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Respicio v People o that under the established facts of the case, his act could

Topic: Effect of death in civil actions not be taken as mere interpretation of the meaning of the
Facts: Rules of Procedure to Govern Deportation Proceedings;
o the Court did not err in finding that he had untruthfully
 October 13, 2006: the Sandiganbayan found Zafiro Respicio guilty stated that there was no indication in the records that the
beyond reasonable doubt of the offenses of violation of Sec. 3(e) of Indian nationals had been the subject of any written
RA 3019 and falsification of official document under Art. 171, par. 4 complaints;
of the RPC for signing the self-deportation order involving 11 Indian o that his insistence that he could rely on the representations
nationals who had been charged with the unlawful manufacture of of his subordinates was misplaced
drugs punished by Sec. 14-A of RA 6425. o that his argument about the endorsement of the DOJ did
 September 4, 2007: Respicio appealed contending that his not suffice to overturn his conviction; and
conviction was not in accord with jurisprudence and was based on o that the MR did not raise matters that compelled the
insufficient evidence; and that the SB did not take into reconsideration of his convictions
consideration vital facts and circumstances that negated the finding  June 16, 2014: the Court directed Atty. Jose Salonga as Respicio’s
of guilt. counsel of record to inform the Court on the reported demise of
 June 6, 2011: Court denied the petition for review and affirmed the Respicio and should the report be true to submit a certified true
conviction of Respicio. copy of his death certificate.
 July 18, 2011: Respicio moved for reconsideration seeking the  July 24, 2014: Atty. Salonga submitted the certified true copy of
reversal of the June 6, 2011 decision on the ground that: Respicio’s death certificate. The death certificate reported that
o the Court did not address his argument that the pendency Respicio had died on March 10, 2014.
of the preliminary investigation did not bar the self-
deportation order in light of the Rules of Procedure to Issue: WoN the death of Respicio extinguishes his criminal and civil
Govern Deportation Proceedings; liability
o that no bad faith may be imputed to him; that assuming he
Held: YES
misinterpreted the Rules of Procedure, the same only
amounted to bad judgment; Considering that the death of Respicio occurred during the pendency of
o that the Court did not recognize that DOJ Undersecretary the appeal, albeit at the stage of the deliberation of his motion for
Esguerra had endorsed the request for self-deportation; and reconsideration of the decision affirming his conviction, his criminal
that he as the head of the agency could rely only on the liability in the two criminal cases was thereby extinguished pursuant to
representations of his subordinates. Article 89, Revised Penal Code, which provides:
 The State countered that Respicio’s motion for reconsideration
should be denied because: Article 89. How criminal liability is totally extinguished. - Criminal
o the Court categorically found that there was manifest liability is totally extinguished:
partiality and evident bad faith on his part;
1. By the 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.

ACCORDINGLY, the Court DECLARES that the criminal liability of

petitioner ZAFIRO L. RESPICIO for the violation of Section 3(e) of
Republic Act No. 3019 and the falsification of official document under
Article 171, paragraph 4 of the Revised Penal Code is EXTINGUISHED.

This appeal is CLOSED and TERMINATED.