Baylon v Judge Sison; A.M. No. 92-7-360-0; 06 Apr 1995; 243 SCRA 284

FACTS:
A case for double murder against several accused was docketed and later raffled to respondent judge. The accused then filed a petition for bail which was heard and granted by the trial court despite opposition from the prosecution.

ISSUE(S):
Whether or not the prosecution is entitled to be heard in a petition for bail.

RULING:
YES. When an accused is charged with an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or higher, a hearing on the motion for bail must be conducted by the judge to determine whether or not the evidence of guilt is strong. Whether the motion is resolved in summary proceedings or in the course of regular trial, the prosecution must be given an opportunity to present all the evidence that it may wish to introduce on the probable guilt of the accused before the court resolves the motion for bail. Even if the prosecution refuses to adduce evidence, or fails to interpose an objection to the motion for bail, it is still mandatory for the court to conduct a hearing, or ask searching and clarificatory questions from which it may infer the strength of the evidence of guilt, or lack of it, against the accused.

Respondent judge is found guilty of gross ignorance of the law and grave abuse of discretion.

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Category: Legal Chyme

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