Criminal Law

In the Matter of the Petition for Habeas Corpus of Pete Lagran

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G.R. No. 147270 – 15 Phil. 506 – 363 SCRA 275 – Criminal Law – Book 1 – Article 70 of the Revised Penal Code – Service of Sentence – Successive Service

Pete Lagran was convicted of three counts of violation of the Anti-Bouncing Checks Law. He was sentenced to suffer one year imprisonment for each count. By the time the judgment became final and executory, he has already served two years in prison. Lagran now files a Petition for Habeas Corpus before the Supreme Court. Lagran argues that the service of the penalty imposed upon him is simultaneous, hence, he has already served beyond the sentence imposed; he argued that if the penalties or sentences imposed on the accused are identical, and such penalties or sentences emanated from one court and one complaint, the accused shall serve them simultaneously.

ISSUE: Whether or not Lagran is correct.

HELD: No. Article 70 of the Revised Penal Code allows simultaneous service of two or more penalties only if the nature of the penalties so permit. The penalties that can be simultaneously served are: (1) perpetual absolute disqualification, (2) perpetual special disqualification, (3) temporary absolute disqualification, (4) temporary special disqualification, (5) suspension, (6) destierro, (7) public censure, (8) fine and bond to keep the peace, (9) civil interdiction, and (10) confiscation and payment of costs. These penalties, except destierro, can be served simultaneously with imprisonment. The penalties consisting in deprivation of liberty cannot be served simultaneously by reason of the nature of such penalties. Where the accused is sentenced to two or more terms of imprisonment, the terms should be served successively. Lagran was sentenced to suffer one year imprisonment for every count of the offense committed. The nature of the sentence does not allow him to serve all the prison terms simultaneously.

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