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Joshua T.

Bernaldez
Gov’t of USA v. Hon. Purganan G.R. No. 148571. September 24, 2002

Facts:
The Government of the United States of America, represented by the Philippine DOJ, filed with
the RTC on May 18, 2001, the appropriate Petition for Extradition which was docketed as
Extradition Case No. 01192061. The Petition alleged, inter alia, that Jimenez was the subject of
an arrest warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
on April 15, 1999. The warrant had been issued in connection with the following charges in
Indictment No. 99-00281 CR-SEITZ: (1) conspiracy to defraud the United States and to commit
certain offenses in violation of Title 18 US Code Section 371; (2) tax evasion, in violation of
Title 26 US Code Section 7201; (3) wire fraud, in violation of Title 18 US Code Sections 1343
and 2; (4) false statements, in violation of Title 18 US Code Sections 1001 and 2; and (5) illegal
campaign contributions, in violation of Title 2 US Code Sections 441b, 441f and 437g(d) and
Title 18 US Code Section 2. In order to prevent the flight of Jimenez, the Petition prayed for the
issuance of an order for his immediate arrest pursuant to Section 6 of PD No. 1069.

Before the RTC could act on the Petition, Respondent Jimenez filed before it an Urgent
Manifestation/Ex- Parte Motion, which prayed that petitioners application for an arrest warrant
be set for hearing.

In its assailed May 23, 2001 Order, the RTC granted the Motion of Jimenez and set the case for
hearing on June 5, 2001. In that hearing, petitioner manifested its reservations on the procedure
adopted by the trial court allowing the accused in an extradition case to be heard prior to the
issuance of a warrant of arrest. After the hearing, in his Memorandum, Jimenez sought an
alternative prayer: that in case a warrant should issue, he be allowed to post bail in the amount of
P100,000.

The alternative prayer of Jimenez was also set for hearing on June 15, 2001. Thereafter, the court
below issued its questioned July 3, 2001 Order, directing the issuance of a warrant for his arrest
and fixing bail for his temporary liberty at one million pesos in cash. After he had surrendered
his passport and posted the required cash bond, Jimenez was granted provisional liberty via the
challenged Order dated July 4, 2001. Hence, this petition.

Issue: W/N Jimenez is entitled to bail and to provisional liberty while the extradition proceedings
are pending

Held:
No. As pointed out in Secretary of Justice v. Lantion, extradition proceedings are not criminal in
nature. In criminal proceedings, the constitutional rights of the accused are at fore; in extradition
which is sui generis -- in a class by itself -- they are not.
“An extradition [proceeding] is sui generis. It is not a criminal proceeding which will call
into operation all the rights of an accused as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. To begin with, the
process of extradition does not involve the determination of the guilt or innocence of an accused.
His guilt or innocence will be adjudged in the court of the state where he will be extradited.
Hence, as a rule, constitutional rights that are only relevant to determine the guilt or innocence of
an accused cannot be invoked by an extradite.”

Respondent Mark B. Jimenez maintains that this constitutional provision secures the right to bail
of all persons, including those sought to be extradited. Supposedly, the only exceptions are the
ones charged with offenses punishable with reclusion perpetua, when evidence of guilt is strong.
He also alleges the relevance to the present case of Section 4 of Rule 1141 of the Rules of Court
which, insofar as practicable and consistent with the summary nature of extradition proceedings,
shall also apply according to Section 9 of PD 1069.

On the other hand, petitioner claims that there is no provision in the Philippine Constitution
granting the right to bail to a person who is the subject of an extradition request and arrest
warrant.

Extradition Different from Ordinary Criminal Proceedings


We agree with petitioner. As suggested by the use of the word conviction, the constitutional
provision on bail, 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.

Moreover, 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. The provision in the Constitution stating that the right to bail shall
not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended does not
detract from the rule that the constitutional right to bail is available only in criminal proceedings.
It must be noted that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus finds
application only to persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly
connected with invasion. Hence, the second sentence in the constitutional provision on bail
merely emphasizes the right to bail in criminal proceedings for the aforementioned offenses. It
cannot be taken to mean that the right is available even in extradition proceedings that are not
criminal in nature.

That the offenses for which Jimenez is sought to be extradited are bailable in the United States is
not an argument to grant him one in the present case. To stress, extradition proceedings are
separate and distinct from the trial for the offenses for which he is charged. He should apply for
bail before the courts trying the criminal cases against him, not before the extradition court.

                                                                                                                       
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 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.