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Wilfredo Torres vs Gonzales

Facts

Petition for habeas corpus filed on behalf of petitioner who is currently confined in the National
Penitentiary for Muntinlupa
In 1979, petitioner was convicted for two counts of estafa. Punished for an aggregate term of 11
years 10 months and 22 days up to 38 years 9 months and 1 day as well as an indemnity of
P127,728.75
On April 18, 1979, petitioner was granted a conditional pardon on condition that he would not
again violate any of the penal laws of the Philippines
On May 21, 1986, the Board of Pardons and Parole recommended to the President to cancel the
pardon because the petitioner had been charged with 22 counts of estafa on March 22, 1982
and June 24, 1982. He was also convicted on June 26, 1985 for the crime of sedition.
Additionally, the NBI sent the Board a letter that they had a long list of charges against the
petitioner during the last 20 years for crimes such as estafa, swindling, grave threats, grave
coercion and others.
On June 4, 1986, the Minister of Justice wrote to the President of the resolution of the board
recommending the cancellation of the conditional pardon
On September 8, 1986, the President cancelled the conditional pardon
On October 10, 1986, the Minister of Justice issued an Order of Arrest and Recommitment
against petitioner

Issue: whether or not conviction of a crime by final judgment is necessary before the petitioner can be
validly rearrested and recommitted

Hold: No

Ratio

Tesoro vs Director of Prisons


o Tesoro was convicted of falsification of public documents and granted parole by the
Governor-General. The condition of the parole was that the parolee must not commit
another crime and to conduct himself in an orderly manner. He was charged with
adultery 2 years after.
o The court held that the determination whether the condition was breached rested
exclusively with the Governor-General
o Court relied on Section 64(i) of the Revised Administrative code which states that the
Governor-General can authorize the arrest and recommitment of any such person who,
in his judgment, shall fail to comply with the condition or conditions, of his pardon,
parole, or suspension of sentence.
Sales vs Director of Prisons
o Sales was convicted of frustrated murder and was also given a conditional pardon by the
President with a similar condition. 8 years later, he was convicted of estafa.
o Sales argued that Section 64(i) of the RAC had been repealed by Art. 159 of the Revised
Penal Code and that Section 64(i) violated the due process clause of the Constitution
(Art. III[1] of the 1935 Constitution)
o Court held that Art. 159 did not repeal Section 64(i). The Indeterminate Sentence Law
expressly preserved the authority conferred upon the President by Section 64. The two
laws could stand together. Additionally, it doesnt violate the due process clause
because the convict was not constitutionally entitled to another judicial determination
of whether he breached the condition of his parole.
Espuelas vs Provincial Warden of Bohol
o Espuelas was convicted of the crime of inciting to sedition and was later given a
conditional pardon. Sometime thereafter, he was convicted for the crime of usurpation
of authority. He was recommitted to prison.
o The court held that due process is not necessarily judicial (Im not sure if this is
properly transcribed). The appellee already had his day in court to defend himself
during his trial for inciting to sedition. The acceptance of the pardon carried with it the
authority of the Executive to determine whether the condition was followed or not.
In summary:
o The grant of pardon and the determination of the conditions are purely executive acts
which are not subject to judicial scrutiny
o The determination of a breach of condition may be purely executive under Sec. 64(i) of
the RAC or a judicial act under Art. 159 of the RPC. But if the President opts for Sec. 64(i),
no judicial pronouncement of guilt of a subsequent crime is necessary
o Because due process had already been accorded to convicts during their trial, Sec. 64(i)
of the RAC doesnt violate the constitution
In this case, the President chose to proceed under Section 64(i) and so it is not subject to judicial
scrutiny

DISSENT (Cruz):

Proof beyond reasonable doubt is still necessary for conviction


The executive can only allege the commission of crime and thereafter try to prove it through
indubitable evidence
US vs Wilson: the state must also be bound by conditions which limits the Presidents power of
recommitment
Infante vs. Provincial Warden of Negros Occidental: there is general agreement that limitations
should be construed most favorably to the grantee