Monday, July 9, 2007
Can Trillanes post bail?
Researching jurisprudence relevant to Trillanes right to bail, I have found out that a military does not enjoy the right to bail. The reason for this is that because of the disciplinary structure of the military and because soldiers are allowed the fiduciary right to bear arms which can cause great havoc, tradition has recognized the non-existence of the right to bail. Nor can appeal be made to the equal protection clause because equal protection applies only to those who are similarly situated. (Comendador, et. al vs. de Villa, G.R. No. 93177, August 2, 1991)
However, the circumstance of Sen. Trillanes is quite unique. He has been elected senator while on military detention. The election of Trillanes as senator, being an overwhelming expression of popular will, cannot be rendered useless by the police power of the state. To deny Trillianes of the right to bail will preclude him from performing his constitutional duties, which is, in my view, amounts to suspension or removal and mocks the mandate entrusted to him by the people.
I believe it is time to revisit the aforementioned jurisprudence.
(N.B. This is the sole opinion of the author. Other opinions, concurring or dissenting, are most welcome.)