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Philippine Department of Justice v. HON. FELIXBERTO T. OLALIA, Jr. and JUAN ANTONIO
G.R. No. 153675, 19 April 2007, EN BANC DIVISION (Sandoval Guitierrez, J.)
Juan Antonio Muoz was charged before the Hong Kong (HK) Court of three (3) counts of
accepting advantage as an agent and seven (7) counts of conspiracy to defraud. Warrants of arrests
were issued against him [by the HK Court, not a court in the Philippines] which when convicted; he
would face 7 to 14 years of jail for each charge.
The DOJ received a request for the provisional arrest of Muoz from the HK DOJ. The DOJ
forwarded the request to the NBI, which in turn, filed with the RTC of Manila an application to effect
such request. Thus, an Order of Arrest was issued against Muoz and he was arrested and detained
thereafter. [Note: the Philippines and HK signed an agreement for the surrender of accused and convicted
persons or an extradition treaty in 1995 that is why, the HK was represented by the DOJ]

Government of HK filed a petition for extradition of Muoz with the RTC. Muoz for his part
filed a petition for bail. The said bail petition was initially denied by then Judge Bernardo holding
that there is no Philippine law granting bail on extradition cases and Muoz is a high flight risk.
On motion for reconsideration, a different judge (Judge Olalia, herein respondent) took cognizance
with the case and granted the motion of Muoz to bail. Hence, this petition reached the SC.
[Note: Sec. 2(a) of PD 1069 (Philippine Extradition Law) defines extradition as the removal of an accused from
the Philippines with the object of placing him at the disposal of foreign authorities to enable the requesting state
or government to hold him in connection with any criminal investigation directed against him or the execution of
a penalty imposed on him under the penal or criminal law of the requesting state or government]

ISSUE: Is the right to bail impermissible on the grounds that: an extradition case is not a criminal
proceeding; and there is no law allowing an extraditee to do so?
RULING: No, bail can be granted to subjects of extradition proceedings. Bail is generally availed in
criminal cases; however, an extradition proceeding -- although ostensibly administrative -- bears all
the earmarks of criminal process. A potential extraditee may be subjected to arrest, to a prolonged
restraint of liberty, and forced to transfer to the demanding state following the proceedings.
Since jurisprudence on extradition is but an infancy in this jurisdiction, the SC decided to
overturn its previous rulings of not granting bail in extradition cases. They held that it is a modern
trend in public international law that primacy is placed on the worth of individual person and
sanctity of human rights. Slowly, the recognition that the individual person may properly be a
subject of international law is now taking root. The Philippines as a signatory to the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) committed to uphold the fundamental human rights as well
as value the worth and dignity of every person. This is enshrined in Sec. II, Art. II of our
Constitution which provides: The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees
full respect for human rights. The Philippines, therefore, is under the obligation to make available
to every person under detention such remedies which safeguard their fundamental right to liberty.
Indeed, there is no law allowing the right to bail on extradition cases, but the Constitution is
silent as to deprive subject offenders for the same. Moreover, it is important to note that on several
occasions, the SC granted bail in deportation cases as this was sanctioned the UDHR as well as our
obligation to comply with other international conventions to uphold human rights. Thus, the SC
said that there is no justification why it should not be allowed in extradition cases.
Note: Since extradition is a sui generis (a kind of its own) that is merely administrative in character, the
standard of proof required in granting or denying bail is based on CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE. This
is neither a criminal, civil, and administrative case. Thus such quantum of evidence is somewhere between proof
beyond reasonable doubt in criminal cases and preponderance of evidence in civil cases.