Criminal Law,  Legally Yours

People v. Paras

Criminal Law. Death. Extinguishment of criminal liability.
People of the Philippines v. Democrito Paras
G.R. No. 192912, October 22, 2014
Leonardo-De Castro, J.:

Accused-appellant Democrito Paras was charged with rape against a 17-year-old minor. The RTC and the CA convicted the accused. Hence, he appealed to the SC. Police Superintendent Roberto Rabo sent a letter to the Court stating that the accused-appellant had died at the New Bilibid Prison Hospital on January 24, 2013. The Court received the letter only on August 27, 2014.

Is the Court’s Decision dated June 4, 2014 still valid in line with the accused-appellant’s death?

NO, the Court’s Decision dated June 4, 2014 had been rendered ineffectual and therefore set aside. Under Article 89, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, the death of an accused pending his appeal extinguishes both his criminal and civil liability ex delicto. Thus, upon the death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction, the criminal action is extinguished inasmuch as there is no longer a defendant to stand as the accused; the civil action instituted therein for the recovery of civil liability ex delicto is ipso facto extinguished, grounded as it is on the criminal action.

In this case, when the accused-appellant died on January 24, 2013, his appeal to this Court was still pending. The Decision dated June 4, 2014 was thereafter promulgated as the Court was not immediately informed of the accused-appellant’s death. The death of the accused-appellant herein, thus, extinguished his criminal liability, as well as his civil liability directly arising from and based solely on the crime committed.

Hence, the Court’s Decision is set aside.

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