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RIGHT TO BAIL CASES

RULE 114 - BAIL


Section 1. Bail defined. Bail is the security given for the release of a person in custody of the
law, furnished by him or a bondsman, to guarantee his appearance before any court as required
under the conditions hereinafter specified. Bail may be given in the form of corporate surety,
property bond, cash deposit, or recognizance.
Sec. 2. Conditions of the bail; requirements. All kinds of bail are subject to the following
conditions:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
(a) The undertaking shall be effective upon approval, and unless cancelled, shall remain in force
at all stages of the case until promulgation of the judgment of the Regional Trial Court,
irrespective of whether the case was originally filed in or appealed to it;
(b) The accused shall appear before the proper court whenever required by the court of these
Rules;
(c) The failure of the accused to appear at the trial without justification and despite due notice
shall be deemed a waiver of his right to be present thereat. In such case, the trial may proceed in
absentia; and
(d) The bondsman shall surrender the accused to the court for execution of the final judgment.
The original papers shall state the full name and address of the accused, the amount of the
undertaking and the conditions required by this section. Photographs (passport size) taken within
the last six (6) months showing the face, left and right profiles of the accused must be attached to
the bail.chanrobles virtualawlibrary
Sec. 3. No release or transfer except on court order or bail. No person under detention by
legal process shall be released or transferred except upon order of the court or when he is
admitted to bail.
Sec. 4. Bail, a matter of right; exception. All persons in custody shall be admitted to bail as a
matter of right, with sufficient sureties, or released on recognizance as prescribed by law or this
Rule (a) before or after conviction by the Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court,
Municipal Trial Court in Cities, or Municipal Circuit Trial Court, and (b) before conviction by
the Regional Trial court of an offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua, or life
imprisonment.

Sec. 5. Bail, when discretionary. Upon conviction by the Regional Trial Court of an offense
not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment, admission to bail is
discretionary. The application for bail may be filed and acted upon by the trial court despite the
filing of a notice of appeal, provided it has not transmitted the original record to the appellate
court. However, if the decision of the trial court conviction 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 accuse, of the following or other similar circumstances:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
(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.chanrobles virtualawlibrary
Sec. 6. Capital offense defined. A capital offense is an offense which, under the law existing
at the time of its commission and of the application for admission to bail, may be punished with
death.
Sec. 7. Capital offense or 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 state of the criminal prosecution. chan robles virtual law library
Sec. 8. Burden of proof in bail application. At the hearing of an application for bail filed by a
person who is in custody for the commission of an offense punishable by death,reclusion
perpetua, or life imprisonment, the prosecution has the burden of showing that evidence of guilt
is strong. The evidence presented during the bail hearing shall be considered automatically
reproduced at the trial but, upon motion of either party, the court may recall any witness for

additional examination unless the latter is dead, outside the Philippines, or otherwise unable to
testify.
Sec. 9. Amount of bail; guidelines. The judge who issued the warrant or granted the
application shall fix a reasonable amount of bail considering primarily, but not limited to, the
following factors:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
(a) Financial liability of the accused to give bail;
(b) Nature and circumstance of the offense;
(c) Penalty for the offense charged;
(d) Character and reputation of the accused;
(e) Age and health of the accused;
(f) Weight of the evidence against the accused;
(g) Probability of the accused appearing at the trial;
(h) Forfeiture of other bail;
(i) The fact that the accused was a fugitive from justice when arrested; and
(j) Pendency of other cases where the accused is on bail.
Excessive bail shall not be required.chanrobles virtualawlibrary
Sec. 10. Corporate surety. Any domestic or foreign corporation, licensed as a surety in
accordance with law and currently authorized to act as such, may provide bail by a bond
subscribed jointly by the accused and an officer of the corporation duly authorized by its board
of directors.
Sec. 11. Property bond, how posted. A property bond is an undertaking constituted as lien on
the real property given as security for the amount of the bail. Within ten (10) days after the
approval of the bond, the accused shall cause the annotation of the lien on the certificate of title
on file with the Registry of Deeds if the land is registered, or if unregistered, in the Registration
Book on the space provided therefore, in the Registry of Deeds for the province or city where the
land lies, and on the corresponding tax declaration in the office of the provincial, city and
municipal assessor concerned.
Within the same period, the accused shall submit to the court his compliance and his failure to
do so shall be sufficient cause for the cancellation of the property bond and his re-arrest and
detention.

Sec. 12. Qualifications of sureties in property bond. The qualifications of sureties in a


property bond shall be as follows:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
(a) Each must be a resident owner of real estate within the Philippines;
(b) Where there is only one surety, his real estate must be worth at least the amount of
undertaking;
(c) If there are two or more sureties, each may justify in an amount less than that expressed in the
undertaking but the aggregate of the justified sums must be equivalent to the whole amount of
the bail demanded.
In all cases, every surety must be worth the amount specified in his own undertaking over and
above all just debts, obligations and properties exempt from execution.chanrobles
virtualawlibrary
Sec. 13. Justification of sureties. Every surety shall justify by affidavit taken before the judge
that he possesses the qualification prescribed in the preceding section. He shall describe the
property given as security, stating the nature of his title, its encumbrances, the number and
amount of other bails entered into by him and still undischarged, and his other liabilities. The
court may examine the sureties upon oath concerning their sufficiency in such manner as it may
deem proper. No bail shall be approved unless the surety is qualified.
Sec. 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 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.
Sec. 15. Recognizance. Whenever allowed by law or these Rules, the court may release a
person in custody on his own recognizance or that of a responsible person.
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.
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,
of if no judge thereof is available, with any metropolitan trial judge, municipal trial judge, or
municipal circuit trial judge therein.
(b) Where the grant of bail is a matter of discretion, or the accused seeks to be released on
recognizance, the application may only be filed in the court where the case is pending, whether
on preliminary investigation, trial, or appeal.
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.
Sec. 18. Notice of application to prosecutor. In the application for bail under section 8 of this
Rule, the court must give reasonable notice of the hearing to the prosecutor or require him to
submit his recommendation.
Sec. 19. Release on bail. The accused must be discharged upon approval of the bail by the
judge with whom it was filed in accordance with section 17 of this Rule.
When bail is filed with a court other than where the case is pending, the judge who accepted
the bail shall forward it, together with the order of release and other supporting papers, to the
court where the case is pending, which may, for good reason, require a different one to be filed.
Sec. 20. Increase or reduction of bail. After the accused is admitted to bail, the court may,
upon good cause, either increase or reduce its amount. When increased, the accused may be
committed to custody if he does not give bail in the increased amount within a reasonable period.
An accused held to answer a criminal charge, who is released without bail upon filing of the
complaint or information, may, at any subsequent stage of the proceedings and whenever a
strong showing of guilt appears to the court, be required to give bail in the amount fixed, or in
lieu thereof, committed to custody. chan robles virtual law library
Sec. 21. Forfeiture of bail. When the presence of the accused is required by the court or these
Rules, his bondsmen shall be notified to produce him before the court on a given date and time.

If the accused fails to appear in person as required, his bail shall be declared forfeited and the
bondsmen given thirty (30) days within which to produce their principal and to show why no
judgment should be rendered against them for the amount of their bail. Within the said period,
the bondsmen must:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
(a) produce the body of their principal or give the reason for his non-production; and
(b) explain why the accused did not appear before the court when first required to do so.
Failing in these two requisites, a judgment shall be rendered against the bondsmen, jointly and
severally, for the amount of the bail. The court shall not reduce or otherwise mitigate the liability
of the bondsmen, unless the accused has been surrendered or is acquitted.chanrobles
virtualawlibrary
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.
Sec. 23. Arrest of accused out on bail. For the purpose of surrendering the accused, the
bondsmen may arrest him or, upon written authority endorsed on a certified copy of the
undertaking, cause him to be arrested by a police officer or any other person of suitable age and
discretion.
An accused released on bail may be re-arrested without the necessity of a warrant if he
attempts to depart from the Philippines without permission of the court where the case is
pending.
Sec. 24. No bail after final judgment; exception. No bail shall be allowed after a judgment of
conviction has become final. If before such finality, the accused applies for probation, he may be
allowed temporary liberty under his bail. When no bail was filed or the accused is incapable of
filing one, the court may allow his release on recognizance to the custody of a responsible
member of the community. In no case shall bail be allowed after the accused has commenced to
serve sentence.
Sec. 25. Court supervision of detainees. The court shall exercise supervision over all persons
in custody for the purpose of eliminating unnecessary detention. The executive judges of the
Regional Trial Courts shall conduct monthly personal inspections of provincial, city, and
municipal jails and the prisoners within their respective jurisdictions. They shall ascertain the
number of detainees, inquire on their proper accommodation and health and examine the

condition of the jail facilities. They shall order the segregation of sexes and of minors from
adults, ensure the observance of the right of detainees to confer privately with counsel, and strive
to eliminate conditions inimical to the detainees.
In cities and municipalities to be specified by the Supreme Court, the municipal trial judges or
municipal circuit trial judges shall conduct monthly personal inspections of the municipal jails in
their respective municipalities and submit a report to the executive judge of the Regional Trial
Court having jurisdiction therein.
A monthly report of such visitation shall be submitted by the executive judges to the Court
Administrator which shall state the total number of detainees, the names of those held for more
than thirty (30) days, the duration of detention, the crime charged, the status of the case, the
cause for detention, and other pertinent information.
Sec. 26. Bail not a bar to objections on illegal arrest, lack of 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 therefore, 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.

PEOPLE vs San Diego


FACTS: The accused were charged for murder. The prosecution and the defense agreed that the
motions for bail of the defendants would be considered in the course of the regular trial instead
of in a summary proceeding. In the course of the regular trial, after the prosecution had presented
eight witnesses, the trial court resolved the motions for bail granting the same despite the
objection of the prosecution on the ground that it still had material witnesses to present. Bail was
granted on the ground that the evidence of guilt was not strong.
ISSUE: Whether the prosecution was deprived of procedural due process when trial court
granted bail without allowing the prosecution to present their other witnesses?
HELD: YES. Whether the motion for bail of a defendant who is in custody for a capital offense
be resolved in a summary proceeding or in the course of a regular trial, the prosecution must be
given an opportunity to present, within a reasonable time, all the evidence that it may desire to
introduce before the court should resolve the motion for bail. If, as in the criminal case involved
in the instant special civil action, the prosecution should be denied such an opportunity, there
would be a violation of procedural due process, and the order of the court granting bail should be
considered void on that ground. The orders complained of dated October 7, 9 and 12, 1968,
having been issued in violation of procedural due process, must be considered null and void.

The courts discretion to grant bail in capital offenses must be exercised in the light of a
summary of the evidence presented by the prosecution; otherwise, it would be uncontrolled and
might be capricious or whimsical. Hence, the courts order granting or refusing bail must contain
a summary of the evidence for the prosecution followed by its conclusion whether or not the
evidence of guilt is strong. The orders of October 7, 9 and 12, 1968, granting bail to the five
defendants are defective in form and substance because they do not contain a summary of the
evidence presented by the prosecution. They only contain the courts conclusion that the
evidence of guilt is not strong. Being thus defective in form and substance, the orders
complained of cannot, also on this ground, be allowed to stand.

LAVIDES vs CA
Facts: On 3 April 1997, the parents of Lorelie San Miguel reported to the police that their
daughter, then 16 years old, had been contacted by Manolet Lavides for an assignation that night
at Lavides' room at the Metropolitan Hotel in Diliman, Quezon City. Apparently, this was not the
first time the police received reports of Lavides' activities. An entrapment operation was
therefore set in motion. At around 8:20 p.m. of the same date, the police knocked at the door of
Room 308 of the Metropolitan Hotel where Lavides was staying. When Lavides opened the door,
the police saw him with Lorelie, who was wearing only a t-shirt and an underwear, whereupon
they arrested him. Based on the sworn statement of Lorelie and the affidavits of the arresting
officers, which were submitted at the inquest, an information for violation of Article III, 5(b) of
RA 7610 (An Act Providing for Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection against Child Abuse,
Exploitation and Discrimination, Providing Penalties for its Violation, and other Purposes) was
filed on 7 April 1997 against Lavides in the Regional Trial Court, Quezon City (Criminal Case
Q-97-70550). On 10 April 1997, Lavides filed an "Omnibus Motion (1) For Judicial
Determination of Probable Cause; (2) For the Immediate Release of the Accused Unlawfully
Detained on an Unlawful Warrantless Arrest; and (3) In the Event of Adverse Resolution of the
Above Incident, Herein Accused be Allowed to Bail as a Matter of Right under the Law on
Which He is Charged." On 29 April 1997, 9 more informations for child abuse were filed against
Lavides by Lorelie San Miguel, and by three other minor children, Mary Ann Tardesilla, Jennifer
Catarman, and Annalyn Talinting (Criminal Case Q-97-70866 to Q-97-70874). In all the cases, it
was alleged that, on various dates mentioned in the informations, Lavides had sexual intercourse
with complainants who had been "exploited in prostitution and given money as payment for the
said acts of sexual intercourse." No bail was recommended. Nonetheless, Lavides filed separate
applications for bail in the 9 cases. On 16 May 1997, the trial court issued an order resolving
Lavides' Omnibus Motion. finding that, in Criminal Case Q-97-70550, there is probable cause to
hold the accused under detention, his arrest having been made in accordance with the Rules, and
thus he must therefore remain under detention until further order of the Court; and that the
accused is entitled to bail in all the case, and that he is granted the right to post bail in the amount
of P80,000.00 for each case or a total of P800,000.00 for all the cases under certain conditions.

On 20 May 1997, Lavides filed a motion to quash the informations against him, except those
filed in Criminal Case Q-97-70550 or Q-97-70866. Pending resolution of his motion, he asked
the trial court to suspend the arraignment scheduled on 23 May 1997. Then on 22 May 1997, he
filed a motion in which he prayed that the amounts of bail bonds be reduced to P40,000.00 for
each case and that the same be done prior to his arraignment. On 23 May 1997, the trial court, in
separate orders, denied Lavides' motions to reduce bail bonds, to quash the informations, and to
suspend arraignment. Accordingly, Lavides was arraigned during which he pleaded not guilty to
the charges against him and then ordered him released upon posting bail bonds in the total
amount of P800,000.00, subject to the conditions in the 16 May 1997 order and the "holddeparture" order of 10 April 1997. The pre-trial conference was set on 7 June 1997. On 2 June
1997, Lavides filed a petition for certiorari in the Court of Appeals, assailing the trial court's
order, dated 16 May 1997, and its two orders, dated 23 May 1997, denying his motion to quash
and maintaining the conditions set forth in its order of 16 May 1997, respectively. While the case
was pending in the Court of Appeals, two more informations were filed against Lavides, bringing
the total number of cases against him to 12, which were all consolidated. On 30 June 1997, the
Court of Appeals rendered its decision, invalidating the first two conditions under 16 May 1997
order -- i.e. that (1) the accused shall not be entitled to a waiver of appearance during the trial of
these cases. He shall and must always be present at the hearings of these cases; and (2) In the
event that he shall not be able to do so, his bail bonds shall be automatically cancelled and
forfeited, warrants for his arrest shall be immediately issued and the cases shall proceed to trial
in absentia -- and maintained the orders in all other respects. Lavides filed the petition for review
with the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether the court should impose the condition that the accused shall ensure his presence
during the trial of these cases before the bail can be granted.
Held: In cases where it is authorized, bail should be granted before arraignment, otherwise the
accused may be precluded from filing a motion to quash. For if the information is quashed and
the case is dismissed, there would then be no need for the arraignment of the accused. Further,
the trial court could ensure Lavides' presence at the arraignment precisely by granting bail and
ordering his presence at any stage of the proceedings, such as arraignment. Under Rule 114,
2(b) of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, one of the conditions of bail is that "the accused shall
appear before the proper court whenever so required by the court or these Rules," while under
Rule 116, 1(b) the presence of the accused at the arraignment is required. To condition the grant
of bail to an accused on his arraignment would be to place him in a position where he has to
choose between (1) filing a motion to quash and thus delay his release on bail because until his
motion to quash can be resolved, his arraignment cannot be held, and (2) foregoing the filing of a
motion to quash so that he can be arraigned at once and thereafter be released on bail. These
scenarios certainly undermine the accused's constitutional right not to be put on trial except upon
valid complaint or information sufficient to charge him with a crime and his right to bail. The

court's strategy to ensure the Lavides' presence at the arraignment violates the latter's
constitutional rights.

Comendador vs De Villa
Facts: This is a consolidated case of members of the AFP who were charged with violation
of Articles of War (AW) 67 (Mutiny), AW 96 (Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a
Gentleman) and AW 94 (Various Crimes) in relation to Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code
(Murder). The petitioners were questioning the conduct of the pre-trial investigation conducted
where a motion to bail was filed but was denied. Petitioner applied for provisional liberty and
preliminary injunction before the court which was granted. However De Villa refused to release
petitioner for provisional liberty pending the resolution of the appeal they have taken before the
court invoking that military officers are an exemption from the right to bail guaranteed by the
Constitution. Decision was rendered reiterating the release for provisional liberty of petitioners
with the court stating that there is a mistake in the presumption of respondents that bail does not
apply among military men facing court martial proceeding. Respondents now appeal before the
higher court.
Issue: Whether or not military men are exempted from the Constitutional guarantee on the right
to bail.
Held: The SC ruled that the bail invoked by petitioners is not available in the military as an
exception to the general rule embodied in the Bill of Rights. Thus the right to a speedy trial is
given more emphasis in the military where the right to bail does not exist. Justification to this
rule involves the unique structure of the military and national security considerations which may
result to damaging precedents that mutinous soldiers will be released on provisional liberty
giving them the chance to continue their plot in overthrowing the government. Therefore the
decision of the lower court granting bail to the petitioners was reversed.

Baylon v Judge Sison


Facts: Respondent judge is accused for malfeasance in granting bail to the accused charged with
double murder. Prosecution was not given notice of at least 3 days before the
scheduled hearing for bail in violation of Rule 15, section 4 of the Rules of Court and the filingof
petition for bail has only 2 non-working day interval from the schedule of the hearing. Moreover
the prosecution also assails that they were not given the chance to present evidence that strongly
prove the guilt of the accused. Respondent judge justifies not having committed grave abuse of
discretion since the prosecution did not interpose objection with his orders and the lack of
previous notice was cured with the filing of motion for reconsideration.

Issue: Whether or not the respondent judge exercised abuse in discretion in the grant of bail
to the accused.
Held: The Supreme Court held that there was abuse in the discretion of the judge in granting bail
to the accused considering that the motion for bail was filed on a Saturday and the hearing was
immediately conducted on Monday thereby depriving the prosecution to make an opposition
thereto and violating the 3-day notice rule embodied in Rule 15, Sec. 4 of Rules of Court. It is a
well established rule of law that bail is not a matter of right and requires a hearing where the
accused is charged with an offense which is punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life
imprisonment. Respondent judge should have carefully scrutinized the validity of petition for
bail before making an outright grant of this motion.
A guided legal principle in the right to bail includes:
. . The prosecution must first be accorded an 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 against in determining whether the guilt of the accused is strong. In other words,
discretion must be exercised regularly, legally and within the confines of procedural due process,
that is, after evaluation of the evidence submitted by the prosecution. Any order issued in the
absence thereof is not a product of sound judicial discretion but of whim and caprice and outright
arbitrariness.

Cardines vs Rosete
Respondent Judge Gregorio L. Rosete of the 4th Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Moncada-San
Manuel-Anao, Tarlac, is charged with misconduct and ignorance of the law for allegedly
granting bail to Erlie U. Claro and Emilio B. Claro in conspiracy with Julieta Villanos who is his
Clerk of Court and Reiner Antonio, Criminal Docket Clerk of the Regional Trial Court of Tarlac,
Br. 67, knowing fully well that the charge of illegal recruitment was punishable with life
imprisonment hence non-bailable.
The records show that on 10 November 1993 SPO2 Virgilio B. Pajarillo, PNP Chief Investigator,
filed a criminal complaint before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Moncada-San Manuel-Anao,
docketed as Crim. Case No. 93-1117, charging Erlie U. Claro, Emilio B. Claro and Albert Reyes
with illegal recruitment. The complaining witnesses, Archimedes Cardines, Noel Visquera, Rolly
Acosta and Ronaldo Macabunga claimed that the accused, who had no license or authority to
conduct recruitment and placement of workers, promised to hire them for overseas employment
upon payment of a fee. The complaint was filed with respondent Judge for preliminary
investigation. On 11 November 1993 a second criminal complaint for illegal recruitment (not in
large scale) was filed by PNP Senior inspector Julian A. Saygo against the same accused upon
the complaint of Archimedes Cardines and Lea Cardines, docketed as Crim. Case No. 93-1118.

Upon filing of the two criminal complaints with the 4th MCTC of Moncada-San Manuel-Anao,
Tarlac, accused Erlie U. Claro and Emilio B. Claro were placed under preventive detention at the
municipal jail of Moncada, Tarlac, while Albert Reyes remained at large. On 23 November 1993,
upon application of the accused, respondent Judge granted them provisional liberty on a bond of
P20,000.00 each on the ground that the right to bail was guaranteed by the Constitution and
should not be denied the accused except those charged with a capital offense and since "the
maximum penalty that could be possibly imposed in any court of justice is life imprisonment . . .
the penalty therefore is still bailable." 1
However, after conducting preliminary investigation on the two complaints, respondent Judge
"was convinced that the crime charged has been committed and that the accused (were) probably
guilty thereof." Whereupon he cancelled the bail bonds and issued warrants for their arrest. The
records of the two cases were then forwarded to the Provincial Prosecutor for the filing of two
(2) Informations before the Regional Trial Court one for illegal recruitment in large scale, and
another for estafa.
Complainants contend that one of the offenses charged is illegal recruitment in large scale
constituting economic sabotage under Art. 38, par. (b), 2 of the Labor Code as it was committed
against three (3) or more persons (in fact five [5] in this case) individually or as a group. Since
the imposable penalty for illegal recruitment in large scale amounting to economic sabotage
under Art. 39, par. (a), 3 of the Labor Code is life imprisonment and a fine of P100,000.00, the
accused should not have been granted bail.
Respondent Judge refutes the charge. He maintains that under Sec. 3, Rule 114, of the 1985
Rules on Criminal Procedure, the accused charged with an offense penalized with life
imprisonment should be granted bail as a matter of right. He also denies that he conspired with
Julieta Villanos and Reiner Antonio in releasing the accused on a bail bond of P20,000.00 each.
This allegation, according to respondent Judge, is a product of complainants' imagination borne
out of their frustration having been swindled of large sums of money.
We agree with respondent Judge. The complaint is devoid of merit. The law existing at the time
of the alleged illegal recruitment, which was sometime in May to July 1993, and when the
accused applied for bail was the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure which took effect 1 October
1988. Particularly, Sec. 3 of Rule 114 thereof provides
Sec. 3. Bail, a matter of right; exception. All persons in custody shall, before final conviction,
be entitled to bail as a matter of right, except those charged with a capital offense or an offense
which, under the law at the time of its commission and at the time of the application for bail, is
punishable byreclusion perpetua, when evidence of guilt is strong.
Clearly, the rule at that time was that a person under detention shall before conviction be granted
bail as a matter of right. Two exceptions however were recognized: (a) when the person was
charged with a capital offense, or (b) when the offense charged was punishable with reclusion

perpetua, in both instances when the evidence of guilt was strong. Interestingly, "life
imprisonment" was not among the exceptions, which leads us to the conclusion that persons
accused of crimes punishable with "life imprisonment" were entitled to bail as a matter of right.
Apparently, complainants find difficulty dissociating the concept of "life imprisonment" from
"reclusion perpetua." As we have repeatedly held, these terms are not synonymous. While "life
imprisonment" may appear to be the English translation of "reclusion perpetua," in law it goes
deeper than that. First, "life imprisonment" is invariably imposed for serious offenses penalized
by special laws, while "reclusion perpetual" is prescribed under the Revised Penal Code. Second,
"life imprisonment," unlike "reclusion perpetua," does not carry with it any accessory penalty.
Third, "life imprisonment" does not appear to have any definite extent or duration, while
"reclusion perpetua" entails incarceration for at least thirty (30) years after which the convict
becomes eligible for pardon. 4
Perhaps, there is no better proof of the non-inclusion of "life imprisonment" in "reclusion
perpetua" than Adm. Cir. No. 12-94 issued on 16 August 1994, which took effect 1 October
1994, amending Rule 114 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure. Consequently, under Adm.
Cir. No. 12-94, a person now charged with an offense punishable with death, reclusion
perpetua or life imprisonment is no longer entitled to bail as a matter of right when evidence of
guilt is strong. 5 If "life imprisonment" be considered embraced in "reclusion perpetua," as
implied from complainants' asseverations, there would have been no need for its separate
inclusion in Adm. Cir. No. 12-94. Obviously, the amendments therein cannot be applied
retroactively to the present case since the application would be unfavorable to the accused.
Thus, under Rule 114 as recently amended, when a person is charged with an offense which is
not capital, or one which is not punishable with reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment,
admission to bail is a matter of right. However, when the imposable penalty for the offense
charged is death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, a person charged therewith is no
longer entitled to bail as a matter of right for then admission to bail is addressed to the sound
discretion of the court depending on whether the evidence of guilt is strong. The prosecution
which has the burden of showing that evidence of guilt is strong 6 must be accorded an
opportunity to present such evidence which the court shall consider in determining whether the
accused or the person charged therefor should be granted bail. Judicial discretion must be
exercised regularly, legally, and within the confines of procedural due process, i.e., after
evaluation of the evidence submitted by the prosecution. 7
Consequently, when bail is a matter of discretion and the detainee who is charged in a criminal
complaint with the municipal court investigation files a motion for bail thereat, the prosecution
must be given an opportunity, within a reasonable time, to present all the evidence that it may
desire to introduce before resolving the motion.

In the case of respondent Judge, even assuming arguendo that he did not give the prosecution an
opportunity to be heard and present evidence on the guilt of the accused, he cannot be faulted
because the crime charged is punishable with life imprisonment which at the time of its
commission and the filing of the criminal complaint was bailable as a matter of right. Verily,
respondent Judge acted accordingly in initially granting bail to the accused.
The fact that respondent Judge subsequently canceled the bonds and issued the warrants of arrest
upon a finding of probable cause should not be taken against him, for again, he was only acting
pursuant to Sec. 6, par. (b), Rule 112, of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure mandating that
when a Municipal Judge is satisfied that probable cause exists after conducting preliminary
investigation and finds a necessity for placing respondent under immediate custody in order not
to frustrate the ends of justice, he shall issue a warrant of arrest. All told, we find no irregularity,
much less gross error, on the part of respondent Judge that should subject him to administrative
sanction.
ACCORDINGLY, the complaint against respondent Judge Gregorio L. Rosete, Municipal Circuit
Trial Court, Moncada-San Manuel-Anao, Tarlac, for misconduct and gross ignorance of the law
is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
SO ORDERED