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Section 13, Art.

III Bill of Rights

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

Facts: Enrile filed his Motion to Fix Bail. In support of the motion, Enrile argued that
he should be allowed to post bail because: (a) the Prosecution had not yet
established that the evidence of his guilt was strong; (b) although he was charged
with plunder, the penalty as to him would only be reclusion temporal, not reclusion
perpetua (due to presence of two (2) mitigating circumstances – voluntary
surrender and over 70 years of age; and (c) he was not a flight risk, and his age
and physical condition must further be seriously considered.

Issue: Whether or not bail may be granted.

Ruling: Yes.

Enrile’s poor health justifies his admission to bail


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.

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 extradites 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 this case, 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.

The currently fragile state of Enrile’s health presents another compelling


justification for his admission to bail, but which the Sandiganbayan did not
recognize.
Additional Doctrine/ Notes

Bail protects the right of the accused to due process and to be


presumed innocent

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the
contrary is proved. The presumption of innocence is rooted in the guarantee of
due process and is safeguarded by the constitutional right to be released on bail,
and further binds the court to wait until after trial to impose any punishment on
the accused.

It is worthy to note that bail is not granted to prevent the accused from
committing additional crimes. The purpose of bail is to guarantee the
appearance of the accused at the trial, or whenever so required by the trial court.
The amount of bail should be high enough to assure the presence of the accused
when so required, but it should be no higher than is reasonably calculated to fulfill
this purpose. Thus, bail acts as a reconciling mechanism to accommodate both
the accused’s interest in his provisional liberty before or during the trial, and the
society’s interest in assuring the accused’s presence at trial.

Bail may be granted as a matter of right or of discretion

The general rule is, therefore, that any person, before being convicted of any
criminal offense, shall be bailable, unless he is charged with a capital offense, or
with an offense punishable with reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, and the
evidence of his guilt is strong. Hence, from the moment he is placed under arrest,
or is detained or restrained by the officers of the law, he can claim the guarantee
of his provisional liberty under the Bill of Rights, and he retains his right to bail unless
he is charged with a capital offense, or with an offense punishable with reclusion
perpetua or life imprisonment, and the evidence of his guilt is strong. Once it has
been established that the evidence of guilt is strong, no right to bail shall be
recognized.

Admission to bail in offenses punished by death, or life imprisonment,


or reclusion perpetua is subject to judicial discretion

Such 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. The hearing
should primarily determine whether the evidence of guilt against the accused is
strong.