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Garcia, Christian Joseph E.

JD1D

IVLER vs. HON. MODESTO

G.R. No. 172716, November 17, 2010

FACTS:

Following a vehicular collision in August 2004, petitioner Jason Ivler was charged before the
Metropolitan Trial Court of Pasig City (MeTC), with two separate offenses: (1) reckless imprudence
resulting in slight physical injuries for injuries sustained by respondent Evangeline L. Ponce; and (2)
reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to property for the death of respondent Ponce’s
husband Nestor C. Ponce and damage to the spouses Ponce’s vehicle.

Crimes charged: 1) reckless imprudence resulting in slight physical injuries; and 2) reckless imprudence
resulting in homicide and damage to property

On September 7, 2004, Ivler pleaded guilty to the charge in reckless imprudence resulting in slight
physical injuries and was meted out the penalty of public censure. Invoking this conviction, Ivler moved
to quash the Information of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to property for
placing him in jeopardy of second punishment for the same offense of reckless imprudence.

MeTC: denied the motion to quash

RTC: denied Ivler’s Petition for Certiorari in dismissing his Motion to Quash

ISSUE:

Whether or not Ivler’s constitutional right under the Double Jeopardy Clause bars further proceedings in
the information charging him with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to property

HELD:

The Supreme Court reversed the ruling of the RTC. Petitioner’s conviction in the case of reckless
imprudence resulting in slight physical injuries bars his prosecution in criminal reckless imprudence
resulting in homicide and damage to property

1) Reckless Imprudence is a Single Crime; its Consequences on Persons and Property are Material Only
to Determine the Penalty

Quasi-offenses penalize “the mental attitude or condition behind the act, the dangerous recklessness,
lack of care or foresight, the imprudencia punible,” unlike willful offenses which punish the intentional
criminal act. These structural and conceptual features of quasi-offenses set them apart from the mass of
intentional crimes.
2) Prior Conviction or Acquittal of Reckless Imprudence Bars Subsequent Prosecution for the Same
Quasi-offense

Once convicted or acquitted of a specific act of reckless imprudence, the accused may not be
prosecuted again for that same act. For the essence of the quasi-offense of criminal negligence under
Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code lies in the execution of an imprudent or negligent act that, if
intentionally done, would be punishable as a felony. The law penalizes thus the negligent or careless act,
not the result thereof.

The gravity of the consequence is only taken into account to determine the penalty, it does not qualify
the substance of the offense. And, as the careless act is single, whether the injurious result should affect
one person or several persons, the offense (criminal negligence) remains one and the same, and cannot
be split into different crimes and prosecutions.

3) Article 48 Does Not Apply to Acts Penalized Under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code

Article 48 is a procedural device allowing single prosecution of multiple felonies falling under either of
two categories: (1) when a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies (thus excluding
from its operation light felonies); and (2) when an offense is a necessary means for committing the
other. The legislature crafted this procedural tool to benefit the accused who, in lieu of serving multiple
penalties, will only serve the maximum of the penalty for the most serious crime.

In contrast, Article 365 is a substantive rule penalizing not an act defined as a felony but the mental
attitude behind the act, the dangerous recklessness, lack of care or foresight, a single mental attitude
regardless of the resulting consequences. Thus, Article 365 was crafted as one quasi-crime resulting in
one or more consequences. Article 48 is incongruent to the notion of quasi-crime resulting in one or
more consequences.

Article 48 is incongruent to the notion of quasi-crimes under Article 365. It is conceptually impossible for
a quasi-offense to stand for (1) a single act constituting two or more grave or less grave felonies; or (2)
an offense which is a necessary means for committing another.

Prosecutions under Article 365 should proceed from a single charge regardless of the number or severity
of the consequences. In imposing penalties, the judge will do no more than apply the penalties under
Article 365 for each consequence alleged and proven. In short, there shall be no splitting of charges
under Article 365, and only one information shall be filed in the same first level court.
Bacar v. De Guzman

Criminal Law. Indeterminate Sentence Law.

FACTS:

Petitioner-spouses Jose and Trinidad Bacar pray for the dismissal from the service of respondent Judge
Salvador P. de Guzman, Jr., presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 142, on the
grounds of:

1) gross ignorance of the law, and;

2) rendering an unjust judgment in Criminal Cases Nos. 89-1360 and 89-2878 for homicide and
attempted homicide respectively, both entitled "People of the Philippines v. Gerardo Fortaleza Marcial”

Respondent modified his decision on the aforesaid cases after considering the mitigating circumstances
of want of intent to commit so grave a wrong and sufficient provocation which immediately preceded
the act, set forth in the motion for reconsideration filed by the accused.

On rendering an unjust judgment, petitioners allege that in imposing a straight penalty of six (6) years
imprisonment for homicide, after taking into consideration the aforesaid mitigating circumstances,
respondent judge has rendered an unjust judgment in Criminal Case No. 89-1360.

It is contended that under the graduation and application of penalties, the penalty that should be
imposed can in no case be justified to only six (6) years "flat".

ISSUE:

Is the penalty of imprisonment of six years proper?

HELD:

No. respondent judge is liable for gross ignorance of the law for imposing a straight penalty of six (6)
years imprisonment on the accused in his modified judgment in the case for homicide. It is basic law
that, as stated above, the application of the Indeterminate Sentence Law is mandatory where
imprisonment exceeds one (1) year, except only in certain cases.
Colinares vs. People of the Philippines

FACT:

Arnel Colinares was charged and found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of frustrated homicide by the
RTC of Camarines Sur. He was sentenced to suffer imprisonment from two years and four months of
prison correccional, as minimum, to six years and one day of prison mayor, as maximum. Since the
maximum probationable imprisonment under the law was only up to six years, Arnel did not qualify for
probation. On appeal by Colinares, the Court of Appeals sustained the RTC’s decision. Unsatisfied with
the Court of Appeal’s decision, petitioner then appealed to the Supreme Court and took the position
that he should be entitled to apply for probation in case the Court metes out a new penalty on him that
makes his offense probationable, which was strongly opposed by the Solicitor General reiterating that
under the Probation Law, no application for probation can be entertained once the accused has
perfected his appeal from the judgment of conviction. The Supreme Court, however, found that
Colinares is guilty of attempted homicide and not of frustrated homicide.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Arnel Colinares may still apply for probation on remand of the case to the trial court

Ruling:

Yes, The Supreme Court ruled that Colinares may apply for probation upon remand of his case to the
RTC. Ordinarily, an accused would no longer be entitled to apply for probation, he having appealed from
the judgment of the RTC convicting him for frustrated homicide. But in this case the Supreme Court
ruled to set aside the judgment of the RTC and found him only liable for attempted homicide, if the
Supreme Court follows the established rule that no accused can apply for probation on appeal, the
accused would suffer from the erroneous judgment of the RTC with no fault of his own, therefore
defying fairness and equity.
Francisco vs Court of Appeals

Facts:

Petitioner Pablo C. Francisco, upon humiliating his employees, was accused of multiple grave oral
defamation in five (5) separate Informations instituted by five of his employees, each Information
charging him with gravely maligning them on four different days, i.e., from 9 to 12 April 1980.

On 2 January 1990, after nearly ten (10) years, the Metropolitan Trial Court of Makati, Br. 61, found
petitioner Pablo C. Francisco, guilty of grave oral defamation, in four (4) of the five (5) cases filed against
him, and sentenced him to a prison term of one (1) year and one (l) day to one (1) year and eight (8)
months of prision correccional "in each crime committed on each date of each case, as alleged in the
information(s)," ordered him to indemnify each of the offended parties, Victoria Gatchalian, Rowena
Ruiz, Linda Marie Ayala Pigar and Marie Solis, P10,000.00 as exemplary damages, and P5,000.00 for
attorney's fees, plus costs of suit. However, he was acquitted in for persistent failure of the offended
party, Edgar Colindres, to appear and testify.

Issue:

(a) Whether petitioner is still qualified to avail of probation even after appealing his conviction to the
RTC which affirmed the MeTC except with regard to the duration of the penalties imposed.

Held:

Fixing the cut-off point at a maximum term of six (6) years imprisonment for probation is based on the
assumption that those sentenced to higher penalties pose too great a risk to society, not just because of
their demonstrated capability for serious wrong doing but because of the gravity and serious
consequences of the offense they might further commit.

The Probation Law, as amended, disqualifies only those who have been convicted of grave felonies as
defined in Art. 9 in relation to Art. 25 of the Revised Penal Code, and not necessarily those who have
been convicted of multiple offenses in a single proceeding who are deemed to be less perverse.

Hence, the basis of the disqualification of the petitioner is principally on the gravity of the offense
committed and the concomitant degree of penalty imposed. Those sentenced to a maximum term not
exceeding six (6) years are not generally considered callous, hard core criminals, and thus may avail of
probation.

The Court hereby finds the accused Pablo C. Francisco GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt in each of the
above entitled cases and appreciating in his favor the mitigating circumstance which is analogous to
passion or obfuscation, the Court hereby sentences the said accused in each case to a straight penalty of
eight months imprisonment, with the accessory penalties prescribed by law; and to pay the costs.

The argument that petitioner had to await the remand of the case to the MeTC, which necessarily must
be after the decision of the RTC had become final, for him to file the application for probation with the
trial court, is to stretch the law beyond comprehension. The law, simply, does not allow probation after
an appeal has been perfected.

Accordingly, considering that prevailing jurisprudence treats appeal and probation as mutually exclusive
remedies, and petitioner appealed from his conviction by the MeTC although the imposed penalties
were already probationable, and in his appeal, he asserted only his innocence and did not even raise the
issue of the propriety of the penalties imposed on him, and finally, he filed an application for probation
outside the period for perfecting an appeal granting he was otherwise eligible for probation, the instant
petition for review should be as it is hereby DENIED.