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DOJ issues code of conduct for prosecutors

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has created an internal affairs unit (IAU) tasked to handle complaints against erring prosecutors, as it issued its first code of conduct for prosecutors and employees.

In a two-spread advertisement published in The STAR last Monday, the DOJ listed acts prohibited for state prosecutors with corresponding penalties.

First on the list is the ban on interaction between DOJ prosecutors and former officials or employees of the department inside or outside office premises relative to pending criminal cases.

Secondly, prosecutors were told to “act in a dignified manner, at all times, to ensure that he/she will be respected and trusted by the public.”

Fiscals are also not allowed to have other employment outside the DOJ.

The prosecutors were also reminded not to solicit, directly or indirectly, cash, gifts and other benefits from the public.

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Prosecutor General Claro Arellano said the code of conduct, which is the first in DOJ’s 114 years, also provides for “whistle-blowing” mechanism for prosecutors who will report violations committed by their colleagues.

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