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People vs. San Diego, 26 SCRA 522 (1968)
The accused were charged for murder. The prosecution and the defense agreed that the motions for bail of the defendants would be considered in the course of the regular trial instead of in a summary proceeding. In the course of the regular trial, after the prosecution had presented eight witnesses, the trial court resolved the motions for bail granting the same despite the objection of the prosecution on the ground that it still had material witnesses to present. Bail was granted on the ground that the evidence of guilt was not strong.
ISSUE: Whether or not the prosecution was deprived of procedural due process when trial court granted bail without allowing the prosecution to present their other witnesses.
Yes. Whether the motion for bail of a defendant who is in custody for a capital offense be resolved in a summary proceeding or in the course of a regular trial, the prosecution must be given an opportunity to present, within a reasonable time, all the evidence that it may desire to introduce before the court should resolve the motion for bail. If, as in the criminal case involved in the instant special civil action, the prosecution should be denied such an opportunity, there would be a violation of procedural due process, and the order of the court granting bail should be considered void on that ground. The orders complained of dated October 7, 9 and 12, 1968, having been issued in violation of procedural due process, must be considered null and void.
The court’s discretion to grant bail in capital offenses must be exercised in the light of a summary of the evidence presented by the prosecution; otherwise, it would be uncontrolled and might be capricious or whimsical. Hence, the court’s order granting or refusing bail must contain a summary of the evidence for the prosecution followed by its conclusion whether or not the evidence of guilt is strong. The orders of October 7, 9 and 12, 1968, granting bail to the five defendants are defective in form and substance because they do not contain a summary of the evidence presented by the prosecution. They only contain the court’s conclusion that the evidence of guilt is not strong. Being thus defective in form and substance, the orders complained of cannot, also on this ground, be allowed to stand.
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