, however, purge himself of the contumacious acts by testifying at any appropriate stage of the
proceedings.

Section 14. Compelled Testimony. - Any Witness admitted into the Program pursuant to Sections 3 and 10 of this Act
cannot refuse to testify or give evidence or produce books, documents, records or writings necessary for the prosecution
of the offense or offenses for which he has been admitted into the Program on the ground of the constitutional right
against self-incrimination but he shall enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution and cannot be subjected to any penalty or
forfeiture for any transaction, matter or thing concerning his compelled testimony or books, documents, records and
writings produced.

In case of refusal of said Witness to testify or give evidence or produce books, documents, records, or writings, on the
ground of the right against self-incrimination, and the state prosecutor or investigator believes that such evidence is
absolutely necessary for a successful prosecution of the offense or offenses charged or under investigation, he, with the
prior approval of the department, shall file a petition with the appropriate court for the issuance of an order requiring said
Witness to testify, give evidence or produce the books, documents, records, and writings described, and the court shall
issue the proper order.
The court, upon motion of the state prosecutor or investigator, shall order the arrest and detention of the Witness in any
jail contiguous to the place of trial or investigation until such time that the Witness is willing to give such testimony or
produce such documentary evidence.

Section 15. Perjury or Contempt. - No Witness shall be exempt from prosecution for perjury or contempt committed while
giving testimony or producing evidence under compulsion pursuant to this Act. The penalty next higher in degree shall be
imposed in case of conviction for perjury. The procedure prescribed under Rule 71 of the Rules of Court shall be followed
in contempt proceedings but the penalty to be imposed shall not be less than one (1) month but not more than one (1)
year imprisonment.

Section 16. Credibility of Witness. - In all criminal cases, the fact of the entitlement of the Witness to the protection and
benefits provided for in this Act shall not be admissible in evidence to diminish or affect his credibility.

Section 17. Penalty for Harassment of Witness. - Any person who harasses a Witness and thereby hinders, delays,
prevents or dissuades a Witness from:

(a) attending or testifying before any judicial or quasi-judicial body or investigating authority;

(b) reporting to a law enforcement officer or judge the commission or possible commission of an offense, or a
violation of conditions or probation, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;

(c) seeking the arrest of another person in connection with the offense;

(d) causing a criminal prosecution, or a proceeding for the revocation of a parole or probation; or

(e) performing and enjoying the rights and benefits under this Act or attempts to do so, shall be fined not more than
Three thousand pesos (P3,000.00) or suffer imprisonment of not less than six (6) months but not more than one (1) year,
or both, and he shall also suffer the penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office in case of a public
officer.

Section 18. Rules and Regulations. - The Department shall promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary
to implement the intent and purposes of this Act. Said rules and regulations shall be published in two (2) newspapers of
general circulation.

Section 19. Repealing Clause. - All laws, decrees, executive issuances, rules and regulations inconsistent with this Act are
hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 20. Funding. - The amount of Ten million pesos (P10,000,000.00) is hereby authorized to be appropriated out of
any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated to carry into effect the purpose of this Act.

Expenses incurred in the implementation of the Program may be recovered as part of the cost or indemnity imposed upon
the accused.

Furthermore, other funding schemes or sources, subject to the limitations of the law, shall be allowed in furtherance
hereof.

Section 21. Separability Clause. - The declaration of unconstitutionality or invalidity of any provision of this Act shall not
affect the other provisions hereof.

Section 22. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following its publication in two (2) newspapers of
general circulation.

Approved: April 24, 1991lawphi1