P. D. No. 968
PATERNO DE LOS SANTOS, JR.
COURT OF APPEALS 13TH DIVISION, ET AL.
G.R. No. 181306: March 21, 2011FACTS: Paterno de los Santos, Jr. was found guilty of the crime of intentional abortion,and then he filed an application for probation. It was ruled that he is ineligible to apply forprobation, considering the fact that he has waived his right to avail the benefits of probationlaw when he appealed the judgment of conviction by the trial court.ISSUE: Whether petitioner is entitled to the benefits of probation, considering that hehad appealed his conviction, contrary to the provision of Section 4, P.D. 968, as amended byP.D. 1990.HELD: Probation is a special privilege granted by the State to a penitent qualifiedoffender. It essentially rejects appeals and encourages an otherwise eligible convict toimmediately admit his liability and save the State the time, effort and expenses to jettison anappeal.The pertinent provision of the Probation Law, as amended, reads:Sec. 4.
Grant of Probation
Subject to the provisions of this Decree, the trial court may, afterit shall have convicted and sentenced a defendant and upon application by said defendantwithin the period for perfecting an appeal, suspend the execution of the sentence and place thedefendant on probation for such period and upon such terms and conditions as it may deembest; Provided, That no application for probation shall be entertained or granted if thedefendant has perfected the appeal from the judgment of conviction.It is undisputed that petitioner appealed from the decision of the trial court. This factalone merits the denial of petitioner's Application for Probation. Having appealed from the judgment of the trial court and having applied for probation only after the Court of Appeals hadaffirmed his conviction, petitioner was clearly precluded from the benefits of probation.Furthermore, it was clear that when petitioner filed his appeal before the appellatecourt, what he was questioning was the merit of the decision convicting him and not thepropriety of the penalty imposed by the trial court for the purpose of correcting a wrongpenalty
to reduce it to within probational range. By perfecting his appeal, petitioner,therefore,
relinquished the alternative remedy of availing of the Probation Law.The law expressly requires that an accused must not have appealed his convictionbefore he can avail himself of probation. This outlaws the element of speculation on the part of the accused
to wager on the result of his appeal
that when his conviction is finallyaffirmed on appeal, the moment of truth well nigh at hand and the service of his sentence