09/09/2017, 10)17 PMSUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 279Page 16 of 2214SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATEDCortes vs. CatralCriminal Case No. 08-866, to prove the evidence of guilt ofthe accused for the crime of murder when the prosecutorcandidly admitted in open court that in his honest view, thestrength of evidence on hand for the state can only provethe crime of homicide and not murder?26In the recent case of Inocencio Basco v. Judge Leo M.Rapatalo,27this Court ruled that „x x x the judge ismandated to conduct a hearing even in cases where theprosecution chooses to just file a comment or leave theapplication of bail to the sound discretion of the court. Ahearing is likewise required if the prosecution refuses toadduce evidence in opposition to the application to grantand fix bail. The importance of a hearing has beenemphasized in not a few cases wherein the court ruled that,even if the prosecution refuses to adduce evidence or failsto interpose an objection to the motion for bail, it is stillmandatory for the court to conduct a hearing or asksearching questions from which it may infer the strength ofthe evidence of guilt, or the lack of it against the accused.‰The reason for this is plain. Inasmuch as thedetermination of whether or not the evidence of guiltagainst the accused is strong is a matter of judicialdiscretion, it may rightly be exercised only after theevidence is submitted to the court at the hearing. Since thediscretion is directed to the weight of evidence and sinceevidence cannot properly be weighed if not duly exhibitedor produced before the court,28it is obvious that a properexercise of judicial discretion requires that the evidence ofguilt be submitted to the court, the petitioner having theright of cross examination and to introduce evidence in hisown rebuttal.29_______________26Rollo, p. 87.27A.M. No. RTJ-96-1335, promulgated March 5, 1997.28Basco v. Rapatalo, supra, citing Ramos v. Ramos, 45 Phil. 362.29Basco v. Rapatalo, supra, citing Ocampo v. Bernabe, 77 Phil. 55.
09/09/2017, 10)17 PMSUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 279Page 17 of 2215VOL. 279, SEPTEMBER 10, 199715Cortes vs. CatralRespondent judge justifies the grant of bail in the two casesby stating that the prosecutor recommended the grant ofbail. Respondent also added that in the case of People v.Ahmed Duerme, there were no eyewitnesses to thecommission of the offense as borne out from the affidavitsand sworn statements of the witnesses.30As a matter offact, the case had already been dismissed for failure toprosecute by Judge Alameda inasmuch as the prosecutorhimself admitted that there was lack of interest on the partof the witnesses to pursue the case and not a single witnessever went to court to see him.