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Unformatted text preview: nary witness with respect to the right against self‐incrimination? A: Accused Can refuse to take the witness stand altogether by invoking the right against self‐ incrimination Ordinary Witness Cannot refuse to take the witness stand; can only refuse to answer specific questions which would incriminate him in the commission of an offense 1. Scope and Coverage Q: What is the scope of the Privilege against Self‐ incrimination? A: This constitutional privilege has been defined as a protection against testimonial compulsion, but this has since been extended to any evidence “communicative in nature” acquired under circumstances of duress (People v. Olvis, G.R. No. 71092, Sept. 30, 1987) What is prohibited is the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communication from the witness or to otherwise elicit evidence which would not exist were it not for the actions compelled from the witness. Note: It applies only to testimonial compulsion and production of documents, papers and chattels in court except when books of account are to be examined in the exercise of police power and the power of taxation. An accused may be compelled to be photographed or measured, his garments may be removed, and his body may be examined. However, an order requiring the accused to write so that his handwriting may be validated with the documentary evidence is covered by the constitutional proscription against self‐incrimination. Q: Do re‐enactments violate a person's right against self‐incrimination? A: Yes. A person who is made to re‐enact a crime may rightfully invoke his privilege against self‐ incrimination, because by his conduct of acting out how the crime was supposedly committed, he thereby practically confesses his guilt by action which is as eloquent, if not more so, than words. Q: Fiscal A petitioned the lower court to order X to appear before the former to take dictation in X’s own handwriting to determine whether or not it was X who wrote certain documents 108 supposed to be falsified. The lower court granted the petition of the fiscal. X refused what the fiscal demanded and sought refuge in the constitut...
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