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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
August-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 126899 August 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELICITO T. BARBOSA

  • G.R. No. 128137 August 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO HAMTO

  • G.R. No. 131203 August 2, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GUILLERMO CARIÑO

  • G.R. No. 137473 August 2, 2001 - ESTELITO V. REMOLONA v. CSC

  • G.R. Nos. 141702-03 August 2, 2001 - CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 128816 & 139979-80 August 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO P. CABILTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131817 August 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE L. DOMINGO

  • G.R. Nos. 133791-94 August 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CORNELIO SUPNAD

  • G.R. No. 135065 August 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY CABANGCALA, ET AL.

  • Adm. Case No. 4982 August 9, 2001 - KATRINA JOAQUIN CARIÑO v. ARTURO DE LOS REYES

  • A.M. No. 01-2-47-RTC August 9, 2001 - RE: JUDGE GUILLERMO L. LOJA,

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1365 August 9, 2001 - CESINA EBALLA v. ESTRELLITA M. PAAS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-01-1495 August 9, 2001 - ESMERALDO D. VISITACION v. GREDAM P. EDIZA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1506 August 9, 2001 - JOSEFINA MERONTOS Vda. de SAYSON v. OSCAR E. ZERNA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1489 August 9, 2001 - CATALINO BAUTISTA, ET AL. v. AMELITA O. MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 110740 August 9, 2001 - NDC-GUTHRIE PLANTATIONS, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112485 August 9, 2001 - EMILIA MANZANO v. MIGUEL PEREZ SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129209 August 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESEMIEL MOSQUERRA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134565 August 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. LUDIVINO MIANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138472-73 August 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL PADILLA

  • G.R. No. 138964 August 9, 2001 - VICENTE RELLOSA, ET AL. v. GONZALO PELLOSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139411 August 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGAPITO TORALBA

  • G.R. No. 139532 August 9, 2001 - REGAL FILMS v. GABRIEL CONCEPCION

  • G.R. No. 139665 August 9, 2001 - MA. VILMA S. LABAD v. UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHEASTERN PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140347 August 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO OLITA

  • G.R. No. 142546 August 9, 2001 - ANASTACIO FABELA, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142838 August 9, 2001 - ABELARDO B. LICAROS v. ANTONIO P. GATMAITAN

  • G.R. No. 143881 August 9, 2001 - DANILO EVANGELISTA v. PEDRO SISTOZA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143949 August 9, 2001 - ATCI OVERSEAS CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144089 August 9, 2001 - CONCORDE HOTEL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126480 August 10, 2001 - MARIA TIN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 129162 August 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLY FIGURACION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130998 August 10, 2001 - MARUBENI CORP. ET AL. v. FELIX LIRAG

  • G.R. Nos. 137934 & 137936 August 10, 2001 - BATANGAS LAGUNA TAYABAS BUS COMPANY, ET AL. v. BENJAMIN M. BITANGA. ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143673 August 10, 2001 - CONRADO TUAZON, ET AL. v. ERNESTO GARILAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144708 August 10, 2001 - RAFAEL ALBANO, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146724 August 10, 2001 - GIL TAROJA VILLOTA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136266 August 13, 2001 - EUTIQUIO A. PELIGRINO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1612 August 14, 2001 - MARCO FRANCISCO SEVILLEJA v. ANTONIO N. LAGGUI

  • A.M. No. P-00-1438 August 14, 2001 - JUNN F. FLORES v. ROGER S. CONANAN

  • G.R. No. 135482 August 14, 2001 - ORLANDO SALVADOR v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136192 August 14, 2001 - PRESIDENTIAL AD HOC FACT-FINDING COMMITTEE ON BEHEST LOANS v. ANIANO DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141617 August 14, 2001 - ADALIA B. FRANCISCO and MERRYLAND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION v. RITA C. MEJIA

  • G.R. No. 142276 August 14, 2001 - FLORENTINO GO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142662 August 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERRY FERRER

  • A.C. No. 5486 August 15, 2001 - IN RE: ATTY. DAVID BRIONES.

  • A.M. RTJ No. 89-403 August 15, 2001 - MOLINTO D. PAGAYAO v. FAUSTO H. IMBING

  • A.M. No. 96-9-332-RTC August 15, 2001 - DIRECTOR, PNP NARCOTICS COMMAND v. JAIME N. SALAZAR

  • A.M. No. P-99-1311 August 15, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ALBERTO V. GARONG

  • G.R. Nos. 113822-23 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL L. PABLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118492 August 15, 2001 - GREGORIO H. REYES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120468 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LOPE B. LIWANAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128177 August 15, 2001 - ROMAN SORIANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129295 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDWIN MORIAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129598 August 15, 2001 - PNB MADECOR v. GERARDO C. UY

  • G.R. No. 130360 August 15, 2001 - WILSON ONG CHING KIAN CHUAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136834 August 15, 2001 - FELIX SENDON, ET AL. v. FRATERNIDAD O. RUIZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137271 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. REYNALDO CORRE JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137509 August 15, 2001 - PEVET ADALID FELIZARDO, ET AL v. SIEGFREDO FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. Nos. 137969-71 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RAFAEL SALALIMA

  • G.R. No. 139337 August 15, 2001 - MA. CARMINIA C. ROXAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139420 August 15, 2001 - ROBERTO R. SERRANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140900 & 140911 August 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODERICK LICAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143340 August 15, 2001 - LILIBETH SUNGA-CHAN, ET AL v. LAMBERTO T. CHUA

  • G.R. No. 144813 August 15, 2001 - GOLD LINE TRANSIT v. LUISA RAMOS

  • G.R. No. 147270 August 15, 2001 - IN RE: PETE C. LAGRAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1565 August 16, 2001 - FEDERICO S. BERNARDO v. PATERNO G. TIAMSON

  • G.R. No. 119900 August 16, 2001 - SUNNY MOTORS SALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121897 August 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GIL TEMPLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126200 August 16, 2001 - DEV’T. BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126926 August 16, 2001 - RAMON P. ARON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127543 August 16, 2001 - INTERNATIONAL PIPES, ET AL. v. F. F. CRUZ & CO.

  • G.R. No. 132155 August 16, 2001 - ARAS-ASAN TIMBER CO. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134292 August 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCO MORALES

  • G.R. No. 136365 August 16, 2001 - ENRIQUE R. CAMACHO, ET AL. v. PHIL. NAT’L. BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136780 August 16, 2001 - JEANETTE D. MOLINO v. SECURITY DINERS INTERNATIONAL CORP.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1597 August 20, 2001 - WILSON ANDRES v. ORLANDO D. BELTRAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-94-1131 August 20, 2001 - MIGUEL ARGEL v. HERMINIA M. PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 110055 August 20, 2001 - ASUNCION SAN JUAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111685 August 20, 2001 - DAVAO LIGHT & POWER CO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131866 August 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLOS DOCTOLERO

  • G.R. No. 132174 August 20, 2001 - GUALBERTO CASTRO v. RICARDO GLORIA

  • G.R. No. 132684 August 20, 2001 - HERNANI N. FABIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134718 August 20, 2001 - ROMANA INGJUGTIRO v. LEON V. CASALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142401 August 20, 2001 - ANDREW TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137299 August 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCISCO NANAS

  • G.R. No. 138869 August 21, 2001 - DAVID SO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140519 August 21, 2001 - PHIL. RETIREMENT AUTHORITY v. THELMA RUPA

  • G.R. No. 130817 August 22, 2001 - PRESIDENTIAL AD HOC FACT-FINDING COMMITTEE ON BEHEST LOANS v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138403 August 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLLY C. ABULENCIA

  • G.R. Nos. 141712-13 August 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDMUNDO M. BOHOL

  • G.R. No. 143867 August 22, 2001 - PLDT v. CITY OF DAVAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128628 August 23, 2001 - ILDEFONSO SAMALA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133749 August 23, 2001 - HERNANDO R. PEÑALOSA v. SEVERINO C. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 133789 August 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO P. CHUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136506 August 23, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137199-230 August 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GEORGE J. ALAY-AY

  • G.R. No. 137842 August 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO H. CATUBIG

  • G.R. No. 138588 August 23, 2001 - FAR EAST BANK & TRUST COMPANY v. DIAZ REALTY INC.

  • G.R. No. 138022 August 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO A. FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 144142 August 23, 2001 - YOLANDA AGUIRRE v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138298 & 138982 August 24, 2001 - RAOUL B. DEL MAR v. PAGCOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131609 August 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BONIFACIO PUERTA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1571 August 28, 2001 - JESUS GUILLAS v. RENATO D. MUÑEZ

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1645 August 28, 2001 - VICTORINO S. SIANGHIO, JR. v. BIENVENIDO L. REYES

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1626 August 28, 2001 - JOSELITO D. FRANI v. ERNESTO P. PAGAYATAN

  • G.R. Nos. 100633 & 101550 August 28, 2001 - SOCORRO ABELLA SORIANO, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114118 August 28, 2001 - SIMEON BORLADO, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125728 August 28, 2001 - MARIA ALVAREZ VDA. DE DELGADO, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129960 August 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO CARIÑO

  • G.R. No. 131175 August 28, 2001 - JOVITO VALENZUELA, ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133056 August 28, 2001 - FACUNDO T. BAUTISTA v. PUYAT VINYL PRODUCTS

  • G.R. No. 140812 August 28, 2001 - CANDIDO ALFARO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143256 August 28, 2001 - RODOLFO FERNANDEZ, ET AL. v. ROMEO FERNANDEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144653 August 28, 2001 - BANK OF THE PHIL. ISLANDS v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • A.M. No. P-00-1415-MeTC August 30, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. TERESITA Q. ORBIGO-MARCELO

  • G.R. No. 111709 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER P. TULIN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119811 August 30, 2001 - SOCORRO S. TORRES, ET AL. v. DEODORO J. SISON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123980 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL CALIMLIM

  • G.R. No. 127905 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO REMUDO

  • G.R. No. 129093 August 30, 2001 - JOSE D. LINA, ET AL. v. FRANCISCO DIZON PAÑO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133113 August 30, 2001 - EDGAR H. ARREZA v. MONTANO M. DIAZ

  • G.R. No. 136280 August 30, 2001 - ORCHARD REALTY and DEV’T CORP. v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139083 August 30, 2001 - FLORENCIA PARIS v. DIONISIO A. ALFECHE

  • G.R. No. 140229 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HENRY BALMOJA

  • G.R. No. 140995 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO M. REGALA

  • G.R. No. 141128 August 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ORPIANO DELOS SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 141283 August 30, 2001 - SEGOVIA DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. J.L. DUMATOL REALTY

  • G.R. No. 144442 August 30, 2001 - JESUS SALVATIERRA v. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • A. M. No. 00-7-299-RTC August 31, 2001 - REQUEST FOR CONSOLIDATION OF CIVIL CASE NO. R-1692 RTC BR. 45

  • A.M. No. 00-8-03-SB August 31, 2001 - RE: UNNUMBERED RESOLUTION OF THE SANDIGANBAYAN RE ACQUISITION OF THREE [3] MOTOR VEHICLES FOR OFFICIAL USE OF JUSTICES

  • A.M. No. P-99-1316 August 31, 2001 - KENNETH S. NEELAND v. ILDEFONSO M. VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. Nos. 132548-49 August 31, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALEJO MIASCO

  • G.R. No. 141211 August 31, 2001 - CITY WARDEN OF THE MANILA CITY JAIL v. RAYMOND S. ESTRELLA, ET AL.

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    A.M. No. RTJ-00-1597   August 20, 2001 - WILSON ANDRES v. ORLANDO D. BELTRAN

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [A.M. No. RTJ-00-1597. August 20, 2001.]

    (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 00-1043-RTJ)

    WILSON ANDRES, Complainant, v. JUDGE ORLANDO D. BELTRAN, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, TUGUEGARAO CITY, BRANCH 2, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    GONZAGA-REYES, J.:


    Herein complainant Wilson Andres was charged with the crime of murder and the case was docketed as Criminal Case No. 7155 before the Regional Trial Court of Tuguegarao City, Branch 2. The trial court, then presided by Judge Abraham Principe, granted bail upon motion of the accused and ordered his release from detention. After presentation of evidence for the prosecution, Accused Wilson Andres filed a "motion to dismiss by way of demurrer to evidence." Respondent Judge Orlando Beltran, in his capacity as Acting Presiding Judge of RTC-Tuguegarao, Branch 2 denied the motion in his Order of November 25, 1999. On November 29, 1999, the court issued a subpoena to accused Andres informing him that the criminal case is set for initial hearing for reception of evidence for the accused on January 31, 2000. Accused appeared at the scheduled hearing but his counsel was not present. Respondent Judge then issued an order cancelling the bail bond of accused Andres and ordered his detention in his Order dated January 31, 2000, to wit:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "In view of the absence of Atty. Joseph Alcid and considering the fact that the presentation of defense evidence in this case had been delayed for almost one year from the time that the prosecution rested its case, the bailbond posted for the provisional liberty of the accused Wilson Andres is hereby cancelled and is ordered detained, specially since the accused is not entitled to bail as a matter of right as the offense charged is Murder."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Accused Andres was detained from January 31, 2000 until February 9, 2000 1 when an order for his release was issued after the trial court found that no subpoena or notice of hearing was sent to counsel of accused. 2

    Hence, the instant administrative case for conduct unbecoming of a judge, serious misconduct, inefficiency and gross ignorance of the law.

    Herein complainant avers that the act of respondent Judge is clearly an abuse of authority as the grounds relied upon by him for cancellation of his bail bond are not provided for under the rules.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Complainant alleges that there was no notice to his counsel regarding the hearing for reception of evidence for the defense set on January 31, 2000 and hence, his counsel did not appear at the scheduled hearing. Complainant further alleges that at the said hearing, respondent Judge told him to secure the services of a new counsel immediately so he could hear the case and if accused could not secure one he (respondent judge) would order his incarceration. The case was called again and counsel for the accused was still not around. Respondent Judge then allegedly ordered the incarceration of the accused. Complainant argues that he did not violate any conditions of the bail and the fact that his counsel was not present during the scheduled hearing is not a ground for the cancellation of his bail bond.

    In his Comment, respondent Judge contends that accused is not entitled to bail as a matter of right since he is charged with "a capital offense or at least one punishable by reclusion perpetua." He argues that he was not the one who granted accused bail during the earlier stage of the proceedings and respondent Judge was entitled to make his own assessment of the evidence, which was not available at the time bail was first granted, to determine whether evidence of guilt was strong on the basis of the evidence. Respondent Judge further contends that the order granting bail had specifically reserved to the court the right to recall the order granting bail if evidence of conspiracy would be strong, and that he was convinced that there was ground to recall the order granting bail as he took into consideration certain facts and circumstances such as: (1) the accused’s co-accused has escaped and remained at large; (2) either accused or his counsel would absent themselves from the proceedings prompting cancellation of scheduled hearings without advance notice nor proper motion filed; (3) it was practically a year since the prosecution had rested its case and the defense had been scheduled to present its evidence; and (4) the evidence presented by the prosecution strongly pointed to the direction of the guilt of the accused prompting respondent Judge to deny the demurrer to evidence.

    In his Reply to respondent’s comment, complainant argues that he should have been given his day in court with respect to the cancellation of his bail bond. He avers that in the Order of February 9, 2000, respondent Judge ordered his release after finding that no subpoena or notice of hearing was served upon his counsel.

    After notice, both parties manifested that they are submitting the case on the basis of the pleadings/records already filed and submitted.

    The Court Administrator recommended that respondent Judge Beltran be fined in the amount of two thousand (P2,000.00) pesos for grave abuse of authority with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar act shall be dealt with more severely. The Court Administrator opined that the failure of counsel to appear during the scheduled hearing with due notice is not a ground for cancellation of the bail bond of the accused, more so if accused is present during the hearing.

    We agree with the Court Administrator.

    Respondent’s Order of January 31, 2000 for the cancellation of bail actually cited the following grounds therefor, namely: (1) that the counsel of the accused failed to appear at the scheduled hearing; and (2) that the presentation of evidence for the defense has been delayed for almost a year from the time the prosecution rested its case. Respondent Judge further stated that the bail bond is cancelled "especially since the accused is not entitled to bail as a matter of right as the offense charged is Murder." chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Herein complainant was charged with murder punishable by reclusion perpetua to death 3 and, under the rules, he was not entitled to bail as "a matter of right." Respondent Judge seems to impress upon the Court that the accused, having been charged with the crime of murder, is not entitled to bail at all or that the crime of murder is non-bailable. This is a misconception. The grant of bail to an accused charged with an offense that carries with it the penalty of reclusion perpetua, as in this case, is discretionary on the part of the trial court. 4 In other words, Accused is still entitled to bail but no longer "as a matter of right." Instead, it is discretionary and calls for a judicial determination that the evidence of guilt is not strong in order to grant bail. The prosecution is accorded ample opportunity to present evidence because by the very nature of deciding applications for bail, it is on the basis of such evidence that judicial discretion is weighed in determining whether the guilt of the accused is strong. 5 Accused was granted bail by then Presiding Judge Principe and with such grant we assume that the trial judge made a judicial determination that the evidence of guilt is not strong.

    Respondent Judge, in his Comment, argues that the order granting bail had "specifically reserved to the court the right to recall the order granting bail if evidence of conspiracy would be strong." The record is bereft of any copy of such order. Nonetheless, respondent Judge, in effect, is of the view that since the prosecution has rested its case and prosecution evidence had been adduced, he can make his own determination of whether or not the evidence adduced strongly suggest the guilt of the accused and if so, he can cancel the bail previously granted to the accused. Section 20 6 of Rule 114 provides that after the accused shall have been admitted to bail, the court may, "upon good cause shown," either increase or decrease the amount of the same. Needless to state, this would entail a hearing for the purpose of showing "good cause" and hence, would require not only the presence of the accused but also of the latter’s counsel. Neither can the bail of the accused be forfeited pursuant to Section 21, 7 Rule 114 since it is not disputed that accused did not violate the conditions of the bail 8 as he was present at the scheduled hearing.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Respondent Judge Beltran also cited the ground that the counsel of the accused failed to appear at the scheduled hearing and that the presentation of evidence for the defense has been delayed for almost a year from the time the prosecution rested its case.

    The failure of counsel for the accused to appear at the scheduled hearing is not a valid ground for cancellation of bail. Nowhere in the provisions of Rule 114 does such ground exist. Under Section 2 (Conditions of the bail), the presence of counsel is not a condition of the bail. Neither is it a reason for an increase or forfeiture of bail under Sections 20 and 21. Section 229 , which states the instances when bail may be cancelled, i.e., surrender of the accused, proof of his death, acquittal of the accused, dismissal of the case or execution of the judgment of conviction is not in point, aside from the fact that it also requires an application of the bondsmen and due notice to the prosecutor.

    The alleged delay in the presentation of evidence by the defense is likewise not substantiated. As pointed out by herein complainant, while there were postponements, the Supreme Court ordered a change of venue allegedly upon request of the RTC-Judge of Roxas, Isabela and the criminal case went from one judge to another and finally it was transferred to RTC-Tuguegarao, Branch 2. 10 Moreover, Accused was ordered arrested on July 12, 1996 and was arraigned on September 17, 1996. His motion for bail was favorably acted upon. From his release on bail on September 18, 1996, the case was set for several hearings on November 17, 1997, April 25, 1998, May 25, 1998, and September 24, 1998 but respondent Judge allowed the postponements thereof due to the absence of counsel for accused. On January 26, 1999, Accused asked for the lifting of warrant of arrest and reinstatement of bond. On March 18, 1999, the prosecution made a formal offer of evidence. On July 14, 1999, Accused asked for postponement which was granted. After the prosecution rested its case, Accused filed on September 28, 1999 a motion to dismiss by demurrer to evidence. Said motion was denied on November 25, 1999 and the trial court set the hearing for reception of evidence for the defense on January 31, 2000. It was on said date that the respondent Judge ordered the cancellation of bail of the accused. Verily, there was no "delay" in the presentation of evidence for the defense since the respondent Judge scheduled the hearing for reception of evidence only on January 31, 2000 from the time the motion to dismiss by demurrer to evidence was denied. The alleged delay should not be reckoned from the time the prosecution rested its case because the motion to dismiss by demurrer to evidence had to be resolved prior to presentation of evidence for the defense.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    In the case at bar, respondent Judge motu proprio cancelled the bail bond in view of the absence of counsel for the accused during the hearing initially scheduled for the presentation of evidence for the defense. This is censurable. Accused should not be punished for the absence of his counsel by the cancellation of his bail and his immediate detention.

    The duty of a judge is not only to administer justice but also to conduct himself in a manner that would avoid any suspicion of irregularity. He has the avowed duty of promoting confidence in the judicial system. 11 Admittedly, judges cannot be held to account for an erroneous order or decision rendered in good faith, 12 but this defense is much too frequently cited. We note that respondent Judge ordered the release of the accused but only after finding that counsel for the accused was not served a copy of the notice of hearing. This is a procedural lapse on the part of the Respondent. Had he carefully searched the records, he could have known the real reason for counsel’s absence during the scheduled hearing. Neither can he blame his staff for the lack of notice to counsel. Proper and efficient court management is the responsibility of the judge; he is the one directly responsible for the proper discharge of the official functions. 13 Respondent Judge’s precipitate order cancelling the bail bond of the accused deprived accused of his right to liberty, even if temporarily. This is not excusable. A judge should administer his office with due regard to integrity of the system of the law itself, remembering that he is not a depository of arbitrary power, but a judge under the sanction of law. 14

    WHEREFORE, finding the recommendation of the Court Administrator to be well-taken, respondent Judge Orlando D. Beltran of the Regional Trial Court of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, Branch 2 is hereby FINED in the amount of Two Thousand (P2,000.00) Pesos for grave abuse of authority, with a stern WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar act shall be dealt with more severely by this Court.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Melo, Vitug, Panganiban and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Par. 9 of the Complaint.

    2. Par. 3 of the Reply (To Comment).

    3. Article 248, as amended by RA 7659.

    4. Guillermo v. Reyes, Jr., 240 SCRA 154; Basco v. Rapatalo, 269 SCRA 220.

    5. Santos v. Ofilada, 245 SCRA 56.

    6. Section 20, Rule 114 as amended by A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "SEC. 20. Increase or reduction of bail. — After the accused shall have been 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."cralaw virtua1aw library

    7. Section 21, Rule 114 as amended by A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "SEC. 21. Forfeiture of bail. — 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:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (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.

    8. Section 2, Rule 114 as amended by A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "SEC. 2. Conditions of the bail; requirements. — All kinds of bail are subject to the following conditions:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (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 or 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 required by this section. 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."cralaw virtua1aw library

    9. Section 22, Rule 114 as amended by A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "SEC. 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 bail."cralaw virtua1aw library

    10. Par. 5 of the Reply (to Comment).

    11. Contreras v. Solis, 260 SCRA 572.

    12. Guillermo v. Reyes, Jr., supra.

    13. Abarquez v. Rebosura, 285 SCRA 109.

    14. Conducto v. Monzon, 291 SCRA 619.

    A.M. No. RTJ-00-1597   August 20, 2001 - WILSON ANDRES v. ORLANDO D. BELTRAN


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