Victory Liner vs Judge Bellosillo
Victory Liner vs Judge Bellosillo Facts: Judge Reynaldo Bellosilo was the presiding Judge of Orani, Bataan MCTC and ating Judge in Dinalupihan, Hermosa Bataan. On March 2, 2000 one of the bus of Victory Line was cruising along the national highway of Dinalupihan, Bataan, it accidentally hit and fatally injured Marciana Bautista Morales who died a day after. Victory Liner Bus Inc. shouldered the funeral and burial of Marciana Morales and on March 6, 2000 entered into an Agreement with the heirs of Marciana Morales. On March 14, 2000 upon the payment of VLI to the heirs of Marciana Morales they executed PINAGSAMANG SALAYSAY between VLI and the heirs though their authorized representative Faustina M. Antonio executed Release of Claim and affidavit of Desistance in favour of VLI and Reino dela Cruz, driver of VLI. However, on March 3, 2000, 2 of the sons of Marciana Morales who are also a signatories in the executed agreement with VLI already filed a criminal case against the driver Rieno dela Cruz of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. On March 13, 2000 after the Preliminary examination, Judge Bellosillo ordered the issuance of warrant of arrest of Dela Cruz and fixed his bail of P50k in cash and ordered the Chief of Police of Bataan to impound the bus involved in the accident which could be released only upon posting bail of P50k. On March 30, 2000, VLI paid cash bond under protest and upon showing the official recipt to the chief of police the impounded of bus was released. Again, the Judge ordered the Chief of Police to explain in writing why did they released the bus without court order. The bus was re-impounded and on April 18, 2000 by virtue of Judge BEllisillo’s order. On June 20, 2000 VLI filed with Office of the Court of Administration against Judge Reynaldo Belosillo claiming his IGNORANCE OF THE LAW for impounding the bus and required VLI to post bond for the release , GRAVELY ABUSED HIS AUTHORITY when it revoked the srety bond of driver Edwin Serrano, RENDERED UNJUST AND OPPRESSIVE ORDER when he ordered the bail to be increased from 50k to 350k and required it to be posted in cash,
GUILTY OF INACATION for failing to resolve the petitiuon of VLI despite of the time lapse . The respondent justifies his action in his comment, that the bail he required for VLI was to pay the damagaes by way of subsidiary liability in case of insolvency, the cash requirement for bail according to him was required for it was the prayer of the prosecution and it is his iscretion as Judge as to what for of payment of the bail as per the Rules of Court., the increase bail from 50k to 350k was ordered because the driver was already a fugitive. Issue: Whether the imposition of cash bond and requiring the accused to pay in cash tantamount to grave abuse of authority, gross ignorance of the law, excessive bail , unjust and oppressive? Held The Supreme Court held that Judgec Bellosillo was wrong in increasing the bail bond of driver Serrano unconscionably from 60k to 350k . Although Serrano and Dela Cruz was regular worker of VLI they are not capable of paying cash bond of P50k and 350k respectively. The Constitution guarantees to every person under legal custody that right to bail except offenses punishable with reclusion perpetua provides, that in fixing the amount of bail, the Judge must primarily consider the following factors: 1. Financial ability of the accused to post bail 2. Nature and circumstance of the offense 3. Penalty for the offense charged 4. Character and reputation of the accused 5. The weight of evidence against the accused 6. Age and health of the accused 7. Probabilitty of the accused appearing in trial 8. Forfeiture of the bonds 9. The fact that the accused was a fugitive when arrested 10. The pendency of the cases in which the accused is under bond The amount of bail should, therefore be reasonable at all times. It must be high enough to assure the presence of the accused when required but no higher than is reasonably calculated to serve this purpose. Excessive bail should not be required. The Rules of Court allowed the payment of Bail bond in cash in leu of Surety Bond, but the choice belong to the accused.
Moreover under 2000 Bail Bond Guide of DOJ, crimes of Reckless iImprudence resulting in homicide and with violation of LTO Traffic Code, bail shall be 30k regardless of the number of deaths. The Supreme Court charge Judge Bellosillo guilty for ignorance of the law and oppression in imposing excessive bail bonds on Dela Cruz ans Serrano’s case and respondent Judge was ordered to pay a fine of P10k FROM HIS RETIREMENT BENEFITS.