VALEROSO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES GR 164815 February 22, 2008
(focusing on PROSPECTIVITY)
Petitioner: PSINSP JERRY C VALEROSO
Respondent: The People of the Philippines
On July 10, 1996, SPO2 Antonio Disuanco of the Criminal Investigation Section Division, Central Police District Command received a dispatch order which directed him and three (3) other personnel to serve a warrant of arrest against petitioner in a case for kidnapping with ransom. After briefing, team conducted necessary surveillance on petitioner, checking his hideouts in Cavite, Caloocan and Bulacan. Then, the team proceeded to the Integrated National Police Central Station in Culiat, Quezon City, where they saw petitioner as he was about to board a tricycle. SPO2 Disuanco and his team approached petitioner. They put him under arrest, informed him of his constitutional rights, and bodily searched him. Found tucked in his waist was a Charter Arms, bearing Serial Number 52315 with five (5) live ammunition.
Petitioner was brought to the police station for questioning. A verification of the subject firearm at the Firearms and Explosives Division at Camp Crame revealed that it was not issued to the petitioner but to another person. Petitioner was then charged with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition under PD No. 1866 as amended.
On May 6, 1998 trial court found petitionerguilty as charged and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its maximum plus fine. Petitioner moved to reconsider but his motion was denied. He appealed to the CA. On May 4, 2004, the appellate court affirmed the RTC disposition.
SC affirmed CAs decision.
(1) Whether or not retroactive application of the law is valid taken into account that the commission of the offense was on July 10, 1996 wherein the governing law was PD 1866 which provides the penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period to reclusion perpetua.
(1) YES. RA 8294 amended PD 1866 on July 6, 1997, during the pendency of the case with the trial court. The law looks forward, never backward (prospectivity).Lex prospicit, non respicit. A new law has a prospective, not retroactive, effect. However, penal laws that favor a guilty person, who is not a habitual criminal, shall be given retroactive effect.(Exception and exception to the exception on effectivity of laws).