ISSUE: Without violating the separation of powers, can the Supreme Court recommend to the President, the grant of executive clemency to a convict?
FACTS: Romarico Mendoza (petitioner) is a company boss/employer convicted for violating a special law known as the Social Security Condonation Law of 2009 for non-remittance of the Social Security Service (SSS) contributions to his employees. The offense is criminal in nature. Nevertheless, Mendoza admitted his fault, as he said, he acted in good faith. But still, the Court has to render judgment and apply the proper penalty how harsh it may be dura lex sed lex). The Court sentenced Mendoza to an indeterminate prison term. Considering the circumstances, the court the Court transmitted the case to the Chief Executive, through the Department of Justice, and RECOMMENDS the grant of executive clemency to the petitioner
RATIO DECIDENDI: The Court the discretion to recommend to the President actions it deems appropriate but are beyond its power when it considers the penalty imposed as excessive. It is clearly stated in the Revised Penal Code which provides; “Whenever a court has knowledge of any act which it may deem proper to repress and which is not punishable by law, it shall render the proper decision, and shall report to the Chief Executive, through the Department of Justice, the reasons which induce the court to believe that said act should be made the subject of legislation. In the same way, the court shall submit to the Chief Executive, through the Department of Justice, such statement as may be deemed proper, without suspending the execution of the sentence, when a strict enforcement of the provisions of this Code would result in the imposition of a clearly excessive penalty, taking into consideration the degree of malice and the injury caused by the offense.”