i found this http://www.manilatimes.net/index.php/dear-pao/8758-nbi-keeps-tabs-of-all-criminal-cases-filed-against-a-person
If you get an NBI clearance and they found out from your records that you have a criminal case, will you be imprisoned right there and then? Is there any way for me to find out if I have a pending case without going to the NBI?
One of the functions of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is to act as the national clearing house of criminal and other information for the benefit and use of all prosecuting and law-enforcement entities of the Philippines. To this end, the NBI stores in its database a person’s identification records such as his identifying marks, characteristics, and ownership or possession of all firearms as well as of test bullets fired therefrom. More importantly, the NBI keeps a record of all the criminal cases filed against a person (Section 1, Republic Act No. 157).
In applying for an NBI clearance, a data check is performed based on the details supplied by the applicant in his application form and the identification card(s) he submitted. If the applicant does not have any case in the NBI’s database, he will be issued a clearance with a “No Derogatory Record” remark. On the other hand, if upon proper verification it was found out that the applicant has case(s) in their database, such case(s) will be indicated in his clearance. Nevertheless, the applicant will not be arrested immediately based on the fact that his record reveals that he has a pending case. Before a person is arrested, there must be a warrant of arrest issued against him by a judge in accordance with the provisions of Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution:
Sec. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
There are instances, however, when a person may be validly arrested even without a warrant of arrest. These are enumerated in Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court. Hence, an applicant of an NBI clearance who was found to have pending cases in the NBI’s database will only be arrested thereat if there is a standing warrant of arrest issued in his name or if his arrest is attended to by any of the instances of a valid warrantless arrest.
As to your second question, you may still know if you have pending case(s) even if you don’t go to the NBI by going to our courts. But this process is time-consuming, not to mention, burdensome, as there are so many existing organized courts in our country. The easiest and most practical way of verifying your records remains to be the application of an NBI clearance in any of the NBI clearance offices or NBI satellite offices near you.
Please be reminded that this opinion is solely based on your narration of facts and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary if other facts are added or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to address your concern.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com.