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#1.

Libel: Malice Not Presumed When Imputations


Were Made Against A Public Figure, Subject of
Imputations Were Matters of Public Interest And
Fair Comments

fogure, Elizalde is subject to public criticism on his acts thaw er

interest. Elizalde thus appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.


acknowledging that he may not appeal the acquittal of Ludolfo,

appeal on the civil aspect of the case, on the basis of Section 2, R

of Court, which provides that extinction of the criminal action d

extinction of the civil action, whether or not the civil action was

criminal action. The CA, according to him erred in declaring him


Suspecting that Elizalde was behind his arrest for perjury, Ludolfo made several
statements against him in several radio interviews; that Elizalde influenced the City
Prosecutor of Legazpi to expedite the issuance of warrant of arrest against him; that
Elizalde manipulated the result of several biddings in a dredging project; and that

since his community is a limited community of business associa

hand, Ludolfo argues that where there was no separate civil acti

extinction of the criminal action carried with the civil action. Th


action to speak of, hence no justification for the award of moral

Elizalde receive P2Million pesos from him on condition that he will subcontract the
project to Ludolfo, which Elizalde never did. Because of this, Elizalde filed libel

The Supreme Court:

cases against Ludolf, which were eventually filed with the RTC. However, Elizalde
did not institute a separate civil action, nor reserved the right to file a separate civil
action against Ludolfo arising from the alleged libellous remarks against him. In his
defense, Ludoldo alleged that exposing the anomalous transactions was a public duty

We do not find the petition meritorious.

The private party may appeal the judgment of acquittal insofar a


the accuseds civil liability.

for him; he further alleged that Elizalde is a public figure due to his participation in
government projects and prominence in business circles; that the imputations were

The parties have conflicting interpretations of the last paragraph

matters of public interest, thus privileged. In the absence of actual malice, and

111 of the ROC, which states:

applying the rules on privileged communication, the prosecution thus far failed to
show there was malice in his declarations. The RTC, however, convicted him, and

The extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinctio

ordered him to pay P5M in damages for each count; and for legal expenses as well as

However, the civil action based on delict shall be deemed exting

cost of litigation. Ludolfo appealed to the CA, which reversed the RTC ruling and
acquitted him on the criminal case, declaring that the interviews were impressed with
public interest thus covered by the rule on privileged communication. As a public

finding in a final judgment in the criminal action that the act or o


the civil liability may arise did not exist. (Emphasis ours)

Muoz claims that the last paragraph of Section 2, Rule 111 of the ROC applies only

In case the judgment is of acquittal, it shall state whether the evi

if the civil liability ex delicto is separately instituted or when the right to file it

prosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the accused or

separately was properly reserved. In contrast, Co claims that Muoz acquittal of the

prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In either case, the judg

crime of libel did not extinguish the civil aspect of the case because Muoz utterance

if the act or omission from which the civil liability might arise d

of the libelous remarks remains undisputed.

(Emphasis ours)

We reject Muoz claim. The last paragraph of Section 2, Rule 111 of the ROC

If, as Muoz suggests, the extinction of the penal action carries

applies to civil actions to claim civil liability arising from the offense charged,

of the civil action that was instituted with the criminal action, th

regardless if the action is instituted with or filed separately from the criminal action.

120 of the ROC becomes an irrelevant provision. There would b

Undoubtedly, Section 2, Rule 111 of the ROC governs situations when the offended

judgment of the acquittal to determine whether the act or omiss

party opts to institute the civil action separately from the criminal action; hence, its

civil liability may arise did not exist. The Rules precisely requi

title When separate civil action is suspended. Despite this wording, the last

declare if there remains a basis to hold the accused civilly liable

paragraph, by its terms, governs all claims for civil liability ex delicto. This is based

that the offended party may avail of the proper remedies to enfo

on Article 100 of the RPC which states that that [e]very person criminally liable for

liability ex delicto.

a felony is also civilly liable. Each criminal act gives rise to two liabilities: one
criminal and one civil.

In Ching v. Nicdao and CA, the Court ruled that an appeal is the

party whether the accused or the offended party may avail w


Reflecting this policy, our procedural rules provide for two modes by which civil

judgment:

liability ex delicto may be enforced: (1) through a civil action that is deemed
impliedly instituted in the criminal action; (2) through a civil action that is filed
separately, either before the criminal action or after, upon reservation of the right to
file it separately in the criminal action. The offended party may also choose to waive
the civil action. This dual mode of enforcing civil liability ex delicto does not affect
its nature, as may be apparent from a reading of the second paragraph of Section 2,
Rule 120 of the ROC, which states:
Section 2. Contents of the judgment. x x x

If the accused is acquitted on reasonable doubt but the court ren

civil aspect of the criminal case, the prosecution cannot appeal f

acquittal as it would place the accused in double jeopardy. How

party, the offended party or the accused or both may appeal from
civil aspect of the case within the period therefor.

From the foregoing, petitioner Ching correctly argued that he, as

may appeal the civil aspect of the case notwithstanding responde

by the CA. The civil action was impliedly instituted with the criminal action since he

proved that the imputation is true and published with good inten

did not reserve his right to institute it separately nor did he institute the civil action

motive.

prior to the criminal action. (Emphasis ours)

There are few circumstances wherein malice in law is inapplicab


Moreover, an appeal is favored over the institution of a separate civil action because

Article 354 of the RPC further states that malice is not presumed

the latter would only add to our clogged dockets.

(1) a private communication made by any person to another in th


To reiterate, the extinction of the penal action does not necessarily carry with it the

legal, moral or social duty; and

extinction of the civil action, whether the latter is instituted with or separately from
the criminal action. The offended party may still claim civil liability ex delicto if
there is a finding in the final judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission
from which the liability may arise exists. Jurisprudence has enumerated three
instances when, notwithstanding the accuseds acquittal, the offended party may still
claim civil liability ex delicto: (a) if the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only
preponderance of evidence is required; (b) if the court declared that the liability of the
accused is only civil; and (c) if the civil liability of the accused does not arise from or
is not based upon the crime of which the accused is acquitted. We thus now proceed
to determine if Cos claim falls under any of these three situations.
The respondent is not civilly liable because no libel was committed.

(2) a fair and true report, made in good faith, without any comm

any judicial, legislative or other official proceedings which are n

nature, or of any statement, report or speech delivered in said pr

other act performed by public officers in the exercise of their fun

Jurisprudence supplements the enumeration in Article 354 of the

CA, we held that in view of the constitutional right on the freedo

the press, fair commentaries on matters of public interest are pri

In Guingguing v. CA, we ruled that the remarks directed agains

likewise privileged. In order to justify a conviction in libel invol


communication, the prosecution must establish that the libelous

made or published with actual malice or malice in fact the kno


The CA has acquitted Muoz of libel because his statement is a privileged

statement is false or with reckless disregard as to whether or not

communication. In libel, the existence of malice is essential as it is an element of the

words, our rulings in Borjal and Guingguing show that privileg

crime. The law presumes that every imputation is malicious; this is referred to as

has the effect of destroying the presumption of malice or malice

malice in law. The presumption relieves the prosecution of the burden of proving that

consequently requiring the prosecution to prove the existence of

the imputations were made with malice. This presumption is rebutted if the accused

In the present case, the CA declared that the libelous remarks ar


legal conclusion was arrived at from the fact that Co is a public

matter of the libelous remarks was of public interest, and the context of Muoz
statements were fair comments. Consequently, malice is no longer presumed and the

#4 DALURAYA VS OLIVAR

prosecution has the burden of proving that Muoz acted with malice in fact. The CA
found that the prosecution failed in this respect.
Co assails the CAs ruling by raising arguments that essentially require a review of
the CAs factual and legal findings. However, the Court cannot, through the present
petition, review these findings without going against the requirements of Rule 45 with
respect to factual matters, and without violating Muoz right against double jeopardy
given that the acquittal is essentially anchored on a question of fact.
In light of the privileged nature of Muoz statements and the failure of the
prosecution to prove malice in fact, there was no libel that was committed by Muoz.
Without the crime, no civil liability ex delicto may be claimed by Co that can be
pursued in the present petition. There is no act from which civil liability may arise
that exists.

#5 Warrantless Arrest: Peeking Insid

Opened Door Not Valid Ground For


Warrantless Arrest And Search

At around 4:45 A.M. of February 11, 2004, police officers Greg

while onboard a patrol car, saw two unidentified men rush out o

St., Pasay City. Sensing something amiss, the police officers app

and peeked inside the partially opened door, where they saw Ge
improvised tooter and a pink lighter, and beside him, his live-in

Because of this, they entered the house, and arrested George and

of the immediate surroundings revealed a wooden box containin


WHEREFORE, premises considered, we DENY the petition. The Decision of the

scoop 10 sachets of suspected shabu, and strips of aluminium oi

Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CR No. 29355 dated January 31, 2007 is

they were charged with illegal possession of drugs paraphernalia

AFFIRMED.

appealed the decision rendered by the RTC convicting him as ch

jumped bail. The Court of Appeals denied his appeal, hence he e


SECOND DIVISION, G.R. No. 181986, December 04, 2013, ELIZALDE S. CO,
PETITIONER, VS. LUDOLFO P. MUOZ, JR., RESPONDENT

#2 RAFAEL COSCOLLUELAS VS SB
#3 PEOPLE V DESMOND

the Supreme Court. Both lower courts justified the conviction of

arrest was a valid warrantless arrest under Section 5, Rule 113 o


The Supreme Court:

The prosecutions theory, upheld by both the RTC and the CA, i

valid warrantless arrest in that the police officers saw accused A

through the door of their house, in the act of having a pot session. That valid

a tricycle. Running after the fleeing suspects was the more urgen

warrantless arrest gave the officers the right as well to search the living room for

instead gave priority to the house even when they heard no cry f

objects relating to the crime and thus seize the paraphernalia they found there.
2. Admittedly, the police officers did not notice anything amiss
The prosecution contends that, since the seized paraphernalia tested positive for

from the street where they stood. Indeed, even as they peeked th

shabu, they were no doubt used for smoking, consuming, administering, injecting,

opened door, they saw no activity that warranted their entering i

ingesting, or introducing dangerous drug into the body in violation of Section 12 of


Republic Act 9165. That the accused tested negative for shabu, said the prosecution,
had no bearing on the crime charged which was for illegal possession of drug

Thus, PO1 Cabutihan testified:


THE COURT:

paraphernalia, not for illegal use of dangerous drugs. The prosecution added that even
assuming that the arrest of the accused was irregular, he is already considered to have
waived his right to question the validity of his arrest when he voluntarily submitted
himself to the courts jurisdiction by entering a plea of not guilty.
Section 5(a), Rule 113 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that a peace

Q By the way, Mr. Cabutihan, when you followed your compa

open door, how was the door open?Was it totally open, or was it
A It was partially open Your Honor.

officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person when, in his
presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is
attempting to commit an offense. This is an arrest in flagrante delicto. The overt act

Q By how much, 1/3, 1/2? Only by less than one (1) foot?
A More or less 4 to 6 inches, Your Honor.

constituting the crime is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting
officer.
But the circumstances here do not make out a case of arrest made in flagrante delicto.
1. The police officers claim that they were alerted when they saw two unidentified
men suddenly rush out of 107 David Street, Pasay City. Since they suspected that a
crime had been committed, the natural thing for them to do was to give chase to the
jeep that the two fleeing men boarded, given that the officers were in a patrol car and

Q So how were you able to know, to see the interior of the hou
only open by 6 inches? Or did you have to push the door?
A We pushed the door, Your Honor.

Clearly, no crime was plainly exposed to the view of the arrestin


xxxx

authorized the arrest of accused Antiquera without warrant unde

mentioned rule. Considering that his arrest was illegal, the searc

resulted from it was likewise illegal. Consequently, the various d


Q Were you allowed to just go towards the door of the house, push its door and
peeped inside it, as a police officer?
A Kasi po naghinala po kami baka may

that the police officers allegedly found in the house and seized a
having proceeded from an invalid search and seizure. Since the

paraphernalia is the very corpus delicti of the crime charged, the


but to acquit the accused.

Q Are you not allowed to Are you not required to get a search warrant before you
can search the interior of the house?
A Yes, Your Honor.

One final note. The failure of the accused to object to the irregul

itself is not enough to sustain his conviction. A waiver of an ille

does not carry with it a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence


illegal warrantless arrest.

Q What do you mean by yes? Would you first obtain a search warrant before

Accused acquitted.

searching the interior of the house?


A Yes, Your Honor.

THIRD DIVISION, G.R. No. 180661, December 11, 2013, G


ANTIQUERA Y CODES, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF
PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

Q So why did you not a [sic] secure a search warrant first before you tried to
investigate the house, considering your admission that you suspected that there was
something wrong inside the house?
A Because we saw them that they were engaged in pot session, Your Honor.

#6 Declaration Of Voidness Of Secon

Not Ground For Dismissal Of Bigam


Q But before you saw them, you just had to push the door wide open to peep
through its opening because you did not know what was happening inside?
A Yes, Your Honor. (Emphasis supplied)

Shirley filed a case for bigamy against James Walter, alleging th


marriage with her on December 8, 1999 despite the subsistence

lawful marriage with one Karla. James Walter filed a Motion to Suspend Proceedings,

The elements of the crime of bigamy, therefore, are: (1) the offe

alleging that there is a pending civil case for declaration of nullity of the second

married; (2) the marriage has not been legally dissolved or, in ca

marriage filed by Karla before the RTC of Antipolo, which if declared void would

is absent, the absent spouse could not yet be presumed dead acco

exculpate him from the charge of bigamy. Thus, the arraignment and pre-trial of

Code; (3) that he contracts a second or subsequent marriage; and

James Walter was reset. In the meantime, the RTC of Antipolo declared the second

or subsequent marriage has all the essential requisites for validit

marriage between James and Shirley void. Because of this, James Walter filed a
Motion to Dismiss the bigamy case, on the ground that the second marriage had been
declared void. The RTC granted the motion, ruling that the declaration by the RTC of
Antipolo of the voidness of the second marriage between James and Shirley meant
that there was no more bigamy to speak of. On petition for certiorari before the Court
of Appeals, the latter reversed and set aside the RTC ruling, and remanded the case to
the RTC for further proceedings. Thus, James elevated the case to the Supreme Court.
The main issue for consideration being that if a second marriage is declared void, will
the bigamy case be dismissed?
The Supreme Court:
We rule in the negative.

In the present case, it appears that all the elements of the crime o
present when the Information was filed on June 28, 2004.

It is undisputed that a second marriage between petitioner and p

contracted on December 8, 1999 during the subsistence of a vali

between petitioner and Karla Y. Medina-Capili contracted on Se


Notably, the RTC of Antipolo City itself declared the bigamous

marriage between petitioner and private respondent. Thus, the su

declaration of the second marriage for being bigamous in nature


prosecution of petitioner for the crime of bigamy.

Jurisprudence is replete with cases holding that the accused may

the crime of bigamy, even if there is a subsequent declaration of


Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code defines and penalizes the crime of bigamy as

second marriage, so long as the first marriage was still subsistin

follows:

marriage was celebrated.

Art. 349. Bigamy. The penalty of prision mayor shall be imposed upon any person

In Jarillo v. People, the Court affirmed the accuseds conviction

who shall contract a second or subsequent marriage before the former marriage has

that the crime of bigamy is consummated on the celebration of t

been legally dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been declared presumptively

marriage without the previous one having been judicially declar

dead by means of a judgment rendered in the proper proceedings.

The subsequent judicial declaration of the nullity of the first marriage was

Therefore, he who contracts a second marriage before the judici

immaterial because prior to the declaration of nullity, the crime had already

first marriage assumes the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy.

been consummated. Moreover, petitioners assertion would only delay the


prosecution of bigamy cases considering that an accused could simply file a
petition to declare his previous marriage void and invoke the pendency of that
action as a prejudicial question in the criminal case. We cannot allow that.

Finally, it is a settled rule that the criminal culpability attaches to

the commission of the offense, and from that instant, liability ap

extinguished as provided by law. It is clear then that the crime o


committed by petitioner from the time he contracted the second

The outcome of the civil case for annulment of petitioners marriage to [private

respondent. Thus, the finality of the judicial declaration of nullit

complainant] had no bearing upon the determination of petitioners innocence

second marriage does not impede the filing of a criminal charge

or guilt in the criminal case for bigamy, because all that is required for the

him.

charge of bigamy to prosper is that the first marriage be subsisting at the time
the second marriage is contracted.
Thus, under the law, a marriage, even one which is void or voidable, shall be
deemed valid until declared otherwise in a judicial proceeding. In this case, even
if petitioner eventually obtained a declaration that his first marriage was void ab
initio, the point is, both the first and the second marriage were subsisting before

THIRD DIVISION, G.R. No. 183805, July 03, 2013, JAMES

CAPILI, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPIN


TISMO-CAPILI,

#7.Private Prosecutor May Participa

the first marriage was annulled.

Criminal Case Even If No Civil Liab

In like manner, the Court recently upheld the ruling in the aforementioned case and

In Crime

ruled that what makes a person criminally liable for bigamy is when he contracts a
second or subsequent marriage during the subsistence of a valid first marriage. It

Lee Pue Liong, a.k.a. Paul Lee, President of Centillion Holdings

further held that the parties to the marriage should not be permitted to judge for

Secretarys Certificate issued by Virginia Lee, for and in behalf

themselves its nullity, for the same must be submitted to the judgment of competent

petition for issuance of an owners duplicate certificate of title o

courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so declared can it be held as void,

covering a property owned by CHI. Despite opposition by Chua

and so long as there is no such declaration the presumption is that the marriage exists.

sister, who alleged that as Corporate Treasurer of Chi, she has p

important documents of the Corporation, including the duplicate

232238, the RTC of Manila granted the petition and directed the Registrar of Deeds

question the propriety of allowing a private prosecutor to interve

of Manila to issue a new TCT. Chula filed an Omnibus motion to recall the order

perjury, a crime against public interest.

granting the petition, alleging that she has possession of TCT No. 232238; because of
this the RTC recalled the order. Chua Lee also filed a case for perjury against Paul
Lee because of the alleged perjurious statements made in the Petition as well as his
testimony in court regarding the loss of TCT 232238, which she alleged Paul Lee did
to mortgage the property to Planters Bank, even though there is an intra-corporate
controversy between him and his siblings, including Chua. The Office of the City
Prosecutor then filed an Information for perjury against Paul Lee before the
Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila. After Atty. Augusto Macam, private prosecutor
under the control of the public prosecutor, presented the first witness, Atty. Roland
Viesca Jr of the Registry of Deeds, Manila, the accused thru counsel, moved in open

The Supreme Court:Generally, the basis of civil liability arising

fundamental postulate of our law that [e]very person criminally

civilly liable. Underlying this legal principle is the traditional th


person commits a crime, he offends two entities, namely (1) the

lives in or the political entity, called the State, whose law he has

individual member of that society whose person, right, honor, ch

was actually or directly injured or damaged by the same punisha

Section 1, Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure


provides:

court that Atty. Macam be excluded from participating in the case since perjury is a
public offence, to which Atty. Macam vehemently objected. After allowing the

SECTION 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions.(a) Whe

parties to file their respective written memoranda in support of their positions, the

instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil liability arisin

MeTC denied the Omnibus Motion filed by the accused, where he principally raised

charged shall be deemed instituted with the criminal action unle

his objection on the appearance of the private prosecutor on the ground that perjury is

waives the civil action, reserves the right to institute it separately

a crime against public interest; since there being no allegation of damage to private

action prior to the criminal action.

interest, hence on private prosecutor is needed. According to the MeTC, citing that
the rules do not distinguish between public and private crimes when it comes to
participation of private prosecutors; since the private offended party did not waive her
civil action or reserved her right to institute a separate civil action, then the private
prosecutor may participate, under the direction and control of the public prosecutor.

x x x x (Emphasis supplied)

For the recovery of civil liability in the criminal action, the appe
prosecutor is allowed under Section 16 of Rule 110:

His motion for reconsideration denied, Paul Lee elevated the case to the Court of

SEC. 16. Intervention of the offended party in criminal action.

Appeals, which also denied it, citing such right to intervene exists even when no civil

action for recovery of civil liability is instituted in the criminal a

liability attaches to a crime. Hence, Paul Lee went right up to the Supreme Court to

Rule 111, the offended party may intervene by counsel in the prosecution of the

CHIs property and its loss through inadvertence, if found to be

offense. (Emphasis supplied.)

doubt, injurious to respondents personal credibility and reputati

faithful performance of the duties and responsibilities of a Board


Section 12, Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, as amended,
defines an offended party as the person against whom or against whose property the
offense was committed. In Garcia v. Court of Appeals, this Court rejected
petitioners theory that it is only the State which is the offended party in public

Treasurer of CHI. The potential injury to the corporation itself is

as the court-ordered issuance of a new owners duplicate of TCT

only averted by respondents timely discovery of the case filed b


RTC.

offenses like bigamy. We explained that from the language of Section 12, Rule 10 of
the Rules of Court, it is reasonable to assume that the offended party in the

Even assuming that no civil liability was alleged or proved in th

commission of a crime, public or private, is the party to whom the offender is civilly

tried in the MeTC, this Court declared in the early case of Lim T

liable, and therefore the private individual to whom the offender is civilly liable is the

cited by both MeTC and CA, that whether public or private crim

offended party.

erroneous for the trial court to consider the intervention of the o

counsel as merely a matter of tolerance. Thus, where the private


In Ramiscal, Jr. v. Hon. Sandiganbayan, we also held that
Under Section 16, Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, the offended
party may also be a private individual whose person, right, house, liberty or property
was actually or directly injured by the same punishable act or omission of the
accused, or that corporate entity which is damaged or injured by the delictual acts
complained of. Such party must be one who has a legal right; a substantial interest in
the subject matter of the action as will entitle him to recourse under the substantive
law, to recourse if the evidence is sufficient or that he has the legal right to the
demand and the accused will be protected by the satisfaction of his civil liabilities.
Such interest must not be a mere expectancy, subordinate or inconsequential. The
interest of the party must be personal; and not one based on a desire to vindicate the
constitutional right of some third and unrelated party. (Emphasis supplied.)In this
case, the statement of petitioner regarding his custody of TCT No. 232238 covering

asserted its right to intervene in the proceedings, that right must

right reserved by the Rules to the offended party is that of interv

purpose of enforcing the civil liability born of the criminal act a

punishment of the accused. Such intervention, moreover, is alwa


direction and control of the public prosecutor.

In Chua v. Court of Appeals, as a result of the complaint-affidavit filed by private

Petitioners contention lacks merit. Generally, the basis of civil

respondent who is also the corporations Treasurer, four counts of falsification of

crime is the fundamental postulate that every man criminally lia

public documents (Minutes of Annual Stockholders Meeting) was instituted by the

liable. When a person commits a crime he offends two entities n

City Prosecutor against petitioner and his wife. After private respondents testimony

in which he lives in or the political entity called the State whose

was heard during the trial, petitioner moved to exclude her counsels as private

and (2) the individual member of the society whose person, righ

prosecutors on the ground that she failed to allege and prove any civil liability in the

property has been actually or directly injured or damaged by the

case. The MeTC granted the motion and ordered the exclusion of said private

or omission. An act or omission is felonious because it is punish

prosecutors. On certiorari to the RTC, said court reversed the MeTC and ordered the

rise to civil liability not so much because it is a crime but becaus

latter to allow the private prosecutors in the prosecution of the civil aspect of the

another. Additionally, what gives rise to the civil liability is real

criminal case. Petitioner filed a petition for certiorari in the CA which dismissed his

the moral duty of everyone to repair or make whole the damage

petition and affirmed the assailed RTC ruling.

reason of his own act or omission, whether done intentionally or

When the case was elevated to this Court, we sustained the CA in allowing the private
prosecutors to actively participate in the trial of the criminal case. Thus:
Petitioner cites the case of Tan, Jr. v. Gallardo, holding that where from the nature of
the offense or where the law defining and punishing the offense charged does not
provide for an indemnity, the offended party may not intervene in the prosecution of
the offense.

indemnity which a person is sentenced to pay forms an integral

imposed by law for the commission of the crime. The civil actio

liability arising from the offense charged which includes restitut

damage caused, and indemnification for consequential damages

Under the Rules, where the civil action for recovery of civil liab

the criminal action pursuant to Rule 111, the offended party may

in the prosecution of the offense. Rule 111(a) of the Rules of Cr

provides that, [w]hen a criminal action is instituted, the civil ac

offense charged shall be deemed instituted with the criminal act

offended party waives the civil action, reserves the right to instit
institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action.

Private respondent did not waive the civil action, nor did she reserve the right to

In the light of the foregoing, we hold that the CA did not err in h

institute it separately, nor institute the civil action for damages arising from the

committed no grave abuse of discretion when it denied petitione

offense charged. Thus, we find that the private prosecutors can intervene in the trial

Atty. Macam as private prosecutor in Crim. Case Nos. 352270-7

of the criminal action.


Petitioner avers, however, that respondents testimony in the inferior court did not

FIRST DIVISION, G.R. No. 181658, August 07, 2013, LEE P

PAUL LEE, PETITIONER, VS. CHUA PUE CHIN LEE, R

establish nor prove any damages personally sustained by her as a result of petitioners
alleged acts of falsification. Petitioner adds that since no personal damages were
proven therein, then the participation of her counsel as private prosecutors, who were
supposed to pursue the civil aspect of a criminal case, is not necessary and is without
basis.
When the civil action is instituted with the criminal action, evidence should be taken
of the damages claimed and the court should determine who are the persons entitled
to such indemnity. The civil liability arising from the crime may be determined in the
criminal proceedings if the offended party does not waive to have it adjudged or does
not reserve the right to institute a separate civil action against the defendant.
Accordingly, if there is no waiver or reservation of civil liability, evidence should be
allowed to establish the extent of injuries suffered.
In the case before us, there was neither a waiver nor a reservation made; nor did the
offended party institute a separate civil action. It follows that evidence should be
allowed in the criminal proceedings to establish the civil liability arising from the
offense committed, and the private offended party has the right to intervene through
the private prosecutors. (Emphasis supplied; citations omitted.)

#8

Arraignment: Courts Should C

Searching Inquiry Into Voluntariness

Comprehension Of Plea Of Guilt By A

EN BANC, G.R. No. 135053, March 06, 2002, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,

(1) The court must conduct a searching inquiry into the volunta

APPELLEE VS. BENJAMIN GALVEZ, APPELLANT.

comprehension of the consequences of the plea;

Benjamin was charged with Rape by her own daughter, AAA, allegedly committed
on the third week of april, 1997. During his arriagnment, where the charges for 10

(2) The court must require the prosecution to present evidence to

counts of rape where read to him in a language he understood, assisted by Atty.

the accused and the precise degree of his culpability; and

Renato Mercado, he pleaded not guilty to the charges. However, during the hearing
on May 14, 1998, Benjamin, this time assisted by Atty. Ruby Rosa Espino, changed
his plea from not guilty to guilty, and an inquiry into the voluntariness and full
comprehension of his plea was conducted by the trial court. Even so, the trial court

(3) The court must ask the accused if he desires to present evide
allow him to do so if he desires.

proceeded to hear evidence from the offended party. Benjamin did not file evidence

Moreover, as prescribed in Aranzado, the searching inquiry to b

in his behalf, thus the trial court convicted him of Rape, thus automatic appeal was

trial court should consist of the following:

resorted to the court. In his brief, Benjamin assails the failure of the trial court in
assuring the safeguards set forth under Rule 116 of the Rules off Court, particularly
on his plea of guilt.
The Supreme Court:
The stringent procedure governing the reception of a plea of guilt, especially in a case
involving the death penalty, is imposed upon the trial judge in order to leave no room

(1) Ascertain from the accused himself (a) how he was brought

the law; (b) whether he had the assistance of a competent counse

and preliminary investigations; and (c) under what conditions he


interrogated during the investigations. These the court shall do

possibility that the accused has been coerced or placed under a s

by actual threats of physical harm coming from malevolent or av

for doubt on the possibility that the accused might have misunderstood the nature of
the charge and the consequences of the plea.
In People v. Aranzado, the Court, citing Section 3, Rule 116 of the Rules of Court, set
the following guidelines for receiving a plea of guilt in a case involving a capital
offense:

(2) Ask the defense counsel a series of questions as to whether h

and completely explained to, the accused the meaning and conse
guilty.

(3) Elicit information about the personality profile of the accused, such as his age,

COURT: Why dont you arraign him? Alright, the previous ple

socio-economic status, and educational background, which may serve as a

withdrawn to give way to the plea of guilty by the accused for 1

trustworthy index of his capacity to give a free and informed plea of guilty.

as the Court had already observed we have to conduct the re-arr


case. Will you please arraign him.

(4) Inform the acused [of] the exact length of imprisonment or nature of the penalty
under the law and the certainty that he will serve such sentence. Not infrequently
indeed an accused pleads guilty in the hope of a lenient treatment or upon bad advice

(The accused was arraigned by reading to him the Information in

or because of promises of the authorities or parties of a lighter penalty should he

which the accused speaks and understands.)

admit guilt or express remorse. It is the duty of the judge to see to it that the accused
does not labor under these mistaken impressions.

(5) Require the accused to fully narrate the incident that spawned the charges against
him or make him reenact the manner in which he perpetrated the crime, or cause him
to supply missing details of significance.

INTERPRETER: The accused pleaded guilty.

COURT: I would like to ask the accused if he understands from

circumstances in this case because the victim here is his own da

below 18 years of age. In accordance with the heinous offense l

Appellants re-arraignment on May 14, 1999 miserably fell short of these guidelines,

have to impose on him the penalty of death. Is this clear to the a

as shown by the pertinent portion of the transcript of stenographic notes, which we

we will conduct a trial to find out if there is sufficient evidence t

quote hereunder:

your rights will be protected you are given a chance to prove yo

PROS. CASTILLO: By way of dialogue with the defense counsel the accused is
willing to enter a plea of guilty for the ten (10) counts of rape, your Honor.

refute the evidence of guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

It is clear from the foregoing that the trial judge did not conduct a searching inquiry

Where the punishment to be inflicted is death, it is not enough th

into the voluntariness of appellants plea of guilt and full comprehension thereof. He

read to the accused or even translated into the dialect they speak

asked no questions on the subjects mentioned in Aranzado. His purported

implementation of such penalty is irrevocable, and experience h

compliance with Alicando was more like a monologue, or a warning at best, rather

innocent persons have at times pleaded guilty. The trial court mu

than a searching inquiry. He did not inquire into appellants personality profile

pleas of guilt, since the accused might be admitting their guilt an

age, socio-economic status or educational background. His Honor did not even

lives and liberties without having fully understood the meaning,

require an answer to his question on whether appellant realized that the death penalty

consequences of their pleas.

would result from the latters plea. No response from appellant was given or
recorded.

What is apparent here is that appellant was not properly advised

counsel. InPeople v. Sevilleno, the Court remanded the case for

Moreover, there is no showing that the lawyer explained to appellant the

accused who had been charged with the rape and murder of a nin

consequences of the latters plea probable conviction and death sentence. Equally

because his counsel had declined to present evidence for his clie

important, the trial judge should have asked why the plea of appellant was

mitigating circumstance of the plea of guilt. This Court clarified

changed. The former obtained none of the information required in Aranzado. Hence,

circumstance would an admission of guilt in that case affect or r

there is no basis to conclude that the latter voluntarily and intelligently pleaded guilty

sentence because it was a single indivisible penalty which is app

to the charges against him.

mitigating or aggravating circumstance attending the crime.

In Bello, the Court remarked that there were cases when the accused would plead

In the instant case, the Court also notes that guilty was not the

guilty in the hope of a lenient treatment or because of promises from the authorities or

appellant; hence, careful effort should have been exerted by the

parties that an expression of remorse would result in a lighter penalty.

into why he changed his plea. In addition, he refused to present

defense. This should have again prompted the trial judge to pro
following the guidelines in Aranzado.

A plea of guilt is improvidently accepted where no effort is made to explain to the

Olivia explained that Apolnario instructed her to withdraw $10,0

accused that, in a case involving a capital offense, such plea may result in the

account thru his driver. Although the memo was supposed to be

imposition of the death penalty. The same is true when the requirements in Aranzado

the memo itself was dated January 2. Noel then instructed her to

are not satisfied. Recently, in People v. Bernas, the Court set aside a death sentence

corresponding memo in the corresponding ledger and bring the m

and remanded the case to the trial court, because the Aranzado guidelines on how to

he and the branch manager, Edgardo. Virigilio, meanwhile chec

conduct a searching inquiry had not been followed.

ledger of Apolinario and Adoracion, where he found out that the

Case remanded to the trial court for re-arraignment and further proceedings.

indicating that no withdrawal should be made to the account so

balance below $35,000.00. The withdrawal reduced its balance t

EN BANC, G.R. No. 135053, March 06, 2002, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,

account ledger also indicated a deposit of $10,000.00 on January

APPELLEE VS. BENJAMIN GALVEZ, APPELLANT.

compared the signatures in the withdrawal slip to the signature c

difference which he reported to the branch manager.

#9 Rights Of The Accused: Right To Counsel

When Edgardo required her to explain, Olivia reiterated that the

Mandatory Only In Custodial Investigation

made on December 29, 1996 after the cut-off time. Another cash

Virgilio for that period revealed that Olivia should have a cash b

her actual cash count revealed she only had $11,778.86 (Olivia u
Olivia was a teller at the Prudential Bank branch of Angeles City, the only one

withdrawn from the account of Apolinario, and replenished it w

assigned to handle dollar deposits and withdrawals. An internal spot-audit team

accountability). Olivia eventually broke down and told Edgardo

conducted by Virgilio inventoried the cash accountabilities of the branch. Olivia was

everything to the bank president. Apolinario denied affixing the

short by $10,000.00; she only had US5,040.52, when she should have $15,040.52.

withdrawal slip.

When asked to explain, she averred that a withdrawal was made on December 29,
1006 after the cut-off time, evidenced by a withdrawal memo which she showed to

In a handwritten letter, Olivia explained that the $10,000.00

Virgilio; this withdrawal should be treated as a withdrawal on January 2, 1996. The

another P2.2 Million shortage was taken by her. She gave it

account belonged to Adoracion Tayag and her co-signatory, Apolinario Tayag. This

approached her at the counter who threatened her and her f

withdrawal memo when shown to the branch cashier, Noel, did not contain the

allegedly approached her. She then gave the cash to the man

required signature of two officers, hence Noel asked the nature of this withdrawal.

did not report the matter to the bank officers.

The RTC convicted her, affirmed with modification by the Cour


The bank then filed a case for Qualified Theft against Olivia. After the
prosecution rested its case, Olivia filed a Demurrer To Evidence And Motion To
Defer Defense Evidence, on the ground that the prosecution evidence failed to
prove its case. The RTC denied the motion filed by Olivia, and proceeded to rule
on the case without giving her the opportunity to present her evidence, holding
that the Demurrer to Evidence was filed without leave of court, hence, she is
considered to have waived her presentation of evidence.

increased the imposable penalty to reclusion perpetua.

One of the issues she presented for consideration in her appeal t

was that the handwritten letter she executed should not have bee

evidence, as the same was made without counsel, hence, in the n

judicial confession made without counsel and inadmissible in ev


The Supreme Court:

The letter was not an extrajudicial confession whose validity de

executed with the assistance of counsel and its being under oath

admission under Section 26, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court that

against her. An admission, if voluntary, is admissible against the

reason that it is fair to presume that the admission corresponds w

the admitters fault if the admission does not. By virtue of its be

himself, an admission is competent primary evidence against the


Worth pointing out is that the letter was not a confession due to

acknowledging the guilt of the accused for qualified theft. Unde

130 of the Rules of Court, a confession is a declaration of an acc

guilt for the offense charged, or for any offense necessarily inclu

Nonetheless, there was no need for a counsel to have assisted the accused when she

To reiterate, the rights under Section 12, supra, are available to

wrote the letter because she spontaneously made it while not under custodial

investigation for the commission of an offense. The phrase doe

investigation. Her insistence on the assistance of a counsel might be valid and better

of investigations, but contemplates only a situation wherein a p

appreciated had she made the letter while under arrest, or during custodial

custody as a suspect, or if the person is the suspect, even if he is

investigation, or under coercion by the investigating authorities of the Government.

any significant way of his liberty. The situation of the accused

The distinction of her situation from that of a person arrested or detained and under

that of a person already in custody as a suspect, or if the person

custodial investigation for the commission of an offense derived from the clear intent

she is not yet deprived in any significant way of his liberty.

of insulating the latter from police coercion or intimidation underlying Section 12 of


Article III (Bill of Rights) of the 1987 Constitution, which provides:
Section 12. (1) Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall
have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and
independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the
services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived
except in writing and in the presence of counsel.
(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate
the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention
places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited.
(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof
shall be inadmissible in evidence against him.
(4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions for violations of this section as
well as compensation to and rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar practices,
and their families.

THIRD DIVISION, G.R. No. 159450, March 30, 2011, PEOPL

PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. OLIVIA ALETH


CRISTOBAL, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

#10. Criminal Procedure: Bail


Jose Antonio Leviste was originally charged with Murder before the Regional Trial

Should the court grant the application, the accused may be allow

provisional liberty during the pendency of the appeal under the s


the consent of the bondsman.

Court of Makati City. He was convicted of the crime of Homicide, hence he appealed
his conviction to the Court of Appeals. Pending appeal, he filed an urgent application
for admission to bail pending appeal, citing his advanced age and minimum flight
risk. The Court of Appeals denied his petiton, hence he filed a petition for certiorari
before the Supreme Court. In his brief, petitioner assails the denial of his application

If the penalty imposed by the trial court is imprisonment exceed


accused shall be denied bail, or his bail shall be cancelled upon

prosecution, with notice to the accused, of the following or othe


circumstances:

for bail, citing that none of the conditions in Section 5 (3) of Rule 114 are present in
his case,; his theory is that conviction for a crime with an imposable penalty of more
than 6 years, when not one of the conditions imposed in the third paragraph of

(a) That he is a recidivist, quasi-recidivist, or habitual delinquen


the crime aggravated by the circumstance of reiteration;

Section 5, Rule 114 are present, entitles him to bail as a matter of right.

(b) That he has previously escaped from legal confinement, evad


The Supreme Court:
Section 5, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court provides:Sec. 5. Bail, when discretionary.
Upon conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an offense not punishable by
death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment, admission to bail is discretionary.
The application for bail may be filed and acted upon by the trial court despite the
filing of a notice of appeal, provided it has not transmitted the original record to the
appellate court. However, if the decision of the trial court convicting the accused
changed the nature of the offense from non-bailable to bailable, the application for
bail can only be filed with and resolved by the appellate court.

violated the conditions of his bail without a valid justification;

(c) That he committed the offense while under probation, parole, or conditional

The implications of this distinction are discussed with erudition

pardon;

commentary of retired Supreme Court Justice Florenz D. Regala

(d) That the circumstances of his case indicate the probability of flight if released on
bail; or
(e) That there is undue risk that he may commit another crime during the pendency of

remedial law:

Under the present revised Rule 114, the availability of bail to an


summarized in the following rules:

the appeal.

xxx

The appellate court may, motu proprio or on motion of any party, review the

e. After conviction by the Regional Trial Court wherein a penalt

resolution of the Regional Trial Court after notice to the adverse party in either case.

exceeding 6 years but not more than 20 years is imposed, and no

(emphasis supplied)

circumstances stated in Sec. 5 or any other similar circumstance

xxx
The third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 applies to two scenarios where the
penalty imposed on the appellant applying for bail is imprisonment exceeding six
years. The first scenario deals with the circumstances enumerated in the said
paragraph (namely, recidivism, quasi-recidivism, habitual delinquency or commission

xxx

xxx

proved, bail is a matter of discretion (Sec. 5);

f. After conviction by the Regional Trial Court imposing a pena

exceeding 6 years but not more than 20 years, and any of the cir

Sec. 5 or any other similar circumstance is present and proved, n


granted by said court (Sec. 5); x x x24 (emphasis supplied)

of the crime aggravated by the circumstance of reiteration; previous escape from legal

Retired Court of Appeals Justice Oscar M. Herrera, another auth

confinement, evasion of sentence or violation of the conditions of his bail without a

is of the same thinking:

valid justification; commission of the offense while under probation, parole or


conditional pardon; circumstances indicating the probability of flight if released on
bail; undue risk of committing another crime during the pendency of the appeal; or
other similar circumstances) not present. The second scenario contemplates the
existence of at least one of the said circumstances.

Bail is either a matter of right or of discretion. It is a matter of ri

charged is not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life im

other hand, upon conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an o

death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, bail becomes a m

Similarly, if the court imposed a penalty of imprisonment exceeding six (6) years then

Given these two distinct scenarios, therefore, any application for

bail is a matter of discretion, except when any of the enumerated circumstances under

should be viewed from the perspective of two stages: (1) the det

paragraph 3 of Section 5, Rule 114 is present then bail shall be denied. (emphasis

discretion stage, where the appellate court must determine wheth

supplied)

circumstances in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 is pr

In the first situation, bail is a matter of sound judicial discretion. This means that, if
none of the circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 is
present, the appellate court has the discretion to grant or deny bail. An application for
bail pending appeal may be denied even if the bail-negating circumstances in the third
paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 are absent. In other words, the appellate courts
denial of bail pending appeal where none of the said circumstances exists does not, by
and of itself, constitute abuse of discretion.
On the other hand, in the second situation, the appellate court exercises a more
stringent discretion, that is, to carefully ascertain whether any of the enumerated
circumstances in fact exists. If it so determines, it has no other option except to deny
or revoke bail pending appeal. Conversely, if the appellate court grants bail pending
appeal, grave abuse of discretion will thereby be committed.

establish whether or not the appellate court will exercise sound d

discretion in resolving the application for bail pending appeal an

discretion stage where, assuming the appellants case falls withi

allowing the exercise of sound discretion, the appellate court ma

relevant circumstances, other than those mentioned in the third p

5, Rule 114, including the demands of equity and justice; on the


either allow or disallow bail.

On the other hand, if the appellants case falls within the second

appellate courts stringent discretion requires that the exercise th

focused on the determination of the proof of the presence of any

that are prejudicial to the allowance of bail. This is so because th

those circumstances is by itself sufficient to deny or revoke bail.

finding that none of the said circumstances is present will not au

the grant of bail. Such finding will simply authorize the court to
sound discretion approach.

Petitioner disregards the fine yet substantial distinction between


situations that are governed by the third paragraph of Section 5,

petitioner insists on a simplistic treatment that unduly dilutes the

provision and trivializes the established policy governing the gra


appeal.

In particular, a careful reading of petitioners arguments reveals that it interprets the

The earliest rules on the matter made all grants of bail after conv

third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 to cover all situations where the penalty

capital offense by the Court of First Instance (predecessor of the

imposed by the trial court on the appellant is imprisonment exceeding six years. For

Court) discretionary. The 1988 amendments made applications f

petitioner, in such a situation, the grant of bail pending appeal is always subject to

appeal favorable to the appellant-applicant. Bail before final con

limited discretion, that is, one restricted to the determination of whether any of the

for non-capital offenses or offenses not punishable by reclusion

five bail-negating circumstances exists. The implication of this position is that, if any

of right, meaning, admission to bail was a matter of right at any

such circumstance is present, then bail will be denied. Otherwise, bail will be granted

where the charge was not for a capital offense or was not punish

pending appeal.

perpetua.

Petitioners theory therefore reduces the appellate court into a mere fact-finding body

The amendments introduced by Administrative Circular No. 12-

whose authority is limited to determining whether any of the five circumstances

appeal (of a conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an offens

mentioned in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 exists.

death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment) discretionary.

This unduly constricts its discretion into merely filling out the checklist of

Thus, Administrative Circular No. 12-94 laid down more stringe

circumstances in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 in all instances where the

of post-conviction grant of bail.

penalty imposed by the Regional Trial Court on the appellant is imprisonment


exceeding six years. In short, petitioners interpretation severely curbs the discretion
of the appellate court by requiring it to determine a singular factual issue whether
any of the five bail-negating circumstances is present.
xxx
The development over time of these rules reveals an orientation towards a more
restrictive approach to bail pending appeal. It indicates a faithful adherence to the
bedrock principle, that is, bail pending appeal should be allowed not with leniency
but with grave caution and only for strong reasons.

A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC modified Administrative Circular No. 12-94 by clearly

In our jurisdiction, the trend towards a strict attitude towards the

identifying which court has authority to act on applications for bail pending appeal

pending appeal is anchored on the principle that judicial discreti

under certain conditions and in particular situations. More importantly, it reiterated

with respect to extending bail should be exercised not with la

the tough on bail pending appeal configuration of Administrative Circular No. 12-

and only for strong reasons. In fact, it has even been pointed out

94. In particular, it amended Section 3 of the 1988 Rules on Criminal Procedure

that must attend the exercise of judicial discretion in granting ba

which entitled the accused to bail as a matter of right before final conviction. Under

accused is best illustrated and exemplified in Administrative Cir

the present rule, bail is a matter of discretion upon conviction by the Regional Trial

amending Rule 114, Section 5.

Court of an offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment.


Indeed, pursuant to the tough on bail pending appeal policy, the presence of bail-

Furthermore, this Court has been guided by the following:

negating conditions mandates the denial or revocation of bail pending appeal such

The importance attached to conviction is due to the underlying p

that those circumstances are deemed to be as grave as conviction by the trial court for

should be granted only where it is uncertain whether the accused

an offense punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment where bail is

and therefore, where that uncertainty is removed by conviction i

prohibited.

speaking, be absurd to admit to bail. After a person has been trie

Now, what is more in consonance with a stringent standards approach to bail pending
appeal? What is more in conformity with an ex abundante cautelam view of bail
pending appeal? Is it a rule which favors the automatic grant of bail in the absence of
any of the circumstances under the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114? Or is it a
rule that authorizes the denial of bail after due consideration of all relevant

presumption of innocence which may be relied upon in prior app

and the burden is upon the accused to show error in the convicti

point of view it may be properly argued that the probability of u

so enhanced by the conviction that the accused is much more lik

escape if liberated on bail than before conviction. (emphasis sup

circumstances, even if none of the circumstances under the third paragraph of Section

As a matter of fact, endorsing the reasoning quoted above and re

5, Rule 114 is present?

Court declared in Yap v. Court of Appeals (promulgated in 2001

The present inclination of the rules on criminal procedure to frown on bail pending
appeal parallels the approach adopted in the United States where our original
constitutional and procedural provisions on bail emanated. While this is of course not
to be followed blindly, it nonetheless shows that our treatment of bail pending appeal
is no different from that in other democratic societies.

rules were already effective), that denial of bail pending appeal


discretion.
A Final Word
Section 13, Article II of the Constitution provides:

SEC. 13. 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. x x x
(emphasis supplied)1avvphi1
After conviction by the trial court, the presumption of innocence terminates and,
accordingly, the constitutional right to bail ends.46 From then on, the grant of bail is
subject to judicial discretion. At the risk of being repetitious, such discretion must be
exercised with grave caution and only for strong reasons. Considering that the
accused was in fact convicted by the trial court, allowance of bail pending appeal
should be guided by a stringent-standards approach. This judicial disposition finds
strong support in the history and evolution of the rules on bail and the language of
Section 5, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court. It is likewise consistent with the trial
courts initial determination that the accused should be in prison. Furthermore, letting
the accused out on bail despite his conviction may destroy the deterrent effect of our
criminal laws. This is especially germane to bail pending appeal because long delays
often separate sentencing in the trial court and appellate review. In addition, at the
post-conviction stage, the accused faces a certain prison sentence and thus may be
more likely to flee regardless of bail bonds or other release conditions. Finally,
permitting bail too freely in spite of conviction invites frivolous and time-wasting
appeals which will make a mockery of our criminal justice system and court
processes.
G.R. No. 189122, March 17, 2010, JOSE ANTONIO LEVISTE, Petitioner, vs. THE
COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

Charged with the murder of Rafael de las Alas, petitione

Leviste was convicted by the Regional Trial Court of Makati Ci


LEVISTE VS CA

of homicide and sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of

BAIL- when it is a matter of right or a matter of discretion.

of prision mayor as minimum to 12 years and one day of reclusi


maximum.

He appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeals. Pend


JOSE ANTONIO LEVISTE,
2010

G.R. No. 189122- March 17,

an urgent application for admission to bail pending appeal, citin

and health condition, and claiming the absence of any risk or po


Petitioner,

his part.

The Court of Appeals denied petitioners application for

- versus -

bedrock principle in the matter of bail pending appeal, that the d

bail during the course of appeal should be exercised with grave


THE COURT OF APPEALS
and PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES,

strong reasons.
Petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied
Issue:
Whether or not bail should automatically be granted absent any

Respondents.

mentioned in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 of the R


an appellant pending appeal?
RULING:

NO. Absent any of the circumstances mentioned in the third par


Facts:

Rule 114 means that a less stringent approach in granting bail on


discretion of the court to grant bail.

Section 5, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court provides:

Under the present revised Rule 114, the availabil


Sec. 5. Bail, when discretionary. Upon conviction by the Regional Trial

an accused may be summarized in the following rules:

Court of an offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua, or life


imprisonment, admission to bail is discretionary.
If the penalty imposed by the trial court is imprisonment
exceeding six (6) years, the accused shall be denied bail, or his bail
shall be cancelled upon a showing by the prosecution, with notice
to the accused, of the following or other similar circumstances:

xxx

xxx
e.

xxx

After conviction by the Regional Trial Co

penalty of imprisonment exceeding 6 years but not more

is imposed, and not one of the circumstances stated in Se


other similar circumstance is present and proved, bail is

(a)

That he is a recidivist, quasi-recidivist, or habitual

discretion (Sec. 5);

delinquent, or has committed the crime aggravated by the


circumstance of reiteration;

f.

After conviction by the Regional Trial C

a penalty of imprisonment exceeding 6 years but not mo


(b)

That he has previously escaped from legal

confinement, evaded sentence, or violated the conditions of


his bail without a valid justification;
(c)

That he committed the offense while under

probation, parole, or conditional pardon;

years, and any of the circumstances stated in Sec. 5 or an

similar circumstance is present and proved, no bail shall


by said court (Sec. 5); x x x1[24] (emphasis supplied)

The third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 applies to tw

penalty imposed on the appellant applying for bail is imprisonm

years. The first scenario deals with the circumstances enumerate


(d)

That the circumstances of his case indicate the

probability of flight if released on bail; or

paragraph (namely, recidivism, quasi-recidivism, habitual delinq

of the crime aggravated by the circumstance of reiteration; previ


confinement, evasion of sentence or violation of the conditions

(e)

That there is undue risk that he may commit

another crime during the pendency of the appeal.

valid justification; commission of the offense while under probation, parole or

circumstances in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 is pr

conditional pardon; circumstances indicating the probability of flight if released on

establish whether or not the appellate court will exercise sound d

bail; undue risk of committing another crime during the pendency of the appeal; or

discretion in resolving the application for bail pending appeal an

other similar circumstances) not present. The second scenario contemplates the

discretion stage where, assuming the appellants case falls withi

existence of at least one of the said circumstances.

allowing the exercise of sound discretion, the appellate court ma

relevant circumstances, other than those mentioned in the third p

5, Rule 114, including the demands of equity and justice; on the


In the first situation, bail is a matter of sound judicial discretion. This means

either allow or disallow bail.

that, if none of the circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule
114 is present, the appellate court has the discretion to grant or deny bail. An

On the other hand, if the appellants case falls within the

application for bail pending appeal may be denied even if the bail-negating2[26]

appellate courts stringent discretion requires that the exercise th

circumstances in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 are absent. In other

focused on the determination of the proof of the presence of any

words, the appellate courts denial of bail pending appeal where none of the said

that are prejudicial to the allowance of bail. This is so because th

circumstances exists does not, by and of itself, constitute abuse of discretion.

those circumstances is by itself sufficient to deny or revoke bail.

finding that none of the said circumstances is present will no


On the other hand, in the second situation, the appellate court exercises a more
stringent discretion, that is, to carefully ascertain whether any of the enumerated
circumstances in fact exists. If it so determines, it has no other option except to deny
or revoke bail pending appeal. Conversely, if the appellate court grants bail pending
appeal, grave abuse of discretion will thereby be committed.
Given these two distinct scenarios, therefore, any application for bail pending
appeal should be viewed from the perspective of two stages: (1) the determination of
discretion stage, where the appellate court must determine whether any of the

result in the grant of bail. Such finding will simply authorize


less stringent sound discretion approach.