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Indeterminate Sentence Law (ISLAW): How to Revised Penal Code, the offender is sentenced to

determine maximum and minimum penalties reclusion temporal.

(Act no 4103 as amended) The maximum penalty under the Indeterminate

Sentence Law is reclusion temporal. But reclusion
The Indeterminate Sentence Law is mandatory in temporal is a divisible penalty consisting of
all cases, EXCEPT if the accused will fall in any of maximum, medium and minimum periods. Which
the following exceptions: period will we place the maximum term of the
Indeterminate Sentence?
1. if sentenced with a penalty of death or life
imprisonment Guide for determining the maximum penalty:
2. if convicted of treason, conspiracy, proposal to 1. Determine the entire range of the penalty
commit treason 2. Determine if there is mitigating or aggravating
3. if convicted of misprision of treason, sedition, circumstance
rebellion or espionage
4. if convicted of piracy Which period will the maximum penalty be
5. if the offender is a habitual delinquent placed?
6. those who escaped from prison or evaded In pursuant to art 64, when there is no mitigating
sentence and no aggravating circumstance, it should be
7. those who violated the terms of conditional placed at the medium period. Thus, the maximum
pardon of the chief executive penalty for the example above is reclusion temporal
8. where the maximum term of imprisonment does in the medium period.
not exceed 1 year (important!)
9. if convicted by final judgement at the time of the What is the minimum penalty now?
effectivity of Act No. 4103 In getting the minimum penalty, the rule is to simply
10. if penalized with suspension or distierro get the penalty one (1) degree lower from the
maximum penalty without taking into account the
If accused fall in any of the foregoing exceptions. mitigating and aggravating circumstance. Thus, the
DO NOT APPLY ISLAW! penalty one degree lower from reclusion temporal,
without taking into account any mitigating or
ISLAW applies to offenses punished by Special aggravating circumstance, is prision mayor. Prision
Law and Revised Penal Code. mayor is now the minimum penalty for our example.

Why is ISLAW mandatory? Important: If your maximum penalty is wrong, it

follows that the minimum penalty will also be
In the application of the Indeterminate Sentence wrong.
Law the judge will get the maximum penalty and
likewise the minimum penalty. If the accused was Again, prision mayor is a divisible penalty. Which
already able to serve the minimum term of his period can it be placed?
indeterminate sentence and upon the approval of Under the Indeterminate Sentence Law, it would
the Board, the accused now becomes eligible for depend upon the discretion of the court on which
parole. ISLAW is favorable to the accused. period to place it. Thus, the minimum penalty is
prision mayor in any of its period.
If the accused was granted parole and violated
some conditions of the parole, What will Factors that could affect the imposition of minimum
happen? penalty:
1. Age
A warrant of arrest will be issued by the court and 2. Conduct during trial
the accused will be made to serve the rest of the 3. Mental or physical condition
remaining or unexpired portion of his sentence.
(But in probation you go back to number 1, serving Suppose in the example above, 1 aggravating
of sentence will be from the beginning) circumstance was proven. What is now the
maximum penalty?
Application of ISLAW: It would still be reclusion temporal, but it shall be
placed in the maximum period because of the
How to get maximum and minimum penalty in presence of 1 aggravating circumstance.
Special Law:
1. The maximum penalty should NOT exceed the How about the minimum penalty?
maximum provided for by that law. It would still be 1 degree lower from reclusion
2. The minimum penalty should NOT fall below the temporal, which is prision mayor. In which period? It
minimum provided by the law. shall be discretionary upon the court.

How to get maximum and minimum penalty in (More examples)

Revised Penal Code:
Example: In the crime of homicide, under the 1 mitigating but NO aggravating
maximum penalty: reclusion temporal in the
minimum period At most we can only lower by 2 degrees. Thus, if
minimum penalty: prision mayor in any period there are 6 mitigating circumstance and NO
2 mitigating, NO aggravating (privileged mitigating) maximum penalty: prision correctional in the
maximum penalty: prision mayor in the medium minimum period
period minimum penalty: arresto mayor any period
minimum penalty: prision correctional any period
How is Indeterminate Sentence Law applied in
The preceding example is an exception to the rule. complex crimes (Article 48)?
If there is a privileged mitigating circumstance, we A complex crime is punished by the most serious
take it into account first in order to obtain the proper offense and shall be imposed in its maximum
maximum penalty. Then, from that maximum period.
penalty, we obtain the proper minimum penalty by
getting the penalty 1 degree lower. Same rule Example: Estafa through falsification of public
applies as to the period of the minimum penalty. documents.

Remember: It will never become a privileged Under the Revised Penal Code, falsification of
mitigating circumstance if there is an aggravating public documents (Article 171) is a more serious
circumstance present. 8 mitigating and 1 offense punished by prision mayor than estafa
aggravating will never become privileged mitigating (Article 315), punished only by prision correctional.
Thus, applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law,
3 mitigating, NO aggravating the maximum penalty for estafa through falsification
maximum penalty: prision mayor in the minimum of public documents shall be prision mayor in the
period maximum period. Minimum penalty shall be prision
minimum penalty: prision correctional any period correctional, any period.

In the preceding example, there are 3 mitigating Suppose there was 1 mitigating circumstance
circumstance present and no aggravating proven. Maximum penalty would still be prision
circumstance. The first two mitigating circumstance mayor in the maximum period. In pursuant to Article
shall be a privileged mitigating circumstance. Thus, 48, even if there is a mitigating circumstance
the penalty will be reduced by 1 degree from present, it should still be imposed at the maximum
reclusion temporal to prision mayor. The 3rd period.
mitigating circumstance shall place the penalty in
the minimum period. How about if there are 2 mitigating circumstance
and no aggravating?
4 mitigating, NO aggravating The rule is, if it is a privileged mitigating
maximum penalty: prision correctional in the circumstance, we lower by the penalty by one
medium period (2 privileged circumstance. Thus we degree but still place it at the maximum period.
lower by 2 degrees) Thus, the maximum penalty shall be prision
minimum penalty: arresto mayor any period correctional in the maximum period.

5 mitigating, NO aggravating 4 mitigating, NO aggravating

maximum penalty: prision correctional in the maximum penalty: arresto mayor in its maximum
minimum period period
minimum penalty: arresto mayor any period