Supreme Court Allows Enrile Release on Bail; Says Prosecution Evidence Hearsay

Article excerpt

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday allowed detained Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile to post P100,000 bail as it ruled as hearsay the testimonies of witnesses presented by the government to justify his detention on a rebellion case.

Immediately after the release of the High Court's resolution, Enrile's lawyers posted the P100,000 bail. The money was received by clerk of court Luzviminda Puno at about 6 p.m.

Thereafter, the Supreme Court issued Enrile's order of release addressed to Senior Supt. Reynaldo Berroya, chief of the intelligence group of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame in Quezon City.

The High Court said its "determination that the evidence supporting Enrile's detention is hearsay does not preclude the trial court from making its own determination on the same question for the purpose of fixing bail or determining the guilt of Enrile as the facts or the evidence may warrant."

This means that the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) where Enrile's rebellion case was filed by the Department of Justice (DoJ) can reassess the evidence, particularly if additional ones are submitted by the prosecution, for the purpose of fixing bail and gauging the strength or weakness of the evidence.

The strength or weakness of the evidence would determine if Enrile's temporary bail granted by the Supreme Court would be sustained or canceled.

Declared hearsay by the High Court were the sworn statement of policemen Pablo P. Bala Jr. and the joint affidavit of agent Martini Cruz and Geovel Aperio.

The testimonies of the three witnesses were used as basis for the arrest and detention of Enrile. …