Administrative Circular No. 12-2000

The clear tenor and intention of Administrative Circular No. 12-2000 is not to remove imprisonment as an alternative penalty, but to lay down a rule of preference in the application of the penalties provided for in B.P. Blg. 22.

The pursuit of this purpose clearly does not foreclose the possibility of imprisonment for violators of B.P. Blg. 22. Neither does it defeat the legislative intent behind the law.

Thus, Administrative Circular No. 12-2000 establishes a rule of preference in the application of the penal provisions of B.P. Blg. 22 such that where the circumstances of both the offense and the offender clearly indicate good faith or a clear mistake of fact without taint of negligence, the imposition of a fine alone should be considered as the more appropriate penalty. Needless to say, the determination of whether the circumstances warrant the imposition of a fine alone rests solely upon the Judge. Should the Judge decide that imprisonment is the more appropriate penalty, Administrative Circular No. 12-2000 ought not be deemed a hindrance.

It is, therefore, understood that
  1. Administrative Circular 12-2000 does not remove imprisonment as an alternative penalty for violations of B.P. Blg. 22;

x x x x

  1. Should only a fine be imposed and the accused be unable to pay the fine, there is no legal obstacle to the application of the Revised Penal Code provisions on subsidiary imprisonment.

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