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GOVERNMENT OF HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION V. OLALIA (521 SCRA)
Juan Muñoz was charged before Hong Kong Court with three (3) counts of the offense of “accepting an advantage as agent,” in violation of Section 9 (1) (a) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance Cap. 201 of Hong Kong. He also faces seven (7) counts of the offense of conspiracy to defraud, penalized by the Common Law of Hong Kong. On August 23, 1997 and October 25, 1999, warrants of arrest were issued against him. If convicted, he faces a jail term of seven (7) to fourteen (14) years for each charge. On September 13, 1999, the DOJ received from Hong Kong Department of Justice a request for the provisional arrest of private respondent. The DOJ forwarded the request to the NBI, then it was filed with the RTC of Manila where it issued an order of arrest. That same day the NBI agent arrested and detained him.
On October 14, 1999, private respondent filed with the CA a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with application for preliminary mandatory injunction and a writ of habeas corpus questioning the validity of the order of the arrest. The Court of Appeals declared the order of arrest void. Then the DOJ filed with this court petition for review on certiorari praying that the decision of the CA be reversed. The Court granted the petition of the DOJ and sustained the validity of arrest. The decision then became final and executory. Meanwhile, petitioners filed with the RTC of Manila a petition for extradition of private respondent and petition for bail which was opposed by the petitioner. After hearing, Judge Bernardo issued an order denying the petition for bail holding that there is no Philippine law, granting bail in extradition cases and that private respondent is a high “flight risk.” Judge Bernardo inhibited from further hearing and the case was then raffled to Branch 5. Juan Antonio Muñoz filed a motion for reconsideration to said order and was granted by Hon. Olalia, thus allowing him to post bail. Petitioner filed an urgent motion to vacate the said order but it was denied. Hence, the instant petition.
Whether or not the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in admitting private respondent to post bail.
The court dismissed the petition. An extradition proceeding being sui generis, the standard of proof required in granting or denying bail can neither be proof beyond reasonable doubt in criminal cases nor the standard of proof of preponderance of evidence in civil case. In his separate opinion in Purganan, Chief Justice Renato proposed that a new standard which he termed “clear and convincing evidence” should be used in granting bail in extradition cases.
The potential extradite must prove by clear and convincing evidence that he is not a flight risk and will abide with all the orders and process of the extradition court. In this case, there is no showing that he presented evidence to show that he is not a flight risk. Consequently, this case should be remanded to the trial court to determine whether private respondent may be granted bail on the basis of “clear and convincing evidence”.
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