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REFERENCE AND RESEARCH BUREAU LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH SERVICE

SUSPENSION OF SERVICE OF SENTENCE OF MINORS ACCUSED/CHARGED OF A CRIME PENALIZED UNDER THE REVISED PENAL CODE AND SPECIAL LAWS OR IMPLICATED IN A DRUG RELATED CRIME

I. The Child and Youth Welfare Code 1 , Chapter III, expressly repealed and modified, Art. 80 of the Revised Penal Code regarding Suspension of Sentence of Minor Accused/Charged of a Crime Penalized Under the Revised Penal Code and Special Laws

1. Provision of Law

1.1 Art. 189.

Youthful Offender, Defined. – A youthful offender is a

child, minor or youth, including one who is emancipated in accordance with law, who is over nine years but under eighteen years of age at the time of the commission of the offense.

of the

commission of the offense shall be exempt from criminal liability

and shall be committed to the care of his or her father or mother, or nearest relative or family friend in the discretion of the court and subject to its supervision. The same shall be done for a child over

nine

the

commission of the offense, unless he acted with discernment, in

which

shall be proceeded against in accordance with

A

child

nine

years

of

age

or under

at

the time

years

case

and

he

under

fifteen

years

of

age

at

the

time

of

 

Article 192.

1.2 Physical and Mental Examination. – It shall be the duty

Art. 190.

of the law-enforcement agency concerned to take the youthful offender, after his apprehension, to any available government medical or health officer in the area for a physical or mental examination. Whenever treatment for any physical or mental defect is indicated, steps shall be immediately undertaken to provide the same.

1 P.D. No. 603, December 10, 1974; as amended by P.D. No. 1179, August 15, 1977 and P.D. No. 1210, October 11, 1978

The examination and treatment papers shall form part of the record of the case of the youthful offender.

1.3 Art. 191.

Care of Youthful Offender Held for Examination or

mental

examination or trial or pending appeal, if unable to furnish bail

shall, from the time of his arrest, be committed to the care of the Department of Social Service and Development or the local rehabilitation center or a detention home in the province or city which shall be responsible for his appearance in court whenever

required:

agency within a reasonable distance from the venue of the trial, the provincial, city and municipal jail shall provide quarters for

The court may,

in its discretion upon recommendation of the Department of Social Services and Development or other agency or agencies authorized by the court, release a youthful offender on recognizance, to the custody of his parents or other suitable person who shall be responsible for his appearance whenever required. However, in the case of those whose cases fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Military Tribunals, they may be committed at any military detention or rehabilitation center.

youthful offenders separate from other detainees.

That in the absence of any such center or

Trial.

A

youthful

offender

held

for

physical

and

Provided,

1.4 Art. 192.

Suspension of Sentence and Commitment of Youthful

Offender. – If after hearing the evidence in the proper proceedings, the court should find that the youthful offender has committed the acts charged against him, the court shall determine the imposable penalty, including any civil liability chargeable against him.

However, instead of pronouncing judgment of conviction, the court, upon application of the youthful offender and if it finds that the best interest of the public as well as that of the offender will be served thereby, may suspend all further proceedings and commit such minor to the custody or care of the Department of Social Services and Development, or to any training institution operated by the government or any other responsible person until he shall have reach twenty-one years of age, or for a shorter period as the

court

may

deem

proper,

after

considering

the

reports

and

recommendations

of

the

Department

of

Social

Services

and

Development or the government training institution or responsible person under whose care he has been committed.

Upon receipt of the application of the youthful offender for suspension of his sentence, the court may require the Department of Social Services and Development to prepare and submit to the court a social case study report over the offender and his family.

2

The

youthful

offender

shall

be

subject

to

visitation

and

supervision

by

a

representative

of

the

Department

of

Social

Services

court

prescribe.

the

and

Development

may

designate

or

government

subject

to

such

training

institution

as

it

as

may

conditions

The benefits of this article shall not apply to a youthful offender who has once enjoyed suspension of sentence under its provisions or to one who is convicted of an offense punishable by death or life imprisonment or to one who is convicted for an offense by the Military Tribunals.

1.5 Art. 193.

Appeal. – The order of the court denying an application

for suspension of sentence under the provisions of Article 192 above shall not be appealable.

1.6 Art. 194.

Care and Maintenance of Youthful Offenders. – The

expenses for the care and maintenance of the youthful offender

whose sentence has been suspended shall be borne by his parents or those persons liable to support him: Provided, That in case his parents or those persons liable to support him cannot pay all or part of said expenses, the municipality in which the offense was committed shall pay one-third of said expenses or part thereof; the province to which the municipality belongs shall pay one-third and

the remaining

one-third

shall

be

borne

by

the

National

Government.

Chartered

cities

shall

pay

two-thirds

of

said

expenses; and in case a chartered city cannot pay said expenses, part of the internal revenue allotments applicable to the unpaid portion shall be withheld and applied to the settlement of said indebtedness.

All city and provincial governments must exert efforts for the immediate establishment of local detention homes for youthful offenders.

1.7 Art. 195.

Report on Conduct of Child. – The Department of Social

Services

and

Development

or

government

training

institution

or

individual

under

whose

care

the

youthful

offender

has

been

committed shall submit to the court every four months or oftener as may be required in special cases, a written report on the conduct of said youthful offender as well as the intellectual, physical, moral, social and emotional progress made by him.

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1.8 Art. 196.

Dismissal of the Case. – If it is shown to the satisfaction of

the court that the youthful offender whose sentence has been suspended, has behaved properly and has shown his capability to be

a useful member of the community, even before reaching the age of

majority, upon recommendation of the Department of Social Services and Development, it shall dismiss the case and order his final release.

1.9

Art. 197.

Return of the Youthful Offender to Court.

– Whenever the

youthful offender has been found incorrigible or has willfully failed to comply with the conditions of his rehabilitation programs, or should his continued stay in the training institution be inadvisable, he shall be returned to the committing court for the pronouncement of judgment.

When the youthful offender has reached the age of twenty-one while in commitment, the court shall determine whether to dismiss the case in accordance with the next preceding article or to pronounce the judgment of conviction. In the latter case, the convicted offender may apply for probation under the provision of P.D. No. 968.

In any case covered by this article, the youthful offender shall be credited in the service of his sentence with the full time spent in actual commitment and detention effected under the provisions of this chapter.

1.10 Art. 198.

Effect of Release of Child Based on Good Conduct. – The

final release

Such release shall

be without prejudice to the right for a writ of execution for the recovery of civil damages.

shall not obliterate his civil liability for damages.

of a child pursuant to the provisions of this chapter

1.11 Art. 199.

Living Quarters for Youthful Offenders Sentence. – When

a judgment of conviction is pronounced in accordance with the

provisions of Article 197, and at the time of said pronouncement the youthful offender is still under twenty-one, he shall be committed to the proper penal institution to serve the remaining period of his

penal institutions shall provide youthful

offenders with separate quarters and, as far as practicable, group them according to appropriate age levels or other criteria as will insure their speedy rehabilitation: Provided, further, That the

sentence:

Provided,

That

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Bureau

of

Prisons

shall

maintain

agricultural

and

forestry

camps

where

youthful

offenders

may

serve

their

sentence

in

lieu

of

confinement in regular penitentiaries.

1.12 Art. 200.

Records of Proceedings. – Where a youthful offender has

been charged before any city or provincial fiscal or before any municipal judge and the charges have been ordered dropped, all the records of the case shall be considered as privileged and may not be disclosed directly or indirectly to any one for any purpose whatsoever.

Where a youthful offender has been charged and the court acquits him or dismisses the case or commits him to an institution and subsequently releases him pursuant to this chapter, all the records of his case shall also be considered as privileged and may not be disclosed directly or indirectly to anyone except to determine if a defendant may have his sentence suspended under Article 192 of this Decree or if he may be granted probation under the provisions of Presidential Decree Numbered Nine Hundred and Sixty-Eight or to enforce his civil liability, if said liability has been imposed in the criminal action. The youthful offender concerned shall not be held under any provision of law to be guilty of perjury or of concealment or misrepresentation by reason of his failure to acknowledge the case or recite any fact related thereto in response to any inquiry made to him for any purpose.

“Records” within the meaning of this article shall include

those

which

may

be

in

the

files

of

the

National

Bureau

of

Investigation

and

with

any

police

department

or

any

other

government agency which may have been involved in the case. (As amended by PD 1179).

1.13 Art.

civil

liability for acts committed by a youthful offender shall devolve upon the offender’s father and, in case of his death or incapacity, upon the mother or in case of her death or incapacity, upon the guardian. Civil liability may also be voluntarily assumed by a relative or family friend of the youthful offender.

201.

Civil

Liability

of

Youthful

Offenders.

The

1.14 Art.

202.

Rehabilitation

Centers.

The Department of Social

Welfare

shall

establish

regional

rehabilitation

centers

for

youthful

offenders.

The

local

government

and

other

non-governmental

entities shall collaborate and contribute their support for the establishment and maintenance of these facilities.

5

1.15

Art.

203.

Detention

Homes.

The

Department

of

Local

Government and Community Development shall establish detention homes in cities and provinces distinct and separate from jails pending the disposition of cases of juvenile offenders.

1.16

Art. 204.

Liability of Parents or Guardian or any Person in the

Commission of Delinquent Acts by Their Children or Wards. – A person, whether the parent or guardian of the child or not, who knowingly or willfully –

(1)

Aids, causes, abets or connives with the commission by a child of a delinquency, or

(2)

Does any act producing, promoting, or contributing to a

a

punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred pesos or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.

child’s

being

or

becoming

juvenile

delinquent

shall

be

2. Supreme Court Decisions and Commentaries Regarding the Child and Youth Welfare Code

2.1 Concept of Youthful Offender 2

 

A youthful offender

is

defined

as one

who

is over

nine

years

but

less

than

eighteen

years

of

age

at

the

time

of

the

Correspondingly, if the offender is

nine years or below, he is not considered a youthful offender and is therefore exempt from criminal liability. In this regard, the child who is nine years or under at the time of the commission of the offense shall be committed to the care and custody of his or her

the

discretion of the court and subject to its supervision.

commission of the offense.

father or mother,

or

nearest

relative

or

family

friend

in

2.2 Purpose and Objective of the Child and Youth Welfare Code 3

The purpose and intention of the law is to avoid a situation

criminals

So, instead of imposing a condemnatory sentence on

them, they are confined in a beneficent institution for their care,

be

where

in prison.

juvenile

and

offenders

education.

would

comingle

by

with

ordinary

that

correction

Also

providing

they

2 Tabios, S.; Fundamentals of Law on Youthful Offenders, 134 SCRA 474.

3 People vs. Casiguran, 94 SCRA 244; People vs. Estefa, 86 Phil. 104; Bactoso vs. Governor of Cebu, 48 Phil. 25)

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considered not as common criminals, but as children needing help, encouragement and guidance in their normal development.

2.3 Privileges of Youthful Offenders 4

2.3.1 Care of Youthful Offender Upon Apprehension

Youth

Welfare Code, it shall be the duty of the law-enforcement

agency

immediately after his apprehension, to the proper medical

or

examination. Whenever treatment for any physical or mental defect is indicated, steps shall be taken to provide the same.

physical and mental

take the youthful offender,

Under

the

provisions

to

for

a

of

the

Child

and

concerned

officer

health

thorough

2.3.2 Suspension of Sentence 5

Under the Child and Welfare code, if after hearing

4 See note 2, p. 477.

5 Ibid, pp. 477-479.

the evidence in the proper proceedings, the court should

find

charged against him, the court shall determine the imposable penalty, including any civil liability chargeable against him. However, instead of pronouncing judgment of conviction, the court upon application of the youthful offender and if it finds that the best interest of the public as well as that of the offender will be served thereby, may suspend all further proceedings and commit such minor to the custody or care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development or to any training institution operated by the government or any other responsible person until he shall have reached twenty-one years of age, or for a shorter period as the court may deem proper.

that

the

youthful offender has committed the acts

2.3.2.1 Suspension of sentence not automatic

It therefore appears that under the law the suspension of sentence is not automatic if the offender falls under the category of youthful offender. In this regard, the youthful offender is given the option so that if he does not apply for a suspended sentence he is convicted and sentenced. This requirement of application for suspended sentence appears to recognize the

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fact that a suspended sentence will not always be favorable to a youthful offender, as when a youthful offender expects to be meted a very

light

attendant

account

circumstances in the commission of the crime. The right of a youthful offender to apply for a suspended sentence is available only when at

the

otherwise as

the age limit of youthful offender,

held by the Supreme Court,

conviction he is still within

penalty

on

of

the

time

of

trial or

the reason for the

suspended sentence does not anymore apply as he would then no longer be a juvenile offender

but already an adult. 6

2.3.2.2 Sentence is not suspended

The benefits of suspension of sentence shall

not apply

enjoyed suspension of sentence, or one who is convicted of an offence punishable by death or life imprisonment.

to a youthful offender who once

2.3.3 Dismissal of the Case Upon Good Behavior 7

Under the Child and Youth Welfare Code, if it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that the youthful offender whose sentence has been suspended, has behaved

properly

member of the community, even before reaching the age of

capability to be a useful

and

has

shown

his

majority, upon the recommendation of the DSWD, it shall dismiss the case and order his final discharge.

6 People vs. Parcon, 110 SCRA 425.

7 See note 2, pp. 479-480.

The Supreme Court remarked that from the time that trial court issued the order of commitment, it is as if

the past is temporarily set aside and the youthful offender is given a new lease in life, so that with proper help and guidance, he may yet prove himself to be a useful member

consequence

to the trial court is what transpired during the period of the

youthful offender’s commitment. The antecedent matters like the seriousness of the offense committed, the degree of perversity demonstrated by the accused in the commission

of

offense was perpetrated, do not have any bearing at all in

of society.

What solely becomes of material

the

crime and the

age of

the accused at the time the

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the determination of whether the case is to be dismissed or sentence is to be pronounced on the defendant. 8

2.4 Civil Liability of Youthful Offenders 9

The final release of a youthful offender shall not obliterate his liability for damage; as such release shall be without prejudice

to

damages.

liability of youthful offender for acts committed shall devolve upon the offender’s father and, in case of his death or incapacity, upon the mother, or in case of her death or incapacity upon the guardian. Civil liability may also be voluntarily assumed by a relative or family friend of the youthful offender.

For this purpose, the law also provides that the civil

of execution for the recovery of civil

the

right

for

a

writ

2.5 Return of the Youthful Offender to the Court 10

When the youthful offender has been found incorrigible or

has

rehabilitation program, or should his continued stay in the training institution be inadvisable he shall be returned to the committing court for the pronouncement of judgment. In this regard, when a

judgment of conviction

pronouncement the youthful offender is still under twenty-one, he shall be committed to the proper penal institution to serve the remaining period of his sentence, provided that the penal institution shall provide youthful offenders with separate quarters and as far as practicable, group them according to appropriate age levels or other criteria as will insure their speedy rehabilitation.

is pronounced

time of said

the conditions of his

willfully

failed

to

comply

with

and

at

the

When the youthful offender has reached the age of twenty- while in commitment, the court shall determine whether to

one

dismiss the case, if the youthful offender has behaved properly and has shown his capability to be a useful member of the community or to pronounce the judgment of conviction, if the condition mentioned are not met. In the latter case, the convicted offender may apply for probation. In this case, the youthful offender shall be credited in the service of his sentence with the full time spent in actual commitment and detention. 11

8 People vs. Garcia, 105 SCRA 6.

9 See note 2, p. 480.

10 Ibid., p. 481.

11 See note 8.

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II. Suspension of Sentence of Minors Implicated in a Drug Related Crime, Governed by the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, R.A. No.

9165 12

1. Provision of Law

1.1 Section 66 provides for the Suspension of Sentence of a First-Time Minor Offender. It says:

“Sec. 66. Suspension of Sentence of a First-Time Minor Offender. An Accused who is over fifteen (15) years of age at the time of the commission of the offense mentioned in Section 11 of this Act, but not more than eighteen (18) years of age at the time when judgment should have been promulgated after having been found guilty of said offense, may be given the benefits of a suspended sentence, subject to the following conditions:

(a)

He/she

has

not

been

previously

convicted

of

violating

any

provision

of

this

Act,

or

of

the

Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended; or the Revised Penal Code; or of any special penal laws;

(b)

He/she

has

not

been

previously committed to a

Center

or

to the care of a DOH-accredited

physician; and

 

(c)

The Board favorably recommends that his/her sentence be suspended.

While

under

suspended

sentence,

he/she

shall

be

under

the

supervision

and

rehabilitative

surveillance

of

the Board, under such conditions that the court may impose for a period ranging from six (6) months to eighteen (18) months.

Upon recommendation of the Board, the court may commit the accused under suspended sentence to a Center or to the care of a DOH-accredited physician for at least six (6) months, with after-care and follow-up program for not more than eighteen (18) months.

12 Annex “A”.

10

In the case of minors under fifteen (15) years of age at

the

under this Act, Article 192 of P.D. No. 603, otherwise known as the Child and Youth Welfare Code, as amended by P.D. No. 1179 shall apply, without prejudice to the application of the provision of this Section.”

penalized

time

of

the

commission

of

any

offense

1.2 Section

67

provides

for

the

Discharge

after

Compliance

with

 

Conditions

of

Suspended

Sentence

of

a

First-Time

Minor

Offender. It says:

“Sec. 67. Discharge After Compliance with Conditions of Suspended Sentence of a First-Time Minor Offender. – If the accused first time minor offender under suspended sentence complies with the applicable rules and regulations of the Board, including confinement in a Center, the court, upon a favorable recommendation of the Board for the final discharge of the accused, shall discharge the accused and dismiss all proceedings.

the

accused,

official records, other than the confidential record to be retained by the DOJ relating to the case. Such an order, which shall be kept confidential, shall restore the accused

He/she shall not be

held thereafter to be guilty of perjury or of concealment or misrepresentation by reason of his/her failure to acknowledge the case or recite any fact related thereto in response to any inquiry made of him for any purpose.”

to his/her status prior to the case.

to expunge all

Upon

the

the

dismissal

of

the

proceedings

an order

against

court shall enter

1.3 Section 68 provides for the Privilege of Suspended Sentence to be Availed of only once by a First-Time Offender. It says:

“Sec. 68. Privilege of Suspended Sentence to be Availed of Only Once by a First-Time Minor Offender. – The privilege of suspended sentence shall be availed of only once by an accused drug dependent who is a first- time offender over fifteen (15) years of age at the time of the commission of the violation of Section 15 of this Act but not more than eighteen (18) years of age at the time when judgment should have been promulgated.”

11

1.4 Section 69 provides for the Promulgation of Sentence for First- Time Minor Offender. It says:

“Sec. 69. Promulgation of Sentence for First-Time –

minor

his/her

suspended sentence, the applicable rules and regulations of the Board exercising supervision and rehabilitative surveillance over him, including the rules and regulations of the Center should confinement be required, the court shall pronounce judgment of conviction and he/she shall serve sentence as any other convicted person.”

Minor

offender

Offender.

violates

If

any

the

of

accused

the

first-time

of

conditions

1.5 Section 70 provides for the Probation or Community Service for a First-Time Minor Offender in Lieu of Imprisonment. It says:

“Sec. 70. Probation or Community Service for a First-Time Minor Offender in Lieu of Imprisonment. – Upon promulgation of the sentence, the court may, in its discretion, place the accused under probation, even if the sentence provided under this Act is higher than that provided under existing law on probation, or impose community service in lieu of imprisonment. In case of probation, the supervision and rehabilitative surveillance shall be undertaken by the Board through the DOH in coordination with the Board of Pardons and Parole and the Probation Administration. Upon compliance with the conditions of the probation, the Board shall submit a written report to the court recommending termination of probation and a final discharge of the probationer, whereupon the court shall issue such an order.

The community service shall be complied with under conditions, time and place as may be determined by the court in its discretion and upon the recommendation of the Board and shall apply only to violators of Section 15 of this Act. The completion of the community service shall be under the supervision and rehabilitative surveillance of the Board during the period required by the court. Thereafter, the Board shall render a report on the manner of compliance of said community service. The court in its discretion may require extension of the community service or order a final discharge.

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In both cases, the judicial records shall be covered by the provisions of Section 60 and 64 of this Act.

If

the

sentence

promulgated

by

the

court

requires

imprisonment,

the

period

spent

in

the

Center

by

the

accused during the suspended sentence period shall be

deducted from the sentence to be served.”

(CHILDREN & YOUTH:

RRB/LRS

RHAB/BTM/amt

5-7-03

SUSPENSION OF SERVICE OF SENTENCE MINOR)

13

OF A