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4. No excessive fines, nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment. (Art. 3, Sec.

19, 1987 Constitution)

SECTION 19. (1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment
inflicted. Neither shall death penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes,
the Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion
perpetua.

(2) The employment of physical, psychological, or degrading punishment against any prisoner or detainee
or the use of substandard or inadequate penal facilities under subhuman conditions shall be dealt with by
law.

Corpuz v. People, 29 April 2014

Petitioner filed a petition for Review on Certiorari seeking to reverse and set aside the Decision and
Resolution of the CA which affirmed with modification the Decision of the RTC finding the petitioner guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Estafa under Article 315, paragraph (1), sub-paragraph (b) of the
Revised Penal Code.

Petitioner offered private complainant Danilo Tangcoy to sell his pieces of jewelry with an aggregate value
of P98,000.00 on commission basis. Private complainant agreed.

They both agreed that petitioner shall remit the proceeds of the sale, and/or, if unsold, to return the same
items, within a period of 60 days. The period expired without petitioner remitting the proceeds of the sale
or returning the pieces of jewelry.

Petitioner was convicted guilty beyond reasonable doubt the felony of Estafa and sentenced to
imprisonment under the Indeterminate Sentence Law of FOUR (4) YEARS AND TWO (2) MONTHS of Prision
Correccional in its medium period AS MINIMUM, to FOURTEEN (14) YEARS AND EIGHT (8) MONTHS of
Reclusion Temporal in its minimum period AS MAXIMUM; to indemnify private complainant Danilo
Tangcoy the amount of P98,000.00 as actual damages, and to pay the costs of suit.

Issue: Whether or not inflicted penalty was excessive.

There seems to be a perceived injustice brought about by the range of penalties that the courts continue
to impose on crimes against property committed today, based on the amount of damage measured by
the value of money in 1932.

However, this Court cannot modify the said range of penalties because that would constitute judicial
legislation. However, Article 5 of RPC reads:

ART. 5. Duty of the court in connection with acts which should be repressed but which are not
covered by the law, and in cases of excessive penalties. Whenever there is an excessive penalty,
the Court may render the proper decision by submitting a statement to the Chief Executive, through
the DOJ, without suspending the execution of the sentence, taking into consideration the degree
of malice and the injury caused by the offense.

The remedy therefore, as in the first paragraph is not to suspend the execution of the sentence but to
submit to the Chief Executive the reasons why the court considers the said penalty to be non-
commensurate with the act committed through a petition for Clemency.