Presidential Decree No. 1829: Penalizing Obstruction of Apprehension of Criminal Offenders

(Note: Also refer to Obstruction of Justice (PD 1829): Basic Discussion. Full text below.)

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.

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.

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