DSLaw Rules of Procedure Series

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I RECEIVE AN ONLINE SUBPOENA IN TIME OF COVID-19? [Understanding the Nature of Subpoena under the Philippine Rules of Court]

During this COVID-19 pandemic, several subpoenas have been sent out to individuals over their social media posts.[1] When people receive said legal order, it is normal to feel anxious, curious or worse, scared. But what is a subpoena, really?

The Philippine Rules of Court defines subpoena as a process directed to a person requiring him to attend and to testify at the hearing or any investigation conducted by competent authority. It may also require him to bring with him any books, documents, or other things under his control.[2]

In the Philippines, the following are authorized to issue a subpoena: the Judiciary, the Philippine National Police,[3] the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency,[4] and the National Bureau of Investigation, among others.[5]

For the sake of administrative subpoena, it is enough that the proposed investigation be for a lawfully authorized purpose, and that the proposed witness be claimed to have information that might shed some helpful light.[6]

[1] L. Buan, Rappler: NBI summons ‘more than a dozen’ for coronavirus posts, (2020).

[2] Rule 21, (1997).

[3] Rep. Act No. 10973, sec. 1, (2017).

[4] Rep. Act No. 9165, sec. 84, (2002).

[5] Rep. Act No. 10867, sec. 4, (2015).

[6] Evangelista v. Jarencio, G.R. No. L-29274, (1975).

How Can We Help?

When receiving a subpoena, it is important to consult with a lawyer.

At Delloro & Saulog Law Offices, our lawyers can assist you in subpoena-verification. Our lawyers are also capable to identify the nitty-gritty of the documents the agency concerned should bear, and the documents needed on your end. Let us guide you through the process.

For more information on how we can help you, book a consultation with us below.

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