Yes, Arroyo may still file bail--Santiago

pinas balita: Yes, Arroyo may still file bail--Santiago
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Former president, now Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo can still be granted bail despite facing a non-bailable electoral sabotage case, according to Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.
Santiago, a former regional trial court (RTC) judge, said that even if the charge is punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, bail is still a matter of discretion on the part of the judge.
“The grant or denial of an application for bail is dependent on whether the evidence of guilt is strong, which the lower court should determine in a hearing called for the purpose,” she said, citing the 1999 case of People v. Cabral.
The senator added that a hearing is mandatory to determine the guilt before bail can be granted to an accused charged with capital offense.
In Arroyo’s case, the Pasay RTC, where the electoral sabotage case is to be heard, is required to hold a bail hearing as a matter of due process.

“After a bail hearing, the judge should spell out at least a resume of the evidence on which its order granting or denying bail is based. Otherwise, the order is defective and voidable,” Santiago said, quoting the 1991 case of Carpio v. Maglalang.
In theory, the function of a bail, which is usually a sum of money in exchange for the release of an arrested person, is to ensure the appearance of the defendant at the time set for trial.
Santiago, a former law professor, said that the Rules of Court allows the trial judge to question what form a bail could take.

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