Section 6. Capital offense, defined
- It is an offense which, under the law existing at the time of its
commission and of the application for admission to bail may be
punished with death.
The capital nature of an offense is determined by the penalty prescribed
by law, and not by the penalty that may be imposed after trial and
on the basis of the evidence adduced and the presence of aggravating
or mitigating circumstance.
NOTE: Republic Act No. 9346 entitled ”An Act Prohibiting the Imposition
of Death Penalty in the Philippines” was enacted on June 24, 2006
repealing R.A. No. 8177 and R. A. No. 7659 and abolishing the death penalty.
Section 7. Capital offense or an offense punishable by reclusion
perpetua or life imprisonment, Not Bailable.
- This refers to conviction by the trial court, which has not
become final, as the accused still has the right to appeal.
After conviction by the trial court, the accused convicted of a
capital offense is no longer entitled to bail, and can only be
released when the conviction is reversed by the appellate court.
Section 13, Article III of the 1987 Constitution.
Section 8. Burden of proof in bail application
Prosecution has burden of proof
- At the hearing of an application for bail filed by a person in
custody for the commission of an offense punishable by reclusion
perpetua or life imprisonment, the prosecution has the burden of
showing that evidence of guilt is strong.
EVIDENCE OF GUILT in the Constitution and the Rules refers to a
finding of innocence or culpability, regardless of the modifying
Regarding Minors Charged with a Capital Offense
- If the person charged with a capital offense, such as murder,
admittedly a minor, which would entitle him, if convicted, to a
penalty next lower than that prescribed by law, he is entitled
to bail regardless of whether the evidence of guilt is strong.
The reason for this is that one who faces a probable death
sentence has a particularly strong temptation to flee. This reason
does not hold where the accused has been established without
objection to be minor who by law cannot be sentenced to death.
Duty of judge to conduct hearing
- Where the prosecution agrees with the accused’s application for
bail or foregoes the introduction of evidence, the court must
nonetheless set the application for hearing. It is mandatory for
the judge to conduct a hearing and ask searching and
clarificatory questions for the purpose of determining the
existence of strong evidence against the accused; and the order,
after such hearing, should make a finding that the evidence
against the accused is strong.