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RepublicofthePhilippines
SUPREMECOURT
Manila

THIRDDIVISION

G.R.No.141529June6,2001

FRANCISCOYAP,JR.,akaEDWINYAP,petitioner,
vs.
COURTOFAPPEALSandTHEPEOPLEOFTHEPHILIPPINES,respondents.

GONZAGAREYES,J.:

Therightagainstexcessivebail,andthelibertyofabodeandtravel,arebeinginvokedtosetasidetworesolutions
oftheCourtofAppealswhichfixedbailatP5,500,000.00andimposedconditionsonchangeofresidenceandtravel
abroad.

FormisappropriatingamountsequivalenttoP5,500,000.00,petitionerwasconvictedofestafabytheRegionalTrial
CourtofPasigCity1andwassentencedtofouryearsandtwomonthsofprisioncorrectional,asminimumtoeight
years of prision mayor as maximum, "in addition to one (1) year for each additional P10,000.00 in excess of
P22,000.00butinnocaseshallitexceedtwenty(20)years."2Hefiledanoticeofappeal,andmovedtobeallowed
provisionallibertyunderthecashbondhehadfiledearlierintheproceedings.Themotionwasdeniedbythetrial
courtinanorderdatedFebruary17,1999.

AftertherecordsofthecaseweretransmittedtotheCourtofAppeals,petitionerfiledwiththesaidcourtaMotionto
FixBailFortheProvisionalLibertyofAccusedAppellantPendingAppeal,invokingthelastparagraphofSection5,
Rule114ofthe1997RevisedRulesofCourt.Askedtocommentonthismotion,theSolicitorGeneralopinedthat
petitioner may be allowed to post bail in the amount of P5,500,000.00 and be required to secure "a
certification/guarantyfromtheMayoroftheplaceofhisresidencethatheisaresidentoftheareaandthathewill
remaintobesountilfinaljudgmentisrenderedorincasehetransfersresidence,itmustbewithpriornoticetothe
court and private complainant."3 Petitioner filed a Reply, contending that the proposed bail ofP5,500,000.00 was
violativeofhisrightagainstexcessivebail.

The assailed resolution of the Court of Appeals4, issued on October 6, 1999, upheld the recommendation of the
SolicitorGeneralthus,itsdispositiveportionreads:

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the "Motion to Fix Bail For Provisional Liberty of AccusedAppellant
Pending Appeal" is hereby GRANTED. Accusedappellant Francisco Yap, Jr., a.k.a. Edwin Yap is hereby
ALLOWED TO POST BAIL in the amount of Five Million Five Hundred Thousand (P5,500,000.00) Pesos,
subjecttothefollowingconditions,viz.:

(1)He(accusedappellant)securesacertification/guarantyfromtheMayoroftheplaceofhisresidence
thatheisaresidentoftheareaandthathewillremaintobearesidentthereinuntilfinaljudgmentis
renderedorincasehetransfersresidence,itmustbewithpriornoticetothecourt

(2)TheCommissionoflmmigrationandDeportation(CID)isherebydirectedtoissueaholddeparture
orderagainstaccusedappellantand

(3) The accusedappellant shall forthwith surrender his passport to the Division Clerk of Court for
safekeepinguntilthecourtordersitsreturn

(4)Anyviolationoftheaforesaidconditionsshallcausetheforfeitureofaccusedappellant'sbailbond,
thedismissalofappealandhisimmediatearrestandconfinementinjail.

SOORDERED.5

A motion for reconsideration was filed, seeking the reduction of the amount of bail fixed by respondent court, but
wasdeniedinaresolutionissuedonNovember25,1999.Hence,thispetition.
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Petitionersetsoutthefollowingassignmentsoferror:

The respondent Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion in fixing the bail of the provisional
libertyofpetitionerpendingappealintheamountofP5.5million.

TherespondentCourtofAppealscommittedgraveabuseofdiscretioninbasingthebailfortheprovisional
libertyofthepetitioneronhiscivilliability.

The respondent Court of Appeals unduly restricted petitioner's constitutional liberty of abode and travel in
imposingtheotherconditionsforthegrantofbail.

PetitionercontendsthattheCourtofAppeals,bysettingbailataprohibitoryamount,effectivelydeniedhimhisright
tobail.HechallengesthelegalbasisofrespondentcourtforfixingbailatP5,500,000.00,whichisequivalenttothe
amount of his civil liability to private complainant Manila Mahogany Marketing Corporation, and argues that the
Rules of Court never intended for the civil liability of the accused to be a guideline or basis for determining the
amountofbail.HepraysthatbailbereducedtoatleastP40,000.00,citingthemaximumamountofbailthatcanbe
postedforthecrimeofestafaunderthe1996BailBondGuide,orP20,000.00,equivalenttotheamountofbailhe
postedduringthetrialofthecase.6

Ontheotherhand,theSolicitorGeneralmaintainsthatnograveabuseofdiscretioncouldbeascribedtotheCourt
ofAppealsforfixingtheamountofbailatP5,500,000.00consideringtheseverityofthepenaltyimposed,theweight
oftheevidenceagainstpetitioner,andthegravityoftheoffenseofwhichpetitionerwasconvictedbytheRTC.He
asserted that the P5,500,000.00 not only corresponded to civil liability but also to the amount of fraud imputed to
petitioner.TheSolicitorGeneralfurtherpointedouttheprobabilityofflightincasepetitionerisreleasedonbail,it
having been established that petitioner was in possession of a valid passport and visa and had in fact left the
countryseveraltimesduringthecourseoftheproceedingsinthelowercourt.Itwasalsoshownthatpetitionerused
differentnamesinhisbusinesstransactionsandhadseveralabodesindifferentpartsofthecountry.

As for the conditions imposed by the bail bond, the Solicitor General advanced that all that the Court of Appeals
requiresisnoticeincaseofchangeofaddressitdoesnotinanywayimpairpetitioner'srighttochangeabodefor
aslongasthecourtisapprisedofhischangeofresidenceduringthependencyoftheappeal.

Petitioner'scasefallswithintheprovisionsofSection5,Rule114ofthe1997RulesofCourtwhichstates:

SEC.5.Bail,whendiscretionary.UponconvictionbytheRegionalTrialCourtofanoffensenotpunishable
bydeath,reclusionperpetuaorlifeimprisonment,thecourt,onapplication,mayadmittheaccusedtobail.

Thecourt,initsdiscretion,mayallowtheaccusedtocontinueonprovisionallibertyunderthesamebailbond
duringtheperiodtoappealsubjecttotheconsentofthebondsman.

Ifthecourtimposedapenaltyofimprisonmentexceedingsix(6)years,butnotmorethantwenty(20)years,
the accused shall be denied bail, or his bail previously granted shall be cancelled, upon a showing by the
prosecution,withnoticetotheaccused,ofthefollowingorothersimilarcircumstances:

(a) That the accused is a recidivist, quasirecidivist, or habitual delinquent, or has committed the crime
aggravatedbythecircumstanceofreiteration

(b)Thattheaccusedisfoundtohavepreviouslyescapedfromlegalconfinement,evadedsentence,orhas
violatedtheconditionsofhisbailwithoutvalidjustification

(c)Thattheaccusedcommittedtheoffensewhileonprobation,parole,orunderconditionalpardon

(d)Thatthecircumstancesoftheaccusedorhiscaseindicatetheprobabilityofflightifreleasedonbailor

(e)Thatthereisundueriskthatduringthependencyoftheappeal,theaccusedmaycommitanothercrime.

TheappellatecourtmayreviewtheresolutionoftheRegionalTrialCourt,onmotionandwithnoticetothe
adverseparty.7

ThereisnoquestionthatinthepresentcasetheCourtofAppealsexerciseditsdiscretioninfavorofallowingbailto
petitioner on appeal. Respondent court stated that it was doing so for "humanitarian reasons", and despite a
perceived high risk of flight, as by petitioner's admission he went out of the country several times during the
pendencyofthecase,forwhichreasonthecourtdeemeditnecessarytopegtheamountofbailatP5,500,000.00.

TheprohibitionagainstrequiringexcessivebailisenshrinedintheConstitution.8Theobviousrationale,asdeclared
in the leading case of De la Camara vs. Enage,9 is that imposing bail in an excessive amount could render

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meaningless the right to bail. Thus, in Villaseor vs. Abano,10this Court made the pronouncement that it will not
hesitatetoexerciseitssupervisorypowersoverlowercourtsshouldthelatter,afterholdingtheaccusedentitledto
bail,effectivelydenythesamebyimposingaprohibitorysumorexactingunreasonableconditions.

xxxThereisgrimironyinanaccusedbeingtoldthathehasarighttobailbutatthesametimebeingrequired
topostsuchanexorbitantsum.Whataggravatesthesituationisthatthelowercourtjudgewouldapparently
yield to the command of the fundamental law. In reality, such a sanctimonious avowal of respect for a
mandateoftheConstitutionwasonapurelyverballevel.Thereisreasontobelievethatanypersoninthe
position of petitioner would under the circumstances be unable to resist thoughts of escaping from
confinement,reducedashemusthavebeentoastateofdesperation.Inthesamebreathashewastoldhe
couldbebailedout,theexcessiveamountrequiredcouldonlymeanthatprovisionallibertywouldbebeyond
hisreach.Itwouldhavebeenmoreforthrightifhewereinformedcategoricallythatsucharightcouldnotbe
availedof.Therewouldhavebeennodisappointmentofexpectationsthen.Itdoescalltomindthesewords
ofJusticeJackson,"apromisetotheeartobebrokentothehope,ateasingillusionlikeamunificentbequest
inapauper'swill."XXX11

Atthesametime,Section9,Rule114oftheRevisedRulesofCriminalProcedureadvisescourtstoconsiderthe
followingfactorsinthesettingoftheamountofbail:

(a)Financialabilityoftheaccusedtogivebail

(b)Natureandcircumstancesoftheoffense

(c)Penaltyfortheoffensecharged

(d)Characterandreputationoftheaccused

(e)Ageandhealthoftheaccused

(f)Weightoftheevidenceagainsttheaccused

(g)Probabilityoftheaccusedappearingatthetrial

(h)Forfeitureofotherbail

(i)Thefactthattheaccusedwasafugitivefromjusticewhenarrestedand

(j)Pendencyofothercaseswheretheaccusedisonbail.

Thus, the court has wide latitude in fixing the amount of bail. Where it fears that the accused may jump bail, it is
certainlynotprecludedfrominstallingdevicestoensureagainstthesame.Optionsmayincludeincreasingthebail
bondtoanappropriatelevel,orrequiringthepersontoreportperiodicallytothecourtandtomakeanaccountingof
hismovements.12Inthepresentcase,wherepetitionerwasfoundtohaveleftthecountryseveraltimeswhilethe
case was pending, the Court of Appeals required the confiscation of his passport and the issuance of a hold
departureorderagainsthim.

Under the circumstances of this case, we find that appropriate conditions have been imposed in the bail bond to
ensureagainsttheriskofflight,particularly,thecombinationoftheholddepartureorderandtherequirementthat
petitionerinformthecourtofanychangeofresidenceandofhiswhereabouts.Althoughanincreaseintheamount
ofbailwhilethecaseisonappealmaybemeritorious,wefindthatthesettingoftheamountatP5,500,000.00is
unreasonable,excessive,andconstitutesaneffectivedenialofpetitioner'srighttobail.

Thepurposeforbailistoguaranteetheappearanceoftheaccusedatthetrial,13orwheneversorequiredbythe
Court14.Theamountshouldbehighenoughtoassurethepresenceoftheaccusedwhenrequiredbutnohigher
thanisreasonablycalculatedtofulfillthispurpose.15Tofixbailatanamountequivalenttothecivilliabilityofwhich
petitioner is charged (in this case, P5,500,000.00).is to permit the impression that the amount paid as bail is an
exaction of the civil liability that accused is charged of this we cannot allow because bail is not intended as a
punishment,norasasatisfactionofcivilliabilitywhichshouldnecessarilyawaitthejudgmentoftheappellatecourt.

Atthesametime,wecannotyieldtopetitioner'ssubmissionthatbailintheinstantcasebesetatP40,000.00based
onthe1996BailBondGuide.(ThecurrentBailBondGuide,issuedonAugust29,2000,maintainsrecommended
bailatP40,000.00forestafawheretheamountoffraudisP142,000.00oroverandtheimposablepenalty20years
ofreclusiontemporal).True,theCourthasheldthattheBailBondGuide,acircularoftheDepartmentofJusticefor
the guidance of state prosecutors, although technically not binding upon the courts, "merits attention, being in a
sense an expression of policy of the Executive Branch, through the Department of Justice, in the enforcement of
criminallaws."16Thus,courtsareadvisedthattheymustnotonlybeawarebutshouldalsoconsidertheBailBond

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Guide due to its significance in the administration of criminal justice.17 This notwithstanding, the Court is not
precluded from imposing in petitioner's case an amount higher than P40,000.00 (based on the Bail Bond Guide)
whereitperceivesthatanappropriateincreaseisdictatedbythecircumstances.

Itmilitatesemphasisthatpetitionerisseekingbailonappeal.Section5,Rule114oftheRevisedRulesofCriminal
Procedureisclearthatalthoughthegrantofbailonappealisnoncapitaloffensesisdiscretionary,whenthepenalty
imposedontheconvictedaccusedexceedssixyearsandcircumstancesexistthatpointtotheprobabilityofflightif
releasedonbail,thentheaccusedmustbedeniedbail,orhisbailpreviouslygrantedshouldbecancelled.18Inthe
samevein,theCourthasheldthatthediscretiontoextendbailduringthecourseoftheappealshouldbeexercised
with grave caution and for strong reasons, considering that the accused had been in fact convicted by the trial
court.19 In an earlier case, the Court adopted Senator Vicente J. Francisco's disquisition on why bail should be
deniedafterjudgmentofconvictionasamatterofwisediscretionthus:

The importance attached to conviction is due to the underlying principle that bail should be granted only
where it is uncertain whether the accused is guilty or innocent, and therefore, where that uncertainty is
removedbyconvictionitwould,generallyspeaking,beabsurdtoadmittobail.Afterapersonhasbeentried
andconvictedthepresumptionofinnocencewhichmayberelieduponinpriorapplicationsisrebutted,and
theburdenisupontheaccusedtoshowerrorintheconviction.Fromanotherpointofviewitmaybeproperly
arguedthattheprobabilityofultimatepunishmentissoenhancedbytheconvictionthattheaccusedismuch
morelikelytoattempttoescapeifliberatedonbailthanbeforeconviction.xxx20

Petitionerisseekingbailonappeal.HewasinfactdeclaredguiltybeyondreasonabledoubtbytheRTC,anddueto
theseriousamountoffraudinvolved,sentencedtoimprisonmentfortwentyyearsthemaximumpenaltyforestafa
byfalsepretensesorfraudulentactsallowedbytheRevisedPenalCode.Althoughitcannotbecontrovertedthat
theCourtofAppeals,despitetheforegoingconsiderationsandthepossibilityofflightstillwieldeditsdiscretionto
grantpetitionerbail,thesettingofbailintheamountofP5,500,000.00isunjustifiedashavingnolegalnorfactual
basis. Guided by the penalty imposed by the lower court and the weight of the evidence against petitioner, we
believethattheamountofP200,000.00ismorereasonable.

PetitioneralsoconteststheconditionimposedbytheCourtofAppealsthathesecure"acertification/guarantyfrom
the Mayor of the place of his residence that he is a resident of the area and that he will remain to be a resident
thereinuntilfinaljudgmentisrenderedorincasehetransfersresidence,itmustbewithpriornoticetothecourt",
claimingthatthesameviolateshislibertyofabodeandtravel.

Notably, petitioner does not question the holddeparture order which prevents him from leaving the Philippines
unless expressly permitted by the court which issued the order.21 In fact, the petition submits that "the hold
departure order against petitioner is already sufficient guarantee that he will not escape. Thus, to require him to
informthecourteverytimehechangedhisresidenceisalreadyunnecessary."22

The right to change abode and travel within the Philippines, being invoked by petitioner, are not absolute rights.
Section6,ArticleIIIofthe1987Constitutionstates:

Thelibertyofabodeandofchangingthesamewithinthelimitsprescribedbylawshallnotbeimpairedexcept
uponlawfulorderofthecourt.Neithershalltherighttotravelbeimpairedexceptintheinterestofnational
security,publicsafety,orpublichealth,asmaybeprovidedbylaw.

TheorderoftheCourtofAppealsreleasingpetitioneronbailconstitutessuchlawfulorderascontemplatedbythe
aboveprovision.23TheconditionimposedbytheCourtofAppealsissimplyconsistentwiththenatureandfunction
ofabailbond,whichistoensurethatpetitionerwillmakehimselfavailableatalltimeswhenevertheCourtrequires
his presence. Besides, a closer look at the questioned condition will show that petitioner is not prevented from
changingabodeheismerelyrequiredtoinformthecourtincasehedoesso.

WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. Petitioner's bail pending appeal is reduced from
P5,500,000.00toP200,000.00.Inallotherrespects,theresolutionsoftheCourtofAppeals,datedOctober6,1999
andNovember25,1999,respectively,areAFFIRMED.Nopronouncementastocosts.

SOORDERED. 1wphi1.nt

Melo,Vitug,Panganiban,andSandova/Gutierrez,JJ.,concur.

Footnotes
1Branch167,presidedbyJudgeAlfredoC.Flores.

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2RTCDecisionRollo,3334.

3CommentofSolicitorGeneraltoMotiontoFixBailRollo,59.

4 Fourteenth Division, composed of Associate Justice Ramon A. Barcelona (Chairman and ponente),
AssociateJusticeDemetrioG.Demetria,andAssociateJusticeMercedesGozoDadole.
5CAResolutiondatedOctober6,1999Rollo,1819.

6PetitionRollo,8.

7SeealsoSection5,Rule114oftheRevisedRulesofCriminalProcedure,effectiveDecember1,2000.

8AtSection13,ArticleIII(BillofRights),the1987Constitutiondeclares:"Allpersonsexceptthosecharged
withoffensespunishablebyreclusionperpetuawhenevidenceofguiltisstrong,shall,beforeconviction,be
bailablebysufficientsureties,orbereleasedonrecognizanceasmaybeprovidedbylaw.Therighttobail
shall not be impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail
shallnotberequired."(Emphasissupplied).

941SCRA1(1971).

1021SCRA312(1967).SeealsoChuvs.Dolalas,260SCRA309(1996).

11DelaCamaravs.Enage.supra,at9,10.

12Almedavs.Villaluz,66SCRA38(1975).

13Almedavs.Villaluz,supra.

14Sec.2,Rule114,RevisedRulesofCriminalProcedure.

15Villaseorvs.Abao,21SCRA312(1967).

l6Peoplevs.ResterioAndrade,175SCRA782(1989).

17Chuvs.Dolalas,supra.

18 Maguddatu vs. Court of Appeals, 326 SCRA 362 (2000) Obosa vs. Court of Appeals, 266 SCRA 281
(1997),citingPeoplevs.CaderaoandAssociatedInsurance&SuretyCo.,Inc.,117Phil.650(1963).
19Obosavs.CourtofAppeals,supra.

20 ld., citing FRANCISCO, THE REVISED RULES OF COURT IN THE PHILIPPINES CRIMINAL
PROCEDURE(1963),at322.
21 SeeDefensorSantiago vs. Vasquez, 217 SCRA 633 (1993), where the Court held that the ex parte
issuanceofaholddepartureorderwasavalidexerciseofthepresidingcourt'sinherentpowertopreserve
and to maintain the effectiveness of its jurisdiction over the case and the person of the accused. See also
Silveriovs.CourtofAppeals,195SCRA760(1991),wheretheCourtupheldtheholddepartureorderasa
validrestrictionontheaccused'srighttotravel,astokeephimwithinthereachofthecourts.

22PetitionRollo,11.

23Manotocvs.CourtofAppeals,142SCRA149(1986).

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