Both accused & accuser deserve justice

These are the words of Justice Cardozo: "The law, as we have seen, is sedulous in maintaining for a defendant charged with crime whatever forms of procedure are of the essence of an opportunity to defend. Privileges so fundamental as to be inherent in every concept of a fair trial that could be acceptable to the thought of reasonable men will be kept inviolate and inviolable, however crushing may be the pressure of incriminating proof. But justice, though due to the accused, is due to the accuser also. The concept of fairness must not be strained till it is narrowed to a filament. We are to keep the balance true."[1]This norm which is of the very essence of due process as the embodiment of justice requires that the prosecution be given the opportunity to prove that there is strong evidence of guilt. It is not enough that questions, even if characterized as "searching" ones, were asked by the judge before bail was granted. Such fact of conduct of searching questions does not cure the infirmity in the grant of bail.[2]

In the case of People v. Sola,[3] The Supreme Court found it more than justifiable to cancel the bail bonds because bail was granted to the accused by the judge without hearing the prosecution. The High Court said that such an act by the judge would be to disregard the authoritative doctrine enunciated in People v. San Diego.[4]

As pointed out by Justice Capistrano, speaking for the Court: "The question presented before us is, whether the prosecution was deprived of procedural due process. The answer is in the affirmative. We are of the considered opinion that whether the motion for bail of a defendant who is in custody for a capital offense be resolved in a summary proceeding or in the course of a regular trial, the prose­cution must be given an opportunity to present, within a reasonable time, all the evidence that it may desire to introduce before the court should resolve the motion for bail. If, as in the criminal case involved in the instant special civil action, the prosecution should be denied such an opportunity, there would be a violation of pro­cedural due process, and the order of the court granting bail should be considered void on that ground."[5] 

[1] Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U.S. 97, 122 (1933).

[2] Cf. Inocencio v. Alconcel, G.R. No. 55658, February 5, 1981.


[4] L-29676, December 24, 1968, 26 SCRA 522.

[5] Id.