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According to the Textbook on the Philippine Constitution,
the fourth classification of constitutional rights, the rights of the
accused, “are the (civil) rights intended for the protection of a
person accused of any crime.” 1 Some examples are: right to
free access to the courts, quasi-judicial bodies, and legal assistance; 2
right against inhumane punishment;3 right to be informed of the
nature and cause of the accusation against him;4 right against
self-incrimination;5 etc. The rest are defined on Article III,
Sections 11 to 22, of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.6 The
rights of the accused is a significant classification in the Bill of Rights
of the 1987 Philippine Constitution because it affirms the design of the
constitution to protect all mankind, and the lack thereof can cause numerous


A constitution is composed of “the basic principles and
laws of a nation.”7 The constitution has the “highest
level in the hierarchy of laws”8
making it the backbone of the law;9 it establishes the role of the
government and the limitations of its power; and its purpose is to secure the
safety and the welfare of all mankind by giving them rights. Because the term
“all mankind” has no exceptions, this includes those criminally

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To promote the well-being of the people, the constitution is
“designed to protect a person’s rights and privileges against violations
by the government, or by an individual or groups of individuals.”10
Thus, the Bill of Rights, or the “Charter of Liberty,” exists to
guide the government and its people by recognizing and specifying these rights,
such as “liberties for the individual and a limitation upon the power of
the State.”10 There are three kinds of rights: natural
rights granted to every human being,11 constitutional rights
protected and provided by the Constitution,12 and statutory
rights that may be revised or abolished by the law-making bodies that made
them.12 These rights are be classified as: political,
civil, social and economic, and the rights of the accused.13


Without these rights, the well-being of the accused individual
will be compromised. Problems, such as the conviction of an innocent person or
the inhumane treatment of a prisoner, may arise.  Decisions, concerning these criminally
charged individuals, may be based on emotion or current events/influences
instead of lawful and logical standards. In a way, this promotes injustice and
corruption because taking away their rights means that anyone can be accused
and convicted unjustly, so it doesn’t really matter whether you are innocent or
otherwise because you would then have no right to a fair trial. Recognizing the
“rights of the accused,” stated in the Bill of Rights of the 1987
Philippine Constitution, is integral to maintaining the integrity of the
constitution that promotes the well-being of all individuals.

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