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September 28, 2004

EN BANC

A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC

RE: AMENDMENTS TO THE REVISED RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE TO GOVERN DEATH PENALTY CASES

RESOLUTION

Acting on the recommendation of the Committee on Revision of the Rules of Court submitting for this
Court's consideration and approval the Proposed Amendments to the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure To
Govern Death Penalty Cases, the Court Resolved to APPROVE the same.
The amendments shall take effect on October 15, 2004 following its, publication in a newspaper of
general circulation not later than September 30, 2004. DAEIHT

AMENDED RULES TO GOVERN REVIEW OF DEATH PENALTY CASES

Rule 122, Sections 3 and 10, and Rule 124, Sections 12 and 13, of the Revised Rules of Criminal
Procedure, are amended as follows:
Rule 122
Sec. 3. How appeal taken. (a) The appeal to the Regional Trial Court, or to the Court of Appeals in
cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, shall be by notice of appeal
filed with the court which rendered the judgment or final order appealed from and by serving a copy thereof
upon the adverse party.
(b) The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its
appellate jurisdiction shall be by petition for review under Rule 42.
(c) The appeal in cases where the penalty imposed by the Regional Trial Court is reclusion perpetua, life
imprisonment or where a lesser penalty is imposed for offenses committed on the same occasion or which arose
out of the same occurrence that gave rise to the more serious offense for which the penalty of death, reclusion
perpetua, or life imprisonment is imposed, shall be by notice of appeal to the Court of Appeals in accordance with
paragraph (a) of this Rule. HTCaAD
(d) No notice of appeal is necessary in cases where the Regional Trial Court imposed the death penalty.
The Court of Appeals shall automatically review the judgment as provided in Section 10 of this Rule. (3a)
xxx xxx xxx
Sec. 10. Transmission of records in case of death penalty. In all cases where the death penalty is
imposed by the trial court, the records shall be forwarded to the Court of Appeals for automatic review and
judgment within twenty days but not earlier than fifteen days from the promulgation of the judgment or notice
of denial of a motion for new trial or reconsideration. The transcript shall also be forwarded within ten days after
the filing thereof by the stenographic reporter. (10a)
xxx xxx xxx
Rule 124
Sec 12. Power to receive evidence. The Court of Appeals shall have the power to try cases and conduct
hearings, receive evidence and perform all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases falling within
its original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant and conduct new trials or further proceedings.
Trials or hearings in the Court of Appeals must be continuous and must be completed within three months, unless
extended by the Chief Justice. 12(a)
Sec. 13. Certification or appeal of case to the Supreme Court. (a) Whenever the Court of Appeals finds
that the penalty of death should be imposed, the court shall render judgment but refrain from making an entry
of judgment and forthwith certify the case and elevate its entire record to the Supreme Court for review.
(b) Where the judgment also imposes a lesser penalty for offenses committed on the same occasion or
which arose out of the same occurrence that gave rise to the more severe offense for which the penalty of death
is imposed, and the accused appeals, the appeal shall be included in the case certified for review to the Supreme
Court.
(c) In cases where the Court of Appeals imposes reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment or a lesser
penalty, it shall render and enter judgment imposing such penalty. The judgment may be appealed to the
Supreme Court by notice of appeal filed with the Court of Appeals.
October 12, 2004

A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC

Gentlemen :
Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of the Court En Banc dated 12 October 2004
A.M. No. 00-5-03-SC. Re: Amendments to the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure to Govern Death
Penalty Cases
For consideration of the Court is the letter dated October 4, 2004 of Justice Edilberto G. Sandoval, Acting
Presiding Justice, Sandiganbayan, submitting the following observations on the Amendments to the Revised Rules
of Criminal Procedure to Govern Death Penalty Cases which will take effect on October 15, 2004:
First, It is silent on the judgment of conviction rendered by the Sandiganbayan
imposing Life Imprisonment, Reclusion Perpetua or Death penalty.
Second, It does not cover the situation where a public officer with a salary grade lower
than 27 but charged with violation of Anti-Graft Laws was sentenced to Life
Imprisonment, Reclusion Perpetua or Death penalty.
Third, Neither does it cover the cases where a public officer charged with common
crimes (non-graft offenses) but committed in relation to the performance of his duties was
meted the said penalties. Thus, where a police sergeant was indicted for murder alleged to
have been committed in the performance of his duties and was sentenced to any of the
penalties mentioned, will the Court of Appeals have appellate jurisdiction? It is clear though
that if the penalty imposed is lower because of mitigating circumstances, the appeal will be
elevated to the Sandiganbayan.
Considering that the Sandiganbayan was created as a special court with exclusive original jurisdiction
over criminal cases committed by public officers and employees (Presidential Decree No. 1601, as amended,
Section 4); considering further that as a court of justice, it is "of the same level as the Court of Appeals" (Id. Section
1); the Court RESOLVES that the amendments to theRevised Rules of Criminal Procedure to Govern Death Penalty
Cases do not apply to decisions of the Sandiganbayan where the penalty imposed is death, reclusion perpetua or
life imprisonment. Appeals from said judgment of convictions of the Sandiganbayan are still governed by Section
7 of Presidential Decree No. 1606, as amended, and the Revised Internal Rules of the Sandiganbayan
implementing the same, particularly Rule X thereof.
We quote for emphasis the following:
Section 7 of P.D. No. 1606, as amended:
xxx xxx xxx
Decisions and final orders of the Sandiganbayan shall be appealable to the Supreme
Court by petition for review on certiorariraising pure questions of law in accordance with Rule
45 of the Rules of Court. Whenever, in any case decided by the Sandiganbayan, the penalty
of reclusion perpetua, life imprisonment or death is imposed, the decision shall be appealable
to the Supreme Court in the manner prescribed in the Rules of Court.
xxx xxx xxx
Decisions and final orders of other courts, in cases cognizable by said courts under this
Decree as well as those rendered by them in the exercise of their appellate jurisdiction shall be
appealable to, or be reviewable by, the Sandiganbayan in the manner provided by Rule 122 of
the Rules of Court.
In case, however, the imposed penalty by the Sandiganbayan or the regional trial court
in the proper exercise of their respective jurisdiction, is death, review by the Supreme Court
shall be automatic, whether or not the accused file an appeal.
Rule X, Revised Internal Rules of the Sandiganbayan:
Review of Judgments and Final Orders
SEC. 1. Method of Review.
(a) In General. A party may appeal from a judgment or final order of the
Sandiganbayan imposing or affirming a penalty less than death, life imprisonment or reclusion
perpetua in criminal cases, and, in civil cases, by filing with the Supreme Court a petition for
review on certiorari in accordance with Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
(b) Exceptions Where the judgment or final order of the Sandiganbayan, in the
exercise of its original jurisdiction, imposes the penalty of life imprisonment or reclusion
perpetua or where a lesser penalty is imposed involving offenses committed on the same
occasion or which arose out of the same occurrence that gave rise to the more serious offense
for which the penalty of death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment is imposed, the appeal
shall be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the Sandiganbayan and serving a copy thereof to
the adverse party.
(c) Automatic Appeal Whenever the Sandiganbayan in the exercise of its original
jurisdiction imposes the death penalty, the records shall be forwarded to the Supreme Court
for automatic review and judgment within five (5) days after the fifteenth (15th) day following
the promulgation of the judgment or notice of denial of a Motion for New Trial or
Reconsideration. The transcript shall also be forwarded within ten (10) days after the filing
thereof by the stenographic reporter.
Whenever the Sandiganbayan, in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, finds that
the penalty of death, reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment should be imposed, it shall render
judgment accordingly. However, it shall refrain from entering the judgment and forthwith
certify the case and elevate its entire record to the Supreme Court for review.
Let this resolution be published for the guidance of all concerned.