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Unavailable remedy

Philippine Star)

Pursuant to Article 192 of PD 603, if the court should find that the youthful
offender below 21 years old has committed the crime charged against him
it may suspend the execution of the sentence and commit such minor to
the custody or care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development
(DSWD) or to any training institution operated by the government or any
responsible person, until he/she has reached 21 years of age or for a
shorter period as it may deem proper. The benefits of this Article shall not
however apply to youthful offenders convicted of an offense punishable by
death or life imprisonment. If he is convicted of such offense but the Court
sentences him to a lower penalty than death or reclusion perpetua, can the
youthful offender still avail of said law? This is the question resolved in this
case of Glen Roque.

Glen Roque is a 17-year-old high school student in their province. He is the
son of  Mr. and Mrs. Roque whose relationship is quite stormy. Obviously,
Glen has somehow been influenced and affected by the unwholesome
situation in their house, such that he also has a tendency to become violent
at the slightest provocation even in school, especially against his teacher,
Kristina Roces (Ma’am Roces) who seemed to be disciplining him so much.
And so one school day after his teacher has again scolded him for
misbehavior, he went to school carrying a long knife and suddenly attacked
his teacher inflicting 15 stab wounds in different parts of the body that
caused her death.

When charged with the crime of murder for willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously attacking, assaulting and stabbing his teacher Kristina Roces
with evident premeditation and abuse of superior strength, Glen pleaded
guilty. So, based on his plea and the other evidence presented particularly
the post-mortem report of the rural health doctor, the RTC rendered
judgment finding Glen guilty of murder and sentencing him to 12 years and
one day to 17 years of imprisonment as well as to pay the heirs of Mrs.
Roces the civil indemnity of P75,000 moral damages, P50,000 plus actual
damages consisting of unearned income in the sum of P1,370,000.70. His
parents and the teacher-in-charge of the school were jointly and

However. Peter has sufficient personality to file the special civil action of certiorari. .  August 18. The court declared that being the surviving spouse of the deceased and the offended party. it may take cognizance of the case already considering the importance of the issues involved. not the actual sentence. 159208. the sentence of the court was only from 12 years and one day to 17 years and four months and not reclusion perpetua to death. But the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Peter.  Hon Gubaton and Bansales. The disqualification for availing the benefits of a suspended sentence is based on the nature of the crime charged and the imposable penalty and not on the penalty imposed by the court after trial (Declarador vs. reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment. Glen through his lawyer however opposed the petition contending that Peter has no standing to file the petition because the crime committed is a public crime. Besides. 2006). He also insisted that the suspension of his sentence is correct considering that even if he was found guilty of murder. contending that the benefit of a suspended sentence does not apply to a juvenile convicted of an offense punishable by death. questioned that portion of the Trial Court’s decision. The SC said that the RTC is wrong in suspending the sentence because Glen was charged with murder punishable by death or life imprisonment or reclusion perpetua. G.subsidiarily held liable in case of insolvency.R. the court suspended the sentence of Glen and ordered his commitment to the Regional Rehabilitation for Youth in their province. the surviving spouse of Kristina Roces. the Solicitor General also eventually filed its own petition. The SC said that in the interest of speedy justice and to avoid further litigations. The term punishable refers to the possible. in a petition for certiorari. so only the Solicitor General can file the same. Peter.