Right against self-incrimination, Bill of Rights

1. Concept

a. Scope

The right against self-incrimination is accorded to every person who gives evidence, whether voluntary or under compulsion of subpoena, in any civil, criminal or administrative proceeding. (Rosete v. Lim, G.R. No. 136051, 08 June 2006)

The right is not to be compelled to be a witness against himself. It secures to a witness, whether he be a party or not, the right to refuse to answer any particular incriminatory question, i.e., one the answer to which has a tendency to incriminate him for some crime. (Ibid.)

1) Includes custodial investigation

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 competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. (Section 12[1], Article III, 1987 Constitution)

Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him. (Section 12[3], Ibid.)

The right against self-incrimination applies to persons “under investigation for the commission of an offense,” i.e., “suspects” under investigation by police authorities; and this is what makes these rights different from that embodied in the first sentence, that against self-incrimination which, as aforestated, indiscriminately applies to...


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