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Indeterminate Sentence Law (ISLAW): How to determine A warrant of arrest will be issued by the court and the accused

he court and the accused will be

maximum and minimum penalties made to serve the rest of the remaining or unexpired portion of his
sentence. (But in probation you go back to number 1, serving of
(Act no 4103 as amended) sentence will be from the beginning)

The Indeterminate Sentence Law is mandatory in all cases, EXCEPT if Application of ISLAW:
the accused will fall in any of the following exceptions:
How to get maximum and minimum penalty in Special Law:
1. if sentenced with a penalty of death or life imprisonment 1. The maximum penalty should NOT exceed the maximum provided
2. if convicted of treason, conspiracy, proposal to commit treason for by that law.
3. if convicted of misprision of treason, sedition, rebellion or espionage 2. The minimum penalty should NOT fall below the minimum provided
4. if convicted of piracy by the law.
5. if the offender is a habitual delinquent
6. those who escaped from prison or evaded sentence How to get maximum and minimum penalty in Revised Penal Code:
7. those who violated the terms of conditional pardon of the chief Example: In the crime of homicide, under the Revised Penal Code, the
executive offender is sentenced to reclusion temporal.
8. where the maximum term of imprisonment does not exceed 1 year
(important!) The maximum penalty under the Indeterminate Sentence Law is
9. if convicted by final judgement at the time of the effectivity of Act reclusion temporal. But reclusion temporal is a divisible penalty
No. 4103 consisting of maximum, medium and minimum periods. Which period
10. if penalized with suspension or distierro will we place the maximum term of the Indeterminate Sentence?

If accused fall in any of the foregoing exceptions. DO NOT APPLY Guide for determining the maximum penalty:
ISLAW! 1. Determine the entire range of the penalty
2. Determine if there is mitigating or aggravating circumstance
ISLAW applies to offenses punished by Special Law and Revised Penal
Code. Which period will the maximum penalty be placed?
In pursuant to art 64, when there is no mitigating and no aggravating
Why is ISLAW mandatory? circumstance, it should be placed at the medium period. Thus, the
maximum penalty for the example above is reclusion temporal in the
In the application of the Indeterminate Sentence Law the judge will get medium period.
the maximum penalty and likewise the minimum penalty. If the accused
was already able to serve the minimum term of his indeterminate What is the minimum penalty now?
sentence and upon the approval of the Board, the accused now becomes In getting the minimum penalty, the rule is to simply get the penalty one
eligible for parole. ISLAW is favorable to the accused. (1) degree lower from the maximum penalty without taking into account
the mitigating and aggravating circumstance. Thus, the penalty one
If the accused was granted parole and violated some conditions of degree lower from reclusion temporal, without taking into account any
the parole, What will happen?
mitigating or aggravating circumstance, is prision mayor. Prision mayor The preceding example is an exception to the rule. If there is a
is now the minimum penalty for our example. privileged mitigating circumstance, we take it into account first in order
to obtain the proper maximum penalty. Then, from that maximum
Important: If your maximum penalty is wrong, it follows that the penalty, we obtain the proper minimum penalty by getting the penalty 1
minimum penalty will also be wrong. degree lower. Same rule applies as to the period of the minimum
Again, prision mayor is a divisible penalty. Which period can it be
placed? Remember: It will never become a privileged mitigating circumstance
Under the Indeterminate Sentence Law, it would depend upon the if there is an aggravating circumstance present. 8 mitigating and 1
discretion of the court on which period to place it. Thus, the minimum aggravating will never become privileged mitigating circumstance.
penalty is prision mayor in any of its period.
3 mitigating, NO aggravating
Factors that could affect the imposition of minimum penalty: maximum penalty: prision mayor in the minimum period
1. Age minimum penalty: prision correctional any period
2. Conduct during trial
3. Mental or physical condition In the preceding example, there are 3 mitigating circumstance present
and no aggravating circumstance. The first two mitigating circumstance
Suppose in the example above, 1 aggravating circumstance was proven. shall be a privileged mitigating circumstance. Thus, the penalty will be
What is now the maximum penalty? reduced by 1 degree from reclusion temporal to prision mayor. The 3rd
It would still be reclusion temporal, but it shall be placed in the mitigating circumstance shall place the penalty in the minimum period.
maximum period because of the presence of 1 aggravating
circumstance. 4 mitigating, NO aggravating
maximum penalty: prision correctional in the medium period (2
How about the minimum penalty? privileged circumstance. Thus we lower by 2 degrees)
It would still be 1 degree lower from reclusion temporal, which is minimum penalty: arresto mayor any period
prision mayor. In which period? It shall be discretionary upon the court.
5 mitigating, NO aggravating
(More examples) maximum penalty: prision correctional in the minimum period
minimum penalty: arresto mayor any period
1 mitigating but NO aggravating
maximum penalty: reclusion temporal in the minimum period At most we can only lower by 2 degrees. Thus, if there are 6 mitigating
minimum penalty: prision mayor in any period circumstance and NO aggravating:
maximum penalty: prision correctional in the minimum period
2 mitigating, NO aggravating (privileged mitigating) minimum penalty: arresto mayor any period
maximum penalty: prision mayor in the medium period
minimum penalty: prision correctional any period How is Indeterminate Sentence Law applied in complex crimes
(Article 48)?
A complex crime is punished by the most serious offense and shall be
imposed in its maximum period.

Example: Estafa through falsification of public documents.

Under the Revised Penal Code, falsification of public documents

(Article 171) is a more serious offense punished by prision mayor than
estafa (Article 315), punished only by prision correctional.

Thus, applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the maximum penalty

for estafa through falsification of public documents shall be prision
mayor in the maximum period. Minimum penalty shall be prision
correctional, any period.

Suppose there was 1 mitigating circumstance proven. Maximum penalty

would still be prision mayor in the maximum period. In pursuant to
Article 48, even if there is a mitigating circumstance present, it should
still be imposed at the maximum period.

How about if there are 2 mitigating circumstance and no aggravating?

The rule is, if it is a privileged mitigating circumstance, we lower by the
penalty by one degree but still place it at the maximum period. Thus, the
maximum penalty shall be prision correctional in the maximum period.

4 mitigating, NO aggravating
maximum penalty: arresto mayor in its maximum period
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR AN INDETERMINATE SENTENCE sociologist, one a clergyman or educator, one psychiatrist unless a
AND PAROLE FOR ALL PERSONS CONVICTED OF CERTAIN trained psychiatrist be employed by the board, and the other members
CRIMES BY THE COURTS OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS; TO shall be persons qualified for such work by training and experience. At
CREATE A BOARD OF INDETERMINATE SENTENCE AND least one member of the board shall be a woman. Of the members of the
TO PROVIDE FUNDS THEREFOR; AND FOR OTHER present board, two shall be designated by the President to continue until
PURPOSES. December thirty, nineteen hundred and sixty-six and the other two shall
continue until December thirty, nineteen hundred and sixty-nine. In case
Section 1. Hereafter, in imposing a prison sentence for an offense of any vacancy in the membership of the Board, a successor may be
punished by the Revised Penal Code, or its amendments, the court shall appointed to serve only for the unexpired portion of the term of the
sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence the maximum term of respective members. chan robles virtual law library
which shall be that which, in view of the attending circumstances, could
be properly imposed under the rules of the said Code, and the minimum Sec. 4. The Board of Pardons and Parole is authorized to adopt such
which shall be within the range of the penalty next lower to that rules and regulations as may be necessary for carrying out its functions
prescribed by the Code for the offense; and if the offense is punished by and duties. The Board is empowered to call upon any bureau, office,
any other law, the court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate branch, subdivision, agency or instrumentality of the Government for
sentence, the maximum term of which shall not exceed the maximum such assistance as it may need in connection with the performance of its
fixed by said law and the minimum shall not be less than the minimum functions. A majority of all the members shall constitute a quorum and a
term prescribed by the same. majority vote shall be necessary to arrive at a decision. Any dissent from
chan robles virtual law library the majority opinion shall be reduced to writing and filed with the
records of the proceedings. Each member of the Board, including the
Sec. 2. This Act shall not apply to persons convicted of offenses Chairman and the Executive Officer, shall be entitled to receive as
punished with death penalty or life-imprisonment; to those convicted of compensation fifty pesos for each meeting actually attended by him,
treason, conspiracy or proposal to commit treason; to those convicted of notwithstanding the provisions of Section two hundred and fifty-nine of
misprision of treason, rebellion, sedition or espionage; to those the Revised Administrative Code, and in addition thereto,
convicted of piracy; to those who are habitual delinquents; to those who reimbursement of actual and necessary traveling expenses incurred in
have escaped from confinement or evaded sentence; to those who the performance of duties: Provided, however, That the Board meetings
having been granted conditional pardon by the Chief Executive shall will not be more than three times a week. chan robles virtual law library
have violated the terms thereof; to those whose maximum term of
imprisonment does not exceed one year, not to those already sentenced Sec. 5. It shall be the duty of the Board of Indeterminate Sentence to
by final judgment at the time of approval of this Act, except as provided look into the physical, mental and moral record of the prisoners who
in Section 5 hereof. chan robles virtual law library shall be eligible to parole and to determine the proper time of release of
such prisoners. Whenever any prisoner shall have served the minimum
. penalty imposed on him, and it shall appear to the Board of
Sec. 3. There is hereby created a Board of Pardons and Parole to be Indeterminate Sentence, from the reports of the prisoner's work and
composed of the Secretary of Justice who shall be its Chairman, and conduct which may be received in accordance with the rules and
four members to be appointed by the President, with the consent of the regulations prescribed, and from the study and investigation made by the
Commission on Appointments who shall hold office for a term of six Board itself, that such prisoner is fitted by his training for release, that
years: Provided, That one member of the board shall be a trained there is a reasonable probability that such prisoner will live and remain
at liberty without violating the law, and that such release will not be order of conditional or final release and discharge issued in accordance
incompatible with the welfare of society, said Board of Indeterminate with the provisions of the next preceding two sections.
Sentence may, in its discretion, and in accordance with the rules and
regulations adopted hereunder, authorize the release of such prisoner on Sec. 8. Whenever any prisoner released on parole by virtue of this Act
parole, upon such terms and conditions as are herein prescribed and as shall, during the period of surveillance, violate any of the conditions of
may be prescribed by the Board. The said Board of Indeterminate his parole, the Board of Indeterminate Sentence may issue an order for
Sentence shall also examine the records and status of prisoners who his re-arrest which may be served in any part of the Philippine Islands
shall have been convicted of any offense other than those named in by any police officer. In such case the prisoner so re-arrested shall serve
Section 2 hereof, and have been sentenced for more than one year by the remaining unexpired portion of the maximum sentence for which he
final judgment prior to the date on which this Act shall take effect, and was originally committed to prison, unless the Board of Indeterminate
shall make recommendation in all such cases to the Governor-General Sentence shall, in its discretion, grant a new parole to the said
with regard to the parole of such prisoners as they shall deem qualified prisoner. chan robles virtual law library
for parole as herein provided, after they shall have served a period of
imprisonment not less than the minimum period for which they might Sec. 9. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to impair or interfere with
have been sentenced under this Act for the same offense. chan robles the powers of the Governor-General as set forth in Section 64(i) of the
virtual law library Revised Administrative Code or the Act of Congress approved August
29, 1916 entitled "An Act to declare the purpose of the people of the
Sec. 6. Every prisoner released from confinement on parole by virtue of United States as to the future political status of the people of the
this Act shall, at such times and in such manner as may be required by Philippine Islands, and to provide a more autonomous government for
the conditions of his parole, as may be designated by the said Board for those Islands." chan robles virtual law library
such purpose, report personally to such government officials or other
parole officers hereafter appointed by the Board of Indeterminate Sec. 10. Whenever any prisoner shall be released on parole hereunder he
Sentence for a period of surveillance equivalent to the remaining portion shall be entitled to receive the benefits provided in Section 1751 of the
of the maximum sentence imposed upon him or until final release and Revised Administrative Code.
discharge by the Board of Indeterminate Sentence as herein provided.
The officials so designated shall keep such records and make such
reports and perform such other duties hereunder as may be required by
said Board. The limits of residence of such paroled prisoner during his
parole may be fixed and from time to time changed by the said Board in
its discretion. If during the period of surveillance such paroled prisoner
shall show himself to be a law-abiding citizen and shall not violate any
of the laws of the Philippine Islands, the Board of Indeterminate
Sentence may issue a final certificate of release in his favor, which shall
entitle him to final release and discharge. chan robles virtual law library

Sec. 7. The Board shall file with the court which passed judgment on
the case, and with the Chief of Constabulary, a certified copy of each