Jose Antonio Leviste v Court of Appeals; G.R. No. 189122; 17 Mar 2010

in Legal Chyme by

Petitioner was convicted for homicide and sentenced to suffer an indeterminate penalty of six years and one day of prision mayor as minimum and twelve years and one day of reclusion temporal as maximum. Pending appeal of his conviction to the Court of Appeals, he applied for admission to bail citing his advanced age and health condition and claiming the absence of any risk or possibility of flight on his part. The Court of Appeals denied his application for bail.

Whether or not discretionary bail should automatically be granted absent any of the circumstances mention in the third paragraph of Section 5, Rule 114.

NO. A finding that non of the said circumstances is present will not automatically result in the grant of bail. Such finding will simply authorize the court to use the less stringent sound discretion approach.

The importance attached to conviction is due to the underlying principle that bail should be granted only where it is uncertain whether the accused is guilty or innocent, and therefore, where that uncertainty is removed by conviction it would be generally speaking absurd to admit bail. After a person has been tried and convicted, the presumption of innocence which may e relied upon in prior applications is rebutted, and the burden is upon the accused to show error in the conviction. The probability of ultimate punishment is so enhanced by the conviction that the accused is more likely to attempt to escape if liberated on bail than before conviction.

After conviction by the trial court, the presumption of innocence terminates and, accordingly, the constitutional right to bail ends.

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