The Indeterminate Sentence Law applies to both violations of Revised
Penal Code and special laws, and is based on the penalty actually

The Indeterminate Sentence Law shall not apply to the
following persons.
1. Those sentenced to death penalty or life imprisonment
2. Those convicted of treason, or conspiracy or proposal to
   commit treason
3. Those convicted of misprision of treason, rebellion, sedition
   or espionage
4. Those convicted of piracy
5. Those who are habitual delinquents
6. Those who have escaped from confinement, or evaded sentence
7. Those granted with conditional pardon by the President, but
   violated the terms thereof
8. Those whose maximum term of imprisonment does not exceed 1 year
9. Those who are sentenced to the penalty of destierro or
   suspension only

Indeterminate sentence is mandatory where imprisonment would exceed
one year.

1. The Maximum Term – is that which could be properly imposed under
   the RPC, considering the aggravating and mitigating circumstances.
2. The Minimum Term – is within the range of the penalty one degree
   lower than that prescribed by the RPC, without considering the

      BUT when there is a privileged mitigating circumstance, so
      that the penalty has to be lowered by one degree, the STARTING
      POINT for determining the minimum term of the indeterminate
      penalty is the penalty next lower than that prescribed by the
      Code for the offense.

1. The Maximum Term – must not exceed the maximum term fixed by
   said law.
2. The Minimum Term – must not be less than the minimum term prescribed
   by the same.

      For SPECIAL LAWS, it is anything within the inclusive range of
      the prescribed penalty. Courts are given discretion in the
      imposition of the indeterminate penalty. The aggravating and
      mitigating circumstances are not considered unless the special
      law adopts the same terminology for penalties as those used in
      the RPC (such as reclusiĆ³n perpetua and the like).

The Board of Pardons and Parole may authorize the release of a
prisoner on parole, after he shall have served the minimum penalty
imposed on him, provided that:
1. Such prisoner is fitted by his training for release,
2. There is reasonable probability that he will live and remain at
   liberty without violating the law,
3. Such release will not be incompatible with the welfare of society.

If during the period of surveillance such paroled prisoner shall:
   (a) show himself to be a law abiding citizen and,
   (b) shall not violate any law,
the Board may issue a final certification in his favor, for his final
release and discharge.

When the paroled prisoner shall violate any of the conditions of
his parole:
(a) the Board may issue an order for his arrest, and thereafter,
(b) the prisoner shall serve the remaining unexpired portion of the
    maximum sentence for which he was originally committed to prison.

The minimum and maximum terms in the Indeterminate Sentence must be
fixed, because they are the basis for the following:
1. Whenever a prisoner has:
   (a) served the MINIMUM penalty imposed on him, and
   (b) is fit for release of the prisoner on parole, upon terms and
       conditions prescribed by the Board.
2. But when the paroled prisoner violates any of the conditions of
   his parole during the period of surveillance, he may be rearrested
   to serve the remaining unexpired portion of the MAXIMUM sentence.
3. Even if a prisoner has already served the MINIMUM, but he is not
   fitted for release on the parole, he shall continue to serve until
   the end of the MAXIMUM term.

Why is Indeterminate Sentence LAW mandatory?
   In the application of the Indeterminate Sentence Law the judge will
   get the maximum penalty and likewise the minimum penalty. If the
   accused was already able to serve the minimum term of his
   indeterminate sentence and upon the approval of the Board, the
   accused now becomes eligible for parole. ISLAW is favorable to the

Purpose of the law:
   - to uplift and redeem valuable human material and prevent
     unnecessary and excessive deprivation of liberty and economic
   - It is necessary to consider the criminal first as an individual,
     and second as a member of the society.
   - The law is intended to favor the defendant, particularly to
     shorten his term of imprisonment, depending upon his behavior
     and his physical, mental and moral record as a prisoner, to be
     determined by the Board of Indeterminate Sentence.

     The settled practice is to give the accused the benefit of the law
     even in crimes punishable with death or life imprisonment provided
     the resulting penalty, after considering the attending
     circumstances, is reclusion temporal or less.

If the accused was granted parole and violated some conditions of
the parole, What will happen?
   A warrant of arrest will be issued by the court and the accused
   will be made to serve the rest of the remaining or unexpired portion
   of his sentence. (But in probation you go back to number 1, serving
   of sentence will be from the beginning)

Application of ISLAW:

How to get maximum and minimum penalty in Special Law:
1. The maximum penalty should NOT exceed the maximum provided for
   by that law.
2. The minimum penalty should NOT fall below the minimum provided
   by the law.

How to get maximum and minimum penalty in Revised Penal Code:
   Example: In the crime of homicide, under the Revised Penal Code,
   the offender is sentenced to reclusion temporal.

   The maximum penalty under the Indeterminate Sentence Law is reclusion
   temporal. But reclusion temporal is a divisible penalty consisting
   of maximum, medium and minimum periods. Which period will we place
   the maximum term of the Indeterminate Sentence?

   Guide for determining the maximum penalty:
   1. Determine the entire range of the penalty
   2. Determine if there is mitigating or aggravating circumstance

Which period will the maximum penalty be placed?
   In pursuant to art 64, when there is no mitigating and no
   aggravating  circumstance, it should be placed at the medium period.
   Thus, the maximum penalty for the example above is reclusion
   temporal in the medium period.

What is the minimum penalty now?
   In getting the minimum penalty, the rule is to simply get the
   penalty one (1) degree lower from the maximum penalty without
   taking into account the mitigating and aggravating circumstance.
   Thus, the penalty one degree lower from reclusion temporal, without
   taking into account any mitigating or aggravating circumstance, is
   prision mayor. Prision mayor is now the minimum penalty for our

Important: If your maximum penalty is wrong, it follows that the
minimum penalty will also be wrong.

Again, prision mayor is a divisible penalty. Which period can it
be placed?
   Under the Indeterminate Sentence Law, it would depend upon the
   discretion of the court on which period to place it. Thus, the
   minimum penalty is prision mayor in any of its period.

Factors that could affect the imposition of minimum penalty:
1. Age
2. Conduct during trial
3. Mental or physical condition

Suppose in the example above, 1 aggravating circumstance was proven.
What is now the maximum penalty?
   It would still be reclusion temporal, but it shall be placed in
   the maximum period because of the presence of 1 aggravating

How about the minimum penalty?
   It would still be 1 degree lower from reclusion temporal, which
   is prision mayor. In which period? It shall be discretionary upon
   the court.

Some More Illustrations:

1 mitigating but NO aggravating
maximum penalty: reclusion temporal in the minimum period
minimum penalty: prision mayor in any period

2 mitigating, NO aggravating (privileged mitigating)
maximum penalty: prision mayor in the medium period
minimum penalty: prision correctional any period

The preceding example is an exception to the rule. If there is a
privileged mitigating circumstance, we take it into account first in
order to obtain the proper maximum penalty. Then, from that maximum
penalty, we obtain the proper minimum penalty by getting the penalty
1 degree lower. Same rule applies as to the period of the minimum

Remember: It will never become a privileged mitigating circumstance if
there is an aggravating circumstance present. 8 mitigating and 1
aggravating will never become privileged mitigating circumstance.

3 mitigating, NO aggravating
maximum penalty: prision mayor in the minimum period
minimum penalty: prision correctional any period

In the preceding example, there are 3 mitigating circumstance present
and no aggravating circumstance. The first two mitigating circumstance
shall be a privileged mitigating circumstance. Thus, the penalty will
be reduced by 1 degree from reclusion temporal to prision mayor. The
3rd mitigating circumstance shall place the penalty in the minimum period.

4 mitigating, NO aggravating
maximum penalty: prision correctional in the medium period
(2 privileged circumstance. Thus we lower by 2 degrees)
minimum penalty: arresto mayor any period

5 mitigating, NO aggravating
maximum penalty: prision correctional in the minimum period
minimum penalty: arresto mayor any period

At most we can only lower by 2 degrees. Thus, if there are 6 mitigating
circumstance and NO aggravating:
maximum penalty: prision correctional in the minimum period
minimum penalty: arresto mayor any period

How is Indeterminate Sentence Law applied in complex crimes (Article 48)?
A complex crime is punished by the most serious offense and shall be
imposed in its maximum period.

Example: Estafa through falsification of public documents.

Under the Revised Penal Code, falsification of public documents
(Article 171) is a more serious offense punished by prision mayor
than estafa (Article 315), punished only by prision correctional.

Thus, applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the maximum penalty
for estafa through falsification of public documents shall be prision
mayor in the maximum period. Minimum penalty shall be prision
correctional, any period.

Suppose there was 1 mitigating circumstance proven. Maximum penalty
would still be prision mayor in the maximum period. In pursuant to
Article 48, even if there is a mitigating circumstance present, it
should still be imposed at the maximum period.

How about if there are 2 mitigating circumstance and no aggravating?
The rule is, if it is a privileged mitigating circumstance, we lower
by the penalty by one degree but still place it at the maximum period.
Thus, the maximum penalty shall be prision correctional in the
maximum period.

4 mitigating, NO aggravating
maximum penalty: arresto mayor in its maximum period


People v. Campuhan
   The penalty for attempted rape is two (2) degrees lower than the
   imposable penalty of death for the offense charged, which is
   statutory rape of a minor below seven (7) years. Two (2) degrees
   lower is reclusion temporal, the range of which is twelve (12)
   years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years. Applying the
   Indeterminate Sentence Law, and in the absence of any mitigating
   or aggravating circumstance, the maximum of the penalty to be
   imposed upon the accused shall be taken from the medium period of
   reclusion temporal, the range of which is fourteen (14) years, eight
   (8) months and (1) day to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months,
   while the minimum shall be taken from the penalty next lower in
   degree, which is prision mayor, the range of which is from six (6)
   years and one (1) day to twelve (12) years, in any of its periods.