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PEOPLE VS BAYOTAS

Sept. 2, 1994 | J. Romero | Appeal


PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE: People of the Philippines
ACCUSED-APPELLANT: Rogelio Bayotas

SUMMARY: Rogelio Bayotas was convicted of rape by the lower court. While pending appeal with the Supreme Court, Bayotas
died on February 4, 1992 at the National Bilibid Hospital due to cardio respiratory arrest. Supreme Court in its Resolution of May
20, 1992 dismissed the criminal aspect of the appeal. However, it required the Solicitor General to file its comment with regard to
Bayotas' civil liability arising from his commission of the offense charged. Now, the issue then is whether the death of the accused
pending appeal of his conviction extinguish his civil liability?

DOCTRINE: Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal liability as well as the civil liability
based solely thereon (civil liability ex delicto). 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. In this case, the civil liability of Bayotas was also extinguished because
it is based solely on the criminal act he committed (civil liability ex delicto).
FACTS: was exclusively dependent on the criminal action
1. Rogelio Bayotas was convicted of rape by the lower already extinguished. The legal import of such decision
court. While pending appeal with the Supreme Court, was for the court to continue exercising appellate
Bayotas died on February 4, 1992 at the National Bilibid jurisdiction over the entire appeal, passing upon the
Hospital due to cardio respiratory arrest. Supreme Court correctness of Sendaydiego's conviction despite dismissal
in its Resolution of May 20, 1992 dismissed the criminal of the criminal action, for the purpose of determining if
aspect of the appeal. However, it required the Solicitor he is civilly liable.
General to file its comment with regard to Bayotas' civil
liability arising from his commission of the offense ISSUE:
charged. Does death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction
2. In his comment, the Solicitor General expressed his view extinguish his civil liability?
that the death of accused-appellant did not extinguish his
civil liability as a result of his commission of the offense RULING: We hold that the death of appellant Bayotas
charged. The Solicitor General, relying on the case of extinguished his criminal liability and the civil liability
People v. Sendaydiego insists that the appeal should still based solely on the act complained of, i.e., rape.
be resolved for the purpose of reviewing his conviction Consequently, the appeal is hereby dismissed without
by the lower court on which the civil liability is based. qualification.
3. Counsel for the accused-appellant, on the other hand,
opposed the view of the Solicitor General arguing that the RULES RE: EXTINGUISHMENT OF CIVIL LIABILITY
death of the accused while judgment of conviction is UPON DEATH OF THE ACCUSED:
pending appeal extinguishes both his criminal and civil
penalties. In support of his position, said counsel invoked 1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction
the ruling of the Court of Appeals in People v. Castillo extinguishes his criminal liability as well as the civil
and Ocfemia which held that the civil obligation in a liability based solely thereon. As opined by Justice
criminal case takes root in the criminal liability and, Regalado, in this regard, "the death of the accused prior
therefore, civil liability is extinguished if accused should to final judgment terminates his criminal liability and
die before final judgment is rendered. only the civil liability directly arising from and based
4. The Court here discussed the conflicting decisions made solely on the offense committed, i.e., civil liability ex
by the Court regarding the extinguishment of civil delicto in senso strictiore."
liability when the accused dies pending appeal of his
conviction. 2. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives
5. The old rule, which evolved from Castillo to Torrijos, the notwithstanding the death of accused, if the same may
rule, states that the survival of the civil liability depends also be predicated on a source of obligation other than
on whether the same can be predicated on sources of delict. Article 1157 of the Civil Code enumerates these
obligations other than delict. Stated differently, the other sources of obligation from which the civil liability
claim for civil liability is also extinguished together may arise as a result of the same act or omission:
with the criminal action if it were solely based
thereon, i.e., civil liability ex delicto. a) Law
6. However, the Supreme Court in People v. Sendaydiego, b) Contracts
et al. departed from this long-established principle of law. c) Quasi-contracts
This court in an unprecedented move resolved to dismiss d) . . .
Sendaydiego's appeal but only to the extent of his e) Quasi-delicts
criminal liability. His civil liability was allowed to
survive although it was clear that such claim thereon 3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2
above, an action for recovery therefor may be pursued but of his right to file this separate civil action by prescription, in
only by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to cases where during the prosecution of the criminal action and
Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure prior to its extinction, the private-offended party instituted
as amended. This separate civil action may be enforced either together therewith the civil action. In such case, the statute of
against the executor/administrator or the estate of the accused, limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted during
depending on the source of obligation upon which the same is the pendency of the criminal case, conformably with
based as explained above. provisions of Article 1155 of the Civil Code, that should
thereby avoid any apprehension on a possible privation of
4. Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture right by prescription.