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Govt of USA v. Hon. Purganan


GR No. 148571
Right to Bail
FACTS:
The Secretary was ordered to furnish Mr. Jimenez copies of the extradition request and its
supporting papers and to grant the latter a reasonable period within which to file a comment
and supporting evidence. But, on motion for reconsideration by the Sec. of Justice, it reversed
its decision but held that the Mr. Jimenez was bereft of the right to notice and hearing during
the evaluation stage of the extradition process. On May 18, 2001, the Government of the USA,
represented by the Philippine Department of Justice, filed with the RTC, the Petition for
Extradition praying for the issuance of an order for his immediate arrest pursuant to Sec. 6 of
PD 1069 in order to prevent the flight of Jimenez. Before the RTC could act on the petition,
Mr. Jimenez filed before it an Urgent Manifestation/Ex-Parte Motion praying for his
application for an arrest warrant be set for hearing. After the hearing, as required by the court,
Mr. Jimenez submitted his Memorandum. Therein seeking an alternative prayer that in case a
warrant should issue, he be allowed to post bail in the amount of P100,000. The court ordered
the issuance of a warrant for his arrest and fixing bail for his temporary liberty at P1M in cash.
After he had surrendered his passport and posted the required cash bond, Jimenez was granted
provisional liberty.
Government of the USA filed a petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to
set aside the order for the issuance of a warrant for his arrest and fixing bail for his temporary
liberty at P1M in cash which the court deems best to take cognizance as there is still no local
jurisprudence to guide lower court.
ISSUE:
(1) Whether Judge Purganan acted with grave abuse of discretion in adopting a procedure
of first hearing a potential extradite before issuing a warrant.
(2) Whether Judge Purganan acted with grave abuse of discretion in granting the prayer for
bail.
HELD:
(1) YES. By using the phrase if it appears, the law further conveys that accuracy is not as
important as speed at such early stage. The prima facie existence of probable causes for hearing
the petition for issuing an arrest warrant was already evident from the Petition itself and its
supporting documents. Hence, after having already determined therefrom that a prima facie
finding did exist, respondent judge gravely abused his discretion when he set the matter for
hearing upon motion of Jimenez. The silence of the Law and the Treaty leans to the more
reasonable interpretation that there is no intention to punctuate with a hearing every little step
in the entire proceedings. It also bears emphasizing at this point that extradition proceedings
are summary in nature.

Prepared by: Juan Samuel Ismael Loyola

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Even Section 2 of Article III of our Constitution, which is invoked by Jimenez, does not require
a notice or a hearing before the issuance of a warrant of arrest. To determine probable cause
for the issuance of arrest warrants, the Constitution itself requires only the examination under
oath or affirmation of complainants and the witnesses they may produce.
The Proper Procedure to Best Serve The Ends Of Justice In Extradition Cases
Upon receipt of a petition for extradition and its supporting documents, the judge must study
them and make, as soon as possible, a prima facie finding whether
a) They are sufficient in form and substance
b) They show compliance with the Extradition Treaty and Law
c) The person sought is extraditable
At his discretion, the judge may require the submission of further documentation or may
personally examine the affiants and witnesses of the petitioner. If, in spite of this study and
examination, no prima facie finding is possible, the petition may be dismissed at the discretion
of the judge. On the other hand, if the presence of a prima facie case is determined, then the
magistrate must immediately issue a warrant for the arrest of the extraditee, who is at the same
time summoned to answer the petition and to appear at scheduled summary hearings. Prior to
the issuance of the warrant, the judge must not inform or notify the potential extraditee of the
pendency of the petition, lest the latter be given the opportunity to escape and frustrate the
proceedings.
(2) YES. The constitutional provision on bail on Article III, Section 13 of the Constitution, as
well as Section 4 of Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, applies only when a person has been arrested
and detained for violation of Philippine criminal laws. It does not apply to extradition
proceedings, because extradition courts do not render judgments of conviction or acquittal.
Moreover, the constitutional right to bail flows from the presumption of innocence in favor of
every accused who should not be subjected to the loss of freedom as thereafter he would be
entitled to acquittal, unless his guilt be proved beyond reasonable doubt. In extradition, the
presumption of innocence is not at issue. The provision in the Constitution stating that the
right to bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is
suspended finds application only to persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses
inherent in or directly connected with invasion.
That the offenses for which Jimenez is sought to be extradited are bailable in the United States
is not an argument to grant him one in the present case. Extradition proceedings are separate
and distinct from the trial for the offenses for which he is charged. He should apply for bail
before the courts trying the criminal cases against him, not before the extradition court.
Exceptions to the No Bail Rule
Bail is not a matter of right in extradition cases. It is subject to judicial discretion in the context
of the peculiar facts of each case. Bail may be applied for and granted as an exception, only
upon a clear and convincing showing
1) That, once granted bail, the applicant will not be a flight risk or a danger to the community;
and

Prepared by: Juan Samuel Ismael Loyola

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2) That there exist special, humanitarian and compelling circumstances including, as a matter
of reciprocity, those cited by the highest court in the requesting state when it grants provisional
liberty in extradition cases therein
Since this exception has no express or specific statutory basis, and since it is derived
essentially from general principles of justice and fairness, the applicant bears the burden of
proving the above two-tiered requirement with clarity, precision and emphatic forcefulness.
It must be noted that even before private respondent ran for and won a congressional seat in
Manila, it was already of public knowledge that the United States was requesting his
extradition. Therefore, his constituents were or should have been prepared for the
consequences of the extradition case. Thus, the court ruled against his claim that his election to
public office is by itself a compelling reason to grant him bail.
Giving premium to delay by considering it as a special circumstance for the grant of bail
would be tantamount to giving him the power to grant bail to himself. It would also encourage
him to stretch out and unreasonably delay the extradition proceedings even more. Extradition
proceedings should be conducted with all deliberate speed to determine compliance with the
Extradition Treaty and Law; and, while safeguarding basic individual rights, to avoid the
legalistic contortions, delays and technicalities that may negate that purpose.
That he has not yet fled from the Philippines cannot be taken to mean that he will stand his
ground and still be within reach of our government if and when it matters; that is, upon the
resolution of the Petition for Extradition.

Prepared by: Juan Samuel Ismael Loyola