Home of ChanRobles Virtual Law Library

 

Home of Chan Robles Virtual Law Library

www.chanrobles.com

PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-16377. January 28, 1961. ]

PURA TOLEDO, Petitioner-Appellee, v. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION FOR WOMEN, Respondent-Appellant.

E. C. Saturnino for Petitioner-Appellee.

Solicitor General for Respondent-Appellant.


D E C I S I O N


BENGZON, J.:


In the Rizal Court of First Instance, Pura N. Toledo, an inmate of the Correctional Institution for Women, filed this petition for habeas corpus. Having found that petitioner had served more than the period of imprisonment legally imposed on her, the Honorable Cecilia Muñoz- Palma ordered the prisoner’s release from confinement.

Opposing the petition, the Superintendent of said Institution appealed in due time.

There is no question that prior to July 1949, Pura N. Toledo had been sentenced in nine criminal cases, to a total imprisonment of 10 years, 11 months and 5 days. She was also sentenced to pay certain indemnities, which if not paid, would normally entail subsidiary imprisonment of 3 years and 7 months. It is admitted that although Toledo had served time for 10 years, 11 months and 26 days (with good conduct time allowance), the Superintendent detained her to undergo subsidiary imprisonment for non-payment of indemnities. The petitioner contended, and the judge upheld the contention — that she was not required to suffer subsidiary detention, in view of Art. 39 of the Revised Penal Code which reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

". . . 3. When the principal penalty imposed is higher than prison correccional, no subsidiary imprisonment shall be imposed upon the culprit. . . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

Her Honor reasoned thus: inasmuch as the aggregate principal penalty imposed on petitioner exceeded the maximum of prision correccional (6 years) — the prisoner should no longer undergo additional imprisonment for failure to the monetary indemnities.

The Superintendent maintains in this appeal that inasmuch as none of the nine separate convictions and sentences imposed on the prisoner had exceeded prision correctional — which is true, — the above provision of section 39 should not apply.

We think the appealed decision took the correct view. The apparent theory of the law is that no prisoner shall be held in jail for more than six years by reason of insolvency; therefore, the aggregate penalties should be considered in bulk — not separately. This is what we indicated in Bagtas v. Director of Prisons, 84 Phil. 692:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

". . . he (the prisoner) should not have been made to suffer subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency in view of the fact that the aggregate of the principal penalties as reduced under Article 70 exceeded 6 years of imprisonment. . . .

We hold that the correct rule is to multiply the highest principal penalty by 3 and the result will be the aggregate principal penalty which the prisoner has to serve, plus the payment of all the indemnities which he has been sentenced to pay, with or without subsidiary imprisonment depending upon whether or not the principal penalty exceeds 6 years." (Emphasis ours.)

This cumulation of sentences, it may be observed, aligns with the underlying principle in the matter of the three-fold duration of penalties under Article 70 of the Revised Penal Code. 1

As the case may be decided this way, we do not need to discuss the other issues presented in the briefs.

Paras, C.J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Gutierrez David, Paredes and Dizon, JJ., concur.

Reyes, J.B.L., J., reserves his vote.

Barrera and Concepcion, JJ., took no part.

Endnotes:



1. People v. Geralde 50 Phil. 823; Torres v. Superintendent, 58 Phil. 847.

Top of Page