Legally Yours

Sales v. Director of Prisons

Statutory Construction. Utile par inutile non vitialur. Surplusagium non nocet.
Sales v. Director of Prisons
G.R. No. L-3972 October 13, 1950

Fidel Ariston was convicted of frustrated murder by the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur. After serving for some time, he was released by virtue of a conditional pardon granted him by the President of the Philippines, the condition being that he shall not again violate any of the penal laws, should this condition be violated, he shall be proceeded against in the manner prescribed by law. On April 10, 1950, the Executive Secretary, by authority of the President and by virtue of the authority conferred upon the President by section 64 (i) of the Revised Administrative Code, ordered the Director of Prisons to recommit to prison the said prisoner Fidel Ariston to serve the remaining unexpired portion of the sentence for which he was originally committed to prison, in view of the fact that he had violated the condition of his pardon.

Whether Section 64 (i) of the Revised Administrative Code has been repealed by section 159 of the Revised Penal Code

The Revised Penal Code, which was approved on December 8, 1930, contains a repealing clause (article 367), which expressly repeals among other Acts sections 102, 2670, 2671, and 2672 of the Administrative Code. It does not repeal section 64 (i). The legislative intent is clear, therefore, to preserve the power of the President to authorize the arrest and reincarceration of any person who violates the condition or conditions of his pardon notwithstanding the enactment of article 159 of the Revised Penal Code. In the dissenting opinion of Justice Feria, however, it is said that the Revised Administrative Code of 1917 did not repeal and incorporate the provisions of Act No. 1524, but repealed Act No. 1651 and incorporated its provisions in section 64 (i) of the Revised Administrative Code. The word “pardon” in the last line of said section must have been inserted through inadvertence, and according to the maxims “utile par inutile non vitialur, (the useful is not vitiated by the non-useful)” and “surplusagium non nocet¬†(surplusage does not vitiate a statute),” it must be disregarded. If it were the intention of the Code Committee to amend the provision of said Act No. 1524 and do away with the hearing and investigation of the charged violation by the court, it would have repealed said Act No. 1524 and expressly incorporated its provisions in the Revised Administrative Code. Statutes introduced in these Islands under the American sovereignty like Act No. 1524, as incorporated in section 64 (i) of the Revised Administrative Code, must be construed and applied in the lights of the rules, principles, and doctrine of the common law. Therefore, the question whether or not Act No. 1524 has been repealed by and incorporated in section 64 (i) of Revised Administrative Code must be answered in the negative; because “In nearly every jurisdiction wherein the question has been raised it has been held that a convicted defendant released under suspended sentence (parole or conditional pardon) is entitled to notice and hearing on the issue whether he has broken the conditions or the suspension before the suspension may be revoked”.

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