At the same time we cannot yield to petitioners submission that bail in the

At the same time we cannot yield to petitioners

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At the same time, we cannot yield to petitioner's submission that bail in the instant case be set at P40,000.00 based on the 1996 Bail Bond Guide. (The current Bail Bond Guide, issued on August 29, 2000, maintains recommended bail at P40,000.00 for estafa where the amount of fraud is P142,000.00 or over and the imposable penalty 20 years of reclusion temporal). True, the Court has held that the Bail Bond Guide, a circular of the Department of Justice for the guidance of state prosecutors, although technically not binding upon the courts, "merits attention, being in a sense an expression of policy of the Executive Branch, through the Department of Justice, in the enforcement of criminal laws." 16 Thus, courts are advised that they must not only be aware but should also consider the Bail Bond Guide due to its significance in the administration of criminal justice. 17 This notwithstanding, the Court is not precluded from imposing in petitioner's case an amount higher than P40,000.00 (based on the Bail Bond Guide) where it perceives that an appropriate increase is dictated by the circumstances. It militates emphasis that petitioner is seeking bail on appeal. Section 5, Rule 114 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure is clear that although the grant of bail on appeal is non-capital offenses is discretionary, when the penalty imposed on the convicted accused exceeds six years and circumstances exist that point to the probability of flight if released on bail, then the accused must be denied bail, or his bail previously granted should be cancelled. 18 In the same vein, the Court has held that the discretion to extend bail during the course of the appeal should be exercised with grave caution and for strong reasons, considering that the accused had been in fact convicted by the trial court. 19 In an earlier case, the Court adopted Senator Vicente J. Francisco's disquisition on why bail should be denied after judgment of conviction as a matter of wise discretion; thus: The importance attached to conviction is due to the underlying principle that bail should be granted only where it is uncertain whether the accused is guilty or innocent, and therefore, where that uncertainty is removed by conviction it would, generally speaking, be absurd to admit to bail. After a person has been tried and convicted the presumption of innocence which may be relied upon in prior applications is rebutted, and the burden is upon the accused to show error in the conviction. From another point of view it may be properly argued that the probability of ultimate punishment is so enhanced by the conviction that the accused is much more likely to attempt to escape if liberated on bail than before conviction.xxx 20
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Petitioner is seeking bail on appeal. He was in fact declared guilty beyond reasonable doubt by the RTC, and due to the serious amount of fraud involved, sentenced to imprisonment for twenty years --the maximum penalty for estafa by false pretenses or fraudulent acts allowed by the Revised Penal Code. Although it cannot be controverted
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