Monday, December 23, 2013
Habeas corpus; Libel
"The ultimate purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to relieve a person from unlawful restraint. The writ exists as a speedy and effectual remedy to relieve persons from unlawful restraint and as an effective defense of personal freedom. It is issued only for the lone purpose of obtaining relief for those illegally confined or imprisoned without sufficient legal basis. It is not issued when the person is in custody because of a judicial process or a valid judgment.18
Section 4, Rule 102 of the Revised Rules of Court provides when a writ must not be allowed or discharge authorized, to wit:
SEC. 4. When writ not allowed or discharge authorized.―If it appears that the person alleged to be restrained of his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process issued by a court or judge or by virtue of a judgment or order of a court of record, and that the court or judge had jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or make the order, the writ shall not be allowed; or if the jurisdiction appears after the writ is allowed, the person shall not be discharged by reason of any informality or defect in the process, judgment, or order. Nor shall anything in this rule be held to authorize the discharge of a person charged with or convicted of an offense in the Philippines, or of a person suffering imprisonment under lawful judgment.
In the instant case, Adonis was convicted for libel by the RTC Branch 17, in criminal Case No. 48679-2001. Since his detention was by virtue of a final judgment, he is not entitled to the Writ of Habeas Corpus. He was serving his sentence when the BPP granted him parole, along with six (6) others, on December 11, 2007.19 While it is true that a convict may be released from prison on parole when he had served the minimum period of his sentence; the pendency of another criminal case, however, is a ground for the disqualification of such convict from being released on parole.20
Notably, at the time he was granted the parole, the second libel case was
pending before the RTC Branch 14.21 In fact, even when the instant petition
was filed, Criminal Case No. 48719-01 was still pending. The issuance of the writ under such circumstance was, therefore, proscribed. There was basis for the respondent to deny his immediate release at that time.
Adonis et al vs. Tesoro et al., GR No. 182855, June 5, 2013.