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Category Archives: Remedial Law

Response to Kat: Pointers for the Bar Exam

I noticed that my blog had been silent for more than 3 months now. I have been busy back to work since December 2017, and had been (re)answering the 2017 Bar Exam since then. Two months before the release of the bar exam results, I was “interviewed” by my law school classmate who is now a candidate for graduation this June 2018. Having passed by our chat, I decided to post our Q&A. May the reader find this post as source of useful pointers in taking the #Bar2018 [Note: The Q&A is edited/modified to fit this blog-type post.]

 

KAT: First of all, congrats in finishing the bar. That alone takes a huge amount of endurance, and for that, I congratulate you! :’)

ME: Thank you!

KAT: Second, habang fresh pa sayo ang mga bagay-bagay, nais kong humingi ng mga words of advice or tips like:

Ano ang mga bagay na na-realize mo na dapat mong ginawa pero hindi mo nagawa?

ME: Most of the things I planned were accomplished naman, except for that run on the syllabus. Original plan ko kasi ay gagawan ko ng reviewer each and every subject based on syllabus. But since August 2017 na ako nag-start ng review proper ko (take not I did not resign or totally left work), I realized na I will be losing material time just doing such reviewer than focusing on what statistically may come out. So I abandoned the plan, and instead read as many Arellano Bar Review Program (ABRP) materials I’ve collected since 2012 as a premium for being consistently and actively participating in the Bar Operations.

I realized na, if only I have completed that self-made reviewer, maybe I could have better answered some questions. But take note abandoning it is not a bad idea after all. I just feel I could have answered better.

KAT: Mistakes you did or ung mga pagkukulang, if any? Or
Yung mga tamang ginawa mo na tingin mo hindi nagawa ng iba, if any? Hehe

I am not sure if it’s a mistake when I slightly changed my answering style a few months before the bar exam. Napansin ko kasi, if I will maintain my style, parang pare-parehas na mababasa ng examiner na phrasing (like kung susundan mo yung answering style na 3-paragraph rule). I have to admit I am aiming for the top. Without any professional guidance, I tried to trim down my answer into 2-paragraph super direct to the point “answer-reason then basis” approach. Maybe some portions of the correct answer could have been lost somewhere. But nonetheless, I passed. So baka naman hindi mistake.   

I believe I did my best in answering all the questions. That should be every examinee’s objective. Never leave a question unanswered, and always have a spare time to review your work. In my case, I made sure that I am done answering before the 3rd bell (i.e. 30 minutes before time’s up) so I still have at least 25 minutes (I submit my booklet after the 4th bell, i.e. 5 minutes before time’s up with the exception of Legal Ethics where I submitted 45 minutes before time kasi I am excited to go out before the sun sets). That way, I can review my work for any spelling, grammar, or punctuation. To my surprise, I was able to discover (this was during the first Sunday) that I skipped answering some sub-questions. I was able naman to insert my answers because, fortunately, my answers were (extremely) short and I use 1 page in answering even sub-questions.

KAT: Third, sa dami ng binasa mo, ano sa tingin mo ung best material/s (pnka marami kang nahugot sa pagsagot sa bar) and worst (na dapat ndi na basahin ng isang barrista) for each bar subject?

ME: Honestly, I have not read any reference book in the entire review (I tried to borrow some books, but I never had the chance to read it). In our case (Bar 2017), there is no single best material that you can use to survive the exam.  You really have to rely on the years of preparation you have in law school. In my case, I relied mostly on ABRP materials including our very own Pre-Week materials. My observation is that all other review materials are practically the same. They just differ in the presentation and emphasis on certain topics. But they are just like any other review material.

Take note I did not enroll in any other Bar Review simultaneous with the ABRP. To me, simultaneous schooling is not good at all because you will hear different approaches and answers to the same question, which later on may affect you while answering the bar exam. Just choose one set of materials that you are comfortable with. Stick with it, and just be able to identify which part is “poisonous” LoL. 

KAT: Best material (to read) and worst material (to avoid)
Poli-
Labor-
Civil law-
Tax-
Com-
Crim-
Remedial law-
Ethics-

ME: Following my answer above, I do not recommend any best or worst material for any subject. Given enough value and appreciation, our very own ABRP materials are good enough. You will later discover that some of Arellano barristers are reading “Blue Notes”, “Red Notes”, UP Notes, etc. But you will also be amazed to see some Ateneo, San Beda, and UP barristers reading Arellano Last Minute Tips (LMTs) LoL. Just choose which materials are most comfortable for you to use.

Bar materials and LMTs by itself will not, by itself, save you. They are just intended as reminders to what you should have known already way back law school days.

However, there are some notable exceptions to this like in the case of Political Law and Civil Law. AUSL is known to have very good predictions on Political Law (average 50%) and it was maintained.

Labor Law is likewise fair enough. Using Atty. Chan’s pre-week notes is more than enough arsenal.

In the case of Civil Law, there are a lot of basic ObliCon questions and our very own Atty. Rabuya discussed many of the questions which were lifted from the J.Bersamin cases.

Taxation law is again a killer (to me). I cannot give advice on this. But if you have read enough recent tax cases, it will be less painful.

Commercial law is also a pain in the a**. A handful of questions were lifted from the Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act (FRIA). But the questions were basic, so I suggest reading the law (note, it is lengthy) and at least understanding the terms, just in case a “boomerang” happens in your bar exam.

Criminal Law is also complained as a killer subject, but I disagree. The questions are basic. The problem is its presentation. You will get confused by the manner the questions are presented. But I believe the questions are phrased that way to see if the examinee can discern the issue and use only material facts to arrive at a conclusion applying the law. The exceptional term “doli incapax” can be answered if you are familiar with latin root words “dolus” (dolo).  But never mind.

Remedial law is just a walk in the park (Jurassic park LoL) if you have been under Atty. Brondial’s class. If you have not, I suggest you get a copy of Atty. Brondial’s latest syllabus and start reading the cases there. It will be a smooth ride after finishing it.

Legal Ethics questions were mostly recycled questions in the past bar exams. Be prepared on legal forms because it may drain your time in preparing one if you have not practiced doing it. 

 

KAT: Your response will be much appreciated hehe.. thank you!

P.S. sa free time mo po gawin. I am willing to wait.

ME: I don’t want you to wait. Start early and feel relieved early. I hope, though, that I have not increased your stress levels by promptly replying to your queries.

Good luck!

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Laude v. Judge Ginez-Jabalde, et al. G.R. No. 217456, 24 November 2015.

[LEONEN, J.]

FACTS: This involves the celebrated case of Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude (Jennifer) killed at the Celzone Lodge on Ramon Magsaysay Drive in Olongapo City allegedly by 19-year-old US Marine L/CPL Joseph Scott Pemberton (Pemberton). A Complaint for murder was filed by Jennifer’s sibling, Marilou S. Laude, against Pemberton before the Office of the City Prosecutor which Information was later filed with the RTC in Olongapo City.

On 19 December 2014, Pemberton surrendered personally to the RTC Judge and was later arraigned. On the same day of Arraignment petitioner Laude filed an Urgent Motion to Compel the Armed Forces of the Philippines to Surrender the Custody of Accused to the Olongapo City Jail and a Motion to Allow Media Coverage. The motion was scheduled on 22 December 2014, 2PM. According to petitioners, they were only able to serve the Motion on Pemberton’s counsel through registered mail. In any case, they claim to have also “furnished a copy of the [M]otion personally … at the hearing of the [M]otion.  On 23 December 2014, the Urgent Motion was denied, as well as its motion for reconsideration.

ISSUE: Are the averments of the petitioner, that the 3-day notice rule should be should be liberally applied due to the timing of the arrest and arraignment, tenable?

HELD: NO. Rule 15, Section 4 of the Rules of Court clearly makes it a mandatory rule that the adverse party be given notice of hearing on the motion at least three days prior. Failure to comply with this notice requirement renders the motion defective consistent with protecting the adverse party’s right to procedural due process.

While the general rule is that a motion that fails to comply with the requirements of Rule 15 is a mere scrap of paper, an exception may be made and the motion may still be acted upon by the court, provided doing so will neither cause prejudice to the other party nor violate his or her due process rights. The adverse party must be given time to study the motion in order to enable him or her to prepare properly and engage the arguments of the movant. In this case, the general rule must apply because Pemberton was not given sufficient time to study petitioners’ Motion, thereby depriving him of his right to procedural due process.

Petitioners admit that they personally furnished Pemberton a copy of the Urgent Motion to Compel the Armed Forces of the Philippines to Surrender Custody of Accused to the Olongapo City Jail only during the hearing. They attempt to elude the consequences of this belated notice by arguing that they also served a copy of the Motion by registered mail on Pemberton’s counsel. They also attempt to underscore the urgency of the Motion by making a reference to the Christmas season and the “series of legal holidays” where courts would be closed. To compound their obfuscation, petitioners claim that the hearing held on December 22, 2014, attended by Pemberton’s counsel sufficiently satisfied the rationale of the three-day notice rule. These circumstances taken together do not cure the Motion’s deficiencies. Even granting that Pemberton’s counsel was able to comment on the motion orally during the hearing, which incidentally was set for another incident, it cannot be said that Pemberton was able to study and prepare for his counterarguments to the issues raised in the Motion. Judge Ginez-J abalde was correct to deny the Urgent Motion to Compel the Armed Forces of the Philippines to Surrender Custody of Accused to the Olongapo City Jail based on noncompliance of procedural rules. To rule otherwise would be to prejudice Pemberton’s rights as an accused.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2017 in Case Digests, Civil Procedure, Remedial Law

 

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Juan Ponce Enrile v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 213455, 11 August 2015.

En Banc

[BRION, J.]

The Office of the Ombudsman filed an Information for plunder against Enrile, Jessica Lucila Reyes, Janet Lim Napoles, Ronald John Lim, and John Raymund de Asis before the Sandiganbayan.

The Information reads:

x x x x

In 2004 to 2010 or thereabout, in the Philippines, and within this Honorable Court’s jurisdiction, above-named accused JUAN PONCE ENRILE, then a Philippine Senator, JESSICA LUCILA G. REYES, then Chief of Staff of Senator Enrile’s Office, both public officers, committing the offense in relation to their respective offices, conspiring with one another and with JANET LIM NAPOLES, RONALD JOHN LIM, and JOHN RAYMUND DE ASIS, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, and criminally amass, accumulate, and/or acquire ill-gotten wealth amounting to at least ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY TWO MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED THIRTY FOUR THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED PESOS (Php172,834,500.00) through a combination or series of overt criminal acts, as follows:

  1. by repeatedly receiving from NAPOLES and/or her representatives LIM, DE ASIS, and others, kickbacks or commissions under the following circumstances: before, during and/or after the project identification, NAPOLES gave, and ENRILE and/or REYES received, a percentage of the cost of a project to be funded from ENRILE’S Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), in consideration of ENRILE’S endorsement, directly or through REYES, to the appropriate government agencies, of NAPOLES’ non-government organizations which became the recipients and/or target implementors of ENRILE’S PDAF projects, which duly-funded projects turned out to be ghosts or fictitious, thus enabling NAPOLES to misappropriate the PDAF proceeds for her personal gain;
  2. by taking undue advantage, on several occasions, of their official positions, authority, relationships, connections, and influence to unjustly enrich themselves at the expense and to the damage and prejudice, of the Filipino people and the Republic of the Philippines.

CONTRARY TO LAW.

Enrile filed a motion for bill of particulars before the Sandiganbayan. On the same date, he filed a motion for deferment of arraignment since he was to undergo medical examination at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

The Court denied Enrile’s motion for bill of particulars.

ISSUE: Is a Motion to Quash the proper remedy if the information is vague or indefinite resulting in the serious violation of Enrile’s constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him?

HELD: NO. When allegations in an Information are vague or indefinite, the remedy of the accused is not a motion to quash, but a motion for a bill of particulars.

The purpose of a bill of particulars is to supply vague facts or allegations in the complaint or information to enable the accused to properly plead and prepare for trial. It presupposes a valid Information, one that presents all the elements of the crime charged, albeit under vague terms. Notably, the specifications that a bill of particulars may supply are only formal amendments to the complaint or Information. Thus, if the Information is lacking, a court should take a liberal attitude towards its granting and order the government to file a bill of particulars elaborating on the charges. Doubts should be resolved in favor of granting the bill to give full meaning to the accused’s Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Notably, the government cannot put the accused in the position of disclosing certain overt acts through the Information and withholding others subsequently discovered, all of which it intends to prove at the trial. This is the type of surprise a bill of particulars is designed to avoid. The accused is entitled to the observance of all the rules designated to bring about a fair verdict. This becomes more relevant in the present case where the crime charged carries with it the severe penalty of capital punishment and entails the commission of several predicate criminal acts involving a great number of transactions spread over a considerable period of time. Notably, conviction for plunder carries with it the penalty of capital punishment; for this reason, more process is due, not less. When a person’s life interest – protected by the life, liberty, and property language recognized in the due process clause – is at stake in the proceeding, all measures must be taken to ensure the protection of those fundamental rights.

While both the motion to dismiss the Information and the motion for bill of particulars involved the right of an accused to due process, the enumeration of the details desired in Enrile’s supplemental opposition to issuance of a warrant of arrest and for dismissal of information and in his motion for bill of particulars are different viewed particularly from the prism of their respective objectives. In the former, Enrile took the position that the Information did not state a crime for which he can be convicted; thus, the Information is void; he alleged a defect of substance. In the latter, he already impliedly admits that the Information sufficiently alleged a crime but is unclear and lacking in details that would allow him to properly plead and prepare his defense; he essentially alleged here a defect of form. Note that in the former, the purpose is to dismiss the Information for its failure to state the nature and cause of the accusation against Enrile; while the details desired in the latter (the motion for bill of particulars) are required to be specified in sufficient detail because the allegations in the Information are vague, indefinite, or in the form of conclusions and will not allow Enrile to adequately prepare his defense unless specifications are made.That every element constituting the offense had been alleged in the Information does not preclude the accused from requesting for more specific details of the various acts or omissions he is alleged to have committed. The request for details is precisely the function of a bill of particulars. Hence, while the information may be sufficient for purposes of stating the cause and the crime an accused is charged, the allegations may still be inadequate for purposes of enabling him to properly plead and prepare for trial.

We DIRECT the People of the Philippines to SUBMIT, within a non-extendible period of fifteen (15) days from finality of this Decision, with copy furnished to Enrile, a bill of particulars containing the facts sought that we herein rule to be material and necessary. The bill of particulars shall specifically contain the following:

  1. The particular overt act/s alleged to constitute the “combination or series of overt criminal acts” charged in the Information.
  2. A breakdown of the amounts of the “kickbacks or commissions” allegedly received, stating how the amount of P172,834,500.00 was arrived at.
  3. A brief description of the ‘identified’ projects where kickbacks or commissions were received.
  4. The approximate dates of receipt, “in 2004 to 2010 or thereabout,” of the alleged kickbacks and commissions from the identified projects. At the very least, the prosecution should state the year when the kickbacks and transactions from the identified projects were received.
  5. The name of Napoles’ non-government organizations (NGOs) which were the alleged “recipients and/or target implementors of Enrile’s PDAF projects.”
  6. The government agencies to whom Enrile allegedly endorsed Napoles’ NGOs. The particular person/s in each government agency who facilitated the transactions need not be named as a particular.

All particulars prayed for that are not included in the above are hereby denied.

 

 

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Enrile v. Sandiganbayan and People, G.R. No. 213847, 18 August 2015.

En Banc

[BERSAMIN, J.]

FACTS: The Office of the Ombudsman charged Enrile, 90 years of age, and several others with plunder in the Sandiganbayan on the basis of their purported involvement in the diversion and misuse of appropriations under the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Upon voluntary surrender, Enrile filed his Motion for Detention at the PNP General Hospital, and his Motion to Fix Bail. Enrile claims that before judgment of conviction, an accused is entitled to bail as matter of right; that it is the duty and burden of the Prosecution to show clearly and conclusively that Enrile comes under the exception and cannot be excluded from enjoying the right to bail; that the Prosecution has failed to establish that Enrile, if convicted of plunder, is punishable by reclusion perpetua considering the presence of two mitigating circumstances – his age and his voluntary surrender; that the Prosecution has not come forward with proof showing that his guilt for the crime of plunder is strong; and that he should not be considered a flight risk taking into account that he is already over the age of 90, his medical condition, and his social standing. In its Comment, the Ombudsman contends that Enrile’s right to bail is discretionary as he is charged with a capital offense; that to be granted bail, it is mandatory that a bail hearing be conducted to determine whether there is strong evidence of his guilt, or the lack of it; and that entitlement to bail considers the imposable penalty, regardless of the attendant circumstances.

ISSUE: Is Enrile entitled to bail? If YES, on what ground(s)?

HELD: YES, Enrile is entitled to bail as a matter of right based on humanitarian grounds.

The decision whether to detain or release an accused before and during trial is ultimately an incident of the judicial power to hear and determine his criminal case. 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.

The Court is guided by the earlier mentioned principal purpose of bail, which is to guarantee the appearance of the accused at the trial, or whenever so required by the court. The Court is further mindful of the Philippines’ responsibility in the international community arising from the national commitment under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to:

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 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.

This national commitment to uphold the fundamental human rights as well as value the worth and dignity of every person has authorized the grant of bail not only to those charged in criminal proceedings but also to extraditees upon a clear and convincing showing: (1) that the detainee will not be a flight risk or a danger to the community; and (2 ) that there exist special, humanitarian and compelling circumstances.

In our view, his social and political standing and his having immediately surrendered to the authorities upon his being charged in court indicate that the risk of his flight or escape from this jurisdiction is highly unlikely. His personal disposition from the onset of his indictment for plunder, formal or otherwise, has demonstrated his utter respect for the legal processes of this country. We also do not ignore that at an earlier time many years ago when he had been charged with rebellion with murder and multiple frustrated murder, he already evinced a similar personal disposition of respect for the legal processes, and was granted bail during the pendency of his trial because he was not seen as a flight risk. With his solid reputation in both his public and his private lives, his long years of public service, and history’s judgment of him being at stake, he should be granted bail.

N.B.

Bail for the provisional liberty of the accused, regardless of the crime charged, should be allowed independently of the merits of the charge, provided his continued incarceration is clearly shown to be injurious to his health or to endanger his life. Indeed, denying him bail despite imperiling his health and life would not serve the true objective of preventive incarceration during the trial.

 

 

Leviste v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 189122, 17 March 2010.

Third Division

[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. He appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeals. Pending appeal, he filed an urgent application for admission to bail pending appeal, citing his advanced age and health condition, and claiming the absence of any risk or possibility of flight on his part. The Court of Appeals denied petitioner’s application for bail. It invoked the bedrock principle in the matter of bail pending appeal, that the discretion to extend bail during the course of appeal should be exercised “with grave caution and only for strong reasons.” 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. Petitioner’s theory is that, where the penalty imposed by the trial court is more than six years but not more than 20 years and the circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Section 5 are absent, bail must be granted to an appellant pending appeal.

ISSUE: 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?

HELD: NO, discretionary nature of bail mentioned in Section 5 of Rule 114 does not mean automatic grant of bail in case of appeal.

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. Considering that the accused was in fact convicted by the trial court, allowance of bail pending appeal should be guided by a stringent-standards approach. This judicial disposition finds strong support in the history and evolution of the rules on bail and the language of Section 5, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court. It is likewise consistent with the trial court’s initial determination that the accused should be in prison. Furthermore, letting the accused out on bail despite his conviction may destroy the deterrent effect of our criminal laws. This is especially germane to bail pending appeal because long delays often separate sentencing in the trial court and appellate review. In addition, at the post-conviction stage, the accused faces a certain prison sentence and thus may be more likely to flee regardless of bail bonds or other release conditions. Finally, permitting bail too freely in spite of conviction invites frivolous and time-wasting appeals which will make a mockery of our criminal justice system and court processes.

 

 

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Okabe v. Judge Gutierrez and Maruyama, G.R. No. 150185, 27 May 2004.

Second Division

[CALLEJO, SR., J.]

FACTS: Maruyama charged Okabe of Estafa. After the preliminary investigation, an Information was filed and a warrant of arrest was issued.  Petitioner posted a personal bail bond in the said amount, duly approved by Judge Demetrio B. Macapagal, the Presiding Judge of Branch 79 of the RTC of Quezon City, who forthwith recalled the said warrant. The approved personal bail bond of the petitioner was transmitted to the RTC of Pasig City on June 21, 2000. Upon her request, the petitioner was furnished with a certified copy of the Information, the resolution and the criminal complaint which formed part of the records of the said case. Petitioner twice left the Philippines but returned. The prosecution moved for the issuance of a hold departure order to hold and prevent any attempt on the part of the petitioner to depart from the Philippines. Petitioner filed a Very Urgent Motion To Lift/Recall Hold Departure Order and/or allow her to regularly travel to Japan. Petitioner filed a motion for the postponement of her arraignment alleging that, in case the trial court ruled adversely thereon, she would refuse to enter a plea and seek relief from the appellate court. The court denied the petitioner’s motions on the ground that when the petitioner posted a personal bail bond for her provisional liberty, she thereby waived her right to question the court’s finding of the existence of probable cause for her arrest and submitted herself to the jurisdiction of the court, more so when she filed the motion for the lifting of the hold departure order the court issued, and the motion to defer the proceedings and her arraignment.

ISSUE: Is the application for or filing of bail bond a waiver of one’s right to assail the warrant issued for his arrest?

 

HELD: NO, there is no waiver in application for or filing of a bail.

It bears stressing that Section 26, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure is a new one, intended to modify previous rulings of this Court that an application for bail or the admission to bail by the accused shall be considered as a waiver of his right to assail the warrant issued for his arrest on the legalities or irregularities thereon. The new rule has reverted to the ruling of this Court in People v. Red. The new rule is curative in nature because precisely, it was designed to supply defects and curb evils in procedural rules. Hence, the rules governing curative statutes are applicable. Curative statutes are by their essence retroactive in application. Besides, procedural rules as a general rule operate retroactively, even without express provisions to that effect, to cases pending at the time of their effectivity, in other words to actions yet undetermined at the time of their effectivity. Before the appellate court rendered its decision on January 31, 2001, the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure was already in effect. It behooved the appellate court to have applied the same in resolving the petitioner’s petition for certiorari and her motion for partial reconsideration.

Moreover, considering the conduct of the petitioner after posting her personal bail bond, it cannot be argued that she waived her right to question the finding of probable cause and to assail the warrant of arrest issued against her by the respondent judge. There must be clear and convincing proof that the petitioner had an actual intention to relinquish her right to question the existence of probable cause. When the only proof of intention rests on what a party does, his act should be so manifestly consistent with, and indicative of, an intent to voluntarily and unequivocally relinquish the particular right that no other explanation of his conduct is possible. In this case, the records show that a warrant was issued by the respondent judge in Pasay City for the arrest of the petitioner, a resident of Guiguinto, Bulacan. When the petitioner learned of the issuance of the said warrant, she posted a personal bail bond to avert her arrest and secure her provisional liberty. Judge Demetrio B. Macapagal of the RTC of Quezon City approved the bond and issued an order recalling the warrant of arrest against the petitioner. Thus, the posting of a personal bail bond was a matter of imperative necessity to avert her incarceration; it should not be deemed as a waiver of her right to assail her arrest.

 

 

 

 

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People of the Philippines v. Sandiganbayan and Jinggoy Estrada, G.R. No. 158754, 10 August 2007.

En Banc

[GARCIA, J.]

FACTS: This petition seeks to reverse and set aside the Resolution of herein respondent Sandiganbayan (Special Division) issued on March 6, 2003 in Criminal Case No. 26558, granting bail to private respondent Senator Jose Jinggoy Estrada (hereafter Jinggoy for brevity). Jinggoy was among the respondents in the crime of Plunder filed by the Office of the Ombudsman. Jinggoy filed with the Court an Urgent Motion praying for early resolution of his Petition for Bail on Medical/Humanitarian Considerations. He reiterated his earlier plea for bail filed with the Sandiganbayan. Jinggoy filed before the Sandiganbayan an Omnibus Application for Bail against which the prosecution filed its comment and opposition. Bail hearings were then conducted, followed by the submission by the parties of their respective memoranda.  Petitioner suggests that Jinggoy is harboring a plan to escape, thus a flight risk. But in a Resolution, the Sandiganbayan granted Jinggoy’s Omnibus Application for Bail. Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration but was denied.

ISSUE: Is the grant of bail in favor of Jinggoy proper on the ground that he is no longer considered a flight risk?

HELD: YES, the grant of bail is proper.

To begin with, Section 13 of Article III (Bill of Rights) of the Constitution mandates:

Section 13. All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. xxx.

Even if the capital offense charged is bailable owing to the weakness of the evidence of guilt, the right to bail may justifiably still be denied if the probability of escape is great. Here, ever since the promulgation of the assailed Resolutions a little more than four (4) years ago, Jinggoy does not, as determined by Sandiganbayan, seem to be a flight risk. We quote with approval what the graft court wrote in this regard:

It is not open to serious doubt that the movant [Jinggoy] has, in general, been consistently respectful of the Court and its processes. He has not ominously shown, by word or by deed, that he is of such a flight risk that would necessitate his continued incarceration. Bearing in mind his conduct, social standing and his other personal circumstances, the possibility of his escape in this case seems remote if not nil.

The likelihood of escape on the part individual respondent is now almost nil, given his election on May 10, 2004, as Senator of the Republic of the Philippines. The Court takes stock of the fact that those who usually jump bail are shadowy characters mindless of their reputation in the eyes of the people for as long as they can flee from the retribution of justice. On the other hand, those with a reputation and a respectable name to protect and preserve are very unlikely to jump bail. The Court, to be sure, cannot accept any suggestion that someone who has a popular mandate to serve as Senator is harboring any plan to give up his Senate seat in exchange for becoming a fugitive from justice.

 

 

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