716 Phil. 825
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:
WHEREFORE, accused ANASTACIO AMISTOSO, having been convicted of Qualified Rape, he is hereby sentenced to the capital penalty of DEATH; to pay the victim the sum of Seventy[-]Five Thousand Pesos (PhP75,000.00) as indemnity; to pay the said victim the sum of Fifty Thousand Pesos (PhP50,000.00) as for moral damages, and to pay the costs.The Court of Appeals, in its Decision dated August 25, 2011, in CA-G.R. CR.-H.C. No. 04012, affirmed Amistoso’s conviction for qualified rape but modified the penalties imposed in accordance with Republic Act No. 9346 and the latest jurisprudence on awards of damages. The appellate court decreed:
WHEREFORE, the appeal is DISMISSED and the assailed Decision dated March 23, 2006 of the Regional Trial Court of Masbate City, Branch 48, in Criminal Case No. 10106 is AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION.Insisting upon his innocence, Amistoso appealed to this Court. In its Decision dated January 9, 2013, the Court affirmed with modification the judgment of conviction against Amistoso, expressly making him liable for interest on the amounts of damages awarded, to wit:
Accused-appellant Anastacio Amistoso is sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole. In addition to civil indemnity in the amount of P75,000.00, he is ordered to pay the victim P75,000.00 as moral damages and P30,000.00 as exemplary damages.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant appeal of Anastacio Amistoso y Broca is DENIED. The Decision dated August 25, 2011 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR.-H.C. No. 04012 is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that Amistoso is further ORDERED to pay interest on all damages awarded at the legal rate of 6% per annum from the date of finality of this Decision.However, in a letter dated February 7, 2013, Ramoncito D. Roque (Roque), Officer-in-Charge, Inmate Documents and Processing Division of the Bureau of Corrections, informed the Court that Amistoso had died on December 11, 2012 at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), Muntinlupa City. Roque attached to his letter a photocopy of the Death Report signed by Marylou V. Arbatin, MD, Medical Officer III, NBP, stating that Amistoso, 62 years old, died at about 5:00 p.m. on December 11, 2012 of Cardio Respiratory Arrest. Roque’s letter was received by the Court on February 12, 2013.
ART. 89. How criminal liability is totally extinguished. – Criminal liability is totally extinguished:In People v. Bayotas, the Court laid down the rules in case the accused dies prior to final judgment:
1. By the death of the convict, as to the personal penalties; and as to pecuniary penalties, liability therefore is extinguished only when the death of the offender occurs before final judgment[.]
1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon. As opined by Justice Regalado, in this regard, “the death of the accused prior to final judgment terminates his criminal liability and only the civil liability directly arising from and based solely on the offense committed, i.e., civil liability ex delicto in senso strictiore.”Given the foregoing, it is clear that the death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability, as well as his civil liability ex delicto. Since the criminal action is extinguished inasmuch as there is no longer a defendant to stand as the accused, the civil action instituted therein for recovery of civil liability ex delicto is ipso facto extinguished, grounded as it is on the criminal case.
2. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of accused, if the same may also be predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. Article 1157 of the Civil Code enumerates these other sources of obligation from which the civil liability may arise as a result of the same act or omission:a) Law
d) x x x
3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2 above, an action for recovery therefor may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended. This separate civil action may be enforced either against the executor/administrator or the estate of the accused, depending on the source of obligation upon which the same is based as explained above.
4. Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to file this separate civil action by prescription, in cases where during the prosecution of the criminal action and prior to its extinction, the private-offended party instituted together therewith the civil action. In such case, the statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted during the pendency of the criminal case, conformably with provisions of Article 1155 of the Civil Code, that should thereby avoid any apprehension on a possible privation of right by prescription. (Citations omitted.)