What distinguishes pardon from amnesty?

“The purpose of this transmittal is to provide you, as the chief prosecutor of the province, the opportunity to take whatever action you may deem appropriate from receipt of this note. This grant of amnesty shall become final after the lapse of fifteen (15) calendar days from receipt of this Notice, unless a Motion for Reconsideration is filed with the Commission by any party within said period.

“Thank you for your continued support for the Peace Process.”[4]

The Office of the Solicitor General, in its letter dated June 23, 2000 to the National Amnesty Commission, requested information as to whether or not a motion for reconsideration was filed by any party, and the action, if there was any, taken by the NAC.[5]

In his reply dated June 28, 2000, NAC Chairman Tadiar wrote, among other things, that there has been no motion for reconsideration filed by any party.[6]

Accused-appellant Jose N. Patriarca, Jr. was granted amnesty under Proclamation No. 724 dated May 17, 1996. It amended Proclamation No. 347 dated March 25, 1994.

Section 1 of Proclamation No. 724 reads thus:

“Section 1. Grant of Amnesty. – Amnesty is hereby granted to all persons who shall apply therefor and who have or may have committed crimes, on or before June 1, 1995, in pursuit of their political beliefs, whether punishable under the Revised Penal Code or special laws, including but not limited to the following: rebellion or insurrection; coup d’etat; conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion, insurrection, or coup d’etat; disloyalty of public officers or employees; inciting to rebellion or insurrection; sedition; conspiracy to commit sedition; inciting to sedition; illegal assembly; illegal association; direct assault; indirect assault; resistance and disobedience to a person in authority or agents of such person; tumults and other disturbances of public order; unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances; alarms and scandals; illegal possession of firearms, ammunitions, and explosives, committed in furtherance of, incident to, or in connection with the crimes of rebellion and insurrection; and violations of Articles 59 (desertion), 62 (absence without leave), 67 (mutiny or sedition), 68 (failure to suppress mutiny or sedition), 94 (various crimes), 96 (conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman), and 97 (general article) of the Articles of War; Provided, That the amnesty shall not cover crimes against chastity and other crimes for personal ends.”

Amnesty commonly denotes a general pardon to rebels for their treason or other high political offenses, or the forgiveness which one sovereign grants to the subjects of another, who have offended, by some breach, the law of nations.[7] Amnesty looks backward, and abolishes and puts into oblivion, the offense itself; it so overlooks and obliterates the offense with which he is charged, that the person released by amnesty stands before the law precisely as though he had committed no offense.[8]

Paragraph 3 of Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code provides that criminal liability is totally extinguished by amnesty, which completely extinguishes the penalty and all its effects.

In the case of People vs. Casido,[9] the difference between pardon and amnesty is given:

“Pardon is granted by the Chief Executive and as such it is a private act which must be pleaded and proved by the person pardoned, because the courts take no notice thereof; while amnesty by Proclamation of the Chief Executive with the concurrence of Congress, is a public act of which the courts should take judicial notice. Pardon is granted to one after conviction; while amnesty is granted to classes of persons or communities who may be guilty of political offenses, generally before or after the institution of the criminal prosecution and sometimes after conviction. Pardon looks forward and relieves the offender from the consequences of an offense of which he has been convicted, that is, it abolishes or forgives the punishment, and for that reason it does ‘not work the restoration of the rights to hold public office, or the right of suffrage, unless such rights be expressly restored by the terms of the pardon,’ and it ‘in no case exempts the culprit from the payment of the civil indemnity imposed upon him by the sentence’ (Article 36, Revised Penal Code). While amnesty looks backward and abolishes and puts into oblivion the offense itself, it so overlooks and obliterates the offense with which he is charged that the person released by amnesty stands before the law precisely as though he had committed no offense.”

This Court takes judicial notice of the grant of amnesty upon accused-appellant Jose N. Patriarca, Jr. Once granted, it is binding and effective. It serves to put an end to the appeal.[10]


About Erineus

Born on December 28, 1965, Surallah, South Cotabato, Southern Mindanao, Philippines.
This entry was posted in Amnesty, Criminal Law, Definitions, Pardon and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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