the treacherous and vicious assassination of former Senator Benigno S.
Aquino, Jr. on August 21, 1983, has to all Filipinos become a national
tragedy and national shame specially because of the early distortions
and exaggerations in both foreign and local media so that all right
thinking and honest men desire to ventilate the truth through free,
independent and dispassionate investigation by prestigious and free
WHEREAS, to avoid any bias or partiality in the conduct of an
investigation, there is a need to create an independent ad hoc
fact-finding Board with plenary powers to determine the facts and
circumstances surrounding the killing and to allow for a free,
unlimited and exhaustive investigation into all the aspects of said
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Republic of
the Philippines, pursuant to the powers vested in me by the
Constitution, do hereby order and decree.
Section 1. There is hereby created an independent ad
hoc fact-finding Board, which shall be independent from the three
departments of the Government, to determine all the facts and
circumstances surrounding the said killing. The Board shall composed of
a Chairman and at least four (4) but not exceeding six (6) members
including two representatives of the Batasang Pambansa. The Batasang
Pambansa may, by resolution, designate two (2) of its members as
representatives to the Board in whatever capacity to conform with the
provisions of Article VIII, Section 10 of the 1973 Constitution
mandating that a member of the Batasang Pambansa shall not hold any
other office or employment in the Government, or any subdivision,
agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or
controlled corporations, during his tenure.
With the exception of the two representatives of the Batasang Pambansa,
the members of the Board shall be appointed by the President of the
Philippines from among the recommendees of the various sectors of
society, such as but not limited to legal or bar associations,
civic/service organizations, and the business, education, student,
labor and other sectors. The President shall appoint/designate the
Chairman from among the members of the Board upon its recommendation.
The positions of Chairman and the members of the Board shall be
honorary. The Chairman and the members of the Board shall only be
entitled to transportation allowance of Three Thousand Pesos
(P3,000.00) and Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000.00) a month, respectively.
The Chairman and the members of the Board shall be disqualified from
appointment to any public office within one (1) year from and after the
date the Board has become functus officio.
Sec. 2. The following person shall be disqualified
from becoming Chairman or member of the Board:
(a) Persons financially interested, directly or
indirectly, in any transaction or contract with the National Government
and its subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies, including
government-owned or controlled corporations; and
(b) Persons who have in any manner commented,
theorized, or made any public statements, pronouncement, opinion or
view on the circumstances surrounding the tragedy, or who have directly
or indirectly prejudged, preconceived or in any manner arrived at any
conclusion on the tragedy or any aspect thereof.
Sec. 3. The Board shall have the power to review
the evidence already submitted and determine which to accept and which
to hear anew, to issue subpoena or subpoena duces tecum and other
compulsory processes requiring the attendance and testimony of
witnesses and the production of any evidence relative to any matter
under investigation by the Board.
The Board, or any member thereof, or its duly authorized representative
may administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses, and receive
The Board may appoint sheriffs and deputize any law enforcement agency
as may be necessary to ensure compliance with its orders and
Sec. 4. The Board may hold any person in direct or
indirect contempt, and impose appropriate penalties therefor.
A person guilty of misbehavior in the presence of or so near the Board
as to obstruct or interrupt the proceedings before the same, including
disrespect towards its officials, offensive personalities towards
others, or refusal to be sworn or to answer as a witness or to
subscribe to an affidavit or deposition when lawfully required to do so
may be summarily adjudged in direct contempt by the Board and punished
with a fine not exceeding P200.00 or imprisonment not exceeding thirty
(30) days or both.
Judgment of the Board on the contempt shall be final and unappealable.
Indirect contempt shall be dealt with by the Board in the manner
prescribed under Rule 71 of the Rules of Court.
Sec. 5. No person shall be excused from attending
and testifying or from producing books, records, correspondence,
documents, or other evidence in obedience to a subpoena issued by the
Board on the ground that his testimony or the evidence required of him
may tend to incriminate him or subject him to penalty or forfeiture;
but his testimony or any evidence produced by him shall not be used
against him in connection with any transaction, matter or thing
concerning which he is compelled, after having invoked his privilege
against self-incrimination, to testify or produce evidence, except that
such individual so testifying shall not be exempt from prosecution and
punishment for perjury committed in so testifying, nor shall he be
exempt from demotion or removal from office.
Sec. 6. The Board shall have the power to enter
into contracts, to promulgate its rules and regulations, and to perform
any and all acts necessary in the execution and implementation of its
Sec. 7. The Board, thru its Chairman, shall have
the power to engage the services of such persons or personnel as may be
required for the effective performance of its functions and
responsibilities, to prescribe their duties and fix their compensation,
and to organize the structure and staffing pattern of the Board. All
persons or personnel appointed, designated or contracted by the Board
shall not be subject to the Civil Service Law, rules and regulations.
The Board may appoint a secretary and assistant secretaries who shall
be members of the Philippine Bar and who shall be empowered to
administer oaths and affirmations and to issue summons, subpoena, and
subpoena duces tecum by authority of the Board.
Sec. 8. All government agencies including the
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine Constabulary
Criminal Investigation Service (PC-CIS) and all other government
investigating agencies shall make available their staff or services and
facilities of their office to the Boards as may be required by the
letter in the discharge of its functions.
Sec. 9. The Board shall appoint a General Counsel
and such Deputy General Counsel(s) who shall be members of the
Philippine Bar to assist the Board in the discharge of its functions.
The General Counsel and Deputy General Counsels must have all the
qualifications of a Justice of the Supreme Court.
Section 10. The proceedings and hearings conducted by
the Board may be either public or held in closed doors at the
discretion of the majority of the members of the Board or as may be
warranted by the circumstances as where they would affect matters of
national security or public safety, or as may be requested by any
person testifying in the said proceedings.
The Board may sit either en banc or in a Division of two as may be
provided in the rules and regulations to be promulgated.
Any person called to testify before the Board shall have the right to
counsel at any stage of the proceedings.
Section 11. The Board may allow local and/or foreign
observers in its proceedings. The presentation of evidence and the
conduct of the proceedings or investigations shall at all times remain
under the direction and control of the General Counsel and/or his
The rules of evidence under the Rules of Court shall be followed as far
Section 12. The findings of the Board shall be made
public. Should the findings warrant the prosecution of any person, the
Board may initiate the filing of the proper complaint with the
appropriate government agency. Thereafter, the Board shall become
functus officio, and all its assets and properties shall revert to the
Section 13. The sum of Five Million Pesos (
P5,000,000.00) is hereby appropriated out of available funds in the
National Treasury for the operational expenses of the Board. As a
further assurance of its independence, the Board shall not be subject
to the jurisdiction of the Commission on Audit. The Board, by
resolution, may dispose of its funds in accordance with the accepted
principles of auditing and accounting and shall not be subject to the
rules and regulations of the Office of Budget and Management on
allocations and releases of funds.
Section 14. The Commission created and constituted
under Administrative Order No. 469 is hereby abolished, and all its
records, assets and liabilities shall be transferred to and assumed by
the Board. The Board shall not be bound by the evidence so far
submitted to or by the acts performed by the said Commission.
Presidential Decree No. 1879, as amended, together with the rules and
regulations issued pursuant thereto and Administrative Order No. 469
are hereby repealed.
Section 15. This Decree shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila,
this 14th day of October, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and