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Republic of the Philippines

NATIONAL CAPITAL JUDICIAL REGION


REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
xxx CITY
Branch xxx

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


Plaintiff,

CRIM. CASE NO. xxxx

-versus-

xxxxxx
Accused.
x-------------------------------------------x

PETITION FOR BAIL

Accused, through the undersigned counsel, unto this Honorable


Court, most respectfully states that:

1. The Accused is presently detained at xxxx for violation of


Section 11, Paragraph 5, Article 2 of Republic Act 9165 or the
Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002;

2. The Accused, before he was transferred in the said penal


institution, was previously detained in xxx City Jail since 03
March xxx for his previous indictment for violation of Section 5,
Article 2 of the same Republic Act, docketed as Criminal Case
No. xxx, which was also raffled before this Honorable Court;

3. In a Decision1 dated 02 November 2015, this Honorable Court


dismissed the aforementioned criminal case against the
Accused and one xxx, the dispositive portion of which states:

1
A copy of the Decision dated xxx is hereby attached as Annex “A”

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“WHEREFORE, premises considered,
accused xxx and xxx are hereby pronounced
NOT GUILTY of the crime charged for failure
of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the
accused beyond reasonable doubt, with costs
de-oficio.

“Both accused being detention prisoners


their immediate release from custody is
ordered unless in the meantime, they shall be
held for some other lawful cause.

“All the specimen of this case are forfeited


in favor of the government to be disposed of
under the rules governing the same.

“SO ORDERED.”

4. Despite the dismissal of Criminal Case No. xxx, the continued


confinement of the Accused in the said penal institution is due
to the pendency of the present criminal case;

5. The Information2 for violation of Section 11, Article 2, of RA


9165 filed against the Accused indicate “BAIL
RECOMMENDED: NO BAIL.”

6. Section 13, Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution provides that:

All persons, except those charged with


offenses punishable by reclusion
perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong,
shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient
sureties, or be released on recognizance as may
be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be
impaired even when the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall
not be required.

7. Moreover, under Section 7, Rule 114 of the Rules on Criminal


Procedure,

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,

2
A copy of the Information dated xxx is hereby attached as Annex “B”

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regardless of the stage of the criminal
prosecution.

8. Based on the foregoing provisions, the law is clear that for


offenses punishable by life imprisonment, BAIL IS A
MATTER OF RIGHT WHEN THE EVIDENCE OF GUILT
IS NOT STRONG.

9. Invoking the above-mentioned legal remedies, Accused seeks to


apply for Bail on the ground that the evidence of guilt is not
strong based on the following arguments:

I. No moral certainty on the


corpus delicti.

10. In a plethora of cases, the Supreme Court has consistently


ruled that:
“…in sustaining a conviction under Republic
Act No. 9165, the identity and integrity of the
corpus delicti must definitely be shown to have
been preserved. This requirement necessarily
arises from the illegal drugs unique
characteristic that renders it indistinct, not
readily identifiable, and easily open to
tampering, alteration or substitution either by
accident or otherwise.

“Thus, to remove any doubt or


uncertainty on the identity and integrity
of the seized drug, evidence must
definitely show that the illegal drug
presented in court is the same illegal
drug actually recovered from the
accused-appellant; otherwise, the
prosecution for possession under
Republic Act No. 9165 fails. ”
3

11. The identity and integrity of the corpus delicti – the drug
itself – is only preserved if the chain of custody was
unbroken. Describing the mechanics of the custodial chain
requirement, the Supreme Court, in People v. Cervantes 4
ruled as follows:

3
People vs. Alcuizar, G.R. No. 189980 , April 6, 2011.
4
G.R. No. 181494, March 17, 2009, 581 SCRA 762, 777.

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“As a mode of authenticating evidence, the
chain of custody rule requires that the
admission of an exhibit be preceded by
evidence sufficient to support a finding that the
matter in question is what the proponent claims
it to be. In context, this would ideally include
testimony about every link in the chain, from
the seizure of the prohibited drug up to the time
it is offered into evidence, in such a way that
everyone who touched the exhibit would
describe how and from whom it was received,
where it was and what happened to it while in
the witness’ possession, the condition in which
it was received, and the condition in which it
was delivered to the next link in the chain.”

12. In the present case, arresting officers xxx and xxx, in their
Joint Affidavit of Arrest5 stated the following:

“8. We brought said confiscated


contraband to the Admin Office of xxx
City Jail for inventory and markings;”

13. Paragraph (a), Section 21 of R.A. 9165 provided for the


guidelines regarding custody and disposition of confiscated,
seized, and/or surrendered dangerous drugs, to wit:

“Section 21. Custody and Disposition of


Confiscated, Seized, and/or Surrendered
Dangerous Drugs, Plant Sources of
Dangerous Drugs, Controlled Precursors
and Essential Chemicals,
Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or
Laboratory Equipment. – The PDEA shall
take charge and have custody of all dangerous
drugs, plant sources of dangerous drugs,
controlled precursors and essential chemicals,
as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or
laboratory equipment so confiscated, seized
and/or surrendered, for proper disposition in
the following manner:

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A copy of the Joint Affidavit of Arrest is hereby attached as Annex “C”.

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“(1) The apprehending team having initial
custody and control of the drugs shall,
immediately after seizure and
confiscation, physically inventory and
photograph the same in the presence of
the accused or the person/s from whom
such items were confiscated and/or
seized, or his/her representative or counsel, a
representative from the media and the
Department of Justice (DOJ), and any elected
public official who shall be required to sign the
copies of the inventory and be given a copy
thereof;” (Emphasis supplied)

14. A perusal of the documents and records submitted by the


Prosecution would show that it was nowhere in the said Joint
Affidavit of Arrest that the arresting officers admitted that
they, themselves, photographed, inventoried and marked the
sachets of shabu. Nor was there any mention that the
confiscated contraband was marked in the Accused’s
presence;

15. This procedural infirmity was confirmed by the Accused in


his Kontra Sinumpaang Salaysay6, in the following manner:

“15. Gayundin ay walang nakasaksi sa


sinumang kinatawan ng nasabing
mgatanggapan at sangay sa ginawang
pag-imbentaryo ng sinsabing [sic]
nakumpiskang “shabu”. At maging ako ay
hindi rin saksi dito o isa man sa mga bilanggo.
Wala man lang kahit mga larawan ang
ginawang paksaliksik at pag imbentaryo
sa sinasabing “shabu” na nakuha sa
selda tres (3).”

16. In the case of People vs. Sabdula7, the Court acquitted the
Accused due to the failure of the apprehending officers to

6
A copy of the Kontra Sinumpaang Salaysay is hereby attached as Annex “D”.
7
G.R. No. 184758, April 21, 2014

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follow the guidelines on the chain of custody. The Court
explained it in this manner:

“In Lito Lopez v. People of the Philippines we


acquitted the accused for failure of the police to
mark the seized drugs. The Court had a similar
ruling in People of the Philippines v. Merlita
Palomares y Costuna; the Court acquitted
the accused for the prosecution’s failure
to clearly establish the identity of the
person who marked the seized drugs; the
place where marking was made; and
whether the marking had been made in
the accused’s presence. These recent cases
show that the Court will not hesitate to free an
accused if irregularities attended the first stage
of the chain of custody over the seized drugs.”

17. Moreover, in the Acknowledgement Receipt Form8 issued by


PDEA, Chemist I xxx received the said sachets of shabu at
1620H (4:20PM) from one “xxx” of “BJMP – xxx CJ”.
Apparently, there was a dearth of information surrounding
the transmittal of the contraband from the arresting officers
to one xxx;

18. In People v. Ancheta 9 , the Supreme Court ruled as


follows:

“ Though we have recognized that "[m]inor


deviations from the procedures under R.A. 9165
would not automatically exonerate an accused,"
we have also declared that "when there is gross
disregard of the procedural safeguards
prescribed in the substantive law (R.A. 9165),
serious uncertainty is generated about the
identity of the seized items that the prosecution
presented in evidence."9 We then ruled that
such doubt "cannot be remedied by simply
invoking the presumption of regularity in the
performance of official duties, for a gross,

8
A copy of the Acknowledgement Receipt Form No. 1754 is hereby attached as Annex “E”.
9
G.R. No. 197371, 13 June 2012

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systematic, or deliberate disregard of the
procedural safeguards effectively produces an
irregularity in the performance of official
duties."10 Accordingly, "the prosecution is
deemed to have failed to fully establish the
elements of the crimes charged, creating
reasonable doubt on the criminal liability of the
accused.” ”

19. In view of the foregoing, it cannot be gainsaid that there was,


indeed, procedural infirmities in the custody of the
confiscated contraband. This casted a blanket of doubt as to
the identity and integrity of the seized sachets of shabu,
which, as it seems, would not only persuade the Court to
allow the Accused to post bail, but to dismiss the case
outright;

II. It is impossible for the


Accused to possess the
sachets of shabu.

20. In the case of People vs. Alcuizar10, the Supreme Court


had the opportunity to enumerate the elements to be
established for the successful prosecution of a case for illegal
possession of dangerous drugs, to wit:

“(1) the accused is in possession of an


item or object which is identified to be a
prohibited drug;

“(2) such possession is not authorized


by law; and

“(3) the accused freely and consciously


possessed the drug.”
In the Resolution, the Honorable Prosecutor failed to
establish the presence of the first element and consequently, all
the other elements;

10
G.R. No. 189980, 6 April 2011.

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21. The Honorable Prosecutor, in an attempt to bolster the
Accused’s alleged possession of the sachets of shabu, cited
“constructive possession” as the basis for such possession.
The Honorable Prosecutor also stated that since the illegal
drugs were found in the Accused’s kubol, there was
constructive possession;

22. A reading of the Accused’s Kontra Sinumpaang Salaysay


would reveal the impossibility of him possessing the several
sachets of shabu due to the following reasons:

a. He does not have his own “kubol”;


b. Construction of “kubol” is prohibited by the Department
of Justice;
c. The administration of BJMP-NCRO would have caused
the demolition of his “kubol”, if he had one; and
d. It would be impossible to sneak in such amount of drugs
due to the tight security within Navotas City Jail;

23. Without the Accused’s “kubol”, his constructive


possession of the illegal drugs is already negated for there
would be no place where he has the right to exercise dominion
and control. Moreover, Cell No. xxx houses one hundred and
twelve (112) prisoners, and none of them has the right to
exercise dominion and control over the said Cell since it is
under the ownership and control of the City of xxx;

24. Considering the reasons stated above, common sense


would dictate that it would be highly improbable for the
Accused to possess, exclusively or constructively, the seized
contraband;

25. The burden of that the evidence of guilt is strong is on the


prosecution, and unless this fact is satisfactorily shown, the
accused are entitled to bail as a matter of right. Thus, under
Rule 114, Section 8:

"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 the evidence of guilt is
strong. xxx”

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26. In Robin Cariño Padilla vs. Court of Appeals, et al. 11, the
Supreme Court held that:

Bail is either a matter of right, or of discretion. It is


a matter of right when the offense charged is not
punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life
imprisonment. On the other hand, upon conviction
by the Regional Trial Court of an offense not
punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life
imprisonment, bail becomes a matter of discretion.
Similarly, if the court imposed a penalty of
imprisonment exceeding six (6) years but not more
than twenty (20) years then bail is a matter of
discretion, except when any of the enumerated
circumstances under paragraph 3 of Section 5, Rule
114 is present then bail shall be denied. But when
the accused is charged with a capital offense, or an
offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life
imprisonment, and evidence of guilt is strong, bail
shall be denied, as it is neither a matter of right nor
a discretion. If the evidence, however, is not
strong bail becomes a matter of right.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, upon prior notice and hearing, it is respectfully


prayed that the Accused be admitted to bail in such amount as this
Honorable Court may fix.

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED.

Pasig City for xxx City, 18 January xxx.

11
G.R. No. 121917, 31 July 1996