Sandiganbayan denies Enrile’s bail in plunder case
MANILA, Philippines—The Sandiganbayan Third Division on Thursday denied the motion of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile for the court to fix his bail in the plunder case.
In a minute resolution, the court effectively snubbed Enrile’s argument that he be allowed to post bail due to his age and frail health.
The court said it could not fix bail for Enrile because the accused has yet to file a motion asking the court to allow him to post bail.
Such a motion would result in a bail hearing, where the prosecution would show that the evidence of guilt is strong.
If guilt is not strong, the accused may be allowed to post bail, according to court rules.
Without such a bail motion for a hearing, it would be premature for the court to fix Enrile’s bail, or in other words, to set the amount of his bail, the resolution read.
“Clearly, it is only after the prosecution shall have presented its evidence, and the court shall have made a determination that the evidence of guilt is not strong against Enrile, can he demand bail as a matter of right. Then and only then will the court be duty-bound to fix the amount of his bail,” the resolution read.
“To be sure, no such determination has been made by the court. In fact, accused Enrile has not filed an application for bail. Necessarily, no bail hearing can even commence. It is thus exceedingly premature for Enrile to ask the court to fix his bail,” the resolution added.
Enrile had filed a motion to post bail, but the court junked it as premature because the senator filed it before probable cause was found against him.
In his previous bail motion, Enrile cited his old age and frail health. He again cited these in his motion for the court to fix his bail.
The court acknowledged that Enrile’s “age (and) his physical condition … are among the factors that are considered in fixing a reasonable amount of bail.”
“However… it is premature for the court to fix the amount of bail without an anterior showing that the evidence of guilt against him is not strong,” the resolution read.
Enrile surrendered to the police after his warrant of arrest was issued for his plunder case over the pork barrel scam. But shortly after, he was rushed to the hospital due to his frail health.
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