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[PEOPLE v. CARLOS SOLER Y RODRIGUEZ](https://lawyerly.ph/juris/view/c1ceb?user=fbGU2WFpmaitMVEVGZ2lBVW5xZ2RVdz09)
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[ GR No. 45263, Dec 29, 1936 ]

PEOPLE v. CARLOS SOLER Y RODRIGUEZ +

DECISION

63 Phil. 868

[ G. R. No. 45263, December 29, 1936 ]

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLEE, VS. CARLOS SOLER Y RODRIGUEZ (ALIAS DANKLIN SOLER), DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.

D E C I S I O N

VILLA-REAL, J.:

This is an appeal  taken by  the accused  Carlos Soler (alias Danklin  Soler) from the  judgment of  the Court of First Instance of Rizal, the dispositive part of  which reads:
"By virtue of the plea of guilty entered by the accused in  open court, the court finds him guilty of  theft as  provided for and punished in article 309, case 3, of the Revised Penal Code, with the aggravating circumstance of recidivism which is compensated by the mitigating  circumstance of  the plea of guilty entered by the accused upon arraignment and, consequently, sentences him to the penalty of one year, eight months and twenty-one days of  prision correctional, with the accessory  penalties provided by law, and to indemnify the offended party  Ralph A.  McKibben in  the  sum of P159.60 representing the value of the unrecovered articles, with  subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and costs.

"As a habitual delinquent, this  being  his  fourth conviction, he is sentenced to the additional penalty of seven years, four months and one day of prision mayor, with the accessory penalties provided by  law, in accordance with the provisions of article 62,  subsection  5, paragraph (6), of the Revised Penal Code.

"It is ordered that the recovered articles be returned to the owner thereof under receipt."
The attorney de oficio  appointed by this court to defend the defendant-appellant in this instance states in his brief that he has found no error in the appealed judgment and that he is of the opinion that it should be affirmed.

The principal penalty of  one  year,  eight months and twenty-one  days of prision  correctional imposed by the trial court for the crime of theft provided for and punished in article 309,  case 3,  of the Revised Penal  Code and committed by the defendant-appellant with the aggravating circumstance of recidivism compensated by the mitigating circumstance of the plea of guilty entered by the defendant upon arraignment, is in accordance with law.  Such is not the case, however, with the additional penalty of seven years, four months and one day of prision mayor and the accessory penalties of the law  imposed upon him for being a habitual delinquent under article 62, subsection 5, paragraph (5), of the Revised Penal Code, because in as much as he was a minor when  he committed two crimes of theft on March 31, 1926, robbery in  an inhabited house on November 7, 1927, another theft in  an inhabited house on November 14, 1927; and qualified theft on May 7, 1928, for which he was ordered confined in the Philippine Training School  for  Boys  until he attained majority, without having  passed  sentence of conviction  against  him as it was suspended in accordance with the provision of section 3 of Act No.  3203,  and inasmuch as to  be a  habitual delinquent it  is necessary. that  the  defendant be found guilty of any  of the crimes of robo, hurto, estafa, or falsificacion  a third time or oftener within a period of ten years from the date of his release or last conviction of said crime, the herein defendant-appellant  cannot be deemed to be a habitual delinquent, not having ever been convicted of any of said crimes prior to the commission of the crime of theft with  which he has been  charged and of which he pleaded guilty and was convicted in this case.

The fiscal,  however, is of the opinion that the herein defendant-appellant  is not  entitled to  enjoy the benefit afforded by Act No.  4103, as amended by Act No.  4225, which establishes indeterminate sentence  on the  ground that "he has twice escaped from the Philippine Training School for Boys where he was confined, in accordance with the provision of section 2 of said Act No. 4103, as amended by section 2 of Act No. 4225.

The pertinent part of the Spanish text of section 2 of Act No. 4103, as amended by section 2 of Act No.  4225, reads as follows:
"Art. 2. Esta Ley no se aplicara  *   *   *  a los presos fugados o a las personas que han evadido  el cumplimiento de sentencia;  *  *  *."
The pertinent  part of the  English text  of said section reads:
"Sec.  2. This  Act shall  not  apply   *   *  *   to  those who shall have escaped from confinement  or evaded sentence;  *   *   *."
If we are to abide by the Spanish text, the herein defendant-appellant is entitled to the benefit afforded by said Indeterminate Sentence Law. Preso, according to the Enciclopedia Juridica Española, volume 25, page 499. is "The person subjected to  imprisonment, either preventively or restrictively." The herein defendant-appellant was  never sentenced to  prison  while he was under  age but, on the contrary,  when he  was prosecuted  for the above-stated crimes, no sentence  of conviction was imposed upon  him but all further  proceedings were suspended  and he  was ordered  confined in  the  Philippine Training School for Boys  which is not a prison but purely an educational institution.  The herein defendant-appellant, therefore, never bore the stigma of a  preso and the fact that he had escaped from  the  Philippine Training  School for Boys  did not give him the status of a preso fugado (escaped prisoner).

If  we are  to abide by the English  translation,  said defendant-appellant  is not  entitled to said benefit as the term  "confinement"  means "The state of being confined; restraint within limits; restraint within doors by sickness *  *   *: any restraint of  liberty by force or other obstacle or necessity; hence imprisonment."   (12 Corpus Juris, 422.)'  Upon  being  confined  in  the Philippine Training School for Boys by  judicial order,  the herein  defendant-appellant suffered restraint of liberty by force and in escaping from said institution, he acquired the qualification of "escaped from confinement" which  is one of the causes of exclusion under section  2 of Act  No. 4103, as amended by section  2 of  Act  No. 4225.

We  are,  therefore, confronted with a conflict  between two  texts one  English and the other Spanish of the same  legal provision, and  to solve it we are  compelled to resort to a law passed by the Philippine Legislature establishing  rules  therefor.

Section 13  of Act No. 2657, as amended  by section  1 of Act No. 2717, provides:
"SEC.  13. Language that should prevail in  the interpretation of laws. In  the interpretation of a  law  officially promulgated in English  and  Spanish, the  English  text shall govern, but in case of ambiguity, omission or mistake, the Spanish may be  consulted to explain the English text. The converse rule shall, however, be applied if so provided in the particular statute:  Provided, however, That in the interpretation of laws enacted by the Philippine Legislature after October sixteenth, nineteen hundred and sixteen, the language of the text used by the House that finally passed the same shall prevail, and in case of ambiguity, omission or mistake; the official translation filed in the office of the Secretary of said House may be consulted."
The  records division of the National Assembly informs us that Act No. 4225,  amending Act No.  4103, of the Philippine Legislature, was passed in Spanish.  Under the above-cited legal  provision, the  Spanish text of Act No. 4225 should prevail in the interpretation of its provisions. The terms used in the Spanish text of the law in question being presos fugados  (escaped prisoners), the said defendant-appellant  not having  been sentenced to prison by final judgment prior to the commission  of  the crime of which  he is charged  herein, and as  his confinement in the Philippine Training School  for  Boys, from which he escaped, cannot be legally considered imprisonment, the exception contained  in  section 2  of Act  No.  4103, as amended by section 2 of Act No. 4225, is not applicable to him.  Said defendant-appellant, therefore, is entitled to the  enjoyment of  the benefit afforded  by  said Indeterminate Sentence  Law.

Under section 1 of Act No. 4103, as amended by section 1 of Act No. 4225, the indeterminate sentence  to be imposed upon said defendant-appellant should consist of the penalty which, in view  of the attending circumstances  could be properly imposed under the rules of the Revised  Penal Code,  as the  maximum term, and  a penalty within the range of the penalty next lower to that prescribed by said Code for the  offense, as the minimum.  In  this case, the penalty prescribed by article 309, case 3, of the Revised Penal  Code for the crime of theft is  prision correccional in its minimum  and medium periods, or from 6 months and 1 day to 4  years and 2 months.  As the presence of the  aggravating circumstance of  nocturnity compensated by the mitigating circumstance of plea of guilty must be considered, said penalty should be imposed in its medium period, or from 1  year, 8 months and 21 days to 2 years, 11 months and 10 days of prision correccional.  The penalty next lower  to  prision correccional  in  its minimum and medium periods is arresto mayor in  its medium and maximum periods  (art. 61, No. 5, of the Revised Penal Code) from which the minimum limit of the indeterminate sentence should be taken.  Taking into consideration all the circumstances  of the case, we are of the opinion that the of the indeterminate sentence should be fixed at four months and one day of arresto mayor with the maximum  of one year, eight months and  twenty-one days of prision correccional.

In view of the foregoing considerations, we are of the opinion and so hold:  (1) That orders issued for the confinement of a minor in the Philippine Training School for Boys, whatever  their number,  do not constitute condemnatory prison sentences; (2)  that confinement in the Philippine  Training  School for Boys is  not imprisonment, and the minor so confined, who escapes from said institution, does not have the status of a preso fugado (escaped prisoner),  and is not excluded from the  benefits afforded by the Indeterminate Sentence Law.

Wherefore, with the modification that the additional penalty for habitual delinquency be eliminated from  the appealed  sentence, and that the defendant-appellant  be sentenced  to an indeterminate penalty of from  four  months and one day of  arresto mayor to one year, eight  months and twenty-one days of prision correccional, it is affirmed in all other  respects, with  the costs to the appellant.  So ordered.

Avanceña,  C.  J.,  Abad Santos, Imperial, Diaz,  Laurel, and Concepcion, JJ., concur.

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