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FIRSTDIVISION

RENNIEDECLARADOR,G.R.No.159208
Petitioner,
Present:
versus
PANGANIBAN,C.J.,Chairperson,
YNARESSANTIAGO,
AUSTRIAMARTINEZ,
CALLEJO,SR.,and
HON.SALVADORS.CHICONAZARIO,JJ.
GUBATON,PresidingJudge,
Branch14,RoxasCity,and
FRANKBANSALES,Promulgated:
Respondents.
August18,2006

xx

DECISION

CALLEJO,SR.,J.:

[1]
ThisisaPetitionforCertiorariseekingtonullifytheportionoftheDecision oftheRegional
TrialCourt(RTC),RoxasCity,Branch14,inCriminalCaseNo.C1419102002,suspendingthe
sentence of respondent Frank Bansales and ordering his commitment to the Regional
RehabilitationCenterforYouthatConcordia,NuevaValencia,Guimaras.

FrankBansaleswasbornonJune3,1985.HewasastudentattheCabugCabug National
HighSchoolinPresidentRoxas,Capiz.Ataround9:45a.m.onJuly25,2002,YvonneDeclarador
wasstabbedtodeath.Afterconductingtheautopsyonthecadaver,RuralHealthPhysicianPilar
PosadaspreparedaPostMortemCertificateindicatingthatthevictimsustained15stabwoundson
[2]
differentpartsofthebody.

On October 10, 2002, an Information charging Frank Bansales with murder was filed by the
AssistantProvincialProsecutorwiththeFamilyCourt.Theaccusatoryportionreads:


Thatonorabout9:45oclockinthemorningofJuly25,2002,insideaclassroominCabug
CabugNationalHighSchoolinPresidentRoxas,Capiz,Philippines,andwithinthejurisdictionof
this Honorable Court, the accused armed with a knife and with intent to kill, did then and there,
willfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and stab with the said knife [his] teacher, one
YVONNEDECLARADOR,therebyhittingandinflictinguponthelattermultiplefatalstabwounds
inthedifferentpartsofthebodywhichcausedtheimmediatedeathofthesaidYvonneDeclarador.

The crime wascommittedwiththeattendanceofthequalifyingaggravatingcircumstances


ofevidentpremeditationandabuseofsuperiorstrengthconsideringthattheattackwasmadebythe
accused using a long knife which the latter carried along with him from his house to the school
againsthisladyteacherwhowasunarmedanddefenselessatthattimeandbyinflictinguponthe

[3]

latteraboutfifteen(15)fatalknifewoundsresultingtoherdeath.

Inviewofthepleaoftheaccusedandtheevidencepresented,theRTCrenderedjudgment
onMay20,2003findingBansalesguiltyofmurder.However,thecourtsuspendedthesentenceof
the accused and ordered his commitment to the Regional Rehabilitation for Youth at Concordia,
NuevaValencia,Guimaras.Thedispositiveportionofthedecisionreads:
InviewofthePleaofGuiltybytheaccusedandtheevidencepresentedbytheprosecution,thecourt
finds CICL Frank Bansales GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Murder being
charged.Beingaminor,17yearsofageatthetimeofthecommissionoftheoffensecharged,heis
entitledtoaspecialmitigatingcircumstanceofminority,andissentencedtosufferanindeterminate
imprisonmentoftwelve(12)yearsandone(1)daytoseventeen(17)yearsandfour(4)monthof
reclusiontemporaland to pay the heirs of Yvonne Declarador, a civil indemnity of SeventyFive
ThousandPesos(P75,000.00),FiftyThousandPesos(P50,000.00)formoraldamages,FortyThree
ThousandPesos(P43,000.00)forfuneralexpenses,attorneysfeeofOneHundredThousandPesos
(P100,000.00) and unearned income of One Million Three Hundred Seventy Thousand Pesos and
SeventyCentavos(P1,370,000.70).

Theparents(fatherandmotherofjuvenileFrankBansales)andhisteacherinchargeattheCabug
Cabug National High School of President Roxas, Capiz, are jointly subsidiarily liable in case of
insolvency, as the crime was established to have been committed inside the classroom of Cabug
CabugNationalHighSchoolandduringschoolhours.

Pursuant to the provision of P.D. 603, as amended, the sentence is suspended and the Child in
conflictwiththelaw(CICL),FrankBansalesisorderedcommittedtotheRegional Rehabilitation
CenterforYouthatConcordia,NuevaValencia,Guimaras.

FurnishcopiesofthisdecisiontheOfficeoftheProvincialProsecutor,thePrivateProsecutors,the
DSWD Capiz Provincial Office, Roxas City, the Regional Rehabilitation for Youth, Concordia,
Guimaras,theaccusedandhiscounsel,Atty.RamcezJohnHonrado.

[4]
SOORDERED.

OnJune2,2003,theRTCsetapreliminaryconferencefor10:00a.m.ofJune10,2003with
the Public Prosecutor, the Social Welfare Officer of the court, and the OfficerinCharge of the
RegionalRehabilitationCenterforYouth,consideringthattheaccusedwouldturn18onJune 3,
[5]
2003.

RennieDeclarador,thesurvivingspouseofthedeceased,filedapetitionforcertiorariunderRule
65 of the Rules of Court assailing that portion of the decision of the trial courts decision
suspendingthesentenceoftheaccusedandcommittinghimtotherehabilitationcenter.


PetitionerclaimedthatunderArticle192ofPresidentialDecree(P.D.)No.603,aswellasA.M.
No.02118SC(otherwiseknownastheRuleonJuvenilesinConflictwiththeLaw),thebenefit
ofasuspendedsentencedoesnotapplytoajuvenilewhoisconvictedofanoffensepunishableby
[6]
death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment. Citing the ruling of this Court in People v.
[7]
Ondo, petitioner avers that since Bansales was charged with murder punishable by reclusion
perpetuatodeath,heisdisqualifiedfromavailingthebenefitsofasuspendedsentence.

InhisComment,Bansalesaversthatpetitionerhasnostandingtofilethepetition,consideringthat
theoffensechargedisapubliccrimebroughtinthenameofthePeopleofthePhilippinesonlythe
OfficeoftheSolicitorGeneral(OSG)isauthorizedtofileapetitionincourtassailingtheorderof
theRTCwhichsuspendedtheserviceofhissentence.HefurtheraversthatSection32ofA.M.No.
02118SC entitles the accused to an automatic suspension of sentence and allows the court to
committhejuveniletotheyouthcenterhence,thecourtdidnotabuseitsdiscretioninsuspending
thesentenceoftheaccused.

Inreply,petitionermaintainsthathehassufficientpersonalitytofilethepetition.

TheOSG,foritspart,positsthatrespondentssentencecannotbesuspendedsincehewascharged
withacapitaloffensepunishablebyreclusionperpetuatodeath.Itinsiststhattheentitlementofa
juveniletoasuspendedsentencedoesnotdependuponthesentenceactuallyimposedbythetrial
courtbutupontheimposablepenaltyforthecrimechargedasprovidedforbylaw.

Theissuesforresolutionarethefollowing:(1)whetherpetitionerhasstandingtofilethepetition
(2) whether petitioner violated the doctrine of hierarchy of courts in filing his petition with this
Courtand(3)whetherrespondentcourtcommittedgraveabuseofdiscretionamountingtoexcess
orlackofjurisdictioninorderingthesuspensionofthesentenceofrespondentBansalesandhis
commitmenttotheRegionalRehabilitationCenterfortheYouth.

Thepetitionisgranted.

Onthefirstissue,weruleforthepetitioner.Beingthesurvivingspouseofthedeceasedandthe
[8]
offendedparty,hehassufficientpersonalitytofiletheinstantspecialcivilactionforcertiorari.
ThisisinlinewiththeunderlyingspiritoftheliberalconstructionoftheRulesofCourtinorderto
[9]
promotetheirobject. Moreover,theOSGhasfileditscommentonthepetitionandhasjoined
thepetitionerinhispleaforthenullificationoftheassailedportionoftheRTCdecision.
Onthesecondissue,theruleisthatapetitionforreviewoncertiorariwhichseekstonullifyan
[10]
orderoftheRTCshouldbefiledintheCourtofAppealsinaidofitsappellatejurisdiction.
A
direct invocation of the original jurisdiction of the Court to issue writs of certiorari may be

direct invocation of the original jurisdiction of the Court to issue writs of certiorari may be
allowedonlywhentherearespecialandimportantreasonsthereforclearlyandspecificallysetout
[11]
inthepetition.
Thisisanestablishedpolicynecessarytopreventinordinatedemandsuponthis
Courts time and attention which are better devoted to those matters within its exclusive
[12]
jurisdiction,andtopreventfurtherovercrowdingoftheCourtsdocket.

[13]
However,inFortichv.Corona,
theCourtheldthatconsideringthenatureandimportanceof
theissuesraisedandintheinterestofspeedyjustice,andtoavoidfuturelitigations,theCourtmay
[14]
take cognizance of a petition for certiorari directly filed before it.
Moreover, this Court has
suspendeditsownrulesandexceptedaparticularcasefromtheiroperationwhenevertheinterests
ofjusticesorequire.

In this case, we resolve to take cognizance of the case, involving as it does a juvenile and the
applicationoftheRuleonJuvenilesinConflictwiththeLaw.

The charge against respondent Bansales was murder with the qualifying circumstance of either
evidentpremeditationorabuseofsuperiorstrength.UnderArticle248oftheRevisedPenalCode,
asamendedbyRepublicAct(Rep.Act)No.7659,theimposablepenaltyforthecrimeisreclusion
perpetuatodeath.Thetrialcourtfoundhimguiltyofmurder.

Article192ofP.D.No.603,asamended,provides:

Art. 192. Suspension of Sentence and Commitment of Youthful Offender. If after hearing the
evidenceintheproperproceedings,thecourtshouldfindthattheyouthfuloffenderhascommitted
theactschargedagainsthim,thecourt,shalldeterminetheimposablepenalty,includinganycivil
liabilitychargeableagainsthim.However,insteadofpronouncingjudgmentofconviction,thecourt,
uponapplicationoftheyouthfuloffenderandifitfindsthatthebestinterestofthepublic,aswellas
that oftheoffenderwill be served thereby, may suspend all further proceedingsandcommitsuch
minor to the custody or care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development or to any
traininginstitutionoperatedbythegovernmentoranyotherresponsiblepersonuntilheshallhave
reached twentyone years of age, or for a shorter period as the court may deem proper, after
consideringthereportsandrecommendationsoftheDepartmentofSocialWelfareandDevelopment
or the government training institution or responsible person under whose care he has been
committed.

Uponreceiptoftheapplicationoftheyouthfuloffenderforsuspensionofhissentence,the
courtmayrequiretheDepartmentofSocialWelfareandDevelopmenttoprepareandsubmittothe
courtasocialcasestudyreportovertheoffenderandhisfamily.

Theyouthfuloffendershallbesubjecttovisitationandsupervisionbytherepresentativeof
theDepartmentofSocialWelfareandDevelopmentorgovernmenttraininginstitutionasthecourt
maydesignatesubjecttosuchconditionsasitmayprescribe.

The benefits of this article shall not apply to a youthful offender who has once enjoyed
suspensionofsentenceunderitsprovisionsortoonewhoisconvictedforanoffensepunishableby
deathorlifeimprisonmentortoonewhoisconvictedforanoffensebytheMilitaryTribunals.


The law was reproduced in A.M. No. 02118SC where, except for those under paragraph 3,
Section32ofthelaw,thesentenceoftheaccusedisautomaticallysuspended:

Sec.32.AutomaticSuspensionofSentenceandDispositionOrders.Thesentenceshallbesuspended
withoutneedofapplicationbythejuvenileinconflictwiththelaw.Thecourtshallsetthecasefor
disposition conference within fifteen (15) days from the promulgation of sentence which shall be
attendedbythesocialworkeroftheFamilyCourt,thejuvenile,andhisparentsorguardianadlitem.
Itshallproceedtoissueanyoracombinationofthefollowingdispositionmeasuresbestsuitedto
the rehabilitation and welfare of the juvenile: care, guidance, and supervision orders Drug and
alcoholtreatmentParticipationingroupcounselingandsimilaractivitiesCommitmenttotheYouth
RehabilitationCenteroftheDSWDorothercentersforjuvenileinconflictwiththelawauthorized
bytheSecretaryofDSWD.

TheSocialServicesandCounselingDivision(SSCD)oftheDSWDshallmonitorthecompliance
bythejuvenileinconflictwiththelawwiththedispositionmeasureandshallsubmitregularlyto
theFamilyCourtastatusandprogressreportonthematter.TheFamilyCourtmaysetaconference
for the evaluation of such report in the presence, if practicable, of the juvenile, his parents or
guardian,andotherpersonswhosepresencemaybedeemednecessary.

Thebenefitsofsuspendedsentenceshallnotapplytoajuvenileinconflictwiththelawwhohas
onceenjoyedsuspensionofsentence,ortoonewhoisconvictedofanoffensepunishablebydeath,
reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, or when at the time of promulgation of judgment the
juvenileisalreadyeighteen(18)yearsofageorover.

Thus, it is clear that a person who is convicted of an offense punishable by death, life
imprisonment, or reclusion perpetua is disqualified from availing the benefits of a suspended
sentence. Punishable is defined as deserving of, or capable, or liable to punishment liable to be
[15]
punishedmaybepunishedliabletopunishment.
Thewordpunishabledoesnotmeanmustbe
[16]
[17]
punished, but liable to be punished as specified.
In U.S. v. Villalon,
the Court defined
punishableasdeservingof,orliablefor,punishment.Thus,thetermreferstothepossible,notto
theactualsentence.Itisconcernedwiththepenaltywhichmaybe,andnotwhichisimposed.

Thedisqualificationisbasedonthenatureofthecrimechargedandtheimposablepenalty
therefor,andnotonthepenaltyimposedbythecourtaftertrial.Itisnottheactualpenaltyimposed
[18]
but the possible one which determines the disqualification of a juvenile.
Despite the
disqualification of Bansales, respondent Judge, nevertheless, ordered the suspension of the
sentence meted against him. By this act, respondent Judge committed grave abuse of discretion
amountingtoexcessofjurisdiction.

Wenotethat,inthemeantime,Rep.ActNo.9344tookeffectonMay20,2006.Section38
ofthelawreads:

SEC.38.AutomaticSuspensionofSentence.Oncethechildwhoisundereighteen(18)years
ofageatthetimeofthecommissionoftheoffenseisfoundguiltyoftheoffensecharged,thecourt
shall determine and ascertain any civil liability which may have resulted from the offense
committed.However,insteadofpronouncingthejudgmentofconviction,thecourtshallplacethe
child in conflict with the law under suspended sentence, without need of application: Provided,
however,Thatsuspensionofsentenceshallstillbeappliedevenifthejuvenileisalreadyeighteen
(18)yearsofageormoreatthetimeofthepronouncementofhis/herguilt.


Upon suspension of sentence and after considering the various circumstances of the child,
the court shall impose the appropriate disposition measures as provided in the Supreme Court on
JuvenilesinConflictwiththeLaw.

ThelawmerelyamendedArticle192ofP.D.No.603,asamendedbyA.M.No.02118SC,
inthatthesuspensionofsentenceshallbeenjoyedbythejuvenileevenifheisalready18yearsof
ageormoreatthetimeofthepronouncementofhis/herguilt.TheotherdisqualificationsinArticle
192ofP.D.No.603,asamended,andSection32ofA.M.No.02118SChavenotbeendeleted
fromSection38ofRep.ActNo.9344.Evidently, the intention of Congress was to maintain the
otherdisqualificationsasprovidedinArticle192ofP.D.No.603,asamended,andSection32of
A.M.No.02118SC.Hence,juvenileswhohavebeenconvictedofacrimetheimposablepenalty
for which is reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment or reclusion perpetua to death or death, are
disqualifiedfromhavingtheirsentencessuspended.

Caselawhasitthatstatutesinparimateriashouldbereadandconstruedtogetherbecause
enactmentsofthesamelegislatureonthesamesubjectaresupposedtoformpartofoneuniform
system later statutes are supplementary or complimentary to the earlier enactments and in the
passage of its acts the legislature is supposed to have in mind the existing legislations on the
[19]
subjectandtohaveenactedthenewactwithreferencethereto.
Statutesinparimateriashould
[20]
beconstruedtogethertoattainthepurposeofanexpressednationalpolicy.
INLIGHTOFALLTHEFOREGOING,thepetitionisGRANTED. The Order of the
respondentJudgesuspendingthesentenceofrespondentFrankBansalesisNULLIFIED.

SOORDERED.

ROMEOJ.CALLEJO,SR.
AssociateJustice

WECONCUR:

ARTEMIOV.PANGANIBAN
ChiefJustice
Chairperson

CONSUELOYNARESSANTIAGOMA.ALICIAAUSTRIAMARTINEZ
AssociateJusticeAssociateJustice

MINITAV.CHICONAZARIO
AssociateJustice

CERTIFICATION

Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, it is hereby certified that the
conclusionsintheabovedecisionwerereachedinconsultationbeforethecasewasassignedtothe
writeroftheopinionoftheCourtsDivision.

ARTEMIOV.PANGANIBAN
ChiefJustice

[1]
PennedbyJudgeSalvadorS.Gubatonrollo,pp.2631.
[2]
ExhibitB,recordspp.78.
[3]
Records,p.1.
[4]
Id.at235236.
[5]
Id.at243.

[6]

UnderRepublicActNo.9346(ANACTPROHIBITINGTHEIMPOSITIONOFDEATHPENALTYINTHEPHILIPPINES), the
impositionofthedeathpenaltyhasbeenprohibited.
[7]
G.R.No.101361,November8,1993,227SCRA562.
[8]
Paredesv.Gopengco,140Phil.81,93(1969).
[9]
Narcisov.Sta.RomanaCruz,385Phil.208,222(2000)Perezv.HagonoyRuralBank,Inc.,384Phil.322,335(2000).
[10]
Rule65,Section4,1997RULESOFCIVILPROCEDURE.
[11]
Peoplev.Cuaresma,G.R.No.67787,April18,1989,172SCRA415,424.
[12]
LigangmgaBarangayNationalv.CityMayorofManila,G.R.No.154599,January21,2004,420SCRA562,572.
[13]
352Phil.461,481(1998).
[14]
GovernmentoftheUnitedStatesofAmericav.Purganan,438Phil.417,438(2002).
[15]
Peoplev.SuperiorCourtoftheCityandCountryofSanFrancisco,116Cal.App.412,2P.2d843(1931).
[16]
TheThrasher173F.258(1909).
[17]
37Phil.322(1917).

37Phil.322(1917).
[18]
Peoplev.Hughes,32N.E.1105(1893).
[19]
Agpalo,R.StatutoryConstruction,p.212(1995).
[20]
Cov.CivilRegisterofManila,G.R.No.138496,February23,2004,423SCRA420,427.