14 09092017 1017 PM SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 279 Page 16 of 22

14 09092017 1017 pm supreme court reports annotated

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09/09/2017, 10)17 PM SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 279 Page 16 of 22 14 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED Cortes vs. Catral Criminal Case No. 08-866, to prove the evidence of guilt of the accused for the crime of murder when the prosecutor candidly admitted in open court that in his honest view, the strength of evidence on hand for the state can only prove the crime of homicide and not murder? 26 In the recent case of Inocencio Basco v. Judge Leo M. Rapatalo , 27 this Court ruled that „x x x the judge is mandated to conduct a hearing even in cases where the prosecution chooses to just file a comment or leave the application of bail to the sound discretion of the court. A hearing is likewise required if the prosecution refuses to adduce evidence in opposition to the application to grant and fix bail. The importance of a hearing has been emphasized in not a few cases wherein the court ruled that, even if the prosecution refuses to adduce evidence or fails to interpose an objection to the motion for bail, it is still mandatory for the court to conduct a hearing or ask searching questions from which it may infer the strength of the evidence of guilt, or the lack of it against the accused.‰ The reason for this is plain. Inasmuch as the determination of whether or not the evidence of guilt against the accused is strong is a matter of judicial discretion, it may rightly be exercised only after the evidence is submitted to the court at the hearing. Since the discretion is directed to the weight of evidence and since evidence cannot properly be weighed if not duly exhibited or produced before the court, 28 it is obvious that a proper exercise of judicial discretion requires that the evidence of guilt be submitted to the court, the petitioner having the right of cross examination and to introduce evidence in his own rebuttal. 29 _______________ 26 Rollo, p. 87. 27 A.M. No. RTJ-96-1335, promulgated March 5, 1997. 28 Basco v. Rapatalo, supra , citing Ramos v. Ramos, 45 Phil. 362. 29 Basco v. Rapatalo, supra , citing Ocampo v. Bernabe, 77 Phil. 55.
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09/09/2017, 10)17 PM SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 279 Page 17 of 22 15 VOL. 279, SEPTEMBER 10, 1997 15 Cortes vs. Catral Respondent judge justifies the grant of bail in the two cases by stating that the prosecutor recommended the grant of bail. Respondent also added that in the case of People v. Ahmed Duerme , there were no eyewitnesses to the commission of the offense as borne out from the affidavits and sworn statements of the witnesses. 30 As a matter of fact, the case had already been dismissed for failure to prosecute by Judge Alameda inasmuch as the prosecutor himself admitted that there was lack of interest on the part of the witnesses to pursue the case and not a single witness ever went to court to see him.
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