The wheels of Philipppine justice is perceived to grind slowly, but it is surprisingly easy to initiate the engine of equity. Whether you’ve been scammed by an estafador or lost a loved one to a murderer, the first step is to proceed to the police authorities. You will secure a police blotter that will be used as evidence. If physical injuries had been sustained, your local hospital or clinic can provide a certification of injuries. Photos will be adequate in most circumstances but understand that these can be faked. A doctor’s certification will be vital. When death is involved, an autopsy report can sustain the time and cause of death , providing linkages to the suspect.
Due process then requires lodging a criminal complaint in the form of a Complaint-Affidavit. While the City Prosecutor will do this for you, do uderstand that the volume of cases can slow down the preparation. It helps to procure the affidavit from a private criminal attorney. The latter will ascertain all the facts and laws as well as the evidences to establish the elements of the crime. Providing the affidavit ahead of time for the City Prosecutor will cut down the lag from analysis to preliminary investigation.
The Complaint Affidavit is filed, and a subpeona is issued aggainst the accused. The accused must appear at a certain time and date to provide his Counter-Affidavit. The Complainant may optionally file a Reply-Affidavit to rebut new issues raised in defense by the Accused. Throughtout the initial filings, preliminary investigation proceeds as an inquiry to determine whether sufficient ground exists to sustain the belief that a crime had been committed and that the accused is guilty thereof. Once the Prosecutor ascertains such grounds, he files an information in Court against the accused. If there are no sufficient ground, the Prosecutor will dismiss the case. As an example, the complainant files a case of murder againts a bus driver for running over his wife. Generally, the elements of murder are: 1) That a person was killed; 2) That the accused killed him; 3) That the killing was attended by any of the qualifying circumstances mentioned in Art. 248; and 4) is not parricide or infanticide. Since the qualifying circumstances of say, treachery was not found, the Prosecutor will downgrade the crime from murder to simple homicide.
The Prosecutor can dismiss the case should he find no grounds to sustain trial but the complainant may file a Motion for Reconsidertaion with the Proscutor. A second denial may lead to remedies with the Department of Justice
Now the prosecutor can opt tfile a resolution finding .probable cause, and thereby file an information in court, with the recommended bail. Should the judge agree, he issues a warrant of arrest. Most crimes allow the posting of bail for temporary liberty except for grave crimes punishable by reclusion perpetua, when evidence of guilt is strong.
The final stage is the Trial Proper. Criminal cases are offenses against the state and will be prosecuted till the end even if the Complainant decides to withdraw mid way.