Obosa v CA; G.R. No. 114350; 16 Jan 1997; 266 SCRA 281

FACTS:
While a fugitive from justice, petitioner committed other crimes including double murder for which he was convicted only for double homicide. While he was appealing his conviction therein, the convicting court allowed him to post bail notwithstanding that he was already serving prison terms for prior offenses. Respondent court, in a resolution, canceled petitioner’s bail bond, nullified the trial court’s order granting him bail, and issued a warrant for his immediate arrest. It also denied petitioner’s twin motion for reconsideration and quashal of warrant of arrest.

ISSUE(S):
Whether or not petitioner is entitled to bail pending appeal from judgment convicting him of homicide though charged with murder.

RULING:
NO. Bail cannot be granted as a matter of right even after an accused, who is charged with a capital offense, appeals his conviction for a non-capital crime. Courts must exercise utmost caution in deciding applications for bail considering that the accused on appeal may still be convicted of the original capital offense charged and that thus the risk attendant to jumping bail still subsists. In fact, trial courts would be well advised to leave the matter of bail, after conviction for a lesser crime than the capital offense originally charged, to the appellate court’s sound discretion.

Petition is DENIED for lack of merit and assailed resolutions are AFFIRMED.

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Category: Legal Chyme

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