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Probation Law Digested Cases

Probation Law Digested Cases

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Published by: Janine Caunceran Rodriguez on Jun 19, 2012
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09/23/2013

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P. D. No. 968
PROBATION LAW
PATERNO DE LOS SANTOS, JR.
vs.
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,
ipso facto
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
 
inevitable, he now applies for probation as an "escape hatch," thus, rendering nugatory theappellate court's affirmance of his conviction. Consequently, probation should be availed of atthe first opportunity by convicts who are willing to be reformed and rehabilitated; whomanifest spontaneity, contrition and remorse.Considering that the prevailing jurisprudence treats appeal and probation as mutuallyexclusive remedies, and petitioner opted to appeal his conviction, he, therefore, deemed torelinquish his right to the benefits of probation.
ALEJANDRA PABLO
 
vs.
HON. SILVERIO Q. CASTILLO, Presiding Judge, Branch 43, Regional TrialCourt, First Judicial Region, Dagupan City and PEOPLE of the PHILIPPINES
 
G.R. No. 12510: August 3, 2000FACTS: Alejandra Pablo was convicted of a violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22. Sheapplied for probation and was later denied.ISSUE: Whether or not the he should be denied probation on the ground of disqualification from probation under Section 9 of P.D. 968.HELD: The Court ruled that under Section 9 of the Probation Law, P.D. 968, the followingoffenders cannot avail of the benefits of probation:a) those sentenced to serve a maximum term of imprisonment of more than six years;b) those convicted of subversion or any crime against the national security or the public order;
c) those who have previously been convicted by final judgment of an offense punished by imprisonment of not less than one month and one day and/or fine of not less than two hundred  pesos
;d) those who have been once on probation under the provisions of this Decree; ande) those who are already serving sentence at the time the substantive provisions of this Decreebecame applicable pursuant to Section 33 hereof.The National Probation Office denied petitioners application for probation underSection 9 paragraph (c) P.D. 968 because a prior conviction was entered against the petitioneron June 21, 1995 in Criminal Case No. 94-0199, penalizing her with a fine of P4,648.00; therebyplacing her within the ambit of disqualification from probation under Section 9 paragraph (c) of P.D. 968.It is a basic rule of statutory construction that if a statute is clear, plain and free fromambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without any interpretation. Not onlythat; in the matter of interpretation of laws on probation, the Court has pronounced that "the
 
policy of liberality of probation statutes cannot prevail against the categorical provisions of thelaw."Section 9 paragraph (c) is in clear and plain language, to the effect that a person whowas previously convicted by final judgment of an offense punishable by imprisonment of notless than one month and one day and/or a fine of not less than two hundred pesos, isdisqualified from applying for probation. This provision of law is definitive and unqualified.There is nothing in Section 9, paragraph (c) which qualifies "previous conviction" as referring toa conviction for a crime which is entirely different from that for which the offender is applyingfor probation or a crime which arose out of a single act or transaction as petitioner would havethe court to understand.It is well-settled that the probation law is not a penal statute; and therefore, theprinciple of liberal interpretation is inapplicable. And when the meaning is clearly discerniblefrom the language of the statute, there is no room for construction or interpretation.
EFREN SALVAN y PRESENES
vs
.
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
 G.R. No. 153845. September 11, 2003FACTS: Efren Salvan, a bus driver, was convicted of reckless imprudence resulting inhomicide for the death of John Barry Abogado. He filed a motion for partial reconsideration,which was later denied, and an application for probation. He then filed a notice of partialappeal which was denied for the reason that the application for probation is deemed under thelaw to be a waiver of the right to appeal.ISSUE: Whether or not the denial or approval of probation is appealable.HELD: We recall that the law which governs all matters relating to probation isPresidential Decree No. 968, commonly known as the Probation Law, as amended byPresidential Decree No. 1990. The provision of the law that is pertinent to the currentcontroversy reads:SEC. 4.
Grant of Probation.
Subject to the provisions of this Decree, the trial court may, after itshall have convicted and sentenced a defendant, and upon application by said defendant withinthe 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.Probation may be granted whether the sentence imposes a term of imprisonment or afine only. An application for probation shall be filed with the trial court. The filing of theapplication shall be deemed a waiver of the right to appeal.An order granting or denying probation shall not be appealable.

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