Remulla orders reduced bail bond for poor prisoners
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla has issued a department circular ordering the reduction of bail bonds for indigent Filipinos facing charges.
According to a tweet by GMA's Sandra Aguinaldo, Remulla instructed prosecutors in a circular on Monday to “consider the financial capacity of the accused when recommending the amount of bail for criminal information for filing in court".
Remulla said imposing a lower bail bond will be to the “interest of social justice and to afford justice for all." It will likewise decongest the overpopulated jail and detention facilities in the country.
Under the circular, investigating prosecutors are mandated to ask the respondents if they claim indigency at the start of the inquest or preliminary investigation proceedings.
Those who will claim indigency should present proof of documents including a Certificate of Indigency from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, a Certificate of Indigency/No Income from the Office of the Barangay Chairperson, latest income tax return, or their pay slips.
“In the event that, after the conduct of inquest or preliminary investigation proceedings, the investigating prosecutor finds probable cause with a reasonable certainty of conviction against the indigent respondent, he or she shall indicate in the criminal information only 50% of the recommended bail as stated in the 2018 Bail Bond Guide, or the amount of P10,000, whichever is lower,” the circular reads.
“The fact of indigency of the respondent, now the accused as found in the information, shall be indicated alongside the recommended bail,” it added.
For cases pending before the first or second level courts, Remulla said trial prosecutors should ensure that only cases qualified for release on a recognizance under Republic Act (RA) No. 10389 or Recognizance Act of 2012 should be submitted for the consideration of courts.
RA No. 10398 recognizes and guarantees the right to be released on recognizance of persons deprived of liberty, except those charged with crimes punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment.—LDF, GMA Integrated News