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Herras Teehankee vs. Rovira, 75 Phil 634 (1945)
Haydee Herras Teehankee is a political prisoner for the crime of treason. Her husband, Alberto, filed a petition, her immediate release be ordered on the ground that no evidence exists upon which she could be charged with any act punishable by law, or, alternatively, that the People's Court fix the bail for her provisional liberty. One of the Associate Judges ordered her provisional release under a bond of P50,000. However, the presiding judge and the other Associate Judge entered an order to deny the same.
Hence, this petition for writs of certiorari and mandamus.
Whether or not the petition for provisional release under bail be denied.
No, the Court ruled that a hearing of the petitioner's application for bail be held.
Article III, section 1(16), of the Commonwealth Constitution refers to all persons, not only to persons against whom a complaint or information has already been formally filed, it lays down the rule that all persons shall before conviction be bailable except those charged with capital offenses when evidence of guilt is strong.
Upon application by a political prisoner or detainee to the People's Court for provisional release under bail, a hearing, summary or otherwise, should be held with due notice to the Office of Special Prosecutors, as well as to the prisoner or detainee.
While it is true that the Solicitor General recommended Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000) as a reasonable bail "on the strength of the evidence at hand," it may happen that thereafter his office may have secured additional evidence which, in addition to or in connection with that he already possessed, in his opinion is sufficiently strong to prove petitioner's guilt for a capital offense, in which case, he may yet decide to oppose the application for bail heretofore filed by the petitioner at the hearing thereof.