THE Court of Appeals (CA) has denied the petition filed by high-profile inmate Roy Gilbert Colangco, also known as Herbert “Ampang” Colanggo, for bail citing his deteriorating health.
In a six-page decision, the CA also denied Colanggo’s motion to admit additional evidence in connection with his case.
Colanggo was arrested in 2009 and was meted out the penalty of reclusion perpetua or imprisonment of up to 40 years by the Paranaque Regional Trial Court on May 10, 2013 in connection with several bank robberies perpetrated by his robbery group in 2009.
Colanggo’s robbery syndicate was also tagged as behind the bloody robbery of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) branch in Cabuyao, Laguna in 2008 which left 10 individuals dead.
He is now detained at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa where he heads the Carcel Side of the national penitentiary with 7,000 members from various gangs from the Visayas and Mindanao.
Colanggo recently testified before the House Committee on Justice on the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the NBP and the alleged involvement of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in the illegal drug trade.
In his petition for bail, Colanggo pleaded for his provisional liberty saying that the evidence of guilty against him is not strong based on the records of the case and for humanitarian reasons owing to his alleged deteriorating health.
He claimed that despite maximized and continuous medical management he is still not relieved of his back pains and intermittent shooting pains and numbness on both lower extremities and recurring urinary complaints.
The Office of the Solicitor-General, however, opposed Colanggo’s petition for bail arguing that it should not be given merit since he has already been convicted by the trial court.
It cited Section 5, Rule 114 of the 1997 Rules of Court which states that after an accused has been convicted by the trial of a crime punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, permission to bail no longer becomes discretionary.
In ruling against Colanggo, the CA stated: “ Considering that the bail pending appeal is only discretionary when the applicant is convicted of an offense not punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, accused-appellant is not eligible to be granted bail as a matter of course.”
The appellate court also did not give credence to Colanggo’s claim that his bail should be granted in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow Senator Juan Ponce Enrile to post bail facing a plunder case for humanitarian reason although it is a non-bailable offense.
The CA pointed out that Enrile’s case is not applicable to Colanggo since Enrile has not yet been convicted and the trial of his case is still ongoing.
The CA added that unlike Enrile, Colanggo failed to demonstrate “utter respect for the legal processes of this country...to merit the leniency of this Court.”
“Thus, accused-appellant’s argument that he has the constitutional right to bail and that the evidence of guilt against him is not strong is wanting. Certainly, after one is convicted by the trial court, the presumption of innocence, and with it, the constitutional right to bail ends,” the CA explained.