Bail Defined:

Security given for the release of a person in custody of the law, furnished by him or a bondsman, to guarantee his appearance before any court as required under the conditions hereinafter specified [Sec. 1, Rule 114]


  1. To relieve an accused from imprisonment until conviction [People v. Hon. Donato, G.R. No. 79269 (2011) & Enrile v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 213847 (2016)]
  2. To honor the presumption of innocence until his guilt is proven beyond reasonable doubt [Sec. 14, Art. III, Constitution]; and
  3. To enable him to prepare his defense without being subject to punishment prior to conviction [Cortes v. Judge Catral, A.M. No. RTJ-97-1387 (1997)]

Forms of Bail

  1. Corporate surety
  2. Property bond
  3. Cash deposit
  4. Recognizance

Where to File

General Rule: In the court where the case is pending

a. With any RTC/MTC/MeTC/MCTC judge in the province, city or municipality

    1. If the judge of the court where the case is pending is absent or unavailable;
    2. Where the accused is arrested far from the case is pending,
    3. With any court in city or province where he is held – when a person is in custody but not yet charged
      [Sec. 17, Rule 114, as amended by A.M. No. 05-8-26-SC]

Where the grant of bail is a matter of discretion, or the accused seeks to be released on recognizance, the application may only be filed in the court where the case is pending, on trial, or appeal
[Sec. 17, Rule 114, as amended by A.M. No. 05-8-26-SC]

When bail is filed with a court other than where the case is pending, the judge who accepted the bail shall forward it, together with the order of release and other supporting papers, to the court where the case is pending, which may, for good reason, require a different one to be filed [Sec. 19, Rule 114]

Bail as a matter of right

    1. Before conviction (MTC)
    2. After conviction but pending appeal (by first-level courts)
    3. Before conviction by RTC – offense not punishable by Reclusion Perpetua, Death, Life Imprisonment

Exception: When the accused is a minor, he is entitled to bail regardless of whether the evidence of guilt is strong

Bail If the Accused is a Minor

Note: The privileged mitigating circumstances of minority shall be considered in recommending the amount of bail
[Section 34, RA 9344]

    1. The minor, when detained shall be ordered to be released on recognizance to his/her parents or other suitable person (i.e. Guardian, Ascendant, Aunt, Sibling or custodian over 21 years of age – unless unfit or disqualified)
    2. Minor shall be ordered to be released on bail if the child is in conflict with law
    3. Minor shall be released on bail when he/she shall be transferred to a youth detention home or youth rehabilitation center

When Bail on a Minor Shall be Denied

When the offense involved is a capital offense, when evidence of guilt is strong (Section 5, Rule 114)

Bail is not Available:

    • After a judgment of conviction has become final;
      • However: If after conviction, applied for probation before finality, he may be allowed temporary liberty under his bail;
    • After the accused has commenced to serve sentence [Sec. 24, Rule 114]
    • To military personnel accused under general court martial [Comendador v. de Villa, G.R. No. 93177 (1991)]

Bail as a Matter of Discretion

  1. Sec. 5, Rule 114:
    Upon conviction by the RTC of an offense not punishable by:

    1. Death,
    2. Reclusion perpetua, or
    3. Life imprisonment,
  2. When the accused is convicted before the RTC, the application for bail may be filed and acted upon by the latter if it has not been transmitted to the appellate court
  3. If the decision of the RTC changed the nature of the offense from non-bailable to bailable, the application for bail should be applied before the appellate court
  4. If the conviction by the trial court is for a capital offense, the accused convicted may only be released when the conviction is reversed by the appellate court (Sec. 13, Article 3, 1987 Constitution)
  5. If the penalty imposed by the trial court is imprisonment exceeding 6 years, the accused shall be denied bail or his bail shall be canceled upon showing by the prosecution, with notice to the accused, of any of the following [Sec. 5, Rule 114]:a. Recidivism, quasi-recidivism, or habitual delinquency or commission of a crime aggravated by reiteration of the accused
    b. The accused previously escaped from legal confinement, evaded sentence or violated bail conditions without valid justification
    c. Commission of offense while under probation, parole or conditional pardon
    d. Probability of flight;
    e. Undue risk of the commission of another crime during the pendency of the appeal [Sec. 5, Rule 114]

Extradition Proceedings:

Bail is a matter of discretion in extradition proceedings
[Govt. of HK Special Administrative Region v. Olalia, G.R. No. 153675 (2007)]

May a person apply for bail when he is subject to extradition?

General Rule: No. Right to bail is only available in criminal proceedings. Extradition proceedings do not render judgments of conviction or acquittal

Exception: Only upon clear and convincing evidence:
a. That once granted, the applicant will not be a flight risk or will not pose danger to the community; and
b. That there exist special humanitarian and compelling circumstances [Gov. of USA v. Purganan and Jimenez, G.R. No. 148571 (2002)]


Note: Upon conviction before the RTC, the bail posted as a matter of right loses its force. Therefore, the convicted accused must file a new and separate petition for bail.

In Deportation Proceedings
Bail is a matter of discretion before the Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation
[Harvey v. Defensor-Santiago, G.R. No. 82544 (1990)]


Enrile v. People [G.R. No. 213847 (2015)]
An accused should be granted bail if it is shown that:
(1) the detainee will not be a flight risk or a danger to the community; and
(2) there exist special, humanitarian, and compelling circumstances.

The SC further explained that bail for the provisional liberty of the accused regardless of the crime charged should be allowed independently of the merits charged, provided his continued incarceration is injurious to his health and endanger his life.


When Hearing for Bail in a Capital Offense

The prosecution has the burden of showing that evidence of guilt is strong [Sec. 8, Rule 114]

Evidence of guilt in the shall to a finding of culpability or innocence of the accused, without regard to the modifying circumstances [Bravo v. De Borja, G.R. No. L-65228 (1985)]

Duties of the judge hearing the petition for bail when capital offenses are involved
a. In all cases regarding bail, notify the prosecutor of the hearing of the application for bail or require him to submit his recommendation [Sec. 18, Rule 114]
b. Where bail is a matter of discretion, conduct a hearing of the application for bail regardless of whether or not the
prosecution refuses to present evidence to show that the guilt of the accused is strong for the purpose of enabling the court to exercise its sound discretion [Sec. 7-8, Rule 114]
c. Decide whether the guilt of the accused is strong based on the summary of evidence of the prosecution
d. If the guilt of the accused is not strong, discharge the accused upon the approval of the bail bond [Sec. 19, Rule 114].

Otherwise, the petition should be denied. [Gacal v. Infante, A.M. No. RTJ- 04-1845 (2011)]


Bail Amount Guidelines:

The considerations are primarily, but not limited, to the following factors:

a. Financial ability of the accused
b. Nature and circumstances of the offense
c. Penalty for the offense charged
d. Character and reputation of the accused
e. Age and health of the accused
f. Weight of the evidence against the accused
g. Probability of the accused appearing at the trial
h. Forfeiture of other bails
i. Fact that the accused was a fugitive from justice when arrested
j. Pendency of other cases where the accused is on bail
[Sec. 9, Rule 114]

NOTE: The amount should be high enough to assure the presence of the accused when required but no higher than is reasonably calculated to fulfill this purpose. [Yap Jr. v. CA, G.R. No. 141529 (2001)]


When Bail Not Required

  1. When the accused is in custody for a period equal or more than the maximum imprisonment of the offense charged
  2. In case of destierro – accused is released after 30 days of preventive imprisonment [Sec. 16, Rule 114].
  3. City/Municipal ordinance offenses or where offense constitutes a penalty not greater than 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine of P2,000, or both, and unable to post the required cash or bail bond [Sec. 1, R.A. 6036].
    NOTE: The title of R.A. 6036 reads “arresto mayor” instead of “6 months”.

When Bail Can be Denied:

a. When accused was caught committing the offense in flagrante;
b. When accused confesses to the commission of the offense unless he later repudiates the same in a sworn statement or in open court as having been extracted through force or intimidation;
c. When accused is found to have previously escaped legal confinement, evaded sentence, or jumped bail;
d. When accused is found to have violated Section 2, R.A. 6036, which provides that the violation of the accused of the sworn statement (required instead of bail) binding himself, pending final decision of his case, to report to the Clerk of the Court hearing his case periodically every two weeks shall justify the court to order his immediate arrest, if the failure of the accused to report is not justified;
e. When accused is a recidivist or habitual delinquent or has been previously convicted for an offense to which the law/ordinance attaches an equal/greater penalty or for two/more offenses to which it attaches a lighter penalty
f. When accused committed the offense while on parole or under conditional pardon;
g. When accused has previously been pardoned for violation of municipal/city ordinance for at least two times [Sec. 1, R.A. 6036].
7. Increase or Reduction of Bail After the accused is admitted to bail, the court may, upon good cause, increase or decrease
the amount [Sec. 20, Rule 114]

Increased bail
The accused may be committed to custody if he does not give bail in the increased amount within a reasonable period [Sec. 20, Rule 114]

Reduced bail
A person in custody for a period equal to or more than the minimum of the principal penalty prescribed for the offense charged may be released on a reduced bond [Sec. 16, Rule 114]


Forfeiture and Cancellation of Bail

When the accused’s presence who is out on bail failed to appear when  required by court or Rules of Court, his bail shall be declared forfeited and the bondsmen are given 30 days within which to:
a. Produce their principal
b. Show cause why no judgment should be rendered against them for the amount of their bail
c. Produce the body of their principal or give the reason for his non-production; and
d. Explain why the accused did not appear before the court when first required to do so [Sec. 21, Rule 114].

Failing in items (c) and (d), a judgment shall be rendered against the bondsmen, jointly and severally, for the amount of the bail.

The court shall not reduce or otherwise mitigate the liability of the bondsmen, unless the accused has been surrendered or is acquitted [Sec. 21, Rule 114]

Bondsman may arrest the accused for purposes of surrendering the accused upon written authority endorsed on a certified copy of undertaking, cause him to be arrested by a police officer or any other person of suitable age and discretion [Sec. 23, Rule 114]


Cancellation of Bail

By application

The bondsman with due notice to the prosecutor, bail may be canceled:

a. upon surrender of the accused; or
b. Proof of his death [Sec. 22(1), Rule 114].

In order to cancel a bail on the ground of surrender, the surrender must be voluntary.
[Esteban v. Alhambra, G.R. No. 135012 (2004)]

Automatic cancellation

a. Upon acquittal of the accused
b. Upon dismissal of the case, or
c. Upon execution of judgment of conviction
[Sec. 22, Rule 114]


Note: Application for bail shall not bar the accused from raising objections to illegal arrest challenging:

a. Validity of his arrest
b. Legality of the arrest warrant
c. Regularity of preliminary investigation, or
d. Absence of preliminary investigation

It must be raised during arraignment and before entering his/her plea. The court shall resolve the objections as early as practicable but not later than the start of the trial of the case [Sec. 26, Rule 114

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