[G.R. No. 45249. December 29, 1936. ]
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES ISLANDS, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. PEDRO MASONSON Y KATIBAK (alias Pedro Balagtas, Crispin Gonzalo), Defendant-Appellant.
Vicente Salumbides for Appellant.
Undersecretary of Justice Melencio for Appellee.
1. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE; CIRCUMSTANCES MODIFYING CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY; HABITUAL DELINQUENCY. — A finding of habitual delinquency cannot be predicated upon a plea of guilty to an information which fails to specify the dates of the commission of the alleged previous offenses, the defendant’s convictions thereof, and his release thereunder.
2. ID.; ID.; RECIDIVISM. — A general allegation of a previous conviction impliedly admitted by plea of guilty, is sufficient to sustain a finding of the existence of the aggravating circumstance of recidivism.
D E C I S I O N
ABAD SANTOS, J.:
Appellant was charged with the crime of theft and, upon a plea of guilty, he was sentenced by the Court of First Instance of Manila to suffer one month and one day of arresto mayor, and to pay the costs. He was further sentenced to an additional penalty of ten years and one day of prision mayor for habitual delinquency.
The only question raised by this appeal relates to the correctness of the imposition of the additional penalty upon the following allegation contained in the information:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"That said accused is a habitual delinquent under the provisions of article 62 of the Revised Penal Code, he having been previously convicted four (4) times of the crime of theft, by final judgments of competent courts, his last date of conviction of the crime of theft being October 8, 1935."cralaw virtua1aw library
Upon this point this court has held that a finding of habitual delinquency cannot be predicated upon a plea of guilty to an information which fails to specify the dates of the commission of the alleged previous offenses, the appellant’s convictions thereof, and his release thereunder. (People v. Venus, p. 435, ante; Plea v. Flores, p. 443, ante; People v. Tapel, p. 464, ante.) However, a general allegation of a previous conviction is sufficient to sustain a finding of the existence of the aggravating circumstance of recidivism. (People v. Alcantara, G.R. No. 39505, 58 Phil., 950; People v. Fortaleza, G.R. No. 42871, 61 Phil., 1035; People v. Valencia, 59 Phil., 42; People v. Cabral, G.R. No. 39200, 58 Phil., 930; U. S. v. Burlado, 42 Phil., 72.)
In the view we have taken of the case, the appellant must be found guilty of the crime of theft penalized with arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods. (Revised Penal Code, article 309, paragraph 6.) The aggravating circumstance of recidivism having been offset by the modifying circumstance of plea of guilty, the penalty prescribed should be imposed in its medium period, that is to say, from two months and one day to three months of arresto mayor.
The judgment below should be modified by sentencing the appellant to suffer two months and one day of arresto mayor and by eliminating therefrom the additional penalty imposed for habitual delinquency.
Modified as above indicated the judgment is affirmed with costs de oficio. So ordered.
Avanceña, C.J., Villa-Real, Imperial, Diaz, Laurel and Concepcion, JJ., concur.