Chiz pushes bill
for indigents to be released on bail sans posting bond
By Office of Senator Chiz
December 11, 2012
PASAY CITY – The
Senate approved on third reading yesterday the proposed Recognizance
Act of 2012 that allows the release of any person in detention unable
to post bail bond due to poverty.
Senator Chiz Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and
Human Rights and sponsor of the measure under Committee Report Number
405 (CRN 405), said “the bill upholds the right of a person to bail or
to be released on recognizance as guaranteed by the Constitution.”
The proposed legislation allows detainees to be released to the
custody of a qualified member of the barangay, city or municipality
where the accused resides.
“There are detainees who languish in jails albeit qualified to bail
simply because of abject poverty. Their inability to post bail bond
deprives them of their guaranteed rights. CRN 405 seeks to address
this aspect and other problems that the country’s criminal justice
system faces,” the senator said.
Escudero said the bill will also address setbacks in the Philippine
justice system such as: case congestion and prolonged resolution of
cases in different courts all over the country, lack of legal
representation, congestion in jails, and the lack of opportunity to
reform and rehabilitate offenders.
The bill says that any person on custody or detention can be released
on recognizance only if the offense committed is not punishable by
life imprisonment or death.
The application for recognizance must be filed by the accused or any
person on his behalf before or after conviction by the Metropolitan
Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court, Municipal trial court in Cities
and Municipal Circuit Trial Court.
However, detainees or accused may be disqualified under the following
circumstances: (1) they have made untruthful statements in their
affidavits regarding their circumstances, (2) they are recidivists,
habitual delinquents, (3) those who have previously escaped from legal
confinements, (4) the accused had previously committed a crime while
on probation, parole or under conditional pardon, and (5) there is the
great risk that the accused may commit another crime during the
pendency of the case.