My son Edward was convicted of robbery in a certain court in Cavite. He applied for parole after he has served the minimum of his sentence in the national penitentiary; however, his petition cannot be processed because there is another existing case of robbery, which was filed against him in another court also in Cavite. This other case was provisionally dismissed by the court on June 20, 2014. Is he still qualified for parole? When will be the permanent dismissal of the case that was provisionally dismissed?
Parole refers to the conditional release of an offender from a correctional institution after he has served the minimum of his prison sentence (Section 2(L), Revised Rules and Regulations of the Board of Pardons and Parole). Correlative thereto, Rule 2.2, Section 2 of the Board of Pardons and Parole Resolution 24-4-10 also provides:
“Pursuant to Act No. 4103, as amended, otherwise known as the ‘Indeterminate Sentence Law,’ parole shall not be granted to the following inmates:
a. Those convicted of offenses punished with death penalty or life imprisonment;
b. Those convicted of treason, conspiracy or proposal to commit treason or espionage;
c. Those convicted of misprision treason, rebellion, sedition or coup d’etat;
d. Those convicted of piracy or mutiny on the high seas or Philippine waters;
e. Those who are habitual delinquents, i.e., those who, within a period of ten (10) years from the date of release from prison or last conviction of the crimes of serious or less serious physical injuries, robbery, theft, estafa and falsification, are found guilty of any of said crimes a third time or oftener;
f. Those who escaped from confinement or evaded sentence;
g. Those who having been granted conditional pardon by the President of the Philippines shall have violated any of the terms thereof;
h. Those whose maximum term of imprisonment does not exceed one (1) year or those with definite sentence;
i. Those convicted of offenses punished with reclusion perpetua, or whose sentences were reduced to reclusion perpetua by reason of Republic Act 9346 enacted on June 24, 2006, amending Republic Act 7659 dated January 1, 2004; and
j. Those convicted for violation of the laws on terrorism, plunder and transnational crimes.”
The provisional dismissal of your son’s case is two (2) years from the issuance of the order of dismissal or on June 20, 2016. This finds support pursuant to Section 8 of Rule 117, 1997 Revised Rules of Court, which states:
“A case shall not be provisionally dismissed except with the express consent of the accused and with notice to the offended party.
The provisional dismissal of offenses punishable by imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years or a fine of any amount, or both, shall become permanent one (1) year after issuance of the order without the case having been revived. With respect to offenses punishable by imprisonment of more than six (6) years, their provisional dismissal shall become permanent two (2) years after issuance of the order without the case having been revived.”
Applying these provisions of rules in your son’s case, he is qualified to file a petition for parole since he is not one among those enumerated as disqualified inmates and the provisional dismissal of his case would become permanent after the lapse of two years from the order of dismissal. The permanent dismissal, however, is not automatic so it is necessary to file an appropriate motion with the proper court for the permanent dismissal of the provisionally dismissed case of your son.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.