Indeterminate penalty for malversation

Section 1 of the Indeterminate Sentence Law states that an indeterminate sentence is imposed on the offender consisting of a maximum term and a minimum term. The maximum term is the penalty properly imposed under the Revised Penal Code after considering any attending circumstance; on the other hand, the minimum term is within the range of the penalty next lower than that prescribed by the Revised Penal Code for the offense committed.

Conformably with the instructions on the proper application of the Indeterminate Sentence Law in malversation cases, reiterated in Zafra v. People (G.R. No. 176317, July 23, 2014), the following rules shall apply:

(a) The penalties provided under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code constitute degrees; and

(b) Considering that the penalties provided under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code are not composed of three periods, the time included in the prescribed penalty should be divided into three equal portions, each portion forming a period, pursuant to Article 65 of the Revised Penal Code.

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