APRIL 26, 2014

NR # 3448B

Solons seek compensation of persons wrongfully convicted of crime
House members are seeking the compensation of persons who had been wrongfully convicted of crime in order to indemnify them for the loss, injury and damage caused by such erroneous court rulings. Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd istrict, !agayan de "ro !ity#, principal author of the proposal embodied in House $ill %&'', said while the !onstitution provides for due process of law for any person, there are numerous cases when the (upreme !ourt ((!#, upon review, reversed the decisions of the lower courts and decided to ac)uit the convict. *+he (upreme !ourt,s reversal of the ruling of the lower court conse)uently means that a person not otherwise guilty of the crime for which he or she was charged, had been incarcerated for a crime he or she did not commit,- Rodriguez, a lawyer, said. .ccording to the lawmaker, a person,s entitlement to due process is e/plicitly provided for in .rticle 000, (ection ' of the !onstitution, which states, *1o person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the e)ual protection of the laws.- 2urthermore, he said (ection '3 ('# provides that *1o person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.He said under House $ill %&'', a person wrongfully convicted of a crime, after being )ualified as such as determined by the appropriate court, shall be entitled to the payment of compensation in an amount not e/ceeding twice the amount of the claimant,s income in the year prior to his incarceration or to 4'55,555 for each year of incarceration, whichever is greater. *+he bill aims to compensate a person wrongfully convicted of a crime in order to indemnify him or her for the loss, injury and damage brought about by such wrongful conviction,- said Rodriguez. +he bill, co6authored by the lawmaker,s brother, Rep. 7a/imo Rodriguez, 8r. (4arty6list, .bante 7indanao#, provides that any person convicted and subse)uently imprisoned for one or more crimes, which he did not commit may, under certain conditions, bring an action for damages before any court of competent jurisdiction. +he person, referred to as the *claimant- shall establish the following by clear and convincing evidence, based on the bill9 He was convicted of a crime and subse)uently sentenced to a term of imprisonment, and has served all or any part of his sentence: He did not commit the crime for which he was convicted: and He did not by his own conduct cause or bring about his conviction.

0t further provides that the action initiated by a verified petition containing statement of the facts concerning the claim for damages, shall be brought by the claimant within a period of two years after his release from imprisonment. 4ursuant to this, damages awarded shall not e/ceed twice the amount of the claimant,s income in the year prior to his incarceration or 4'55,555 for each year of incarceration, whichever is greater. 0n addition to the damages awarded, the claimant shall be entitled to receive reasonable attorney,s fees, the bill provides. +he proposal now pending at the House committee on justice chaired by Rep. 1iel +upas, 8r. (;th istrict, 0loilo# further provides that a person serving a term of imprisonment for a crime other than a crime for which he was mistakenly convicted shall not be eligible to file a claim for damages. +he proposal also provides that a person shall not be eligible to file a claim for damages if the sentence for the crime of which the person was mistakenly convicted was served concurrently with the sentence for the conviction of another crime. <astly, it provides that within =5 days from the effectivity of the proposed .ct, the epartment of 8ustice ( "8#, in coordination with the appropriate office, department or agency of the (! and the epartment of 2inance, shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the proposed .ct. (%5# rbb

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