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P. D. No.

968
PROBATION LAW
PATERNO DE LOS SANTOS, JR.
DIVISION, ET AL.
G.R. No. 181306: March 21, 2011

vs. COURT OF APPEALS 13TH

FACTS:
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 for probation, considering the fact that he
has waived his right to avail the benefits of probation law when he appealed
the judgment of conviction by the trial court.
ISSUE:
Whether petitioner is entitled to the benefits of probation,
considering that he had appealed his conviction, contrary to the provision of
Section 4, P.D. 968, as amended by P.D. 1990.
HELD: Probation is a special privilege granted by the State to a
penitent qualified offender. It essentially rejects appeals and encourages an
otherwise eligible convict to immediately admit his liability and save the
State the time, effort and expenses to jettison an appeal.
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, after it shall have convicted and sentenced a defendant and
upon application by said defendant within the period for perfecting an
appeal, suspend the execution of the sentence and place the defendant on
probation for such period and upon such terms and conditions as it may
deem best; Provided, That no application for probation shall be entertained
or granted if the defendant has perfected the appeal from the judgment of
conviction.
It is undisputed that petitioner appealed from the decision of the trial
court. This fact alone 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 had affirmed his
conviction, petitioner was clearly precluded from the benefits of probation.
Furthermore, it was clear that when petitioner filed his appeal before
the appellate court, what he was questioning was the merit of the decision
convicting him and not the propriety of the penalty imposed by the trial court
for the purpose of correcting a wrong penalty 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
conviction before 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 finally affirmed 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 the
appellate court's affirmance of his conviction. Consequently, probation
should be availed of at the first opportunity by convicts who are willing to be
reformed and rehabilitated; who manifest spontaneity, contrition and
remorse.
Considering that the prevailing jurisprudence treats appeal and
probation as mutually exclusive remedies, and petitioner opted to appeal his
conviction, he, therefore, deemed to relinquish his right to the benefits of
probation.
ALEJANDRA PABLO vs. HON. SILVERIO Q. CASTILLO, Presiding Judge,
Branch 43, Regional Trial Court, First Judicial Region, Dagupan City
and PEOPLE of the PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 12510: August 3, 2000
FACTS: Alejandra Pablo was convicted of a violation of Batas Pambansa
Bilang 22. She applied 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 following offenders 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; and
e) those who are already serving sentence at the time the substantive
provisions of this Decree became applicable pursuant to Section 33 hereof.

The National Probation Office denied petitioners application for


probation under Section 9 paragraph (c) P.D. 968 because a prior conviction
was entered against the petitioner on June 21, 1995 in Criminal Case No. 940199, penalizing her with a fine of P4,648.00; thereby placing 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 from ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied
without any interpretation. Not only that; 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 the
law."
Section 9 paragraph (c) is in clear and plain language, to the effect
that a person who was previously convicted by final judgment of an offense
punishable by imprisonment of not less than one month and one day and/or
a fine of not less than two hundred pesos, is disqualified 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
to a conviction for a crime which is entirely different from that for which the
offender is applying for probation or a crime which arose out of a single act
or transaction as petitioner would have the court to understand.
It is well-settled that the probation law is not a penal statute; and
therefore, the principle of liberal interpretation is inapplicable. And when the
meaning is clearly discernible from 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, 2003
FACTS: Efren Salvan, a bus driver, was convicted of reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide 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 partial appeal which was
denied for the reason that the application for probation is deemed under the
law to be a waiver of the right to appeal.
ISSUE:
appealable.

Whether or not the denial or approval of probation is

HELD: We recall that the law which governs all matters relating to
probation is Presidential Decree No. 968, commonly known as the Probation
Law, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1990. The provision of the law
that is pertinent to the current controversy reads:

SEC. 4. Grant of Probation. Subject to the provisions of this Decree, the trial
court may, after it shall have convicted and sentenced a defendant, and
upon application by said defendant within the period for perfecting an
appeal, suspend the execution of the sentence and place the defendant on
probation for such period and upon such terms and conditions as it may
deem best; Provided, That no application for probation shall be entertained
or granted if the defendant has perfected the appeal from the judgment of
conviction.
Probation may be granted whether the sentence imposes a term of
imprisonment or a fine only. An application for probation shall be filed with
the trial court. The filing of the application shall be deemed a waiver of the
right to appeal.
An order granting or denying probation shall not be appealable.
Relying solely on the letter of the law, the filing of the application for
probation should be deemed a waiver of the right to appeal. However, in the
case of Budlong v. Apalisok, we had occasion to rule that the above provision
of the Probation Law clearly provides only for the suspension of the sentence
imposed on the accused by virtue of his application for probation. It has
absolutely no bearing on civil liability.
This ruling was clarified in Salgado v. Court of Appeals, wherein we
ruled that, although the execution of sentence is suspended by the grant of
probation, it does not follow that the civil liability of the offender, if any, is
extinguished.
The Probation Law prohibits a judge from entertaining or granting an
application for probation if the defendant has perfected an appeal from
the judgment of conviction. The fact of conviction most certainly refers to
the criminal liability of the accused, as a result of a finding made by a judge
that he is guilty of the crime charged. However, the appeal in this case
involved only the civil aspect of the trial courts judgment. Hence, we see no
reason why, between the conjoined criminal and civil aspects of a felony, a
line cannot be drawn marking where the one springs from the other. Even if
by definition civil liability ex delicto arises from the criminal act, once its
existence is established, it should be treated separately from the criminal
liability. Indeed there is even categorical statutory basis to state that it
subsists despite the extinguishment of the criminal liability from which it
arose. This was the finding in Budlong v. Apalisok and Salgado v. Court of
Appeals.
Thus, we rule that, in an appeal from a judgment of conviction, the
criminal liability and the civil liability ex delicto should be considered
independently, each with its own corresponding effects. In the present case,

the law that bars an appeal of the judgment of conviction, as well as its
corresponding criminal liability, should not bar an appeal of the civil aspect
of the same judgment.
ARNEL COLINARES vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 182748 : December 13, 2011
FACTS: Arnel Colinares was found guilty of frustrated homicide and
sentenced him to suffer imprisonment from two years and four months of
prision correccional, as minimum, to six years and one day of prision mayor,
as maximum. Since the maximum probationable imprisonment under the
law was only up to six years, Arnel did not qualify for probation.
ISSUE:
Whether or not he may still apply for probation on remand
of the case to the trial court given a finding that Arnel is entitled to
conviction for a lower offense and a reduced probationable penalty.
HELD: Ordinarily, Arnel would no longer be entitled to apply for
probation, he having appealed from the judgment of the RTC convicting him
for frustrated homicide.
But, the Court finds Arnel guilty only of the lesser crime of attempted
homicide and holds that the maximum of the penalty imposed on him should
be lowered to imprisonment of four months of arrestomayor, as minimum, to
two years and four months of prision correccional, as maximum. With this
new penalty, it would be but fair to allow him the right to apply for probation
upon remand of the case to the RTC.
Some in the Court disagrees. They contend that probation is a
mere privilege granted by the state only to qualified convicted offenders.
Section 4 of the probation law (PD 968) provides: "That no application for
probation shall be entertained or granted if the defendant has perfected the
appeal from the judgment of conviction. Since Arnel appealed his conviction
for frustrated homicide, he should be deemed permanently disqualified from
applying
for
probation.
But, firstly, while it is true that probation is a mere privilege, the
point is not that Arnel has the right to such privilege; he certainly does not
have. What he has is the right to apply for that privilege. The Court finds
that his maximum jail term should only be 2 years and 4 months. If the
Court allows him to apply for probation because of the lowered penalty, it is
still up to the trial judge to decide whether or not to grant him the privilege
of probation, taking into account the full circumstances of his case.
Secondly, it is true that under the probation law the accused who
appeals "from the judgment of conviction" is disqualified from availing

himself of the benefits of probation. But, as it happens, two judgments of


conviction have been meted out to Arnel: one, a conviction for frustrated
homicide by the regional trial court, now set aside; and, two, a conviction for
attempted homicide by the Supreme Court.
If the Court chooses to go by the dissenting opinion's hard position,
it will apply the probation law on Arnel based on the trial court's annulled
judgment against him. He will not be entitled to probation because of the
severe penalty that such judgment imposed on him. More, the Supreme
Court's judgment of conviction for a lesser offense and a lighter penalty will
also have to bend over to the trial court's judgment--even if this has been
found in error. And, worse, Arnel will now also be made to pay for the trial
court's erroneous judgment with the forfeiture of his right to apply for
probation. Ang kabayo ang nagkasala, ang hagupit ay sa kalabaw (the horse
errs,
the
carabao
gets
the
whip). Where
is
justice
there?
The dissenting opinion also expresses apprehension that allowing
Arnel to apply for probation would dilute the ruling of this Court in Francisco
v. Court of Appeals. that the probation law requires that an accused must not
have appealed his conviction before he can avail himself of probation. But
there
is
a
huge
difference
between Francisco and
this
case.
In Francisco, the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Makati found the
accused guilty of grave oral defamation and sentenced him to a prison term
of one year and one day to one year and eight months of prision
correccional, a clearly probationable penalty. Probation was his to ask! Still,
he chose to appeal, seeking an acquittal, hence clearly waiving his right to
apply for probation. When the acquittal did not come, he wanted probation.
The Court would not of course let him. It served him right that he wanted to
save his cake and eat it too. He certainly could not have both appeal and
probation.
The Probation Law, said the Court in Francisco, requires that an
accused must not have appealed his conviction before he can avail himself
of probation. This requirement "outlaws the element of speculation on the
part of the accused--to wager on the result of his appeal--that when his
conviction is finally affirmed 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 the appellate court's
affirmance of his conviction."
Here, however, Arnel did not appeal from a judgment that would have
allowed him to apply for probation. He did not have a choice between
appeal and probation. He was not in a position to say, "By taking this
appeal, I choose not to apply for probation." The stiff penalty that the trial
court imposed on him denied him that choice. Thus, a ruling that would allow

Arnel to now seek probation under this Court's greatly diminished penalty
will not dilute the sound ruling in Francisco. It remains that those who will
appeal from judgments of conviction, when they have the option to try for
probation,
forfeit
their
right
to
apply
for
that
privilege.
Besides, in appealing his case, Arnel raised the issue of correctness of
the penalty imposed on him. He claimed that the evidence at best
warranted his conviction only for attempted, not frustrated, homicide, which
crime called for a probationable penalty. In a way, therefore, Arnel sought
from the beginning to bring down the penalty to the level where the law
would allow him to apply for probation.
In a real sense, the Court's finding that Arnel was guilty, not of
frustrated homicide, but only of attempted homicide, is an original conviction
that for the first time imposes on him a probationable penalty. Had the RTC
done him right from the start, it would have found him guilty of the correct
offense and imposed on him the right penalty of two years and four months
maximum. This would have afforded Arnel the right to apply for probation.
The Probation Law never intended to deny an accused his right to
probation through no fault of his. The underlying philosophy of probation is
one of liberality towards the accused. Such philosophy is not served by a
harsh and stringent interpretation of the statutory provisions. As Justice
Vicente V. Mendoza said in his dissent in Francisco, the Probation Law must
not be regarded as a mere privilege to be given to the accused only where it
clearly appears he comes within its letter; to do so would be to disregard the
teaching in many cases that the Probation Law should be applied in favor of
the accused not because it is a criminal law but to achieve its beneficent
purpose.
One of those who dissent from this decision points out that allowing
Arnel to apply for probation after he appealed from the trial court's judgment
of conviction would not be consistent with the provision of Section 2 that the
probation law should be interpreted to "provide an opportunity for the
reformation of a penitent offender." An accused like Arnel who appeals from
a judgment convicting him, it is claimed, shows no penitence.
This may be true if the trial court meted out to Arnel a correct
judgment of conviction. Here, however, it convicted Arnel of the wrong
crime, frustrated homicide that carried a penalty in excess of 6 years. How
can the Court expect him to feel penitent over a crime, which as the Court
now finds, he did not commit? He only committed attempted homicide with
its maximum penalty of 2 years and 4 months.
Ironically, if the Court denies Arnel the right to apply for probation
under the reduced penalty, it would be sending him straight behind bars. It

would be robbing him of the chance to instead undergo reformation as a


penitent offender, defeating the very purpose of the probation law.
At any rate, what is clear is that, had the RTC done what was right and
imposed on Arnel the correct penalty of two years and four months
maximum, he would have had the right to apply for probation. No one could
say with certainty that he would have availed himself of the right had the
RTC done right by him. The idea may not even have crossed his mind
precisely since the penalty he got was not probationable.
WILLY TAN y CHUA vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 148194: April 12, 2002
FACTS: Willy Tan was found guilty of bigamy, and then he applied for
probation which was granted by the trial court but the release was withheld
in view of the filing by the prosecution a motion for modification of penalty.
He later filed a notice of appeal.
ISSUE: Whether or not he is entitled to an appeal after he has applied
for probation.
HELD:
In fine, petitioner had taken an appropriate legal step in
filing a notice of appeal with the trial court. Ordinarily, the Court should have
the case remanded to the Court of Appeals for further proceedings. The clear
impingement upon petitioners basic right against double jeopardy, however,
should here warrant the exercise of the prerogative by this Court to relax the
stringent application of the rules on the matter. When the trial court
increased the penalty on petitioner for his crime of bigamy after it had
already pronounced judgment and on which basis he then, in fact, applied for
probation, the previous verdict could only be deemed to have lapsed into
finality.
Section 7, Rule 120, of the Rules on Criminal Procedure that states
Sec. 7. Modification of judgment. A judgment of conviction may, upon motion
of the accused, be modified or set aside before it becomes final or before
appeal is perfected. Except where the death penalty is imposed, a judgment
becomes final after the lapse of the period for perfecting an appeal, or when
the sentence has been partially or totally satisfied or served, or when the
accused has waived in writing his right to appeal, or has applied for
probationimplements a substantive provision of the Probation Law which enunciates
that the mere filing of an application for probation forecloses the right to
appeal.

SEC. 4. Grant of Probation. Subject to the provisions of this Decree, the trial
court may, after it shall have convicted and sentenced a defendant, and
upon application by said defendant within the period for perfecting an
appeal, suspend the execution of the sentence and place the defendant on
probation for such period and upon such terms and conditions as it may
deem best: Provided, That no application for probation shall be entertained
or granted if the defendant has perfected the appeal from the judgment or
conviction.
Probation may be granted whether the sentence imposes a term of
imprisonment or a fine only. An application for probation shall be filed with
the trial court. The filing of the application shall be deemed a waiver of the
right to appeal.
An order granting or denying probation shall not be appealable. Such a
waiver amounts to a voluntary compliance with the decision and
writes finis to the jurisdiction of the trial court over the judgment. There is
no principle better settled, or of more universal application, than that no
court can reverse or annul, reconsider or amend, its own final decree or
judgment. Any attempt by the court to thereafter alter, amend or modify the
same, except in respect to correct clerical errors, would be unwarranted.
LOURDES A. SABLE vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and HON.
ENRIQUETA LOQUILLANO-BELARMINO, Presiding Judge, Branch 57,
RTC, Cebu City
G.R. No. 17796: April 7, 2009
FACTS: Petitioner convicted of the crime of Falsification of Public
Documents under Article 172(1) in relation to Article 171 of the Revised
Penal Code on November 28, 2000 but acquitted Ildefonsa Anoba for finding
not guilty. However, the court finds that Lourdes Abellanosa Sable was guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged and hereby sentences her to
suffer an indeterminate penalty of 4 years ,2 months and one day to 6
years.
On August, 25, 2003 petitioner intimated her desire to apply for
probation instead of appealing the judgment of conviction which was denied.
ISSUE:
tenable.

Whether or not the denial of application for probation is

HELD:
The court held that probation is a special privilege granted
by the state to a penitent qualified offender. It essentially rejects appeals and

encourages an otherwise eligible convict to immediately admit his liability


and save the state the time, effort and expenses to jettison an appeal.
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, after it
shall have convicted and sentenced a
defendant and upon application by said defendant within the
period for
perfecting an appeal, suspend the execution of the sentence and place the
defendant on
probation for such period and upon such terms and
conditions as it may deem best; Provided, That no application for probation
shall be entertained or granted if the defendant has perfected the
appeal from the judgment of conviction.
Probation may be granted whether the sentence imposes a term of
imprisonment or a fine only. An application for probation shall be filed with
the trial court. The filing of the application shall be deemed a waiver of the
right to appeal.(Emphasis supplied.)
It is quite clear from the afore-quoted provision that an application for
probation must be made within the period for perfecting an appeal, and the
filing of the application after the time of appeal has lapsed is injurious to the
recourse of the applicant.
In the present petition before us, petitioner filed the application for
probation on 25 August 2003, almost eight months from the time the
assailed judgment of the RTC became final. Clearly, the application for
probation was filed out of time pursuant to Rule 122, Sec. 6 of the Rules of
Court, which states that an "appeal must be taken within fifteen (15) days
from promulgation of the judgment or from notice of the final order appealed
from."
In Palo v. Militante,this Court held that what the law requires is that the
application for probation must be filed within the period for perfecting an
appeal. The need to file it within such period is intended to encourage
offenders, who are willing to be reformed and rehabilitated, to avail
themselves of probation at the first opportunity.
Furthermore, the application for probation must necessarily fail,
because before the application was instituted, petitioner already filed a
Notice of Appeal before the RTC on 17 June 2003. The Probation Law is
patently clear that "no application for probation shall be entertained or
granted if the defendant has perfected the appeal from the judgment of
conviction."

The law expressly requires that an accused must not have appealed his
conviction before 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 finally affirmed 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 the
appellate courts affirmation of his conviction. Consequently, probation
should be availed of at the first opportunity by convicts who are willing to be
reformed and rehabilitated; who manifest spontaneity, contrition and
remorse.
This was the reason why the Probation Law was amended, precisely to
put a stop to the practice of appealing from judgments of conviction even if
the sentence is probationable, for the purpose of securing an acquittal and
applying for the probation only if the accused fails in his bid.
DANIEL G. FAJARDO vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. FLORENTINO P.
PEDRONIO; PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and STATION COMMANDER
OF ILOILO CITY
G.R. No. 128508: February 1, 1999
FACTS: On May 26, 1988, the Regional Trial Court, Branch 33, Iloilo City,
convicted petitioner of violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22, and sentenced
him to suffer the penalty of eight (8) months imprisonment and to pay the
costs, in Criminal Case No. 14196. He appealed to the Court of Appeals. By
decision promulgated on February 27, 1990, the Court of Appeals affirmed
the conviction.
Upon the remand of the record to the lower court, on June 2, 1995,
petitioner filed a motion for probation contending that he was eligible for
probation because at the time he committed the offense in 1981, an accused
who had appealed his conviction was still qualified to apply for probation and
that the law that barred an application for probation of an accused who had
interposed an appeal was ex post facto in its application, and, hence, not
applicable to him.
On January 5, 1996, the trial court denied petitioner's motion for
probation.
On July 29, 1996, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a petition
for certiorari to annul the lower court's denial of his application for probation.
On November 12, 1996, the Court of Appeals denied due course to the
petition. Hence, this appeal.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the petitioner is qualify to apply for
probation under Presidential Decree No. 968 since he had appealed from his
conviction in 1988, after Presidential Decree No. 1990 amending Presidential
Decree No. 968, became effective in 1986, providing that "no application for
probation shall be entertained or granted if the defendant has perfected the
appeal from the judgment of conviction.
HELD:
Presidential Decree No. 1990, enacted on October 5, 1985,
"was printed in Volume 81 of the Official Gazette dated December 30, 1985
but said issue was released for circulation only on July 1, 1986; hence, P D
1990 became effective after fifteen (15) days from July 1, 1986, in
accordance with Article 2 of the Civil Code, or on July 16, 1986."It is not ex
post facto in its application. The law applies only to accused convicted after
its effectivity.An ex post facto law is one that punishes an act as a crime
which was innocent at the time of its commission. Presidential Decree No.
1990, like the Probation Law that it amends, is not penal in character. It may
not be considered as an ex post facto law.
At the time of the commission of the offense chargedviolation of
Batas Pambansa Bilang 22in 1981, petitioner could have appealed if
convicted and still availed himself of probation. However, petitioner was
convicted on May 26, 1988, and he appealed. At that time, petitioner no
longer had the option to appeal and still apply for probation if unsuccessful in
the appeal. Presidential Decree No. 1990 was then in full effect. Hence, he
could no longer apply for probation since he had appealed.
On October 13, 1997, the Solicitor General submitted a manifestation
positing the view that petitioner's application for probation may still be
considered because when petitioner committed the offense in 1981, he could
avail himself of probation since the law as it stood at that time provided that
an accused convicted of a crime may apply for probation even if he had
appealed the conviction. We do not share his view. The case he cited is a
Court of Appeals decision, and, hence, not a precedent. What is more, it is
inapplicable because there, the accused's conviction became final on
October 14, 1985. Presidential Decree No. 1990 although enacted on October
5, 1985, was published in the Official Gazette on December 30, 1985,and,
hence, was not yet applicable at the time the accused was finally convicted.
Regrettably, the Solicitor General has cited a Court of Appeals decision that
is inapplicable to this case because the facts were not similar.
We find it unnecessary to resolve the other issues that petitioner has
raised questioning the constitutionality and wisdom of Presidential Decree
No. 1990, amending the probation law.

RONALD SANTIAGO vs. COURT OF APPEALS; HON. RODOLFO V.


TOLEDANO, Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 69,
Third Judicial Region, Iba Zambales; THE PROVINCIAL SHERIFF, Third
Judicial Region, Iba, Zambales; Ms. NELDA DA MAYCONG, Suprvising
Parole and Probation Officer and Officer-in-Charge, Zambales Parole
and Probation Office; and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 123936: March 4, 1999
FACTS: Petitioner Ronald Santiago was convicted of the crime of
Reckless Imprudence resulting to homicide, serious physical injuries and
damage to property on December 7, 1993. His application for probation was
granted on March 8, 1994.
On October 4, 1994, the trial court issued an order declaring petitioner
in contempt of court for his failure to comply with its orders of June 20, 1994
and August 15, 1994. The court likewise revoked the grant of probation to
petitioner and ordered that he be arrested to serve the sentence originally
imposed upon him. According to the trial court, among the violation
committed by petitioner as regards his probation are his failure to (1) meet
his responsibilities to his family, (2) engage in a specific employment, and (3)
cooperate with his program of supervision.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner has violated the terms and
conditions of his probation warrant its revocation.
HELD:
The Solicitor General argues that petitioner has committed
violations, thus justifying the trial court' s revocation of the grant of
probation. He further points out that our ruling in Salgado is inapplicable to
the case of petitioner since what was involved in Salgado was a program of
payment already imposed upon petitioner therein. In this case, however, it is
petitioner who is being asked to submit his own program of payment and he
had not submitted any such program.
Petitioner asserts that his non-compliance with the orders of the trial
court requiring him to submit a program of payment was not deliberate. To
our mind, his refusal to comply with said orders cannot be anything but
deliberate. He had notice of both orders, although the notice of the order of
June 20, 1994 came belatedly. He has, up to this point, refused to comply
with the trial court's directive, by questioning instead the constitutionality of
the requirement imposed and harping on his alleged poverty as the reason
for his failure to comply.
Contrary to his assertion, this requirement is not violative of the equal
protection clause of the Constitution. Note that payment of the civil liability is

not made a condition precedent to probation. If it were, then perhaps there


might be some basis to petitioner's assertion that only moneyed convicts
may avail of the benefits of probation. In this case, however, petitioner's
application for probation had already been granted. Satisfaction of his civil
liability was not made a requirement before he could avail a probation, but
was a condition for his continued enjoyment of the same.
The trial court could not have done away with imposing payment of
civil liability as a condition for probation, as petitioner suggests. This is not
an arbitrary imposition but one required by law. It is a consequence of
petitioner's having been convicted of a crime, and petitioner is bound to
satisfy this obligation regardless of whether or not he is placed under
probation.
We fail to see why petitioner cannot comply with a simple order to
furnish the trial court with a program of payment of his civil liability. He may,
indeed, be poor, but this is precisely the reason why the trial court gave him
the chance to make his own program of payment. Knowing his own financial
condition, he is in the best position to formulate a program of payment that
fits his needs and capacity.
Settled is the rule in this jurisdiction that findings of fact of the trial
court are entitled to great weight, more so when they are affirmed by the
Court of Appeals, as in this case.
Besides, petitioner himself admits in his petition that he is unemployed and
only depends on his parents for support. He can barely support his family.
Petitioner ought to be reminded of what is incumbent on a probationer,
including those requirements that the trial court may set.
As Section 10 of the Probation Law states:
Sec. 10. Conditions of Probation. . . .
The court may also require the probationer to:
(a) Cooperate with a program of supervision;
(b) Meet his family responsibilities;
(c) Devote himself to a specific employment and not to change
said employment without the prior written approval of the
probation officer
xxx xxx xxx
(e) Pursue a prescribed secular study or vocational training;
Clearly, these conditions are not whims of the trial court but are
requirements laid down by statute. They are among the conditions that the
trial court is empowered to impose and the petitioner, as probationer, is
required to follow. Only by satisfying these conditions may the purposes of
probation be fulfilled. These include promoting the correction and

rehabilitation of an offender by providing him with individualized treatment,


and providing an opportunity for the reformation of a penitent offender which
might be less probable if he were to serve a prison sentence. Failure to
comply will result in the revocation of the order granting probation, pursuant
to the Probation Law:
Sec. 11. Effectivity of Probation Order. A probation order shall
take effect upon its issuance, at which time the court shall inform
the offender of the consequences thereof and explain that upon
his failure to comply with any of the conditions prescribed in the
said order or his commission of another offense, he shall serve
the penalty imposed for the offense under which he was placed
on probation." (Emphasis supplied.)
Probation is not an absolute right. It is a mere privilege whose grant
rests upon the discretion of the trial court. Its grant is subject to certain
terms and conditions that may be imposed by the trial court. Having the
power to grant probation, it follows that the trial court also has the power to
order its revocation in a proper case and under appropriate circumstances.
Moreover, having admittedly violated the terms and conditions of his
probation, petitioner cannot now assail the revocation of his probation.
Regrettably, he has squandered the opportunity granted him by the trial
court to remain outside prison bars, and must now suffer the consequences
of those afore-cited violations.
ANSELMO DE LEON CUYO vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 192164: October 12, 2011
FACTS:
On August , 25, 2009, Branch 1 of the Municipal Trial Court
in Cities (MTCC) in San Fernando City, La Union, found petitioner guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of perjury under Article 183 of the
Revised Penal Code and sentenced him to imprisonment of four (4) months
and one (1) day to one (1) year. He was likewise ordered to pay private
complainant Alejo Cuyo the amount of P10,000 for attorneys fees and
litigation expenses. Petitioner was not present during the promulgation of the
judgment and was represented by his counsel instead.
His motion for reconsideration was denied on October 23, 2009. He
subsequently filed a Motion for Probation on November, 5, 2009 but is denied
on the ground that it had been filed beyond the reglementary period of
fifteen days as provided in Sec. 4 of P.D. 968.

ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner is entitled to the benefits of


probation.
HELD:
This court held that the RTC that the Motion for Probation
was filed out of time.
Sec. 6 of Rule 120 of the Rules of Court provides:
Promulgation of judgment. The judgment is promulgated by reading it in
the presence of the accused and any judge of the Court in which it was
rendered. However, if the conviction is for a light offense, the judgment may
be pronounced in the presence of his counsel or representative. When the
judge is absent or outside the province or city, the judgment may be
promulgated by the clerk of court.
In case the accused fails to appear at the scheduled date of
promulgation of judgment despite notice, the promulgation shall be made by
recording the judgment in the criminal docket and serving him a copy thereof
at his last known address or thru his counsel.
If the judgment is for conviction and the failure of the accused to
appear was without justifiable cause, he shall lose the remedies available in
these Rules against the judgment and the court shall order his arrest. Within
fifteen (15) days from promulgation of judgment, however, the accused may
surrender and file a motion for leave of court to avail of these remedies. He
shall state the reasons for his absence at the scheduled promulgation and if
he proves that his absence was for a justifiable cause, he s
hall be allowed to avail of said remedies within fifteen (15) days from notice.
(Emphasis supplied.)
Petitioner was charged with and found guilty of perjury. He was
sentenced to suffer imprisonment of 4 months and 1 day to 1 year, a period
which is considered as a correctional penalty. Under Article 9 of the Revised
Penal Code, light felonies are those infractions of law for the commission of
which the penalty of arresto menor (one to thirty days of imprisonment) or a
fine not exceeding two hundred pesos (P200), or both are imposable. Thus,
perjury is not a light felony or offense contemplated by Rule 120, Sec. 6. It
was therefore mandatory for petitioner to be present at the promulgation of
the judgment.
To recall, despite notice, petitioner was absent when the MTCC
promulgated its judgment on 25 August 2009. Pursuant to Rule 120, Sec. 6, it
is only when the accused is convicted of a light offense that a promulgation
may be pronounced in the presence of his counsel or representative. In case
the accused failed to appear on the scheduled date of promulgation despite
notice, and the failure to appear was without justifiable cause, the accused
shall lose all the remedies available in the Rules against the judgment.