Supreme Court rules private complainant cannot contest bail or acquittal of accused

The Supreme Court has ruled that a complainant in a criminal case cannot challenge the bail and acquittal granted to the accused. In a 10-page decision issued on Dec. 6, 2023, the high court upheld the decision to grant bail and acquit Emmanuel Pascual. Pascual was facing charges of qualified theft for allegedly stealing money from PASDA Inc. by issuing company checks in his name. The Regional Trial Court initially found him guilty, but the Court of Appeals later overturned the decision, stating that Pascual had the authority to issue and withdraw checks for PASDA. Despite PASDA filing a petition to contest the decision, the Office of the Solicitor General argued that only the State has the legal standing to question the criminal aspect of the case. The Supreme Court also highlighted that double jeopardy applied in Pascual’s case, as he had been acquitted after being convicted by the RTC. Double jeopardy prohibits punishing a person twice for the same offense.

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