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Department of Justice

Information and articles about the Department of Justice and its activities of investigating and prosecuting fraud and corruption in government.

The Department of Justice (Filipino: Kagawaran ng Katarungan), abbreviated as DOJ, is the executive department of the Philippine government responsible for upholding the rule of law in the Philippines.
It was founded on September 26, 1898 under the Philippine Revolutionary Government of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. A year later, the American Military Force established the office of "The Attorney of the Supreme Court" in place of the department. This new office was renamed "The Office of the Attorney General" after the Americans put up a civilian government on June 11, 1901. On September 1, 1901, the office became the Department of Finance and Justice. In the 1916 government reorganization, the Department of Justice became a separate entity and was given executive supervision over all courts of first instance and other inferior courts. The Department continued to function as such under the Philippine Commonwealth in 1935.

When Manila was overran by the Japanese invaders in 1942, the Department of Justice was transformed into a commission. Under the civilian government established by the Japanese in 1943, it became a ministry. In 1945, the government of the Philippine Commonwealth was reestablished and some government offices were reactivated, among them, the Department of Justice. The Department was carried over under the Philippine Republic established on July 4, 1946.

With the adoption of the 1973 Constitution and after the declaration of Martial Law, the Department again became a ministry. In the same year, administrative supervision over all courts was transferred from the ministry to the Supreme Court. The ministry continued to function after the 1986 EDSA Revolution and the adoption of the Freedom Constitution. The 1987 Constitution reestablished the Department of Justice.

The Office of the Secretary of Justice (OSEC) is composed of the offices of the Secretary of Justice and his/her four Undersecretaries and three Assistant Secretaries.

OSEC has four operational divisions, namely, the Legal Staff; the Board of Pardons and Parole; the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor; and the Technical Staff.


In the Philippines, the regular courts engaged in the administration of justice are organized into four (4) levels. At the highest level is the Supreme Court; and in it are lower courts - those at the three other levels - that judicial power is vested. They are collectively known as the Judiciary. As thus organized, they comprise what is referred to as the Integrated Judicial System.

Department of Justice
Department of Justice web site sketches and outlines the functions of the different constituent agencies and bureaus under the Department of Justice and gives an immediate and ready reference to the reader.

Supreme Court of the Philippines
The Supreme Court as a unique institution with exclusive power to declare what the Constitution is to review executive and legislative acts, is the Philippines' permanent legacy from America's adventure in empire building in the Pacific.

Department of Interior and Local Government
The DILG supervises over local government units, oversees and monitors the implementation of the Local Government Code of 1991, enhances the capabilities of the local government units for self-governance, and implement plans and programs on local autonomy.

Philippine National Police
The Philippine National Police is initially composed of the members of the former Philippine Constabulary (PC) and Integrated National Police (INP) who opted to join the PNP. The PNP enforces the law, prevents and controls crime, maintains peace and order, and ensures public safety and internal security with active support of the community.

Armed Forces of the Philippines

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the country's vigilant guardian of democracy which strives and works to maintain the freedom of the country. Formerly known as the Philippine Army, it was renamed to include the Philippine Air Force, the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Constabulary in 1950.


The Department of Justice (DOJ) derives its mandate primarily from the Administrative Code of 1987 (Executive Order No. 292). It carries out this mandate through the Department Proper and the Department’s attached agencies under the direct control and supervision of the Secretary of Justice.

Under EO 292, the DOJ is the government’s principal law agency. As such, the DOJ serves as the government’s prosecution arm and administers the government’s criminal justice system by investigating crimes, prosecuting offenders and overseeing the correctional system. The DOJ, through its attached offices, is also the government’s legal counsel and representative in litigations and proceedings requiring the services of a lawyer; implements the Philippines’ laws on the admission and stay of aliens within its territory; provides free legal services to indigent Filipinos; and settles land disputes between and among small landowners and indigenous cultural minorities.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. The DOJ investigates the commission of crimes and prosecutes offenders through the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the National Prosecution Service (NPS), respectively. Likewise, the DOJ administers the probation and correction system of the country through the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) and the Parole and Probation Administration (PPA).

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