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Spirit of the Miranda Doctrine And its application in the Philippine Setting

By Gil M Camaymayan

Miranda Warning
You have the right to remain Silent Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law You have the right to talk to a lawyer and have him present with you while you are being questioned f you cannot afford to hire a lawyer! one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning if you wish You can decide at any time to e"ercise these rights and not answer any questions or make any statements

The concept of the Miranda rights or doctrine was enshrined in the United States law from a 1966 land mark U.S. Supreme Court decision on Miranda vs. Ari ona! a trial for rape and kidnapping against an "rnesto Miranda which found that his #ifth and Si$th Amendment rights were violated when he was convicted %ase on his confession under police interrogation. The doctrine was formulated aiming to the protection of a criminal defendant&s right against self' incrimination from the pressure arising during custodial investigation %( the police. A criminal suspect must %e informed of his)her right against self'incrimination and the right to consult with an attorne( prior to *uestioning %( the police authorit(. +on o%servance resulting to violation of the said doctrine would render evidences o%tained to %e inadmissi%le in court! %eing a fruit of a poisonous tree! it is therefore imperative that these rights are read and have the person in custod( to understand his rights %efore %eing su%,ected to *uestioning. -nstances that a law enforcement authorit( should recite the Miranda doctrine to a suspect upon taking a person in custod( during an arrest wherein the person is caught in the act of committing a crime and in an( scenario wherein is taken in custod( %( a law enforcement agenc( for the purpose of investigation or interrogation for a crime from which he)she is deprived of freedom of action in an( significant wa( and the line of *uestioning is no longer of general in*uir( to the unsolved crime %ut aimed upon the particular suspect. Same as an( other right! the rights of an accused as stated in the Miranda doctrine can %e waived as long as the person waiving such right has such right to waive and the waiver has %een done voluntaril(! knowingl( and intelligentl(. .eciting the said doctrine should %e a matter of procedure %( the authorities when making arrest and taking a person under custod( for investigation or interrogation! %ut an e$ception arises during e$igent circumstances attending to the cause. The use of /SC or 0/u%lic Safet( Clause1 is an e$ception to the Miranda doctrine where%( a person can %e su%,ected to *uestioning even without %eing read his rights. The rationale %ehind is that a person should %e immediatel( interrogated and information should %e o%tained from him due to the said circumstance wherein pu%lic safet( is involved. This e$ception was invoked during the case of the Tsarnaev during the 2oston marathon %om%ing wherein uncounseled information were o%tained from the suspect regarding the e$istence of the other

%om%s for the protection of pu%lic safet(. 2ut this does not mean that the Miranda rights can %e dispensed with! the person should still %e informed his rights if the *uestions %eing asked are not covered %( the /SC. As American ,urisprudence is evident and has enriched and influenced the /hilippine legal s(stem. The /hilippines has also adopted the Miranda doctrine as its own. The adaptation of the said doctrine is also reflected in our current Constitution 31945 Constitution6 under our 2ill or .ights 3Article ---6. The constitution specificall( states that7
Section#$% &#' Any (erson 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) f the person cannot afford the services of counsel! he must be provided with one) *hese rights cannot be waived e"cept in writing and in the presence of counsel) + &,' Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section #- hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him

The spirit and essence of the Miranda doctrine is not onl( adopted %ut is inscri%ed in the /hilippine fundamental law from which all other law should a%ide. A %asic right provided %( law to an( person arrested or under custod( for investigation or interrogation for a criminal offense. The /+/ 3/hilippine +ational /olice6 as the police power of the state is responsi%le in notif(ing the accused of his)her rights against self'incrimination and counsel. .eciting the Miranda rights to an accused should %e part of their %asic training! procedure and knowledge during arrest! investigation and interrogation. A near direct translation from "nglish to #ilipino is %eing used %( the /+/7
kaw ay may karapatang manahimik) Ang iyong mga sasabihin ay maaaring gamitin bilang patunay laban sa iyo sa korte) kaw ay may karapatang kumuh. ng isang abogado) /ung ikaw ay hind0 makakuha ng abogado! ang korte ang magtatakda para sa iyo)

The version a%ove is pro%a%l( used %( the /+/ for those people having trou%le getting a grasp of the "nglish version. This move of the /+/ on getting and reciting a #ilipino translation of the said doctrine would greatl( help ma,orit( of the #ilipino to know and understand his)her right %efore %eing su%,ected to an( investigation or interrogation. -n a countr( wherein human rights violation has its histor(! a%usive police authorities are rampant and ma,orit( of the people are ill informed and ignorant of his or her rights7 -ntegrating such protocol in the /+/ would increase the integrit( and pu%lic trust to the institution! for it would show respect to the right of a person and e*ual protection under the law. Acknowledging a person&s right %( informing him)her if he)she is ill informed is a form of respect to the fundamental right of a person. Unfortunatel( this is something that ma,orit( of our police authorities still lacks. /ersonall( %ase on interaction with some of them and a %it of influence on #ilipino action films! this misfortune usuall( occurs when an authorit( sees himself as someone who is a%ove the law! a%usive and disrespectful against an individual who is uneducated of his)her rights. These incidents usuall( come unnoticed pro%a%l( due to the fear instilled to the aggrieved part( %( such authorit(. A wise weatherman said that 08nowledge is /ower1! if the pu%lic would %e ade*uatel( informed and understand these rights as provided %(

law! a%usive acts and conviction through false admission if not eradicated would greatl( %e reduced and minimi ed. -mplementation of the Miranda doctrine also serves as a means of showing e*ual protection under the law! for the law does not discriminate a person&s social standing! awareness and intellectual capacit(. "ver( person stands co'e*ual in the e(es of the law. .eciting! notif(ing and making a person understand such right during an arrest or prior to custodial investigation and interrogation would give him an opportunit( to make use and invoke such right. 9rowing up usuall( hear the phrase that 0:ustice is onl( for the rich and not for the poor1. This statement could pro%a%l( %e ,ustified %( looking into the demographics of the people in :ail which is usuall( those people whom we consider as those living within and %elow the povert( line. ;aving such right %e invoked %( an( person gives him the fair chance and opportunit( to defend himself accordingl( and go through an( relief as ma( %e provided %( law! for the law speciall( on a criminal offense favors the right of the accused. 9iving a person a right to a counsel greatl( uplift his chances of defending himself accordingl( for not ever(one is knowledgea%le of the law and it would %e a traged( if a person would %e convicted %( his)her ignorance of the law and its technicalities. ;uman rights violation was a great part of our histor( especiall( during the dark da(s of the martial law. /eople disappearing! arrested and having convicted through false admission %rought a%out %( unnecessar( means. ;aving the spirit of the Miranda doctrine enshrined in our fundamental law and integrated to the /+/ protocol would greatl( help as part of our nation %uilding and putting %ack the lost and failing trust to our law enforcement agencies and institutions! that their presence in the societ( is rather constructive than destructive.