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Preventive Imprisonment And Detention FAQ's


Q.1) When is there preventive imprisonment?
A.1) There is preventive imprisonment when an offender is detained while the criminal case against him is being heard, either because the crime committed is a capital offense and not bailable, or even if the crime committed was bailable, the offender could not post the required bail for his provisional liberty.

Q.2) When is the accused credited with the full time of his preventive imprisonment, and when is he credited with 4/5 thereof?
A.2) An accused is credited with the full time of his preventive imprisonment if he voluntarily agreed in writing to abide by the rules of the institution imposed upon its prisoners, provided that:
a) the penalty imposed on him for the crime committed consists of a deprivation of liberty;
b) he is not disqualified from such credit for being a recidivist, or for having been previously convicted for two or more times of any crime, or for having failed to surrender voluntarily for the execution of the sentence upon being so summoned (Art. 29, RPC).

Q.3 What are the 3 ways of committing arbitrary detention?
A.3 The 3 ways of arbitrary detention are:
a) By detaining a person without legal ground committed by any public officer or employee, (Art. 124, Revised Penal Code).
b) Delay in the delivery of detained persons to the proper judicial authorities which is committed by public officer or employee who shall detain any person for some legal ground and shall fail to deliver such person to the proper judicial authorities within the period of: twelve (12) hours, for crimes or offense punishable by light penalties, or their equivalent; eighteen hours (18), for crimes or offenses punishable by correctional facilities, or their equivalent; and thirty-six (36) hours for crimes or offenses punishable by afflictive or capital penalties, or their equivalent (Art. 125, Revised Penal Code).
c) Delaying release is committed by any public officer or employee who delays the release for the period of time specified therein the performance of any judicial or executive order for the release of the prisoner, or unduly delays the service of the notice of such order to said prisoner or the proceedings upon any petition for the liberation of such person (Art. 126, Revised Penal Code).

Q.4. What are the legal grounds for detention?
A.4. The commission of a crime, or violent insanity or any other ailment requiring the compulsory confinement of the patient in a hospital shall be considered legal grounds for the detention of any person (Art. 124[2], Revised Penal Code).

Q.5. When is an arrest by a peace officer or by a private person considered lawful?
A.5. An arrest by a peace officer or by a private person considered lawful:
a.) When the arrest by a peace officer is made pursuant to a valid warrant.
b.) A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:
i. When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense,
ii. When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it, and
iii. When the person to be arrested is prisoner who has escaped from penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another (Sec. 5, Rule113, Rules on Criminal Procedure).

Q.6. Who are deemed to be persons in authority and agents of persons in authority?
A.6. Persons in authority are persons directly vested with jurisdiction, whether as an individual or as a member of some court or government corporation, board, or commission. Barrio captains and barangay chairmen are also deemed persons in authority. (Article 152, RPC)Agents of persons in authority are persons who by direct provision of law or by election or by appointment by competent authority, are charged with maintenance of public order, the protection and security of life and property, such as barrio councilman,barrio policeman, barangay leader and any person who comes to the aid of persons in authority (Art. 152, RPC),In applying the provisions of Articles 148 and 151 of the Revised Penal Code, teachers, professors and persons charged with the supervision of public or duly recognized private schools, colleges and universities, and lawyers in the actual performance of their professional duties or on the occasion of such performance, shall be deemed persons in authority.(P.D. No. 299, and Batas Pambansa Blg. 873).

Q.7. How the Crime of Delivery of Prisoners from Jail Committed?
A.7. The felony is committed not only by removing from any jail or penal establishment any person confined therein but also by helping in the escape of such person outside of said establishments by means of violence, intimidation, bribery, or any other means. (Art. 156, Revised Penal Code).

Q.8. Is there infidelity in the Custody of Prisoners if a jail warden, believing in good faith that a prisoner serving a ten-day sentence in the municipal jail, would not escape, allowed said prisoner to sleep at the latter's house because the municipal Jail was so congested and there was no bed space available, and accordingly, the prisoner went home to sleep every night but returned to jail early each morning, until the ten-day sentence had been fully served?
A.8. The Jail Warden is guilty of violation of Art. 223, RPC, consenting or conniving to evasion, the elements of which are (a) he is a public officer, (b) he is in charge or custody of a prisoner, detention or prisoner by final judgment, (c) that the prisoner escaped, and (d) there must be connivance. Relaxation of a prisoner is considered infidelity, thus making the penalty ineffectual; although the convict may not have fled (US vs. Bandino, 9 Phil. 459) it is still violative of the provision. It also includes a case when the guard allowed the prisoner, who is serving a six-day sentence in the municipal Jail, to sleep in his house and eat there (People vs. Revilla).

Note:This article is originally published on the 3rd Quarter 2011 Edition of Pasamwak, a revision may be needed.

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