A former neighbor asked for my help because her son has been in jail for several years already, although there was a time that he escaped from detention and was merely arrested again. She would like to know if her son can be qualified to apply for parole. I hope you can enlighten us. Thank you.
Parole is a form of conditional release of a person who is detained in a penal confinement or correctional institution. In order to be eligible for parole, the detainee or prisoner must (1) be confined in prison or detention facility to serve an indeterminate sentence, the maximum period of which must exceed one year, pursuant to a final judgment of conviction which has become final and executory, and (2) have served the minimum period of his sentence (Rule 2.1, Rules on Parole, 2006 Revised Manual, Board of Pardons and Parole).
However, not all detention prisoners who possess the abovementioned qualifications will be granted parole. For instance, in the situation of your neighbor’s son, although he may have been convicted with finality, serving an indeterminate sentence, the maximum period of which must exceed one year, and has served the minimum period thereof, he may still be disqualified from applying for parole on account of the fact that he has escaped from confinement. This is in consonance with Rule 2.2 of the Rules on Parole which provides that: “Pursuant to, among others, Section 2 of Act No. 4103, as amended, otherwise known as the Indeterminate Sentence Law, said Act shall not apply, and parole shall not be granted, to the following prisoners: x x x (f) Those who escaped from confinement or evaded sentence; x x x”
Apart from the foregoing, the following are likewise disqualified from applying for parole: those convicted of an offense punished with death penalty, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment; those convicted of treason, conspiracy or proposal to commit treason or espionage; those convicted of misprision of treason, rebellion, sedition or coup d’ etat; those convicted of piracy or mutiny on the high seas or Philippine waters; those who are habitual delinquents; those granted conditional pardon but violated the terms thereof; those suffering from mental disorder as certified by a government psychiatrist/psychologist; those whose conviction is on appeal or has not yet become final and executory; those who have pending criminal cases; or national prisoners serving sentence in a municipal city, district or provincial jail, unless confinement therein is in good faith or due to circumstances beyond the prisoner’s control (Id.).
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
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