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BASCO vs RAPATALO

FACTS:
Inocencio Basco filed a complaint against Judge Leo H. Rapatalo
of RTC, Branch 32 of Agoo, La Union for gross ignorance or
willful disregard of established rule of law for granting bail to an
accused in a murder case without receiving evidence and
conducting a hearing.
Basco is the father of the victim of a murder by three men.
Roger Morente, one of the three accused, filed for a petition for
bail. For several times and several reasons, a hearing for the
petition was set but did not push through.
Later, Basco allegedly saw Morente in Rosario, La Union. He
later learned that Judge granted the latters petition for bail
despite the fact that the petition was not heard at all.
The Judge alleged that he granted the petition based on the
prosecutors option not to oppose the petition as well as the
latters recommendation setting the bail bond in the amount of
P80,000.00. He averred that when the prosecution chose not to
oppose the petition for bail, he had the discretion on whether to
approve it or not. He further declared that when he approved
the petition, he had a right to presume that the prosecutor

knew what he was doing since he was more familiar with the
case, having conducted the preliminary investigation. Also, the
private prosecutor was not around at the time the public
prosecutor recommended bail.
Eventually, the bail bond posted by Morente was cancelled and
a warrant for his arrest was issued on account of Bascos
motion for consideration. Morente is then confined in the La
Union Provincial Jail.
ISSUE:
Whether or not a Judge can grant a petition for bail without a
hearing for that purpose.
HELD:
No, a judge cannot grant a petition for bail without a trial.
The Supreme Court then reiterated the following rules outlining
the duties of a judge in case an application for bail is set:
1.

Notify the prosecutor of the hearing of the application for


bail or require him to submit his recommendation.

2.

Conduct a hearing of the application for bail regardless of


whether or not the prosecution refuses to present evidence to
show that the guilt of the accused is strong for the purpose of
enabling the court to exercise its discretion.

3.

Decide whether the evidence of guilt of the accused is


strong based on the summary of evidence of the prosecution.

4.

If the guilt of the accused is not strong, discharge the


accused upon the approval of the bail bond. Otherwise, petition
should be denied.
Since the determination of whether or not the evidence of guilt
of the accused is strong is a matter of judicial discretion, the
judge is mandated to conduct a hearing even in cases where
the prosecution chooses to just file a comment or leave the
application of bail to the discretion of the court.
While it may be true that the respondent Judge set the
application for bail for hearing three times, thus showing lack of
malice or bad faith in granting bail to the accused, nonetheless,
this does not completely exculpate him because the fact
remains that a hearing has not actually been conducted in
violation of his duty to determine whether or not the evidence
against the accused is strong for purposes of bail.
The Judge is reprimanded with the warning that a repetition of
the same or similar acts in the future will be dealt with more
severely.

People Vs. Judge Donato


198 SCRA 130
G.R. No.79269
June 5,1991

Facts:
Private respondent and his co-accused were charged of rebellion on October 2, 1986 for acts
committed before and after February 1986. Private respondent filed with a Motion to Quash
alleging that: (a) the facts alleged do not constitute an offense; (b) the Court has no jurisdiction
over the offense charged; (c) the Court has no jurisdiction over the persons of the defendants;
and (d) the criminal action or liability has been extinguished. This was denied. May 9, 1987
Respondent filed a petition for bail, which was opposed that the respondent is not entitled to bail
anymore since rebellion became a capital offense under PD 1996, 942 and 1834 amending
ART. 135 of RPC. On 5 June 1987 the President issued Executive Order No. 187 repealing,
among others, P.D. Nos. 1996, 942 and 1834 and restoring to full force and effect Article 135 of
the Revised Penal Code as it existed before the amendatory decrees. Judge Donato now
granted the bail, which was fixed at P30,000.00 and imposed a condition that he shall report to
the court once every two months within the first ten days of every period thereof. Petitioner filed
a supplemental motion for reconsideration indirectly asking the court to deny bail to and to allow
it to present evidence in support thereof considering the "inevitable probability that the accused
will not comply with this main condition of his bail. It was contended that:

1. The accused has evaded the authorities for thirteen years and was an escapee from
detention when arrested; (Chairman of CPP-NPA)
2. He was not arrested at his residence as he had no known address;

3. He was using the false name "Manuel Mercado Castro" at the time of his arrest and
presented a Driver's License to substantiate his false identity;
4. The address he gave "Panamitan, Kawit, Cavite," turned out to be also a false address;
5. He and his companions were on board a private vehicle with a declared owner whose
identity and address were also found to be false;
6. Pursuant to Ministry Order No. 1-A dated 11 January 1982 , a reward of P250,000.00
was offered and paid for his arrest.

This however was denied. Hence the appeal.


Issue:
Whether or Not the private respondent has the right to bail.
Held:
Yes. Bail in the instant case is a matter of right. It is absolute since the crime is not a capital
offense, therefore prosecution has no right to present evidence. It is only when it is a capital
offense that the right becomes discretionary. However it was wrong for the Judge to change the
amount of bail from 30K to 50K without hearing the prosecution.
Republic Act No. 6968 approved on 24 October 1990, providing a penalty of reclusion perpetua
to the crime of rebellion, is not applicable to the accused as it is not favorable to him.
Accused validly waived his right to bail in another case(petition for habeas corpus). Agreements
were made therein: accused to remain under custody, whereas his co-detainees Josefina Cruz
and Jose Milo Concepcion will be released immediately, with a condition that they will submit
themselves in the jurisdiction of the court. Said petition for HC was dismissed. Bail is the
security given for the release of a person in custody of the law. Ergo, there was a waiver. We
hereby rule that the right to bail is another of the constitutional rights which can be waived. It is a
right which is personal to the accused and whose waiver would not be contrary to law, public
order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third person with a right
recognized by law.