Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bail

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. (1a)

Section 2. Conditions of the bail; requirements. — All kinds of bail are subject to the following conditions:

(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 herein required. 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. (2a)

Section 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. (3a)

Section 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 recognize 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. (4a)

Section 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 convicting 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 accused, of the following or other similar circumstances:

(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. (5a)

Section 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. (6a)

Section 7. Capital offense of 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 stage of the criminal prosecution. (7a)

Section 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. (8a)

Section 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:

(a) Financial ability of the accused to give bail;

(b) Nature and circumstances 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 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. (9a)

Section 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. (10a)

Section 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 Register of Deeds if the land is registered, or if unregistered, in the Registration Book on the space provided therefor, 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. (11a)

Section 12. Qualifications of sureties in property bond. — The qualification of sureties in a property bond shall be as follows:

(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 the 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 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. (12a)

Section 13. Justification of sureties. — Every surety shall justify by affidavit taken before the judge that he possesses the qualifications 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. (13a)

Section 14. Deposit of cash as bail. — The accused or any person acting in his behalf may deposit in cash with the nearest collector or 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. (14a)

Section 15. Recognizance. — Whenever allowed by law or these Rules, the court may release a person in custody to his own recognizance or that of a responsible person. (15a)

Section 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 prescribe 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. (16a)

Section 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, or 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 on appeal.

(c) 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. (17a)

Section 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. (18a)

Section 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.

Whenever 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. (19a)

Section 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. (20a)

Section 21. Forfeiture of bond. — 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 cause why no judgment should be rendered against them for the amount of their bail. Within the said period, the bondsmen must:

(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. (21a)

Section 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 bond. (22a)

Section 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. (23a)

Section 24. No bail after final judgment; exception. — No bail shall be allowed after the judgment of conviction has become final. If before such finality, the accused has 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. (24a)

Section 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 their 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. (25a)

Section 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 therefor, 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. (n)


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