Lecture on Evidence

Philippine Bar Association - Activities - Lecture on Evidence

On 27-29 April 2022, the Philippine Bar Association provided a zoom lecture on evidence for the Provost Marshals of the Major Units of the Philippine Army. This was upon the invitation of Army Provost Marshal Atty. Col. Randy O. Remonte OSC (INF) PA.

The Army Provost Marshal is the Special Staff to the Commanding General, Philippine Army on all Matters Pertaining to Discipline, Law and Order in the Philippine Army. Among its many responsibilities are: formulating and recommending directives and policies on investigation, disposition of cases, safety and maintenance or order among Army Personnel; ensuring the maintenance of order and discipline, enforcement of military laws, rules and regulations and the proper observance of safety programs in the Pal and investigating complaints against military personnel involved in administrative offenses and HR Abuses.

Thus, evidence is a very important subject for Provost Marshals to learn. And PBA Assistant Secretary Atty. Arnel Victor C. Valeña was tasked to give the lecture. As a backgrounder, it is important for the Army Provost Marshals to understand evidence as used in the Courts because the Articles of War (R.A. COMMONWEALTH ACT No. 408 An act for making further and more effectual provision for the natonal defense by establishing a system of military justice for persons subject to military law”) provides:

Article 37. President may prescribe rules – The President may, by regulations, which he may modify from time to time, prescribe the procedure, including modes of proof, in cases before courts-martial, courts, of inquiry, military commissions, and other military tribunals, which regulations shall, in so far as he shall deem practicable, apply the rules of evidence generally recognized in the trial of criminal cases in the courts of justice of the Philippines; Provided, That nothing contrary to or inconsistent with these articles shall be so prescribed.

From a confirmed number of only seventy (70) attendees, more participants joined the zoom call, and a total of 140 persons attended. These participants came not only from the office of the Army Provost Marshal, but also from other units of the Philippine Army.

Atty. Valeña, who is a faculty member of the Philippine Law School, adopted a conversational tone with anecdotes and practical applications of the concepts. He was able to engage the audience by making them ask questions as well as answer questions.

The best indiator of the success of the lecture is the request of Col. Remonte for the PBA to provide more lectures for the Office of the Army Provost Marshal on other topics.