Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-Legal Killings and Enforced Disappearance Meet to Adopt Guidelines for Investigation and Prosecution


Posted: 19 April 2013


On April 18, 2013, Thursday, the Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons, chaired by the Department of Justice (DOJ), held its third regular meeting at the GHQ Conference Room, Camp Aguinaldo. The IAC composed of the DOJ, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Office of the Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs (OPAPA), Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), adopted the Operational Guidelines or the implementing rules and regulations of Administrative Order No. 35 which was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III last 22 November 2012.

The Operational Guidelines is an important step towards engendering an investigative environment that will benefit greatly from the legal knowledge, experience and leadership of a prosecutor to ensure an airtight investigation and successful prosecution of a greater number of cases. The Guidelines call for the creation of special investigation teams which are composite teams of investigators and prosecutors that will undertake case build-up of human rights violations covered by the administrative order. Their efforts to secure a successful prosecution will be monitored closely by special oversight teams composed of seasoned prosecutors and investigators who are mandated to provide guidance to the investigators and prosecutors on the ground and also submit recommendations to the JAC. Special tracker teams may also be created to secure the apprehension of perpetrators who continue to successfully elude the enforcement of their warrants of arrest.

In an interview, DOJ Secretary Leila M. Dc Lima shared her observations that, "these Guidelines will be the important tools to train the composite teams of investigators and prosecutors all over the country, not only to secure the paradigm shift in our ranks that will encourage our prosecutors to take a more pro-active approach at the investigation level, but indubitably to ensure a higher conviction rate on cases involving grave human rights violations." De Lima observed, "our main challenge is make sure we have the full support of the PNP, NBI and the National Prosecution Service to see the spirit of A.O. No. 35 through which is to secure the arrests and eventual convictions of perpetrators of these human rights violations and to address, through these institutional mechanisms, the perceived continuing culture of impunity."

The IAC has also undertaken the inventory of cases of extra-legal killings (ELK), enforced disappearances (ED), torture and other grave human rights violations from lists of all government sources. De Lima confirmed that the Technical Working Group (TWG) assisting the IAC has initially submitted a recommended list of priority ELK and ED cases which will be validated by the IAC members within the week. These cases will thereafter be assigned to the various A.O. No. 35 teams for investigation, prosecution or monitoring, as the case maybe.


Present in the said meeting were Sec. Voltaire Gazmin of DND, Sec. Teresita Quintos Deles of OPAPP, Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, Chief of Staff of AFP, Usec. Rafael Santos of DILG, Usec. Luis Martin Gascon, Usec. Pio Lorenzo Batino of DND, Gen. Nestor Fajura of PNP and Atty. Ferdinand Lavin of NBJ. Also present as resource persons and observers, were Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Loretta Ann Morales, CHR Commissioner Ma. Victoria Cardona and Assistant Ombudsman Evelyn Baliton, who signed as witnesses to the Operational Guidelines. The Office of the Ombudsman and the CHR also contributed to the list of A.O. No. 35 cases being processed by the TWG.


The next meeting of the IAC will be on the second week of June.

Enclosed: Operational Guidelines of A.O. No. 35

OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES OF ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 35

WHEREAS, Article II, Section ii of the 1987 Constitution declares that the State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights;

WHEREAS, Article III, Section i of the 1987 Constitution provides that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law;

WHEREAS, Article III, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable;

WHEREAS, Article III, Section 12(1) of the 1987 Constitution provides that any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of the right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice;

WHEREAS, Article III, Sedtidn 12(2) of the 1987 Constitution provides that no torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against any person, and that secret detention places, solitary incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited;

WHEREAS, Article III, Section 14(1) of the 1987 Constitution provides that no person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law;

WHEREAS, Article III, Section 18(1) of the 1987 Constitution provides that no person shall be detained solely by reason of political beliefs and aspirations;

WHEREAS, the Philippines is a state party to key international human rights instruments, among which are: (a) the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and (b) the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;

WHEREAS, in becoming a State Party to these international human rights conventions, the Philippines undertook to harmonize and reflect in its laws, policies and practices the provisions of such conventions;

WHEREAS, being such a State Party, the Philippine Government passed Republic Act No. 9745, entitled, "An Act Penalizing Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment and Presctibing Penalties Therefor" penalizing torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment;

WHEREAS, to further institutionalize the commitment of the Philippines to improve its human rights record, the Philippine Government enacted Republic Act No. 9851, entitled, "Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity;

WHEREAS, to fully adhere to the principles and standards of absolute condemnation and prohibition of enforced or involuntary disappearance, the President signed into law Republic Act No. 10353, "An Act Defining and Penalizing Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance," a first of its kind in Asia and another major legislative milestone on the protection and promotion of human rights;

WHEREAS, commitment to resolve cases of political violence in various forms of human rights violations caused President Aquino to establish an institutional legacy through Administrative Order No. 35, entitled, "Creating the Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-Legal killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons," a comprehensive government machinery mandated to monitor cases of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other human rights violations;

WHEREAS, in order to ensure that political activist and media killings are effectively investigated and successfully prosecuted, the Secretary of Justice and the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government jointly formulated and issued through a Joint Department Order No. 003-2012, which outlines the Operational Guidelines for Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Investigators in Evidence-Gathering, Investigation and Case Build-Up; Inquest and Preliminary Investigation; and Trial of Cases of Political-Activist and Media Killings;

WHEREAS, there have been reported and validated violations of human rights of the individuals throughout the years, which have served to create an impression of a culture of impunity, wherein State and non state forces have been accused of silencing, through violence and intimidation, legitimate dissent and opposition raised by members of the civil society, cause-oriented groups, political movements, people's and non-government organizations, and by ordinary citizens;

WHEREAS, most of these violations remain uninvestigated and unsolved, with the perpetrators unidentified or unprosecuted, giving rise to more impunity;

WHEREAS, there is a need to revisit these unsolved cases of grave violations of the right to life, liberty, and security of persons, whether committed as part of an apparent government policy in the past or as recurring cases of unsanctioned individual abuse of power and authority by State and non-state forces under the present;

WHEREAS, it is important to establish a respectable and validated databank of all specific allegations of human rights violations in the form of extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and other grave violations of the right to life, liberty, and security of persons in order to ensure the comprehensive, coherent, well-coordinated and quick response of the Philippine Government; and

WHEREAS, the present Administration declares as a matter of paramount policy that there is no room for all these forms of political violence and abuses of power by agents or elements of the State or non- state forces, and towards this end commits to establish an institutional legacy of an efficient, coherent, and comprehensive government machinery dedicated to the resolution of unsolved cases of political violence in the form of extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and other grave violations of the right to life, liberty, and security of persons;

NOW THEREFORE, in order to carry out the implementation of Administrative Order No. 35, the following Operational Guidelines are hereby prescribed and promulgated.

ARTICLE I
DEFINITION OF TERMS

In the implementation of Administrative Order No. 35 (A.O. No. 35) and these Guidelines, the following terms shall mean:

  1. Extra-Legal Killings (ELK) or Extra-Judicial Killings (EJK) - For purposes of operationalization and implementation of A.O. No. 35, the ELK/ElK will refer to killings wherein:


a. The victim was:


i. a member of, or affiliated with an organization, to include political, environmental, agrarian, labor, or similar causes; or

ii. an advocate of above-named causes; or

iii. a media practitioner or

iv. person(s) apparently mistaken or identified to be so.


b. The victim was targeted and killed because of the actual or perceived membership, advocacy, or profession;

c. The person/s responsible for the killing is a state agent or non-state agent;

d. The method and circumstances of attack reveal a deliberate intent to kill;

For purposes of the focused mandate of AO No . 35, killings related to common criminals and/or the perpetration of their crimes shall be addressed by other appropriate, mechanisms within the justice system.

2. State Agent - is a person who, by direct provision of law, popular election or appointment by competent authority, takes part in the performance of public functions in the government, or who performs in the government or in any of its branches, public duties as an employee, agent or subordinate official, of any rank or class1.

Sec 3, Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act.


Any other person who does not fall under the above-definition shall be deemed as a Non-State Agent.

3. Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance (EID)—refers to the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty committed by the agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by the refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which places such person outside the protection of the law2.


4. Torture - refers to an act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him/her or a third person information or a confession; punishing him/her for an act he/she or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed; or intimidating or coercing him/her or a third person; or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the! consent or acquiescence of a person in authority or agent of a person in authority. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to lawful sanctions3.


5. Other Grave Human Rights Violations - refer to acts that grossly violate an individual's right to life, liberty and security of persons and/or their physical or mental integrity
and dignity.4


The Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) shall identify the different grave human rights violations to be prioritized for investigation and prosecution under these Guidelines and pursuant to A.O. No. 35.

6. AO 35 Cases - refer to cases of extra-legal killings, enforced or involuntary disappearances, torture, and other grave human rights violation cases, involving right to life, liberty and security of peçsons.


7. Special Investigation Teams for New Cases (SITN) - refers to composite teams of prosecutors and investigators designated by the IAC purposely to investigate, prosecute and monitor new cases or incidents that occurred after the effectivity of A.O. No. 35 on 22 November 2012.


8. Special Investigation Teams for Existing/Current Cases (SITEC) - refers to composite teams of prosecutors and investigators designated by the TAC purposely to investigate, prosecute and monitor existing or current cases that are actively being investigated or prosecuted in court and those that have been archived by the court, where such cases or incidents occurred prior to the effectivity of A.O. No. 35 on 22 November 2012.


9. Special Investigation Teams for unsolved Cases (SITU) - refers to composite teams of prosecutors and investigators designated by the IAC tasked to conduct further investigation of unsolved AO 35 cases for the purpose of identifying and arresting the persons responsible for the crime and ensuring the successful prosecution of the cases.

10. Special Oversight Team (SOT) for unsolved cases -  is a composite team of investigators and prosecutors created by the TAC tasked to evaluate and oversee the reinvestigation by the SITUs, supervise the management of unsolved AO 35 cases, and to regularly report and submit recommendations to the JAC regarding these cases.

11. Special Oversight Team (SOT) for existing and new cases - is a composite team of investigators and prosecutors created by the IAC tasked to evaluate, to monitor and supervise the investigation and prosecution of new and existing cases, and to regularly report and submit recommendations to the JAC regarding these AO 35 cases.

12. Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) - is a body created under Administrative Order No. 35 dated 22 November 2012 tasked to monitor and ensure the speedy resolution of extra judicial killings, enforced or involuntary disappearances, torture, and other grave violations of the right to life, liberty and security of persons.

13. Technical Working Group (TWG) - a body composed of the representatives of the member-agencies and observers/resource persons of the IAC which shall serve as the central support system to the Committee in the monitoring and handling of A035 cases.

14. Observers/Resource Persons —refers to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Ombudsman or any of their authorized representatives.

15. High Profile Cases - are cases identified by the IAC as such because of the presence of any of the following circumstances:
a. High media attention;
b.Highlighted or monitored by international agencies, organizations, or institutions;
c. Given special attention by other stakeholders;
d. The victim or suspect is a public personality; and
e. Other cases as may be declared "high profile" by the JAC.

16. Unsolved Cases - are incidents that were previously investigated by the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) or the Commission on
Human Rights (CHR) prior to 22 November 2012 that would have been treated as AO 35 cases but where no complaint for preliminary investigation was filed with the National Prosecution Service (NPS) or the Office of the Ombudsman due to lack of sufficient evidence, or unwillingness of eyewitnesses to cooperate in the investigation, or to give information, or for total lack of witnesses.

Unsolved cases may also refer to cold cases.

17. Closed Cases - AO 35 cases which, upon thorough review and final determination of the IAC, are denominated as "closed" because vital witnesses are no longer available or can no longer testify, or have already died, or for total lack of evidence, or where all possible suspects have already died.

18. Cases Under Investigation - are incidents that are presently undergoing investigation by law enforcement offices for the possible filing of cases for preliminary investigation with the NPS or the Ombudsman, or those that have been dismissed by the prosecution due to lack or insufficiency of evidence, or dismissed by the court for lack of probable cause and ordered to be reinvestigated by law enforcement agencies.

19. Cases under Re-Investigation - refer to the following cases:

a. Unsolved cases identified by the SOT to be prioritized for further investigation 'for the purpose of identifying the person/s responsible for the crime and witnesses and the collection of evidence for possible case build-up;


b. Cases dismissed by the prosecutor for lack or insufficiency of evidence and identified by the SOT to be prioritized for further investigation 'for the purpose of identifying the person/s responsible for the crime and witnesses and collection of evidence for possible case build-up and;

c. Cases dismissed by the court for lack of probable cause and ordered to be reinvestigated by law enforcement agencies. Such cases must also be identified by the SOT to be prioritized for further investigation for the purpose of identifying the person/s responsible for the crime and witnesses and collection of evidence for possible case build-
up.


20. Cases Under Preliminary Investigation - refer to cases that are undergoing preliminary investigation either by the NPS or the Ombudsman.

21. Cases on Appeal - refers to cases where the resolution of the prosecutor is appealed by way of petition for review before the Office of the Secretary of Justice or to the Ombudsman.

22. New Cases - refer to incidents covered by A.O. 35 that occurred after its effectivity on 22 November 2012.

23. Inquest - is an informal and summary investigation in a criminal case conducted by the prosecutor involving person/s arrested and detained without the benefit of a warrant of arrest for the purpose of determining whether said person/s should remain under custody and correspondingly charged in court.

24. AO 35 Prosecutors - refer to the prosecutors designated by the IAC to lead special investigation teams (SIT) in the investigation and build-up of AO 35 Cases.

25. Investigating Prosecutor - refers to the prosecutor who is tasked to conduct a preliminary investigation in an A035 Case.

26. Trial Prosecutor - refers to the prosecutor who actively handles the trial of an AO 35 case in court.

27. Law Enforcement Agency - refers to the Philippine National Police (PNP) or the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), or to any of its offices or sub-offices or other law
enforcement agencies of the government ordered by competent authorities to investigate AO 35 cases and/or arrest those responsible therefor.

28. Law Enforcement Investigator/A0 35 Investigator - refers to the investigator from a law enforcement agency as defined in the preceding paragraph designated by the IAC as part of the composite team led by the AO 35 prosecutor in the investigation and build-up of AO 35 cases.

The investigators designated under their respective law enforcement agencies' normal processes of forming SITG (Special Investigation Task Group) or Task Forces may form part of the various Special Investigation Teams by default.

29. Composite Team Approach - refers to the strategy or scheme adopted by the IAC as mandated by A035, where prosecutors and investigators collaborate, cooperate and
coordinate in the investigation and build-up of AO 35 cases.

30. Case Build-Up - refers to the entire process of investigation and case preparation, including the collection and preservation of evidence, documentation, and identification of suspects to ensure the successful prosecution of the case.

ARTICLE II
SOURCES OF INFORMATION

1. Police, NBI and other law enforcement agencies;

2. Fact-Finding Committees and other ad hoc bodies created by laws, ordinances, department orders, administrative issuances, or judicial orders for purposes of information-gathering, the conduct of investigation, and submission of findings and recommendations relative to AO 35 cases;

3. CHR, being the constitutional body tasked to investigate cases involving human rights violations;

4. AO 35 Member-Agencies which may separately provide information on AO 35 cases which are submitted to the IAC for appropriate action;

5. Other government offices or units;

6. Media and Reports from other private entities,  including civilians, human rights organizations, civil society organizations and other groups which report incidents of grave violations of the right to life, liberty and security of persons;

7. Reports from international entities including United Nations Bodies, Committees, Working Groups, Special Representatives, international NGOs and foreign governments, on possible human rights violations identified under AO 35;
 

ARTICLE III
SYSTEM OF COOPERATION

  1. Unsolved Cases


Section 1. Reinvestigation by Special Investigation Teams (SITU). Unsolved cases identified by the IAC, especially those that transpired between 2001 up to November 22, 2012 shall be re-evaluated and re-investigated by Special Investigation Teams for Unsolved Cases (SITU) that shall be created by the IAC.
 

Section 2. Duties and Responsibilities of a SITU. As soon as practicable after their creation, a SITU, led by an AO 35 prosecutor, shall convene in order to thoroughly study the records of the case, interview the relatives of the victim, conduct an ocular inspection of the crime scene, interview possible witnesses to the incident, and exert all other efforts which may lead to the identification of the person/s responsible for the crime.


Section 3 .  Period of Reinvestigation; Extensions. The SITU shall expeditiously work on the unsolved cases and finish their reinvestigation and case build-up within a period of thirty (30) days from their initial meeting, unless otherwise extended by the SOT for another thirty (30) days upon their prior written request and only on meritorious grounds such as difficulty in obtaining testimonies or cooperation of witnesses.

Section 4. Investigation Report. Upon completion of re- investigation, the SITU shall submit a Final Investigation Report to the IAC Secretariat containing the following:


(a) Summary of the Incident (which shall include name and affiliation of the victim/s and the suspect/s);
(b) Brief narrative on the previous investigative efforts and their results;
(c) Detailed narrative on the SITU's reinvestigation efforts and their results;
(d) Enumeration and evaluation of evidence;
(e) Findings;
(f) Conclusion;
(g) Recommendation; and
(h) Annexes of pertinent documents.
 

Section 5. Deliberations and Recommendations of SOT for Unsolved Cases. The Secretariat shall, upon receipt of the Investigation Report from the SITU, calendar the same for discussion by the SOT for unsolved cases which, depending on the result of deliberations and thorough review of the records, may recommend to the IAC any of the following actions:
 

(a) That the case be immediately filed with the appropriate prosecution office against the respondent;
(b) That the case be further reinvestigated on the basis of some other leads;
(c) That the case be declared closed, especially if vital witnesses to the incident can no longer testify, have already died or can no longer be located, or for total lack of evidence, or where
the suspect(s) have already died; or
(d) That the case be delisted on the ground that the same is not an AO 35 case.


Section 6. IAC Action. Acting on the recommendations of the SOT for unsolved cases based on the result of SITU's reinvestigation, the IAC may adopt, modify, or otherwise overturn the same, or altogether create another team to reinvestigate the case anew.

 The IAC may solicit the assistance of other agencies which may not be a member of the Committee and/or take any other appropriate action.
 

Section 7.  Filing and Indorsement of AO 35 Case. If the IAC adopts the recommendation for filing of a complaint, the SITU shall file the corresponding complaint before the appropriate prosecution office. The complaint shall contain an Indorsement signed by the A035 Investigator who is a member of the SITU, indicating that the investigation was conducted pursuant to AO 35 and these Guidelines.


Section 8. Closed Cases Not To Be Delisted. Whenever the IAC resolves to close an unsolved case reinvestigated by the SITU due to the impossibility of obtaining sufficient evidence to move it forward, the same shall not be delisted from the inventory of alleged AO 35 cases.

However, the person/s implicated in an Unsolved Case that was resolved to be closed, shall forthwith be delisted from the case after due assessment is conducted by the SOT on the said person/s' purported participation. The SOT shall thereafter recommend to the IAC the approval to delist the aforesaid person/s. The delisting of such name/s shall be without prejudice to their inclusion if the case is revived due to newly-obtained evidence sufficiently showing the person/s participation as the perpetrator/s thereof.
 

Section 9.  Change of SITU Composition. If it appears at any time during the investigation and case build-up that an A035 agency may be somehow involved in the incident subject of the investigation, the IAC Chairperson, upon recommendation of the AO 35 prosecutor or the TWG, may reorganize the SITU.
 

B. New Cases
 

Section 10. Initial Assessment and Report. When a killing (which shall be deemed to include an attempted or frustrated killing) or a deprivation of liberty or a suspected case of torture or other suspected AO 35 violations occurs or are reported, the local law enforcement agency, office or unit concerned, shall make an initial assessment within forty-eight (48) hours from deployment, whether or not the incident may be treated as a possible AO 35 case, guided by the following:
 

(a) For an EJK case, the presence of any two of the elements of Article 1(i) of these Guidelines is present;
 

(b) For an enforced or involuntary disappearance, when the deprivation of liberty is suspected to have been committed by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons suspected to have acted with the authorization, support or acquiescence of agents of the State; and
 

(c) For a torture case, when there are signs, reports or allegations of severe pain or suffering suspected to have been inflicted by persons in authority or their agents.

 Immediately but not later than six (6) hours after the initial assessment of the incident or information by the local police office or law enforcement agency, office or unit, a report shall be submitted to the Chief of Police, provincial, or regional director as the case maybe. If the initial assessment indicates that the incident is a possible AO 35 Case, the report shall be certified as "Extremely Urgent". After receipt of the report, the Chief of Police, Provincial or Regional Director, shall immediately but not later than six (6) hours forthwith inform the designated A035 prosecutor in the locality about the same.


Section 11. Designation of AO 35 Prosecutors. There shall be in every city, province or region of the country, a roster of AO 35 prosecutors who shall be available on an on-call basis in order to serve as team leaders in the investigation and case build-up of AO 35 Cases.
 

Section 12. Convening of the SITN. Immediately within 24 hours upon receipt from the Chief of Police, Provincial Director or Regional Director of the information and the names of investigators that will form part of the SITN, the designated A035 prosecutor shall convene the team to start the case build-up.
 

 If in case the investigation has been started by a local team of investigators, or a Special Investigation Task Group or Task Forces of the PNP or similar teams of the NBI or other law enforcement agencies, the SITN shall oversee, supervise and monitor the investigation to ensure that the case is supported by sufficient and strong evidence, provided however, that the Chairperson of the JAC may, in the exercise of plenary powers, direct the designated SITN to take over the investigation and case build-up from the local investigators, or Special Investigation Task Group or Task Forces of the PNP, or similar teams of the NBI or other law enforcement agencies, or to direct their absorption into the SITN. The investigator(s) thus absorbed shall be deemed as A035 investigator(s).
 

Section 13. Duties and Responsibilities of the SITN. The SITN shall have the following duties and responsibilities:


(a) To immediately investigate a possible AO 35 case for purposes of filing the appropriate charges with the prosecution office;
 

(b) To identify witnesses and assist in the preparation of their sworn statements;
 

(c) To recommend the immediate or provisional coverage of witnesses and/or their immediate families under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the Department of Justice (DOA)
 

(d) To evaluate the scene of the crime report and other physical or object evidence necessary in the filing of the case with the prosecution office;
 

(e) To invite the participation of other government agencies as may be deemed necessary or beneficial to the investigation;.
 

(f) To periodically submit reports about the progress of the investigation to the Secretariat of the JAC;
 

(g) To ensure the proper preservation and custody of all the evidence collected; and
 

(h) To perform such other tasks as the IAC, SOT or the TWG  may direct them to perform.
 

Section 14. Change of SITN Composition. If it appears at any time during the investigation and case build-up that an A035 agency may be somehow involved in the incident subject of the investigation, the IAC Chairperson, upon recommendation of the AO 35 prosecutor or the TWG, may reorganize the SITN.
 

Section 15. Investigation Report. Within thirty (30) days from the time it convenes, the SITN shall submit an Investigation Report to the IAC Secretariat.

 The Investigation Report shall contain the following:


(a) Summary of the Incident (which shall include the name and affiliation of the victim and the suspect);
(b) Detailed narrative on the SITN's investigation efforts and their results;
(c) Enumeration and evaluation of evidence;
(d) Findings;
(e) Conclusion;
(f) Recommendation; and
(g) Annexes of pertinent documents.


In case the STTN recommends the filing of charges, the Investigation Report shall likewise be accompanied by a copy of the corresponding Indorsement to the appropriate prosecution office for preliminary investigation.
 

Section 16. Extension of Investigation Period. If, on account of difficulty in the identification of the person/s responsible for the crime, or in seeking the cooperation of the victim or the witnesses to the crime, the SITN cannot submit the Investigation Report within a period of thirty (30) days, the SOT for new/existing cases may, upon prior written request from the SITN, extend the investigation period for another thirty (30) days.
 

Section 17. Deliberations and Action of SOT for New and Existing Cases. The Secretariat shall, upon receipt of the Investigation Report from the SITN, calendar the same for discussion by the SOT for new/existing cases.

 The SOT, after conduct of deliberations and thorough review of the records, may direct the SITN to do any of the following actions:
 

(a) That the case be immediately filed with the appropriate prosecution office;
(b) That the case be further reinvestigated by the SITN; or
(c) Delist the case on the ground that the same is not an AO 35 Case.
 

If the SITN recommends that the case be declared closed, especially if vital witnesses to the incident can no longer testify, have already died or can no longer be located, or for total lack of evidence, the SOT for new/existing cases, after a thorough evaluation of the report, may either concur or cause the reinvestigation of the case.

If the SOT for new/existing concurs with the recommendation to close the case, the same shall be reported to the IAC for its consideration.

Section 18. IAC Action. Acting on the recommendations of the SOT for new/existing cases to close the case, the IAC may adopt, modify, or otherwise overturn the same, or altogether create another team to reinvestigate the case anew.

 The IAC may solicit the assistance of other agencies which may not be a member of the Committee, and/or take any other appropriate action.

Section 19. Filing and Indorsement of AO 35 Case. If the SOT for new/existing cases adopts the recommendation to file a complaint, the SITN shall file a complaint before the appropriate prosecution office.

 The complaint shall contain an Indorsement signed by the A035 Investigator who is a member of the SITN, indicating that the investigation was conducted pursuant to AO 35 and these Guidelines.


Section 20. Closed Cases Not To Be Delisted. Whenever the IAC resolves to close a case due to the impossibility of obtaining sufficient evidence to move it forward, the same shall not be delisted from the inventory of alleged AO 35 cases.

Section 21. Continued Monitoring and Reporting. Notwithstanding the referral of the case to the prosecution office, the SITN shall continue to convene for the purpose of evaluating and gathering of additional evidence necessary to further strengthen the case. The SITN shall likewise continue to monitor and periodically report the progress of the preliminary investigation to the IAC Secretariat.

Section 22. Inquest of AO 35 Cases When SITN Has Not Yet Been Convened. In instances of warrantless arrests, the arresting officers shall immediately conduct an initial assessment in order to determine whether the offense for which the person was arrested falls in any of the circumstances enumerated under Section 1 of Article III.B. of these Guidelines. If any of such circumstances is present, the arresting officers shall inform the AO 35 prosecutor, through any expedient means, about the arrest and pending inquest proceedings.

The said arresting officer/s shall also certify before the inquest prosecutor his or her initial assessment that the person/s arrested subject of inquest may have committed an A035 offense.

The A035 prosecutor, upon receipt of the notice from the arresting officer/s, shall convene the SITN pursuant to Sections 3 and 4 of this Article to further enhance case build-up.

Section 23. Inquest of AO 35 Cases When SITN Has Been Convened.

In instances where the SITN I has been convened and the person suspected of committing an AO 35 '  case is taken into custody by other law enforcers without a warrant under circumstances allowed by the law/rules, the arresting officer shall immediately inform, by any expedient means, the AO 35 prosecutor of the said SITN of such warrantless arrest.

The arresting officer/s shall then furnish the inquest prosecutor with all documents necessary for the conduct of inquest proceedings and shall indicate that the complaint is a probable AO 35 case.

The SITN shall continue to monitor the case in accordance with Section 12 above.

For purposes of this Section, both the AO 35 investigator and the AO 35 prosecutor are enjoined to take advantage of the innovations or advancements in communications technology in order to facilitate and expedite their coordination efforts.

C. Existing/Current Cases
 

Section 24. Existing or Current Cases shall refer to cases that are being investigated or re-investigated by law enforcement officers per order of the Court; or undergoing preliminary investigation; or is already pending in Court whether there be an active trial or has been archived by the Court, as of 22 November 2012, where such cases fall under the classification of any of the enumerated human rights violations under the said Administrative Order.

Section 25. Identification of Existing/Current Cases By TWG. The TWG shall identify existing/current cases that may possibly fall within the ambit of A.O. No. 35.  The TWG shall thereafter recommend possible interventions or actions involving such identified cases to the IAC for their appropriate instructions.

Section 26. IAC Action. Acting on the recommendations of the TWG, the IAC may order that a SITEC be convened:


(a) To investigate or prosecute certain cases pursuant to Article 111(B);
 

(b) To oversee, supervise or monitor the investigation or prosecution by other investigative or prosecutorial bodies or office; -
 

(c) To monitor the handling and management of such cases including the submission of regular reports to the SOT and IAC; or
 

(d) To solicit the assistance of other agencies which may not be a member of the IAC; or to undertake any appropriate actions pertaining to such A.O. 35 case.
 

Section 27. Convening of the SITEC. Immediately within twenty four (24) hours upon receipt of the directive from the IAC to convene the special investigation team for existing/ current cases (SITEC), the designated. A035 prosecutor shall convene the team pursuant to Article III (B) hereof.

Section 28. Duties and Responsibilities of the SITEC. Depending on the stage of the case, whether investigation or prosecution, the SITEC shall have the following duties and
responsibilities:

(a) To immediately investigate a possible AO 35 case for purposes of filing the appropriate charges with the prosecution office;
 

(b) To identify witnesses and assist in the preparation of their sworn statements;
 

(c) To recommend the immediate or provisional coverage of witnesses and/or their immediate families under the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice;
 

(d) To evaluate the scene of the crime report and other physical or object evidence necessary in the filing of the case with the prosecution office;
 

(e) To invite the participation of other government agencies as maybe deemed necessary or beneficial to the investigation;
 

(f) To periodically submit reports about the progress of the investigation to the Secretariat of the IAC;
 

(g) To ensure the proper preservation and custody of all the evidence collected;
 

(h) To assess if the case being investigated constitutes an AO 35 case; and
 

(i) To perform such other tasks as the IAC, SOT or the TWG may direct them to perform.
 

Section 29. Change of SITEC Composition. If it appears at any time during the investigation and case build-up that an A035 agency may be somehow involved in the incident subject of the investigation, the TAC Chairperson, upon recommendation of the AO 35 prosecutor or the TWG, may reorganize the SITEC.

Section 30. Investigation Report. Within thirty (30) days from the time it convenes, provided that the intervention falls within the investigation phase of the case, the SITEC shall submit an Investigation Report to the IAC Secretariat.

The Investigation Report shall contain the following:

(a) Summary of the Incident (include name and affiliation of  victim and suspect);
(b) Detailed narrative on the their results; SITEC's investigation efforts and
(c) Enumeration and evaluation of evidence;
(d) Findings;
(e) Conclusion;
(f) Recommendation; and
(g) Annexes of pertinent documents.

In case the SITEC recommends the filing of charges, the Investigation Report shall likewise be accompanied by a copy of the corresponding Indorsement to the prosecution office for preliminary investigation.
 

Section 31. Extension of Investigation Period. If, on account of difficulty in the identification of the person/s responsible for the crime, or in seeking the cooperation of the victim or the witnesses to the crime, the SITEC cannot submit the Investigation Report within a period of thirty (30) days, the SOT for new/existing cases may, upon prior written request from the SITEC, extend the investigation period for another thirty (30) days.

Section 32. Deliberations and Action of SOT for New and Existing Cases. The deliberations and action of the SOT shall be undertaken pursuant to Art III (B) hereof.

Section 33 . Filing and Indorsement of AO 35 Case. The filing and Indorsement of an existing or current case shall be undertaken pursuant to Art III (B) hereof.

Section 34. Closed Cases Not To Be Delisted. Whenever the IAC resolves to close a case due to the impossibility of obtaining sufficient evidence to move it forward, the same shall not be delisted from the inventory of alleged AO 35 cases.

Section 35. Continued Monitoring and Reporting. Notwithstanding the referral of the case to the prosecution office, the SITEC shall continue to convene for the purpose of evaluating and gathering of additional evidence necessary to further strengthen the case.

The SITEC shall likewise continue to monitor and periodically report the progress of the preliminary investigation to the IAC Secretariat.

Section 36. Inquest of AO 35 Cases. Whether or not the SITEC has been convened prior to an inquest, the action of the AO 35 investigator or AO 35 prosecutor shall be made in pursuant to Article III (B) and Article IV hereof.

ARTICLE IV
INQUEST

Section 1. When Commenced. The inquest proceedings shall be considered commenced upon receipt by the inquest prosecutor of the following:

(a) Affidavit of Arrest duly subscribed and sworn to before him by the arresting officers;
(b) Investigation Report;
(c) Sworn Statements of the complainants and their witnesses; and
(d) Other supporting evidence gathered by the law enforcement agency in the course of their investigation of the criminal incident involving the arrested person.

Section 2. Determination of Propriety of Arrest. During the inquest proceedings, the inquest prosecutor shall first determine if the arrest of the detained person was made in accordance with the provisions of Section 5, sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) of Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure (Rules) and other applicable jurisprudence.
 

Should the inquest prosecutor find that the arrest was not made in accordance with the aforesaid Rule, he or she shall do the following, to wit:

(a) Recommend the release of the person arrested or detained;
(b) Prepare a resolution indicating the reason for the action taken; and
(c) Forward the same, together with the records of the case to the Office of the Prosecutor General, or the City/Provincial Prosecutor for appropriate action.

When the recommendation for the release of the arrested person is approved but the evidence on hand warrants the conduct of a regular preliminary investigation, the inquest prosecutor shall:
(a) Serve the Order of release on the law enforcement officer concerned having custody of the arrested person; and
(b) Serve upon the arrested person the subpoena or notice of preliminary investigation, together with the copies of the charge sheet or complaint, sworn statements of witnesses and other supporting evidence.


If, on the other hand, the inquest prosecutor finds that the arrest was done in accordance with the Rules, he or she shall ask the arrested person if the latter desires to avail of a preliminary investigation. If he or she does, the consequences thereof must be explained to him or her in a
language or dialect known to him or her.
 

Section 3. Additional Duty of Inquest/Investigating Prosecutor When the Person Delivered is a Victim of Enforced Disappearance. Any inquest or investigating prosecutor who learns that the person delivered for inquest or preliminary investigation is a victim or a probable victim of enforced or involuntary disappearance shall have the duty to immediately disclose the probable victim's whereabouts to his or her immediate family, relatives, lawyer/s or to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) or any human rights organization such as but not limited to FIND (Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance) and  Desaparecidos (Families of Desaparecidos for Justice), by the most expedient means through any of the following
modalities, including but not limited to:
 

(a) Telephone;
(b) SMS; or
(c) Electronic mail.
 

The inquest or investigating prosecutor shall inquire from the person presented for inquest or preliminary investigation whether or not the respondent's immediate family or relatives, lawyer, the CHR or any human rights organization, have been informed of the respondent's arrest and/or detention, including his or her whereabouts; and if so, the details or particulars of such communication as regards to name/s of person/s communicated to, their contact details, and the time of communication.

If the respondent is accompanied by his or her family or relatives, lawyer, or other persons other than the arresting officers, the prosecutor shall likewise verify from the said companion/s the time or particulars of the communication with the respondent.

The prosecutor shall include in the minutes of proceedings the facts and details of communication to the respondent's family, relatives, the CHR and/or other human rights organizations, and require the said respondent, as well as his or her companion and the arresting officers, to sign thereon.
 

The DOJ shall ensure that a list of updated contact details of concerned CHR Offices, FIND, Desaparecidos, and other human rights organizations shall be available at all times to prosecutors.
 

Section 4.  Waiver of the Provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). The arrested person, with the assistance of counsel of his own choice, shall then be made to execute a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code.
 

In the event that the arrested person does not have a counsel to assist him or her, the inquest prosecutor shall coordinate with the Public Attorney's Offlde in his or her area in order to ensure that the rights of the person arrested are amply protected.
 

If the arrested person refuses to execute a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the RPC, the inquest prosecutor shall immediate proceed to resolve the case on the basis of the evidence presented by the complainant or law enforcement agency.
 

If on the other hand, the arrested person executes the waiver, the preliminary investigation shall continue and be terminated within fifteen (15) days from its inception.
 

Section 5. Counter-Affidavit. The arrested person shall be required to file his or her counter affidavit and the affidavit of his or her witnesses within a period of ten (io) days from receipt of the complaint sheet and its attachments from the inquest prosecutor.

Immediately thereafter, the inquest prosecutor shall proceed to resolve the case. No Reply or Rejoinder shall be allowed and neither shall motions for extension be entertained.
 

Section 6. Discussion of Nature of Case. In preparing the resolution, the inquest prosecutor shall state that the same is an A035 case and provide the appropriate discussions therefor. The recommendation of the inquest prosecutor shall be submitted to the Prosecutor General, or the City or Provincial Prosecutor within three (3) days from the time it was submitted for resolution. If the inquest prosecutor finds that probable cause exists, he or she shall, in addition to
 the preparation of the resolution, shall also prepare the corresponding Information and submit the same to the Prosecutor General, City or Provincial Prosecutor for approval.
 

ARTICLE V
PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION

 

Section 1. Subpoena and Counter-Affidavit Upon receipt of the complaint, the Prosecutor General, City or Provincial Prosecutor shall immediately assign the complaint to an investigating prosecutor, who shall issue subpoena within two  (2) days from his/her receipt of the assigned case and require the respondent/s to submit their counter- affidavit within ten (in) days from receipt thereof.
 

To obviate requests for extension to file counter-affidavit, the investigating prosecutor shall ensure that copies of the complaint and all attachments are attached to the subpoena, and that the same are personally served by the process server or by the law enforcement unit handled the investigation upon the respondent/s.

Section 2. Duration of Preliminary Investigation. The investigating prosecutor shall terminate the preliminary investigation within thirty (30) days from the receipt of the complaint. No Reply or Rejoinder shall be entertained, nor motions for extensions be allowed.

Section 3.  Submission of Resolution and Information. The investigating prosecutor shall submit the resolution for the approval of the Prosecutor General, City or Provincial Prosecutor within five (5) days from the time the case is submitted for resolution.

If the resolution contains a finding of probable cause, then the investigating prosecutor shall likewise prepare the corresponding Information and submit the same to the Prosecutor General, City or Provincial Prosecutor for approval.

The Prosecutor General, City or Provincial Prosecutor shall act on the recommendation of the investigating prosecutor within two  (2) days from receipt of the same.
 

Section 4. Transmittal of Information to Court. Once the resolution finding probable cause is approved by the Prosecutor General, City or Provincial Prosecutor, the transmittal to the appropriate Office of the Clerk of Court shall state that the case involves an extra-legal killing, enforced or involuntary disappearance, torture, or other grave human rights violation as the case maybe.

If the case involves an extra-legal killing, the transmittal should invoke Administrative Order No. 25-2007 of the Supreme Court in order for the case to be raffled to any of the designated special courts.

Section 5. Report to IAC Secretariat. The AO 35 prosecutor shall prepare monthly reports to the IAC Secretariat on the efforts of the SITN and the status, progress and challenges of the case during preliminary investigation.
 

ARTICLE VI
TRIAL

 

Section 1. Coordination Among the Trial Prosecutor, the A035 Prosecutor, and AO 35 Investigator. Once a case involving extra-legal killing, enforced or involuntary disappearance, torture or grave human rights violation, is raffled to the proper court, the trial prosecutor shall immediately coordinate with the Special Investigation Team which investigated and built-up the case. He or she shall also submit a report of the fact of raffle to the IAC Secretariat, furnishing
copies thereof to the City or Provincial Prosecutor.
 

Periodic reports shall also be submitted to the above-mentioned officials informing them of the status and progress of the case.
 

Section 2. Creation of Panel of Prosecutors. As far as practicable, the Prosecutor General, City or Provincial Prosecutor shall create a special panel of prosecutors composed of the A035 prosecutor, investigating prosecutor and trial prosecutor for the purpose of handling the actual prosecution of the A035 Case.

In such cases, the JAC Secretariat shall be furnished with copies of the Office Orders creating special prosecution panels.

Section 3. Pre-Trial and Trial. In the course of the pre-trial and trial, the panel of prosecutors or the trial prosecutor shall ensure that:
 

(a) A pre-trial brief containing the following is preferred:


i. Brief summary of facts;
ii. Applicable laws and jurisprudence;
iii. Proposals for stipulation and requests for admission;
iv. List of witnesses and synopsis of their respective testimonies;
v. List of exhibits; and
vi. Proposed schedule for the presentation of prosecution witnesses.

(b) The case conferences are conducted with the AO 35 prosecutor, the A035 investigator, and the prosecution witnesses at least three (3) days before the scheduled trial date; and

(c) At least two (2) prosecution witnesses are available every scheduled hearing date.

Section 4. Plea Bargaining. No plea bargaining shall be allowed without the prior written consent or authority of the IAC.

Section 5. Duration of Trial. The panel of prosecutors should ensure that the presentation of evidence for both the prosecution and the defense shall as far as practicable be terminated within sixty (60) days.

Section 6. Report to IAC Secretariat. The AO 35 prosecutor shall prepare monthly reports to the IAC Secretariat on the efforts of the Special Investigation Team and the status, progress and challenges of the case during trial.

Section 7. Supervision and Reporting by SOT. The SOT shall have the authority to supervise the Special Investigation Teams in the handling and management of all AO 35 cases on trial to include recommendation of trial strategies, review of court pleadings, attendance in court trials, monitoring of case development and conduct of case conferencing.

The SOT shall report to the IAC every month on the status of all cases it is monitoring.

ARTICLE VII
A.O. 35 STRUCTURES
A. Inter-Agency Committee (IAC)


Section 1. Composition: - The IAC shall refer to the high- level policy-making and oversight body tasked to monitor and ensure the speedy resolution of AO 35 cases which shall be headed by the Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) as the Chairperson.

The members of the IAC shall be the following:

(a) Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG);
(b) Secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND);
(c) Chairperson of the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC);
(d) Presidential Adviser on Peace Processes (PAPP);
(e) Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs (PAPA);
(f) Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP);
(g) Director General of the Philippine National Police (PNP); and
(h) Director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The Committee shall invite the Chairperson of the CHR and the Ombudsman as observers and resource persons of the Committee.

The above members of the IAC may designate their representatives to the Committee, who shall have the rank not lower than Assistant Secretary, or General and Chief Superintendent in the case of the AFP and the PNP.

Section 2. Functions - The IAC shall direct the policy - formulation and implementation with regard to the investigation and prosecution of cases involving an A035 case. As such it shall have the following functions:

(a) To develop a mechanism for the unification and inventory of all cases of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and other grave violations of human rights, committed by both State and Non-State Agents from all government as well as non-government sources, to include independent and non-partisan international and national human rights organizations;
 

(b) To create special oversight teams for unsolved, new and existing cases that will supervise the investigations of AO 35 cases;


(c) To create or revise the composition of special investigation teams for unsolved, new and existing cases that will supervise, monitor and/or coordinate actual investigations of AO 35 cases until its final resolution;
 

(d) To create, upon the recommendation of any AO 35 structure or JAC member, Special Tracker Teams, or to direct existing tracker teams from law enforcement agencies, or a
combination thereof, to operate under the ambit of AO 35, specifically to locate and effect the arrest of the accused in AO 35 cases in order to undergo trial;
 

(e) To monitor the development of cases under investigation, preliminary investigation and trial through the duly designated special oversight teams and adopt, modify, or otherwise overturn the recommendations of the same;
 

(f) To cause, in the exercise of their oversight functions, the administrative investigation of the officers mentioned in Section 1 above for alleged violations or administrative offenses in connection with the implementation of these Guidelines and pursuant to the Civil Service Rules and other pertinent administrative discipline policies of concerned agencies;
 

(g) To engage and liaise with the Supreme Court (SC), through the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), to raise the Judiciary's awareness on Administrative Order No. 35 cases
and the efforts of AO 35 structures to ensure the successful prosecution and speedy disposition thereof.


(h) To develop and support programs that will enhance and strengthen relations of the IAC and its member-agencies with domestic and international stakeholders such as, but not limited to, International Organizations, Non- Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations;
 

(i) To report to the President, every six months, on the inventory of cases, describing the accomplishment and progress made for each case, or the problems and obstacles encountered, highlighting problematic high profile cases; and
 

(j) To present recommendations for any additional action that may be taken by the President requiring coordination on a common course of action with the CHR, the Ombudsman,
Congress and the Judiciary.
 

Section 3. Meetings - The IAC shall meet every second Tuesday of the month or as may be requested by the chairperson on matters of policy coordination or cases which may require high-level discussion of principals.
 

Section 4. Quorum - A majority of the member agencies of the IAC shall constitute a quorum.
 

B. Special Oversight Team
 

Section 5. Composition - There shall be an SOT for unsolved cases and an SOT for new/existing cases.

Each SOT shall be composed of five (5) members with a prosecutor and one investigator each from the PNP and the NBI, all of which must have at least ten (10) years of experience. The two  (2) remaining members shall be another prosecutor and a PNP investigator, both of whom with at least five (5) years of experience.


The most senior prosecutor shall be the head of the SOT.
 

Section 6. Functions- The SOT shall have the following powers and functions:

(a) To approve requests for extension of reinvestigation and case build-up;
(b) To recommend to the IAC that a case be filed with the appropriate prosecution office, or that the case be reinvestigated, or that the case he closed; and
(c) To supervise the SIT in the handling and management of all AO 35 cases on trial for new and existing cases pursuant to Section 7 of Article VI.
 

Section 7. Meetings - Both SOTs shall have separate regular meetings at least once a month. The IAC or the Chairperson of the Committee may, however, convene any of the SOT at any time.

C. Special Tracker Teams (STT)

Section 8. Composition - Special Tracker Team(s) shall be composed of personnel from the PNP, the NBI, the PNP Special Investigation Task Group (SITG)/Task Force/Task Group, or from other law enforcement agencies of the government ordered by competent authorities, or a
combination of any of the foregoing, created to effect the arrest of the accused in AO 35 cases.

Personnel from the AFP or other security forces of the government may be directed to complement the Special Tracker Teams created, especially if the accused to be arrested is from the agency concerned.

Section 9. Functions - Special Tracker Team(s) shall have the following functions:
(a) Submit an Operational Plan to the TWG;
(b) Conduct manhunt operations to locate the accused in AO 35 cases;
(c) Effect the arrest of the accused in AO 35 cases;
(d) Immediately return the Warrant of Arrest to the issuing court; and
{e) Deliver the arrested person/s to a lawful detention facility in accordance with the order of the court.

The tracker teams shall ensure that arrested persons shall be afforded their constitutional or statutory rights under Republic Act No. 7438, Republic Act No. 9745, Republic Act No. 10353 and all other applicable laws during their arrest and detention and also during the conduct of
their physical/psychological examinations.

Section 10. Reporting Functions —Tracker Teams shall submit, by any expeditious means, its report on the progress of its efforts to the SOT at least twice a month.
 

Section 11. Dissolution— Tracker Teams may be dissolved upon compliance of their functions or upon order of the JAC.


D. Technical Working Group (TWG)

Section 12. Composition - There is hereby created the Technical Working Group (TWG) which shall be composed of representatives from IAC member-agencies.

Section 13. Functions - The TWG shall have the following powers
and functions:


(a) To process unsolved cases for the consideration of the IAC;

(b) To ensure the effective and efficient implementation of A.O. 35 and the continuous and periodic evaluation thereof;

(c) To report and recommend to the JAC the administrative investigation of the officers mentioned in Section 1 above for alleged violations or administrative offenses in connection with the implementation of these Guidelines and pursuant to the Civil Service Rules and other pertinent administrative policies of concerned agencies;

(d) To formulate and monitor plans, projects and activities of A.O. No. 35 structures thereby enabling them to contribute more fruitfully to the objectives of A.O. No. 35;

(e) To undertake and supervise information publication and public relation programs for nationwide dissemination of information regarding the programs/projects of the IAC,
thus drawing more participation in such activities;

(f) To prepare regular reports to the IAC and to the President; and

(g) To recommend policy direction to the IAC.

Section 14. Meetings - The TWG shall hold regular meetings where named members or nominees of JAC member-agencies are enjoined to actively participate.

E. Secretariat

Section 15. Composition - There is hereby the Secretariat which shall be composed of representatives from JAC member-agencies.

Section 16. Functions - The JAG Secretariat shall have the following powers and functions:


(a) To coordinate the business of the JAC, including the preparation of agenda for each meeting,  the circulation of papers and the communication and consultation among member-agencies;


(b) To help coordinate the efforts of all other AO 35 structures;


(c) To manage the databank, of AO 35 cases;


(d) To manage the reportorial requirements of all A035 structures, including being the repository and conduit of all reports; and


(e) To provide personnel, legal, budgetary and other services supportive of the functions and activities of the JAC, SOTs and Special Investigation Teams;


Section 17. Meetings - The Secretariat shall hold regular meetings where named members or nominees of JAC member-agencies are enjoined to actively participate.


Section 18. Administration of the IAC Secretariat – The IAC Secretariat shall be headed by a Chairperson who shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the JAC upon recommendation of the majority of the member-agencies. The Chairperson of the Secretariat shall administer and supervise the internal operations of the Secretariat as well as the implementation of the various programs of the IAC.


ARTICLE VIII
ACCOUNTABILITY


Section 1. Duties - All officers involved in the implementation of A.O. No. 35 are enjoined to faithfully, completely and diligently execute their functions and responsibilities as provided by these Guidelines.


Section 2. Oversight Function of IAC - The JAG, in the exercise of its oversight functions, may cause the administrative investigation of the officers mentioned in Section 1 above for alleged
violations or administrative offenses in connection with the implementation of these Guidelines and pursuant to the Civil Service Rules and other pertinent administrative discipline policies of concerned agencies.
 

The representative of the concerned IAC member-agency may be the complainant in such administrative investigation which may be filed either before the concerned agency or the Ombudsman.
 

Section 3. Any administrative investigation, as provided for in the next preceding section, shall not preclude the filing of other actions before other appropriate bodies or tribunals.

ARTICLE IX
COOPERATION WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
(IOs), NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (NGOs),
CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS (CSOs) AND OTHER
STAKEHOLDERS


Section 1. Sharing of Information - The IAC, in pursuance of its adopted communication plan, may share information it deems relevant with IOs, NGO5, CSOs and other stakeholders, provided that the rights of the accused will not be violated or that the disclosure would not interfere with the administration of justice.
 

Section 2. Engagement with IOs, NGOs, CSOs and other stakeholders - In pursuit of its mandate, the IAC may seek and accept the assistance of the IOs, NGOs, CSOs and other stakeholders, among others, in obtaining relevant information, promoting grassroots advocacy and strengthening the capacity of the AO 35 structures. The IAC may make suitable arrangements for consultation with the said parties.


ARTICLE X
FINAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. Funding. The initial funding requirements for the implementation of A.O. No. 35 shall be charged against current appropriation of the member-agencies. Thereafter, funding for the succeeding years shall be incorporated in the respective regular appropriations.
 

Section 2. Separability. If any section of these Guidelines or part thereof is held invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder not otherwise affected shall remain valid and subsisting.
 

Section 3. Effectivity. These Guidelines shall take effect immediately. The Joint Department Order No. 003-2012 (Operational Guidelines for Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Investigators In Evidence-Gathering Investigation and Case Build; Inquest and Preliminary Investigation; and Trial of Cases of Political-Activist and Media Killings) and internal rules of procedure of the PNP, NBI and the NPS shall be supplemental to this Operational Guidelines.

Adopted and signed by the Inter-Agency Committee, this 18th day of April, 2013.


SEC. LEILA M. DE LIMA
Department of Justice
IAC CHAIR


SEC. TERESITA QIJINTOS-
DELES
Presidential Adviser on the
Peace Process
Member

SEC. VOLTAIRE T. GAZMIN
Department of National Defense
Member


USEC. RAFAEL ANTONIO
SANTOS
Department of the Interior and
Local Government
Member

USEC. JOSE LUIS MARTIN
GASCON
Office of the presidential Adviser
on Political Affairs (OPAPA)
Member


P/CSUPT. NESTOR M. FAJURA
Philippine National Police
Member


USEC. SEVERO S. CATURA
Presidential Human Rights
Committee
Member


GEN. EMMANUEL T. BAUTISTA
Armed Forces of the Philippines
Member


DIR. NONNATUS CAESAR R.
ROJAS
National Bureau of Investigation
Member


Witnesses:
CHAIRPERSON LORETTA ANN
P. ROSALES
Commission on Human Rights
Observer


ASST. OMBUDSMAN EVELYN A.
BALITON
Office of the Ombudsman
Observer

 



Back to list of news articles