Criminal Law

People of the Philippines vs Judge Donato & Rodolfo Salas

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G.R. No. 79269 – 198 SCRA 130 – Criminal Law – Habeas Corpus – Right to Bail – Rebellion

Salas aka NPA’s “Ka Bilog” was arrested and was charged for rebellion. He was charged together with the spouses Concepcion. Salas, together with his co-accused later filed a petition for the Writ of Habeas Corpus. A conference was held thereafter to hear each party’s side. It was later agreed upon by both parties that Salas will withdraw his petition for the WoHC and that he will remain in custody for the continued investigation of the case and that he will face trial. The SC then, basing on the stipulations of the parties, held to dismiss the habeas corpus case filed by Salas. But later on, Salas filed to be admitted for bail and Judge Donato approved his application for bail. Judge Donato did not bother hearing the side of the prosecution. The prosecution argued that Salas is estopped from filing bail because he has waived his right to bail when he withdrew his petition for habeas corpus as a sign of agreement that he will be held in custody.

ISSUE: Whether or not Salas can still validly file for bail.

HELD: The SC ruled that Salas did waive his right to bail when he withdrew his petition for the issuance of the WoHC. The contention of the defense that Salas merely agreed to be in custody and that the same does not constitute a waiver of his right to bail is not tenable. His waiver to such right is justified by his act of withdrawing his petition for WoHC.


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