Nos, L-71208-09. August 30, 1985.* SATURNINA GALMAN AND REYNALDO GALMAN, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE PRESIDING JUSTICE MANUEL PAMARAN AND ASSOCIATE JUSTICES AUGUSTO AMORES AND BIENVENIDO VERA CRUZ OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN, THE HONORABLE BERNARDO FERNANDEZ, TANODBAYAN, GENERAL FABIAN C. VER, MAJOR GENERAL PROSPERO OLIVAS, SGT. PABLO MARTINEZ, SGT. TOMAS FERNANDEZ, SGT. LEONARDO MOJICA, SGT. PEPITO TORIO, SGT. PROSPERO BONA AND AIC ANICETO ACUPIDO, respondents. Nos. L-71212-13. August 30, 1985.* PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the TANODBAYAN (OMBUDSMAN), petitioner, vs. THE SANDIGANBAYAN, GENERAL FABIAN C. VER. MAJOR GEN. PROSPERO OLIVAS, SGT. PABLO MARTINEZ, SGT. TOMAS FERNANDEZ, SGT. LEONARDO MOJICA, SGT. PEPITO TORIO, SGT. PROSPERO BONA AND AIC ANICETO ACUPIDO, respondents. Constitutional Law; Criminal Procedure; Statutes; P.D. 1886 which created the Agrava Board was enacted not only to determine the facts surrounding the killing of former Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., but also identify the culprits for their consequent prosecution.—Although referred to and designated as a mere Fact Finding Board, the Board is in truth and in fact, and to all legal intents and purposes, an entity charged, not only with the function of determining the facts and circumstances surrounding the killing, but more importantly, the determination of the person or persons criminally responsible therefor so that they may be brought before the bar of justice. For indeed, what good will it be to the entire nation and the more than 50 million Filipinos to know the facts and circumstances of the killing if the culprit or culprits will nevertheless not be dealt with criminally? This purpose is implicit from Section 12 of the said Presidential Decree, the pertinent portion of which provides—“SECTION 12. The findings of the Board shall be made public. Should the findings warrant the prosecution of any person, the Board may initiate the filing of proper complaint with the appropriate government agency. x x x. (Italics supplied) Same; Same; Same; Same.—The investigation therefor is also geared, as any other similar investigation of its sort, to the ascertainment and/or determination of the culprit or culprits, their consequent prosecution and ultimately, their conviction. And as safeguard, the P.D. guarantees “any person called to testify before the Board the right to counsel at any stage of the proceedings.” Considering the foregoing environmental settings, it cannot be denied that in the course of receiving evidence, persons summoned to testify will inclucle not merely plain witnesses but also those suspected as authors and co-participants in the tragic killing. And when suspects are summoned and called to testify and/or produce evidence, the situation is one where the person testifying or producing evidence is undergoing investigation for the
commission of an offense and not merely in order to shed light on the facts and surrounding circumstances of the assassination, but more importantly, to determine the character and extent of his participation therein.