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[PEOPLE v. BENITO DE LA CRUZ Y REYES](https://lawyerly.ph/juris/view/c3ba5?user=fbGU2WFpmaitMVEVGZ2lBVW5xZ2RVdz09)
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[ GR No. L-15954, Jul 31, 1961 ]

PEOPLE v. BENITO DE LA CRUZ Y REYES +

DECISION

112 Phil. 850

[ G.R. No. L-15954, July 31, 1961 ]

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLEE, VS. BENITO DE LA CRUZ Y REYES, ACCUSED. THE ASSOCIATED INSURANCE & SURETY CO., INC., BONDSMAN AND APPELLANT.

D E C I S I O N

PAREDES, J.:

This case was certified to this Court by the Court of Appeals on the ground that only questions of law are involved.

Benito de la Cruz y Reyes was charged before the CFI of Manila with theft (Criminal Case No. 28946). For his provisional liberty, the Associated Insurance & Surety Co., Inc., on December 8, 1957, posted a P4,000.00 bail bond. Upon failure of de la Cruz to appear in Court on December 10, 1957, after prior notice to the bonding company, the CFI, on December 12, 1957, entered an Order confiscating the bond. On January 8, 1958, the bonding company filed an 'Urgent Motion for Extension of Time to Produce Body of the accused and explanation". The motion was denied and on January 16, 1958, the lower court issued the following:
"Judgment is entered upon the bond of the bonding company for failure to present the accused within 30 days; let execution immediately issue upon the bond."
The writ of execution was issued on January 18, 1958. On January 28, 1958, an urgent motion for partial execution in the amount of 10 % of the bond, was presented by the bonding company, but was denied on January 30, 1958.

On May 7, 1958, the bonding company apprehended the accused and surrendered him to the Court. At the same time, it filed a motion for the setting aside of the writ of execution and the cancellation of the bond. The motion was denied on May 9, 1958, and on the following day the CFI ordered the issuance of another writ of execution.

The proceedings were solely based on pleadings presented by the bonding company, explaining its failure to produce the body of the accused on the dates required by the trial court.

The appeal impugns the propriety and correctness of the trial court's refusal to set aside its order of confiscation and/or Writ of Execution against the bail bond. Appellant bonding company contends that after it had surrendered the body of the principal (the accused) to the Court, it had fully complied with its undertaking, and its complete exoneration was in order.

The appellant bonding company in posting the bail bond, undertook that the accused will "appear and answer the charge * * * and will at all times hold himself answerable to the orders and processes of the Court * * *." The company guaranteed the presence of the accused in court at all times and bound itself to act, for purposes of the undertaking (bond), as a jailer of the accused (U.S. vs. Addison, et al., 27 Phil., 563). It was its inevitable obligation to place the accused under strict surveillance (People vs. Tuising and Luzon Surety Co., 61 Phil., 404).

Under the facts obtaining in the case, is the appellant bonding company entitled to a total exoneration? A bondsman is entitled to a total exoneration, after an order of confiscation has been promulgated, if within the period of 30 days granted by the court, the bondsman has (1) produced the body of the principal or given the reason for its non-production; and (2) explained satisfactorily why the principal did not appear before the Court, when first required to do so (Sec. 15, Rule 110). Appellant company failed to comply with these conditions. While an explanation for the non production of the accused was submitted, the same, however, did not satisfy the trial court. The court a quo did not believe the excuse of the bonding company that the accused was ill on the date of trial (December 10, 1957), and that his illness had prevented his appearance in Court. The record, according to the trial court, impressively showed that "accused has always managed to evade coming to court one way or the other". The Bondsman was negligent in not having placed the accused under strict surveillance.

Considering, however, that the accused was arrested and delivered by the appellant to the trial Court, six months after the judgment against the bond was rendered, after efforts exerted and expenses incurred by the bonding company to apprehend the elusive accused, and considering farther the recommendation of the Solicitor General for a partial remission of the judgment, we feel it fair to reduce the liability of the bonding company from P4,000.00 to P2,000.00 (People vs. Tan, 101 Phil., 324; People vs. Daisin, 101 Phil., 228, 54 Off. Gaz., [9] 1824).

Modified as indicated above, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed in all other respects. Costs against the appellant bonding company.

Bengzon, C. J., Padilla, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J. B. L., Barrera, Dizon, De Leon, and Natividad, JJ., concur. 



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