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[In the matter of the petition for habeas corpus]


G.R. No. 92163 | Date: June 5, 1990 | PONENTE: Justice Narvasa

DOCTRINE: Liability for multiple elements - complex crime - RPC Art. 48 WAS NOT APPLIED

o In the present case, the 1956 case of People vs. Hernandez is re-examined as well as the
limits of its applicability.
o February 27, 1990- Senate Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile (JPE) was arrested
by Director Alfredo Lim of the NBI.
o Justice Jaime Salazar of the Quezon City RTC issued the arrest warrant because JPE, the
Panlilio spouses and Gringo Honasan were charged with the crime of rebellion with murder
and multiple frustrated murder, which was allegedly committed during the failed coup attempt
from November 29 to December 10, 1990.
o JPE was taken to and held overnight at NBI headquarters without bail. (Bail was not fixed an
arrest warrant and was not recommended in the information filed against him.)
o JPE filed for the petition for habeas corpus saying he was being deprived of his constitutional


1) WON the criminal offense he was being held for DID NOT EXIST in the statute books?
IT EXISTS. In the context of Hernandez, JPE's crime was SIMPLE REBELLION.

2) WON JPE was denied due process? (Because he was charged by an information [yan talaga yung legal grammar sa case haha]
where no complaint was initially filed or preliminary investigation conducted.)
NO, there was a complaint filed by the Director of the NBI (Lim) and there was a preliminary
investigation conducted by respondent prosecutors which led to the filing of the information.

3) WON JPE was arrested and detained on a warrant which the judge did not determine
first the existence of probable cause?
NO. It is not the unavoidable duty of the judge to make a personal examination of the
existence of probable cause. It is sufficient that Judge Salazar followed the established
procedure by personally evaluating the report and the supporting documents submitted by the

4) WON JPE was denied the right to bail?
YES. Court concedes to this fact, because since they've established that his crime was
simple rebellion, simple rebellion is bailable before conviction.

5) WON a petition for habeas corpus in Court the appropriate vehicle for asserting a right
to bail or vindicating its denial?
NO. It is an improper choice of remedies. The obvious recourse would have been a motion to
quash brought in the criminal action before the respondent Judge. (Sec. 2, Rule 117, Rules of
Court). Also, he should have invoked a petition to be admitted for bail against Judge Salazar
because of the weakness of evidence against him. Only then could the Supreme Court's
jurisdiction have been invoked. (JPE used a shortcut to the SC in this case, he did NOT
exhaust all remedies before going to the SC.)

RULING: The Court decided to uphold Hernandez ruling because at the time, President Cory Aquino
had the power to reinstate the case of Hernandez as binding doctrine.
o Simple rebellion lang yung charge against Enrile and the Panlilio spouses, so they are
entitled to bail before conviction as a matter of right.
o Bail was remanded to Judge Salazar to fix the amount. Once the bail is fixed by Judge
Salazar, the corresponding bail bond with this Court shall become functus oficio (fulfilled
already so no more further force or effect).



Revised Penal Code Article 48. Penalty for complex crimes. - When a single act constitutes two or
more grave or less grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other,
the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in the maximum

Prosecution's argument (People): Hernandez is charged and convicted of rebellion
complexed with murder, arsons and robbery.
Defense's argument (Hernandez): Rebellion cannot be complexed with murder, arson or
Common crimes, when perpetrated to further a political offense, assume the political
complexion of the MAIN crime of which the common crimes are MERE INGREDIENTS of.
This means that they CANNOT be punished separately from the MAIN offense or complexed
with the same to justify a GRAVER penalty. (Note: Political crimes are those directly aimed at the political order, as
well as such common crimes as may be committed to achieve a political purpose. The decisive factor is the intent or motive.)
There is one other fundamental reason why Art. 48 cannot be applied to the Hernandez
case: If murder were not complexed with rebellion, the absence of aggravating circumstances
would mean that extreme penalty could not be imposed upon him. However, under Art. 48,
said penalty would have to be meted out to him, even in the absence of an aggravating
circumstance. Thus, Art 48 would be unfavorable to the movant.
Art. 48 was enacted for the purpose of favoring the culprit, not of sentencing him to a
penalty more severe than that which would be proper if several acts performed by him were
punished separately.
Art. 48 has a BENEVOLENT spirit. When 2 or more crimes are the result of a single act, the
offender is deemed less perverse than when he commits said crimes through separate and
distinct acts.
o Instead of sentencing him for each crime independently from the other, he must
suffer the maximum of the penalty for the more serious one, on the assumption that
it is less grave than the sum total of the separate penalties for each offense.
If one act constitutes two or more offenses, there can be no reason to inflict a punishment
graver than that prescribed for each one of the said offenses put together.
Art. 48's purpose is to prescribe a penalty LOWER than the aggregate of the penalties for
each offense, if imposed separately.
Hernandez's murders, arsons and robberies are mere ingredients of the crime of rebellion. So
it's simple rebellion, NOT complex crime of rebellion with multiple murder, arsons and
Motion for bail for Amado V. Hernandez is granted because it won't jeopardize security of