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Digest: People v. Bayot

People v. Bayot
G.R. No. 200030, April 18, 2012


The RTC convicted appellant of the crime of rape committed against AAA and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion. The Court of Appeals affirmed appellant’s conviction. 

In a letter dated 29 May 2006, Dr. Juanito S. Leopando, Penal Superintendent IV of the New Bilibid Prison, informed the Court of Appeals that appellant died at the New Bilibid Prison Hospital on December 4, 2004. Nonetheless, the Public Attorney’s Office still appealed, on behalf of appellant, the aforesaid Court of Appeals Decision to the Supreme Court via a Notice of Appeal, which was given due course by the Court of Appeals.



Whether death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon



            Yes. Appellant’s death, during the pendency of his appeal before the Court of Appeals, extinguished not only his criminal liability for the crime of rape committed against AAA, but also his civil liability solely arising from or based on said crime.

Article 89(1) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, specifically provides the effect of death of the accused on his criminal, as well as civil, liability. It provides that criminal liability is totally extinguished by death of the convict, as to the personal penalties; and as to pecuniary penalties, liability therefor is extinguished only when the death of the offender occurs before final judgment.

Applying the foregoing provision, the following guidelines have been laid down:

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.”

2. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of [the] 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 b) Contracts c) Quasi-contracts d) x x x x x x x x x e) Quasi-delicts

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 [the] provisions of Article 1155 of the Civil Code that should thereby avoid any apprehension on a possible privation of right by prescription.


            Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability, as well as the civil liability ex delicto. The rationale, therefore, is that 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. Evidently, it is already unnecessary to rule on appellant’s appeal. Appellant’s appeal was still pending and no final judgment had been rendered against him at the time of his death. Thus, whether or not appellant was guilty of the crime charged had become irrelevant because even assuming that appellant did incur criminal liability and civil liability ex delicto, these were totally extinguished by his death, following the provisions of Article 89(1) of the Revised Penal Code and the ruling in People v. Bayotas.







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