Monday, August 9, 2010

FAJARDO VS COURT OF APPEAL GR no. 128508 February 01, 1999

Petitioner: Daniel G. Fajardo
Respondent (s): Court of Appeals, Hon. Florentino P. Pedronio (in his capacity as presi-
            ding Judge, RTC Br 31, Iloilo City, PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and Station Com-
            mander of Iloilo City


On May 26, 1988, the RTC Br 31 of Iloilo City convicted petitioner of violation of BP Blg 22 and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of 8 months imprisonment and pay the costs. The petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals. By decision promulgated on February 27, 1990, the CA affirmed the conviction. Petitioner filed a petition for review on certiorari of the conviction before the SC but latter also denied said petition.

On June 2, 1995, petitioner filed a motion for probation before the trial court contending that he was eligible for probation because at the time he committed the offense in 1981, an accused who had appealed his conviction was still qualified to apply for probation and that the law that barred an application for probation of an accused who had interposed an appeal was ex post facto in its application and hence, not applicable to him. Trial court denied petitioner’s motion for probation and so did CA.

(1)   Whether or not petitioner could qualify to apply for probation under PD No. 986 since he had appealed from his conviction in 1988, after PD 1990 amending PD 986 become effective in 1986.
(2)   Whether or not PD 1990 is an ex post facto law hence, invalid.

(1)   NO. PD 1990 provides, “no application for probation shall be entertained or granted if the defendant has perfected the appeal from the judgment of conviction”. At the time of the commission of the offense in 1981, petitioner could have appealed if convicted and still availed himself of probation but he was convicted on May 26, 1988, and he appealed. At that time, PD 1990 was then in full effect. He could no longer apply for probation since he had appealed.
(2)   NO. PD 1990 is valid. It is not an ex post facto law in its application and neither is it considered as such. The law applies only to accused convicted after its effectivity. An ex post facto law is one that punishes an act as a crime which was innocent at the time of its commission. PD 1990 is not penal in character just like the Probation Law that it amends.

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