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TORRES V THE DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF CORRECTIONS

G.R. No. 122338


December 29, 1995
FACTS:
In 1979, Torres was convicted of estafa and was pardoned by the president with the condition that if he
shall violate any penal law again, his sentence will be carried out. Petitioner accepted the conditional
pardon and was released from prison. However, by 1982, the Board of Pardons and Parole
recommended to the President the cancellation of the conditional pardon granted to Torres because
Torres had been charged with twenty counts of estafa before, and convicted of sedition. His pardon was
cancelled. He appealed the issue before the Supreme Court. He contended that his pardon should not
have been cancelled since the judgment on the new estafa cases were still on appeal. Through his wife
and children, he petitioned to be released from prison alleging that he was denied due process, and that
his constitutional rights to be presumed innocent and to a speedy trial were violated upon his
recommitment to prison.
Issue: Whether or not conviction of a crime by final judgment of a court is necessary before the
petitioner can be validly rearrested and recommitted for violation of the terms of his conditional pardon
and accordingly to serve the balance of his original sentence.

Ruling: Where a conditional pardonee has allegedly breached a condition of a pardon, the President
who opts to proceed against him under Section 64 of the Revised Administrative Code need not wait for
a judicial pronouncement of guilt of a subsequent crime or for his conviction therefore by final
judgment, in order to effectuate the recommitment of the pardonee to prison.
It did not matter that Torres was allegedly been acquitted in two of the three criminal cases filed against
him subsequent to his conditional pardon, and that the third case remains pending for thirteen (13)
years in apparent violation of his right to a speedy trial.
Habeas corpus lies only where the restraint of a person's liberty has been judicially adjudged as illegal or
unlawful. The incarceration of Torres is legal since he would have served his final sentence for his first
conviction until November 2, 2000, had he not violated the conditions of the pardon and had thus had it
revoked.
Lastly, only the President has the prerogative to reinstate the pardon if in his own judgment.Courts have
no authority to interfere with the grant by the President of a pardon to a convicted criminal.A final
judicial pronouncement as to the guilt of a pardonee is not a requirement for the President to
determine whether or not there has been a breach of the terms of a conditional pardon.