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Article 93. Computation of the prescription of penalties.

G.R. No. 141718


January 21, 2005

Benjamin Pangan y Rivera, Petitioner,


-versus-
Hon. Lourdes F. Gatbalite, as the Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of
Angeles City, Branch 56, and Col. James D. Labordo, as the City Jail Warden
of Angeles City, Respondents.

Facts:

Petitioner was charged for simple seduction at the Municipal Trial Court of Angeles
City, Branch 3. Throughout the trial, petitioners constant absent at hearings, his
counsel Atty. Eduardo Pineda submitted the case for decision without offering any
evidence. Despite due notice, counsel for the petitioner did not appear. Notice to
petitioner was returned unserved with the notation that he no longer resided at the
given address. As a consequence, he also failed to appear at the scheduled
promulgation. The court of origin issued an order directing the recording of the
decision in the criminal docket of the court and an order of arrest against the
petitioner. Hence, the petitioner was apprehended and detained at the Detention
Cell. Petitioner contended that his arrest was illegal and unjustified.

Issue/s:

1) Whether or not the prescription of penalties shall commence to run from the
date when the culprit should evade the service of sentence.

Held:

No. The Court pronounces that the prescription of penalties found in Article 93 of
the Revised Penal Code, applies only to those who are convicted by final judgment
and are serving sentence which consists in deprivation of liberty. The period for
prescription of penalties begins only when the convict evades service of sentence
by escaping during the term of his sentence. Since petitioner never suffered
deprivation of liberty before his arrest on January 20, 2000 and as a consequence
never evaded sentence by escaping during the term of his service, the period for
prescription never began.
Petitioner, however, has by this time fully served his sentence of two months and
one day of arresto mayor and should forthwith be released unless he is being
detained for another offense or charge.
The decision of the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City, Branch 56 is affirmed, but
petitioner is ordered released effective immediately for having fully served his
sentence unless he is detained for another offense or charge.

Article 90. Prescription of crime.

G.R. No. 138596


October 12, 2000

Sr. Fidelis Arambulo, Petitioner,


-versus-
Hon. Hilarion Laqui, Sr. Helen Ojario and Sr. Bernadine
Juarez, Respondents.

Facts:

Private respondents filed a joint complaint-affidavit for libel against petitioners


before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City alleging that the latter
circulated a letter containing malicious imputations against them. An information for
libel then was filed before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City. The
Metropolitan Trial Court in its Order ruled that it had no jurisdiction over the case as
the same falls under the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Regional Trial
Court, and ordered that the case be forwarded to the RTC for further proceedings.
The RTC dismissed the case in an Order dated April 2, 1997 but, stating that the
offense had not yet prescribed, ordered the City Prosecutor of Quezon City to re-file
the Information for Libel with the RTC. The Court of Appeals, in its decision upheld
the contention of the trial court that the offense of libel had not yet prescribed and
consequently, dismissed the said petition.

Issue/s:

1) Whether the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the crime of libel has not
yet prescribed.

Held:

No. Under Article 90 of the Revised Penal Code the crime of libel or other similar
offenses shall prescribe in one year." The Appellate Court committed no reversible
error in ruling that the offense of libel charged against petitioner had not yet
prescribed. The period of prescription for the crime was interrupted when the
complaint was lodged with the Office of the City Prosecutor and remained tolled
pending the termination of the case against petitioner. Branch 218 of the Regional
Trial Court of Quezon City, therefore, correctly assumed jurisdiction over the case of
petitioner as the offense of libel for which she was being charged has not yet
prescribed.

The petition is denied, and the decision of the Court of Appeals dated May 1, 1999 is
affirmed.

Article 91. Prescription of crime.

G.R. NOS. 165510-33


July 28, 2006

Benjamin ("Kokoy") T. Romualdez, Petitioner,


-versus-
Hon. Simeon V. Marcelo, in his official capacity as the Ombudsman, and
Presidential Commission on Good Government, Respondents.

Facts:

Office of the Ombudsman filed 24 informations against the petitioner for a violation
of Section 7 of Republic Act (RA) No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
Act. The aforementioned cases cannot be revived by the Ombudsman which were
previously dismissed by the Sandiganbayan in its Resolution. Thus, this Court may
accordingly dismiss the cases pending before the Sandiganbayan and pending
before the Regional Trial Court of Manila, all on the ground of prescription. The
Ombudsman argues that the dismissal of the informations in cases does not mean
that petitioner was thereafter exempt from criminal prosecution; that new
informations may be filed by the Ombudsman should it find probable cause in the
conduct of its preliminary investigation; that the filing of the complaint with the
Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) in 1987 and the filing of the
information with the Sandiganbayan in 1989 interrupted the prescriptive period;
that the absence of the petitioner from the Philippines from 1986 until 2000 also
interrupted the aforesaid period based on Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code.

Issue/s:

1) Whether the preliminary investigation conducted by the Ombudsman in


Criminal Case Nos. 13406-13429 was a nullity.
2) Whether the offenses for which petitioner are being charged has already
prescribed.

Held:
1) No. Ruling in the assailed Decision that the preliminary investigation
conducted by the Ombudsman in Criminal Case Nos. 13406-13429 is a valid
proceeding despite the previous dismissal thereof by the Sandiganbayan in
its Minute Resolution.
2) This Court rules that the prescriptive period of the offenses herein began to
run from the discovery thereof or on May 8, 1987, which is the date of the
complaint filed by the former Solicitor General Francisco I. Chavez against the
petitioner with the PCGG. However, both respondents in the instant case aver
that, applying Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code suppletorily, the absence
of the petitioner from the Philippines from 1986 until April 27, 2000
prevented the prescriptive period for the alleged offenses from running. The
Court disagreed.

G.R. No. 139033


December 18, 2002

Jovendo Del Castillo, Petitioner,


-versus-
Hon. Rosarion Torrecampo, Presiding Judge, RTC of Camarines Sur, Branch
33 and People of the Philippines, Respondents.

Facts:

Petitioner was charged with violation of Section 178 (nn) of the 1978 Election Code
in before Branch 33, Regional Trial Court, Camarines Sur. On arraignment, petitioner
pleaded not guilty. Thereafter, trial on the merits ensued. Hence, the trial court
rendered judgment and declared petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
violating Section 178 (nn) of PD 1296, otherwise known as the 1978 Election Code,
as amended, and sentenced petitioner to suffer the indeterminate penalty of
imprisonment of 1 year as minimum to 3 years as maximum. Aggrieved, petitioner
appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeals which eventually affirmed the
decision of the trial court in toto. Said decision became final and executory. During
the execution of judgment, petitioner failed to appear which prompted the presiding
judge to issue an order of arrest of petitioner and the confiscation of his
bond. However, petitioner was never apprehended. He remained at large.

Issue/s:

1) Whether or not the penalty imposed upon the petitioner has prescribed.

Held:

No. The petitioner was never been brought to prison and remained at large. It is
clear that the penalty imposed has not prescribed because the circumstances of the
case at bench failed to satisfy the second element, to wit; that the convict evaded
the service of the sentence by escaping during the service of his sentence. As a
matter of fact, the petitioner never served a single minute of his sentence.
Petitioners guilt was proven beyond reasonable doubt but he refused to answer for
the wrong he committed. He is therefore not to be rewarded therefor.

Petition is denied due to lack of merit.

Article 97. Allowance of good conduct.

G.R. No. 114350


January 16, 1997

Jose T. Obosa, Petitioner,


-versus-
Court of Appeals and People of the Philippines, Respondents.

Facts:

Senior State Prosecutor Aurelio C. Trampe charged the accused Jose T. Obosa and
three others with murder on two counts, by separate amended informations filed
with the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 56, for the ambush-slaying of
Secretary of Local Governments Jaime N. Ferrer and his driver Jesus D. Calderon,
which occurred on August 2, 1987, at about 6:30 in the evening, at La Huerta,
Paraaque, Metro Manila, as Secretary Ferrer was riding in his car, going to the St.
Andrew Church near the plaza of La Huerta, to hear Sunday mass. At the time the
accused committed the crimes charged, he was an inmate at the National
Penitentiary, New Bilibid Prisons, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila. He was in jail, but was
able to commit the Ferrer assassination. He was serving imprisonment by final
judgment in each of three (3) cases. These sentences are to be served
successively not simultaneously In successive service of sentences, the time of the
second sentence did not commence to run until the expiration of the first. Under
prison regulations, he forfeited his allowance for good conduct prescribed by law

Issue/s:

1) Whether or not the petitioners prison record affect his alleged right to bail.
Held:

No. Petitioner claims that respondent Court of Appeals erred in concluding "that at
the time the bail was granted and approved by His Honor of the trial Court, he has
still to serve sentence and remain in confinement, and hence was not entitled to
bail. Petitioner, citing Luis B. Reyes, maintains that the Bureau of Corrections
properly released him from prison.

Bail cannot be granted as a matter of right even after an accused, who is charged
with a capital offense, appeals his conviction for a non-capital crime. Courts must
exercise utmost caution in deciding applications for bail considering that the
accused on appeal may still be convicted of the original capital offense charged and
that thus the risk attendant to jumping bail still subsists.

Article 100. Civil liability of a person guilty of felony.

G.R. No. 164733


September 21, 2007

Michael John Z. Malto, Petitioner,


-versus-
People of the Philippines, Respondent.

Facts:

Petitioner Michael John Z. Malto is guilty for violation of paragraph 3, Section 5(a),
Article III of Republic Act 7610, as amended. Petitioner did not make a plea when
arraigned; hence, the trial court entered for him a plea of not guilty. In his defense,
petitioner proffered denial and alibi. He claimed that the allegations did not happen.
The trial court found the evidence for the prosecution sufficient to sustain
petitioners conviction. Petitioner questioned the trial courts decision in the Court of
Appeals. The appellate court affirmed his conviction even if it found that his acts
were not covered by paragraph (a) but by paragraph (b) of Section 5, Article III of RA
7610. It further observed that the trial court failed to fix the minimum term of
indeterminate sentence imposed on him. It also ruled that the trial court erred in
awarding P75,000 civil indemnity in favor of AAA as it was proper only in a
conviction for rape committed under the circumstances under which the death
penalty was authorized by law.

Issue/s:
1) Whether or not the accused is guilty for violation of paragraph 3, Section
5(a), Article III of Republic Act 7610.

Held:

No, but rather guilty of violating Section 5(b), Article III of RA 7610, as amended, for
which he is sentenced to 14 years and 8 months of reclusion temporal as minimum
to 20 years of reclusion temporal as maximum. Consistent, however, with the
objective of RA 7610 to afford children special protection against abuse, exploitation
and discrimination and with the principle that every person who contrary to law,
willfully or negligently causes damage to another shall indemnify the latter for the
same, civil indemnity to the child is proper in a case involving violation of Section
5(b), Article III of RA 7610. Every person criminally liable is civilly liable.