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ENRILE vs.

SANDIGANBAYAN: DIGEST AND COMMENTS


G.R. No. 213847; August 18, 2015

Doctrines:
Primary objective of bail The strength of the Prosecution's case, albeit a good
measure of the accused's propensity for flight or for causing harm to the public, is
subsidiary to the primary objective of bail, which is to ensure that the accused
appears at trial.

Bail is a right and a matter of discretion Right to bail is afforded in Sec. 13, Art III
of the 1987 Constitution and repeted in Sec. 7, Rule 114 of the Rules of Criminal
Procedure to wit: No person charged with a capital offense, or an offense
punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, shall be admitted to bail
when evidence of guilt is strong, regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution.

FACTS:
On June 5, 2014, Petitioner Juan Ponce Enrile was charged with plunder in the
Sandiganbayan on the basis of his purported involvement in the Priority
Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) Scam. Initially, Enrile in an Omnibus
Motion requested to post bail, which the Sandiganbayan denied. On July 3, 2014, a
warrant for Enrile's arrest was issued, leading to Petitioner's voluntary surrender.
Senator Enrile
Petitioner again asked the Sandiganbayan in a Motion to Fix Bail which was heard
by the Sandiganbayan. Petitioner argued that: (a) Prosecution had not yet
established that the evidence of his guilt was strong; (b) that, because of his
advanced age and voluntary surrender, the penalty would only be reclusion
temporal, thus allowing for bail and; (c) he is not a flight risk due to his age and
physical condition. Sandiganbayan denied this in its assailed resolution. Motion for
Reconsideration was likewise denied.

ISSUES:
1) Whether or not bail may be granted as a matter of right unless the crime charged
is punishable byreclusion perpetua where the evidence of guilt is strong.

a. Whether or not prosecution failed to show that if ever petitioner would be


convicted, he will be punishable by reclusion perpetua.

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b. Whether or not prosecution failed to show that petitioner's guilt is strong.

2. Whether or not petitioner is bailable because he is not a flight risk.

HELD:
1. YES.

Bail as a matter of right due process and presumption of innocence.


Article III, Sec. 14 (2) of the 1987 Constitution provides that in all criminal
prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved.
This right is safeguarded by the constitutional right to be released on bail.

The purpose of bail is to guarantee the appearance of the accused at trial and so the
amount of bail should be high enough to assure the presence of the accused when
so required, but no higher than what may be reasonably calculated to fulfill this
purpose.

Bail as a matter of discretion


Right to bail is afforded in Sec. 13, Art III of the 1987 Constitution and repeted in
Sec. 7, Rule 114 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure to wit:

Capital offense of an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment,


not bailable. No person charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable
by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, shall be admitted to bail when evidence
of guilt is strong, regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution.

The general rule: Any person, before conviction of any criminal offense, shall be
bailable.

Exception: Unless he is charged with an offense punishable with reclusion perpetua


[or life imprisonment] and the evidence of his guilt is strong.

Thus, denial of bail should only follow once it has been established that the evidence
of guilt is strong.Where evidence of guilt is not strong, bail may be granted
according to the discretion of the court.

Thus, Sec. 5 of Rule 114 also provides:


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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.

Should the court grant the application, the accused may be allowed to continue on
provisional liberty during the pendency of the appeal under the same bail subject to
the consent of the bondsman.

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:

(a) That he is a recidivist, quasi-recidivist, or habitual delinquent, or has committed


the crime aggravated by the circumstance of reiteration;

(b) That he has previously escaped from legal confinement, evaded sentence, or
violated the conditions of his bail without valid justification;

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

(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 the appeal.

The appellate court may, motu proprio or on motion of any party, review the
resolution of the Regional Trial Court after notice to the adverse party in either case.

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Thus, admission to bail in offenses punished by death, or life imprisonment,
or reclusion perpetuasubject to judicial discretion. In Concerned Citizens vs. Elma,
the court held: [S]uch discretion may be exercised only after the hearing called to
ascertain the degree of guilt of the accused for the purpose of whether or not he
should be granted provisional liberty. Bail hearing with notice is indispensable
(Aguirre vs. Belmonte). The hearing should primarily determine whether the
evidence of guilt against the accused is strong.

The procedure for discretionary bail is described in Cortes vs. Catral:

1. In all cases, whether bail is a matter of right or of discretion, notify the prosecutor
of the hearing of the application for bail or require him to submit his
recommendation (Section 18, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court as amended);

2. Where bail is a matter of discretion, conduct a hearing of the application for bail
regardless of whether or not the prosecution refuses to present evidence to show
that the guilt of the accused is strong for the purpose of enabling the court to
exercise its sound discretion; (Section 7 and 8, supra)

3. Decide whether the guilt of the accused is strong based on the summary of
evidence of the prosecution;

4. If the guilt of the accused is not strong, discharge the accused upon the approval
of the bailbond (Section 19, supra) Otherwise petition should be denied.

2. YES.

Petitioner's poor health justifies his admission to bail


The Supreme Court took note of the Philippine's responsibility to the international
community arising from its commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. We therefore have the responsibility of protecting and promoting the right
of every person to liberty and due process and for detainees to avail of such
remedies which safeguard their fundamental right to liberty. Quoting
fromGovernment of Hong Kong SAR vs. Olalia, the SC emphasized:

x x x uphold the fundamental human rights as well as value the worth and dignity of
every person. This commitment is enshrined in Section II, Article II of our
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Constitution which provides: The State values the dignity of every human person
and guarantees full respect for human rights. The Philippines, therefore, has the
responsibility of protecting and promoting the right of every person to liberty and
due process, ensuring that those detained or arrested can participate in the
proceedings before a court, to enable it to decide without delay on the legality of
the detention and order their release if justified. In other words, the Philippine
authorities are under obligation to make available to every person under
detention such remedies which safeguard their fundamental right to liberty. These
remedies include the right to be admitted to bail. (emphasis in decision)

Sandiganbayan committed grave abuse of discretion


Sandiganbayan arbitrarily ignored the objective of bail to ensure the appearance of
the accused during the trial and unwarrantedly disregarded the clear showing of the
fragile health and advanced age of Petitioner. As such the Sandiganbayan gravely
abused its discretion in denying the Motion to Fix Bail. It acted whimsically and
capriciously and was so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive
duty [to allow petitioner to post bail].

Justice Leonen criticized the decision for having a very weak legal basis the grant
of bail over mere humanitarian grounds. He also claims that the court has no
authority to use humanitarian grounds. Leonen argues that [Petitioner's] release
for medical or humanitarian reasons was not the basis for his prayer in his Motion
to Fix Bail before the Sandiganbayan, nor were these grounds raised in the petition
in the Supreme Court.

Bail for humanitarian considerations is neither presently provided in our Rules of


Court nor found in any statute or provision of the Constitution.

Leonen theorized that the Supreme Court only granted bail as a special
accomodation for the petitioner and he goes on to criticize the decision to wit:

[This decision] will usher in an era of truly selective justice not based on their legal
provisions, but one that is unpredictable, partial and solely grounded on the
presence or absence of human compassion.

xxx

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Worse, it puts pressure on all trial courts and the Sandiganbayan that will
predictably be deluged with motions to fix bail on the basis of humanitarian
considerations. The lower courts will have to decide, without guidance, whether bail
should be granted because of advanced age, hypertension, pneumonia, or dreaded
diseases. They will have to decide whether this is applicable only to Senators and
former Presidents charged with plunder and not to those accused of drug trafficking,
multiple incestuous rape, and other crimes punishable by reclusion perpetua or
life imprisonment...

Procedure for granting bail


Leonen's dissent also examines the procedure outlined for the lower courts in bail
cases in order to demonstrate that the Sandiganbayan did not err in denying
Petitioner's Motion to Fix Bail. In Cortes vs. Catral the Supreme Court held:

It is indeed surprising, not to say, alarming, that the Court should be besieged with
a number of administrative cases filed against erring judges involving bail. After all,
there is no dearth of jurisprudence on the basic principles involving bail. As a matter
of fact, the Court itself, through its Philippine Judicial Academy, has been including
lectures on the subject in the regular seminars conducted for judges. Be that as it
may, we reiterate the following duties of the trial judge in case an application for
bail is filed:

1. In all cases, whether bail is a matter of right or of discretion, notify the prosecutor
of the hearing of the application for bail or require him to submit his
recommendation (Section 18, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court as amended);

2. Where bail is a matter of discretion, conduct a hearing of the application for bail
regardless of whether or not the prosecution refuses to present evidence to show
that the guilt of the accused is strong for the purpose of enabling the court to
exercise its sound discretion; (Section 7 and 8, supra)

3. Decide whether the guilt of the accused is strong based on the summary of
evidence of the prosecution;

4. If the guilt of the accused is not strong, discharge the accused upon the approval
of the bailbond (Section 19, supra) Otherwise petition should be denied.

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With such succinct but clear rules now incorporated in the Rules of Court, trial
judges are enjoined to study them as well and be guided accordingly. Admittedly,
judges cannot be held to account for an erroneous decision rendered in good faith,
but this defense is much too frequently cited even if not applicable. A number of
cases on bail having already been decided, this Court justifiably expects judges to
discharge their duties assiduously. For judge is called upon to exhibit more than just
a cursory acquaintance with statutes and procedural rules; it is imperative that he
be conversant with basic legal principles. Faith in the administration of justice can
only be engendered if litigants are convinced that the members of the Bench cannot
justly be charge with a deficiency in their grasp of legal principles.

Petitioner in this case, insisted that the Sandiganbayan grant his bail without any
hearing for the purpose of determining whether the evidence of guilt is strong. At
the Motion to Fix Bail, the prosecution had no opportunity to present any evidence
because of the prematurity of Petitioner's Motion [to Fix Bail]. Thus, the dissent
asserts that the Sandiganbayan was correct in denying the Motion based on
prematurity.

Medical or humanitarian grounds inappropriate


Petitioner did not ask for bail to be granted based on humanitarian reasons at the
Sandiganbayan. Neither petitioner nor the prosecution were able to develop their
arguments as to this point to establish legal and factual basis for this kind of bail.

The dissent argues that it was inappropriate for the court to grant bail merely on
the basis of the certification of the attending physician, Dr. Gonzales, stating that
the Petitioner was suffering from numerous debilitating conditions. The dissent
states that:

Nowhere in the rules of procedure do we allow the grant of bail based on judicial
notice of a doctor's certification. In doing so, we effectively suspend our rules on
evidence by doing away with cross-examination and authentication of Dr. Gonzales'
findings on petitioner's health in a hearing whose main purpose is to determine
whether no kind of alternative detention is possible.

xxx

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The better part of prudence is that we follow strictly our well-entrenched, long-
standing, and canonical procedures for bail. Doctrinally, the matter to determine is
whether the evidence of guilt is strong. This is to be examined when a hearing is
granted as a mandatory manner after petition for bail is filed by accused. The
medical condition of the accused, if any, should be pleaded and heard.

asgasgf
Version of the decision submitted by Ponente was not the version deliberated upon
This section of the dissent reveals that the Justices voted to grant bail based on a
substantially different version of the opinion, one which did not use humanitarian
considerations as a ground for the granting of bail. The dissent explains that the
Justices voted 8-4 solely on the issue of whether or not bail is a matter of right and
reveals that the copy offered for signature was substantially similar to an earlier
draft which used humanitarian considerations as the basis for the granting of
bail. The dissent makes it clear that this was an irregularity.

The majority opinion offers no guidance


The dissent argues that the main opinion is unclear whether the privilege
(humanitarian considerations, right to bail, etc.) will apply to those who have similar
conditions. Whether or not this privilege will only apply to those undergoing trial for
plunder or whether or not this privilege can be granted to those of advanced age
only. The majority has perilously set an unstated if not ambiguous standard for the
special grant of bail on the ground of medical conditions.

There is also no guidance to the Sandiganbayan as to if, when and how bail can then
be canceled.

Reliance on HK vs Olalia misplaced


The reliance of the majority on the case of Government of Hong Kong SAR vs.
Olalia is misplaced because this case referred to extradition cases, hence its
increased emphasis on international law. As applied to crimes charged under
Philippine law, the remedies under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights must
be qualified by the Constitution's rules regarding bail.

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Furthermore, in the above case, the SC disposed of it by remanding the case back to
the lower court for factual determination of whether or not the accused was a flight
risk.

BLOGGER'S COMMENTS
The majority opinion and the dissent both make for a very interesting treatise on
Criminal Procedure.These will likely be quoted again and again in bail hearings and
in classrooms.

The majority opinion is very strained, it had to rely on motherhood statements


regarding a person's right to liberty and right to bail. The decision used no
compelling legal reasoning apart from our commitment to international laws.

Here comes Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, seeing himself as CJ Claudio


Teehankee reborn, comes to the rescue claiming that the decision will:

will usher in an era of truly selective justice not based on their legal provisions, but
one that is unpredictable, partial and solely grounded on the presence or absence
of human compassion.

Factual Milieu is Important


We must note however the factual milieu. At the time Senators Enrile, Revilla and
Estrada were charged with plunder, the public perception was that these Senators
were the target of a campaign to eliminate the Administration's political enemies.

The perception of some circles critical of the current administration that these three
senators, (the trio known colloquially as Pogi, Tanda and Sexy) were hastily
charged and unfairly detained. The accusation that the administration was quick to
charge its enemies while defending its allies is a valid one. No discussion of the grant
of bail will overlook the highly politicized nature of the 3 Senator's incarceration.

That is not to say that this trio and particularly Enrile are innocent. Indeed, the
Supreme Court's decision drew a slew of criticism and a few defenders. Below are
just a few links to articles criticizing or defending the decision.

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Keep in mind that some of these articles were written before the decision actually
came out.

Am I comfortable with the decision?

Justice Bersamin - Author of the main decision

Yes. The decision re-emphasizes the right of people to bail from an ideological
standpoint politically well connected or otherwise it serves to remind courts and
prosecutors to establish probability of guilt for heinous crimes early on. For the
innocent languishing in detention centers, this decision is a Godsend and can
potentially speed up criminal justice.

Courts and prosecutors will have to take steps to adapt to this new environment.
Needless to say, I argue that the requisites of 1. Flight risk and, 2. Strong evidence
of guilt are fairly simple and reliable guidelines for the lower courts to follow. The
dissent's warning of courts getting swamped with requests of accused to be
released on bail and lack of guidance to lower courts is unwarranted fear-
mongering.

I am uncomfortable with the dissenting opinion. While I think its arguments as to


the finer points of procedure is warranted, it nevertheless casts the Supreme Court
in a bad light and can serve to weaken it as an institution.

EDUARDO TOLENTINO RODRIGUEZ and IMELDA GENER RODRIGUEZ, vs. Judge of


RTC Manila Branch 17
[G.R. No. 157977 February 27, 2006]

Facts: The US Government filed a petition for extradition against petitioners before
DOJ. After arrest, the petitioners applied for bail. A bail for 1M each was set and
both filed a cash bond. US appealed the decisin to grant bail. SC remanded the case
to the trial court with a direction to resolve the matter of bail according to the ruling
in US vs. Purugganan. The court then without notice cancelled the bail and ordered
the arrest of the petitioners. The petitioners are questioning the validity of the

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order, contending that their right to due process was denied because no notice was
given them when their bail was cancelled.

Issue/Ruling:
1) In an extradition case, is prior notice and hearing required before bail is
cancelled?

Yes. In Purganan, a prospective extraditee is not entitled to notice and


hearing before the issuance of a warrant of arrest because notifying him before his
arrest only tips him of his pending arrest. But this is for cases pending the issuance
of a warrant of arrest, not in a cancellation of a bail that had been issued
after determination that the extraditee is a no-flight risk. The grant of the bail,
presupposes that the co-petitioner has already presented evidence to prove her
right to be on bail.2) Bail may be granted to a possible extraditee only upon a clear
and convincing showing (1) that he will not be a flight risk or a danger to the
community, and

2) What constitutes a special circumstance to be exempt from the no-bail rule in


extradition cases?

That there exist special, humanitarian and compelling circumstances. In this case,
she and her husband had posted a cash bond of P1 million each; that her husband
had already gone on voluntary extradition and is presently in the USA undergoing
trial; that the passport of co-petitioner is already in the possession of the
authorities; that she never attempted to flee; that there is an existing hold-
departure order against her; and that she is now in her sixties, sickly and under
medical treatment, we believe that the benefits of continued temporary liberty on
bail should not be revoked and their grant of bail should not be cancelled, without
the co-petitioner being given notice and without her being heard why her
temporary liberty should not be discontinued.

EDUARDO TOLENTINO RODRIGUEZ and IMELDA GENER RODRIGUEZ, vs. Judge of


RTC Manila Branch 17
[G.R. No. 157977 February 27, 2006]

Lessons: Notice and Hearing for Cancellation of Bail in Extradition


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FACTS:
After the arrest of petitioners Eduardo Tolentino Rodriguez and Imelda Gener
Rodriguez,
they applied for bail which the trial court granted on September 25, 2001. They
posted cash bonds for the bail set for P1M for each. The US government moved for
reconsideration of the grant of bail which was denied. The US government filed a
petition for certiorari entitled Govt of the USA v. Hon. Ponferrada where the court
directed the trial court to resolve the matter of bail guided by this courts ruling on
Government of the USA v. Hon. Purganan. The lower court, without prior notice
and hearing, cancelled the cash bond of the petitioners and ordered the issuance of
a warrant of arrest. Petitioners filed a very urgent motion for the reconsideration
of the cancellation of their bail which was denied. Hence, this special civil action for
certiorari and prohibition directed against the order for cancellation of cash bond
and issuance of a warrant of arrest.

ISSUE: Whether or NOT there should be notice and hearing before the cancellation
of bail

HELD: YES. Petition is GRANTED IN PART. SET ASIDE for petitioner IMELDA GENER
RODRIGUEZ.

The grant of the bail, presupposes that the co-petitioner has already presented
evidence to
prove her right to be on bail, that she is no flight risk, and the trial court had already
exercised its sound discretion and had already determined that under the
Constitution and laws in force, co-petitioner is entitled to provisional release.

Under these premises, co-petitioner Imelda Gener Rodriguez has offered to go on


voluntary extradition; that she and her husband had posted a cash bond of P1
million each; that her husband had already gone on voluntary extradition and is
presently in the USA undergoing trial; that the passport of co-petitioner is already
in the possession of the authorities; that she never attempted to flee; that there is
an existing hold-departure order against her; and that she is now in her 60s, sickly
and under medical treatment, we believe that the benefits of continued temporary
liberty on bail should not be revoked and their grant of bail should not be cancelled,
without the co-petitioner being given notice and without her being heard why her
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temporary liberty should not be discontinued. Absent prior notice and hearing, the
bails cancellation was in violation of her right to due process.

We emphasize that bail may be granted to a possible extraditee only upon a clear
and
convincing showing that:
1) he will not be a flight risk or a danger to the community; and
2) there exist special, humanitarian and compelling circumstances

ARNOLD ALVA, Petitioner, vs.HON. COURT OF APPEALS, Respondent. (G.R. No.


157331, April 12, 2006)

Facts:

The present petition stemmed from an Information charging petitioner with having
committed the crime of estafa. It was alleged therein that Arnold Alva, by means of
false manifestation and fraudulent representation which he made to Yumi Veranga
y Hervera to the effect that he could process the latters application for U.S. Visa
provided she would give the amount of P120,000.00. He succeeded in inducing her
to give and deliver the amount of P120,000.00 on the strength of said manifestation
and representation, well knowing that the same were false and untrue for the
reason that the U.S. Visa is not genuine and were made solely to obtain the amount
of P120,000.00.

On 5 September 1995, the RTC issued a Recall Order of the Warrant of Arrest against
petitioner in view of the approval of his bail bond. Upon arraignment, petitioner
pleaded not guilty to the crime charged. After the trial on the merits, the RTC
considered the case submitted for decision. On 4 May 1999, petitioners counsel
filed an Urgent Motion to Cancel Promulgation praying for the resetting of the 5 May
1999 schedule of promulgation of the RTCs decision to 17 June 1999 in view of the
fact that said counsel already had a prior commitment on subject date. The RTC
granted the motion. The promulgation, however, was deferred only until 19 May
1999. On 18 May 1999, petitioners counsel again moved for the deferment of the
promulgation, due to prior "undertakings of similar importance." On 19 May 1999,
petitioner and counsel both failed to appear in court despite due notice. In his stead,
claiming to be petitioners representative, a certain Joey Perez personally delivered
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to the RTC a hand written medical certificate expressing petitioners inability to
attend the days hearing due to hypertension. In response to the aforestated acts
of petitioner and counsel, the RTC issued an Order directing the promulgation of its
decision in absentia and the issuance of a bench warrant of arrest against petitioner
for his failure to appear before it despite due notice. In its decision dated 25 March
1999, the RTC found petitioner guilty of the crime of estafa.

Meanwhile, as appearing in the records of the RTC, a document entitled Personal


Bail Bond dated 21 May 1999 issued by Mega Pacific Insurance Corporation, seemed
to have been filed before and approved by the RTC as evidenced by the signature of
Judge Muro on the face of said bail bond. For such reason, petitioner appeared to
have been admitted to bail anew after his conviction. Incompatible to the above
inference, however, in an Order dated 25 May 1999, judgment was rendered against
Eastern Insurance and Surety Corporation, the bonding company that issued
petitioners original bail bond, in the amount of P17,000.00, for failure to produce
the person of petitioner within the 10 day period earlier provided and to explain
why the amount of its undertaking should not be forfeited. Police Superintendent
Ramon Flores De Jesus, Chief of Warrant and Subpoena Section, manifested to the
RTC the return of the unexecuted Warrant of Arrest issued on 19 May 1999 for the
reason that the address of the accused is not within their area of responsibility.
Nevertheless, De Jesus reassured the RTC that the name of the accused will be
included in their list of wanted persons for our future reference. Examination of the
records of the case revealed that petitioner already moved out of his address on
record without informing the RTC.

On 26 July 1999, petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration before the RTC, which
was denied for lack of merit. On appeal before the Court of Appeals, the appellate
court required petitioner to show cause why his appeal should not be dismissed it
appearing that no new bail bond for his provisional liberty on appeal had been
posted. Petitioner filed a Compliance essentially stating therein that he immediately
posted a new bond for his provisional liberty and that the presiding judge of the
lower court, which issued the questioned decision, duly approved the new bond. A
certified true copy of the bond was submitted together with the Compliance. The
Court of Appeals, nonetheless dismissed the appeal filed by petitioner for
"appellants failure to post a new bond for his provisional liberty on appeal despite
our directive, and in view of the fact that his personal bail bond posted in the lower
court had already expired." Undaunted, petitioner filed a Motion for
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Reconsideration thereto seeking its reversal. On 19 February 2003, the Court of
Appeals denied the MR stating that the appellant has failed to submit himself under
the jurisdiction of the court or under the custody of the law since his conviction in
1999 and that there was no valid bail bond in place when appellant took his appeal.
Hence, this petition.

Issues:
1. Whether or not the CA committed reversible error in dismissing the appeal in
view of petitioners alleged failure to post a valid bail bond to secure his
provisional liberty on appeal
2. Whether or not petitioner failed to submit himself to the jurisdiction of the
court or to the custody of the law despite the posting of the subject bail bond.

Held:

1. NO. The Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in dismissing petitioners


appeal. Within the meaning of the principles governing the prevailing criminal
procedure, petitioner impliedly withdrew his appeal by jumping bail and thereby
made the judgment of the RTC final and executory. Petitioners alleged failure to
post a bail bond on appeal is unimportant because under the circumstances, he is
disallowed by law to be admitted to bail on appeal. At the time petitioner filed his
notice of appeal and during the pendency of his appeal even until now he
remains at large, placing himself beyond the pale, and protection of the law.

Section 5 of Rule 114 provides that the RTC is given the discretion to admit to bail
an accused even after the latter has been convicted to suffer the penalty of
imprisonment for a term of more than 6 years but less than 20 years. However, the
same also provides for the cancellation of bail bonds already granted or the denial
of a bail bond application upon the concurrence of two points: 1) if the judgment of
the Regional Trial Court exceeds six (6) years but not more than twenty (20) years;
and 2) upon a showing by the prosecution, with notice to the accused, of the
presence of any of the five circumstances: (a) That the accused is a recidivist, quasi-
recidivist, or habitual delinquent, or has committed the crime aggravated by the
circumstances of reiteration; (b) That the accused is found to have previously
escaped from legal confinement, evaded sentence, or has violated the conditions of
his bail without valid justification; (c) That the accused committed the offense while
on probation, parole, or under conditional pardon; (d) That the circumstances of
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the accused or his case indicate the probability of flight if released on bail; or (e)
That there is undue risk that during the pendency of the appeal, the accused may
commit another crime.

In the case at bar, petitioner was convicted by the RTC to suffer the penalty of
imprisonment for an indeterminate term of nine (9) years and one (1) day as
minimum of prision mayor to seventeen (17) years as maximum of reclusion
temporal. Quite clearly, the approval of petitioners application for bail was
discretionary upon the RTC. Basic is the principle that that 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, to file a petition for bail for someone whose
freedom has yet to be curtailed. In the case at bar, the bench warrant issued by
the RTC on 19 May 1999 still remains unserved. Nothing in the records of the case,
neither in the RTC nor the Court of Appeals, demonstrates that petitioner was ever
arrested, or that he voluntarily surrendered or at the very least placed himself under
the custody of the law. All told, no bail should have been granted petitioner. It is
beyond dispute that the subject bail bond issued by Mega Pacific Insurance
Corporation was irregularly approved. Worth noting is the fact that nowhere in the
records of the case is it shown that petitioner applied for bail through a motion duly
filed for such purpose nor is there showing that the RTC issued an Order of Approval
or any other court process acknowledging such document. Be that as it may, even
granting for the sake of argument that it was indeed approved by Judge Muro, such
approval did not render the subject bail bond valid and binding for it has been
established that petitioner was not entitled to bail on appeal. That the prosecution
appears not to have been given the chance to object, as evidently required, to the
application or approval of the subject bail bond (with notice to the accused), fortifies
the declaration as to its invalidity. Nowhere in the original records of the RTC does
it even show that the prosecution was informed of petitioners application for bail,
much less the approval of such application. As when there is a concurrence of the
enumerated circumstances and the range of penalty imposed, the prosecution must
first be accorded an opportunity to object and present evidence, if necessary, with
notice to the accused. Approval of an application for bail on appeal, absent the
knowledge of the prosecution of such application or, at the very least, failing to
allow it to object, is not the product of sound judicial discretion but of impulse and
arbitrariness, not to mention violative of respondent Peoples right of procedural
due process.

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This is especially true in this case as a close scrutiny of the original records of the
case at bar reveals that petitioner violated the conditions of his bail without valid
justification his failure to appear before the RTC, despite due notice, on the day
of the promulgation of the latters judgment, absent any justifiable reason. His
absence was a clear contravention of the conditions of his bail bond to say the least.
While, indeed, a medical certificate was hand delivered and filed by a certain Joey
Perez, allegedly a representative of petitioner, stating therein the reason for the
latters absence, the RTC found insubstantial the explanation proffered.
Appropriately, it ordered the promulgation of its judgment in absentia. It also issued
a bench warrant of arrest against petitioner. Upon examination, the subject medical
certificate merely states that petitioner was diagnosed to be suffering from
hypertension. It failed to elucidate further any concomitant conditions necessitating
petitioners physical incapability to present himself before the court even for an
hour or two; thus, it considered the absence of petitioner unjustified. Further, it
should be recalled as well, that as early as 4 May 1999, petitioner and counsel had
already been notified of the 19 May 1999 schedule of promulgation. The first having
been postponed in view of the Urgent Motion to Cancel Promulgation (on 5 May
1999) filed by petitioners counsel. Another telling evidence of the violation of
petitioners original bail bond is when he failed to inform the RTC of his change of
address. By failing to inform the RTC of his change of address, petitioner failed to
hold himself amenable to the orders and processes of the RTC. It was an
unmistakable complete breach of the conditions of his bail bond.

Following from the above discussion, the conviction of petitioner to a period


beyond six (6) years but less than twenty (20) years in tandem with attendant
circumstances effectively violating his bail without valid justification should have
effectively precluded him from being admitted to bail on appeal. The issue of the
validity of petitioners bail bond on appeal having been laid to rest by Section 5 of
Rule 114 of the 1994 Rules of Court, as amended, petitioners alleged failure to
post a bail bond on appeal is, therefore, unimportant as, under the circumstances,
he is disallowed by law to be admitted to bail on appeal. Thus, for all legal intents
and purposes, there can be no other conclusion than that at the time petitioner
filed his notice of appeal and during the pendency of his appeal even until now
he remains at large, placing himself beyond the pale, and protection of the law.

Inexorably, having jumped bail and eluded arrest until the present, the issue of
whether or not petitioner has lost his right to appeal his conviction now ensues. The
17 | P a g e
Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in dismissing petitioners appeal.
Within the meaning of the principles governing the prevailing criminal procedure,
petitioner impliedly withdrew his appeal by jumping bail and thereby made the
judgment of the RTC final and executory. By putting himself beyond the reach and
application of the legal processes of the land, petitioner revealed his contempt of
the law and placed himself in a position to speculate at his pleasure his chances for
a reversal. By jumping bail, petitioner has waived his right to appeal.

2. For the resolution of the second issue, it should have been sufficient to state
that for reasons stated in the foregoing discussion, the question posed has now
become academic. However, to diminish the confusion brought about by ostensibly
equating the term "jurisdiction of the court (over the person of the accused)" with
that of "custody of the law", it is fundamental to differentiate the two. Custody of
the law is accomplished either by arrest or voluntary surrender; while jurisdiction
over the person of the accused is acquired upon his arrest or voluntary appearance.
One can be under the custody of the law but not yet subject to the jurisdiction of
the court over his person, such as when a person arrested by virtue of a warrant
files a motion before arraignment to quash the warrant. On the other hand, one can
be subject to the jurisdiction of the court over his person, and yet not be in the
custody of the law, such as when an accused escapes custody after his trial has
commenced. Moreover, jurisdiction, once acquired, is not lost at the instance of
parties, as when an accused escapes from the custody of the law, but continues until
the case is terminated. Evidently, petitioner is correct in that there is no doubt that
the RTC already acquired jurisdiction over the person of the accused petitioner
when he appeared at the arraignment and pleaded not guilty to the crime charged
notwithstanding the fact that he jumped bail and is now considered a fugitive. As
to whether or not petitioner has placed himself under the custody of the CA, we
cannot say the same for "being in the custody of the law signifies restraint on the
person, who is thereby deprived of his own will and liberty, binding him to become
obedient to the will of the law. Custody of the law is literally custody over the body
of the accused. It includes, but is not limited to, detention." In the case at bar,
petitioner, being a fugitive, until and unless he submits himself to the custody of the
law, in the manner of being under the jurisdiction of the courts, he cannot be
granted any relief by the CA.

18 | P a g e
CYRIL CALPITO QUI vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 196161
September 26, 2012

Facts: Petitioner was charged with two counts of violation of Section 10(a), Article
VI of Republic Act No. (RA) 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Child
Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.
The RTC in Quezon City convicted petitioner as charged, and sentenced her to two
equal periods of imprisonment for an indeterminate penalty of 5 years, 4 months,
and 21 days of prision correccional in its maximum period, as minimum, to 7 years,
4 months, and 1 day of prision mayor in its minimum period, as maximum.
Petitioner then appealed and subsequently filed an Urgent Petition/Application for
Bail Pending Appeal. The OSG urged for the denial of the bail application on the
ground of petitioners propensity to evade the law and that she is a flight-risk. The
CA denied petitioners application for bail pending appeal on the basis of Sec. 5(d)
of Rule 114, Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Hence, this Petition for Review on
Certiorari.

Issue: Is the accused entitled to the right to bail?


Ruling: No. Sec. 5 of Rule 114, Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure 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. Xxx

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
(d) That the circumstances of his case indicate the probability of flight if released on
bail;
xxx
Petitioner disobeyed court processes when she lied in order to justify her non-
appearance on the March 8, 2010 hearing before the RTC. She gave the excuse that
her father was hospitalized and died days later when in fact her father died a year
ago. The RTC notice sent to petitioners bonding company was also returned with
the notation "moved out," while the notice sent to petitioners given address was
19 | P a g e
returned unclaimed with the notation "RTS no such person. The fact of transferring
residences without informing her bondsman and the trial court can only be viewed
as petitioners inclination to evade court appearance, as indicative of flight.
Consequently, the Court agrees with the appellate courts finding of the presence
of the fourth circumstance enumerated in the above-quoted Sec. 5 of Rule 114,
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Also, petitioners argument that she has the
constitutional right to bail and that the evidence of guilt against her is not strong is
spurious. Certainly, after one is convicted by the trial court, the presumption of
innocence, and with it, the constitutional right to bail, ends. Therefore, petitioner's
application for bail pending appeal is denied.

JOSE ANTONIO LEVISTE vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF


THE PHILIPPINES, G.R. No. 189122 March 17, 2010
CORONA, J.:

Facts: Charged with the murder of Rafael de las Alas, petitioner Jose Antonio Leviste
was convicted by the Regional Trial Court of Makati City for the lesser crime of
homicide and sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of six years and one day
of prision mayor as minimum to 12 years and one day of reclusion temporal as
maximum.

Pending appeal, he filed an urgent application for admission to bail pending appeal
on the grounds of his advanced age and health condition, and claiming the absence
of any risk or possibility of flight on his part. The Court of Appeals denied his
application for bail and found that petitioner failed to show that he suffers from
ailment of such gravity that his continued confinement during trial will permanently
impair his health or put his life in danger and the physical condition of petitioner
does not prevent him from seeking medical attention while confined in prison,
though he clearly preferred to be attended by his personal physician. The Court of
Appeals also considered the fact of petitioners conviction and that there was no
reason substantial enough to overturn the evidence of petitioners guilt. Petitioners
motion for reconsideration was denied. Petitioner now questions as grave abuse of
discretion the denial of his application for bail, considering that none of the
conditions justifying denial of bail under the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114
of the Rules of Court was present. Petitioners theory is that, where the penalty
imposed by the trial court is more than six years but not more than 20 years and the

20 | P a g e
circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Section 5 are absent, bail must
be granted to an appellant pending appeal.

Issue: Whether in an application for bail pending appeal by an appellant sentenced


by the trial court to a penalty of imprisonment for more than six years, does the
discretionary nature of the grant of bail pending appeal mean that bail should
automatically be granted absent any of the circumstances mentioned in the third
paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court.

Ruling: Bail is either a matter of right or of discretion. It is a matter of right when the
offense charged is not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life
imprisonment. On the other hand, upon conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an
offense not punishable death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, bail
becomes a matter of discretion.

Similarly, if the court imposed a penalty of imprisonment exceeding six (6) years
then bail is a matter of discretion, except when any of the enumerated
circumstances under paragraph 3 of Section 5, Rule 114 is present then bail shall be
denied.

After conviction by the trial court, the presumption of innocence terminates and,
accordingly, the constitutional right to bail ends. 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.

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.
21 | P a g e
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
circumstances in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114 is present; this will
establish whether or not the appellate court will exercise sound discretion or
stringent discretion in resolving the application for bail pending appeal and (2) the
exercise of discretion stage where, assuming the appellants case falls within the
first scenario allowing the exercise of sound discretion, the appellate court may
consider all relevant circumstances, other than those mentioned in the third
paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114, including the demands of equity and justice; on
the basis thereof, it may either allow or disallow bail.

On the other hand, if the appellants case falls within the second scenario, the
appellate courts stringent discretion requires that the exercise thereof be primarily
focused on the determination of the proof of the presence of any of the
circumstances that are prejudicial to the allowance of bail. This is so because the
existence of any of those circumstances is by itself sufficient to deny or revoke bail.
Nonetheless, a finding that none of the said circumstances is present will not
automatically result in the grant of bail. Such finding will simply authorize the court
to use the less stringent sound discretion approach.

Jorda vs Judge Bitas


A.M. RTJ-14-236 and 14-237
March 5, 2014

Facts: The complaint stemmed from 3 criminal cases for Qualified Trafficking (RA
9208) and Violation of Article VI, Section 10 of RA 7610, which were filed against
Miralles, et al. before the RTC Tacloban City where respondent Judge Bitas presides.
Respondent judge issued an Order which states that the Court finds that there is
probable cause to hold the accused for trial for Violation of 4 (a & e) of R.A. 9208.
Complainant lamented that respondent judge disregarded his duties and violated
mandatory provisions of the Rules of Court when he did not issue a warrant of arrest
against the accused Miralles, who was charged with non-bailable criminal offenses.
Moreover, respondent judge granted a reduced bail of P40,000.00 for accused
22 | P a g e
Miralles in the absence of a motion to fix bail, and the prosecution was not given
the opportunity to interpose its objections.
Respondent judge reasoned that it was wrong to arrest Miralles, because the court
was still in the process of determining whether there is sufficient evidence to hold
the accused for trial. Respondent judge also claimed that there was no more need
for a petition for bail, because in the judicial determination of probable cause the
court found that the evidence against accused was weak.
Issue: Is bail hearing required if the accused-applicant is charged with Qualified
Trafficking?
Ruling: Yes. The hearing of the application for bail in capital offenses is absolutely
indispensable before a judge can properly determine whether the prosecutions
evidence is weak or strong. In the instant case, Miralles was charged with Qualified
Trafficking, which under Section 10 (C) of R.A. No. 9208 is punishable by life
imprisonment and a fine of not less than Two Million Pesos (P2,000,000.00) but not
more than Five Million Pesos (P5,000,000.00). Thus, by reason of the penalty
prescribed by law, the grant of bail is a matter of discretion which can be exercised
only by respondent judge after the evidence is submitted in a hearing.
With life imprisonment as one of the penalties prescribed for the offense charged
against Miralles, he cannot be admitted to bail when evidence of guilt is strong, in
accordance with Section 7, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Clearly, respondent judge's act of fixing the accused's bail and reducing the same
motu proprio is not mere deficiency in prudence, discretion and judgment, but a
patent disregard of well-known rules.

Pantillo vs. Canoy Feb.9,2011

Sec. 17, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure allows that any
person in custody who is not yet charged in court may apply for bail with any court
in the province, city or municipality where he is held.

Facts:

Pantillo is the brother of the homicide victim in a pending criminal case under the
sala of Judge Canoy. When Pantillo attended the criminal cases inquest
proceedings, he was informed that the accused, Ronald Perocho was released
from detention. Pantillo proceeded to the City Police station and was informed that
Perocho posted bail and was released based on a verbal order of Judge Canoy.
23 | P a g e
The latter ordered the Clerk of Court to accept as deposit the amount of bail and
to earmark its official receipt. Consequently, Pantillo went to the Office of the Clerk
of Court to request for the copy of the information which served as basis for the
approval of bail but was informed that no information has yet been filed in court.
Hence, Pantillo filed a letter-complaint with the Office of the Court Administrator
against Judge Canoy for gross ignorance of the law, grave abuse of authority and
appearance of impropriety. In his defense, Judge Canoy invoked the constitutional
right of the accused to bail and Section 17(c), Rule 114 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure, which does not require that a person be charged in court
before he or she may apply for bail. To his mind, there was already a constructive
bail given that only the papers were needed to formalize it. It would be
unreasonable and unjustifiable to further delay the release of the accused.

The Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez issued his evaluation and
recommendation on the case. In his evaluation, the Court Administrator found that
respondent judge failed to comply with the documents required by the rules to
discharge an accused on bail. Hence, this petition was filed.
Issue:
May a judge verbally grant bail (constructive bail) to the accused who is not yet
charged and did not file an application or petition for its grant?

Held:
No. Sec. 17, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure allows that any
person in custody who is not yet charged in court may apply for bail with any court
in the province, city or municipality where he is held. In the case at bar, Melgazo did
not file any application or petition for the grant of bail with the Surigao City RTC,
Branch 29. Despite the absence of any written application, respondent judge
verbally granted bail to Melgazo. This is a clear deviation from the procedure laid
down in Sec. 17 of Rule 114.

Also, Melgazo or any person acting in his behalf did not deposit the amount of bail
recommended by Prosecutor Gonzaga with the nearest collector of internal revenue
or provincial, city or municipal treasurer. In clear departure from Sec. 14 of Rule 114,
Judge Canoy instead verbally ordered Clerk IV Suriaga of the Surigao City RTC, Office
of the Clerk of Court, to accept the cash deposit as bail, to earmark an official receipt
for the cash deposit, and to date it the following day. Worse, respondent judge did
not require Melgazo to sign a written undertaking containing the conditions of the
24 | P a g e
bail under Sec. 2, Rule 114 to be complied with by Melgazo. Immediately upon
receipt by Suriaga of the cash deposit of PhP 30,000 from Melgazo, Judge Canoy
ordered the police escorts to release Melgazo without any written order of release.
In sum, there was no written application for bail, no certificate of deposit from the
BIR collector or provincial, city or municipal treasurer, no written undertaking
signed by Melgazo, and no written release order.

As regards the insistence of Judge Canoy that such may be considered as


constructive bail, there is no such species of bail under the Rules. Despite the
noblest of reasons, the Rules of Court may not be ignored at will and at random to
the prejudice of the rights of another.

Procedural rules have their own wholesome rationale in the orderly administration
of justice. Justice has to be administered according to the Rules in order to obviate
arbitrariness, caprice, or whimsicality. In other words, [r]ules of procedure are
intended to ensure the orderly administration of justice and the protection of
substantive rights in judicial and extrajudicial proceedings. In this case, the reason
of Judge Canoy is hardly persuasive enough to disregard the Rules. (Pantillo III vs.
Judge Canoy, A.M. No. RTJ-11-2262, February 9, 2011,)

People vs. Cabral


G.R. No. 131909 18 February 1999

Facts:
1. Accused Odiamar was charged with rape upon the complaint of Cecille Buenafe.
In a bid to secure a temporary liberty, accused-respondent filed a motion praying
that he be released on bail which the petitioner opposed by presenting real,
documentary and testimonial evidence. The lower court however, granted the
motion to bail on the ground that the evidence is not strong.
2. Believing that the accused- respondent was not entitled to bail as the evidence
against him was strong, the prosecution filed two motions which the lowered
court disposed of.
3. On appeal before the CA, the CA denied the petition.

Issue: Whether the CA acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction in the issuing the assailed decision and resolution despite a
25 | P a g e
showing by the prosecution that there is strong evidence proving respondents
guilt for the crime charged.

Ruling:
1. Yes,
2. The grant or denial of an application for bail is dependent on whether the
evidence of guilt is strong which the lower court should determine in a hearing
called for the purpose.
3. In this case, accused- respondent was being charged with rape qualified by the
use of deadly weapon punishable by reclusion perpetua to death.
4. As such, bail is discretionary and not a matter of right.
5. The grant or denial of an application for bail is, therefore dependent on whether
the evidence of guilt is strong which the lower court should determine in a
hearing called for the purpose.
6. The determination of whether the evidence of guilt is strong , in this regard, is a
matter of judicial discretion.
7. While the lower court would never be deprived of its mandated prerogative to
exercise judicial discretion, this court would unhesitatingly reverse the trial
courts findings if found to be laced with grave abuse of discretion.
8. Wherefore petition is granted.

Duties of judge in case an application for bail is filed:


1. Notify the prosecutor of the hearing of the application for bail or require him to
submit his recommendation;
2. Conduct a hearing of the application for bail regardless of whether or not the
prosecution refuses to present evidence to show that the guilt of the accused is
strong for the purpose of enabling the court to exercise its discretion.
3. Decide whether the evidence of guilt of the accused is strong based on the
summary of evidence of the prosecution;
4. If the guilt of the accused is not strong, discharge the accused upon the approval
of the bailbond. Otherwise, petition should be denied.

The courts order granting or refusing bail must contain a summaryof the evidence
for the prosecution[Peoplev.Judge Cabral, G.R. No. 131909,February 18, 1999].The
assessment of the evidence presented during a bailhearing is intended only for the
purpose of granting or denying an application forthe provisional release of the
26 | P a g e
accused. Not being a final assessment, courts tendto be liberal in their appreciation
of evidence. But it is not an uncommonoccurrence than an accused person granted
bail is convicted in due course[People v. Palarca, G.R. No. 146020 May 292002],

ESTEBAN, vs.
HON. REYNALDO A. ALHAMBRA

In this present petition for certiorari,1 Anita Esteban seeks to annul the Orders dated
July 9, 1998 and August 20, 1998 issued by Judge Reynaldo A. Alhambra, presiding
judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 39, San Jose City, in Criminal Cases Nos.
SJC-88(95), SJC-27(97), SJC-30(97) and SJC-31(97). The Orders denied petitioners
application for cancellation of the cash bail posted in each case.
Gerardo Esteban is the accused in these criminal cases. His sister-in-law, Anita
Esteban, petitioner herein, posted cash bail of P20,000.00 in each case for his
temporary liberty.
While out on bail and during the pendency of the four criminal cases, Gerardo was
again charged with another crime for which he was arrested and detained.
"Fed up with Gerardos actuation," petitioner refused to post another bail.2 Instead,
on June 18, 1998, she filed with the trial court an application for the cancellation of
the cash bonds she posted in the four criminal cases.3She alleged therein that she is
"terminating the cash bail by surrendering the accused who is now in jail as certified
to by the City Jail Warden."4
In an Order dated July 9, 1998,5 respondent judge denied petitioners application,
thus:
xxx
"In these cases, accused was allowed enjoyment of his provisional liberty after
money was deposited with the Clerk of Court as cash bail. Applicant-movant (now
petitioner) did not voluntarily surrender the accused. Instead, the accused was
subsequently charged with another crime for which he was arrested and detained.
His arrest and detention for another criminal case does not affect the character of
the cash bail posted by applicant-movant in Criminal Cases Nos. SJC-88(95), SLC-
27(97), SJC-30(97) and SJC-31(97) as deposited pending the trial of these cases.
Money deposited as bail even though made by a third person is considered as the
accuseds deposit where there is no relationship of principal and surety (State vs.
Wilson, 65 Ohio L-Abs, 422, 115 NE 2d 193). Hence, the money so deposited takes
the nature of property in custodia legis and is to be applied for payment of fine and

27 | P a g e
costs. And such application will be made regardless of the fact that the money was
deposited by a third person.
"WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the application for cancellation of bail bonds
is hereby DENIED.
"SO ORDERED."
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration6 but was denied in an Order dated
August 20, 1998.7
Hence, the instant petition assailing the twin Orders as having been issued with
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
Petitioner states that she is constrained to bring this matter directly to this Court as
the issue is one of first impression.8
Petitioner submits that by surrendering the accused who is now in jail, her
application for cancellation of bail in the four criminal cases is allowed under Section
19, now Section 22, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, as
amended, which provides:
"Sec. 22. Cancellation of bail. Upon application of the bondsmen, with due notice
to the prosecutor, the bail may be cancelled upon surrender of the accused or proof
of his death.
The bail shall be deemed automatically cancelled upon acquittal of the accused,
dismissal of the case, or execution of the judgment of conviction.
In all instances, the cancellation shall be without prejudice to any liability on the
bail." (Underscoring supplied)
Petitioners submission is misplaced.
The first paragraph of Section 22 contemplates of a situation where, among others,
the surety or bondsman surrenders the accused to the court that ordered the
latters arrest. Thereafter, the court, upon application by the surety or bondsman,
cancels the bail bond.
We hold that the cash bail cannot be cancelled. Petitioner did not surrender the
accused, charged in the four criminal cases, to the trial court. The accused was
arrested and detained because he was charged in a subsequent criminal case.
Moreover, the bail bond posted for the accused was in the form of cash deposit
which, as mandated by Section 14 (formerly Section 11) of the same Rule 114, shall
be applied to the payment of fine and costs, and the excess, if any, shall be returned
to the accused or to any person who made the deposit. Section 14 provides:
"Section 14. Deposit of cash as bail. The accused or any person acting in his behalf
may deposit in cash with the nearest collector of internal revenue or provincial, city
or municipal treasurer the amount of bail fixed by the court, or recommended by
28 | P a g e
the prosecutor who investigated or filed the case. Upon submission of a proper
certificate of deposit and a written undertaking showing compliance with the
requirements of Section 2 of this Rule, the accused shall be discharged from
custody. The money deposited shall be considered as bail and applied to the
payment of fine and costs, while the excess, if any, shall be returned to the accused
or to whoever made the deposit." (Underscoring supplied)
The Rule thus treats a cash bail differently from other bail bonds. A cash bond may
be posted either by the accused or by any person in his behalf. However, as far as
the State is concerned, the money deposited is regarded as the money of the
accused. Consequently, it can be applied in payment of any fine and costs that may
be imposed by the court. This was the ruling of this Court as early as 1928 in Esler
vs. Ledesma.9 Therein we declared that "when a cash bail is allowed, the two parties
to the transaction are the State and the defendant. Unlike other bail bonds, the
money may then be used in the payment of that in which the State is concerned
the fine and costs. The right of the government is in the nature of a lien on the
money deposited." We further held in the same case that:
"x x x. Similar cases have frequently gained the attention of the courts in the United
States in jurisdictions where statutes permit a deposit of money to be made in lieu
of bail in criminal cases. The decisions are unanimous in holding that a fine imposed
on the accused may be satisfied from the cash deposit; and this is true although the
money has been furnished by a third person. This is so because the law
contemplates that the deposit shall be made by the defendant. The money, x x x,
must accordingly be treated as the property of the accused. As a result, the money
could be applied in payment of any fine imposed and of the costs (People vs. Laidlaw
[1886], Ct. of App. Of New York, 7 N. E., 910, a case frequently cited approvingly in
other jurisdictions; State of Iowa vs. Owens [1900], 112 Iowa, 403; Mundell vs.
Wells, supra.). But while as between the State and the accused the money deposited
by a third person for the release of the accused is regarded as the money of the
accused, it is not so regarded for any other purpose. As between the accused and a
third person, the residue of the cash bail is not subject to the claim of a creditor of
property obtain (Wright & Taylor vs. Dougherty [1908], 138 Iowa, 195; People vs.
Gould [1902], 78 N. Y. Sup., 279; Mundell vs. Wells, supra.)."10
In fine, we fail to discern any taint of grave abuse of discretion on the part of
respondent judge in denying petitioners application for cancellation of the
accuseds cash bail.

WHEREFORE, the present petition is DISMISSED.


29 | P a g e
LOURDES R. LIGAD, complainant, vs. JUDGE TEODORO L. DIPOLOG, respondent.
RESOLUTION
KAPUNAN, J.:
In her letter, dated July 17, 1997, addressed to then Chief Justice Andres R. Narvasa,
Lourdes R. Ligad (complainant) charged respondent Judge Teodoro Dipolog,
Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Plaridel, Misamis Occidental, with grave abuse of
authority for his refusal to release on recognizance complainants grandson, Joey
Sailan, a minor.[1]
Sailan is the defendant in Criminal Case No. 284-96. He was charged with violating
Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1602 (Prescribing Stiffer Penalties on Illegal
Gambling). He was allegedly caught bringing jai-alai (locally known as masiao) tips
and tally sheets. On June 5, 1997, Atty. Mita Martinez of the Public Attorneys Office
(PAO) filed a motion for release on recognizance of Sailan, who was then only
thirteen (13) years old, to the custody of his maternal grandmother, complainant
herein. Acting on the motion, respondent judge issued an Order, dated June 6, 1997,
denying the same. He cited the second paragraph of Section 13 of Rule 114 of the
1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure,[2]the law then in effect, which stated:
Section 13. Bail, when not required; reduced bail or recognizance
xxx
A person in custody for a period equal to or more than the minimum of the principal
penalty prescribed for the offense charged, without application of the
Indeterminate Sentence Law or any modifying circumstance, shall be released on a
reduced bail or on his own recognizance, at the discretion of the court.
In denying his release on recognizance, respondent judge reasoned that Sailan had
not yet been in custody for a period equal to or more than the minimum of the
principal penalty prescribed for the offense charged.[3]
On June 16, 1997, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, through
Vivian Sanchez, Social Welfare Officer II, filed a manifestation with the said lower
court recommending that Sailan be released on recognizance to his maternal
grandmother in accordance with the provisions of P.D. No. 603 (The Child and Youth
Welfare Code). The DSWD particularly cited Article 191 thereof providing that upon
recommendation of the DSWD, the court may release a youthful offender on
recognizance, to the custody of his parents or other suitable person who shall be
responsible for his appearance whenever required.[4] According to the complainant,
30 | P a g e
when she followed this up with respondent judge, the latter arrogantly told her that
he is the law and everything is at his discretion.[5]
In compliance with the 1st Indorsement, dated August 22, 1997, of then Court
Administrator Alfredo L. Benipayo, respondent judge submitted his Comment,
dated October 10, 1997, on the letter-complaint. He denied the allegations therein
explaining thus:
[O]n October 11, 1996, [he] issued a Warrant of Arrest for the immediate arrest of
accused JOEY SAILAN. However, accused JOEY SAILAN was not arrested for being at
large and the Warrant of Arrest was returned unserved; On May 30, 1997, [he]
issued an Order sending the records of this case to the file of the archived cases,
and issued Alias Warrant of Arrest; On June 4, 1997, accused JOEY SAILAN was
arrested; On June 5, 1997, accused JOEY SAILAN through counsel ATTY. MITA Q.
MARTINEZ, from the Public Attorneys Office (PAO) filed a motion for release on
Recognizance; On June 6, 1997, [respondent judge] citing Second Paragraph Section
13, Rule 114 of our 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure denied said motion for release
on Recognizance; that counsel for the accused inspite of having received a copy of
said Order of Denial did not file any motion for reconsideration; On June 16, 1997,
another motion for release on recognizance was filed by VIVIAN G. SANCHEZ a Social
Welfare Officer II; that because of the standing Order of Denial of this Court dated
June 6, 1997 denying the first motion filed by PAO lawyer ATTY. MITA Q. MARTINEZ
has not been reconsidered because said lawyer did not ask for reconsideration , the
second motion filed by VIVIAN G. SANCHEZ was denied by this Court in its Order
dated June 17, 1997 and this second movant VIVIAN G. SANCHEZ inspite of having
received the Order of Denial of this Court did not asked [sic] for a reconsideration.[6]
Respondent judge particularly denied the charge of abuse of authority stating that
the denial of the release on recognizance of Joey Sailan was predicated on the
second paragraph of Section 13, Rule 114 of the 1985 of Rules on Criminal
Procedure. Moreover, the movants therein allegedly did not ask for reconsideration
of the assailed orders. He likewise denied having uttered that I am the law and
everything is at my discretion. According to respondent judge, he merely advised
the complainant to instruct her lawyers to file a motion for reconsideration. [7]
In his Memorandum, dated September 9, 1999, the Court Administrator made the
following evaluation:
Respondent Judge explains that accused could not be released on recognizance
because he had just been arrested and that he had not yet been in custody for a
period equal to or more than the minimum of the principal penalty prescribed for

31 | P a g e
the offense charged, as provided for in Section 13 of Rule 114 of the 1985 Rules on
Criminal Procedure.
Respondent Judges explanation is but proof of his ignorance of the law. Section 15,
Rule 114 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended by Administrative
Circular No. 12-94, effective October 1, 1994, provides that:
Whenever allowed pursuant to law or these Rules, the Court may release a person
in custody on his own recognizance or that of a responsible person.
And being a youthful offender, he being but thirteen years of age at the time of
arrest, under Article 191, P.D. 603 (The Child and Youth Welfare Code), he may be
committed to the care of the Department of Social Welfare or the local
rehabilitation center or a detention house.
A youthful offender held for physical or mental examination or trial or pending
appeal, if unable to furnish bail, shall from the time of his arrest be committed to
the care of the Department of Social Welfare or the local rehabilitation center or a
detention home in the province or city which shall be responsible for his appearance
in court whenever required; Provided, That in the absence of any such center or
agency within a reasonable distance from the venue of the trial, the provincial, city
and municipal jail shall provide quarters for youthful offenders separate from other
detainees. The court may, in its discretion, upon recommendation of the
Department of Social Welfare or other agency or agencies authorized by the Court,
release a youthful offender on recognizance, to the custody of his parents or other
suitable person who shall be responsible for his appearance whenever required.
Respondent Judge should have taken into consideration that as a minor the accused
should not have been mingled with other detainees. His continued exposure to the
harsh conditions prevailing in a prison would eventually affect his rehabilitation. [8]
The Court Administrator then recommended that a fine of two thousand pesos
(P2,000.00) be imposed on respondent judge with the warning that a repetition of
the same or similar acts in the future would be dealt with more severely.[9]
Upon the instance of the Court, complainant and respondent judge respectively
manifested that they were submitting the case for resolution on the basis of the
pleadings already filed.
The findings and recommendation of the Court Administrator are well taken
The Court shares his view that respondent judge betrayed his ignorance of the law
when he denied the release of Sailan to the custody of complainant. Respondent
judge erroneously applied the second paragraph of Section 13 of Rule 114 of the
1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure. Had he been more circumspect in ascertaining
the applicable laws, respondent judge would have known that Article 191 of P.D.
32 | P a g e
No. 603 properly applies in this case since Sailan was a minor. Said provision of law
reads in full as follows:
Art. 191. Case of Youthful Offender Held for Examination or Trial - A youthful
offender held for physical or mental examination or trial or pending appeal, if unable
to furnish bail, shall from the time of his arrest be committed to the care of the
Department of Social Welfare or the local rehabilitation center or a detention home
in the province or city which shall be responsible for his appearance in court
whenever required; Provided, That in the absence of any such center or agency
within a reasonable distance from the venue of the trial, the provincial, city and
municipal jail shall provide quarters for youthful offenders separate from other
detainees. The court may, in its discretion, upon recommendation of the
Department of Social Welfare and Development or other agency or agencies
authorized by the Court, release a youthful offender on recognizance, to the custody
of his parents or other suitable person who shall be responsible for his appearance
whenever required. However, in the case of those whose cases fall under the
exclusive jurisdiction of the Military Tribunals, they may be committed at any
military detention or rehabilitation center.
The foregoing provision sets forth the following guidelines in cases where a minor
is held or arrested:
1) Immediately upon arrest, the judge shall order that the minor be committed to
the care of the DSWD, local rehabilitation center or a detention home in the said
province or city. The said agency or center entity shall be responsible for the minors
appearance during trial;
2) In absence of such agency or center within a reasonable distance from the venue
of the trial, the provincial, city or municipal jail shall provide quarters for the minor
separate from the adult detainees;
3) Upon recommendation of the DSWD or any other authorized agency, the judge
may, in his discretion, release the minor on recognizance to his parents or other
suitable person who shall be responsible for his appearance when required; and
4) In those cases falling under the exclusive jurisdiction of the military tribunal, the
minor may be committed at any military detention or rehabilitation.
In this case, respondent judge, in clear violation of the above provision, did not order
Sailans commitment to the DSWD or any other rehabilitation center. Instead, as
found by the Court Administrator, respondent judge allowed Sailans continued
detention in the municipal jail consequently exposing him to the harsh conditions
therein.

33 | P a g e
Granting arguendo that there was no agency or center in the municipality where
Sailan may be committed, still, the continued detention of Sailan in the municipal
jail is not justified. Article 191 of P.D. No. 603, as amended, specifically authorizes
that, upon recommendation of the DSWD, a minor may be released on recognizance
to the custody of his parents or other suitable person. Notwithstanding the
recommendation of the DSWD in this case, respondent judge denied the motion for
the release on recognizance of Sailan by erroneously citing the second paragraph of
Section 13, Rule 114 of the 1985 of Rules on Criminal Procedure. As earlier stated,
said provision is not the applicable law in this case but Article 191 of P.D. No. 603,
Sailan being a minor. Section 12, Rule 114 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal
Procedure[10] in fact states that:
Whenever allowed pursuant to law or these Rules, the court may release a person
in custody on his own recognizance or that of a responsible person.
In fine, respondent judge had failed to live up to the norms embodied in the Code
of Judicial Conduct particularly that which enjoins judges to be faithful to the law
and maintain professional competence.[11] Indeed, respondent judge owes to the
public and to the legal profession to know the law he is supposed to apply to a given
controversy.[12]
WHEREFORE, respondent judge is hereby FINED Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000.00)
and STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar infractions will be
dealt with more severely.
SO ORDERED.

Adalim-White v. Bugtas
A.M. No. RTJ-02-1738, November 17, 2005| Austria-Martinez, J.:

FACTS
Judge Bugtas ordered the Release on Recognizance of Bagaporo, a convict of
frustrated murder before terminating service of the minimum penalty, and
pending the approval of the prisoner's application for parole.
Judge Bugtas admitted that he issued such order allowing Bagaporo to be

released upon recognizance of the Provincial Jail Warden Apelado.


Bugtas avers that Bagaporo was convicted by the trial court of the crime of

frustrated murder and meted the penalty of imprisonment ranging from four
years and two months to eight years and one day
Bagaporo served sentence and subsequently filed an application for release

on recognizance. In support of his application, Provincial Jail Warden Apelado


34 | P a g e
issued a certification to the effect that Bagaporo has been confined at the
Provincial Jail since February 9, 1996 and is already entitled to parole;
another certification was issued by Supervising Probation and Parole Officer
Columbretis showing that Bagaporo had applied for parole in line with the
Department of Justices Maagang Paglaya Program.
Atty. Adalim-White filed a letter-complaint against Judge Bugtas for
Ignorance of the law.
Bugtos contends that Bagaporo's application for bail upon recognizance of

Apelado was granted on the basis of the certifications and on the rule that
bail being discretionary upon conviction by the RTC of an offense not
punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment.
Bugtas files Motion to Dismiss
Bugtas requested that a formal investigation be conducted to enable him to

face his accuser. On the other hand, despite due notice, Adalim-White failed
to comply with the Resolution of this Court.
Bugtos filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of lack of evidence and that

Adalim-White is not interested in prosecuting her complaint.


The case was referred to Justice Bersamin of the CA for investigation

thereafter, the Investigating Justice set the case for hearing on various dates.
Bugtas again filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that Adalim-White
failed to appear during the hearings set by the Investigating Justice on March
30 and 31, 2005.
Investigating Justice issued a Resolution denying Bugtos' Motion to Dismiss

and resetting the hearing for the last time on May 31, 2005, with warning
that the case shall be deemed submitted for study, report and
recommendation should the parties fail to appear at the date set for hearing.
[CRIMPRO] Section 15 & 16, Rule 114 - Bail The Investigating Justice concluded
that Judge Bugtas was guilty of gross ignorance of the law and gross neglect
of duty for supposedly relying on the recognizance of Provincial Jail Warden
Apelado, Sr. on Bagaporo, Jr.s application for release, and on the other
documents submitted in support of the convict's application for release on
recognizance.
Bugtas contends that his act did not constitute a violation since bail was

discretionary upon conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an offense not


punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment.
The Investigating Justice does not accept Judge Bugtas good faith because

Judge Bugtas was apparently lacking in sincerity. He claims he was not


35 | P a g e
unaware that Bagaporo, Jr. was serving final sentence for which his
indeterminate penalty had a minimum of 4 years and 2 months.
When Judge Bugtas ordered the release, Bagaporo had not yet served even

the minimum of the indeterminate sentence, a fact that Judge Bugtas should
have known through a simple process of computation.
Even if he was informed of Bagaporo's pending application for parole, Judge

Bugtas had no legal basis to anticipate the approval of the application and to
cause the convicts premature release. He was thus fully aware that Bagaporo
could not be released even upon the recognizance of the Provincial Jail
Warden.
Judge Bugtas contends that his order of release on recognizance was correct
considering that the convict had already been in custody for a period equal
to the minimum imprisonment meted out by the trial court.
To support his contention, he cites Sec. 16, Rule 114, 2000 Rules of Criminal

Procedure, to wit:
Sec. 16. Bail, when not required; reduced bail or recognizance. No bail shall

be required when the law or these Rules so provide.


When a person has been in custody for a period equal to or more than the
possible maximum imprisonment prescribed for the offense charged, he shall
be released immediately, without prejudice to the continuation of the trial
or the proceedings on appeal. If the maximum penalty to which the accused
may be sentenced is destierro, he shall be released after thirty (30) days of
preventive imprisonment.
A person in custody for a period equal to or more than the minimum of the
principal penalty prescribed for the offense charged, without application of
the Indeterminate Sentence Law or any modifying circumstance, shall be
released on a reduced bail or on his own recognizance, at the discretion of
the court.
Investigating Justice recommended that Bugtos be fined in the amount of
P25,000.00.

ISSUE(S)
W/N Judge Bugtas, in exercising his discretionary powers, was correct in ordering
the release of Bagaporo on recognizance [NO]

36 | P a g e
RULING
At the time Bagaporo was granted bail on recognizance (February 16, 2000), he
had not yet served the minimum of his sentence
It must be noted that Bagaporo was sentenced to suffer the penalty of

imprisonment ranging from four years and two months to eight years and one
day.
It is not disputed that he began to serve sentence on February 9, 1996.

Counting four years and two months from said date the minimum period of
Bagaporos sentence should have been completed on April 9, 2000.
It is patently erroneous for Bugtos to release a convict on
recognizance.
Section 24, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court is plain and clear in prohibiting the

grant of bail after conviction by final judgment and after the convict has
started to serve sentence.
The only exception to the provision of the Rules of Court is when the convict
has applied for probation before he commences to serve sentence, provided
the penalty and the offense are within the purview of the Probation Law.
There is no showing that Bagaporo applied for probation.

In fact at the time of his application for release on recognizance, he was

already serving sentence. When he was about to complete service of the


minimum of his sentence, he filed an application for parole. However, there
is no evidence to show that the Board of Pardons and Parole approved his
application.
We agree with the Investigating Justice in holding that a convicts release from

prison before he serves the full term of his sentence is either due to good
conduct allowances, as provided under Act No. 1533 and Article 97 of the
Revised Penal Code, or through the approval of the convicts application for
parole.
A good conduct allowance under Act No. 1533 and Article 97 of the Revised

Penal Code may be granted by the Director of Prisons (now Director of the
Bureau of Corrections), while the approval of an application for parole is
sanctioned by the Board of Pardons and Parole.
A convict may be released from prison in cases where he is granted pardon

by the President pursuant to the latter's pardoning power under Section 19,
Article VII of the Constitution.
[CRIMPRO] Section 15 & 16, Rule 114 - Bail There is no basis for Bugtos in
allowing Bagaporo to be released on recognizance.
37 | P a g e
Aside from the fact that there is no evidence to prove that Bagaporos
application for parole was approved by the Board of Pardons and Parole,
there is neither any showing that he was extended good conduct allowances
by the Director of Prisons, nor was he granted pardon by the President.
Moreover, Bugtas should know that the provisions of Sections 5 and 16, Rule

114 of the Rules of Court apply only to an accused undergoing preventive


imprisonment during trial or on appeal. They do not apply to a person
convicted by final judgment and already serving sentence.
We have held time and again that a judge is called upon to exhibit more than
just a cursory acquaintance with statutes and procedural rules. It is
imperative that he be conversant with basic legal principles and be aware
of well-settled authoritative doctrines.
We find Bugtoss ignorance or utter disregard of the import of the provisions

of Sections 5, 16 and 24, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court as tantamount to gross
ignorance of the law and procedure.
As to the imposable penalty, Section 8(9), Rule 140 of the Rules of Court, as

amended, classifies gross ignorance of the law or procedure as a serious


charge. Under Section 11(A) of the same Rule, the imposable penalty, in case
the Judge is found culpable of a serious charge, ranges from a fine of not less
than P20,000.00 but not more than P40,000.00 to dismissal from the service.
This is not the first time that Bugtas was found guilty of gross ignorance of
the law and procedure. In Docena- Caspe vs. Bugtas, Bugtos was fined
P20,000.00 for having granted bail to an accused in a murder case without
conducting hearing for the purpose of determining whether the evidence of
guilt is strong. He was warned that a repetition of the same or similar act
shall be dealt with more severely. Hence, we deem it proper to impose the
penalty of P40,000.00.
WHEREFORE, Bugtos Judge Arnulfo O. Bugtas is found guilty of gross ignorance
of the law. He is ordered to pay a FINE in the amount of Forty Thousand Pesos
(P40,000.00) and is STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar
act shall be dealt with more severely.

38 | P a g e
AMADO L. DE LEON, vs. JUDGE PATROCINIO R. CORPUZ,

In a complaint[1] dated April 12, 2002, one Amado L. De Leon charged Judge
Patrocinio Corpuz of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 44, San Fernando City
(Pampanga), with grave abuse of authority.
The complaint alleges that on April 10, 2002, respondent judge approved the
application for bail of Noe dela Fuente, accused of fourteen (14) counts of swindling
(estafa) and fourteen (14) violations of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22[2] before the
Municipal Trial Court (MTC), Branch 2, Guagua, Pampanga, docketed as Criminal
Cases Nos. 18143 to 18170. At the time respondent approved the bail posted for
the accused, Judge Jesusa Mylene C. Suba-Isip, Presiding Judge of the MTC of
Guagua, Branch 2, where the cases were filed, was in her court the whole day.
Hence, she should have been the one to act on the accuseds application for bail, not
respondent judge.

On April 18, 2002, the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) referred the
complaint to Executive Judge Isagani M. Palad of the RTC of Guagua, Pampanga for
discreet investigation and report.

In his Report dated April 30, 2002, Executive Judge Palad stated:
That on April 10, 2002, the arrest of accused Noe dela Fuente was effected by SPO2
Enrico Nonato, Warrant Server, PNP Guagua Police Station. Certification is hereto
attached as Annex D;
That likewise on even date April 10, 2002, the accused filed his personal bail bonds,
provided by Summit Guaranty & Insurance Company, Inc., which were approved by
Judge Patrocinio R. Corpuz, RTC, Branch 44, City of San Fernando, Pampanga; on
said date Judge Jesusa Mylene C. Suba-Isip reported for duty and very much
available for the purpose of approving said question subject bail bond of the
accused. Copies of the Order, the Certification and Court Calendar are hereto
attached as Annexes E, F, G, H, & I, respectively.
x x x (Underscoring ours)
In his comment on the complaint, respondent denied the charge or any irregularity
in approving the 14 bailbonds of accused Noe dela Fuente. Respondent explained
that the accused, accompanied by SPO2 Nonato Enrico, appeared before him in his
court at about the close of office hours on April 10, 2002. They told him that there
were no more judges in the courts of Guagua and that he was the only judge present
in the courts of San Fernando City. The accused then presented his bail furnished by
39 | P a g e
the Summit Guaranty & Insurance Co., Inc. After finding that the bail is in order, he
(respondent) issued an Order approving the same.

Eventually, Deputy Court Administrator Jose P. Perez submitted his Report with the
following recommendation:
1. The instant complaint against Judge Patrocinio Corpuz, RTC, Branch 44, San
Fernando City, Pampanga be RE-DOCKETED as a regular administrative matter;
and
2. Judge Corpuz be FOUND GUILTY of Grave Abuse of Authority for fixing and
approving bail bonds in Criminal Case Nos. 18143 to 18170 despite the
presence of the judge before whom the said cases are pending, in clear abuse
of Section 17, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court and that he be FINED in the
amount of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) with a STERN WARNING that a
repetition of the same or similar offense in the future shall be dealt with more
severely.[3]
In our Resolution dated April 7, 2003, we required the parties to manifest,
within twenty (20) days from notice, whether they are submitting the case for
decision on the basis of the pleadings/records submitted.
Only respondent submitted the required manifestation. On April 18, 2004, he
retired compulsorily.

Sec. 17, Rule 114 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure provides:
SEC.17. Bail, where filed. (a) Bail in the amount fixed may be filed with the court
where the case is pending, or in the absence or unavailability of the judge thereof,
with any regional trial judge, metropolitan trial judge, municipal trial judge, or
municipal circuit trial judge in the province, city, or municipality, If the accused is
arrested in a province, city, or municipality other than where the case is pending,
bail may also be filed with any Regional Trial Court of said place, or if no judge
thereof is available, with any metropolitan trial judge, municipal trial judge, or
municipal circuit trial judge.

In Cruz v. Yaneza,[4] we held:


The foregoing provision anticipates two (2) situations. First, the accused is arrested
in the same province, city, or municipality where his case is pending. Second, the
accused is arrested in the province, city, or municipality other than where his case
is pending. In the first situation, the accused may file bail in the court where his case
is pending or, in the absence or unavailability of judge thereof, with another branch
40 | P a g e
of the same court within the province or city. In the second situation, the accused
has two (2) options. First, he may file bail in the court where his case is pending or
second, he may file bail with any regional trial court in the province, city, or
municipality where he was arrested. When no regional trial court judge is available,
he may file bail with any metropolitan trial judge, municipal trial judge, or municipal
circuit trial judge therein.

In the instant case, accused Noe dela Fuente was arrested by virtue of the warrants
of arrest[5] all dated April 9, 2002 issued by Judge Isip of the MTC of Guagua,
Pampanga, Branch 2, where the cases were then pending. The accused was arrested
in the same municipality. Following the above Rule and our ruling in Cruz, the
application for bail should have been filed with the MTC of Guagua, Branch 2.
Significantly, respondent does not dispute that Presiding Judge Isip was then
present the whole day. If she was absent or unavailable, then the accused should
have filed his application for bail with another branch of the same court within the
Province of Pampanga or San Fernando City.

Here, we cannot understand why respondent approved the accuseds application


without first determining whether MTC Judge Isip is absent or unavailable, and if so,
whether there are other MTC or MTCC Judges within the province of Pampanga or
San Fernando City. Considering his long service in the judiciary, he must have known
he has no authority to act on the accuseds application for bail.

In his Report, DCA Perez stated in his Evaluation that:


The undersigned believes that the issue here is whether on the basis of the
previous approval of bailbonds by Judge Patrocinio Corpuz, Section 17, Rule
114 of the Rules of Court was abused by the said judge.

After a careful evaluation of the record of this case, the undersigned is of the opinion
that there are good grounds to believe that the aforementioned section of the Rules
of Court was indeed abused by Judge Corpuz. Section 17, Rule 114 provides that:
SEC.17. Bail, where filed. (a) Bail in the amount fixed may be filed with the court
where the case is pending, or in the absence or unavailability of the judge thereof,
with any regional trial judge, metropolitan trial judge, municipal trial judge, or
municipal circuit trial judge in the province, city, or municipality.
xxx

41 | P a g e
Under the afore-cited section, it is very clear that Judge Corpuz can only act on
applications for bailbond in the absence or unavailability of the judge of the court
where the cases are pending. The latter is primarily responsible for
approving/disapproving such applications for bail due to the pendency of the said
cases in his/her court. Judge Corpuz can only act secondarily. Also, it must be shown
that the judge of the Court where the cases are pending is indeed absent or
unavailable before another judge can act on applications for bail lodged before
him. The undersigned believes that Judge Corpuz failed in this aspect. He should
have called first the presiding judge of MTC, Branch 2, Guagua, Pampanga (Judge
Jesusa Mylene C. Suba-Isip) and inquired whether the latter is absent or
unavailable before he acted on the application for bailbonds in Criminal Cases Nos.
18143 to 18170. As shown by the Report dated 30 April 2002 submitted by
Executive Judge Isagani M. Palad, RTC, Guagua, Pampanga, bailbonds for Criminal
Cases Nos. 18143 to 18170 (28 counts) entitled People of the Philippines vs. Noe
dela Fuente for Violation of B.P. 22, were indeed approved by Judge Corpuz
despite the fact that Judge Jesusa Mylene C. Suba-Isip, the judge who issued the
warrant of arrest, was very much available for the purpose of approving said
bailbond. (Underscoring ours)
We find respondents protestation of good faith and eagerness to uphold the
constitutional right of an accused to bail bereft of merit. Records show that he
likewise granted bail to all the accused in the following cases: (1) Criminal Case No.
00-33639, pending before the MTCC of Angeles City, Pampanga, Branch 1, on April
19, 2002; (2) Criminal Case No. 56084-89, MTCC of Pasig City, Branch 71, on April
23, 2002; (3) Criminal Case No. 12408, RTC of San Fernando City, Branch 42, on April
27, 2002; (4) Criminal Case No. 02-088-90, MCTC of Mabalacat-Magalang,
Pampanga, on May 2, 2002; (5) Criminal Cases Nos. 6067-68, MTC of Floridablanca,
Pampanga, on May 2, 2002; (6) Criminal Case No. 02-3108-9, RTC of Macabebe,
Pampanga, on May 3, 2002; (7) Criminal Case No. 12439, RTC of San Fernando City,
Branch 42, on May 10, 2002; (8) Criminal Case No, 12437, RTC of San Fernando City,
Branch 48, on May 10, 2002; (9) Criminal Case No. 02-186, RTC of Angeles City, on
May 10, 2002; (10) Criminal Case No. G-5823, RTC of Guagua, Pampanga, on May
13, 2002; and (11) Criminal Case No. 02-108, MCTC of Mabalacat-Magalang,
Pampanga, on May 21, 2002. The bailbonds in these cases were furnished by the
First Quezon City Insurance Co., Inc. and Summit Guaranty & Insurance Co., Inc.

In granting bail, it is imperative that a judge be conversant with the procedures


provided by the Rules and basic legal principles. A judge presiding over a court of
42 | P a g e
law must not only apply the law but must also live by it.[6] The exacting standards of
conduct demanded from judges are designed to promote public confidence in the
integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.[7] When the judge himself becomes a
transgressor of the law which he is sworn to apply, he places his office in disrepute,
encourages disrespect for the law and impairs public confidence in the integrity of
the judiciary itself.[8]
Sad to say, respondent failed to live by the above standards when he approved
accused dela Fuentes bailbonds and issued release orders without authority and in
breach of the Rules.
Section 8, Rule 140 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, provides:
SEC. 8. Serious charges. - Serious charges include:
xxx
3. Gross misconduct constituting violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct;
xxx
Respondent judge committed gross misconduct by blatantly disregarding the Rules
and settled jurisprudence. Such offense has been defined as the transgression of
some established or definite rule of action, more particularly, unlawful behavior or
gross negligence.[9] In Spouses Adriano and Hilda Monterola v. Judge Jose F.
Caoibes, Jr.,[10] we ruled: The observance of the law, which respondent judge ought
to know, is required of every judge. When the law is sufficiently basic, a judge owes
it to his office to simply apply it; x x x failure to consider a basic and elementary
rule, a law or principle in the discharge of his duties, a judge is either too
incompetent and undeserving of the position and the title he holds or is too
viscious that the oversight or omission was deliberately done in bad faith and in
grave abuse of judicial authority.

Canon 1 (Rule 1.01) of the Code of Judicial Conduct provides that a judge should be
the embodiment of competence, integrity and independence. Canon 3 states that A
judge should perform his official duties honestly and with impartiality and diligence.
By his actuations, respondent judge has shown his lack of integrity and diligence,
thereby blemishing the image of the judiciary.
Under Section 8, Rule 140 of the Revised Rules of Court, gross misconduct is
classified as a serious charge. As to the penalty to be imposed, Section 11, A (3) of
the same Rule provides:

SEC. 11. Sanctions. A. If the respondent is guilty of a serious charge, any of the
following sanctions may be imposed:
43 | P a g e
xxx
3. A fine of more than P20,000.00 but not exceeding P40,000.00.
WHEREFORE, respondent Judge Patrocinio R. Corpuz, now retired, is found GUILTY
of gross misconduct and is hereby FINED in the amount of Forty Thousand Pesos
(P40,000.00) to be deducted from his retirement benefits.

WILSON ANDRES, complainant, vs. JUDGE ORLANDO D. BELTRAN, REGIONAL


TRIAL COURT, TUGUEGARAO CITY, BRANCH 2, respondent.

Herein complainant Wilson Andres was charged with the crime of murder and the
case was docketed as Criminal Case No. 7155 before the Regional Trial Court of
Tuguegarao City, Branch 2. The trial court, then presided by Judge Abraham
Principe, granted bail upon motion of the accused and ordered his release from
detention.

After presentation of evidence for the prosecution, accused Wilson Andres filed a
motion to dismiss by way of demurrer to evidence. Respondent Judge Orlando
Beltran, in his capacity as Acting Presiding Judge of RTC-Tuguegarao, Branch 2
denied the motion in his Order of November 25, 1999.

On November 29, 1999, the court issued a subpoena to accused Andres informing
him that the criminal case is set for initial hearing for reception of evidence for the
accused on January 31, 2000. Accused appeared at the scheduled hearing but his
counsel was not present. Respondent Judge then issued an order cancelling the bail
bond of accused Andres and ordered his detention in his Order dated January 31,
2000, to wit:
In view of the absence of Atty. Joseph Alcid and considering the fact that the
presentation of defense evidence in this case had been delayed for almost one
year from the time that the prosecution rested its case, the bailbond posted
for the provisional liberty of the accused Wilson Andres is hereby cancelled
and is ordered detained, specially since the accused is not entitled to bail as a
matter of right as the offense charged is Murder.

Accused Andres was detained from January 31, 2000 until February 9, 2000[1] when
an order for his release was issued after the trial court found that no subpoena or
notice of hearing was sent to counsel of accused.[2]
44 | P a g e
Hence, the instant administrative case for conduct unbecoming of a judge, serious
misconduct, inefficiency and gross ignorance of the law.

Herein complainant avers that the act of respondent Judge is clearly an


abuse of authority as the grounds relied upon by him for cancellation of his bail
bond are not provided for under the rules.

Complainant alleges that there was no notice to his counsel regarding the hearing
for reception of evidence for the defense set on January 31, 2000 and hence, his
counsel did not appear at the scheduled hearing. Complainant further alleges that
at the said hearing, respondent Judge told him to secure the services of a new
counsel immediately so he could hear the case and if accused could not secure one
he (respondent judge) would order his incarceration. The case was called again and
counsel for the accused was still not around. Respondent Judge then allegedly
ordered the incarceration of the accused. Complainant argues that he did not
violate any conditions of the bail and the fact that his counsel was not present during
the scheduled hearing is not a ground for the cancellation of his bail bond.

In his Comment, respondent Judge contends that accused is not entitled to bail as a
matter of right since he is charged with a capital offense or at least one punishable
by reclusion perpetua. He argues that he was not the one who granted accused bail
during the earlier stage of the proceedings and respondent Judge was entitled to
make his own assessment of the evidence, which was not available at the time bail
was first granted, to determine whether evidence of guilt was strong on the basis of
the evidence. Respondent Judge further contends that the order granting bail had
specifically reserved to the court the right to recall the order granting bail if evidence
of conspiracy would be strong, and that he was convinced that there was ground to
recall the order granting bail as he took into consideration certain facts and
circumstances such as: (1) the accuseds co-accused has escaped and remained at
large; (2) either accused or his counsel would absent themselves from the
proceedings prompting cancellation of scheduled hearings without advance notice
nor proper motion filed; (3) it was practically a year since the prosecution had rested
its case and the defense had been scheduled to present its evidence; and (4) the
evidence presented by the prosecution strongly pointed to the direction of the guilt
of the accused prompting respondent Judge to deny the demurrer to evidence.

45 | P a g e
In his Reply to respondents comment, complainant argues that he should have been
given his day in court with respect to the cancellation of his bail bond. He avers that
in the Order of February 9, 2000, respondent Judge ordered his release after finding
that no subpoena or notice of hearing was served upon his counsel.

After notice, both parties manifested that they are submitting the case on the basis
of the pleadings/records already filed and submitted.

The Court Administrator recommended that respondent Judge Beltran be fined in


the amount of two thousand (P2,000.00) pesos for grave abuse of authority with a
stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar act shall be dealt with more
severely. The Court Administrator opined that the failure of counsel to appear
during the scheduled hearing with due notice is not a ground for cancellation of the
bail bond of the accused, more so if accused is present during the hearing.
We agree with the Court Administrator.

Respondents Order of January 31, 2000 for the cancellation of bail actually cited the
following grounds therefor, namely: (1) that the counsel of the accused failed to
appear at the scheduled hearing; and (2) that the presentation of evidence for the
defense has been delayed for almost a year from the time the prosecution rested
its case. Respondent Judge further stated that the bail bond is cancelled specially
since the accused is not entitled to bail as a matter of right as the offense charged
is Murder.

Herein complainant was charged with murder punishable by reclusion perpetua to


death[3] and, under the rules, he was not entitled to bail as a matter of right.
Respondent Judge seems to impress upon the Court that the accused, having been
charged with the crime of murder, is not entitled to bail at all or that the crime of
murder is non-bailable. This is a misconception. The grant of bail to an accused
charged with an offense that carries with it the penalty of reclusion perpetua, as in
this case, is discretionary on the part of the trial court.[4] In other words, accused is
still entitled to bail but no longer "as a matter of right". Instead, it is discretionary
and calls for a judicial determination that the evidence of guilt is not strong in order
to grant bail. The prosecution is accorded ample opportunity to present evidence
because by the very nature of deciding applications for bail, it is on the basis of such
evidence that judicial discretion is weighed in determining whether the guilt of the
accused is strong.[5] Accused was granted bail by then Presiding Judge Principe and
46 | P a g e
with such grant we assume that the trial judge made a judicial determination that
the evidence of guilt is not strong.

Respondent Judge, in his Comment, argues that the order granting bail had
specifically reserved to the court the right to recall the order granting bail if evidence
of conspiracy would be strong. The record is bereft of any copy of such order.
Nonetheless, respondent Judge, in effect, is of the view that since the prosecution
has rested its case and prosecution evidence had been adduced, he can make his
own determination of whether or not the evidence adduced strongly suggest the
guilt of the accused and if so, he can cancel the bail previously granted to the
accused. Section 20[6] of Rule 114 provides that after the accused shall have been
admitted to bail, the court may, upon good cause shown, either increase or
decrease the amount of the same. Needless to state, this would entail a hearing for
the purpose of showing good cause and hence, would require not only the presence
of the accused but also of the latters counsel. Neither can the bail of the accused be
forfeited pursuant to Section 21,[7] Rule 114 since it is not disputed that accused did
not violate the conditions of the bail[8] as he was present at the scheduled hearing.
Respondent Judge Beltran also cited the ground that the counsel of the accused
failed to appear at the scheduled hearing and that the presentation of evidence for
the defense has been delayed for almost a year from the time the prosecution
rested its case.

The failure of counsel for the accused to appear at the scheduled hearing is not a
valid ground for cancellation of bail. Nowhere in the provisions of Rule 114 does
such ground exist. Under Section 2 (Conditions of the bail), the presence of counsel
is not a condition of the bail. Neither is it a reason for an increase or forfeiture of
bail under Sections 20 and 21. Section 22[9], which states the instances when bail
may be cancelled, i.e., surrender of the accused, proof of his death, acquittal of the
accused, dismissal of the case or execution of the judgment of conviction is not in
point, aside from the fact that it also requires an application of the bondsmen and
due notice to the prosecutor.
The alleged delay in the presentation of evidence by the defense is likewise not
substantiated. As pointed out by herein complainant, while there were
postponements, the Supreme Court ordered a change of venue allegedly upon
request of the RTC-Judge of Roxas, Isabela and the criminal case went from one
judge to another and finally it was transferred to RTC-Tuguegarao, Branch
2.[10] Moreover, accused was ordered arrested on July 12, 1996 and was arraigned
47 | P a g e
on September 17, 1996. His motion for bail was favorably acted upon. From his
release on bail on September 18, 1996, the case was set for several hearings on
November 17, 1997, April 25, 1998, May 25, 1998, and September 24, 1998 but
respondent Judge allowed the postponements thereof due to the absence of
counsel for accused. On January 26, 1999, accused asked for the lifting of warrant
of arrest and reinstatement of bond. On March 18, 1999, the prosecution made a
formal offer of evidence. On July 14, 1999, accused asked for postponement which
was granted. After the prosecution rested its case, accused filed on September 28,
1999 a motion to dismiss by demurrer to evidence. Said motion was denied on
November 25, 1999 and the trial court set the hearing for reception of evidence for
the defense on January 31, 2000. It was on said date that the respondent Judge
ordered the cancellation of bail of the accused. Verily, there was no delay in the
presentation of evidence for the defense since the respondent Judge scheduled the
hearing for reception of evidence only on January 31, 2000 from the time the motion
to dismiss by demurrer to evidence was denied. The alleged delay should not be
reckoned from the time the prosecution rested its case because the motion to
dismiss by demurrer to evidence had to be resolved prior to presentation of
evidence for the defense.
In the case at bar, respondent Judge motu proprio cancelled the bail bond in view
of the absence of counsel for the accused during the hearing initially scheduled for
the presentation of evidence for the defense. This is censurable. Accused should not
be punished for the absence of his counsel by the cancellation of his bail and his
immediate detention.
The duty of a judge is not only to administer justice but also to conduct himself in a
manner that would avoid any suspicion of irregularity. He has the avowed duty of
promoting confidence in the judicial system.[11] Admittedly, judges cannot be held
to account for an erroneous order or decision rendered in good faith, [12] but this
defense is much too frequently cited. We note that respondent Judge ordered the
release of the accused but only after finding that counsel for the accused was not
served a copy of the notice of hearing. This is a procedural lapse on the part of the
respondent. Had he carefully searched the records, he could have known the real
reason for counsels absence during the scheduled hearing. Neither can he blame his
staff for the lack of notice to counsel. Proper and efficient court management is the
responsibility of the judge; he is the one directly responsible for the proper
discharge of the official functions.[13] Respondent Judges precipitate order
cancelling the bail bond of the accused deprived accused of his right to liberty, even
if temporarily. This is not excusable. A judge should administer his office with due
48 | P a g e
regard to the integrity of the system of the law itself, remembering that he is not a
depository of arbitrary power, but a judge under the sanction of law.[14]
WHEREFORE, finding the recommendation of the Court Administrator to be well-
taken, respondent Judge Orlando D. Beltran of the Regional Trial Court of
Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, Branch 2 is hereby FINED in the amount of Two Thousand
(P2,000.00) Pesos for grave abuse of authority, with a stern WARNING that a
repetition of the same or similar act shall be dealt with more severely by this Court.

THELMA ALMONTE, complainant, vs. JUDGE FRED A. BIEN, respondent.


RESOLUTION
GARCIA, J.:
In a verified, sworn administrative complaint[1] directly filed with this Court, herein
complainant, Thelma Almonte, charges herein respondent, Judge Fred A.
Bien, incumbent Acting Presiding Judge of the 8thMunicipal Circuit Trial Court
(MCTC) of San Jacinto-Monreal, 5th Judicial Region, San Jacinto, Masbate with gross
ignorance of the law in connection with respondents preliminary investigation of
Criminal Case No. 4598, a prosecution for robbery filed with respondents court at
the instance of Isauro Lique against the complainant and her husband, Jaime
Almonte.
Complainant alleges that after conducting a semblance of a preliminary
investigation by an ex-parte inquiry on Isauro Lique, the respondent judge, in his
order of April 24, 2002,[2] directed the arrest of complainant and her husband and
fixed their bail for provisional liberty at P40,000 each.
Complainant avers that respondent judge disregarded the procedure for
preliminary investigation, as provided under Section 3(b) and (c), Rule 112, of the
Revised Rules of Court. She claims that she and her husband were deprived of their
right to due process because they were not given copies of the complaint for
robbery, nor were they summoned by the respondent judge to appear before him
and present their counter-affidavits and other supporting documents.
On May 20, 2002, complainant, through counsel, filed in Criminal Case No. 4598
a Motion To Quash Or Cancel The Order Dated April 24, 2004 Directing The Issuance
Of The Warrant Of Arrest Of Accused Herein And Fixing The Bail Bond For Their
Provisional Liberty And The Warrant Of Arrest Itself.[3] However, in his order of June
25, 2002,[4] the respondent judge denied the motion, relying on the ruling of this
Court in Rolito Go vs. Court of Appeals[5] that once an accused posted his bail bond,
49 | P a g e
he thereby waived his right to question any defect in the issuance of the warrant of
arrest.
Complainant asserts that the respondents denial of their aforementioned motion is
another manifestation of the latters ignorance of the rules of procedure, arguing
that Section 26, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court provides that admission to bail shall
not bar the accused from challenging the validity of his arrest or the legality of the
warrant issued therefor, provided that he raised them before entering his plea. Not
having been arraigned yet, complainant argues that she has all the right to question
the validity of the warrants of arrest issued against her and her husband.
In the same administrative complaint, complainant further avers that prior to the
filing of the robbery case against her and her husband by Isauro Lique, they had
caused the filing against Lique of a criminal case for acts of lasciviousness for
molesting their 9-year old daughter, Brenda Almonte, which case is still pending
with the Regional Trial Court at Masbate, Branch 48 (Family Court). Complainant
asserts that Lique maliciously filed the complaint for robbery in order to compel her
and her husband to drop the earlier criminal case for act of lasciviousness they filed
against him.
In his COMMENT[6] dated March 10, 2003, respondent judge wants it placed on
record that he is: (1) the Acting Presiding Judge of the MCTC of both San Jacinto and
San Fernando, Masbate; (2) the Judge-Designate of some of inhibited cases in the
MTCC, Masbate and MCTC of Aroroy, Masbate; and (3) the Presiding Judge of the
MCTC of Dimasalang, Masbate, his permanent station.
In the same COMMENT, respondent admits having conducted on April 24, 2002 the
preliminary investigation in Criminal Case No. 4598; that after finding the existence
of a probable cause, he issued the warrant of arrest against complainant and her
husband and fixed a bail bond of P40,000 each for their provisional liberty, as
required under the first stage of preliminary investigation; that although no
subpoenas were issued to the accused, such an omission was an honest mistake on
his part in the performance of his duties, and not due to his ignorance of the law or
procedure, adding that he had been extra-careful and diligent in the discharge of his
duties, dispensing justice without delay, fear or favor; that in fact, his April 24, 2002
order was even affirmed by the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor, Masbate City
which eventually filed an information for Robbery against complainant and her
husband before the Regional Trial Court at San Jacinto, Masbate.
As regards his denial of the Motion To Quash Or Cancel The Order dated April 24,
2002, etc., (supra) filed by complainant and her husband, thru counsel, in Criminal

50 | P a g e
Case No. 4598, respondent, by way of explanation, reproduced in his COMMENT the
full text of his denial Order of June 25, 2002,[7] to wit:
This is a Motion to Quash or Cancel the Order dated April 24, 2004 Directing the
Issuance of the Warrant of Arrest Herein and Fixing the Bail Bond for their
Provisional Liberty and the Warrant of Arrest Itself, filed by accused thru counsel
Atty. Ruben Joel A. Puertollano in the above-entitled case.
Accused alleged that this Court did not observe the provisions of Sections 3, 5 and
6 (b) of Rule 112 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended relative
to the conduct of the preliminary investigation and before the issuance of a warrant
of arrest.
Records of the case would readily show that when this instant motion was filed on
May 20, 2002, the Court also received an Order of Release issued by the Hon.
Cristobal M. Bailon of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 50, San Jacinto, Masbate
commanding the Jailer of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, San Jacinto,
Masbate to release from custody accused Thelma Almonte for having posted the
required bail bond.
In the case of People vs. Rolito Go, the Supreme Court held that once an accused has
posted his bail bond, he waives his right to question any defect in the issuance of
the warrant of arrest. For this reason, the instant Motion to Quash the Warrant of
Arrest issued by this Court has now become moot and academic.
As to the allegation that the Court did not observe the provisions in the conduct of
the preliminary investigation and the issuance of warrant of arrest, it is worth
recalling that basically the preliminary examination has two phrases or stages. The
first is the preliminary examination. It is here where the Court conducts an ex
parte inquiry on the prosecution witnesses based on their sworn statements in the
form of searching questions and answers. After this, if the Court believes that there
is a probable cause that the crime has been committed and that the accused is
probably guilty thereof, then the Court will issue a warrant of arrest in order not to
frustrate the ends of justice.
When the accused has already been arrested on the basis of the warrant of arrest
issued by the Court, and has been committed for detention, the Court immediately
issues a subpoena to the accused requiring him to submit his counter-affidavit and
other controverting evidence for the evaluation of the Court. This is the second
stage of the preliminary investigation.
It is submitted that the Court has correctly applied the rules on the conduct of the
preliminary investigation and the issuance of the warrant of arrest, and it finds no

51 | P a g e
justifiable reason to quash or cancel the order dated April 24, 2002 and the warrant
of arrest itself.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court hereby resolves to DENY the instant
Motion to Quash or Cancel the Order dated April 24, 2002 and the Warrant of Arrest.
SO ORDERED. (Underscoring by respondent himself).
Respondent judge submits that the aforequoted Order is in accordance with law and
with what he honestly believed as correct and proper, and not on his alleged
ignorance of the law and procedure, as charged by complainant.
In her Reply to Comment,[8] complainant expresses the belief that respondent judge
issued the warrants of arrest in Criminal Case No. 4598 without giving her and her
husband notice and chance to file their counter-affidavits to favor Isauro Lique.
Elaborating thereon, complainant asserts that if respondent judge is truly not
ignorant of the law, as he claims, then it could well be that his intention in forthwith
issuing the warrants is for her and her husband to be immediately arrested and
detained, such that if they could not post bail, Lique would have a bargaining
leverage for the dropping of the case for acts of lasciviousness then pending against
him. Complainant also points out that Liques complaint for robbery was directly filed
by the latter with the Municipal Trial Court of San Jacinto, Masbate without
reporting the alleged robbery incident with the local barangay authorities or with
the Philippine National Police of San Jacinto, Masbate.
Complainant also contends that respondent judges argument to the effect that a
preliminary investigation has two stages or phases is misplaced. She asserts that
respondent judge obviously applied Section 6, Rule 112 of the old Rules on Criminal
Procedure which has been already amended by the Revised Rules on Criminal
Procedure which took effect on December 1, 2000. She posits that under the new
rules, respondent judge cannot take cognizance of the crime of robbery since it is
not within the jurisdiction of the MTC or the MCTC, hence improper for him to issue
a warrant of arrest without waiting for the conclusion of the preliminary
investigation, explaining that only when the offense charged is within the original
jurisdiction of the MTC or MCTC that a judge thereof may issue warrant of arrest
without waiting for the termination of the preliminary investigation if he finds after
examination in writing and under oath of the complainant and his witnesses in the
form of searching questions and answers, that a probable cause exists and that
there is a necessity of placing the respondent under immediate custody in order not
to frustrate the ends of justice.
On the basis of its evaluation, the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) which
initially acted on the subject administrative complaint recommended that: (1) the
52 | P a g e
same be re-docketed as a regular administrative matter; (2) respondent judge be
fined in the amount of P10,000 for gross ignorance of the law; (3) he be
reprimanded in his capacity as a member of the Philippine Bar for violation of the
Code of Professional Responsibility and this be reflected in his record at the Office
of the Bar Confidant; and (4) respondent judge be sternly warned that repetition of
the same or similar act shall be dealt with more severely.
In separate resolutions both dated February 23, 2004,[9] we redocketed the present
case as a regular administrative matter and required both parties to manifest
whether they are amenable to submit the case for resolution based on the pleadings
filed. In their respective manifestations, complainant and respondent judge
expressed their willingness to submit the case based on the pleadings filed, which
manifestations were noted by us in our Resolution of July 19, 2004.[10]
After a thorough examination of the OCAs evaluation report and the records on
hand, the Court finds merit in the recommendation of the Court Administrator.
Doubtless, the root of the controversy is respondent judges unfamiliarity with the
rules applicable in cases requiring preliminary investigation.
It is the stance of respondent that there are two stages or phases of preliminary
investigation; that he was only in the first or the preliminary examination stage
when he issued the warrants of arrest against the Almonte spouses after examining
the complaining witness Isauro Lique and after finding the existence of probable
cause that a crime had been committed; and that the issuance of subpoenas to the
accused requiring them to submit their counter-affidavits and other evidence would
only be after they shall have been arrested (the second stage or the preliminary
investigation proper).
Obviously, the respondent judge failed to keep track with the developments in law
and jurisprudence.
In Sangguniang Bayan of Batac, Ilocos Norte vs. Judge Efren Albano[11] and
reiterated in Bagunas vs. Fabillar,[12] this Court ruled that under the new rules of
procedure, preliminary investigation has only one stage, viz:
[U]nder the old rules, the preliminary investigation conducted by a municipal judge
had two stages: (1) the preliminary examination stage during which the investigating
judge determines whether there is reasonable ground to believe that an offense has
been committed and the accused is probably guilty thereof, so that a warrant of
arrest may be issued and the accused held for trial; and (2) the preliminary
investigation proper where the complaint or information is read to the accused after
his arrest and he is informed of the substance of the evidence adduced against him,
after which he is allowed to present evidence in his favor if he so
53 | P a g e
desires. Presidential Decree 911, upon which the present rule is based, removed
the preliminary examination stage and integrated it into the preliminary
investigation proper. Now, the proceedings consist only of one stage.
Section 3, Rule 112 of the Rules of Court outlines the procedure for conducting a
preliminary investigation:
Section 3. Procedure. The preliminary investigation shall be conducted in the
following manner:
(a) The complaint shall state the address of the respondent and shall be
accompanied by the affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses, as well as other
supporting documents to establish probable cause. They shall be in such number of
copies as there are respondents, plus two (2) copies for the official file. The affidavits
shall be subscribed and sworn to before any prosecutor or government official
authorized to administer oath, or, in their absence or unavailability, before a notary
public, each of whom must certify that he personally examined the affiants and that
he is satisfied that they voluntarily executed and understood their affidavits.
(b) Within ten (10) days after the filing of the complaint, the investigating officer
shall either dismiss it if he finds no ground to continue with the investigation, or
issue a subpoena to the respondent attaching to it a copy of the complaint and its
supporting affidavits and documents.
The respondent shall have the right to examine the evidence submitted by the
complainant which he may not have been furnished and to copy them at his
expense. If the evidence is voluminous, the complainant may be required to specify
those which he intends to present against the respondent, and these shall be made
available for examination or copying by the respondent at his expense.
Objects as evidence need not be furnished a party but shall be made available for
examination, copying, or photographing at the expense of the requesting party.
(c) Within ten (10) days from receipt of the subpoena with the complaint and
supporting affidavits and documents, the respondent shall submit his counter-
affidavit and that of his witnesses and other supporting documents relied upon for
his defense. The counter-affidavits shall be subscribed and sworn to and certified as
provided in paragraph (a) of this section, with copies thereof furnished by him to
the complainant. The respondent shall not be allowed to file a motion to dismiss in
lieu of a counter-affidavit.
(d) If the respondent cannot be subpoenaed, or if subpoenaed, does not submit
counter-affidavits within the ten (10) day period, the investigating officer shall
resolve the complaint based on the evidence presented by the complainant.

54 | P a g e
(e) The investigating officer may set a hearing if there are facts and issues to be
clarified from a party or a witness. The parties can be present at the hearing but
without the right to examine or cross-examine. They may, however, submit to the
investigating officer questions which may be asked to the party or witness
concerned.
The hearing shall be held within ten (10) days from submission of the counter-
affidavits and other documents or from the expiration of the period for their
submission. It shall be terminated within five (5) days.
(f) Within ten (10) days after the investigation, the investigating officer shall
determine whether or not there is sufficient ground to hold the respondent for trial.
Here, respondent judge disregarded the procedure for preliminary investigation in
Criminal Case No. 4598. As it were, he merely took the statement [13] of therein
complainant Isauro Lique, and, on that very same day, terminated his investigation
and issued warrants of arrest[14] against the couple. The spouses Almonte were not
furnished with the copies of the complaint for robbery, thereby denying them the
chance to examine the same and the evidence submitted by Lique. Nor were they
given the opportunity to submit their counter-affidavits and supporting documents.
If anything else, the respondent judges actuations in the premises only betray his
ignorance of procedural rules and reckless disregard of the accuseds basic right to
due process.
Further demonstrating respondents deliberate disregard of the law, if not his gross
ignorance of the same, is his misplaced reliance in Rolito Go vs. Court of Appeals.
According to respondent judge, he denied the Almontes motion to quash the
warrant of arrest because of this Courts ruling in Rolito Go that once an accused has
posted bail, he waived his right to question any defect in the issuance of the warrant
of arrest.
Under Section 26, Rule 114 of the New Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure,
application for bail or the admission to bail is no longer considered as a waiver of
the accuseds right to assail the warrant issued for his arrest as regards its attendant
illegalities or irregularities. The provision reads:
Sec. 26. Bail not a bar to objections on illegal arrest, lack or irregular preliminary
investigation. - An application for or admission to bail shall not bar the accused from
challenging the validity of his arrest or the legality of the warrant issued therefor, or
from assailing the regularity or questioning the absence of a preliminary
investigation of the charge against him, provided that he raises them before
entering his plea. The court shall resolve the matter as early as practicable but not
later than the start of the trial of the case.
55 | P a g e
We are not unmindful of occasional mistakes or errors of judgment which judges
may commit. In the same breath, however, judges are expected to show more than
a mere cursory acquaintance with elementary rules of procedure as well as settled
authoritative doctrines.
For sure, the Code of Judicial Conduct enjoins judges to be faithful to the law and
maintain professional competence.[15] As advocates of justice and visible
representation of the law, they are expected to keep abreast with the developments
in law and jurisprudence, and to be proficient in their application and interpretation
thereof. When a law or a rule is basic, a judge owes it to his office to simply apply it;
anything less than that is gross ignorance of the law.[16]
The OCA recommends that we impose a fine of P10,000 upon the respondent judge.
Given respondents proven gross violation of the Rules of Court and the Code of
Judicial Conduct, we are in full agreement with the recommended penalty.
WHEREFORE, herein respondent Judge Fred A. Bien, incumbent Acting Presiding
Judge, MCTC, San Jacinto, Masbate is hereby declared GUILTY of gross violation of
Section 3, Rule 112, Section 26, Rule 114, of the Revised Rules of Court, and Rule
3.01, Canon 3, of the Code of Judicial Conduct, and, as recommended, is hereby
meted the penalty of fine of ten thousand pesos (P10,000), with a warning that a
repetition of the same or similar offense will be dealt with more severely.

GOVERNMENT OF THE USA VS PURGANAN


G.R. No. 148571. September 24, 2002
GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, represented by the Philippine
Department of Justice, petitioner,
Hon. GUILLERMO G. PURGANAN, Morales, and Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court
of Manila, Branch 42; and MARK B. JIMENEZ a.k.a. MARIO BATACAN
CRESPO, respondents.

Facts:
The petition at bar seeking to void and set aside the Orders issued by the Regional
Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 42. The first assailed Order set for hearing
petitioners application for the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of Respondent
Mark B. Jimenez.
Pursuant to the existing RP-US Extradition Treaty, the US Government requested
the extradition of Mark Jimenez. A hearing was held to determine whether a
warrant of arrest should be issued. Afterwards, such warrant was issued but the trial
court allowed Jimenez to post bail for his provisional liberty.
56 | P a g e
Issue/s:
Whether or not the right to bail is available in extradition proceedings

Discussions:
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.

Ruling/s:
No. The court agree with petitioner. As suggested by the use of the word
conviction, the constitutional provision on bail quoted above, 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.

It is also worth noting that before the US government requested the extradition of
respondent, proceedings had already been conducted in that country. But because
he left the jurisdiction of the requesting state before those proceedings could be
completed, it was hindered from continuing with the due processes prescribed
under its laws. His invocation of due process now has thus become hollow. He
already had that opportunity in the requesting state; yet, instead of taking it, he ran
away.

Government of Hongkong v. Olalia, 521 SCRA 470 (2007)

Facts

Private respondent Muoz was charged before Hong Kong Court. Warrants of arrest
were issued and by virtue of a final decree the validity of the Order of Arrest was
upheld. The petitioner Hong Kong Administrative Region filed a petition for the

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extradition of the private respondent. In the same case, a petition for bail was filed
by the private respondent.

The petition for bail was denied by reason that there was no Philippine law granting
the same in extradition cases and that the respondent was a high flight risk.
Private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration and was granted by the
respondent judge subject to the following conditions:
1. Bail is set at Php750,000.00 in cash with the condition that accused hereby
undertakes that he will appear and answer the issues raised in these proceedings
and will at all times hold himself amenable to orders and processes of this Court,
will further appear for judgment. If accused fails in this undertaking, the cash bond
will be forfeited in favor of the government;
2. Accused must surrender his valid passport to this Court;
3. The Department of Justice is given immediate notice and discretion of filing its
own motion for hold departure order before this Court even in extradition
proceeding; and
4. Accused is required to report to the government prosecutors handling this case
or if they so desire to the nearest office, at any time and day of the week; and if they
further desire, manifest before this Court to require that all the assets of accused,
real and personal, be filed with this Court soonest, with the condition that if the
accused flees from his undertaking, said assets be forfeited in favor of the
government and that the corresponding lien/annotation be noted therein
accordingly.
Petitioner filed a motion to vacate the said order but was denied by the respondent
judge. Hence, this instant petition.

Issue
WON a potential extraditee is entitled to post bail

Ruling
A potential extraditee is entitled to bail.

Ratio Decidendi
Petitioner alleged that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in admitting private respondent to bail;
that there is nothing in the Constitution or statutory law providing that a potential
extraditee has a right to bail, the right being limited solely to criminal proceedings.
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On the other hand, private respondent maintained that the right to bail guaranteed
under the Bill of Rights extends to a prospective extraditee; and that extradition is
a harsh process resulting in a prolonged deprivation of ones liberty.
In this case, the Court reviewed what was held in Government of United States of
America v. Hon. Guillermo G. Purganan, Presiding Judge, RTC of Manila, Branch 42,
and Mark B. Jimenez, a.k.a. Mario Batacan Crespo GR No. 153675 April 2007, that
the constitutional provision on bail does not apply to extradition proceedings, the
same being available only in criminal proceedings. The Court took cognizance of the
following trends in international law:
(1) the growing importance of the individual person in public international;
(2) the higher value now being given to human rights;
(3) the corresponding duty of countries to observe these universal human rights in
fulfilling their treaty obligations; and
(4) the duty of this Court to balance the rights of the individual under our
fundamental law, on one hand, and the law on extradition, on the other.
In light of the recent developments in international law, where emphasis is given to
the worth of the individual and the sanctity of human rights, the Court departed
from the ruling in Purganan, and held that an extraditee may be allowed to post
bail.

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