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A.M. No.

RTJ-98-1407 July 20, 1998


Sinal Bantuas, Yusop Bantuas, Saidalai Bantuas, and Mono!a B. Mad"asi#,
complainants,
vs.
Jud$% Yusop& '. (an$adapun and Jud$% Santos B. Adion$, respondents.

MART)N*+, J.:
In a verified complaint dated October 17, 1995
1
Judge Yusoph K. angadapun,
!egional "rial #ourt, $ranch 1%, &ara'i #it( in his capacit( as )cting residing Judge,
!"#, $ranch 11, &alabang, *anao del +ur and Judge +antos $. )diong, !"#, $ranch
,, &ara'i #it( 'ere changed 'ith alleged gross misconduct relative to the granting of
bail to the accused in #riminal #ase -o. 11./0% entitled 1eople vs. -i2on &acapado
et. al.1 for &urder.
"he complainants herein are relatives of the late $ohare $antuas, 'ho 'as shot to
death allegedl( b( the accused in #riminal #ase -o. 11./0% filed before the sala of
respondent Judge angadapun. $( virtue of the 'arrant of arrest issued against the
accused in the above.mentioned case, accused -i2on &acapado 'as arrested and
detained on )ugust 31, 1990. #omplainants allege that after the arrest of the accused
the sub4ect criminal case 'as not heard and no notice of hearing nor subpoenas 'ere
issued in connection there'ith. "he( claim that the acused 'as allo'ed to post bail
'ithout the benefit of a hearing in the amount of 0%,%%%.%% as fi2ed b( respondent
4udge Yusoph K. angadapun in his Order dated )pril 7, 1995
2
granting the 5rgent
&otion to 6i2 $ail
,
filed b( accused7s counsel.
"he( further asseverate that in order to rectif( his unprocedural and un4ustified act of
fi2ing bail in a capital offense 'ithout a hearing, respondent Judge angadapun
revo8ed and set aside the 9uestionable order above.cited b( issuing on Jul( 39, 1995
another order to that effect.
4
"he case 'as calendared for hearing t'ice, but nothing
'as done about the case because the accused had alread( been released on bail.
#omplainants li8e'ise implicate respondent Judge )diong in this alleged anomalous
granting of bail to the accused. )ccording to the complainants, Judge )diong ordered
the release of accused -i2on &acapado on Jul( 1,, 1995
-
on the basis of a defective
propert( bond posted b( bondsman :ad4i &ohammad &angondacan.
5pon verification from the office of the !egister of ;eeds, complainants found out that
the propert( bond 'hich 'as approved and accepted b( respondent Judge )diong, 'as
not filed and dul( registered in accordance 'ith the prescribed form as there 'as no
description of the area, no "#" number and no current assessed value of the real
propert( involved. In addition, the propert( bond 'as not filed 'ith the !egister of
;eeds for proper annotation. #omplainants further discovered that the propert( 'as
alread( sub4ect of and used as bond in #ivil #ase -o. !"#.393.9%, !egional "rial
#ourt, $ranch 1%, &ara'i #it(, *anao del +ur.
In his #omment dated &arch 10, 199<,
.
respondent Judge Yusoph K. angadapun
admitted that he issued the Order dated )pril 7, 1995 granting the 5rgent &otion to 6i2
$ail filed b( accused -i2on &acapado through counsel 'ithout an( hearing, on the
strength of the representation of rovincial rosecutor acaambung &acabando, 'ho
allegedl( did not offer an( ob4ection in so far as -i2on &acapado 'as concerned.
:e e2plained, ho'ever, that said order 'as timel( revo8ed b( another order 'hich he
issued on Jul( 19, 1995, before the accused 'as actuall( released from detention on
Jul( 39, 1995 as certified
7
b( #arum &amarinta &auna, =arden of the &ara'i #it( Jail
'here accused 'as detained. :e added that his revocator( order 'as made 'hile
accused -i2on &acapado 'as still under detention at the #it( Jail, before the order of
release of respondent Judge )diong on Jul( 3,, 1995 and also before the accused7s
actual release on Jul( 39, 1995.
!espondent Judge +antos $. )diong, in his #omment,
8
admitted to having acted on the
bail bond papers of accused in his capacit( as >ice ?2ecutive Judge and in the absence
of ?2ecutive Judge Yusoph K. angadapun 'ho 'as out of to'n at that time. :e
claimed that, on the basis of the Order dated )pril 7, 1995 of Judge angadapun fi2ing
the bail at 0%,%%%.%% and considering that the supporting papers presented to him
appeared to be in order, he approved the bail bond in his Order dated Jul( 1,, 1995.
9

)fter'ards, he for'arded the bailbond papers to the !"#, $ranch 11, &alabang, *anao
del +ur.
"his #ourt has time and again reiterated that a hearing is mandator( before bail can be
granted to an accused 'ho is charged 'ith a capital offense.
10
"he circumstances
obtaining herein situate the case s9uarel( 'ithin the ambit of the aforementioned
procedural re9uirement.
)s clearl( established b( the facts of the case, accused -i2on &acapado 'as charged
'ith &urder 'hich is a capital offense. "his not'ithstanding, respondent Judge
angadapun undertoo8 to dispense 'ith the re9uisite hearing on the basis of the non.
ob4ection thereto of the rovincial rosecutor, in contravention of the rules and
applicable 4urisprudence.
"rue, the determination of the grant of bail is a matter of 4udicial discretion 'here the
offense charged involves a capital offense.
11
:o'ever, the discretion of the court to
grant bail in cases involving capital offenses lies not in the determination of 'hether or
not a hearing should be held, but in the appreciation and evaluation of the 'eight of the
prosecution7s evidence of guilt against the accused.
12
6urthermore, admission to bail as
a matter of discretion presupposes the e2ercise thereof in accordance 'ith la' and
guided b( the applicable legal principles.
1,
)lthough the rovincial rosecutor had interposed no ob4ection to the grant of bail to the
accused, respondent 4udge should have set the petition for bail for hearing.
14
If the
prosecution refuses to adduce evidence or fails to interpose an ob4ection to the motion
for bail, it is still mandator( for the court to conduct a hearing or as8 searching and
clarificator( 9uestions.
1-
6or even the failure of the prosecution to interpose an
ob4ection to the grant of bail to the accused 'ill not 4ustif( such grant 'ithout hearing.
1.
!espondent Judge angadapun7s e2planation that his un'arranted and unprocedural
grant of bail 'as timel( remedied b( his subse9uent issuance of an order revo8ing and
setting aside the former cannot be countenanced. It is 'ell 'orth noting that the
revocator( order 'as made onl( on Jul( 19, 1995 or three months after the initiall(
erroneous order of )pril 7, 1995 'hich 'as sought to be corrected. "hat he reali@ed his
fallacious granting of bail onl( after the lapse of three months is unfathomable.
6undamental 8no'ledge of the la' and a reasonable understanding of recent
4urisprudence ought to have guarded respondent 4udge against the precipitate and
un4ustified granting of bail or should have at least prompted him to invalidate the same
immediatel( thereafter.
=hether the accused 'as still detained or not at the time the revocator( order 'as
made is of no moment inasmuch as the administrative liabilit( of respondent Judge
angadapun had alread( attached 'hen he granted bail to an accused charged 'ith a
capital offense. -either 'ill the seemingl( conflicting claims of the parties 'ith respect to
the date of respondent Judge )diong7s release order negate the aforesaid culpabilit( of
respondent Judge angadapun.
)s found b( the Office of the #ourt )dministrator AO#)B, in its &emorandum dated June
3%, 199<,
17
1Judge angadapun7s action sho's lac8 of familiarit( 'ith the la' and
recent 4urisprudence 'hich undermines the public7s confidence in the integrit( of the
courts.1
18
"o grant an application for bail and fi2 the amount thereof 'ithout a hearing dul( called
for the purpose of determining 'hether the evidence of guilt is strong constitutes
ignorance or incompetence 'hose grossness cannot be e2cused b( a claim of good
faith or e2cusable negligence.
19
6urthermore, the #ourt has held that the failure of the
4udge to conduct the hearing re9uired prior to the grant of bail in capital offenses is
ine2cusable and reflects gross ignorance of the la' and a cavalier disregard of its
re9uirement.
20
"he e2planation of respondent Judge )diong is li8e'ise dubious and unavailing. :is act
of approving the bail bond papers of the accused, 'ithout verif(ing pertinent records
'hen he had ever( opportunit( and reasonable time to do so, can be characteri@ed as
negligent and imprudent.
:ad he thoroughl( e2amined the order of his co.respondent Judge angadapun
granting the accused7s &otion for $ail, he 'ould have noticed that the motion 'as
approved 'ithout the re9uired hearing.
*i8e'ise, he should have ta8en account of the fact that the same did not contain a
summar( of prosecutorial evidence. )n order granting or refusing bail must contain a
summar( of the evidence offered b( the prosecution.
21
+ince the order had no recital of
an( evidence presented b( the prosecution nor a pronouncement that the evidence of
guilt of the accused 'as not strong, hence, the said order should not be sustained or
given an( semblance of validit(.
22
5nfortunatel(, he carelessl( disregarded the manifest irregularit( contained therein and
failed to reali@e that the bail bond should not have been approved in the first place.
Indubitabl(, respondent 4udge sho'ed poor 4udgment and gross ignorance of basic legal
principles.
2,
!espondent 4udge )diong also did not contravene the allegation that the supporting
papers far the bail bond 'ere defective considering that the same 'ere not in the
prescribed form. -either did he refute the allegation that the propert( offered 'as also
being used as bond in another case. ) 4udge cannot approve a bail band and order the
release of an accused 'ithout the submission of a valid bail bond.
24
)ccordingl(, 'e find he respondent 4udges administrativel( liable for Ignorance of the
*a' relative to their actuations in the granting of bail to the accused in #riminal #ase
-o. 11./0%, !"#, $ranch 11, &alabang, *anao del -orte.
In vie' of the foregoing, Judge Yusoph K. angadapun of !"#, $ranch 1% &ara'i #it(
and Judge +antos $. )diong of !"#, $ranch ,, &ara'i #it( are hereb( ordered to pa(
a 6I-? of "=?-"Y ":O5+)-; ?+O+ A3%,%%%.%%B each for ignorance of the *a'.
+O O!;?!?;.
Narvasa, C.J., Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Mendoza,
Quisumbing and Purisima, JJ., concur.
ellosillo and Panganiban, JJ., too! no part.

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