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Juanito C. Pilar vs. Commission on Elections, 245 SCRA 759, G.R. No.

115245
July 11, 1995

Facts:

1. Plaintiff on this case is a candidate that later withdraw his candidacy, and did
not submit his statement of obligation and expenditure.
2. Election Law; Section 14 of RA No. 7166 states that every candidate has the
obligation to file his statement of contributions and expenditures.—Section 14 of R.A.
No. 7166 states that “every candidate” has the obligation to file his statement of
contributions and expenditures.

Issue:

Whether Juanito C. Pilar is still liable for the violation of the Section 14 of R.A
7166 even if he already withdraw his candidacy.

Ruling:

Yes, Juanito C. Pilar is still liable for the violation of the Section 14 of RA No.
7166 even after he withdraw his candidacy.

The said Electoral Law provision states that, “ every candidate has the obligation
to file his statement of contributions and expenditures” it did not specify the status of
the candidate. While Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines states that, “ [t]he
filing or withdrawal of certificate of candidacy shall not affect whatever civil,
criminal or administrative liabilities which a candidate may have incurred.”
On this case although Juanito C. Pilar already manifested his change of heart, his
initial action of filing a candidacy makes him also responsible to file the necessary
statements and submit required forms, The rule is well recognized that where the law
does not distinguish courts should not distinguish. As the obligations are not only for
active candidates, but to all who filed their certificate of candidacy even after the
withdrawal.
Wherefore, due to lack of diligence to follow the obligations attached to filing
of candidacy, the petitioner on this case is guilty for the violation of Section 14, of
R.A 7166.
3. People vs. Evangelista, 253 SCRA 714, G.R. No. 110898 February 20, 1996

Facts:
1. Grilo S. Tugonon was found guilty of Frustrated Homicide by the RTC of Misamis
Oriental and sentenced with one year of prision correccional in its minimum period
and ordered to pay to the offended party P5,000.00 for medical expense, without
subsidiary imprisonment, and the costs. |The sentence was lower due to two
mitigating circumstance incomplete self-defense and voluntary surrender.
2. The defendant then appealed the RTC’s decision to the Court of Appeals, which
modified his sentence to 2 months of arresto mayor, as minimum, to 2 years and 4
months of prision correccional, as maximum.
3. On December 28, 1992, private respondent filed a petition for probation under the
provision of P.D. No. 968. Which the chief probation and parole officers
recommended to be declined on the ground that by appealing the sentence of the trial
court, when he could have then applied for probation, private respondent waived the
right to make his application.
4. The RTC set aside the recommendation of the Probation officer and granted the
probation of the respondent.
5. The law being referred to, P.D. No. 968 was amended by P.D. No. 1990, Section 4
of the new statutes reads, “Grant of Probation.—Subject to the provisions of this
Decree, the trial court may, after it shall have convicted and sentenced a defendant,
and upon application by said defendant within the period for perfecting an appeal,
suspend the execution of the sentence and place the defendant on probation for such
period and upon such terms and conditions as it may deem best; Provided, That no
application for probation shall be entertained or granted if the defendant has
perfected the appeal from the judgment of conviction.”
6. Private respondent argues, however, that a distinction should be drawn between
meritorious appeals (like his appeal notwithstanding the appellate court’s affirmance
of his conviction) and unmeritorious appeals. The RTC on the other hand

Issue:
Whether the Regional Trial Court committed a grave abuse of discretion
amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction for granting the probation of the private
respondent Grilo S. Tugonon.

Ruling.
Yes, the RTC’s decision is not guided by the correct application of statutory
construction on P.D. No. 1990.
The amendment of the law provides that, “xxxx That no application for probation
shall be entertained or granted if the defendant has perfected the appeal from the
judgment of conviction.” Thus the argument that a distinction should be made
between a meritorious and unmeritorious appeal can not apply. If the law makes no
distinction, neither should the Court, the provision of the law is clear, the intention of
the amendment was to not let the felons in cases to simply take their changes on
which application of law would provide a lesser sentence, as the probation's intends to
be the first opportunity by offenders who are willing to be reformed and rehabilitated.
In this case the RTC failed to properly interpret the law. The perfection of the
appeal referred in the law refers to the appeal taken from a judgment of conviction by
the trial court and not that of the appellate court, since under the law an application
for probation is filed with the trial court which can only grant the same “after it shall
have convicted and sentenced [the] defendant, and upon application by said
defendant within the period for perfecting an appeal.”
Wherefore, the decision granting the parole of Grilo S. Tugonon by the RTC is
set aside for lack of jurisdiction.