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Digest: Ruiz v. Beldia

Ruiz v. Beldia
A.M. NO. RTJ-02-1731, February 16, 2005


Santos was arrested during entrapment operations relative to the carnapping of the vehicle of petitioner Shirley C. Ruiz. After her arrest on May 24, 2000, Santos was detained in Camp Crame, Quezon City, pending the filing of formal charges in court. Upon inquest, she executed a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Rule 112, Section 7 of the then applicable 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Inquest Prosecutor thus set the hearing of the preliminary investigation on May 31, 2000 at 2:00 PM.

However, on May 30, 2000, Santos obtained an Order of Release signed by respondent Judge Beldia who was then detailed as assisting judge of Branch 272, Regional Trial Court of Marikina City (RTC-Marikina City). Respondent Judge Beldia apparently granted bail to Santos and approved the corresponding bail bond without serving notice to the prosecutor. Consequently, Ruiz filed the instant administrative complaint contending that respondent Judge Beldia had no authority to grant bail to Santos since the Investigating Prosecutor has yet to conclude the preliminary investigation. She claimed that for as long as the information has not yet been filed in court, a court has no power to grant bail to a detained person since it has not yet acquired jurisdiction over the person of the accused.


          Whether or not  any person in custody, even if not formally charged in court, may apply for bail. 


          Yes. A person lawfully arrested and detained but who has not yet been formally charged in court, can seek his provisional release through the filing of an application for bail. He need not wait for a formal complaint or information to be filed since bail is available to “all persons” where the offense is bailable. Section 7, Rule 112 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that a judge could grant bail to a person lawfully arrested but without a warrant, upon waiver of his right under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, as Santos had done upon her inquest.

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