Filled Under:

Chin Ah Foo vs. Concepcion Case Digest


Facts: Judge Concepcion acquitted Chin Ah Foo of the crime of murder on the plea of insanity and ordered his treatment in San Lazaro Hospital, in accordance with article 8 of the Penal Code, with the admonition that the accused be not permitted to leave the said institution without first obtaining the permission of the court. In compliance with this order, Chin Ah Foo was confined for approximately two years in the hospital. During this period, his wife and father-in-law exerted efforts to obtain his release. The family of the victim opposed to the allowance of the motions contending that Chin Ah Foo was still insane as certified by the doctors. Judge Concepcion allowed Chin Ah Foo to leave the hospital based on Article 8, paragraph 1, of the Penal Code which states that: "When the imbecile or lunatic has committed an act which the law defines as a grave felony, the court shall order his confinement in one of the asylums established for persons thus afflicted, which he shall not be permitted to leave without first obtaining the permission of the same court." The family of the victim filed a petition for certiorari questioning the order of the respondent judge. They argued that under Section 1048 of the Administrative Code, the Director of Health has authority to say when a patient may be discharged from an insane asylum.


Issue:  May a judge who ordered the confinement of an insane person in an asylum subsequently permit the insane person to leave the asylum without the acquiescence of the Director of Health?


Held:  No. Article 8 of the Penal Code has not been impliedly repealed by section 1048 of the Administrative Code. Article 8 of the Penal Code and section 1048 of the Administrative Code can be construed so that both can stand together.

The Director of Health was without power to release, without proper judicial authority, any person confined by order of the court in an asylum pursuant to the provisions of article 8 of the Penal Code. Conversely, any person confined by order of the court in an asylum in accordance with article 8 of the Penal Code cannot be discharged from custody in an insane asylum until the views of the Director of Health have been ascertained as to whether or not the person is temporarily or permanently cured or may be released without danger.

Respondent judge exceeded his authority when he issued his orders without first having before him the opinion of the Director of Health. (Chin Ah Foo and Yee Shee vs. Concepcion and Lee Voo, G.R. No. 33281, March 31, 1930)

 

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