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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. 148571 September 24, 2002
GOVERNMENT OF THE UNTE! ST"TES OF "MERC",
Repre#e$te% b& t'e P'()(pp($e !ep*rtme$t o+ ,-#t(.e, petitioner,
vs.
HON. GU//ERMO PURG"N"N, Pre#(%($0 ,-%0e Re0(o$*) Tr(*) Co-rt o+ M*$()*
*$%
M"RC ,MENE1 *.2.*. M"RCO 3"T"C"N CRESPO, respondent
Davide Jr., CJ, Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Ynares-
Santiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Cario, !ustria-Martinez, Corona, Morales and Calle"o,
Sr.
D E C I S I N
P"NG"N3"N, J.:
In e!tradition proceedin"s, are prospective e!traditees entitled to notice and hearin"
before #arrants for their arrest can be issued$ E%uall& i'portant, are the& entitled to
the ri"ht to bail and provisional libert& #hile the e!tradition proceedin"s are pendin"$ In
"eneral, the ans#er to these t#o novel %uestions is (No.( )he e!planation of and the
reasons for, as #ell as the e!ceptions to, this rule are laid out in this Decision.
T'e C*#e
Before us is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule *+ of the Rules of Court, see,in" to
void and set aside the rders dated Ma& -., -//0
0
and 1ul& ., -//0
-
issued b& the
Re"ional )rial Court 2R)C3 of Manila, Branch 4-.
.
)he first assailed rder set for
hearin" petitioner5s application for the issuance of a #arrant for the arrest of
Respondent Mar, B. 1i'ene6.
)he second challen"ed rder, on the other hand, directed the issuance of a #arrant,
but at the sa'e ti'e "ranted bail to 1i'ene6. )he dispositive portion of the rder reads
as follo#s7
89ERE:RE, in the li"ht of the fore"oin", the ;Court< finds probable cause
a"ainst respondent Mar, 1i'ene6. Accordin"l& let a 8arrant for the arrest of
the respondent be issued. Conse%uentl& and ta,in" into consideration Section
=, Rule 004 of the Revised Rules of Cri'inal Procedure, this Court fi!es the
reasonable a'ount of bail for respondent5s te'porar& libert& at NE MI>>IN
PESS 2Php 0,///,///.//3, the sa'e to be paid in cash.
:urther'ore respondent is directed to i''ediatel& surrender to this Court his
passport and the Bureau of I''i"ration and Deportation is li,e#ise directed to
include the na'e of the respondent in its 9old Departure >ist.(
4
Essentiall&, the Petition pra&s for the liftin" of the bail rder, the cancellation of the
bond, and the ta,in" of 1i'ene6 into le"al custod&.
T'e F*.t#
)his Petition is reall& a se%uel to ?R No. 0.=4*+ entitled Secretar& of 1ustice v. Ralph
C. >antion.
+
Pursuant to the e!istin" RP@AS E!tradition )reat&,
*
the Anited States ?overn'ent,
throu"h diplo'atic channels, sent to the Philippine ?overn'ent Note Berbale No. /+--
dated 1une 0*, 0===, supple'ented b& Note Nos. /+=C, /C-/ and /D/= and
acco'panied b& dul& authenticated docu'ents re%uestin" the e!tradition of Mar, B.
1i'ene6, also ,no#n as Mario Batacan Crespo. Apon receipt of the Notes and
docu'ents, the secretar& of forei"n affairs 2S:A3 trans'itted the' to the secretar& of
Eustice 2S13 for appropriate action, pursuant to Section + of Presidential Decree 2PD3
No. 0/*=, also ,no#n as the E!tradition >a#.
Apon learnin" of the re%uest for his e!tradition, 1i'ene6 sou"ht and #as "ranted a
)e'porar& Restrainin" rder 2)R3 b& the R)C of Manila, Branch -+.
C
)he )R
prohibited the Depart'ent of 1ustice 2D13 fro' filin" #ith the R)C a petition for his
e!tradition. )he validit& of the )R #as, ho#ever, assailed b& the S1 in a Petition
before this Court in the said ?R No. 0.=4*+. Initiall&, the Court @@ b& a vote of =@* @@
dis'issed the Petition. )he S1 #as ordered to furnish private respondent copies of
the e!tradition re%uest and its supportin" papers and to "rant the latter a reasonable
period #ithin #hich to file a co''ent and supportin" evidence.
D
Actin" on the Motion for Reconsideration filed b& the S1, this Court issued its ctober
0C, -/// Resolution.
=
B& an identical vote of =@* @@ after three Eustices chan"ed their
votes @@ it reconsidered and reversed its earlier Decision. It held that private respondent
#as bereft of the ri"ht to notice and hearin" durin" the evaluation sta"e of the
e!tradition process. )his Resolution has beco'e final and e!ecutor&.
1
:indin" no 'ore le"al obstacle, the ?overn'ent of the Anited States of A'erica,
represented b& the Philippine D1, filed #ith the R)C on Ma& 0D, -//0, the appropriate
Petition for E!tradition #hich #as doc,eted as E!tradition Case No. /00=-/*0. )he
Petition alle"ed, inter alia, that 1i'ene6 #as the subEect of an arrest #arrant issued b&
the Anited States District Court for the Southern District of :lorida on April 0+, 0===.
)he #arrant had been issued in connection #ith the follo#in" char"es in Indict'ent No.
==@//-D0 CR@SEI)F7 203 conspirac& to defraud the Anited States and to co''it certain
offenses in violation of )itle 0D AS Code Section .C0G 2-3 ta! evasion, in violation of
)itle -* AS Code Section C-/0G 2.3 #ire fraud, in violation of )itle 0D AS Code Sections
0.4. and -G 243 false state'ents, in violation of )itle 0D AS Code Sections 0//0 and -G
and 2+3 ille"al ca'pai"n contributions, in violation of )itle - AS Code Sections 440b,
440f and 4.C"2d3 and )itle 0D AS Code Section -. In order to prevent the fli"ht of
1i'ene6, the Petition pra&ed for the issuance of an order for his (i''ediate arrest(
pursuant to Section * of PD No. 0/*=.
Before the R)C could act on the Petition, Respondent 1i'ene6 filed before it an
(Ar"ent ManifestationHE!@Parte Motion,(
0/
#hich pra&ed that petitioner5s application for
an arrest #arrant be set for hearin".
In its assailed Ma& -., -//0 rder, the R)C "ranted the Motion of 1i'ene6 and set the
case for hearin" on 1une +, -//0. In that hearin", petitioner 'anifested its reservations
on the procedure adopted b& the trial court allo#in" the accused in an e!tradition case
to be heard prior to the issuance of a #arrant of arrest.
After the hearin", the court a %uo re%uired the parties to sub'it their respective
'e'oranda. In his Me'orandu', 1i'ene6 sou"ht an alternative pra&er7 that in case a
#arrant should issue, he be allo#ed to post bail in the a'ount of P0//,///.
)he alternative pra&er of 1i'ene6 #as also set for hearin" on 1une 0+, -//0.
)hereafter, the court belo# issued its %uestioned 1ul& ., -//0 rder, directin" the
issuance of a #arrant for his arrest and fi!in" bail for his te'porar& libert& at one 'illion
pesos in cash.
00
After he had surrendered his passport and posted the re%uired cash
bond, 1i'ene6 #as "ranted provisional libert& via the challen"ed rder dated 1ul& 4,
-//0.
0-
9ence, this Petition.
0.
##-e#
Petitioner presents the follo#in" issues for the consideration of this Court7
I.
)he public respondent acted #ithout or in e!cess of Eurisdiction or #ith "rave
abuse of discretion a'ountin" to lac, or e!cess of Eurisdiction in adoptin" a
procedure of first hearin" a potential e!traditee before issuin" an arrest
#arrant under Section * of PD No. 0/*=.
II.
)he public respondent acted #ithout or in e!cess of Eurisdiction or #ith "rave
abuse of discretion a'ountin" to lac, or e!cess of Eurisdiction in "rantin" the
pra&er for bail and in allo#in" 1i'ene6 to "o on provisional libert& because7
I0. An e!tradition court has no po#er to authori6e bail, in the absence
of an& la# that provides for such po#er.
I-. Section 0., Article III 2ri"ht to bail clause3 of the 0=DC Philippine
Constitution and Section 4, Rule 004 2Bail3 of the Rules of Court, as
a'ended, #hich ;#ere< relied upon, cannot be used as bases for
allo#in" bail in e!tradition proceedin"s.
I.. )he presu'ption is a"ainst bail in e!tradition proceedin"s or
proceedin"s leadin" to e!tradition.
I4. n the assu'ption that bail is available in e!tradition proceedin"s
or proceedin"s leadin" to e!tradition, bail is not a 'atter of ri"ht but
onl& of discretion upon clear sho#in" b& the applicant of the
e!istence of special circu'stances.
I+. Assu'in" that bail is a 'atter of discretion in e!tradition
proceedin"s, the public respondent received no evidence of Ispecial
circu'stances5 #hich 'a& Eustif& release on bail.
I*. )he ris, that 1i'ene6 #ill flee is hi"h, and no special circu'stance
e!ists that #ill en"ender a #ell@founded belief that he #ill not flee.
IC. )he conditions attached to the "rant of bail are ineffectual and do
not ensure co'pliance b& the Philippines #ith its obli"ations under
the RP@AS E!tradition )reat&.
ID. )he Court of Appeals Resolution pro'ul"ated on Ma& 0/, -//0 in
the case entitled IEduardo ). Rodri"ue6 et al. vs. )he 9on. Presidin"
1ud"e, R)C, Branch 0C, Manila,5 CA@?.R. SP No. *4+D=, relied upon
2
b& the public respondent in "rantin" bail, had been recalled before
the issuance of the subEect bail orders.5(
04
In su', the substantive %uestions that this Court #ill address are7 203 #hether 1i'ene6
is entitled to notice and hearin" before a #arrant for his arrest can be issued, and 2-3
#hether he is entitled to bail and to provisional libert& #hile the e!tradition proceedin"s
are pendin". Preli'inaril&, #e shall ta,e up the alle"ed pre'aturit& of the Petition for
Certiorari arisin" fro' petitioner5s failure to file a Motion for Reconsideration in the R)C
and to see, relief in the Court of Appeals 2CA3, instead of in this Court.
0+
8e shall also
preli'inaril& discuss five e!tradition postulates that #ill "uide us in disposin" of the
substantive issues.
T'e Co-rt4# R-)($0
)he Petition is 'eritorious.
Pre)(m($*r& M*tter#
Alleged Prematurity of Present Petition
Petitioner sub'its the follo#in" Eustifications for not filin" a Motion for Reconsideration
in the E!tradition Court7 (203 the issues #ere full& considered b& such court after
re%uirin" the parties to sub'it their respective 'e'oranda and position papers on the
'atter and thus, the filin" of a reconsideration 'otion #ould serve no useful purposeG
2-3 the assailed orders are a patent nullit&, absent factual and le"al basis thereforG and
2.3 the need for relief is e!tre'el& ur"ent, as the passa"e of sufficient ti'e #ould "ive
1i'ene6 a'ple opportunit& to escape and avoid e!traditionG and 243 the issues raised
are purel& of la#.(
0*
:or resortin" directl& to this Court instead of the CA, petitioner sub'its the follo#in"
reasons7 (203 even if the petition is lod"ed #ith the Court of Appeals and such appellate
court ta,es co"ni6ance of the issues and decides the', the parties #ould still brin" the
'atter to this 9onorable Court to have the issues resolved once and for all ;and< to
have a bindin" precedent that all lo#er courts ou"ht to follo#G 2-3 the 9onorable Court
of Appeals had in one case
0C
ruled on the issue b& disallo#in" bail but the court belo#
refused to reco"ni6e the decision as a Eudicial "uide and all other courts 'i"ht li,e#ise
adopt the sa'e attitude of refusalG and 2.3 there are pendin" issues on bail both in the
e!tradition courts and the Court of Appeals, #hich, unless "uided b& the decision that
this 9onorable Court #ill render in this case, #ould resolve to "rant bail in favor of the
potential e!traditees and #ould "ive the' opportunit& to flee and thus, cause adverse
effect on the abilit& of the Philippines to co'pl& #ith its obli"ations under e!istin"
e!tradition treaties.(
0D
As a "eneral rule, a petition for certiorari before a hi"her court #ill not prosper unless
the inferior court has been "iven, throu"h a 'otion for reconsideration, a chance to
correct the errors i'puted to it. )his rule, thou"h, has certain e!ceptions7 203 #hen the
issue raised is purel& of la#, 2-3 #hen public interest is involved, or 2.3 in case of
ur"enc&.
0=
As a fourth e!ception, the Court has also ruled that the filin" of a 'otion for
reconsideration before avail'ent of the re'ed& of certiorari is not a sine %ua non, #hen
the %uestions raised are the sa'e as those that have alread& been s%uarel& ar"ued
and e!haustivel& passed upon b& the lo#er court.
-/
Aside fro' bein" of this nature, the
issues in the present case also involve pure %uestions of la# that are of public interest.
9ence, a 'otion for reconsideration 'a& be dispensed #ith.
>i,e#ise, this Court has allo#ed a direct invocation of its ori"inal Eurisdiction to issue
#rits of certiorari #hen there are special and i'portant reasons therefor.
-0
In :ortich v.
Corona
--
#e stated7
;)<he Supre'e Court has the full discretionar& po#er to ta,e co"ni6ance of
the petition filed directl& ;before< it if co'pellin" reasons, or the nature and
i'portance of the issues raised, #arrant. )his has been the Eudicial polic& to
be observed and #hich has been reiterated in subse%uent cases, na'el&7 A&
vs. Contreras, et. al., )orres vs. Arran6, Bercero vs. De ?u6'an, and,
Advincula vs. >e"aspi, et. al. As #e have further stated in Cuares'a7
I! ! !. A direct invocation of the Supre'e Court5s ori"inal Eurisdiction
to issue these #rits should be allo#ed onl& #hen there are special
and i'portant reasons therefor, clearl& and specificall& set out in the
petition. )his is established polic&. ! ! !.5
Pursuant to said Eudicial polic&, #e resolve to ta,e pri'ar& Eurisdiction over the
present petition in the interest of speed& Eustice and to avoid future liti"ations
so as to pro'ptl& put an end to the present controvers& #hich, as correctl&
observed b& petitioners, has spar,ed national interest because of the
'a"nitude of the proble' created b& the issuance of the assailed resolution.
Moreover, ! ! ! re%uirin" the petitioners to file their petition first #ith the Court
of Appeals #ould onl& result in a #aste of ti'e and 'one&.
)hat the Court has the po#er to set aside its o#n rules in the hi"her interests of Eustice
is #ell@entrenched in our Eurisprudence. 8e reiterate #hat #e said in Pic6on vs. Court
of Appeals7
-.
IBe it re'e'bered that rules of procedure are but 'ere tools desi"ned to
facilitate the attain'ent of Eustice. )heir strict and ri"id application, #hich
#ould result in technicalities that tend to frustrate rather than pro'ote
substantial Eustice, 'ust al#a&s be avoided. )i'e and a"ain, this Court has
3
suspended its o#n rules and e!cepted a particular case fro' their operation
#henever the hi"her interests of Eustice so re%uire. In the instant petition, #e
fore"o a len"th& dis%uisition of the proper procedure that should have been
ta,en b& the parties involved and proceed directl& to the 'erits of the case.5
In a nu'ber of other e!ceptional cases,
-4
#e held as follo#s7
)his Court has ori"inal Eurisdiction, concurrent #ith that of Re"ional )rial
Courts and the Court of Appeals, over petitions for certiorari, prohibition,
'anda'us, %uo #arranto and habeas corpus, and #e entertain direct resort
to us in cases #here special and i'portant reasons or e!ceptional and
co'pellin" circu'stances Eustif& the sa'e.(
In the interest of Eustice and to settle once and for all the i'portant issue of bail in
e!tradition proceedin"s, #e dee' it best to ta,e co"ni6ance of the present case. Such
proceedin"s constitute a 'atter of first i'pression over #hich there is, as &et, no local
Eurisprudence to "uide lo#er courts.
Five Postulates of Extradition
)he substantive issues raised in this case re%uire an interpretation or construction of
the treat& and the la# on e!tradition. A cardinal rule in the interpretation of a treat& or a
la# is to ascertain and "ive effect to its intent.
-+
Since PD 0/*= is intended as a "uide
for the i'ple'entation of e!tradition treaties to #hich the Philippines is a
si"nator&,
-*
understandin" certain postulates of e!tradition #ill aid us in properl&
decidin" the issues raised here.
1. E5tr*%(t(o$ # * M*6or $#tr-me$t +or t'e S-ppre##(o$ o+ Cr(me.
:irst, e!tradition treaties are entered into for the purpose of suppressin"
cri'e
-C
b& facilitatin" the arrest and the custodial transfer
-D
of a fu"itive
-=
fro'
one state to the other.
8ith the advent of easier and faster 'eans of international travel, the fli"ht of
affluent cri'inals fro' one countr& to another for the purpose of co''ittin"
cri'e and evadin" prosecution has beco'e 'ore fre%uent. Accordin"l&,
"overn'ents are adEustin" their 'ethods of dealin" #ith cri'inals and cri'es
that transcend international boundaries.
)oda&, (a 'aEorit& of nations in the #orld co''unit& have co'e to loo, upon
e!tradition as the 'aEor effective instru'ent of international co@operation in the
suppression of cri'e.(
./
It is the onl& re"ular s&ste' that has been devised to
return fu"itives to the Eurisdiction of a court co'petent to tr& the' in
accordance #ith 'unicipal and international la#.
.0
An i'portant practical effect ! ! ! of the reco"nition of the principle
that cri'inals should be restored to a Eurisdiction co'petent to tr&
and punish the' is that the nu'ber of cri'inals see,in" refu"e
abroad #ill be reduced. :or to the e!tent that efficient 'eans of
detection and the threat of punish'ent pla& a si"nificant role in the
deterrence of cri'e #ithin the territorial li'its of a State, so the
e!istence of effective e!tradition arran"e'ents and the conse%uent
certaint& of return to the locus delicti co''issi pla& a correspondin"
role in the deterrence of fli"ht abroad in order to escape the
conse%uence of cri'e. ! ! !. :ro' an absence of e!tradition
arran"e'ents fli"ht abroad b& the in"enious cri'inal receives direct
encoura"e'ent and thus indirectl& does the co''ission of cri'e
itself.(
.-
In Secretar& v. >antion
..
#e e!plained7
)he Philippines also has a national interest to help in suppressin" cri'es and
one #a& to do it is to facilitate the e!tradition of persons covered b& treaties
dul& entered ;into< b& our "overn'ent. More and 'ore, cri'es are beco'in"
the concern of one #orld. >a#s involvin" cri'es and cri'e prevention are
under"oin" universali6ation. ne 'anifest purpose of this trend to#ards
"lobali6ation is to den& eas& refu"e to a cri'inal #hose activities threaten the
peace and pro"ress of civili6ed countries. It is to the "reat interest of the
Philippines to be part of this irreversible 'ove'ent in li"ht of its vulnerabilit& to
cri'es, especiall& transnational cri'es.(
Indeed, in this era of "lobali6ation, easier and faster international travel, and an
e!pandin" rin" of international cri'es and cri'inals, #e cannot afford to be an
isolationist state. 8e need to cooperate #ith other states in order to i'prove our
chances of suppressin" cri'e in our o#n countr&.
2. T'e Re7-e#t($0 St*te 8()) "..or% !-e Pro.e## to t'e "..-#e%
Second, an e!tradition treat& presupposes that both parties thereto have e!a'ined,
and that both accept and trust, each other5s le"al s&ste' and Eudicial process.
.4
More
pointedl&, our dul& authori6ed representative5s si"nature on an e!tradition treat&
si"nifies our confidence in the capacit& and the #illin"ness of the other state to protect
the basic ri"hts of the person sou"ht to be e!tradited.
.+
)hat si"nature si"nifies our full
faith that the accused #ill be "iven, upon e!tradition to the re%uestin" state, all relevant
and basic ri"hts in the cri'inal proceedin"s that #ill ta,e place thereinG other#ise, the
4
treat& #ould not have been si"ned, or #ould have been directl& attac,ed for its
unconstitutionalit&.
9. T'e Pro.ee%($0# "re S-( Ge$er(#
)hird, as pointed out in Secretar& of 1ustice v. >antion,
.*
e!tradition proceedin"s are
not cri'inal in nature. In cri'inal proceedin"s, the constitutional ri"hts of the accused
are at foreG in e!tradition #hich is sui "eneris @@ in a class b& itself @@ the& are not.
An e!tradition ;proceedin"< is sui "eneris. It is not a cri'inal proceedin" #hich
#ill call into operation all the ri"hts of an accused as "uaranteed b& the Bill of
Ri"hts. )o be"in #ith, the process of e!tradition does not involve the
deter'ination of the "uilt or innocence of an accused. 9is "uilt or innocence
#ill be adEud"ed in the court of the state #here he #ill be e!tradited. 9ence,
as a rule, constitutional ri"hts that are onl& relevant to deter'ine the "uilt or
innocence of an accused cannot be invo,ed b& an e!traditee ! ! !.
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
)here are other differences bet#een an e!tradition proceedin" and a cri'inal
proceedin". An e!tradition proceedin" is su''ar& in nature #hile cri'inal
proceedin"s involve a full@blo#n trial. In contradistinction to a cri'inal
proceedin", the rules of evidence in an e!tradition proceedin" allo# ad'ission
of evidence under less strin"ent standards. In ter's of the %uantu' of
evidence to be satisfied, a cri'inal case re%uires proof be&ond reasonable
doubt for conviction #hile a fu"itive 'a& be ordered e!tradited Iupon sho#in"
of the e!istence of a pri'a facie case.5 :inall&, unli,e in a cri'inal case #here
Eud"'ent beco'es e!ecutor& upon bein" rendered final, in an e!tradition
proceedin", our courts 'a& adEud"e an individual e!traditable but the
President has the final discretion to e!tradite hi'. )he Anited States adheres
to a si'ilar practice #hereb& the Secretar& of State e!ercises #ide discretion
in balancin" the e%uities of the case and the de'ands of the nation5s forei"n
relations before 'a,in" the ulti'ate decision to e!tradite.(
?iven the fore"oin", it is evident that the e!tradition court is not called upon to
ascertain the "uilt or the innocence of the person sou"ht to be e!tradited.
.C
Such
deter'ination durin" the e!tradition proceedin"s #ill onl& result in needless duplication
and dela&. E!tradition is 'erel& a 'easure of international Eudicial assistance throu"h
#hich a person char"ed #ith or convicted of a cri'e is restored to a Eurisdiction #ith the
best clai' to tr& that person. It is not part of the function of the assistin" authorities to
enter into %uestions that are the prero"ative of that Eurisdiction.
.D
)he ulti'ate purpose
of e!tradition proceedin"s in court is onl& to deter'ine #hether the e!tradition re%uest
co'plies #ith the E!tradition )reat&, and #hether the person sou"ht is e!traditable.
.=
4. Comp)(*$.e S'*)) 3e ($ Goo% F*(t'.
:ourth, our e!ecutive branch of "overn'ent voluntaril& entered into the E!tradition
)reat&, and our le"islative branch ratified it. 9ence, the )reat& carries the presu'ption
that its i'ple'entation #ill serve the national interest.
:ulfillin" our obli"ations under the E!tradition )reat& pro'otes co'it&
4/
#ith the
re%uestin" state. n the other hand, failure to fulfill our obli"ations thereunder paints a
bad i'a"e of our countr& before the #orld co''unit&. Such failure #ould discoura"e
other states fro' enterin" into treaties #ith us, particularl& an e!tradition treat& that
hin"es on reciprocit&.
40
Beril&, #e are bound b& pacta sunt servanda to co'pl& in "ood faith #ith our obli"ations
under the )reat&.
4-
)his principle re%uires that #e deliver the accused to the re%uestin"
countr& if the conditions precedent to e!tradition, as set forth in the )reat&, are satisfied.
In other #ords, (;t<he de'andin" "overn'ent, #hen it has done all that the treat& and
the la# re%uire it to do, is entitled to the deliver& of the accused on the issue of the
proper #arrant, and the other "overn'ent is under obli"ation to 'a,e the
surrender.(
4.
Accordin"l&, the Philippines 'ust be read& and in a position to deliver the
accused, should it be found proper.
5. T'ere # *$ U$%er)&($0 R(#2 o+ F)(0't
:ifth, persons to be e!tradited are presu'ed to be fli"ht ris,s. )his pri'a facie
presu'ption finds reinforce'ent in the e!perience
44
of the e!ecutive branch7 nothin"
short of confine'ent can ensure that the accused #ill not flee the Eurisdiction of the
re%uested state in order to th#art their e!tradition to the re%uestin" state.
)he present e!tradition case further validates the pre'ise that persons sou"ht to be
e!tradited have a propensit& to flee. Indeed,
e!tradition hearin"s #ould not even be"in, if onl& the accused #ere #illin" to sub'it to
trial in the re%uestin" countr&.
4+
Prior acts of herein respondent @@ 203 leavin" the
re%uestin" state ri"ht before the conclusion of his indict'ent proceedin"s thereG and 2-3
re'ainin" in the re%uested state despite learnin" that the re%uestin" state is see,in"
his return and that the cri'es he is char"ed #ith are bailable @@ elo%uentl& spea, of his
aversion to the processes in the re%uestin" state, as #ell as his predisposition to avoid
the' at all cost. )hese circu'stances point to an ever@present, underl&in" hi"h ris, of
fli"ht. 9e has de'onstrated that he has the capacit& and the #ill to flee. 9avin" fled
once, #hat is there to stop hi', "iven sufficient opportunit&, fro' fleein" a second ti'e$
F(r#t S-b#t*$t(:e ##-e;
5
# Re#po$%e$t E$t(t)e% to Not(.e *$% He*r($0
3e+ore t'e ##-*$.e o+ * 8*rr*$t o+ "rre#t<
Petitioner contends that the procedure adopted b& the R)C @@infor'in" the accused, a
fu"itive fro' Eustice, that an E!tradition Petition has been filed a"ainst hi', and that
petitioner is see,in" his arrest @@ "ives hi' notice to escape and to avoid e!tradition.
Moreover, petitioner pleads that such procedure 'a& set a dan"erous precedent, in
that those sou"ht to be e!tradited @@ includin" terrorists, 'ass 'urderers and #ar
cri'inals @@ 'a& invo,e it in future e!tradition cases.
n the other hand, Respondent 1i'ene6 ar"ues that he should not be hurriedl& and
arbitraril& deprived of his constitutional ri"ht to libert& #ithout due process. 9e further
asserts that there is as &et no specific la# or rule settin" forth the procedure prior to the
issuance of a #arrant of arrest, after the petition for e!tradition has been filed in courtG
er"o, the for'ulation of that procedure is #ithin the discretion of the presidin" Eud"e.
Both parties cite Section * of PD 0/*= in support of their ar"u'ents. It states7
SEC. *. Issuance of Su''onsG )e'porar& ArrestG 9earin", Service of
Notices.@ 203 I''ediatel& upon receipt of the petition, the presidin" Eud"e of
the court shall, as soon as practicable, su''on the accused to appear and to
ans#er the petition on the da& and hour fi!ed in the order. ;9<e 'a& issue a
#arrant for the i''ediate arrest of the accused #hich 'a& be served an&
#here #ithin the Philippines if it appears to the presidin" Eud"e that the
i''ediate arrest and te'porar& detention of the accused #ill best serve the
ends of Eustice. Apon receipt of the ans#er, or should the accused after havin"
received the su''ons fail to ans#er #ithin the ti'e fi!ed, the presidin" Eud"e
shall hear the case or set another date for the hearin" thereof.
2-3 )he order and notice as #ell as a cop& of the #arrant of arrest, if issued,
shall be pro'ptl& served each upon the accused and the attorne& havin"
char"e of the case.( 2E'phasis ours3
Does this provision sanction R)C 1ud"e Pur"anan5s act of i''ediatel& settin" for
hearin" the issuance of a #arrant of arrest$ 8e rule in the ne"ative.
1. O$ t'e 3*#(# o+ t'e E5tr*%(t(o$ /*=
It is si"nificant to note that Section * of PD 0/*=, our E!tradition >a#, uses the #ord
(i''ediate( to %ualif& the arrest of the accused. )his %ualification #ould be rendered
nu"ator& b& settin" for hearin" the issuance of the arrest #arrant. 9earin" entails
sendin" notices to the opposin" parties,
4*
receivin" facts and ar"u'ents
4C
fro'
the',
4D
and "ivin" the' ti'e to prepare and present such facts and ar"u'ents. Arrest
subse%uent to a hearin" can no lon"er be considered (i''ediate.( )he la# could not
have intended the #ord as a 'ere superfluit& but, on the #hole, as a 'eans of
i'partin" a sense of ur"enc& and s#iftness in the deter'ination of #hether a #arrant
of arrest should be issued.
B& usin" the phrase (if it appears,( the la# further conve&s that accurac& is not as
i'portant as speed at such earl& sta"e. )he trial court is not e!pected to 'a,e an
e!haustive deter'ination to ferret out the true and actual situation, i''ediatel& upon
the filin" of the petition. :ro' the ,no#led"e and the 'aterial then available to it, the
court is e!pected 'erel& to "et a "ood first i'pression @@ a pri'a facie findin" @@
sufficient to 'a,e a speed& initial deter'ination as re"ards the arrest and detention of
the accused.
Attached to the Petition for E!tradition, #ith a Certificate of Authentication a'on"
others, #ere the follo#in"7 203 Anne! 9, the Affidavit e!ecuted on Ma& -*, 0=== b& Mr.
Michael E. Sava"e @@ trial attorne& in the Ca'pai"n :inancin" )as, :orce of the
Cri'inal Division of the AS Depart'ent of 1usticeG 2-3 Anne!es 9 to ?, evidentiar&
Appendices of various e!hibits that constituted evidence of the cri'es char"ed in the
Indict'ent, #ith E!hibits 0 to 0-/ 2dul& authenticated e!hibits that constituted evidence
of the cri'es char"ed in the Indict'ent3G 2.3 Anne! BB, the E!hibit I (Appendi! of
8itness ;e!cerpts< State'ents Referenced in the Affidavit of An"ela B&ers( and
enclosed State'ents in t#o volu'esG 243 Anne! ??, the E!hibit 1 ()able of Contents
for Supple'ental Evidentiar& Appendi!( #ith enclosed E!hibits 0-0 to 0.-G and 2+3
Anne! MM, the E!hibit > (Appendi! of 8itness ;e!cerpts< State'ents Referenced in the
Affidavit of Bett& Ste#ard( and enclosed State'ents in t#o volu'es.
4=
It is evident that respondent Eud"e could have alread& "otten an i'pression fro' these
records ade%uate for hi' to 'a,e an initial deter'ination of #hether the accused #as
so'eone #ho should i''ediatel& be arrested in order to (best serve the ends of
Eustice.( 9e could have deter'ined #hether such facts and circu'stances e!isted as
#ould lead a reasonabl& discreet and prudent person to believe that the e!tradition
re%uest #as pri'a facie 'eritorious. In point of fact, he actuall& concluded fro' these
supportin" docu'ents that (probable cause( did e!ist. In the second %uestioned rder,
he stated7
In the instant petition, the docu'ents sent b& the AS ?overn'ent in support
of ;its< re%uest for e!tradition of herein respondent are enou"h to convince the
Court of the e!istence of probable cause to proceed #ith the hearin" a"ainst
the e!traditee.(
+/
6
8e stress that the pri'a facie e!istence of probable cause for hearin" the petition and,
a priori, for issuin" an arrest #arrant #as alread& evident fro' the Petition itself and its
supportin" docu'ents. 9ence, after havin" alread& deter'ined therefro' that a pri'a
facie findin" did e!ist, respondent Eud"e "ravel& abused his discretion #hen he set the
'atter for hearin" upon 'otion of 1i'ene6.
+0
Moreover, the la# specifies that the court sets a hearin" upon receipt of the ans#er or
upon failure of the accused to ans#er after receivin" the su''ons. In connection #ith
the 'atter of i''ediate arrest, ho#ever, the #ord (hearin"( is notabl& absent fro' the
provision. Evidentl&, had the holdin" of a hearin" at that sta"e been intended, the la#
could have easil& so provided. It also bears e'phasi6in" at this point that e!tradition
proceedin"s are su''ar&
+-
in nature. 9ence, the silence of the >a# and the )reat&
leans to the 'ore reasonable interpretation that there is no intention to punctuate #ith a
hearin" ever& little step in the entire proceedin"s.
It is ta,en for "ranted that the contractin" parties intend so'ethin" reasonable
and so'ethin" not inconsistent #ith "enerall& reco"ni6ed principles of
International >a#, nor #ith previous treat& obli"ations to#ards third States. If,
therefore, the 'eanin" of a treat& is a'bi"uous, the reasonable 'eanin" is to
be preferred to the unreasonable, the 'ore reasonable to the less reasonable
! ! ! .(
+.
Beril&, as ar"ued b& petitioner, sendin" to persons sou"ht to be e!tradited a notice of
the re%uest for their arrest and settin" it for hearin" at so'e future date #ould "ive
the' a'ple opportunit& to prepare and e!ecute an escape. Neither the )reat& nor the
>a# could have
intended that conse%uence, for the ver& purpose of both #ould have been defeated b&
the escape of the accused fro' the re%uested state.
2. O$ t'e 3*#(# o+ t'e Co$#t(t-t(o$
Even Section - of Article III of our Constitution, #hich is invo,ed b& 1i'ene6, does not
re%uire a notice or a hearin" before the issuance of a #arrant of arrest. It provides7
Sec. -. )he ri"ht of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,
and effects a"ainst unreasonable searches and sei6ures of #hatever nature
and for an& purpose shall be inviolable, and no search #arrant or #arrant of
arrest shall issue e!cept upon probable cause to be deter'ined personall& b&
the Eud"e after e!a'ination under oath or affir'ation of the co'plainant and
the #itnesses he 'a& produce, and particularl& describin" the place to be
searched and the persons or thin"s to be sei6ed.(
)o deter'ine probable cause for the issuance of arrest #arrants, the Constitution itself
re%uires onl& the e!a'ination @@ under oath or affir'ation @@ of co'plainants and the
#itnesses the& 'a& produce. )here is no re%uire'ent to notif& and hear the accused
before the issuance of #arrants of arrest.
In 9o v. People
+4
and in all the cases cited therein, never #as a Eud"e re%uired to "o to
the e!tent of conductin" a hearin" Eust for the purpose of personall& deter'inin"
probable cause for the issuance of a #arrant of arrest. All #e re%uired #as that the
(Eud"e 'ust have sufficient supportin" docu'ents upon #hich to 'a,e his independent
Eud"'ent, or at the ver& least, upon #hich to verif& the findin"s of the prosecutor as to
the e!istence of probable cause.(
++
In 8ebb v. De >eon,
+*
the Court cate"oricall& stated that a Eud"e #as not supposed to
conduct a hearin" before issuin" a #arrant of arrest7
A"ain, #e stress that before issuin" #arrants of arrest, Eud"es 'erel&
deter'ine personall& the probabilit&, not the certaint& of "uilt of an accused. In
doin" so, Eud"es do not conduct a de novo hearin" to deter'ine the e!istence
of probable cause. )he& Eust personall& revie# the initial deter'ination of the
prosecutor findin" a probable cause to see if it is supported b& substantial
evidence.(
At 'ost, in cases of clear insufficienc& of evidence on record, Eud"es 'erel& further
e!a'ine co'plainants and their #itnesses.
+C
In the present case, validatin" the act of
respondent Eud"e and institutin" the practice of hearin" the accused and his #itnesses
at this earl& sta"e #ould be discordant #ith the rationale for the entire s&ste'. If the
accused #ere allo#ed to be heard and necessaril& to present evidence durin" the
pri'a facie deter'ination for the issuance of a #arrant of arrest,
#hat #ould stop hi' fro' presentin" his entire plethora of defenses at this sta"e @@ if
he so desires @@ in his effort to ne"ate a pri'a facie findin"$ Such a procedure could
convert the deter'ination of a pri'a facie case into a full@blo#n trial of the entire
proceedin"s and possibl& 'a,e trial of the 'ain case superfluous. )his scenario is also
anathe'a to the su''ar& nature of e!traditions.
)hat the case under consideration is an e!tradition and not a cri'inal action is not
sufficient to Eustif& the adoption of a set of procedures 'ore protective of the accused. If
a different procedure #ere called for at all, a 'ore restrictive one @@ not the opposite @@
#ould be Eustified in vie# of respondent5s de'onstrated predisposition to flee.
Since this is a 'atter of first i'pression, #e dee' it #ise to restate the proper
procedure7
7
Apon receipt of a petition for e!tradition and its supportin" docu'ents, the Eud"e 'ust
stud& the' and 'a,e, as soon as possible, a pri'a facie findin" #hether 2a3 the& are
sufficient in for' and substance, 2b3 the& sho# co'pliance #ith the E!tradition )reat&
and >a#, and 2c3 the person sou"ht is e!traditable. At his discretion, the Eud"e 'a&
re%uire the sub'ission of further docu'entation or 'a& personall& e!a'ine the affiants
and #itnesses of the petitioner. If, in spite of this stud& and e!a'ination, no pri'a facie
findin"
+D
is possible, the petition 'a& be dis'issed at the discretion of the Eud"e.
n the other hand, if the presence of a pri'a facie case is deter'ined, then the
'a"istrate 'ust i''ediatel& issue a #arrant for the arrest of the e!traditee, #ho is at
the sa'e ti'e su''oned to ans#er the petition and to appear at scheduled su''ar&
hearin"s. Prior to the issuance of the #arrant, the Eud"e 'ust not infor' or notif& the
potential e!traditee of the pendenc& of the petition, lest the latter be "iven the
opportunit& to escape and frustrate the proceedin"s. In our opinion, the fore"oin"
procedure #ill (best serve the ends of Eustice( in e!tradition cases.
Se.o$% S-b#t*$t(:e ##-e;
# Re#po$%e$t E$t(t)e% to 3*()<
Article III, Section 0. of the Constitution, is #orded as follo#s7
Art. III, Sec. 0.. All persons, e!cept those char"ed #ith offenses punishable b&
reclusion perpetua #hen evidence of "uilt is stron", shall, before conviction,
be bailable b& sufficient sureties, or be released on reco"ni6ance as 'a& be
provided b& la#. )he ri"ht to bail shall not be i'paired even #hen the privile"e
of the #rit of habeas corpus is suspended. E!cessive bail shall not be
re%uired.(
Respondent Mar, B. 1i'ene6 'aintains that this constitutional provision secures the
ri"ht to bail of all persons, includin" those sou"ht to be e!tradited. Supposedl&, the onl&
e!ceptions are the ones char"ed #ith offenses punishable #ith reclusion perpetua,
#hen evidence of "uilt is stron". 9e also alle"es the relevance to the present case of
Section 4
+=
of Rule 004 of the Rules of Court #hich, insofar as practicable and
consistent #ith the su''ar& nature of e!tradition proceedin"s, shall also appl&
accordin" to Section = of PD 0/*=.
n the other hand, petitioner clai's that there is no provision in the Philippine
Constitution "rantin" the ri"ht to bail to a person #ho is the subEect of an e!tradition
re%uest and arrest #arrant.
Extradition Different from Ordinary Criminal Proceedings
8e a"ree #ith petitioner. As su""ested b& the use of the #ord (conviction,( the
constitutional provision on bail %uoted above, as #ell as Section 4 of Rule 004 of the
Rules of Court, applies onl& #hen a person has been arrested and detained for
violation of Philippine cri'inal la#s. It does not appl& to e!tradition proceedin"s,
because e!tradition courts do not render Eud"'ents of conviction or ac%uittal.
Moreover, the constitutional ri"ht to bail (flo#s fro' the presu'ption of innocence in
favor of ever& accused #ho should not be subEected to the loss of freedo' as
thereafter he #ould be entitled to ac%uittal, unless his "uilt be proved be&ond
reasonable doubt.(
*/
It follo#s that the constitutional provision on bail #ill not appl& to a
case li,e e!tradition, #here the presu'ption of innocence is not at issue.
)he provision in the Constitution statin" that the (ri"ht to bail shall not be i'paired even
#hen the privile"e of the #rit of habeas corpus is suspended( does not detract fro' the
rule that the constitutional ri"ht to bail is available onl& in cri'inal proceedin"s. It 'ust
be noted that the suspension of the privile"e of the #rit of habeas corpus finds
application (onl& to persons Eudiciall& char"ed for rebellion or offenses inherent in or
directl& connected #ith invasion.(
*0
9ence, the second sentence in the constitutional
provision on bail 'erel& e'phasi6es the ri"ht to bail in cri'inal proceedin"s for the
afore'entioned offenses. It cannot be ta,en to 'ean that the ri"ht is available even in
e!tradition proceedin"s that are not cri'inal in nature.
)hat the offenses for #hich 1i'ene6 is sou"ht to be e!tradited are bailable in the
Anited States is not an ar"u'ent to "rant hi' one in the present case. )o stress,
e!tradition proceedin"s are separate and distinct fro' the trial for the offenses for
#hich he is char"ed. 9e should appl& for bail before the courts tr&in" the cri'inal cases
a"ainst hi', not before the e!tradition court.
No V(o)*t(o$ o+ !-e Pro.e##
Respondent 1i'ene6 cites the forei"n case Paretti
*-
in ar"uin" that, constitutionall&,
(;n<o one shall be deprived of ! ! ! libert& ! ! ! #ithout due process of la#.(
Contrar& to his contention, his detention prior to the conclusion of the e!tradition
proceedin"s does not a'ount to a violation of his ri"ht to due process. 8e iterate the
fa'iliar doctrine that the essence of due process is the opportunit& to be heard
*.
but, at
8
the sa'e ti'e, point out that the doctrine does not al#a&s call for a prior opportunit& to
be heard.
*4
8here the circu'stances @@ such as those present in an e!tradition case @@
call for it, a subse%uent opportunit& to be heard is enou"h.
*+
In the present case,
respondent #ill be "iven full opportunit& to be heard subse%uentl&, #hen the e!tradition
court hears the Petition for E!tradition. 9ence, there is no violation of his ri"ht to due
process and funda'ental fairness.
Contrar& to the contention of 1i'ene6, #e find no arbitrariness, either, in the i''ediate
deprivation of his libert& prior to his bein" heard. )hat his arrest and detention #ill not
be arbitrar& is sufficientl& ensured b& 203 the D15s filin" in court the Petition #ith its
supportin" docu'ents after a deter'ination that the e!tradition re%uest 'eets the
re%uire'ents of the la# and the relevant treat&G 2-3 the e!tradition Eud"e5s independent
pri'a facie deter'ination that his arrest #ill best serve the ends of Eustice before the
issuance of a #arrant for his arrestG and 2.3 his opportunit&, once he is under the court5s
custod&, to appl& for bail as an e!ception to the no@initial@bail rule.
It is also #orth notin" that before the AS "overn'ent re%uested the e!tradition of
respondent, proceedin"s had alread& been conducted in that countr&. But because he
left the Eurisdiction of the re%uestin" state before those proceedin"s could be
co'pleted, it #as hindered fro' continuin" #ith the due processes prescribed under its
la#s. 9is invocation of due process no# has thus beco'e hollo#. 9e alread& had that
opportunit& in the re%uestin" stateG &et, instead of ta,in" it, he ran a#a&.
In this li"ht, #ould it be proper and Eust for the "overn'ent to increase the ris, of
violatin" its treat& obli"ations in order to accord Respondent 1i'ene6 his personal
libert& in the span of ti'e that it ta,es to resolve the Petition for E!tradition$ 9is
supposed i''ediate deprivation of libert& #ithout the due process that he had
previousl& shunned pales a"ainst the "overn'ent5s interest in fulfillin" its E!tradition
)reat& obli"ations and in cooperatin" #ith the #orld co''unit& in the suppression of
cri'e. Indeed, (;c<onstitutional liberties do not e!ist in a vacuu'G the due process ri"hts
accorded to individuals 'ust be carefull& balanced a"ainst e!i"ent and palpable
"overn'ent interests.(
**
)oo, #e cannot allo# our countr& to be a haven for fu"itives, co#ards and #ea,lin"s
#ho, instead of facin" the conse%uences of their actions, choose to run and hide.
9ence, it #ould not be "ood polic& to increase the ris, of violatin" our treat& obli"ations
if, throu"h overprotection or e!cessivel& liberal treat'ent, persons sou"ht to be
e!tradited are able to evade arrest or escape fro' our custod&. In the absence of an&
provision @@ in the Constitution, the la# or the treat& @@ e!pressl& "uaranteein" the ri"ht
to bail in e!tradition proceedin"s, adoptin" the practice of not "rantin" the' bail, as a
"eneral rule, #ould be a step to#ards deterrin" fu"itives fro' co'in" to the Philippines
to hide fro' or evade their prosecutors.#$%&i#.n't
)he denial of bail as a 'atter of course in e!tradition cases falls into place #ith and
"ives life to Article 04
*C
of the )reat&, since this practice #ould encoura"e the accused
to voluntaril& surrender to the re%uestin" state to cut short their detention here.
>i,e#ise, their detention pendin" the resolution of e!tradition proceedin"s #ould fall
into place #ith the e'phasis of the E!tradition >a# on the su''ar& nature of
e!tradition cases and the need for their speed& disposition.
E5.ept(o$# to t'e No 3*() R-)e
)he rule, #e repeat, is that bail is not a 'atter of ri"ht in e!tradition cases. 9o#ever,
the Eudiciar& has the constitutional dut& to curb "rave abuse of discretion
*D
and t&rann&,
as #ell as the po#er to pro'ul"ate rules to protect and enforce constitutional
ri"hts.
*=
:urther'ore, #e believe that the ri"ht to due process is broad enou"h to
include the "rant of basic fairness to e!traditees. Indeed, the ri"ht to due process
e!tends to the (life, libert& or propert&( of ever& person. It is (d&na'ic and resilient,
adaptable to ever& situation callin" for its application.(
C/
Accordin"l& and to best serve the ends of Eustice, #e believe and so hold that, after a
potential e!traditee has been arrested or placed under the custod& of the la#, bail 'a&
be applied for and "ranted as an e!ception, onl& upon a clear and convincin" sho#in"
203 that, once "ranted bail, the applicant #ill not be a fli"ht ris, or a dan"er to the
co''unit&G and 2-3 that there e!ist special, hu'anitarian and co'pellin"
circu'stances
C0
includin", as a 'atter of reciprocit&, those cited b& the hi"hest court in
the re%uestin" state #hen it "rants provisional libert& in e!tradition cases therein.
Since this e!ception has no e!press or specific statutor& basis, and since it is derived
essentiall& fro' "eneral principles of Eustice and fairness, the applicant bears the
burden of provin" the above t#o@tiered re%uire'ent #ith clarit&, precision and e'phatic
forcefulness. )he Court reali6es that e!tradition is basicall& an e!ecutive, not a Eudicial,
responsibilit& arisin" fro' the presidential po#er to conduct forei"n relations. In its
barest concept, it parta,es of the nature of police assistance a'on"st states, #hich is
not nor'all& a Eudicial prero"ative. 9ence, an& intrusion b& the courts into the e!ercise
of this po#er should be characteri6ed b& caution, so that the vital international and
bilateral interests of our countr& #ill not be unreasonabl& i'peded or co'pro'ised. In
short, #hile this Court is ever protective of (the sportin" idea of fair pla&,( it also
reco"ni6es the li'its of its o#n prero"atives and the need to fulfill international
obli"ations.
Alon" this line, 1i'ene6 contends that there are special circu'stances that are
co'pellin" enou"h for the Court to "rant his re%uest for provisional release on bail. 8e
have carefull& e!a'ined these circu'stances and shall no# discuss the'.
0. Alle"ed Disenfranchise'ent
9
8hile his e!tradition #as pendin", Respondent 1i'ene6 #as elected as a 'e'ber of
the 9ouse of Representatives. n that basis, he clai's that his detention #ill
disenfranchise his Manila district of *//,/// residents. 8e are not persuaded. In
People v. 1alosEos,
C-
the Court has alread& debun,ed the disenfranchise'ent ar"u'ent
#hen it ruled thus7
8hen the voters of his district elected the accused@appellant to Con"ress,
the& did so #ith full a#areness of the li'itations on his freedo' of action.
)he& did so #ith the ,no#led"e that he could achieve onl& such le"islative
results #hich he could acco'plish #ithin the confines of prison. )o "ive a
'ore drastic illustration, if voters elect a person #ith full ,no#led"e that he is
sufferin" fro' a ter'inal illness, the& do so ,no#in" that at an& ti'e, he 'a&
no lon"er serve his full ter' in office.
In the ulti'ate anal&sis, the issue before us boils do#n to a %uestion of
constitutional e%ual protection.
)he Constitution "uarantees7 I! ! ! nor shall an& person be denied the e%ual
protection of la#s.5 )his si'pl& 'eans that all persons si'ilarl& situated shall
be treated ali,e both in ri"hts enEo&ed and responsibilities i'posed. )he
or"ans of "overn'ent 'a& not sho# an& undue favoritis' or hostilit& to an&
person. Neither partialit& nor preEudice shall be displa&ed.
Does bein" an elective official result in a substantial distinction that allo#s
different treat'ent$ Is bein" a Con"ress'an a substantial differentiation
#hich re'oves the accused@appellant as a prisoner fro' the sa'e class as all
persons validl& confined under la#$
)he perfor'ance of le"iti'ate and even essential duties b& public officers has
never been an e!cuse to free a person validl& ;fro'< prison. )he duties
i'posed b& the I'andate of the people5 are 'ultifarious. )he accused@
appellant asserts that the dut& to le"islate ran,s hi"hest in the hierarch& of
"overn'ent. )he accused@appellant is onl& one of -+/ 'e'bers of the 9ouse
of Representatives, not to 'ention the -4 'e'bers of the Senate, char"ed
#ith the duties of le"islation. Con"ress continues to function #ell in the
ph&sical absence of one or a fe# of its 'e'bers. Dependin" on the e!i"enc&
of ?overn'ent that has to be addressed, the President or the Supre'e Court
can also be dee'ed the hi"hest for that particular dut&. )he i'portance of a
function depends on the need for its e!ercise. )he dut& of a 'other to nurse
her infant is 'ost co'pellin" under the la# of nature. A doctor #ith uni%ue
s,ills has the dut& to save the lives of those #ith a particular affliction. An
elective "overnor has to serve provincial constituents. A police officer 'ust
'aintain peace and order. Never has the call of a particular dut& lifted a
prisoner into a different classification fro' those others #ho are validl&
restrained b& la#.
A strict scrutin& of classifications is essential lest;,< #ittin"l& or other#ise,
insidious discri'inations are 'ade in favor of or a"ainst "roups or t&pes of
individuals.
)he Court cannot validate bad"es of ine%ualit&. )he necessities i'posed b&
public #elfare 'a& Eustif& e!ercise of "overn'ent authorit& to re"ulate even if
thereb& certain "roups 'a& plausibl& assert that their interests are
disre"arded.
8e, therefore, find that election to the position of Con"ress'an is not a
reasonable classification in cri'inal la# enforce'ent. )he functions and duties
of the office are not substantial distinctions #hich lift hi' fro' the class of
prisoners interrupted in their freedo' and restricted in libert& of 'ove'ent.
>a#ful arrest and confine'ent are "er'ane to the purposes of the la# and
appl& to all those belon"in" to the sa'e class.(
C.
It 'ust be noted that even before private respondent ran for and #on a con"ressional
seat in Manila, it #as alread& of public ,no#led"e that the Anited States #as
re%uestin" his e!tradition. 9ence, his constituents #ere or should have been prepared
for the conse%uences of the e!tradition case a"ainst their representative, includin" his
detention pendin" the final resolution of the case. Pre'ises considered and in line #ith
1alosEos, #e are constrained to rule a"ainst his clai' that his election to public office is
b& itself a co'pellin" reason to "rant hi' bail.
2. "$t(.(p*te% !e)*&
Respondent 1i'ene6 further contends that because the e!tradition proceedin"s are
len"th&, it #ould be unfair to confine hi' durin" the pendenc& of the case. A"ain #e are
not convinced. 8e 'ust e'phasi6e that e!tradition cases are su''ar& in nature. )he&
are resorted to 'erel& to deter'ine #hether the e!tradition petition and its anne!es
confor' to the E!tradition )reat&, not to deter'ine "uilt or innocence. Neither is it, as a
rule, intended to address issues relevant to the constitutional ri"hts available to the
accused in a cri'inal action.
8e are not overrulin" the possibilit& that petitioner 'a&, in bad faith, undul& dela& the
proceedin"s. )his is %uite another 'atter that is not at issue here. )hus, an& further
discussion of this point #ould be 'erel& anticipator& and acade'ic.
10
9o#ever, if the dela& is due to 'aneuverin"s of respondent, #ith all the 'ore reason
#ould the "rant of bail not be Eustified. ?ivin" pre'iu' to dela& b& considerin" it as a
special circu'stance for the "rant of bail #ould be tanta'ount to "ivin" hi' the po#er
to "rant bail to hi'self. It #ould also encoura"e hi' to stretch out and unreasonabl&
dela& the e!tradition proceedin"s even 'ore. )his #e cannot allo#.
9. Not * F)(0't R(#2<
1i'ene6 further clai's that he is not a fli"ht ris,. )o support this clai', he stresses that
he learned of the e!tradition re%uest in 1une 0===G &et, he has not fled the countr&.
)rue, he has not actuall& fled durin" the preli'inar& sta"es of the re%uest for his
e!tradition. Jet, this fact cannot be ta,en to 'ean that he #ill not flee as the process
'oves for#ard to its conclusion, as he hears the footsteps of the re%uestin"
"overn'ent inchin" closer and closer. )hat he has not &et fled fro' the Philippines
cannot be ta,en to 'ean that he #ill stand his "round and still be #ithin reach of our
"overn'ent if and #hen it 'attersG that is, upon the resolution of the Petition for
E!tradition.
In an& event, it is settled that bail 'a& be applied for and "ranted b& the trial court at
an&ti'e after the applicant has been ta,en into custod& and prior to Eud"'ent, even
after bail has been previousl& denied. In the present case, the e!tradition court 'a&
continue hearin" evidence on the application for bail, #hich 'a& be "ranted in
accordance #ith the "uidelines in this Decision.
3r(e+ Re+-t*t(o$ o+ !(##e$t#
)he proposal to re'and this case to the e!tradition court, #e believe, is totall&
unnecessar&G in fact, it is a cop@out. )he parties @@ in particular, Respondent 1i'ene6 @@
have been "iven 'ore than sufficient opportunit& both b& the trial court and this Court
to discuss full& and e!haustivel& private respondent5s clai' to bail. As alread& stated,
the R)C set for hearin" not onl& petitioner5s application for an arrest #arrant, but also
private respondent5s pra&er for te'porar& libert&. )hereafter re%uired b& the R)C #ere
'e'oranda on the arrest, then position papers on the application for bail, both of #hich
#ere separatel& filed b& the parties.
)his Court has 'eticulousl& pored over the Petition, the Co''ent, the Repl&, the
len"th& Me'oranda and the Position Papers of both parties. Additionall&, it has
patientl& heard the' in ral Ar"u'ents, a procedure not nor'all& observed in the "reat
'aEorit& of cases in this )ribunal. Moreover, after the Me'os had been sub'itted, the
parties @@ particularl& the potential e!traditee @@ have bo'barded this Court #ith
additional pleadin"s @@ entitled (Manifestations( b& both parties and (Counter@
Manifestation( b& private respondent @@ in #hich the 'ain topic #as Mr. 1i'ene65s plea
for bail.
A re'and #ould 'ean that this lon", tedious process #ould be repeated in its entiret&.
)he trial court #ould a"ain hear factual and evidentiar& 'atters. Be it noted, ho#ever,
that, in all his volu'inous pleadin"s and verbal propositions, private respondent has
not as,ed for a re'and. Evidentl&, even he reali6es that there is absolutel& no need to
rehear factual 'atters. Indeed, the inade%uac& lies not in the factual presentation of Mr.
1i'ene6. Rather, it lies in his le"al ar"u'ents. Re'andin" the case #ill not solve this
utter lac, of persuasion and stren"th in his le"al reasonin".
In short, this Court @@ as sho#n b& this Decision and the spirited Concurrin", Separate
and Dissentin" pinions #ritten b& the learned Eustices the'selves @@ has e!haustivel&
deliberated and carefull& passed upon all relevant %uestions in this case. )hus, a
re'and #ill not serve an& useful purposeG it #ill onl& further dela& these alread& ver&
dela&ed proceedin"s,
C4
#hich our E!tradition >a# re%uires to be su''ar& in character.
8hat #e need no# is prudent and deliberate speed, not unnecessar& and convoluted
dela&. 8hat is needed is a fir' decision on the 'erits, not a circuitous cop@out.
)hen, there is also the su""estion that this Court is alle"edl& (disre"ardin" basic
freedo's #hen a case is one of e!tradition.( 8e believe that this char"e is not onl&
baseless, but also unfair. Suffice it to sa& that, in its len"th and breath, this Decision
has ta,en special co"ni6ance of the ri"hts to due process and funda'ental fairness of
potential e!traditees.
S-mm*t(o$
As #e dra# to a close, it is no# ti'e to su''ari6e and stress these ten points7
0. )he ulti'ate purpose of e!tradition proceedin"s is to deter'ine #hether the re%uest
e!pressed in the petition, supported b& its anne!es and the evidence that 'a& be
adduced durin" the hearin" of the petition, co'plies #ith the E!tradition )reat& and
>a#G and #hether the person sou"ht is e!traditable. )he proceedin"s are intended
'erel& to assist the re%uestin" state in brin"in" the accused @@ or the fu"itive #ho has
ille"all& escaped @@ bac, to its territor&, so that the cri'inal process 'a& proceed
therein.
-. B& enterin" into an e!tradition treat&, the Philippines is dee'ed to have reposed its
trust in the reliabilit& or soundness of the le"al and Eudicial s&ste' of its treat& partner,
as #ell as in the abilit& and the #illin"ness of the latter to "rant basic ri"hts to the
accused in the pendin" cri'inal case therein.
.. B& nature then, e!tradition proceedin"s are not e%uivalent to a cri'inal case in #hich
"uilt or innocence is deter'ined. Conse%uentl&, an e!tradition case is not one in #hich
the constitutional ri"hts of the accused are necessaril& available. It is 'ore a,in, if at
11
all, to a court5s re%uest to police authorities for the arrest of the accused #ho is at lar"e
or has escaped detention or Eu'ped bail. 9avin" once escaped the Eurisdiction of the
re%uestin" state, the reasonable pri'a facie presu'ption is that the person #ould
escape a"ain if "iven the opportunit&.
4. I''ediatel& upon receipt of the petition for e!tradition and its supportin" docu'ents,
the Eud"e shall 'a,e a pri'a facie findin" #hether the petition is sufficient in for' and
substance, #hether it co'plies #ith the E!tradition )reat& and >a#, and #hether the
person sou"ht is e!traditable. )he 'a"istrate has discretion to re%uire the petitioner to
sub'it further docu'entation, or to personall& e!a'ine the affiants or #itnesses. If
convinced that a pri'a facie case e!ists, the Eud"e i''ediatel& issues a #arrant for the
arrest of the potential e!traditee and su''ons hi' or her to ans#er and to appear at
scheduled hearin"s on the petition.
+. After bein" ta,en into custod&, potential e!traditees 'a& appl& for bail. Since the
applicants have a histor& of abscondin", the& have the burden of sho#in" that 2a3 there
is no fli"ht ris, and no dan"er to the co''unit&G and 2b3 there e!ist special,
hu'anitarian or co'pellin" circu'stances. )he "rounds used b& the hi"hest court in
the re%uestin" state for the "rant of bail therein 'a& be considered, under the principle
of reciprocit& as a special circu'stance. In e!tradition cases, bail is not a 'atter of
ri"htG it is subEect to Eudicial discretion in the conte!t of the peculiar facts of each case.
*. Potential e!traditees are entitled to the ri"hts to due process and to funda'ental
fairness. Due process does not al#a&s call for a prior opportunit& to be heard. A
subse%uent opportunit& is sufficient due to the fli"ht ris, involved. Indeed, available
durin" the hearin"s on the petition and the ans#er is the full chance to be heard and to
enEo& funda'ental fairness that is co'patible #ith the su''ar& nature of e!tradition.
C. )his Court #ill al#a&s re'ain a protector of hu'an ri"hts, a bastion of libert&, a
bul#ar, of de'ocrac& and the conscience of societ&. But it is also #ell a#are of the
li'itations of its authorit& and of the need for respect for the prero"atives of the other
co@e%ual and co@independent or"ans of "overn'ent.
D. 8e reali6e that e!tradition is essentiall& an e!ecutive, not a Eudicial, responsibilit&
arisin" out of the presidential po#er to conduct forei"n relations and to i'ple'ent
treaties. )hus, the E!ecutive Depart'ent of "overn'ent has broad discretion in its dut&
and po#er of i'ple'entation.
=. n the other hand, courts 'erel& perfor' oversi"ht functions and e!ercise revie#
authorit& to prevent or e!cise "rave abuse and t&rann&. )he& should not allo#
contortions, dela&s and (over@due process( ever& little step of the #a&, lest these
su''ar& e!tradition proceedin"s beco'e not onl& inutile but also sources of
international e'barrass'ent due to our inabilit& to co'pl& in "ood faith #ith a treat&
partner5s si'ple re%uest to return a fu"itive. 8orse, our countr& should not be
converted into a dubious haven #here fu"itives and escapees can unreasonabl& dela&,
'u''if&, 'oc,, frustrate, chec,'ate and defeat the %uest for bilateral Eustice and
international cooperation.
0/. At botto', e!tradition proceedin"s should be conducted #ith all deliberate speed to
deter'ine co'pliance #ith the E!tradition )reat& and >a#G and, #hile safe"uardin"
basic individual ri"hts, to avoid the le"alistic contortions, dela&s and technicalities that
'a& ne"ate that purpose.
89ERE:RE, the Petition is ?RAN)ED. )he assailed R)C rder dated Ma& -., -//0
is hereb& declared NA>> and BID, #hile the challen"ed rder dated 1ul& ., -//0 is
SE) ASIDE insofar as it "ranted bail to Respondent Mar, 1i'ene6. )he bail bond
posted b& private respondent is CANCE>>ED. )he Re"ional )rial Court of Manila is
directed to conduct the e!tradition proceedin"s before it, #ith all deliberate speed
pursuant to the spirit and the letter of our E!tradition )reat& #ith the Anited States as
#ell as our E!tradition >a#. No costs. S RDERED.
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