Thursday, March 08, 2012

People vs. Parazo [G.R. No. 121176 July 8, 1999]

Facts: (As to how the complaint got to RTC, there is no info in the case. The facts just presented evidence to show that Parazo deserves a re trial because he was sentenced to death without an interpreter even though he is deaf and mentally retarded) 

RTC decision: Parazo (28 years old) is guilty of rape (sentenced to death) and homicide 

May 29, 1997-Motion for Reconsideration under consideration, bringing to the attention of the Court facts and circumstances, such as the absence of a sign language expert, which if true would warrant the setting aside of his judgment of conviction. 

February 10, 1998- the Court resolved to grant appellant's Urgent Omnibus Motion: (1) to hold in abeyance consideration of his motion for reconsideration pending his medical examination; (2) to allow a supplemental motion for reconsideration after his medical examination; and (3) to submit him (appellant) for examination by a physician of the Supreme Court. 

The results of medical examinations conducted on appellant also indicate that appellant is really a deaf-mute, a mental retardate, whose mental age is only seven (7) years and nine (9) months, and with low IQ of 60 only. 

Parazo’s mother testified that he was born deaf and mute and she has no money for medical lintervention. Barangay captain that Parazo was known as pipi since childhood. His school teacher says he was never active in class and he never finished grade I. DSWD says that he was a beneficiary of their projects relative to "Persons with Disability." During his early childhood, he was an active participant of the project. As he grew older however, he did not anymore bother to visit their office. 

Issue: Whether he deserves a re trial for he was sentenced to death without the aid of a language expert although he is deaf and mentally retarded. 

Held: Yes he deserves re trial.

Based on the collateral information's (sic) gathered from persons who have known the patient since childhood, together with the results of the diagnostic test at UP-PGH and evidenced by the psychological report, it is now established that Marlon Parazo is suffering from (1) Profound Hearing Loss, left ear; (2) Severe Hearing Loss, right ear; (3) Mental Retardation, Mild. 

Criteria for Mental Retardation as follows: 

1. Significantly sub-average intellectual functioning: an IQ. of approximately 70 or below on an individually administered IQ. test. 

2. Concurrent deficits or impairments in present adaptive functioning (i.e., the person's effectiveness in meeting the standards expected for his or her age by his or her cultural group) in at least two of the following skill areas: communication, self-care, home-living, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work, leisure, health and safety). 

3. Onset before age of 18. 

Records on hand show that appellant was tried below without the benefit of a sign language expert. He deserves a re-arraignment and re-trial, to the end that only upon proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt may he be consigned to the lethal injection chamber.

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