Can a man who convicted of raping his own 15- year-old daughter be eligible for parole?
Under Republic Act (R.A.) 8353, otherwise known as The Anti-Rape Law of 1997, there are two ways of committing the crime of rape: First, by a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: (a) Through force, threat, or intimidation; (b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; (c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and (d) When the offended party is under 12 years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present; and Second, by any person who, under any of the circumstances abovementioned, shall commit an act of sexual assault by inserting his penis into another person’s mouth or anal orifice, or any instrument or object, into the genital or anal orifice of another person (Article 266-A, R.A. 8353).
The penalty for the first mode of committing the crime of rape above-stated is reclusion perpetua (Article 266-B, R.A. 8353). Consequently, a person convicted of this crime will not be eligible for parole because a person convicted of an offense punished with the death penalty, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment is disqualified from applying for parole (Rule 2.2 (a), Rules on Parole).
Moreover, if the victim is under 18years of age and the offender is her parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent, it shall be considered as an aggravating or qualifying circumstance pursuant to Article 266-B, paragraph 6 of R.A. 8353, and the penalty imposed by the law is the death penalty. Although, in view of the passage of R.A. 9346, the Act prohibiting the imposition of the death penalty in the Philippines, the penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be imposed in lieu of the death penalty (Section 2 (a), R. A. 9346). Accordingly, the person convicted will not be eligible for parole as it is explicitly provided under Section 3 of R. A. 9346: “Persons convicted of offenses punished with reclusion perpetua, or whose sentences will be reduced to reclusion perpetua, by reason of this Act, shall not be eligible for parole under R.A. 4180, otherwise known as the Indeterminate Sentence Law, as amended.”
On the other hand, if he was convicted under the second mode of committing the crime of rape, and it was aggravated or qualified by the fact that the victim is under 18 years of age and he is the parent, ascendant, step-parent, guardian, relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree, or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim, the penalty to be imposed shall be reclusion temporal (Article 266-B, paragraph 12, R. A. 8353). Correspondingly, he may apply for parole, unless he is disqualified for some other ground mentioned under the Rules on Parole.
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 email@example.com