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I. History of the Revised Penal Law which, without expressly prohibiting certain acts, impose a penalty on their
A. Codification Movement -- sought to have all laws codified or written
in a single body of aw. Note: Non-payment of taxes is merely a civil liability/indemnity. The tax code
as it exists today which carries punishments may be considered penal
B. Spanish Codigo Penal
People vs. Moran
The royal order dated December 17, 1886, directing the execution of the royal
Facts: The accused violated the election code and was sentenced by the lower
decree of September 4, 1884, wherein it was ordered that the Penal Code in
court. He was asking for reconsideration and filed a special motion alleging
force in the Peninsula, as amended in accordance with the recommendations of
that the crime complained of had prescribed under the provision of section 71
the code committee, be published and applied in the Philippine Islands, as well
of Act 3030, enacted by the Legislature on March 9, 1922.
as the Provisional Law of Criminal Procedure which accompanied it. These two
laws, having been published in the Official Gazette of Manila on March 13 and
Issue: W/N penal laws provide for not only penalty but also prescription.
14, 1887, became effective in July 14, 1876. (US. vs. Tamparong)
Decision: Yes.
C. Codigo Penal ng Pilipinas – modified the Spanish Penal Code.
Decision: The court found the crime to have prescribed (in accordance with the
D. US Period – they tried to translate the Penal code but certain areas new law) and set aside the decision. The Election law contained in the
were defectively translated Administrative Code and Act 3030 which amended and modified the former, it is
evident that the provision declaring that offenses resulting from the violations
of said Act shall prescribe one year after their commission must have
II. Definition of Penal Law and Criminal Law retroactive effect, the same being favorable to the accused. An exception- to
give them retroactive effect when favorable to accused. The exception applies
to a law dealing with prescription of crime: Art 22 applies to a law dealing with
A. Penal laws – laws which relates to penalties prescription of an offense which is intimately connected with that of the
penalty, for the length of time for prescription depends upon the gravity of the
B. Criminal laws – laws which relates to crimes
offense. Penal laws not only provide for penalties but also prescriptions.
C. Felony -- A crime under the Revised Penal Code is referred to as a
felony. Do not use this term in reference to a violation of special law. III. Rationale of Penal Laws
D. Offense -- A crimes punished under a special law is called as statutory
offense. US vs. Sotto
E. Misdemeanor --A minor infraction of the law, such as a violation of an
ordinance, is referred to as a misdemeanor. Facts: Vicente Sotto is the director, editor, publisher and printer of a weekly
F. Crime -- Whether the wrongdoing is punished under the Revised Penal paper. On May 1915, he edited the paper with the intention of attacking them
Code or under a special law, the generic word crime can be used. reputation of Lope K. Santos and two other principals of a labor group. He was
found guilty of libel.

Lorenzo vs. Posadas Issue: W/N Sotto was guilty

Issue: W/N Art. 3606 of a tax law is a penal law thus can be applied Decision: Yes. Penalties are used to deter people from doing the same crime.
retroactively in conformity with the provisions of Art. 22 of RPC. A deterrent effect upon others is one of the purposes of the infliction of a
penalty for the violation of the criminal law (Exemplarity).
Decision: A statute is penal when it imposes punishment for an offense
committed against the state. “Penal Statutes” are statutes, which command or People vs. Carillo and Raquenio
prohibit certain acts and establish penalties for their violation, and even those,

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Facts: Carillo was sentenced with death penalty for the crimes of robbery, Issue: W/N the charge against Revilla is proportionate to the act he
attempted rape and homicide. His accomplice was only charged for robbing committed.
Emma Abaya and Marcelino Lontok.
Decision: No. His action then was due to a mistaken conception of his duty,
Issue: W/N the penalty for Carillo was justified. hence it is obvious that the penalty imposed against him is notoriously
excessive to the extent of being cruel for being out of proportion with the crime
Decision: committed. The penalty was not proportionate to the evil to be curbed.
Retribution, the penalty should be commensurate with the gravity of
The accused is a dangerous enemy of the society thus, imposition of the the offense.
highest penalty if justified. Carillo has proved himself to be a dangerous enemy
of society. The latter must protect itself from such enemy by taking his life in The penalty imposed upon the accused for infidelity in the custody of a prisoner
retribution for his offense and as an example and warning to others. In these sentenced to only six days of arresto menor being excessive, such fact should
days of rampant criminality it should have a salutary effect upon the criminally be brought to the attention of His Excellency, the President of the Philippines
minded to know that the courts do not shirk their disagreeable duty to impose for him to decide whether or not it would be convenient to recommend to the
the death penalty in cases where the law so requires. national assembly the amendment of art 223 of RPC (conniving with or
consenting to evasion) so as to make it more in consonance with the amplitude
People vs. Young of the matters that a court must consider in meting out punishment to whoever
may have the misfortune f infringing the precept regarding infidelity in the
Facts: Jimmy Young is a hired killer who committed a crime of murder under custody of prisoners or detained prisoners.
Art 248 of the RPC. He refused to plea guilty because according to him, his
guilt is lighter than those who ordered the killing of Alfonso Liongto. He was
sentenced with death penalty in accordance with Art 248 in relation to Art 64 of People vs. Galano
the RPC. However, RA 296, which was approved 17 June 1948, provides that
for a penalty of death is imposed, all justices of the Supreme Court must first Facts: Galano was accused of falsification of one peso bill, which he used to
concur. Said law is procedural thus can be applied to cases pending at the time purchase four eggs. He was found guilty and was sentenced to suffer
of its approval. intermediate penalty ranging from 10 years and 1 day to 12 years and 10
months. The Solicitor General believes that the punishment is too harsh.
Issue: W/N Young should be charged with the crime of murder.
Issue: W/N the penalty if too harsh
Decision: One of the justices dissented, thus death penalty was not imposed.
The killing in question was attended by evident premeditation which qualified Decisions: The punishment is too harsh and it may not actually serve the
the crime as murder: (a) it was committed in consideration of a price reward or purpose of the legislator. Imprisonment may change an individual but it can
promise and (b) with treachery. This case also provides the notion of also expose the person to hardened criminal. Thus, punishments should be
aggravating circumstances (acts that would provide for higher penalties – art applied with care. A copy of the decision was sent to the president for the
14) and mitigating circumstances (provides for lighter penalties – art 13). exercise of executive clemency.
Death penalty was imposed to rationalize the concept of Exemplarity: making a
person example to serve as a deterrent) IV. Two theories in Criminal Law

People vs. Revilla A. Classical Theory

1. Basis of criminal liability is human free will and purpose of penalty
Facts: The accused was charged for the crime of infidelity in the custody of the is retribution
prisoners. Nicasio Junio, the prisoner, was only sentenced to suffer six days of 2. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” – Oculo pro oculo, dente
arresto menor only, a penalty that may be served in the house of the offender pro dente.]
because of the condition of his health. The municipality also could not feed him 3. Man is a moral creature with absolute free will to choose between
Nicasio for lack of appropriation, Revilla then believed that this act in permitting good and evil, thereby placing more stress upon the effect or
Nicasio to sleep in his own house was not grave in nature, being at most a result of felonious act than upon the man.
mere relaxation of the rules prescribed for the care and custody of municipal 4. Endeavored to establish a mechanical and direct proportion
prisoners. Revilla was charged under Art 223 for his actions. between crime and penalty

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5. The purpose of penalty is retribution. The offender is made to provisions of a municipal ordinance. The petitioner was criminally convicted by
suffer for the wrong he has done. There is scant regard to the the trial court for not paying the surcharge.
human element.
Issue: W/N the petitioner can be prosecuted criminally of her non-payment of
B. Positivist theory the rental.
1. Man is occasionally subdued by a strange and morbid phenomenal
which pushes him to do wrong in spite or contrary to his volition Decision: No. The surcharge for non-payment if not a penalty under criminal
2. Crime is a social and natural phenomenon, it cannot be created law but only an amount added to the usual charge. It is more of an
and checked by application of abstract principle of law and administrative penalty, which can be recovered only by civil action.
jurisprudence nor by imposition of penalties, fixed and determined
a priori. VI. Common Law Crimes
3. Rehabilitation by means of individual measures on case to case
basis. A. definition: body of principles, usages and rules of action which do not
Advocates personal and individual investigation, conducted by competent body rest for their authority upon any express or positive declaration of the
of psychiatrist and social scientist. will of the legislature
B. common law crimes are not recognized in the country
V. Crimes
C. the codification movement provided for all crimes to be codified, thus,
a crime not punishable by law is not a crime at all.
A. Definition

1. Felony VII.Power to define and punish crimes

2. Offense
3. Infraction of Ordinance
(a) When penalty imposed is not an exercise of sovereign power to define People vs. Santiago
crimes and provide punishment.
Facts: Defendant was found guilty of killing a seven-year-old boy. He is now
De Guzman vs. Subido appealing the decision stating that Act 2886 of the Philippine Legislature, which
provides that “all prosecution for offenses shall be in the name of the People of
Facts: de Guzman who is a civil service eligible for passing the civil service the Philippines” is unconstitutional for amending General Order No. 58 which
exam was disqualified from any appointment for having violated the Jaywalking has a character of a constitutional law.
laws and ordinance concerning cocheros, which according to the lower court
constitutes a crime. Issue: W/N Act 2886 is unconstitutional.

Issue: W/N said acts constitute a crime Decision: The procedure in criminal matters is not incorporated in the
constitution but is left in the hands of the legislature so that it falls within the
Decision: No. A penalty imposed for breach of a municipal regulation does not real of public statutory law. The state has the authority, under its police power,
necessarily constitute a criminal offense. A violation of a municipal ordinance to define and punish crimes and to lay down the rules of criminal procedure.
to qualify as a crime must involve a least a certain degree of evil doing, States, as a part of their police power, have a large measure of discretion in
immoral conduct, corruption, malice or want of principles reasonably related to creating and defining criminal offenses.
the requirements of the public office. A crime is an act committed or omitted in
violation of public laws. Ordinances are not public laws. Criminal acts, in its People vs. Taylor
commission, have some immoral intention.
Facts: The defendant, being the acting editor and proprietor, manager, printer
Conde vs. Mamenta and publisher of Manila Bulletin was accused of committing libel against a
member of the Philippine bar.
Facts: Petitioner refused to pay the new rates of the stall she was holding
stating that the increased rate was excessive. The increase is based on the Issue: W/N the defendant is guilty of libel.

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Decision: In the Philippines, there exist no crimes called “common law crimes” Decision:
No act constitutes a crime here unless it is made so by law. Libel is made a
crime here by Act 277 of the US Philippine Commission. However, in order to The prosecution violated the Philippines Bill and Act No. 89 which embody the
prove that the defendant is Guilty of the crime, it must be proven that he is the principle that no person shall be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense
‘auditor, editor, or proprietor’ of the said newspaper. There was no proof of this because this rule covers as nearly as possible every single criminal act born of
because evidence shows that he is merely the manager. Petition was dismissed. a single criminal intent even though more than one crime is committed by said

People vs. Pomar People vs. Chong Hong

Facts: The manager of La Flor granted a maternity leave to Macaria but Facts: The defendants were convicted for violation of Ordinance No. 394, which
refused to pay Php 80.00 to which the employee is entitled as her regular wage prohibits the playing of jueteng. The court ordered for the dismissal of the
as stated in Sec. 13 of Act 3071. case on the ground that said ordinance is null and void for it conflicts with Art
195 of the RPC, which provides for lesser penalties than the ordinance.
Issue: W/N Act 3071 us unlawful exercise of police power.
Issue W/N Ordinance 394 conflicts with the law.
Decision: The police power is the power vested in the legislature of the state to
make, ordain, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, Decision: It is admitted that jueteng is already prohibited and penalized in
statutes, and ordinances, either with penalties or without, which are not article 195 of the Revised Penal Code. But the fact that an act is already
repugnant to the constitution as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare prohibited and penalized by a general law does not preclude the enactment of a
of the commonwealth, and of the subjects of the state municipal ordinance covering the same matter. The rule is well settled that the
same act may constitute an offense against both the state and a political
US vs. Pablo subdivision thereof and both jurisdictions may punish the act, without.
infringing any constitutional principle. As a general rule, additional regulation to
Facts: Andres Pablo, a policeman, reported that he saw Rodrigo and Malicsi in that of the state law does not constitute a conflict therewith. The fact that an
the jueteng arena and then testified on the contrary during the trial. He was ordinance enlarges upon the provisions of a statute by requiring more than the
charged with perjury and convicted under Act. 1697 which was said to have statute requires creates no conflict therewith, unless the statute limits the
repealed articles 318 and 324 of the penal code. requirement for all cases to its own prescription. Both the ordinance and RPC
prohibit and penalize the same act and the distinction in penalties is necessary
Issue: Can the defendant be punished? because of the peculiar conditions of the locality.

Decision: The right of prosecution and punishment for a crime is one of the
attributes that by a natural law belongs to the sovereign power instinctively Ngo Yao Tit and Chia Eng Cheng vs. Sheriff of Manila
charged by the common will of the members of society to look after, guard and
defend the interests of the community as well as rights of each individual. Facts: Before the court is an application for the writ of habeas corpus.
Imposing punishments should be the last resort: our laws do not merely Petitioners were charged of visiting a house where opium was smoked. They
provide for retribution but it also provides for laws that are in favor of the now claimed that the court erred in their decision because it does not have
offender. jurisdiction over the case.

US vs. Gustillo Issue: W/N the court has jurisdiction to try the case.

Facts: Gustillo was already convicted of a crime for illegal possession of Decision: It is not a jurisdictional defect and one which deprives the trial court
firearms. However, another information was filed against him for the same of its authority to try, convict, and pass sentence, that a criminal action is
crime but for a different ammunition which he already possessed at the same brought in the name of the city of Manila instead of the United States. That fact
time and same place the first information was filed against him. constitutes a mere defect or error curable at any stage of the action does not
deprive the court of the power to pronounce a valid judgment and impose a
Issue: W/N Gustillo may be prosecuted for the second time for the same valid sentence. Offenses committed in the Philippines are crimes against the
violation. people of the Philippines.

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1. Persons subject to Military Law (Art. 2 of the Commonwealth Act

No. 408, articles of war) are not immune from suit but are
covered by the articles of war.
VIII.Characteristics of criminal law (a) Officers, members of nurse corps and soldiers belonging to
the regular forces of the Philippine Army
(b) All reservist from the date of theor call to active duty and
A. GENERAL -- criminal law is binding on all persons who live or sojourn while on such active duty
in Philippine territory (art 14, New Civil Code). (c) All trainees undergoing military duty
(d) All persons lawfully called/drafted
(e) Cades. Flying cadets and probationary third lieutenants
People vs. Galacgac (f) Retainers to the camp
(g) All persons under sentence adjudged by courts martial
Facts: Enrique Galacgac was a naturalized US citizen. He arrived in the
Philippines to visit his wife and in his possession is a gun, which is gift to the 2. As provided in the treaties and laws of preferential application.
said spouse. Upon reaching his in-law’s home, he and his wife had a fight, Example:
which caused his brother in law to beat him on the head. In retaliation, he (a) Bases agreements between US and Philippines and RP-US
fired indiscriminately wounding his wife’s brothers and sisters. He was accused Visiting Forces Accord.
of attempted parricide but retorted that the Philippines has no jurisdiction over (b) RA No. 75 – law of preferential application in favor of
him since he is an American Citizen. diplomatic representatives. It extends the diplomatic
privilege to the members of the household and domestic
Issue: W/N Galagcac enjoys extra-territoriality rights servants that were registered with the DFA
(c) The constitution is a law of preferential operation
Decision: No. No foreigner enjoys in this country extra-territorial right to be
exempted from its laws and jurisdiction, with exception of heads of states and 3. By virtue of principles of Pubic international law – these people
diplomatic representatives who, by virtue of customary law of nations, are not possess immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the country of
subject to the Philippine territorial jurisdiction. their sojourn and cannot be sued, arrested or punished by the law
of that country:
Note: As a general rule, the jurisdiction of the civil courts is not affected by the
military character of the accused Absolute Exemptions
(a) Sovereigns and other chiefs of state
US vs. Sweet (b) Ambassadors, ministers plenipotentiary, ministers resident,
and charges d’affaires, ambassadors extraordinary (Vienna
Facts: Sweet was an employee of the US Army in the Philippines. He assaulted Convention on Diplomatic Relations and Protocol)
a prisoner of war for which he was charged with the crime of physical injuries. Relative Exemptions
Sweet interposed the defense that the fact that he was an employee of the US (c) consuls and vice consuls: honorary consuls not exempted.
military authorities deprived the court if the jurisdiction to try and punish him.
Issue: W/N Philippine courts have jurisdiction to try Sweet
a) Public International Law and treaties are deemed part of the law of the
Decision: An assault committed by a military employee upon a prisoner of land.
war is a violation of the general penal law, and as such it imposes criminal b) For a person to be immune, he/she must be able to invoke a provision
responsibility. Jurisdiction of the civil tribunals is unaffected by the military or of public international law/treaty; law of preferential application or
other special character of the person brought before them for trial, unless customary international law.
controlled by express legislation to the contrary.
Schneckenburger vs. Moran
Exemptions to the Principle of Generality
Facts: Petitioners is a honorary consul of Uruguay in manila charged with
falsification of private documents. He objected on the jurisdiction of the Courts

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of First Instance on the ground that under the Philippine an US constitution, the executive branch of the government, and where the plea of diplomatic
lower courts have no jurisdiction to try him immunity is recognized and affirmed by the executive branch of government as,
in the case at bar, it is then the duty of the courts to accept the claim of
Issue: W/N the lower courts have jurisdiction to try the consul. immunity upon appropriate suggestion by the principal law officer of the
government, the Solicitor General in this case, or other officer acting under his
Decision: It is well settled that a consul is not entitled to the privileges and direction. Hence, in adherence to the settled principle that courts may not so
immunities of an ambassador or minister, but is subject to the laws and exercise their jurisdiction by seizure and detention of property, as to embarrass
regulations of the country to which he is accredited. A consul is not exempt the executive arm of the government in conducting foreign relations, it is
from criminal prosecution for violations of the laws of the country where he accepted doctrine that "in such cases the judicial department of (this)
resides. Courts of First Instance were vested with original jurisdiction over all government follows the action of the political branch and will not embarrass the
criminal cases in which a penalty of more than six months' imprisonment or a latter by assuming an antagonistic jurisdiction."
fine exceeding one hundred dollars might be imposed. Such jurisdiction
included the trial of criminal actions brought against consuls. B. PRINCIPLE OF TERRITORIALITY -- As a rule. Penal laws of the
Philippines are enforceable only within its territory. If the power to
define crimes is the power of the sovereign, it must be followed that
Time Inc. vs. Reyes such sovereign can only exercise such power within its
Facts: Enrile and Villegas filed a suit against Time Inc for an article regarding 1. Territory
corruption in Asia where the two were featured. RA 4363 provides that public 2. Atmosphere
officials should file their petitions in the place where they are rendering their 3. Interior Waters
service. Villegas filed his petition in Rizal and not in Manila. 4. Maritime zone

Issue: W/N the case will prosper and W/N corporations may be sued Note: Limits of the territorial sea (by UNCLOS) is only 3 miles from the
seashore. What is followed now is the 12-mile rule plus the 12-mile contiguous
Decision: The rule is that where a statute creates a right and provides a remedy zone. But for purposes of criminal law, our jurisdiction only extends to the
for its enforcement, the remedy is exclusive; and where it confers jurisdiction territorial sea.
upon a particular court, that jurisdiction is likewise exclusive, unless otherwise
provided. Hence, the venue provisions of Republic Act No. 4363 should be Classification of Vessels:
deemed mandatory for the party bringing the action, unless the question of
venue should be waived by the defendant which was not the case here. A 1. Foreign public vessels – war vessels/war ships (ex. Lawton Ship in US
corporation is immune from suit but it may, by writ of prohibition, seek relief vs. Fowler). War vessels are considered to be an extension of the
against the wrongful assumption of jurisdiction. And a foreign corporation nationality of the owner of said vessel and cannot be subjected to the
seeking a writ of prohibition against further maintenance of a suit, on the laws of the state
ground of want of jurisdiction, is not bound by the ruling of the court in which
the suit was brought. (a) Foreign Public Vessels

WHO vs. Aquino US vs. Fowler

Facts: Respondent judge issued a search warrant for the search and seizure of Facts: Theft was committed on board a transport while navigating the high
the personal effects of the petitioner, an official of the WHO. Despite seas. The accused were brought to trial and defendants contends that the
intervention of the Solicitor General and the DFA that Mr. Verstuyft is covered Court of First Instance have no jurisdiction over the case because the crime
with diplomatic immunity, the judge refused to withdraw the search warrant. was committed in a foreign public vessel and on high seas.

Issue: W/N the action of the judge is a violation of RA 75 and thus an abuse of Issue: W/N the court has jurisdiction to try the case.
Decision: No. Courts of First Instance of the Philippines have no jurisdiction to
Decision: Yes. It is a recognized principle of international law and under our take cognizance of crimes committed on the high seas on board of a transport
system of separation of powers that diplomatic immunity is essentially a or other vessel not registered or licensed in the Philippines. Warships are
political question and courts should refuse to look beyond a determination by

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always reputed to be the territory of the country to which they belong an

cannot be subjected to the laws of another state. A US Army transport is US vs. Look Chaw
considered a warship.
Facts: The defendant was charged with unlawful possession and sale of opium.
He was on board the steamship Errol, which was of English nationality, which
2. Foreign merchant vessels – more or less subjected to the territorial came from Hong Kong and was bound to Mexico via the ports of Manila. The
laws. defense moved for the dismissal of the case on the ground that the courts have
no jurisdiction since the act does not constitute a crime.
Note: The state is not obligated to give immunity on crimes done in foreign
public vessels. This is just a matter of comity. Issue: W/N the courts have jurisdiction over a foreign vessel in transit.

Rules as to jurisdiction over crimes committed aboard foreign merchant Decision: Mere possession of opium aboard a foreign merchant vessel in
vessels while in the territorial waters of another country transit is not triable in the Philippines, because that fact alone does not
constitute a breach of public order. The mere possession of opium on such a
1. French Rule – such crimes are not triable in the courts of that ship, without being used in our territory, does not bring about in this country
country, unless their commission affects the peace and security of those disastrous effects that our law contemplates on avoiding. But our courts
the territory or the safety of the state is endangered. French acquire jurisdiction when the tunes of opium are landed from the vessel on
courts therefore claim exclusive jurisdiction over crimes Philippine sol. Landing or using opium is an open violation of the Philippine
committed on board French merchant vessels in foreign ports by laws.
one member of the crew against another. (US vs. Bull)
5. English Rule –The English only exercise their jurisdiction on issues (c) Foreign Merchant Vessels not in transit
that involve the internal management of vessel, otherwise, such
crimes are triable in that country where they were committed. US vs. Ah Sing
(US vs. Bull)
Facts: Defendant is a fireman of the steamship Shun Chang, a foreign steamer,
Note: In the Philippines, we observe the English rule which docked at the port of Cebu. Defendant brought eight cans of opium and
upon inspection, authorities found said substances. A charge of illegal
(a) Foreign Merchant Vessels importation was served against him.

US vs. Bull Issue: W/N the crime of illegal importation of opium in to the Philippines was
Facts: H.N Bull, who was the master of a vessel transporting cattle, carabao
and other animals from Formosa to Manila, failed to provide suitable means for Decision: When a foreign merchant vessel is not in transit because the
securing animas while they are in transit. Such neglect was a violation of Act. Philippines is its terminal port, the person in possession of opium on board the
No. 275 of the Philippine Commission. Bull contends that the Philippine courts vessel is liable, because he may be held guilty of illegal importation of opium.
have no jurisdiction over his offense. Importation is complete when the ship anchored in the Philippine port. It is not
necessary that the opium be discharged or taken from the ship (US vs. Jose).
Issue: W/N the Philippines has jurisdiction over this case.
Exemptions to the territorial application of criminal law
Decision: When a vessel comes within 3 miles from the headland which
embrace the entrance of Manila Bay, the vessel is within the territorial waters Article 2 of RPC provides that its provisions shall be forced outside of the
and thus, the laws of the Philippines shall apply. A continuing crime committed jurisdiction of the Philippines against those who:
on board a Norwegian merchant vessel sailing to the Philippines is within the
jurisdiction of the courts of the Philippine when the forbidden conditions existed 1) Should commit an offense while on a Philippine ship or airship.
during the time the ship was within the territorial waters, regardless of the fact
that the same conditions existed when the ship sailed from the foreign port and Note: A Philippine vessel or aircraft must be understood as that which is
while it was on the high seas. registered in the Philippine Bureau of Customs. It is the registration of the
vessel or aircraft in accordance with the laws of the Philippines, not the
(b) Foreign Merchant Vessel In Transit citizenship of its owner, which makes it a Philippine ship or airship.

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Decision: Yes. By virtue of the Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded the Philippine
2) When the offender should forge or counterfeit any coin or currency Islands to the US. It is but a logical construction that wherever "Spain" is
note of the Philippines or obligations and securities by the mentioned in the Penal Code, it should be substituted by the words "United
Government. States" and wherever "Spaniards" are mentioned, the word should be
substituted by the expression, "citizens of the United States and citizens of the
Note: Counterfeiting or forging Philippine coins or bank notes in a foreign Philippine Islands." Piracy is a crime not against any particular State but
country may be prosecuted before Philippine civil courts. against all mankind. It may be punished in the competent tribunal of any
country where the offender may be found or into which lie may be carried. The
3) When the offender should be liable for acts connected with the jurisdiction of piracy unlike all other crimes has no territorial limits.
introduction to the Philippines of the obligations and securities
mentioned in the preceding number. Note: This case is an exception to the exception.

Note: Introducing fake currency in the Philippine is as dangerous as forging or

counterfeiting of the same, to the economical interest of the country. C. PRINCIPLE OF IRRESTROSPECTIVITY OR PROSPECTIVITY –
penal law cannot make an act punishable in a manner in which it was
4) When the offender, while being a public officer or employee, should not punishable when it was not committed. At 366 of RPC provide
commit an offense in the exercise of his functions. that crimes are punished under the laws in force at the time of their
commission. It is logical for laws to look forward and not backward.
Note: crimes that may be committed, even in abroad, in the exercise of public
functions are: Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege -- There is no crime when there is no
law punishing the same. This is true to civil law countries, but not to common
a) direct bribery law countries.
b) indirect bribery
c) frauds against the public treasury US vs. Macasaet
d) possession of prohibited interest
e) malversation of public funds or property Facts: The defendant was proven guilty of selling native wine at retail without
f) failure of accountable officer to render accounts the license required by law. He was sentenced to pay a fine and was also
g) illegal use of public funds or property sentenced to imprisonment in case of insolvency with respect to the fine
h) failure to make delivery of public funds or property imposed. The judge imposed a sentence with heavier penalty in accordance
i) falsification by a public officer or employee committed with with a new law, which took effect two months after the trial.
abuse of his official position.
Issue: W/N Act. No. 1732 which imposed both the fine and the imprisonment
5) When the offender should commit any of the crimes against the should be applied on this case.
national security and law of nations.
Decision: No. Inasmuch as Act No. 1732 did not go into force until after the
Note: This include, treason, conspiracy and proposal to commit treason, commission of the offense, subsidiary imprisonment can not be lawfully
espionage, inciting was and giving motives for reprisals, violation of neutrality, imposed. Penal statutes cannot be made retroactive with respect to a crime, or
correspondence with hostile country, flight to enemy’s country, piracy and other offense, unless they are favorable to the person accused.
mutiny on the high seas.

People vs. LOL-LO and SARAW Ex post facto laws

Facts: The defendants were charged of the crime of piracy for pirating two Rule: No ex post facto laws shall be enacted.
Dutch boats as well as raping two of the women. Defendants contend that the
provisions of the penal code dealing with piracy are no longer in force. An ex post facto law is one which:
(1) makes criminal in act done before the passage of the law and which was
Issue: W/N the provisions of the penal code dealing with the crime of piracy innocent when done, and punishes such in act.
are still in force. (2) aggravates a crime, or makes it greater than it was, when committed;

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(3) changes the punishment and inflicts a greater punishment than the law
annexed to the crime when committed; People vs. Macasaet
(4) alters the legal rules of evidence, and authorizes conviction upon less or
different testimony than the law required at the time of the commission of the Escalante vs. Santos
(5) assuming to regulate civil rights and remedies only, in effect imposes Facts: Petitioner was convicted for the crime of estafa and was sentenced to
penalty or deprivation of a right for something which when done was lawful; serve for 2 years and 11 months imprisonment to indemnify the offended party.
and After 3 years, he has not yet been released. He is petitioning for habeas
(6) deprives a person accused of a crime of some lawful protection to which he corpus.
has become entitled, such as the protection of a former conviction or acquittal,
or a proclamation of amnesty. Issue: W/N the petition is justified.

In re: Kay Villegas Kami, Inc. Decision: Yes. The petitioner, having already served for more than three years
is entitled to be discharged under the provisions of Art. 22 of the penal code.
Facts: The petitioners are assailing the constitutionality of Sec. 8 (a) and 18 of The principle of the retroactivity of penal laws in so far as it is favorable to the
RA No. 6132 saying that it is an ex post facto law. The said law prohibits the defendant is sanctioned by the Revised Penal Code. Even if the accused is
petitioner’s nominee to be nominated in the constitutional convention since he serving final judgment, as long as he is not a habitual delinquent, he can avail
represents a part. of the amended, lighter penalty.

Issue: W/N the said law is an ex post facto law and thus unconstitutional. (a) Degree of Imposable Penalty is reduced

Decision: No. The prohibition against ex post facto laws applies only to criminal People vs. Subido
or penal matters, not to laws, which concern civil matters. Although section 18
penalizes a violation of any of the provision of RA 1632, the penalty is imposed Facts: CFI of Manila found the accused guilty of libel and is hereby sentenced to
only for acts committed after the approval of the law and not those perpetuated 3 months of arresto mayor with accessory penalties of the law, to pay a fine of
prior thereto. 500 pesos, to indemnify the offended party, Mayor Arsenio Lacson in the sum
of 10,000 pesos with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Appealed
Bill of Attainder as Ex Post Facto Law to the Court of Appeals. The CA ordered the accused to pay a fine of 500 pesos
and indemnity is reduced to 5,000 pesos only. Appellant said that he could not
People vs. Ferrer be required to serve the amount of fine and indemnity in the form of subsidiary
imprisonment because said judgment did not expressly provide that. This was
Facts: The defendants assail the constitutionality of RA No. 1700 or the Anti denied. Sheriff then attached whatever rights, interest of accused in the two-
Subversion Act on the ground that is a bill of attainder. storey building, but the same was registered in the name of Agapito Subido,
and so he filed a third party claim enjoining the sheriff to proceed with the sale.
Issue: W/N the law is unconstitutional Lower court issued a writ of injunction. Lower court states that he should suffer
subsidiary imprisonment, even if the same was not stated in the decision of CA.
Decision: A bill of attainder is a legislative act, which inflicts punishment
without trial. Its essence is the substitution of a legislative for a judicial Issue: W/N Subido be required to suffer subsidiary imprisonment, in case of
determination of guilt. Section 4 of the Anti-Subversion Act expressly states insolvency to pay his civil liability.
that the prohibition therein applies only to acts committed "After the approval
of this Act." Only those who "knowingly, willfully and by overt acts affiliate Decision: No. Accused-appellant is favored by the retroactive force of Art. 39
themselves with, become or remain members of the Communist Party of the of the RPC, as amended by R.A. 5465 which exempts an accused person from
Philippines and/or its successors or of any subversive association" after June subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency to pay his civil liability.
20, 1957, are punished. Considering that Art. 39, as amended is favorable to the accused, the same
should be made applicable to him. It is so provided in Art. 22 of the RPC.
Exceptions to the prospective application of criminal laws (When penal Applying Art. 39 as amended, he cannot also be required to serve his civil
law apply retroactively) liability to the offended party in form of subsidiary imprisonment because this is
no longer required by the aforesaid article.
1. When favorable to the accused

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Note: Removal of subsidiary imprisonment to pay civil liability Facts: The accused was charged with offense of injurias graves under articles
of the RPC.
(b) Prescribing Grounds for Mitigation or Extinction of Criminal
Liability Issue: W/N the new law can apply to the accused.

Laceste vs. Santos Decision: No. Section 13 of the new act provides as follows: "All laws and
parts of laws now in force, so far as the same may be in conflict herewith, are
Facts: The petitioner, Clemente Laceste, prays the court to set him at liberty hereby repealed: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall operate as a
through the writ of habeas corpus, pleading that there is no sufficient legal repeal of existing laws in so far as they are applicable to pending actions or
ground for continuing his imprisonment any longer. With Nicolas Lachica, he existing causes of action, but as to such causes of action or pending actions
had been prosecuted, found guilty, and sentenced to commitment for the crime existing laws shall remain in full force and effect." The general rule that penal
of rape. Nicola Lachica married the victim, Magdalena de Ocampo, and was laws shall be retroactive in so far as they favor the accused has no application
accordingly relieved from the criminal prosecution by virtue of section 2, Act where the later law is expressly made inapplicable to pending actions or
No. 1773, and article 448 of the Penal Code then in force, which provided that existing causes of action.
such a marriage extinguished penal liability, and hence, the penalty. But the
petitioner herein continued serving his sentence, which was not affected by the D. PRINCIPLE OF LEGALITY: Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege
marriage of his coaccused and the offended party. -- There is no crime when there is no law punishing the same. This is
true to civil law countries, but not to common law countries; all crimes
Issue: W/N Laceste should be freed. must be so defined and penalized under the law (art. 21)

Decision: It is believed that the Revised Penal Code, Act No. 3815, article 344, E. PERSONAL – Penal laws does not allow anyone to assume another’s
last paragraph, applies to the case of the herein petitioner, and that he should criminal liability
be discharged from prison. All penal laws have been declared retroactive by the
Honorable Supreme Court. And the Legislature, under section 366 of the New
Penal Code, has clearly intended to give retroactive effect to article 22, because
F. PRINCIPLE OF CERTAINTY – every act made punishable by law
must be so defined as to leave no penumbra of doubt or uncertainty
section 366 provides: "Without prejudice to the provisions contained in article
as to its applicability to a given case.
22 of this Code, felonies and misdemeanors, committed prior to the date of
effectiveness of this Code, shall be punished in accordance with the Code or
IX. Other fundamental Assumptions of Penal Law
Acts in force at the time of their commission." If it was not the intention of the
Legislature to make the new Code retroactive, it would have used the words
"notwithstanding" or "in spite of", instead of "without prejudice." A. Free-will or freedom to choose between right and wrong; no liability if
The principle of retroactivity of penal laws in so far as they favor the defendant, felonious act is committed without free will
has been sanctioned in the Revised Penal Code, as it was in the Code that B. Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith
preceded it.
X. Limitations on the power of the lawmaking body to enact penal
(c) Providing for Prescription of offenses legislation

People vs. Moran

A. No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted
Exceptions to retroactivity of laws B. No person shall be held to answer for criminal offenses without due
(a) Accused is a habitual criminal (Art. 22) process of law – criminal laws must be of general application and must
(b) Accused Disregards Later law and invokes prior statute under clearly define the acts and omissions punished as crimes.
which he was prosecuted.
(c) Later Statute Precludes Application to Existing Actions or
Pending Cases XI. Basic Maxims in Criminal Law

Tavera vs. Valdez

A. Principle of Pro Reo -- Whenever a penal law is to be construed or
applied and the law admits of two interpretations – one lenient to the

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offender and one strict to the offender – that interpretation which is

lenient or favorable to the offender will be adopted.
XII.Construction of penal laws
People vs. Alzaga
A. Liberal Construction In Favor of the Offender
Facts: Roy Alzaga was found guilty by the RTC for the crime of murder. The
accused maintained his innocence saying that tit was the victim who (a) Reason
accidentally shot himself while they were battling for the gun. There were two Note: Ambiguity – occurs when an act falls under more than one law or
witnesses with contradicting testimonies. There were also testimonies which when the law is susceptible to more than one interpretation
were inconsistent to the guilt of the accused.
People vs. Purisima
Issue: W/N the Alzaga should be charged beyond reasonable doubt.
Facts: Twenty six petitions for review were filed by the People of the
Decision: No. Where inculpatory facts are susceptible of two interpretations, Philippines involving the information filed charging the respective accused
one consistent and another inconsistent with the guilt of the accused, the with violation of PD No. 9. The courts of first instances issued an order
accused should be acquitted since evidence failed to fulfill the test of moral quashing the in formations filed alleging that the facts failed to state one
certainty to support a conviction. The court agrees with the accused that where essential element of the crime
facts are susceptible of two interpretations, then we have to sustain the
interpretation, which leads to acquittal. Proof of guilt must convince beyond Issue: W/N the informations filed by the people were sufficient in form
reasonable doubt. and substance to constitute an offence of ‘illegal possession of deadly
weapon’ penalized under PD No. 9.
People vs. Ng
Decision: No. The informations merely contained the first element – that
Facts: The defendant was charged with the crime of forcible abduction with is, carrying outside one’s residence of any bladed, blunt or pointed weapon
rape. During arraignment, accused pleaded not guilty. RTC convicted the – but it failed to include the second element, which is the intention or
defendant but he appealed contending that evidences were not enough to motivation behind it. This kind of construction is very much open to police
warrant a conviction. extortion thus must be avoided. Penal statues must be construed strictly
against the state and liberally in favor of the accused. The reason for this
Issue: W/N the evidences were enough to warrant a charge of guilty beyond is the “tenderness of the law of the rights of individuals; the object is to
reasonable doubt. establish a certain rule by conformity to which mankind would be safe, and
the discretion of the court limited. The purpose is not to enable the guilty
Decision: No. Charge of rape based upon the sole testimony of the one who person to escape punishment through technicality but to provide precise
complains of rape should be regarded with utmost caution and that the person definition of forbidden acts. Penal laws should be construed strictly. No
charged with the offense should not be convicted unless the complainant's person should be brought within their terms who is not clearly within them
testimony is impeccable and rings true throughout. The case at bar falls short nor should any act be pronounced criminal which is not made clearly so be
to the quantum of evidence required to sustain a conviction of rape thereby a statute.
creating reasonable doubt as to appellant's guilt. The rule is that reasonable
doubt in criminal cases must be resolved in favor of the accused. The See: Principle of Pro-reo
requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt calls for moral certainty of guilt
-- a certainty that convinces and satisfies the reason and the conscience of
those who are to act upon it.
B. Penal laws are strictly construed against the Government and
liberally in favor of the accused (US vs. Abad Santos). This rule
may be invoked only where the law is ambiguous and there is
B. Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea -- The act cannot be
doubt as to its interpretation. Where the law is clear and
criminal where the mind is not criminal. This is true to a felony unambiguous, there is no room for the application of this rule
characterized by dolo, but not a felony resulting from culpa. This (People vs. Gatchalian).
maxim is not an absolute one because it is not applied to culpable
felonies, or those that result from negligence.

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(a) When the law is clear, there is no room for the statute itself explicitly mentions the unauthorized "recording" of private
interpretation. The task of the court is to apply the communications with the use of tape-recorders” as among the acts punishable.
law. Will not also apply when strict construction will
defeat the intent, policy and purpose. US vs. Toribio
(b) If the law is ambiguous, the task of the court of to
know the meaning and intention of the law. Facts: Defendant was charged for violation of Art. 30 and 33 of Act 1147,
which regulates the registration, branding and slaughtering of large cattle
without a license. There are two constructions of these prohibitions:

Ramirez vs. Court of Appeals (c) The phrase ‘at the municipal slaughter house’ may be taken
as limiting and restricting both the word ‘slaughtered’ and
Facts: Petitioner filed a case against private respondent, Garcia for allegedly “killed for food” in section 30 and “killing for food” in section
vexing and humiliating her. In support of her allegations, she presented a 33.
transcript of her conversation with the respondent. As a result of her actions, (d) The phrase “ at the municipal slaughterhouse” may bet taken
respondent filed a case against her for violation of Republic Act 4200, entitled as limiting and restricting the words “killed for food”
An Act to prohibit and penalize wire-tapping and other related violations of
private communication, and other purposes. Petitioner also alleged that private Appellant contends that since in his town, there are no slaughterhouses, the
conversation, which she and the respondent had, is not the same with private prohibitions of Act 1147 does not apply.
Issue: W/N the defendant incurred liability.
Issue: W/N there is ambiguity in the meaning of private conversation and
private communication. Decision: Yes. The act primarily seeks to protect large cattle from theft; thus,
the latter construction should be adopted. When the language if a statute is
Decision: There is no ambiguity. Legislative intent is determined principally susceptible of more than one construction, that construction should be adopted
from the language of a statute. Where the language of a statute is clear and which will most tend to give effect to the manifest intent of the legislature.
unambiguous, the law is applied according to its express terms, and Sec. 30 and 33 of the act prohibit and penalize the slaughtering or causing to
interpretation would be resorted to only where a literal interpretation would be be slaughtered for human consumption of large cattle at any place without the
either impossible or absurd or would lead to an injustice. The afore stated permit provided for in sec. 30.
provision clearly and unequivocally makes it illegal for any person, not
authorized by all the parties to any private communication to secretly record US vs. Chico
such communication by means of any gadget.
Facts: Defendant was charged for violating sec. 1 of Act. No. 1696 of the
Gaanan vs. Intermediate Appellate Court Philippine commission which prohibits the display of any flag, banner or device
(in contrast with Ramirez vs. CA) used during the insurrections in the Philippines. He contends that he is
ignorant of the law and that the prohibition is only against the actual use of
Facts: This case involves an act of overhearing a conversation by use of an identical banners and devices which were used during the Philippine
extension line. insurrection.

Issue: W/N there is ambiguity in the phrase "device(s) or arrangement(s)" Issue: W/N the accused should be held liable for the violation.

Decision: The use of a telephone extension for the purpose of overhearing a Decision: Yes. The contention is nonsense. In cases like this, the court shall
private conversation without authorization did not violate R.A. 4200 because a resort to the principle that the spirit of the law controls the letter. The intention
telephone extension device was neither among those devices enumerated in of the legislature and object aimed at are to control the literal interpretation of
Section 1 of the law nor was it similar to those "device(s) or arrangement(s)" a particular language in a statute. Language capable of more than one
enumerated therein. The phrase is ambiguous and the principle that "penal meaning is to be taken in the sense, which will harmonize the intention and
statutes must be construed strictly in favor of the accused." Must be followed. object. When there is ambiguity, and there is doubt as to the subject matter to
The case of Ramirez turns on a different note, because the applicable facts and which the law is to be applied, the preamble may be used.
circumstances pointing to a violation of R.A. 4200 suffer from no ambiguity, and

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C. Cultural environment by which the legislature is operating can had no jurisdiction over the person of the defendant or the subject matter of
also be a source of the meaning as well as the intention of the the action, because the complaint had not been filed by the offended party, but
law. by the chief of police. The victim then filed the same complaint. This time,
Manaba filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of jeopardy for the same
Legamia vs. Intermediate Appellate Court
Issue: W/N the plea for double jeopardy should be granted.
Facts: Petitioner has been living with a married man for 20 years and the
relationship ended with the death of the man. After the death of husband Decision: The third paragraph of article 344 of the Revised Penal Code provides
Emilio, Corazon filed for support for their son. This came to the knowledge of that: The offenses of seduction, abduction, rape or acts of lasciviousness, shall
the real spouse thus she filed a complaint against Corazon for using the name not be prosecuted except upon a complaint filed by the offended party…..” It
Reyes although she was not married to Emilio. will be observed that the Spanish equivalent of the word "filed" is not found in
the Spanish text, which is controlling, as it was the Spanish text of the Revised
Issue: W/N Corazon violated the Anti-Alias Law. Penal Code that was approved by the Legislature. Since the first complaint filed
was not the complaint of the offended party, it was not a valid complaint in
Decision: It is in the light of our cultural environment that the law must be accordance with the law. The judgment of the court was therefore void for lack
construed. Our society is a tolerant one and surely, the lawmakers could not of jurisdiction over the subject matter, and the defendant was never in
have meant to criminalize what Corazon had done especially because some of jeopardy.
them probably had their own Corazons.

D. In the construction or interpretation of the provisions of the People vs. Mesias

RPC, the Spanish text is controlling.
Facts: The defendant was accused of robbing seven sacks of rice and before
Baking vs. Director of prisons arraignment, he contended that the term rice does not only mean hulled rice
but also includes palay. If the word rice includes the grain in its original state
Facts: Petitioner has been in detention for 18 years of preventive imprisonment without the hull being taken away, then "rice' is included under the term
for the crime of rebellion. He is claiming for allowance for good conduct as 'semilla alimenticia' or cereal seed. Therefore, the thing stolen was really hulled
provided for by Art 97 of the RPC. rice (arroz) but there is nothing in the complaint which shows that fact. The
complaint merely alleges that the object stolen was seven sacks of rice. It may
Issue: W/N Art 97 of the RP is applicable to detention prisoners or prisoners be hulled rice (arroz) or it may be rice seeds (palay). Under the circumstances,
who are just serving preventive imprisonment. the defendant submits that the doubt should always be resolved in favor of the
Decision: The term "any prisoner" in the English text of Art. 97 regarding good
conduct allowance is, in the Spanish text, "el penado," who is a convict or a Issue: W/N the phrase "hulled rice" was within the meaning of "semilla
person already sentenced by final judgment. There is no doubt that Article 97 alimenticia" as used in the Spanish text.
does not embrace detention prisoners within its reach. Because it speaks of the
buena conducta observada por el penado - not one under "prison preventiva." Decision: The English word "cereal", into which was translated the phrase
The allowance for good conduct "for each month of good behavior" then "semilla alimenticia", used in the Spanish text of article 303 of the Revised
unquestionably refers to good behavior of a prisoner while he is serving his Penal Code, is incorrect. Inasmuch as hulled rice (arroz) cannot be considered
term as a convict and not otherwise. Inasmuch as the Revised Penal Code was as seedling (semilla alimenticia), the offense with which the appellee is charged
originally approved and enacted in Spanish, the Spanish text governs. in the information does not fall under article 303 of the Revised Penal Code but
under the second to the last paragraph of article 302 where the offense therein
defined is penalized with arresto mayor in its maximum degree to prision
People vs. Manaba correccional. In cases of doubt in the interpretation of the Revised Penal Code,
the Spanish text should prevail.
Facts: Manaba was charged with rape. The first complaint was made by the
chief of police of Dumagete. The accused was tried and convicted, but the Note: There are already amendments that use English terms. For these
judgment was set aside and the case dismissed on the ground that the court amendments, there is no need to go back to the Spanish text. But for those,
which remained in their original form, the Spanish text is controlling.

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Decision: The repeal is absolute. Where the repeal is absolute and not a
reenactment or repeal by implication, the offense ceases to be criminal. The
People vs. Balubar defendant must be acquitted.

Facts: Balubar was found guilty of the crime of physical injuries by the lower
court. The victim lost four of his front teeth. The conflict arose from the David vs. Dancel
ambiguous term “any other members” which is necessary for the charge. The
English text contained “loss on any other part of his body” while the Spanish Facts: Petitioner is assailing the promotion of Angel Dancel to Chief of Tax
text provided the loss of “any other member” resulting in “disfigurement”. Registration a position to which he claims to be lawfully entitled. He further
Later cases seem to suggest that loss of teeth does not constitute contends that EO No. 503, which prescribes a minimum efficiency of 85% for
disfigurement because it can easily be replaced. promotion, was superceded by the Compilation of Civil Service Laws and Rules
under which his rating of 84% is considered a high degree of efficiency.
Issue: W/N the accused is still liable for his actions.
Issue: W/N EO 503 was repealed by Compilation of Civil Service Laws and
Decision: In this case, Spanish text is given more weight. "Cualquier otro Rules, an Administrative Compilation.
miembro" is more accurately translated "any other member", meaning any
other member than an eye, a hand, a foot, an arm, or a leg resulting to Decision. No. The Compilation of Civil Service Laws and Rules was prepared
"Deforme" or "disfigured". Such is the case at bar. The accused is not relieved merely by the Bureau of Civil Service and could not possibly have repealed
of liability from the requisite “deforme” even if the victim can lessen the Executive Order No. 503, series of 1934 since under Article 7 of the Civil Code,
deformity through artificial means. One who unlawfully wounds another is "laws are repealed only by subsequent ones and their violation or non-
responsible for the consequences of his act. observance shall not be excused by disuse, or custom or practice to the

XIII.Repeals People vs. Almuete

Facts: The defendant supposedly violated Sec 39 of he Agricultural Tenancy

A. Different effects of repeal of penal law Law which is premised on the existence of the rice share tenancy system. The
act of pre-reaping and pre-treshing without notice to the landlord, which was
1) If repeal makes the penalty lighter in the new law, the new law shall an offense under the Agricultural Tenancy, has ceased to be an offense under
be applied, except when the offender is a habitual delinquent or when the subsequent law, the Code of Agrarian Reforms. To prosecute it as an
the new law is made not applicable to pending action or existing offense when the Code of Agrarian Reforms is already in force would be
causes of action. repugnant to the policy and spirit of that Code and would subvert the manifest
2) If the new law imposes a heavier penalty, the law in force at the time legislative intent not to punish anymore pre-reaping sod pre-threshing without
of the commission of the offense shall be applied notice to the landholder.
3) If the new law totally repeals the existing law so that the act, which
was penalized under the old law, is no longer punishable, the crime is Issue: W/N Almuete violated a law.
Decision: The Agricultural Land Reform Code superseded the Agricultural
People vs. Tamayo Tenancy Law (except as qualified in sections 4 and 35 of the Code). The Code
instituted the leasehold system and abolished share tenancy subject to certain
Facts: The accused was prosecuted for and convicted of a violation of an conditions indicated in section 4 thereof. It is significant that section 39 is not
ordinance. While the case was pending appeal, the ordinance was repealed by reproduced in the Agricultural Land Reform Code whose section 172 repeals "all
eliminating the section under which the accused was being prosecuted. laws or part of any law inconsistent with" its provisions. The prohibition against
pre-threshing has no more raison d'etre because the lessee is obligated to pay
Issue: W/N the absolute repeal obliterated the criminal liability. a fixed rental as prescribed in section 34 of the Agricultural Land Reform Code,
or the Code of Agrarian Reforms, as redesignated in Republic Act No. 6389
which took effect on September 10, 1971. Thus, the legal maxim cessante
ratione legis, cessat ipsa lex (the reason for the law ceasing, the law itself also
ceases), applies to the case at bar.

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Decision: Provisions of the Penal Code, which define and punish grave insults,
when those crimes are expressed publicly in writing, are repealed by Act No.
B. Consequences if repeal of penal law is partial or relative 277-the Libel Law. A penal law, like any other statute, may be repealed either
expressly or by necessary implication; and such statute or law is repealed by
implication if the later statute is so repugnant to the earlier one that the two
(1) If a case is pending in court involving the violation of the repealed law, cannot stand together or if the whole subject of the earlier statute is covered
and the repealing law is more favorable to the accused, it shall be the by the latter one having the same object, and which was clearly intended to
one applied to him. So whether he is a habitual delinquent or not, if prescribe the only rule applicable to the subject. If a criminal law deals with the
the case is still pending in court, the repealing law will be the one to same subject as a prior law and is inconsistent with and repugnant to the prior
apply unless there is a saving clause in the repealing law that it shall law, the former is thereby repealed. Where the latter or revising statute clearly
not apply to pending causes of action. covers the whole subject matter of antecedent acts, and it plainly appears to
have been the purpose of the Legislature to give expression in it to the whole
(2) If a case is already decided and the accused is already serving law on the subject, the latter is held to be repealed by necessary implication.
sentence by final judgment, even if the repealing law is partial or Defendant was acquitted.
relative, the crime still remains to be a crime. Those who are not
habitual delinquents will benefit on the effect of that repeal, so that if People vs. Perfecto
the repeal is more lenient to them, it will be the repealing law that will
henceforth apply to them. Facts: Gregorio Perfecto, editor of La Nacion was found guilty of violating Art.
257 of the Penal Code for attacking the virtue of the members of the Senate.
C. Express or implied repeal – Express or implied repeal refers to the Art 256 of the Penal Code provides that any person who by writing, shall
manner the repeal is done. defame, abuse or insult any minister of the Crown or other person shall be
punished. Defendant questions whether this article is still in force or whether
the Libel law already repealed it.
1. An implied repeal will take place when there is a law on a
particular subject matter and a subsequent law is passed Issue: W/N Art 256 is still in force.
also on the same subject matter but is inconsistent with
the first law, such that the two laws cannot stand together, Decision: The Philippine Libel Law, Act No. 277, has had the effect of repealing
one of the two laws must give way. It is the earlier that so much of article 256 of the Penal Code as related to written defamation,
will give way to the later law because the later law abuse, or insult. Article 256 of the Spanish Penal Code is not now in force
expresses the recent legislative sentiment. because abrogated by the change from Spanish to American sovereignty over
the Philippines and because inconsistent with democratic principles of
(a) Repeal by implication is not favored government. Where the later statute clearly covers the old subject-matter of
(b) There is implied repeal if there are irreconcilable antecedent acts, and it plainly appears to have been the purpose of the
inconsistencies. Legislature to give expression in it to the whole law on the subject, previous
laws are held to be repealed by necessary implication.
People vs. Castro
c. Effects
Facts: The defendant was charged with injuries graves for sending letter to a
medical health officer which contained insults and accusations. The appellant (1) Pending Criminal Action is not dismissed
contends (a) that the evidence adduced during the trial did not show that he
was guilty of the crime of injurias graves as defined under the Penal Code, and Buscayno vs. Military Commissions No. 1, 2, 6 and 25
(b) that even though the evidence did show that he had violated the provisions
of the Penal Code providing a punishment for injurias graves, he could not be Facts: The petitioners were accused of rebellion for having allegedly
punished, for the reason that said provisions of the Penal Code had been participated in public uprising to overthrow the government. They were
repealed by the Libel Law (Act No. 277). accused of subversion under RA 1700 (Anti-Subversion Law). Sometime of
1976, PD No. 885 which repealed RA 1700 took effect. One of the petitioners
Issue: W/N the penal code provisions were already repealed by the Libel Law. contends that her criminal liability was extinguished by the repeal.

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Issue: W/N in repealing RA 1700, PD No. 885 extinguished the criminal (1) If a penal law is impliedly repealed, the subsequent repeal of the
liabilities of persons charged with violation of the older law. repealing law will revive the original law. So the act or omission which
was punished as a crime under the original law will be revived and the
Decision: No. That decree, which is the Revised Anti-Subversion Law, in same shall again be crimes although during the implied repeal they
repealing or superseding Republic Act No. 1700, expressly provides in its may not be punishable.
Section 7 that "acts committed in violation" of the former law before the
effectivity of the said decree "shall be prosecuted and punished in accordance (2) If the repeal is express, the repeal of the repealing law will not revive
with the provisions of the former Art" and that nothing in the said decree "shall the first law, so the act or omission will no longer be penalized.
prevent prosecution of cases pending for violation of" Republic Act No. 1700.
That saving or transitory clause is reenacted in section 14(i) of the National (3) Effects of nullity of repealing laws
Security Code. It is similar to article 366 of the Revised Penal Code which
provides that felonies and misdemeanors committed prior to the effectivity of Cruz vs. Youngberg
the Revised Penal Code shall be punished in accordance with the old Penal Code
and the laws in force at the time of their commission. The fact that Presidential Facts: Petitioner attacked the constitutionality of Act No. 3155 which prohibits
Decree No. 885 does not mention the CPP does not mean that the party is no the importation of cattle from foreign countries to the Philippines. Respondent
longer regarded as a subversive organization. The purpose of the party is the demurred that even id Act No. 3155 was declared unconstitutional, the
decisive factor in determining whether it is a subversive organization. petitioner would still be prohibited from importing because Act. No. 3052 which
was repealed by Act. No 3155 will be revived.

(2) But penalty under second law will be applied if favorable Issue: W/N Act. No 3155 is constitutional.
to accused.
Decision: Yes. An unconstitutional statute can have no effect to repeal former
laws or parts of laws by implication, since being void; it is not inconsistent with
2. Express repeal takes place when a subsequent law contains such former law. It is entirely unnecessary to pass upon the validity of the
a provision that such law repeals an earlier enactment. statute attacked because even if it were declared unconstitutional, the
petitioner would not be entitled to relief because of Act. No. 3052.

People vs. Soliman

XIV.Distinction between crimes punished under the Revised Penal Code
Facts: Defendant was accused of perjury under Art 1697. While he was and crimes punished under special laws
serving his sentence, Act. No. 1697 was expressly repealed by a Section in the 1. As to moral trait of the offender
administrative code. Accused contends that his criminal liability should be
extinguished because of the repeal.
In crimes punished under the Revised Penal Code, the moral trait of
Issue: W/N the criminal liability was extinguished because of the repeal. the offender is considered. This is why liability would only arise when
there is dolo or culpa in the commission of the punishable act.
Decision: Section 12 of the administrative code provides that a law, which
expressly repealed a prior law, is itself repealed; the first law repealed shall not In crimes punished under special laws, the moral trait of the offender
be revived unless expressly provided. Therefore, the old rule continues in force is not considered; it is enough that the prohibited act was voluntarily
where a law, which repeals a prior law, is not expressly, but by implication, is done.
itself repealed. Act no. 1697 impliedly repeals Art. 319 of the penal code,
which also defines and penalizes perjury. Act. No. 2657 expressly repealed Act 2. As to use of good faith as defense
no. 1697, thus, the provisions of the penal code is revived.
In crimes punished under the Revised Penal Code, good faith or lack of
D. Consequences if repeal of penal law is express or implied criminal intent is a valid defense; unless the crime is the result of

In crimes punished under special laws, good faith is not a defense

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the most advantageous to the municipality. The losing bidder challenged the
3. As to degree of accomplishment of the crime validity of the contract, but the trial court sustained its validity. The case goes
to the Sandiganbayan and the mayor gets convicted for violation of Republic
In crimes punished under the Revised Penal Code, the degree of Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act). He appeals alleging his
accomplishment of the crime is taken into account in punishing the defenses raised in the Sandiganbayan that he did not profit from the
offender; thus, there are attempted, frustrated, and consummated transaction, that the contract was advantageous to the municipality, and that
stages in the commission of the crime. he did not act with intent to gain. Rule.

In crimes punished under special laws, the act gives rise to a crime Judgment affirmed. The contention of the mayor that he did not profit
only when it is consummated; there are no attempted or frustrated anything from the transaction, that the contract was advantageous to the
stages, unless the special law expressly penalize the mere attempt or municipality, and that he did not act with intent to gain, is not a defense. The
frustration of the crime. crime involved is malum prohibitum.

4. As to mitigating and aggravating circumstances

In the case of People v. Sunico, an election registrar was prosecuted for
In crimes punished under the Revised Penal Code, mitigating and having failed to include in the voter’s register the name of a certain voter.
aggravating circumstances are taken into account in imposing the There is a provision in the election law which proscribes any person from
penalty since the moral trait of the offender is considered. preventing or disenfranchising a voter from casting his vote. In trial, the
election registrar raised as good faith as a defense. The trial court convicted
In crimes punished under special laws, mitigating and aggravating him saying that good faith is not a defense in violation of special laws. On
circumstances are not taken into account in imposing the penalty. appeal, it was held by he Supreme Court that disenfranchising a voter from
casting his vote is not wrong because there is a provision of law declaring it as
5. As to degree of participation a crime, but because with or without a law, that act is wrong. In other words,
it is malum in se. Consequently, good faith is a defense. Since the prosecution
In crimes punished under the Revised Penal Code, when there is more failed to prove that the accused acted with malice, he was acquitted.
than one offender, the degree of participation of each in the
commission of the crime is taken into account in imposing the penalty;
thus, offenders are classified as principal, accomplice and accessory. Test to determine if violation of special law is malum prohibitum or
malum in se
In crimes punished under special laws, the degree of participation of
the offenders is not considered. All who perpetrated the prohibited act Analyze the violation: Is it wrong because there is a law prohibiting it or
are penalized to the same extent. There is no principal or accomplice punishing it as such? If you remove the law, will the act still be wrong?
or accessory to consider.
If the wording of the law punishing the crime uses the word “willfully”, then
malice must be proven. Where malice is a factor, good faith is a defense.
Questions & Answers
In violation of special law, the act constituting the crime is a prohibited act.
Therefore culpa is not a basis of liability, unless the special law punishes an
1. Three hijackers accosted the pilot of an airplane. They omission.
compelled the pilot to change destination, but before the same could be
accomplished, the military was alerted. What was the crime committed? When given a problem, take note if the crime is a violation of the Revised Penal
Code or a special law.
Grave coercion. There is no such thing as attempted hijacking. Under
special laws, the penalty is not imposed unless the act is consummated. XV. Article 2
Crimes committed against the provisions of a special law are penalized only
when the pernicious effects, which such law seeks to prevent, arise. A. Source of RPC
(1) Rafael del Pan’s Correctional Code of 1916
2. A mayor awarded a concession to his daughter. She was also (2) Code of Maruecos
the highest bidder. The award was even endorsed by the municipal council as

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(3) Original Draft of German Penal Code of 1913 (1) When the crime is committed in a war vessel of a foreign country,
B. Where offense punishable under RPC is also punished under military because war vessels are part of the sovereignty of the country to
law whose naval force they belong;
C. Piracy is triable anywhere (see Lo-Lol and Saraw)
(2) When the foreign country in whose territorial waters the crime was
SCOPE OF APPLICATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE REVISED PENAL committed adopts the French Rule, which applies only to merchant
CODE vessels, except when the crime committed affects the national security
or public order of such foreign country.
The provision in Article 2 embraces two scopes of applications:

(1) Intraterritorial – refers to the application of the Revised Penal Code The French Rule
within the Philippine territory;
The French Rule provides that the nationality of the vessel follows the flag
(2) Extraterritorial – refers to the application of the Revised Penal Code which the vessel flies, unless the crime committed endangers the national
outside the Philippine territory. security of a foreign country where the vessel is within jurisdiction in which
case such foreign country will never lose jurisdiction over such vessel.

Intraterritorial application
The American or Anglo-Saxon Rule
In the intraterritorial application of the Revised Penal Code, Article 2 makes it
clear that it does not refer only to Philippine archipelago but it also includes the This rule strictly enforces the territoriality of criminal law. The law of the
atmosphere, interior waters and maritime zone. So whenever you use the word foreign country where a foreign vessel is within its jurisdiction is strictly
territory, do not limit this to land area only. applied, except if the crime affects only the internal management of the vessel
in which case it is subject to the penal law of the country where it is registered.
As far as jurisdiction or application of the Revised Penal Code over crimes
committed on maritime zones or interior waters, the Archipelagic Rule shall be Both the rules apply only to a foreign merchant vessel if a crime was
observed. So the three-mile limit on our shoreline has been modified by the committed aboard that vessel while it was in the territorial waters of another
rule. Any crime committed in interior waters comprising the Philippine country. If that vessel is in the high seas or open seas, there is no occasion to
archipelago shall be subject to our laws although committed on board a foreign apply the two rules. If it is not within the jurisdiction of any country, these
merchant vessel. rules will not apply.

A vessel is considered a Philippine ship only when it is registered in accordance

with Philippine laws. Under international law, as long as such vessel is not
within the territorial waters of a foreign country, Philippine laws shall govern. Question & Answer

Extraterritorial application A vessel is not registered in the Philippines. A crime is committed

outside Philippine territorial waters. Then the vessel entered our territory. Will
Extraterritorial application of the Revised Penal Code on crime committed on the Revised Penal Code apply?
board Philippine ship or airship refers only to a situation where the Philippine
ship or airship is not within the territorial waters or atmosphere of a foreign Yes. Under the old Rules of Criminal Procedure, for our courts to take
country. Otherwise, it is the foreign country’s criminal law that will apply. cognizance of any crime committed on board a vessel during its voyage, the
vessel must be registered in the Philippines in accordance with Philippine laws.
However, there are two situations where the foreign country may not apply its Under the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, however, the requirement that
criminal law even if a crime was committed on board a vessel within its the vessel must be licensed and registered in accordance with Philippine laws
territorial waters and these are: has been deleted from Section 25, paragraph c of Rule 110 of the Rules of
Court. The intention is to do away with that requirement so that as long as the
vessel is not registered under the laws of any country, our courts can take
cognizance of the crime committed in such vessel.

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Question & Answer

More than this, the revised provision added the phrase “in accordance with
generally accepted principles of International Law”. So the intention is clear to
adopt generally accepted principles of international law in the matter of A consul was to take a deposition in a hotel in Singapore. After the
exercising jurisdiction over crimes committed in a vessel while in the course of deposition, the deponent approached the consul’s daughter and requested that
its voyage. Under international law rule, a vessel which is not registered in certain parts of the deposition be changed in consideration for $10,000.00.
accordance with the laws of any country is considered a pirate vessel and piracy The daughter persuaded the consul and the latter agreed. Will the crime be
is a crime against humanity in general, such that wherever the pirates may go, subject to the Revised Penal Code? If so, what crime or crimes have been
they can be prosecuted. committed?

Prior to the revision, the crime would not have been prosecutable in our court. Yes. Falsification.
With the revision, registration is not anymore a requirement and replaced with
generally accepted principles of international law. Piracy is considered a crime Normally, the taking of the deposition is not the function of the consul,
against the law of nations. his function being the promotion of trade and commerce with another country.
Under the Rules of Court, however, a consul can take depositions or letters
In your answer, reference should be made to the provision of paragraph c of rogatory. There is, therefore, a definite provision of the law making it the
Section15 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. The crime may be consul’s function to take depositions. When he agreed to the falsification of the
regarded as an act of piracy as long as it is done with “intent to gain”. deposition, he was doing so as a public officer in the service of the Philippine

When public officers or employees commit an offense in the exercise of Paragraph 5 of Article 2, use the phrase “as defined in Title One of Book Two of
their functions this Code.”
This is a very important part of the exception, because Title I of Book 2 (crimes
The most common subject of bar problems in Article 2 is paragraph 4: “While against national security) does not include rebellion. So if acts of rebellion
being public officers or employees, [they] should commit an offense in the were perpetrated by Filipinos who were in a foreign country, you cannot give
exercise of their functions:” territorial application to the Revised Penal Code, because Title I of Book 2 does
not include rebellion.
As a general rule, the Revised Penal Code governs only when the crime
committed pertains to the exercise of the public official’s functions, those Illustration:
having to do with the discharge of their duties in a foreign country. The
functions contemplated are those, which are, under the law, to be performed by When a Filipino who is already married in the Philippines, contracts another
the public officer in the Foreign Service of the Philippine government in a marriage abroad, the crime committed is bigamy. But the Filipino can not be
foreign country. prosecuted when he comes back to the Philippines, because the bigamy was
committed in a foreign country and the crime is not covered by paragraph 5 of
Exception: The Revised Penal Code governs if the crime was committed within Article 2. However, if the Filipino, after the second marriage, returns to the
the Philippine Embassy or within the embassy grounds in a foreign country. Philippines and cohabits here with his second wife, he commits the crime of
This is because embassy grounds are considered an extension of sovereignty. concubinage for which he can be prosecuted.

Illustration: The Revised Penal Code shall not apply to any other crime committed in a
foreign country which does not come under any of the exceptions and which is
A Philippine consulate official who is validly married here in the Philippines and not a crime against national security.
who marries again in a foreign country cannot be prosecuted here for bigamy
because this is a crime not connected with his official duties. However, if the
second marriage was celebrated within the Philippine embassy, he may be
prosecuted here, since it is as if he contracted the marriage here in the XVI.Article 3: Felonies

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Decision: No. Mere passive presence at the scene of another’s crime, mere
Punishable by the Revised Penal Code silence and failure to give alarm, without evidence of agreement or conspiracy
is not punishable. Romana was acquitted.
The term felony is limited only to violations of the Revised Penal Code. When
the crime is punishable under a special law you do not refer to this as a felony. B. Classification of Felonies
So whenever you encounter the term felony, it is to be understood as referring 1. Intentional Felonies
to crimes under the Revised Penal Code (a) Act or omission of offender is malicious; act committed by
. means of dolo
This is important because there are certain provisions in the Revised Penal Code (b) Act is performed with deliberate intent.
where the term “felony” is used, which means that the provision is not 2. Culpable Felonies – performed without malice; act committed by
extended to crimes under special laws. A specific instance is found in Article means of culpa
160 – Quasi-Recidivism, which reads: (a) Negligence – lack of foresight
(b) Imprudence – lack of skill
A person who shall commit a felony after having been
convicted by final judgment, before beginning to serve PERSON CAUSING INJURY, WITHOUT EVIL INTENTION, MAY BE LIABLE
sentence or while serving the same, shall be punished under FOR CULBABLE FELONY
the maximum period of the penalty.
US vs. Divino
Note that the word "felony" is used.
Facts: Divino was charged for the crime of lesiones graves for burning the feet
A. Definition: Felonies are acts and omissions punishable by the law. Alfonsa believing in good faith that applying petroleum on her sores and ulcers
would cure her wounds. Unfortunately, Alfonsa became more injured and
Note: The phrase “punishable by law” is not only constrained to those acts that deformed after the treatment.
are punishable by the RPC. Crimes can also be punishable by special laws.
Issue: W/N Divino committed a crime considering he acted on good faith.
Decision: One who, not being regular practitioner, undertakes to render medical
1. Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege. If there is no law that assistance to another person, is liable for any injuries resulting, from such
defines an act as a crime and provides for its penalty, such act is treatment, and the fact that he acted in good faith and according to the best of
not a crime. his ability does not relieve him from responsibility, although his ignorance may
be considered as a mitigating circumstance. Divino was held liable for culpable
2. Acts may be omissions or commissions; only external acts are felony because the acts he committed were out of ignorance with the intent to
punished bring about remedy instead of harm.

3. Omission is synonymous to inaction, the failure to perform a

positive duty which one is bound to do. There must be a low Note: Reckless Negligence means voluntary act without malice.
requiring the performance of such act.
People vs. Silvestre and Atienza
People vs. Catangay
Facts: Martin and Romana were both convicted of the crime of arson by the
Court of First Instance. The case of Romana was appealed because there is no Facts: Catangay was found guilty of homicide through reckless negligence. On
strong evidence that can prove that she was an accomplice of Martin. the night of the crime, Catangay was tasked to negotiate the distance. But as
he was nearing the quarry, he accidentally stumbled onan embankment and
Issue: W/N Romana’s act of omission is punishable. two shots were discharged, one killing his companion.

Issue: W/N Catangay was guilty of reckless negligence

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Decision: No. The discharge of a firearm that caused the, victim's death Code qualifies as negligence, or reckless negligence. Felonies are committed
having been purely accidental and wholly involuntary on the part of the not only by means of deceit (dolo) but also by means of fault (culpa).
accused, his action lacks the element essential for holding that it was
performed with reckless negligence, which requires that the damage be inflicted Note: Reason for punishing acts of negligence: A man must use common
without malice but through a voluntary act. In this case, there was no intent sense, and exercise due reflection in all his acts; it is his duty to be cautious,
because Catangay had a very good relationship with the victim. There was no careful, and prudent, if not from instinct, then through fear of incurring
negligence either because opening the latch while approaching the quarry is punishment. He is responsible for such results as anyone might foresee and for
very usual for hunters. The embankment cannot also be anticipated. acts, which no one would have performed, except through culpable abandon.
Otherwise his own person, rights and property, and those of his fellow beings,
US vs. Ramirez would ever be exposed to all manner of danger and injury. (People vs. Maleza
and Adlaon).
Facts: Pedro Ramirez went on hunting together with two other companions.
He asked his two companions to watch over their prey while he looks for C. Crimes punished under special laws.
another. After walking for about 50 meters, he seemed to have seen an eye of
a deer and shot it. To his surprise, he shot one of his companions. 1. Rule: There is no need for the pattern analysis for acts that
involve public policy (statutory law); no dolo is required
Issue: W/N there is reckless imprudence on this case. (US. vs. Go Chico)
2. Act alone constitutes the offense
Decision: Yes. He performed a voluntary act in discharging his gun, although
the resulting homicide was without malice, because he did not have the US vs. Siy Cong Bien
intention of killing the deceased. But nonetheless, he knew he had two
companions, thus, he should have exercised all the necessary diligence to avoid Facts: Defendants Benito Siy Cong Bieng and Co Kong were convicted of a
every undesirable accident. Moreover, the eyes of a man is not luminous in the violation of Section 7 of Act. No. 1655 of the Philippine Commission known as
dark thus it would be impossible to mistake it to that of a deer. The fact that the Pure Food and Drugs Act. Benito Siy Cong Bieng appealed for:
the defendant offered to the mother of the deceased a carabao and a horse by (a) He did not have any knowledge of the acts done by his agent
way of indemnity indicates that the defendant admitted the commission of the which was the sale of adulterated coffee.
crime although he performed that act without criminal intent and only through (b) Co Kong was in charge of the store.
imprudence. The accused is guilty of homicide through reckless imprudence.
Issue: W/N defendant Siy Cong Being should be held liable for the actions of

People vs. Maleza Decision: Under the Philippine Pure Food and Drugs Act, proof of the fact of
the sale of prohibited drugs and food products is sufficient to sustain a
Facts: Maleza and Adlaon were charged with crimes of falsification of public conviction of a violation of the statute, without proof of guilty knowledge of the
documents by reason of reckless negligence. Maleza is the municipal treasurer fact of adulteration or criminal intent in the making of the sale. It is a mistaken
and he certified an account showing payments for the construction of the notion that positive, willful intent, as distinguished from a mere intent, to
municipal building. Adlaon signed that he received the money when in fact the violate the criminal law, is an essential ingredient in every criminal offense, and
money was never for the construction of municipal building but was to be given that where there is the absence of such intent there is no offense; this is
to Bastes who loaned a sum of money to the municipal president and treasurer. especially so as to statutory offenses. When the statute plainly forbids an act to
Defendants maintained that falsification does not constitute the crime be done, and it is done by some person, the law implies conclusively the guilty
complained of. intent, although the offender was honestly mistaken as to the meaning of the
law he violates. When the language is plain and positive, and the offense is not
Issue: W/N reckless negligence is considered a crime. made to depend upon the positive, willful intent and purpose, nothing is left to
Decision: Between an act performed voluntarily and intentionally, and another
committed unconsciously and quite unintentionally, there exists another, 3. Mala Prohibita and Mala in Se
performed without malice, but at the same time punishable, though in a lesser
degree and with an equal material result; an intermediate act which the Penal Mala in Se Mala Prohibita

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Definition Acts that are wrong Acts that are wrong People vs. Orquijo and Ongsod
from their nature. merely because it is
prohibited by a Facts: Orquijo and Ongsod were guilty of the crime of robbery, in addition,
statute. Ongsod was also found guilty of the crime of illegal possession of firearms. The
Intent Intent governs. Intent is not testimony of the witnesses were credible and accurate, enough to call for a
important. conviction. Ongsod contends that it was Orquijo who owned the gun and it was
Violates RPC Special penal laws merely in his possession when the Philippine constabulary seized it. He further
Minimum Criminal Intent Intent to perpetuate stated that he has every intention of surrendering the gun.
required for a crime
a person to Issue: W/N the absence of criminal intent and good faith are valid defenses in
incur crimes punishable by special laws.
liability Decision: No. It does not matter for the conviction of Ongsod that he is the
owner or borrower of the gun because this fact has no bearing on his guilt. The
4. Good faith can be invoked as defense for violation of the mere unlicensed possession of firearm, regardless of the intent of the holder is
RPC (Mala in Se) sufficient to sustain a conviction. Since the offense is malum prohibitum
punished by special law, and good faith and absence of criminal intent are not
Timoner vs. People valid defenses.

Facts: The Court of Appeals found the petitioner guilty beyond reasonable 6. Exceptions to the good faith rule in crimes of Mala
doubt of the crime of Grave Coercion penalized under Art. 286 of the Revised Prohibita. Intent to perpetuate the act is required.
Penal Code. The petitioner was the mayor of a town and by the
recommendation of the Municipal Health Officer, he barricaded some People vs. Mallari
establishments and stalls which protruded into the sidewalk of the Maharlika
highway and who were not complying with certain health and sanitation Facts: Mallari was found guilty of illegal possession of firearms. Despite his
requirement. plea that he already applied for the renewal of his license, which expired some
The petitioner then filed a complaint against the owners of the stalls saying that 3 months before he was arrested, a fact corroborated by an office of the
these stalls constituted public nuisance as well as nuisance per se. The owners constabulary, he was still sentence by the lower court.
of the stalls charged the petitioner with the offense of grave coercion.
Issue: W/N the lower court was correct in their decision.
Issue: W/N the conviction of the court of appeals that the petitioner committed
grave coercion is correct the complainants were public nuisance. Decision: The accused was absolved. In statutory offenses, it is enough that
the statue has been violated and that it is not necessary to inquire whether
Decision: The court is in agreement that the complainants were public there was intent to violate it. However, for the court can adopt a more liberal
nuisance for affecting a considerable number of persons in their neighborhood. view. The spirit of the law regarding possession of firearms is to punish those
Petitioner, as mayor of the town, merely implemented the aforesaid who possess the same without knowledge of the authorities concerned, and
recommendation of the Municipal Health Officer. Having then acted in good faith without even bothering themselves to legalize such possession. Where the
in the performance of his duty, petitioner incurred no criminal liability. accused had a pending application for permanent permit to possess a firearm,
Grave coercion is committed when "a person who, without authority of law, and such possession was not unknown to an agent of the law who advised the
shall by means of violence, prevent another from doing something not former to keep it in the meantime, any doubt as to his claim should be resolved
prohibited by law or compel to do something against his will, either it be right in his favor.
or wrong." The third element being absent in the case at bar, petitioner cannot
be held guilty of grave coercion.
People vs. Mapa
5. Good Faith and absence of criminal intent are not valid
defenses in crimes punished by special laws (Mala Facts: The accused is a secret agent contending that being such; he should be
Prohibita) exempted from the law prohibiting illegal possession of firearm.

Issue: W/N Mapa should be exempted from complying with the law.

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desired of one's act while the latter relates to the moral significance that person
Decision: As secret agent is not included in the enumeration in Section 879 of ascribes to the said act. Hence a person may not intend to shoot another but
the Revised Administrative Code of persons who are not prohibited in Section may be aware of the consequences of his negligent act, which may cause injury
878, Revised Administrative Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 4, from to the same person in negligently handling an air rifle. Discernment constitutes
possessing any firearm. Appellant is not also exempted from the requirement an exception to the exemption from criminal liability of a minor under fifteen
of license. The first and fundamental duty of courts is to apply the law. years of age but over nine, who commits an act prohibited by law, is his mental
Construction and interpretation come only after it has been demonstrated that capacity to understand the difference between right and wrong. In evaluating
application is impossible or inadequate without them. felonies committed by means of culpa, three (3) elements are indispensable,
namely, intelligence, freedom of action, and negligence. Obviously, intent is
D. Pattern of analysis in determining criminal liability wanting in such felonies. However, intelligence remains as an essential
1. Was there criminal intent (dolo)? element, hence, it is necessary that a minor above nine but below fifteen years
2. Or was the act done by means of culpa (imprudence/negligence)? of age be possessed with intelligence in committing a negligent act which
results in a quasi-offense. For him to be criminally liable, he must discern the
E. Delito Deloso and Delito Culposa rightness or wrongness of the effects of his negligent act. Indeed, a minor over
nine years of age but below fifteen may be held liable for a quasi-offense under
Article 365.
Delito Deloso Delito culposa
(b) Kinds of Intent
(dolo) (culpa)
(1) general notion of intent – motive is not essential in
Freedom Freedom
establishing this notion of criminal intent
Intelligence Intelligence
(2) specific notion of intent – there is no great difference
Intent Negligence/Imprudence between specific criminal intent ad motive.

(a) Intent Defined distinguished from discernment (c) Distinguished from Motive

Guevarra vs. Hon. Ignacio Almodovar WHEN MOTIVE IS RELEVANT

Facts: Petitioner John Philip Guevarra, 11 years old, was playing with his best People vs. Dorico
friend. They were target-shooting a bottle cap placed with an air rifle borrowed
from a neighbor. In the course of their game, Teodoro was hit by a pellet on his Facts: Romualdo Dorico, Dionisio Ballonico and Fernando Dorico were all found
left collar bone which caused his death. guilty beyond reasonable doubt for murdering Gervacio Dapulag and was
Fiscal exculpated petitioner due to his age and because the unfortunate sentenced each with death penalty. The three were said to have killed the
occurrence appeared to be an accident. The victim's parents appealed to the accused because he insisted on filing a criminal complaint against Romualdo for
Ministry of Justice, which ordered the Fiscal to file a case against petitioner for the killing of his nephew. Dionisio said that he was merely a bystander and did
Homicide through reckless Imprudence. The petitioner was in position that not participate in the crime
"discernment" connotes "intent". The Solicitor General insists that discernment
and intent are two different concepts. Issue: W/N motive is relevant to establish guilt

Decision: It is true that no motive has been shown why he would kill Gervacio
Issue: Dapulag, but this Court has repeatedly held that motive is pertinent only when
there is doubt as to the identity of the culprit. This not a situation which falls
1. W/N an eleven (11) year old boy could be charged with the crime of under ‘who had done it’ since DIONISIO BALLONICO was positively identified by
homicide thru reckless imprudence. credible witnesses as one of the assailants of the victim. Proof of motive is not
2. W/N the term "discernment", as used in Article 12(3) of the Revised essential for conviction. There was no reason shown why the witnesses for the
Penal Code (RPC) is synonymous with "intent." prosecution would foist a crime on DIONISIO BALLONICO if he did not really
commit it.
Decision: The two terms should not be confused. It is clear that the terms
"intent" and "discernment" convey two distinct thoughts. While both are Disclosure of motive is an aid in completing the proof of the
products of the mental processes within a person, the former refers to the commission of the crime.

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An extreme moral perversion may lead a man to commit a crime with a real
Note: Circumstantial Evidences defined: indirect evidence; fact that was seen in motive but just for the sake of committing it. Or, he apparent lack of a motive
the vicinity of the crime; an aid to the prosecution; proof of crime for committing a criminal act does not necessarily mean that there are none,
but that simply they are not known to us, for we cannot probe into the depths
US vs. Go Foo Suy of one's conscience where they may be found, bidden away and inaccessible to
our observation.
Facts: Fire broke out in house no. 30. After some time, fire also broke out in
House no. 26, which was just across the passageway from House No, 30. The WHEN MOTIVE IS IRRELEVANT
accused had dry goods store in house no. 26. However, witnesses testified that
the fire in House no. 26 broke out when the fire in House no. 30 was about to When assailant is positively identified
be put out. While the firefighters were trying to break into the storeroom, they
heard something moving. When they got inside, they found a hole, which People vs. Diva
supported the fact that someone, set fire on house no. 26.
Facts: Maximo Diva and his wife were accused of murdering Ananias Bano.
Issue: W/N the accused was guilty of arson. Their dispute was regarding boundaries of the adjoining lands they own. On
the day the crime was committed, Maximo and Cesaria Diva conspired to attack
Decision: The accused were found guilty of the crime. The fact that the the victim. Before the victim’s life expired, he was able to tell his wife who his
defendants owned a stock of goods, that it was insured for three times its attackers were. Maximo and Cesaria contended that it was Ananias who first
value, and that their business operations over a period approximately eighteen attacked them and that Maximo merely defended himself. Maximo also
months just prior to the fire had resulted in a considerable loss, furnishes a contended that the trial court erred in saying that the motive of the killing was
powerful motive for the commission of the crime (circumstantial evidence). The a land case because he has no interest therein since it was his father who was
appellants had been conducting their business at a loss for nearly 18 months. the plaintiff in the said case. Even if there is such motive, it is not a sufficient
The success of their crime meant that they would receive about twice the value ground for him to ambush, attack and kill Ananias. Since the prosecution was
of their stock of goods and thus converting a losing investment into a profitable not able to establish the motive, Maximo claims that he should not be convicted
one. of the crime.

Lack of motive may be an aid in showing the innocence of the accused Issue: W/N the motive is needed to convict the defendants.

People vs. Taneo

Decision: No. Motive is not important to have a conviction. The question of
Facts: Potenciano Taneo was accused of parricide for killing his wife, and what motive is sufficient to impel one to commit a particular act is always
wounding his father in law and two of their guests. It appears from the relative and no fixed norm of conduct can be said to be decisive of every
evidence that that the day before the commission of the crime, the accused had imaginable case. But motive is unessential to conviction in murder cases when
a fight with Enrique Collantes and Valentin Abadilla, who invited him to come there is no doubt as to the identity of the culprit or where the offender had
down and fight, and when he was about to go down, he was stopped by his wife admitted the deed; and the failure of the prosecution to establish motive is
and his mother. On the day of the commission of the crime, it was noted that completely inconsequential. Where, as in this case, the identity of the appellant
the defendant was not feeling well, thus, he went to bed and slept. The as the author of the killing is not disputed as he admitted having killed the
defendant states that when he fell asleep, he dreamed that Collantes was trying deceased, his motive in committing the act becomes irrelevant to his conviction
to stab him with a bolo while Abadilla held his feet, by reason of which he got and the failure of the State to establish his motive is of no moment.
up; and as it seemed to him that his enemies were inviting him to come down,
he armed himself with a bolo and left the room. Note: When assailant is positively identified, motive need not be
Issue: W/N the defendant is guilty of the crime of parricide.

Decision: No. The defendant was not held liable for the crime. A person who US vs. Ramirez
suddenly hot up in his sleep left the room with a bolo in his hand, and upon
meeting with his wife who tried to stop him, wounded her abdomen and
attacked other, for having acted in a dream; he had no criminal intent.

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It must be noted that there could be no motive in this case because Ramirez extremely disappointed in President Roxas for his alleged failure to redeem his
and the victim were good friends. The act could not have been done promises made by him during the presidential election. Hence, he was
deliberately. determined to assassinate the president. He carried two hand grenades in
Plaza Miranda and hurled it on the stage where the president was making a
speech. General Castaneda, upon seeing the grenade, kicked it away from the
PROOF OF MOTIVE ALONE IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT platform. When the grenade exploded, it injured Simeon Varela and four other
CONVICTION men. Simeon died because of the injuries he sustained.

People vs. Marcos

Issue: W/N Julio Guillen is guilty of the crime charge considering that it was
the president which he intended to kill and not Simeon Varela.
Facts: Mariano Marcos, his son Ferdinand Marcos and brother in law, Quirino
Lizardo were accused for the murder of Julio Nalundasan, Mariano’s archrival. Decision: Yes. In throwing a hand grenade at the President with the intention
During the 1935 elections, Julio won over Mariano for the office of of killing him, the appellant acted with malice. He is therefore liable for all the
representative of Ilocos Norte. During the victory parade, Julio’s men were said consequences of his wrongful act; for in accordance with article 4 of the
to have passed over Mariano’s house to humiliate the defeated candidate. The Revised Penal Code, criminal liability is incurred by any person committing a
following night, Julio was found dead. The Marcoses and Lizardo became the felony (delito) although the wrongful act done be different from that which he
suspects. The primary witness of the prosecution was Lizardo’s bodyguard who intended to do. In the words of Viada, “in order that an act may be qualified as
said that he was there when the crime was committed and the motive was said imprudence it is necessary that neither malice nor intention to cause injury
to be the victory parade before Julio’s death. should intervene; where such intention exists, the act should be qualified by
the felony it has produced, even though it may not have been the intention of
Issue: W/N the parade was a sufficient motive to warrant a sentence. the actor to cause an evil of such gravity as that produced”. The qualifying
circumstance of treachery may properly be considered, even when the victim of
Decision: No. While the defeat of Marcos followed by such insulting parade, the attack was not the one whom the defendant intended to kill, if it appears
might have irritated the herein defendants, the existence of a motive alone, from the evidence that neither of the two persons could in any manner put up a
though perhaps an important consideration, is not proof of the commission of a defense against the attack, or became aware of it. In criminal negligence, the
crime, much less of the guilt of the defendants-appellants. By and large, the injury caused to another should be unintentional, it being simply the incident of
court found the testimony of Aguinaldo to be inherently improbable and full of another act performed without malice.
contradictions in important details, thus it shall be discredited. It is neither
necessary nor profitable to examine the corroborative evidence presented by People vs. Nanquil
the prosecution. Where the principal and basic evidence upon which the GR No. 17933 March 23, 1922
prosecution rests its case fails, all evidence intended to support or corroborate
it must likewise fail. Facts: Nanquil was investigating a certain Severino Ramiscal for the theft of
Juan Rosas’s carabao. During the investigation, Nanquil struck Severino with
(d) When crimes may be committed without criminal intent his gun. As a consequence, the victim died after a few moments.

FELONIES COMMITED BY MEANS OF CULPA Issue: W/N the accused should be charged with a crime of homicide through
reckless imprudence.
See: US vs. Divino
Decision: Yes. The accused having had no intention to commit so serious an
OFFENSES PUNISHABLE AS MALA PROHIBITA evil as that which resulted, the crime committed by him cannot be that of
homicide through reckless imprudence, because he did have the intention to do
(e) Intentional and Culpable Felonies Distinguished some evil unlawfully (maltreating the deceased), and this intention, although it
was not that of killing, is inconsistent with reckless imprudence.
People vs. Guillen
GR No. L-1477 January 18, 1950 (f) in both, acts are voluntary (People vs. Ramirez)
(g) Acts that are negligently executed are voluntary
Facts: Julio Guillen was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of (h) Intent is shown by overt acts
murder and multiple frustrated murder. According to the accused, he was

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Issue: W/N the accused was guilty of the said crime considering that his
People vs. Mabug-at actions were not contrary to law.

Facts: The accused and Juana Buralo were sweethearts. One day, the accused Decision: That act of the accused, in permitting the sums deposited with him
invited Juana to take a walk with him, but the latter refused on account of the to be attached in the satisfaction of the judgment rendered by him, was not
accused having frequently visited the house of a certain Carmen. Later on, the unlawful. Everything he did was in good faith under the belief that he was
accused went to a house where Juana had gone to take part in some devotion. acting judiciously and correctly. The act committed, so far as appears form the
Thereafter, the accused threatened that if Juana refuses to see him, he will record, at most a pure mistake of judgment, an error of the mind operating
enter the house, get the gild and kill anyone who would stop him. After the upon a state of facts. A crime is not committed if the mind if the person
devotion, the accused followed the girl and her niece on their way home. When performing the act complained of be innocent (actus non facit reum, nisi mes
they were about to go up their house, the accused fired a shot intended for sit rea). Good faith is a defense and in this case, there is good faith. Good
Juana but which wounded Perfecta instead. faith negates intent. When there is no intent, there is no crime.

Issues: W/N the accused is guilty of frustrated murder. Note: It is a prima facie evidence in Malversation that such missing funds or
property have been put to personal use or used for personal ends by such
Decision: Yes. Although the mere act of firing at a person is not proof per se person. In this case, it was not proven that the accused justice of peace used
of intent to kill, yet when the surrounding circumstances of the act are such the money for personal use.
that they leave no room for doubt that the intention was to kill the person fired
upon, the crime is not simply "discharge of firearm," but homicide or murder as
the case may be. The qualifying circumstance of treachery may properly be US vs. Ah Chong
considered, even when the victim of the attack was not the one whom the
defendant intended to kill, if it appears from the evidence that neither of the Facts: Defendant was a cook and the deceased was a house boy, and both
two persons could in any manner put up a defense against the attack, or were employed in the same place and usually slept in the same room. One
become aware of it. night, after the defendant had gone to bed, he was awakened by some one
trying to open the door, and called out twice. Believing that he was being
(i) Criminal Intent Presumed from Commission of the crime attacked, he seized a kitchen knife, struck and fatally wounded the intruder,
who turned out to be his roommate.
Mistake of fact – while ignorance of the law excuses no one (ignorantia legis
non excusat), ignorance or mistake of fact relieves tha accused from criminal Issue: W/N Ah Chong should be acquitted because of mistake of fact.
liability (ignoratia facti excusat)
Decision: Under such circumstances, there is no criminal liability, provided that
MISTAKE OF FACT AS A DEFENSE the ignorance or mistake of fact was not due to negligence or bad faith. In
other words, if such ignorance or mistake of facts is sufficient to negate a
People vs. Catolico particular intent which, under the law, is a necessary ingredient of the offense
GR No. 6486 02 March 1911 charged it destroys the presumption of intent and works an acquittal; except in
those cases where the circumstances demand a conviction under the penal
provisions governing negligence, and in cases where, under the provisions of
Facts: The defendant, a justice of peace, was charged of malversation of article 1 of the Penal Code, a person voluntarily committing an act incurs
public funds. He rendered decisions in certain cases, each one for damages criminal liability even though the act be different from that which he intended
resulting from a breach of contract, from which the defendants appealed. As to commit. The circumstances proved that in Ah Chong’s mind, he was being
required by law, the defendants deposited Php 16.00 and a bond of Php 50.00 attacked, regardless of the circumstances outside him. Would the facts been as
for each case. It appeared that the sureties on the said bonds were insolvent he though them to be, there would have been no crime. Mistake of fact
and that the defendants did not present new bonds within the time fixed by the indicates good faith. Good faith negates intent. Without intent, there is no
accused as justice of peace. Upon petition of the plaintiffs, the accused crime.
dismissed the appeals and ordered said sums attached and delivered to the
plaintiffs in satisfaction of the judgment. The accused was prosecuted for
malversation, a felony under Art. 217. Note:

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2. Lack of intent to kill the deceased, because the intention was to the consent of his or her parents. The women believed that she was born in
kill another, does not relieve the accused from criminal 1879; that so her parents gave her to understand ever since she was young;
responsibility (People vs. Gona). and she did not ask them concerning her age. In the same instance, the
2. In mistake of fact, the intention of the accused in performing the husband relied on the statement of his wife that she is of age when they got
act should be lawful. married.
3. There is no crime of resistance when there is a mistake of fact (US
vs. Bautista) Issue: W/N the husband and the wife violated the said provision of the Penal
4. When the accused is negligent, mistake of fact is not a defense. code
(People vs. Fernando)
Decision: A minor who marries without parental consent in the false belief that
Good faith has many sources she is of age is not criminally responsible. It is not criminal negligence for a
(a) Mistake of fact husband to rely upon his wife's statement of her age nor for the wife to rely
(b) Act is lawful upon that of her father. In effect it suffices to remember the first article, which
states that where there is no intent there is no crime. In order to assert without
The point is: when good faith is established, it negates criminal intent. fear of mistake that in our Code the substance of a crime does not exist if there
No criminal intent, no crime. is not a deed, an act that falls within the sphere of ethics if there is not a moral
wrong. One cannot be convicted under Art. 475 when by reason of a mistake
People vs. Formaran of facts there does not exist the intention to commit the crime. Mistake of fact
No. 12089-CR establishes good faith because have the facts been as she thought them to be,
the act would have been lawful. Good faith negates intent. When there is no
Facts: Formaran was accused of a crime of perjury for having sworn to a Civil intention, there is no crime. Good faith is transferable (in this case, to the
Service Form No. 1 before a notary public that he was never accused of a husband).
violation of any law before any court or tribunal, when the truth and in fact he
had been charged with the offense of unjust vexation in a criminal case before Note: There is no felony by dolo if there is no intent.
the Justice of the Peace Court. When he testified in his defense, the defendant
claimed that he answered “No” to the question whether he had been accused of People vs. Coching
a violation of any law, because he relied on the opinion of the provincial fiscal
that unjust vexation does not involve moral turpitude and he thought it was not Facts: Coching and several others were accused of falsification of public
necessary to mention it in Civil Service Form No. 1. It appeared that he was document and violation of the election code. Conching and the others sincerely
previously prosecuted twice for perjury for answering ‘NO’ to the same question believed that booklets 4100 to 4120 were sample ballots because three ballots
but he was acquitted on the first case and the second case was dismissed. from the booklet were detached and two ballots were used to cover the
openings of the boxes that was given to them before the election. They have
Issue: W/N Formaran was unjustly prosecuted on the case at bar. no way of checking since the receipt copy signed by Coching when he received
the ballots were not given to them. Thus, they did not include in the counting
Decision: No. it was held that in view of the factual background of the case, booklets 4100 to 4120.
the act of the defendant in answering “no” to the question can be considered
only as an error of judgment and did not indicate an intention to commit the Issue: W/N Coching and the others are guilty of the crime charges.
crime of perjury. The defendant was not liable for the crime because he had no
intent to commit the crime. Decision: No. The lower court was in agreement that the defendants did not
intend to perpetuate the act. But according to them, since the act is malum
Note: Lack of intent to commit a crime may be inferred from the facts of the prohibitum – against a law/statute, intention is immaterial. The Court is in
case. disagreement with this notion. The act, according to the court, being an act
mala prohibita has no bearing on the case because this is not a case of willful
or conscious violation of a penal statue, nor of ignorance of the law. The case
People vs. Penalosa at bar is a case of ignorance of the fact. The defendants are in honest belief
GR No 424 January 27, 1902 that the series of unused ballots were not official but sample ballots. Upholding
the maxim ignorantia facti excusat as established in People vs. Oanis. The
Facts: A minor married without parental consent, in violation of Art 475 of he courts should judge the accused not by the facts as they later turned out to be
old Penal Code which punished any minor who shall contract marriage without

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but what they believed to be as facts at the time of the offense and the
conditions obtaining them (US vs. Ah Chong). Defendants were acquitted. PEOPLE vs. BINDOY

MISTAKE OF FACT NOT A DEFENSE Facts: The accused was charged of the crime of homicide for wounding with his
bolo Emigdio who was merely a spectator of the fight, which ensued between
See: People vs. Oanis the defendant and a certain Pacas.

People vs. de Fernando Issue: W/N Bindoy should be charged for killing Emigdio
GR No 24978 27 March 1926
Decision: The appellant should be acquitted since there is no evidence, which
Facts: The accused, a policeman, was informed that three convicts had shows that Emigdio took part in the fight. Neither was there any indication that
escaped. The residents of the barrio were alarmed of the news. While doing the accused was aware of the victim’s presence. Had the defendant tried to
rounds in the barrio, he was called by the daughter of a certain Delgado to wound his adversary and instead had bit the bystander, he would, of course,
inform him that three unknown persons were prowling around their house. have had to answer for his criminal act. But in view of the evidence, the injury
After some time, they saw a person going up the stairs dressed in dark clothes was accidental and the defendant should be acquitted.
and carrying a bolo. Accused called out to the person to identify himself. The
person, did not answer thus, de Fernando fired a shot in the air. As the
unknown person continued to ascend the stairs and believing that he was one (1) When act is lawful
of the escaped convicts, the accused fired directly at the man who turned our to
be the nephew of the house. PEOPLE vs. SALINAS
62 O.G. 3186
Issue: W/N de Fernando was guilty of homicide through reckless negligence.
Facts: Crisanto Salinas was charged for the death of Jaime Tibule. Jaime died
Decision: Yes. An agent of the law, to whom notice had been given of the after falling from his mother’s hold while the mother was freeing his father from
presence of suspicious looking persons, who might be escaped prisoners from a Crisanto’s hold. Crisanto was holding the victim’s grandfather in order to
nearby penitentiary, prowling around the vicinity, and who enters a house to prevent him from fighting with the defendant’s father.
keep watch, and later in the evening sees a person with a bolo in hand
approaching the house in the -attitude of going up the stairs, who does not Issue: W/N Crisanto should be liable for the death of the baby
answer the challenge of the officer of the law, and continues his advance
notwithstanding that the latter had fired a shot into the air, and the said agent Decision: No. The accepted rule is that an offender is always liable for the
of the law considering that the said stranger has not been recognized by any consequence of his criminal action even though the result be different from
person in the household, and thinking him to be an evil-doer, shoots and kills what he intended. Under the circumstances, it cannot be held that the accused
him, is not guilty of murder or homicide. He however, acted with reckless was committing a crime and it cannot be said that the death of the child was a
negligence in failing to exercise the ordinary diligence that, under the direct result of a crime. The act being lawful, there could have been no crime
circumstances, he should have exercised by inquiring of the occupants of the committed. The defendant was acquitted.
house whether the stranger was known to them, as he seemed to have called
somebody in the house, or was really what be thought him to be, before (b) Wrong done is direct, natural, logical consequence of felony
shooting him, which makes said officer guilty of homicide through reckless committed

Facts: The accused was not satisfied with the slow raising of the anchor which
XVII.Article 4: Criminal Liability caused him to abuse his men with offensive language. One of the crew
remonstrated that they would be able to work better if the accused stops
insulting them. Infuriated, the accused moved towards the victim with big
A. Committing a felony even if the consequences are unintended knife threatening to stab him. The victim, believing that he is going to be
1. Elements: killed, threw himself in water and never resurface.
(a) Felony is committed
Issue: W/N the defendant should be liable for his crew’s death

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61 PHIL. 341
Decision: Yes. The crew’s death was a consequence of the defendant’s action.
If a person against whom, a criminal assault is directed reasonably believes Facts: The appellant and victim were having an illicit relationship. When the
himself to be in danger of death or great bodily harm, a d in order to escape victim tried to end their affair, the appellant dragged the deceased towards the
jumps into water, impelled by the instincts of self-preservation, the assailant us streets and stabbed her in the chest with the fan knife. The victim was said to
responsible for homicide in case death results by drowning. have died from shock.

PEOPLE vs. QUIANSON Issue: W/N the appellant should be acquitted considering the fact that the
62 PHIL. 162 wound was only a slight one

Facts: The defendant, was convicted of a crime of homicide for the death of Decision: No. In this jurisdiction, it is a well settled that such is not the law. A
Andres Aribuabo, a deranged person who constantly asked for food from the person is responsible for the consequences of his criminal act even of the
former. The defendant took hold of a firebrand and applied it to the abdomen deceased have been shown to be suffering from a deceased heart (which was
of the man who pestered him. Victim was treated in the hospital but died. not shown). Appellant’s assault being the proximate cause of the death, he
Defendant contends that the victim would have survived if he did not remove should be responsible. The girl died from shock as a result of the wound
the drainage placed to isolate the infection. inflicted by the defendant.

Issue: W/N Quianson should be held liable for the death of the victim There is intention in the commission of the crime because when a person who
stabs another with a lethal weapon, death could reasonable be anticipated.
Decision: One who inflicts an injury on another is deemed by law to be guilty The accused is presumed to have intended the natural consequences of the
of homicide if the injury contributes mediately or immediately to the death of wrongful act.
the victim. The fact that other causes contribute to the death does not relieve
the actor of responsibility.
As the wound, which the appellant inflicted upon the deceased, was the cause, (i) How proximate cause is determined
which determined his death, it is evident that the act in question should be
qualified as homicide. VDA. DE BATACLAN, ET AL. vs. MEDINA
102 PHIL. 181
(1) Blow was efficient cause of death
Facts: The victim, husband of the petitioner, died from the explosion of the bus
PEOPLE vs. ILLUSTRE of which he was a passenger. Before the explosion, the vehicle zig-zagged into
54 PHIL. 544 a canal, causing said bus to overturn. Due to overturning of the bus, the
gasoline leaked soaking the soil underneath thus, when the rescuers came with
Facts: The defendant, who was in charged in making sure that the roasted pig torches came near the bus; the bus was set on fire.
will not be consumed before the end of the parade gave a blow to Juan Magsino
who tried getting a piece of the pig. Juan died of internal hemorrhage and Issue: W/N the overturning of the bus was the proximate cause of the death.
contusion on the liver.
Decision: Yes. The reason that when the vehicle turned, the leaking of the
Issue: W/N the defendant should be held liable for the death of the victim. gasoline was the natural consequence. It was also natural that the rescuers
would innocently approach the bus to extend aid. Thus, the burning of the bus
Decision: Yes. It was the defendant’s blow in the right hypocondrium, which was a natural cause and should be attributed to the negligence of the driver
bruised the liver and produced internal hemorrhage. That the victim had a and the conductor.
delicate condition and suffered from incipient tuberculosis does not affect
criminal liability of the defendant who gave him a severe blow, which was the (ii) Definition
cause of the death; even of the weakened condition made the blow more fatal,
the efficient cause of the death remains the same. There was no intent but this URBANO vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT
does not extinguish the crime. 157 SCRA 1
(2) Blow was proximate cause of death
Facts: Urbano was charged for the crime of homicide for the death of Marcelo
PEOPLE vs. REYES Javier. A fight ensued between the two when Urbano learned that Javier

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opened the floodgates thereby causing his palay to be flooded. Marcelo was obey thus, defendant struck him on the thighs with a slipper. Two days later,
only hit in the palm and while the wound was healing, the victim continued the child died.
working. After 22 days, he died from tetanus.
Issue: W/N the defendant should be held liable for the death of the child.
Issue: W/N the hacking incident can be considered a proximate cause of
Marcelo’s death. Decision: No. Since the cause of the death was unknown, the defendant
cannot be held liable for said death. Embate was acquitted.
Decision: No. Proximate cause it the case, which in natural and continuous
sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces injury, and (iv) Death attributable to tetanus
without which, the result would not have occurred. URBANO vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT

The hacking incident could not have been the cause of the victim’s death since (4) Blow accelerated death
the tetanus appeared only on the 22nd day after the hacking incident. It is
possible that the victim may have been inflicted with a mild tetanus but since PEOPLE vs. RODRIGUEZ
Javier died only two or three days from the onset, it is logical to assume that
there may be other causes other than the hacking incident. It is a rule that in Facts: The defendant was charged with having dealt with Manciano Magno with
criminal conviction, the proof that the accused caused the victim’s death must two blows which knocked the victim down. It was found that Magno provoked
convince a rational mind beyond reasonable doubt. Since there may be other the defendant.
efficient causes of the death, the accused should be acquitted. Decision: When the fact is well established that the accused struck the victim
twice with his fist, in the abdomen and in the back, wherefore the latter fell to
(iii) When felony committed not proximate cause: the ground and had hardly risen and started to walk when he again fell down
dead, the crime committed is rightly classified as homicide and the accused is
(3) Intervening active force, which is distinct and absolutely responsible therefore. Even though a blow with the fist or a kick does not cause
foreign to felonious act of accused any external wound it may easily produce inflammation of the spleen and
(i) Resulting injury is due to intentional act of victim peritonitis and cause death, and even though the victim may have been
(ii) Death attributable to fever prevalent in locality previously affected by some internal malady, yet if a blow with the fist or foot
accelerated death, he who caused such acceleration is responsible for the death
PEOPLE vs. PALALON as the result of an injury willfully and unlawfully inflicted.
49 PHIL. 177
(c) When there is an intervening cause
Facts: Appellant was found guilty of the crime of homicide for the death of a US vs. PALALON
child whom he slapped after answering insolently. The child fell but continued
to work. That same afternoon, the child was brought home sick by his father. The defendant was convicted of homicide largely on the testimony of a young
One-half days later, the child died. The doctor testified it was the blow which physician who stated, in substance, that he examined the body of the deceased
was the cause of the death. on the day after the commission of the crime and found ecchymosis on the
body from which he concluded that hard blows had been inflicted on the
Issue: W/N the defendant should be held liable for the death of the child. deceased and that as a result thereof, there was a congestion of the right lung
which was the principal cause of the death. No autopsy of the body was made
Decision: No. It appears that the examination of the body was incomplete and and the physician admitted that his conclusions were partly based upon the
the conclusion of the doctor have been much more than mere guesses. statements of the members of the family of the deceased. Held: That the
Furthermore, it was proven that fever was prevalent among the children in the testimony of the physician was not conclusive and that the ecchymosis
locality thus, there is reasonable doubt as to the true cause of the death. described by him might have been nothing, but suggillations or "death spots"
Appellant therefore should be acquitted. formed after the death. In case of death under suspicious circumstances, it is
the duty of the physician performing the post mortem. examination to exercise
(iii) Cause of death not proved the utmost care and not draw unwarranted conclusions from external
US vs. EMBATE appearances susceptible of different interpretations.
Facts: The child has been seriously ill for three weeks. One day, as the child
lain on a damp floor, defendant ordered said child to transfer. The child did not (1) Instances not constituting efficient intervening cause:

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(i) Weak or diseased physical condition of victim fingers of the left hand, a motion for a new trial will be denied when based
upon the allegation that appellant would be able to prove, if opportunity were
PEOPLE vs. ILLUSTRE, SUPRA given, that the finger, although useless at present, could be restored to
PEOPLE vs. REYES, SUPRA substantially its normal condition by a surgical operation. A person injured in
(ii) Nervousness or temperament of victim an assault is not obliged to submit to a surgical operation to relieve the person
PEOPLE vs. ALMONTE who assaulted him from the results of his crime.

When a person dies in consequence of an internal hemorrhage brought on by (d) Even if unintended.
moving about against the doctor's orders, not because of carelessness or a (1) Error in personae: mistake in identity of victim
desire to increase the criminal liability of his assailant, but because of his PEOPLE vs. OANIS
nervous condition due to the wound inflicted by said assailant, the crime is PEOPLE vs. GONA
homicide and not merely slight physical injuries, simply because the doctor was There can be no doubt that the defendant killed Mapudul and that he is guilty
of opinion that the wound might have healed in seven days. The accused is of the crime charged, but his attorney argues that in view of the fact that said
then liable for all acts contrary to law and their natural and logical defendant had no intention to kill the deceased and committed the crime by
consequences. mistake, he should have been found guilty of homicide through negligence
under paragraph 1 of article 568 of the Penal Code and not of the graver crime
PEOPLE vs. QUIANSON of intentional homicide.
This contention is contrary to earlier decisions of this court. In the case of
Where it does not appear that the victim, in removing the drainage from his United States vs. Mendieta (34 Phil., 242), the court said:
wound, had acted voluntarily and with the knowledge that he was performing "Even admitting that the defendant intended to injure Hilario Lauigan instead of
an act prejudicial to his health, as this should be attributed to his pathological Pedro Acierto, even that, in view of the mortal wound which he inflicted upon
condition and to his state of nervousness and restlessness on account of the the latter, in no way could be considered as a relief from his criminal act. That
physical pain caused by the peritonitis from which he was suffering, such act of he made a mistake in killing one man instead of another, when it is proved that
the victim does not have the effect of altering the natural juridical he acted maliciously and willfully, cannot relieve him from criminal
consequences of the punishable act of the accused all the more because, as the responsibility. Neither do we believe that the fact that he "And any such person
defense itself claims, the victim was mentally deranged. who shall make a false or fraudulent return shall be punished by a fine not
(iii) Causes inherent in victim: exceeding ten thousand pesos or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding
(1) Addiction to tuba drinking two years, or both."
US vs. BAYUTAS (2) Aberratio ictus: mistake in the blow

The fact that the victim was addicted to the habit of drinking tuba, on account PEOPLE vs. MABUG-AT
of which it is admitted that his constitution and physical condition retarded the
healing of his wounds, according to the opinion of the physician who attended (3) Prater intentionem: injurious result is greater than that
him, beyond the time that it should have taken, cannot lessen the assailant's intended
responsibility, because he is responsible for all the consequences of the
personal injury which was produced by the act that he had willfully performed PEOPLE vs. CAGOCO
in violation of a prohibitive law, and because his responsibility cannot be Keywords: Fell backwards
lessened on account of the bad state of health and the weakened constitution Decision: Under the circumstances of this case the defendant is liable for the
of the victim. killing of the deceased because his death was the direct consequence of
defendants felonious act of striking him on the head. If the defendant had not
(2) Victim did no know how to swim committed the assault in a treacherous manner, he would nevertheless have
US vs. VALDEZ, SUPRA been guilty of homicide, although he did not intend to kill the deceased, and
since the defendant did commit the crime with treachery, he is guilty of murder
(iv) Neglect of victim or third person: because of the presence of the qualifying circumstance of treachery.
(1) Victim refused medical attendance or surgical
US vs. MARASIGAN 2. Cause of the cause is the cause of the evil caused
Where it appears from the evidence in the case that the appellant inflicted a
wound upon the complaining witness which destroyed the use of one of the PEOPLE vs. GARDON

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If a person against whom a criminal assault is directed reasonably believes

Question & Answer
himself to be in danger of death or great bodily harm and in order to escape
jumps into the water, impelled by the instinct of self preservation, the assailant
is responsible for homicide in case death results by drowning 1. Accused was a houseboy in a house where only a spinster
Appellant should likewise be chargeable with Homicide. The mitigating resides. It is customary for the spinster to sleep nude because her room was
circumstance of lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong cannot be warm. It was also the habit of the houseboy that whenever she enters her
appreciated in appellant's favor. The determined resolution to do the victim room, the houseboy would follow and peek into the keyhole. Finally, when the
wrong was evident when, even after the victim had disappeared beneath the houseboy could no longer resist the urge, he climbed into the ceiling, went
surface of the sea, he cruelly asked "are you already dead?" Appellant's bid for inside the room of his master, placed himself on top of her and abused her, not
acquittal in his sixth assignment of error, therefore, deserves no consideration. knowing that she was already dead five minutes earlier. Is an impossible crime
Requisites: Yes. Before, the act performed by the offender could not have been a
1. act performed is against property crime against person or property. The act performed would have been
2. That the act was done with evil intent constituted a crime against chastity. An impossible crime is true only if the act
3. That its accomplishment is inherently impossible or the means done by the offender constitutes a crime against person or property. However,
employed is either inadequate or ineffectual with the new rape law amending the Revised Penal Code and classifying rape as
4. The act performed should not constitute a violation f another a crime against persons, it is now possible that an impossible crime was
provision of the RPC committed. Note, however, that the crime might also fall under the Revised
INTOD vs. CA Administrative Code – desecrating the dead.
In our jurisdiction, impossible crimes are recognized. The impossibility of
accomplishing the criminal intent is not merely a defense, but an act penalized 2. A was driving his car around Roxas Boulevard when a person
by itself. Furthermore, the phrase "inherent impossibility" that is found in hitched a ride. Because this person was exquisitely dressed, A readily
Article 4(2) of the Revised Penal Code makes no distinction between factual or welcomed the fellow inside his car and he continued driving. When he reached
physical impossibility and legal impossibility. Ubi lex non distinguit nee nos a motel, A suddenly swerved his car inside. A started kissing his passenger,
distinguiere debemos. but he found out that his passenger was not a woman but a man, and so he
The factual situation in the case at bar presents a physical impossibility which pushed him out of the car, and gave him fist blows. Is an impossible crime
rendered the intended crime impossible of accomplishment. And under Article committed? If not, is there any crime committed at all?
4, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code, such is sufficient to make the act an
impossible crime. It cannot be an impossible crime, because the act would have been a
1. To uphold the contention of respondent that the offense was crime against chastity. The crime is physical injuries or acts of lasciviousness,
Attempted Murder because the absence of Palangpangan was a if this was done against the will of the passenger. There are two ways of
supervening cause independent of the actor's will, will render committing acts of lasciviousness. Under Article 336, where the acts of
useless the provision in Article 4, which makes a person criminally lasciviousness were committed under circumstances of rape, meaning to say,
liable for an act "which would be an offense against persons or there is employment of violence or intimidation or the victim is deprived of
property, were it not for the inherent impossibility of its reason. Even if the victim is a man, the crime of acts of lasciviousness is
accomplishment x x x." In that case, all circumstances which committed. This is a crime that is not limited to a victim who is a woman. Acts
prevented the consummation of the offense will be treated as an of lasciviousness require a victim to be a woman only when it is committed
accident independent of the actor's will which is an element of under circumstances of seduction. If it is committed under the circumstances
attempted and frustrated felonies. of rape, the victim may be a man or a woman. The essence of an impossible
crime is the inherent impossibility of accomplishing the crime or the inherent
Impossible crime impossibility of the means employed to bring about the crime. When we say
inherent impossibility, this means that under any and all circumstances, the
An impossible crime is an act which would be an offense against person or crime could not have materialized. If the crime could have materialized under
property were it not for the inherent impossibility of its accomplishment or on a different set of facts, employing the same mean or the same act, it is not an
account of the employment of inadequate or ineffectual means. impossible crime; it would be an attempted felony.

Under Article 4, paragraph 2, impossible crime is true only when the crime
committed would have been against person or against property. It is,

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therefore, important to know what are the crimes under Title VIII, against electric outlet. The idea was that, when Scott comes home to open the door
persons and those against property under Title X. An impossible crime is true knob, he would be electrocuted. Unknown to Charles, Scott is working in an
only to any of those crimes. electronic shop where he received a daily dosage of electric shock. When Scott
opened the doorknob, nothing happened to him. He was just surprised to find
3. A entered a department store at about midnight, when it was out that there was an electric cord plugged to the outlet and the other hand to
already closed. He went directly to the room where the safe or vault was being the door knob. Whether an impossible crime was committed or not?
kept. He succeeded in opening the safe, but the safe was empty. Is an
impossible crime committed? If not, what crime is possibly committed? It is not an impossible crime. The means employed is not inherently
impossible to bring about the consequence of his felonious act. What
This is not an impossible crime. That is only true if there is nothing prevented the consummation of the crime was because of some cause
more to steal. But in a department store, where there is plenty to steal, not independent of the will of the perpetrator.
only the money inside the vault or safe. The fact that the vault had turned out
to be empty is not really inherently impossible to commit the crime of robbery. 6. A and B are enemies. A, upon seeing B, got the revolver of
There are other things that he could take. The crime committed therefore is his father, shot B, but the revolver did not discharge because the bullets were
attempted robbery, assuming that he did not lay his hands on any other article. old, none of them discharged. Was an impossible crime committed?
This could not be trespass to dwelling because there are other things that can
be stolen. No. It was purely accidental that the firearm did not discharge
because the bullets were old. If they were new, it would have fired. That is a
4. A and B were lovers. B was willing to marry A except that A cause other than the spontaneous desistance of the offender, and therefore, an
is already married. A thought of killing his wife. He prepared her breakfast attempted homicide.
every morning, and every morning, he placed a little dose of arsenic poison into
the breakfast of the wife. The wife consumed all the food prepared by her But if let us say, when he started squeezing the trigger, he did not realize that
husband including the poison but nothing happened to the wife. Because of the the firearm was empty. There was no bullet at all. There is an impossible
volume of the household chores that the wife had to attend to daily, she crime, because under any and all circumstances, an unloaded firearm will never
developed a physical condition that rendered her so strong and resistance to fire.
any kind of poisoning, so the amount of poison applied to her breakfast has no
effect to her. Is there an impossible crime? Whenever you are confronted with a problem where the facts suggest that an
impossible crime was committed, be careful about the question asked. If the
No impossible crime is committed because the fact itself stated that question asked is: “Is an impossible crime committed?”, then you judge that
what prevented the poison from taking effect is the physical condition of the question on the basis of the facts. If really the facts constitute an impossible
woman. So it implies that if the woman was not of such physical condition, the crime, then you suggest than an impossible crime is committed, then you state
poison would have taken effect. Hence, it is not inherently impossible to realize the reason for the inherent impossibility.
the killing. The crime committed is frustrated parricide.
If the question asked is “Is he liable for an impossible crime?”, this is a catching
If it were a case of poisoning , an impossible crime would be question. Even though the facts constitute an impossible crime, if the act done
constituted if a person who was thinking that it was a poison that he was by the offender constitutes some other crimes under the Revised Penal Code,
putting into the food of the intended victim but actually it was vetsin or sugar he will not be liable for an impossible crime. He will be prosecuted for the
or soda. Under any and all circumstances, the crime could not have been crime constituted so far by the act done by him. The reason is an offender is
realized. But if due to the quantity of vetsin or sugar or soda, the intended punished for an impossible crime just to teach him a lesson because of his
victim developed LBM and was hospitalized, then it would not be a case of criminal perversity. Although objectively, no crime is committed, but
impossible crime anymore. It would be a case of physical injuries, if the act subjectively, he is a criminal. That purpose of the law will also be served if he
done does not amount to some other crime under the Revised Penal Code. is prosecuted for some other crime constituted by his acts which are also
punishable under the RPC.
Do not confuse an impossible crime with the attempted or frustrated stage.
7. A and B are neighbors. They are jealous of each other’s
5. Scott and Charles are roommate in a boarding house. social status. A thought of killing B so A climbed the house of B through the
Everyday, Scott leaves for work but before leaving he would lock the food window and stabbed B on the heart, not knowing that B died a few minutes ago
cabinet where he kept his food. Charles resented this. One day, he got an of bangungot. Is A liable for an impossible crime?
electric cord tied the one end to the door knob and plugged the other end to an

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No. A shall be liable for qualified trespass to dwelling. Although the

act done by A against B constitutes an impossible crime, it is the principle of Until the Intod case, the prevailing attitude was that the provision of the
criminal law that the offender shall be punished for an impossible crime only Revised Penal Code on impossible crime would only apply when the wrongful
when his act cannot be punished under some other provisions in the Revised act, which would have constituted a crime against persons or property, could
Penal Code. not and did not constitute another felony. Otherwise, if such act constituted
any other felony although different from what the offender intended, the
In other words, this idea of an impossible crime is a one of last resort, just to criminal liability should be for such other felony and not for an impossible
teach the offender a lesson because of his criminal perversity. If he could be crime. The attitude was so because Article 4 of the Code provides two
taught of the same lesson by charging him with some other crime constituted situations where criminal liability shall be incurred, to wit:
by his act, then that will be the proper way. If you want to play safe, you state
there that although an impossible crime is constituted, yet it is a principle of Art 4. Criminal liability – Criminal liability shall be
criminal law that he will only be penalized for an impossible crime if he cannot incurred:
be punished under some other provision of the Revised Penal Code.
1. By any person committing a felony (delito) although
If the question is “Is an impossible crime is committed?”, the answer is yes, the wrongful act be different from that which he
because on the basis of the facts stated, an impossible crime is committed. But intended.
to play safe, add another paragraph: However, the offender will not be
prosecuted for an impossible crime but for _____ [state the crime]. Because it 2. By any person performing an act which would be an
is a principle in criminal law that the offender can only be prosecuted for an offense against persons or property, were it not for
impossible crime if his acts do not constitute some other crimes punishable the inherent impossibility of its accomplishment or
under the Revised Penal Code. An impossible crime is a crime of last resort. on account of the employment of inadequate or
ineffectual means.

Modified concept of impossible crime: Paragraph 1 refers to a situation where the wrongful act done constituted a
felony although it may be different from what he intended. Paragraph 2 refers
In a way, the concept of impossible crime has been modified by the decision of to a situation where the wrongful act done did not constitute any felony, but
the Supreme Court in the case of Intod v. CA, et al., 215 SCRA 52. In this because the act would have given rise to a crime against persons or against
case, four culprits, all armed with firearms and with intent to kill, went to the property, the same is penalized to repress criminal tendencies to curtail their
intended victim’s house and after having pinpointed the latter’s bedroom, all frequency. Because criminal liability for impossible crime presupposes that no
four fired at and riddled said room with bullets, thinking that the intended felony resulted from the wrongful act done, the penalty is fixed at arresto
victim was already there as it was about 10:00 in the evening. It so happened mayor or a fine from P200.00 to P500.00, depending on the “social danger and
that the intended victim did not come home on the evening and so was not in degree of criminality shown by the offender” (Article 59), regardless of whether
her bedroom at that time. Eventually the culprits were prosecuted and the wrongful act was an impossible crime against persons or against property.
convicted by the trial court for attempted murder. The Court of Appeals
affirmed the judgment but the Supreme Court modified the same and held the There is no logic in applying paragraph 2 of Article 4 to a situation governed by
petitioner liable only for the so-called impossible crime. As a result, petitioner- paragraph 1 of the same Article, that is, where a felony resulted. Otherwise, a
accused was sentenced to imprisonment of only six months of arresto mayor redundancy and duplicity would be perpetrated.
for the felonious act he committed with intent to kill: this despite the
destruction done to the intended victim’s house. Somehow, the decision In the Intod case, the wrongful acts of the culprits caused destruction to the
depreciated the seriousness of the act committed, considering the lawlessness house of the intended victim; this felonious act negates the idea of an
by which the culprits carried out the intended crime, and so some members of impossible crime. But whether we agree or not, the Supreme Court has
the bench and bar spoke out against the soundness of the ruling. Some asked spoken, we have to respect its ruling.
questions: Was it really the impossibility of accomplishing the killing that
brought about its non-accomplishment? Was it not purely accidental that the
intended victim did not come home that evening and, thus, unknown to the NO CRIME UNLESS THERE IS A LAW PUNISHING IT
culprits, she was not in her bedroom at the time it was shot and riddled with
bullets? Suppose, instead of using firearms, the culprits set fire on the When a person is charged in court, and the court finds that there is no law
intended victim’s house, believing she was there when in fact she was not, applicable, the court will acquit the accused and the judge will give his opinion
would the criminal liability be for an impossible crime? that the said act should be punished.

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– there is yet something to be performed – but he was not able to perform all
Article 5 covers two situations: the acts of execution due to some cause or accident other than his own
spontaneous desistance, then you have an attempted felony.
(1) The court cannot convict the accused because the acts do not
constitute a crime. The proper judgment is acquittal, but the court is You will notice that the felony begins when the offender performs an overt act.
mandated to report to the Chief Executive that said act be made Not any act will mark the beginning of a felony, and therefore, if the act so far
subject of penal legislation and why. being done does not begin a felony, criminal liability correspondingly does not
begin. In criminal law, there is such a thing as preparatory act. These acts do
(2) Where the court finds the penalty prescribed for the crime too harsh not give rise to criminal liability.
considering the conditions surrounding the commission of he crime,
the judge should impose the law. The most that he could do is to
recommend to the Chief Executive to grant executive clemency.
Question & Answer

STAGES IN THE COMMISSION OF FELONY A and B are husband and wife. A met C who was willing to marry him,
but he is already married. A thought of eliminating B and to poison her. So, he
The classification of stages of a felony in Article 6 are true only to crimes under went to the drugstore and bought arsenic poison. On the way out, he met D. D
the Revised Penal Code. This does not apply to crimes punished under special asked him who was sick in the family, A confided to D that he bought the
laws. But even certain crimes which are punished under the Revised Penal Code poison to poison his wife in order to marry C. After that, they parted ways. D
do not admit of these stages. went directly to the police and reported that A is going to kill his wife. So the
policemen went to A’s house and found A still unwrapping the arsenic poison.
The purpose of classifying penalties is to bring about a proportionate penalty The policemen asked A if he was planning to poison B and A said yes. Police
and equitable punishment. The penalties are graduated according to their arrested him and charged him with attempted parricide. Is the charge correct?
degree of severity. The stages may not apply to all kinds of felonies. There are
felonies which do not admit of division. No. Overt act begins when the husband mixed the poison with the
food his wife is going to take. Before this, there is no attempted stage yet.

Formal crimes An overt act is that act which if allowed to continue in its natural course would
definitely result into a felony.
Formal crimes are crimes which are consummated in one instance. For
example, in oral defamation, there is no attempted oral defamation or In the attempted stage, the definition uses the word “directly”. This is
frustrated oral defamation; it is always in the consummated stage. significant. In the attempted stage, the acts so far performed may already be a
crime or it may be just an ingredient of another crime. The word "directly’"
So also, in illegal exaction under Article 213 is a crime committed when a public emphasizes the requirement that the attempted felony is that which is directly
officer who is authorized to collect taxes, licenses or impose for the linked to the overt act performed by the offender, not the felony he has in his
government, shall demand an amount bigger than or different from what the mind.
law authorizes him to collect. Under sub-paragraph a of Article 213 on Illegal
exaction, the law uses the word “demanding”. Mere demanding of an amount In criminal law, you are not allowed to speculate, not to imagine what crime is
different from what the law authorizes him to collect will already consummate a intended, but apply the provisions of the law of the facts given.
crime, whether the taxpayer pays the amount being demanded or not.
Payment of the amount being demanded is not essential to the consummation When a person starts entering the dwelling of another, that act is already
of the crime. trespassing. But the act of entering is an ingredient of robbery with force upon
things. You could only hold him liable for attempted robbery when he has
The difference between the attempted stage and the frustrated stage lies on already completed all acts performed by him directly leading to robbery. The
whether the offender has performed all the acts of execution for the act of entering alone is not yet indicative of robbery although that may be what
accomplishment of a felony. Literally, under the article, if the offender has he may have planned to commit. In law, the attempted stage is only that overt
performed all the acts of execution which should produce the felony as a act which is directly linked to the felony intended to be committed.
consequence but the felony was not realized, then the crime is already in the
frustrated stage. If the offender has not yet performed all the acts of execution

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In US v. Namaja, the accused was arrested while he was detaching some of felony brought about his act. What is negated is only the attempted stage, but
the wood panels of a store. He was already able to detach two wood panels. To there may be other felony constituting his act.
a layman, the only conclusion that will come to your mind is that this fellow
started to enter the store to steal something. He would not be there just to
sleep there. But in criminal law, since the act of removing the panel indicates Illustrations:
only at most the intention to enter. He can only be prosecuted for trespass.
The removal of the panelling is just an attempt to trespass, not an attempt to A fired at B and B was hit on the shoulder. But B's wound was not mortal.
rob. Although, Namaja was prosecuted for attempted robbery, the Supreme What A then did was to approach B, and told B, “Now you are dead, I will kill
Court held it is only attempted trespass because that is the crime that can be you.” But A took pity and kept the revolver and left. The crime committed is
directly linked to his act of removing the wood panel. attempted homicide and not physical injuries, because there was an intention
There are some acts which are ingredients of a certain crime, but which are, by to kill. The desistance was with the second shot and would not affect the first
themselves, already criminal offenses. shot because the first shot had already hit B. The second attempt has nothing
to do with the first.
In abduction, your desire may lead to acts of lasciviousness. In so far the
woman being carried is concerned, she may already be the victim of lascivious In another instance, A has a very seductive neighbor in the person of B. A had
acts. The crime is not attempted abduction but acts of lasciviousness. You only always been looking at B and had wanted to possess her but their status were
hold him liable for an attempt, so far as could be reasonably linked to the overt not the same. One evening, after A saw B at her house and thought that B was
act done by him. Do not go far and imagine what you should do. already asleep, he entered the house of B through the window to abuse her.
He, however, found out that B was nude, so he lost interest and left. Can a be
accused of attempted rape? No, because there was desistance, which
prevented the crime from being consummated. The attempted stage was
Question & Answer
erased because the offender desisted after having commenced the commission
of the felony.
A awakened one morning with a man sleeping in his sofa. Beside the
man was a bag containing picklocks and similar tools. He found out that the The attempted felony is erased by desistance because the offender
man entered his sala by cutting the screen on his window. If you were to spontaneously desisted from pursuing the acts of execution. It does not mean,
prosecute this fellow, for what crime are you going to prosecute him? however, that there is no more felony committed. He may be liable for a
consummated felony constituted by his act of trespassing. When A entered the
The act done by him of entering through an opening not intended for house through the window, which is not intended for entrance, it is always
the purpose is only qualified trespass. Qualified trespass because he did so by presumed to be against the will of the owner. If the offender proceeded to
cutting through the screen. There was force applied in order to enter. Other abuse the woman, but the latter screamed, and A went out of the window
than that, under Article 304 of the Revised Penal Code, illegal possession of again, he could not be prosecuted for qualified trespass. Dwelling is taken as
picklocks and similar tools is a crime. Thus, he can be prosecuted for two an aggravating circumstance so he will be prosecuted for attempted rape
crimes: (1) qualified trespass to dwelling, and (2) illegal possession of aggravated by dwelling.
picklocks and similar tools; not complex because one is not necessary means to
commit the other. In deciding whether a felony is attempted or frustrated or consummated, there
are three criteria involved:

Desistance (1) The manner of committing the crime;

Desistance on the part of the offender negates criminal liability in the (2) The elements of the crime; and
attempted stage. Desistance is true only in the attempted stage of the felony.
If under the definition of the felony, the act done is already in the frustrated (3) The nature of the crime itself.
stage, no amount of desistance will negate criminal liability.

The spontaneous desistance of the offender negates only the attempted stage Manner of committing a crime
but not necessarily all criminal liability. Even though there was desistance on
the part of the offender, if the desistance was made when acts done by him For example, let us take the crime of bribery. Can the crime of frustrated
already resulted to a felony, that offender will still be criminally liable for the bribery be committed? No. (Incidentally, the common concept of bribery is that

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it is the act of one who corrupts a public officer. Actually, bribery is the crime of is consummated; if such link is absent, there is only an attempted adultery.
the receiver not the giver. The crime of the giver is corruption of public official. There is no middle ground when the link is there and when the link is absent.
Bribery is the crime of the public officer who in consideration of an act having to
do with his official duties would receive something, or accept any promise or There are instances where an intended felony could already result from the acts
present in consideration thereof.) of execution already done. Because of this, there are felonies where the
offender can only be determined to have performed all the acts of execution
The confusion arises from the fact that this crime requires two to commit -- the when the resulting felony is already accomplished. Without the resulting
giver and the receiver. The law called the crime of the giver as corruption of felony, there is no way of determining whether the offender has already
public official and the receiver as bribery. Giving the idea that these are performed all the acts or not. It is in such felonies that the frustrated stage
independent crimes, but actually, they cannot arise without the other. Hence, if does not exist because without the felony being accomplished, there is no way
only one side of the crime is present, only corruption, you cannot have a of stating that the offender has already performed all the acts of execution. An
consummated corruption without the corresponding consummated bribery. example of this is the crime of rape. The essence of the crime is carnal
There cannot be a consummated bribery without the corresponding knowledge. No matter what the offender may do to accomplish a penetration,
consummated corruption. If you have bribery only, it is only possible in the if there was no penetration yet, it cannot be said that the offender has
attempted stage. If you have a corruption only, it is possible only in the performed all the acts of execution. We can only say that the offender in rape
attempted stage. A corruptor gives money to a public officer for the latter not has performed all the acts of execution when he has effected a penetration.
to prosecute him. The public officer received the money but just the same, Once there is penetration already, no matter how slight, the offense is
arrested him. He received the money to have evidence of corruption. Do not consummated. For this reason, rape admits only of the attempted and
think that because the corruptor has already delivered the money, he has consummated stages, no frustrated stage. This was the ruling in the case of
already performed all the acts of execution, and, therefore, the corruption is People v. Orita.
already beyond the attempted stage. That thinking does away with the concept
of the crime that it requires two to commit. The manner of committing the In rape, it requires the connection of the offender and the offended party. No
crime requires the meeting of the minds between the giver and the receiver. penetration at all, there is only an attempted stage. Slightest penetration or
slightest connection, consummated. You will notice this from the nature of the
When the giver delivers the money to the supposed receiver, but there is no crime requiring two participants.
meeting of the minds, the only act done by the giver is an attempt. It is not
possible for him to perform all the acts of execution because in the first place, This is also true in the crime of arson. It does not admit of the frustrated
the receiver has no intention of being corrupted. stage. In arson, the moment any particle of the premises intended to be
Similarly, when a public officer demands a consideration by official duty, the burned is blackened, that is already an indication that the premises have begun
corruptor turns down the demand, there is no bribery. to burn. It does not require that the entire premises be burned to consummate
arson. Because of that, the frustrated stage of arson has been eased out. The
If the one to whom the demand was made pretended to give, but he had reasoning is that one cannot say that the offender, in the crime of arson, has
reported the matter to higher authorities, the money was marked and this was already performed all the acts of execution which could produce the destruction
delivered to the public officer. If the public officer was arrested, do not think of the premises through the use of fire, unless a part of the premises has
that because the public officer already had the money in his possession, the begun to burn. If it has not begun to burn, that means that the offender has
crime is already frustrated bribery, it is only attempted bribery. This is because not yet performed all the acts of execution. On the other hand, the moment it
the supposed corruptor has no intention to corrupt. In short, there is no begins to burn, the crime is consummated. Actually, the frustrated stage is
meeting of the minds. On the other hand, if there is a meeting of the minds, already standing on the consummated stage except that the outcome did not
there is consummated bribery or consummated corruption. This leaves out the result. As far as the stage is concerned, the frustrated stage overlaps the
frustrated stage because of the manner of committing the crime. consummated stage.

But indirect bribery is always consummated. This is because the manner of Because of this reasoning by the Court of Appeals in People v. Garcia, the
consummating the crime does not admit of attempt or frustration. Supreme Court followed the analysis that one cannot say that the offender in
the crime of arson has already performed all the acts of execution which would
You will notice that under the Revised Penal Code, when it takes two to commit produce the arson as a consequence, unless and until a part of the premises
the crime, there could hardly be a frustrated stage. For instance, the crime of had begun to burn.
adultery. There is no frustrated adultery. Only attempted or consummated. This
is because it requires the link of two participants. If that link is there, the crime In US v. Valdez, the offender had tried to burn the premises by gathering jute
sacks laying these inside the room. He lighted these, and as soon as the jute

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sacks began to burn, he ran away. The occupants of the room put out the fire. In that case, you cannot say that the offender believed that he had performed
The court held that what was committed was frustrated arson. all the acts of execution. There was not even a single burn of any instrument
or agency of the crime.
This case was much the way before the decision in the case of People v.
Garcia was handed down and the Court of Appeals ruled that there is no The analysis made by the Court of Appeals is still correct: that they could not
frustrated arson. But even then, the analysis in the case of US v. Valdez is demonstrate a situation where the offender has performed all the acts of
correct. This is because, in determining whether the felony is attempted, execution to bring about the crime of arson and the situation where he has not
frustrated or consummated, the court does not only consider the definition yet performed all the acts of execution. The weight of the authority is that the
under Article 6 of the Revised Penal Code, or the stages of execution of the crime of arson cannot be committed in the frustrated stage. The reason is
felony. When the offender has already passed the subjective stage of the because we can hardly determine whether the offender has performed all the
felony, it is beyond the attempted stage. It is already on the consummated or acts of execution that would result in arson, as a consequence, unless a part of
frustrated stage depending on whether a felony resulted. If the felony did not the premises has started to burn. On the other hand, the moment a particle or
result, frustrated. a molecule of the premises has blackened, in law, arson is consummated. This
is because consummated arson does not require that the whole of the premises
The attempted stage is said to be within the subjective phase of execution of a be burned. It is enough that any part of the premises, no matter how small,
felony. On the subjective phase, it is that point in time when the offender has begun to burn.
begins the commission of an overt act until that point where he loses control of
the commission of the crime already. If he has reached that point where he There are also certain crimes that do not admit of the attempted or frustrated
can no longer control the ensuing consequence, the crime has already passed stage, like physical injuries. One of the known commentators in criminal law
the subjective phase and, therefore, it is no longer attempted. The moment has advanced the view that the crime of physical injuries can be committed in
the execution of the crime has already gone to that point where the felony the attempted as well as the frustrated stage. He explained that by going
should follow as a consequence, it is either already frustrated or consummated. through the definition of an attempted and a frustrated felony under Article 6, if
If the felony does not follow as a consequence, it is already frustrated. If the a person who was about to give a fist blow to another raises his arms, but
felony follows as a consequence, it is consummated. before he could throw the blow, somebody holds that arm, there would be
attempted physical injuries. The reason for this is because the offender was
The trouble is that, in the jurisprudence recognizing the objective not able to perform all the acts of execution to bring about physical injuries.
phase and the subjective phase, the Supreme Court considered not only
the acts of the offender, but also his belief. That although the offender On the other hand, he also stated that the crime of physical injuries may be
may not have done the act to bring about the felony as a consequence, committed in the frustrated stage when the offender was able to throw the
if he could have continued committing those acts but he himself did not blow but somehow, the offended party was able to sidestep away from the
proceed because he believed that he had done enough to consummate blow. He reasoned out that the crime would be frustrated because the offender
the crime, Supreme Court said the subjective phase has passed. This was able to perform all the acts of execution which would bring about the
was applied in the case of US v. Valdez, where the offender, having felony were it not for a cause independent of the will of the perpetrator.
already put kerosene on the jute sacks, lighted the same, he had no
reason not to believe that the fire would spread, so he ran away. That The explanation is academic. You will notice that under the Revised Penal
act demonstrated that in his mind, he believed that he has performed Code, the crime of physical injuries is penalized on the basis of the gravity of
all the acts of execution and that it is only a matter of time that the the injuries. Actually, there is no simple crime of physical injuries. You have to
premises will burn. The fact that the occupant of the other room came categorize because there are specific articles that apply whether the physical
out and put out the fire is a cause independent of the will of the injuries are serious, less serious or slight. If you say physical injuries, you do
perpetrator. not know which article to apply. This being so, you could not punish the
attempted or frustrated stage because you do not know what crime of physical
The ruling in the case of US v. Valdez is still correct. But in the case of injuries was committed.
People v. Garcia, the situation is different. Here, the offender who put the
torch over the house of the offended party, the house being a nipa hut, the
torch which was lighted could easily burn the roof of the nipa hut. But the
Questions & Answers
torch burned out.

1. Is there an attempted slight physical injuries?

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If there is no result, you do not know. Criminal law cannot stand on If the personal property was received by the offender, this is where you have to
any speculation or ambiguity; otherwise, the presumption of innocence would decide whether what was transferred to the offender is juridical possession or
be sacrificed. Therefore, the commentator’s opinion cannot stand because you physical possession only. If the offender did not receive the personal property,
cannot tell what particular physical injuries was attempted or frustrated unless but took the same from the possession of the owner without the latter’s
the consequence is there. You cannot classify the physical injuries. consent, then there is no problem. That cannot be estafa; this is only theft or
none at all.
2. A threw muriatic acid on the face of B. The injuries would
have resulted in deformity were it not for timely plastic surgery. After the In estafa, the offender receives the property; he does not take it. But in
surgery, B became more handsome. What crime is committed? Is it receiving the property, the recipient may be committing theft, not estafa, if
attempted, frustrated or consummated? what was transferred to him was only the physical or material possession of the
object. It can only be estafa if what was transferred to him is not only material
The crime committed here is serious physical injuries because of the or physical possession but juridical possession as well.
deformity. When there is deformity, you disregard the healing duration of the
wound or the medical treatment required by the wound. In order that in law, a When you are discussing estafa, do not talk about intent to gain. In the same
deformity can be said to exist, three factors must concur: manner that when you are discussing the crime of theft, do not talk of damage.

(1) The injury should bring about the ugliness; The crime of theft is the one commonly given under Article 6. This is so
because the concept of theft under the Revised Penal Code differs from the
(2) The ugliness must be visible; concept of larceny under American common law. Under American common law,
the crime of larceny which is equivalent to our crime of theft here requires that
(3) The ugliness would not disappear through natural healing process. the offender must be able to carry away or transport the thing being stolen.
Without that carrying away, the larceny cannot be consummated.
Along this concept of deformity in law, the plastic surgery applied to B is beside
the point. In law, what is considered is not the artificial or the scientific In our concept of theft, the offender need not move an inch from where he
treatment but the natural healing of the injury. So the fact that there was was. It is not a matter of carrying away. It is a matter of whether he has
plastic surgery applied to B does not relieve the offender from the liability for already acquired complete control of the personal property involved. That
the physical injuries inflicted. The crime committed is serious physical injuries. complete control simply means that the offender has already supplanted his will
It is consummated. In determining whether a felony is attempted, frustrated or from the will of the possessor or owner of the personal property involved, such
consummated, you have to consider the manner of committing the felony, the that he could exercise his own control on the thing.
element of the felony and the nature of the felony itself. There is no real hard
and fast rule. Illustration:

I placed a wallet on a table inside a room. A stranger comes inside the room,
Elements of the crime gets the wallet and puts it in his pocket. I suddenly started searching him and I
found the wallet inside his pocket. The crime of theft is already consummated
In the crime of estafa, the element of damage is essential before the crime because he already acquired complete control of my wallet. This is so true
could be consummated. If there is no damage, even if the offender succeeded when he removed the wallet from the confines of the table. He can exercise his
in carting away the personal property involved, estafa cannot be considered as will over the wallet already, he can drop this on the floor, etc.
consummated. For the crime of estafa to be consummated, there must be But as long as the wallet remains on the table, the theft is not yet
misappropriation already done, so that there is damage already suffered by the consummated; there can only be attempted or frustrated theft. If he has
offended party. If there is no damage yet, the estafa can only be frustrated or started lifting the wallet, it is frustrated. If he is in the act of trying to take the
attempted. wallet or place it under, attempted.

On the other hand, if it were a crime of theft, damage or intent to cause “Taking” in the concept of theft, simply means exercising control over the thing.
damage is not an element of theft. What is necessary only is intent to gain, not
even gain is important. The mere intent to derive some profit is enough but the If instead of the wallet, the man who entered the room pretended to carry the
thinking must be complete before a crime of theft shall be consummated. That table out of the room, and the wallet is there. While taking the table out of the
is why we made that distinction between theft and estafa. room, I apprehended him. It turned out that he is not authorized at all and is
interested only in the wallet, not the table. The crime is not yet consummated.

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It is only frustrated because as far as the table is concern, it is the confines of no longer affect his criminal liability. It will only affect the civil liability of the
this room that is the container. As long as he has not taken this table out of the crime because he will no longer be required to pay the object. As far as the
four walls of this room, the taking is not complete. crime committed is concerned, the offender is criminally liable and the crime is
consummated theft.
A man entered a room and found a chest on the table. He opened it found
some valuables inside. He took the valuables, put them in his pocket and was Illustration:
arrested. In this case, theft is consummated.
A and B are neighbors. One evening, A entered the yard of B and opened the
But if he does not take the valuables but lifts the entire chest, and before he chicken coop where B keeps his fighting cocks. He discovered that the fighting
could leave the room, he was apprehended, there is frustrated theft. cocks were not physically fit for cockfighting so he returned it. The crime is
consummated theft. The will of the owner is to keep the fighting cock inside the
If the thing is stolen from a compound or from a room, as long as the object chicken coop. When the offender succeeded in bringing the cock out of the
has not been brought out of that room, or from the perimeter of the compound, coop, it is clear that his will completely governed or superseded the will of the
the crime is only frustrated. This is the confusion raised in the case of US v. owner to keep such cock inside the chicken coop. Hence, the crime was
Diño compared with People v. Adio and People v. Espiritu. already consummated, and being consummated, the return of the owner’s
property is not desistance anymore. The offender is criminally liable but he will
In US v. Diño, the accused loaded boxes of rifle on their truck. When they not be civilly liable because the object was returned.
were on their way out of the South Harbor, they were checked at the
checkpoint, so they were not able to leave the compound. It was held that When the receptacle is locked or sealed, and the offender broke the same, in
what was committed was frustrated Theft. lieu of theft, the crime is robbery with force upon things. However, that the
receptacle is locked or sealed has nothing to do with the stage of the
In People v. Espiritu, the accused were on their way out of the supply house commission of the crime. It refers only to whether it is theft or robbery with
when they were apprehended by military police who found them secreting some force upon things.
hospital linen. It was held that what was committed was consummated theft.

The emphasis, which was erroneously laid in some commentaries, is that, in Nature of the crime itself
both cases, the offenders were not able to pass the checkpoint. But why is it
that in one, it is frustrated and in the other, it is consummated? In crimes involving the taking of human life – parricide, homicide, and murder
– in the definition of the frustrated stage, it is indispensable that the victim be
In the case of US v. Diño, the boxes of rifle were stocked file inside the mortally wounded. Under the definition of the frustrated stage, to consider the
compound of the South Harbor. As far as the boxes of rifle are concerned, it is offender as having performed all the acts of execution, the acts already done
the perimeter of the compound that is the container. As long as they were not by him must produce or be capable of producing a felony as a consequence.
able to bring these boxes of rifle out of the compound, the taking is not The general rule is that there must be a fatal injury inflicted, because it is only
complete. On the other hand, in the case of People v. Espiritu, what were then that death will follow.
taken were hospital linens. These were taken from a warehouse. Hospital
linens were taken from boxes that were diffused or destroyed and brought out If the wound is not mortal, the crime is only attempted. The reason is that the
of the hospital. From the moment they took it out of the boxes where the wound inflicted is not capable of bringing about the desired felony of parricide,
owner or the possessor had placed it, the control is complete. You do not have murder or homicide as a consequence; it cannot be said that the offender has
to go out of the compound to complete the taking or the control. performed all the acts of execution which would produce parricide, homicide or
murder as a result.
This is very decisive in the problem because in most problems given in the bar,
the offender, after having taken the object out of the container changed his An exception to the general rule is the so-called subjective phase. The
mind and returned it. Is he criminally liable? Do not make a mistake by saying Supreme Court has decided cases which applied the subjective standard that
that there is a desistance. If the crime is one of theft, the moment he brought when the offender himself believed that he had performed all the acts of
it out, it was consummated. The return of the thing cannot be desistance execution, even though no mortal wound was inflicted, the act is already in the
because in criminal law, desistance is true only in the attempted stage. You frustrated stage.
cannot talk of desistance anymore when it is already in the consummated
stage. If the offender has already acquired complete control of what he
intended to take, the fact that he changed his mind and returned the same will CONSPIRACY AND PROPOSAL TO COMMITE A FELONY

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provides that a conspiracy to commit a crime is punishable only in the cases in

Two ways for conspiracy to exist: which the law specifically makes them so. The information in this case charges
the defendants with the crime of estafa, and does not attempt to charge them
(1) There is an agreement. with the crime of conspiracy

(2) The participants acted in concert or simultaneously which is indicative (a) But of pivotal importance in determining liability of
of a meeting of the minds towards a common criminal goal or criminal perpetuators of crime
objective. When several offenders act in a synchronized, coordinated
manner, the fact that their acts complimented each other is indicative PEOPLE vs. PERALTA
of the meeting of the minds. There is an implied agreement.
Facts: The accused were OXO members and were charged for multiple murder
Two kinds of conspiracy: for killing three members/sympathizers of the Sigue-Sigue gang during a prison
riot. The prison riot was an offshoot of the long standing clashes between the
(1) Conspiracy as a crime; and warring groups. Sigue-sigue’s members are predominantly Tagalogs while
(2) Conspiracy as a manner of incurring criminal liability OXO’s members came from Visayas and Mindanao:

When conspiracy itself is a crime, no overt act is necessary to bring about the Issue: W/N there is conspiracy in this case
criminal liability. The mere conspiracy is the crime itself. This is only true when
the law expressly punishes the mere conspiracy; otherwise, the conspiracy does Decision: A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement
not bring about the commission of the crime because conspiracy is not an overt concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. Generally,
act but a mere preparatory act. Treason, rebellion, sedition, and coup d’etat conspiracy is not a crime except when the law specifically provides for a penalty
are the only crimes where the conspiracy and proposal to commit to them are therefore as in treason, rebellion and sedition. The crime of conspiracy known
punishable. to the common law is not an indictable offense in the Philippines. An agreement
to commit a crime is a reprehensible act from the viewpoint of morality, but as
A. General Rule: conspiracies and proposals to commit a felony are not long as the conspirators do not perform overt acts in furtherance of their
punishable malevolent design, the sovereignty of the State is not outraged and the
1. Not indictable in the Philippines tranquility of the public remains undisturbed. However, when in resolute
execution of a common scheme, a felony is committed by two or more
US vs. LIM BUANCO malefactors, the existence of conspiracy assumes pivotal importance in the
determination of liability of the perpetrators.
Facts: Defendants are being accused of estafa for defrauding El Banco Espanol-
Filipino. Lim Buanco had an account with the said bank and drew large sums of
money therefrom by means of checks that were signed by him and endorsed by Exception: As provided by Law
Reyes. However, conspiracy existed between the defendants for the 2. conspiracies punished by RPC
withdrawal of funds from the bank regardless of whether Lim Baunco had funds (a) conspiracy to commit treason (Art 115)
in the bank to his credit or not. Reyes manipulated the books as to make them (b) conspiracy to commit rebellion (Art 136)
show an apparent credit when in fact Lim Buanco was owing the bank a large (c) conspiracy to commit sedition (Art 141)
sum of money. 3. Proposals punished in the code
(a) proposal to commit treason (Art 115)
Issue: W/N the defendants should be charged with conspiracy or estafa. (b) Proposal to commit rebellion (Art 136)
4. conspiracies punished by special laws
Decision: Under the common law, a combination of two or more persons to do (a) commonwealth act no 616 sec. 5
an unlawful act by lawful means, or a lawful act by unlawful means, to the (b) RA 1700
prejudice of an individual or public is a distinct offense. The Penal code defines
certain acts as conspiracies and makes them punishable. Article 4 of the Penal II. MERE CONSPIRACY AS CONSTITUTING COMMISSION OF CRIME
code says that there is a conspiracy when two or more persons act together for A. Combinations in restrain of Trade (Art 186)
the commission of a crime, and decide to commit it. The crime of conspiracy as B. Brigandage (Art 306)
known to the common law does not exist under the system embodied in the C. Certain violations of the dangerous drugs act
Spanish Penal Code, which defines certain specific acts as conspiracies, and

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an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it.

III. MERE PROPOSAL AS OVERT ACT PUNISHED BY LAW: BRIBR NOT 'The objective then on the part of the conspirators is to perform an act or
ACCEPTED (Art. 212, RPC) omission punishable by law. What is required is assent to the perpetration of
such a misdeed. That must be their intent. There is need in the language of
Justice Mapa in the early leading case of United States v. Magcomot, a 1909
US vs. GLORIA decision, for 'concurrence of wills' or unity of action and purpose.' The usual
phraseology employed in many of the later cases is 'common and joint purpose
and design.’ 'Thus a conspiracy need not be proved be direct evidence; it may
Facts: Gloria was an unsuccessful candidate for election as president of his
be deduced from the mode and manner in which the offense was perpetrated.
town. Upon filing a protest, he approached the treasurer of said treasurer of
The conditions attending its commission and the acts executed may be
said province, a member of said board, and offered and promised to give him
indicative of a common design to accomplish a criminal purpose and objective.
the sum of 200 pesos if he would "lend his aid and support to the said protest.
If such be the case then, the act of one is the act of all the others involved and
Defendant was charged with “attempt" to commit the crime of bribery”
each is to be held to the same degree of liability as the others.

Issue: W/N the act is punishable by the RPC. A. Two or more persons come to an agreement (US vs. Villarino)
B. Agreement concerns commission of felony (US vs. Figueras)
Decision: It is urged that the said offer was a mere proposal to commit a C. They decide to commit it.
crime, and that under the provisions of article 4 such proposals can only be
punished in cases where specific authority therefor is to be found in the Penal V. ELEMENTS OF PROPOSAL
Code, and that there is nothing in said code which penalizes a proposal to A. A person has decided to commit a crime
commit the crime of bribery. B. He proposes its commission to another
1. if proposal is accepted, there is a conspiracy
In the case in question the proposal was in fact an "attempt" as defined in
article 3 of said code, wherein it is said that "there is an attempt when the
guilty person makes a beginning in the commission of a crime by direct, overt
acts and does not perform all of the acts of execution which constitute the
Note: When conspiracy relates to crime actually committed, not a felony but
crime, by reason of some cause or action other than his own voluntary
only a means of incurring criminal liability.
desistance;" the accused, having made an offer of money for the purpose of
bribery, can not be said to have made a mere proposition, as the offer of
money is an overt act in a crime of this nature, and its refusal on the part of
the official whom it was proposed to bribe alone prevented the consummation A. determination to commit felony
of the crime. B. taking part in every detail is not essential


PEOPLE vs. OGAPAY Facts: The victim was a driver of a truck that was to deliver a truckload of rice
to Manila. Their truck broke down while in the highway causing them to stop.
Facts: The defendants was said to have conspired to kill Ogapay, the godson of Suddenly, three men, who previously had a confrontation with one the truck
one of the defendants. A conflict arose between the victim and one of the passengers, came and attacked the persons inside the truck killing the victim.
defendants when the former accused the latter of land-grabbing lands owned Guido died from traumatic injuries in the head. Cabiling contends that he could
by the former’s grandfather. Moreover, the victim did not support the not have killed Guido since he was not the one with the lead pipe.
defendant during the elections. Thus the defendant, with several others had
the victim killed. Issue: W/N Cabiling is as guilty as his other companions for the murder of
Issue: W/N there is conspiracy in the case at bar.
Decision: Yes. It is not essential that each conspirator shall take part in every
Decision: There is no conspiracy in this case. According to People v. Malilay act, or that one should know the exact part to be performed by the other
and People v. Pudpud : "A conspiracy 'exists when two or more persons come to conspirator in the execution of the conspiracy. Conspiracy implies concert of

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design and not participation in every detail of execution. If it is proved that two and although he did not directly participate in the robbery he gave moral
or more persons aimed, by their acts, at the accomplishment of some unlawful encouragement to them with his presence and shared in the loot in the amount
object, each doing a part so that their acts, through apparently, were in fact of Php .50, he should be criminally responsible as an accomplice for the crime
connected and cooperative, indicating a closeness of personal association and a of robbery.
concurrence of sentiments, conspiracy may be inferred although no actual
meeting between them to conspire is proved, for the prosecution need not An accomplice is one who cooperates in the execution of the crime by previous
establish that all the parties thereto agreed to every detail in the execution of or simultaneous acts, provided that he has not taken direct part in the
the crime or that they were actually together at all stages of the conspiracy. It execution of the crime or forced or induced others to execute it, or cooperated
is enough that from the individual acts of each accused, it may be reasonably in its perpetuation by an indispensable act.
deduced that they had a common plan to commit the felony.

Every one of the conspirators who took active part in its execution is therefore PEOPLE vs. QUINTO
responsible for all he acts of the others done in the furtherance of the common
design. Facts: The defendants were charged of murder for hitting and inflicting upon
the vital parts of Patrolman Butawa’s body mortal gunshot wounds, which
C. Conspirators need not all join in the agreement at the same time caused his untimely death. It was said that Quinto and his companions, who
D. Collective criminal responsibility: Act of one, act of all (People vs. were at that time already drunk, had a heated encounter with the victims in
Alonzo) topside café. However, the prosecution was not able to establish whether it
E. Solidary indemnity for victim’s indemnity was really the defendant who killed the victim.

A. Same Degree of proof required to establish crime
1. Mere companionship does not establish conspiracy Decision: It is significant that in the instant case, there is no evidence tending
2. Mere presence at crime scene does not establish conspiracy to show conspiracy. In the absence of conspiracy, it is necessary to prove who
B. Positive and convincing shot and killed the victim, as mere Presence of the accused at the scene of the
C. Founded on facts and not mere conjectures, inferences or crime, in the company of others, among whom could have been the culprits,
presumptions does not establish criminal liability. It is settled that where conspiracy is absent,
each of the accused is responsible only for the consequences of his own act. In
IX. LIABILITY IN ABSENCE OF CONSPIRACY the instant case, the nature and extent of appellant's participation, if any, in
the acts leading to the commission of the felony has not been established by
A. Individual liability
the evidence for the prosecution. Quinto’s guilt was not proved beyond
reasonable doubt thus he was acquitted.

Facts: The defendants were all found guilty for the crime of Robbery in Band
with Homicide. Toling an Bolando robbed a certain Francisco Lumpayao. Upon
Question & Answer
seeing this, Francisco shouted for help. The victim went to Francisco’s house.
Upon seeing Isabelo, Toling shot Isabelo thereby killing him. Bolando contends
Union A proposed acts of sedition to Union B. Is there a crime
that he did not know of Tolings plan till they were in the barrio. He only joined
committed? Assuming Union B accepts the proposal, will your answer be
them because of the Php .50 share in the loot that was promised to him.
Issue: W/N Bolando is as guilty as the other defendants
There is no crime committed. Proposal to commit sedition is not a
crime. But if Union B accepts the proposal, there will be conspiracy to commit
Decision: Conspiracy not having been established, the criminal responsibility of
sedition which is a crime under the Revised Penal Code.
several accused is individual. Conspiracy is not proven in this case because it
does not appear that the appellants had a common design. According to
When the conspiracy is only a basis of incurring criminal liability, there must be
Bolando, he went along with Toling because he was afraid to displease the latter
an overt act done before the co-conspirators become criminally liable.
and he only learned of their purpose on their way. Considering that Bolando
after knowing that thy were to rob someone still went with them to the Barrio,

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When the conspiracy itself is a crime, this cannot be inferred or deduced kind can be inferred or deduced even though they have not met as long as they
because there is no overt act. All that there is the agreement. On the other acted in concert or simultaneously, indicative of a meeting of the minds toward
hand, if the co-conspirator or any of them would execute an overt act, the a common goal or objective.
crime would no longer be the conspiracy but the overt act itself.
Conspiracy is a matter of substance which must be alleged in the information,
Illustration: otherwise, the court will not consider the same.

A, B, C and D came to an agreement to commit rebellion. Their agreement was In People v. Laurio, 200 SCRA 489, it was held that it must be established
to bring about the rebellion on a certain date. Even if none of them has by positive and conclusive evidence, not by conjectures or speculations.
performed the act of rebellion, there is already criminal liability arising from the
conspiracy to commit the rebellion. But if anyone of them has committed the In Taer v. CA, 186 SCRA 5980, it was held that mere knowledge,
overt act of rebellion, the crime of all is no longer conspiracy to commit acquiescence to, or approval of the act, without cooperation or at least,
rebellion but rebellion itself. This subsists even though the other co-conspirator agreement to cooperate, is not enough to constitute a conspiracy. There must
does not know that one of them had already done the act of rebellion. be an intentional participation in the crime with a view to further the common
felonious objective.
This legal consequence is not true if the conspiracy is not a crime. If the
conspiracy is only a basis of criminal liability, none of the co-conspirators would When several persons who do not know each other simultaneously attack the
be liable, unless there is an overt act. So, for as long as anyone shall desist victim, the act of one is the act of all, regardless of the degree of injury inflicted
before an overt act in furtherance of the crime was committed, such a by any one of them. All will be liable for the consequences. A conspiracy is
desistance would negate criminal liability. possible even when participants are not known to each other. Do not think that
participants are always known to each other.
Three persons plan to rob a bank. For as long as none of the conspirators has
committed an overt act, there is no crime yet. But when one of them commits A thought of having her husband killed because the latter was maltreating her.
any overt act, all of them shall be held liable, unless a co-conspirator was She hired some persons to kill him and pointed at her husband. The goons got
absent from the scene of the crime or he showed up, but he tried to prevent hold of her husband and started mauling him. The wife took pity and shouted
the commission of the crime for them to stop but the goons continued. The wife ran away. The wife was
prosecuted for parricide. But the Supreme Court said that there was desistance
As a general rule, if there has been a conspiracy to commit a crime in a so she is not criminally liable.
particular place, anyone who did not appear shall be presumed to have
desisted. The exception to this is if such person who did not appear was the A law student resented the fact that his brother was killed by A. He hired B to
mastermind. kill A and offered him P50,000.00. He disclosed to B that A was being
arraigned in the City Hall of Manila and told him to execute the plan on the
We have to observe the distinction between the two because conspiracy as a following day. In the evening of that same day, the law student changed his
crime, must have a clear and convincing evidence of its existence. Every crime mind so he immediately went to the police and told them to dispatch police
must be proved beyond reasonable doubt. officers to prevent B from committing the crime. Unfortunately, the police were
caught in traffic causing their delay, so that when they reached the place, B had
When the conspiracy is just a basis of incurring criminal liability, however, the already killed A. In this case, there was no proposal but a conspiracy. They
same may be deduced or inferred from the acts of several offenders in carrying have conspired to execute a crime but the crime involved here is murder and a
out the commission of the crime. The existence of a conspiracy may be conspiracy to commit murder is not a crime in itself but merely a basis for
reasonably inferred from the acts of the offenders when such acts disclose or incurring criminal liability. This is just a preparatory act, and his desistance
show a common pursuit of the criminal objective. This was the ruling in People negates criminal liability.
v. Pinto, 204 SCRA 9.
Proposal is true only up to the point where the party to whom the proposal was
Although conspiracy is defined as two or more person coming to an agreement made has not yet accepted the proposal. Once the proposal was accepted, a
regarding the commission of a felony and deciding to commit it, the word conspiracy arises. Proposal is unilateral, one party makes a proposition to the
“person” here should not be understood to require a meeting of the co- other; conspiracy is bilateral, it requires two parties.
conspirator regarding the commission of the felony. A conspiracy of the second

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As pointed out earlier, desistance is true only in the attempted stage. Before the crime could be carried out as well, such co-conspirator should be punished
this stage, there is only a preparatory stage. Conspiracy is only in the as an accomplice only. The reason given is that penal laws always favor a
preparatory stage. milder form of responsibility upon an offender. So it is no longer accurate to
think that when there is a conspiracy, all are principals.
The Supreme Court has ruled that one who desisted is not criminally liable.
“When a person has set foot to the path of wickedness and brings back his foot Notwithstanding that there is conspiracy, a co-conspirator may be held liable
to the path of righteousness, the law shall reward him for doing so.” only as an accomplice. That means the penalty which shall be imposed upon
him is one degree lower.
Where there are several persons who participated, like in a killing, and they For example, there was a planned robbery, and the taxi driver was present
attacked the victim simultaneously, so much so that it cannot be known what during the planning. There, the conspirators told the taxi driver that they are
participation each one had, all these participants shall be considered as having going to use his taxicab in going to the place of robbery. The taxi driver agreed
acted in conspiracy and they will be held collectively responsible. but said, “I will bring you there, and after committing the robbery I will return
Do not search for an agreement among the participants. If they acted later”. The taxi driver brought the conspirators where the robbery would be
simultaneously to bring about their common intention, conspiracy exists. And committed. After the robbery was finished, he took the conspirators back to
when conspiracy exists, do not consider the degree of participation of each his taxi and brought them away. It was held that the taxi driver was liable only
conspirator because the act of one is the act of all. As a general rule, they have as an accomplice. His cooperation was not really indispensable. The robbers
equal criminal responsibility. could have engaged another taxi. The taxi driver did not really stay during the
commission of the robbery. At most, what he only extended was his
cooperation. That is why he was given only that penalty for an accomplice.
Question & Answer
A, B, and C, under the influence of marijuana, broke into a house because they
There are several offenders who acted simultaneously. When they learned that the occupants have gone on an excursion. They ransacked the
fled, a victim was found dead. Who should be liable for the killing if who house. A got a colored TV, B saw a camera and took that, and C found a can of
actually killed the victim is not known? salmon and took that. In the crime of robbery with force upon things, the
penalty is based on the totality of the value of the personal property taken and
There is collective responsibility here. Without the principle of not on the individual property taken by him.
conspiracy, nobody would be prosecuted; hence, there is the rule on collective
responsibility since it cannot be ascertained who actually killed the victim. In Siton v. CA, it was held that the idea of a conspiracy is incompatible with
the idea of a free for all. There is no definite opponent or definite intent as
There is conspiracy when the offenders acted simultaneously pursuing a when a basketball crowd beats a referee to death.
common criminal design; thus, acting out a common criminal intent.

Illustration: Composite crimes

A, B and C have been courting the same lady for several years. On Composite crimes are crimes which, in substance, consist of more than one
several occasions, they even visited the lady on intervening hours. crime but in the eyes of the law, there is only one crime. For example, the
Because of this, A, B and C became hostile with one another. One day, crimes of robbery with homicide, robbery with rape, robbery with physical
D invited the young lady and she accepted the invitation. Eventually, injuries.
the young lady agreed to marry D. When A, B and C learned about this,
they all stood up to leave the house of the young lady feeling In case the crime committed is a composite crime, the conspirator will be liable
disappointed. When A looked back at the young lady with D, he saw D for all the acts committed during the commission of the crime agreed upon.
laughing menacingly. At that instance, A stabbed D. C and B followed. This is because, in the eyes of the law, all those acts done in pursuance of the
In this case, it was held that conspiracy was present. crime agreed upon are acts which constitute a single crime.

The common notion is that when there is conspiracy involved, the participants Illustrations:
are punished as principals. This notion is no longer absolute. In the case of
People v. Nierra, the Supreme Court ruled that even though there was A, B, and C decided to commit robbery in the house of D. Pursuant to their
conspiracy, if a co-conspirator merely cooperated in the commission of the agreement, A would ransack the second floor, B was to wait outside, and C
crime with insignificant or minimal acts, such that even without his cooperation, would stay on the first floor. Unknown to B and C, A raped the girl upstairs. All

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of them will be liable for robbery with rape. The crime committed is robbery What the examiner had in mind was Articles 3, 6 and 9. Do not write the
with rape, which is not a complex crime, but an indivisible felony under the classification of felonies under Book 2 of the Revised Penal Code. That was not
Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code. Even if B and C did not know that rape what the examiner had in mind because the question does not require the
was being committed and they agreed only and conspired to rob, yet rape was candidate to classify but also to define. Therefore, the examiner was after the
part of robbery. Rape can not be separated from robbery. classifications under Articles 3, 6 and 9.

A, B and C agreed to rob the house of D. It was agreed that A would go the Felonies are classified as follows:
second floor, B would stay in the first floor, and C stands guard outside. All
went to their designated areas in pursuit of the plan. While A was ransacking (1) According to the manner of their commission
the second floor, the owner was awakened. A killed him. A, B and C will be
liable for robbery with homicide. This is because, it is well settled that any Under Article 3, they are classified as, intentional felonies or those
killing taking place while robbery is being committed shall be treated as a single committed with deliberate intent; and culpable felonies or those
indivisible offense. resulting from negligence, reckless imprudence, lack of foresight or
lack of skill.
As a general rule, when there is conspiracy, the rule is that the act of one is the
act of all. This principle applies only to the crime agreed upon. (2) According to the stages of their execution

The exception is if any of the co-conspirator would commit a crime not agreed Under Article 6., felonies are classified as attempted felony when the
upon. This happens when the crime agreed upon and the crime committed by offender commences the commission of a felony directly by overt acts,
one of the co-conspirators are distinct crimes. and does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce
the felony by reason of some cause or accident other than his own
Exception to the exception: In acts constituting a single indivisible offense, spontaneous desistance; frustrated felony when the offender
even though the co-conspirator performed different acts bringing about the commences the commission of a felony as a consequence but which
composite crime, all will be liable for such crime. They can only evade would produce the felony as a consequence but which nevertheless do
responsibility for any other crime outside of that agreed upon if it is proved that not produce the felony by reason of causes independent of the
the particular conspirator had tried to prevent the commission of such other perpetrator; and, consummated felony when all the elements
act. necessary for its execution are present.

The rule would be different if the crime committed was not a composite crime. (3) According to their gravity

Illustration: Under Article 9, felonies are classified as grave felonies or those to

which attaches the capital punishment or penalties which in any of
A, B and C agreed to kill D. When they saw the opportunity, A, B and C killed D their periods are afflictive; less grave felonies or those to which the
and after that, A and B ran into different directions. C inspected the pocket of law punishes with penalties which in their maximum period was
the victim and found that the victim was wearing a ring – a diamond ring – and correccional; and light felonies or those infractions of law for the
he took it. The crimes committed are homicide and theft. As far as the commission of which the penalty is arresto menor.
homicide is concerned, A, B and C are liable because that was agreed upon and
theft was not an integral part of homicide. This is a distinct crime so the rule Why is it necessary to determine whether the crime is grave, less grave or
will not apply because it was not the crime agreed upon. Insofar as the crime light?
of theft is concerned, C will be the only one liable. So C will be liable for
homicide and theft. To determine whether these felonies can be complexed or not, and to
determine the prescription of the crime and the prescription of the penalty. In
other words, these are felonies classified according to their gravity, stages and
the penalty attached to them. Take note that when the Revised Penal Code
CLASSIFICATION OF FELONIES speaks of grave and less grave felonies, the definition makes a reference
specifically to Article 25 of the Revised Penal Code. Do not omit the phrase “In
This question was asked in the bar examination: How do you classify felonies or accordance with Article 25” because there is also a classification of penalties
how are felonies classified? under Article 26 that was not applied.

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If the penalty is fine and exactly P200.00, it is only considered a light felony Revised Penal Code, because violations of the Revised Penal Code are more
under Article 9. serious than a violation of a special law. But a crime in the Revised Penal Code
can absorb a crime punishable by a special law if it is a necessary ingredient of
If the fine is imposed as an alternative penalty or as a single penalty, the fine of the crime in the Revised Penal Code.
P200.00 is considered a correctional penalty under Article 26. In the crime of sedition, the use of firearms is not an ingredient of the crime.
Hence, two prosecutions can be had: (1) sedition; and (2) illegal possession of
If the penalty is exactly P200.00, apply Article 26. It is considered as firearms.
correctional penalty and it prescribes in 10 years. If the offender is
apprehended at any time within ten years, he can be made to suffer the fine. But do not think that when a crime is punished outside of the Revised Penal
Code, it is already a special law. For example, the crime of cattle-rustling is not
This classification of felony according to gravity is important with respect to the a mala prohibitum but a modification of the crime theft of large cattle. So
question of prescription of crimes. Presidential Decree No. 533, punishing cattle-rustling, is not a special law. It
can absorb the crime of murder. If in the course of cattle rustling, murder was
In the case of light felonies, crimes prescribe in two months. After two months, committed, the offender cannot be prosecuted for murder. Murder would be a
the state loses the right to prosecute unless the running period is suspended. qualifying circumstance in the crime of qualified cattle rustling. Thias was the
If the offender escapes while in detention after he has been loose, if there was ruling in People v. Martinada.
already judgment that was passed, it can be promulgated even if absent under
the New Rules on Criminal Procedure. If the crime is correctional, it prescribes The amendments of Presidential Decree No. 6425 (The Dangerous Drugs Act of
in ten years, except arresto mayor, which prescribes in five years. 1972) by Republic Act No. 7659, which adopted the scale of penalties in the
Revised Penal Code, means that mitigating and aggravating circumstances can
now be considered in imposing penalties. Presidential Decree No. 6425 does
SUPPLETORY APPLICATION OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE not expressly prohibit the suppletory application of the Revised Penal Code.
The stages of the commission of felonies will also apply since suppletory
Article 10 is the consequence of the legal requirement that you have to application is now allowed.
distinguish those punished under special laws and those under the Revised
Penal Code. With regard to Article 10, observe the distinction.
Circumstances affecting criminal liability
In Article 10, there is a reservation “provision of the Revised Penal Code may
be applied suppletorily to special laws”. You will only apply the provisions of the There are five circumstances affecting criminal liability:
Revised Penal Code as a supplement to the special law, or simply correlate the
violated special law, if needed to avoid an injustice. If no justice would result, (1) Justifying circumstances;
do not give suppletorily application of the Revised Penal Code to that of special
law. (2) Exempting circumstances;

For example, a special law punishes a certain act as a crime. The special law is (3) Mitigating circumstances;
silent as to the civil liability of one who violates the same. Here is a person
who violated the special law and he was prosecuted. His violation caused (4) Aggravating circumstances; and
damage or injury to a private party. May the court pronounce that he is civilly
liable to the offended party, considering that the special law is silent on this (5) Alternative circumstances.
point? Yes, because Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code may be given
suppletory application to prevent an injustice from being done to the offended There are two others which are found elsewhere in the provisions of the
party. Article 100 states that every person criminally liable for a felony is also Revised Penal Code:
civilly liable. That article shall be applied suppletory to avoid an injustice that
would be caused to the private offended party, if he would not be indemnified (1) Absolutory cause; and
for the damages or injuries sustained by him.
(2) Extenuating circumstances.
In People v. Rodriguez, it was held that the use of arms is an element of
rebellion, so a rebel cannot be further prosecuted for possession of firearms. A In justifying and exempting circumstances, there is no criminal liability. When
violation of a special law can never absorb a crime punishable under the an accused invokes them, he in effect admits the commission of a crime but

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tries to avoid the liability thereof. The burden is upon him to establish beyond party are related as spouse, ascendant, descendant, brother and sister-in-law
reasonable doubt the required conditions to justify or exempt his acts from living together or where in case the widowed spouse and the property involved
criminal liability. What is shifted is only the burden of evidence, not the burden is that of the deceased spouse, before such property had passed on to the
of proof. possession of third parties.

Justifying circumstances contemplate intentional acts and, hence, are Under Article 344, in cases of seduction, abduction, acts of lasciviousness, and
incompatible with dolo. Exempting circumstances may be invoked in culpable rape, the marriage of the offended party shall extinguish the criminal action.

Absolutory cause has the effect of an exempting circumstance and they are
Absolutory cause predicated on lack of voluntariness like instigation. Instigation is associated
with criminal intent. Do not consider culpa in connection with instigation. If the
The effect of this is to absolve the offender from criminal liability, crime is culpable, do not talk of instigation. In instigation, the crime is
although not from civil liability. It has the same effect as an exempting committed with dolo. It is confused with entrapment.
circumstance, but you do not call it as such in order not to confuse it Entrapment is not an absolutory cause. Entrapment does not exempt the
with the circumstances under Article 12. offender or mitigate his criminal liability. But instigation absolves the offender
from criminal liability because in instigation, the offender simply acts as a tool
Article 20 provides that the penalties prescribed for accessories shall not be of the law enforcers and, therefore, he is acting without criminal intent because
imposed upon those who are such with respect to their spouses, ascendants, without the instigation, he would not have done the criminal act which he did
descendants, legitimate, natural and adopted brothers and sisters, or relatives upon instigation of the law enforcers.
by affinity within the same degrees with the exception of accessories who
profited themselves or assisting the offender to profit by the effects of the Difference between instigation and entrapment
In instigation, the criminal plan or design exists in the mind of the law enforcer
Then, Article 89 provides how criminal liability is extinguished: with whom the person instigated cooperated so it is said that the person
instigated is acting only as a mere instrument or tool of the law enforcer in the
Death of the convict as to the personal penalties, and as to pecuniary penalties, performance of his duties.
liability therefor is extinguished if death occurs before final judgment;
Service of the sentence; On the other hand, in entrapment, a criminal design is already in the mind of
the person entrapped. It did not emanate from the mind of the law enforcer
Amnesty; entrapping him. Entrapment involves only ways and means which are laid down
or resorted to facilitate the apprehension of the culprit.
Absolute pardon;
Prescription of the crime;
An agent of the narcotics command had been tipped off that a certain house is
Prescription of the penalty; and being used as an opium den by prominent members of the society. The law
enforcers cannot themselves penetrate the house because they do not belong
Marriage of the offended woman as provided in Article 344. to that circle so what they did was to convince a prominent member of society
to visit such house to find out what is really happening inside and that so many
Under Article 247, a legally married person who kills or inflicts physical injuries cars were congregating there. The law enforcers told the undercover man that
upon his or her spouse whom he surprised having sexual intercourse with his or if he is offered a cigarette, then he should try it to find out whether it is loaded
her paramour or mistress in not criminally liable. with dangerous drugs or not. This fellow went to the place and mingled there.
The time came when he was offered a stick of cigarette and he tried it to see if
Under Article 219, discovering secrets through seizure of correspondence of the the cigarette would affect him. Unfortunately, the raid was conducted and he
ward by their guardian is not penalized. was among those prosecuted for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. Is he
criminally liable? No. He was only there upon instigation of the law enforcers.
Under Article 332, in the case of theft, swindling and malicious mischief, there On his own, he would not be there. The reason he is there is because he
is no criminal liability but only civil liability, when the offender and the offended cooperated with the law enforcers. There is absence of criminal intent.

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a citizen who only cooperated with the law enforcer. The private citizen
If the law enforcer were able to enter the house and mingle there, nobody believes that he is a law enforcer and that is why when the law enforcer tells
would offer him a cigarette because he is unknown. When he saw somebody, he him, he believes that it is a civil duty to cooperate.
pleaded to spare him a smoke so this fellow handed to him the cigarette he was
smoking and found out that it was loaded with a dangerous drug. He arrested If the person instigated does not know that the person is instigating him is a
the fellow. Defense was that he would not give a cigarette if he was not asked. law enforcer or he knows him to be not a law enforcer, this is not a case of
Is he criminally liable? Yes. This is a case of entrapment and not instigation. instigation. This is a case of inducement, both will be criminally liable.
Even if the law enforcer did not ask for a cigarette, the offender was already
committing a crime. The law enforcer ascertained if it is a violation of the In entrapment, the person entrapped should not know that the person trying to
Dangerous Drugs Act. The means employed by the law enforcer did not make entrap him was a law enforcer. The idea is incompatible with each other
the accused commit a crime. Entrapment is not an absolutory cause because in because in entrapment, the person entrapped is actually committing a crime.
entrapment, the offender is already committing a crime. The officer who entrapped him only lays down ways and means to have
evidence of the commission of the crime, but even without those ways and
In another instance, a law enforcer pretended to be a buyer of marijuana. He means, the person entrapped is actually engaged in a violation of the law.
approached a person suspected to be a pusher and prevailed upon this person
to sell him two kilos of dried marijuana leaves and this fellow gave him and Instigation absolves the person instigated from criminal liability. This is based
delivered them. He apprehended the fellow. Defense is instigation, because he on the rule that a person cannot be a criminal if his mind is not criminal. On
would not have come out for the marijuana leaves if the law enforcer had not the other hand, entrapment is not an absolutory cause. It is not even
instigated him. It is a case of entrapment because the fellow is already mitigating.
committing the crime from the mere fact that he is possessing marijuana. Even
without selling, there is a crime committed by him: illegal possession of In case of somnambulism or one who acts while sleeping, the person involved
dangerous drugs. How can one sell marijuana if he is not in possession thereof. is definitely acting without freedom and without sufficient intelligence, because
The law enforcer is only ascertaining if this fellow is selling marijuana leaves, so he is asleep. He is moving like a robot, unaware of what he is doing. So the
this is entrapment, not instigation. Selling is not necessary to commit the element of voluntariness which is necessary in dolo and culpa is not present.
crime, mere possession is already a crime. Somnambulism is an absolutory cause. If element of voluntariness is absent,
there is no criminal liability, although there is civil liability, and if the
A fellow wants to make money. He was approached by a law enforcer and was circumstance is not among those enumerated in Article 12, refer to the
asked if he wanted to deliver a package to a certain person. When that fellow circumstance as an absolutory cause.
was delivering the package, he was apprehended. Is he criminally liable? This
is a case of instigation; he is not committing a crime. Mistake of fact is not absolutory cause. The offender is acting without criminal
intent. So in mistake of fact, it is necessary that had the facts been true as the
A policeman suspected a fellow selling marijuana. The law enforcer asked him, accused believed them to be, this act is justified. If not, there is criminal
“Are you selling that? How much? Could you bring that to the other fellow liability, because there is no mistake of fact anymore. The offender must
there?” When he brought it there, the person, who happens to be a law believe he is performing a lawful act.
enforcer, to whom the package was brought to found it to be marijuana. Even
without bringing, he is already possessing the marijuana. The fact that he was Extenuating circumstances
appointed to another person to find out its contents, is to discover whether the
crime is committed. This is entrapment. The effect of this is to mitigate the criminal liability of the offender. In other
words, this has the same effect as mitigating circumstances, only you do not
The element which makes instigation an absolutory cause is the lack of criminal call it mitigating because this is not found in Article 13.
intent as an element of voluntariness.
If the instigator is a law enforcer, the person instigated cannot be criminally
liable, because it is the law enforcer who planted that criminal mind in him to An unwed mother killed her child in order to conceal a dishonor. The
commit the crime, without which he would not have been a criminal. If the concealment of dishonor is an extenuating circumstance insofar as the unwed
instigator is not a law enforcer, both will be criminally liable, you cannot have a mother or the maternal grandparents is concerned, but not insofar as the
case of instigation. In instigation, the private citizen only cooperates with the father of the child is concerned. Mother killing her new born child to conceal
law enforcer to a point when the private citizen upon instigation of the law her dishonor, penalty is lowered by two degrees. Since there is a material
enforcer incriminates himself. It would be contrary to public policy to prosecute

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lowering of the penalty or mitigating the penalty, this is an extenuating

circumstance. (4) Since there is a crime committed but there is no criminal, there is civil
liability for the wrong done. But there is no criminal liability. However,
The concealment of honor by mother in the crime of infanticide is an in paragraphs 4 and 7 of Article 12, there is neither criminal nor civil
extenuating circumstance but not in the case of parricide when the age of the liability.
victim is three days old and above.
When you apply for justifying or exempting circumstances, it is confession and
In the crime of adultery on the part of a married woman abandoned by her avoidance and burden of proof shifts to the accused and he can no longer rely
husband, at the time she was abandoned by her husband, is it necessary for on weakness of prosecution’s evidence
her to seek the company of another man. Abandonment by the husband does
not justify the act of the woman. It only extenuates or reduces criminal liability.
When the effect of the circumstance is to lower the penalty there is an Justifying circumstances
extenuating circumstance.
Since the justifying circumstances are in the nature of defensive acts, there
A kleptomaniac is one who cannot resist the temptation of stealing things which must be always unlawful aggression. The reasonableness of the means
appeal to his desire. This is not exempting. One who is a kleptomaniac and employed depends on the gravity of the aggression. If the unlawful aggressor
who would steal objects of his desire is criminally liable. But he would be given was killed, this can only be justified if it was done to save the life of the person
the benefit of a mitigating circumstance analogous to paragraph 9 of Article 13, defending or the person being defended. The equation is “life was taken to
that of suffering from an illness which diminishes the exercise of his will power save life.”
without, however, depriving him of the consciousness of his act. So this is an
extenuating circumstance. The effect is to mitigate the criminal liability.
Self Defense

Distinctions between justifying circumstances and exempting In justifying circumstances, the most important is self-defense. When this is
circumstances given in the bar, it is the element of unlawful aggression that is in issue. Never
confuse unlawful aggression with provocation. Mere provocation is not enough.
In justifying circumstances –
(1) The circumstance affects the act, not the actor;
A and B are long standing enemies. Because of their continuous quarrel over
(2) The act complained of is considered to have been done within the the boundaries of their adjoining properties, when A saw B one afternoon, he
bounds of law; hence, it is legitimate and lawful in the eyes of the law; approached the latter in a menacing manner with a bolo in his hand. When he
was about five feet away from B, B pulled out a revolver and shot A on the
(3) Since the act is considered lawful, there is no crime, and because chest, killing him. Is B criminally liable? What crime was committed, if any?
there is no crime, there is no criminal;
The act of A is nothing but a provocation. It cannot be characterized as an
(4) Since there is no crime or criminal, there is no criminal liability as well unlawful aggression because in criminal law, an unlawful aggression is an
as civil liability. attack or a threatened attack which produces an imminent danger to the life
and limb of the one resorting to self-defense. In the facts of the problem given
In exempting circumstances – above, what was said was that A was holding a bolo. That bolo does not
produce any real or imminent danger unless a raises his arm with the bolo. As
(1) The circumstances affect the actor, not the act; long as that arm of A was down holding the bolo, there is no imminent danger
to the life or limb of B. Therefore, the act of B in shooting A is not justified.
(2) The act complained of is actually wrongful, but the actor acted without
voluntariness. He is a mere tool or instrument of the crime; Defense of rights is included in the circumstances of defense and so is
defense of honor.
(3) Since the act complained of is actually wrongful, there is a crime. But
because the actor acted without voluntariness, there is absence of dolo In US v. Mateo, while a woman was sleeping, her sister and brother-in-law
or culpa. There is no criminal; went to see a movie and came home late that evening. The accused was

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already asleep. The brother-in-law came up first while his wife was still in the justified. Actually, when she killed the supposed unlawful aggressor, her life
staircase. He started feeling through the dark, and in the process, he and limb were no longer in imminent danger. That is the focal point.
awakened the accused. Believing that her honor was at stake, she got a pair of
scissors and stabbed the man. When the lights were turned on, she realized At the time the accused killed the supposed unlawful aggressor, was her life in
that she had stabbed her brother-in-law. The accused claimed as having acted danger? If the answer is no, there is no self-defense. But while there may be
in defense of her honor and mistake of fact. She said that she believed that no justifying circumstance, do not forget the incomplete self-defense. This is a
her own honor was at stake. It was held that the whole matter is purely her mitigating circumstance under paragraph 1 of Article 13. This mitigating
imagination. Touching the arm could not produce such danger as would really circumstance is either privileged or ordinary. If ordinary, it has the effect of
be imminent to the honor of the woman. reducing the imposable penalty to the minimum period. But if it is privileged, it
has the effect of lowering the penalty by one to two degrees, depending on how
Apparently, under the Revised Penal Code, the honor of a woman in respect of the court will regard the absence or presence of conditions to justify the act.
her defense is equated with her virginity.

In US v. Jaurigue, it was held that it was not possible to rape the accused Defense of property rights
because the whole thing transpired in the church, where there were so many
people. Therefore, her availing of defense of honor is not tenable. She could This can only be invoked if the life and limb of the person making the defense is
not possibly be raped in that place. Defense of honor here is being equated also the subject of unlawful aggression. Life cannot be equal to property.
with one of abuse of chastity of a woman. In this case, the offended party
placed his hand on the thigh of the woman who was then praying. There was Defense of stranger
already some sort of aggression but it was not enough to warrant the act
resorted to by the accused in getting a small knife from her bag and thrusting it If the person being defended is already a second cousin, you do not invoke
on the chest of the offended party. defense of relative anymore. It will be defense of stranger. This is vital
because if the person making the defense acted out or revenge, resentment or
Do not confuse unlawful aggression with provocation. What justifies the killing some evil motive in killing the aggressor, he cannot invoke the justifying
of a supposed unlawful aggressor is that if the offender did not kill the circumstance if the relative defended is already a stranger in the eyes of the
aggressor, it will be his own life that will be lost. That will be the situation. If law. On the other hand, if the relative defended is still within the coverage of
that is not the situation, even if there was an unlawful aggression that has defense of relative, even though he acted out of some evil motive, it would still
already begun, you cannot invoke self-defense. apply. It is enough that there was unlawful aggression against the relative
defended, and that the person defending did not contribute to the unlawful
Illustration: aggression.

Two policemen quarreled inside a police precinct. One shot the other. The
other was wounded on his thigh. The policeman who was wounded on the Question & Answer
thigh jumped on the arm of the fellow who shot him. In the process, they
wrestled for possession of the gun. The policeman who shot the other guy fell The person being defended was a relative – a first cousin. But the
on the floor. On that point, this policeman who was shot at the thigh was fellow who killed the aggressor had some score to settle with the aggressor. Is
already able to get hold of the revolver. In that position, he started emptying he entitled to a justifying circumstance?
the revolver of the other policeman who was lying on the floor. In this case, it
was held that the defense of self-defense is no available. The shooting was not Yes. In law, the condition that a person making the defense did not
justified. act out of revenge, resentment or evil motive is not a requirement in defense of
relative. This is only required in defense of strangers.
In People v. Rodriguez, a woman went into the house of another woman
whom she suspected of having an affair with her husband. She started pouring
gasoline on the house of the woman. Since the woman has children inside the Incomplete self-defense or incomplete justifying circumstance or incomplete
house, she jumped out to prevent this other woman from pouring gasoline exempting circumstances
around the house. The woman who was pouring gasoline had a bolo, so she
started hacking the other woman with it. They grappled with the bolo. At that When you say incomplete justifying circumstance, it means that not all the
moment, the one who jumped out of the house was able to wrest the bolo away requisites to justify the act are present or not the requisites to exempt from
and started hacking the other woman. It was held that the hacking was not criminal liability are present.

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How, if at all, may incomplete self-defense affect the criminal liability of the Civil liability referred to in a state of necessity is based not on the act
offender? committed but on the benefit derived from the state of necessity. So the
accused will not be civilly liable if he did not receive any benefit out of the state
If the question specifically refers to incomplete self-defense, defense of relative of necessity. On the other hand, persons who did not participate in the damage
or defense of stranger, you have to qualify your answer. or injury would be pro tanto civilly liable if they derived benefit out of the state
of necessity.
First, to have incomplete self-defense, the offended party must be guilty of
unlawful aggression. Without this, there can be no incomplete self-defense, Civil liability is based on the benefit derived and not on the act, damage or
defense of relative, or defense of stranger. injury caused. It is wrong to treat this as an exception to the rule that in
justifying circumstances, there is no criminal nor civil liability, on the principle
Second, if only the element of unlawful aggression is present, the other that “no one should enrich himself at the expense of another”.
requisites being absent, the offender shall be given only the benefit of an
ordinary mitigating circumstance. Illustration:

Third, if aside from the element of unlawful aggression another requisite, but A and B are owners of adjoining lands. A owns the land for planting certain
not all, are present, the offender shall be given the benefit of a privileged crops. B owns the land for raising certain goats. C used another land for a
mitigating circumstance. In such a case, the imposable penalty shall be vegetable garden. There was heavy rain and floods. Dam was opened. C
reduced by one or two degrees depending upon how the court regards the drove all the goats of B to the land of A. The goats rushed to the land of A to
importance of the requisites present. Or absent. be saved, but the land of A was destroyed. The author of the act is C, but C is
not civilly liable because he did not receive benefits. It was B who was
If the question refers generally to justifying or exempting circumstances, the benefited, although he was not the actor. He cannot claim that it was fortuitous
question should be, “how may incomplete justifying circumstance affect event. B will answer only to the extent of the benefit derived by him. If C who
criminal liability of the offender, if at all?” drove all the goats is accused of malicious mischief, his defense would be that
he acted out of a state of necessity. He will not be civilly liable.
Make a separate answer with respect to self-defense, defense of relative or Fulfillment of duty
defense of stranger because in these cases, you always have to specify the
element of unlawful aggression; otherwise, there would be no incomplete self- In the justifying circumstance of a person having acted out of fulfillment of a
defense, defense of relative or defense of stranger. In general, with respect to duty and the lawful exercise of a right or office, there are only two conditions:
other circumstances, you need only to say this:
If less than a majority of the requisites necessary to justify the act or exempt (1) The felony was committed while the offender was in the fulfillment of a
from criminal liability are present, the offender shall only be entitled to an duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office; and
ordinary mitigating circumstance.
(2) The resulting felony is the unavoidable consequence of the due
If a majority of the requisites needed to justify the act or exempt from criminal fulfillment of the duty or the lawful exercise of the right or office.
liability are present, the offender shall be given the benefit of a privileged
mitigating circumstance. The penalty shall be lowered by one or two degrees. Invariably, when you are given a problem on this premise, and the first
When there are only two conditions to justify the act or to exempt from criminal condition is present, but the second is not because the offender acted with
liability, the presence of one shall be regarded as the majority. culpa, the offender will be entitled to a privelege mitigating circumstance. This
is what you call incomplete justification of fulfillment of duty or incomplete
justification of exercise of a right. In that case, the penalty would be reduced
State of necessity by one or two degrees.

The state of necessity must not have been created by the one invoking the In People v. Oanis and Callanta, the accused Chief of Police and the
justifying circumstances. For example, A drove his car beyond the speed limit constabulary soldier were sent out to arrest a certain Balagtas, supposedly a
so much so that when he reached the curve, his vehicle skidded towards a notorious bandit. There was an order to kill Balagtas if he would resist. The
ravine. He swerved his car towards a house, destroying it and killing the accused arrived at the house of a dancer who was supposedly the girlfriend of
occupant therein. A cannot be justified because the state of necessity was Balagtas. When they were there, they saw a certain person who resembled
brought about by his own felonious act. Balagtas in all his bodily appearance sleeping on a bamboo bed but facing the

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other direction. The accused, without going around the house, started firing at
the man. They found out later on that the man was not really Balagtas. They Imbecility and insanity
tried to invoke the justifying circumstance of having acted in fulfillment of a
duty. There is complete absence of intelligence. Imbecile has an IQ of 7. The
intellectual deficiency is permanent. There is no lucid interval unlike in insanity.
The second requisite is absent because they acted with negligence. There was
nothing that prevented them from looking around the house and looking at the The insanity that is exempting is limited only to mental aberration or disease of
face of the fellow who was sleeping. There could not be any danger on their life the mind and must completely impair the intelligence of the accused. Under
and limb. Hence, they were held guilty of the crime of murder because the common law countries, emotional or spiritual insanity are exempting
fellow was killed when he was sleeping and totally defenseless. However, the circumstances unlike in this jurisdiction because the Revised Administrative
Supreme Court granted them the benefit of incomplete justification of Code, as defined is limited to mental aberration of the mind. This was the
fulfillment of duty and the penalty was reduced by one or two degrees. ruling in People v. Dungo.

Do not confuse fulfillment of a duty with self-defense. In People v. Rafanan, decided on November 21, 1991, the following are
the two tests for exemption on grounds of insanity:
(1) The test of cognition, or whether the accused acted with complete
A, a policeman, while waiting for his wife to go home, was suddenly stabbed at deprivation of intelligence in committing said crime; and
the back by B, a hoodlum, who mistook him for someone else. When A saw B,
he drew his revolver and went after B. After firing a shot in the air, B did not (2) The test of volition, or whether the accused acted in total deprivation
stop so A shot B who was hit at a vital part of the body. B died. Is the act of A of freedom of will.
Schizoprenia (dementia praecox) can only be considered a mitigating
Yes. The justifying circumstance of self-defense cannot be invoked because the circumstance because it does not completely deprive the offender of
unlawful aggression had already ceased by the time A shot B. When the consciousness of his acts.
unlawful aggressor started fleeing, the unlawful aggression ceased. If the
person attacked runs after him, in the eyes of the law, he becomes the unlawful
aggressor. Self-defense cannot be invoked. You apply paragraph 5 on
fulfillment of duty. The offender was not only defending himself but was acting Minority
in fulfillment of a duty, to bring the criminal to the authorities. As long as he
was not acting out of malice when he fired at the fleeing criminal, he cannot be In exempting circumstances, the most important issue is how the minority of
made criminally liable. However, this is true only if it was the person who the offender affected his criminal liability. It seems that the view of many is
stabbed was the one killed. But if, let us say, the policeman was stabbed and that when the offender is a youthful offender, he must necessarily be confined
despite the fact that the aggressor ran into a crowd of people, the policeman in a reformatory. This is wrong. A youthful offender can only be confined in a
still fired indiscriminately. The policeman would be held criminally liable reformatory upon order of the court. Under the amendment to Presidential
because he acted with imprudence in firing toward several people where the Decree No. 603, Presidential Decree No. 1179 requires that before a youthful
offender had run. But although he will be criminally liable, he will be given the offender may be given the benefit if a suspension of sentence, there must be
benefit of an incomplete fulfillment of duty. an application filed with the court which should pronounce sentence. Note that
the commitment of the offender in a reformatory is just a consequence of the
suspension of the sentence. If the sentence is not suspended, there is no
Exempting circumstances commitment in a reformatory. The commitment is in a penitentiary, since
suspension of sentence requires certain conditions:
In exempting circumstances, the reason for the exemption lies on the
involuntariness of the act – one or some of the ingredients of voluntariness (1) The crime committed should not be punishable by reclusion perpetua
such as criminal intent, intelligence, or freedom of action on the part of the or death penalty;
offender is missing. In case it is a culpable felony, there is absence of freedom
of action or intelligence, or absence of negligence, imprudence, lack of foresight (2) The offender should not have been given the benefit of a suspended
or lack of skill. sentence before. This means he is a first timer;

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(3) He must be below 18 years old because a youthful offender is one who When the offender is over nine but below 15, the penalty to be
is below 18. imposed is discretionary on the court, but lowered by at least two
degrees. It may be lowered by three or four degrees, depending upon
Note that the age of majority has been reduced to 18. There is no more whether the court deems best for the interest of the offender. The
bracket where the offender is a minor yet no longer entitled to a mitigating limitation that it should be lowered by at least two degrees is just a
circumstance. An offender below 18 is always entitled to a mitigating or limitation on the power of the court to reduce the penalty. It cannot
exempting circumstance. be less than two degrees.

How does the minority of the offender affect his criminal liability? (4) If the offender is 15 years old and above but below 18, there is no
exemption anymore but he is also given the benefit of a suspended
(1) If the offender is within the bracket of nine years old exactly or less, sentence under the conditions stated earlier and if at the time the
he is exempt from criminal liability but not from civil liability. This type sentence is promulgated, he is not 18 years old or over yet. If the
of offenders are absolutely exempt. Even if the offender nine years or sentence is promulgated, the court will impose a penalty one degree
below acted with discernment, this should not be taken against him lower. This time it is fixed. It is to be imposed one degree lower and
because in this age bracket, the exemption is absolute. in the proper periods subject to the rules in Article 64.

(2) If over nine but below 15, a distinction has to be made whether the
offender acted with or without discernment. The burden is upon the Damnum absque injuria
prosecution to prove that the offender acted with discernment. It is
not for the minor to prove that he acted without discernment. All that Under Article 12, paragraph 4, the offender is exempt not only from criminal
the minor has to show is that he is within the age bracket. If the but also from civil liability. This paragraph embodies the Latin maxim “damnum
prosecution would want to pin criminal liability on him, it has to prove absque injuria”.
that the crime was committed with discernment. Here, if the offender
was exempt from criminal liability because the prosecution was not Illustration:
able to prove that the offender acted with discernment, he is only
civilly liable but he will be committed to the surveillance of his parents A person who is driving his car within the speed limit, while considering the
who will be required to report to the court periodically on the progress condition of the traffic and the pedestrians at that time, tripped on a stone with
or development of the offender. one of his car tires. The stone flew hitting a pedestrian on the head. The
pedestrian suffered profuse bleeding. What is the liability of the driver?
If the offender is proven to have acted with discernment, this is where
the court may give him the benefit of a suspended sentence. He may There is no civil liability under paragraph 4 of Article 12. Although, this is just
be given the benefit of a suspended sentence under the conditions an exempting circumstance, where generally there is civil liability, yet, in
mentioned earlier and only if he would file an application therefor. paragraph 4 of Article 12, there is no civil liability as well as criminal liability.
The driver is not under obligation to defray the medical expenses.
Suspension of sentence is not automatic. If the youthful offender has filed an
application therefor. However, correlate paragraph 4 of Article 12 with the second paragraph of
Article 275. Article 275 gives you the crime of abandoning the victim of one’s
(3) If at the time the judgment is to be promulgated he is already above own accident. It is a crime. Here, the accident referred to in paragraph 2 of
18, he cannot avail of a suspended sentence. The reason is because if Article 275 is in the concept of paragraph 4 of Article 12. This means that the
the sentence were to be suspended, he would be committed in a offender must be performing a lawful act, that he was doing it with due care
reformatory. Since he cannot be committed to a reformatory anymore but somehow, injury resulted by mere accident without fault or intention of
because he is not less than 18 years old, he would have to be causing it.
committed to a penitentiary. That means promulgation of the
sentence shall not be suspended. If the sentence should not be If at the very beginning, the offender was negligent, you do not apply Article
suspended, although the minor may be qualified, the court will 275, paragraph 2. Instead, it will be Article 365 on criminal negligence. Notice
promulgate the sentence but the minor shall be entitled to the that in the last paragraph of Article 365, in the case of the so-called hit and run
reduction of the penalty by at least two degrees. drivers who have injured somebody and would abandon the victim of the
accident, the penalty is qualified to a higher degree. Here, under paragraph 4
of Article 12, the infliction of the injury by mere accident does not give rise to a

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criminal or civil liability, but the person who caused the injury is duty bound to Privilege mitigating circumstances operate to reduce the penalty by
attend to the person who was injured. If he would abandon him, it is in that one or two degrees, depending upon what the law provides.
abandonment that the crime arises which is punished under the second
paragraph of Article 275. You can easily detect whether the circumstance which mitigates the liability of
the offender is privilege or not, that is, if the penalty is reduced by degree. If
the penalty is lowered by one or two degrees, it is privilege; therefore, even if
Compulsion of irresistible force and under the impulse of an there is an aggravating circumstance, do not compensate because that would
uncontrollable fear be violating the rules.

The offender must be totally deprived of freedom. If the offender has still The circumstances under Article 13 are generally ordinary mitigating, except in
freedom of choice, whether to act or not, even if force was employed on him or paragraph 1, where it is privilege, Article 69 would apply. So also, paragraph 2,
even if he is suffering from uncontrollable fear, he is not exempt from criminal in cases where the offender is below 18 years old, such an offender if criminally
liability because he is still possessed with voluntariness. In exempting liable is entitled to the lowering of penalty by one degree. But if over nine but
circumstances, the offender must act without voluntariness. under 15, he is entitled to a discretionary penalty of at least two degrees lower.
When there is a lowering of penalties by degrees, it is a privilege. It cannot be
In a situation where the offender would otherwise be exempt, but the requisites offset by an aggravating circumstance.
for exemption are not all present, the offender is still entitled to a mitigating
circumstance of incomplete exemption under paragraph 1 of Article 13. Apply Although the bulk of the circumstances in Article 13 are ordinary mitigating
the rule if majority of the requisites to exempt from criminal liability are circumstances, yet, when the crime committed is punishable by a divisible
present. The offender shall be given the benefit of privelege mitigating penalty, two or more of this ordinary mitigating circumstances shall have the
circumstances. That means that the penalty prescribed of the crime committed effect of a privilege mitigating circumstances if there is no aggravating
shall be reduced by one or two degrees in accordance with Article 69 of the circumstance at all.
Revised Penal Code. If less than a majority of the requisites for exemption are
present, the offender shall be given only the benefit of ordinary mitigating Correlate Article 13 with Articles 63 and 64. Article 13 is meaningless without
circumstances. That means the penalty shall be reduced to the minimum knowing the rules of imposing the penalties under Articles 63 and 64.
period of the prescribed penalty, unless the mitigating circumstance is offset by
an aggravating circumstance. In bar problems, when you are given indeterminate sentences, these articles
are very important.

Mitigating circumstances When the circumstance which mitigates criminal liability is privileged, you give
effect to it above all considerations. In other words, before you go into any
Distinctions between ordinary mitigating circumstances and privileged circumstance, lower first the penalty to the proper degree. That is precisely
mitigating circumstances why this circumstance is considered privileged. It takes preference over all
other circumstances.
(1) As to the nature of the circumstances

Ordinary mitigating circumstances can be offset by aggravating Question & Answer

A 17 year old boy committed parricide. Will he be given the benefit of
Privilege mitigating circumstance can never be offset by any Indeterminate Sentence Law? Then, the facts state, penalty for parricide is
aggravating circumstance. reclusion perpetua to death.

(2) As to effect You have learned that the Indeterminate Sentence Law does not apply,
among other situations, when the penalty imposed is death or life
Ordinary mitigating circumstances, if not offset, will operate to reduce imprisonment. But then in the problem given, the offender is a 17-year old
the penalty to the minimum period, provided the penalty is a divisible boy. That circumstance is privileged. So before you go in the Indeterminate
one. Sentence Law, you have to apply that circumstance first. Being a 17-year old
boy, therefore, the penalty would go one degree lower and the penalty for
parricide which now stands at reclusion perpetua will go down to reclusion

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temporal. Reclusion temporal is already governed by the Indeterminate that of provocation was given by somebody. The person provoked cannot
Sentence Law. retaliate against him; thus, the person provoked retaliated on a younger
brother or on an elder father. Although in fact, there is sufficient provocation, it
The answer, therefore, is yes. He shall be given the benefit of the is not mitigating because the one who gives the provocation is not the one
Indeterminate Sentence Law. Although the penalty prescribed for the crime against whom the crime was committed.
committed is reclusion perpetua, that is not the imposable penalty, since being
17 years old is a privilege mitigating circumstance. That privilege lowers the
penalty by one degree. The imposable penalty, therefore, is reclusion temporal. Question & Answer
The Indeterminate Sentence Law applies to this and so the offender will be
given its benefit. A was walking in front of the house of B. B at that time was with his
brother C. C told B that sometime in the past, A boxed him, and because he
Criminal laws are to be construed always in a manner liberal or lenient was small, he did not fight back. B approached A and boxed him, but A cannot
to the offender. Between giving the offender the benefit of the Indeterminate hit back at B because B is bigger, so A boxed C. Can A invoke sufficient
Sentence Law and withholding it away from him, there is more reason to give provocation to mitigate criminal liability?
him its benefit. It is wrong for you to determine whether the Indeterminate
Sentence Law will apply or not on the basis of reclusion perpetua because that No. Sufficient provocation must come from the offended party. There
is not the imposable penalty. The moment you do that, you disregard the may actually be sufficient provocation which immediately preceded the act, but
privileged character of minority. You are only treating it as an ordinary if provocation did not come from the person offended, paragraph 4, Article 13
mitigating circumstance. Privilege mitigating circumstance will apply over and will not apply.
above all other considerations. When you arrive at the correct penalty, that is
the time when you find out whether the Indeterminate Sentence Law will apply
or not. The commission of the felony must be immediate to the threat or provocation
in order that this circumstance be mitigating. If there is sufficient break of time
For purposes of lowering the penalty by one or two degrees, the age of the before the provocation or threat and the consequent commission of the crime,
offender at the time of the commission of the crime shall be the basis, not the the law presupposes that during that interval, whatever anger or diminished
age of the offender at the time the sentence is to be imposed. But for purposes self control may have emerged from the offender had already vanished or
of suspension of the sentence, the age of the offender at the time the crime disappeared. In applying this mitigating circumstance, the courts are generally
was committed is not considered, it is the age of the offender at the time the considering that there must be no break between the provocation or threat and
sentence is to be promulgated. the commission of the felony. In other words, the felony was committed
precisely because he was then and there provoked.

Praeter intentionem However, the recent rulings of the Supreme Court, as well as the Court of
Appeals, has stretched this criterion – it is not only a matter of time anymore.
The common circumstance given in the bar of praeter intentionem, under Before, there was a ruling that if a period of one hour had lapsed between the
paragraph 3, means that there must be a notable disproportion between the provocation and the commission of the felony, this mitigating circumstance is
means employed by the offender compared to that of the resulting felony. If no longer applicable.
the resulting felony could be expected from the means employed, this
circumstance does not avail. This circumstance does not apply when the crime Illustration:
results from criminal negligence or culpa. When the crime is the product of
reckless imprudence or simple negligence, mitigating circumstances does not The accused went to a barrio dance. In that gathering, there was a bully and he
apply. This is one of the three instances where the offender has performed a told the accused that he is not allowed to go inside. The accused tried to reason
felony different from that which he intended. Therefore, this is the product of out but the bully slapped him several times in front of so many people, some of
intentional felony, not a culpable one. whom were ladies who were being courted by the accused, so he was
humiliated and embarrassed. However, he cannot fight the bully at that time
because the latter was much bigger and heavier. Accused had no choice but to
Sufficient threat or provocation go home. When he saw the bully again, this time, he was armed with a knife
and he stabbed the bully to death. The evidence for the accused showed that
This is mitigating only if the crime was committed on the very person who when he went home, he was not able to sleep throughout the night, thinking of
made the threat or provocation. The common set-up given in a bar problem is the humiliation and outrage done to him, despite the lapse of about 22 hours.

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The Supreme Court gave him the benefit of this mitigating circumstance. The The word “immediate” here does not carry the same meaning as that under
reason stated by the Supreme Court for allowing the accused to be benefited by paragraph 4. The word “immediate” here is an erroneous Spanish translation
this mitigating circumstance is that the effect of the humiliation and outrage because the Spanish word is “proxima” and not “immediatementa.” Therefore,
emitted by the offended party as a provocation upon the accused was still it is enough that the offender committed the crime with the grave offense done
present when he committed the crime and, therefore, the reason for paragraph to him, his spouse, his ascendant or descendant or to his brother or sister,
4 still applies. The accused was still acting under a diminished self control whether natural, adopted or legitimate and that is the proximate cause of the
because he was thinking of the humiliation he suffered in the hands of the commission of the crime.
offended party. The outrage was so serious unless vindicated.

This is the correct interpretation of paragraph 4, Article 13. As long as the Passion or obfuscation
offender at the time he committed the felony was still under the influence of
the outrage caused by the provocation or threat, he is acting under a This stands on the premise or proposition that the offender is suffering from a
diminished self control. This is the reason why it is mitigating. diminished self control because of the passion or obfuscation. The same is true
with the circumstances under paragraphs 4 and 5. So, there is a ruling to the
You have to look at two criteria: effect that if the offender is given the benefit of paragraph 4, he cannot be
given the benefit of paragraph 5 or 6, or vice-versa. Only one of the three
(1) If from the element of time, there is a material lapse of time stated in mitigating circumstances should be given in favor of the offender.
the problem and there is nothing stated in the problem that the effect
of the threat or provocation had prolonged and affected the offender at However, in one case, one of the mitigating circumstances under paragraphs 4,
the time he committed the crime, then you use the criterion based on 5 and 6 stands or arises from a set of facts, and another mitigating
the time element. circumstance arises from another set of facts. Since they are predicated on
different set of facts, they may be appreciated together, although they arose
(2) However, if there is that time element and at the same time, facts are from one and the same case. Hence, the prohibition against considering all
given indicating that at the time the offender committed the crime, he these mitigating circumstances together and not as one applies only if they
is still suffering from outrage of the threat or provocation done to him, would be taken on the basis of the same set of facts.
then he will still get the benefit of this mitigating circumstance.
If the case involves a series of facts, then you can predicate any one of these
In People v. Diokno, a Chinaman eloped with a woman. Actually, it was circumstances on one fact and the other on another fact and so on.
almost three days before accused was able to locate the house where the
Chinaman brought the woman. Here, sufficient provocation was one of the The passion must be legitimate. As a rule, it cannot be based on common law
mitigating circumstances considered by the Supreme Court in favor of the relationship because common law relationships are illicit. However, consider
accused. whether passion or obfuscation is generated by common law relationship or by
some other human consideration.

Vindication of a grave offense In a case where the relationship between the accused and the woman he was
living with was one of common law, he came home and surprised his common
The word “offense” should not be taken as a crime. It is enough if what was law wife having sexual intercourse with a friend. This infuriated him. He killed
imputed or what was done was wrong. In considering whether the wrong is a the friend and he claimed passion or obfuscation. The trial court denied his
grave one upon the person who committed the crime, his age, education and claim because the relationship was a common law one.
social status will be considered.
On review, the accused was given the benefit of the circumstances and the
Here, in vindication of a grave offense, the vindication need not be done by the basis of considering passion or obfuscation in favor of the accused was the act
person upon whom the grave offense was committed. So, unlike in sufficient of the common law wife in committing adultery right from the conjugal bed.
threat or provocation where the crime should be inflicted upon the very person Whether or not they are married, any man who discovers that infidelity was
who made the threat or provocation, here, it need not be the same person who committed on the very bed provided by him to the woman would naturally be
committed the grave offense or who was offended by the wrong done by the subjected to obfuscation.
offended party.
When a married person surprised his better half in the act of sexual intercourse
with another, he gets the benefit of Article 247. However, that requisite which in

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the first place, the offender must have surprised his/her spouse actually However, there is a ruling that if after committing the crime, the offender did
committing sexual intercourse should be present. If the surprising was done not not flee and instead waited for the law enforcers to arrive and he surrendered
in the actual act of sexual intercourse but before or after it, then Article 247 the weapon he used in killing the victim, the ruling was that voluntary
does not apply. surrender is mitigating. In this case, the offender had the opportunity to go into
hiding, the fact that he did not flee is not voluntary surrender.
Although this is the ruling, still, the accused will be given the benefit of
sufficient provocation if the intercourse was done in his dwelling. If this act was However, if he comes out from hiding because he is seriously ill and he went to
done somewhere else and the accused kills the paramour or the spouse, this get medical treatment, the surrender is not considered as indicative of remorse
may be considered as mitigation of a grave offense to him or otherwise as a or repentance. The surrender here is only done out of convenience to save his
situation sufficient to create passion or obfuscation. Therefore, when a married own self. Hence, it is not mitigating.
man upon coming home, surprises his wife who was nude and lying with
another man who was also nude, Article 247 does not apply. If he kills them, Even if the offender may have gone into hiding, if the law enforcers had already
vindication of a grave offense will be mitigating in favor of the offender. known where he is hiding and it is just a matter of time before he is flushed out
of that place, then even if the law enforcers do not know exactly where he was
Illustrations: hiding and he would come out, this is not voluntary surrender.

A is courting B, a receptionist in a beerhouse. C danced with B. A saw this and Whether or not a warrant of arrest had been issued against the offender is
stabbed C. It was held that jealousy is an acknowledged basis of passion. immaterial and irrelevant. The criterion is whether or not the offender had
gone into hiding or had the opportunity to go into hiding and the law enforcers
A, a male classmate is escorting B, a female classmate. On the way out, some do not know of his whereabouts. If he would give up, his act of surrendering
men whistled lustfully. The male classmate stabbed said men. This was held to under such circumstance indicates that he is willing to accept the consequences
be obfuscation. of the wrong he has done and also thereby saves the government the effort,
the time and the expenses to be incurred in looking for him.
When a man saw a woman bathing, almost naked, for which reason he raped
her, such man cannot claim passion as a mitigating circumstance. Where the offender went to the municipal building not to own responsibility for
the killing, such fact is not tantamount to voluntary surrender as a mitigating
A man and a woman were living together for 15 years. The man left the circumstance. Although he admitted his participation in the killing, he tried to
village where they were living and never returned home. The common law wife avoid responsibility by claiming self-defense which however he was not able to
learned that he was getting married to a classmate. On the scheduled wedding prove. People v. Mindac, decided December 14, 1992.
day, she stabbed the groom in the chest, instantly killing him. She confessed
and explained that any woman cannot tolerate what he did to her. She gave Surrender to be considered voluntary and thus mitigating, must be
him the best years of her life. She practically waited for him day and night. It spontaneous, demonstrating an intent to submit himself unconditionally to the
was held that passion and obfuscation were considered mitigating. Ingratitude person in authority or his agent in authority, because (1) he acknowledges his
was shown here. guilt (2) he wishes to save the government the trouble and expenses of
searching and capturing him. Where the reason for the surrender of the
accused was to insure his safety, his arrest by policemen pursuing him being
Voluntary surrender inevitable, the surrender is not spontaneous.

The essence of voluntary surrender requires that the offender, after having
committed the crime, had evaded the law enforcers and the law enforcers do Physical defect
not know of his whereabouts. In short, he continues to elude arrest. If, under
this circumstance, the offender would come out in the open and he gives The physical defect that a person may have must have a relation to the
himself up, his act of doing so will be considered as indicative of repentance commission of the crime. In a case where the offender is deaf and dumb,
and he also saves the government the time and the expense of looking for him. personal property was entrusted to him and he misappropriated the same. The
crime committed was estafa. The fact that he was deaf and dumb is not
As a general rule, if after committing the crime, the offender did not flee and he mitigating because that does not bear any relation to the crime committed.
went with the responding law enforcers meekly, voluntary surrender is not
applicable. Not any physical defect will affect the crime. It will only do so if it has some
relation to the crime committed. If a person is deaf and dumb and he has been

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slandered, he cannot talk so what he did was, he got a piece of wood and because there is no qualifying circumstance that is not aggravating. To say
struck the fellow on the head. The crime committed was physical injuries. The qualifying aggravating circumstance is redundant. In the examination, if you
Supreme Court held that being a deaf and dumb is mitigating because the only find qualifying circumstances, you have to think about these as aggravating
way is to use his force because he cannot strike back. circumstances which are the ingredients of the crime.

If the offender is blind in one eye, as long as his means of action, defense or Distinctions between aggravating and qualifying circumstances:
communication with others are not restricted, such circumstance is not
mitigating. This circumstance must also have a bearing on the crime In aggravating circumstances –
committed and must depend on how the crime was committed.
(1) The circumstance can be offset by an ordinary mitigating
Analogous cases
(2) No need to allege this circumstance in the information, as long as it is
The act of the offender of leading the law enforcers to the place where he proven during trial. If it is proved during trial, the court would consider
buried the instrument of the crime has been considered as equivalent to the same in imposing the penalty;
voluntary surrender. The act of a thief in leading the authorities to the place
where he disposed of the loot has been considered as analogous or equivalent (3) It is not an ingredient of a crime. It only affects the penalty to be
to voluntary surrender. imposed but the crime remains the same.

Stealing by a person who is driven to do so out of extreme poverty is In qualifying circumstance –

considered as analogous to incomplete state of necessity. However, this is not
so where the offender became impoverished because of his own way of living (1) The circumstance affects the nature of the crime itself such that the
his life. If his lifestyle is one of having so many vices, as a result of which he offender shall be liable for a more serious crime. The circumstance is
became poor, his subsequent stealing because of his poverty will not be actually an ingredient of the crime;
considered mitigated by incomplete state of necessity.
(2) Being an ingredient of the crime, it cannot be offset by any mitigating
Aggravating circumstances
(3) Qualifying circumstances to be appreciated as such must be
Kinds of aggravating circumstances: specifically alleged in the complaint or information. If not alleged but
proven during the trial, it will be considered only as generic
(1) Generic or those that can generally apply to all crime; aggravating circumstance. If this happens, they are susceptible of
being offset by a mitigating circumstance.
(2) Specific or those that apply only to a particular crime;
An aggravating circumstance is qualifying when it is an ingredient of the crime.
(3) Qualifying or those that change the nature of the crime; Therefore it is included in the provision of law defining the crime. If it is not so
included, it is not qualifying.
(4) Inherent or those that must of necessity accompany the commission of
the crime. In Article 248, in the crime of murder, the law specifically mentions thereunder
several circumstances which are aggravating under Article 14. All of these will
The aggravating circumstances must be established with moral certainty, with qualify a killing from homicide to murder; however, you understand that only
the same degree of proof required to establish the crime itself. one is qualifying.

Most important of the classification of aggravating circumstances are the If let us say, the accused was charged with murder. Three of these
qualifying and the generic aggravating circumstances. circumstances: treachery, evident premeditation and act was done in
consideration of a price, reward or promise were alleged as aggravating. Only
In practice, the so-called generic aggravating circumstances are referred to one of these is qualifying. If any one of the three circumstances was proven,
simply as aggravating circumstances. The so-called qualifying aggravating the crime was already murder. If the other two are also proven, even if they
circumstances are simply referred to as qualifying circumstances. This is so are alleged in the information or complaint, they are only to be taken as

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generic. If there is any mitigating circumstance in favor of the offender, the circumstance. If not alleged in the information, however, but proven during the
two other circumstances which are otherwise qualifying could be offset by the trial, it is only appreciated as a generic aggravating circumstance.
mitigating, provided the mitigating circumstance is not a privileged mitigating
circumstance. Therefore, if there are three of the qualifying circumstances The mitigating circumstance referred to in the amendment as not affecting the
alleged in the complaint or information, only one will qualify the crime. The imposition of the penalty in the maximum are only ordinary mitigating
others will merely be considered as generic. Thus, if there is any ordinary circumstances. Privileged mitigating circumstances always lower the penalty
mitigating circumstance in favor of the accused, such will be wiped out by these accordingly.
circumstances, although initially they are considered as qualifying. Do not
hesitate to offset on the principle that a qualifying circumstance cannot be
offset by an ordinary mitigating circumstance because only one is necessary. Disrespect due to rank, age, sex

Even if any of the qualifying circumstances under Article 248 on murder was Aggravating only in crimes against persons and honor, not against property like
proven, if that is not the circumstance alleged in the information, it cannot Robbery with homicide (People v. Ga, 156 SCRA 790).
qualify the crime. Let us say, what was alleged in the information was
treachery. During the trial, what was proven was the price, reward or promise Teachers, professors, supervisors of public and duly recognized private schools,
as a consideration for killing. The treachery was not proved. Just the same, colleges and universities, as well as lawyers are persons in authority only for
the accused cannot be convicted of murder because the circumstance proven is purposes of direct assault and simple resistance, but not for purposes of
not qualifying but merely generic. It is generic because it is not alleged in the aggravating circumstances in paragraph 2, Article 14. (People v. Taoan, 182
information at all. If any of these qualifying circumstances is not alleged in the SCRA 601).
information, it cannot be considered qualifying because a qualifying is an
ingredient of the crime and it cannot be taken as such without having alleged in
the information because it will violate the right of the accused to be informed of Abuse of confidence
the nature of the accusation against him.
Do not confuse this with mere betrayal of trust. This is aggravating only when
Correlate Article 14 with Article 62. Article 62 gives you the different rules the very offended party is the one who reposed the confidence. If the
regarding aggravating circumstances. Aggravating circumstances will not be confidence is reposed by another, the offended party is different from the fellow
considered when it is the crime itself. If the crime charged is qualified trespass who reposed the confidence and abuse of confidence in this case is not
to dwelling, dwelling is no longer aggravating. When the aggravating aggravating.
circumstance refers to the material execution of the crime, like treachery, it will
only aggravate the criminal liability of those who employed the same. Illustrations:

Illustration: A mother left her young daughter with the accused because she had nobody to
leave the child with while she had to go on an errand. The accused abused the
A person induced another to kill somebody. That fellow killed the other guy and child. It was held that the abuse of confidence is not aggravating. What is
employed treachery. As far as the killing is concerned, the treachery will qualify present is betrayal of trust and that is not aggravating.
only the criminal liability of the actual executioner. The fellow who induced him
becomes a co-principal and therefore, he is liable for the same crime In a case where the offender is a servant, the offended party is one of the
committed. However, let us say, the fellow was hired to kill the parent of the members of the family. The servant poisoned the child. It was held that abuse
one who hired him. He killed a stranger and not the parent. What was of confidence is aggravating. This is only true however, if the servant was still in
committed is different from what was agreed upon. The fellow who hired him the service of the family when he did the killing. If he was driven by the master
will not be liable for the crime he had done because that was not the crime he already out of the house for some time and he came back and poisoned the
was hired to commit. child, abuse of confidence is no longer aggravating. The reason is because that
confidence has already been terminated when the offender was driven out of
the house.
Taking advantage of public position

Article 62 was also amended by the Republic Act No. 7659. The legal import of
this amendment is that the subject circumstance has been made a qualifying or
special aggravating that shall not be offset or compensated by a mitigating

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Dwelling However, if the paramour was also residing on the same dwelling, dwelling is
not considered aggravating.
Dwelling will only be aggravating if it is the dwelling of the offended party. It
should also not be the dwelling of the offender. If the dwelling is both that of The term “dwelling” includes all the dependencies necessary for a house or for
the offended party and the offender, dwelling is not aggravating. rest or for comfort or a place of privacy. If the place used is on the second floor,
the stairs which are used to reach the second floor is considered a dwelling
Dwelling need not be owned by the offended party. It is enough that he used because the second floor cannot be enjoyed without the stairs. If the offended
the place for his peace of mind, rest, comfort and privacy. The rule that party was assaulted while on the stairs, dwelling is already aggravating. For
dwelling, in order to be aggravating must be owned by the offended party is no this reason, considering that any dependency necessary for the enjoyment of a
longer absolute. Dwelling can be aggravating even if it is not owned by the place of abode is considered a dwelling.
offended party, provided that the offended party is considered a member of the
family who owns the dwelling and equally enjoys peace of mind, privacy and Illustrations:
A and B are living in one house. A occupies the ground floor while B the upper
Illustration: floor. The stairs here would form part only of B's dwelling, the same being
necessary and an integral part of his house or dwelling. Hence, when an attack
Husband and wife quarreled. Husband inflicted physical violence upon the wife. is made while A is on the stairs, the aggravating circumstance of dwelling is not
The wife left the conjugal home and went to the house of her sister bringing her present. If the attack is made while B was on the stairs, then the aggravating
personal belongings with her. The sister accommodated the wife in the formers circumstance of dwelling is present.
home. The husband went to the house of the sister-in-law and tried to
persuade the wife to come back to the conjugal home but the wife refused Whenever one is in his dwelling, the law is presuming that he is not intending
because she is more at peace in her sister's house than in the conjugal abode. to commit a wrong so one who attacks him while in the tranquility of his home
Due to the wife's refusal to go back to the conjugal home and live with the shows a degree of perversity in him. Hence, this aggravating circumstance.
husband, the husband pulled out a knife and stabbed the wife which caused her
death. It was held that dwelling was aggravating although it is not owned by Dwelling is not limited to the house proper. All the appurtenances necessary for
the offended party because the offended party is considered as a member of the peace and comfort, rest and peace of mind in the abode of the offended
the family who owns the dwelling and that dwelling is where she enjoyed party is considered a dwelling.
privacy. Peace of mind and comfort.
Even a room in a hotel if rented as a dwelling, like what the salesmen do when
they are assigned in the provinces and they rent rooms, is considered a A man was fixing something on the roof of his house when he was shot. It was
dwelling. A room in a hotel or motel will be considered dwelling if it is used held that dwelling is aggravating. Roof still part of the house.
with a certain degree of permanence, where the offended party seeks privacy,
rest, peace of mind and comfort. In the provinces where the comfort rooms are usually far from the house
proper, if the offended party while answering the call of nature is killed, then
If a young man brought a woman in a motel for a short time and there he was dwelling is aggravating because the comfort room is a necessary dependency of
killed, dwelling is not aggravating. the house proper.

A man was killed in the house of his common law wife. Dwelling is aggravating A person while in the room of his house, maintaining the room, was
in this case because the house was provided by the man. shot. Dwelling is aggravating.

Dwelling should not be understood in the concept of a domicile. A person has If the offender entered the house and the offended party jumped out of the
more than one dwelling. So, if a man has so many wives and he gave them a house, even if the offender caught up with him already out of the house,
places of their own, each one is his own dwelling. If he is killed there, dwelling dwelling is still aggravating. The reason is because he could not have left his
will be aggravating, provided that he also stays there once in a while. When he dwelling were it not for the fact that the attacker entered the house.
is only a visitor there, dwelling is not aggravating.
If the offended party was inside the house and the offender was outside and
The crime of adultery was committed. Dwelling was considered aggravating on the latter shot the former inside the house while he was still outside. Dwelling
the part of the paramour. The paramour is not a resident of the same dwelling. is still aggravating even if the offender did not enter the house.

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A is on board a banca, not so far away. B and C also are on board on their
A garage is part of the dwelling when connected with an interior passage to the respective bancas. Suddenly, D showed up from underwater and stabbed B. Is
house proper. If not connected, it is not considered part of the dwelling. there an aggravating circumstance of uninhabited place here? Yes, considering
the fact that A and C before being able to give assistance still have to jump into
One-half of the house is used as a store and the other half is used for dwelling the water and swim towards B and the time it would take them to do that, the
but there is only one entrance. If the dwelling portion is attacked, dwelling is chances of B receiving some help was very little, despite the fact that there
not aggravating because whenever a store is open for business, it is a public were other persons not so far from the scene.
place and as such is not capable of being the subject of trespass. If the
dwelling portion is attacked where even if the store is open, there is another Evidence tending to prove that the offender took advantage of the place and
separate entrance to the portion used for dwelling, the circumstance is purposely availed of it is to make it easier to commit the crime, shall be
aggravating. However, in case the store is closed, dwelling is aggravating since necessary.
here, the store is not a public place as in the first case.

Balcony is part of the dwelling because it is appurtenant to the house Nighttime

Dwelling is aggravating in robbery with homicide because the crime can be What if the crime started during the daytime and continued all the way to
committed without necessarily transgressing the sanctity of the home (People nighttime? This is not aggravating.
v. De Los Reyes, decided October 22, 1992).
As a rule, the crime must begin and end during the nighttime. Crime began at
Dwelling is aggravating where the place is, even for a brief moment, a “home”, day and ended at night, as well as crime began at night and ended at day is
although he is not the owner thereof as when victim was shot in the house of not aggravated by the circumstance of nighttime.
his parents.
Darkness is what makes this circumstance aggravating.

In band, there should at least be four persons. All of them should be armed.
Even if there are four, but only three or less are armed, it is not a band. One evening, a crime was committed near the lamp post. The Supreme Court
Whenever you talk of band, always have in mind four at least. Do not say three held that there is no aggravating circumstance of nighttime. Even if the crime
or more because it is four or more. The way the law defines a band is was committed at night, but there was light, hence, darkness was not present,
somewhat confusing because it refers simply to more than 3, when actually it no aggravating circumstance just by the fact of nighttime alone.
should be 4 or more.
Even if there was darkness but the nighttime was only an incident of a chance
Correlate this with Article 306 - Brigandage. The crime is the band itself. The meeting, there is no aggravating circumstance here. It must be shown that the
mere forming of a band even without the commission of a crime is already a offender deliberately sought the cover of darkness and the offender purposely
crime so that band is not aggravating in brigandage because the band itself is took advantage of nighttime to facilitate the commission of the offense.
the way to commit brigandage.
Nocturnity is the period of time after sunset to sunrise, from dusk to dawn.
However, where brigandage is actually committed, band becomes aggravating.

Different forms of repetition or habituality of the offender

Uninhabited place
(1) Recidivism under Article 14 (9) – The offender at the time of his trial
It is determined not by the distance of the nearest house to the scene of the for one crime shall have been previously convicted by final judgment
crime but whether or not in the place of the commission of the offense , there of another embraced in the same title of the Revised Penal Code.
was a reasonable possibility of the victim receiving some help.
(2) Repetition or reiteracion under Article 14 (10) – The offender has been
Illustration: previously punished for an offense which the law attaches an equal or

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greater penalty or for two or more crimes to which it attaches a lighter penalty shall be imposed depending upon whether it is already the
penalty. third conviction, the fourth, the fifth and so on . . .

(3) Habitual delinquency under Article 62 (5) – The offender within the (5) The circumstance must be alleged in the information; otherwise the
period of 10 years from the date of his release or last conviction of court cannot acquire jurisdiction to impose additional penalty.
the crimes of serious or less serious physical injuries, robo, hurto,
estafa or falsification, is found guilty of the any of said crimes a third
time or oftener. Recidivism

(4) Quasi-recidivism under Article 160 – Any person who shall commit a In recidivism, the emphasis is on the fact that the offender was previously
felony after having been convicted by final judgment before beginning convicted by final judgement of a felony and subsequently found guilty of
to serve such sentence or while serving such sentence shall be another felony embraced in the same title of the Revised Penal Code. The law
punished by the maximum period prescribed by law for the new felony. considers this aggravating when a person has been committing felonies
embraced in the same title because the implication is that he is specializing on
Distinctions between recidivism and habitual delinquency such kind of crime and the law wants to prevent any specialization. Hence,
ordinarily, when a person commits a crime under different titles, no aggravating
In recidivism – circumstance is present. It is important that the conviction which came earlier
must refer to the crime committed earlier than the subsequent conviction.
(1) Two convictions are enough.
(2) The crimes are not specified; it is enough that they may be embraced
under the same title of the Revised Penal Code. In 1980, A committed robbery. While the case was being tried, he committed
theft in 1983. He was found guilty and was convicted of theft also in 1983. The
(3) There is no time limit between the first conviction and the subsequent conviction became final because he did not appeal anymore and the trial for his
conviction. Recidivism is imprescriptible. earlier crime which was robbery ended in 1984 where he was also convicted.
He also did not appeal this decision. Is the accused a recidivist? The
(4) It is a generic aggravating circumstance which can be offset by an subsequent conviction must refer to a felony committed later in order to
ordinary mitigating circumstance. If not offset, it would only increase constitute recidivism. The reason for this is as the time the first crime was
the penalty prescribed by law for the crime committed to its maximum committed, there was no other crime of which he was convicted so he cannot
period. be regarded as a repeater.

(5) The circumstance need not be alleged in the information. In recidivism, the crimes committed should be felonies. Recidivism cannot be
had if the crime committed is a violation of a special law.
In habitual delinquency –
Recidivism does not prescribe. No matter how long ago the offender was
(1) At least three convictions are required. convicted, if he is subsequently convicted of a crime embraced in the same title
of the Revised Penal Code, it is taken into account as aggravating in imposing
(2) The crimes are limited and specified to: (a) serious physical injuries, the penalty.
(b) less serious physical injuries, (c) robbery, (d) theft, (e) estafa or
swindling and (f) falsification. Pardon does not erase recidivism, even if it is absolute because only excuses
the service of the penalty, but not the conviction.
(3) There is a time limit of not more than 10 years between every
convictions computed from the first conviction or release from If the offender has already served his sentence and he was extended an
punishment thereof to conviction computed from the second conviction absolute pardon, the pardon shall erase the conviction including recidivism
or release therefrom to the third conviction and so on . . . because there is no more penalty so it shall be understood as referring to the
(4) Habitual delinquency is a special aggravating circumstance, hence it conviction or the effects of the crime.
cannot be offset by any mitigating circumstance. Aside from the
penalty prescribed by law for the crime committed, an additional Recidivism may be considered even though not alleged in the information
because this is only a generic aggravating circumstance.

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When the offender is a recidivist and at the same time a habitual delinquent,
It is necessary to allege recidivism in the information, but if the defense does the penalty for the crime for which he will be convicted will be increased to the
not object to the presentation of evidence during the trial and the same was maximum period unless offset by a mitigating circumstance. After determining
proven, the court shall consider such aggravating circumstance because it is the correct penalty for the last crime committed, an added penalty will be
only generic. imposed in accordance with Article 62.

In recidivism, although the law defines it as a circumstance where a person Habitual delinquency, being a special or specific aggravating circumstance must
having been convicted by final judgement was previously convicted also by final be alleged in the information. If it is not alleged in the information and in the
judgement for a crime embraced in the same title in the Revised Penal Code, it course of the trial, the prosecution tried to prove that the offender is a habitual
is necessary that the conviction must come in the order in which they are delinquent over the objection of the accused, the court has no jurisdiction to
committed. consider the offender a habitual delinquent. Even if the accused is in fact a
habitual delinquent but it is not alleged in the information, the prosecution
when introducing evidence was objected to, the court cannot admit the
Question & Answer evidence presented to prove habitual delinquency over the objection of the
In 1975, the offender committed robbery. While the same was being
tried in 1978, he committed theft. In 1980, he was convicted of theft and he On the other hand, recidivism is a generic aggravating circumstance. It need
did not appeal this decision. The trial for robbery ended in 1981. May the judge not be alleged in the information. Thus, even if recidivism is not alleged in the
in imposing the penalty for robbery consider the accused a recidivist information, if proven during trial, the court can appreciate the same. If the
considering that he was already convicted in 1980 for the crime of theft which prosecution tried to prove recidivism and the defense objected, the objection
is under the same title of the Revised Penal Code as that of robbery? should be overruled. The reason is recidivism is a generic aggravating
circumstance only. As such, it does not have to be alleged in the information
No, because the robbery which was committed earlier would be because even if not alleged, if proven during trial, the trial court can appreciate
decided later. It must be the other way around. This is because in 1975 when it.
he committed the robbery, there was no crime committed yet. Thus, even
though in imposing the penalty for the robbery, there was already a previous Right now, the present rule is that it can be appreciated even if not alleged in
conviction, if that conviction is subsequent to the commission of the robbery, he the information. This is the correct view because recidivism is a generic
is not a recidivist. If you will interpret the definition of recidivism, this would aggravating circumstance. The reason why habitual delinquency cannot be
seem to be covered but that is not so. appreciated unless alleged in the information is because recidivism has nothing
to do with the crime committed. Habitual delinquency refers to prior conviction
and therefore this must be brought in the information before the court can
Habitual delinquency acquire jurisdiction over this matter.

We have to consider the crimes in it and take note of the titles of crimes in the Generally, the procedure you know that when the prosecutor alleges habitual
Revised Penal Code. delinquency, it must specify the crimes committed, the dates when they were
committed, the court which tried the case, the date when the accused was
If the offender had committed and was convicted of each of the crimes under convicted or discharged. If these are not alleged, the information is defective.
each category so that no two crimes fall under the same title of the Revised
Penal Code, you have a situation where the offender is a habitual delinquent However, in a relatively recent ruling of the Supreme Court, it was held that
but not a recidivist because no two crimes fall under the same title of the Code. even though the details of habitual delinquency was not set forth in the
information, as long as there is an allegation there that the accused is a
If the first conviction is for serious physical injuries or less serious physical habitual delinquent, that is enough to confer jurisdiction upon the court to
injuries and the second conviction is for robbery, theft or estafa and the third is consider habitual delinquency. In the absence of the details set forth in the
for falsification, then the moment the habitual delinquent is on his fourth information, the accused has the right to avail of the so-called bill of
conviction already, you cannot avoid that he is a habitual delinquent and at the particulars. Even in a criminal case, the accused may file a motion for bill of
same time a recidivist because at least, the fourth time will have to fall under particulars. If the accused fails to file such, he is deemed to have waived the
any of the three categories. required particulars and so the court can admit evidence of the habitual
delinquency, even though over and above the objection of the defense.

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Reiteracion Offender had already been convicted by final judgement. Sentence was
promulgated and he was under custody in Muntinlupa. While he was in
This has nothing to do with the classification of the felonies. In reiteracion, the Muntinlupa, he escaped from his guard and in the course of his escape, he
offender has already tasted the bitterness of the punishment. This is the killed someone. The killing was committed before serving sentence but
philosophy on which the circumstance becomes aggravating. convicted by final judgement. He becomes a quasi-recidivist because the crime
committed was a felony.
It is necessary in order that there be reiteracion that the offender has already
served out the penalty. If the offender had not yet served out his penalty, The emphasis here is on the crime committed before sentence or while serving
forget about reiteracion. That means he has not yet tasted the bitterness of life sentence which should be a felony, a violation of the Revised Penal Code. In so
but if he had already served out the penalty, the law expects that since he has far as the earlier crime is concerned, it is necessary that it be a felony.
already tasted punishment, he will more or less refrain from committing crimes
again. That is why if the offender committed a subsequent felony which carries Illustration:
with it a penalty lighter than what he had served, reiteracion is not aggravating
because the law considers that somehow, this fellow was corrected because The offender was convicted of homicide. While serving sentence in Muntinlupa,
instead of committing a serious crime, he committed a lesser one. If he he was found smoking marijuana. He was prosecuted for illegal use of
committed another lesser one, then he becomes a repeater. prohibited drugs and was convicted. Is he a quasi-recidivist? No, because the
crime committed while serving sentence is not a felony.
So, in reiteracion, the penalty attached to the crime subsequently committed
should be higher or at least equal to the penalty that he has already served. If Reverse the situation. Assume that the offender was found guilty of illegal use
that is the situation, that means that the offender was never reformed by the of prohibited drugs. While he was serving sentence, he got involved in a quarrel
fact that he already served the penalty imposed on him on the first conviction. and killed a fellow inmate. Is he a quasi-recidivist? Yes, because while serving
However, if he commits a felony carrying a lighter penalty; subsequently, the sentence, he committed a felony.
law considers that somehow he has been reformed but if he, again commits
another felony which carries a lighter penalty, then he becomes a repeater The emphasis is on the nature of the crime committed while serving sentence
because that means he has not yet reformed. or before serving sentence. It should not be a violation of a special law.

You will only consider the penalty in reiteracion if there is already a second Quasi-recidivism is a special aggravating circumstance. This cannot be offset by
conviction. When there is a third conviction, you disregard whatever penalty for any mitigating circumstance and the imposition of the penalty in the maximum
the subsequent crimes committed. Even if the penalty for the subsequent period cannot be lowered by any ordinary mitigating circumstance. When there
crimes committed are lighter than the ones already served, since there are is a privileged mitigating circumstance, the penalty prescribed by law for the
already two of them subsequently, the offender is already a repeater. crime committed shall be lowered by 1 or 2 degrees, as the case may be, but
then it shall be imposed in the maximum period if the offender is a quasi-
However, if there is only a second conviction, pay attention to the penalty recidivist.
attached to the crime which was committed for the second crime. That is why it
is said that reiteracion is not always aggravating. This is so because if the
penalty attached to the felony subsequently committed is not equal or higher
than the penalty already served, even if literally, the offender is a repeater, In consideration of a price, reward or promise
repetition is not aggravating.
The Supreme Court rulings before indicate that this circumstance aggravates
only the criminal liability of the person who committed the crime in
Quasi-recidivism consideration of the price, promise, or reward but not the criminal liability of
the person who gave the price, reward or consideration. However, when there
This is found in Article 160. The offender must already be convicted by final is a promise, reward or price offered or given as a consideration for the
judgement and therefore to have served the penalty already, but even at this commission of the crime, the person making the offer is an inducer, a principal
stage, he committed a felony before beginning to serve sentence or while by inducement while the person receiving the price, reward or promise who
serving sentence. would execute the crime is a principal by direct participation. Hence, their
responsibilities are the same. They are both principals and that is why the
Illustration: recent rulings of the Supreme Court are to the effect that this aggravating

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circumstance affects or aggravates not only the criminal liability of the receiver
of the price, reward or promise but also the criminal liability of the one giving (3) Sufficient lapse of time between such determination and execution, to
the offer. allow him to reflect upon the consequences of his act.

By means of inundation or fire Illustration:

Fire is not aggravating in the crime of arson. A, on Monday, thought of killing B on Friday. A knew that B is coming home
only on Friday so A decided to kill B on Friday evening when he comes home.
Whenever a killing is done with the use of fire, as when to kill someone, you On Thursday, A met B and killed him. Is there evident premeditation? None
burn down his house while the latter is inside, this is murder. but there is treachery as the attack was sudden.

There is no such crime as murder with arson or arson with homicide. The crime Can there be evident premeditation when the killing is accidental? No. In
committed is only murder. evident premeditation, there must be a clear reflection on the part of the
offender. However, if the killing was accidental, there was no evident
If the victim is already dead and the house is burned, the crime is arson. It is premeditation. What is necessary to show and to bring about evident
either arson or murder. premeditation aside from showing that as some prior time, the offender has
manifested the intention to kill the victim, and subsequently killed the victim.
If the intent is to destroy property, the crime is arson even if someone dies as a
consequence. If the intent is to kill, there is murder even if the house is burned Illustrations:
in the process.
A and B fought. A told B that someday he will kill B. On Friday, A killed B. A
Illustration: and B fought on Monday but since A already suffered so many blows, he told B,
"This week shall not pass, I will kill you." On Friday, A killed B. Is there evident
A and B were arguing about something. One argument led to another until A premeditation in both cases? None in both cases. What condition is missing to
struck B to death with a bolo. A did not know that C, the son of B was also in bring about evident premeditation? Evidence to show that between Monday
their house and who was peeping through the door and saw what A did. Afraid and Friday, the offender clung to his determination to kill the victim, acts
that A might kill him, too, he hid somewhere in the house. A then dragged B's indicative of his having clung to his determination to kill B.
body and poured gasoline on it and burned the house altogether. As a
consequence, C was burned and eventually died too. A and B had a quarrel. A boxed B. A told B, "I will kill you this week." A bought
firearms. On Friday, he waited for B but killed C instead. Is there evident
As far as the killing of B is concerned, it is homicide since it is noted that they premeditation? There is aberratio ictus. So, qualify. Insofar as B is concerned,
were arguing. It could not be murder. As far as the killing of C is concerned, the crime is attempted murder because there is evident premeditation.
the crime is arson since he intended to burn the house only. However, that murder cannot be considered for C. Insofar as C is concerned,
the crime is homicide because there was no evident premeditation.
No such crime as arson with homicide. Law enforcers only use this to indicate
that a killing occurred while arson was being committed. At the most, you Evident premeditation shall not be considered when the crime refers to a
could designate it as “death as a consequence of arson.” different person other than the person premeditated against.

While it is true that evident premeditation may be absorbed in treachery

Evident premeditation because the means, method and form of attack may be premeditated and
would be resorted to by the offender. Do not consider both aggravating
For evident premeditation to be aggravating, the following conditions must circumstances of treachery and evident premeditation against the offender. It
concur: is only treachery because the evident premeditation is the very conscious act of
the offender to ensure the execution.
(1) The time when the accused determined to commit the crime;
But there may be evident premeditation and there is treachery also when the
(2) An act manifestly indicating that the accused has clung to his attack was so sudden.

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A and B are enemies. They fought on Monday and parted ways. A decided to Aggravating in a case where the offenders pretended to be bona fide
seek revenge. He bought a firearm and practiced shooting and then sought B. passengers of a jeepney in order not to arouse suspicion, but once inside the
When A saw B in the restaurant with so many people, A did not dare fire at B jeepney, robbed the passengers and the driver (People v. Lee, decided on
for fear that he might hit a stranger but instead, A saw a knife and used it to December 20, 1991).
stab B with all suddenness. Evident premeditation was not absorbed in
treachery because treachery refers to the manner of committing the crime.
Evident premeditation is always absorbed in treachery. Abuse of superior strength

This is one aggravating circumstance where the offender who premeditated, the There must be evidence of notorious inequality of forces between the offender
law says evident. It is not enough that there is some premeditation. and the offended party in their age, size and strength, and that the offender
Premeditation must be clear. It is required that there be evidence showing took advantage of such superior strength in committing the crime. The mere
meditation between the time when the offender determined to commit the fact that there were two persons who attacked the victim does not per se
crime and the time when the offender executed the act. It must appear that the constitute abuse of superior strength (People v. Carpio, 191 SCRA 12).
offender clung to his determination to commit the crime. The fact that the
offender premeditated is not prima facie indicative of evident premeditation as
the meeting or encounter between the offender and the offended party was Treachery
only by chance or accident.
Treachery refers to the employment of means, method and form in the
In order for evident premeditation to be considered, the very person/offended commission of the crime which tend directly and specially to insure its
party premeditated against must be the one who is the victim of the crime. It is execution without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended
not necessary that the victim is identified. It is enough that the victim is party might make. The means, method or form employed my be an
determined so he or she belongs to a group or class who may be premeditated aggravating circumstance which like availing of total darkness in nighttime or
against. This is a circumstance that will qualify a killing from homicide to availing of superior strength taken advantage of by the offender, employing
murder. means to weaken the defense.

Illustration: Illustration:

A person who has been courting a lady for several years now has been jilted. A and B have been quarreling for some time. One day, A approached B and
Because of this, he thought of killing somebody. He, then bought a knife, befriended him. B accepted. A proposed that to celebrate their renewed
sharpened it and stabbed the first man he met on the street. It was held that friendship, they were going to drink. B was having too much to drink. A was
evident premeditation is not present. It is essential for this aggravating just waiting for him to get intoxicated and after which, he stabbed B.
circumstance for the victim to be identified from the beginning.
A pretended to befriend B, just to intoxicate the latter. Intoxication is the
A premeditated to kill any member of particular fraternity. He then killed one. means deliberately employed by the offender to weaken the defense of the
This is murder – a homicide which has been qualified into murder by evident offended party. If this was the very means employed, the circumstance may be
premeditation which is a qualifying circumstance. Same where A planned to kill treachery and not abuse of superior strength or means to weaken the defense.
any member of the Iglesio ni Kristo.
What is the essence of treachery?
There are some crimes which cannot be aggravated by evident premeditation
because they require some planning before they can be committed. Evident The essence of treachery is that by virtue of the means, method or form
premeditation is part of the crime like kidnapping for ransom, robbery with employed by the offender, the offended party was not able to put up any
force upon things where there is entry into the premises of the offended party, defense. If the offended party was able to put up a defense, even only a token
and estafa through false pretenses where the offender employs insidious means one, there is no treachery anymore. Instead some other aggravating
which cannot happen accidentally. circumstance may be present but not treachery anymore.

A and B quarreled. However A had no chance to fight with B because A is much
smaller than B. A thought of killing B but then he cannot just attack B because

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of the latter's size. So, A thought of committing a crime at nighttime with the offender to render the offended party defenseless (People v. Ilagan, 191
cover of darkness. A positioned himself in the darkest part of the street where SCRA 643).
B passes on his way home. One evening, A waited for B and stabbed B.
However, B pulled a knife as well and stabbed A also. A was wounded but not But where children of tender years were killed, being one year old and 12 years
mortal so he managed to run away. B was able to walk a few steps before he old, the killing is murder even if the manner of attack was not shown (People
fell and died. What crime was committed? v. Gahon, decided on April 30, 1991).

The crime is only homicide because the aggravating circumstance is In People v. Lapan, decided on July 6, 1992, the accused was prosecuted
only nocturnity and nocturnity is not a qualifying circumstance. The for robbery with homicide. Robbery was not proven beyond reasonable doubt.
reason why treachery cannot be considered as present here is because Accused held liable only for the killings. Although one of the victims was barely
the offended party was able to put up a defense and that negates six years old, the accused was convicted only for homicide, aggravated by
treachery. In treachery, the offended party, due to the means, method dwelling and in disregard of age.
or form employed by the offender, the offended party was denied the
chance to defend himself. If because of the cover of darkness, B was Treachery not appreciated where quarrel and heated discussion preceded a
not able to put up a defense and A was able to flee while B died, the killing, because the victim would be put on guard (People v. Gupo). But
crime is murder because there is already treachery. In the first although a quarrel preceded the killing where the victim was atop a coconut
situation, the crime was homicide only, the nighttime is generic tree, treachery was considered as the victim was not in a position to defend
aggravating circumstance. himself (People v. Toribio).

In the example where A pretended to befriend B and invited him to celebrate

their friendship, if B despite intoxication was able to put up some fight against Distinction between ignominy and cruelty
A but eventually, B died, then the attendant circumstance is no longer
treachery but means employed to weaken the defense. But in murder, this is Ignominy shocks the moral conscience of man while cruelty is physical.
also a qualifying circumstance. The crime committed is murder but then the Ignominy refers to the moral effect of a crime and it pertains to the moral
correct circumstance is not treachery but means employed to weaken the order, whether or not the victim is dead or alive. Cruelty pertains to physical
defense. suffering of the victim so the victim has to be alive. In plain language, ignominy
is adding insult to injury. A clear example is a married woman being raped
In the same manner, if the offender avails of the services of men and in the before the eyes of her husband.
commission of the crime, they took advantage of superior strength but
somehow, the offended party fought back, the crime is still murder if the victim In a case where the crime committed is rape and the accused abused the
is killed. Although the qualifying circumstance is abuse of superior strength and victims from behind, the Supreme Court considered the crime as aggravated by
not treachery, which is also a qualifying circumstance of murder under Article ignominy. Hence, raping a woman from behind is ignominous because this is
248. not the usual intercourse, it is something which offends the moral of the
offended woman. This is how animals do it.
Treachery is out when the attack was merely incidental or accidental because in
the definition of treachery, the implication is that the offender had consciously In a case of homicide, while the victim after having been killed by the offender,
and deliberately adopted the method, means and form used or employed by the offender shoved the body inside a canal, ignominy is held aggravating.
him. So, if A and B casually met and there and then A stabbed B, although
stabbing may be sudden since A was not shown to have the intention of killing After having been killed, the body was thrown into pile of garbage, ignominy is
B, treachery cannot be considered present. aggravating. The Supreme Court held that it added shame to the natural effects
of the crime.
There must be evidenced on how the crime was committed. It is not enough to
show that the victim sustained treacherous wound. Example: A had a gunshot Cruelty and ignominy are circumstances brought about which are not necessary
wound at the back of his head. The SC ruled this is only homicide because in the commission of the crime.
treachery must be proven. It must be shown that the victim was totally
defenseless. Illustration:

Suddenness of the attack does not by itself constitute treachery in the absence A and B are enemies. A upon seeing B pulled out a knife and stabbed B 60
of evidence that the manner of the attack was consciously adopted by the times. Will that fact be considered as an aggravating circumstance of cruelty?

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No, there is cruelty only when there are evidence that the offender inflicted the An organized or syndicated crime group means a group of two or more persons
stab wounds while enjoying or delighted to see the victim in pain. For cruelty collaborating, confederating or mutually helping one another for purposes of
to exist as an aggravating circumstance, there must be evidence showing that gain in the commission of a crime.
the accused inflicted the alleged cruel wounds slowly and gradually and that he
is delighted seeing the victim suffer in pain. In the absence of evidence to this With this provision, the circumstance of an organized or syndicated crime group
effect, there is no cruelty. Sixty stab wounds do not ipso facto make them having committed the crime has been added in the Code as a special
aggravating circumstances of cruelty. The crime is murder if 60 wounds were aggravating circumstance. The circumstance being special or qualifying, it
inflicted gradually; absence of this evidence means the crime committed is only must be alleged in the information and proved during the trial. Otherwise, if
homicide. not alleged in the information, even though proven during the trial, the court
cannot validly consider the circumstances because it is not among those
Cruelty is aggravating in rape where the offender tied the victim to a bed and enumerated under Article 14 of the Code as aggravating. It is noteworthy,
burnt her face with a lighted cigarette while raping her laughing all the way however, that there is an organized or syndicated group even when only two
(People v. Lucas, 181 SCRA 315). persons collaborated, confederated, or mutually helped one another in the
commission of a crime, which acts are inherent in a conspiracy. Where
therefore, conspiracy in the commission of the crime is alleged in the
Unlawful entry information, the allegation may be considered as procedurally sufficient to
warrant receiving evidence on the matter during trial and consequently, the
Unlawful entry is inherent in the crime of robbery with force upon things but said special aggravating circumstance can be appreciated if proven.
aggravating in the crime of robbery with violence against or intimidation of
Alternative circumstances

Motor vehicle Four alternative circumstances

The Supreme Court considers strictly the use of the word “committed”, that the (1) Relationship;
crime is committed with the use of a motor vehicle, motorized means of
transportation or motorized watercraft. There is a decision by the Court of (2) Intoxication;
Appeals that a motorized bicycle is a motor vehicle even if the offender used
only the foot pedal because he does not know how to operate the motor so if a (3) Degree of instruction; and
bicycle is used in the commission of the crime, motor vehicle becomes
aggravating if the bicycle is motorized. (4) Education.

This circumstance is aggravating only when used in the commission of the Use only the term alternative circumstance for as long as the particular
offense. If motor vehicle is used only in the escape of the offender, motor circumstance is not involved in any case or problem. The moment it is given in
vehicle is not aggravating. To be aggravating, it must have been used to a problem, do not use alternative circumstance, refer to it as aggravating or
facilitate the commission of the crime. mitigating depending on whether the same is considered as such or the other.
If relationship is aggravating, refer to it as aggravating. If mitigating, then
Aggravating when a motorized tricycle was used to commit the crime refer to it as such.

Except for the circumstance of intoxication, the other circumstances in Article

Organized or syndicated crime group 15 may not be taken into account at all when the circumstance has no bearing
on the crime committed. So the court will not consider this as aggravating or
In the same amendment to Article 62 of the Revised Penal Code, paragraphs mitigating simply because the circumstance has no relevance to the crime that
were added which provide that the maximum penalty shall be imposed if the was committed.
offense was committed by any person who belongs to an organized or
syndicated crime group. Do not think that because the article says that these circumstances are
mitigating or aggravating, that if the circumstance is present, the court will
have to take it as mitigating, if not mitigating, aggravating. That is wrong. It
is only the circumstance of intoxication which if not mitigating, is automatically

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aggravating. But the other circumstances, even if they are present, but if they this reason is not present, intoxication will not be considered mitigating. So
do not influence the crime, the court will not consider it at all. Relationship the mere fact that the offender has taken one or more cases of beer of itself
may not be considered at all, especially if it is not inherent in the commission of does not warrant a conclusion that intoxication is mitigating. There must be
the crime. Degree of instruction also will not be considered if the crime is indication that because of the alcoholic intake of the offender, he is suffering
something which does not require an educated person to understand. from diminished self control. There is diminished voluntariness insofar as his
intelligence or freedom of action is concerned. It is not the quantity of alcoholic
drink. Rather it is the effect of the alcohol upon the offender which shall be the
Relationship basis of the mitigating circumstance.

Relationship is not simply mitigating or aggravating. There are specific Illustration:

circumstances where relationship is exempting. Among such circumstances
are: In a case, there were two laborers who were the best of friends. Since it was
payday, they decided to have some good time and ordered beer. When they
(1) In the case of an accessory who is related to the principal within the drank two cases of beer they became more talkative until they engaged in an
relationship prescribed in Article 20; argument. One pulled out a knife and stabbed the other. When arraigned he
invoked intoxication as a mitigating circumstance. Intoxication does not simply
(2) Also in Article 247, a spouse does not incur criminal liability for a crime mean that the offender has partaken of so much alcoholic beverages. The
of less serious physical injuries or serious physical injuries if this was intoxication in law requires that because of the quality of the alcoholic drink
inflicted after having surprised the offended spouse or paramour or taken, the offender had practically lost self control. So although the offender
mistress committing actual sexual intercourse. may have partaken of two cases of beer, but after stabbing the victim he hailed
a tricycle and even instructed the driver to the place where he is sleeping and
(3) Those commonly given in Article 332 when the crime of theft, the tricycle could not reach his house and so he has to alight and walk to his
malicious mischief and swindling or estafa. There is no criminal house, then there is no diminished self control. The Supreme Court did not
liability but only civil liability if the offender is related to the offended give the mitigating circumstance because of the number of wounds inflicted
party as spouse, ascendant, or descendant or if the offender is a upon the victim. There were 11 stab wounds and this, the Supreme Court said,
brother or sister or brother in law or sister in law of the offended party is incompatible with the idea that the offender is already suffering from
and they are living together. Exempting circumstance is the diminished self control. On the contrary, the indication is that the offender
relationship. This is an absolutory cause. gained strength out of the drinks he had taken. It is not the quantity of drink
that will determine whether the offender can legally invoke intoxication. The
Sometimes, relationship is a qualifying and not only a generic aggravating conduct of the offender, the manner of committing the crime, his behavior after
circumstance. In the crime of qualified seduction, the offended woman must be committing the crime must show the behavior of a man who has already lost
a virgin and less than 18 yrs old. But if the offender is a brother of the control of himself. Otherwise intoxication cannot legally be considered.
offended woman or an ascendant of the offended woman, regardless of
whether the woman is of bad reputation, even if the woman is 60 years old or
more, crime is qualified seduction. In such a case, relationship is qualifying. Degree of instruction and education

These are two distinct circumstances. One may not have any degree of
Intoxication instruction but is nevertheless educated. Example: A has been living with
professionals for sometime. He may just be a maid in the house with no
This circumstance is ipso facto mitigating, so that if the prosecution wants to degree of instruction but he may still be educated.
deny the offender the benefit of this mitigation, they should prove that it is
habitual and that it is intentional. The moment it is shown to be habitual or It may happen also that the offender grew up in a family of
intentional to the commission of the crime, the same will immediately professionals, only he is the black sheep because he did not want to go
aggravate, regardless of the crime committed. to school. But it does not follow that he is bereft of education.

Intoxication to be considered mitigating, requires that the offender has reached If the offender did not go higher than Grade 3 and he was involved in a felony,
that degree of intoxication where he has no control of himself anymore. The he was invoking lack of degree of education. The Supreme Court held that
idea is the offender, because of the intoxication is already acting under although he did not receive schooling, yet it cannot be said that he lacks
diminished self control. This is the rational why intoxication is mitigating. So if

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education because he came from a family where brothers are all professionals. (a) PICKING UP KNIFE OF RAPIST PREPARING TO LIE WITH
So he understands what is right and wrong. ACCUSED AND STABBING HIM).

The fact that the offender did not have schooling and is illiterate does not PEOPLE vs. LUAGUE
mitigate his liability if the crime committed is one which he inherently
understands as wrong such as parricide. If a child or son or daughter would kill Keyword: Woman about to be raped while her husband was at work. Victim,
a parent, illiteracy will not mitigate because the low degree of instruction has jumping from the window fell on some stones.
no bearing on the crime.
Issue: W/N the defendant is entitled on grounds of legitimate self-
In the same manner, the offender may be a lawyer who committed rape. The defense.
fact that he has knowledge of the law will not aggravate his liability, because
his knowledge has nothing to do with the commission of the crime. But if he Decision: Yes. The defendant’s act constitutes a justifying circumstance since:
committed falsification, that will aggravate his criminal liability, where he used Aside from the right to life on which rests the legitimate defense of our person,
his special knowledge as a lawyer. we have the right to property acquired by us, and the right to honor which is
not the least prized of our patrimony. All the requisites of exempting
circumstance are present and should be taken into consideration.

Keywords: fencing, “gaddemit!”, land dispute, self-defense PEOPLE vs. APEGO

Issue: Can the defendant, after admitting having shot the deceased from the Keyword: Paranoid sister, couple coming from Nasugbu, husband stabbed at
window of his house with a shotgun under the foregoing circumstances claim the vital organ by the sister with fan knife and TIN CANS.
that he did so in defense of his person and his rights and therefore he should
be exempted from criminal liability. Issue: W/N the defendant can plead complete self-defense.

Decision: No. defense of one’s person or rights is treated as a justifying Decision: When a sleeping woman is awakened at night by some one touching
circumstance under Article 11 , paragraph 1 of the RPC, but in order for it to be her or grasping her arm, and she, believing that some person is attempting to
appreciated, the following requisite should be present: unlawful aggression, abuse her asks who the intruder is and receives no reply, attacks the said
reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it and lack of person with a pocketknife, and the nature of the wound shows that she was
sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. There is no either standing up or sitting up at the time, it is concluded that,
question that there was aggression on the part of the victims: one of the notwithstanding the woman's belief in the supposed attempt, there was not
deceased ordering while the other actually participating in the fencing. The sufficient provocation to justify her in using a deadly weapon; although she
third element is also present. However, reasonableness of the resistance is also actually believed it to be the beginning of an attempt against her, she was not
a requirement of the justifying circumstance of self-defense or defense of one's warranted in making such a deadly assault, as the injured person did not insist
rights under paragraph I of Article 11, Revised Penal Code. When the appellant or repeat any act which could be considered as an attempt against her honor.
fired his shotgun from his window, killing his two victims, his resistance was The accused exceeded her right of self-defense since there was really no need
disproportionate to the attack. Appellant is therefore guilty beyond reasonable of wounding the victim. There was no reasonable cause for striking a blow in
doubt of only two (2) homicides, mitigated by the privileged extenuating the center of the body where the vital parts are located. Thus, in the
circumstance of incomplete self-defense. commission of the crime, there was present the circumstance of incomplete
exemption from responsibility since the second requisite is missing.

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Keywords: Constabulary versus Police. Defendant was a police
threatened by the constabulary.
Keywords: Woman kills her paramour who was not her live-in partner saying
that the latter tried to rape her. Issue: W/N the defendant can maintain that he killed the victim in
self-defense and that he is exempt from criminal liability.
Issue: W/N the woman can plead self-defense considering that the man seems
to be asleep when he was killed. Decision: Yes. There was no provocation on the defendant’s part. A
policeman in the performance of his duty must stand his ground and
Decision: When it is proven that the deceased had for some time maintained cannot take refuge in flight when attacked. His duty requires him to
illicit relations with the accused, being accustomed to pass the night in her overcome his opponent and the force he may exert therefore differs
house, it cannot be believed that it was necessary for him to resort to violence, somewhat from that which ordinarily may be offered in self-defense.
and therefore a statement alleging such violence is improbable and inadmissible Under the circumstances, the force employed by the defendant was
as a basis for an exemption from liability, upon the ground that the accused in reasonably necessary and that he acted in legitimate self-defense.
committing the homicide acted in self-defense. The crime having been
committed by the owner of the house against the person who had by mutual PEOPLE vs. ALCONGA
consent frequented the house, and at a time when they were both in bed, the
circumstance of nocturnity cannot be considered because the nighttime was not Keywords: Gambling, defendant cheated the victim. Victim became so
purposely selected by the accused. angry and threatened to inflict harm on the defendant. Guards.
i. Unlawful Aggression
Issue: W/N the defendant is entitled to acquittal for having killed the
When present victim in the exercise of his right of self-defense.
Attempt to rape a woman
Decision: No. There were two stages in the fight. In the initial stage,
PEOPLE VS. LUAGUE, SUPRA the deceased assaulted the defendant but the latter was able to resist
the aggression. When the deceased retreated, there was no longer any
US vs. DOMEN danger to the life of the accused but the latter pursued him and
inflicted many additional wounds. An accused was no longer acting in
Keyword: Fight over a carabao, striking with a “Japanese wood” and inflicting self-defense when he pursued and killed a fleeing adversary, though
with a tuba knife causing the victim’s death. originally the unlawful aggressor, there being then no more aggression
to defend against, the same having ceased from the moment the
Issue: W/N there is a reasonable necessity for the means employed to repel deceased took to his heels. Since one of the ingredients of self-defense
the attack. is missing, complete self-defense cannot be invoked.

Decision: Yes. There was reasonable necessity for the means employed
by X to repel the attack. The ancient common law rule in homicide was PEOPLE vs. LAUREL
denominated “retreat to the wall”. This doctrine make it the duty of a
person assailed to retreat as far as he can before he is justified in Keywords: Stolen kiss. Both men accused each other for starting the
meeting force with force. This principle has now given way in the US to fight.
“stand ground when in the right” rule. Accused did not provoke the
assault. The law did not require the accused to retreat. The element of Issue: W/N it was the defendant who was the assailant.
practicability made it impossible for him to determine during the heat
of a sudden attack whether he would increase or diminish the risk to Decision: Considering the preceding relations between the contending
which exposed by standing his ground or stepping aside. The parties, it is the offended party who was directly or indirectly affected
resistance was not disappropriate to the assault thus the accused is and who would naturally be interested in demanding an explanation
exempted from criminal liability because he acted in legitimate defense and therefore in seeking the interview, so that when they meet it is to
of his person. be presumed that such offended party, when not satisfied with the

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explanation offered, would be the aggressor, and this presumption is Decision: No. The killing was done in the performance f a duty. The
confirmed by the evidence. The victim then can invoke self-defense. deceased was under the obligation to surrender and had no right after
evading service of his sentence, to commit assault and disobedience
PEOPLE VS. CABUNGCAL with a weapon in the hand, which although the policeman to resort to
such an extreme means which, although it proved to be fatal, was
Keywords: ROCK THE BOAT! justified by the circumstance. Policeman committed no crime.

Issue: W/N the defendant is completely exempted from all criminal VALCORZA vs. PEOPLE
Keywords: Detention prisoner charged of stealing chickens. Poultry
Decision: Yes. The appellant having acted in defense of his wife and area. Police only tried to hit the victim on the leg but unfortunately hit
child and the other passengers in the boat in striking the deceased with him on the back. The deceased did not head several warning shots.
an oar in order to make him desist from trying to upset the boat, and Issue: W/N the action of the defendant can be justified.
the means employed having been reasonably necessary in this defense,
while it was at the cost of the life of the deceased, he is completely Decision: The act performed was committed in the performance of
exempt from criminal liability. official duty and was more or less necessary to prevent the escaping
prisoner from successfully eluding the officers of the law. To hold the
US vs. SUBINGSUBING accused guilty of homicide may have the effect of demoralizing police
officers discharging official functions identical or similar to those in the
Keywords: 78 year old man aided by another man to parry the blows of performance of which petitioner was engaged at the time he fired at
X who made unchaste proposals to the old man’s wife. the deceased, with the result that thereafter, there would be half-
hearted and dispirited efforts on their part to comply with such official
Issue: W/N the person who aided the old man by furnishing a weapon duty. This would be a great detriment to public interest.
to the latter makes the former liable for homicide.
Decision: No. Where the one, who used the weapon, was declared to
be exempt from responsibility in repelling the attack of which he was Keywords: barbershop, insanity “I’ll kill you”, “I’ll pay you”
the victim and in wounding his assailant therewith, the logical
consequence of that declaration of exemption from responsibility is Issue: W/N the prosecution have the burden of proving that the
that the other, who furnished the legitimate weapon used in his accused was sane at the time he committed the crime.
defense should be also acquitted and declared exempt from any
responsibility. Decision: No. In the Philippines, the burden, to be sure, is on the
If one who defends a third person under the conditions and with the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant
requisites the penal law lays down for exempting him from committed the crime, but sanity is presumed, and when a defendant in
responsibility should be acquitted of the charge in a case prosecuted a criminal case interposes the defense of mental incapacity, the burden
against him, then when a person who did nothing more than furnish a of establishing that fact rests upon him. In the case at bar, the defense
weapon to one whom he saw in peril and in great need of defending interposed being that the defendant was insane at the time he killed
himself and repelling a serious assault, it is illogical and unjust to deny the deceased, the obligation of proving that affirmative allegation rests
to said assistant the same exemption from responsibility and the on the defense.
exoneration granted the slayer on the grounds of self-defense, as was
held in the same judgment to be lawful and right. HOW INSANITY IS PROVED

PEOPLE vs. DELIMA In order to ascertain a person's mental condition at the time of the act,
it is permissible to receive evidence of the condition of his mind a
Keywords: Escapee who was killed by a policeman while ordering the reasonable period both before and after that time. Direct testimony is
latter to surrender. not required nor are specific acts of derangement essential to establish
insanity as a defense. Mind can only be known by outward acts.
Issue: W/N the policeman should be held liable Thereby, we read the thoughts, the motives and emotions of a person
and come to determine whether his sets conform to the practice of

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people of sound mind. To prove insanity, therefore, circumstantial US vs. ELICANAL

evidence, if clear and convincing, suffice (People vs. Bonoan).
Keyword: Captain killed by shipmates. Impulse of uncontrollable fear
of a greater injury should the defendant refuse.
Issue: W/N the defendant can invoke that he was acting under the
Keywords: Insane security guard. Slave-driver teacher who asked the impulse if an uncontrollable fear of a greater injury.
guard to type test questionnaires.
Decision: Chief mate did not exercise influence over the accused.
Issue: W/N the defendant can be acquitted with the argument that he Before a force can be considered to be an irresistible one, or must
should be exempted from criminal liability on account of insanity. produce such an effect upon the individual that in spite of all
resistance, it reduces him to a mere instrument. The defense in a
Decision: No. For purposes of disposing of appellant's defense it criminal action that the defendant in committing the crime acted under
becomes necessary to restate certain basic principles in criminal law, the impulse of an uncontrollable fear produced by a threat of an equal
viz. that a person is criminally liable for a felony committed by him; or greater injury to himself can be held to be sustained, it must appear
that a felonious or criminal act (delito doloso) is presumed to have that the threat which caused the fear was of an evil greater that, or at
been done with deliberate intent, that is, with freedom intelligence, least equal to that which he was required to commit and that it
and malice because the moral and legal presumption is that freedom promised an evil of such gravity and imminence that it might be said,
and intelligence constitute the normal condition of a person in the that the, ordinary man would have succeeded to it.
absence of evidence to the contrary; that one of the causes which will
overthrow this presumption of voluntariness and intelligence is US vs. VICENTILLO
insanity in which even the actor is exempt from criminal liability as
provided for in Article 12, paragraph 1, of the Revised Penal Code. In Keywords: illegal detention; unfortunate circumstances than
the eyes of the law, insanity exist when there is a complete deprivation prolonged the detention; trivial crime committed by X to a municipal
of intelligence in committing the act, that is, the accused is deprived of president.
reason, he acts without the least discernment because there is a
complete absence of the power to discern, or that there is a total Issue: W/N the municipal president can be found guilty of “illegal and
deprivation of freedom of the will; mere abnormality of the mental arbitrary detention” of the accused for a period of three days.
faculties will not exclude imputability. The onus probandi rest upon him
who invokes insanity as an exempting circumstances and he must Decision: No. The case of U. S. vs. Fortaleza followed as to the
prove it by clear and positive evidence. Applying these principles, authority of a municipal president to make an arrest without a warrant
defense fails. for an offense committed in his presence, the municipal president
being held to have all the usual powers of a public officer for the
US vs. KNIGHT making of arrests without warrant. Under all the circumstances of this
case, as set forth in the opinion, the defendant, after having arrested
Keyword: chauffer of US Army. Child was run over while the defendant the complaining witness without a warrant, brought him before a
was trying to overtake. justice of the peace as soon as "practicable" thereafter,
notwithstanding the fact that three days were expended in doing so. In
Issue: W/N the defendant should be charged for reason of reckless the absence of all evidence to the contrary, this court will not presume
negligence. that, in a particular case of defiance of local authority by the unlawful
violation of a local ordinance even where the offense thus committed
Decision: No. One person is not compelled to travel behind another on is, in itself, trivial and unimportant, it may not have been necessary or
the highway, and one has not the exclusive right to precede another. at least expedient to make an arrest and bring the offender forthwith
The traveler may pass to the front when he has good and sufficient before the proper judicial officer.
grounds to believe that he can do so in safety. Whatever may have
been the cause of an automobile accident, if it cannot be attributed to
the misconduct or the negligence of the operator in the management of PEOPLE vs. BANDIAN
his machine, he cannot be held liable either civilly or criminally.
Keywords: infanticide; baby killed by animal bites; abandonment

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circumstances to the same person if he is of compos mentis. Under the

Issue: W/N the mother can be held liable for infanticide and or delusion test, an insane person believes in a state of things, the
abandonment of a minor. existence of which no rational person would believe. A person acts
under an irresistible impulse when, by reason of duress or mental
Decision: Infanticide and abandonment of a minor, to be punishable, disease, he has lost the power to choose between right and wrong, to
must be committed willfully or consciously, or at least it must be the avoid the act in question, his free agency being at the time destroyed.
result of a voluntary, conscious and, free act or omission. Even in cases Under the right and wrong test, a person is insane when he suffers
where said crimes are committed through mere imprudence, the from such perverted condition of the mental and moral faculties as to
person who commits them, under said circumstance, must be in the full render him incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong. So
enjoyment of his mental faculties, or must be conscious of his acts, in far, under our jurisdiction, there has been no case that lays down a
order that he may be held liable. The law exempts from criminal definite test or criterion for insanity. However, We can apply as test or
liability any person who acts under the circumstances in which the criterion the definition of insanity under Section 1039 of the Revised
appellant acted in this case, by giving birth to a child in a thicket and Administrative Code, which states that insanity is "a manifestation in
later abandoning it, not because of imprudence or any other cause than language or conduct, of disease or defect of the brain, or a more or less
that she was overcome by severe dizziness and extreme debility, with permanently diseased or disordered condition of the mentality,
no fault or intention on her part. She has in her favor the fourth and functional or organic, and characterized by perversion, inhibition, or by
seventh exempting circumstances. disordered function of the sensory or of the intellective faculties, or by
impaired or disordered volition." Insanity as defined above is evinced
PEOPLE vs. DUNGO by a deranged and perverted condition of the mental faculties, which is
manifested in language or conduct. An insane person has no full and
Keywords: confined in a mental hospital for insanity but found sane clear understanding of the nature and consequence of his act. Thus,
while perpetuating the crime. Hiding a deadly weapon and embarking insanity may be shown by surrounding circumstances fairly throwing
to evade arrest are conscious adoption of the pattern to kill. DAR light on the subject, such as evidence of the alleged deranged person's
employee killed. general conduct and appearance, his acts and conduct inconsistent
with his previous character and habits, his irrational acts and beliefs,
Issue: W/N the defendant can be acquitted on the grounds of insanity. and his improvident bargains.
Evidence of insanity must have reference to the mental condition of the
Decision: One who suffers from insanity at the time of the commission person whose sanity is in issue, at the very time of doing the act, which
of the offense charged cannot in a legal sense entertain a criminal is the subject of inquiry. However, it is permissible to receive of his
intent and cannot be held criminally responsible for his acts. His mental condition for a reasonable period both before and after the
unlawful act is the product of a mental disease or a mental defect. In time of the act in question. Direct testimony is not required nor the
order that insanity may relieve a person from criminal responsibility, it specific acts of derangement essential to establish insanity as a
is necessary that there be a complete deprivation of intelligence in defense. The vagaries of the mind can only be known by outward acts:
committing the act, that is, that the accused be deprived of cognition; thereby we read the thoughts, motives and emotions of a person; and
that he acts without the least discernment; that there be complete through which we determine whether his acts conform to the practice
absence or deprivation of the freedom of the will (People vs. Puno). of people of sound mind.
The fact that the defendant remembered his acts proves that he was
not insane or if insane, his insanity admitted of lucid intervals. HOW COURTS SHOULD CONSIDER BURDEN OF PROOF IN CASES INVOLVING
Insanity in law exists when there is a complete deprivation of PLEA OF INSANITY
Generally, in criminal cases, every doubt is resolved in favor of the
DISTINGUISH INSANITY FROM SANITY accused. However, in the defense of insanity, doubt as to the fact of
insanity should be resolved in favor of sanity. The burden of proving
It is difficult to distinguish from insanity. There no definite defined the affirmative allegation of insanity rests on the defense. Thus: In
border between sanity and insanity. Under foreign jurisdiction, there considering the plea of insanity as a defense in a prosecution for crime,
are three major criteria in determining the existence of insanity, the starting premise is that the law presumes all persons to be of
namely: delusion test, irresistible impulse test, and the right and wrong sound mind. Otherwise stated, the law presumes all acts to be
test. Insane delusion is manifested by a false belief for which there is voluntary, and that it is improper to presume that acts were done
no reasonable basis and which would be incredible under the given

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unconsciously. Whoever, therefore, invokes insanity as a defense has person accused of a crime has the burden of proving his affirmative
the burden of proving its existence. allegation of insanity.
The quantum of evidence required to overthrow the presumption of
sanity is proof beyond reasonable doubt. Insanity is a defense in a AGGARVATING AND MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES
confession and avoidance, and as such must be proved beyond
reasonable doubt. Insanity must be clearly and satisfactorily proved in US vs. HICKS
order to acquit an accused on the ground of insanity. Appellant has not
successfully discharged the burden of overcoming the presumption that Keyword: Afro-American soldier and Moro woman having an illicit
he committed the crime as charged freely, knowingly, and intelligently. affair. The woman found another man. Jealousy. Evident
Lastly, the State should guard against sane murderer escaping premeditation.
punishment through a general plea of insanity. (People vs. Dungo).
Issue No 1: W/N murder was committed.
Decision: The above-stated facts, which have been fully proven in the
Keywords: Schizophrenic person pleading not guilty for the crime of present case, constitute the crime of murder, defined and punished by
rape. Accused confined in the mental hospital after the incident. article 403 of the Penal Code, in that the woman Agustina Sola met a
Seclusive who allege that he hears sounds, which he described as violent death, with the qualifying circumstance of treachery (alevosia),
“parang ibon, tinig ng ibon”. she being suddenly and roughly attacked and unexpectedly fired upon
with a 45-caliber revolver, at close, if not point blank range, while the
Issue: W/N the defendant can be acquitted of the charge of rape on injured woman was unarmed and unprepared, and at a time when she
the ground that he was suffering from a mental disorder called was listening to a conversation, in which she was concerned, between
schizophrenia at the time he committed the crime. her aggressor and a third person, and after usual and customary words
had passed between her and her aggressor. From all of the foregoing it
Decision: No. The allegation of insanity or imbecility must be clearly is logically inferred that means, manners, and forms were employed in
proved. Without positive evidence that the defendant had previously the attack that directly and specially insured the consummation of the
lost his reason or was demented, a few moments prior to or during the crime without such risk to the author thereof as might have been
perpetration of the crime, it will be presumed that he was in normal offered by the victim who, owing to the suddenness of the attack, was
condition. Acts penalized by law are always refuted to be voluntary, doubtless unable to flee from the place where she was standing, or
and it is improper to conclude that a person acted unconsciously, in even escape or divert the weapon.
order to relieve him from liability, on the basis of his mental condition,
unless his insanity and absence of will are proved. The standard set out Issue No. 2: W/N Evident premeditation can be appreciated.
in Formigones were commonly adopted in subsequent case, namely:
(a) the tests of cognition-"complete deprivation of intelligence in Decision: Yes. The circumstance of premeditation can be appreciated
committing the [criminal] act," and (b) the test of violation-"or that but should only be considered as merely a generic one. Premeditation
there be a total deprivation of freedom of the will." But our case law is, however, manifest and evident by reason of the open acts executed
shows common reliance on the test of cognition, rather than on the test by the accused. All the foregoing circumstances conclusively prove that
relating to "freedom of the will;" examination of the case law has failed the accused, deliberately and after due reflection had resolved to kill
to turn up any case where this Court has exempted an accused on the the woman who had left him for another man, and in order to
sole ground that he was totally deprived of "freedom of the will," i.e., accomplish his perverse intention with safety, notwithstanding the fact
without an accompanying "complete deprivation of intelligence." This that he was already provided with a clean and well-prepared weapon
is perhaps to be expected since person's volition naturally reaches out and carried other loaded cartridges besides those already in his
only towards that which is presented as desirable by his intelligence, revolver, he entered the house, greeting everyone courteously and
whether that intelligence be diseased be healthy. In any case, where conversed with his victim, in what appeared to be a proper manner,
the accused failed to show complete impairment or loss of intelligence, disguising his intention and calming her by his apparent repose and
the Court has recognized at most a mitigating, not an exempting, tranquility, doubtless in order to successfully accomplish his criminal
circumstance in accord with Article 13(9) of the Revised Penal Code. design, behaving himself properly as he had planned to do beforehand.
"Such illness of the offender as would diminish the exercise of the will-
power of the offender without however depriving him of the
consciousness of his Acts." The law presumes every man to be sane. A

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Issue No 3: W/N the accused can invoke loss of reason and self-
control produced by jealousy. Decision: Yes. Her act of mortally wounding her lover had not been
precede by aggression on the part of the latter. There is no occasion to
Decision: No. The only causes which mitigate the criminal speak her of the “reasonable necessity of the means employed to
responsibility for the loss of self-control are such as originate from prevent or repel it", nor is it necessary to inquire whether or not there
legitimate feelings, not those which arise from vicious, unworthy, and was "sufficient provocation" on the part of the one invoking legitimate
immoral passions. self-defense because both circumstances presuppose unlawful
aggression, which, we repeat, was not present in the instant case.
Issue No. 2: W/N a slight pushing of the head which hurt the woman
Keywords: Due to heat of passion, a man kills his concubine upon can be considered a mitigating circumstance:
discovering that she had carnal communication with another man.
Decision: No. A slight push of the head with the hand-which,
Issue No. 1: W/N the circumstances can be considered an extenuation according to her was the cause that led her to stab him, such act does
of his criminal liability. not constitute the unlawful aggression mentioned by the Code, to repel
which it is lawful to employ a means of defense which may be
Decision: Yes. The commission of the offense of which defendant was reasonably necessary. "Considering that an unlawful aggression. as a
convicted was marked with the extenuating circumstance defined in fundamental requisite of self-defense is not necessarily implied in any
subsection 7 of article 9, in that defendant "acted upon an impulse so act of aggression against a particular person, when the author of the
powerful as naturally to have produced passion and obfuscation," the same does not persist in his purpose or when he desists therefrom to
evidence disclosing that in the heat of passion he killed the deceased, the extent that the person attacked is no longer in peril.
who had theretofore been his querida (concubine or lover), upon
discovering her in flagrante in carnal communication with a mutual Issue No. 3: W/N she is entitled to a mitigating circumstance of lack of
acquaintance. intention to cause grave injury. .

Issue No 2: W/N this case can be decided based on Hick’s case. Decision: No. The stab-wound inflicted upon the deceased by the
accused was not only mortal, but the victim thus wounded and running
Decision: No. In the former case the cause of the alleged "passion and away was also pursued by the accused, knife in hand, and- the latter
obfuscation" of the aggressor was the convict's vexation, would perhaps have inflicted upon him other wounds had it not been
disappointment and anger engendered by the refusal of the woman to for the timely arrival of policeman who calmed her bellicose attitude
continue to live in illicit relations with him, which she had a perfect and placed her under arrest. This marked obstinacy of the accused in
right to do, his reason for killing her being merely that she had elected her aggression clearly reveals her intention to cause to its full extent
to leave him and with his full knowledge to go and live with another. In the injury she has committed.
the case at bar the impulse upon which the defendant acted, and which
naturally produced "passion and obfuscation," was not that the woman Issue No. 4: W/N the defendant is entitled to a mitigating
declined to have illicit relations with him, but the sudden revelation circumstance that she acted under obfuscation.
that she was untrue to him, and his discovery of her in flagrante in the
arms of another. As said by the supreme court of Spain in the above Decision: Yes. This mitigating circumstance should be taken into
cited decision, this was a "sufficient impulse" in the ordinary and consideration in favor of the accused, in view of the peculiar
natural course of things to produce the passion and obfuscation which circumstances of the case, especially the fact that the accused had
the law declares to be one of the extenuating circumstances to be been abandoned by the deceased after living together for three or four
taken into consideration by the court. years, and the harsh treatment which the deceased gave the accused
on the afternoon of the day in question, a short time before the
PEOPLE vs. YUMAN aggression.

Keyword: Man refused to go back to his live-in partner. “that woman”; Issue No 5: W/N she entitled to the mitigating circumstance of
penknife voluntary surrender to the authorities.

Issue No. 1: W/N the woman committed a crime.

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Decision: No. Under the circumstance, it would be an error to take into

consideration this circumstance. Issue No. 4: W/N nighttime maybe appreciated as aggravating
Issue No. 6: W/N she is entitled to a mitigating circumstance of lack of
instruction. Decision: No. The crime was committed at nighttime, but the accuse
did no seek or take advantage of it to better accomplish his purpose.
Decision: Yes. The defendant is a mere wage-earner and could not In fact, the place was bright and well lighted; hence the circumstance
even sign her statement before the police and had to affix her thumb did not aggravate the crime.
Issue no. 5: W/N the can be aggravating circumstance of abuse of
PEOPLE vs. BELLO confidence and obvious ungratefulness.

Keyword: Old man; kaingero; induced his young bride to work as a Decision: No. There is nothing to show that the assailant and his
public hostess. Woman refused to give support and was seeing another common-law wife reposed in one another any special confidence that
man. 5 glasses of tuba; White slave trade. could be abused, or any gratitude owed by one to the other that ought
to be respected, and which would bear any relation, or connection,
Issue No.1: W/N treachery can be appreciated in order to qualify the with the crime committed. None is inferable from the fact that the
crime to murder. accused was much older than his victim, or that he was penniless while
she was able to earn a living and occasionally gave him money, since,
Decision: While it cannot be denied that Alicia was stabbed at the back, both lived together as husband and wife. Neither is it shown that the
the wound was but a part and continuation of the aggression. The four accused took advantage of any such special confidence in order to
(4) stab wounds were inflicted indiscriminately, without regard as to carry out the crime.
which portion of her body was the subject of attack. The trial court
itself found that the stab in the back was inflicted as the victim was Issue No. 6: W/N the accused can claim a mitigating circumstance of
running away. For this reason, treachery cannot be imputed having acted on provocation strong to cause passion and obfuscation.

Issue No. 2: W/N there is evident premeditation. Decision: Yes. It will be recalled that the lower court found that the accused
Decision: Evident premeditation was, likewise, not established.. The had previously reproved the deceased for allowing herself to be caressed by a
accused had been carrying a balisong with him for a long time as a stranger. Her loose conduct was forcibly driven home to the accused by a
precaution against drunkards, and without any present plan or intent remark he heard on the very day of the crime that the accused was the
to use it against his commonlaw wife. That he watched her movements husband "whose wife was being used by Maring for purposes of prostitution", a
daily manifested his jealous character, but there is no evidence that remark that so deeply wounded the appellant's feelings that he was driven to
from this jealousy sprouted a plan to snuff out her life. consume a large amount of wine (tuba) before visiting the deceased to plead
with her to leave her work. Alicia's insulting refusal to renew her liaison with
Issue No. 3: W/N the crime can be qualified by abuse of superior the accused, therefore, was not motivated by any desire to lead a chaste life
strength. henceforth, but showed her determination to pursue a lucrative profession that
permitted her to distribute her favors indiscriminately. We can not see how the
Decision: No. The evidence does not show, either, any superior accused's insistence that she live with him again, and his rage at her rejection
strength on the part of the accused, and, not possessing it, he could not of the proposal, can be properly qualified as arising from immoral and unworthy
take advantage of it. True that he was armed with a balisong, but he passions. Even without benefit of wedlock, a monogamous liaison appears
was old and baldado (invalid), while Alicia was in the prime of her morally of a higher level than gainful promiscuity.
youth, and not infirm. The facts are not sufficient to draw a comparison
of their relative strength. Possession of a balisong gives an aggressor a PEOPLE vs. MACBUL
formidable advantage over the unarmed victim, but the physique of the
aggressor ought also to be considered. At any rate, taking into account Keywords: habitual delinquent; stealing two sacks of papers which
the emotional excitement of the accused, it is not clearly shown that belong to the Provincial Government of Sulu. Mitigating circumstance
there was "intención deliberada de prevalerse de la superioridad of plea of guilt and extreme poverty.
aprovecharse intencionadamente de la misma" i.e., deliberate intent to
take advantage of superior strength.

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Issue: W/N the court erred in considering the defendant a habitual PEOPLE vs. ONG

Decision: Yes. A person shall be deemed to be habitually delinquent, if within Keyword: Debt; Kidnapped, stabbed to death and buried. Victim even
a period of ten years from the date of his release or last conviction of the made a proposal of love to the wife of the accused in lieu the latter’s
crimes of robo, hurto, estafa, or falsificación, he is found guilty of any of said gambling debt.
crimes a third time or oftener." Therefore, appellant's first conviction, cannot be
taken into account because his second conviction took place fourteen years Issue: W/N the accused be held liable for the crimes of kidnapping
later. Hence within the purview of habitual delinquents, one previous conviction and murder.
against him, namely, that last one.
Decision: No. The crime was murder only. There was no illegal detention and
Issue No. 2: W/N extreme poverty can be appreciated as a mitigating victim was killed and promptly buried. On the basis of the foregoing evidence,
circumstance. the accused can hardly be held liable for kidnapping as well. It may not be
amiss to state that an accused is entitled to acquittal unless his guilt is shown
Decision: Yes. This court approves it, recognizing the immanent principle that by proof beyond reasonable doubt. (Rule 133, Section 1, Revised Rules of
the right to life is more sacred than a mere property right. That is not to Court). The evidence at hand hardly satisfied the requirement of proof beyond
encourage or even countenance theft but merely to dull somewhat the keen reasonable doubt as to the charge of kidnapping. The necessary result is that
and pain-producing edges of the stark realities of life. the accused can he held liable only for the killing of the victim. In other words,
the time interval when the deceased was actually deprived of his liberty was
short and the same was only incidental to the main objective of murdering him.

PEOPLE vs. DY POL Issue No 2: W/N treachery can be appreciated in qualifying the crime to
Keyword: falsification of public document; reduction of penalty due to
mitigating circumstance of plea of guilty and lack of irreparable Decision: Yes. Treachery (alevosia) qualified the killing to murder. Undisputed
material damage. facts show that the victim’s hands were tied and his mouth was gagged with a
flannel cloth before he was stabbed twice with an icepick and buried in a
Issue: W/N the accused is entitled to a mitigating circumstance of plea shallow grave near a creek. These facts portray well that the tied hands of the
of guilt. victim rendered him defenseless and helpless thereby allowing the accused to
commit the crime without risk at all to their person.
Decision: Yes. The plea of guilty spontaneously entered by the
accused prior to the presentation of the evidence for the prosecution Issue: W/N treachery can be appreciated as regards the two other accused
constitutes mitigating circumstance. who did not do the actual stabbing.

Issue No. 2: W/N the accused can invoke the fact that no irreparable Decision: Conspiracy, connivance and unity of purpose and intention
material damage was caused to the offended part in the commission of among the accused were present throughout in the execution of this
the crime. crime. The four participated in the planning and execution of the crime
and were at the scene in all its stages. They cannot escape the
Decision: No. The mitigating circumstance so invoked, which is that consequence of any of their acts even if they deviated in some detail
the crime committed by the accused has caused no irreparable material from what they originally thought of. Conspiracy implies concert of
damage to the offended party, is not recognized by the RPC. Neither is design and not participation in every detail of execution. Thus,
it among those which may be considered as similar nature and treachery should be considered against all persons participating or
analogous to those expressly recognized in accordance with Article 13 cooperating in the perpetration of the crime.
section 10 and therefore it cannot correctly be taken into
consideration. Issue No. 3: W/N the aggravating circumstance of nighttime can be absorbed
in treachery.

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Decision: It is clear that appellants took advantage of nighttime in committing to kill the victim, bury him, and flee from the locale of the fearful crime. For
the felonies charged. Inasmuch as the treachery consisted in the fact that the cruelty to exist, it must be shown that the accused enjoyed and delighted in
victims' hands were tied at the time they were beaten, the circumstance of making their victim suffer slowly and gradually, causing him unnecessary
nighttime is not absorbed in treachery, but can be perceived distinctly physical or moral pain in the consummation of the criminal act. Even granting
therefrom, since the treachery rests upon an independent factual basis. A that the victim died because of asphyxiation when he was buried and not
special case therefore is present to which the rule that nighttime is absorbed in hemorrhage from stab wounds, it appears that the victim's burial was not
treachery does not apply. This aggravating circumstance was correctly meant to make him suffer any longer but simply to conceal his body and the
appreciated by the lower court regardless of whether or not the same was crime itself.
purposely and deliberately sought by the accused for it is clear that the
darkness of the night facilitated the commission of the crime and was taken Issue No. 8: W/N there is evident premeditation.
advantage of by them.
Decision: Yes. the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation
(premeditacion conocida) attended the commission of the crime. The accused
Issue: W/N the purposive selection of uninhabited place be appreciated. meditated and tenaciously persisted in the accomplishment of the crime and
were not prompted merely by the impulse of the moment.

Decision: The place was ideal not merely for burying the victim but also for Issue: W/N the plead of guilt can be used as a mitigating circumstance.
killing him for it was a place where the possibility of the victim receiving some
help from third persons was completely absent. The accused sought the Decision: Yes. Since the kidnapping portion of the crime cannot be
solitude of the place in order to better attain their purpose without interference, appreciated beyond reasonable doubt, it would appear that the plead of guilty
and to secure themselves against detection and punishment. The purposive to this information naturally would be most unfair to the accused since the
selection of an uninhabited place is thus clear from the evidence. penalty would be that of capital punishment. The accused showed signs of
remorsefulness upon his arrest when he cooperated with the police authorities
Issue No. 5: W/N the aggravating circumstance of abuse of confidence can be in the solution of the crime.
Issue: W/N the accused can be credited with any mitigating circumstance.
Decision: In order for this circumstance to obtain, it is necessary that there be
a relation of trust and confidence between the accused and the one against Decision: The accused Benjamin Ong is likewise is entitled to the mitigating
whom the crime was committed, and that the accused made use of such circumstance that is analogous to passion and obfuscation (Art. 13, par. 10,
relation to commit the crime. It is essential too that the confidence be a means Revised Penal Code).
of facilitating the commission of the crime, the culprit taking advantage of the
offended party's belief that the former would not abuse said confidence. The US vs. GAMAO
accused and the victim were together that night in the nightclub as well as in
the car not because of said confidence. It was merely because the accused had Keywords: Priest killed in exchange of a sum of money. Inducement by the
some accounts to settle with him. uncle; nephew refused the money but nonetheless carried on with the crime.

Issue No. 6: W/N the use of motor vehicle be appreciated as aggravating Issue: W/N the aggravating circumstance that the accused forced or induced
circumstance. his nephew to murder the priest by hire or reward be appreciated.

Decision: Yes. The motor vehicle facilitated the stark happening. It has been Decision: No. The record does not show beyond a reasonable doubt that the
held that the use of a motor vehicle is aggravating in murder where the said accused was forced or induced to commit this crime. It is true that he owed his
vehicle was used in transporting the victim and the accused. uncle a sum of money and the latter could have used these obligations in order
to force his nephew to commit the crime but it has not been shown beyond
Issue No. 7: W/N cruelty can be appreciated as an aggravating circumstance. reasonable doubt that the uncle actually hired his nephew to kill the deceased
since the nephew rejected the offer.
Decision: No. Cruelty (ensañamiento), is an aggravating circumstance, cannot
be considered here. The brief of the Acting Solicitor General agrees with that of Issue No. 2: Was the crime properly classified as murder?
the accused in denying the attendance of cruelty as an aggravating
circumstance. Indeed, as it appears from the record, the group intended merely

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Decision: Yes. The deceased received the fatal blow while he was in the dark I. INTOXICATION
space between the door and the stairs leading to the upper portion of the
convent. He was unable to see by whom the blow was struck. He had no A. WHEN MITIGATING.
opportunity to offer any resistance whatever. The murderer taking advantage of
the darkness was lying in wait for his victim, thereby employing means or (a) NOT HABITUAL
methods in the execution of this crime which tended directly and specially to i) PRESUMPTION IN FAVOR OF NON-HABITUAL CHARACTER OF
insure its execution without risk to himself, arising from the defense which the INTOXICATION
priest might make. These facts clearly establish the qualifying circumstance of
alevosia in so far as the accused is concerned. US vs. FITZGERALD

Issue No. 3: W/N extreme ignorance can be used as a mitigating circumstance. Facts: The accused and the victim had a dispute in a distillery. It can
be deduced that both are intoxicated. The victim (Marsh) struck
Decision: Yes. Owing to his extreme ignorance, the SC was compelled to give Fitzgerald, which knocked the latter down. Fitzgerald immediately
him the benefits of the mitigating circumstance of lack of discretion since it was arose, and saying “I will show you sons of b—s,” ran toward the ice
shown the nephew was a poor ignorant fisherman and only depends on his plant in search of a revolver and returned. After which, he saw Marsh
uncle for subsistence. and fired at him. Marsh died soon after.

Issue No. 4: W/N the uncle should be considered as a principal by induction. Issue: W/N a mitigating circumstance can be considered.

Decision: Yes. The nephew merely depends on his uncle for his subsistence Decision: In the presence of proof to the contrary, it will be presumed that
while the latter was found to be a man of great influence. He hated the Roman intoxication is not habitual, and the fact that the accused was drunk at the time
Catholic Church and called a meeting in his house where the question of of the commission of the crime must then be considered as a mitigating
murdering the priest was discussed. He selected his nephew to commit the circumstance.
crime and dominated all who were present. The influence exercised by the
uncle over his nephew was so great and powerful that the latter could not resist Also, where it appears that the accused fired a loaded revolver at the deceased
it. There can be no question that the latter was directly induced by his uncle to and killed him, it must be presumed that he intended the natural consequences
kill the priest. of his act, and he is not entitled to the benefit of the mitigating circumstance
established by the Penal Code.
Provocation on the part of Marsh cannot be considered as a mitigating
Keywords: demonstration; FEATI; security guard threw a pillbox hitting one of circumstance since there was no evidence how the quarrel arose. Nor can the
the demonstrators in the head. fact that the homicide was immediately preceded by an affray between the
deceased and the defendant may be considered as a mitigating circumstance.
Issue No. 1: W/N the act of the accused can be characterized as murder and
multiple attempted murder No other mitigating circumstance can be appreciated in his favor for one who
attacks another with a deadly weapon as a revolver must know that the most
Decision: Yes. The crime committed is murder with multiple attempted murder probable result of such an aggression is the death of the person attacked.
qualified by the use of explosive. Accused is only entitled to a mitigating defense of intoxication.

Issue No. 2: W/N the aggravating circumstance of treachery be appreciated as ii) DEFINING HABITUAL DRUNKARD AS ONE GIVEN TO

Decision: Yes. II. U.S. vs. MCMANN

Issue No 3: W/N the accused be credited with aggravating circumstance of lack Facts: McMann and on McKay (one the victims) were packers at Camp Vicars in
of intention to commit so grave a wong as that actually done. Mindanao. McMann and McKay went to the house of a Moro to get some
matches with which to light their cigarettes however, the owners of the house
Decision: No. would not allow them to enter. McMann then saw another Moro who was
carving the head of a bolo. McMann snatched the bolo cutting the latter’s

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fingers. The moro then reported McMann to the authorities. Thereafter, the
Moro, McMann and McKay found themselves waiting in a room (not clear if they Decision: Yes. The commission of the crime was attended by aggravating
were waiting to be investigated, but they were all together during that time). circumstance of disregard of the respect due the offended party on account of
McMann suddenly fired at McKay hitting the latter. When the Moro tried to run, her sex.
Mcmann also fired at him.
Issue No. 4: W/N Ignominy can be added to the natural effects of the act.
Issue: W/N intoxication may be considered a mitigating circumstance.
Decision. No. Nothing in the record shows that before the deceased died, she
Decision: It is unlikely that the shooting was accidental since he witnesses was subjected to such indignities as would cause her shame or moral suffering.
testified that they say McMann aiming the gun at Mac Kay’s head. It is
probable that McMann was actually going to shoot the Moro but because he was Issue No. 5: W/N the fact that the victim was the niece of the accused
drunk at that time, killed Mac Kay instead. Clearly, defendant cannot claim lack aggravate the crime.
of intention.
Decision: No. The alternative circumstance of relationship shall be taken into
The court also held that the defendant was drunk at the time the crime was consideration only when the offended party is the spouse, ascendant,
committed. But intoxication in this case cannot be considered as a mitigating descendant, legitimate, natural or adopted brother or sister or relative by
circumstance since the defendant is a habitual drunkard. affinity in the same degree of the offended.

Habitual drunkard is defined as one who habituated to intemperance whenever Issue No. 6: W/N there are any mitigating circumstance that can be
the opportunity offered appreciated in favor of the accused.

ACCUSED SEEN DRUNK TWELVE TIMES OR MORE Decision: Yes. The circumstance of his having made a voluntary plea of guilt
before the court of evidence by the prosecution.
Keywords: Cannibal; Uncle killed his niece to taste human flesh; banana
leaves. Under the Revised Penal Code, when more than one person participated in the
commission of the crime, the law looks into their participation because in
Issue No. 1: W/N it can be contended that three years after the commission of punishing offenders, the Revised Penal Code classifies them as:
the crime, that the court should have subjected the accused to some psychiatric
test to determine his sanity. (1) principal;

Decision: No. The record constitutes sufficient justification for the conclusion (2) accomplice; or
that the accused was not insane at the time of the commission of the crime.
The accused had made several statements which were reduced into writing and (3) accessory.
signed by him. The facts and circumstances narrated by the accused in those
different statements tally in important details. The accused voluntarily This classification is true only under the Revised Penal Code and is not used
admitted his guilt. Since the accused was charged of having killed the under special laws, because the penalties under the latter are never graduated.
deceased for more than three years ago, it is not possible now to ascertain the Do not use the term principal when the crime committed is a violation of
mental condition of the defendant as of the time when he committed the crime special law. Only use the term “offender.” Also only classify offenders when
of which he is charged. more than one took part in the commission of the crime to determine the
proper penalty to be imposed. So, if only one person committed a crime, do
Issue No. 2: W/N the accused used superior strength. not use principal. Use the “offenders,” “culprits,” or the “accused.”

Decision: Yes. The attendant circumstance qualifies the crime committed as When a problem is encountered where there are several participants in the
murder. crime, the first thing to find out is if there is a conspiracy. If there is, as a
general rule, the criminal liability of all will be the same, because the act of one
Issue No. 3: W/N sex can be appreciated as an aggravating circumstance is the act of all.
against the accused.

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However, if the participation of one is so insignificant, such that even without In the first situation, the facts indicate that if the fellow who held the legs of
his cooperation, the crime would be committed just as well, then the victim and spread them did not do so, the offender on top could hardly
notwithstanding the existence of a conspiracy, such offender will be regarded penetrate because the woman was strong enough to move or resist. In the
only as an accomplice. The reason for this ruling is that the law favors a milder second situation, the son was much bigger than the woman so considering the
form of criminal liability if the act of the participant does not demonstrate a strength of the son and the victim, penetration is possible even without the
clear perversity. assistance of the father. The son was a robust farm boy and the victim
undernourished. The act of the father in holding the legs of the victim merely
As to the liability of the participants in a felony, the Code takes into facilitated the penetration but even without it the son would have penetrated.
consideration whether the felony committed is grave, less grave, or light.
The basis is the importance of the cooperation to the consummation of the
When the felony is grave, or less grave, all participants are criminally liable. crime. If the crime could hardly be committed without such cooperation, then
such cooperation would bring about a principal. But if the cooperation merely
But where the felony is only light only the principal and the accomplice are facilitated or hastened the consummation of the crime, this would make the
liable. The accessory is not. cooperator merely an accomplice.

But even the principal and the accomplice will not be liable if the felony In a case where the offender was running after the victim with a knife. Another
committed is only light and the same is not consummated unless such felony is fellow came and blocked the way of the victim and because of this, the one
against persons or property. If they are not and the same is not consummated, chasing the victim caught up and stabbed the latter at the back. It was held
even the principal and the accomplice are not liable. that the fellow who blocked the victim is a principal by indispensable
cooperation because if he did not block the way of the victim, the offender
Therefore it is only when the light felony is against person or property that could not have caught up with the latter.
criminal liability attaches to the principal or accomplice, even though the felony
is only attempted or frustrated, but accessories are not liable for liable for light In another case, A was mauling B. C, a friend of B tried to approach but D
felonies. stopped C so that A was able to continuously maul B. The liability of the fellow
who stopped the friend from approaching is as an accomplice. Understandably
he did not cooperate in the mauling, he only stopped to other fellow from
Principal by indispensable cooperation distinguished from an stopping the mauling.
In case of doubt, favor the lesser penalty or liability. Apply the doctrine of pro
It is not just a matter of cooperation, it is more than if the crime could hardly reo.
be committed. It is not that the crime would not be committed because if that
is what you would imply it becomes an ingredient of the crime and that is not
what the law contemplates. Principal by inducement

In the case of rape, where three men were accused, one was on top of the Concept of the inducement – one strong enough that the person induced could
woman, one held the hands, one held the legs, the Supreme Court ruled that all hardly resist. This is tantamount to an irresistible force compelling the person
participants are principals. Those who held the legs and arms are principals by induced to carry out the execution of the crime. Ill advised language is not
indispensable cooperation. enough unless he who made such remark or advice is a co-conspirator in the
crime committed.
The accused are father and son. The father told his son that the only way to While in the course of a quarrel, a person shouted to A, “Kill him! Kill him.” A
convince the victim to marry him is to resort to rape. So when they saw the killed the other fellow. Is the person who shouted criminally liable. Is that
opportunity the young man grabbed the woman, threw her on the ground and inducement? No. It must be strong as irresistible force.
placed himself on top of her while the father held both legs of the woman and
spread them. The Supreme Court ruled that the father is liable only as an There was a quarrel between two families. One of the sons of family A came
accomplice. out with a shotgun. His mother then shouted, “Shoot!”. He shot and killed
someone. Is the mother liable? No.
The point is not just on participation but on the importance of participation in
committing the crime. Examples of inducement:

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“I will give you a large amount of money.” One cannot be an accessory unless he knew of the commission of the crime.
One must not have participated in the commission of the crime. The accessory
“I will not marry you if you do not kill B”(let us say he really loves the inducer). comes into the picture when the crime is already consummated. Anyone who
participated before the consummation of the crime is either a principal or an
They practically become co-conspirators. Therefore you do not look into the accomplice. He cannot be an accessory.
degree of inducement anymore.
When an offender has already involved himself as a principal or accomplice, he
In People v. Balderrama, Ernesto shouted to his younger brother Oscar, cannot be an accessory any further even though he performs acts pertaining to
“Birahin mo na, birahin mo na.” Oscar stabbed the victim. It was held that an accessory.
there was no conspiracy. Joint or simultaneous action per se is not indicia of
conspiracy without showing of common design. Oscar has no rancor with the Accessory as a fence
victim for him to kill the latter. Considering that Ernesto had great moral
ascendancy and influence over Oscar being much older, 35 years old, than the The Revised Penal Code defines what manners of participation shall render an
latter, who was 18 yrs old, and it was Ernesto who provided his allowance, offender liable as an accessory. Among the enumeration is “by profiting
clothing as well as food and shelter, Ernesto is principal by inducement. themselves or by assisting the offender to profit by the effects of the crime”.
So the accessory shall be liable for the same felony committed by the principal.
In People v. Agapinay, 186 SCRA 812, the one who uttered “Kill him, we will However, where the crime committed by the principal was robbery or theft,
bury him,” while the felonious aggression was taking place cannot be held liable such participation of an accessory brings about criminal liability under
as principal by inducement. Utterance was said in the excitement of the hour, Presidential Decree No. 1612 (Anti-Fencing Law). One who knowingly profits or
not a command to be obeyed. assists the principal to profit by the effects of robbery or theft is not just an
accessory to the crime, but principally liable for fencing under Presidential
In People v. Madali, 188 SCRA 69, the son was mauled. The family was not Decree No. 1612.
in good graces of the neighborhood. Father challenged everybody and when
neighbors approached, he went home to get a rifle. The shouts of his wife Any person who, with intent to gain, acquires and/or sell, possesses, keeps or
“Here comes another, shoot him” cannot make the wife the principal by in any manner deals with any article of value which he knows or should be
inducement. It is not the determining cause of the crime in the absence of known to him to be the proceeds of robbery or theft is considered a “fence” and
proof that the words had great dominance and influence over the husband. incurs criminal liability for “fencing” under said decree. The penalty is higher
Neither is the wife’s act of beaming the victim with a flashlight indispensable to than that of a mere accessory to the crime of robbery or theft.
the commission of the killing. She assisted her husband in taking good aim, but
such assistance merely facilitated the felonious act of shooting. Considering Likewise, the participation of one who conceals the effects of robbery or theft
that it was not so dark and the husband could have accomplished the deed gives rise to criminal liability for “fencing”, not simply of an accessory under
without his wife’s help, and considering further that doubts must be resolved in paragraph 2 of Article 19 of the Code. Mere possession of any article of value
favor of the accused, the liability of the wife is only that of an accomplice. which has been the subject of robbery or theft brings about the presumption of

Accessories Presidential Decree No. 1612 has, therefore, modified Article 19 of the Revised
Penal Code.
Two situations where accessories are not criminally liable:

(1) When the felony committed is a light felony; Questions & Answers

(2) When the accessory is related to the principal as spouse, or as an 1. May one who profited out of the proceeds of estafa or
ascendant, or descendant or as brother or sister whether legitimate, malversation be prosecuted under the Anti-Fencing Law?
natural or adopted or where the accessory is a relative by affinity
within the same degree, unless the accessory himself profited from the No. There is only a fence when the crime is theft or robbery. If the
effects or proceeds of the crime or assisted the offender to profit crime is embezzlement or estafa, still an accessory to the crime of estafa, not a
therefrom. fence.

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2. If principal committed robbery by snatching a wristwatch and The corpus delicti is not the body of the person who is killed, even if the corpse
gave it to his wife to sell, is the wife criminally liable? Can she be prosecuted is not recovered, as long as that killing is established beyond reasonable doubt,
as an accessory and as a fence? criminal liability will arise and if there is someone who destroys the corpus
delicti to prevent discovery, he becomes an accessory.
The liability of the wife is based on her assisting the principal to profit
and that act is punishable as fencing. She will no longer be liable as an
accessory to the crime of robbery. Harboring or concealing an offender

In both laws, Presidential Decree No. 1612 and the Revised Penal Code, the In the third form or manner of becoming an accessory, take note that the law
same act is the basis of liability and you cannot punish a person twice for the distinguishes between a public officer harboring, concealing or assisting the
same act as that would go against double jeopardy. principal to escape and a private citizen or civilian harboring concealing or
assisting the principal to escape.

Acquiring the effects of piracy or brigandage In the case of a public officer, the crime committed by the principal is
immaterial. Such officer becomes an accessory by the mere fact that he helped
It is relevant to consider in connection with the criminal liability of accessories the principal to escape by harboring or concealing, making use of his public
under the Revised Penal Code, the liability of persons acquiring property subject function and thus abusing the same.
of piracy or brigandage.
On the other hand, in case of a civilian, the mere fact that he harbored
The act of knowingly acquiring or receiving property which is the effect or the concealed or assisted the principal to escape does not ipso facto make him an
proceeds of a crime generally brings about criminal liability of an accessory accessory. The law requires that the principal must have committed the crime
under Article 19, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code. But if the crime was of treason, parricide, murder or attempt on the life of the Chief Executive. If
piracy of brigandage under Presidential Decree No. 533 (Anti-piracy and Anti- this is not the crime, the civilian does not become an accessory unless the
Highway Robbery Law of 1974), said act constitutes the crime of abetting piracy principal is known to be habitually guilty of some other crime. Even if the
or abetting brigandage as the case may be, although the penalty is that for an crime committed by the principal is treason, or murder or parricide or attempt
accomplice, not just an accessory, to the piracy or brigandage. To this end, on the life of the Chief Executive, the accessory cannot be held criminally liable
Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 532 provides that any person who without the principal being found guilty of any such crime. Otherwise the effect
knowingly and in any manner… acquires or receives property taken by such would be that the accessory merely harbored or assisted in the escape of an
pirates or brigands or in any manner derives benefit therefrom… shall be innocent man, if the principal is acquitted of the charges.
considered as an accomplice of the principal offenders and be punished in
accordance with the Rules prescribed by the Revised Penal Code. Illustration:

It shall be presumed that any person who does any of the acts provided in this Crime committed is kidnapping for ransom. Principal was being chased by
Section has performed them knowingly, unless the contrary is proven. soldiers. His aunt hid him in the ceiling of her house and aunt denied to
soldiers that her nephew had ever gone there. When the soldiers left, the aunt
Although Republic Act No. 7659, in amending Article 122 of the Revised Penal even gave money to her nephew to go to the province. Is aunt criminally
Code, incorporated therein the crime of piracy in Philippine territorial waters liable? No. Article 20 does not include an auntie. However, this is not the
and thus correspondingly superseding Presidential Decree No. 532, Section 4 of reason. The reason is because one who is not a public officer and who assists
the Decree which punishes said acts as a crime of abetting piracy or an offender to escape or otherwise harbors, or conceals such offender, the
brigandage, still stands as it has not been repealed nor modified, and is not crime committed by the principal must be either treason, parricide murder or
inconsistent with any provision of Republic Act No. 7659. attempt on the life of the Chief executive or the principal is known to be
habitually guilty of some other crime.

Destroying the corpus delicti The crime committed by the principal is determinative of the liability of the
accessory who harbors, conceals knowing that the crime is committed. If the
When the crime is robbery or theft, with respect to the second involvement of person is a public officer, the nature of the crime is immaterial. What is
an accessory, do not overlook the purpose which must be to prevent discovery material is that he used his public function in assisting escape.
of the crime.

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However, although under paragraph 3 of Article 19 when it comes to a civilian, of an accomplice or accessory does not depend on the criminal liability of the
the law specifies the crimes that should be committed, yet there is a special law principal but depends on the quantum of evidence. But if the evidence shows
which punishes the same act and it does not specify a particular crime. that the act done does not constitute a crime and the principal is acquitted,
Presidential Decree No. 1829, which penalizes obstruction of apprehension and then the supposed accomplice and accessory should also be acquitted. If there
prosecution of criminal offenders, effective January 16, 1981, punishes acts is no crime, then there is no criminal liability, whether principal, accomplice, or
commonly referred to as “obstructions of justice”. This Decree penalizes under accessory.
Section 1(c) thereof, the act, inter alia, of
“(c) Harboring or concealing, or facilitating the escape of any person he knows Under paragraph 3, Article 19, take note in the case of a civilian who harbors,
or has reasonable ground to believe or suspect, has committed any offense conceals, or assists the escape of the principal, the law requires that the
under existing penal laws in order to prevent his arrest, prosecution and principal be found guilty of any of the specified crimes: treason, parricide, etc.
conviction.” The paragraph uses the particular word “guilty”. So this means that before the
civilian can be held liable as an accessory, the principal must first be found
Here, there is no specification of the crime to be committed by the offender for guilty of the crime charged, either treason, parricide, murder, or attempt to
criminal liability to be incurred for harboring, concealing, or facilitating the take the life of the Chief Executive. If the principal is acquitted, that means he
escape of the offender, and the offender need not be the principal – unlike is not guilty and therefore, the civilian who harbored, concealed or assisted in
paragraph 3, Article 19 of the Code. The subject acts may not bring about the escape did not violate art. 19. That is as far as the Revised Penal Code is
criminal liability under the Code, but under this decree. Such an offender if concerned. But not Presidential Decree No. 1829. This special law does not
violating Presidential Decree No. 1829 is no longer an accessory. He is simply require that there be prior conviction. It is a malum prohibitum, no need for
an offender without regard to the crime committed by the person assisted to guilt, or knowledge of the crime.
escape. So in the problem, the standard of the Revised Penal Code, aunt is not In Taer v. CA, accused received from his co-accused two stolen male carabaos.
criminally liable because crime is kidnapping, but under Presidential Decree No. Conspiracy was not proven. Taer was held liable as an accessory in the crime
1829, the aunt is criminally liable but not as an accessory. of cattle rustling under Presidential Decree No. 533. [Taer should have been
liable for violation of the Anti-fencing law since cattle rustling is a form of theft
Whether the accomplice and the accessory may be tried and convicted even or robbery of large cattle, except that he was not charged with fencing.]
before the principal is found guilty.
In Enrile v. Amin, a person charged with rebellion should not be separately
There is an earlier Supreme Court ruling that the accessory and accomplice charged under Presidential Decree No. 1829. The theory of absorption must
must be charged together with the principal and that if the latter be acquitted, not confine itself to common crimes but also to offenses punished under special
the accomplice and the accessory shall not be criminally liable also, unless the laws which are perpetrated in furtherance of the political offense.
acquittal is based on a defense which is personal only to the principal.
Although this ruling may be correct if the facts charged do not make the
principal criminally liable at all, because there is no crime committed. PENALTIES

Yet it is not always true that the accomplice and accessory cannot be criminally
liable without the principal first being convicted. Under Rule 110 of the Revised Measures of prevention not considered as penalty
Rules on Criminal Procedure, it is required that all those involved in the
commission of the crime must be included in the information that may be filed. The following are the measures of prevention or safety which are not
And in filing an information against the person involved in the commission of considered penalties under Article 24:
the crime, the law does not distinguish between principal, accomplice and
accessory. All will be accused and whether a certain accused will be principal or (1) The arrest and temporary detention of accused persons as well as
accomplice or accessory will depend on what the evidence would show as to his their detention by reason of insanity or imbecility or illness requiring
involvement in the crime. In other words, the liability of the accused will their confinement in a hospital.
depend on the quantum of evidence adduced by the prosecution against the
particular accused. But the prosecutor must initiate proceedings versus the (2) The commitment of a minor to any of the institutions mentioned in art.
principal. 80 for the purposes specified therein.

Even if the principal is convicted, if the evidence presented against a supposed (3) Suspension from the employment or public office during the trial or in
accomplice or a supposed accessory does not meet the required proof beyond order to institute proceedings.
reasonable doubt, then said accused will be acquitted. So the criminal liability

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(4) Fines and other corrective measures which, in the exercise of their So, if the accused has actually undergone preventive imprisonment, but if he
administrative disciplinary powers, superior officials may impose upon has been convicted for two or more crimes whether he is a recidivist or not, or
their subordinates. when he has been previously summoned but failed to surrender and so the
court has to issue a warrant for his arrest, whatever credit he is entitled to shall
(5) Deprivation of rights and reparations which the civil laws may establish be forfeited.
in penal form.
If the offender is not disqualified from the credit or deduction provided for in
Why does the Revised Penal Code specify that such detention shall not be a Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code, then the next thing to determine is
penalty but merely a preventive measure? whether he signed an undertaking to abide by the same rules and regulations
governing convicts. If he signed an undertaking to abide by the same rules
This article gives justification for detaining the accused. Otherwise, the and regulations governing convicts, then it means that while he is suffering
detention would violate the constitutional provision that no person shall be from preventive imprisonment, he is suffering like a convict, that is why the
deprived of life, liberty and property without due process of law. And also, the credit is full.
constitutional right of an accused to be presumed innocent until the contrary is
proved. But if the offender did not sign an undertaking, then he will only be subjected
to the rules and regulations governing detention prisoners. As such, he will
only be given 80% or 4/5 of the period of his preventive detention.
Repeal of Article 80
From this provision, one can see that the detention of the offender may subject
When may a minor be committed to a reformatory? him only to the treatment applicable to a detention prisoner or to the treatment
applicable to convicts, but since he is not convicted yet, while he is under
If the minor is between 9 - 15 years old and acted with discernment, preventive imprisonment, he cannot be subjected to the treatment applicable
sentence must first be suspended under the following conditions: to convicts unless he signs and agrees to be subjected to such disciplinary
measures applicable to convicts.
(1) Crime committed is not punishable by death or reclusion perpetua;
Detention prisoner has more freedom within the detention institution rather
(2) He is availing of the benefit of suspension for the first time; than those already convicted. The convicted prisoner suffers more restraints
and hardship than detention prisoners.
(3) He must still be a minor at the time of promulgation of the sentence.
Under what circumstances may a detention prisoner be released, even though
the proceedings against him are not yet terminated?
Correlating Article 24 with Article 29
Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code has been amended by a Batas Pambansa
Although under Article 24, the detention of a person accused of a crime while effective that tool effect on September 20, 1980. This amendment is found in
the case against him is being tried does not amount to a penalty, yet the law the Rules of Court, under the rules on bail in Rule 114 of the Rules on Criminal
considers this as part of the imprisonment and generally deductible from the Procedure, the same treatment exactly is applied there.
In the amendment, the law does not speak of credit. Whether the person is
When will this credit apply? If the penalty imposed consists of a deprivation of entitled to credit is immaterial. The discharge of the offender from preventive
liberty. Not all who have undergone preventive imprisonment shall be given a imprisonment or detention is predicated on the fact that even if he would be
credit found guilty of the crime charged, he has practically served the sentence
already, because he has been detained for a period already equal to if not
Under Article 24, preventive imprisonment of an accused who is not yet greater than the maximum penalty that would be possibly be imposed on him if
convicted, but by express provision of Article24 is not a penalty. Yet Article 29, found guilty.
if ultimately the accused is convicted and the penalty imposed involves
deprivation of liberty, provides that the period during which he had undergone If the crime committed is punishable only by destierro, the most the offender
preventive detention will be deducted from the sentence, unless he is one of may be held under preventive imprisonment is 30 days, and whether the
those disqualified under the law. proceedings are terminated or not, such detention prisoner shall be discharged.

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Understand the amendment made to Article 29. This amendment has been The duration of destierro is from six months and one day, to six year, which is
incorporated under Rule 114 precisely to do away with arbitrary detention. the same as that of prision correcional and suspension. Destierro is a principal
penalty. It is a punishment whereby a convict is vanished to a certan place and
Proper petition for habeas corpus must be filed to challenge the legality of the is prohibited form entering or coming near that place designated in the
detention of the prisoner. sentence, not less than 25 Kms.. However, the court cannot extend beyond
250 Kms. If the convict should enter the prohibited places, he commits the
crime of evasion of service of sentence under Article 157. But if the convict
Questions & Answers himself would go further from which he is vanished by the court, there is no
evasion of sentence because the 240-Km. limit is upon the authority of the
If the offender has already been released, what is the use of court in vanishing the convict.
continuing the proceedings?
Under the Revised Penal Code, destierro is the penalty imposed in the following
The proceedings will determine whether the accused is liable or not. If situations:
he was criminally liable, it follows that he is also civilly liable. The civil liability
must be determined. That is why the trial must go on. (1) When a legally married person who had surprised his or her spouse in
the act of sexual intercourse with another and while in that act or
immediately thereafter should kill or inflict serious physical injuries
Duration of penalties upon the other spouse, and/or the paramour or mistress. This is
found in Article 247.

Reclusion perpetua (2) In the crime of grave threat or light threat, when the offender is
required to put up a bond for good behavior but failed or refused to do
What is the duration of reclusion perpetua? so under Article 284, such convict shall be sentenced to destierro so
that he would not be able to carry out his threat.
Do not answer Article 27 to this question. The proper answer would be that
reclusion perpetua has no duration because this is an indivisible penalty and (3) In the crime of concubinage, the penalty prescribed for the concubine
indivisible penalties have no durations. is destierro under Article 334.

Under Article 27, those sentenced to reclusion perpetua shall be pardoned after (4) Where the penalty prescribed by law is arresto mayor, but the offender
undergoing the penalty for 30 years, unless such person, by reason of his is entitled privileged mitigating circumstance and lowering the
conduct or some other serious cause, shall be considered by the Chief Executive prescribed penalty by one degree, the penalty one degree lower is
as unworthy of pardon. destierro. Thus, it shall be the one imposed.

Under Article 70, which is the Three-Fold Rule, the maximum period shall in no
case exceed 40 years. If a convict who is to serve several sentences could only Civil Interdiction
be made to serve 40 years, with more reason, one who is sentenced to a singly
penalty of reclusion perpetua should not be held for more than 40 years. Civil interdiction is an accessory penalty. Civil interdiction shall deprive the
offender during the time of his sentence:
The duration of 40 years is not a matter of provision of law; this is only by
analogy. There is no provision of the Revised Penal Code that one sentenced to (1) The rights of parental authority, or guardianship either as to the
reclusion perpetua cannot be held in jail for 40 years and neither is there a person or property of any ward;
decision to this effect.
(2) Marital authority;

Destierro (3) The right to manage his property; and

(4) The right to dispose of such property by any act or any conveyance
What is the duration of destierro? inter vivos.

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Can a convict execute a last will and testament? Yes.

If asked what are the accessory penalties, do not just state the accessory
penalties. State the principal penalty and the corresponding accessory
Primary classification of penalties penalties.

Penalties in which other accessory penalties are inherent:

Principal penalties and accessory penalties
(1) Article 40. Death - perpetual absolute disqualification, and civil
The penalties which are both principal and accessory penalties are the interdiction during 30 years following date of sentence;
(2) Article 41. Reclusion perpetua and reclusion temporal - civil
(1) Perpetual or temporary absolute disqualification; interdiction for life or during the period of the sentence as the case
may be, and perpetual absolute disqualification;
(2) Perpetual or temporary special disqualification.
(3) Article 42. Prision mayor - temporary absolute disqualification
perpetual special disqualification from the right of suffrage;
Questions & Answers
(4) Article 43. Prision correccional - suspension from public office, from
1. If the penalty of suspension is imposed as an accessory, what the right to follow a profession or calling, and perpetual special
is the duration? disqualification from the rights of suffrage if the duration of said
imprisonment shall exceed 18 months.
Its duration shall be that of the principal penalty.
(5) Article 44. Arresto - suspension of the right to hold office and the
2. If the penalty of temporary disqualification is imposed as right of suffrage during the term of the sentence.
principal penalty, what is the duration?
There are accessory penalties which are true to other principal penalties. An
The duration is six years and one day to 12 years. example is the penalty of civil interdiction. This is an accessory penalty and, as
provided in Article 34, a convict sentenced to civil interdiction suffers certain
3. What do we refer to if it is perpetual or temporary disqualification during the term of the sentence. One of the disqualifications is
disqualification? that of making a conveyance of his property inter vivos.

We refer to the duration of the disqualification. Illustration:

4. What do we refer to if it is special or absolute disqualification? A has been convicted and is serving the penalty of prision mayor. While serving
sentence, he executed a deed of sale over his only parcel of land. A creditor
We refer to the nature of the disqualification. moved to annul the sale on the ground that the convict is not qualified to
execute a deed of conveyance inter vivos. If you were the judge, how would
you resolve the move of the creditor to annul the sale?
The classification of principal and accessory is found in Article 25.
Civil interdiction is not an accessory penalty in prision mayor. The convict can
In classifying the penalties as principal and accessory, what is meant by this is convey his property.
that those penalties classified as accessory penalties need not be stated in the
sentence. The accessory penalties follow the principal penalty imposed for the
crime as a matter of course. So in the imposition of the sentence, the court will Questions & Answers
specify only the principal penalty but that is not the only penalty which the
offender will suffer. Penalties which the law considers as accessory to the What accessory penalty is common to all principal penalties?
prescribed penalty are automatically imposed even though they are not stated
in the judgment. As to the particular penalties that follow a particular principal Confiscation or forfeiture on the instruments or proceeds of the crime.
penalty, Articles 40 to 45 of the Revised Penal Code shall govern.

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Designation of penalty
Bond to keep the peace
Since the principal penalties carry with them certain accessory penalties, the
One of the principal penalties common to the others is bond to keep the peace. courts are not at liberty to use any designation of the principal penalty. So it
There is no crime under the Revised Penal Code which carries this penalty. was held that when the penalty should be reclusion perpetua, it is error for the
court to use the term “life imprisonment”. In other words, the courts are not
correct when they deviate from the technical designation of the principal
Bond for good behavior penalty, because the moment they deviate from this designation, there will be
no corresponding accessory penalties that will go with them.
Bond for good behavior is prescribed by the Revised Penal Code for the crimes
of grave threats and light threats under Article 234. You cannot find this Illustration:
penalty in Article 25 because Article 25 only provides for bond to keep the
peace. Remember that no felony shall be punished by any penalty not When the judge sentenced the accused to the penalty of reclusion perpetua,
prescribed by law prior to its commission pursuant to Article 21. but instead of saying reclusion perpetua, it sentenced the accused to life
imprisonment, the designation is wrong.

Questions & Answers

Reclusion perpetua as modified
1. If bond to keep the peace is not the same as bond for good
behavior, are they one and the same bond that differ only in name? Before the enactment of Republic Act No. 7659, which made amendments to
the Revised Penal Code, the penalty of reclusion perpetua had no fixed
No. The legal effect of each is entirely different. The legal effect of a duration. The Revised Penal Code provides in Article 27 that the convict shall
failure to post a bond to keep the peace is imprisonment either for six months be pardoned after undergoing the penalty for thirty years, unless by reason of
or 30 days, depending on whether the felony committed is grave or less grave his conduct or some other serious cause, he is not deserving of pardon. As
on one hand, or it is light only on the other hand. The legal effect of failure to amended by Section 21 of Republic Act No. 7659, the same article now
post a bond for good behavior is not imprisonment but destierro under Article provides that the penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be from 20 years to 40
284. Thus, it is clear that the two bonds are not the same considering that the years. Because of this, speculations arose as to whether it made reclusion
legal effect or the failure to put up the bond is not the same. perpetua a divisible penalty.
Divisible and indivisible penalties
As we know, when a penalty has a fixed duration, it is said to be divisible and,
When we talk of period, it is implying that the penalty is divisible. in accordance with the provisions of Articles 65 and 76, should be divided into
three equal portions to form one period of each of the three portions.
If, after being given a problem, you were asked to state the period in which the Otherwise, if the penalty has no fixed duration, it is an indivisible penalty. The
penalty of reclusion perpetua is to be imposed, remember that when the nature of the penalty as divisible or indivisible is decisive of the proper penalty
penalty is indivisible, there is no period. Do not talk of period, because when to be imposed under the Revised Penal Code inasmuch as it determines
you talk of period, you are implying that the penalty is divisible because the whether the rules in Article 63 or the rules in Article 64 should be observed in
period referred to is the minimum, the medium, and the maximum. If it is fixing the penalty.
indivisible, there is no such thing as minimum, medium and maximum.
Thus, consistent with the rule mentioned, the Supreme Court, by its First
Division, applied Article 65 of the Code in imposing the penalty for rape in
The capital punishment People v. Conrado Lucas, GR No. 108172-73, May 25, 1994. It divided
the time included in the penalty of reclusion perpetua into three equal portions,
You were asked to state whether you are in favor or against capital punishment. with each portion composing a period as follows:
Understand that you are not taking the examination in Theology. Explain the
issue on the basis of social utility of the penalty. Is it beneficial in deterring Minimum - 20 years and one day, to 26 years and eight months;
crimes or not? This should be the premise of your reasoning.
Medium - 26 years, eight months and one day, to 33 years and four months;

Maximum - 34 years, four months and one day, to 40 years.

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Considering the aggravating circumstance of relationship, the Court sentenced Ultimately, the question arises: “What then may be the reason for the
the accused to imprisonment of 34 years, four months and one day of reclusion amendment fixing the duration of reclusion perpetua?” This question was
perpetua, instead of the straight penalty of reclusion perpetua imposed by the answered in the same case of People v. Lucas by quoting pertinent portion of
trial court. The appellee seasonably filed a motion for clarification to correct the decision in People v. Reyes, 212 SCRA 402, thus:
the duration of the sentence, because instead of beginning with 33 years, four
months and one day, it was stated as 34 years, four months and one day. The The imputed duration of thirty (30) years for
issue of whether the amendment of Article 27 made reclusion perpetua a reclusion perpetua, thereof, is only to serve as the basis for
divisible penalty was raised, and because the issue is one of first impression determining the convict’s eligibility for pardon or for the
and momentous importance, the First Division referred the motion to the Court application of the three-fold rule in the service of penalties.
en banc. Since, however, in all the graduated scales of penalties in the
Code, as set out in Article 25, 70 and 21, reclusion perpetua
In a resolution promulgated on January 9, 1995, the Supreme Court en banc is the penalty immediately next higher to reclusion temporal,
held that reclusion perpetua shall remain as an indivisible penalty. To this end, it follows by necessary implication that the minimum of
the resolution states: reclusion perpetua is twenty (20) years and one (1) day with
a maximum duration thereafter to last for the rest of the
After deliberating on the motion and re-examining the convict’s natural life, although, pursuant to Article 70, it
legislation history of RA 7659, the Court concludes that appears that the maximum period for the service of penalties
although Section 17 of RA 7659 has fixed the duration of shall not exceed forty (40) years. It would be legally absurd
Reclusion Perpetua from twenty years (20) and one (1) to and violative of the scales of penalties in the Code to reckon
forty 40 years, there was no clear legislative intent to alter its the minimum of Reclusion Perpetua at thirty (30) years since
original classification as an indivisible penalty. It shall then there would thereby be a resultant lacuna whenever the
remain as an indivisible penalty. penalty exceeds the maximum twenty (20) years of Reclusion
Temporal but is less than thirty (30) years.
Verily, if reclusion perpetua was classified as a divisible
penalty, then Article 63 of the Revised Penal Code would lose
its reason and basis for existence. To illustrate, the first Innovations on the imposition of the death penalty
paragraph of Section 20 of the amended RA No. 6425
provides for the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death Aside form restoring the death penalty for certain heinous crimes, Republic Act
whenever the dangerous drugs involved are of any of the No. 7659 made innovations on the provisions of the Revised Penal Code
quantities stated herein. If Article 63 of the Code were no regarding the imposition of the death penalty:
longer applicable because reclusion perpetua is supposed to
be a divisible penalty, then there would be no statutory rules (1) Article 47 has been reworded to expressly include among the
for determining when either reclusion perpetua or death instances where the death penalty shall not be imposed, the case of
should be the imposable penalty. In fine, there would be no an offender who is below 18 years old at the time of the commission
occasion for imposing reclusion perpetua as the penalty in of the offense. But even without this amendment, the death penalty
drug cases, regardless of the attendant modifying may not be meted out on an offender who was below 18 years of age
circumstances. at the time of the commission of the crime because Article 68 the
lowers the imposable penalty upon such offenders by at least one
Now then, if Congress had intended to reclassify reclusion degree than that prescribed for the crime.
perpetua as divisible penalty, then it should have amended
Article 63 and Article 76 of the Revised Penal Code. The (2) In the matter of executing the death penalty, Article 81 has been
latter is the law on what are considered divisible penalties amended and, thus, directs that the manner of putting the convict to
under the Code and what should be the duration of the death by electrocution shall be changed to gas poisoning as soon as
periods thereof. There are, as well, other provisions of the the facilities are provided, and the sentence shall be carried out not
Revised Penal Code involving reclusion perpetua, such as later that one year after the finality of judgment.
Article 41 on the accessory penalties thereof and paragraphs
2 and 3 of Article 61, which have not been touched by a (3) The original provision of Article 83, anent the suspension of the
corresponding amendment. execution of the death penalty for three years if the convict was a

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woman, has been deleted and instead, limits such suspension to last In People v. Subido, it was held that the convict cannot choose not to serve,
while the woman was pregnant and within one year after delivery. or not to pay the fine and instead serve the subsidiary penalty. A subsidiary
penalty will only be served if the sheriff should return the execution for the fine
on the property of the convict and he does not have the properties to satisfy
Subsidiary penalty the writ.

Is subsidiary penalty an accessory penalty? No.

Questions & Answers
If the convict does not want to pay fine and has so many friends and wants to
prolong his stay in jail, can he stay there and not pay fine? No. The penalty imposed by the judge is fine only. The sheriff then tried
to levy the property of the defendant after it has become final and executory,
After undergoing subsidiary penalty and the convict is already released from jail but it was returned unsatisfied. The court then issued an order for said convict
and his financial circumstances improve, can he be made to pay? Yes, for the to suffer subsidiary penalty. The convict was detained, for which reason he
full amount with deduction. filed a petition for habeas corpus contending that his detention is illegal. Will
the petition prosper?
Article 39 deals with subsidiary penalty. There are two situations there:
Yes. The judgment became final without statement as to subsidiary
(1) When there is a principal penalty of imprisonment or any other penalty, so that even if the convict has no money or property to satisfy the fine,
principal penalty and it carries with it a fine; and he cannot suffer subsidiary penalty because the latter is not an accessory and
so it must be expressly stated. If the court overlooked to provide for subsidiary
(2) When penalty is only a fine. penalty in the sentence and its attention was later called to that effect,
thereafter, it tried to modify the sentence to include subsidiary penalty after
Therefore, there shall be no subsidiary penalty for the non-payment of period to appeal had already elapsed, the addition of subsidiary penalty will be
damages to the offended party. null and void. This is tantamount to double jeopardy.

This subsidiary penalty is one of important matter under the title of penalty. A If the fine is prescribed with the penalty of imprisonment or any deprivation of
subsidiary penalty is not an accessory penalty. Since it is not an accessory liberty, such imprisonment should not be higher than six years or prision
penalty, it must be expressly stated in the sentence, but the sentence does not correccional. Otherwise, there is no subsidiary penalty.
specify the period of subsidiary penalty because it will only be known if the
convict cannot pay the fine. The sentence will merely provide that in case of
non-payment of the fine, the convict shall be required to save subsidiary ii. When is subsidiary penalty applied
penalty. It will then be the prison authority who will compute this.
(1) If the subsidiary penalty prescribed for the non-payment of fine which
So even if subsidiary penalty is proper in a case, if the judge failed to state in goes with the principal penalty, the maximum duration of the
the sentence that the convict shall be required to suffer subsidiary penalty in subsidiary penalty is one year, so there is no subsidiary penalty that
case of insolvency to pay the fine, that convict cannot be required to suffer the goes beyond one year. But this will only be true if the one year period
accessory penalty. This particular legal point is a bar problem. Therefore, the is higher than 1/3 of the principal penalty, the convict cannot be made
judgment of the court must state this. If the judgment is silent, he cannot to undergo subsidiary penalty more than 1/3 of the duration of the
suffer any subsidiary penalty. principal penalty and in no case will it be more than 1 year - get 1/3 of
the principal penalty - whichever is lower.
The subsidiary penalty is not an accessory penalty that follows the principal
penalty as a matter of course. It is not within the control of the convict to pay (2) If the subsidiary penalty is to be imposed for non payment of fine and
the fine or not and once the sentence becomes final and executory and a writ of the principal penalty imposed be fine only, which is a single penalty,
execution is issued to collect the fine, if convict has property to levy upon, the that means it does not go with another principal penalty, the most that
same shall answer for the fine, whether he likes it or not. It must be that the the convict will be required to undergo subsidiary imprisonment is six
convict is insolvent to pay the fine. That means that the writ of execution months, if the felony committed is grave or less grave, otherwise, if
issued against the property of the convict, if any, is returned unsatisfied. the felony committed is slight, the maximum duration of the subsidiary
penalty is only 15 days.

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There are some who use the term subsidiary imprisonment. The term is wrong The Three-Fold Rule should not applied by the court. In this case of 50 counts
because the penalty is not only served by imprisonment. The subsidiary of estafa, the penalty imposed was arresto mayor and a fine of P200.00.
penalty follows the nature of the principal penalty. If the principal penalty is Arresto mayor + P200.00 x 50. Arresto Mayor is six months x 50 = 25 years.
destierro, this being a divisible penalty, and a penalty with a fixed duration, the P200.00 x 50 = P10,000.00. Thus, I would impose a penalty of arresto mayor
non-payment of the fine will bring about subsidiary penalty. This being a and a fine of P200.00 multiplied by 50 counts and state further that “as a
restriction of liberty with a fixed duration under Article 39 for the nonpayment judge, I am not in the position to apply the Three-Fold Rule because the Three-
of fine that goes with the destierro, the convict will be required to undergo Fold Rule is to be given effect when the convict is already serving sentence in
subsidiary penalty and it will also be in the form of destierro. the penitentiiary. It is the prison authority who will apply the Three-Fold Rule.
As far as the court is concerned, that will be the penalty to be imposed.”
For the purposes of subsidiary penalty, apply the Three-Fold Rule if the penalty
A convict was sentenced to suspension and fine. This is a penalty where a is arresto mayor and a fine of P200.00 multiplied by 3. This means one year
public officer anticipates public duties, he entered into the performance of and six months only. So, applying the Three- Fold Rule, the penalty does not go
public office even before he has complied with the required formalities. beyond six years. Hence, for the non- payment of the fine of P10,000.00, the
Suppose the convict cannot pay the fine, may he be required to undergo convict shall be required to undergo subsidiary penalty. This is because the
subsidiary penalty? imprisonment that will be served will not go beyond six years. It will only be
one year and six months, since in the service of the sentence, the Three-Fold
Yes, because the penalty of suspension has a fixed duration. Under Article 27, Rule will apply.
suspension and destierro have the same duration as prision correccional. So
the duration does not exceed six years. Since it is a penalty with a fixed It is clearly provided under Article 39 that if the means of the convict should
duration under Article 39, when there is a subsidiary penalty, such shall be 1/3 improve, even if he has already served subsidiary penalty, he shall still be
of the period of suspension which in no case beyond one year. But the required to pay the fine and there is no deduction for that amount which the
subsidiary penalty will be served not by imprisonment but by continued convict has already served by way of subsidiary penalty.

If the penalty is public censure and fine even if the public censure is a light Articles 63 and 64
penalty, the convict cannot be required to pay the fine for subsidiary penalty for
the non-payment of the fine because public censure is a penalty that has no If crime committed is parricide, penalty is reclusion perpetua. The accused,
fixed duration. after committing parricide, voluntarily surrendered and pleaded guilty of the
crime charged upon arraignment. It was also established that he was
Do not consider the totality of the imprisonment the convict is sentenced to but intoxicated, and no aggravating circumstances were present. What penalty
consider the totality or the duration of the imprisonment that the convict will be would you impose?
required to serve under the Three-Fold Rule. If the totality of the imprisonment
under this rule does not exceed six years, then, even if the totality of all the Reclusion perpetua, because it is an indivisible penalty.
sentences without applying the Three-Fold Rule will go beyond six years, the
convict shall be required to undergo subsidiary penalty if he could not pay the When there are two or more mitigating circumstances and there is no
fine. aggravating circumstance, penalty to be imposed shall be one degree lower to
be imposed in the proper period. Do not apply this when there is one
Illustration: aggravating circumstance.

A collector of NAWASA collected from 50 houses within a certain locality. When Illustration:
he was collecting NAWASA bills, the charges of all these consumers was a
minimum of 10. The collector appropriated the amount collected and so was There are about four mitigating circumstances and one aggravating
charged with estafa. He was convicted. Penalty imposed was arresto mayor circumstance. Court offsets the aggravating circumstance against the
and a fine of P200.00 in each count. If you were the judge, what penalty would mitigating circumstance and there still remains three mitigating circumstances.
you impose? May the convict be required to undergo subsidiary penalty in case Because of that, the judge lowered the penalty by one degree. Is the judge
he is insolvent to pay the fine? correct?

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No. In such a case when there are aggravating circumstances, no matter how prescribed by law depending on what the particular provision of the
many mitigating circumstances there are, after offsetting, do not go down any Revised Penal Code states.
degree lower. The penalty prescribed by law will be the penalty to be imposed,
but in the minimum period. Cannot go below the minimum period when there (4) When the penalty prescribed for the crime committed is a divisible
is an aggravating circumstance. penalty and there are two or more ordinary mitigating circumstances
and no aggravating circumstances whatsoever, the penalty next lower
Go into the lowering of the penalty by one degree if the penalty is divisible. So in degree shall be the one imposed.
do not apply the rule in paragraph 5 of Article 64 to a case where the penalty is
divisible. (5) Whenever the provision of the Revised Penal Code specifically lowers
the penalty by one or two degrees than what is ordinarily prescribed
for the crime committed.
Article 66
Penalty commonly imposed by the Revised Penal Code may be by way of
When there are mitigating circumstance and aggravating circumstance and the imprisonment or by way of fine or, to a limited extent, by way of destierro or
penalty is only fine, when it is only ordinary mitigating circumstance and disqualification, whether absolute or special.
aggravating circumstance, apply Article 66. Because you determine the
imposable fine on the basis of the financial resources or means of the offender. In the matter of lowering the penalty by degree, the reference is Article 71. It
But if the penalty would be lowered by degree, there is a privileged mitigating is necessary to know the chronology under Article 71 by simply knowing the
circumstance or the felony committed is attempted or frustrated, provided it is scale. Take note that destierro comes after arresto mayor so the penalty one
not a light felony against persons or property, because if it is a light felony and degree lower than arresto mayor is not arresto menor, but destierro. Memorize
punishable by fine, it is not a crime at all unless it is consummated. So, if it is the scale in Article 71.
attempted or frustrated, do not go one degree lower because it is not
punishable unless it is a light felony against person or property where the In Article 27, with respect to the range of each penalty, the range of arresto
imposable penalty will be lowered by one degree or two degrees. menor follows arresto mayor, since arresto menor is one to 30 days or one
month, while arresto mayor is one month and one day to six months. On the
Penalty prescribed to a crime is lowered by degrees in the following cases: other hand, the duration of destierro is the same as prision correccional which
is six months and one day to six years. But be this as it is, under Article 71, in
(1) When the crime is only attempted or frustrated the scale of penalties graduated according to degrees, arresto mayor is higher
than destierro.
If it is frustrated, penalty is one degree lower than that prescribed by
law. In homicide under Article 249, the penalty is reclusion temporal. One degree
lower, if homicide is frustrated, or there is an accomplice participating in
If it is attempted, penalty is two degrees lower than that prescribed by homicide, is prision mayor, and two degrees lower is prision correccional.
This is true if the penalty prescribed by the Revised Penal Code is a whole
This is so because the penalty prescribed by law for a crime refers to divisible penalty -- one degree or 2 degrees lower will also be punished as a
the consummated stage. whole. But generally, the penalties prescribed by the Revised Penal Code are
only in periods, like prision correcional minimum, or prision correcional
(2) When the offender is an accomplice or accessory only minimum to medium.

Penalty is one degree lower in the case of an accomplice. Although the penalty is prescribed by the Revised Penal Code as a period, such
penalty should be understood as a degree in itself and the following rules shall
Penalty is two degrees lower in the case of an accessory. govern:

This is so because the penalty prescribed by law for a given crime (1) When the penalty prescribed by the Revised Code is made up of a
refers to the consummated stage. period, like prision correccional medium, the penalty one degree lower
is prision correccional minimum, and the penalty two degrees lower is
(3) When there is a privilege mitigating circumstance in favor of the arresto mayor maximum. In other words, each degree will be made
offender, it will lower the penalty by one or two degrees than that

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up of only one period because the penalty prescribed is also made up Illustration:
only of one period.
(2) When the penalty prescribed by the Code is made up of two periods of If the penalty prescribed is a fine ranging from P200.00 to P500.00, but the
a given penalty, every time such penalty is lowered by one degree you felony is frustrated so that the penalty should be imposed one degree lower,
have to go down also by two periods. 1/4 of P500.00 shall be deducted therefrom. This is done by deducting
P125.00 from P500.00, leaving a difference of P375.00. The penalty one
Illustration: degree lower is P375.00. To go another degree lower, P125.00 shall again be
deducted from P375.00 and that would leave a difference of P250.00. Hence,
If the penalty prescribed for the crime is prision correccional medium the penalty another degree lower is a fine ranging from P200.00 to P250.00. If
to maximum, the penalty one degree lower will be arresto mayor at all, the fine has to be lowered further, it cannot go lower than P200.00. So,
maximum to prision correccional minimum, and the penalty another the fine will be imposed at P200.00. This rule applies when the fine has to be
degree lower will be arresto mayor minimum to medium. Every lowered by degree.
degree will be composed of two periods.

(3) When the penalty prescribed by the Revised Penal Code is made up of Article 66
three periods of different penalties, every time you go down one
degree lower, you have to go down by three periods. In so far as ordinary mitigating or aggravating circumstance would affect the
penalty which is in the form of a fine, Article 66 of the Revised Penal Code shall
Illustration: govern. Under this article, it is discretionary upon the court to apply the fine
taking into consideration the financial means of the offender to pay the same.
The penalty prescribed by the Revised Penal Code is prision mayor In other words, it is not only the mitigating and/or aggravating circumstances
maximum to reclusion temporal medium, the penalty one degree lower that the court shall take into consideration, but primarily, the financial
is prision correccional maximum to prision mayor medium. Another capability of the offender to pay the fine. For the same crime, the penalty upon
degree lower will be arresto mayor maximum to prision correccional an accused who is poor may be less than the penalty upon an accused
medium. committing the same crime but who is wealthy
These rules have nothing to do with mitigating or aggravating circumstances. For instance, when there are two offenders who are co-conspirators to a crime,
These rules refer to the lowering of penalty by one or two degrees. As to how and their penalty consists of a fine only, and one of them is wealthy while the
mitigating or aggravating circumstances may affect the penalty, the rules are other is a pauper, the court may impose a higher penalty upon the wealthy
found in Articles 63 and 64. Article 63 governs when the penalty prescribed by person and a lower fine for the pauper.
the Revised Penal Code is indivisible. Article 64 governs when the penalty
prescribed by the Revised Penal Code is divisible. When the penalty is Penalty for murder under the Revised Penal Code is reclusion temporal
indivisible, no matter how many ordinary mitigating circumstances there are, maximum to death. So, the penalty would be reclusion temporal maximum –
the prescribed penalty is never lowered by degree. It takes a privileged reclusion perpetua – death. This penalty made up of three periods.
mitigating circumstance to lower such penalty by degree. On the other hand,
when the penalty prescribed by the Revised Penal Code is divisible, such
penalty shall be lowered by one degree only but imposed in the proper period, The Three-Fold Rule
when there are two or more ordinary mitigating circumstance and there is no
aggravating circumstance whatsoever. Under this rule, when a convict is to serve successive penalties, he will not
actually serve the penalties imposed by law. Instead, the most severe of the
penalties imposed on him shall be multiplied by three and the period will be the
Article 75 – Fines only term of the penalty to be served by him. However, in no case should the
penalty exceed 40 years.
With respect to the penalty of fine, if the fine has to be lowered by degree
either because the felony committed is only attempted or frustrated or because This rule is intended for the benefit of the convict and so, you will only apply
there is an accomplice or an accessory participation, the fine is lowered by this provided the sum total of all the penalties imposed would be greater than
deducting 1/4 of the maximum amount of the fine from such maximum without the product of the most severe penalty multiplied by three but in no case will
changing the minimum amount prescribed by law. the penalties to be served by the convict be more than 40 years.

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Although this rule is known as the Three-Fold rule, you cannot actually apply Illustration:
this if the convict is to serve only three successive penalties. The Three-Fold
Rule can only be applied if the convict is to serve four or more sentences A district engineer was sentenced by the court to a term of 914 years in prison.
successively. If the sentences would be served simultaneously, the Three-Fold
rule does not govern. A person was sentenced to three death sentences. Significance: If ever
granted pardon for 1 crime, the two remaining penalties must still be executed.
The chronology of the penalties as provided in Article 70 of the Revised Penal
Code shall be followed. This rule will apply only if sentences are to be served successively.

It is in the service of the penalty, not in the imposition of the penalty, that the
Three-Fold rule is to be applied. The three-Fold rule will apply whether the Act No. 4013 (Indeterminate Sentence Law), as amended
sentences are the product of one information in one court, whether the
sentences are promulgated in one day or whether the sentences are Three things to know about the Indeterminate Sentence Law:
promulgated by different courts on different days. What is material is that the
convict shall serve more than three successive sentences. (1) Its purpose;

For purposes of the Three-Fold Rule, even perpetual penalties are taken into (2) Instances when it does not apply; and
account. So not only penalties with fixed duration, even penalties without any
fixed duration or indivisible penalties are taken into account. For purposes of (3) How it operates
the Three-Fold rule, indivisible penalties are given equivalent of 30 years. If
the penalty is perpetual disqualification, it will be given and equivalent duration Indeterminate Sentence Law governs whether the crime is punishable under
of 30 years, so that if he will have to suffer several perpetual disqualification, the Revised Penal Code or a special Law. It is not limited to violations of the
under the Three-Fold rule, you take the most severe and multiply it by three. Revised Penal Code.
The Three-Fold rule does not apply to the penalty prescribed but to the penalty
imposed as determined by the court. It applies only when the penalty served is imprisonment. If not by
imprisonment, then it does not apply.

Penalties imposed are –

One prision correcional – minimum – 2 years and 4 months
The purpose of the Indeterminate Sentence law is to avoid prolonged
One arresto mayor - 1 month and 1 day to 6 months imprisonment, because it is proven to be more destructive than constructive to
the offender. So, the purpose of the Indeterminate Sentence Law in shortening
One prision mayor - 6 years and 1 day to 12 years the possible detention of the convict in jail is to save valuable human
resources. In other words, if the valuable human resources were allowed
Do not commit the mistake of applying the Three- Fold Rule in this case. Never prolonged confinement in jail, they would deteriorate. Purpose is to preserve
apply the Three-Fold rule when there are only three sentences. Even if you add economic usefulness for these people for having committed a crime -- to
the penalties, you can never arrive at a sum higher than the product of the reform them rather than to deteriorate them and, at the same time, saving the
most severe multiplied by three. government expenses of maintaining the convicts on a prolonged confinement
in jail.
The common mistake is, if given a situation, whether the Three-Fold Rule could
be applied. If asked, if you were the judge, what penalty would you impose, If the crime is a violation of the Revised Penal Code, the court will impose a
for purposes of imposing the penalty, the court is not at liberty to apply the sentence that has a minimum and maximum. The maximum of the
Three-Fold Rule, whatever the sum total of penalty for each crime committed, indeterminate sentence will be arrived at by taking into account the attendant
even if it would amount to 1,000 years or more. It is only when the convict is mitigating and/or aggravating circumstances according to Article 64 of the
serving sentence that the prison authorities should determine how long he Revised Penal Code. In arriving at the minimum of the indeterminate sentence,
should stay in jail. the court will take into account the penalty prescribed for the crime and go one
degree lower. Within the range of one degree lower, the court will fix the

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minimum for the indeterminate sentence, and within the range of the penalty (5) If there are two or more mitigating circumstance and no aggravating
arrived at as the maximum in the indeterminate sentence, the court will fix the circumstance, penalty next lower in degree shall be the one imposed.
maximum of the sentence. If there is a privilege mitigating circumstance which
has been taken in consideration in fixing the maximum of the indeterminate Rule under Art 64 shall apply in determining the maximum but not in
sentence, the minimum shall be based on the penalty as reduced by the determining the minimum.
privilege mitigating circumstance within the range of the penalty next lower in
degree. In determining the applicable penalty according to the Indeterminate Sentence
Law, there is no need to mention the number of years, months and days; it is
If the crime is a violation of a special law, in fixing the maximum of the enough that the name of the penalty is mentioned while the Indeterminate
indeterminate sentence, the court will impose the penalty within the range of Sentence Law is applied. To fix the minimum and the maximum of the
the penalty prescribed by the special law, as long as it will not exceed the limit sentence, penalty under the Revised Penal Code is not the penalty to be
of the penalty. In fixing the minimum, the court can fix a penalty anywhere imposed by court because the court must apply the Indeterminate Sentence
within the range of penalty prescribed by the special law, as long as it will not Law. The attendant mitigating and/or aggravating circumstances in the
be less than the minimum limit of the penalty under said law. No mitigating commission of the crime are taken into consideration only when the maximum
and aggravating circumstances are taken into account. of the penalty is to be fixed. But in so far as the minimum is concerned, the
basis of the penalty prescribed by the Revised Penal Code, and go one degree
The minimum and the maximum referred to in the Indeterminate Sentence Law lower than that. But penalty one degree lower shall be applied in the same
are not periods. So, do not say, maximum or minimum period. For the manner that the maximum is also fixed based only on ordinary mitigating
purposes of the indeterminate Sentence Law, use the term minimum to refer to circumstances. This is true only if the mitigating circumstance taken into
the duration of the sentence which the convict shall serve as a minimum, and account is only an ordinary mitigating circumstance. If the mitigating
when we say maximum, for purposes of ISLAW, we refer to the maximum limit circumstance is privileged, you cannot follow the law in so far as fixing the
of the duration that the convict may be held in jail. We are not referring to any minimum of the indeterminate sentence is concerned; otherwise, it may
period of the penalty as enumerated in Article 71. happen that the maximum of the indeterminate sentence is lower than its
Courts are required to fix a minimum and a maximum of the sentence that they
are to impose upon an offender when found guilty of the crime charged. So, In one Supreme Court ruling, it was held that for purposes of applying the
whenever the Indeterminate Sentence Law is applicable, there is always a Indeterminate Sentence Law, the penalty prescribed by the Revised Penal Code
minimum and maximum of the sentence that the convict shall serve. If the and not that which may be imposed by court. This ruling, however, is obviously
crime is punished by the Revised Penal Code, the law provides that the erroneous. This is so because such an interpretation runs contrary to the rule
maximum shall be arrived at by considering the mitigating and aggravating of pro reo, which provides that the penal laws should always be construed an
circumstances in the commission of the crime according to the proper rules of applied in a manner liberal or lenient to the offender. Therefore, the rule is, in
the Revised Penal Code. To fix the maximum, consider the mitigating and applying the Indetermiante Sentence Law, it is that penalty arrived at by the
aggravating circumstances according to the rules found in Article 64. This court after applying the mitigating and aggravating circumstances that should
means – be the basis.

(1) Penalties prescribed by the law for the crime committed shall be Crimes punished under special law carry only one penalty; there are no degree
imposed in the medium period if no mitigating or aggravating or periods. Moreover, crimes under special law do not consider mitigating or
circumstance; aggravating circumstance present in the commission of the crime. So in the
case of statutory offense, no mitigating and no aggravating circumstances will
(2) If there is aggravating circumstance, no mitigating, penalty shall be be taken into account. Just the same, courts are required in imposing the
imposed in the maximum; penalty upon the offender to fix a minimum that the convict should serve, and
to set a maximum as the limit of that sentence. Under the law, when the crime
(3) If there is mitigating circumstance, no aggravating, penalty shall be in is punished under a special law, the court may fix any penalty as the maximum
the minimum; without exceeding the penalty prescribed by special law for the crime
committed. In the same manner, courts are given discretion to fix a minimum
(4) If there are several mitigating and aggravating circumstances, they anywhere within the range of the penalty prescribed by special law, as long as
shall offset against each other. Whatever remains, apply the rules. it will not be lower than the penalty prescribed.

Disqualification may be divided into three, according to –

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Without regard to the nature of the crime, only those whose penalty does not
(1) The time committed; exceed six years of imprisonment are those qualified for probation. If the
penalty is six years plus one day, he is no longer qualified for probation.
(2) The penalty imposed; and
If the offender was convicted of several offenses which were tried jointly and
(3) The offender involved. one decision was rendered where multiple sentences imposed several prison
terms as penalty, the basis for determining whether the penalty disqualifies the
offender from probation or not is the term of the individual imprisonment and
The Indeterminate Sentence Law shall not apply to: not the totality of all the prison terms imposed in the decision. So even if the
prison term would sum up to more than six years, if none of the individual
(1) Persons convicted of offense punishable with death penalty or life penalties exceeds six years, the offender is not disqualified by such penalty
imprisonment; from applying for probation.

(2) Persons convicted of treason, conspiracy or proposal to commit On the other hand, without regard to the penalty, those who are convicted of
treason; subversion or any crime against the public order are not qualified for probation.
So know the crimes under Title III, Book 2 of the Revised Penal Code. Among
(3) Persons convicted of misprision of treason, rebellion, sedition, these crimes is Alarms and Scandals, the penalty of which is only arresto
espionage; menor or a fine. Under the amendment to the Probation Law, those convicted
of a crime against public order regardless of the penalty are not qualified for
(4) Persons convicted of piracy; probation.

(5) Persons who are habitual delinquents; May a recidivist be given the benefit of Probation Law?

(6) Persons who shall have escaped from confinement or evaded As a general rule, no.
Exception: If the earlier conviction refers to a crime the penalty of which does
(7) Those who have been granted conditional pardon by the Chief not exceed 30 days imprisonment or a fine of not more than P200.00, such
Executive and shall have violated the term thereto; convict is not disqualified of the benefit of probation. So even if he would be
convicted subsequently of a crime embraced in the same title of the Revised
(8) Those whose maximum term of imprisonment does not exceed one Penal Code as that of the earlier conviction, he is not disqualified from
year, but not to those already sentenced by final judgment at the time probation provided that the penalty of the current crime committed does not go
of the approval of Indeterminate Sentence Law. beyond six years and the nature of the crime committed by him is not against
public order, national security or subversion.
Although the penalty prescribed for the felony committed is death or reclusion
perpetua, if after considering the attendant circumstances, the imposable Although a person may be eligible for probation, the moment he perfects an
penalty is reclusion temporal or less, the Indeterminate Sentence Law applies appeal from the judgment of conviction, he cannot avail of probation anymore.
(People v. Cempron, 187 SCRA 278). So the benefit of probation must be invoked at the earliest instance after
conviction. He should not wait up to the time when he interposes an appeal or
the sentence has become final and executory. The idea is that probation has to
Presidential Decree No. 968 (Probation Law) be invoked at the earliest opportunity.

Among the different grounds of partial extinction of criminal liability, the most An application for probation is exclusively within the jurisdiction of the trial
important is probation. Probation is a manner of disposing of an accused who court that renders the judgment. For the offender to apply in such court, he
have been convicted by a trial court by placing him under supervision of a should not appeal such judgment.
probation officer, under such terms and conditions that the court may fix. This
may be availed of before the convict begins serving sentence by final judgment Once he appeals, regardless of the purpose of the appeal, he will be disqualified
and provided that he did not appeal anymore from conviction. from applying for Probation, even though he may thereafter withdraw his

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If the offender would appeal the conviction of the trial court and the appellate committed, although bailable, they cannot afford to put up a bail, upon
court reduced the penalty to say, less than six years, that convict can still file promulgation of the sentence, naturally he goes back to detention, that does
an application for probation, because the earliest opportunity for him to avail of not mean that they already start serving the sentence even after promulgation
probation came only after judgment by the appellate court. of the sentence, sentence will only become final and executory after the lapse
of the 15-day period, unless the convict has waived expressly his right to
Whether a convict who is otherwise qualified for probation may be give the appeal or otherwise, he has partly started serving sentence and in that case,
benefit of probation or not, the courts are always required to conduct a hearing. the penalty will already be final and exeuctory, no right to probation can be
If the court denied the application for probation without the benefit of the applied for.
hearing, where as the applicant is not disqualified under the provision of the
Probation Law, but only based on the report of the probation officer, the denial Probation shall be denied if the court finds:
is correctible by certiorari, because it is an act of the court in excess of
jurisdiction or without jurisdiction, the order denying the application therefore is (1) That the offender is in need of correctional treatment that can be
null and void. provided most effectively by his commitment to an institution;

Probation is intended to promote the correction and rehabilitation of an (2) That there is undue risk that during the period of probation the
offender by providing him with individualized treatment; to provide an offender will commit another crime; or
opportunity for the reformation of a penitent offender which might be less
probable if he were to serve a prison sentence; to prevent the commission of (3) Probation will depreciate the seriousness of the crime.
offenses; to decongest our jails; and to save the government much needed
finance for maintaining convicts in jail The probation law imposes two kinds of conditions:

Probation is only a privilege. So even if the offender may not be disqualified of (1) Mandatory conditions; and
probation, yet the court believes that because of the crime committed it was
not advisable to give probation because it would depreciate the effect of the (2) Discretionary conditions.
crime, the court may refuse or deny an application for probation.

Generally, the courts do not grant an application for probation for violation of iii. Mandatory conditions:
the Dangerous Drugs Law, because of the prevalence of the crime. So it is not
along the purpose of probation to grant the convict the benefit thereof, just the (1) The convict must report to the Probation Officer (PO) designated in the
individual rehabilitation of the offender but also the best interest of the society court order approving his application for Probation within 72 hours
and the community where the convict would be staying, if he would be released from receipt of Notice of such order approving his application; and
on probation. To allow him loose may bring about a lack of respect of the
members of the community to the enforcement of penal law. In such a case, (2) The convict, as a probationer, must report to the PO at least once a
the court even if the crime is probationable may still deny the benefit of month during the period of probation unless sooner required by the
probation. PO.

Consider not only the probationable crime, but also the probationable penalty. These conditions being mandatory, the moment any of these is violate, the
If it were the non-probationable crime, then regardless of the penalty, the probation is cancelled.
convict cannot avail of probation. Generally, the penalty which is not
probationable is any penalty exceeding six years of imprisonment. Offenses
which are not probationable are those against natural security, those against Discretionary conditions:
public order and those with reference to subversion.
The trial court which approved the application for probation may impose any
Persons who have been granted of the benefit of probation cannot avail thereof condition which may be constructive to the correction of the offender, provided
for the second time. Probation is only available once and this may be availed the same would not violate the constitutional rights of the offender and subject
only where the convict starts serving sentence and provided he has not to this two restrictions: (1) the conditions imposed should not be unduly
perfected an appeal. If the convict perfected an appeal, he forfeits his right to restrictive of the probationer; and (2) such condition should not be
apply for probation. As far as offenders who are under preventive incompatible with the freedom of conscience of the probationer
imprisonment, that because a crime committed is not bailable or the crime

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grounds by which criminal liability is extinguished. This is only true to

EXTINCTION OF CRIMINAL LIABILITY administrative cases but not criminal cases.

Always provide two classifications when answering this question.

Death of the offender
Criminal liability is totally extinguished as follows:
Where the offender dies before final judgment, his death extinguishes both his
(1) By the death of the convict as to personal penalties; and as to criminal and civil liabilities. So while a case is on appeal, the offender dies, the
pecuniary penalties, liability therefore is extinguished only when the case on appeal will be dismissed. The offended party may file a separate civil
death of the offender occurs before final judgment action under the Civil Code if any other basis for recovery of civil liability exists
as provided under Art 1157 Civil Code. (People v. Bayotas, decided on
(2) By service of sentence; September 2, 1994)

(3) By amnesty which completely extinguished the penalty and all its
effects; Amnesty and pardon

(4) By absolute pardon; The effects of amnesty as well as absolute pardon are not the same. Amnesty
erases not only the conviction but also the crime itself. So that if an offender
(5) By prescription of the crime; was convicted for rebellion and he qualified for amnesty, and so he was given
an amnesty, then years later he rebelled again and convicted, is he a recidivist?
(6) By prescription of the penalty; No. Because the amnesty granted to him erased not only the conviction but
also the effects of the conviction itself.
(7) By the marriage of the offended women as in the crimes of rape,
abduction, seduction and acts of lasciviousness. Suppose, instead of amnesty, what was given was absolute pardon, then years
later, the offended was again captured and charged for rebellion, he was
Criminal liability is partially extinguished as follows: convicted, is he a recidivist?
Yes. Pardon, although absolute does not erase the effects of conviction.
(1) By conditional pardon; Pardon only excuses the convict from serving the sentence. There is an
exception to this and that is when the pardon was granted when the convict
(2) By commutation of sentence; had already served the sentence such that there is no more service of sentence
to be executed then the pardon shall be understood as intended to erase the
(3) For good conduct, allowances which the culprit may earn while he is effects of the conviction.
serving sentence;
So if the convict has already served the sentence and in spite of that he was
(4) Parole; and given a pardon that pardon will cover the effects of the crime and therefore, if
he will be subsequently convicted for a felony embracing the same title as that
(5) Probation. crime, he cannot be considered a recidivist, because the pardon wipes out the
effects of the crime.

Total extinction of criminal liability But if he was serving sentence when he was pardoned, that pardon will not
wipe out the effects of the crime, unless the language of the pardon absolutely
Among the grounds for total extinction as well as those for partial extinction, relieve the offender of all the effects thereof. Considering that recidivism does
you cannot find among them the election to public office. In one case, a public not prescribe, no matter how long ago was the first conviction, he shall still be
official was charged before the Sandiganbayan for violation of Anti-Graft and a recidivist.
Corrupt Practices Act. During the ensuing election, he was nevertheless re-
elected by the constituents, one of the defenses raised was that of condonation Illustrations:
of the crime by his constituents, that his constituents have pardoned him. The
Supreme Court ruled that the re-election to public office is not one of the

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When the crime carries with it moral turpitude, the offender even if granted moment the falsified document is registered in the Registry of Property, the
pardon shall still remain disqualified from those falling in cases where moral prescriptive period already commenced to run.
turpitude is a bar.
When a crime prescribes, the State loses the right to prosecute the offender,
Pedro was prosecuted and convicted of the crime of robbery and was sentenced hence, even though the offender may not have filed a motion to quash on this
to six years imprisonment or prision correccional. After serving sentence for ground the trial court, but after conviction and during the appeal he learned
three years, he was granted absolute pardon. Ten years later, Pedro was again that at the time the case was filed, the crime has already prescribed, such
prosecuted and convicted of the crime of theft, a crime embraced in the same accused can raise the question of prescription even for the first time on appeal,
title, this time he shall be a recidivist. On the other hand, if he has served all and the appellate court shall have no jurisdiction to continue, if legally, the
six years of the first sentence, and his name was included in the list of all crime has indeed prescribed.
those granted absolute pardon, pardon shall relieve him of the effects of the
crime, and therefore even if he commits theft again, he shall not be considered The prevailing rule now is, prescription of the crime is not waivable, the earlier
a recidivist. jurisprudence to the contrary had already been abrogated or overruled.
Moreover, for purposes of prescription, the period for filing a complaint or
In Monsanto v. Factoran, Jr., 170 SCRA 191, it was held that absolute information may not be extended at all, even though the last day such
pardon does not ipso facto entitle the convict to reinstatement to the public prescriptive period falls on a holiday or a Sunday.
office forfeited by reason of his conviction. Although pardon restores his
eligibility for appointment to that office, the pardoned convict must reapply for For instance, light felony prescribes in 60 days or two months. If the 60 th day
the new appointment falls on a Sunday, the filing of the complaint on the succeeding Monday is
. already fatal to the prosecution of the crime because the crime has already
Pardon becomes valid only when there is a final judgment. If given before this, prescribed.
it is premature and hence void. There is no such thing as a premature
amnesty, because it does not require a final judgment; it may be given before The rules on Criminal Procedure for purposes of prescription is that the filing of
final judgment or after it. the complaint even at the public prosecutor’s office suspends the running of the
prescriptive period, but not the filing with the barangay. So the earlier rulings
to the contrary are already abrogated by express provision of the Revised Rules
Prescription of crime and prescription of the penalty on Criminal Procedure.

Prescription of the crime begins, as a general rule on the day the crime was The prescription of the crime is interrupted or suspended –
committed, unless the crime was concealed, not public, in which case, the
prescription thereof would only commence from the time the offended party or (1) When a complaint is filed in a proper barangay for conciliation or
the government learns of the commission of the crime. mediation as required by Chapter 7, Local Government Code, but the
suspension of the prescriptive period is good only for 60 days. After
“Commission of the crime is public” -- This does not mean alone that the crime which the prescription will resume to run, whether the conciliation or
was within public knowledge or committed in public. mediation is terminated for not;

Illustration: (2) When criminal case is filed in the prosecutor’s office, the prescription
of the crime is suspended until the accused is convicted or the
In the crime of falsification of a document that was registered in the proper proceeding is terminated for a cause not attributable to the accused.
registry of the government like the Registry of Property or the Registry of
Deeds of the Civil registry, the falsification is deemed public from the time the But where the crime is subject to Summary Procedure, the prescription of the
falsified document was registered or recorded in such public office so even crime will be suspended only when the information is already filed with the trial
though, the offended party may not really know of the falsification, the court. It is not the filing of the complaint, but the filing of the information in
prescriptive period of the crime shall already run from the moment the falsified the trial which will suspend the prescription of the crime.
document was recorded in the public registry. So in the case where a deed of
sale of a parcel of land which was falsified was recorded in the corresponding On the prescription of the penalty, the period will only commence to run when
Registry of Property, the owner of the land came to know of the falsified the convict has begun to serve the sentence. Actually, the penalty will
transaction only after 10 years, so he brought the criminal action only then. prescribe from the moment the convict evades the service of the sentence. So
The Supreme Court ruled that the crime has already prescribed. From the if an accused was convicted in the trial court, and the conviction becomes final

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and executory, so this fellow was arrested to serve the sentence, on the way to after the marriage, otherwise, notwithstanding such marriage, the offended
the penitentiary, the vehicle carrying him collided with another vehicle and woman, although already his wife can still prosecute him again, although the
overturned, thus enabling the prisoner to escape, no matter how long such marriage remains a valid marriage. Do not think that the marriage is avoided
convict has been a fugitive from justice, the penalty imposed by the trial court or annulled. The marriage still subsists although the offended woman may re-
will never prescribe because he has not yet commenced the service of his file the complaint. The Supreme Court ruled that marriage contemplated must
sentence. For the penalty to prescribe, he must be brought to Muntinlupa, be a real marriage and not one entered to and not just to evade punishment for
booked there, placed inside the cell and thereafter he escapes. the crime committed because the offender will be compounding the wrong he
has committed.
Whether it is prescription of crime or prescription of penalty, if the subject could
leave the Philippines and go to a country with whom the Philippines has no
extradition treaty, the prescriptive period of the crime or penalty shall remain Partial extinction of criminal liability
suspended whenever he is out of the country.

When the offender leaves for a country to which the Philippines has an Good conduct allowance
extradition treaty, the running of the prescriptive period will go on even if the
offender leaves Philippine territory for that country. Presently the Philippines This includes the allowance for loyalty under Article 98, in relation to Article
has an extradition treaty with Taiwan, Indonesia, Canada, Australia, USA and 158. A convict who escapes the place of confinement on the occasion of
Switzerland. So if the offender goes to any of these countries, the prescriptive disorder resulting from a conflagration, earthquake or similar catastrophe or
period still continues to run. during a mutiny in which he has not participated and he returned within 48
hours after the proclamation that the calamity had already passed, such convict
In the case of the prescription of the penalty, the moment the convict commits shall be given credit of 1/5 of the original sentence from that allowance for his
another crime while he is fugitive from justice, prescriptive period of the loyalty of coming back. Those who did not leave the penitentiary under such
penalty shall be suspended and shall not run in the meantime. The crime circumstances do not get such allowance for loyalty. Article 158 refers only to
committed does not include the initial evasion of service of sentence that the those who leave and return.
convict must perform before the penalty shall begin to prescribe, so that the
initial crime of evasion of service of sentence does not suspend the prescription
of penalty, it is the commission of other crime, after the convict has evaded the Parole
service of penalty that will suspend such period.
This correspondingly extinguishes service of sentence up to the maximum of
the indeterminate sentence. This is the partial extinction referred to, so that if
Marriage the convict was never given parole, no partial extinction.

In the case of marriage, do not say that it is applicable for the crimes under
Article 344. It is only true in the crimes of rape, abduction, seduction and acts CIVIL LIABILITY OF THE OFFENDER
of lasciviousness. Do not say that it is applicable to private crimes because the
term includes adultery and concubinage. Marriages in these cases may even
compound the crime of adultery or concubinage. It is only in the crimes of Civil liability of the offender falls under three categories:
rape, abduction, seduction and acts of lasciviousness that the marriage by the
offender with the offended woman shall extinguish civil liability, not only (1) Restitution and restoration;
criminal liability of the principal who marries the offended woman, but also that
of the accomplice and accessory, if there are any. (2) Reparation of the damage caused; and

Co-principals who did not themselves directly participate in the execution of the (3) Indemnification of consequential damages.
crime but who only cooperated, will also benefit from such marriage, but not
when such co-principal himself took direct part in the execution of the crime.
Restitution or restoration
Marriage as a ground for extinguishing civil liability must have been contracted
in good faith. The offender who marries the offended woman must be sincere Restitution or restoration presupposes that the offended party was divested of
in the marriage and therefore must actually perform the duties of a husband property, and such property must be returned. If the property is in the hands

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of a third party, the same shall nevertheless be taken away from him and be an allowance for depreciation, otherwise, the offended party is allowed to
restored to the offended party, even though such third party may be a holder enrich himself at the expense of the offender. So there will be a corresponding
for value and a buyer in good faith of the property, except when such third depreciation and the offended party may even be required to pay something
party buys the property from a public sale where the law protects the buyer. just to cover the difference of the value of what was restored to him.

For example, if a third party bought a property in a public auction conducted by The obligation of the offender transcends to his heirs, even if the offender dies,
the sheriff levied on the property of a judgment creditor for an obligation, the provided he died after judgment became final, the heirs shall assume the
buyer of the property at such execution sale is protected by law. The offended burden of the civil liability, but this is only to the extent that they inherit
party cannot divest him thereof. So the offended party may only resort to property from the deceased, if they do not inherit, they cannot inherit the
reparation of the damage done from the offender. obligations.

Some believed that this civil liability is true only in crimes against property, this The right of the offended party transcends to heirs upon death. The heirs of
is not correct. Regardless of the crime committed, if the property is illegally the offended party step into the shoes of the latter to demand civil liability from
taken from the offended party during the commission of the crime, the court the offender.
may direct the offender to restore or restitute such property to the offended
party. It can only be done if the property is brought within the jurisdiction of
that court. Reparation of the damage caused

For example, in a case where the offender committed rape, during the rape, the In case of human life, reparation of the damage cause is basically P50,000.00
offender got on of the earrings of the victim. When apprehended, the offender value of human life, exclusive of other forms of damages. This P50,000.00
was prosecuted for rape and theft. When the offender was asked why he got may also increase whether such life was lost through intentional felony or
on of the earrings of the victim, the offender disclosed that he took one of the criminal negligence, whether the result of dolo or culpa. Also in the crime of
earrings in order to have a souvenir of the sexual intercourse. Supreme Court rape, the damages awarded to the offended woman is generally P30,000.00 for
ruled that the crime committed is not theft and rape but rape and unjust the damage to her honor. In earlier rulings, the amount varied, whether the
vexation for the taking of the earring. The latter crime is not a crime against offended woman is younger or a married woman. Supreme Court ruled that
property, this is a crime against personal security and liberty under Title IX of even if the offended woman does not adduce evidence or such damage, court
Book II of the RPC. And yet, the offender was required to restore or restitute can take judicial notice of the fact that if a woman was raped, she inevitably
the earring to the offended woman. suffers damages. Under the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, a private
prosecutor can recover all kinds of damages including attorney’s fee. The only
Property will have to be restored to the offended party even this would require limitation is that the amount and the nature of the damages should be
the taking of the property from a third person. Where personal property was specified. The present procedural law does not allow a blanket recovery of
divested from the offended party pursuant to the commission of the crime, the damages. Each kind of damages must be specified and the amount duly
one who took the same or accepted the same would be doing so without the proven.
benefit of the just title. So even if the property may have been bought by the
third person, the same may be taken from him and restored to the offended
party without an obligation on the part of the offended party to pay him Indemnification of consequential damages
whatever he paid.
Indemnification of consequential damages refers to the loss of earnings, loss of
The right to recover what he has paid will be against the offender who sold it to profits. This does not refer only to consequential damages suffered by the
him. On the other hand, if the crime was theft or robbery, the one who offended party; this also includes consequential damages to third party who
received the personal property becomes a fence, he is not only required to also suffer because of the commission of the crime.
restitute the personal property but he incurs criminal liability in violation of the
Anti-Fencing Law. The offender carnapped a bridal car while the newly-weds were inside the
church. Since the car was only rented, consequential damage not only to the
If the property cannot be restituted anymore, then the damage must be newly-weds but also to the entity which rented the car to them.
repaired, requiring the offender to pay the value thereof, as determined by the
court. That value includes the sentimental value to the offended party, not only Most importantly, refer to the persons who are civilly liable under Articles 102
the replacement cost. In most cases, the sentimental value is higher than the and 103. This pertains to the owner, proprietor of hotels, inns, taverns and
replacement value. But if what would be restored is brand new, then there will

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similar establishments, an obligation to answer civilly for the loss or property of employer in order to enforce the subsidiary civil liability for the crime
their guests. committed by his employee, it is enough that the writ of execution is returned
unsatisfied. There is no denial of due process of law because the liability of the
Under Articloe 102, two conditions must be present before liability attaches to employer is subsidiary and not primary. He will only be liable if his employee
the inkeepers, tavernkeepers and proprietors: does not have the property to pay his civil liability, since it is the law itself that
provides that such subsidiary liability exists and ignorance of the law is not an
(1) The guest must have informed the management in advance of his excuse.
having brought to the premises certain valuables aside from the usual
personal belongings of the guest; and Civil liability of the offender is extinguished in the same manner as civil
obligation is extinguished but this is not absolutely true. Under civil law, a civil
(2) The guest must have followed the rules and regulations prescribed by obligation is extinguished upon loss of the thing due when the thing involved is
the management of such inn, tavern, or similar establishment specific. This is not a ground applicable to extinction of civil liability in criminal
regarding the safekeeping of said valuables. case if the thing due is lost, the offender shall repair the damages caused.

The Supreme Court ruled that even though the guest did not obey the rules and When there are several offenders, the court in the exercise of its discretion
regulations prescribed by the management for safekeeping of the valuables, shall determine what shall be the share of each offender depending upon the
this does not absolve management from the subsidiary civil liability. Non- degree of participation – as principal, accomplice or accessory. If within each
compliance with such rules and regulations but the guests will only be regarded class of offender, there are more of them, such as more than one principal or
as contributory negligence, but it won’t absolve the management from civil more than one accomplice or accessory, the liability in each class of offender
liability. shall be subsidiary. Anyone of the may be required to pay the civil liability
pertaining to such offender without prejudice to recovery from those whose
Liability specially attaches when the management is found to have violated any share have been paid by another.
law or ordinance, rule or regulation governing such establishment.
If all the principals are insolvent, the obligation shall devolve upon the
Even if the crime is robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons or accomplice(s) or accessory(s). But whoever pays shall have the right of
committed by the inkeeper’s employees, management will be liable, otherwise, covering the share of the obligation from those who did not pay but are civilly
not liable because there is duress from the offender, liable only for theft and liable.
force upon things.
To relate with Article 38, when there is an order or preference of pecuniary
Under Article 103, the subsidiary liability of an employer or master for the (monetary) liability, therefore, restitution is not included here.
crime committed by his employee or servant may attach only when the
following requisites concur: There is not subsidiary penalty for non-payment of civil liability.

(1) The employer must be engaged in business or in trade or industry Subsidiary civil liability is imposed in the following:
while the accused was his employee;
(1) In case of a felony committed under the compulsion of an irresistible
(2) At the time the crime was committed, the employee-employerr force. The person who employed the irresistible force is subsidiarily
relationship must be existing between the two; liable;

(3) The employee must have been found guilty of the crime charged and (2) In case of a felony committed under an impulse of an equal or greater
accordingly held civilly liable; injury. The person who generated such an impulse is subsidiarily
(4) The writ of execution for the satisfaction of the civil liability was
returned unsatisfied because the accused-employee does not have The owners of taverns, inns, motels, hotels, where the crime is committed
enough property to pay the civil liability. within their establishment due to noncompliance with general police
regulations, if the offender who is primarily liable cannot pay, the proprietor, or
When these requisites concur, the employer will be subsidiarily civilly liable for owner is subsidiarily liable.
the full amount that his employee was adjudged civilly liable. It is already
settled in jurisprudence that there is no need to file a civil action against the

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Felonies committed by employees, pupils, servants in the course of their

employment, schooling or household chores. The employer, master, teacher is iv. Composite Crime/Special Complex
subsidiarily liable civilly, while the offender is primarily liable. Crime

In case the accomplice and the principal cannot pay, the liability of those This is one which in substance is made up of more than one crime but which in
subsidiarily liable is absolute. the eyes of the law is only a single indivisible offense. This is also known as a
special complex crime. Examples are robbery with homicide, robbery with
rape, and rape with homicide.
The compound crime and the complex crime are treated in Article 48 of the
Philosophy behind plural crimes: The treatment of plural crimes as one is to be Revised Penal Code. But in such article, a compound crime is also designated
lenient to the offender, who, instead of being made to suffer distinct penalties as a complex crime, but “complex crimes” are limited only to a situation where
for every resulting crime is made to suffer one penalty only, although it is the the resulting felonies are grave and/or less grave.
penalty for the most serious one and is in the maximum period. Purpose is in
the pursuance of the rule of pro reo. Whereas in a compound crime, there is no limit as to the gravity of the
resulting crimes as long as a single act brings about two or more crimes.
If be complexing the crime, the penalty would turn out to be higher, do not Strictly speaking, compound crimes are not limited to grave or less grave
complex anymore. felonies but covers all single act that results in two or more crimes.

Example: Murder and theft (killed with treachery, then stole the right). Illustration:
Penalty: If complex – Reclusion temporal maximum to death.
If treated individually – Reclusion temporal to Reclusion Perpetua. A person threw a hand grenade and the people started scampering. When the
hand grenade exploded, no on was seriously wounded all were mere wounded.
Complex crime is not just a matter of penalty, but of substance under the It was held that this is a compound crime, although the resulting felonies are
Revised Penal Code. only slight.

Plurality of crimes may be in the form of: Illustration of a situation where the term “necessary” in complex crime should
not be understood as indispensable:
(1) Compound crime;
Abetting committed during the encounter between rebels and government
(2) Complex crime; and troops such that the homicide committed cannot be complexed with rebellion.
This is because they are indispensable part of rebellion. (Caveat: Ortega says
(3) Composite crime. rebellion can be complexed with common crimes in discussion on Rebellion)

The complex crime lies actually in the first form under Article 148.
A compound crime is one where a single act produces two or more crimes.
The first form of the complex crime is actually a compound crime, is one where
A complex crime strictly speaking is one where the offender has to commit an a single act constitutes two or more grave and/or less grave felonies. The basis
offense as a means for the commission of another offense. It is said that the in complexing or compounding the crime is the act. So that when an offender
offense is committed as a necessary means to commit the other offense. performed more than one act, although similar, if they result in separate
“Necessary” should not be understood as indispensable, otherwise, it shall be crimes, there is no complex crime at all, instead, the offender shall be
considered absorbed and not giving rise to a complex crime. prosecuted for as many crimes as are committed under separate information.

A composite crime is one in which substance is made up of more than one When the single act brings about two or more crimes, the offender is punished
crime, but which in the eyes of the law is only a single indivisible offense. This with only one penalty, although in the maximum period, because he acted only
is also known as special complex crime. Examples are robbery with homicide, with single criminal impulse. The presumption is that, since there is only one
robbery with rape, rape with homicide. These are crimes which in the eyes of act formed, it follows that there is only one criminal impulse and correctly, only
the law are regarded only as a single indivisible offense. one penalty should be imposed.

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Conversely, when there are several acts performed, the assumption is that each run away. When the hands of the Muslims were tied, one of them protested, he
act is impelled by a distinct criminal impulse and for ever criminal impulse, a did not want to be included among those who were tied becase he was a Hajji,
separate penalty. However, it may happen that the offender is impelled only by so the Hajji remonstrated and there was commotion. At the height of the
a single criminal impulse in committing a series of acts that brought about more commotion, Lawas ordered his men to fire, and the soldiers mechanically fired.
than one crime, considering that Criminal Law, if there is only one criminal Eleven were killed and several others were wounded. The question of whether
impulse which brought about the commission of the crime, the offender should the constabulary soldiers should be prosecuted for the killing of each under a
be penalized only once. separate information has reached the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court
ruled that the accused should be prosecuted only in one information, because a
There are in fact cases decided by the Supreme Court where the offender has complex crime of multiple homicide was committed by them.
performed a series of acts but the acts appeared to be impelled by one and the
same impulse, the ruling is that a complex crime is committed. In this case it In another case, a band of robbers came across a compound where a sugar mill
is not the singleness of the act but the singleness of the impulse that has been is located. The workers of said mill have their quarters within the compound.
considered. There are cases where the Supreme Court held that the crime The band of robbers ransacked the different quarters therein. It was held that
committed is complex even though the offender performed not a single act but there is only one crime committed – multiple robbery, not because of Article 48
a series of acts. The only reason is that the series of acts are impelled by a but because this is a continued crime. When the robbers entered the
single criminal impulse. compound, they were moved by a single criminal intent. Not because there
were several quarters robbed. This becomes a complex crime.

CONTINUED AND CONTINUING CRIMES The definition in Article 48 is not honored because the accused did not perform
a single act. There were a series of acts, but the decision in the Lawas case is
In criminal law, when a series of acts are perpetrated in pursuance of a single correct. The confusion lies in this. While Article 48 speaks of a complex crime
criminal impulse, there is what is called a continued crime. In criminal where a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave offenses, even
procedure for purposes of venue, this is referred to as a continuing crime. those cases when the act is not a single but a series of acts resulting to two or
more grave and less grave felonies, the Supreme Court considered this as a
The term “continuing crimes” as sometimes used in lieu of the term “continued complex crime when the act is the product of one single criminal impulse.
crimes”, however, although both terms are analogous, they are not really used
with the same import. “Continuing crime” is the term used in criminal If confronted with a problem, use the standard or condition that it refers not
procedure to denote that a certain crime may be prosecuted and tried not only only to the singleness of the act which brought two or more grave and/less
before the court of the place where it was originally committed or began, but grave felonies. The Supreme Court has extended this class of complex crime to
also before the court of the place where the crime was continued. Hence, the those cases when the offender performed not a single act but a series of acts
term “continuing crime” is used in criminal procedure when any of the material as long as it is the product of a single criminal impulse.
ingredients of the crime was committed in different places.
You cannot find an article in the Revised Penal Code with respect to the
A “continued crime” is one where the offender performs a series of acts continued crime or continuing crime. The nearest article is Article 48. Such
violating one and the same penal provision committed at the same place and situation is also brought under the operation of Article 48.
about the same time for the same criminal purpose, regardless of a series of
acts done, it is regarded in law as one. In People v. Garcia, the accused were convicts who were members of a
certain gang and they conspired to kill the other gang. Some of the accused
In People v. de Leon, where the accused took five roosters from one and the killed their victims in one place within the same penitentiary, some killed the
same chicken coop, although, the roosters were owned by different persons, it others in another place within the same penitentiary. The Supreme Court ruled
was held that there is only one crime of theft committed, because the accused that all accused should be punished under one information because they acted
acted out of a single criminal impulse only. However performing a series of acts in conspiracy. The act of one is the act of all. Because there were several
but this is one and the same intent Supreme Court ruled that only one crime is victims killed and some were mortally wounded, the accused should be held for
committed under one information. the complex crime of multiple homicide with multiple frustrated homicide.
There is a complex crime not only when there is a single act but a series of
In People v. Lawas, the accused constabulary soldiers were ordered to march acts. It is correct that when the offender acted in conspiracy, this crime is
with several muslims from one barrio to another place. These soldiers feared considered as one and prosecuted under one information. Although in this
that on the way, some of the Muslims may escape. So Lawas ordered the men case, the offenders did not only kill one person but killed different persons, so it
to tie the Muslims by the hand connecting one with the other, so no one would is clear that in killing of one victim or the killing of another victim, another act

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out of this is done simultaneously. Supreme Court considered this as complex. committed were in the nature of a continued crime characterized by the same
Although the killings did not result from one single act. lewd design which is an essential element in the crime of forcible abduction.

In criminal procedure, it is prohibited to charge more than one offense in an The abuse amounting to rape is complexed with forcible abduction because the
information, except when the crimes in one information constitute a complex abduction was already consummated when the victim was raped. The forcible
crime or a special complex crime. abduction must be complexed therewith. But the multiple rapes should be
considered only as one because they are in the nature of a continued crime.
So whenever the Supreme Court concludes that the criminal should be
punished only once, because they acted in conspiracy or under the same Note: This is a dangerous view because the abductors will commit as much
criminal impulse, it is necessary to embody these crimes under one single rape as they can, after all, only one complex crime of rape would arise.
information. It is necessary to consider them as complex crimes even if the
essence of the crime does not fit the definition of Art 48, because there is no In adultery, each intercourse constitutes one crime. Apparently, the singleness
other provision in the RPC. of the act is not considered a single crime. Each intercourse brings with it the
danger of bringing one stranger in the family of the husband.
Duplicity of offenses, in order not to violate this rule, it must be called a
complex crime. Article 48 also applies in cases when out of a single act of negligence or
imprudence, two or more grave or less grave felonies resulted, although only
In earlier rulings on abduction with rape, if several offenders abducted the the first part thereof (compound crime). The second part of Article 48 does not
woman and abused her, there is multiple rape. The offenders are to be apply, referring to the complex crime proper because this applies or refers only
convicted of one count of rape and separately charged of the other rapes. to a deliberate commission of one offense to commit another offense.

In People v. Jose, there were four participants here. They abducted the However, a light felony may result from criminal negligence or imprudence,
woman, after which, the four took turns in abusing her. It was held that each together with other grave or less grave felonies resulting therefrom and the
one of the four became liable not only for his own rape but also for those Supreme Court held that all felonies resulting from criminal negligence should
committed by the others. Each of the four offenders was convicted of four be made subject of one information only. The reason being that, there is only
rapes. In the eyes of the law, each committed four crimes of rape. One of the one information and prosecution only. Otherwise, it would be tantamount to
four rapes committed by one of them was complexed with the crime of splitting the criminal negligence similar to splitting a cause of action which is
abduction. The other three rapes are distinct counts of rape. The three rapes prohibited in civil cases.
are not necessary to commit the other rapes. Therefore, separate
complaints/information. Although under Article 48, a light felony should not be included in a complex
crime, yet by virtue of this ruling of the Supreme Court, the light felony shall be
In People v. Pabasa, the Supreme Court through Justice Aquino ruled that included in the same information charging the offender with grave and/or less
there is only one count of forcible abduction with rape committed by the grave felonies resulting from the negligence of reckless imprudence and this
offenders who abducted the two women and abused them several times. This runs counter to the provision of Article 48. So while the Supreme Court ruled
was only a dissenting opinion of Justice Aquino, that there could be only one that the light felony resulting from the same criminal negligence should be
complex crimeof abduction with rape, regardless of the number of rapes complexed with the other felonies because that would be a blatant violation of
committed because all the rapes are but committed out of one and the same Article 48, instead the Supreme Court stated that an additional penalty should
lewd design which impelled the offender to abduct the victim. be imposed for the light felony. This would mean two penalties to be imposed,
one for the complex crime and one for the light felony. It cannot separate the
In People v. Bojas, the Supreme Court followed the ruling in People v. Jose light felony because it appears that the culpa is crime itself and you cannot split
that the four men who abducted and abused the offended women were held the crime.
liable for one crime – one count or forcible abudction with rape and distinct
charges for rape for the other rapes committed by them. Applying the concept of the “continued crime”, the following cases have been
treated as constituting one crime only:
In People v. Bulaong, the Supreme Court adopted the dissenting opinion of
Justice Aquino in People v. Pabasa, that when several persons abducted a (1) The theft of 13 cows belonging to two different persons committed by
woman and abused her, regardless of the number of rapes committed, there the accused at the same place and period of time (People v. Tumlos,
should only be one complex crime of forcible abduction with rape. The rapes 67 Phil. 320);

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(2) The theft of six roosters belonging to two different owners from the
same coop and at the same period of time (People v. Jaranillo);
(3) The illegal charging of fees for service rendered by a lawyer every time
he collects veteran’s benefits on behalf of a client who agreed that • Death of the convict as to the personal penalties before final judgment
attorney’s fees shall be paid out of such benefits (People v. Sabbun, • By service of the sentence
10 SCAR 156). The collections of legal fees were impelled by the • By amnesty which completely extinguishes the penalty and all its effects
same motive, that of collecting fees for services rendered, and all acts • BY prescription of the crime
of collection were made under the same criminal impulse. • By prescription of the penalty
• By the marriage of the offended party (rape)
On the other hand, the Supreme Court declined to apply the concept in the
following cases:
Keyword: spy; amnesty; crime politically motivated
(1) Two Estafa cases, one which was committed during the period from
January 19 to December, 1955 and the other from January 1956 to Issue: W/N the civil aspect is extinguished too on account of amnesty.
July 1956 (People v. Dichupa, 13 Phil 306). Said acts were
committed on two different occasions; Decision: No. The dismissal of the criminal action does not extinguish the civil
responsibility. The idea of amnesty wipes out the crime cannot not be carried
(2) Several malversations committed in May, June and July 1936 and to the extent of saying, for the purpose of depriving a person of a legal civil
falsifications to conceal said offenses committed in August and right to which he was entitled, that the criminal act never existed.
October, 1936. The malversations and falsifications were not the
result of one resolution to embezzle and falsify (People v. CIV, 66 Issue: Should the case be dismissed and accused acquitted since the crime
was politically motivated.
Phil. 351);
Decision: No.. The accused must first show compliance with the requirements
(3) Seventy-five estafa cases committed by the conversion by the agents
of collections from the customers of the employer made on different for availing himself of the benefits like taking the required oath. Upon filing in
the court, the oath, the case will be dismissed. Dismissal of the case will not
be without prejudice to the right of the widow to enforce the civil liability of the
In the theft cases, the trend is to follow the single larceny doctrine, that is
taking of several things, whether belonging to the same or different owners, at
the same time and place, constitutes one larceny only. Many courts have ARTICLE 91 (PRESCRIPTION)
abandoned the separate larceny doctrine, under which there was distinct
larceny as to the property of each victim. Period of prescription shall run from the day on which the crime is discovered
by the offended party. The authorities, or their agents and shall be interrupted
Also abandoned is the doctrine that the government has the discretion to by the filling of the complaint or information and shall commence to run again
prosecute the accused for one offense or for as many distinct offenses as there when such proceedings terminate without the accused being convicted or
are victims (Santiago v. Justice Garchitorena, decided on December 2, 1993). acquitted. Prescription shall not run when offender is not in the Philippines.
Here, the accused was charged with performing a single act – that of approving
the legalization of aliens not qualified under the law. The prosecution PEOPLE vs. SANDIGANBAYAN
manifested that they would only file one information. Subsequently, 32 Keyword: Torrens; registration of public document
amended informations were filed. The Supreme Court directed the prosecution
to consolidate the cases into one offense because (1) they were in violation of Issue: W/N the act charged has already prescribed.
the same law – Executive Order No. 324; (2) caused injury to one party only –
the government; and (3) they were done in the same day. The concept of Decision: Yes. The date of the violation of the law becomes the operative date
delito continuado has been applied to crimes under special laws since in Article for the commencement of the period of prescription. The date of computing
10, the Revised Penal Code shall be supplementary to special laws, unless the the period of prescription would be from the date of the filing of the application.
latter provides the contrary. Even if the ten year period commenced to run from the registration and

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issuance of the free patent title by the register of deed, registration being a Issue: W/N the driver’s employer can be civilly liable.
constructive notice to the whole word, the prescriptive period would lapse on
1986 or 5 months before the filing of the complaint. Decision: No. the employer is not engaged in business or industry and merely
uses automobile for private ends. The employer was also no in the automobile
PEOPLE vs. REYES when the accident happened and when it exercised due diligence in choosing a
driver, the employer cannot be civilly liable.
Keyword: prescription of crime; filling in the register of deeds
Issue: W/N the crime prescribed
Keyword: Chauffer, MC the employer did not know his car was used. The
Decision: Yes. The criminal action has been extinguished by prescription. The victim died.
title, once registered is a notice to the world. All persons must take notice.
Considering the lapse of more than 20 years, the crimes charges already Issue: Can the employer be held liable.
Decision: No. Where it admitted that the employer did not know that his
Issue: Does Art. 91 cannot be construed in such manner as to admit chauffer was using the car that day and the he exercised due diligence in hiring
application of the rule on construction. the chauffer, the employer can not be held liable. The subsidiary liability of the
master only takes place when the servant, subordinate or employee commits a
Decision: No. Although caution should be observed in applying the rule of punishable criminal act while in the actual performance of his own ordinary
construction in civil cases, the court will not hesitate to do so if the factual and duties and he was innocent thereby rendering incapable of satisfying by himself
legal circumstance so warrant. The application of the rule on constructive his own liability.
notice in the construction of Article 92 of the RPC would most certainly be
favorable to the accused since the prescriptive period of the crime shall have to VARELA vs. FINNICK
be reckoned with earlier. The criminal offense of falsification of public Keyword: Estafa of jewels; pawned instead of selling them.
document has already prescribed.
Issue: W/N the jewels can be recovered.
Keywords: Estafa; falsification of public documents. Decision: Yes. Every person criminally liable for a crime or misdemeanor is also
civilly liable. The owner has an absolute right to the jewels from the
FULL and ABSOLUTE FREEDOM: possession of whoever holds them, in accordance with the judgment entered in
Subject to the limitations imposed by the constitution, the pardoning power the aforesaid cause for estafa.
cannot be restricted or controlled by the legislative action. Absolute pardon
dies not blot out the crime committed. Pardon if granted before conviction, it REYES vs. RUIZ
prevents any penalties and disabilities, consequent upon condition, from Keyword: Defraud; jewels
attaching. If granted after conviction, it removes penalties and disabilities and
restores him to all his civil rights. The very essence of pardon is forgiveness Issue: W/N the owner of the jewels direct four pawnshops to restore the
and remission of guilt. Pardon implies guilt, thus, it does no erase the crime jewels without indemnity on the party of the petitioner.
and the conviction thereof. This is the reason why the employee is not entitled
to backpay when pardoned. Decision: Yes. Among the civil responsibilities incurred by a person
committing estafa is that of restoring the thing taken. The jewels were pawned
ARTICLE 100 without the knowledge of the owner thus must be restored by the pawnshop
owners. If restitution is impossible, they may repatriate for the injury or
Every person criminally liable for a felony in also civilly liable.
indemnify the owner.
Keyword: Theft of carabao. Another person aided in procuring registration
Keyword: 2 vehicles collided in intersection; victim cannot collect from the
Issue: W/N that person is mere accessory to the theft or principal.

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exist independently of the criminal responsibility, the extinction of the latter by

Decision: Yes. A number of stolen carabao were found in the possession of a death, ipso facto extinguishes the former, provided, of course, that death
person who kept them hidden for a time and, a few days prior to their recovery, supervenes before final judgment. The said principle does not apply in instant
altered the brands on the animals. Thus, unless it be satisfactorily shown that case wherein the civil liability springs neither solely nor originally from the
the property was stolen by some other person, he must be presumed to be the crime itself but from a civil contract of purchase and sale.
author of the theft and not merely an accessory. His participation as an 1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his
accessory cannot be admitted. He is principal to the crime. Although stolen criminal liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon.
property is acquired in good faith by a third party, he can not lawfully withhold 2. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of
the possession thereof from the true owner and insist upon reimbursement, accused, if the same may also be predicated on a source of obligation other
before delivery. than delict.
3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2 above, an action
PEOPLE vs. BAYOTAS for recovery therefore may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil
Keyword: Rape; SC dismissed the criminal aspect action and subject to Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal
Issue: Does death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguish Procedure as amended. This separate civil action may be enforced either
his civil liability. against the executor/administrator or the estate of the accused, depending an
the source of obligation upon which the same is based as explained above.
Decision: Yes. The case of People v. Castillo, this issue was settled in the 4. Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to
affirmative. With reference to Castillo's criminal liability, them is no question. file this separate civil action by prescription, in cases where -during the
The law is plain. Statutory construction is unnecessary. Said liability is prosecution of the criminal action and prior to its extinction, the private-
extinguished. The civil liability, however, poses a problem. Such liability is offended party instituted together therewith the civil action. In such case, the
extinguished only when the death of the offender occurs before final judgment. statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted during the
It should be stressed that the extinction of civil liability follows the extinction of pendency of the criminal case, conformably with provisions of the Civil Code,
the criminal liability under Article 89, only when the civil liability arises from the that should thereby avoid any apprehension on a possible privation of right by
criminal act as its only basis. Stated differently, where the civil liability does not prescription.

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