Respect for Law and Judicial power.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)

Manila Bulletin, September 27, 2002 | Go to article overview

Respect for Law and Judicial power.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)


THE seeming indecision with which members of the House of Representatives reacted to the Supreme Court ruling that makes possible the extradition of Rep. Mark Jimenez to the United States underscores the far-reaching and complex impact of judicial authority.

While asserting that the House leadership will bow only to the decision of the majority of its members, only about 70, so far, of its 250 memberships have indicated their intention to challenge the High Court's decision for being violative of the principle of separation of powers of the three branches of government.

***

House Assistant Majority Leader Francis Escudero, spokesman on the issue, has also expressed concern over a constitutional crisis which might result from the ruling.

"Among the questions to be raised on extradition is whether it is exempted from the Bill of Rights provision," the administration House leader declared.

Escudero argued that the Supreme Court canceled the Manila lawmaker's P1 million bail posted at the Manila Regional Trial Court although the alleged crime was committed outside of the Philippines and not against Filipinos.

***

Under the Bill of Rights (Sec. 13) "All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when the evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties or released on recognizance even when the privilege of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required."

Simply, the grant of bail means the release of an accused from custody. Without bail a person can be arrested and thrown in jail while his case is being heard. …

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