The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a new circular for the reduction of bail for indigents facing criminal charges, setting the maximum amount to be posted at P10,000.
According to the circular released on Monday, DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla directed prosecutors to determine immediately during inquest or preliminary investigation proceedings if respondents are considered indigents and qualified for a low bail.
“In the event that, after the conduct of inquest or preliminary investigation proceedings, the investigating prosecutor finds probable cause with a reasonable certainty of conviction against the indigent respondent, he or she shall indicate in the criminal information only 50% of the recommended bail as stated in the 2018 Bail Bond Guide, or the amount of P10,000, whichever is lower,” the circular stated.
DOJ spokesperson Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano said the circular will be immediately enforced.
This move is in response to the recent criticisms of the high cost of bail, which has led to the imprisonment of indigent Filipinos who cannot afford the payment. The DOJ aims to address this issue by providing a more accessible means of paying bail to those who are economically disadvantaged.
The DOJ is taking steps to implement policies that ensure that the criminal justice system is accessible to all Filipinos, regardless of their economic status.
The new circular is also aligned with the government’s efforts to alleviate poverty and inequality in the country, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DOJ emphasized that the reduction of bail will not compromise the legal process or the country’s justice system. It will only provide an alternative means of posting bail to indigents who cannot afford to pay the full amount.
This is a significant step forward in ensuring that every Filipino is given equal treatment under the law and has access to justice, regardless of their financial standing. The DOJ hopes that this will help in the country’s goal to achieve a more just and equitable society.