SC: Even if killing is proven, suspect can post bail if evidence doesn’t point to murder

It’s not enough to prove the killing. A murder suspect should be allowed to post bail if the evidence could only show he committed homicide.

The Supreme Court (SC) has clarified that for the purpose of securing bail in murder cases, it should be enough that the evidence could not establish the aggravating circumstances even if the actual killing was actually proven.

In a recent 8-page decision, the SC ordered the Bacoor City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 89 to fix the bail of Reynaldo Recto, who was being tried for killing Margie Carlosita by hitting her head and her body in February 2011.

While the RTC found Carlosita’s killing to have been established by evidence, the SC said the evidence was only strong enough to lead to Recto’s conviction for lesser, bailable crime of homicide.

Carlosita’s son testified that Recto killed her during a quarrel. The SC said this refuted the prosecution’s application of the aggravating circumstances of treachery and evident premeditation—meaning, the crime should only have been homicide, not murder.

“the RTC should have determined whether the evidence of guilt is strong for Murder, as opposed to simply determining if the evidence that he was responsible for Carlosita’s death was strong. As previously illustrated above, the evidence of Recto’s guilt – for Murder – was not strong. In sum, the RTC should have granted Recto’s Motion to Fix Bail,” read the resolution penned by Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

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