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ARTURO A. MEJORADA v.

THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN and THE


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
GR No. L-51065: June 30, 1987
FACTS:
Arturo Mejorada was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section
3(E) of RA No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Mejorada was a rightaway agent whose main duty was to process the claims for compensation of damages
with property owners affected by highway construction and improvements. He required
claimants to sign blank copies of Sworn Statements and Agreements to Demolish,
where it appeared that the properties of the claimants have higher values than the
actual value claimed by them. However, the claimants did not bother reading through
the paper because they were very much interested in the payment of damages. After
processing the claims, instead of giving to the claimants the proper amount, Mejorada
gave one of them P5,000 and the rest P1,000 each, saying that there are many who
would share in said amounts. The claimants werent able to complain because they
were afraid of the accused and his armed companion.
The Sandiganbayan sentenced Mejorada to 56 years and 8 days of
imprisonment which is equivalent to the eight (8) penalties for eight information filed
against him. However, Mejorada contended that the penalty imposed upon him is
contrary to the three-fold rule under Article 70 of the RPC where the duration of the
aggregate penalties should not exceed 40 years.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the penalty imposed upon him violate the three-fold rule under Article
70 of the RPC.
DECISION:
No, the penalty imposed upon him does not violate the three-fold rule under Article 70
of the RPC.
RATIO:
This article is to be taken into account not in the imposition of the penalty but in
connection with the service of the sentence imposed. Article 70 of the RPC does not
state anything about the imposition of penalty. It only explains the service of
sentence, duration of penalty and penalty to be inflicted. It merely provides that the
prisoner cannot be made serve more than three times the most severe of these
penalties the maximum of which is forty (40) years. As stated in a previous case, The
courts can still impose as many penalties as there are separate and distinct offenses
committed, since for every individual crime committed, a corresponding penalty is
prescribed by law. With these reasons, Mejorada cannot correctly contend that his
penalty is excessive. There are eight charges against him and each has an equivalent
penalty as prescribed by RA 3019, thus, Sandiganbayan has imposed the correct
penalty.

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF PETE C. LAGRAN


363 SCRA 275 (2001)
FACTS:
Petitioner Pete C. Lagran was convicted of three (3) counts of violation of Batas
Pambansa (BP) Blg. 22. He was sentenced to suffer imprisonment of one (1) year for
each count. Petitioner was then committed to the Quezon City Jail on February 24,
1999 and was later on transferred to the New Bilibid Prison where he has been serving
his sentence.
Petitioner filed the instant petition for habeas corpus. He prayed for his immediate
release as he had allegedly completed the service of his sentence. He cited Article 70
of the Revised Penal Code, arguing 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. He stated that he has
been incarcerated for two (2) years and four (4) days, counted from February 28, 2001,
thus, his detention in the New Bilibid Prison is now without legal basis.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the sentence imposed on the accused shall serve them simultaneously.
DECISION:
No, the sentence imposed on the accused shall serve them successively.
RATIO:
As a general rule, Article 70 of the RPC allows simultaneous service of two or more
penalties but only if the nature of the penalties so permit. The exception is that
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. In the case at bar, petitioner
was sentenced to suffer one year imprisonment for every count of the offense
committed (three years in all for 3 counts of violation). The nature of the sentence does
not allow petitioner to serve all the prison terms simultaneously. Applying the rule on
successive service of sentence, petitioner has not yet completed the service of his
sentence as he commenced serving his sentence only on February 24, 1999. His
prayer, therefore, for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus has no basis.

MONSANTO VS FACTORAN

170 SCRA 190 (1989)


FACTS:
The Sandiganbayan convicted petitioner Salvacion A. Monsanto (then assistant city
treasurer of Calbayog City) with the complex crime of estafa thru falsification of public
documents and sentenced to imprisonment and to indemnify the government. She was
later given an absolute pardon by President Marcos which she accepted. By reason of
said pardon, petitioner wrote the Finance Ministry requesting that she be restored to
her former post as assistant city treasurer.
The Minister of Finance referred the issue to the Office of the President. In response,
the Office denied Monsantos request. The Office averred that Monsanto must first
seek appointment and that the absolute pardon granted to her does not automatically
reinstate her former position and that despite said absolute pardon, she is still civilly
liable from her previous conviction.
Petitioner stressed however that the full pardon extended to her had already wiped out
the crime which implies that her service in the government has never been interrupted
and that she is entitled to back pay during her period of suspension and that she
should not be required to pay the government.
ISSUE:
1. Does the absolute pardon granted to petitioner automatically reinstate her former
position without need of a new appointment?
2. Does the absolute pardon extinguish her civil liability?
DECISION:
1. No, the absolute pardon does not automatically reinstate her former position
without need of a new appointment.
2. No, the absolute pardon does not extinguish her civil liability.
RATIO:
1. To insist on automatic reinstatement because of a mistaken notion that the
pardon virtually acquitted one from the offense of estafa would be grossly
untenable. A pardon, albeit full and plenary, cannot preclude the appointing
power from refusing appointment to anyone deemed to be of bad character, a
poor moral risk, or who is unsuitable by reason of the pardoned conviction.
Stated differently, the pardon granted to petitioner has resulted in removing her
disqualification from holding public employment but it cannot go beyond that. To
regain her former post as assistant city treasurer, she must re-apply and undergo
the usual procedure required for a new appointment.
2. 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. Petitioners civil
liability may only be extinguished by the same causes recognized in the Civil
Code, namely: payment, loss of the thing due, remission of the debt, merger of
the rights of creditor and debtor, compensation and novation.