Is reclusion Perpetua a divisible penalty?

Penalties; Reclusion Perpetua  (RA No.7959)

Bar Exam Question (2005)

Under Article 27 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No.7969,
reclusion perpetua shall be from 20 years and 1 day to 40 years. Does this mean that reclusion Perpetua is now a divisible penalty? Explain.

Suggested Answer:

No, because the Supreme Court has repeatedly called the attention of the bench and the Bar to the fact that the penalties of reclusion Perpetua and life imprisonment are not synonymous and should be applied correctly and as may be specified by the applicable law. Reclusion Perpetua has a specific duration of 20 years and 1 day to 40 years (Art.27) and accessory penalties (Art.41), while life imprisonment has no definite term or accessory penalties. Also, life imprisonment is imposable on crimes punished by special laws, and not felonies in the code. (People vs. De Guzman, G.R. Nos.51385-86, Jan.221993; People vs. Estrella, G.R.Nos.92506-07, April 28,1993; People vs. Alvero, G.R.No.72319, June 30,1993; People vs, Lapiroso, G.R.No.122507, Feb.25,1999