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Caranguian, Albert S.

BENJAMIN PANGAN vs. HON. LOURDES F. GATBALITE ET AL


G.R. No. 141718 January 21, 2005
AZCUNA, J.
FACTS:
Petitioner Benjamin Pangan was found guilty of simple seduction, when his counsel
submitted the case for a decision without offering any evidence due to his constant absence during
the hearing. Petitioner was then apprehended and detained at the Mabalacat Detention Cell at the
order of the trial court. Later, petitioner filed for a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, contending
that his arrest was illegal and unjustified on the ground that his penalty has prescribed after five
years and that having been able to continuously evade service of sentence for almost nine years,
his criminal liability has long been totally extinguished. The trial court then denied the said
petition.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Article 93 of the Revised Penal Code shall apply in the case at bar
RULING:
No. Article 93 of the Revised Penal Code provides when the prescription period of
penalties shall commence to run. It shall commence to run from the date the felon evades the
service of his sentence. Pursuant to Article 157 of the same Code, evasion of service of sentence
can be committed only by those who have been convicted by final judgment by escaping during
the term of his sentence. Since petitioner never suffered deprivation of liberty before his arrest,
and as a consequence never evaded sentence by escaping during the term of his service, the period
of prescription never began. However, by this time, petitioner has fully served his sentence and
should be released unless he is detained for another offense or charge.