City officials recently requested Rep. Mark Go of the lone district of Baguio City to consider repealing Republic Act (RA) 10389 or the Recognizance Law due to the alleged difficulty in implementing its provisions.
Under Resolution No. 750, series of 2023, local legislators stated that the current process in the enforcement of the Recognizance Law necessitates compliance with numerous requirements that, due to bureaucratic procedures, do not expedite the release of the accused on recognizance but rather prolong their time in custody that defeats the very purpose of the same.
RA 10389 or the Recognizance Law provides relief to indigent persons in custody; however, its implementation has encountered significant challenges rendering the law difficult to enforce effectively.
Under the law, the competent court where a criminal case has been filed against a person covered under the same shall, upon motion, order the release of the detained person on recognizance to qualified custodian: provided that the requirements are complied with such as a sworn declaration by the person in custody of his or her indigency or incapacity either to post a cash bail or proffer any personal or real property acceptable as sufficient sureties for a bail bond; a certification issued by the head of the social welfare and development office of the municipality or city where the accused actually resides, that the accused is indigent; the person in custody has been arraigned; the court has notified the city or municipal council where the accused resides of the application for recognizances and that the council shall include in its agenda the notice from the court upon receipt and act on the request for comments or opposition to the said application within 10 days from receipt of the said notice; the action of the council shall be in a form of a resolution and duly approved by the mayor; the accused shall be properly documented, through such processes as but not limited to photographic image, reproduction of all sides of the face and finger printing, provided that the cost involved for the said purpose shall be shouldered by the municipality or city that sought the release of the accused as provided chargeable to the mandatory 5 percent calamity funds in its budget or to any other available funds and the court shall notify the public prosecutor of the date of hearing within 24 hours from the filing of the application for release on recognizance in favor the accused: provided that such earing will be held not earlier than 24 or not later than 48 hours from the receipt of notice by the prosecutor.
Copies of the approved resolution will be transmitted to the Office of Congressman Go for information, guidance, ready reference and further needed action. By Dexter A. See