• Inmates should serve minimum sentence before seeking parole

    Persida Acosta

    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    I am an inmate at the Correctional Institution for Women. My sentence is four years, two months and one day up to eight years and one day. I have been in prison for three years and eight months already. I would just like to know if I am already qualified for Parole so that I can go home to my family. I miss my children, and they badly need a mother at home to care for them.

    Dear Juliet,

    First and foremost, you communicate to us that you are currently serving an indeterminate sentence of four years, two months and one day up to eight years and one day. You also mentioned that you have been in prison for three years and eight months. You are now seeking our advice on whether or not you are eligible to apply for Parole so that you may go home to your children and perform your domestic obligations.

    Under Section 2 (l) of the Revised Rules and Regulations of the Board of Pardons and Parole, the term “Parole” refers to the conditional release of an offender from a correctional institution after he has served the minimum of his prison sentence. From this definition alone, it is clear that you are not yet eligible for parole since you have not served the minimum of your indeterminate sentence as of yet. When applied to your case, you can be eligible for Parole only when you have served four years, two months and one day and not at any time before that.

    Further, under the above-mentioned rules, there are certain circumstances that would disqualify you from availing of Parole. Under Section 15 of the Rules, the following are disqualified from availing of Parole:

    “SECTION 15. Disqualification for Parole. The following prisoners shall not be granted parole: a. Those convicted of an offense punished with Death penalty, Reclusion Perpetua or Life imprisonment; b. Those convicted of treason, conspiracy or proposal to commit treason or espionage; c.Those convicted of misprision of treason, rebellion, sedition or coup d’état; 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 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 were granted Conditional Pardon and 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 suffering from any mental disorder as certified by a government psychiatrist/psychologist;

    j. Those whose conviction is on appeal;

    k. Those who have pending criminal case/s.”

    These are the circumstances to consider when availing of Parole. Sadly, you failed to mention in your letter to us what crime you were convicted of and whether or not you have a pending appeal. In any event, the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) is ready to provide you advice and assistance. Just approach any of our public attorneys during one of our regular jail visitation activities.

    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 dearpao@manilatimes.net


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