G.R. No. 78239 – 170 SCRA 190 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – Powers of the President – Pardon Does not Extinguish Civil Liabilities & It is Prospective
Salvacion Monsanto was the Asst. Treasurer of Calbayug City. She was charged with Estafa through Falsification of Public Documents. She was found guilty and was sentenced to jail. She was however granted pardon by the President Ferdinand Marcos. She then wrote a letter to the Minister of Finance for her to be reinstated to her former position since it was still vacant. She was also requesting for back pays. The Minister of Finance referred the issue to the Office of the President and Deputy Executive Secretary Factoran denied Monsanto’s request averring that Monsanto must first seek appointment and that the pardon does not reinstate her to her former position. Monsanto avers that by reason of the pardon, she should no longer be compelled to answer for the civil liabilities brought about by her acts.
ISSUE: Whether or not Monsanto should be reinstated to her former post.
HELD: No. A pardon looks to the future. It is not retrospective. It makes no amends for the past. It affords no relief for what has been suffered by the offender. It does not impose upon the government any obligation to make reparation for what has been suffered. “Since the offense has been established by judicial proceedings, that which has been done or suffered while they were in force is presumed to have been rightfully done and justly suffered, and no satisfaction for it can be required.” This would explain why Monsanto, though pardoned, cannot be entitled to receive backpay for lost earnings and benefits. On the other hand, civil liability arising from crime is governed by the Revised Penal Code. It subsists notwithstanding service of sentence, or for any reason the sentence is not served by pardon, amnesty or commutation of sentence. Monsanto’s civil liability may only be extinguished by the causes recognized in the Civil Code, which are: payment, loss of the thing due, remission of the debt, merger of the rights of creditor and debtor, compensation and novation.