People of the Philippines
Arnel Colinares was charged and found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of frustrated homicide by the RTC of Camarines Sur. He was sentenced to suffer imprisonment from two years and four months of prison correccional, as minimum, to six years and one day of prison mayor, as maximum. Since the maximum probationable imprisonment under the law was only up to six years, Arnel did not qualify for probation. On appeal by Colinares, the Court of Appeals sustained the RTC’s decision. Unsatisfied with the Court of Appeal’s decision, petitioner then appealed to the Supreme Court and took the position that he should be entitled to apply for probation in case the Court metes out a new penalty on him that makes his offense probationable, which was strongly opposed by the Solicitor General reiterating that under the Probation Law, no application for probation can be entertained once the accused has perfected his appeal from the judgment of conviction. The Supreme Court, however, found that Colinares is guilty of attempted homicide and not of frustrated homicide.
Whether or not Arnel Colinares may still apply for probation on remand of the case to the trial court
Yes, The Supreme Court ruled that Colinares may apply for probation upon remand of his case to the RTC. Ordinarily, an accused would no longer be entitled to apply for probation, he having appealed from the judgment of the RTC convicting him for frustrated homicide. But in this case the Supreme Court ruled to set aside the judgment of the RTC and found him only liable for attempted homicide, if the Supreme Court follows the established rule that no accused can apply for probation on appeal, the accused would suffer from the erroneous judgment of the RTC with no fault of his own, therefore defying fairness and equity.