WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF THE RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION?
> The right against self-incrimination covers testimonial compulsion only and the compulsion to produce real or physical evidence using the body of the accused
> Physical or moral compulsion to extort communication
WITH WHAT KIND OF TESTIMONY OR INSTANCES CAN THE RIGHT BE INVOKED?
> It applies to commutative testimony and not mechanical testimony
> Commutative testimony involves the use of intelligence on the part of the accused or witness. Corrorarily, on cases on self-incrimination, the following are permissible—substance from the body, morphine from mouth, put on pants, physical exam, wallet, picture taking, etc. The following on the other hand are not permissible—handwriting, signature, and similar incidents which
involve the use of intelligence.
SUPPOSE THAT THERE IS A HOLE IN A DOOR TO WHICH IF IT IS FOUND OUT THAT THE HAND OF THE ACCUSED FITS THE HOLE, HE IS MOST PROBABLE GUILTY OF THE ACCUSATION. CAN HE INVOKE THE RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION?
> No, what is being asked of him is mechanical in nature. The inserting of his hand into the hole will not involve intelligence on his part to fulfill the task.
IS THERE AN EXCEPTION TO THE RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION?
> The right cannot be invoked when the State has the rights to inspect documents under its police power, such as documents of corporations.
ON WHAT KIND OF PROCEEDINGS CAN THE RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION BE INVOKED?
> The right against self-incrimination can be invoked in all proceedings instituted by the government
WHAT IS THE RATIONALE FOR PROTECTING THE RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION?
1. FOR HUMANITARIAN REASONS—to prevent the State with all its coercive powers from extracting testimony that may convict the accused
2. FOR PRACTICAL REASONS—the accused is likely to commit perjury if he were compelled to testify against himself
SUPPOSE THAT X WAS A WITNESS IN A JUDICIAL PROCEEDING. THE COUNSEL ASKED HIM ABOUT HIS WHEREABOUTS DURING A CERTAIN DATE. X WAS ACTUALLY TOGETHER WITH A WOMAN IN A MOTEL DURING THAT DATE. REVEALING HIS WHEREABOUTS WOULD RESULT TO A DOMESTIC TURBULENCE. CAN X RIGHTFULLY INVOKE HIS RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION?
> X cannot invoke the right. He can only invoke the right if there is only a possibility of criminal prosecution but not in cases of possible embarrassment.
WHO MAY INVOKE THE RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION AND WHEN CAN SUCH PERSON INVOKE THE RIGHT?
> An ordinary witness may invoke the right but he may only do so as each incriminating question is asked
> The accused himself may invoke the right, but unlike the ordinary witness, he may altogether refuse to take the witness stand and refuse to answer any and all questions.
> But once the accused waives his right and chooses to testify on his own behalf, he may be cross-examined on matters covered in his direct examination. He cannot refuse to answer questions
during cross-examination by claiming that the answer that he will give could incriminate him for the crime he is being charged.
> However, if the question during cross-examination relates to a crime different from that which he was charged, he can still invoke the right and refuse to answer.
CAN AN ACCUSED OR WITNESS INVOKE THE RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION IF HE IS ASKED ABOUT PAST CRIMINALITY?
> It depends
> If he can still be prosecuted for it, questions about the past criminal liability are still covered by the protection against self-incrimination
> But if he cannot anymore be prosecuted for it anymore, he cannot invoke the right
SUPPOSE X WAS A WITNESS ASKED ABOUT BEING CHARGED WITH PERJURY TWO YEARS AGO. HE INVOKES HIS RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION. CAN THIS BE TAKEN AGAINST HIM?
> It depends. If in the prior charge of perjury against him, the case has already been terminated through his acquittal, conviction, or dismissal of the complaint, he couldn't invoke the right anymore.
But if it is the case that he could still be charged with this past criminality, then he could invoke said right.
SUPPOSE X WAS A WITNESS ASKED ABOUT BEING A PAID WITNESS IN THE PAST. X REFUSED TO ANSWER INVOKING THE RIGHT AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION. CAN THIS BE TAKEN AGAINST X?
> Again, it depends. If he could still be charged for rendering false testimony, then he could invoke the right. If he cannot anymore be charged for past criminality, then it could not invoke the right.
X ACCUSED WAS ASKED TO BE A HOSTILE WITNESS. HE REFUSED TO DO SO. CAN THIS BE TAKEN AGAINST X?
> No, X cannot be prejudiced whatsoever as a result of his refusal to be a hostile witness. To prejudice X as a result of his refusal would render his right against self-incrimination useless and