401 Phil. 818
All the premises considered, judgment is rendered finding the accused Jesus Garcia and Abner Peralta guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principals and Edwin del Rosario as accomplish (sic) of the crime of Murder as defined and penalized under Art. 248 in relation to Arts. 16 and 18 of the Revised Penal Code, and applying the indeterminate sentence law with no qualifying circumstance present, the Court sentences Jesus Garcia and Abner Peralta the penalty of prision mayor maximum to reclusion temporal medium or, Ten (10) years and One (1) day, to seventeen (17) years and Four (4) months and Edwin del Rosario, prision correccional maximum to prision mayor medium or Four (4) (sic), Two (2) Months, One (1) day to Ten (10) Years, with all the accessory penalties provided by law and further, they, Jesus Garcia and Abner Peralta are likewise found guilty beyond reasonable doubt as principals and Edwin del Rosario and Arthur Cañedo as accessory after the fact of the crime of theft with no qualifying circumstance present, sentences Jesus Garcia and Abner Peralta the penalty of prision mayor, minimum and medium or Six (6) years One (1) day to Ten (10) Years, and Edwin del Rosario and Arthur Cañedo, arresto mayor, medium of Four (4) months, with all the accessory penalties provided by law, ordering them to indemnify the heirs of Bennet Begaso P30,000.00 for his death, and the Government P12,800.00 the value of the stolen firearms, and pay their proportionate shares in the proceedings.Accused Cañedo applied for and was granted probation. Appellants Peralta, Garcia and Del Rosario appealed to the Court of Appeals.
For insufficiency if (sic) the evidence Arthur Cañedo is acquitted of the charge of Murder.
WHEREFORE, the appealed judgment is:Since the penalty of reclusion perpetua was imposed on two of the accused, we accepted the elevation to us of the CA decision. Pending our review, however, it was discovered that the personal bail bonds (SICI Nos. 00-445 and 151-88) posted by appellants Peralta and Garcia allegedly issued by the Stronghold Insurance Company Inc. (SICI) were forged documents. Hence, on August 30, 1993, this Court resolved to issue warrants of arrest against appellants Peralta and Garcia. Said appellants were arrested and are presently detained at the Bureau of Corrections in Muntinlupa City.
a) Accused-appellants Jesus Garcia and Abner Peralta are penalized to suffer imprisonment of reclusion perpetua in Criminal Case No. 87-12132, as principals in the commission of the crime of Murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code;
- AFFIRMED insofar as the conviction of accused-appellants Jesus Garcia and Abner Peralta, as principals in the commission of the crime of murder in Criminal Case No. 87-12132, of accused Edwin del Rosario as accomplice in the crime of murder in (Criminal Case No. 87-12132) and as accessory after the fact in the crime of theft, in Criminal Case No. 87-12133, are concerned;
- REVERSED insofar as accused-appellants Jesus Garcia and Abner Peralta are concerned. They are hereby ACQUITTED in Criminal Case No. -12133 of the crime of Theft for lack of evidence to sustain a conviction;
- MODIFIED insofar as the penalties are concerned, to wit:
b) Accused-appellant Edwin del Rosario, as accomplice in the crime of Murder in Criminal Case No. 87-12132, is penalized to suffer imprisonment, after applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, without any aggravating or mitigating circumstance, for a period of six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor as the MINIMUM to twelve (12) years and one (1) day of reclusion temporal as the MAXIMUM; and, in Criminal Case No. 87-2133, as accessory after the fact of the commission of the crime of Theft under Article 309 of the Revised Penal Code, to suffer imprisonment for a period of two (2) months and one (1) day of arresto mayor;
c) As to the civil aspect in Criminal Case No. 87-2132 - ordering accused-appellants to indemnify the heirs of the deceased Bennet Bagaso the amount of P50,000.00.
However, instead of entering judgment in CR-08477 (Crim. Case No. 87-12132) and pursuant to Section 13, Rule 124 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended, let the entire records of the said case be certified and elevated to the Honorable Supreme Court for review.
Sec. 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:The manner of review is provided in the Rules of Court duly promulgated by the Supreme Court pursuant to its rule-making power under Section 5, No. 5 of Article VIII of the Constitution. With respect to appeals, the Rules of Court provides for the procedural requirements pertaining to the filing of appellant's brief, appellee's briefs, the periods for filing, and the grounds for dismissal thereof and the like. In this connection, Section 8, of Rule 124 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure provides for the grounds for dismissal of appeals -
(2) Review, revise, reverse, modify or affirm on appeal, or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in:
(d) All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher. (underlining supplied)
Sec. 8. Dismissal of appeal for abandonment or failure to prosecute. - The appellate court may, upon motion of the appellee or on its own motion and notice to the appellant, dismiss the appeal if the appellant fails to file his brief within the time prescribed by this Rule, except in case the appellant is represented by a counsel de oficio.Under the second paragraph thereof, the escape from prison or confinement, the act of jumping bail, or fleeing to a foreign country of the appellant results in the outright dismissal of his appeal. The reason for this rule is that by his acts, appellant loses his standing in court; and unless he surrenders or submits to the jurisdiction of the court he is deemed to have waived any right to seek relief from the court. The use of the word "may" however, implies that certain exceptions exist. Thus, in cases involving capital punishment, the escape of the appellant does not preclude the exercise of the review jurisdiction of the Court. Automatic review being mandatory, it is not only the power of the Court but a duty to review all death penalty cases. Where the appellant jumped bail and the dismissal of the case will benefit the accused, the Court will likewise continue to exercise jurisdiction over the case to avoid a mockery of justice.
The court may also, upon motion of the appellee or on its own motion, dismiss the appeal if the appellant escapes from prison or confinement or jumps bail or flees to a foreign country during the pendency of the appeal.
Being the parties directly benefited by the issuance of the bail bonds and the orders of release, the accused were then co-conspirators in the irregular and illegal procurement of the bail bonds and the issuance of the orders of release. The conclusion is inevitable that the accused submitted fake bail bonds to gain freedom from detention. Thus, the accused did not merely "jump" bail; for all legal intents and purposes, they escaped from detention.In this case, by filing fake bail bonds, appellants are deemed to have escaped from confinement even while their respective appeals were pending before the CA. In the normal course of things, their appeals should have been dismissed by the CA. However, this was not possible because the fake bail bonds of appellants were discovered only after the CA had already affirmed, reversed or modified their sentences. Hence, to revert to the sentences imposed by the trial court would result in the absurdity that by filing fake bonds, appellants would enjoy the lower sentences imposed by the trial court. To avoid this blatant mockery of justice, we deem it proper for the Court of Appeals to have continued to exercise jurisdiction over their appeals. Appellants having mocked and trumped the judicial process by filing fake bail bonds, they must be considered to have waived or forfeited their right to further review of the decisions of the trial court and the Court of Appeals, respectively. In our view, the appellate court's decision should now stand undisturbed, though appellants Garcia and Peralta would benefit by their acquittal in Criminal Case No. 87-12133 of the crime of theft but the penalties imposed on concerned appellants in Criminal Case No. 87-12132 for murder have been duly modified by the appellate court.