WHAT ARE THE REQUISITES IN ORDER FOR A PERSON TO BE DISCHARGED AS A STATE WITNESS?
1. The discharge must be WITH THE CONSENT OF THE ACCUSED sought to be a state witness
2. There is ABSOLUTE NECESSITY for the testimony of the accused whose discharge is requested;
3. There is NO OTHER DIRECT EVIDENCE AVAILABLE for the proper prosecution of the offense committed, except the testimony of said accused;
4. The testimony of said accused can be SUBSTANTIALLY CORROBORATED in its material points;
5. Said accused DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE THE MOST GUILTY; and
6. Said accused has not at any time been convicted of any offense involving MORAL TURPITUDE.
CAN THE COURT GRANT THE DISCHARGE BEFORE THE PROSECUTION HAS FINISHED PRESENTING ALL ITS EVIDENCE?
No. As a general rule, the court should resolve any motion to discharge only AFTER the prosecution has presented all of its evidence since it is at this time when the court shall determine the
presence of the requisites above
In some cases, HOWEVER, the SC held that the prosecution is not required to present all of its other evidence before an accused is discharged. The accused may be discharged at any time before
the defendants have entered upon their defense.
IS A HEARING OF THE MOTION TO DISCHARGE MANDATORY?
So long as the motion is able to receive evidence for and against the discharge of an accused to become a state witness, its subsequent order granting or denying the motion for discharge is
in order notwithstanding the lack of actual hearing on the motion
WHAT IS THE MEANING WHEN THE TESTIMONY OF THE ACCUSED CAN BE SUBSTANTIALLY CORROBORATED IN ITS MATERIAL POINTS?
There is presence of indirect testimony or evidence that could corroborate with the truthfulness of the testimony of the accused
WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS LACK OF REQUISITES PRESENT IN THE MOTION FOR THE DISCHARGE OF THE ACCUSED?
There is no need to allege all the requisites in the motion. What is required is that the court is satisfied that the requisites are present for the discharge.
The evidence for the discharge may be presented during the hearing on the motion
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF THE TESTIMONY OF THE PROPOSED STATE WITNESS?
It means that there is no other evidence to establish the offense other than the testimony of the accused
For example, where an offense is committed in conspiracy and clandestinely, the discharge of one of the conspirators is necessary in order to provide direct evidence of the commission of
No one else other than one of the conspirators can testify on what happened among them
DOES ABSOLUTE NECESSITY MEAN THAT TESTIMONY WOULD RESULT IN ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY OF CONVICTION?
CAN THERE BE MORE THAN ONE ACCUSED WHO CAN BE DISCHARGED?
WHAT IS THE REMEDY OF THE PROSECUTION IF THE COURT DENIES THE MOTION OF THE PROSECUTION?
The State can file a petition for certiorari
THE ACCUSED PLEADED GUILTY TO THE CRIME CHARGED AND/OR ALREADY TESTIFIED AS AN ACCUSED, CAN HE STILL BE DISCHARGED?
CAN A CO-CONSPIRATOR BE DISCHARGED AS A STATE WITNESS?
RULE—a co-conspirator cannot be discharged as a state witness
against a co-conspirator
EXCEPTION—if the crime was committed clandestinely and there
is no way to prove the crime
WHAT IS AN IRREGULAR DISCHARGE?
Irregular discharge is a discharge where one or all of the
conditions required for discharge didn’t really exist
IF THE STATE WITNESS REFUSES TO TESTIFY, WILL HIS SWORN STATEMENT BE ADMISSIBLE AGAINST HIM?
No, his sworn statement will not be admissible against him
Otherwise, it violates his right against self-incrimination