Page 1 of 5 Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila FIRST DIVISION G.R. No.

141718 January 21, 2005

BENJAMIN PANGAN y RI ERA, petitioner, vs. !ON. "OUR#ES $. GATBA"ITE, a% &'( Pr(%)*)n+ Ju*+(, R(+)ona, Tr)a, Cour& o- An+(,(% C)&y, Bran.' 5/, an* CO". JAMES #. "ABOR#O, a% &'( C)&y Ja), 0ar*(n o- An+(,(% C)&y, respondents. DE A1CUNA, J.: !efore the ourt is a petition for revie" on certiorari un#er Rule $% of the &''( Rules of ivil Proce#ure, assailin) the #ecision of the Re)ional Trial ourt of *n)eles it+, !ranch %,, ren#ere# on -anuar+ .&, /000. & The facts of this case are un#ispute#. The petitioner "as in#icte# for si1ple se#uction in the Municipal Trial ourt of *n)eles it+, !ranch .. ri1inal ase No. 2%32&,, at ISION

Durin) the trial of the case, *tt+. E#uar#o Pine#a, counsel for petitioner, sub1itte# the case for #ecision "ithout offerin) an+ evi#ence, #ue to the petitioner4s constant absence at hearin)s. On Septe1ber &,, &'2(, the petitioner "as convicte# of the offense char)e# an# "as sentence# to serve a penalt+ of t"o 1onths an# one #a+ of arresto mayor. On appeal, the Re)ional Trial ourt, on October /$, &'22, affir1e# in toto the #ecision of the Municipal Trial ourt. On *u)ust ', &''&, the case "as calle# for pro1ul)ation of the #ecision in the court of ori)in. Despite #ue notice, counsel for the petitioner #i# not appear. Notice to petitioner "as returne# unserve# "ith the notation that he no lon)er resi#e# at the )iven a##ress. *s a conse5uence, he also faile# to appear at the sche#ule# pro1ul)ation. The court of ori)in issue# an or#er #irectin) the recor#in) of the #ecision in the cri1inal #oc6et of the court an# an or#er of arrest a)ainst the petitioner./ Pursuant to the or#er of arrest, on -anuar+ /0, /000, the petitioner "as apprehen#e# an# #etaine# at the Mabalacat Detention ell. On -anuar+ /$, /000, petitioner file# a Petition for a 7rit of 8abeas orpus at the Re)ional Trial ourt of *n)eles it+. 8e i1plea#e# as respon#ent the *ctin) hief of Police of Mabalacat, Pa1pan)a. . Petitioner conten#e# that his arrest "as ille)al an# un9ustifie# on the )roun#s that: ;a< the strai)ht penalt+ of t"o 1onths an# one #a+ of arresto 1a+or prescribes in five +ears un#er No. ., *rticle '. =of the> Revise# Penal o#e, an# ;b< havin) been able to continuousl+ eva#e service of sentence for al1ost nine +ears, his cri1inal liabilit+ has lon) been totall+ e?tin)uishe# un#er No. ,, *rticle 2' =of the> Revise# Penal o#e. $ *fter his transfer to the it+ -ail of *n)eles it+ on -anuar+ /%, /000, petitioner file# an *1en#e# Petition "ith the Re)ional Trial ourt, i1plea#in) herein respon#ent ol. -a1es D. @abor#o, the -ail 7ar#en of *n)eles it+, as respon#ent.% In response, the -ail 7ar#en alle)e# that petitioner4s #etention "as pursuant to the or#er of co11it1ent ;1itti1us<, issue# b+ Marlon P. Ro5ue, ler6 of ourt III of the Municipal Trial ourt of *n)eles it+, !ranch ., #ate# -anuar+ /%, /000., On -anuar+ .&, /000, respon#ent -u#)e ren#ere# the #ecision, "hich is the sub9ect of this present appeal, "hich pronounce#:

the #etention of the petitioner in *n)eles is not ille)al for D it+ -ail in co1pliance "ith the Or#er of o11it1ent . SO ORDERED. be capture#.E. $2 O.&0. vs. the petition for a "rit of habeas corpus is hereb+ #enie#. not )oo# case la". /000.&0<. his #etention is ille)al for un#er *rticle '. unless it appears that the court "hich pronounce# the 9u#)1ent "as "ithout 9uris#iction or e?cee#e# it. the petitioner faile# to appear an# re1aine# at lar)e. Vol. of the Revise# Penal o#e: AThe perio# of prescription of penalties shall co11ence to run fro1 the #ate "hen the culprit shoul# eva#e the service of sentence. shoul# )o to so1e forei)n countr+ "ith "hich this Bovern1ent has no e?tra#ition treat+. The penalt+ has prescribe#. Warden. The ele1ents of prescription are: &. OF T8E REVISED PEN*@ ODE ON T8E OMPET*TION OF T8E PRES RIPTION OF PEN*@TIES !E ONSTREEDF PET * @ITT@E DIFFERENT@G.net AThere "as no evasion of the service of the sentence in this case. That convict eva#e# the service of the sentence b+ escapin) #urin) the ter1 of his sentenceC . No.F. . hence. an# #o#)es arrest for hi1 to serve sentence. *n)eles it+. /$ Phil '0. ase No. convictin) an# sentencin) the #efen#ant in a cri1inal case. at the trial of ri1.Infante vs.1a\^/phi1. '/ Phil. . Notabl+.&. because of the lapse of ti1e fro1 the #ate of the evasion of the service of the sentence b+ the convict. or shoul# co11it another cri1e before the e?piration of the perio# of prescription. an# it shall be interrupte# if the #efen#ant shoul# )ive hi1self up. *#1itte#l+. or )one to a forei)n countr+ "ith "hich "e have no e?tra#ition treat+. he escape# therefro1. &//. for not bein) 1eritorious an# "ell3foun#e#. petitioner file# the instant petition for revie" on a 5uestion purel+ of la" an# raise# the follo"in) issue: 8O7 S8OE@D T8E P8R*SE AS8*@@ OMMEN E TO REN FROM T8E D*TE 78EN T8E E@PRIT S8OE@D EV*DE T8E SERVI E OF SENTEN EA IN *RTI @E '.B. That the convict "ho ha# escape# fro1 prison has not )iven hi1self up. 78EREFORE. That the penalt+ is i1pose# b+ final 9u#)1entC /. . 78EN DOES T8E PRES RIPTIVE PERIOD OF PEN*@TIES !EBIN TO RENF 2 Petitioner clai1s that: ??? the perio# for the co1putation of penalties un#er *rticle '. is.'2<. -anuar+ . orollaril+. base# on a final 9u#)1ent. &. is conclusive evi#ence of the le)alit+ of his #etention. It i1poses upon the convict a con#ition not state# in the la". 2%32&.Page 2 of 5 The ourt cannot subscribe to the contention of the petitioner that the penalt+ i1pose# on hi1 in the #ecision a#verte# to above ha# alrea#+ prescribe#. '$.A . Phil. In this case.( Fro1 the above 5uote# #ecision. It is contrar+ to the spirit. $2 O. in the Municipal Trial ourt. of the Revise# Penal o#e be)ins to run fro1 the 1o1ent the 9u#)1ent of conviction beco1es final an# the convict successfull+ eva#es. petitioner 1ost respectfull+ sub1its. *n)eles it+ an# on the #ate set for the pro1ul)ation of the affir1e# #ecision. &//< . /$ -. 7ar#en.. or been capture#. because such evasion presupposes escapin) #urin) the service of the sentence consistin) in #eprivation of libert+. "hich "as base# on the &'%/ rulin) ren#ere# in Infante vs.B.'/ Phil.A .S. Di)est. elu#es. No. !ranch III.E?hibit E< A* co11it1ent in #ue for1. creates an a1bi)uit+ in the la" an# opens the la" to abuse b+ )overn1ent. or co11itte# another cri1eC $. the essential ele1ent of prescription "hich is the evasion of the service of sentence is absent. the petitioner herein has not serve# the penalt+ i1pose# on hi1 in prison an# that #urin) the service of the sentence. -a+ne. /.' Petitioner supports his clai1 in the follo"in) 1anner: The Decision sub9ect of this appeal. nature or essence of prescription of penalties.

&''& to -anuar+ /0. The #ut+ of )overn1ent. In sai# case.)4(r&y. to arrest petitioner for the service of his arresto mayor sentence ="hich> shoul# not be ta6en a)ainst petitioner. &0 The Re)ional Trial ourt base# its #ecision on the case of Infante v. the petitioner. until -anuar+ /0. ho"ever. To sa+. that %3+ear prescriptive perio# of his penalt+ ran continuousl+ fro1 *u)ust '. It appears that the Infante r"#in$ i1poses that. "hich states that. as an essential ele1ent. in cri1inal cases. is entitle# to total e?tinction of his cri1inal liabilit+. or shoul# co11it another cri1e before the e?piration of the perio# of prescription. as "as sai# in Infante. )overn1ent faile# or ne)lecte#.on%)%&)n+ )n *(2r)3a&)on o. four 1onths an# one #a+ of rec#"sion tempora#. "ee6s or +ears of his 9ail sentence an# then escapes before the co1putation of prescription of penalties be)ins to run. "ere never arreste# or apprehen#e# b+ )overn1ent for the service of their sentence.* (%. /000. *fter servin) fifteen +ears.A Ten +ears after his release on con#itional par#on.. is in the construction of the phrase %sho"#d evade the service of sentence. This. as such. ever capture#.'< +ears.% There is no #ispute that the #ut+ of )overn1ent to co1pel the service of sentence sets in "hen the 9u#)1ent of conviction beco1es final. . This is appro?i1atel+ .. The #ispute. &''& is of no 1o1ent. &''& the 9u#)1ent of conviction "as pro1ul)ate# in absentia an# an or#er for petitioner4s arrest "as issue# b+ the Municipal Trial ourt of *n)eles it+. for the service of his sentence nor #i# he flee to so1e forei)n countr+ "ith "hich =our> )overn1ent has no e?tra#ition treat+. to rea# this "a+ D AThe perio# of prescription of penalties shall co11ence to run fro1 the #ate "hen the culprit %'ou. Warden&& .&'( %(n&(n.( . for al1ost nine . 8e "as able to successfull+ eva#e service of his sentence for a perio# lon)er than the %3+ear prescriptive perio# of his penalt+ an#. #a+s. shoul# )o to so1e forei)n countr+ "ith "hich this Bovern1ent has no e?tra#ition treat+. &''& "hen his 9u#)1ent of conviction "as pro1ul)ate# in absentia an# "as never interrupte#. therefore.% 7hen #oes the perio# of prescription of penalties be)in to runF The Infante rulin) construes this to 1ean that the convict 1ust escape fro1 9ail Abecause such evasion presupposes escapin) #urin) the service of the sentence consistin) in #eprivation of libert+. that the prescriptive perio# of the penalt+ never be)an to run in favor of petitioner because he never escape# fro1 9ail #urin) the service of his sentence i1poses a con#ition not "ritten in the la". 1inutes.A The le)islature coul# have ver+ easil+ "ritten *rticle '. The un#ispute# fact is that on *u)ust '. to arrest petitioner an# co1pel hi1 to serve his sentence be)an on *u)ust '. petitioner "as able to successfull+ eva#e service of his / 1onths an# & #a+ 9ail sentence for at least nine . 7ith all the po"ers of )overn1ent at its #isposal. petitioner #i# not atten# the trial at the Municipal Trial ourt an# the pro1ul)ation of his 9u#)1ent of conviction in *u)ust '. The con#ition "as that Ahe shall not a)ain violate an+ of the penal la"s of the Philippines.a2( *ur)n+ &'( %(r3). 8is bon# for provisional release "as surel+ cancelle# an# an or#er of arrest "as surel+ issue# a)ainst petitioner.A !ut the+ #i# not. The le)islature "rote Asho"#d evade the service of sentence A to cover or inclu#e convicts li6e hi1 "ho. as the respon#ent RT -u#)e note#. That. !ranch III. "oul# have rea#: Ashoul# escape #urin) the service of the sentence consistin) in #eprivation of libert+. Infante. the prescription of penalties %sha## commence to r"n from the date &hen the c"#prit sho"#d evade the service of sentence. #isa)rees because if that "ere the intention of the la". For reasons 6no"n onl+ to it. +ears an# % 1onths lon)er than the %3+ear prescriptive perio# of the penalt+ i1pose# on hi1. the convict 1ust serve at least a fe" secon#s. he "as )rante# a con#itional par#on. &''&. /000. "as convicte# of 1ur#er an# "as sentence# to seventeen +ears. seven 1onths an# eleven #a+s.( o. The %3+ear prescriptive perio# of his arresto mayor penalt+ also be)an to run on that #a+ consi#erin) that no relief "as ta6en therefro1. althou)h convicte# b+ final 9u#)1ent. "ith #ue respect. Since petitioner never )ave hi1self up =n>or "as =he>. fro1 *u)ust '. petitioner respectfull+ sub1its is not a con#ition state# in *rticle '. be capture#. It also violates the basic principle that the cri1inal statutes are construe# liberall+ in favor of the accuse# an#Hor convict an# is contrar+ to the spirit behin# or essence of statutes of li1itations =an#> prescription.Page 3 of 5 T8E INFANTE RU IN! IMPOSES * ONDITION NOT ST*TED IN T8E @*7. ho"ever. then the phrase Ashoul# eva#e the service of sentenceA in *rticle '.A Petitioner.'< +ears. an# it shall be interrupte# if the #efen#ant shoul# )ive hi1self up.

In the present case. or floors. She "as never arreste#. thus: ??? The perio# of prescription of penalties J the succee#in) *rticle '. he ha# starte# servin) sentence but the State release# hi1. Petitioner clai1e# that she "as convicte# for a li)ht offense an# since li)ht offenses prescribe in one +ear. "as char)e# for violation of Section &(2 . The RT #ecision. . The ourt #isa)ree#. petitioner throu)h counsel 1ove# to 5uash the "arrant of arrest. ho"ever. 8ence. Torrecampo &( . * perusal of the facts in Infante v. "in#o"s. Prescription of penalt+. 1ust stan#. There has been no such evasion in this case. ???A Ele1ents of evasion of service of sentence are: ./< he Ais servin) his sentence "hich consists in #eprivation of libert+AC an# . #oes not run in her favor. In that case. +ears as 1a?i1u1.< he eva#es service of sentence b+ escapin) #urin) the ter1 of his sentence. petitioner "as not present. It is evi#ent fro1 this provision that evasion of the sentence is an essential ele1ent of prescription. *ccor#in) to article '. of the Revise# Penal o#e the perio# of prescription of penalties co11ences to run fro1 the #ate "hen the culprit shoul# eva#e the service of his sentence.&< the offen#er is a convict b+ final 9u#)1entC . 1a&phi1. The case of Tane$a v. an# "as arreste# ei)ht +ears later. since it is in accor# "ith applicable #ecisions of this ourt. #is)uise. *#vertin) to the facts. The presi#in) -u#)e issue# an or#er of arrest an# the . a convict eva#es Aservice of his sentenceA b+ Aescapin) #urin) the ter1 of his i1prison1ent b+ reason of final 9u#)1ent.A In#ee#. the convict "as on con#itional par#on "hen he "as re3arreste#.A ??? 7e. 'asa(ayan&% falls s5uarel+ "ithin the issues of the present case. .A That escape shoul# ta6e place "hile servin) sentence. evasion of sentence is but another e?pression of the ter1 A9ail brea6in). an# co1putation coul# not have starte# earlier than the #ate of the or#er for the prisonerIs rearrest. One of the issues raise# b+ Infante in his petition. is e1phasiKe# b+ the provisions of the secon# sentence of *rticle &%( "hich provi#es for a hi)her penalt+ if such Aevasion or escape shall have ta6en place b+ 1eans of unla"ful entr+. "e have here the case of a convict "ho J sentence# to i1prison1ent b+ final 9u#)1ent J "as thereafter never place# in confine1ent. Del astillo. "alls. her penalt+ ha# alrea#+ prescribe#. ??? "as that the re1itte# penalt+ for "hich the petitioner ha# been reco11itte# to 9ail D one +ear an# && #a+s D ha# prescribe#. &%(. J The penalt+ of prision correcciona# in its 1e#iu1 an# 1a?i1u1 perio#s shall be i1pose# upon an+ convict "ho shall eva#e service of his sentence b+ escapin) #urin) the ter1 of his i1prison1ent b+ reason of final 9u#)1ent. rule that for prescription of penalt+ of i1prison1ent i1pose# b+ final sentence to co11ence to run. Evasion of service of sentence. respon#ent 9u#)e issue# a "arrant for her arrest. More than a +ear later. therefore.nn< of the &'(2 Election o#e. This 1ust be so. the culprit shoul# escape #urin) the ter1 of such i1prison1ent. Durin) the e?ecution of 9u#)1ent on October &$. petitioner *#elai#a Tane)a faile# to appear on the #a+ of the e?ecution of her sentence. provi#es J Ashall co11ence to run fro1 the #ate "hen the culprit shoul# eva#e the service of his sentenceA.&. *rticle '.n)t On the sa1e #a+. b+ the e?press ter1s of the statute. the ourt cite# an# reiterate# Tane)a. violence or inti1i#ation. false 6e+s. Warden reveals that it is not on all fours "ith the present case. )ates. of the Revise# Penal o#e &$ has been interprete# several ti1es b+ the ourt. Petitioner. b+ brea6in) #oors. ??? &/ The ourt #isa)ree# an# reasone# out thus: The contention is not "ell ta6en. The trial court foun# Del astillo )uilt+ be+on# reasonable #oubt an# sentence# hi1 to suffer an in#eter1inate sentence of i1prison1ent of & +ear as 1ini1u1 to . the convict eva#e# service of sentence fro1 the start. Even if there ha# been one an# prescription "ere to be applie#.. then. In Infante. roofs. Infante "as i11e#iatel+ or#ere# rearreste# for breach of the con#ition of his par#on. On appeal the ourt of *ppeals affir1e# the #ecision of the trial court in toto. #eceit. Sa+s *rticle &%(: A*RT. on the )roun# that the penalt+ ha# prescribe#. 7hat then is the concept of evasion of service of sentenceF *rticle &%( of the Revise# Penal o#e furnishes the rea#+ ans"er.Page 4 of 5 Infante "as foun# )uilt+ b+ a Municipal ourt for #rivin) "ithout a license. The issue raise# b+ petitioner is not novel. For. . or b+ usin) pic6loc6s. or throu)h connivance "ith other convicts or e1plo+ees of the penal institution. &. &'2(. In *e# +asti##o v. its basis "oul# have to be the evasion of the unserve# sentence.

*s correctl+ pointe# out b+ the Solicitor Beneral. Epon #enial of his Motion for Reconsi#eration. The ourt #eci#e# a)ainst Del astillo an# after 5uotin) the ratio decidendi of the ourt of *ppeals in full. evasion of service of sentence can be co11itte# onl+ b+ those "ho have been convicte# b+ final 9u#)1ent b+ escapin) #urin) the ter1 of his sentence. AescapeA in le)al parlance an# for purposes of *rticles '. Del astillo raise# the 1atter to this ourt. on a petition for certiorari to the ourt of *ppeals. petitioner "as never brou)ht to prison. one "ho has not been co11itte# to prison cannot be sai# to have escape# therefro1. et a#. It #i# not en)a)e in 9u#icial le)islation but correctl+ interprete# the pertinent la"s. Ten +ears later. En#er sai# provision. this ourt pronounces that the prescription of penalties foun# in *rticle '.. he "as alrea#+ in hi#in). No" petitioner be)s for the co1passion of the ourt because he has cease# to live a life of peace an# tran5uilit+ after he faile# to appear in court for the e?ecution of his sentence. thus: The fore)oin) conclusion of the ourt of *ppeals is consistent "ith the rulin) of this ourt in Tane$a vs. The assaile# #ecision of the ourt of *ppeals is base# on settle# 9urispru#ence an# applicable la"s. Since petitioner never suffere# #eprivation of libert+ before his arrest on -anuar+ /0. an# &%( of the RP 1eans unla"ful #eparture of prisoner fro1 the li1its of his custo#+. !ut it "as petitioner "ho chose to beco1e a fu)itive. #oes not perceive an+ co1pellin) reason to #eviate fro1 our earlier pronounce1ent clearl+ e?e1plifie# in the Tane)a case. The 1otion "as #enie# b+ the trial court. the culprit shoul# escape #urin) the ter1 of such i1prison1ent. has b+ this ti1e full+ serve# his sentence of t"o 1onths an# one #a+ of arresto 1a+or an# shoul# forth"ith be release# unless he is bein) #etaine# for another offense or char)e. the perio# for prescription never be)an. Pursuant to *rticle &%( of the sa1e o#e. it shall co11ence to run fro1 the #ate the felon eva#es the service of his sentence. of the Revise# Penal o#e provi#es "hen the prescription of penalties shall co11ence to run. prescription never starte# to run in his favor. but petitioner is or#ere# release# effective i11e#iatel+ for havin) full+ serve# his sentence unless he is #etaine# for another offense or char)e. "here "e #eclare# that. The perio# for prescription of penalties be)ins onl+ "hen the convict eva#es service of sentence b+ escapin) #urin) the ter1 of his sentence. 'asa(ayan.net The ourt is unable to fin# an#. SO ORDERED. of the Revise# Penal o#e. is *FFIRMED. PetitionerIs )uilt "as proven be+on# reasonable #oubt but he refuse# to ans"er for the "ron) he co11itte#. In the instant case. 5uestione# the #enial b+ the trial court. 8e is therefore not to be re"ar#e# therefor. No costs.Page 5 of 5 confiscation of his bon#. /000 an# as a conse5uence never eva#e# sentence b+ escapin) #urin) the ter1 of his service. . for prescription of penalt+ i1pose# b+ final sentence to co11ence to run. The ourt accor#s co1passion onl+ to those "ho are #eservin). 0!ERE$ORE. learl+. 1a\^/phi1. !ranch %. the #ecision of the Re)ional Trial ourt of *n)eles it+. &2 onsistent "ith the t"o cases cite# above. Del astillo. it ratiocinate#. applies onl+ to those "ho are convicte# b+ final 9u#)1ent an# are servin) sentence "hich consists in #eprivation of libert+. The ourt of *ppeals #is1isse# the petition for lac6 of 1erit. petitioner file# a 1otion to 5uash the "arrant of arrest on the )roun# that the penalt+ i1pose# upon hi1 ha# alrea#+ prescribe#. even before the e?ecution of the 9u#)1ent for his conviction. Petitioner "as never apprehen#e#. *rticle '. ho"ever. In fact. !ecause petitioner "as never place# in confine1ent. Petitioner. in fact.