whether the appellant, being 17 years of age at the time of at the time of the commission of the crime, was entitled to the privileged mitigating circumstance of article 68, paragraph 2, of the Revised Penal Code.
The lower court, ignoring defendant's minority, sentenced him to an indeterminate penalty of from 4 years, 2 months and 1 day of prision correccional to 8 years of prision mayor for the crime of robbery of which he was found guilty. He was also sentenced to pay the offended party, jointly and severally with the other accused, the sum of P85 as indemnity.
Republic Act No. 47, which amended article 80 of the Revised Penal Code by reducing from 18 to 16 the age below which accused have to "be committed to the custody or care of a public or private, benevolent or charitable institution," instead of being convicted and sentenced to prison, has given rise to the controversy. The Solicitor General believes that the amendment by implication has also amended paragraph 2 of article 68 of the Revised Pena Code, which provides that when the offender is over fifteen and under eighteen years age, "The penalty next lower than that prescribed by law shall be imposed, but always in the proper period."
all parts of a statute are to be harmonized and reconciled so that effect may be given to each and every part thereof, and that conflicting intention in the same statute are never to be supposed or so regarded, unless forced upon the court by an unambiguous language.
"An amended act is ordinarily to be construed as if the original statute has been repealed, and a new and independent act in the amended form had been adopted in its stead; or, as frequently stated by the courts, so far as regards any action after the adoption of the amendment, as if the statute had been originally enacted in its amended form the amendment becomes a part of the original statute as if it had always been contained therein, unless such amendment involves the abrogation of contractual relations between the state and others. Where an amendment leaves certain portions of the original act unchanged, such portions are continued in force, with the same meaning and effect they had before the amendment. So where an amendatory act provides that an existing statute shall be amended to read as recited in the amendatory act, such portions of the existing law as are retained, either literally or substantially, are regarded as a continuation of the existing law, and not as a new enactment."
We find no irreconcilable conflict between article 68, paragraph 2, as it nowstands and article 80 as amended. There is no incompatibility between granting accused of the ages of 15 to 18 a privileged mitigating circumstance and fixing at 16 the maximum age of persons who are to be placed in a reformatory institution. In other words, there is no inconsistency between sending defendants of certain ages to prison and giving them a penalty lower than the imposable one on adults under the same or similar circumstances
The preamble or explanatory note to Republic Act No. 47 can not be used as basis for giving it an meaning not apparent on its face. A preamble or explanatory not is resorted to only for clarification in cases of doubt. There is no ambiguity in Republic Act No. 47.
Republic Act No. 47
nstead of limiting the operation of article 80 to minors under 16, had totally abolished the scheme of juvenile reformation, sub-paragraphs 1 and 2 of article 68 of the Revised Penal Code would, in our opinion, remain intact, with the only difference that, as before, they would have full sway, unhampered by any consideration of suspended judgment
Republic Act No. 47 amended article 80 of the Revised Penal Code
persons who may be placed on probation under that article,
amendment did not change in any form or manner the degree of punishment that should be meted out to those who are to be committed to jail or how they are to treated.
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