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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-33345 November 20, 1978
MRCEL M. !G"O, petitioner,
vs.
T#E #ONOR!LE GERON$MO R. MR%E, Pre&'(')* "+(*e o, -.e Co+r- o, /'r&- $)&-0)1e o, M'&0m'& O11'(e)-02,
!r0)1. 11, 0)( T#E PEOPLE O/ T#E P#$L$PP$NES, respondents.
Diosdado Bacolod for petitioner.
Office of the Solicitor General, for respondents.
!RRE3O, J.:
Petition for certiorari to review, under Republic Act 544, the decision of respondent !ud"e of the Court of #irst $nstance of
Misa%is &ccidental in Cri%inal Case No. &'()5 affir%in" the *ud"%ent of conviction rendered a"ainst petitioner b+ the
Municipal Court of Bonifacio, Misa%is &ccidental and i%posin" upon her the penalt+ to pa+ a fine of P5., with subsidiar+
i%prison%ent in case of insolvenc+, and the costs, for the cri%e of sli"ht ph+sical in*uries.
,he bac-"round facts as found b+ the trial court as follows.
$n the afternoon of April /, /)0, at about 1 o2cloc-, petitioner who was a teacher, left her classroo% to "o to the principal2s
office. 3hile the teacher was thus out of the roo%, co%plainant 3il%a Alcantara, one of her pupils, left her des- and went to
chat with 4ilibeth Purlas, a class%ate, while leanin" over the des- of Ponciano Navarro, another class%ate. At that *uncture, a
fourth class%ate, Benedicta 5uiri"a+ passed near 3il%a, who suddenl+ raised her le" causin" the for%er to stu%ble on it and
fall down, her head hittin" the ed"e of the des-, her sto%ach a sharp pointed u%brella and her -nee a nail of the des-. 6he
fainted. At that precise %o%ent, petitioner was enterin" the roo%. 6he as-ed 3il%a what happened but the latter denied havin"
an+thin" to do with what had *ust ta-en place. Petitioner thereupon beca%e an"r+ and, with a piece of 7ba%boo stic-7 which she
was usin" as a pointer whipped 3il%a behind her le"s and her thi"h, thereb+ causin" the followin" in*uries, accordin" to the
%edical certificate presented in evidence.
/. 4inear bruises at the %iddle half of the dorsal surface of both le"s. it is about four inches in len"th and
/84 centi%eter in width. ,here are three on the ri"ht le" and two on the left le".
1. ,wo linear bruises of the sa%e width and len"th as above at the lower third of the dorsal surface of the
ri"ht thi"h.
,he above lessions, if without co%plication, %a+ heal in four to si9 da+s. :Pa"es 1;(10, Record.<
=pon the fore"oin" facts, petitioner clai%s in her appeal that respondent !ud"e erred in convictin" her of the cri%e of sli"ht
ph+sical in*uries. 6he %aintains that as the teacher, she was *ust tr+in" to discipline her pupil 3il%a for trippin" her class%ate
and for den+in" that she did so. 6he contends she was not actuated b+ an+ cri%inal intent. And she is *oined in this pose b+ the
6olicitor 5eneral, who reco%%ends her ac>uittal, coupled with the observation that althou"h 7petitioner is not cri%inall+ liable
for her conduct, she %a+ still be held accountable for her conduct ad%inistrativel+.
3e a"ree with the 6olicitor 5eneral.
$n the school pre%ises and durin" school activities and affairs, the teacher e9ercises substitute parental authorit+ over the
students. :Article ?4), Civil Code.< More specificall+, accordin" to Article ?51, 7,he relations between teacher and pupil,
professor and student, are fi9ed b+ "overn%ent re"ulations and those of each school or institution. $n no case shall corporal
punish%ent be countenanced. ,he teacher or professor shall cultivate the best potentialities of the heart and %ind of the pupil or
student.7 And pursuant to this provision, 6ection /5 of the Bureau of Public 6chools 6ervice Manual en*oins.
,he use of corporal punish%ent b+ teachers :slappin", *er-in", or pushin" pupils about<, i%posin" %anual
wor- or de"radin" tas-s as penalt+, %etin" out cruel and unusual punish%ents of an+ nature, reducin"
scholarship ratin" for bad conduct, holdin" up a pupil to unnecessar+ ridicule, the use of epithets and
e9pressions tendin" to destro+ the pupil2s self(respect, and the per%anent confiscation of personal effects
of pupils are forbidden.
$n other words, under the fore"oin" Civil Code and ad%inistrative in*unctions, no teacher %a+ i%pose corporal punish%ent upon
an+ student in an+ case. But 3e are not concerned in this appeal with the possible ad%inistrative liabilit+ of petitioner. Neither
are we called upon here to pass on her civil liabilit+ other than what could be e9(delicto, arisin" fro% her conviction, if that
should be the outco%e hereof. ,he sole >uestion for &ur resolution in this appeal relates e9clusivel+ to her cri%inal
responsibilit+ for the alle"ed cri%e of sli"ht ph+sical in*uries as defined in Article 1;;, para"raph 1, of the Revised Penal Code,
pursuant to which she was prosecuted and convicted in the courts below.
$n this respect, it is &ur considered opinion, and so 3e @old that as a %atter of law, petitioner did not incur an+ cri%inal liabilit+
for her act of whippin" her pupil, 3il%a, with the ba%boo(stic-(pointer, in the circu%stances proven in the record.
$ndependentl+ of an+ civil or ad%inistrative responsibilit+ for such act she %i"ht be found to have incurred b+ the proper
authorities, 3e are persuaded that she did not do what she had done with cri%inal intent. ,hat she %eant to punish 3il%a and
so%ehow %a-e her feel such punish%ent %a+ be true, but 3e are convinced that the %eans she actuall+ used was %oderate and
that she was not %otivated b+ ill(will, hatred or an+ %alevolent intent. ,he nature of the in*uries actuall+ suffered b+ 3il%a, a
few linear bruises :at %ost 4 inches lon" and A c%. wide< and the fact that petitioner whipped her onl+ behind the le"s and thi"h,
show, to &ur %ind, that indeed she intended %erel+ to discipline her. And it cannot be said, that 3il%a did not deserve to be
discipline. $n other words, it was farthest fro% the thou"ht of petitioner to co%%it an+ cri%inal offense. Actus non facit reum,
nisi mens sit rea.
Nothin" said above is intended to %ean that this Court sanctions "enerall+ the use of corporal punish%ent b+ teachers on their
pupils. All that 3e hold here is that in the peculiar circu%stances of the instant case before =s, there is no indication be+ond
reasonable doubt, in the evidence before the trial court, that petitioner was actuated b+ a cri%inal desi"n to inflict the in*uries
suffered b+ co%plainant as a result of her bein" whipped b+ petitioner. 3hat appears is that petitioner acted as she did in the
belief as a teacher e9ercisin" authorit+ over her pupil inloco parentis, she was within her ri"hts to punish her %oderatel+ for
purposes of discipline. 3hether or not she e9ceeded the de"ree of %oderation per%itted b+ the laws and rules "overnin" the
perfor%ance of her functions is not for =s, at this %o%ent and in this case, to deter%ine.
Absent an+ applicable precedent indicative of the concept of the disciplinar+ %easures that %a+ be e%plo+ed b+ teachers under
6ection /5 of the Bureau of Public 6chools 6ervice Manual >uoted above, 3e feel it is wiser to leave such deter%ination first
to the ad%inistrative authorities.
After several deliberations, the Court has re%ained divided, such that the necessar+ ei"ht :B< votes necessar+ for conviction has
not been obtained. Accordin"l+, the petitioner (accused is entitled to ac>uittal. ,
3@ERE#&RE, petitioner is hereb+ ac>uitted, with costs de oficio, without pre*udice to her bein" dealt with ad%inistrativel+ or
in a civil case for da%a"es not resultin" e9delicto.
Castro, C.J., Concepcion, Jr., Fernandez and Guerrero, JJ., concur.
Santos, JJ., concurs in the dissenting opinion of Justice Maasiar.
Se40r0-e O4')'o)&
NTON$O, J., concurrin".
,he effectiveness of a teacher to e9ercise authorit+ over her pupil in loco parentis depends on her abilit+ to enforce discipline.
Petitioner had authorit+ to inflict corporal punish%ent on a pupil, if the punish%ent is %oderate, not pro%pted b+ bad %otive,
and is of such a nature that the parent of the child %i"ht e9pect the child would receive if she did wron".
5U$NO, J., concurrin".
,he teacher, who inflicted corporal punish%ent, should be disciplined ad%inistrativel+. $n !eople "s. Ja"ier, CA 4 &5 /1th
6upp. /5, the Court of Appeals, per Melencio, !., Briones, Monte%a+or and Ena"e, JJ., concurrin", held that a teacher, who
inflicted %oderate corporal punish%ent, was not cri%inall+ liable because he had no cri%inal intent, citin" Mansell "s. Griffin, $
C. B. /;. :!ustice ,orres dissented.<
/ERNN3O, J, dissenting.
$ find %+self in s+%path+ with the approach ta-en in the dissentin" opinion of !ustice Ma-asiar not onl+ in view of the hu%anit+
that should per%eate the law but also in accordance with the tendenc+ %uch %ore %anifest of late in international law to accord
"reater and "reater protection to the welfare of the +oun", as an aspect of hu%an ri"hts. Moreover, it is well(settled that the
doctrine parens patriae calls for the state e9ercisin" the ut%ost vi"ilance to assure that teachers and educators should refrain
fro% the infliction of corporal punish%ent which for %e at least is a relic of the past. ,his is not to lose si"ht of the si"nificance
of the view stressed in the opinion of !ustice Barredo that cri%inal intent %ust be shown to *ustif+ a findin" of "uilt.
Nonetheless, considerin" the nature and e9tent of the ph+sical in*uries sustained, as shown in the dissentin" opinion of !ustice
MuDoE Pal%a, the protestation of "ood faith on the part of appellant had, for %e, lost its persuasiveness. 2,he leadin" case
of !eople ". Cagoco,
1
where the accused approached the victi% fro% behind and suddenl+ struc- hi% with his fist on the bac-
part of his head causin" hi% to fall bac-wards, his head stri-in" the asphalt pave%ent as a result of which he died a few hours
later co%es to %ind. $t was the rulin" of this Court that %urder was co%%itted as there wasale"osia, althou"h appellant was
entitled to the %iti"atin" circu%stance of lac- of intention to co%%it so "reat a wron" as that inflicted.
2
,hus $ find %+self unable to +ield concurrence to the ac>uittal of the accused.
TEE#N6EE, J., concurrin".
$ concur with the dissentin" opinion of !ustice MuDoE Pal%a and vote for affir%ance of the *ud"%ent of conviction which
liberall+ i%posed a %ere fine of P5. notwithstandin" the ph+sical in*uries re>uirin" four to si9 da+s2 healin" ti%e inflicted
upon the victi%.
$ onl+ wish to stress that Article 1;; of the Revised Penal Code e9pressl+ penaliEes the offense of sli"ht ph+sical in*uries and
%altreat%ent, while Article ?51 of the Civil Code e9plicitl+ provides that 7:,<he relations between teacher and pupil, professor
and student, are fi9ed b+ "overn%ent, re"ulations and those of each school or institution. #n no case shall corporal punishment
$e countenanced. ,he teacher or professor shall cultivate the best potentialities of the @eart and %ind of the pupil or student,7
even as Article ?4) reco"niEes teachers and professors as a%on" those who e9ercise substitute parental authorit+. 6ection /5 of
the Bureau of Public 6chools 6ervice Manual further cate"oricall+ forbids 7the use of corporal punish%ent b+ teachers :slappin",
*er-in", or pushin" pupils about<.7
$t cannot be contended then that teachers in the e9ercise of their authorit+ in loco parentis %a+, without incurrin" cri%inal
liabilit+ inflict %oderate corporal punish%ent. ,he power to inflict %oderate punish%ent on children is vested b+ Article ?/; of
the Civil Code e%clusi"el&, in the parents.
,he petitioner %i"ht be entitled to the appreciation of %iti"atin" circu%stances in her favor such as havin" acted with
obfuscation, but in the face of the e9press provisions of law she %a+ not be absolved of the proven char"e.
,he state%ent in the %ain opinion :at pa"e 4< that 7wheather or not :petitioner< e9ceeded the de"ree of %oderation per%itted b+
the laws and rules "overnin" the perfor%ance of her functions is not for =s, at this %o%ent and in this case, to deter%ine7 :but
that 73e feel it wiser to leave such deter%ination first to the ad%inistrative authorities7< appears to be contrar+ to the laws and
rules which do not per%it the infliction of corporal punish%ent, %oderate or otherwise, b+ teachers on their pupils but provide
for cri%inal, civil and ad%inistrative sanctions, and contrar+ to the proven facts, which as pointed out b+ !ustice MuDoE Pal%a,
show that the ph+sical in*uries inflicted b+ petitioner on her pupil could b+ no %eans be described as 7%oderate7 :even assu%in"
that teachers had the authorit+ to inflict %oderate corporal punish%ent<.
M6S$R, J., dissentin".
,he facts in this case are as follows.
$nside a classroo% while the teacher was awa+, an eleven +ear old "irl(pupil tripped a "irl(class%ate, causin" sli"ht ph+sical
in*uries to the latter. =pon bein" >uestioned b+ the teacher in char"e who *ust then ca%e bac-, the errin" child denied authorship
of the %isdeed. ,he teacher beca%e an"r+ and, with a ba%boo stic-, whipped the errin" child on the buttoc-s, thi"hs, and le"s
with such violence as to leave on the punished li%bs, not welts, but bruises re>uirin" so%e four to si9 da+s to heal. ,he %edical
certificate described the in*uries thus.
/. 4inear bruises at the %iddle of the dorsal surface of both le"s. $t is about four inches in len"th and /84
centi%eters in width. ,here are three on the ri"ht le" and 1 on the left le".
1. ,wo linear bruises of the sa%e width and len"th as above at the lower third of the dorsal surface of the
ri"ht thi"h.
,he above lesions, if without co%plications, %a+ heal in four to si9 da+s :pa"e 1. Brief of 6olicitor
5eneral<.
Convicted b+ the %unicipal court for sli"ht ph+sical in*uries, the accused appealed to the Court of #irst $nstance, which affir%ed
the conviction. @ence, this appeal direct to this Court.
,he 6olicitor 5eneral reco%%ends the reversal of the decision of the court below. Accordin"l+, the %a*orit+ returns a *ud"%ent
of ac>uittal.
3E dissent.
$
Cri%inal intent is presu%ed in ever+ cri%inal act. But the 6olicitor 5eneral practicall+ ar"ues that a "ood %otive ne"atives
cri%inal intent. Motive %a+ %iti"ate, but does not totall+ e9culpate, cri%inal liabilit+.
Motive, in cri%inal law, consists of the special or personal reason which %a+ pro%pt or induce a person to perfor% the act
constitutin" a cri%e :Padilla, Cri%inal 4aw, Revised Penal Code, Annotated, )th ed., /);4, p. 4/<. $t is the %ovin" power which
i%pels one to act for a definite result, as distin"uished fro% 7intent7 which is the purpose to use a particular %eans to effect such
result :People v. Molineu9, /;B N.F. 1;4, 1)0G ;/ N.E. 1B;, 1);G ;1 4.R.A. /)?<. ,he fore"oin" distinction has "ained wide
acceptance a%on" our cri%inal law co%%entators :see #rancisco, ,he Revised Penal Code, Annotated and Co%%ented, 1nd ed.,
/)54, Boo- &ne, p. ?BG Re+es, the Revised Penal Code, Cri%inal 4aw, ;th ed., /);5, Boo- &ne, p. ;G 5re"orio, #unda%entals
of Cri%inal 4aw Review, ?rd ed., /)0/, p. /;<. $n relation to the 7particular %eans7 e%plo+ed H the overt acts co%%itted b+ a
person H %otive, unli-e intent, is >uite %ateriall+ re%oved. &ne %otive can "ive rise to one of several possible courses of
action, lawful or unlawful, as one act could have been actuated b+ one of several possible %otives, "ood or bad. ,hat is wh+ in
our law on evidence, no unlawful %otive is presu%ed fro% the proof of co%%ission of an unlawful act. Nor would such
presu%ption, if there was, be of an+ use, for %ateriall+ unrelated as %otive is to the prohibited overt act, it is not essential to the
deter%ination of a cri%e.
6ince acts are e>uivocal as to %otive, it is often i%possible to ascertain the reasons which %oved a person to co%%it an act. ,his
finds e9cellent e9a%ple in the case at bar. 3hile the accused stoutl+ asserts that her %otive was to discipline the child, ,he trial
court and the lower appellate court hold differentl+. ,heir unani%ous findin" is that the accused co%%itted the act in the heat of
an"er H a state of %ind which could hardl+ harbor a "ood %otive. ,he Court of #irst $nstance e9presses its findin"s thus H
$t appears that ... :a<t this precise %o%ent, the accused entered the roo% and as-ed 3il%a what had
happened. 3il%a answered that she had nothin" to do with the failin" down of Benedicta. Ponciano
reported to the accused that 3il%a purposel+ bloc-ed Benedicta with her le"s and she fell to the
floor. 'he accused $ecame angr& and whipped 3il%a with a ba%boo stic- :at pa"es / and 1<.
999 999 999
#ro% the evidence it has been dul+ proved that while Benedicta 5uiri"a+ was passin" near 3il%a
Alcantara, the latter suddenl+ raised her le" and Benedicta stu%bled on it and fell to the floor. 6he fainted
and suffered so%e in*uries. 'he accused $ecame "er& angr& "ot her piece of ba%boo stic- which she was
usin" as a pointer stic- and with it whipped 3il%a se"eral ti%es, thereb+ causin" on 3il%a the ph+sical
in*uries described b+ Ir. &Earra"a in his %edical certificate :at pa"e 4G E%phasis supplied<.
$n the sa%e %anner, the %unicipal court finds that H
... :$<n the instant case, it would appear that the accused Marcela M. Baga(o, )as carried a)a& $& her passion or anger in
whippin" to such an e9tre%e 3il%a Alcantara with a ba%boo stic- not reall+ apt for the purpose. 'he "ictim of *ilma
Alcantara+s mischief or naughtiness )as Benedicta Guiriga& a )oring pupil actuall& li"ing )ith her,the accused-for some
&ears. ...
,he %otive of the accused was to aven"e the in*ur+ to the victi% who, as found b+ the trial court, has been livin" with :and
wor-in" for< the accused teacher. 3ill ven"eance *ustif+ the actJ
But assu%in" that the %otive of the accused was reall+ "ood, does this %ean that cri%inal intent on her part is thus co%pletel+
ruled outJ 3E do not believe so. A good moti"e, as we have earlier inti%ated, is not incompati$le )ith an unla)ful intent. &ne
%a+ be convicted of a cri%e whether his %otive appears to be "ood or bad or even thou"h no %otive is proven. A good moti"e
does not pre"ent an act from $eing a crime. :People e9 rel @e"e%an v. Corri"an B0 N.E. 0)1, 0);G /)5 N.F. /, >uotin" People v.
Molineu9 supra. Clar-, Cr. 4aw, sec. /4G People v. 3eiss ? N.F.6. 14), 155G 151 App. Iiv. 4;?<. A classic e9a%ple
is euthanasia or %erc+ -illin". $t is conde%ned b+ law althou"h the %otive %a+ be to spare a hopeless patient prolon"ed
sufferin". And if a father drowns his child who is five +ears of a"e to save it fro% starvin", he is "uilt+ of parricide thou"h he
was actuated b+ a "ood %otive H love for the child :People v.Cirb+ 1 Par-er Cr. R., N.F., 1B. 6ee also =.6. v. Mar%on 45 #ed.
4/4. Both are cited in ,he Revised Penal Code, #rancisco, supra<. ,he father or brother of a rape victi%, who -ills the rapist
lon" after the co%%ission of the rape. to aven"e the victi%2s defloration, is not e9e%pt fro% penal liabilit+. A son -illin" his
sleepin" father, who used to beat up his hardwor-in" %other, to relieve his "ood %other fro% so %uch %iser+, does not *ustif+
the parricide. 6o also, if a person cuts off the foot of a %ischievous child to prevent if fro% doin" further %ischief with its foot,
and thus save it fro% possible cri%inal liabilit+, that person stands liable for ph+sical in*uries. ,rue enou"h, the act involved in
the instant case, which is the beatin" of a child, is less serious than those involved in the above(cited cases, but the fact that an
act is less serious than another does not %ean that it is not cri%inal. &ther e9a%ples can be catalo"ued ad infinitu%. ,hus, our
penal code provides specific penalties for specific cri%es, dependin", "enerall+, on their seriousness.
$$
,he 6olicitor 5eneral further %aintains that the act co%%itted b+ the accused is not unlawful. 7Ad%inisterin" %oderate corporal
punish%ent,7 he sa+s, 7is not so defined as felon+ b+ the Revised Penal Code.7
But 7ad%inisterin" corporal punish%ent7 is a felon+, althou"h the Code cate"oriEed it under the %ore "raphic ter% 7sli"ht
ph+sical in*uries7. ,he pertinent provision is stated as follows.
Art. 1;;. 6li"ht ph+sical in*uries ... H ,he cri%e of sli"ht ph+sical in*uries shall be punished.
999 999 999
1. B+ arresto menor or a fine not e9ceedin" 1 pesos and censure )hen the offender has caused ph&sical
in(uries which do not prevent the offended part+ fro% en"a"in" in his habitual wor- nor re>uire %edical
attendance.
999 999 999
:E%phasis supplied<.
$n fact, even if no visible in*ur+ were caused b+ the act of ad%inisterin" punish%ent, it would still be punished as an illtreat%ent
b+ deed under para"raph ? of the sa%e Article 1;;.
#ro% the facts found b+ the trial court, the followin" %aterial points appear. :/< the teacher beat the child with a ba%boo stic-,
and :1< the beatin" caused ph+sical in*uries on the child, consistin" of linear $ruises re/uiring some four to si% da&s to heal. ,he
act of the accused, no doubt, constitutes the ver+ offense penaliEed b+ the cited provision.
Co%%ission of a prohibited act havin" been indubitabl+ shown, no proof of cri%inal intent is necessar+. #or, 7fro% the felonious
acts :of the accused<, freel+ and deliberatel+ e9ecuted, the %oral and in*urious intent arises conclusivel+ and indisputabl+, in the
absence of evidence to the contrar+7 :People v. 6ia ,eb Ban, 54 Phil. 51, 5?. 6ee also =.6. v. Apostol, /4 Phil. )1G People v.
Abando, 1 CA Rep. 15G para"raph KbL, section 5 of Rule /?, Rules of CourtG /; C.!. B/<.
$n clai%in" that she %erel+ acted within the li%its of her authorit+ in punishin" the child as the latter2s teacher and substitute
parent, the accused in effect invo-es the defense of havin" acted in the lawful e9ercise of a ri"ht under para"raph 5 of Article //
of the Revised Penal Code.
,he 7ri"ht7 or authorit+ clai%ed b+ the teacher is that which supposedl+ flows fro% the civil law concept of 7substitute parental
authorit+7 e9ercised b+ teachers over their pupils. ,he ar"u%ent is that since under Article ?4) of the Civil Code, teachers
e9ercise substitute parental authorit+, and under Article ?/;, parents have the power to correct their children and punish the%
%oderatel+, it follows lo"icall+ that teachers can li-ewise punish the pupils under their char"e. And if parents, in the e9ercise of
their authorit+, can inflict corporal punish%ent on their children, so can teachers on their pupils.
,he ri"ht of parents to chastise their troubleso%e, %ischievous or disobedient children %ust be conceded as it is necessar+ to the
"overn%ent of fa%ilies, and to the "ood order of societ+. @owever, this ri"ht was not %eant to be a license for %anhandlin" or
ph+sicall+ chastisin" a %isbehavin" child. At the sa%e ti%e that the law has created and preserved this ri"ht, in its re"ard for the
safet+ of the child, it has prescribed bounds be+ond which it shall not be carried :!ohnson v. 6tate, 1 @u%p ,enn 1B?G ?; A%.
Iec. ??1<. ,hus, Iean #rancisco, co%%entin" on Article ?/; of the Civil Code, observes. 7$t is to be noted that the law provides
for 2%oderate2 punish%ent. Since modern educational s&stem for$ids the use of corporal or ph&sical punishment, this )ould $e a
good test in determining the limitation of the po)er of parents to correct and punish their children moderatel&. Parents should
never e9ceed the li%its of prudence and hu%an senti%ents in proceedin" a"ainst their children7 :#rancisco, Civil Code of the
Philippines, Annotated and Co%%ented, /)5? ed., Boo- &ne, pp. B4;(B50G citin" 1 Manresa 11(1?G 5 6ancheE Ro%an //4G
Iecision of the 6upre%e Court of 6pain, Nove%ber 1;, /)/<.
,his observation is shared b+ Professors 5arcia and Alba, who %aintain that. 7,he power to correct and to punish children
%oderatel+ should be understood as not including corporal or ph&sical punishment, for otherwise it will be a"ainst %odern
trends in education and a violation of the provision of the Revised Penal Code. Prudence and %oderation should be the rule7
:Civil Code of the Philippines, /)5 ed., Mol. /, p. 5?5<.
,he abidin" love which rei"ns over fa%ilies, the native respect which children bear towards their parents, and the %oral
ascendanc+ which parents have over their children, should "ive parents enou"h force to %aintain the presti"e of their parental
authorit+. Even if these fail, the law affords parents recourse to the courts under Act 41. =nder said law, %inor children "uilt+
of disrespect or disobedience %a+ be held cri%inall+ liable upon the co%plaint of parents. ,his law is a stron" su""estion that
parents are not to ta-e the law in their hands. $n our republican set(up, even the "overn%ent of fa%ilies is not be+ond the pale of
the rule of law.
$ndeed sanctions are provided in Article ??1 of the Civil Code when parents, hidin" behind the cloa- of the parental privile"e,
7treat their children with e9cessive harshness7 which is a cause for deprivation or suspension of their parental authorit+ :see
PereE v. 6a%son, CA, 4B &.5. No. /1, p. 5?;B<. ,he procedure therefor is laid down b+ Rule )), section 0 of the Rules of Court,
which includes as "rounds for such deprivation or suspension when the parents 7unlawfull+ beat or otherwise habituall+
%altreat7 the child.
Moreover, abusive parents %a+ be proceeded a"ainst cri%inall+. $t %ust be observed that our "eneral law on ph+sical in*uries
does not e9e%pt parents :%uch less teachers< fro% cri%inal liabilit+ for bodil+ har% inflicted on children or pupils as
punish%ent for %isconduct. ,he onl+ concession "iven to the parents b+ law, under Article 1;? of the Revised Penal Code, is
that, in case of serious ph+sical in*uries inflicted in the course of a filial correction, the circu%stance of relationship shall not be
considered for the purpose of i%posin" the "reater penalt+. ,his %eans that parents shall suffer onl+ the ordinar+ penalt+
provided for assailants who are not related to the offended part+ within the specified de"rees.
Needless to e%phasiEe, the authorit+ dele"ated to teachers cannot be "reater than that conferred on parents. ,rul+, the power
e9ercised b+ teachers over pupils is %ore restrictivel+, if not %ore clearl+, defined in law. ,he ver+ chapter which "ives teachers
and professors substitute parental authorit+ e%plicitl& denies the% the power to ad%inister corporal punish%ent, ,he pertinent
provision of the Civil Code is of the followin" tenor.
Art. ?51. ,he relations between teacher and pupil professor and student, are fi9ed b+ "overn%ent
re"ulations and those of each school or institution. #n no case shall corporal punishment $e countenanced.
,he teacher or professor shall cultivate the best potentialities of the heart and %ind of the pupil or student
:e%phasis supplied<.
6aid ad%onition is felicitousl+ incorporated in the "overn%ent re"ulations pro%ul"ated pursuant to law, na%el+, the Bureau of
Public 6chools 6ervice Manual, the pertinent provision of which reads as follows.
6ec. /5. ,he use of corporal punish%ent b+ teachers :slappin", *er-in", or pushin" pupils about<,
i%posin" %anual wor- or de"radin" tas-s as penalt+, %etin" out cruel and unusual punish%ents of an+
nature ... are forbidden :,hird Revision, /)5) ed.<.
=nder the aforecited rule, the teacher cannot even re>uire the errin" pupil to clean the roo% or %ow the lawn in the ca%pus to
discipline hi%, althou"h these penalties do not involve ph+sical in*ur+. Neither can the teacher order the child to stand at the
corner of the classroo% as it would de"rade or hu%iliate the child. @e cannot even push the pupil about to re%ind hi% that his
conduct is reproachable. B+ what twist of reasonin" can we then uphold the power to appl+ corporal punish%ent as a le"iti%ate
%eans of correctionJ
$n the case at bar, the teacher clearl+ overdid herself. $n whippin" the child several ti%es with a ba%boo stic-, an instru%ent
liable to cause, as in fact it caused, ph+sical in*uries, the accused could not have %eant to "ive e9pression to a feelin" of nobilit+.
More than inflictin" bodil+ in*uries, the punish%ent hu%iliated the child in front of her class%ates. $n its e9ecution, it was
plainl+ and si%pl+ e9cessive and brutal. ,he %ost that the teacher could have done under the circu%stances was to ad%onish the
child, if she was certain of her "uilt. 6he could have reported her to her parents and to the parents of the pupil who was tripped,
and in turn, the parents to the in*ured child could have reported the trippin" incident to the police authorities for the institution of
the proper cri%inal char"es or could have sued the parents of the errin" pupil for civil liabilit+. ,he teacher pursued none of
these available courses of action. $nstead, she chose to ta-e the law in her hands and, in the process, arro"ated unto herself the
prero"atives of a prosecutor, *ud"e and e9ecutioner.
#ro% the facts of the case, we therefore cannot find an+ *ustification for the acts of the teacher. ,he acts co%%itted are not onl+
unauthoriEed even under the concept of the substitute parental authorit+ behind which the accused see-s refu"e, but the+ are
precisel+ the acts teachers are e9pressl+ forbidden to do. ,he accused acted not to dischar"e the function of a teacher, but rather,
acted for"ettin" that she was a teacher.
Parentheticall+, the 6olicitor 5eneral noted that the beatin" was ad%inistered on 7parts of the bod+ which are not vulnerable to
an+ serious in*ur+.7 But precisel+, the teacher stands accused onl& of slight ph&sical in(uries.
,he doctrine enunciated b+ a division of the Court of Appeals in the 0123 case of People versus !avier :citin" the /)B case of
Mansell v. 5riffin / C.B. /;< that 7a teacher in a public ele%entar+ school has authorit+ to inflict corporal punish%ent on a
pupil7 :4 &5 /Bth 6upp. /5<, has been e9pressl+ revo-ed b+ Article ?51 of the New Civil Code which too- effect on Au"ust
?, /)5 and Article /5 of the Revised 6ervice Manual of the Bureau of Public 6chools afore>uoted. Moreover, in the !avier
case, the %ain reason of the Court of Appeals in ac>uittin" the appellant therein was because the Court of Appeals
cannot positivel+ conclude that it was appellant2s blow that caused the serious in*ur+. An e>uall+ stron"
probabilit+ is that it was caused b+ the other bo+s durin" their bo9in" "a%e. As a %atter of fact, the
ph+sician who treated Bravo, testif+in" for the prosecution, stated that the in*uries suffered b+ Bravo 2%ust
have been caused b+ a hard and blunt instru%ent.2 *e are constrained, therefore, to dou$t appellant+s
guilt,
3e are inclined to believe appellant2s theor+ that the incident was %a"nified in order to find cause for
re%ovin" hi% fro% the teachin" staff of Nuinalabasa for reasons appearin" uncontradicted in the record.
@e was disli-ed b+ the residents in the barrio because he had been re>uirin" his pupils to do plent+ of
e9tracurricular wor- in school, ... . ,here was also the desire of Ale*andro Pa+o+o, a sponsor in the
%arria"e of @ilaria Ba"aoisan, %other of Bravo, to put his niece, !oa>uina Pa+o+o, a te%porar+ teacher in
another place, in appellant2s stead. ,hat the barrio People desired to appellant dis%issed as a school
teacher was also testified to b+ Elpidio Ioloctero :Mol. 4 &.5., /Bth 6upp. p. /51, E%phasis supplied<.
$t is clear, therefore, that the %ain "round for ac>uittin" the appellant !avier was that "uilt was not de%onstrated be+ond %oral
certaint+. Conse>uentl+, the additional reason that the teacher has the authorit+ to inflict %oderate corporal punish%ent was
purel+ o$iter dictum, as it was not necessar+ to a findin" of ac>uittal.
#urther%ore, in the !avier case, the appellate court laid down li%itations on the e9ercise of such authorit+ to inflict %oderate
corporal punish%ent, na%el+, the teacher %ust not inflict an+ bodil+ har% and that he is not dictated b+ an+ bad %otive :Mol. 4
&.5. /Bth 6upp. pp. /5?(/54<. $n the case at bar, appellant caused bodil+ har% :sli"ht ph+sical in*uries< on the pupil to "ive vent
to her an"er as a %easure of reven"e for the in*ur+ caused b+ the errin" pupil on another pupil, appellant2s ward and househelper.
,he %a*orit+ opinion of the Court of Appeals in the !avier case is further wea-ened b+ the dissentin" opinion of !ustice ,orres,
which dissent proclai%s %ost accuratel+ the present polic+. 7,he a"e when corporal punish%ent was the basic factor of
discipline in the schools has passed, and a teacher who has to resort to violence to enforce discipline a%on" his pupils, not onl+
forfeits his ri"ht to be their %entor, but practicall+ confesses his inabilit+ and utter failure to act as such, in which case he should
choose another profession or activit+7 :4 &.5. /Bth 6upp. /5)<.
,he Court of Appeals in the 0145 case of People vs. Padua :Mol. 4), &.5. No. /, pp. /5;, /;/, citin" the 0123case of People
versus !avier, supra< in further statin" that the authorit+ to inflict %oderate corporal punish%ent without causin" an+ bodil+
har% 7see%s to be inherent in the position of a teacher, especiall+ in the "rade schools, is a co%petent of that old ada"e H 2spare
the rod and spoil the child2, not onl+ failed to consider the prohibition a"ainst the infliction of such corporal punish%ent of an+
de"ree whatsoever b+ a teacher on his or her pupil, correctl+ e9pressed in Article ?51 of the New Civil Code, and re(enforced b+
Article /5 of the Revised 6ervice Manual of the Bureau of Public 6chools but also is o$iter dictum Gbecause the said case
involves assault b+ the appellant Padua a"ainst the teacher for alle"edl+ slappin" the head of her niece with a noteboo-, for
which reason appellant Padua was prosecuted for assault upon a person in authorit+ and was accordin"l+ convicted b+ the court
of first instance, which conviction was affir%ed b+ the Court of Appeals. $t is worth+ to note that in said case, despite the fact
that the Court of Appeals found in the Padua case that the appellant was infuriated b+ the act of the teacher in slappin" her niece,
it did not consider said an"er of the appellant as a %iti"atin" circu%stance.
$t should be stressed that the !avier and Padua cases were decided b+ the Court of Appeals, whose opinion on >uestions of law is
not bindin" on the 6upre%e Court.
,he authorit+ of the parent under para"raph 1 of Article ?/; of the Civil Code 7to correct and punish %oderatel+7 an errin"
child, does not include the infliction of corporal punish%ent. Neither does the power 7to discipline the child as %a+ be necessar+
for the for%ation of his "ood character7 under Article 45 of the Presidential Iecree No. ;?, otherwise -nown as the Fouth
3elfare Code. Moderate punish%ent %ust be short of corporal punish%ent. $f the law intended to authoriEe the parent to inflict
such moderate corporal punishment it would have provided so e9pressl+ as is done in the statutes of Michi"an and Mir"inia
invo-ed b+ the 6olicitor 5eneral, >uotin" ,i%e Ma"aEine :!ul+ /1, /)01 issue< and relied on b+ the %a*orit+ opinion.
,he substitute parental authorit+ "ranted to the teacher over the pupil, does not include all the ri"hts co%prehended in the patria
potestas of the natural parent over the child. #or one thin", certainl+ the teacher cannot de%and support and inheritance fro% the
pupil in the sa%e %anner that the teacher is not under obli"ation to support the pupil or to reco"niEe the ri"ht of the pupil to
inherit fro% hi% or even to educate the child at his own e9pense.
,he third para"raph of para"raph 4 of Article 1;? of the Revised Penal Code affir%s the liabilit+ of the parent for serious
ph+sical in*uries, and onl+ e9e%pts the parent fro% the special a""ravatin" circu%stances %entioned in the second para"raph of
said para"raph 4 of Article 1;? of the Revise Penal Code. ,he parent 7who shall inflict ph+sical in*uries upon his child b+
e9cessive chastise%ent,7 does not incur the "raver penalties i%posed in the penulti%ate para"raph of Article 1;? b+ reason of
the special a""ravatin" circu%stances. But such parent re%ains liable for the penalties i%posed in para"raphs /, 1, ? and 4 of
said Article 1;? for serious ph+sical in*uries.
No such lenienc+ is provided for sli"ht ph+sical in*uries and %altreat%ent inflicted b+ the parent on the child under Article 1;;
of the Revised Penal Code.
,he use of corporal punish%ent in the halls of learnin" is conde%ned. #lo""in", even of the %ost hardened cri%inals, has lon"
been abandoned as a for% of punish%ent in penal institutions. 6o %ust it be in schools. Respect for hu%an personalit+ cannot be
instilled in the %inds of the children when teachers choose to defile the hu%an bod+ b+ whippin" it. Beatin" a child to %a-e hi%
re%e%ber his lesson well is re%iniscent of the da+s when slaver+ was fashionable and instru%ents of torture were s+%bols of
authorit+. ,he inhu%ane dictu% of eras past 76pare the rod and spoil the child7 had been deposed b+ the co%passionate precept
e9pressed in Article ?51 of the Civil Code and 6ection /5 of the Revised 6ervice Manual of the Bureau of Public 6chools.
@ence, the conviction should be affir%ed.
MU7O8 PLM, J., dissentin".
Petitioner Marcela M. Ba"a*o see-s a review of a decision of the Court of #irst $nstance of Misa%is &ccidental convictin" her of
sli"ht ph+sical in*uries and i%posin" upon her a fine of #ift+ :P5.< Pesos.
$t is not disputed that petitioner, a classroo% teacher in a public school, whipped with a piece of ba%boo stic- a pupil b+ the
na%e of 3il%a Alcantara inflictin" upon her the followin" in*uries.
/. 4inear bruises at the %iddle half of the dorsal surface of both le"s. $t is about four inches in len"th and
A centi%eter in width. ,here are three on the ri"ht le" and two on the left le".
1. ,wo linear bruises of the sa%e width and len"th as above at the lower third of the dorsal surface of the
ri"ht thi"h.
,he above lesions, if without co%plication, %a+ heal in four to si9 da+s. :pa"e 1, Ma*orit+ &pinion<
Petitioner clai%s that she is not cri%inall+ liable as her act was without an+ cri%inal intent because she was si%pl+ tr+in" to
discipline her pupil 3il%a who tripped a class%ate Benedicta 5uiri"a+ causin" the latter to stu%ble and fall down.
,he Ma*orit+ &pinion followin" the reco%%endations of the 6olicitor 5eneral sets aside the conviction and ac>uits petitioner,
holdin", inter alia6
. . . All that 3e hold here is that in the peculiar circu%stances of the instant case before =s, there is no
indication be+ond reasonable doubt, in the evidence before the trial court, that petitioner was actuated b+ a
cri%inal desi"n to inflict the in*uries suffered b+ co%plainant as a result of her bein" whipped b+
petitioner. 3hat appears is that petitioner acted as she did in the belief that as a teacher e9ercisin"
authorit+ over her pupil in loco parentis, she was within her ri"hts to punish her %oderatel+ for purposes
of discipline. ... :pp. ?(4, Ma*orit+ &pinion<
$ a% constrained to dissent fro% the %a*orit+, briefl+ for the followin" reasons.
,he act of inflictin" ph+sical in*uries upon another is a felon+, as it is punishable b+ law.
1
Ever+ felonious act is in
turn presumed to be voluntar+ with all three ele%ents present, to wit. freedo%, intelli"ence, intent :dolus< or fault
:culpa<.
2
#reedo% is overco%e b+ evidence of force or threatG
3
intelli"ence, b+ insanit+ or infanc+G
4
intent, b+ proof of %ista-e
of fact, perfor%ance of dut+, or the li-e.
5
,he issue now is. was there %alice or cri%inal intent in the infliction of the ph+sical in*uries on 3il%aJ
,he Ma*orit+ &pinion discounts the presence of cri%inal intent and *ustifies the act of petitioner as one co%%itted b+ a teacher
e9ercisin" authorit+ in loco parentis under Art. ?4) of the Civil Code.
Ad%ittedl+, Art. ?4) includes a teacher a%on" the persons e9ercisin" substitute parental authorit+ while Art. ?5 states that the
latter shall e9ercise reasonable supervision over the conduct of a child. @owever, b+ the ver+ provisions of Art. ?51 of the sa%e
Code it is a condition that as to the relations between teacher and pupil, in no case shall corporal punishment $e countenanced
,he act of petitioner contravenes not onl+ Art. ?51 of the Civil Code but also 6ection /5 of the Bureau of Public 6chools
6ervice Manual >uoted in pa"es 1 and ? of the &pinion under which the use of corporal punish%ent b+ teachers is for$idden.
$t is contended in the &pinion that the above provisions are applicable in so far as the civil and ad%inistrative liabilities of
petitioner are concerned, thereb+ overloo-in" the fact that the law on substitute parental authorit+ under which the infliction of
the 7%oderate penalt+7 is *ustified, e9pressl+ prohibits the use of corporal punish%ent b+ teachers in their relations with their
pupils.
But a %ore basic reason for this dissent is that the le"al presu%ption of %alice is not overthrown b+ protestation of "ood faith
and honest belief of petitioner that she was %erel+ i%posin" discipline, for the findin"s of the trial courts, "iz. the Municipal
Court and the Court of #irst $nstance, attest that petitioner herein whipped 3il%a with a ba%boo stic- in the 7heat of
anger7
9
because Benedicta 5uiri"a+ the victi% of 3il%a2s nau"htiness or %ischief, was 7a wor-in" pupil livin" in the house of
the accused :petitioner now< for several +ears.7
7
$n truth, therefore, an"er, a desire to aven"e the %ischief done on her prote"e Benedicta, %otivated petitioner in stri-in" 3il%a
with her ba%boo stic-.
Moreover, $ si%pl+ cannot a"ree with the Ma*orit+ that all that petitioner did was to i%pose a 7%oderate penalt+7 on 3il%a.
Petitioner did not whip or stri-e at 3il%a once or twice, but several ti%es with such vehe%ence and force as to produce not one
or two but se"en linear $ruises on different parts of both le"s and ri"ht thi"h which accordin" to the doctor would heal barrin"
co%plications fro% four to si9 da+s. $nflictin" ph+sical in*uries, to %+ %ind, is not a 7%oderatel+ penalt+7. $f an e9ercise of
discipline was necessar+, petitioner could have e%plo+ed %ethods short of bodil+ punish%ent which would leave in*uries on the
person of the recalcitrant pupil.
3herefore, $ vote for the affir%ance of the decision of the trial court.


Se40r0-e O4')'o)&
NTON$O, J., concurrin".
,he effectiveness of a teacher to e9ercise authorit+ over her pupil in loco parentis depends on her abilit+ to enforce discipline.
Petitioner had authorit+ to inflict corporal punish%ent on a pupil, if the punish%ent is %oderate, not pro%pted b+ bad %otive,
and is of such a nature that the parent of the child %i"ht e9pect the child would receive if she did wron".
5U$NO, J., concurrin".
,he teacher, who inflicted corporal punish%ent, should be disciplined ad%inistrativel+. $n !eople "s. Ja"ier, CA 4 &5 /1th
6upp. /5, the Court of Appeals, per Melencio, !., Briones, Monte%a+or and Ena"e, JJ., concurrin", held that a teacher, who
inflicted %oderate corporal punish%ent, was not cri%inall+ liable because he had no cri%inal intent, citin" Mansell "s. Griffin, $
C. B. /;. :!ustice ,orres dissented.<
/ERNN3O, J, dissenting.
$ find %+self in s+%path+ with the approach ta-en in the dissentin" opinion of !ustice Ma-asiar not onl+ in view of the hu%anit+
that should per%eate the law but also in accordance with the tendenc+ %uch %ore %anifest of late in international law to accord
"reater and "reater protection to the welfare of the +oun", as an aspect of hu%an ri"hts. Moreover, it is well(settled that the
doctrine parens patriae calls for the state e9ercisin" the ut%ost vi"ilance to assure that teachers and educators should refrain
fro% the infliction of corporal punish%ent which for %e at least is a relic of the past. ,his is not to lose si"ht of the si"nificance
of the view stressed in the opinion of !ustice Barredo that cri%inal intent %ust be shown to *ustif+ a findin" of "uilt.
Nonetheless, considerin" the nature and e9tent of the ph+sical in*uries sustained, as shown in the dissentin" opinion of !ustice
MuDoE Pal%a, the protestation of "ood faith on the part of appellant had, for %e, lost its persuasiveness. 2,he leadin" case
of !eople ". Cagoco,
1
where the accused approached the victi% fro% behind and suddenl+ struc- hi% with his fist on the bac-
part of his head causin" hi% to fall bac-wards, his head stri-in" the asphalt pave%ent as a result of which he died a few hours
later co%es to %ind. $t was the rulin" of this Court that %urder was co%%itted as there wasale"osia, althou"h appellant was
entitled to the %iti"atin" circu%stance of lac- of intention to co%%it so "reat a wron" as that inflicted.
2
,hus $ find %+self unable to +ield concurrence to the ac>uittal of the accused.
TEE#N6EE, J., concurrin".
$ concur with the dissentin" opinion of !ustice MuDoE Pal%a and vote for affir%ance of the *ud"%ent of conviction which
liberall+ i%posed a %ere fine of P5. notwithstandin" the ph+sical in*uries re>uirin" four to si9 da+s2 healin" ti%e inflicted
upon the victi%.
$ onl+ wish to stress that Article 1;; of the Revised Penal Code e9pressl+ penaliEes the offense of sli"ht ph+sical in*uries and
%altreat%ent, while Article ?51 of the Civil Code e9plicitl+ provides that 7:,<he relations between teacher and pupil, professor
and student, are fi9ed b+ "overn%ent, re"ulations and those of each school or institution. #n no case shall corporal punishment
$e countenanced. ,he teacher or professor shall cultivate the best potentialities of the @eart and %ind of the pupil or student,7
even as Article ?4) reco"niEes teachers and professors as a%on" those who e9ercise substitute parental authorit+. 6ection /5 of
the Bureau of Public 6chools 6ervice Manual further cate"oricall+ forbids 7the use of corporal punish%ent b+ teachers :slappin",
*er-in", or pushin" pupils about<.7
$t cannot be contended then that teachers in the e9ercise of their authorit+ in loco parentis %a+, without incurrin" cri%inal
liabilit+ inflict %oderate corporal punish%ent. ,he power to inflict %oderate punish%ent on children is vested b+ Article ?/; of
the Civil Code e%clusi"el&, in the parents.
,he petitioner %i"ht be entitled to the appreciation of %iti"atin" circu%stances in her favor such as havin" acted with
obfuscation, but in the face of the e9press provisions of law she %a+ not be absolved of the proven char"e.
,he state%ent in the %ain opinion :at pa"e 4< that 7wheather or not :petitioner< e9ceeded the de"ree of %oderation per%itted b+
the laws and rules "overnin" the perfor%ance of her functions is not for =s, at this %o%ent and in this case, to deter%ine7 :but
that 73e feel it wiser to leave such deter%ination first to the ad%inistrative authorities7< appears to be contrar+ to the laws and
rules which do not per%it the infliction of corporal punish%ent, %oderate or otherwise, b+ teachers on their pupils but provide
for cri%inal, civil and ad%inistrative sanctions, and contrar+ to the proven facts, which as pointed out b+ !ustice MuDoE Pal%a,
show that the ph+sical in*uries inflicted b+ petitioner on her pupil could b+ no %eans be described as 7%oderate7 :even assu%in"
that teachers had the authorit+ to inflict %oderate corporal punish%ent<.
M6S$R, J., dissentin".
,he facts in this case are as follows.
$nside a classroo% while the teacher was awa+, an eleven +ear old "irl(pupil tripped a "irl(class%ate, causin" sli"ht ph+sical
in*uries to the latter. =pon bein" >uestioned b+ the teacher in char"e who *ust then ca%e bac-, the errin" child denied authorship
of the %isdeed. ,he teacher beca%e an"r+ and, with a ba%boo stic-, whipped the errin" child on the buttoc-s, thi"hs, and le"s
with such violence as to leave on the punished li%bs, not welts, but bruises re>uirin" so%e four to si9 da+s to heal. ,he %edical
certificate described the in*uries thus.
/. 4inear bruises at the %iddle of the dorsal surface of both le"s. $t is about four inches in len"th and /84
centi%eters in width. ,here are three on the ri"ht le" and 1 on the left le".
1. ,wo linear bruises of the sa%e width and len"th as above at the lower third of the dorsal surface of the
ri"ht thi"h.
,he above lesions, if without co%plications, %a+ heal in four to si9 da+s :pa"e 1. Brief of 6olicitor
5eneral<.
Convicted b+ the %unicipal court for sli"ht ph+sical in*uries, the accused appealed to the Court of #irst $nstance, which affir%ed
the conviction. @ence, this appeal direct to this Court.
,he 6olicitor 5eneral reco%%ends the reversal of the decision of the court below. Accordin"l+, the %a*orit+ returns a *ud"%ent
of ac>uittal.
3E dissent.
$
Cri%inal intent is presu%ed in ever+ cri%inal act. But the 6olicitor 5eneral practicall+ ar"ues that a "ood %otive ne"atives
cri%inal intent. Motive %a+ %iti"ate, but does not totall+ e9culpate, cri%inal liabilit+.
Motive, in cri%inal law, consists of the special or personal reason which %a+ pro%pt or induce a person to perfor% the act
constitutin" a cri%e :Padilla, Cri%inal 4aw, Revised Penal Code, Annotated, )th ed., /);4, p. 4/<. $t is the %ovin" power which
i%pels one to act for a definite result, as distin"uished fro% 7intent7 which is the purpose to use a particular %eans to effect such
result :People v. Molineu9, /;B N.F. 1;4, 1)0G ;/ N.E. 1B;, 1);G ;1 4.R.A. /)?<. ,he fore"oin" distinction has "ained wide
acceptance a%on" our cri%inal law co%%entators :see #rancisco, ,he Revised Penal Code, Annotated and Co%%ented, 1nd ed.,
/)54, Boo- &ne, p. ?BG Re+es, the Revised Penal Code, Cri%inal 4aw, ;th ed., /);5, Boo- &ne, p. ;G 5re"orio, #unda%entals
of Cri%inal 4aw Review, ?rd ed., /)0/, p. /;<. $n relation to the 7particular %eans7 e%plo+ed H the overt acts co%%itted b+ a
person H %otive, unli-e intent, is >uite %ateriall+ re%oved. &ne %otive can "ive rise to one of several possible courses of
action, lawful or unlawful, as one act could have been actuated b+ one of several possible %otives, "ood or bad. ,hat is wh+ in
our law on evidence, no unlawful %otive is presu%ed fro% the proof of co%%ission of an unlawful act. Nor would such
presu%ption, if there was, be of an+ use, for %ateriall+ unrelated as %otive is to the prohibited overt act, it is not essential to the
deter%ination of a cri%e.
6ince acts are e>uivocal as to %otive, it is often i%possible to ascertain the reasons which %oved a person to co%%it an act. ,his
finds e9cellent e9a%ple in the case at bar. 3hile the accused stoutl+ asserts that her %otive was to discipline the child, ,he trial
court and the lower appellate court hold differentl+. ,heir unani%ous findin" is that the accused co%%itted the act in the heat of
an"er H a state of %ind which could hardl+ harbor a "ood %otive. ,he Court of #irst $nstance e9presses its findin"s thus H
$t appears that ... :a<t this precise %o%ent, the accused entered the roo% and as-ed 3il%a what had
happened. 3il%a answered that she had nothin" to do with the failin" down of Benedicta. Ponciano
reported to the accused that 3il%a purposel+ bloc-ed Benedicta with her le"s and she fell to the
floor. 'he accused $ecame angr& and whipped 3il%a with a ba%boo stic- :at pa"es / and 1<.
999 999 999
#ro% the evidence it has been dul+ proved that while Benedicta 5uiri"a+ was passin" near 3il%a
Alcantara, the latter suddenl+ raised her le" and Benedicta stu%bled on it and fell to the floor. 6he fainted
and suffered so%e in*uries. 'he accused $ecame "er& angr& "ot her piece of ba%boo stic- which she was
usin" as a pointer stic- and with it whipped 3il%a se"eral ti%es, thereb+ causin" on 3il%a the ph+sical
in*uries described b+ Ir. &Earra"a in his %edical certificate :at pa"e 4G E%phasis supplied<.
$n the sa%e %anner, the %unicipal court finds that H
... :$<n the instant case, it would appear that the accused Marcela M. Baga(o, )as carried a)a& $& her passion or anger in
whippin" to such an e9tre%e 3il%a Alcantara with a ba%boo stic- not reall+ apt for the purpose. 'he "ictim of *ilma
Alcantara+s mischief or naughtiness )as Benedicta Guiriga& a )oring pupil actuall& li"ing )ith her,the accused-for some
&ears. ...
,he %otive of the accused was to aven"e the in*ur+ to the victi% who, as found b+ the trial court, has been livin" with :and
wor-in" for< the accused teacher. 3ill ven"eance *ustif+ the actJ
But assu%in" that the %otive of the accused was reall+ "ood, does this %ean that cri%inal intent on her part is thus co%pletel+
ruled outJ 3E do not believe so. A good moti"e, as we have earlier inti%ated, is not incompati$le )ith an unla)ful intent. &ne
%a+ be convicted of a cri%e whether his %otive appears to be "ood or bad or even thou"h no %otive is proven. A good moti"e
does not pre"ent an act from $eing a crime. :People e9 rel @e"e%an v. Corri"an B0 N.E. 0)1, 0);G /)5 N.F. /, >uotin" People v.
Molineu9 supra. Clar-, Cr. 4aw, sec. /4G People v. 3eiss ? N.F.6. 14), 155G 151 App. Iiv. 4;?<. A classic e9a%ple
is euthanasia or %erc+ -illin". $t is conde%ned b+ law althou"h the %otive %a+ be to spare a hopeless patient prolon"ed
sufferin". And if a father drowns his child who is five +ears of a"e to save it fro% starvin", he is "uilt+ of parricide thou"h he
was actuated b+ a "ood %otive H love for the child :People v.Cirb+ 1 Par-er Cr. R., N.F., 1B. 6ee also =.6. v. Mar%on 45 #ed.
4/4. Both are cited in ,he Revised Penal Code, #rancisco, supra<. ,he father or brother of a rape victi%, who -ills the rapist
lon" after the co%%ission of the rape. to aven"e the victi%2s defloration, is not e9e%pt fro% penal liabilit+. A son -illin" his
sleepin" father, who used to beat up his hardwor-in" %other, to relieve his "ood %other fro% so %uch %iser+, does not *ustif+
the parricide. 6o also, if a person cuts off the foot of a %ischievous child to prevent if fro% doin" further %ischief with its foot,
and thus save it fro% possible cri%inal liabilit+, that person stands liable for ph+sical in*uries. ,rue enou"h, the act involved in
the instant case, which is the beatin" of a child, is less serious than those involved in the above(cited cases, but the fact that an
act is less serious than another does not %ean that it is not cri%inal. &ther e9a%ples can be catalo"ued ad infinitu%. ,hus, our
penal code provides specific penalties for specific cri%es, dependin", "enerall+, on their seriousness.
$$
,he 6olicitor 5eneral further %aintains that the act co%%itted b+ the accused is not unlawful. 7Ad%inisterin" %oderate corporal
punish%ent,7 he sa+s, 7is not so defined as felon+ b+ the Revised Penal Code.7
But 7ad%inisterin" corporal punish%ent7 is a felon+, althou"h the Code cate"oriEed it under the %ore "raphic ter% 7sli"ht
ph+sical in*uries7. ,he pertinent provision is stated as follows.
Art. 1;;. 6li"ht ph+sical in*uries ... H ,he cri%e of sli"ht ph+sical in*uries shall be punished.
999 999 999
1. B+ arresto menor or a fine not e9ceedin" 1 pesos and censure )hen the offender has caused ph&sical
in(uries which do not prevent the offended part+ fro% en"a"in" in his habitual wor- nor re>uire %edical
attendance.
999 999 999
:E%phasis supplied<.
$n fact, even if no visible in*ur+ were caused b+ the act of ad%inisterin" punish%ent, it would still be punished as an illtreat%ent
b+ deed under para"raph ? of the sa%e Article 1;;.
#ro% the facts found b+ the trial court, the followin" %aterial points appear. :/< the teacher beat the child with a ba%boo stic-,
and :1< the beatin" caused ph+sical in*uries on the child, consistin" of linear $ruises re/uiring some four to si% da&s to heal. ,he
act of the accused, no doubt, constitutes the ver+ offense penaliEed b+ the cited provision.
Co%%ission of a prohibited act havin" been indubitabl+ shown, no proof of cri%inal intent is necessar+. #or, 7fro% the felonious
acts :of the accused<, freel+ and deliberatel+ e9ecuted, the %oral and in*urious intent arises conclusivel+ and indisputabl+, in the
absence of evidence to the contrar+7 :People v. 6ia ,eb Ban, 54 Phil. 51, 5?. 6ee also =.6. v. Apostol, /4 Phil. )1G People v.
Abando, 1 CA Rep. 15G para"raph KbL, section 5 of Rule /?, Rules of CourtG /; C.!. B/<.
$n clai%in" that she %erel+ acted within the li%its of her authorit+ in punishin" the child as the latter2s teacher and substitute
parent, the accused in effect invo-es the defense of havin" acted in the lawful e9ercise of a ri"ht under para"raph 5 of Article //
of the Revised Penal Code.
,he 7ri"ht7 or authorit+ clai%ed b+ the teacher is that which supposedl+ flows fro% the civil law concept of 7substitute parental
authorit+7 e9ercised b+ teachers over their pupils. ,he ar"u%ent is that since under Article ?4) of the Civil Code, teachers
e9ercise substitute parental authorit+, and under Article ?/;, parents have the power to correct their children and punish the%
%oderatel+, it follows lo"icall+ that teachers can li-ewise punish the pupils under their char"e. And if parents, in the e9ercise of
their authorit+, can inflict corporal punish%ent on their children, so can teachers on their pupils.
,he ri"ht of parents to chastise their troubleso%e, %ischievous or disobedient children %ust be conceded as it is necessar+ to the
"overn%ent of fa%ilies, and to the "ood order of societ+. @owever, this ri"ht was not %eant to be a license for %anhandlin" or
ph+sicall+ chastisin" a %isbehavin" child. At the sa%e ti%e that the law has created and preserved this ri"ht, in its re"ard for the
safet+ of the child, it has prescribed bounds be+ond which it shall not be carried :!ohnson v. 6tate, 1 @u%p ,enn 1B?G ?; A%.
Iec. ??1<. ,hus, Iean #rancisco, co%%entin" on Article ?/; of the Civil Code, observes. 7$t is to be noted that the law provides
for 2%oderate2 punish%ent. Since modern educational s&stem for$ids the use of corporal or ph&sical punishment, this )ould $e a
good test in determining the limitation of the po)er of parents to correct and punish their children moderatel&. Parents should
never e9ceed the li%its of prudence and hu%an senti%ents in proceedin" a"ainst their children7 :#rancisco, Civil Code of the
Philippines, Annotated and Co%%ented, /)5? ed., Boo- &ne, pp. B4;(B50G citin" 1 Manresa 11(1?G 5 6ancheE Ro%an //4G
Iecision of the 6upre%e Court of 6pain, Nove%ber 1;, /)/<.
,his observation is shared b+ Professors 5arcia and Alba, who %aintain that. 7,he power to correct and to punish children
%oderatel+ should be understood as not including corporal or ph&sical punishment, for otherwise it will be a"ainst %odern
trends in education and a violation of the provision of the Revised Penal Code. Prudence and %oderation should be the rule7
:Civil Code of the Philippines, /)5 ed., Mol. /, p. 5?5<.
,he abidin" love which rei"ns over fa%ilies, the native respect which children bear towards their parents, and the %oral
ascendanc+ which parents have over their children, should "ive parents enou"h force to %aintain the presti"e of their parental
authorit+. Even if these fail, the law affords parents recourse to the courts under Act 41. =nder said law, %inor children "uilt+
of disrespect or disobedience %a+ be held cri%inall+ liable upon the co%plaint of parents. ,his law is a stron" su""estion that
parents are not to ta-e the law in their hands. $n our republican set(up, even the "overn%ent of fa%ilies is not be+ond the pale of
the rule of law.
$ndeed sanctions are provided in Article ??1 of the Civil Code when parents, hidin" behind the cloa- of the parental privile"e,
7treat their children with e9cessive harshness7 which is a cause for deprivation or suspension of their parental authorit+ :see
PereE v. 6a%son, CA, 4B &.5. No. /1, p. 5?;B<. ,he procedure therefor is laid down b+ Rule )), section 0 of the Rules of Court,
which includes as "rounds for such deprivation or suspension when the parents 7unlawfull+ beat or otherwise habituall+
%altreat7 the child.
Moreover, abusive parents %a+ be proceeded a"ainst cri%inall+. $t %ust be observed that our "eneral law on ph+sical in*uries
does not e9e%pt parents :%uch less teachers< fro% cri%inal liabilit+ for bodil+ har% inflicted on children or pupils as
punish%ent for %isconduct. ,he onl+ concession "iven to the parents b+ law, under Article 1;? of the Revised Penal Code, is
that, in case of serious ph+sical in*uries inflicted in the course of a filial correction, the circu%stance of relationship shall not be
considered for the purpose of i%posin" the "reater penalt+. ,his %eans that parents shall suffer onl+ the ordinar+ penalt+
provided for assailants who are not related to the offended part+ within the specified de"rees.
Needless to e%phasiEe, the authorit+ dele"ated to teachers cannot be "reater than that conferred on parents. ,rul+, the power
e9ercised b+ teachers over pupils is %ore restrictivel+, if not %ore clearl+, defined in law. ,he ver+ chapter which "ives teachers
and professors substitute parental authorit+ e%plicitl& denies the% the power to ad%inister corporal punish%ent, ,he pertinent
provision of the Civil Code is of the followin" tenor.
Art. ?51. ,he relations between teacher and pupil professor and student, are fi9ed b+ "overn%ent
re"ulations and those of each school or institution. #n no case shall corporal punishment $e countenanced.
,he teacher or professor shall cultivate the best potentialities of the heart and %ind of the pupil or student
:e%phasis supplied<.
6aid ad%onition is felicitousl+ incorporated in the "overn%ent re"ulations pro%ul"ated pursuant to law, na%el+, the Bureau of
Public 6chools 6ervice Manual, the pertinent provision of which reads as follows.
6ec. /5. ,he use of corporal punish%ent b+ teachers :slappin", *er-in", or pushin" pupils about<,
i%posin" %anual wor- or de"radin" tas-s as penalt+, %etin" out cruel and unusual punish%ents of an+
nature ... are forbidden :,hird Revision, /)5) ed.<.
=nder the aforecited rule, the teacher cannot even re>uire the errin" pupil to clean the roo% or %ow the lawn in the ca%pus to
discipline hi%, althou"h these penalties do not involve ph+sical in*ur+. Neither can the teacher order the child to stand at the
corner of the classroo% as it would de"rade or hu%iliate the child. @e cannot even push the pupil about to re%ind hi% that his
conduct is reproachable. B+ what twist of reasonin" can we then uphold the power to appl+ corporal punish%ent as a le"iti%ate
%eans of correctionJ
$n the case at bar, the teacher clearl+ overdid herself. $n whippin" the child several ti%es with a ba%boo stic-, an instru%ent
liable to cause, as in fact it caused, ph+sical in*uries, the accused could not have %eant to "ive e9pression to a feelin" of nobilit+.
More than inflictin" bodil+ in*uries, the punish%ent hu%iliated the child in front of her class%ates. $n its e9ecution, it was
plainl+ and si%pl+ e9cessive and brutal. ,he %ost that the teacher could have done under the circu%stances was to ad%onish the
child, if she was certain of her "uilt. 6he could have reported her to her parents and to the parents of the pupil who was tripped,
and in turn, the parents to the in*ured child could have reported the trippin" incident to the police authorities for the institution of
the proper cri%inal char"es or could have sued the parents of the errin" pupil for civil liabilit+. ,he teacher pursued none of
these available courses of action. $nstead, she chose to ta-e the law in her hands and, in the process, arro"ated unto herself the
prero"atives of a prosecutor, *ud"e and e9ecutioner.
#ro% the facts of the case, we therefore cannot find an+ *ustification for the acts of the teacher. ,he acts co%%itted are not onl+
unauthoriEed even under the concept of the substitute parental authorit+ behind which the accused see-s refu"e, but the+ are
precisel+ the acts teachers are e9pressl+ forbidden to do. ,he accused acted not to dischar"e the function of a teacher, but rather,
acted for"ettin" that she was a teacher.
Parentheticall+, the 6olicitor 5eneral noted that the beatin" was ad%inistered on 7parts of the bod+ which are not vulnerable to
an+ serious in*ur+.7 But precisel+, the teacher stands accused onl& of slight ph&sical in(uries.
,he doctrine enunciated b+ a division of the Court of Appeals in the 0123 case of People versus !avier :citin" the /)B case of
Mansell v. 5riffin / C.B. /;< that 7a teacher in a public ele%entar+ school has authorit+ to inflict corporal punish%ent on a
pupil7 :4 &5 /Bth 6upp. /5<, has been e9pressl+ revo-ed b+ Article ?51 of the New Civil Code which too- effect on Au"ust
?, /)5 and Article /5 of the Revised 6ervice Manual of the Bureau of Public 6chools afore>uoted. Moreover, in the !avier
case, the %ain reason of the Court of Appeals in ac>uittin" the appellant therein was because the Court of Appeals
cannot positivel+ conclude that it was appellant2s blow that caused the serious in*ur+. An e>uall+ stron"
probabilit+ is that it was caused b+ the other bo+s durin" their bo9in" "a%e. As a %atter of fact, the
ph+sician who treated Bravo, testif+in" for the prosecution, stated that the in*uries suffered b+ Bravo 2%ust
have been caused b+ a hard and blunt instru%ent.2 *e are constrained, therefore, to dou$t appellant+s
guilt,
3e are inclined to believe appellant2s theor+ that the incident was %a"nified in order to find cause for
re%ovin" hi% fro% the teachin" staff of Nuinalabasa for reasons appearin" uncontradicted in the record.
@e was disli-ed b+ the residents in the barrio because he had been re>uirin" his pupils to do plent+ of
e9tracurricular wor- in school, ... . ,here was also the desire of Ale*andro Pa+o+o, a sponsor in the
%arria"e of @ilaria Ba"aoisan, %other of Bravo, to put his niece, !oa>uina Pa+o+o, a te%porar+ teacher in
another place, in appellant2s stead. ,hat the barrio People desired to appellant dis%issed as a school
teacher was also testified to b+ Elpidio Ioloctero :Mol. 4 &.5., /Bth 6upp. p. /51, E%phasis supplied<.
$t is clear, therefore, that the %ain "round for ac>uittin" the appellant !avier was that "uilt was not de%onstrated be+ond %oral
certaint+. Conse>uentl+, the additional reason that the teacher has the authorit+ to inflict %oderate corporal punish%ent was
purel+ o$iter dictum, as it was not necessar+ to a findin" of ac>uittal.
#urther%ore, in the !avier case, the appellate court laid down li%itations on the e9ercise of such authorit+ to inflict %oderate
corporal punish%ent, na%el+, the teacher %ust not inflict an+ bodil+ har% and that he is not dictated b+ an+ bad %otive :Mol. 4
&.5. /Bth 6upp. pp. /5?(/54<. $n the case at bar, appellant caused bodil+ har% :sli"ht ph+sical in*uries< on the pupil to "ive vent
to her an"er as a %easure of reven"e for the in*ur+ caused b+ the errin" pupil on another pupil, appellant2s ward and househelper.
,he %a*orit+ opinion of the Court of Appeals in the !avier case is further wea-ened b+ the dissentin" opinion of !ustice ,orres,
which dissent proclai%s %ost accuratel+ the present polic+. 7,he a"e when corporal punish%ent was the basic factor of
discipline in the schools has passed, and a teacher who has to resort to violence to enforce discipline a%on" his pupils, not onl+
forfeits his ri"ht to be their %entor, but practicall+ confesses his inabilit+ and utter failure to act as such, in which case he should
choose another profession or activit+7 :4 &.5. /Bth 6upp. /5)<.
,he Court of Appeals in the 0145 case of People vs. Padua :Mol. 4), &.5. No. /, pp. /5;, /;/, citin" the 0123case of People
versus !avier, supra< in further statin" that the authorit+ to inflict %oderate corporal punish%ent without causin" an+ bodil+
har% 7see%s to be inherent in the position of a teacher, especiall+ in the "rade schools, is a co%petent of that old ada"e H 2spare
the rod and spoil the child2, not onl+ failed to consider the prohibition a"ainst the infliction of such corporal punish%ent of an+
de"ree whatsoever b+ a teacher on his or her pupil, correctl+ e9pressed in Article ?51 of the New Civil Code, and re(enforced b+
Article /5 of the Revised 6ervice Manual of the Bureau of Public 6chools but also is o$iter dictum Gbecause the said case
involves assault b+ the appellant Padua a"ainst the teacher for alle"edl+ slappin" the head of her niece with a noteboo-, for
which reason appellant Padua was prosecuted for assault upon a person in authorit+ and was accordin"l+ convicted b+ the court
of first instance, which conviction was affir%ed b+ the Court of Appeals. $t is worth+ to note that in said case, despite the fact
that the Court of Appeals found in the Padua case that the appellant was infuriated b+ the act of the teacher in slappin" her niece,
it did not consider said an"er of the appellant as a %iti"atin" circu%stance.
$t should be stressed that the !avier and Padua cases were decided b+ the Court of Appeals, whose opinion on >uestions of law is
not bindin" on the 6upre%e Court.
,he authorit+ of the parent under para"raph 1 of Article ?/; of the Civil Code 7to correct and punish %oderatel+7 an errin"
child, does not include the infliction of corporal punish%ent. Neither does the power 7to discipline the child as %a+ be necessar+
for the for%ation of his "ood character7 under Article 45 of the Presidential Iecree No. ;?, otherwise -nown as the Fouth
3elfare Code. Moderate punish%ent %ust be short of corporal punish%ent. $f the law intended to authoriEe the parent to inflict
such moderate corporal punishment it would have provided so e9pressl+ as is done in the statutes of Michi"an and Mir"inia
invo-ed b+ the 6olicitor 5eneral, >uotin" ,i%e Ma"aEine :!ul+ /1, /)01 issue< and relied on b+ the %a*orit+ opinion.
,he substitute parental authorit+ "ranted to the teacher over the pupil, does not include all the ri"hts co%prehended in the patria
potestas of the natural parent over the child. #or one thin", certainl+ the teacher cannot de%and support and inheritance fro% the
pupil in the sa%e %anner that the teacher is not under obli"ation to support the pupil or to reco"niEe the ri"ht of the pupil to
inherit fro% hi% or even to educate the child at his own e9pense.
,he third para"raph of para"raph 4 of Article 1;? of the Revised Penal Code affir%s the liabilit+ of the parent for serious
ph+sical in*uries, and onl+ e9e%pts the parent fro% the special a""ravatin" circu%stances %entioned in the second para"raph of
said para"raph 4 of Article 1;? of the Revise Penal Code. ,he parent 7who shall inflict ph+sical in*uries upon his child b+
e9cessive chastise%ent,7 does not incur the "raver penalties i%posed in the penulti%ate para"raph of Article 1;? b+ reason of
the special a""ravatin" circu%stances. But such parent re%ains liable for the penalties i%posed in para"raphs /, 1, ? and 4 of
said Article 1;? for serious ph+sical in*uries.
No such lenienc+ is provided for sli"ht ph+sical in*uries and %altreat%ent inflicted b+ the parent on the child under Article 1;;
of the Revised Penal Code.
,he use of corporal punish%ent in the halls of learnin" is conde%ned. #lo""in", even of the %ost hardened cri%inals, has lon"
been abandoned as a for% of punish%ent in penal institutions. 6o %ust it be in schools. Respect for hu%an personalit+ cannot be
instilled in the %inds of the children when teachers choose to defile the hu%an bod+ b+ whippin" it. Beatin" a child to %a-e hi%
re%e%ber his lesson well is re%iniscent of the da+s when slaver+ was fashionable and instru%ents of torture were s+%bols of
authorit+. ,he inhu%ane dictu% of eras past 76pare the rod and spoil the child7 had been deposed b+ the co%passionate precept
e9pressed in Article ?51 of the Civil Code and 6ection /5 of the Revised 6ervice Manual of the Bureau of Public 6chools.
@ence, the conviction should be affir%ed.
MU7O8 PLM, J., dissentin".
Petitioner Marcela M. Ba"a*o see-s a review of a decision of the Court of #irst $nstance of Misa%is &ccidental convictin" her of
sli"ht ph+sical in*uries and i%posin" upon her a fine of #ift+ :P5.< Pesos.
$t is not disputed that petitioner, a classroo% teacher in a public school, whipped with a piece of ba%boo stic- a pupil b+ the
na%e of 3il%a Alcantara inflictin" upon her the followin" in*uries.
/. 4inear bruises at the %iddle half of the dorsal surface of both le"s. $t is about four inches in len"th and
A centi%eter in width. ,here are three on the ri"ht le" and two on the left le".
1. ,wo linear bruises of the sa%e width and len"th as above at the lower third of the dorsal surface of the
ri"ht thi"h.
,he above lesions, if without co%plication, %a+ heal in four to si9 da+s. :pa"e 1, Ma*orit+ &pinion<
Petitioner clai%s that she is not cri%inall+ liable as her act was without an+ cri%inal intent because she was si%pl+ tr+in" to
discipline her pupil 3il%a who tripped a class%ate Benedicta 5uiri"a+ causin" the latter to stu%ble and fall down.
,he Ma*orit+ &pinion followin" the reco%%endations of the 6olicitor 5eneral sets aside the conviction and ac>uits petitioner,
holdin", inter alia6
. . . All that 3e hold here is that in the peculiar circu%stances of the instant case before =s, there is no
indication be+ond reasonable doubt, in the evidence before the trial court, that petitioner was actuated b+ a
cri%inal desi"n to inflict the in*uries suffered b+ co%plainant as a result of her bein" whipped b+
petitioner. 3hat appears is that petitioner acted as she did in the belief that as a teacher e9ercisin"
authorit+ over her pupil in loco parentis, she was within her ri"hts to punish her %oderatel+ for purposes
of discipline. ... :pp. ?(4, Ma*orit+ &pinion<
$ a% constrained to dissent fro% the %a*orit+, briefl+ for the followin" reasons.
,he act of inflictin" ph+sical in*uries upon another is a felon+, as it is punishable b+ law.
1
Ever+ felonious act is in
turn presumed to be voluntar+ with all three ele%ents present, to wit. freedo%, intelli"ence, intent :dolus< or fault
:culpa<.
2
#reedo% is overco%e b+ evidence of force or threatG
3
intelli"ence, b+ insanit+ or infanc+G
4
intent, b+ proof of %ista-e
of fact, perfor%ance of dut+, or the li-e.
5
,he issue now is. was there %alice or cri%inal intent in the infliction of the ph+sical in*uries on 3il%aJ
,he Ma*orit+ &pinion discounts the presence of cri%inal intent and *ustifies the act of petitioner as one co%%itted b+ a teacher
e9ercisin" authorit+ in loco parentis under Art. ?4) of the Civil Code.
Ad%ittedl+, Art. ?4) includes a teacher a%on" the persons e9ercisin" substitute parental authorit+ while Art. ?5 states that the
latter shall e9ercise reasonable supervision over the conduct of a child. @owever, b+ the ver+ provisions of Art. ?51 of the sa%e
Code it is a condition that as to the relations between teacher and pupil, in no case shall corporal punishment $e countenanced
,he act of petitioner contravenes not onl+ Art. ?51 of the Civil Code but also 6ection /5 of the Bureau of Public 6chools
6ervice Manual >uoted in pa"es 1 and ? of the &pinion under which the use of corporal punish%ent b+ teachers is for$idden.
$t is contended in the &pinion that the above provisions are applicable in so far as the civil and ad%inistrative liabilities of
petitioner are concerned, thereb+ overloo-in" the fact that the law on substitute parental authorit+ under which the infliction of
the 7%oderate penalt+7 is *ustified, e9pressl+ prohibits the use of corporal punish%ent b+ teachers in their relations with their
pupils.
But a %ore basic reason for this dissent is that the le"al presu%ption of %alice is not overthrown b+ protestation of "ood faith
and honest belief of petitioner that she was %erel+ i%posin" discipline, for the findin"s of the trial courts, "iz. the Municipal
Court and the Court of #irst $nstance, attest that petitioner herein whipped 3il%a with a ba%boo stic- in the 7heat of
anger7
9
because Benedicta 5uiri"a+ the victi% of 3il%a2s nau"htiness or %ischief, was 7a wor-in" pupil livin" in the house of
the accused :petitioner now< for several +ears.7
7
$n truth, therefore, an"er, a desire to aven"e the %ischief done on her prote"e Benedicta, %otivated petitioner in stri-in" 3il%a
with her ba%boo stic-.
Moreover, $ si%pl+ cannot a"ree with the Ma*orit+ that all that petitioner did was to i%pose a 7%oderate penalt+7 on 3il%a.
Petitioner did not whip or stri-e at 3il%a once or twice, but several ti%es with such vehe%ence and force as to produce not one
or two but se"en linear $ruises on different parts of both le"s and ri"ht thi"h which accordin" to the doctor would heal barrin"
co%plications fro% four to si9 da+s. $nflictin" ph+sical in*uries, to %+ %ind, is not a 7%oderatel+ penalt+7. $f an e9ercise of
discipline was necessar+, petitioner could have e%plo+ed %ethods short of bodil+ punish%ent which would leave in*uries on the
person of the recalcitrant pupil.
3herefore, $ vote for the affir%ance of the decision of the trial court.