[G.R. No. 149276.February 26, 2002]
LIM vs. PEOPLE, et al.
hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court dated FEB 26 2002.
G.R. No. 149276(Jovencio Lim
and Teresita Lim vs. People of the Philippines, et al.)
In their petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of
Civil Procedures, petitioner spouses assail the constitutionality of
Presidential Decree 818 which amended Art. 315, par. 2(d) of the Revised Penal
Code for allegedly imposing excessive or no bail on accused; imposes excessive
fines and inflicts cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment; violates the due
process clause under the constitution; and was not published in the Official
Gazette for its effectivity.
It appears that the petitioners were charged with the offense of Estafa
under Art. 315, par. 2 (d) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by P.D. No.
818 for having issued to private respondent Wilson Cham two (2) post-dated
checks, to wit:Metro Bank Check No.
464728 dated 15 January 1992 for the amount of P365,750.00, and Metro Bank
Check No. 464743 dated January 12, 1992 for the amount of P429,000.00.Check No. 464728 was dishonored upon
presentment for having been drawn against insufficient funds (DAIF) while the
second check (No. 464743) was not presented for payment upon request of
petitioner Jovencio P. Lim.Thereafter,
or in June 2000, Wilson Cham filed a complaint-affidavit before the Office of
the City Prosecutor of Quezon City to which petitioner spouses filed their
counter-affidavit with motion to dismiss.
On 16 February 2001, the City Prosecutor issued a resolution finding
probable cause against the petitioners and recommending the filing of an
information against them for estafa defined in Art. 315, par. 2(d) of the
Revised Penal Code in relation to P.D. No. 818 with no bail recommended.On the same day, an Information was filed
with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, charging petitioners with estafa
under Art. 315, par. 2 (d) of the Revised Penal Code, which was docketed as
Criminal Case No. Q-01-101574.
On 28 June 2001, the Presiding Judge of the public respondent Regional
Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 217 to which said criminal case was
assigned, issued a Warrant for the Arrest of the petitioner with no bail
On 18 July 2001, petitioners filed with respondent court an Urgent
Motion to Quash Information and Warrant of Arrest with application for a
TRO/Injunction.However, the respondent
court denied the same in an order dated 24 July 2001.
Petitioners' motion for bail filed on 24 July 2001 was summarily denied
by respondent court on the same day and petitioner Jovencio Lim was arrested by
virtue of the Warrant of Arrest issued by the respondent court and is now
detained at the Quezon City Jail.However, petitioner Teresita Lim remains at large.
Hence, this petition.
In our resolution dated 28 August 2001, the respondents were required to
Comment on the petition.Private
respondent, through counsel, filed his comment on 15 October 2001.On the other hand, the OSG has requested for
four (4) extensions to file its Comment prompting the petitioner to file two
(2) Urgent Motions to resolve prayer to allow petitioner Jovencio Lim to post
bail bond, to which an opposition was filed by private respondent.
Undaunted, petitioners' counsel filed on 29 January 2001, a
Manifestation and Motion bringing to Our attention Department of Justice
Circular No. 74 dated 6 November 2001 amending the 2000 Bail Bond Guide involving
Estafa under Art. 315, 2(d) as amended by P.D. 818 and Qualified Theft, which
now allows bail in such cases, thus:
"x x x
the amount of fraud is P32,000.00 or over in which the imposable penalty is reclusion
temporal to reclusion perpetua, bail shall be based on reclusion
temporal maximum, pursuant to Par. 2(a) of the 2000 Bail Bond Guide,
multiplied by P2,000.00 plus an additional of P2,000.00 for every P10,000.00 in
excess of P22,000.00; Provided, however, that the total amount of bail shall
not exceed P60,000.00"
In view of the aforecited Circular No. 74 of the Department of Justice,
the intendment and provision of which would benefit the accused, the Court
hereby resolves to grant the prayer of petitioner Jovencio Lim to post bail pending
resolution on the merits of his petition for Certiorari.
WHEREFORE, the petition is
GRANTED.Accordingly, the Regional
Trial Court of Quezon City, branch 217 is directed, within 10 days from notice,
to allow petitioners to post bail in accordance with the provisions of
Department of Justice Circular No. 74 dated November 6, 2001.
This case is now closed and terminated.(Puno, J., no part)
LUZVIMINDA D. PUNO
MA. LUISA D. VILLARAMA
Clerk of Court