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Narratives

Constitutional Law II
Michael Vernon Guerrero Mendiola 2005 Shared under Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Philippines license.

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Table of Contents

Herras Teehankee vs. Rovira [GR L-101, 20 December 1945] 1 People vs. San Diego [GR L-29676, 24 December 1968] 1 Cortes vs. Catral [AM RTJ-97-1387, 10 September 1997] 2 Lavides vs. Court of Appeals [GR 129670, 1 February 2000] 3 Government of the United States of America, Represented by the Philippine Department of Justice, vs. Purganan [GR 148571, 24 September 2002] 4 Paderanga vs. Court of Appeals [GR 115407, 28 August 1995] 6 Go vs. Bongolan [AM RTJ-99-1464, 26 July 1999] 8 People vs. Gako [GR 135045, 15 December 2000] 9 Marallag vs. Cloribel-Purungganan [AM 00-1529-RTJ, 9 April 2002] 11 Enrile vs. Salazar [GR 92163, 5 June 1990] 13 People vs. Donato [GR 79269, 5 June 1991] 14 People vs. Fortes [GR 91155, 25 June 1993] 16 Maguddatu vs. Court of Appeals [GR 139599, 23 February 2000] 17 Obosa vs. Court of Appeals [GR 114350, 16 January 1997] 19 Villasenor vs. Abano [GR L-23599, 29 September 1967] 21 De la Camara vs. Enage [GR L-32951-2, 17 September 1971] 22 Almeda vs. Villaluz [GR L-31665, 6 August 1975] 23 Yap vs. Court of Appeals [GR 141529, 6 June 2001] 25 Cabaero vs. Caon [AM MTJ-01-1369, 20 September 2001] 26 Manotoc vs. Court of Appeals [GR L-62100, 30 May 1986] 26

This collection contains twenty (20) cases summarized in this format by Michael Vernon M. Guerrero (as a senior law student) during the First Semester, school year 2005-2006 in the Political Law Review class under Dean Mariano Magsalin Jr. at the Arellano University School of Law (AUSL). Compiled as PDF, September 2012. Berne Guerrero entered AUSL in June 2002 and eventually graduated from AUSL in 2006. He passed the Philippine bar examinations immediately after (April 2007).

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266 Herras Teehankee vs. Rovira [GR L-101, 20 December 1945] En Banc, Hilado (J): 3 concur, 4 concur only in the result Facts: Haydee Herras Teehankee is a political detainee delivered by the Counter Intelligence Corps, United States Army, to the Commonwealth Government, pursuant to the Proclamation of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, dated 29 December 1944. She was one of the petitioners in case No. L-44, "Raquiza vs. Bradford," of the Supreme Court. She is now confined in the Correctional Institution for Women under the custody of the Commonwealth Government since October, 1945, when she was thus delivered to the said government. On 2 October 1945, Herras Teehankee, through her husband, Alberto Teehankee, filed with the People's Court a petition wherein, invoking the provisions of Executive Order No. 65, promulgated by His Excellency, the President of the Philippines, dated 3 September 1945, she prayed that her immediate release be ordered on the ground that no evidence exists upon which she could be charged with any act punishable by law, or, alternatively, that the People's Court fix the bail for her provisional liberty, in conformity with the aforesaid executive order, and upon approval of such bail, that an order be forthwith issued directing the officer having official custody of her person to immediately release her. On 9 October 1945, the Hon. Leopoldo Rovira, Presiding Judge of the People's Court, entered an order referring the petition for provisional release for consideration by the Fifth Division of the People's Court, but adding the following statement: "in my opinion, it should be denied notwithstanding the recommendation of the Solicitor General for her provisional release under a bond of P50,000." On the same date, the Hon. Pompeyo Diaz, Associate Judge of the People's Court, entered an order disposing of said petition and denying the same "in view of the gravity of the offense as can be deduced from the fact that the office of the Special Prosecutors recommends as high as P50,000 for her provisional release." Herras Teehankee filed for reconsideration, but the Court, through Associate Judge Pompeyo Diaz, denied said motion. Herras Teehankee filed a petition for the writs of certiorari and mndamus on 19 October 1945 with the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether a person may file for bail even before a formal charge or information is filed against him. Held: Article III, section 1(16) of the Commonwealth Constitution -- which provides that "All persons shall before conviction be bailable by sufficient sureties, except those charged with capital offenses when evidence of guilt is strong. Excessive bail shall not be required" -- refers to all persons, not only to persons against whom a complaint or information has already been formally filed. It lays down the rule that all persons shall before conviction be bailable except those charged with capital offenses when evidence of guilt is strong. According to the provision, the general rule is that any person, before being convicted of any criminal offense, shall be bailable, except when he is charged with a capital offense and the evidence of his guilt is strong. Of course, only those persons who have been either arrested, detained or otherwise deprived of their liberty will ever have occasion to seek the benefits of said provision. But in order that a person can invoke this constitutional precept, it is not necessary that he should wait until a formal complaint or information is filed against him. From the moment he is placed under arrest, detention or restraint by the officers of the law, he can claim this guarantee of the Bill of Rights, and this right he retains unless and until he is charged with a capital offense and evidence of his guilt is strong. Indeed if, as admitted on all sides, the precept protects those already charged under a formal complaint or information, there seems to be no legal or just reason for denying its benefits to one as against whom the proper authorities may even yet conclude that there exists no sufficient evidence of guilt. To place the former in a more favored position than the latter would be, to say the least, anomalous and absurd. If there is a presumption of innocence in favor of one already formally charged with criminal offense (Constitution, Article III, section 1[17]), a fortiori, this presumption should be indulged in favor of one yet so charged, although already arrested or detained. 267 People vs. San Diego [GR L-29676, 24 December 1968] En Banc, Capistrano (J): 9 concur, 1 took no part Facts: Mario Henson, Rafael Gonzales, Angel Mendoza, Rogelio Lazaro and Bienvenido Wijangco were
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charged before the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Quezon City Branch (Criminal case Q-8711) as principals of the murder of Jesus Lapid with the qualifying circumstances of treachery, evident premeditation, and abuse of superior strength and with the aggravating circumstances of nocturnity, aid of armed men and craft or fraud. The prosecution and the defense agreed that the motions for bail of the defendants would be considered in the course of the regular trial instead of in a summary proceeding. In the course of the regular trial, after the prosecution had presented eight witnesses, the trial court resolved the motions for bail granting the same despite the objection of the prosecution on the ground that it still had material witnesses to present. Fiscal Oscar Inocentes moved for reconsideration. Inocentes, for the People, filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the order to grant or deny bail (especially those involving capital punishment) should be made only after the prosecution has presented its evidence. Held: Whether the motion for bail of a defendant who is in custody for a capital offense be resolved in a summary proceeding or in the course of a regular trial, the prosecution must be given an opportunity to present, within a reasonable time, all the evidence that it may desire to introduce before the court should resolve the motion for bail. If the prosecution should be denied such an opportunity, there would be a violation of procedural due process, and the order of the court granting bail should be considered void on that ground. The court's discretion to grant bail in capital offenses must be exercised in the light of a summary of the evidence presented by the prosecution; otherwise, it would be uncontrolled and might be capricious or whimsical. 268 Cortes vs. Catral [AM RTJ-97-1387, 10 September 1997] Resolution En Banc, Romero (J): 12 concur, 1 took no part Facts: A sworn letter complaint was filed by Flaviano Cortes charging Judge Segundo B. Catral of the RTC of Aparri, Cagayan with Gross Ignorance of the Law committed when (1) he granted bail in murder cases without hearing (People v. Duerme, et al., Criminal Case 07-893 for murder; People v. Rodrigo Bumanglag, Criminal Case 08-866 for murder); (2) he reduced the bailbond granted by the provincial prosecutor from P180,000 to P30,000 without hearing (Barangay Captain Rodolfo Castanedas Criminal Case 11-6250 for Illegal Possession of Firearm); (3) he granted a bailbond of P14,800 in a homicide case (Barangay Captain Nilo de Rivera); and (4) he acquitted Jimmy Siriban, the rumors spreading that the wife of Judge Segundo Catral went to Jimmy Siribans house to get the envelop. The Office of the Court Administrator recommended the dismissal of the complaint saying that there is nothing in the allegations of the complainant that would warrant the imposition of administrative sanction against the judge. Issue: Whether Judge Catral is guilty of gross ignorance of the law for having granted bail to the accused in Criminal Cases 07-874 and 08-866. Held: As held in Basco vs. Rapatalo, the judge is mandated to conduct a hearing even in cases where the prosecution chooses to just file a comment or leave the application of bail to the sound discretion of the court. A hearing is likewise required if the prosecution refuses to adduce evidence in opposition to the application to grant and fix bail. The importance of a hearing has been emphasized in not a few cases wherein the court ruled that, even if the prosecution refuses to adduce evidence or fails to interpose an objection to the motion for bail, it is still mandatory for the court to conduct a hearing or ask searching questions from which it may infer the strength of the evidence of guilt, or the lack of it against the accused. The reason for this is plain. Inasmuch as the determination of whether or not the evidence of guilt against the accused is strong is a matter of judicial discretion, It may rightly be exercised only after the evidence is submitted to the court at the hearing. Since the discretion is directed to the weight of evidence and since evidence cannot properly be weighed if not duly exhibited or produced before the court, it is obvious that a proper exercise of judicial discretion requires that the evidence of guilt be submitted to the court, the petitioner having the right of cross
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examination and to introduce evidence in his own rebuttal. The fact that Criminal Case 07-874 was subsequently dismissed by Judge Alameda does not completely exculpate Judge Catral. The judge is not bound by the recommendation of the prosecutor and the affidavits and sworn statements of the witnesses are mere hearsay statements which could hardly be the basis for determining whether or not the evidence of guilt against the accused is strong. The procedural lapse of the judge is aggravated by the fact that even though the accused in Criminal Case 07-874 (People v. Ahmed Duerme), have yet to be arrested, respondent already fixed bail in the sum of P200,000.00. The right to bail can only be availed of by a person who is in custody of the law or otherwise deprived of his liberty and it would be premature, not to say incongruous, to file a petition for bail for some whose freedom has yet to be curtailed. In sum, Judge Segundo B. Catral is guilty of gross ignorance of the law for having granted bail to the accused in Criminal Cases 07-874 and 08-866 without having conducted the requisite hearing. 269 Lavides vs. Court of Appeals [GR 129670, 1 February 2000] Second Division, Mendoza (J): 4 concur Facts: On 3 April 1997, the parents of Lorelie San Miguel reported to the police that their daughter, then 16 years old, had been contacted by Manolet Lavides for an assignation that night at Lavides' room at the Metropolitan Hotel in Diliman, Quezon City. Apparently, this was not the first time the police received reports of Lavides' activities. An entrapment operation was therefore set in motion. At around 8:20 p.m. of the same date, the police knocked at the door of Room 308 of the Metropolitan Hotel where Lavides was staying. When Lavides opened the door, the police saw him with Lorelie, who was wearing only a t-shirt and an underwear, whereupon they arrested him. Based on the sworn statement of Lorelie and the affidavits of the arresting officers, which were submitted at the inquest, an information for violation of Article III, 5(b) of RA 7610 (An Act Providing for Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination, Providing Penalties for its Violation, and other Purposes) was filed on 7 April 1997 against Lavides in the Regional Trial Court, Quezon City (Criminal Case Q-97-70550). On 10 April 1997, Lavides filed an "Omnibus Motion (1) For Judicial Determination of Probable Cause; (2) For the Immediate Release of the Accused Unlawfully Detained on an Unlawful Warrantless Arrest; and (3) In the Event of Adverse Resolution of the Above Incident, Herein Accused be Allowed to Bail as a Matter of Right under the Law on Which He is Charged." On 29 April 1997, 9 more informations for child abuse were filed against Lavides by Lorelie San Miguel, and by three other minor children, Mary Ann Tardesilla, Jennifer Catarman, and Annalyn Talinting (Criminal Case Q-97-70866 to Q-97-70874). In all the cases, it was alleged that, on various dates mentioned in the informations, Lavides had sexual intercourse with complainants who had been "exploited in prostitution and given money as payment for the said acts of sexual intercourse." No bail was recommended. Nonetheless, Lavides filed separate applications for bail in the 9 cases. On 16 May 1997, the trial court issued an order resolving Lavides' Omnibus Motion. finding that, in Criminal Case Q-97-70550, there is probable cause to hold the accused under detention, his arrest having been made in accordance with the Rules, and thus he must therefore remain under detention until further order of the Court; and that the accused is entitled to bail in all the case, and that he is granted the right to post bail in the amount of P80,000.00 for each case or a total of P800,000.00 for all the cases under certain conditions. On 20 May 1997, Lavides filed a motion to quash the informations against him, except those filed in Criminal Case Q-97-70550 or Q-97-70866. Pending resolution of his motion, he asked the trial court to suspend the arraignment scheduled on 23 May 1997. Then on 22 May 1997, he filed a motion in which he prayed that the amounts of bail bonds be reduced to P40,000.00 for each case and that the same be done prior to his arraignment. On 23 May 1997, the trial court, in separate orders, denied Lavides' motions to reduce bail bonds, to quash the informations, and to suspend arraignment. Accordingly, Lavides was arraigned during which he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and then ordered him released upon posting bail bonds in the total amount of P800,000.00, subject to the conditions in the 16 May 1997 order and the "hold-departure" order of 10 April 1997. The pre-trial conference was set on 7 June 1997. On 2 June 1997, Lavides filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals, assailing the trial court's order, dated 16 May 1997, and its two orders, dated 23 May 1997, denying his motion to quash and maintaining the conditions set forth in its order of 16 May 1997, respectively. While the
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case was pending in the Court of Appeals, two more informations were filed against Lavides, bringing the total number of cases against him to 12, which were all consolidated. On 30 June 1997, the Court of Appeals rendered its decision, invalidating the first two conditions under 16 May 1997 order -- i.e. that (1) the accused shall not be entitled to a waiver of appearance during the trial of these cases. He shall and must always be present at the hearings of these cases; and (2) In the event that he shall not be able to do so, his bail bonds shall be automatically cancelled and forfeited, warrants for his arrest shall be immediately issued and the cases shall proceed to trial in absentia -- and maintained the orders in all other respects. Lavides filed the petition for review with the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the court should impose the condition that the accused shall ensure his presence during the trial of these cases before the bail can be granted. Held: In cases where it is authorized, bail should be granted before arraignment, otherwise the accused may be precluded from filing a motion to quash. For if the information is quashed and the case is dismissed, there would then be no need for the arraignment of the accused. Further, the trial court could ensure Lavides' presence at the arraignment precisely by granting bail and ordering his presence at any stage of the proceedings, such as arraignment. Under Rule 114, 2(b) of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, one of the conditions of bail is that "the accused shall appear before the proper court whenever so required by the court or these Rules," while under Rule 116, 1(b) the presence of the accused at the arraignment is required. To condition the grant of bail to an accused on his arraignment would be to place him in a position where he has to choose between (1) filing a motion to quash and thus delay his release on bail because until his motion to quash can be resolved, his arraignment cannot be held, and (2) foregoing the filing of a motion to quash so that he can be arraigned at once and thereafter be released on bail. These scenarios certainly undermine the accused's constitutional right not to be put on trial except upon valid complaint or information sufficient to charge him with a crime and his right to bail. The court's strategy to ensure the Lavides' presence at the arraignment violates the latter's constitutional rights. 270 Government of the United States of America, Represented by the Philippine Department of Justice, vs. Purganan [GR 148571, 24 September 2002] En Banc, Panganiban (J): 8 concur, 2 filed separate opinions, 2 filed separate dissenting opinions, 1 filed separate concurring opinion Facts: Pursuant to the existing RP-US Extradition Treaty, the United States Government, through diplomatic channels, sent to the Philippine Government Note Verbale 0522 dated 16 June 1999, supplemented by Notes 0597, 0720 and 0809 and accompanied by duly authenticated documents requesting the extradition of Mark B. Jimenez, also known as Mario Batacan Crespo. Upon receipt of the Notes and documents, the secretary of foreign affairs (SFA) transmitted them to the secretary of justice (SOJ) for appropriate action, pursuant to Section 5 of Presidential Decree (PD) 1069, also known as the Extradition Law. Upon learning of the request for his extradition, Jimenez sought and was granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) by the RTC of Manila, Branch 25. The TRO prohibited the Department of Justice (DOJ) from filing with the RTC a petition for his extradition. The validity of the TRO was, however, assailed by the SOJ in a Petition before the Supreme Court in GR 139465. Initially, the Court -- by a vote of 9-6 -- dismissed the Petition. The SOJ was ordered to furnish Jimenez copies of the extradition request and its supporting papers and to grant the latter a reasonable period within which to file a comment and supporting evidence. Acting on the Motion for Reconsideration filed by the SOJ, the Supreme Court issued its 17 October 2000 Resolution. By an identical vote of 9-6 -- after three justices changed their votes -- it reconsidered and reversed its earlier Decision. It held that Jimenez was bereft of the right to notice and hearing during the evaluation stage of the extradition process. This Resolution has become final and executory. Finding no more legal obstacle, the Government of the United States of America, represented by the Philippine DOJ, filed with the RTC on 18 May 2001, the appropriate Petition for Extradition which was
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docketed as Extradition Case 01192061. The Petition alleged, inter alia, that Jimenez was the subject of an arrest warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on 15 April 1999. The warrant had been issued in connection with the following charges in Indictment No. 99-00281 CRSEITZ: (1) conspiracy to defraud the United States and to commit certain offenses in violation of Title 18 US Code Section 371; (2) tax evasion, in violation of Title 26 US Code Section 7201; (3) wire fraud, in violation of Title 18 US Code Sections 1343 and 2; (4) false statements, in violation of Title 18 US Code Sections 1001 and 2; and (5) illegal campaign contributions, in violation of Title 2 US Code Sections 441b, 441f and 437g(d) and Title 18 US Code Section 2. In order to prevent the flight of Jimenez, the Petition prayed for the issuance of an order for his "immediate arrest" pursuant to Section 6 of PD 1069. Before the RTC could act on the Petition, Jimenez filed before it an "Urgent Manifestation/Ex-Parte Motion," which prayed that Jimenezs application for an arrest warrant be set for hearing. In its 23 May 2001 Order, the RTC granted the Motion of Jimenez and set the case for hearing on 5 June 2001. In that hearing, Jimenez manifested its reservations on the procedure adopted by the trial court allowing the accused in an extradition case to be heard prior to the issuance of a warrant of arrest. After the hearing, the court a quo required the parties to submit their respective memoranda. In his Memorandum, Jimenez sought an alternative prayer: that in case a warrant should issue, he be allowed to post bail in the amount of P100,000. The alternative prayer of Jimenez was also set for hearing on 15 June 2001. Thereafter, the court below issued its 3 July 2001 Order, directing the issuance of a warrant for his arrest and fixing bail for his temporary liberty at P1 million in cash. After he had surrendered his passport and posted the required cash bond, Jimenez was granted provisional liberty via the challenged Order dated 4 July 2001. The DOJ filed the petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether Jimenez is entitled to bail and to provisional liberty while the extradition proceedings are pending. Held: Extradition is different from ordinary criminal proceedings. There is no provision in the Philippine Constitution granting the right to bail to a person who is the subject of an extradition request and arrest warrant. As suggested by the use of the word "conviction," the constitutional provision on bail, as well as Section 4 of Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, applies only when a person has been arrested and detained for violation of Philippine criminal laws. It does not apply to extradition proceedings, because extradition courts do not render judgments of conviction or acquittal. Moreover, the constitutional right to bail "flows from the presumption of innocence in favor of every accused who should not be subjected to the loss of freedom as thereafter he would be entitled to acquittal, unless his guilt be proved beyond reasonable doubt." It follows that the constitutional provision on bail will not apply to a case like extradition, where the presumption of innocence is not at issue. The provision in the Constitution stating that the "right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended" does not detract from the rule that the constitutional right to bail is available only in criminal proceedings. The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus finds application "only to persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly connected with invasion." Hence, the second sentence in the constitutional provision on bail merely emphasizes the right to bail in criminal proceedings for the aforementioned offenses. It cannot be taken to mean that the right is available even in extradition proceedings that are not criminal in nature. That the offenses for which Jimenez is sought to be extradited are bailable in the United States is not an argument to grant him one in the present case. To stress, extradition proceedings are separate and distinct from the trial for the offenses for which he is charged. He should apply for bail before the courts trying the criminal cases against him, not before the extradition court. The denial of bail as a matter of course in extradition cases falls into place with and gives life to Article 14 of the Treaty, since this practice would encourage the accused to voluntarily surrender to the requesting state to cut short their detention here. Likewise, their detention pending the resolution of extradition proceedings would fall into place with the emphasis of the Extradition Law on the summary nature of extradition cases and the need for their speedy disposition. The rule is that bail is not a matter of right in extradition cases. However, the judiciary has the constitutional duty to curb grave abuse of discretion and tyranny, as well as the
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power to promulgate rules to protect and enforce constitutional rights. Furthermore, the right to due process is broad enough to include the grant of basic fairness to extraditees. Indeed, the right to due process extends to the "life, liberty or property" of every person. It is "dynamic and resilient, adaptable to every situation calling for its application." Accordingly and to best serve the ends of justice, after a potential extraditee has been arrested or placed under the custody of the law, bail may be applied for and granted as an exception, only upon a clear and convincing showing (1) that, once granted bail, the applicant will not be a flight risk or a danger to the community; and (2) that there exist special, humanitarian and compelling circumstances including, as a matter of reciprocity, those cited by the highest court in the requesting state when it grants provisional liberty in extradition cases therein. Since this exception has no express or specific statutory basis, and since it is derived essentially from general principles of justice and fairness, the applicant bears the burden of proving the above two-tiered requirement with clarity, precision and emphatic forcefulness. 271 Paderanga vs. Court of Appeals [GR 115407, 28 August 1995] Second Division, Regalado (J): 4 concur Facts: On 28 January 1990, Miguel Paderanga was belatedly charged in an amended information as a coconspirator in the crime of multiple murder in Criminal Case 86-39 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 18 of Cagayan de Oro City for the killing of members of the Bucag family sometime in 1984 in Gingoog City of which Paderanga was the mayor at the time. The original information, filed on 6 October 1986 with the Regional Trial Court of Gingoog City, had initially indicted for multiple murder 8 accused suspect, namely, Felipe Galarion, Manuel Sabit, Cesar Sabit, Julito Ampo, Eddie Torion, John Doe, Peter Doe And Richard Doe as the alleged conspirators in the indiscriminate slaying of the spouses Romeo and Juliet Bucag and their son, Romeo, Jr. However, only one of the accused, Felipe Galarion, was apprehended, tried and eventually convicted. Galarion later escaped from prison. The others have remained at large up to the present. In a bizarre twist of events, one Felizardo ("Ely") Roxas was implicated in the crime. In an amended information dated 6 October 1988, he was charged as a co-accused therein. As Paderanga was his former employer and thus knew him well, Roxas engaged the former's services as counsel in said case. Ironically, in the course of the preliminary investigation therein, Paderanga, in a signed affidavit dated 30 March 1989 but which he later retracted on 20 June 1990, implicated Paderanga as the supposed mastermind behind the massacre of the Bucag family. Then, upon the inhibition of the City Prosecutor of Cagayan de Oro City from the case per his resolution of 7 July 1989, the Department of Justice, at the instance of said prosecutor, designated a replacement, State Prosecutor Henrick F. Gingoyon, for purposes of both the preliminary investigation and prosecution of Criminal Case 86-39. Pursuant to a resolution of the new prosecutor dated 6 September 1989, Paderanga was finally charged as a co-conspirator in said criminal case in a second amended information dated 6 October 1992. Paderanga assailed his inclusion therein as a co-accused all the way to the Supreme Court in GR 96080 entitled "Atty. Miguel P. Paderanga vs. Hon. Franklin M. Drilon, Hon. Silvestre H. Bello III, Atty. Henrick F. Gingoyon, Helen B. Canoy and Rebecca B. Tan." In an en banc decision promulgated on 19 April 1991, the Court sustained the filing of the second amended information against him. The trial of the base was all set to start with the issuance of an arrest warrant for Paderanga's apprehension but, before it could be served on him, Paderanga through counsel, filed on 28 October 1992 a motion for admission to bail with the trial court which set the same for hearing on 5 November 1992. Paderanga duly furnished copies of the motion to State Prosecutor Henrick F. Gingoyon, the Regional State Prosecutor's Office, and the private prosecutor, Atty. Benjamin Guimong. On 5 November 1992, the trial court proceeded to hear the application for bail. As Paderanga was then confined at the Cagayan Capitol College General Hospital due to "acute costochondritis," his counsel manifested that they were submitting custody over the person of their client to the local chapter president of the integrated Bar of the Philippines and that, for purposes of said hearing of his bail application, he considered being in the custody of the law. Prosecutor Abejo, on the other hand, informed the trial court that in accordance with the directive of the chief of their office, Regional State prosecutor Jesus Zozobrado, the prosecution was neither supporting nor opposing the application for bail and that they were submitting the same to the sound discretion of the trail judge. Upon
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further inquiries from the trial court, Prosecutor Abejo announced that he was waiving any further presentation of evidence. On that note and in a resolution dated 5 November 1992, the trial court admitted Paderanga to bail in the amount of P200,000.00. The following day, 6 November 1992, Paderanga, apparently still weak but well enough to travel by then, managed to personally appear before the clerk of court of the trial court and posted bail in the amount thus fixed. He was thereafter arraigned and in the trial that ensued, he also personally appeared and attended all the scheduled court hearings of the case. The subsequent motion for reconsideration of said resolution filed 20 days later on 26 November 1992 by Prosecutor Gingoyon who allegedly received his copy of the petition for admission to bail on the day after the hearing, was denied by the trial court in its omnibus order dated 29 March 1993. On 1 October 1993, or more than 6 months later, Prosecutor Gingoyon elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals through a special civil action for certiorari. The resolution and the order of the trial court granting bail to Paderanga were annulled on 24 November 1993 by the appellate court. Paderanga filed the petition for review before the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether Paderanga was in the custody of the law when he filed his motion for admission to bail, and whether the trial court properly inquired into the nature of the prosecutors evidence to determine whether or not it is strong to deny or grant the application of bail, respectively. Held: Paderanga had indeed filed his motion for admission to bail before he was actually and physically placed under arrest. He may, however, at that point and in the factual ambience therefore, be considered as being constructively and legally under custody. Thus in the likewise peculiar circumstance which attended the filing of his bail application with the trial court, for purposes of the hearing thereof he should be deemed to have voluntarily submitted his person to the custody of the law and, necessarily, to the jurisdiction of the trial court which thereafter granted bail as prayed for. In fact, an arrest is made either by actual restraint of the arrestee or merely by his submission to the custody of the person making the arrest. The latter mode may be exemplified by the so-called "house arrest" or, in case of military offenders, by being "confined to quarters" or restricted to the military camp area. Paderanga, through his counsel, emphatically made it known to the prosecution and to the trail court during the hearing for bail that he could not personally appear as he was then confined at the nearby Cagayan Capitol College General Hospital for acute costochondritis, and could not then obtain medical clearance to leave the hospital. The prosecution and the trial court, notwithstanding their explicit knowledge of the specific whereabouts of petitioner, never lifted a finger to have the arrest warrant duly served upon him. Certainly, it would have taken but the slightest effort to place Paderanga in the physical custody of the authorities, since he was then incapacitated and under medication in a hospital bed just over a kilometer away, by simply ordering his confinement or placing him under guard. Thus, Paderanga was by then in the constructive custody of the law. Apparently, both the trial court and the prosecutors agreed on that point since they never attempted to have him physically restrained. Through his lawyers, he expressly submitted to physical and legal control over his person, firstly, by filing the application for bail with the trail court; secondly, by furnishing true information of his actual whereabouts; and, more importantly, by unequivocally recognizing the jurisdiction of the said court. Moreover, when it came to his knowledge that a warrant for his arrest had been issued, Paderanga never made any attempt or evinced any intent to evade the clutches of the law or concealed his whereabouts from the authorities since the day he was charged in court, up to the submission application for bail, and until the day of the hearing thereof. Where the trial court has reasons to believe that the prosecutor's attitude of not opposing the application for bail is not justified, as when he is evidently committing a gross error or a dereliction of duty, the court, in the interest of Justice, must inquire from the prosecutor concerned as the nature of his evidence to determine whether or not it is strong. Where the prosecutor interposes no objection to the motion of the accused, the trial court should nevertheless set the application for hearing and from there diligently ascertain from the prosecution whether the latter is really not contesting the bail application. No irregularity, in the context of procedural due process, could therefore be attributed to the trial court as regards its order granting bail to Paderanga. A review of the transcript of the stenographic notes pertinent to its resolution of 5 November 1992 and the omnibus order of 29 March 1993 abundantly reveals scrupulous adherence to procedural rules. The
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lower court exhausted all means to convince itself of the propriety of the waiver of evidence on the part of the prosecution. Moreover, the omnibus order contained the requisite summary of the evidence of both the prosecution and the defense, and only after sifting through them did the court conclude that Paderanga could be provisionally released on bail. Parenthetically, there is no showing that, since then and up to the present, Paderanga has ever committed any violation of the conditions of his bail. 272 Go vs. Bongolan [AM RTJ-99-1464, 26 July 1999] Second Division, Puno (J): 4 concur Facts: On 10 November 1997, at 6:30 p.m. at Partelo Street, Bangued, Abra, Jaime Balmores, Butch Reynaldo, PO1 Rolando Molina, Edgardo Cacal, John Doe 1, John Doe 2, and John Doe 3 kidnapped Samuel Go and brought him outside the province of Abra by the ue of a Nissan Sentra, Super Saloon bearing fictitious plate UGG 652 and transferred Go at Pidigan, Abra to a Toyota Taxi bearing Plate PVB 169 with markings "Naple Leaf" on both sides and were intercepted by San Esteban PNP at San Esteban, Ilocos Sur where they recovered Go. On 13 November 1997, the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Abra filed an information against Balmores, et. al. charging them with kidnapping (Criminal Case 97-123). The case was assigned to Branch 2, Regional Trial Court of Bangued, Abra presided by Judge Benjamin A. Bongolan. Since kidnapping with ransom is punishable with reclusion perpetua to death, the prosecution recommended no bail for the provisional liberty of the accused. On 5 January 1998, then Secretary of Justice Teofisto Guingona created a panel of prosecutors, consisting of Regional State Prosecutor of Region I Virgilio Manipud, Provincial Prosecutor of Ilocos Sur Jessica Villoria, and Provincial Prosecutor of Abra Rodor Gayao, to handle the investigation and prosecution of the case. When trial commenced, the prosecution panel presented its witnesses consisting of Samuel Go, the kidnap victim, Alfredo Go, an alleged previous victim who was released after paying a P500,000.00 ransom money, the Chief of Police of San Esteban, Ilocos Sur, the Senior Inspector of the PNP Provincial Command in Abra, and a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. After their testimonies, Balmores filed a "Motion for the Amendment of the Information and for the Fixing of the Bail" alleging that the evidence presented did not show that the kidnapping was for ransom. He asked the prosecution to amend the information from kidnapping with ransom to simple kidnapping to bring it within the ambit of bailable offenses and enable him to post bail as a matter of right. On 20 May 1998, Judge Bongolan issued an Order (1) denying the Motion to Amend the Information, but (2) allowing Balmores to substantiate his "Motion to Fix Bail" and (3) allowing Cacal and Molina to submit their own motion for admission to bail with accompanying memorandum. Pursuant to the order, Molina and Cacal filed their "Motion for Bail with Memorandum Thereof" which reiterated the claim of Balmores that the prosecution failed to prove kidnapping for ransom. The prosecution, in its "Opposition to Motion to Bail" dated June 2, 1998, maintained that it has established that the accused committed kidnapping with ransom and that the Motion to bail is "prematurely filed since they (sic) are still in the process of presenting further evidence to prove that the crime had been committed by the accused." The next day, 3 June 1998, Judge Bongolan issued his Order granting the two applications for bail. Judge Bongolan gave the prosecution 10 days to file its Motion for Reconsideration which was submitted on 11 June 1998. It was accompanied by a request to the Branch 2 Clerk of Court to set the motion for hearing on 23 June 1998 at 9:00 a.m. However, before the prosecution could submit said motion, the accused were already released. It appears that in the morning of 10 June 1998, the bondsmen arrived in Branch 2 and did not find Judge Bongolan. They proceeded to see Judge Alberto Benesa, who was then Acting Presiding Judge of Branch 1 and designated pairing Judge of Branch 2. The bondsmen presented Judge Benesa with a copy of Judge Bongolan's Order granting bail and fixing the amount at P50,000.00 for each of the accused. Upon seeing that Judge Bongolan already approved the Motion for Bail, Judge Benesa issued his order releasing the accused. On 23 June 1998, the date set for the hearing of the Motion for Reconsideration, the prosecution informed Judge Bongolan that the accused had already been released by Judge Benesa. Judge Bongolan stated that he was not aware of their release as he was in the hospital when the release order was issued. In the afternoon of 23 June 1998, Judge Bongolan issued his Order denying the prosecution's Motion for Reconsideration. An administrative case was filed against Judges Benjamin A. Bongolan and Alberto Benesa for usurpation and abuse of authority, rendition of unjust order
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and ignorance of the law in granting bail to several accused charged with kidnapping for ransom. Issue: Whether it is necessary for the prosecution to present all its witness ebfore the judge could resolve the motion for bail, and whether the judge should set a bail hearing even if the Provincial Prosecutor did not interpose an objection to the grant of bail. Held: A bail hearing is mandatory to give the prosecution reasonable opportunity to oppose the application by showing that evidence of guilt is strong. The prosecution was caught off guard in the regular hearing of 20 May 1998, when Atty. Astudillo sprang on it a Motion to Amend the Information and Fix Bail. When asked by Judge Bongolan whether the prosecution would present additional evidence, Prosecutor Gayao responded in the negative. Subsequently, however, the prosecution changed its mind when it stated in its Opposition that a resolution of the Motion for admission to bail would be premature since it has additional witnesses to present. In his Comment, Judge Bongolan contends that it is not necessary for the prosecution to present all its witnesses before he could resolve the motion for bail. The stance cannot be sustained. The prosecution must be given an opportunity to present its evidence within a reasonable time whether the motion for bail of an accused who is in custody for a capital offense be resolved in a summary proceeding or in the course of a regular trial. If the prosecution is denied such an opportunity, there would be a violation of procedural due process. The records show that the prosecution was supposed to present its 6th and 7th witnesses on 4 June 1998 when Judge Bongolan prematurely resolved the motion. A bail application does not only involve the right of the accused to temporary liberty, but likewise the right of the State to protect the people and the peace of the community from dangerous elements. These two rights must be balanced by a magistrate in the scale of justice, hence, the necessity for hearing to guide his exercise of discretion. Further, Judge Bongolan fixed the bail at P50,000.00 without showing its reasonableness. The judge should have set the petition for bail hearing for the additional reason of taking into account the guidelines for fixing the amount of bail, even if the Provincial Prosecutor would not interpose an objection to the grant of bail. Furthermore, the release of the accused was done in haste by Judge Benesa. If Benesa examined the records of the case, he would have discovered that the prosecution was given by Judge Bongolan, 10 days from 3 June 1988 within which to file a Motion for Reconsideration from his Order granting bail to the accused. Without the 10 day period having lapsed, Judge Benesa ordered the release of the accused. Again, the prosecution was denied its day in court. 273 People vs. Gako [GR 135045, 15 December 2000] Third Division, Gonzaga-Reyes (J): 3 concur Facts: Rafael Galan, Sr. was shot dead on 25 June 1991. On 3 July 1991, Leopoldo de la Pea executed an Extra-judicial Confession implicating therein Sonny Herodias and Vicente Go in the conspiracy to kill and murder Galan. On 9 July 1991, an Information was filed against the three accused namely, de la Pea, Herodias and Go, charging them with the murder of Galan, Sr. (Criminal Case CBU-22474). Judge Godardo Jacinto, then the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, issued a Warrant of Arrest against the accused. On 22 July 1991 an Urgent Motion to Confine Go in a hospital was filed. On 2 August 1991, the hearing on said motion was conducted with the prosecution reserving its right to cross-examine Dr. Gonzales. On 6 August 1991 an Order was issued to confine Go in a hospital without the prosecution having crossexamined Dr. Gonzales on his medical report. On 15 July 1992, a hearing was conducted where de la Pea was presented as a witness for the prosecution. Presiding Judge Agana sustained the objections of the defense counsels each time that the prosecution attempted to establish the conspiracy to kill the victim. The prosecution filed a motion to inhibit Judge Agana, which motion was denied. On 20 November 1992, the Information against Go and Herodias was dismissed with prejudice on the ground that their right to a speedy trial had been violated, leaving de la Pea to face trial. The prosecution then challenged the Order of Dismissal with Prejudice before the Court of Appeals (CA-GR SP 32954). In its Decision dated 18 April 1994, the Court of Appeals annulled and set aside the Order of Dismissal, ordered the inhibition of Judge Agana, and ordered the raffle of the case to another branch. With the dismissal of the appeal of Go and Herodias by the Supreme Court in a Minute Resolution dated 26 June 1995, the criminal case was set anew
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for trial. The case was re-raffled to RTC-17 and on 28 October 1996, an Alias Warrant of Arrest was issued against Go and Herodias. On 2 February 1997, Dr. Matig-a, the physician of Go, filed a Clinical Summary on the illness of Go and, on 13 February 1997, Go filed a Petition for Bail. On 7 March 1997 and 10 March 1997, the prosecution presented de la Pea who was acquitted in 1993. De la Pea testified on matters which he was not allowed by then presiding Judge Agana to testify on. On 21 March 1997, a Manifestation on the Confinement of Go was filed urging his arrest because he was out of the intensive care unit. The motion of the prosecution to transfer the criminal case to a Special Heinous Crimes Court was denied by then presiding Judge Jesus de la Pea. The case was finally assigned to Branch 5 with Judge Gako, Jr. as presiding judge. Hearing resumed. On 26 September 1997, an Urgent Motion to Enforce the Alias Warrant of Arrest was filed praying for the arrest of Go first before his Clinical Summary Report could be heard. On 10 November 1997, Judge Gako, Jr. issued an Order granting the Petition for Bail of Go. On 11 November 1997, the prosecution filed a Vehement Motion to Inhibit Judge Gako, Jr. due to his alleged delay in resolving the incidents in connection with the arrest of Go. On 12 November 1992, the prosecution moved for the reconsideration of the Order of the court dated 10 November 1997, the order which granted bail to Go. On 14 November 1997, a Supplemental Motion to Inhibit Judge Gako, Jr. was filed by the counsel of the offended party because Judge Gako, Jr. allegedly pre-judged the evidence of the prosecution without carefully evaluating why it is short of the requirement to sustain a verdict of life imprisonment. On 15 November 1997, a Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration was filed from the Order dated 10 November 1997 because the transcripts were allegedly not read. On 1 December 1997, a Motion for the Issuance of Subpoena Duces Tecum to produce the records of Dr. Matig-a was filed to determine if the medical findings on Go were not exaggerated to prevent his arrest. On 11 December 1997, Judge Gako, Jr. issued an Order in which he denied the prosecutions Manifestation dated 21 March 1997 on the confinement of Go, and the Urgent Motion to Enforce the Alias Warrant of Arrest dated 26 September 1997 against Go. On 20 January 1998, Judge Gako, Jr. issued an Order denying the: (1) Motion for Reconsideration of the Order dated 10 November 1997; (2) Motion to Inhibit; and (3) Supplemental Motion to Inhibit the Presiding Judge. The prosecution received this order on 10 February 1998. On 20 March 1998, Guadalupe Galan, the widow of the victim, filed a petition for certiorari (CA-GR SP 471460) before the Court of Appeals. The petition sought to annul or set aside the orders of Judge Gako, Jr. and then acting Presiding Judge de la Pea. The petition was signed by the counsel of private complainant, Atty. Antonio Guerrero with the conformity of Vidal Gella, Prosecutor I of the Office of the City Prosecutor of Cebu City. On 26 March 1998, the Court of Appeals (Special Third Division) issued a Resolution dismissing the said petition on these grounds: (1) that the petition was not filed by the Solicitor General in behalf of the People of the Philippines; and (2) that the certification on non-forum shopping was signed by counsel for Galan, not by Galan herself. On 14 April 1998, Galan, through counsel, filed a Motion for Reconsideration of said Resolution indicating that the OSG was going to adopt her petition. On the same date, the OSG manifested before the Court of Appeals that it was joining Galan in her petition and was adopting her petition as its own. On 18 June 1998, the Court of Appeals issued a resolution that denied said motion for reconsideration of Galan on the ground that the certification on non-forum shopping was not signed by Galan. The Court of Appeals also reasoned that the fact that the OSG joined Galan in her petition did not cure the above deficiency. The OSG received copy of the resolution on 29 June 1998. On 3 August 1998, the OSG filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals (CA-GR SP 47142). On 12 August 1998, said petition of the OSG was dismissed by the Court of Appeals, on the ground that the petition was practically a reproduction of the petition earlier filed by Guadalupe Galan, which was dismissed on 26 March 1998. Hence, the appeal by certiorari. Issue: Whether the appreciation of the strength or weakness of the evidence of guilt may be based on the voluminous records of the case, without necessarily hearing the prosecution. Held: The assailed Order dated 10 November 1997 granting bail is legally infirm for failing to conform with the requirement that in cases when the granting of bail is not a matter of right, a hearing for that purpose must
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first be conducted. Section 13, Article III of the Constitution provides the instances when bail is a matter of right or discretionary, Section 7, Article 114 of the Rules of Court, as amended, reiterates that "no person charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, when evidence of guilt is strong, shall be admitted to bail regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution. Based on the foregoing, bail is not a matter of right with respect to persons charged with a crime the penalty for which is reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment, or death, when the evidence of guilt is strong. Go, accused in the criminal case, was charged with murder in 1991, before the passage of RA 7659, the law that re-imposed the death penalty. Murder then was a crime punishable by reclusion perpetua. Thus, accused Gos right to bail is merely discretionary. When bail is discretionary, a hearing, whether summary or otherwise in the discretion of the court, should first be conducted to determine the existence of strong evidence or lack of it, against the accused to enable the judge to make an intelligent assessment of the evidence presented by the parties. It is inconceivable how Judge Gako, Jr. could have appreciated the strength or weakness of the evidence of guilt of the accused when he did not even bother to hear the prosecution. The reliance of Judge Gako, Jr. on the voluminous records of the case simply does not suffice. As judge, he was mandated to conduct a hearing on the petition for bail of the accused since he knew that the crime charged is one that carries a penalty of reclusion perpetua, and in that hearing, the prosecution is entitled to present its evidence. It is worth stressing that the prosecution is equally entitled to due process. Another compelling reason why a hearing of a petition for bail is necessary is to determine the amount of bail based on the guidelines set forth in Section 6, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court. Without the required hearing, the bail granted to accused Go in the amount of P 50,000.00 is undoubtedly arbitrary and without basis. Further, the order granting bail issued by Judge Gako, Jr. merely made a conclusion without a summary of the evidence, a substantive and formal defect that voids the grant of bail. Well settled is the rule that after the hearing, whether the bail is granted or denied, the presiding judge is mandated to prepare a summary of the evidence for the prosecution. The irregularity in the grant of bail, however, is not attenuated since the judges findings were based on the summary clinical report of Dr. Matiga dated 4 February 1997 while the order granting bail was issued on 10 November 1997. It could not therefore be reasonably assumed that the actual state of health of Go could still be accurately reflected by the said medical report when 9 had already passed from the time that said medical report was prepared. It was therefore clear error for Judge Gako, Jr. to depend solely on the dated medical report in granting bail when the defense failed to present a more recent one that would convincingly raise strong grounds to apprehend that the imprisonment of the accused would endanger his life. 274 Marallag vs. Cloribel-Purungganan [AM 00-1529-RTJ, 9 April 2002] First Division, Kapunan (J): 3 concur Facts: On 3 December 1996, an information for murder was filed against Segismundo Duarte charging him with the murder of Ferdinand T. Feri. Subsequently, Duarte filed a petition for bail. On 28 January 1997, the date set for the hearing of the petition for bail, Atty. Fred Henry V. Marallag, the private prosecutor handling Criminal Case 7316, manifested that Duarte first had to be arraigned in order that the trial court may acquire jurisdiction over said accused. Upon arraignment, Duarte pleaded Not Guilty to the offense charged. The prosecution informed the court that during the preliminary investigation before the Municipal Trial Court of Tuguegarao, Cagayan, Duarte admitted to the killing of Ferdinand Feri but claimed that he did it in selfdefense. Thereafter, the prosecution orally moved that the reverse order of trial be conducted, in view of Duartes admission of the killing. Judge Loreta Cloribel-Purungganan ordered Duarte to clarify in writing whether he admits to the killing of Ferdinand Feri or not. She likewise set for oral argument the next day, 29 January 1997, the issue of whether the reverse order of trial should be followed in the criminal case. On 29 January 1997, after both parties were heard, the Judge granted the motion to conduct the trial in reverse order. The defense moved to reconsider the trial courts ruling. Subsequently, the trial court required the parties to submit their respective position papers on the issue of whether the trial should be in the reverse order. On 4 February 1997, the prosecution submitted a Memorandum of Authorities while the defense submitted its
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Position Paper. In an Order dated 26 February 1997, the Judge ruled that the prosecution shall first present evidence regarding the petition for bail. The prosecution moved to reconsider the same, and its motion was granted in part by the Judge in her Order of 18 June 1997, which acknowledged that a hearing on the petition for bail must first be conducted before the court may resolve the same. On 14 July 1997, Marallag and Feri filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition questioning the 26 February 1997 Order of the Judge, but the same was dismissed by the appellate court in a Resolution dated 24 July 1997, on the ground that the prosecution failed to report the matter to the Office of the Solicitor General for appropriate action. Meanwhile, at the hearing of the petition for bail on 12 August 1997, the prosecution moved for postponement thereof in view of the pendency of the petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition in the Court of Appeals. The Judge informed the parties of the dismissal of said petition, but the prosecution reiterated their motion for postponement, arguing that since they had not yet received a copy of the appellate courts resolution denying their petition, said dismissal had not yet attained finality and that they were going to file a motion for reconsideration thereof. The Judge ordered the prosecution to proceed with the presentation of its witnesses but only Feri was present in court. When the Judge called on Mrs. Feri to testify, the prosecution refused, reasoning that the latter was not an eyewitness to the crime charged and would be testifying only with respect to the civil aspect of the case. However, the judge considered the petition for bail submitted for resolution. On 14 August 1997, the trial court issued an Order granting bail to Duarte. Marallag and Feri thereafter filed the instant administrative case against the Judge, claiming that her issuance of the 14 August 1997 Order reflects gross ignorance of the law, incompetence and grave abuse of discretion on her part, since said Order granting bail did not contain a summary of evidence presented by the prosecution which summary is necessary to determine whether a judge has adequate basis for granting bail. Issue: Whether the prosecutions failure to submit evidence on the accuseds application for bail justified the Judges act of granting bail to the accused without a hearing. Held: The criminal case before the Judge involved an accused who was charged with murder, a capital offense. Thus, the conduct of a hearing on the accuseds application for bail was necessary before the trial court could grant bail. The records of the case however reveal that although the trial court set several dates for the hearing on the application for bail, the parties were not able to adduce evidence which would enable the trial court to determine whether the evidence of the accuseds guilt was strong, for purposes of resolving the issue of whether the latter is entitled to bail. It was the other issues raised by the prosecution, such as the necessity of Duartes arraignment before the application for bail may be resolved, and the propriety of conducting trial in reverse order, which were taken up during the scheduled hearings. The prosecution was thus deprived of the opportunity to prove that the evidence of Duartes guilt was strong, and the defense was also denied the chance to prove otherwise. The records further indicate that when the prosecution failed to present any evidence during the hearing on the application for bail on 23 August 1997, the Judge proceeded at once to pronounce that the motion was deemed submitted for resolution. The prosecutions failure to submit evidence on the accuseds application for bail did not justify the Judges act of granting bail to the accused without a hearing, because the established rule is that even if the prosecution refuses to adduce evidence or fails to interpose any objection to the motion for bail, it is still mandatory for the court to conduct a hearing or ask searching and clarificatory questions from which it may infer the strength of the States evidence of guilt of the accused. A judge is in fact required to include in his or her order granting or refusing bail a summary of the evidence presented by the prosecution; otherwise, such order would be uncontrolled and may be deemed capricious or whimsical. The Judges act of granting bail to the accused without hearing the parties on the matter or asking searching and clarificatory questions runs counter to the rule requiring the conduct of a hearing on a petition for bail in cases where an accused is charged with a capital offense. However, the Court notes that the prosecutions failure to present evidence in relation to the petition for bail was not entirely due to the fault of the Judge. The prosecution is also partly to blame for such failure. On the dates set by the trial court for hearing of the petition for bail, the prosecution raised other issues which sidetracked the hearing on the petition for bail. Moreover, it was the prosecution which refused to heed the Judges order that it proceed with the presentation of its evidence relative to the petition for bail during the hearing of 12 August 1997.
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Hence, the Court finds that an imposition on the Judge of a fine would not be justified under the circumstances of the case. 275 Enrile vs. Salazar [GR 92163, 5 June 1990]; Panlilio vs. de Leon [GR 92164] En Banc, Narvasa (J): 3 concur, 2 on leave, 1 concurs in GR 82164 and took no part in GR 92163 Facts: In the afternoon of 27 February 1990, Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile was arrested by law enforcement officers led by Director Alfredo Lim of the National Bureau of Investigation on the strength of a warrant issued by Hon. Jaime Salazar of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City Branch 103, in Criminal Case 9010941. The warrant had issued on an information signed and earlier that day filed by a panel of prosecutors composed of Senior State Prosecutor Aurelio C. Trampe, State Prosecutor Ferdinand R. Abesamis and Assistant City Prosecutor Eulogio Mananquil, Jr., charging Senator Enrile, the spouses Rebecco and Erlinda Panlilio, and Gregorio Honasan with the crime of rebellion with murder and multiple frustrated murder allegedly committed during the period of the failed coup attempt from November 29 to December 10, 1990. Senator Enrile was taken to and held overnight at the NBI headquarters on Taft Avenue, Manila, without bail, none having been recommended in the information and none fixed in the arrest warrant. The following morning, 28 February 1990, he was brought to Camp Tomas Karingal in Quezon City where he was given over to the custody of the Superintendent of the Northern Police District, Brig. Gen. Edgardo Dula Torres. On the same date of February 28, 1990, Senator Enrile, through counsel, filed the petition for habeas corpus herein (which was followed by a supplemental petition filed on 2 March 1990), alleging that he was deprived of his constitutional rights in being, or having been: (a) held to answer for criminal offense which does not exist in the statute books; (b) charged with a criminal offense in an information for which no complaint was initially filed or preliminary investigation was conducted, hence was denied due process; (c) denied his right to bail; and (d) arrested and detained on the strength of a warrant issued without the judge who issued it first having personally determined the existence of probable cause. The Court issued the writ prayed for, returnable 5 March 1990 and set the plea for hearing on 6 March 1990. On 5 March 1990, the Solicitor General filed a consolidated return for the respondents in the present case and in GR 92164, which had been contemporaneously but separately filed by two of Senator Enrile's co-accused, the spouses Rebecco and Erlinda Panlilio, and raised similar questions. The parties were heard in oral argument, as scheduled, on 6 March 1990, after which the Court issued its Resolution of the same date granting Senator Enrile and the Panlilio spouses provisional liberty conditioned upon their filing, within 24 hours from notice, cash or surety bonds of P100,000.00 (for Senator Enrile) and P200,000.00 (for the Panlilios), respectively. The Resolution stated that it was issued without prejudice to a more extended resolution on the matter of the provisional liberty of the petitioners and stressed that it was not passing upon the legal issues raised in both cases. Four Members of the Court voted against granting bail to Senator Enrile, and two against granting bail to the Panlilios. Issue: Whether a petition for habeas corpus in the Supreme Court the appropriate vehicle for asserting a right to bail or vindicating its denial. Held: The criminal case before Judge Jaime Salazar (Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City [Branch 103]) was the normal venue for invoking Senator Enrile's right to have provisional liberty pending trial and judgment. The original jurisdiction to grant or deny bail rested with said judge. The correct course was for Enrile to invoke that jurisdiction by filing a petition to be admitted to bail, claiming a right to bail per se by reason of the weakness of the evidence against him. Only after that remedy was denied by the trial court should the review jurisdiction of this Court have been invoked, and even then, not without first applying to the Court of Appeals if appropriate relief was also available there. Even acceptance of Enrile's premise that going by the Hernandez ruling, the information charges a non-existent crime or, contrarily, theorizing on the same basis that it charges more than one offense, would not excuse or justify his improper choice of remedies. Under either hypothesis, the obvious recourse would have been a motion to quash brought in the criminal action before the Judge. All the grounds upon which Enrile has founded the present petition,
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whether these went into the substance of what is charged in the information or imputed error or omission on the part of the prosecuting panel or of the Judge in dealing with the charges against him, were originally justiciable in the criminal case before said Judge and should have been brought up there instead of directly to the Supreme Court. There was and is no reason to assume that the resolution of any of these questions was beyond the ability or competence of the Judge indeed such an assumption would be demeaning and less than fair to our trial courts; none whatever to hold them to be of such complexity or transcendental importance as to disqualify every court, except the Supreme Court, from deciding them; none, in short that would justify by-passing established judicial processes designed to orderly move litigation through the hierarchy of our courts. Parenthentically, this is the reason behind the vote of 4 Members of the Court against the grant of bail to Enrile: the view that the trial court should not thus be precipitately ousted of its original jurisdiction to grant or deny bail, and if it erred in that matter, denied an opportunity to correct its error. It makes no difference that the Judge issued a warrant of arrest fixing no bail. Immemorial practice sanctions simply following the prosecutor's recommendation regarding bail, though it may be perceived as the better course for the judge motu proprio to set a bail hearing where a capital offense is charged. It is, in any event, incumbent on the accused as to whom no bail has been recommended or fixed to claim the right to a bail hearing and thereby put to proof the strength or weakness of the evidence against him. Hence, the Court reiterates that based on the doctrine enunciated in People vs. Hernandez, the questioned information filed against Juan Ponce Enrile and the spouses Rebecco and Erlinda Panlilio must be read as charging simple rebellion only, hence Enrile and the Panlilios are entitled to bail, before final conviction, as a matter of right. The Court's earlier grant of bail to them being merely provisional in character, the proceedings in both cases are ordered remanded to the Judge to fix the amount of bail to be posted by Enrile and the Panlilios. Once bail is fixed by the judge, the corresponding bail bond filed with the Supreme Court shall become functus oficio. 276 People vs. Donato [GR 79269, 5 June 1991] En Banc, Davide Jr. (J): 13 concur, 1 took no part Facts: In the original Information filed on 2 October 1986 in Criminal Case 86-48926 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, later amended in an Amended Information which was filed on 24 October 1986, Rodolfo Salas, alias "Commander Bilog" (of the New People's Army [NPA]), and his co-accused were charged for the crime of rebellion under Article 134, in relation to Article 135, of the Revised Penal Code. At the time the Information was filed, Salas and his co-accused were in military custody following their arrest on 29 September 1986 at the Philippine General Hospital, Taft Ave., Manila; he had earlier escaped from military detention and a cash reward of P250,000.00 was offered for his capture. A day after the filing of the original information, or on 3 October 1986, a petition for habeas corpus for Salas and his co-accused was filed with the Supreme Court which was dismissed in the Court's resolution of 16 October 1986 on the basis of the agreement of the parties under which Salas "will remain in legal custody and will face trial before the court having custody over his person" and the warrants for the arrest of his co-accused are deemed recalled and they shall be immediately released but shall submit themselves to the court having jurisdiction over their person. On 7 November 1986, Salas filed with the court below a Motion to Quash the Information alleging that: (a) the facts alleged do not constitute an offense; (b) the Court has no jurisdiction over the offense charged; (c) the Court has no jurisdiction over the persons of the defendants; and (d) the criminal action or liability has been extinguished, to which the Solicitor General filed an Opposition. In his Order of 6 March 1987, Judge Procoro J. Donato (Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch XII, Manila) denied the motion to quash. Instead of asking for a reconsideration of said Order, Salas filed on 9 May 1987 a petition for bail, which the Solicitor General opposed in an Opposition filed on 27 May 1987 on the ground that since rebellion became a capital offense under the provisions of PD 1996, 942 and 1834, which amended Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code, by imposing the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death on those who promote, maintain, or head a rebellion, the accused is no longer entitled to bail as evidence of his guilt is strong. On 5 June 1987, the President issued Executive Order 187 repealing, among others, PDs 1996, 942 and 1834 and restoring to full force and effect Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code as it existed before the amendatory decrees. Thus, the original penalty for rebellion, prision mayor and a fine not to exceed P20,000.00, was restored. Executive
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Order 187 was published in the Official Gazette in its 15 June 1987 issue (Vol. 83, No. 24) which was officially released for circulation on 26 June 1987. In his Order of 7 July 1987 the Judge, taking into consideration Executive Order 187, granted Salas' petition for bail, fixed the bail bond at P30,000.00 and imposed upon Salas the additional condition that he shall report to the court once every 2 months within the first 10 days of every period thereof. In a motion to reconsider the above order filed on 16 July 1987, the Solicitor General asked the court to increase the bail from P30,000.00 to P100,000.00 alleging therein that per Department of Justice Circular 10 dated 3 July 1987, the bail for the provisional release of an accused should be in an amount computed at P10,000.00 per year of imprisonment based on the medium penalty imposable for the offense and explaining that it is recommending P100,000.00 because Salas "had in the past escaped from the custody of the military authorities and the offense for which he is charged is not an ordinary crime, like murder, homicide or robbery, where after the commission, the perpetrator has achieved his end" and that "the rebellious acts are not consummated until the well-organized plan to overthrow the government through armed struggle and replace it with an alien system based on a foreign ideology is attained." On 17 July 1987, the Solicitor General filed a supplemental motion for reconsideration indirectly asking the court to deny bail to Salas and to allow it to present evidence in support thereof considering the "inevitable probability that the accused will not comply with this main condition of his bail to appear in court for trial." In a subsequent Order dated 30 July 1987, the Judge granted the motion for reconsideration of 16 July 1987 by increasing the bail bond from P30,000.00 to P50,000.00 but denying the Solicitor General's supplemental motion for reconsideration of 17 July 1987 which asked the court to allow the Solicitor General to present evidence in support of its prayer for a reconsideration of the order of 7 July 1987. The People of the Philippines, through the Chief State Prosecutor of the Department of Justice, the City Fiscal of Manila and the Judge a Advocate General, filed the petition for certiorari and prohibition, with a prayer for restraining order/ preliminary injunction. Issue: Whether Salas should be granted temporary liberty pursuant to his right to bail. Held: Bail cannot be denied to Salas for he is charged with the crime of rebellion as defined in Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code to which is attached the penalty of prision mayor and a fine not exceeding P20,000.00. It is, therefore, a bailable offense under Section 13 of Article III of the 1987 Constitution which provides that "all persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be prescribed by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required." Section 3, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, as amended, also provides that "all persons in custody shall, before final conviction, be entitled to bail as a matter of right, except those charged with a capital offense or an offense which, under the law at the time of its commission and at the time of the application for bail, is punishable by reclusion perpetua, when evidence of guilt is strong." Therefore, before conviction bail is either a matter of right or of discretion. It is a matter of right when the offense charged is punishable by any penalty lower than reclusion perpetua. To that extent the right is absolute. Accordingly, the prosecution does not have the right to present evidence for the denial of bail in the instances where bail is a matter of right. The 1987 Constitution strengthens further the right to bail by explicitly providing that it shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended; overturning the Supreme Court's ruling in Garcia-Padilla vs. Enrile. However, Salas has waived his right to bail in GR 76009 [In the Matter of the Petition for Habeas Corpus of Rodolfo Salas, Josefina Cruz and Jose Milo Concepcion, et al. v. Hon. Juan Ponce Enrile, Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, Brig. Gen. Renato de Villa, Brig. Gen. Ramon Montao and Col. Virgilio Saldajeno]. On 3 October 1986, or the day following the filing of the original information in Criminal Case 86-48926 with the trial court, a petition for habeas corpus for Salas, and his co-accused Josefina Cruz and Jose Concepcion, was filed with the Supreme Court by Lucia Cruz, Aida Concepcion Paniza and Beatriz Salas against Juan Ponce Enrile, Gen. Fidel Ramos, Brig. Gen. Renato de Villa, Brig. Gen. Ramon Montao, and Col. Saldajeno praying, among others, that the petition be given due course and a writ of habeas corpus be issued requiring
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respondents to produce the bodies of Salas and his co-accused before the Court and explain by what authority they arrested and detained them. When the parties in GR 76009 stipulated that "Petitioner Rodolfo Salas will remain in legal custody and face trial before the court having custody over his person," they simply meant that Salas will remain in actual physical custody of the court, or in actual confinement or detention, as distinguished from the stipulation concerning his co-petitioners, who were to be released in view of the recall of the warrants of arrest against them; they agreed, however, "to submit themselves to the court having jurisdiction over their persons." Note should be made of the deliberate care of the parties in making a fine distinction between legal custody and court having custody over the person in respect to Rodolfo Salas and court having jurisdiction over the persons of his co-accused. Such a fine distinction was precisely intended to emphasize the agreement that Rodolfo Salas will not be released, but should remain in custody. Had the parties intended otherwise, or had this been unclear to Salas and his counsel, they should have insisted on the use of a clearer language. It must be remembered that at the time the parties orally manifested before the Supreme Court on 14 October 1986 the terms and conditions of their agreement and prepared and signed the Joint Manifestation and Motion, a warrant of arrest had already been issued by the trial court against Salas and his co-accused. The stipulation that only the warrants of arrest for Josefina Cruz and Jose Milo Concepcion shall be recalled and that only they shall be released, further confirmed the agreement that Salas shall remain in custody of the law, or detention or confinement. Consequently, having agreed in GR 76009 to remain in legal custody, Salas had unequivocably waived his right to bail. The right to bail is another of the constitutional rights which can be waived. It is a right which is personal to the accused and whose waiver would not be contrary to law, public order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law. 277 People vs. Fortes [GR 91155, 25 June 1993] Third Division, Davide Jr. (J): 4 concur Facts: On 26 November 1983, Agripino Gine of Barangay Naburacan, Municipality of Matnog, Province of Sorsogon, accompanied his 13-year old daughter, Merelyn, to the police station of the said municipality to report a rape committed against the latter by Agustin Fortes y Garra at around 11:00 a.m. of that day. Following this, Fortes was forthwith apprehended. Thereupon, on 5 December 1983, Agripino Gine filed on behalf of Merelyn a complaint for rape against Fortes before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Matnog-Sta. Magdalena in Matnog, Sorsogon. Finding probable cause to exist after a preliminary examination was conducted, the MCTC issued on 9 December 1983 an order for the arrest of Frotes. The bond for the latter's temporary liberty was initially fixed at P30,000.00 but was later reduced to P25,000.00 upon motion of Fortes. The latter then put up the required bond; upon its approval, the court ordered his release on 15 December 1983. When the case was finally called for preliminary investigation on 5 December 1984, Fortes, through his counsel de oficio, informed the court that he was waiving his right thereto. The court then ordered the transmittal of the records of the case to the Office of the Provincial Fiscal of Sorsogon. On 25 January 1985, the Office of the Provincial Fiscal, through 1st Assistant Provincial Fiscal Manuel C. Genova, filed with Branch 55 of the RTC at Irosin, Sorsogon a complaint for rape against Fortes (Criminal Case 219). Fortes pleaded not guilty upon his arraignment on 28 February 1985. The protracted trial began on 26 June 1985 and ended nearly 3 years later when the case was finally submitted for decision on 22 February 1988. On 25 January 1989, the trial court promulgated its decision convicting Fortes of the crime charged, and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua and to indemnify Merelyn Gine the sum of P20,000.00 as damages and to pay the costs. The court also order the commitment of Fortes to the Sorsogon Provincial Jail through the Provincial Warden or through any of his provincial guards and eventually Fortes' commitment to the National Penitentiary in accordance with law. On the same day, Fortes filed his notice of appeal, wherein he requested that the amount of the appeal bond be fixed by the trial court. The following day, 26 January 1989, the trial court gave due course to the appeal but did not resolve the request to fix the amount of bail. Thus, on 11 April 1989, Fortes filed an "Application for Bail on Appeal" reiterating his earlier request that the bail bond for his provisional liberty pending appeal be set. This was subsequently denied by the trial court in its Order of 19 June 1989 on the ground that "the accused has already been found guilty
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beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of rape and sentenced to Reclusion Perpetua and his appeal from the decision already approved by the Court." Thereupon, on 10 August 1989, the trial court issued a Commitment of Final Sentence turning over the person of the accused to the Director of Prisons in Muntinglupa, Metro Manila. On 25 August 1989, the accused filed a motion to reconsider the RTC's 19 June 1989 Order denying his application for bail pending appeal, but the same was denied in the Order of 6 September 1989. In the meantime, the trial court, on 12 September 1989, transmitted to the Supreme Court the records of Criminal Case 219 (GR 90643). On 9 December 1989, Fortes filed with the Supreme Court a special civil action for certiorari to set aside the orders of the trial court denying his application for bail and his motion to reconsider the said denial (GR 91155). On 18 June 1990, the said cases were ordered consolidated. Issue: Whether Fortes, a convicted rapist, is entitled to bail on appeal. Held: It is clear from Section 13, Article III of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules of Court, as amended, that "before conviction bail is either a matter of right or of discretion. It is a matter of right when the offense charged is punishable by any penalty lower than reclusion perpetua. To that extent the right is absolute." Upon the other hand, if the offense charged is punishable by reclusion perpetua bail becomes a matter of discretion. It shall be denied if the evidence of guilt is strong. The court's discretion is limited to determining whether or not evidence of guilt is strong. But once it is determined that the evidence of guilt is not strong, bail also becomes a matter of right." The clear implication, therefore, is that if an accused who is charged with a crime punishable by reclusion perpetua is convicted by the trial court and sentenced to suffer such a penalty, bail is neither a matter of right on the part of the accused nor of discretion on the part of the court. In such a situation, the court would not have only determined that the evidence of guilt is strong which would have been sufficient to deny bail even before conviction it would have likewise ruled that the accused's guilt has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. Bail must not then be granted to the accused during the pendency of his appeal from the judgment of conviction. Construing Section 3, Rule 114 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended, the Supreme Court, in the en banc Resolution of 15 October 1991 in People vs. Ricardo Cortez, ruled that "Pursuant to the aforecited provision, an accused who is charged with a capital offense or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua, shall no longer be entitled to bail as a matter of right even if he appeals the case to this Court since his conviction clearly imports that the evidence of his guilt of the offense charged is strong." Herein, the rape for which the accused was indicted is punishable by reclusion perpetua pursuant to Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code; he was convicted therefor and subsequently sentenced to serve that penalty. It is thus evident that the trial court correctly denied his application for bail during the pendency of the appeal. 278 Maguddatu vs. Court of Appeals [GR 139599, 23 February 2000] First Division, Kapunan (J): 4 concur Facts: Aniceto Sabbun Maguddatu and Laureana Sabbun Maguddatu, Atty. Teodoro Rubino, Antonio Sabbun Maguddatu and several other "John Does" were charged with murder before the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 64, for the killing of Jose S. Pascual. On 23 October 1985, Maguddatu, et. al. filed a motion to be admitted to bail on the ground that the prosecution's evidence is not strong. After partial trial on the merits, the trial court issued an order, dated 20 December 1985, granting Maguddatu, et. al.'s motion for bail and fixing the amount at P30,000.00 each. On the same day, Maguddatu, et. al. posted bail through AFISCO Insurance Corporation. On 6 January 1987, AFISCO Insurance filed a motion before the trial court praying for the cancellation of Maguddatu, et. al.'s bail bond because of the latter's failure to renew the same upon its expiration on 20 December 1986. There is no showing, however, of any action by the court on said motion. On 2 January 1998, the trial court convicted Aniceto Sabbun Maguddatu and Laureana Sabbun Maguddatu, together with Atty. Teodoro Rubino, of the crime of Homicide and sentenced them to suffer an indeterminate prison term of 8 years of Prision Mayor medium, as minimum, to 14 years and 8 months of reclusion temporal medium, as maximum. The judgment of conviction was promulgated in absentia. Accordingly, on 19 February 1998, the trial court issued an order for the immediate arrest of Maguddatu, et. al. and their
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commitment to the custody of proper authorities. While remaining at large, Maguddatu, et. al., on 27 February 1998, filed a Notice of Appeal from the order of conviction for homicide with a motion to be granted provisional liberty under the same bail bond pending appeal. The trial court does nor appear to have resolved the motion for bail pending appeal. Instead, it forwarded the records to the Court of Appeals. On 8 January 1999, the Court of Appeals issued a Resolution, ordering the appellants to show cause within 10 days from notice why their appeal should not be deemed abandoned and accordingly dismissed for their failure to submit themselves to the proper authorities and to the jurisdiction of the court from which they seek relief in the meantime that no bail has yet been approved for their temporary liberty and, further considering that the approval of the same is discretionary and not to be presumed; and in the meanwhile, the Station Commanders of the Manila Police Station, Manila and the Makati Police Station, Makati City to file a return of the Order of Arrest issued by the Regional trial Court, Branch 64, Makati City on 19 February 1998 in Criminal Case 12010. A Compliance and Motion, dated 8 February 1999, filed by Maguddatu, et. al. explained their failure to submit to the proper authorities. Despite the compliance and motion filed by Maguddatu, et. al., they remained at large. on 23 June 1999, the Court of Appeals issued the resolution under question denying Maguddatu, et. al.' application for bail and ordering their arrest. Aggrieved by the foregoing resolution, Maguddatu, et. al. brought the petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court on 30 August 1999. Pending resolution of the petition, the Court of Appeals issued a resolution, dated 8 September 1999, declaring that the appeal filed is deemed abandoned and dismissed pursuant to Section 8, Rule 124, New Rules on Criminal Procedure, and thus ordered the Regional Trial Court, Branch 64, Makati City to issue warrants of arrest for the immediate apprehension and service of sentence of Aniceto Sabbun Maguddatu and Laureana Sabbun Maguddatu. Issue: Whether Maguddatu, et. al. are entitled to bail during the whole duration their case is on appeal. Held: The Constitution guarantees the right to bail of all the accused except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when the evidence of guilt is strong. Herein, despite an order of arrest from the trial court and two warnings from the Court of Appeals, Maguddatu, et. al. had remained at large. It is axiomatic that for one to be entitled to bail, he should be in the custody of the law, or otherwise deprived of liberty. The purpose of bail is to secure one's release and it would be incongruous to grant bail to one who is free. Maguddatu, et. al.'s Compliance and Motion dated 8 February 1999, came short of an unconditional submission to the court's lawful order and to its jurisdiction. Further, the trial court correctly denied Maguddatu, et. al.' motion that they be allowed provisional liberty after their conviction, under their respective bail bonds. Apart from the fact that they were at large, Section 5, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, as amended by Supreme Court Administrative Circular 12-94, provides that "the Court, in its discretion, may allow the accused to continue on provisional liberty under the same bail bond during the period to appeal subject to the consent of the bondsman." The bail bond that the accused previously posted can only be used during the 15-day period to appeal (Rule 122) and not during the entire period of appeal. This is consistent with Section 2(a) of Rule 114 which provides that the bail" shall be effective upon approval and remain in force at all stages of the case, unless sooner canceled, until the promulgation of the judgment of the Regional Trial Court, irrespective of whether the case was originally filed in or appealed to it." This amendment, introduced by SC Administrative Circular 12-94 is a departure from the old rules which then provided that bail shall be effective and remain in force at all stages of the case until its full determination, and thus even during the period of appeal. Moreover, under the present rule, for the accused to continue his provisional liberty on the same bail bond during the period to appeal, consent of the bondsman is necessary. From the record, it appears that the bondsman, AFISCO Insurance Corporation, filed a motion in the trial court on 6 January 1987 for the cancellation of petitioners' bail bond for the latter's failure to renew the same upon its expiration. Obtaining the consent of the bondsman was, thus, foreclosed. Furthermore, pursuant to the same Section 5 of Rule 114, the accused may be admitted to bail upon the court's discretion after conviction by the RTC of an offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment. However, such bail shall be denied or bail previously granted shall be canceled if the penalty imposed is imprisonment exceeding 6 years but not more than 20 years if any one of the circumstances enumerated in the third paragraph of Section
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5 is present. Herein, Maguddatu, et. al. are not entitled to bail. Firstly, Maguddatu, et. al. violated the conditions of their bail. Maguddatu, et. al.'s non-appearance during the promulgation of the trial court's decision despite due notice and without justifiable reason, and their continued non-submission to the proper authorities as ordered by the Court of Appeals, constitutes violations of the conditions of their bail. Moreover, it appears that Maguddatu, et. al. failed to renew their expired bail bond, as shown by a Motion, dated 6 January 1987, filed by AFISCO Insurance Corporation, praying for the cancellation of petitioners' bail bond because of the latter's failure to renew the same upon its expiration. Lastly, Maguddatu, et. al. had no cause to expect that their application for bail would be granted as a matter of course precisely because it is a matter of discretion. In fact, the filing of a notice of appeal effectively deprived the trial court of jurisdiction to entertain the motion for bail pending appeal because appeal is perfected by the mere filing of such notice. It has been held that trial courts would be well advised to leave the matter of bail, after conviction for a lesser crime than the capital offense originally charged, to the appellate court's sound discretion. 279 Obosa vs. Court of Appeals [GR 114350, 16 January 1997] Third Division, Panganiban (J): 4 concur Facts: On 4 December 1987, Senior State Prosecutor Aurelio C. Trampe charged Jose T. Obosa and three others with murder on two counts, by separate amended informations filed with the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 56, for the ambush-slaying of Secretary of Local Governments Jaime N. Ferrer and his driver Jesus D. Calderon, which occurred on 2 August 1987, at about 6:30 p.m., at La Huerta, Paraaque, Metro Manila, as Secretary Ferrer was riding in his car, going to the St. Andrew Church near the plaza of La Huerta, to hear Sunday mass. Each information alleged that the killing was with the attendance of the following qualifying/aggravating circumstances, to wit: treachery, evident premeditation, abuse of superior strength, nighttime purposely sought, disregard of the respect due to the victim on account of his rank and age (as to Secretary Ferrer), and by a band. The Prosecutor recommended no bail, as the evidence of guilt was strong. During the trial of the two cases, which were consolidated and tried jointly, Obosa was detained at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig, Metro Manila. At the time of the commission of the two offenses, Obosa was a virtual "escapee" from the National Penitentiary at Muntinlupa, Metro Manila, particularly, at the Sampaguita Detention Station, where he was serving a prison term for robbery as a maximum security prisoner. Indeed, by virtue of a subpoena illegally issued by a judge of the Municipal Trial Court of Sariaya, Quezon, Obosa was escorted out of prison to appear before said judge on the pretext that the judge needed his presence so that the judge could inquire about the whereabouts of Obosa. While Obosa was out of prison, he was able to participate in the commission of the double murder now charged against him as principal for the ambushslaying of Secretary Ferrer and his driver. In its decision dated 25 May 1990, the lower court found Obosa guilty beyond reasonable doubt of homicide on two counts. On 31 May 1990, the lower court promulgated its decision and on the same occasion, Obosa manifested his intention to appeal and asked the Court to allow him to post bail for his provisional liberty. Immediately, the lower court granted Obosa's motion and fixed bail at P20,000.00, in each case. On 1 June 1990, Obosa filed a written notice of appeal, dated 4 June 1990, thereby perfecting appeal from the decision. On 4 June 1990, Obosa filed a bailbond in the amount of P40,000.00, through Plaridel Surety and Assurance Company, which the lower court approved. On the same day, the lower court issued an order of release. The prison authorities at the National Penitentiary released Obosa also on the same day notwithstanding that, at the time of the commission of the double murder, Obosa was serving a prison term for robbery. On 6 September 1993, the People, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), filed with the Court of Appeals an urgent motion, praying for cancellation of Obosa's bail bond. Obosa promptly filed an opposition, to which the People submitted a reply. Thereupon, the appellate Court issued its Resolution dated 19 November 1993: a) canceling Obosa's bail bond, b) nullifying the trial court's order of 31 May 1990 which granted bail to Obosa, and c) issuing a warrant for his immediate arrest. Obosa's twin motions for reconsideration and quashal of warrant of arrest proved futile as the appellate Court, on 9 March 1994, after the parties' additional pleadings were submitted and after hearing the parties' oral arguments, issued its second Resolution denying said motions for lack of merit. Obosa filed the petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court.
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Issue: Whether the bailbond was validly approved by the trial court. Held: Since Obosa did file the written notice of appeal on 1 June 1990, Obosa's appeal was, perforce, perfected, without need of any further or other act, and consequently and ineluctably, the trial court lost jurisdiction over the case, both over the record and over the subject of the case. While bail was granted by the trial court on 31 May 1990 when it had jurisdiction, the approval of the bail bond was done without authority, because by then, the appeal had already been perfected and the trial court had lost jurisdiction. Needless to say, the situation would have been different had bail been granted and approval thereof given before the notice of appeal was filed. As the approval was decreed by the trial court in excess of jurisdiction then the bailbond was never validly approved. On this basis alone, regardless of the outcome of the other issues, it is indisputable that the petition should be dismissed. Nevertheless, Section 13, Article III of the 1987 Constitution which provides that "all persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required." Herein, while Obosa, though convicted of an offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, was nevertheless originally charged with a capital offense. Obosa can hardly be unmindful of the fact that, in the ordinary course of things, there is a substantial likelihood of his conviction (and the corresponding penalty) being affirmed on appeal, or worse, the not insignificant possibility and infinitely more unpleasant prospect of instead being found guilty of the capital offense originally charged. In such an instance, Obosa cannot but be sorely tempted to flee. Our Rules of Court, following the mandate of our fundamental law, set the standard to be observed in applications for bail. Section 3, Rule 114 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure. In Borinaga vs. Tamin, which was promulgated in 1993, the Court laid down the guidelines for the grant of bail. However, said guidelines, along with Rule 114 itself, have since been modified by Administrative Circular 12-94, which was issued by the Supreme Court and which came into effect on 1 October 1994. Verily, had Obosa made application for bail after the effectivity of said circular, the case would have been readily and promptly resolved against Obosa. Pursuant to amendments, not only does the conviction of Obosa for two counts of homicide disqualify him from being admitted to bail as a matter of right and subject his bail application to the sound discretion of the court, but more significantly, the circumstances enumerated in paragraphs a, b, d and e of Paragraph 3, Section 5 of the 1994 Rules of Criminal Procedure, which are present in Obosa's situation, would have justified and warranted the denial of bail, except that a retroactive application of the said circular is barred as it would obviously be unfavorable to Obosa. But be that as it may, the rules on bail at the time of Obosa's conviction do not favor Obosa's cause either. The appeal in a criminal case opens the whole case for review and this includes the penalty, which may be increased. Thus, on appeal, as the entire case is submitted for review, even factual questions may once more be weighed and evaluated. That being the situation, the possibility of conviction upon the original charge is ever present. Likewise, if the prosecution had previously demonstrated that evidence of the accused's guilt is strong, as it had done so in the present case, such determination subsists even on appeal, despite conviction for a lesser offense, since such determination is for the purpose of resolving whether to grant or deny bail and does not have any bearing on whether Obosa will ultimately be acquitted or convicted of the charge. While the accused, after conviction, may upon application be bailed at the discretion of the court, that discretion particularly with respect to extending the bail should be exercised not with laxity, but with caution and only for strong reasons, with the end in view of upholding the majesty of the law and the administration of justice. And the grave caution that must attend the exercise of judicial discretion in granting bail to a convicted accused is best illustrated and exemplified in Administrative Circular 12-94 amending Rule 114, Section 5 which now specifically provides that, although the grant of bail is discretionary in non-capital offenses nevertheless, when imprisonment has been imposed on the convicted accused in excess of 6 years and circumstances exist (inter alia, where the accused is found to have previously escaped from legal confinement or evaded sentence, or there is an undue risk that the accused may commit
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another crime while his appeal is pending) that point to a considerable likelihood that the accused may flee if released on bail, then the accused must be denied bail, or his bail previously granted should be cancelled. In sum, bail cannot be granted as a matter of right even after an accused, who is charged with a capital offense, appeals his conviction for a non-capital crime. Courts must exercise utmost caution in deciding applications for bail considering that the accused on appeal may still be convicted of the original capital offense charged and that thus the risk attendant to jumping bail still subsists. In fact, trial courts would be well advised to leave the matter of bail, after conviction for a lesser crime than the capital offense originally charged, to the appellate court's sound discretion. The trial court had failed to exercise the degree of discretion and caution required under and mandated by our statutes and rules, for, aside from being too hasty in granting bail immediately after promulgation of judgment, and acting without jurisdiction in approving the bailbond, it inexplicably ignored the undeniable fact of petitioner's previous escape from legal confinement as well as his prior convictions. 280 Villasenor vs. Abano [GR L-23599, 29 September 1967] En Banc, Sanchez (J): 7 concur Facts: The Provincial Fiscal charged Reynaldo C. Villaseor for the murder of Boac police sergeant Alfonso Madla ebfore the Court of First Instance of Marinduque (Criminal Case 2299). Villaseor was, on motion, admitted to a P60,000.00 bail. The amount of the bond was, on verbal representation of Villaseor's wife, reduced to P40,000.00. On 29 May 1964, Villaseor posted a property bond, was set at provisional liberty. Before arraignment on the murder charge, however, the Provincial Fiscal amended the information. This time he accused Villaseor with "Direct Assault Upon an Agent of a Person in Authority with Murder." On 7 August 1964, the judge sua sponte (Judge Maximo Abao) cancelled Villaseor's bond, and ordered his immediate arrest. On Villaseor's motion to reconsider, the judge, on 9 September 1964, after hearing, resolved to admit him to bail provided he puts up a cash bond of P60,000.00. On 15 September 1964, on Villaseor's motion that the original bond previously given be reinstated, the judge resolved to fix "the bond anew in real property in the amount of P60,000, but to be posted only by residents of the province of Marinduque actually staying therein" with properties which "must be in the possession and ownership of said residents for five years." On 1 October 1964, Villaseor came to the Supreme Court on certiorari, with a prayer for preliminary injunction. Issue: Whether the P60,000.00-bond fixed by judge transgress the constitutional injunction that "excessive bail shall not be required, in light of the fact that the accused is a mere government employee, earning but a monthly salary of P210.00, and the sole breadwinner of a family of five. Held: To be read with the constitutional precept, that "excessive bail shall not be required, is Section 12, Rule 114, Rules of Court, which provides that "the court may, upon good cause shown, either increase or reduce the amount" of the bail, and that "defendant may be committed to custody unless he gives bail in the increased amount he is called upon to furnish." Along with the court's power to grant bail in bailable cases is its discretion to fix the amount therefor, and, as stated, to increase or reduce the same. The question of whether bail is excessive "lays with the court to determine." In the matter of bail fixing, courts perforce are to be guided at all times by the purpose for which bail is required. The definition of bail in Section 1, Rule 114, Rules of Court, gives this purpose "the security required and given for the release of a person who is in the custody of the law, that he will appear before any court in which his appearance may be required as stipulated in the bail bond or recognizance." And, in amplification thereof, Section 2 of the same rule states that the condition of the bail is that "defendant shall answer the complaint or information in the court in which it is filed or to which it may be transferred for trial, and after conviction, if the case is appealed to the Court of First Instance upon application supported by an undertaking or bail, that he will surrender himself in execution of such judgment as the appellate court may render, or that, in case the cause is to be tried anew or remanded for a new trial, he will appear in the court to which it may be remanded and submit himself to the orders and processes thereof." Expressions in varying language spell out in a general way the principles
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governing bail fixing. One is that the amount should be high enough to assure the presence of defendant when required but no higher than is reasonably calculated to fulfill this purpose. Another is that "the good of the public as well as the rights of the accused," and "the need for a tie to the jurisdiction and the right to freedom from unnecessary restraint before conviction under the circumstances surrounding each particular accused, "should all be balanced in one equation. The inability of a defendant to secure bail in a certain amount, by itself, does not make the amount excessive. For, where an accused has no means of his own, no one to bail him out, or none to turn to for premium payments, any amount fixed no matter how small would fall into the category of excessive bail; and, he "would be entitled to be discharged on his own recognizance." So it is, that experience has brought forth certain guidelines in bail fixing, which may be summarized as follows: (1) ability of the accused to give bail; (2) nature of the offense; (3) penalty for the offense charged; (4) character and reputation of the accused; (5) health of the accused; (6) character and strength of the evidence; (7) probability of the accused appearing at trial; (8) forfeiture of other bonds; (9) whether the accused was a fugitive from justice when arrested; and (10) if the accused is under bond for appearance at trial in other cases. But, at bottom, in bail fixing, "the principal factor considered, to the determination of which most other factors are directed, is the probability of the appearance of the accused, or of his flight to avoid punishment." Importance then is the possible penalty that may be meted. Of course, penalty depends to a great extent upon the gravity of the offense. Here, Villasenor is charged with a capital offense, direct assault upon an agent of a person in authority with murder. A complex crime, it may call for the imposition of capital punishment. Then, Circular 47 dated 5 July 1946 of the Department of Justice, reiterated in Circular 48 of 18 July 1963, directed prosecuting attorneys to recommend bail at the rate of P2,000.00 per year of imprisonment, corresponding to the medium period of the penalty prescribed for the offense charged, unless circumstances warrant a higher penalty. The reasonableness of this circular has already received the Court's imprimature in Edao vs. Cea (GR L-6821, 10 May 1954). The Court is unprepared to downgrade this method of computation, what with a compound of reduced peso value and the aggravated crime climate. The Court thus find no discernible abuse of discretion, given the facts and the law, when the judge fixed Villasenor's bail at P60,000.00. 281 De la Camara vs. Enage [GR L-32951-2, 17 September 1971] Resolution En Banc, Fernando (J): 8 concur, 1 concurs in result, 1 took no part Facts: Ricardo de la Camara, Municipal Mayor of Magsaysay, Misamis Oriental was arrested on 7 November 1968 and detained at the Provincial Jail of Agusan, for his alleged participation in the killing of 14 and the wounding of 12 other laborers of the Tirador Logging Co., at Nato, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, on 21 August 1968. Thereafter, on 25 November 1968, the Provincial Fiscal of Agusan filed with the Court of First Instance a case for multiple frustrated murder and another for multiple murder against de la Camara, his co-accused Nambinalot Tagunan and Fortunato Galgo, resulting from the aforesaid occurrence. Then on 14 January 1969, came an application for bail filed by de la Camara with the lower court, premised on the assertion that there was no evidence to link him with such fatal incident of 21 August 1968. He likewise maintained his innocence. Judge Manuel Lopez Enage (Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Agusan del Norte and Butuan City, Branch II) started the trial of de la Camara on 24 February 1969, the prosecution resting its case on 10 July 1969. The Judge, on 10 August 1970, issued an order granting de la Camara's application for bail, admitting that there was a failure on the part of the prosecution to prove that de la Camara would flee even if he had the opportunity, but fixed the amount of the bail bond at the excessive amount of P1,195,200.00, the sum of P840,000.00 for the information charging multiple murder and P355,200.00 for the offense of multiple frustrated murder. On 12 August 1970, the Secretary of Justice, Vicente Abad Santos, upon being informed of such order, sent a telegram to the Judge stating that the bond required "is excessive" and suggesting that a P40,000.00 bond, either in cash or property, would be reasonable. De la Camara filed motion for reconsideration to reduce the amount. The Judge however remained adamant. De la Camara filed a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court. In the meanwhile, de la Camara had escaped from the provincial jail. Issue: Whether the judge has absolute discretion in the determination of the amount of bail, excessive enough
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to discourage the accused from fleeing. Held: Where the right to bail exists, it should not be rendered nugatory by requiring a sum that is excessive. So the Constitution commands. If there were no such prohibition, the right to bail becomes meaningless. It would have been more forthright if no mention of such a guarantee were found in the fundamental law. It is not to be lost sight of that the United States Constitution limits itself to a prohibition against excessive bail. As construed in the latest American decision, "the sole permissible function of money bail is to assure the accused's presence at trial, and declared that 'bail set at a higher figure than an amount reasonably calculated to fulfill this purpose is "excessive" under the Eighth Amendment." Nothing can be clearer, therefore, than that the challenged order of 10 August 1970 fixing the amount of P1,195,200.00 as the bail that should be posted by de la Camara, the sum of P840,000.00 for the information charging multiple murder, there being 14 victims, and the sum of P355,200.00 for the other offense of multiple frustrated murder, there being 12 victims, is clearly violative of this constitutional provision. Under the circumstances, there being only two offenses charged, the amount required as bail could not possibly exceed P50,000.00 for the information for murder and P25,000.00 for the other information for frustrated murder. Nor should it be ignored in the present case that the Department of Justice did recommend the total sum of P40,000.00 for the two offenses. No attempt at rationalization can give a color of validity to the challenged order. There is grim irony in an accused being told that he has a right to bail but at the same time being required to post such an exorbitant sum. What aggravates the situation is that the lower court judge would apparently yield to the command of the fundamental law. In reality, such a sanctimonious avowal of respect for a mandate of the Constitution was on a purely verbal level. There is reason to believe that any person in the position of petitioner would under the circumstances be unable to resist thoughts of escaping from confinement, reduced as he must have been to a state of desperation. In the same breath that he was told he could be bailed out, the excessive amount required could only mean that provisional liberty would be beyond his reach. It would have been more forthright if he were informed categorically that such a right could not be availed of. There would have been no disappointment of expectations then. De la Camara's subsequent escape, however, cannot be condoned. That is why he is not entitled to the relief prayed for. What the Judge did, on the other hand, does call for repudiation from the Supreme Court. 282 Almeda vs. Villaluz [GR L-31665, 6 August 1975] First Division, Castro (J): 4 concur, 1 on leave Facts: Leonardo Almeda (alias Nardong Paa) was charged, together with five others, with the crime of qualified theft of a motor vehicle (criminal case 285-Pasay) in the Circuit Criminal Court of Pasig, Rizal, presided by Judge Onofre Villaluz. The amount of the bond recommended for the provisional release of Almeda was P15,000, and this was approved by the judge with a direction that it be posted entirely in cash. At the hearing of 18 February 1970, Almeda asked the trial court to allow him to post a surety bond in lieu of the cash bond required of him. This request was denied, and so was an oral motion for reconsideration, on the ground that the amended information imputed habitual delinquency and recidivism on the part of Almeda. At the same hearing, the city fiscal of Pasay City (Fiscal Gregorio Pineda), thru his assistant, reiterated his oral motion made at a previous hearing for amendment of the information so as to include allegations of recidivism and habitual delinquency in the particular case of Almeda. The latter vigorously objected, arguing that (a) such an amendment was premature since no copies of prior conviction could yet be presented in court, (b) the motion to amend should have been made in writing in order to enable him to object formally, and (c) the proposed amendment would place him in double jeopardy considering that he had already pleaded not guilty to the information. The trial court nevertheless granted the fiscal's motion in open court. An oral motion for reconsideration was denied. Immediately thereafter, the assistant fiscal took hold of the original information and, then and there, entered his amendment by annotating the same on the back of the document. Almeda forthwith moved for the dismissal of the charge on the ground of double jeopardy, but this motion and a motion for reconsideration were denied in open court. Almeda filed the present special civil action for certiorari with preliminary injunction with the Supreme Court.
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Issue: Whether the insistence of a cash bond, over any other surety, renders the recomended bail excessive. Held: Bail is "the security required and given for the release of a person who is in the custody of the law, that he will appear before any court in which his appearance may be required as stipulated in the bail bond or recognizance." The purpose of requiring bail is to relieve an accused from imprisonment until his conviction and yet secure his appearance at the trial. The accused, as of right, is entitled to bail prior to conviction except when he is charged with a capital offense and the evidence of guilt is strong. This right is guaranteed by the Constitution, and may not be denied even where the accused has previously escaped detention, or by reason of his prior absconding. In order to safeguard the right of an accused to bail, the Constitution further provides that "excessive bail shall not be required." This is logical because the imposition of an unreasonable bail may negate the very right itself. "Where conditions imposed upon a defendant seeking bail would amount to a refusal thereof and render nugatory the constitutional right to bail, we will not hesitate to exercise our supervisory powers to provide the required remedy." Herein, the amount fixed for bail, while reasonable if considered in terms of surety or property bonds, may be excessive if demanded in the form of cash. A surety or property bond does not require an actual financial outlay on the part of the bondsman or the property owner, and in the case of the bondsman the bond may be obtained by the accused upon the payment of a relatively small premium. Only the reputation or credit standing of the bondsman or the expectancy of the price at which the property can be sold, is placed in the hands of the court to guarantee the production of the body of the accused at the various proceedings leading to his conviction or acquittal. Upon the other hand, the posting of a cash bond would entail a transfer of assets into the possession of the court, and its procurement could work untold hardship on the part of the accused as to have the effect of altogether denying him his constitutional right to bail. Aside from the foregoing, the condition that the accused may have provisional liberty only upon his posting of a cash bond is abhorrent to the nature of bail and transgresses our law on the matter. The sole purpose of bail is to insure the attendance of the accused when required by the court, and there should be no suggestion of penalty on the part of the accused nor revenue on the part of the government. The allowance of a cash bond in lieu of sureties is authorized in this jurisdiction only because our rules expressly provide for it. Were this not the case, the posting of bail by depositing cash with the court cannot be countenanced because, strictly speaking, the very nature of bail presupposes the attendance of sureties to whom the body of the prisoner can be delivered. And even where cash bail is allowed, the option to deposit cash in lieu of a surety bond primarily belongs to the accused. Thus, the trial court may not reject otherwise acceptable sureties and insist that the accused obtain his provisional liberty only thru a cash bond. The court is not without devices with which to meet the situation, considering that Almeda's past record that is the range of his career in crime weighs heavily against letting him off easily on a middling amount of bail. First, it could increase the amount of the bail bond to an appropriate level. Second, as part of the power of the court over the person of the accused and for the purpose of discouraging likely commission of other crimes by a notorious defendant while on provisional liberty, the latter could be required, as one of the conditions of his bail bond, to report in person periodically to the court and make an accounting of his movements. And third, the accused might be warned, though this warning is not essential to the requirements of due process, that under the 1973 Constitution "Trial may proceed notwithstanding his absence provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustified." With respect to the amount of the bail bond, the trial court is well advised to consider, inter alia, the following factors, where applicable: (1) the ability of the accused to give bail: (2) the nature of the offense; (3) the penalty for the offense charged; (4) the character and reputation of the accused; (5) the health of the accused; (6) the character and strength of the evidence; (7) the probability of the accused's appearance or non-appearance at the trial; (8) forfeiture of previous bonds; (9) whether the accused was a fugitive from justice when arrested; and (10) whether the accused is under bond for appearance at trial in other cases. It is not amiss, at this point, to remind all courts to exercise extreme care and caution in the screening of bondsmen and sureties in regard to their reputation, solvency and promptitude. Aside from the other precautions hitherto considered useful, courts should see to it that all surety bonds are accompanied by corresponding clearances from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Bondsmen who cannot make good their undertakings render inutile all efforts at making the bail system work in this jurisdiction.
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283 Yap vs. Court of Appeals [GR 141529, 6 June 2001] Third Division, Gonzaga-Reyes (J): 4 concur Facts: For misappropriating amounts equivalent to P5,500,000.00, Francisco Yap Jr. (@ Edwin Yap] was convicted of estafa by the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City and was sentenced to four years and two months of prision correctional, as minimum to eight years of prision mayor as maximum, "in addition to one (1) year for each additional P10,000.00 in excess of P22,000.00 but in no case shall it exceed twenty (20) years." He filed a notice of appeal, and moved to be allowed provisional liberty under the cash bond he had filed earlier in the proceedings. The motion was denied by the trial court in an order dated 17 February 1999. After the records of the case were transmitted to the Court of Appeals, Yap filed with the said court a Motion to Fix Bail For the Provisional Liberty of Accused Appellant Pending Appeal, invoking the last paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Court. Asked to comment on this motion, the Solicitor General opined that Yap may be allowed to post bail in the amount of P5,500,000.00 and be required to secure "a certification/guaranty from the Mayor of the place of his residence that he is a resident of the area and that he will remain to be so until final judgment is rendered or in case he transfers residence, it must be with prior notice to the court and private complainant." Yap filed a Reply, contending that the proposed bail ofP5,500,000.00 was violative of his right against excessive bail. The resolution of the Court of Appeals, issued on 6 October 1999, upheld the recommendation of the Solicitor General. A motion for reconsideration was filed, seeking the reduction of the amount of bail fixed by the court, but was denied in a resolution issued on 25 November 1999. Hence, the petition. Issue: Whether the bail may be fixed at an amount equivalent to the civil liability of which the accused is charged. Held: The Court of Appeals exercised its discretion in favor of allowing bail to Yap on appeal. The court stated that it was doing so for "humanitarian reasons", and despite a perceived high risk of flight, as by Yap's admission he went out of the country several times during the pendency of the case, for which reason the court deemed it necessary to peg the amount of bail at P5,500,000.00. The prohibition against requiring excessive bail is enshrined in the Constitution. The obvious rationale, as declared in the leading case of De la Camara vs. Enage, is that imposing bail in an excessive amount could render meaningless the right to bail. Thus, in Villaseor vs. Abano, the Court made the pronouncement that it will not hesitate to exercise its supervisory powers over lower courts should the latter, after holding the accused entitled to bail, effectively deny the same by imposing a prohibitory sum or exacting unreasonable conditions. At the same time, Section 9, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure advises courts to consider the following factors in the setting of the amount of bail: (a) Financial ability of the accused to give bail; (b) Nature and circumstances of the offense; (c) Penalty for the offense charged; (d) Character and reputation of the accused; (e) Age and health of the accused; (f) Weight of the evidence against the accused; (g) Probability of the accused appearing at the trial; (h) Forfeiture of other bail; (i) The fact that the accused was a fugitive from justice when arrested; and (j) Pendency of other cases where the accused is on bail. Thus, the court has wide latitude in fixing the amount of bail. Where it fears that the accused may jump bail, it is certainly not precluded from installing devices to ensure against the same. Options may include increasing the bail bond to an appropriate level, or requiring the person to report periodically to the court and to make an accounting of his movements. Herein, where Yap was found to have left the country several times while the case was pending, the Court of Appeals required the confiscation of his passport and the issuance of a hold-departure order against him. Under the circumstances, we find that appropriate conditions have been imposed in the bail bond to ensure against the risk of flight, particularly, the combination of the hold-departure order and the requirement that petitioner inform the court of any change of residence and of his whereabouts. Although an increase in the amount of bail while the case is on appeal may be meritorious, the setting of the amount at P5,500,000.00 is unreasonable, excessive, and constitutes an effective denial of Yap's right to bail. The purpose for bail is to guarantee the appearance of the accused at the trial, or whenever so required by the Court. The amount should
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be high enough to assure the presence of the accused when required but no higher than is reasonably calculated to fulfill this purpose. To fix bail at an amount equivalent to the civil liability of which Yap is charged (in this case, P5,500,000.00) is to permit the impression that the amount paid as bail is an exaction of the civil liability that accused is charged of; this the Court cannot allow because bail is not intended as a punishment, nor as a satisfaction of civil liability which should necessarily await the judgment of the appellate court. 284 Cabaero vs. Caon [AM MTJ-01-1369, 20 September 2001] Resolution of First Division, Pardo (J): 4 concur Facts: A certain Jaime Caal accused Mrs. Guillerma D. Cabaero's son, Jessie D. Cabaero, of entering Caals farmland and harvesting falcata trees valued at P3,191.00. The chief of police filed the case with the 7th MCTC Hinatuan-Tagbina, with station at Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, presided over by Judge Antonio K. Caon. The Judge conducted a preliminary investigation of the case to determine probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. On 1 October 1998, Judge Caon issued a warrant of arrest not only against Jessie Cabaero but also against Guillerma D. Cabaero for covering up for her son. On 15 October 1998, policemen arrested Guillerma and detained her at the Hinatuan Municipal Jail. To secure her temporary liberty, she posted bail, which could not be issued and approved in her name because she was not an accused in Criminal Case 4036-H. The judge pegged the bail at P30,000.00. On 16 October 1998, Guillerma was released. Incidentally, on 7 October 1998, when her son was arrested, he also posted bail amounting to P30,000.00. In a complaint dated 16 September 1999, Mrs. Guillerma D. Cabaero charged Judge Antonio K. Caon, Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Hinatuan-Tagbina, at Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur with partiality, issuance of unjust interlocutory orders and grave abuse of discretion relative to Criminal Case 4036-H (People vs. Jessie Cabaero, for qualified theft), alleging that considering the value of the property allegedly stolen, the bail required was excessive. On 24 April 2000, the judge died. Issue: Whether Judge Caon imposed excessive bail in the case of qualified theft. Held: Judge Caon erred in ordering the arrest of Guillerma D. Cabaero. She was not included as one of the respondents in the criminal case filed by the chief of police of Hinatuan. The judgess interpretation of his powers under the Revised Rules of Court was far-fetched. The judge also imposed excessive bail. Under Department Circular 4, the 1996 Bail Bond Guide for the National Prosecution Service for the offense of qualified theft, if the value of the property stolen is more than P200.00 but does not exceed P6,000.00, the bail recommended is P24,000.00. Herein, the monetary value of the falcata trees cut into logs is P3,1991.40. The bail of P30,000 is not proportionate to the amount stolen. When the law transgressed is elementary, the failure to know or observe it constitutes gross ignorance of the law. Judge Antonio K. Caon was ordered to pay a fine in the amount of P5,000.00, to be taken from his retirement benefits in view of his demise. 285 Manotoc vs. Court of Appeals [GR L-62100, 30 May 1986] En Banc, Fernan (J): 9 concur, 1 took no part Facts: Ricardo L. Manotoc, Jr., is one of the two principal stockholders of Trans-Insular Management, Inc. and the Manotoc Securities, Inc., a stock brokerage house. Having transferred the management of the latter into the hands of professional men, he holds no officer-position in said business, but acts as president of the former corporation. Following the "run" on stock brokerages caused by stock broker Santamaria's flight from this jurisdiction, Manotoc, who was then in the United States, came home, and together with his costockholders, filed a petition with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the appointment of a management committee, not only for Manotoc Securities, Inc., but likewise for Trans-Insular Management, Inc. The petition relative to the Manotoc Securities, Inc. (SEC Case 001826, "In the Matter of the Appointment of a Management Committee for Manotoc Securities, Inc., Teodoro Kalaw, Jr., Ricardo Manotoc, Jr., Petitioners"), was granted and a management committee was organized and appointed. Pending
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disposition of SEC Case 001826, the SEC requested the then Commissioner of Immigration, Edmundo Reyes, not to clear Manotoc for departure and a memorandum to this effect was issued by the Commissioner on 4 February 1980 to the Chief of the Immigration Regulation Division. When a Torrens title submitted to and accepted by Manotoc Securities, Inc. was suspected to be a fake, 6 of its clients filed six separate criminal complaints against Manotoc and one Raul Leveriza, Jr., as president and vice-president, respectively, of Manotoc Securities, Inc. In due course, corresponding criminal charges for estafa were filed by the investigating fiscal before the then Court of First Instance of Rizal (Criminal Cases 45399 and 45400, assigned to Judge Camilon; Criminal Cases 45542 to 45545, raffled off to Judge Pronove). In all cases, Manotoc has been admitted to bail in the total amount of P105,000.00, with FGU Insurance Corporation as surety. On 1 March 1982, Manotoc filed before each of the trial courts a motion entitled, "motion for permission to leave the country", stating as ground therefor his desire to go to the United States, "relative to his business transactions and opportunities." The prosecution opposed said motion and after due hearing, both Judge Camilon and Judge Pronove in their orders dated 9 March 1982, and 26 March 1982, respetively, denied the same. It appears that Manotoc likewise wrote the Immigration Commissioner a letter requesting the recall or withdrawal of the latter's memorandum dated 4 February 1980, but said request was also denied in a letter dated 27 May 1982. anotoc thus filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus before the then Court of Appeals seeking to annul the judges' orders, as well as the communication-request of the Securities and Exchange Commission, denying his leave to travel abroad. On 5 October 1982, the appellate court rendered a decision dismissing the petition for lack of merit. Dissatisfied with the appellate court's ruling, Manotoc filed the petition for review on certiorari with the Supreme Court. Pending resolution of the petition, Manotoc filed on 15 August 1984 a motion for leave to go abroad pendente lite. On 20 September 1984, the Supreme Court in a resolution en banc denied Manotoc's motion for leave to go abroad pendente lite. Issue: Whether a court has the power to prohibit a person admitted to bail from leaving the Philippines. Held: A court has the power to prohibit a person admitted to bail from leaving the Philippines. This is a necessary consequence of the nature and function of a bail bond. Rule 114, Section 1 of the Rules of Court defines bail as the security required and given for the release of a person who is in the custody of the law, that he will appear before any court in which his appearance may be required as stipulated in the bail bond or recognizance. The condition imposed upon Manotoc to make himself available at all times whenever the court requires his presence operates as a valid restriction on his right to travel. As held in People v. Uy Tuising (61 Phil. 404 [1935]), "the result of the obligation assumed by appellee (surety) to hold the accused amenable at all times to the orders and processes of the lower court, was to prohibit said accused from leaving the jurisdiction of the Philippines, because, otherwise, said orders and processes will be nugatory, and inasmuch as the jurisdiction of the courts from which they issued does not extend beyond that of the Philippines they would have no binding force outside of said jurisdiction." Indeed, if the accused were allowed to leave the Philippines without sufficient reason, he may be placed beyond the reach of the courts. The effect of a recognizance or bail bond, when fully executed or filed of record, and the prisoner released thereunder, is to transfer the custody of the accused from the public officials who have him in their charge to keepers of his own selection. Such custody has been regarded merely as a continuation of the original imprisonment. The sureties become invested with full authority over the person of the principal and have the right to prevent the principal from leaving the state. If the sureties have the right to prevent the principal from leaving the state, more so then has the court from which the sureties merely derive such right, and whose jurisdiction over the person of the principal remains unaffected despite the grant of bail to the latter. In fact, this inherent right of the court is recognized by petitioner himself, notwithstanding his allegation that he is at total liberty to leave the country, for he would not have filed the motion for permission to leave the country in the first place, if it were otherwise.

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