Dear PAO,

I filed charges for concubinage against my husband and his concubine. Fortunately, the court convicted both of them. As I understand it, the concubine of my husband got a lesser penalty which only prohibits her from entering any place within the radius of 100 kilometers from Barangay Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City. However, one week after the execution of the court's order, I saw the concubine inside a mall in Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City where I am taking my lunch. I confronted her, but she just ignored me. This is so unfair. She cannot even follow her simple penalty. Can I file any criminal charges against her?

Anabelle

Dear Anabelle,

With regard to your concern, Article 157 of the Revised Penal Code penalizes Evasion of Service of Sentence, as follows:

"Article 157. Evasion of service of sentence. - The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed upon any convict who shall evade service of his sentence by escaping during the term of his imprisonment by reason of final judgment.

xxx." (Emphasis Supplied)

This is supported by the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in People of the Philippines vs. Florentino Abilong (GR L-1960, Nov. 26, 1948, Ponente: Associate Justice Marcelino R. Montemayor), with regard to evasion of service of destierro, as follows:

"This view has been adopted in the case of People vs. Samonte, No. 36559 (July 26, 1932; 57 Phil., 968) wherein this Court held, as quoted in the brief of the Solicitor General that 'it is clear that a person under sentence of destierro is suffering deprivation of his liberty and escapes from the restrictions of the penalty when he enters the prohibited area.' Said ruling in that case was ratified by this Court, though, indirectly in the case of People vs. Jose de Jesus, (45 Off. Gaz. Supp. to No. 9, p. 370), where it was held that one evades the service of his sentence of destierro when he enters the prohibited area specified in the judgment of conviction, and he cannot invoke the provisions of the Indeterminate Sentence Law which provides that its provisions do not apply to those who shall have escaped from confinement or evaded sentence.

"In conclusion we find and hold that the appellant is guilty of evasion of service of sentence under article 157 of the Revised Penal Code (Spanish text), in that during the period of his sentence of destierro by virtue of final judgment wherein he was prohibited from entering the City of Manila, he entered said City." (Emphasis supplied)

In view of the foregoing, please be advised that you may file a complaint for evasion of service of sentence against the concubine of your husband for entering Quezon City wherein she was prohibited from entering as specified in the judgment of her conviction.

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 protected]