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143.Serapio vs. Sandiganbayan, et.al., GR 148468, 28 January 2003 (Plunder –predicate acts) Facts: Petitioner Edward Serapio was a member of the Board of Trustees and the legal counsel of the Erap Muslim Youth Foundation. Sometime 2000, petitioner received on its behalf a donation in the amount of Php 200M through Chavit Singson. Petitioner received the donation worth the Foundation’s account. In 2000, Chavit Singson publicly accused President Estrada and his family members and friends of engaging in several illegal activities which triggered the filing with the Office of the Ombudsman several criminal complaints against the petitioner, Joseph Estrada and his son. On April 4, 2001, Ombudsman filed with the Sandiganbayan Informations against the former president, one of which, for plunder. No bail was recommended for the provisional release of all the accused including the petitioner. The case was raffled to a special division which was subsequently created by the Supreme Court. On 25 April 2001, Sandiganbayan issued a resolution finding probable cause to justify the issuance of warrants of arrest for the accused. Arraignment was set on 27 January 2001. In the meantime, petitioner filed with Sandiganbayan an Urgent Petition for bail, which was set for hearing on May 4, 2001. Petitioner’s co-accused Jinggoy Estrada filed a motion alleging that he was entitle to bail as a matter of right.
Special Penal Laws Case Digest 115 Team Soul During the hearing on May 4, 2001 on petitioner’s Urgent Petition for Bail, the prosecution moved for the resetting of the arraignment of the accused earlier than the June 27 schedule. However, Sandiganbayan denied the motion of the prosecution and issued an order declaring that the petition for bail can and should be heard BEFORE petitioner’s arraignment on 27 June. On June 1, Sandiganbayan issued a resolution requiring the attendance of petitioner as well as all the other accused during the hearing on the petitioner for bail considering that under Section 8, Rule 115 of the Revised Rules of Court, whatever evidence adduced during the hearing shall be considered automatically reproduced at the trial. The people insist that arraignment is necessary before bail hearings may be commenced because it is only upon arraignment that the issues are joined. The people further stress the it is only when an accused pleads not guilty may he filed a petition for bail and if he pleads guilty, then there would be no need for him to file said petition. It is also the contention of the people that it is only during arraignment that the accused is informed of the precise charge against him. He must then be arraign first prior to bail hearings to prevent him from late on assailing the validity of the bail hearings on the ground that he was not properly informed of the charge considering that under section 8 of Rule 114, evidence presented during bail hearings are reproduce in the trial. Arraignment before bail hearings also