Pre-Bar Quizzer in Political Law – PART 2: Constitution of Liberty 91 – 100

91. May a person subject of extradition from another country and where the cases against him in said country are bailable, be allowed to post bail pending the extradition hearings?

          No. As held in UNITED STATES VS. JUDGE PURUGGANAN & MARK JUMENEZ, November, 2002, a person

3facing extradition proceedings is not entitled to bail even if the crime he was charged of in a foreign country is bailable. This is so because the constitutional provision on the right to bail under Art. III of the 1987 Constitution applies only to criminal cases, not in extradition proceedings. (EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ VS. THE PRESIDING JUDGE, RTC 17, MANILA, 483 SCRA 290). This is so because of the possibility of flight

 

92. In extradition cases, is the respondent therein entitled to notice and hearing before the issuance of a warrant of arrest against him?

         No. In Secretary of Justice vs. Judge Lantion, 322 SCRA 160 (The Mark Jimenez Case) , the Supreme Court on a 9-6 vote held that the extraditee is entitled to notice and hearing when a request for extradition by another country is still being evaluated. However, on Motion for Reconsideration in the same case, in a 9-6 decision, the Supreme Court held that the prospective extraditee is not entitled to notice and hearing while his case is still under evaluation because this would defeat the purpose of the arrest warrant since it could give warning that respondents would be arrested and even encourage them to flee but entitled to notice and hearing if the case is already filed in court. (EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ VS. THE PRESIDING JUDGE, RTC 17, MANILA, 483 SCRA 290)

          It is a different matter if at first, the extraditee was allowed bail. The cancellation of his bail bond may be made only after notice and hearing. Otherwise, his right to due process of law will be violated.

 

93. What is the “EQUIPOISE RULE”?

If the evidence in a criminal case is evenly balanced, the constitutional presumption of innocence tilts the scale of justice in favor of the accused and he should be acquitted from the crime charged. Where the inculpatory facts and circumstances are capable of two or more interpretations one of which is consistent with the innocence of the accused and the other consistent with his guilt, then the evidence does not fulfill the test of moral certainty and is not sufficient to support a conviction because of the accused’s constitutional presumption of innocence.(PEOPLE VS. DE LOS SANTOS, 355 SCRA 415)

 

94. May the court reverse the order of trial in a criminal case?

          No. such would violate the right of the accused to presumption of innocence. To be required to present his evidence first would be making him prove his innocence and not the State proving his guilt. (Alejandro vs. Pepito, 96 SCRA 322) However, if the accused does not object to such a procedure, then a reverse order of trial is allowed by the Rules. (Sacay vs. Sandiganbayan, July 10,l986) In fact it should be noted that under the newly adopted 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure (Sec. 3e), Rule 119)the said procedure is now expressly sanctioned. Thus:

       “However, when the accused admits the act or omission charged in the complaint or information but interposes a lawful defense, the order of trial may be modified accordingly.”

 

95. What is the extent of the obligation of a counsel de oficio for an accused in a criminal case?

          While an accused may be given a counsel de oficio which is not a lawyer of his own choice because he could not afford the services of a de parte lawyer, only the faithful performance by counsel of his duty towards his client can give meaning and substance to the accused’s right to due process and to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Hence, a lawyer’s duty, especially that of a defense counsel, must not be taken lightly. It must be performed with all the zeal and vigor at his command to protect and safeguard the accused’s fundamental rights. The cavalier attitude of Atty. Manolo Brotonel of the PAO cannot go unnoticed. It is discernible in [a] his refusal to cross-examine Oleby Nadera (the complainant for RAPE); [b] the manner in which he conducted Maricris Nadera’s cross-examination; and [c] his failure not only to present evidence for the accused but to inform the accused of his right to do so, if he desires. (PEOPLE VS. NADERA, JR., 324 SCRA 490)

 

96. If the accused has the right to be present during the trial of his case, can he also refuse to appear during the hearings of his case?

          No. During arraignment, promulgation of the decision and when he is to be identified by the witnesses for the prosecution, he must be present. However, he can validly waive his presence after arraignment when he state in open court or in an affidavit that whenever a witness mentions his name during the presentation of the prosecution’s evidence, he admits that he is the one being referred to. (Aquino vs. Military Commission, 63 SCRA 546; P vs. Judge, 125 SCRA 269)

 

97. When may “speedy trial” be raised by the accused to cause the dismissal of his case? What kind of delays must occur before the same could be invoked?

         In JAIME BERNAT VS. SANDIGANBAYAN, May 20, 2004, it was held that the right to speedy trial is violated only if the proceedings were attended by vexatious, capricious and oppressive delays. The determination of whether the delays are of said nature is relative and cannot be based on mere mathematical reckoning of time. Particular regard to the facts and circumstances of the case. As held in the case of DE LA PENA VS. SANDIGANBAYAN, certain factors shall be considered and balanced to determine if there is delay, as follows:

     – Length of the delay;

     – Reasons for the delay;

     – Assertion or failure to assert such right by the accused; and

     – Prejudiced caused by the delay.

There is no violation of the right to speedy disposition of his case because petitioner failed to assert his constitutional right to a speedy disposition of his case. During the 8-year period prior to April 19, 2002, petitioner did not complain about the long delay in deciding his case.

 

98.   May the right to speedy disposition of cases be invoked for the dismissal of cases pending before quasi-judicial bodies like the Office of the Ombudsman?

          Yes, unreasonable delays like failure to decide a complaint against the respondent for more than three (3) years from the time all the pleadings were filed violates the respondent’s right to a speedy disposition of his case and the case must be dismissed. (DUTERTE VS. SANDIGANBAYAN, 289 SCRA 721; ANGCHANGCO VS. OMBUDSMAN, 269 SCRA 301)

 

The determination of whether an accused had been denied the right to speedy trial depends on the surrounding circumstances of each case. Although it took about 8 years before the trial of this case was resumed, such delay did not amount to violation of petitioner’s right to speedy trial considering that such delay was not attributable to the prosecution.

 

The factors to consider in determining whether or not such right has been violated:

  1. length of delay,
  2. reasons for such delay, and
  3. assertion or failure to assert such rights by the accused and the prejudice caused by the delay.

(ii) Speedy Trial Act of 1998. The authority of the Secretary of Justice to review resolutions of his subordinates even after an information has already been filed in court does not present an irreconcilable conflict with the 30-day period prescribed in Sec. 7 of the Speedy Trial Act of 1998. (SUMBANG VS. GEN. COURT MARTIAL, G.R. NO. 140188, 337 SCRA 227, AUG. 3, 2000; BLANCO VS. SANDIGANBAYAN, G.R. NOS. 136757 – 58, 346 SCRA 108, NOV. 27, 2000; SOLAR TEAM ENTERTAINMENT, INC. HON. HOW, G.R. NO. 140863, 338 SCRA 51, AUG. 22, 2000).

 

99. Was the failure of the court to have a sign language expert to inform the accused who is a deaf-mute of the contents of the criminal information fatal to the validity of the proceedings which resulted in the conviction of the said accused?

          Yes because the accused was denied of the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. As such, the entire proceedings is null and void and another trial be conducted in the presence of a sign language expert to inform the accused of the proceedings. (Sales vs. CA, 164 SCRA 717; P vs. Crisologo, 150 SCRA 653)

 

100. May an accused in a “Homicide” case be convicted of “Murder” without violating his right to be informed of the nature and cause of accusation against him?

          Yes. Even if the Information was captioned “For Homicide” only but the body of the Information alleges “treachery” or “evident premeditation” and the same was read to the accused, he could be convicted of Murder. This is so because it is the body of the Information that is binding, not the caption thereof and therefore, the accused was duly informed of the nature and cause of accusation against him. (P vs. Resavaga, 159 SCRA 426)

 

Source:

Pre-Bar Quizzer in Political Law (Doctrinal Rulings, Requisites and Definitions)

July, 2008 by Atty. Larry D. Gacayan

College of Law, University of the Cordilleras

Baguio City

 

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About Magz

First of all, I am not a lawyer. I'm a graduate of AB Political Science and went to the College of Law but stopped going to law school for some reasons. I'm a passionate teacher who has been teaching English to speakers of other languages and a person who likes writing and blogging. I lost some important files and software when my computer broke down so the reason I created this website is to preserve the notes, reviewers and digests I collected when I was at the law school and at the same time, I want to help out law students who do not have enough time to go and read books in the library.

Posted on July 8, 2014, in Political Law and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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