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2013 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW

UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER


JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
PRO REO
In dubio pro reo is means "when in doubt, for the accused. Intimately related to
the in dubio pro reo principle is the rule of lenity. The rule applies when the court is
faced with two possible interpretations of a penal statute, one that is prejudicial to the
accused and another that is favorable to him. The rule calls for the adoption of an
interpretation which is more lenient to the accused (Intestate estate of Gonzales vs.
People, G.R. No. 181409, February 11, 2010).
POSITIVIST THEORY AND CLASSICAL THERORY
The positivist theory states that the basis for criminal liability is the sum total
of the social and economic phenomena to which the ofense is expressed. The purpose
of penalties is to secure justice. The penalties imposed must not only be retributive
but must also be reformative, to give the convict an opportunity to live a new life and
rejoin society as a productive and civic-spirited member of the community. The
adoption of the aspects of the Positivist theory is exemplifed by the indeterminate
sentence law, impossible crime, privilege mitigating circumstance of minority and
modifying circumstances, rule on imposition of penalties for heinous and quasi-
heinous crimes) (Joya vs. Jail Warden of Batangas, G.R. Nos. 159418-19, December
10, 2003;).
Under the classical theory, man is essentially a moral creature with an
absolutely free will choose between good and evil. When he commits a felonious or
criminal act, the act is presumed to have been done voluntarily, i.e. with freedom,
intelligence and intent. Man, therefore, should be adjudged or held accountable for
wrongful acts so long as free will appears unimpaired (People vs. Estrada, G.R. No.
130487, June 19, 2000). Since the Revised Penal Code is based on the classical school
of thought, it is the identity of the mens rea which is considered the predominant
consideration and, therefore, warrants the imposition of the same penalty for
conspirators on the consequential theory that the act of one is thereby the act of all
(Hon. Sandiganbayan, Honrado, G.R. No. 115439-41, July 16, 1997). Under this
theory, the criminal liability is based on the result of the felonious act (proximate
cause rule).
CHARACTERISTIC OF CRIMINAL LAW
There are three characteristics of criminal law, to wit: (1) generality (2)
territoriality, and (3) prospectivity. The general, territorial and prospective
characteristics of criminal law are principles that defne and demarcate the scope and
limitation of the operation of criminal law. Under these three principles, the operation
or enforceability of criminal law is limited to wrongful acts committed on or after its
efectivity (prospectivity) within the territory of the Philippines (territoriality) by
person living and sojourning therein (generality).
GENERALITY - Generality principle is akin to territoriality principle in the
sense that the demarcating factor of both principles is the territory of the Philippines.
Under generality principle, criminal law is enforceable to person living or sojourning
in the territory of the Philippines. Under the territoriality principle, criminal law is
applicable only to criminal act committed within the territory of the Philippines. But
the concept of generality is diferent from territoriality. The applicability of
territoriality principle or generality principle will depend on the issue raised by the
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2013 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER
JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
accused in questioning the jurisdiction of the court. If the accused attacks the
jurisdiction of the court because of the unique characteristic of his person (e.g. he is
a foreigner, military, hermit, primitive, ambassador, legislator, President), the
applicable principle is generality. If the accused attacks the jurisdiction of the court
due to the unique characteristic of the place where the crime was committed (e.g. the
place of commission is foreign vessel, embassy or high sea) etc, the applicable
principle is territoriality.
1. Military ofcers - The Revised Penal Code and special criminal laws are
enforceable against military men living or sojourning in the Philippines. However, CA
408 (Articles of War) which vests jurisdiction over members of the AFP to the courts-
martial. RA 7055 (AN ACT STRENGTHENING CIVILIAN SUPREMACY OVER THE
MILITARY) did not divest the military courts of jurisdiction to try cases involving
"service-connected crimes or ofenses" under CA 408 (Example: Mutiny or sedition,
quarrels, frays; disorders, breaking an arrest or escaping from confnement, releasing
prisoners without proper authority, wrongful appropriation of captured property,
corresponding with, or aiding the enemy, spies, dueling, fraud against the
government afecting matters and equipment). In fact, RA No. 7055 mandates that
these service-connected crimes shall be tried by the court-martial (Navales v. Abaya,
G.R. No. 162318, October 25, 2004, Callejo). CA 408 is a law of preferential
application since it excludes members of the AFP from the operation of the Revised
Penal Code and special criminal laws if the crimes committed by them are service-
connected as defned by RA 7055.
2. Consular ofcers - Despite the ruling in Schneckenburger vs. Moran,
consular ofcers and employees are now enjoying immunity from criminal
prosecution of acts performed in the exercise of consular function under 1967,
Convention on Consular Relation. Slander (Liang vs. People, GR NO 125865, January
28, 2000) or reckless imprudence resulting in homicide is not function-related.
Consul is liable for committing this crime.
TERRITORIALITY PRINCIPLE: Under the principle of territoriality, the
Philippines has jurisdiction over crimes committed inside its territory except as
provided in the treaties and laws of preferential application.
1. Embassy - The ground occupied by US embassy is in fact the territory of
the USA to which the premises belong through possession or ownership. A person
who committed a crime within the premises of an embassy will be prosecuted under
the law of Philippines because of the principle of territoriality (See: Reagan vs.
Commission on Internal Revenue, 30 SCRA 968, En Banc; Answers to 2009 Bar
Examination Questions by UP Law Complex). However, jurisdiction of the Philippines
over the embassy is limited or restricted by the principles of inviolability of
diplomatic premises, which is a generally accepted principle of international law.
Warrant of arrest cannot be served inside US embassy without waiver of American
government of its right under the principle of inviolability.
2. English rule - There are two fundamental rules in International Law
regarding crimes committed aboard a foreign merchant vessel (not military vessel), if
the same is within the 12-mile territorial water (not internal or archipelagic water or
high seas) of the Philippines to wit: (1) French rule - Crimes committed aboard a
foreign merchant vessel within the territorial water of the Philippines are subject to
the jurisdiction of the fag state (extra-territoriality principle) unless their commission
afects the peace and security of our country. (2) English rule Crimes committed
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2013 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER
JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
aboard a foreign merchant vessel within the territorial water of the Philippines are
subject to jurisdiction of the Philippines (territoriality principle) unless their
commission does not afect its peace and security, or has no pernicious efect therein.
It is the English rule that obtains in this jurisdiction.
3. Convention of the law of the Sea - Under the Convention on the Law of
the Sea, the fag state of foreign merchant vessel passing through the territorial sea
has jurisdiction over crimes committed therein. However, the Philippines can exercise
jurisdiction to arrest any person or to conduct any investigation in connection with
any crime committed on board the ship during its passage in the following cases: (1) if
the consequences of the crime extend to the coastal State; (2) if the crime is of a kind
to disturb the peace of the country or the good order of the territorial sea; (3) if the
assistance of the local authorities has been requested by the master of the ship or by
a diplomatic agent or consular ofcer of the fag State; or (4) if such measures are
necessary for the suppression of illicit trafc in narcotic drugs or psychotropic
substances.
4. Drug trafcking - Following the English rule, the Philippines has no
jurisdiction over transportation of opium in a foreign vessel in transit in territorial
water of our country because possession of opium does not have a pernicious efect
on our country (U.S. vs. Look Chaw). But under the Convention of the law of the Sea,
the Philippines can exercise jurisdiction to arrest any person or to conduct any
investigation involving transportation of dangerous drugs since this is a measure
necessary for the suppression of illicit trafc in narcotic drugs or psychotropic
substances.
EXTRA-TERRITORIALITY - Under the principle of extra-territoriality, the
Philippines has jurisdiction over crimes committed outside its territory for those fve
instances mention in Article 2 such as crime committed in vessel of Philippines
registry (ownership is not material), function-related crime committed by public
ofcer (such as corruption or direct bribery), crimes against national security (such
as treason, espionage; rebellion is not a crime against national security), and crime
against law of nation such as piracy and mutiny). In People vs. Tulin, G.R. No.
111709, August 30, 2001- Piracy is an exception to the rule on territoriality in
criminal law (Article 2). The same principle applies even if accused were charged, not
with a violation of qualifed piracy under the penal code but under a special law, PD
No. 532 which penalizes piracy in Philippine waters. It is likewise, well-settled that
regardless of the law penalizing the same, piracy is a reprehensible crime against the
whole world.
PROSPECTIVITY: Article 22 of RPC - If the court in trying an accused, who
committed a crime prior to the passage of the law, should give retroactive efect to the
law provided that: (1) it is favorable to the accused and (2) the accused is not a
habitual delinquent (Article 22). Ex post facto law - Congress in passing a law can
insert retroactive efect provision therein subject to the Constitution of ex post facto
law. If the retroactive provision of the law has passed the constitutional test on
prohibition against ex post facto law, the court must give retroactive efect to this law
even if the accused is a habitual delinquent. Nullum crimen poena sine lege If the
law repeals a previous law or provision defning a crime, the applicable principle is
not Article 22 of RPC but nullum crimen poena sine lege (There is no crime when there
is no law punishing it). Since the intention of the new law is to decriminalize an act
punishable by the repealed law, the accused should be acquitted or released if the
already convicted, even though he is a habitual delinquent.
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2013 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER
JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
REPEAL: Decriminalization - Repeal of a penal law deprives the courts of
jurisdiction to punish persons charged with a violation of the old penal law prior to its
repeal (Sindiong and Pastor, 77 Phil. 1000; Binuya, 61 Phil. 208; U.S. vs. Reyes, 10
Phil. 423; U.S. vs. Academia, 10 Phil. 431; Arizala vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
43633, September 14, 1990; Almuete, et al., G.R. No. L-265, February 27,19 76). The
intention of the new law is to decriminalize an act punishable of old law. Thus, person
cannot be punished for subversion under RA 1700, which was repealed by RA 7637,
even though he is a habitual delinquent. New regulation - Repeal with re-enactment of
a penal law does not deprive the courts of jurisdiction to punish persons charged with
a violation of the old penal law prior to its repeal. Such repeal even without a saving
clause would not destroy criminal liability of the accused (U.S. vs. Cana, 12 Phil.
241). The intention of the new law is not to decriminalize an act punishable of old law
but merely to provide new regulation. If the new law is favorable to the accused, who
is not a habitual delinquent, it shall be given retroactive efect. Example: A was
charged for the crime of rape under Article 336 of RPC for raping his minor daughter.
However, RA 8353 expressly repealed Article 336 but re-enacted the provision on rape
by reclassifying it as a crime against person, redefning it and prescribing a graver
penalty for the commission thereof. The repeal of Article 336 does not deprive the
courts of jurisdiction to try and punish A for rape under Article 336. RA No. 8353
shall not be given retroactive efect since it is not favorable to the accused.
MISTAKE OF FACT PRINCIPLE:
Requisites: (1) That the acts done would have been lawful had the facts been as
the accused believed them to be (2) that the mistake of fact is not due to negligence or
unlawful intent of the ofender. The Supreme Court in several cases had applied the
mistake of fact doctrine, which allowed the accused, who committed a crime on a
mistaken belief, to enjoy the beneft of the justifying circumstance of self-defense
(United States vs. Ah Chong, 15 Phil., 488), defense of person and right (US vs.
Bautista, G.R. No. 10678 August 17, 1915), defense of honor (United States vs.
Apego, 23 Phil. 391), performance of duty, (People vs. Mamasalaya, G.R. No.L-4911,
February 10, 1953), and the exempting circumstance of obedience of an order of
superior ofcer (People vs. Beronilla, G.R. No. L-4445, February 28, 1955). In Ah
Chong, the accused, who believed that the victim was a robber and that his life was
in danger because of the commencement of unlawful aggression, was acquitted due to
mistake of fact doctrine in relation to the rule on self-defense. In Oanis vs. Galanta,
the accused, who believed that the sleeping victim is a notorious criminal to be
arrested by them, was held guilty of murder for shooting him since the mistake of fact
principle in relation to performance of duty is not applicable. Second element is not
present since they did not ascertain frst his identify despite opportunity. The frst
element is not likewise present since the killing of victim believed to be a criminal was
not necessary consequence of the due performance of duty of the accused as police
ofcers.
The gist of the theft is the intent to deprive another of his property in a chattel,
either for gain or out of wantonness or malice to deprive another of his right in the
thing taken. This cannot be where the taker honestly believes the property is his own
or that of another, and that he has a right to take possession of it for himself or for
another, for the protection of the latter. However, the belief of the accused of his
ownership over the property must be honest and in good faith and not a mere sham
or pretense. If the claim is dishonest, a mere pretense, taking the property of another
will not protect the taker (Gaviola vs. People, G.R. No. 163927, January 27, 2006,
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2013 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER
JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
Callejo). This belief of ownership as a defense in theft is in accordance with the
mistake of fact doctrine.
VOLUNTARINESS Concurrence of freedom, intelligence and intent makes up
the criminal mind behind the criminal act. Thus, to constitute a crime, the act
must, generally and in most cases, be accompanied by a criminal intent. Actus non
facit reum, nisi mens sit rea. No crime is committed if the mind of the person
performing the act complained of is innocent (People vs. Ojeda, G.R. Nos. 104238-58,
June 3, 2004). Voluntariness is an element of crime, whether committed by dolo or
culpa or punishable under special law. The act to be considered a crime must be
committed with freedom and intelligence. In addition to voluntariness, intentional
felony must be committed with dolo (malice), culpable felony with culpa, and mala
prohibita under special law with intent to perpetrate the act or with specifc intent
(such as animus possidendi in illegal possession of frearm). Presumption of
voluntariness: In the determination of the culpability of every criminal actor,
voluntariness is an essential element. Without it, the imputation of criminal
responsibility and the imposition of the corresponding penalty cannot be legally
sanctioned. The human mind is an entity, and understanding it is not purely an
intellectual process but is dependent to a large degree upon emotional and
psychological appreciation. A mans act is presumed voluntary. It is improper to
assume the contrary, i.e. that acts were done unconsciously, for the moral and legal
presumption is that every person is presumed to be of sound mind, or that freedom
and intelligence constitute the normal condition of a person (People vs. Opuran, G.R.
Nos. 147674-75, March 17, 2004).
CRIMINAL INTENT To be held liable for intentional felony, the ofender must
commit the act prohibited by RPC with specifc criminal intent and general criminal
intent. General criminal intent (dolo in Article 3 of RPC) is an element of all crimes
but malice is properly applied only to deliberate acts done on purpose and with
design. Evil intent must unite with an unlawful act for there to be a felony. A
deliberate and unlawful act gives rise to a presumption of malice by intent. On the
other hand, specifc intent is a defnite and actual purpose to accomplish some
particular thing. In estafa, the specifc intent is to defraud, in homicide intent to kill,
in theft intent to gain (Recuerdo vs. People, G.R. No. 168217, June 27, 2006, Callejo).
In the US vs. Ah Chong, the accused was acquitted because of mistake of fact
principle even though the evidence showed that he attacked the deceased with intent
to kill (United States vs. Apego, G.R. No. 7929, November 8, 1912; Dissenting opinion
of J. Trent), which was established by the statement of the accused "If you enter the
room I will kill you." Article 249 (homicide) should be read in relation to Article 3. The
accused was acquitted not because of the absence of intent to kill (specifc intent) but
by reason of lack of general intent (dolo or malice).
PRESUMED MALICE - The general criminal intent (malice) is presumed from
the criminal act and in the absence of any general intent is relied upon as a defense,
such absence must be proved by the accused (Ah Chong case, the accused was able
to rebut the presumption of general criminal intent or malice). Generally, a specifc
intent is not presumed. Its existence, as a matter of fact, must be proved by the State
just as any other essential element. This may be shown, however, by the nature of the
act, the circumstances under which it was committed, the means employed and the
motive of the accused (Recuerdo vs. People, G.R. No. 168217, June 27, 2006, Callejo).
There are other specifc intents that are presumed. If a person died due to violence,
intent to kill is conclusively presumed. Intent to gain is presumed from taking
property without consent of owner.
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2013 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER
JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
MOTIVE
Motive to prove identity - In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove the
elements of crime and the identity of the person who committed it. Proof of motive will
not establish the presence of the elements of the crime but it will help the
prosecution in showing that the accused committed the crime. The identity of the
culprit, which is an essential requisite to cause the conviction of the accused, is
usually established through positive identifcation of the witness. However if there is
doubt as to the identity of the culprit, showing motive of the accused for committing
the crime will help establish his direct link to the commission of the crime. In People
Ferrera, GR NO L-66965, June 18, 1987, En Banc, it was held that motive is
essential to conviction in murder cases only when there is doubt as to the identity of the
culprit, not when the accused has been positively identifed as the assailant. Motive as
an element - Although motive is not an essential element of a crime, and proving it is
just a matter of procedure pertaining to the identifcation of the accused, there are
some cases where it is absolutely necessary to establish a particular motive as a
matter of substance because it forms an essential element of the ofense. In cases of
libel or slander or malicious mischief, prosecution must prove malice on the part of
the accused as the true motive of the conduct (People vs. Diva and Diva, GR NO L-
22946, April 29, 1968, En Banc).
INDETERMINATE OFFENSE DOCTRINE In People vs. Lamahang, G.R. No.
43530, August 3, 1935, En Banc - Accused who was caught in the act of making an
opening with an iron bar on the wall of a store was held guilty of attempted
trespassing and not attempted robbery. The act of making an opening on the wall of
the store is an overt act of trespassing since it reveals an evident intention to enter by
means of force said store against the will of its owner. However, it is not an overt act of
robbery since the intention of the accused once he succeeded in entering the store is
not determinate; it is subject to diferent interpretations. His fnal objective could be
to rob, to cause physical injury to its occupants, or to commit any other ofense. In
sum, the crime the he intended to commit inside the store is indeterminate, and thus,
an attempt to commit it is not punishable as attempted felony. In People vs.
Crisostomo, et al., G.R. No. L-19034, February 17 1923 The accused dragged the
victim to a rice feld. Fortunately, she was saved from her captors. It was held that the
purpose of the accused in taking away the ofended party could be to injure or afront
her or to compel her through force to marry one of the accused. Thus, the acts are
not constitutive of attempted coercion. Note: The accused were found guilty of illegal
detention. Taking the victim reveals the evident intention of the accused to deprive
the liberty of the latter, which is the mens rea in illegal detention. In U.S. vs. Simeon,
G.R. No. 1603, April 15, 1904 - Raising a bolo and hacking the victim with it are acts
of execution in homicide or murder. Such acts together with other circumstance may
reveal intent to kill. However, raising bolo alone is susceptible to diferent
interpretation. The intention of the ofender may either to kill the victim or merely to
threaten him. Since doubt should be interpreted in favor of the accused, such act
should be considered to have been made with intent to threaten the victim. Thus, the
crime commit is merely threat and not attempted homicide;

PROXIMATE CAUSE
Proximate cause is the primary or moving cause of the death of the victim; it is
the cause, which in the natural and continuous sequence unbroken with any
efcient intervening cause produces death and without which the fatal result could
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2013 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER
JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
not have happened. It is the cause, which is the nearest in the order of responsible
causation (Blacks Law Dictionary). Intervening cause - The direct relation between the
intentional felony and death may be broken by efcient intervening cause or an active
force which is either a distinct act or fact absolutely foreign from the felonious act of
the ofender. Lightning that kills the injured victim or tetanus infecting the victim
several days after the infiction of injuries, or voluntary immersing the wounds to
aggravate the crime committed by accused is an intervening cause. Thus, the accused
is liable for physical injuries because of the intervening cause rule. On the other
hand, carelessness of the victim, or involuntary removal of the drainage, lack of
proper treatment is not an intervening cause. Hence, the accused is liable for the
death because of the proximate cause rule.
If the victim died due to tetanus of which he was infected when the accused
inficted injuries upon him, the crime committed is homicide (People vs. Cornel, G.R.
No. L-204, May 16, 1947). If the victim died due to tetanus of which he was infected
after the accused inficted injuries upon him, the crime committed is physical
injuries. The accused is not liable for homicide because tetanus is an efcient
intervening cause. Thus, the proximate cause of the death of the victim is not the
infiction of injuries. In Villacorta vs. People, G.R. No. 186412, September 7, 2011,
there had been an interval of 22 days between the date of the stabbing and the date
when victim was rushed to hospital, exhibiting symptoms of severe tetanus infection.
Since the victim was infected of severe tetanus, he died the next day. The incubation
period of severe tetanus is less than 14 days. Hence, he could not have been infected at
the time of the stabbing since that incident occurred 22 days before the victim was
rushed to the hospital. The infection of victims stab wound by tetanus was an
efcient intervening cause. The accused was held liable for physical injuries.
ERROR IN PERSONAE - In case of error in personae, person is criminally
responsible for committing an intentional felony although the consequent victim is
diferent from that intended due to mistake of identity. Requisites: In order to make a
person criminally liable in case of error in personae, the following requisites must be
present: (1) Ofender committed an intentional felony; (2) The consequent victim
against whom the felony was directed is diferent from that intended due to mistake of
identity. If the penalty for the intended crime is diferent from that of the committed
crime, the court shall impose the penalty for the intended crime or committed crime,
whichever is lesser.
ABERRATIO ICTUS - In case of aberratio ictus, person is criminally
responsible for committing an intentional felony although the consequent victim is
diferent from that intended due to mistake of blow. Requisites: In order to make a
person criminally liable in case of aberratio ictus, the following requisites must be
present: (1) Ofender committed an intentional felony; (2) The consequent victim
against whom the felony was directed is diferent from that intended due to mistake of
blow. The crime committed against the intended victim and victim injured due to
aberratio ictus shall be made a complex crime (compound crime). The court shall
impose the penalty for the most serious crime in its maximum period.
The circumstance of aberratio ictus (mistake in the blow) can neither exempt the
accused from criminal responsibility nor mitigate his criminal liability. Under Article 4
of RPC, criminal liability is incurred by any person committing a felony although the
wrongful act done be diferent from that which he intended (Matic vs. People, G.R. No.
180219, November 23, 2011).
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2013 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER
JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
PRAETER INTENTIONEM: In case of praeter intentionem, person is criminally
responsible for committing an intentional felony although its wrongful consequence is
graver than that intended. Requisites: In order to make a person criminally liable
under Article 4 (1) in case of praeter intentionem, the following requisites must be
present: (1) Ofender committed an intentional felony; (2) The wrongful act done,
which is graver than that intended, is the direct, natural and logical consequence of
the felony committed by the ofender. Praeter intentionem may be appreciated as
mitigating circumstance of lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong than that
committed.
When death resulted, even if there was no intent to kill, the crime is homicide, not just
physical injuries (Seguritan vs. People, G.R. No. 172896, April 19, 2010).
Mitigating circumstance - The mitigating circumstance that the ofender had
no intention to commit so grave a wrong as that committed or praeter intentionem is
obtaining when there is a notable disparity between the means employed by the
accused to commit a wrong and the resulting crime committed. The intention of the
accused at the time of the commission of the crime is manifested from the weapon
used, the mode of attack employed and the injury sustained by the victim (People vs.
Maglian, G.R. No. 189834, March 30, 2011).The mitigating circumstance of praeter
intentionem cannot be appreciated since the acts employed by X were reasonably sufcient
to produce and did actually produce the death of the victim (People vs. Sales, G.R. No.
177218, October 3, 2011).
1. Evident premeditation- In case of aberatiu ictus and error in personae, the
SC did not appreciate evident premeditation since the victim, who was actually killed,
is not contemplated in the premeditation of the accused (People vs. Trinidad, G.R. NO.
L-38930, June 28, 1988; People vs. Mabug-at, 51 Phil., 967; People vs. Trinidad, G.R.
No. L-38930, June 28, 1988). However, praeter intentionem and evident
premeditation can be independently appreciated. there is no incompatibility between
evident premeditation and no intention to commit so grave a wrong since the latter is
based on the state of mind of the ofender while the former manner of committing the
crime (Reyes; People vs. Enriquez, 58 Phil. 536).
2. Treachery - If accused employed means to render the victim defenseless,
treachery shall be appreciated even if the killing is due to error in personae (People
vs. Del Castillo, Sr., G.R. No. L-32995, April 30, 1984) or aberratio ictus (People vs.
Mabug-at, G.R. No. 25459, August 10, 1926, En Banc) or with the circumstance of
praeter intentionem (People vs. Cagoco, G.R. No. 38511, October 6, 1933)
3. Conspiracy - Conspirators, who conspired to kill a particular parson, are
equally liable for the killing of another person due to error in personae (People vs.
Pinto, Jr. and Buenafor, G.R. No. No. 39519, November 21, 1991). However,
conspirator, who never even fred a single shot and whose only participation was to
drive their getaway vehicle and to lend his frearm to his back rider so that the latter
could fnish of the target victim was not found accountable for the injury sustained
by the unintended victim was just a star-crossed bystander who was accidentally hit
in the process (aberratio ictus) (People vs. Herbias, G.R. No. 112716-17, December
16, 1996; People vs. Flora and Flora, G.R. No. 125909, June 23, 2000).
INTENT TO KILL: Intent to kill is an element of homicide and murder. But
even if ofender had no intent to kill, he would be held just the same liable for
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2013 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER
JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
homicide or murder if his felonious act is the proximate cause of the death of the
latter. Even if there is no intent to kill, ofender is liable for homicide or murder if the
victim died as a result of the felonious act of the former. The ofenders act is
considered felonious if it is accompanied with criminal or evil intent such as intent to
infict injury, intent to hide the body of the crime, intent to threaten victim, intent to
silence the hold-up victim, or intent to rape. Ofender is liable for homicide because it
is the natural, direct and logical consequence of an act committed with criminal
intent.
a. With intent to hide the body of the crime In People vs. Ortega, Jr., G.R.
No. 116736, July 24, 1997 - Ortega stabbed the victim. Garcia assisted Ortega in
concealing the body of the victim by throwing the body into the well. Victim died due
to drowning. Issue: Is Garcia liable for the death of the victim as principal in homicide
even if his intention was not to kill the victim but merely to assist Ortega in
concealing his dead body not knowing that the victim was still alive at that time? In
assisting Ortega carry the body of victim to the well, Garcia was committing an
intentional felony; concealing the body of the crime to prevent its discovery makes
him liable as an accessory in homicide. Hence, Garcia should be held liable for the
direct, natural and logical consequence of his felonious act of assisting Ortega in
hiding the body of the victim. Since proximate cause of death of the victim is the
felonious and accessory act of throwing the victim into the well, Garcia should be
held liable for the death as principal in homicide.
b. With intent to threaten In US vs. Valdez, G.R. No. 16486, March 22,
1921, En Banc - The accused in rage he moved towards victim with a big knife in
hand, threatening to stab him. Victim believing himself in great and immediate peril
jumped into the water where he was drowned. The accused was found guilty of
homicide. The act of threatening to stab victim constitutes a felony of threat. Hence,
accused is liable for the direct, natural and logical consequence of his intentional and
felonious act. It was held that: "If a man creates in another man's mind an immediate
sense of danger which causes such person to try to escape, and in so doing he injures
himself, the person who creates such a state of mind is responsible for the injuries
which result."
d. Intent to infict injury - Intentional infiction of injury resulting in death of
the victim constitutes homicide or murder. In People vs. Pugay, et al., No 74324,
November 17, 1988, the deceased, a retardate, and the accused Pugay were friends.
Deceased used to run errands for Pugay and at times they slept together. During a
town festa fair was held in the public plaza. Accused, Pugay and Samson with several
companions, who appeared to be drunk, made the deceased dance by tickling him
with a piece of wood. Not content with what they were doing with the deceased, the
accused Pugay suddenly took a can of gasoline from under the engine of the Ferris
wheel and poured its contents on the body of the former. Then, the accused Samson
set victim on fre making a human torch out of him. Pugay and Samson were stunned
when they noticed the deceased burning. Crime committed by Samson: There is no
intent to kill. The act of the Accused was merely a part of their fun-making that
evening. Accused merely intended to set the deceased's clothes on fre. His act,
however, does not relieve him of criminal responsibility. Burning the clothes of the
victim would cause at the very least some kind of physical injuries on his person, a
felony. Since such felony of physical injuries resulted into a graver ofense, he must be
held responsible therefor. (Note: The crime is not murder qualifed by means of fre
because the fre was not use to kill but merely to infict injury).

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e. Recklessness Even if there is no intent to kill and evil intent, ofender is
liable for culpable felony if the victim died as a result of the recklessness of the
former. Crime committed by Pugay: Having taken the can from under the engine of
the Ferris wheel and holding it before pouring its contents on the body of the
deceased, this accused knew that the can contained gasoline. The stinging smell of
this fammable liquid could not have escaped his notice even before pouring the same.
Clearly, he failed to exercise all the diligence necessary to avoid every undesirable
consequence arising from any act that may be committed by his companions who at
the time were making fun of the deceased. The accused is only guilty of homicide
through reckless imprudence.
f. Accident - If there is no intent to kill, evil intent and recklessness on the
part of the accused, he is not liable for his intentional act, which caused the death of
the victim. In United States vs. Tanedo (15 Phil. Rep., 196), deceased went with the
accused to hunt wild chickens at the forest. While hunting, the accused came upon a
wild chicken, and, not seeing deceased about and not knowing or having any reason
to believe that he was in that vicinity shot the chicken. The bullet that hit the chicken
recoiled and hit the deceased. It was held that accused is not criminally liable. Life
was taken by misfortune or accident while in the performance of a lawful act executed
with due care and without intention of doing harm. Note: The accused could not have
foreseen that the slug after hitting the chicken would recoil and hit deceased. The
principle enunciated in Tanedo case will not apply if the place where the accused
lawfully discharged his frearm is populated. In People vs. Nocum, G.R. No. L-482, 25
February 1947, En Banc - There was a fstic fght between two persons. Desiring to
stop the encounter, accused shouted at the combatants. As these paid him no
attention, he drew a .45 caliber pistol and shot twice in the air. The bout continued,
however; so he fred another shot at the ground, but unfortunately the bullet
ricocheted, and hit an innocent by-stander, resident of the place. Victim died. It was
held that: The mishap should be classed as homicide through reckless imprudence,
the slaying having been unintentional. It is apparent that defendant willfully
discharged his gun-for without taking the precautions demanded by the circumstance
that the district was populated, and the likelihood that his bullet would glance over the
hard pavement of the Manila thoroughfare. Note: The accused should have foreseen
that the slug after hitting the pavement would recoil and might hit somebody.
IMPOSSIBLE CRIME
Ofender shall be held liable for impossible crime if the following requisites are
present: (1) ofender performing an act which would have been an ofense against
person or property; (2) ofender performed an act with evil intent; (3) ofender did not
commit the ofense because of the impossibility of its accomplishment or employment
of inadequate or inefectual means; and (4) ofender in performing an act is not
violating another provision of the law (Luis B. Reyes).
a. Intod principle - In Intod vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 103119, October
21, 1992 Outside the house of the victim, accused with intent to kill fred at the
bedroom, where the victim is supposed to be sleeping. No one was in the room when
the accused fred the shots. No one was hit by the gun fre. The accused were
convicted of impossible crime. Accused shoot the place where he thought his victim
would be, although in reality, the victim was not present in said place and thus, the
accused failed to accomplish their end due to its factual impossibility. In the United
States, criminal laws are silent regarding impossible crimes; hence where the ofense
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sought to be committed is factually impossible of accomplishment, the ofender shall
be liable for attempted crime. On the other hand, where the ofense is legally
impossible of accomplishment, the actor cannot be held liable for any crime. In the
Philippines, the crime committed is impossible crime if the ofense sought to be
committed is factually or legally impossible. Killing a dead person is impossible crime
because of legal impossibility. Putting the hand inside an empty pocket with intention
to steal a wallet is impossible crime because of factual impossibility.
b. Raping a dead person - Prior to RA 8353, rape is a crime against chastity.
Thus, if a person raped a dead person believing that she was just sleeping, ofender
could not be held liable for impossible crime (J. Ramon Aquino). In impossible crime
the act could have constituted the crime against person or property if its
accomplishment was not impossible. Rape is neither a crime against person nor
against property. However, RA 8353 reclassifes rape from crime against chastity to
crime against person. Hence, an ofender for raping a dead person without knowing
that she was already dead may now be held liable for impossible crime.
c. Committing another crime - A discharged shotgun at B from a distance
of 300 yards; but because of the limited range of the frepower of the shotgun, it
would be impossible for A to harm B. A is liable of discharged of frearm and not
impossible crime. Where the ofender unlawful entered the house and took a watch
that turned out to be his own, he is liable for trespass to dwelling and not impossible
crime (Criminal Law Conspectus by Justice Florenz Regalado). If the accused
administered abortive drugs upon his girlfriend whom he believed to be pregnant,
which turned out not to be true, but the woman became ill for more than 30 days, the
accused will be liable for serious physical injuries and not impossible crime of
abortion (Criminal Law Reviewer by Gregorio).
STAGES
ATTEMPTED AND FRUSTRATED STAGES: In attempted felony, the ofender
performs directly an overt act, which consists of one or more acts of execution, but
not enough to consequently produce the felony. In frustrated felony, the ofenders
perform all the acts of execution that would produce the felony as a matter of
consequence. To determine whether the felony is at the attempted or frustrated stage,
acts of execution of execution of a felony must be identifed. Example: The acts of
execution that would produce homicide or murder are infiction of mortal wounds
upon the victim. If the wounds inficted upon the victim with intent to kill are non-
mortal, the crime committed is attempted homicide; if wounds are mortal, the crime
committed is frustrated homicide.
In attempted felony and frustrated felony, the external acts performed by the
ofender and the intended felony must have a direct connection; but in an attempted
felony, the ofender failed to perform all the acts of execution; thus his external acts
would not produce the felony as a consequence; on the other hand in a frustrated
felony, the ofender performed all the acts of execution; thus, his external acts would
produce the felony as a consequence.
FRUSTRATED AND CONSUMMATED- In frustrated and consummated felony,
the accused performed all acts of execution that would produce the felony as a
consequence. If the felony is not produced due to external cause, the crime committed
is frustrated felony; if the felony is produced the crime committed is consummated.
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In frustrated felony, the ofender performed all the acts of execution but the
felony was not produced as a consequence due to extraneous cause. However, there
are felonies, the commission of which has no frustrated stage since the performance
of all the acts of execution immediately consummates the felony. In homicide or
murder case, once the ofender inficted mortal wound on the victim, all the acts of
execution are considered performed. However, what consummates homicide or
murder is not the infiction of mortal wounds but the death of the victim as a
consequence of the mortal wound inficted. Thus, if the mortally wounded victim did
not die due to medical intervention, homicide or murder is only at the frustrated
stage. On the other hand, in rape once the ofender sexually penetrate the labia of the
vagina of the victim, all the acts of execution are considered performed. But since
sexual penetration consummates rape, there are no occasions where the ofender
performed all the acts of execution and yet the felony was not produced as a
consequence. In sum, there is no such thing as frustrated rape since the performance
of all the acts of execution immediately consummates rape.
ABSOLUTORY CAUSE In attempted felony and frustrated felony, the ofender
failed to accomplish his criminal objective by reason of extraneous causes; if the
causes are not extraneous, the accused will be absolved from criminal liability.
a. Negative Act - In the attempted stage of the execution of a felony, the
ofender must do a negative act to be exempt from criminal liability for attempted
felony; since the ofender has not yet performed all the acts of execution that would
produce the felony as a consequence, he must spontaneously desist from further
doing criminal acts that will complete all the acts of execution. Example: A with
intent to kill shot B; B sustained non-mortal wound. To be exempt from criminal
liability for attempted homicide or murder, A must spontaneously desist from
further shooting B in order not to infict mortal injury upon him.
b. Positive Act If the ofender performs all the acts of execution, which
would produce the felony as a consequence, ofender is not exempted from liability for
frustrated felony even if he voluntary desisted from further doing criminal act.
Spontaneous desistance is a defense in attempted felony but not in frustrated felony.
In the frustrated stage of the execution of a felony, the ofender must do a positive
act to be exempt from criminal liability; since the ofender has performed all the acts
of execution that would produce the felony as a consequence, he must do something
to prevent, or thwart the production of the felony. Example: A with intent to kill shot
B; B sustained mortal wound. To be exempt from criminal liability for frustrated
felony, it is not enough that A would desist from further shooting B. The
spontaneous desistance is not a valid defense since A had already inficted mortal
wound on B that would cause his death as a consequence. Thus, A must save the
life of B by treating his wound. If B did not die because As medical treatment,
the latter will not be held liable for frustrated felony because the homicide was not
produced due to the will of A.
c. Not absolutory cause If the felony is consummated, ofender cannot undo
what was done. Ofender would not be absolved from criminal liability even if he had
done something that will mitigate the efects of the felonious act. Example: (1)
Restitution of funds malversed immediately and voluntarily made before the case was
instituted is not an absolutory cause (Navarro vs. Meneses III, CBD Adm. Case No.
313, January 30, 1998, En Banc). (2) A stole chicken under the house of B one
evening. Realizing that what he did was wrong, A returned the chicken to the place
under the house of B. Since the crime of theft was already consummated, the
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return of the stolen property does not relieve A of criminal responsibility. A had
already performed all the acts of execution, which produced the crime of theft before
he returned the chicken (Reyes). (3) The fact that the accused abandoned victim after
six days of captivity does not lessen his criminal culpability much less exempt him
from criminal liability for the kidnapping and detention of victim (Baldogo, G.R. No.
128106-07, January 24, 2003, En Banc).
COMPLEX CRIME
Killing persons and injuring two more by treacherously detonating a hand
grenade in a dancing place constitutes the complex crime of murder and attempted
murder. Even though the other victim did not sufer mortal wounds, the crime
committed is not physical injuries, because accused was motivated by the same intent
to kill when he detonated the explosive device inside the dancing place (People vs.
Barde, G.R. No. 183094, September 22, 2010).
RECOMMENDED EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY
Accused was convicted of crime RA No. 8282 for his failure to remit SSS
contributions of his employees and was sentenced to sufer up to 20 years of reclusion
temporal. The penalty is excessive since he already paid his delinquent contribution.
Under Article 5 of the Revised Penal Code, the courts are bound to apply the law as it
is and impose the proper penalty, no matter how harsh it might be. The same
provision, however, gives the Court the discretion to recommend to the President
actions it deems appropriate but are beyond its power when it considers the penalty
imposed as excessive. Although an accused is convicted under a special penal law,
the Court is not precluded from giving the Revised Penal Code suppletory application
in light of Article 10 of the same Code (Mendoza vs. People, G.R. No. 183891, October
19, 2011).
CONSPIRACY
In People vs. Dollendo, G.R. No. 181701, January 18, 2012 -The evidence of a
chain of circumstances, to wit: that appellant went inside the house of Romines to
ascertain that the victim was there; that he fetched Dollendo to bring him to Ruiz; that
he gave the dipang to Dollendo to commit the crime; and that they both fed after the
stabbing, taken collectively, shows a community of criminal design to kill the victim.
Evidently, there was conspiracy in the commission of the crime.
DISSOCIATION - To exempt himself from criminal liability, a conspirator must
have performed an overt act to dissociate or detach himself from the conspiracy to
commit the felony and prevent the commission thereof (People vs. Ebet, G.R. No.
181635 November 15, 2010).
MASTERMIND - To be held liable as conspirator, it must also be shown that the
accused performed an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy except in the case of
the mastermind of a crime (People vs. Vera, GR No. 128966, August 18, 1999). One who
plans the commission of a crime is liable as conspirator and principal by inducement
(People vs. Comiling, G.R. No. 140405, March 4, 2004, En banc).Notwithstanding, the
fact that one was not at the crime scene, evidence proved that he was the mastermind
of the criminal act or the principal by inducement. What is important is that
inducement was the determining cause of the commission of the crime. The command
or advice made by principal by inducement was of such nature that, without it, the
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crime would not have materialized (People vs. Janjalani, G.R. No. 188314, January 10,
2011).
PRESENCE - Accused, unarmed, appeared in the company of his employer, and
another person. His employer shot and killedthe victim. Accused did nothing to
prevent the killing. Accused fed together with his employer and other person.The fact
that accused appeared together with employer and another and fed with them proves
a certain degree of participation and cooperation in the execution of the
crime. However, there is doubt as to whether accused acted as a principal or just a
mere accomplice. Such doubt should be resolved in favor of the milder form of criminal
liabilitythat of a mere accomplice (People vs. Tomas, G.R. No. 192251, February 16,
2011). If the accused is armed at the time, he could be held liable as principal on the
basis of implied conspiracy. The fact that the companion of the criminal actor is armed
may mean that the former is supplying moral assistance to the latter. The armed
presence of conspiratorial companion may prove a sense of security and
encouragement on the part of the material executor or may serve as deterrence against
possible defender or rescuer (Galgo, G.R. No. 133887, May 28, 2002, En Banc).
SPECIAL LAW - B.P. Blg. 22 does not expressly proscribe the supplementary
application of the provisions RPC including the rule on conspiracy. Hence, such rule
may be applied supplementarily. Thus, a non-issuer of bum check can be held liable
for violation of BP Blg. 22 on the basis of conspiracy. (Ladonga vs. People, G.R. No.
141066, February 17, 2005). The principle of conspiracy may be applied to RA No.
9262. Thus, a person (such as mother-in-law), who has no marital, sexual or dating
relationship with the victim, can be held liable for violence against woman on the
basis of conspiracy (Go-Tan vs. Go, G.R. No. 168852, September 30, 2008)
FENCING
The elements of fencing are 1) a robbery or theft has been committed; 2) the
accused, who took no part in the robbery or theft, buys, receives, possesses, keeps,
acquires, conceals, sells or disposes, or buys and sells, or in any manner deals in any
article or object taken during that robbery or theft; (3) the accused knows or should
have known that the thing derived from that crime; and (4) he intends by the deal he
makes to gain for himself or for another (Dimat vs. People, G.R. No. 181184, January
25, 2012).
The essential elements of the crime of fencing under PD No. 1612 are as
follows: (1) A crime of robbery or theft has been committed; (2) The accused, who is
not a principal or accomplice in the commission of the crime of robbery or theft (or
carnapping but not malversation or estafa), buys, receives, possesses, keeps, acquires,
conceals, sells or disposes, or buys and sells, or in any manner deals in any article,
item, object or anything of value, which has been derived from the proceeds of the
said crime; (3) The accused knows or should have known that the said article, item,
object or anything of value has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery
or theft; and (4) There is on the part of the accused, intent to gain for himself or for
another (Francisco vs. People, G.R. No. 146584, July 12, 2004, Callejo).
a. Proving robbery or theft Commission of robbery or theft by the principal
as an element of fencing should be proven beyond reasonable doubt to convict the
fencer. One may not be convicted of the crime of fencing if the complainant did not
lodge a criminal complaint against the principal in the crime of theft. This will create
doubt if theft was really committed (Tan vs. People, G.R. No. 134298, August 26,
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1999) Failure to show fnality of conviction of theft against the principal is fatal to
prosecution for fencing. In Francisco vs. People, G.R. No. 146584, July 12, 2004,
Callejo - The decision of the trial court convicting the principal of theft does not
constitute proof against the accused for the crime of fencing, that the principal had,
indeed, stolen the jewelry. There is no showing that the said decision was already
fnal and executory when the trial court rendered its decision in the fencing case.
Accused was acquitted.

b. Knowledge - In Dimat vs. People, G.R. No. 181184, January 25, 2012 But
Presidential Decree 1612 is a special law and, therefore, its violation is regarded
as malum prohibitum, requiring no proof of criminal intent. Of course, the prosecution
must still prove that accused knew or should have known that the Nissan Safari he
acquired and later sold to complainant was derived from theft or robbery and that he
intended to obtain some gain out of his acts. Accused knew that the Nissan Safari he
bought was not properly documented. He said that Tolentino showed him its old
certifcate of registration and ofcial receipt. But this certainly could not be true
because, the vehicle having been carnapped, Tolentino had no documents to
show. That Tolentino was unable to make good on his promise to produce new
documents undoubtedly confrmed to accused that the Nissan Safari came from an
illicit source. Still, accused sold the same to complainant who apparently made no
efort to check the papers covering her purchase. That complainant might herself be
liable for fencing is of no moment since she did not stand accused in the case.
c. Presumption: Section 6 of PD No. 1612 provides: Mere possession of any
good, article, item, object, or anything of value which has been the subject of robbery
or thievery shall be prima facie evidence of fencing.Possession is not limited to actual
manual control of the ofender over the stolen property but extends to power and
dominion over it.
The accessory in theft should materially beneft from it. Riding in a stolen
vehicle is not profting within the contemplation of Article 17 of the Revised Penal
Code since it does not improve his economic position. Profting is not synonymous to
intent to gain as an element of theft (Gregorio). However, in violation of PD No. 1612,
use of stolen property gives rise to the presumption of fencing. Hence, the user may
be held liable for fencing even though he did not materially beneft from crime of
theft.
The presumption of theft is disputable. The presumption of fencing may be
overcome by showing proof that accused bought the item from a licensed dealer of
second-hand items (Hizon-Pamintuan vs. People, G.R. No. 11414, July 11, 1994) or by
showing ofcial receipts covering the purchases of property, which is the subject of
fencing (D. M Consunji, Inc. vs. Esguerra, G.R. No. 118590, July 30, 1996).
d. Recently stolen property If suspect is found in possession of recently
stolen property, he should be charged as principal in the crime of theft or robbery.
Under Section 3 (j), Rule 131, a person found in possession of a thing taken in the
doing of recently wrongful act is the taker and the doer of the whole act. Settled is the
rule that unexplained possession of recently stolen property is prima facie evidence of
guilt of the crime of theft ( US vs. Ungal, 37 Phil., 835). If the subject property is not
recently stolen, the presumption under Section 3 (j), Rule 131 will not arise. However,
the possessor is still presumed to have violated PD No. 1612 even if the property
being possessed was not recently stolen. Under the law, mere possession of stolen
property gives rise to the presumption of fencing.
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OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
Obstruction of justice under PD No. 1829 is committed by any person who
knowingly or willfully obstructs, impedes, frustrates or delays the apprehension of
suspects and the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases by (1) altering,
destroying, suppressing or concealing any paper, record, document, or object, with
intent to impair its verity, authenticity, legibility, availability, or admissibility as
evidence in any investigation of or ofcial proceedings in, criminal cases, or to be
used in the investigation of, or ofcial proceedings in, criminal cases; (2) harboring or
concealing, or facilitating the escape of, any person he knows, or has reasonable
ground to believe or suspect, has committed any ofense under existing penal laws in
order to prevent his arrest prosecution and conviction;
a. Commission of crime, not an element - To be held liable as accessory
under the Revised Penal Code, it is required that the crime was committed by the
principal. To be held liable for obstruction of justice, it is not necessary that the crime
was committed by a criminal suspect. Example: A committed suicide. To make it
appear that B murdered A, C placed the gun used in perpetrating suicide inside
the bag of B. C committed the crime of obstruction of justice for having obstructed
the investigation of a criminal case involving the death of A. C cannot be held
liable as accessory because murder was not really committed.
b. Knowledge - An accessory under Revised Penal Code must have knowledge
of the commission of the crime by the principal. To commit obstruction of justice,
what is important is not knowledge of the commission of a crime but awareness of an
ongoing or impending investigation and prosecution of a criminal case. In fact, even
though the suspect did not commit a crime, obstruction of justice is committed if he
knowingly obstructs, impedes, or frustrates the said investigation and prosecution.
c. Obstructing criminal investigation or prosecution - Public ofcer, who
destroyed dangerous drugs as evidence for monetary consideration, is liable for
obstruction of justice in addition to graft and corruption and direct bribery (2005 Bar
Exam)
If a respondent in a preliminary investigation altered the allegation in the
complaint-afdavit as to the date of criminal incident to make it appear that the
crime, with which he was charged, had prescribed, the alteration is constitutive of the
crime of falsifcation of document under Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code and
obstruction of justice under PD No. 1829.
d. Principal of the crime - A and B killed X. After the slaughter, A and
B burned the dead body of X in the forest to prevent its discovery. Can A and B
be charged as accessory of the crime to murder or obstruction of justice? A and B
are principals by direct participation in the crime of murder qualifed by employment
of means to aford impunity. Hence, they cannot be charged as accessories. Under the
Revised Penal Code, accessories must not have participated in the commission of the
crime as principals. However, in addition to murder, they can be charged with the
crime of obstruction of justice for destroying an object to impair its availability as
evidence in a case. Under PD No. 1829, it is not required that the ofenders must not
have participated as principals.
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e. Suspicion - An accessory under Article 19 (3) of the Revised Penal Code
must have knowledge of the commission of the crime by the principal. Entertaining
suspicion is not itself proof of knowledge that a crime has been committed.
Knowledge and suspicion are not synonymous. The word suspicion is defned as
being the imagination of the existence of something without proof, or upon very slight
evidence or upon no evidence at all (Reyes). On the other hand, the ofender may
violate Section 1 (c) of PD No. 1829 even though he has no knowledge of the
commission of the crime as long as he has reasonable ground to believe or suspects
that the person he assisted has committed a crime. In some, mere suspicion is
enough to establish the second element of the ofense.
d. Preventing an illegal arrest Harboring or concealing a criminal suspect
in order to prevent a lawful warrantless arrest or the implementation of a warrant of
arrest constitutes obstruction of justice. However, harboring or concealing a criminal
suspect to prevent an illegal arrest is not a crime. The term arrest in Section 1 (c) of
PD No. 1829 contemplates a lawful arrest (Posadas vs. the Hon. Ombudsman, G.R.
No. 131492, September 29, 2000)
e. Accessory To make a person liable as accessory under the Revised Penal
Code, it is required that he is a public ofcer, who acted with abuse of his public
functions, or that the person assisted is guilty as principal in treason, parricide,
murder, or an attempt to take the life of the Chief Executive or a principal, who is
known to be habitually guilty of some other crime. This requirement is not applicable
if the accused is charged with obstruction of justice.
f. No exempting circumstance - Accessories are exempt from criminal liability
if the principal merely committed a light felony (Article 16 of the Revised Penal Code).
Accessories of the second or third kind are exempt also from criminal responsibility if
they are related to the criminal actor (Article 20 of the Code). However, if the
accessories of the crime were charged with the crime of obstruction of justice, they
cannot claim criminal exemption under the Revised Penal Code. PD No. 1829 has no
provision on criminal exemption.
AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES
Section 8, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court has expressly required that qualifying
and aggravating circumstances be specifcally alleged in the information. Due to such
requirement being pro reo, the Court has authorized its retroactive application in favor
of even those charged with felonies committed prior to December 1, 2000, which is the
date of the efectivity of the 2000 revision of the Rules of Criminal Procedure that
embodied the requirement (People vs. Dadulla, G. R. No. 172321, February 9, 2011).
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF POSITION - The mere use of service frearm is not
enough to constitute taking advantage of public position. Fact that accused made use
of frearms which they were authorized to carry or possess by reason of their
positions, could not supply the required connection between the ofce and the
crime.The crime in question, for example, could have been committed by the
defendants in the same or like manner and with the same case if they had been
private individuals and fred with unlicensed weapons (People vs. Mandolado, G.R. No.
L-51304, June 28, 1983; People vs. Joyno, G.R. No. 123982, March 15, 1999, En
Banc; People vs. Villa, Jr., G.R. No. 129899, April 27, 2000; People vs. Villamor, G.R.
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Nos. 140407-08 and 141908-09, January 15, 2002, En Banc; and People vs.
Fallorina, G.R. No. 137347, March 4, 2004, En Banc).
IGNONIMY - After killing the victim, the accused severed his sexual organ.
Should ignominy be appreciated? No. For ignominy to be appreciated, it is required
that the ofense be committed in a manner that tends to make its efect more
humiliating, thus adding to the victims moral sufering. Where the victim was already
dead when his body or a part thereof was dismembered, ignominy cannot be taken
against the accused (People vs. Cachola, G.R. Nos. 148712-15, January 21, 2004,
Callejo)`
TREACHERY - The little boy (11 years of age) was merely fying his kite and was
ready to get down from the roof when the accused, policeman, using his service pistol
fred a shot directed at him. The boy died. Should the aggravating circumstance of
treachery, abuse of superior strength and abuse of position be appreciated? The boy
could not possibly put up a defense against a police ofcer who was armed with a gun.
It is not so much as to put emphasis on the age of the victim, rather it is more of a
description of the young victim's state of helplessness. Minor children, who by reason
of their tender years, cannot be expected to put up a defense. When an adult person
illegally attacks a child, treachery exists. The abuse of superior strength is already
absorbed by treachery and need not be considered as a separate aggravating
circumstance. The aggravating circumstance of abuse of public position should not be
appreciated. There is no dispute that the accused is a policeman and that he used his
service frearm in shooting the victim. However, there is no showing that the accused
took advantage of his position as a policeman when he shot the victim (People vs.
Fallorina, G.R. No. 137347, March 4, 2004, Callejo)
Witness saw accused armed with knives, chase and overtake the victim in a
vacant lot. The victim slipped and fell to the ground. Accused forthwith took turns in
stabbing the victim as the latter tried to stand up. The prosecution failed to adduce
any evidence as to how the aggression started and who started the same. Should
treachery be appreciated? No. The barefaced fact that the victim was helpless when he
was stabbed does not constitute proof of treachery. For treachery to be appreciated, it
must be present at the inception of the attack, and if absent and the attack is
continued, even if present at the subsequent stage, treachery is not considered as a
qualifying or generic aggravating circumstance. The prosecution must adduce
conclusive proof as to the manner in which the altercation started and resulted in the
death of the victim, and if the prosecution fails to discharge its burden, the crime
committed is homicide and not murder (People vs. De La Cruz, G.R. No. 131035,
February 28, 2003). Case law has it that the killing of minor children by adults
qualifes the crime to murder even if the manner or mode of aggression or attack is not
shown, the reason being that minor children by reason of their tender years cannot
possibly defend themselves (People vs. Loreto, G.R. No. 137411-13, February 28,
2003). If treachery and abuse of superior strength attended the killing, which
circumstances should qualify the killing into murder? What should qualify the crime
is treachery as proved and not abuse of superior strength. If treachery is not proved
but abuse of superior strength was proved by the prosecution, the crime is qualifed by
abuse of superior strength (People vs. Loreto, G.R. No. 137411-13, February 28,
2003,).
In the case at bar, the trial court merely relied on the suddenness of the attack
on the unarmed and unsuspecting victim to justify treachery. As a general rule, a
sudden attack by the assailant, whether frontally or from behind, is treachery if such
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mode of attack was deliberately adopted by him with the purpose of depriving the
victim of a chance to either fght or retreat. The rule does not apply if the attack was
not preconceived but merely triggered by infuriation of the appellant on an act made
by the victim. In the present case, it is apparent that the attack was not
preconceived. It was triggered by the appellants anger because of the victims refusal
to have a drink with the appellant and his companions (People vs. Dumadag, G.R. No.
147196, June 4, 2004, Callejo).
What is clear after our review of the records is that the appellant and the victim
were engaged in a quarrel, a heated argument which culminated in the appellants
stabbing the victim in the heat of anger. As a rule, there can be no treachery when an
altercation ensued between the appellant and the victim (People vs. Aquino, G.R. No.
147220, June 9, 2004, Callejo). Indeed in the case at bar, the victim seemed to have
expected trouble, considering that upon seeing the appellant and the latters friends,
they got out of the river and moved away. Nevertheless, treachery may still be
appreciated even when the victim was warned of danger to his person; what is decisive
is that the execution of the attack made it impossible for the victim to defend himself
or to retaliate (People vs. Garin, G.R. No. 139069. June 17, 2004, Callejo).
EMPLOMENT OF MEANS TO WEAKEN DEFENSE - If the employment of
means to weaken the defense of the victim renders the victim defenseless, treachery
absorbs circumstance of employing means to weaken defense (People vs. Tunhawan,
G.R. NO. L-81470, October 27, 1988).
DISGUISE - If the accused covers his face with a handkerchief when he
treacherously killed the victim, the crime committed is murder qualifed by treachery
and aggravated by disguise (People vs. Piring, G.R. No. 45053, October 19, 1936). If
the accused covers his face with a handkerchief when he killed the victim, the crime
committed is murder qualifed by employment of means of afords impunity.
If the accused treacherously stabbed the victim, and the crime committed is
murder qualifed by treachery and aggravated by disguise. If the accused covers his
face with a handkerchief when he killed the victim, the crime committed is murder
qualifed by employment of means of afords impunity.
NIGHTTIME - Thus, treachery absorbs nighttime where had it not been at night
the ofender, with his cohorts, would not have been able to approach the deceased
without the latter's becoming aware of his presence and guessing his intention; If they
were able to catch victim completely unawares, it was due to the darkness of the night
which covered them (People vs. Gumarang , GR N. 46413, October 6, 1939).
As a general rule, nighttime is aggravating because the darkness of the night
facilitated the commission of the crime or insured impunity. Thus, nighttime cannot
aggravate the crime if it is committed in a lighted place although at the wee hours of
the night (People vs. Clario, G.R. NO. 134634, July 31, 2001). The darkness of the
night and not nighttime per se is important in appreciating it as modifying
circumstance (People vs. Banhaon, G.R. No. 131117, June 15, 2004). But if the
ofender purposely selected the wee hour of the night when neighbors and occupants
of the house including the victim were sleeping to facilitate the commission of the
crime or to aford impunity, nighttime is appreciable even if the place of commission is
lighted. (People vs. Demate, G.R. No. 132310, January 20, 2004, En Banc).While
accused were already outside the victims house at around 11:00 p.m., they purposely
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waited until 2:00 a.m. before breaking into the residence so as not to call the attention
of the victims, household members and/or their neighbors. Taking advantage of the
fact that the victim and household members were asleep, accused entered the well-
lighted bedroom and killed the victim. Nighttime should be appreciated since accused
took advantage of the silence of the night (People vs. Ventura and Ventura, G.R. No.
148145-46, July 5, 2004, Per Curiam).
ABUSE OF SUEPRIOR STRENGHT - Abuse of superior strength is
an aggravating circumstance if the accused purposely uses excessive force out
of proportion to the means of defense available to the person attacked, or if
there is notorious inequality of forces between the victim and aggressor, and
the latter takes advantage of superior strength (People vs. Del Castillo, G.R. No.
169084, January 18, 2012).The victim need not be completely defenseless in
order for the said aggravating circumstance to be appreciated (People vs.
Paling, G.R. No. 185390 March 16, 2011)If the victim is completely defenseless,
treachery should be appreciated. When the circumstance of abuse of superior
strength concurs with treachery, the former is absorbed in the latter (People vs.
Rebucan, G.R. No. 182551, July 27, 2011).
An attack made by a man with a deadly weapon upon an unarmed and
defenseless woman constitutes abuse of that superiority which his sex and the weapon
used in the act aforded him, and from which the woman was unable to defend herself
(People vs. Dionesio, G.R. No. 133445, February 27, 2003, Callejo).
EVIDENT PREMEDITATION - Evident premeditation is not presumed from
mere lapse of time. The prosecution is burdened to prove that the malefactors had
decided to commit a crime and performed an "act manifestly indicating that the
ofender had clung" to a previous determination to kill. It must be shown that there
was a period sufcient to aford full opportunity for meditation and refection, a time
adequate to allow the conscience to overcome the resolution of the will, as well as
outward acts showing the intent to kill. The premeditation to kill should be plain and
notorious. In the absence of clear and positive evidence proving this aggravating
circumstance, mere presumptions and inferences thereon, no matter how logical and
probable, would not be enough (People vs. Biso and Yalong, G.R. No. 111098-99, April
3, 2003, Callejo). Accused incensed at seeing the victim molesting his younger sister
went to a notorious toughie in the area, and with two cohorts, proceeded to the house
of the victim to confront him but failed to see the victim. Thus, they positioned
themselves in the alley near the house and waited for victim. When the victim arrived,
they killed him. Should evident premeditation be appreciated? No. The prosecution
failed to prove that the four intended to kill victim and if they did intend to kill him,
the prosecution failed to prove how the malefactors intended to consummate the
crime; Except for the fact that the ofender and his three companions waited in an
alley for Dario to return to his house, the prosecution failed to prove any overt acts on
the part of the ofender and his cohorts showing that that they had clung to any plan
to kill the victim (People vs. Biso and Yalong, G.R. No. 111098-99, April 3, 2003,
Callejo) Comment: It is possible that the criminal resolution of the accused is merely
to confront or take revenge short of killing.
DISREGARD OF SEX: Robbery with homicide is essentially a felony against
property. The aggravating circumstance of disregard of the victims age is applied only
to crimes against persons and honor. Moreover, the bare fact that the victim is a
woman does not per se constitute disregard of sex. For this circumstance to be
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properly considered, the prosecution must adduce evidence that in the commission of
the crime, the accused had particularly intended to insult or commit disrespect to the
sex of the victim. In this case, the appellant killed the victim because the latter started
to shout. There was no intent to insult nor commit disrespect to the victim on account
of the latters sex (People vs. Reyes, G.R. No. 153119, April 13, 2004, Callejo.
The circumstances of disregard of sex, age or rank should be taken singly or
together. But the circumstance of dwelling should be considered independently from
the circumstance of disregard of age, sex and rank since these circumstances signify
diferent concepts. In the latter, the disrespect shown by ofender pertains to the
person of the ofended due to her rank, age and sex. In the former, the disrespect
pertains to the dwelling of the ofended party due to the sanctity of privacy which the
law accords it. In People vs. Puno, G.R. No. L-33211, June 29, 1981, En Banc -
Disregard of rank and dwelling were appreciated independently.
In robbery with violence and intimidation against persons, dwelling is
aggravating because in this class of robbery, the crime may be committed without the
necessity of trespassing the sanctity of the ofended party's house(People vs.
Evangelio, G.R. No. 181902, August 31, 2011).
AID OF ARMED MEN: Aid of armed men or persons afording immunity
requires (1) that the armed men are accomplices who take part in minor capacity,
directly or indirectly (People vs. Lozano, G.R. Nos. 137370-71, September 29, 2003, En
Banc) and (2) that the accused availed himself of their aid or relied upon them when
the crime was committed. Thus, this circumstance should not be appreciated were
armed men acted in concert to ensure the commission of the crime (People vs. Carino,
G.R. No. 131117, June 15, 2004, Callejo). In conspiracy, all conspirators are liable as
principals. They are not accomplices.
CRUELTY: The crime is not aggravated by cruelty simply because the victim
sustained ten stab wounds, three of which were fatal. For cruelty to be considered as
an aggravating circumstance there must be proof that, in inficting several stab
wounds on the victim, the perpetrator intended to exacerbate the pain and sufering of
the victim. The number of wounds inficted on the victim is not proof of cruelty
(Simangan vs. People, G.R. No. 157984. July 8, 2004, Callejo).
The crime was qualifed by treachery. The victim, who was barely thirteen years
old, was helpless and unable to defend himself. His feet and hands were tied while the
appellant mauled and kicked him, and hit him with a piece of wood. The appellant was
so depraved that he even electrocuted the victim by placing a live wire on the latters
palms and burying him alive. This is borne by the autopsy report of Dr. Suzette
Yalung, which indicates that the victim died because of cardiac arrest due to
asphyxiation. By his detestable acts, the appellant intended to exacerbate the
sufering of the victim. Hence, cruelty was attendant to the commission of the
crime. However, cruelty is absorbed by treachery (People vs. Chua, G.R. No.
149538, July 26, 2004, Callejo).
MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES
VOLUNTARY SURRENDER In order that voluntary surrender is
appreciated as a mitigating circumstance, the following requisites must concur: (a) the
accused has not been actually arrested; (b) the accused surrenders himself to a person
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in authority or the latters agent; and (c) surrender is voluntary (People vs. Del
Castillo, G.R. No. 169084, January 18, 2012).
The surrender made after 14 days from the date of killing cannot be considered
voluntary since his act did not emanate from a natural impulse to admit the killing or
to save the police ofcers the efort and expense that would be incurred in his search
and incarceration. (People vs. Agacer, G.R. No. 177751, December 14, 2011).
Surrender is not voluntary where the accused went to Barangay Chairman after
the killings to seek protection against the retaliation of the victims relatives, not to
admit his participation in the killing of the victims (People vs. Del Castillo, G.R. No.
169084, January 18, 2012).
The appellants are not entitled to the mitigating circumstance of voluntary
surrender. The evidence shows that the appellants were arrested when the police
ofcers manning the checkpoint stopped the passenger jeepney driven by appellant
Ronald and arrested the appellants. The fact that the appellants did not resist but
went peacefully with the peace ofcers does not mean that they surrendered
voluntarily (People vs. Castillano, G.R. No. 139412, April 2, 2003, CALLEJO).
VENDICATION: The mitigating circumstance of having acted in the immediate
vindication of a grave ofense was, likewise, properly appreciated. The appellant was
humiliated, mauled and almost stabbed by the deceased. Although the unlawful
aggression had ceased when the appellant stabbed Anthony, it was nonetheless a
grave ofense for which the appellant may be given the beneft of a mitigating
circumstance. But the mitigating circumstance of sufcient provocation cannot be
considered apart from the circumstance of vindication of a grave ofense. These two
circumstances arose from one and the same incident, i.e., the attack on the appellant
by Anthony, so that they should be considered as only one mitigating circumstance
(People vs. Torpio, G.R. No. 138984, June 4, 2004, Callejo).
In vindication of grave ofense, criminal exemption of accessories, alternative
circumstance of relationship and defense of stranger, the concept of relationship is the
same. It refers to (1) spouse, (2) ascendants, (3) descendants, or (4) legitimate, natural
or adopted brothers or sisters or (5) of his relatives by afnity in the same degrees.
However, in defense of relative, there is an additional concept of relationship. It
includes relatives by consanguinity within the fourth civil degree. Thus, an uncle is a
relative within the concept of defense of stranger (Reyes). However, relationship of
uncle and niece is not an alternative circumstance (People vs. Ulit, G.R. Nos. 131799-
801, February 23, 2004).
PASSION - Four days after the victims attempted on the virtue of his
wife, accused killed them. The period of four days was sufcient enough a time
within which accused could have regained his composure and self-control.
Hence, passion should not be appreciated (People vs. Rebucan, G.R. No.
182551, July 27, 2011).
ALTERNATIVE CIRCUMSTANCE
Alternative circumstances are those which must be taken into consideration as
aggravating or mitigating according to the nature and efects of the crime and other
conditions attending its commission. Based on a strict interpretation, alternative
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circumstances are thus not aggravating circumstances per se. (People vs. Orilla, G.R.
Nos. 148939-40, February 13, 2004, En banc).
When the ofender has committed a felony in a state of intoxication, this
circumstance may be mitigating or aggravating. If the intoxication is habitual or
intentional, the circumstance is aggravating. If the intoxication is not habitual or
subsequent to the plan to commit said felony, the circumstance is mitigating. For
intoxication to be considered as a mitigating circumstance, it must be shown that the
intoxication impaired the willpower of the accused that he did not know what he was
doing or could not comprehend the wrongfulness of his acts (People vs. Patelan, G.R.
No. 182918, June 6, 2011).
EVIDENT PEMIDITATION
For evident premeditation to be appreciated, the following must be proven
beyond reasonable doubt: (1) the time when the accused determined to commit the
crime; (2) an act manifestly indicating that the accused clung to his determination;
and (3) sufcient lapse of time between such determination and execution to allow him
to refect upon the circumstances of his act (People vs. Duavis, G.R. No. 190861,
December 7, 2011).Accused told witness that they were going to kill the doctor. After
less than thirty minutes, the accused killed the victim, who is a doctor. Evident
premeditation should not be appreciated. The span of time (less than thirty minutes),
from the time the accused showed their determination to kill the victim up to the time
they shot the victim, could not have aforded them full opportunity for meditation and
refection on the consequences of the crime they committed (People vs. Patelan, G.R.
No. 182918, June 6, 2011).Unlike evident premeditation, there is no requirement for
conspiracy to exist that there be a sufcient period of time to elapse to aford full
opportunity for meditation and refection. Instead, conspiracy arises on the very
moment the plotters agree, expressly or impliedly, to commit the subject felony (People
vs. Carandang, G.R. No. 175926, July 6, 2011).
REPETITION
Diferences of recidivism, quasi-recidivism, reiteracion and habitual
delinquency:
(a) Nature of crime In recidivism, the frst crime, and the aggravated second
crime are embraced in the same Title of the Revised Penal Code; In quasi-recidivism,
the nature of the frst crime and aggravated second crime is not material. In
reiteration, the penalty for the frst crime is equal or greater than that for the
aggravated second crime or the penalty for the frst two crimes is lighter than that for
the aggravated third crime. In habitual delinquency, the frst, second and third crimes
must be a habitual-delinquency crime, and that is, serious or less serious physical
injuries, theft, robbery, estafa or falsifcation of document.
(b) Time element In recidivism, the accused was convicted of the frst crime by
fnal judgment at the time of trial of the second crime. In quasi-recidivism, the accused
has been convicted by fnal judgment of the frst ofense but before beginning to serve
his sentence or while servicing of his sentence, he committed the second crime. In
reiteration, the accused was convicted of the frst crime (or frst two crimes) and
served his sentences at the time he was convicted of the second crime (or third crime).
In habitual delinquency, the accused was convicted of frst habitual-delinquency
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crime; within 10 years after conviction or release, he was found guilty of habitual-
delinquency crime for the second time; within 10 years after conviction or release he
was found guilty of habitual-delinquency crime for the third time or oftener.
(c) Nature of the aggravating circumstance - Recidivism and reiteration are
ordinary aggravating circumstances, the presence of any of which will trigger the
application of the penalty for the second crime committed in its maximum period
unless it is of-set by mitigating circumstance. Quasi-recidivism is special aggravating
circumstance, the presence of which will trigger the application of the penalty for the
second crime or third crime in its maximum period regardless of the presence of
mitigating circumstance. Habitual delinquency is an extraordinary or special
aggravating circumstance, the presence of which will trigger the imposition of
additional penalty for the third or subsequent crime. This is not subject to the of-set
rule.
SELF-DEFENSE
SELF-HELP PRINCIPLE - In People vs. Apolinar, CA, 38 O.G. 2870, it was held:
Defense of property is not of such importance as right to life, and defense of property
can be invoked as a justifying circumstance only when it is coupled with an attack on
the person of one entrusted with said property. However, in People vs. Narvaez, G.R.
Nos. L-33466-67, April 20, 1983, the SC found the presence of unlawful aggression
despite the fact that the invasion of his property right was not coupled by an attack
against the accused. The accused has the right to resist pursuant Article 429 of the
Civil Code, which provides: The owner or lawful possessor of a thing has the right to
exclude any person from the enjoyment and disposal thereof. For this purpose, he may
use such force as may be reasonably necessary to repel or prevent an actual or
threatened unlawful physical invasion or usurpation of his property. However, since
the means employed to resist the invader (killing) is not reasonable, the accused is
merely given the beneft of incomplete self-defense. Justice Florenz Regalado stated
that the rule in Apolinar case may be deemed to have been superseded by Narvaez
case.
UNLAWFUL AGGRESSION - Ordinarily there is a diference between the act of
drawing ones gun and the act of pointing ones gun at a target. The former cannot be
said to be unlawful aggression on the part of the victim. For unlawful aggression to be
attendant there must be a real danger to life or personal safety. Unlawful aggression
requires an actual, sudden and unexpected attack, or imminent danger thereof, and
not merely a threatening or intimidating attitude. Here, the act of the victim in
drawing a gun from his waist cannot be categorized as unlawful aggression. Such act
did not put in real peril the life or personal safety of appellant. The facts surrounding
the case must, however, be diferentiated from current jurisprudence on unlawful
aggression. Accused was justifed in defending himself considering that victim was a
trained police ofcer and an inebriated and disobedient colleague. Even if the victim
did not point his frearm at accused, there would still be a fnding of unlawful
aggression on the part of the victim (Nacnac vs. People, G.R. No. 191913, March 21,
2012).
Imminent unlawful aggression means an attack that is impending or at the
point of happening; it must not consist in a mere threatening attitude, nor must it be
merely imaginary, but must be ofensive and positively strong (like aiming a revolver at
another with intent to shoot or opening a knife and making a motion as if to attack).
Imminent unlawful aggression must not be a mere threatening attitude of the victim,
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such as pressing his right hand to his hip where a revolver was holstered,
accompanied by an angry countenance, or like aiming to throw a pot (People vs. Del
Castillo, G.R. No. 169084, January 18, 2012).
In People vs. Fontanilla, G.R. No. 177743, January 25, 2012 - Indeed, had
victim really attacked accused, the latter would have sustained some injury from the
aggression. It remains, however, that no injury of any kind or gravity was found on the
person of accused when he presented himself to the hospital. In contrast, the
physician who examined the cadaver of victim testifed that he had been hit on the
head more than once. The plea of self-defense was thus belied, for the weapons used
by accused and the location and number of wounds he inficted on victim revealed his
intent to kill, not merely an efort to prevent or repel an attack from victim. We
consider to be signifcant that the gravity of the wounds manifested the determined
efort of the accused to kill his victim, not just to defend himself.
BURDEN OF PROOF - When the accuseds defense is self-defense he thereby
admits being the author of the death of the victim, that it becomes incumbent upon
him to prove the justifying circumstance to the satisfaction of the court. Burden of
evidence shifts to the accused. (People vs. Del Castillo, G.R. No. 169084, January 18,
2012).
DOCTRINE OF RATIONALE EQUIVALENCE - Under doctrine of rationale
equivalence, plea of self-defense would prosper if there is a rational equivalence
between the means of attack by the unlawful aggressor and the means of defense by
the accused that would characterize the defense as reasonable. The doctrine of
rational equivalence presupposes the consideration not only of the nature and quality
of the weapons used by the defender and the assailantbut of the totality of
circumstances surrounding the defense vis--vis, the unlawful aggression. Clearly, this
continuous attack by accused despite the fact that aggressor already was neutralized
by the blow constitutes force beyond what is reasonably required to repel the
aggressionand is therefore unjustifed (Espinosa vs. People, G.R. No. 181071, March
15, 2010).
BATTERED WOMAN SYNDROME: "Battered Woman Syndrome" refers to a
scientifcally defned pattern of psychological and behavioral symptoms found in
women living in battering relationships as a result of cumulative abuse (Section 3 of
RA No. 9262). Each of the phases of the cycle of violence must be proven to have
characterized at least two battering episodes between the accused and her intimate
partner and such fnal episode produced in the battered persons mind an actual fear
of an imminent harm from her batterer and an honest belief that she needed to use
force in order to save her life. (People vs. Genosa, G.R. No. 135981, January 15,
2004). The three phases of the Battered Woman Syndrome are: (1) the tension-
building phase; (2) the acute battering incident; and (3) the tranquil, loving or non-
violent phase (People vs. Genosa, G.R. No. 135981, January 15, 2004; Answer to the
2010 Bar Examination Questions by UP Law Complex). The essence of this defense of
Battered Woman Syndrome as a defense is that battered woman, who sufers from
physical and psychological or emotional distress, is acting under an irresistible
impulse to defend herself although at the time of commission of the crime the
batterer-victim had not yet committed unlawful aggression. In Genosa supra, it was
held that it is crucial to the BWS defense is the state of mind of the battered woman at
the time of the ofense. She must have actually feared imminent harm from her batterer
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and honestly believed in the need to kill him in order to save her life. That is why even
in the absence of actual aggression or any other element of self-defense, a woman,
who is found to be sufering from battered woman syndrome is not criminally liable
for killing her husband.
IRRESISTABLE FORCE
A person who acts under the compulsion of an irresistible force, like one who
acts under the impulse of an uncontrollable fear of equal or greater injury, is exempt
from criminal liability because he does not act with freedom. Actus me invite factus
non est meus actus. An act done by me against my will is not my act. The force
contemplated must be so formidable as to reduce the actor to a mere instrument who
acts not only without will but against his will. The duress, force, fear or intimidation
must be present, imminent and impending, and of such nature as to induce a well-
grounded apprehension of death or serious bodily harm if the act be done. A threat of
future injury is not enough. The compulsion must be of such a character as to leave
no opportunity for the accused for escape or self-defense in equal combat (People vs.
Dequina, G.R. No. 177570, January 19, 2011)
MINORITY
To exempt a minor, who is 15 years old or more, from criminal liability, it must
be shown that he committed the criminal act without discernment. Choosing an
isolated and dark place to perpetrate the crime, to prevent detection and boxing the
victim to weaken her defense are indicative of accuseds mental capacity to fully
understand the consequences of his unlawful action (People vs. Jacinto, G.R. No.
182239, March 16, 2011).
SUSPENSION OF SENTENCE - While Section 38 of RA 9344 provides that
suspension of sentence can still be applied even if the child in confict with the law is
already 18 years of age or more at the time of the pronouncement of his/her guilt,
Section 40 of the same law limits the said suspension of sentence until the child
reaches the maximum age of 21. Hence, the child in confict with the law, who reached
21 years, cannot avail of privilege of suspension of sentence. However, the child in
confict with the law may, after conviction and upon order of the court, be made to
serve his sentence, in lieu of confnement in a regular penal institution, in an
agricultural camp and other training facilities (People vs. Mantalba, G.R. No. 186227,
July 20, 2011).
CREDIT OF THE PREVENTIVE IMPRISONMENT OF CHILD - Under Article
29 of RPC, a convicted recidivist is not entitled to a full or 4/5 credit of his preventive
imprisonment. However, if the convict is a child, the applicable rule for crediting the
period of commitment and detention is not Article 29 of RPC but Section 41, RA 9344.
Under the said provision, the full time spent in actual commitment and detention of
juvenile delinquent shall be credited in the services of his sentence.
INSANITY
Acts penalized by law are always presumed to be voluntary, and it is improper
to conclude that a person acted unconsciously in order to relieve him of liability,
unless his insanity is conclusively proved (People vs. Pambid, GR No. 124453, March
15, 2000).Insanity is the exception rather than the rule in the human condition. The
presumption, under Article 800 of the Civil Code, is that every human is sane. Anyone
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who pleads the exempting circumstance of insanity bears the burden of proving it with
clear and convincing evidence. It is in the nature of confession and avoidance. An
accused invoking insanity admits to have committed the crime but claims that he or
she is not guilty because of insanity (People vs. Tibon, G.R. No. 188320, June 29,
2010).
COGNITION TEST AND VOLITION TEST - The case of Formigonesestablished
two distinguishable tests to determine the insane condition of the accused: (a) the Test
of cognition whether there was a complete deprivation of intelligence in committing
the criminal act After satisfying his lust, accused threatened the victim. This implies
that accused knew what he was doing, that it was wrong, and wanted to keep it a
secret. It also indicated that the crime was committed during one of his lucid
intervals. Accused is not exempt from liability for failure to pass the cognition test
(People vs. Alipio, G.R. No. 185285, October 5, 2009) and (b) the test of volition
whether there was a total deprivation of freedom of the will. In the Bonoan case,
schizophrenic accused, who acted under irresistible homicidal impulse to kill (volition
test), was acquitted due to insanity. This is not anymore a good rule. Even if the
mental condition of the accused had passed the volition test, the plea of insanity will
not prosper unless it also passed the cognition test. The controlling test is cognition
(People vs. Opuran, G.R. Nos. 147674-75, March 17, 2004). In recent Supreme Court
cases, the plea of insanity of person, who is sufering from schizophrenia, was rejected
because of failure to pass the cognition test. In sum, a schizophrenic accused must be
deprived completely of intelligence to be exempt from criminal liability (See: People vs.
Medina, G.R. No. 113691, February 6, 1998; People vs. Pascual, G.R. No. 95029,
March 24, 1993).If a person (such as sex maniac, homicidal maniac or
kleptomaniac)hadmerely passed the volition test but not the cognition test, he will only
be given the beneft of mitigating circumstance of illness. Diminution of freedom of the
will is enough to mitigate the liability of the ofender sufering from illness (See: People
vs. Rafanan, Jr. November 21, 1991, G.R. No. 54135, November 21, 1991).
ABSOLUTORY CAUSE IN CRIME AGAINST PROPERTY
No criminal liability is incurred by the stepfather who commits malicious
mischief against his stepson; by the stepmother who commits theft against her
stepson; by the stepfather who steals something from his stepson; by the grandson
who steals from his grandfather; by the accused who swindles his sister-in-law living
with him; and by the son who steals a ring from his mother (Intestate Estate of
Gonzales vs. People, G.R. No. 181409, February 11, 2010). The absolutory cause
applies to theft, swindling and malicious mischief. It does not apply to theft through
falsifcation or estafa through falsifcation (Intestate Estate of Gonzales vs. People, G.R.
No. 181409, February 11, 2010). There are two viewson whether the extinguishment of
marriage by death of the spouse dissolves the relationship by afnity for purpose of
absolutory cause. The frst holds that relationship by afnity terminates with the
dissolution of the marriage, while the second maintains that relationship continues
even after the death of the deceased spouse. The principle of pro reocalls for the
adoption of the continuing afnity view because it is more favorable to the accused
(Intestate estate of Gonzales vs. People, G.R. No. 181409, February 11, 2010).
PARTICIPATION
Chief actor - Criminal or chief actor is the person who actually committed the
crime. He is the one who committed or omitted the act, which causes the criminal
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result. He directly perpetrated the acts, which constitute the crime. With or without
conspiracy, the chief actor is a principal by direct participation.
Criminal participator - Criminal participator is the ofender who participated in
committing a crime by indispensable or dispensable act. He performed an act, which
is not constitutive of felony but intended to give moral or material aid to the chief
actor.
(1) With conspiracy - If there is conspiracy, the criminal participator or
cooperator is a principal by direct participation. The act of the chief actor is
considered the act of the criminal participator.
(2) Without conspiracy - If there is no conspiracy, criminal participator may be
held liable as principal by indispensable cooperation, accomplice or accessory
depending upon the nature and time of participation. A criminal participator may
participate in the commission of the crime by previous, simultaneous and/or
subsequent acts.
(a) Previous or simultaneous acts The criminal participator by previous or
simultaneous acts is liable either as principal by indispensable cooperation or
accomplice. If the cooperation is indispensable, the participator is a principal by
indispensable cooperation; if dispensable an accomplice.
(b) Subsequent acts The criminal participator by subsequent acts is liable
as an accessory. An accessory does not participate in the criminal design, nor
cooperate in the commission of the felony, but, with knowledge of the
commission of the crime, he subsequently takes part by any of the three modes
under Article 19.
The liability of accessory and principal should also be considered as quasi-
collective. It is quasi-collective in the sense that the principal and the accessory are
liable for the felony committed but the penalty for the latter is two degrees lower than
that for the former.
RECLUSION PERPETUA AND LIFE IMPRISONMENT
If the law was amended to change the penalty from life imprisonment to
reclusion perpetua, the amendatory law, being more lenient to the accused than the
previous law, should be accorded retroactive application. The penalty of reclusion
perpetua is a lighter penalty than life imprisonment. (People vs. Pang, G.R. No.
176229, October 19, 2011).
ISLAW
RA 9165 provides that illegal possession of less than fve (5) grams of shabu is
penalized with imprisonment of 12 years and 1 day to 20 years. The court sentenced
the accused to sufer a straight penalty of imprisonment of 12 years and 1 day. Is the
penalty imposed by the court correct? No. The indeterminate Sentence Law mandates
that, in case of a special law, the accused shall be sentenced "to an indeterminate
sentence, the maximum term of which shall not exceed the maximum fxed by said law
and the minimum shall not be less than the minimum term prescribed by the same."
(Asiatico vs. People, G.R. No. 195005, September 12, 2011)
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GRADUATION OF PENALTY
GRADUATING FACTORS - Under these provisions, the fxed penalty shall be
graduated by one or more degrees on the basis of the following factors:
FACTORS NUMBER OF DEGREES
Stage of Execution
Frustrated stage ---------------------------------------------------- 1
Attempted stage --------------------------------------------------- 2
Except: Frustrated homicide, parricide, murder ------ 1 or 2
Attempted homicide, parricide, murder -----1 or 2
Nature of Participation
Accomplice -------------------------------------------------------- 1
Accessory ---------------------------------------------------------- 2
Privileged Mitigating Circumstance
Minority -----------------------------------------------------------------1
Incomplete justifcation or exemption ---------------------------1 or 2
(Except: Accident)
The composition of a graduated penalty will depend on the composition of the
penalty fxed by law.
General Rule: Single Penalty - Graduated penalty is generally a single penalty.
Example If the fxed penalty is death, the penalty next lower in degree is reclusion
perpetua; if the fxed penalty is reclusion perpetua, the penalty next lower in degree is
reclusion temporal; if the fxed penalty is reclusion perpetua to death, the penalty next
lower in degree is also reclusion temporal. The graduated penalty of reclusion temporal
is a single penalty.
First exception: Fixed penalty in period If the penalty is composed of single
period, the graduated penalty must also be composed of single period. If the penalty
prescribed by law is arresto mayor in its maximum period, the penalty next lower in
degree is arresto mayor in its medium period. If the penalty is composed of two
periods, the graduated penalty must also be composed of two periods. If the penalty
prescribed by law arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correctional in its
minimum period, the penalty next lower in degree is arresto mayor in its minimum
and medium periods. If the penalty is composed of three periods, the graduated
penalty must also be composed of three periods.
First Exception: Fixed penalty with period and penalty components If the
fxed penalty is composed of period component and penalty component, the
graduated penalty must be composed of three period components. Example: The
penalty prescribed by law is reclusion temporal in its maximum period to reclusion
perpetua. This penalty has a period component and a full penalty. Hence, one degree
lower than this penalty must composed of three periods, and that is: Prision mayor
in its maximum period to reclusion temporal in its medium period
SPECIAL MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE: Under Article 64 (5), the presence of
two or more mitigating circumstances will graduate the divisible penalty prescribed
by law to one degree lower. This is called special mitigating circumstance. However,
the appreciation of this circumstance is subject to two conditions: (1) the penalty
prescribed by law must be divisible; and (2) there must be no aggravating
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circumstance. In People vs. Takbobo, G.R. No. No. 102984, June 30, 1993 - Accused
was found guilty of parricide punishable by the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death.
Applying Article 63, when the penalty is composed of two indivisible penalties, the
penalty cannot be lowered by one degree, no matter how many mitigating
circumstances are present. The rule on special mitigating circumstance is found in
Article 64 (5) which provides the "rules for the application of penalties which contain
three periods," meaning, divisible penalties. Article 64 (5) is inapplicable. Thus, the
rule applicable in said case is found in Article 63, and not in Article 64.
If there are two mitigating circumstances, the penalty prescribed law shall
graduated to one degree lower, and the graduated penalty shall be applied in it
medium period. If there are three mitigating circumstances taken as special mitigating,
the penalty prescribed law shall graduated to one degree lower, and the graduated
penalty shall be applied in it minimum period. Reason: The two mitigating
circumstances were taken to constitute special mitigating circumstance; while the
remaining mitigating circumstance was used to apply the graduated penalty in its
minimum period.
GRADUATING DEATH PENALTY - For purposes of graduating penalty, the
penalty of death is still the penalty to be reckoned with. RA No. 9346, which prohibits
the imposition of death penalty, does not exclude death penalty in the order of
graduation of penalties. In qualifed rape, the penalty for accomplice is reclusion
perpetua, the penalty next lower in degree than death prescribed for the crime (See:
People vs. Jacinto, G.R. No. 182239, March 16, 2011).
SUPPLETORY APPLICATION - A special law prescribes the penalty of 10 years
of imprisonment for violation thereof while another law prescribes the penalty of
arresto mayor. Can the rules on graduation of penalties or application of penalty on its
proper imposable period under RPC applicable to violation of these special laws?(a)
Where the special law has not adopted the Spanish penalties (10 years of
imprisonment) under RPC, rules on graduation of penalties or application of penalty
on its proper imposable period is not applicable. Article 10 of RPC on suppletory
efects of the Code cannot be invoked where there is a legal or physical impossibility of
such supplementary application (People vs. Mantalba, G.R. No. 186227, July 20,
2011). The penalty of 10 years of imprisonment can neither be graduated by decrees
nor divided into three periods. (b) Where the special law has adopted the Spanish
penalty (arresto mayor) under RPC, rules on graduation of penalties or application of
penalty on its proper imposable period are applicable. Where the penalty under a
special law is actually taken from the Revised Penal Code in its technical
nomenclature, the penal system under the Code is necessarily applicable to this law
(See: People vs. Mantalba, supra). This adoption reveals the statutory intent to give the
provisions on penalties for felonies under RPC the corresponding application to said
special law, in the absence of any express or implicit proscription in these special laws
(See: People vs. Simon, G.R. No. 93028, July 29, 1994).
THREE-FOLD AND 40 YEARS LIMITATION RULE
Simultaneous service - When the culprit has to serve two or more penalties, he
shall serve them simultaneously if the nature of the penalties will so permit. Thus,
convict could serve simultaneously arresto mayor and fne, prision correccional and
perpetual absolute disqualifcation, or reclusion perpetua and civil interdiction. In sum,
while lingering in prison, convict could pay fne, return the property confscated, be
disallowed to cast his vote or to act function as a public ofcer. In Rodriguez vs.
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Director of Prisons, G.R. No. L-35386, September 28, 1972, En Banc - Penalties which
could be served simultaneously with other penalties, are perpetual or temporary
absolute disqualifcation, perpetual or temporary special disqualifcation, public
censure, suspension from public ofce and other accessory penalties. There are only
two modes of serving two or more (multiple) penalties: simultaneously or successively.
Successive service When the culprit has to serve two or more penalties, he shall
serve them successively if the nature of the penalties will not permit simultaneous
service. Convict must serve multiple penalties successively: (1) where the penalties to
be served are destierro and imprisonment; and (2) where the penalties to be served are
imprisonment. However, the successive service of sentences is subject to the three-fold
rule and 40-year limitation rule.
a. Three-fold rule - The maximum period of the imprisonment that convict
must sufer in serving multiple penalties must not exceed threefold the length of time
corresponding to the most severe of the penalties imposed upon him. A was
sentenced to sufer penalty of 7 years of prision mayor for serious physical injuries, 6
years of prision correccional for qualifed less serious physical injuries, 5 years of
prision correccional for robbery and 5 years of prison correccional for theft. The total
duration of the penalties imposed on him is 23 years. The most severe penalty
imposed on him is 7 years of prision mayor. Thus, threefold the length of time
corresponding to the most severe of the penalties is 21 years. A will be imprisoned
for 21 years because of the three-fold rule.
b. Forty-year limitation rule The maximum period of the imprisonment
that convict must sufer in serving multiple penalties must not exceed forty years. A
was sentenced to sufer three penalties of 15 years of reclusion temporal for three
counts of homicide and the penalty of 10 years of prision mayor for serious physical
injuries. The total duration of the penalties imposed on him is 55 years. The most
severe penalty imposed on him, is 15 years of reclusion temporal. Thus, threefold the
length of time corresponding to the most severe of the penalties is 45 years. A will
be imprisoned for 40 years because of the forty year limitation rule.
Article 70 provides that the maximum duration of the convicts sentence shall
not be more than threefold the length of time corresponding to the most severe of the
penalties imposed upon him. No other penalty to which he may be liable shall be
inficted after the sum total of those imposed equals the said maximum
period. Such maximum period shall in no case exceed forty years. Applying said
rule, despite the four penalties of reclusion perpetua for four counts of qualifed theft,
accused-appellant shall sufer imprisonment for a period not exceeding 40 years
(People vs. Mirto, G.R. No. 193479, October 19, 2011).
COMPLEX CRIME
There are two kinds of complex crimes. The frst is known as compound crime,
or when a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies. The second is
known as complex crime proper, or when an ofense is a necessary means for
committing the other (People vs. Rebucan, G.R. No. 182551, July 27, 2011).The
underlying philosophy of complex crimes in the Revised Penal Code, which follows the
pro reo principle, is intended to favor the accused by imposing a single penalty
irrespective of the crimes committed. The rationale being, that the accused who
commits two crimes with single criminal impulse demonstrates lesser perversity than
when the crimes are committed by diferent acts and several criminal resolutions
(People vs. Gafud, Jr., G.R. No. 168050, September 19, 2008)
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COMPLEX CRIME AND COMPOSITE CRIME - A composite crime, also known
as a special complex crime, is composed of two or more crimes that the law treats as a
single indivisible and unique ofense for being the product of a single criminal impulse.
It is a specifc crime with a specifc penalty provided by law. The distinctions between a
composite crime, on the one hand, and a complex or compound crime under Article 48
are as follows: (1) In a composite crime, the composition of the ofenses is fxed by law;
In a complex or compound crime, the combination of the ofenses is not specifed but
generalized, that is, grave and/or less grave, or one ofense being the necessary means
to commit the other; (2) For a composite crime, the penalty for the specifed
combination of crimes is specifc; for a complex or compound crime, the penalty is
that corresponding to the most serious ofense, to be imposed in the maximum period;
and (3) A light felony that accompanies a composite crime is absorbed; a light felony
that accompanies the commission of a complex or compound crime may be the subject
of a separate information (People vs. Villafores, G.R. No. 184926, April 11, 2012).
CONTINUED CRIME - In order that continuous crime may exist, there should
be: (1) plurality of acts performed separately during a period of time; (2) unity of
criminal intent and purpose and (3) unity of penal provision infringed upon or violated
(Santiago vs. Garchitorena , GR NO. 109266, December 2, 1993).
a. Single occassion - In People vs. Tumlos, G.R. No. 46428, April 13, 1939, En
Banc - The theft of the thirteen cows owned by six owners involved thirteen (13) acts
of taking. However, the acts of taking took place at the same time and in the same
place; consequently, accused performed but one act. The intention was likewise one,
namely, to take for the purpose of appropriating or selling the thirteen cows which he
found grazing in the same place. The fact that eight of said cows pertained to one
owner and fve to another does not make him criminally liable for as many crimes as
there are owners, for the reason that in such case neither the intention nor the
criminal act is susceptible of division.
X as punong barangay was angered when he discovered a tap from the main
line of the public water tank. On separate occasions, X threatened to kill and crack
the skulls of A, B, and C, who suspected to be responsible for the tapping of water
line. There is no continued crime since the three crimes of grave threat were not
committed under a single criminal impulse. Xs intent to threaten A, B, and C
with bodily harm arose only when he chanced upon each of his victims. Several
threats can only be considered as continued crime if the ofender threatened three
individuals at the same place and at the same time (Paera vs. People, G.R. No. 181626,
May 30, 2011). In People vs. Tumlos, G.R. No. 46428, April 13, 1939, En Banc - The
theft of the thirteen cows owned by six owners involved thirteen (13) acts of taking.
However, the acts of taking took place at the same time and in the same place;
consequently, accused performed but one act. The intention was likewise one, namely,
to take for the purpose of appropriating or selling the thirteen cows which he found
grazing in the same place. The fact that eight of said cows pertained to one owner and
fve to another does not make him criminally liable for as many crimes as there are
owners, for the reason that in such case neither the intention nor the criminal act is
susceptible of division.
b. General plan - In People vs. Dela Cruz, G.R. No. L-1745, May 23, 1950, it
was held that ransacking several houses located within the vicinity of a sugar mill
while two of the bandits guarded the victims with guns leveled at them is a continued
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crime of robbery. Several acts of robbery were made pursuant to general plan to
despoil all those in the said place, which is an indicative of a single criminal design.
c. Foreknowledge doctrine - In Gamboa vs. CA, G.R. No. L-41054, November
28, 1975 - Accused cannot be held to have entertained continuously the same
criminal intent in making the frst abstraction on October 2, 1972 for the subsequent
abstractions on the following days and months until December 30, 1972, for the
simple reason that he was not possessed of any fore-knowledge of any deposit by any
customer on any day or occasion and which would pass on to his possession and
control. At most, his intent to misappropriate may arise only when he comes in
possession of the deposits on each business day but not in future, since petitioner
company operates only on a day-to-day transaction. As a result, there could be as
many acts of misappropriation as there are times the private respondent abstracted
and/or diverted the deposits to his own personal use and beneft (People vs. Dichupa,
G.R. No. L-16943, October 28, 1961).
DOCTRINE OF ABSORPTION - Crime is absorbed if it is a mere incident in
the commission of another crime. In the case of U.S vs. Sevilla (1 Phil. 143), the
accused, who struck the ofended parties while simultaneously threatening to kill
them if they would not return him the jewelry they have lost, was held liable for slight
physical injuries. The threat was considered as part of the assault. In People vs.
Yebra (109 Phil. 613), it was held that defamatory statement uttered in the course of
committing the crime of threat is not a separate crime. The defamation was just a
part of the crime of threat. The letter containing the libelous remarks is more
threatening than libelous; the intent to threaten is the principal aim and object of the
letter. The libelous remarks are merely preparatory remarks culminating in the fnal
threat.
What is the efect of the elimination of the overt acts of violence in Article 135
by RA No. 9668? In People vs. Hernandez, G.R. No. L-6025, July 18, 1956 The
Supreme Court justifed the doctrine of absorption in rebellion since murder, robbery,
and arson are just a part of the engaging in war against the forces of the government",
"committing serious violence", and destroying property in Article 135. However, RA
No. 6968 eliminated the phrases "engaging in war against the forces of the
government", "committing serious violence" and destroying property in Article 135.
According to Florenz Regalado, the amendment of Article 135 does not afect the
accepted concept of rebellion and these overt acts of violence are deemed subsumed
in the provision on rebellion in Article 134. Under this principle of subsumption,
engaging in combat against the forces of the Government, destroying property or
committing serious violence is an essential ingredient of rebellion.
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile was charged for rebellion under the Revised Penal
Code and obstruction of justice under PD No. 1829. The obstruction of justice case is
based on the allegation that Enrile entertained and accommodated Col. Gregorio
Gringo Honasan, fugitive from justice, by giving him food and comfort on December
1, 1989 in his house. The rebellion case is based on the alleged fact that fugitive Col.
Honasan and some 100-rebel soldiers attended the mass and birthday party held at
the residence of Enrile in the evening of December 1, 1989. It was held that the theory
of absorption in rebellion cases must not confne itself to common crimes but also to
ofenses under special laws, which are perpetrated in furtherance of the political
ofense. Hence, rebellion absorbs obstruction of justice (Enrile vs. Amin, G.R. No.
93335, September 13, 1990).
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MULTIPLE DEATHS
SINGLE ACT RULE - If there is more than one death resulting from diferent
acts there is no compound crime of multiple homicides or murder. Article 48 speaks of
a single act. In People vs. Toling, G.R. No. L-27097, January 17, 1975 - Twin
brothers, who ran amok like juramentados in a passenger train, and killed their eight
co-passengers, were held liable for eight (8) murders and one attempted murder. The
conduct of the twins evinced conspiracy and community of design. The eight killings
and the attempted murder were perpetrated by means of diferent acts. Hence, they
cannot be regarded as constituting a complex crime under Article 48 of the Revised
Penal Code, which refers to cases where "a single act constitutes two or more grave
felonies, of, when an ofense is a necessary means for committing the other.
In People vs. Punzalan G .R. No. 199892, December 1, 2001 - Appellant was
animated by a single purpose, to kill the navy personnel, and committed a single act of
stepping on the accelerator, swerving to the right side of the road ramming through
the navy personnel, causing the death of two persons and, at the same time,
constituting an attempt to kill others. The crime committed is complex crime of
multiple murders and attempted murder.
SINGLE IMPULSE RULE Several acts committed by several ofenders with one
criminal impulse resulting in several deaths constitute one crime: the compound crime of
multiple homicides or murders. In People vs. Lawas, L-7618-20, June 30, 1955 -
Members of the Home Guard, upon order of their leader, Lawas, simultaneously and
successively fred at several victims. After a short time, the fring stopped immediately
when Lawas ordered his men to cease fre. As a result of the fring, ffty (50) persons
died. It was held that the evidence positively shows that the killing was the result of a
single impulse, which was induced by the order of the leader to fre, and continued
with the intention to comply therewith, as the fring stopped as soon as the leader gave
the order to that efect. There was no intent on the part of the accused either to fre at
each and every of the victims as separately and distinctly from each other. If the act or
acts complained of resulted from a single criminal impulse, it constitutes a single
ofense - compound crime of multiple homicides.
COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY RULE - Under the Lawas principle, if accused
fred their guns killing several victims pursuant to a single impulse, they shall be held
liable for continued crime of murder. The Lawas principle should only be applied in a
case where (1) there is no conspiracy (People vs. Hon. Pineda, G.R. No. L-26222, July
21, 1967; People vs. Nelmida, G.R. No. 184500. September 11, 2012) and (2) it is
impossible to ascertain the number of deaths caused by each accused (People vs.
Tabaco, G.R. No. 100382-100385, March 19, 1997). In conspiracy, each conspirator is
not only liable for deaths attributable to him but also for deaths caused by others
because in conspiracy the act of one is the act of all. Thus, the Lawas doctrine should
not be applied if there is conspiracy since the number of victims actually killed by
each conspirator is not anymore material if there is conspiracy (People vs. Elarcosa,
G.R. No. 186539, June 29, 2010).
SINGLE PURPOSE RULE - In People vs. Abella, 93 SCRA 25, the Lawas
principle was applied despite the presence of conspiracy. In the said case, sixteen
prisoners, who are members of the OXO gang, were able to break into the cell of Sigue-
Sigue gang and killed fourteen (14) inmates. All accused were convicted for a
compound crime. It was held: Where a conspiracy animates several persons with a
single purpose, their individual acts done in pursuance of that purpose are looked
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upon as a single act, the act of execution, giving rise to a complex ofense. Various
acts committed under one criminal impulse may constitute a single complex ofense.
Basis - The single purpose rule was actually adopted in consideration of the plight of
the prisoners. Requisites -There are two requisites to apply the Abella principle: (1)
there must be a conspiracy, which animates several persons to commit crimes under a
single criminal purpose; and (2) the ofenders committed crimes in prison against
their fellow prisoners (People vs. Pincalin, et al., G.R. No. L-38755, January 22, 1981).
MULTIPLE KIDDNAPPINGS
In People v Tadah, G.R. No. 186226, February 1, 2012 (5 victims)- Since the
prosecution adduced proof beyond reasonable doubt that the accused conspired to
kidnap the victims for ransom, and kidnapped and illegally detained them until they
were released by the accused after the latter received the P2,000,000.00 ransom xxx
Appellant Yusop Tadah is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of 5 counts of
kidnapping.
NOVATION
Novation can only be used as a defense in a crime where one of its elements is
the existence of contractual relationship between the ofender and the victim. Defense of
novation is applicable to estafa through misappropriation because the contractual
trust relationship between the parties can be validly novated or converted by the
parties into an ordinary creditor-debtor situation, thereby placing the complainant in
estoppel to insist on the original trust (People vs. Nery, G.R. No. L-19567, February 5,
1964, En Banc). Novation cannot be used as a defense in case of theft or estafa
through falsifcation of document. In theft case, there was no contractual relationship
or bilateral agreement which can be modifed or altered by the parties (People vs.
Tanjutco, G.R. No. L-23924, April 29, 1968, En Banc).In estafa through falsifcation of
public documents, the liability of the ofender cannot be extinguished by mere
novation (Milla vs. People, G.R. No. 188726, January 25, 2012).
PRESCRIPTION
The crime of falsifcation of a public document involving a deed of sale which
was registered with the Registry of Deeds, the rule on constructive notice can be
applied in the construction of Article 91. Hence, the prescriptive period of the crime
shall have to be reckoned from the time the notarized deed of sale was recorded in the
Registry of Deeds (People vs. Reyes, G.R. No. 74226, July 27, 1989). Constructive
notice rule is not applicable to registration of bigamous marriage in the Ofce of the
Civil Registrar. Furthermore, P.D. 1529, which governed registration of document
involving real property, specifcally provides the rule on constructive notice. On the
other hand, Act No. 3753 or the Family Code, which governed registration of marriage
do not provide rule on constructive notice (Sermonia vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
109454, June 14, 1994); hence the period of prescription commences to run on the
date of actual discovery of the bigamous marriage.
COMMENCEMENT - As a rule, period of prescription commence to run from
the date of discovery of its commission. However, if the crime is not yet actionable at
the time of its commission, period of prescription will commence to run from the time
it becomes actionable. In false testimony, the crime was committed at the time the
accused falsely testifed in court. However, the period of prescription for false
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testimony commences to run from the date of the fnality of judgment of a case in
which the ofender testifed falsely. Prior to the date of fnality, the crime is not yet
actionable (People vs. Maneja, G.R. No. 47684, June 10, 1941).
In violation of BP Blg. 22, the crime is consummated upon the dishonor of the
check by the drawee bank (Bautista vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 143375, July 6,
2001). However, the period of prescription for such crime commences to run from the
date of the expiration of the fve-day period from receipt of notice of dishonor by the
drawer. Prior to that date, the crime is not yet actionable since the ofender can still
avert criminal prosecution by satisfying the amount of the check or making
arrangement for its payment within fve day grace period.

Moreover, the running of prescription for crime punishable under special law
shall be interrupted upon fling of complaint with prosecutor ofce for preliminary
investigation. It would be absurd to consider the prescriptive period for crime under
BP Blg. 22 as already running even prior to the expiration of the grace period despite
the fact that the complainant could not cause its interruption by fling a complaint for
preliminary investigation since it is not yet actionable.
In People vs. Pangilinan, G.R. No. 152662, June 13, 2012 - This Court reckons
the commencement of the period of prescription for violations of BP Blg. 22 imputed to
accused sometime in the latter part of 1995, as it was within this period that the
accused was notifed by the private complainant of the fact of dishonor of the subject
checks and, the fve (5) days grace period granted by law had elapsed. The private
complainant then had, pursuant to Act 3326, four years there from or until the latter
part of 1999 to fle her complaint or information against the petitioner before the
proper court.
INTERRUPTION OF PRESCRIPTION - There is no more distinction between
cases under the RPC and those covered by special laws with respect to the
interruption of the period of prescription (People vs. Pangilinan, G.R. No. 152662,
June 13, 2012). Under Article 91 of the Revised Penal Code, the running of the period
of prescription of ofense shall be interrupted by the fling of the complaint or
information. The text of Article 91 did not distinguish whether the complaint is fled
in the court for preliminary. Hence, the fling of the complaint with the Fiscals Ofce
also suspends the running of the prescriptive period of a criminal ofense (Francisco
and Bernardino vs. CA, G.R. No. L-45674, May 30, 1983). Under Act No. 3326, the
running of the prescription of ofense punishable under special law or ordinance shall
be interrupted when judicial proceedings for investigation and punishment are
instituted against the guilty person. The proceeding is described as judicial since
when Act No. 3326 was passed on December 4, 1926, preliminary investigation of
criminal ofenses was conducted by justices of the peace. Considering that
preliminary investigation in criminal case for purposes of prosecution has become the
exclusive function of the executive branch, the term proceedings should now be
understood either executive or judicial in character: executive when it involves the
investigation phase and judicial when it refers to the trial and judgment stage.
Hence, institution of proceeding, whether executive or judicial, interrupts the running
of prescriptive period. Investigations conducted by the Securities and Exchange
Commission for violations of the Revised Securities Act and the Securities
Regulations Code efectively interrupts the prescription period because it is
equivalent to the preliminary investigation conducted by the DOJ in criminal cases
(SEC vs. Interport Resources Corporation, G.R. No. 135808, October 6, 2008, the
Supreme Court En Banc). Commencement of the proceedings for the prosecution of
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the accused before the Ofce of the City Prosecutor efectively interrupted the
prescriptive period for the ofenses they had been charged under BP Blg. 22
(Panaguiton vs. Department of Justice, G.R. No. 167571, November 25, 2008). To rule
otherwise would deprive the injured party of the right to obtain vindication on
account of delays that are not under his control (People vs. Olarte, G.R. No. L-22465,
28 February 1967). Aggrieved parties, especially those who do not sleep on their
rights and actively pursue their causes, should not be allowed to sufer unnecessarily
further simply because of circumstances beyond their control, like the accuseds
delaying tactics or the delay and inefciency of the investigating agencies (Panaguiton
vs. Department of Justice, supra).
MARRIAGE IN RAPE
Marriage between the ofended party and the ofender in seduction, abduction,
acts of lasciviousness extinguishes the criminal liability of the latter and his co-
principals, accomplice and accessories (Articles 89 and 344 of RPC). But marriage
between the ofended part and ofender in rape will only extinguishes criminal liability
of the latter. Article 266-C did not expressly made applicable the extinction of criminal
action and penalty in rape case by reason of marriage to co-principals, accomplice and
accessories.
PROBATION
Probation distinguished from parole and pardon (1) Grant of probation is
judicial while that of parole and pardon is executive. (2) Probation and parole are
suspension sentence while pardon is remission of penalty. (3) Ofender can only apply
for probation within the period of perfecting an appeal; ofender is eligible for pardon
after conviction by fnal judgment; ofender is eligible for parole after serving the
minimum of the indeterminate penalty. (4) Ofender, who was sentenced to sufer a
penalty of more than 6 years of imprisonment, is disqualifed to apply for probation.
Ofender, who was sentence to sufer reclusion perpetua or death penalty, is not
qualifed for parole. However, the President can pardon ofender even if the penalty
imposed upon him is reclusion perpetua or death penalty.
a. Non-probationable ofense - The accused, who was convicted by the lower
court of a non-probationable ofense (frustrated homicide), but on appeal was found
guilty of a probationable ofense (attempted homicide), may apply for probation upon
remand of the case to the RTC because of the following reasons: (1) The Probation
Law never intended to deny an accused his right to probation through no fault of his.
The underlying philosophy of probation is one of liberality towards the accused. Such
philosophy is not served by a harsh and stringent interpretation of the statutory
provisions; (2) If the accused will not be allowed to apply for probation, he will be
made to pay for the trial courts erroneous judgment with the forfeiture of his right to
apply for probation; (3) While it is true that probation is a mere privilege, the accused
has the right to apply for that privilege; (4) It is true that under the probation law the
accused who appeals "from the judgment of conviction" is disqualifed from availing
himself of the benefts of probation. But, as it happens, two judgments of conviction
have been meted out to accused: one, a conviction for frustrated homicide by the
regional trial court, now set aside; and, two, a conviction for attempted homicide by
the Supreme Court (Colinares vs. People, G.R. No. 182748, December 13, 2011).
b. Right of possessor of dangerous drugs to apply for probation - The rule
under Section 24 of RA No. 9165, which disqualifes drug trafckers and pushers for
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applying for probations, does not extend to possessor of dangerous drugs. In Padua
vs. People, G.R. No. 168546, July 23, 2008, it was held that: The law considers the
users and possessors of illegal drugs as victims while the drug trafckers and
pushers as predators. Hence, while drug trafckers and pushers, like Padua, are
categorically disqualifed from availing the law on probation, youthful drug
dependents, users and possessors alike, are given the chance to mend their ways.

c. Right of child to apply for probation despite appeal - Section 4 of PD No.
968 provides: Application for probation must be fled within the period of perfecting an
appeal and no application for probation shall be entertained or granted if the defendant
has perfected the appeal from the judgment of conviction. However, RA No. 9344 has
expressly amended Section 4 of PD No. 968 and provides that a child in confict with
the law can apply for probation at any time. Section 42 of RA No. 9344 provides: The
court may, after it shall have convicted and sentenced a child in confict with the law,
and upon application at any time, place the child on probation in lie of service of
his/her sentence taking into account the best interest to the child. For this purpose,
Section 4 of Presidential Degree No. 968, otherwise known as the Probation Law of
1976, is hereby amended accordingly. The phrase at any time mentioned in Section
42 means the child in confict with the law may fle application for probation even
beyond the period of perfecting an appeal and even if the child has perfected the
appeal from the judgment of conviction.
UNLAWFUL ARREST AND ARBITRARY DETENTION
In unlawful arrest, the private individual or public ofcer in its private capacity
arrests or detains the victim without reasonable ground or legal authority for purpose
of delivering him to the proper judicial authority. In arbitrary detention, the public
ofcer, who has authority to make arrest, detains the victim without legal grounds for
the purpose of: (1) Delivering him to judicial authority (U.S. us. Gellada, 15 Phil. 120);
(2) Conducting criminal investigation (People vs. Oliva, 95 Phil. 962; U.S. vs. Agravante,
G.R. No. 3947, January 28, 1908); or (3) Determining if he committed or is committing
a crime [U.S. vs. Hawchaw, G.R. No. L-6909, February 20, 1912].
Arbitrary detention is a crime against fundamental law of the law or the
Constitution. A public ofcer, who is vested with the authority to detain or to order the
detention of a person accused of a crime, is acting in behalf of the State in arresting or
detaining a person. If such public ofcer detained a person in violation of his
constitutional right against unreasonable seizure (or not in accordance with Section 5,
Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure), the crime committed is
arbitrary detention. Unlawful arrest is a crime against personal liberty and security.
A public ofcer, who is not vested with the authority to detain or to order the detention
of a person (e.g. stenographer, researcher or municipal treasurer), is not acting in
behalf of the State in making a warrantless arrest. Such public ofcer acting in his
private capacity (or a private individual) could not violate the Constitution (People vs
Marti, G.R. No. 81561, January 18,1991); hence, if he arrests or detains a person not
in accordance with Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure,
the crime committed is unlawful arrest. The essence of this crime is not violation of
fundamental law of the law but deprivation of liberty of the victim.
MURDER
Murder, the prosecution must prove that: (1) a person was killed; (2) the
accused killed him; (3) the killing was attended by any of the qualifying circumstances
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mentioned in Article 248; and (4) the killing is neither parricide nor infanticide (People
vs. Camat, G.R. No. 188612, July 30, 2012
ATTEMPTED MURDER - Accused opened the door of his vehicle and then drew
a gun and shot victim once, hitting him just below the left armpit. Victim immediately
ran at the back of the car, while accused sped away. Is the accused liable for attempted
murder? No. Accused only shot the victim once and did not hit any vital part of the
latters body. If he intended to kill him, accused could have shot the victim multiple
times or even ran him over with the car. When such intent is lacking but wounds are
inficted upon the victim, the crime is not attempted murder but physical injuries only
(Pentecoste, Jr. vs. People, G.R. No. 167766, April 7, 2010).
EXCESSIVE CHASTISEMENT
X tied his son to a coconut tree and, there after hit on his right eye and right
leg. As a consequence, his son sustained injuries that would heal in one week upon
medication. Is X liable for slight physical injuries despite the fact that his intention
in beating his son is merely to discipline him? Yes. X cannot evade criminal
culpability by the circumstance that he merely intended to discipline his son (People
vs. Sales, G.R. No. 177218, October 3, 2011).
MALVERSATION
The elements of malversation of public funds are: that the ofender is a public
ofcer; that he had the custody or control of funds or property by reason of the duties
of his ofce; that those funds or property were public funds or property for which he
was accountable; and that he appropriated, took, misappropriated or consented or,
through abandonment or negligence, permitted another person to take them.
PRESUMPTION - The failure of a public ofcer to have duly forthcoming any
public funds or property with which he is chargeable, upon demand by any duly
authorized ofcer, is prima facie evidence that he has put such missing fund or
property to personal uses. Direct evidence of personal misappropriation by the
accused is hardly necessary as long as the accused cannot explain satisfactorily the
shortage in his accounts. The presumption is, of course, rebuttable. When the absence
of funds is not due to the personal use thereof by the accused, the presumption is
completely destroyed; in fact, the presumption is never deemed to have existed at all
(Icdang vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 185960, January 25, 2012).
In Legrama vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 178626, June 13, 2012 - Verily, in the
crime of malversation of public funds, all that is necessary for conviction is proof that
the accountable ofcer had received the public funds and that he failed to account for
the said funds upon demand without ofering sufcient explanation why there was a
shortage. In fne, petitioners failure to present competent and credible evidence that
would exculpate her and rebut the prima facie presumption of malversation clearly
warranted a verdict of conviction.

CULPABLE FELONY - Is it necessary for the prosecution to prove that the
public ofcer use the public property for his personal beneft to establish
malversation? No. It is settled that a public ofcer is liable for malversation even if he
does not use public property or funds under his custody for his personal beneft, if he
allows another to take the funds, or through abandonment or negligence, allow such
taking. The felony may be committed, not only through the misappropriation or the
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conversion of public funds or property to ones personal use, but also by knowingly
allowing others to make use of or misappropriate the funds. The felony may thus be
committed by dolo or by culpa. The crime is consummated and the appropriate
penalty is imposed regardless of whether the mode of commission is with intent or due
to negligence (People vs. Pantaleon, Jr,, G. R. No. 158694-96, Mar. 13, 2009).
NON-ACCOUNTABLE OFFICER - The municipal mayor initiated the request for
obligation of allotments and certifed and approved the disbursement vouchers. The
municipal accountant obligated the allotments despite lack of prior certifcation from
the budget ofcer. Municipal treasurer certifed to the availability of funds and
released the money even without the requisite budget ofcers certifcation. The
signatures of benefciaries, who supposed to have received the money, were forged.
Can the mayor and accountant be held liable for malversation even though they are
not accountable ofcer? Yes. Ordinarily, a municipalitys mayor and accountant are
not accountable public ofcers as defned under the law. However, a public ofcer
who is not in charge of public funds or property by virtue of his ofcial position, or
even a private individual, may be liable for malversation if such public ofcer or
private individual conspires with an accountable public ofcer to commit
malversation. In this case, combined acts of the mayor and accountant, and treasurer,
an accountable ofcer, conspired to defraud the government (People vs. Pajaro, G.R.
Nos. 167860-65, June 17, 2008).
ESTAFA
ESTAFA THROUGH MISAPPROPRIATION - The ofense of estafa committed
with abuse of confdence has the following elements under Article 315, paragraph 1(b)
of the Revised Penal Code, as amended: (a) that money, goods or other personal
property is received by the ofender in trust or on commission, or for administration,
or under any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of or to return the
same; (b) that there be misappropriation or conversion of such money or property by
the ofender, or denial on his part of such receipt; (c) that such misappropriation or
conversion or denial is to the prejudice of another; and (d) there is demand by the
ofended party to the ofender (Magtira vs. People, G.R. No. 170964, March 7, 2012).
However, demand is not necessary if there is evidence of misappropriation.
Misappropriation as an element of the ofense of estafa connotes an act of
using, or disposing of, anothers property as if it were ones own, or of devoting it to a
purpose or use diferent from that agreed upon. Failure to account upon demand for
funds or property held in trust without ofering any satisfactory explanation for the
inability to account is circumstantial evidence of misappropriation. Demand for the
return of the thing delivered in trust and the failure of the accused to account are
similarly circumstantial evidence that the courts can appreciate (Magtira vs. People,
G.R. No. 170964, March 7, 2012).
ABUSE OF CONFIDENCE AND DECEIT - The ofense of estafa, in general, is
committed either by (a) abuse of confdence or (b) means of deceit. The acts
constituting estafa committed with abuse of confdence are enumerated in item (1) of
Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended; item (2) of Article 315
enumerates estafa committed by means of deceit. Deceit is not an essential requisite
of estafa by abuse of confdence; the breach of confdence takes the place of fraud or
deceit, which is a usual element in the other estafas (Brokmann vs. People, G.R. No.
199150, February 6, 2012).
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ESTAFA AND OTHER DECEIT - What is the diference between estafa through
false representation and other deceit? The common elements of these two crimes are:
(1) false pretense, fraudulent act or pretense must be made or executed prior to or
simultaneously with the commission of the fraud; and (2) as a result, the ofended
party sufered damage or prejudice. It is essential that such false statement or
fraudulent representation constitutes the very cause or the only motive for the private
complainant to part with her property. In estafa under Article 315, the false
representation is committed by using fctitious name, or falsely pretending to possess
power, infuence, qualifcations, property, credit, agency, business or imaginary
transactions; or by means of other similar deceits. Following the principle of ejusdem
generis, other deceit as a means to commit estafa must be similar to pretending to
possess power, imaginary transaction etc. If the deceit is not similar to pretending to
possess power or imaginary transaction, the crime committed is other deceit under
Article 318. In Guinhawa vs. People, G.R. No. 162822 August 25, 2005 (Callejo) -
Fraudulent representation of the seller that the van to be sold is brand new
constitutes other deceit under Article 318. On the other hand, in People vs. Rubaton,
C.A., 65 O.G. 5048, issue of May 19, 1069, false representation that accused has a
palay by reason of which the victim parted his money in consideration of the palay
constitutes estafa under Article 315. Unlike in the Guinhawa case, the transaction in
Rubaton case is imaginary.
SUBSEQUENT FRAUD - Is the fraudulent act committed by the accused
subsequent to the time the victim parted his money constitutes estafa? In the
prosecution for this kind of estafa, it is indispensable that the false pretense or
fraudulent act is committed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the
fraud, it being essential that such false statement or representation constitutes the
very cause or the only motive which induces the ofended party to part with his
money. In the absence of such requisite, any subsequent act of the accused, however
fraudulent and suspicious it might appear, cannot serve as basis for prosecution for
estafa (Ambito, vs. People, G. R. No. 127327, Feb. 13, 2009).
REPRESENTATION OF FUTURE PROFIT - When will a representation of a
future profts or income be considered as an actionable fraud or estafa? Where one
states that the future profts or income of an enterprise shall be a certain sum, but he
actually knows that there will be none, or that they will be substantially less than he
represents, the statements constitute an actionable fraud where the hearer believes
him and relies on the statement to his injury. In the present case, it is abundantly
clear that the profts which Elvira and her co-conspirators promised
to Elizabeth would not be realized (Joson vs. People, G. R. No. 178836, July 23, 2008).
OTHER DECEIT- Other deceit under Article 316 (a) of RPC is committed by
any person who, knowing that the real property is encumbered, shall dispose of the
same, although such encumbrance be not recorded. The law was taken from Article
455 of the Spanish Penal Code. However, the words "como libre" in the Spanish Penal
Code, which means "free from encumbrance" do not appear in the English text of
RPC, nonetheless, the same are deemed incorporated in the RPC. The gravamen of
the crime is the disposition of legally encumbered real property by the ofender under
the express representation that there is no encumbrance thereon. Hence, for one to
be criminally liable for estafa under the law, the accused must make an express
representation in the deed of conveyance that the property sold or disposed of is free
from any encumbrance (Naya vs. Abing, G.R. No. 146770, February 27, 2003,
Callejo).
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THEFT
QUALIFIED THEFT - The elements of the crime of theft as provided for in
Article 308 of RPC are as follows: (1) that there be taking of personal property; (2) that
said property belongs to another; (3) that the taking be done with intent to gain; (4)
that the taking be done without the consent of the owner; and (5) that the taking be
accomplished without the use of violence against or intimidation of persons or force
upon things. Theft becomes qualifed when any of the following circumstances under
Article 310 is present: (1) the theft is committed by a domestic servant; (2) the theft is
committed with grave abuse of confdence; (3) the property stolen is either a motor
vehicle, mail matter or large cattle; (4) the property stolen consists of coconuts taken
from the premises of a plantation; (5) the property stolen is fsh taken from a fshpond
or fshery; and (6) the property was taken on the occasion of fre, earthquake, typhoon,
volcanic eruption, or any other calamity, vehicular accident or civil disturbance
(Miranda vs. People, G.R. No. 176298, January 25, 2012).
THEFT THROUGH MISAPPROPRIATION - Misappropriation of personal
property in possession of the accused may constitute estafa or theft depending upon
the nature of possession. If his possession of the property is physical or de facto,
misappropriation thereof is constitutive of theft. If the possession is juridical or legal,
misappropriation thereof is estafa through misappropriation.
A travelling sales agent, who failed to return to his principal the proceeds of
goods he was commissioned or authorized to sell, is liable for estafa because his
possession is juridical. Under the Civil Code Article 1914 of the Civil Code, an agent
can even assert, as against his own principal, an independent, autonomous, right to
retain money or goods received in consequence of the agency; as when the principal
fails to reimburse him for advances he has made, and indemnify him for damages
sufered without his fault (Guzman v. Court of Appeals, 99 Phil. 703). On the other
hand, branch manager of the company, who misappropriate payments from customers
that he collected and accepted, is liable for qualifed theft. Because of this employer-
employee relationship, he cannot be considered an agent of the company and is not
covered by the Civil Code provisions on agency. Money received by an employee in
behalf of his employer is considered to be only in the material possession of the
employee(People vs. Mirto, G.R. No. 193479, October 19, 2011).
The receiving teller of a bank, who misappropriated the money received by him
for the bank, is liable for qualifed theft. The possession of the teller is the possession
of the bank. Payment by third persons to the teller is payment to the bank itself. The
teller has no independent right or title to retain or possess the same as against the
bank (People v. Locson, G.R. No. L-35681, October 18, 1932). In one case, a corporate
ofcer received the property to be utilized in the fabrication of bending machines in trust
from the corporation and he has absolute option on how to use them without the
participation of the corporation. Upon demand, the ofcer failed to account the
property. Since the corporate ofcer received the property in trust with absolute option
on how to use them without the participation of the corporation, he acquired not only
physical possession but also juridical possession over the equipment. He is liable for
estafa through misappropriation (Aigle vs. People, G.R. No. 174181, June 27, 2012).
Driver of jeepney under boundary arrangement, who did not return the vehicle
to its owner, is liable for carnapping.In People v. Isaac G.R. No. L-7561, April 30,
1955, the rules prohibits motor vehicle operator from allowing the use and operation
of his equipment by another person under a fxed rental basis. In the eye of the law
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the driver was only an employee of the owner rather than a lessee. For being an
employee, his possession of the jeepney is physical, and misappropriation thereof is
qualifed theft. In People vs. Bustinera, G. R. No. 148233, June 8, 2004, the Supreme
Court afrmed the principle in Isaac case, but found the accused guilty of carnapping
in view of the passage of RA No. 6539(Anti-Carnapping Act).
THEFT OF INTANGIBLE PROPERTY - The term "personal property" in the
Revised Penal Code should be interpreted in the context of the Civil Code.
Consequently, any personal property, tangible or intangible, corporeal or incorporeal,
capable of appropriation can be the object of theft. Business may be appropriated
under Bulk Sales Law. Thus, the business of providing telecommunication and the
telephone service is a personal property (Laurel vs. Abrogar, G.R. No. 155076, January
13, 2009,).
The word "take" in the RPC includes controlling the destination of the property
stolen to deprive the owner of the property, such as the use of a meter tampering, use
of a device to fraudulently obtain gas, and the use of a jumper to divert electricity.
Appropriation of forces of nature which are brought under control by science such as
electrical energy can be achieved by tampering with any apparatus used for generating
or measuring such forces of nature, wrongfully redirecting such forces of nature from
such apparatus, or using any device to fraudulently obtain such forces of nature
(Laurel vs. Abrogar).
A "phreaker" is one who engages in the act of manipulating phones and illegally
markets telephone services. Phreaking includes the act of engaging in International
Simple Resale (ISR) or the unauthorized routing and completing of international long
distance calls using lines, cables, antennae, and/or air wave frequency and connecting
these calls directly to the local or domestic exchange facilities of the country where
destined (Laurel vs. Abrogar, G.R. No. 155076, February 27, 2006 and January 13,
2009).
Can PLDT validly claim that the long distance calls are its properties stolen by
the phreaker? No. International long distance calls take the form of electrical energy.
It cannot be said that such international long distance calls were personal properties
belonging to PLDT since the latter could not have acquired ownership over such calls.
PLDT merely encodes, augments, enhances, decodes and transmits said calls using its
complex communications infrastructure and facilities. PLDT not being the owner of
said telephone calls, then it could not validly claim that such telephone calls were
taken without its consent (Laurel vs. Abrogar). Telephone calls belong to the persons
making the calls.
Can phreaker be held criminally liable for engaging in ISR involving the
telephone facilities of PLDT? Yes. Phreaker can be held liable for access device fraud
under RA No. 8484 and theft under the Revised Penal Code.PLDTs business of
providing telecommunication or telephone service is personal property which can be
the object of theft. While telephone calls are not properties belonging to PLDT that can
be stolen, it is the use of these communications facilities without the consent of PLDT
that constitutes the crime of theft, which is the unlawful taking of the telephone
services and business.The act of conducting ISR operations by illegally connecting
various equipment or apparatus to PLDTs telephone system, through which petitioner
is able to resell or re-route international long distance calls using respondent PLDTs
facilities constitutes acts of subtraction (taking)penalized under the said article(Laurel
vs. Abrogar).
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THEFT OF BULKY GOODS - Is the ability of the accused to freely dispose of
bulky goods stolen from the owner determinative as to the consummation of theft? No.
In Valenzuela vs. People, G. R. No. 160188, June 21, 2007, the Supreme Court En
Banc expressly abandoned the principle in Dio case. It was held that: The ability of
the ofender to freely dispose of the property stolen is not a constitutive element of the
crime of theft. Such factor runs immaterial to the statutory defnition of theft, which is
the taking, with intent to gain, of personal property of another without the latters
consent. While the Dio dictum is considerate to the mindset of the ofender, the
statutory defnition of theft considers only the perspective of intent to gain on the part
of the ofender, compounded by the deprivation of property on the part of the victim.
Unlawful taking is deemed complete from the moment the ofender gains
possession of the thing, even if he has no opportunity to dispose of the same. Unlawful
taking, which is the deprivation of ones personal property, is the element which
produces the felony in its consummated stage. At the same time, without unlawful
taking as an act of execution, the ofense could only be attempted theft, if at all. Thus,
theft cannot have a frustrated stage. Theft can only be attempted or consummated
(Valenzuela vs. People, G. R. No. 160188, June 21, 2007, En Banc).
THEFT OF CHECK - In Miranda vs. People, G.R. No. 176298, January 25,
2012 - Petitioner was entrusted with checks payable to complainant by virtue of her
position as accountant and bookkeeper. She deposited the said checks to the joint
account maintained by complainant, then withdrew a total of P797,187.85 from said
joint account using the pre-signed checks, with her as the payee. Petitioner argued
that full ownership of the thing stolen needed to be established frst before she could
be convicted of qualifed theft. Held: The subject of the crime of theft is any personal
property belonging to another. Hence, as long as the property taken does not belong to
the accused, who has a valid claim thereover, it is immaterial whether said ofender
stole it from the owner, a mere possessor, or even a thief of the property.
Stealing check payable to the company of the accused and presenting it for
encashment to the drawee bank, which dishonored it by reason of insufciency of
funds, constitutes impossible crime. There is factually impossibility to accomplish the
crime of qualifed theft since the check is unfunded. (Jacinto vs. People, G.R. No.
162540, July 13, 2009). If the stolen check is funded, but the bank alerted the payee
of the check and caused the apprehension of the accused, the crime committed is
attempted theft. If the check is forged, and the bank caused the apprehension of the
accused, the crime committed is attempted theft through falsifcation of commercial
document (Koh Tieck Heng vs. People, G.R. Nos. 48535-36, December 21, 1990).
FALSIFICATION
Is intent to cause damage an element of falsifcation of public or ofcial
document? No. In falsifcation of public or ofcial documents, it is not necessary that
there be present the idea of gain or the intent to injure a third person because in the
falsifcation of a public document, what is punished is the violation of the public faith
and the destruction of the truth as therein solemnly proclaimed (Regidor, Jr., vs.
People, G. R. Nos. 166086-92 Feb. 13, 2009).
What is the crime committed if private document is falsifed as a necessary
means to commit or conceal estafa or malversation? Under the doctrine of common
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element, an element used to complete one crime cannot be legally re-used to complete
the requisites of a subsequent crime (Regalado). The common element of estafa or
malversation and falsifcation is damage to the victim. Thus, falsifcation of private
document and estafa cannot co-exist. The use of damage as an element in falsifcation
precludes the re-use thereof to complete the elements of estafa, and vice versa.
Falsifcation - If the ofender committed falsifcation of private document as a means to
commit estafa, he is liable for falsifcation only. Falsifcation absorbs estafa. (See: U.S.
vs Chan Tiao, G.R. No. 12609, October 30, 1917).Estafa or malversation If a person
falsifed a private document to conceal malversation or estafa, the crime is
malversation or estafa only. Falsifcation of private document is not committed
because: (a) the use of damage as an element in estafa precludes the re-use thereof to
complete the elements of falsifcation; and (b) the damage to third person is not caused
by the falsity in the document but by the commission of estafa(See: People vs. Beng, 40
O.G. 1913). Note: If falsifcation of private document was used as a means to commit
estafa, the former was committed ahead of the latter; hence, falsifcation absorbs the
element of damage of estafa. If falsifcation of private document was used as a means
to conceal estafa, the latter was committed ahead of the former; hence, estafa absorbs
the element of damage of falsifcation.
What is the crime committed if public, ofcial, or commercial document is
falsifed as a necessary means to commit or conceal estafa or malversation? Complex
crime - Since damage to third person is not an element of falsifcation of public, ofcial
or commercial document, it consummates the very moment the ofender falsifes the
document. If the ofender uses the falsifed document to defraud a third person or the
government, estafa or malversation is also committed. Estafa or malversation
consummates the moment the third person or government sufers damages. Since
falsifcation is committed as a necessary means to commit estafa or malversation,
complex crime under Article 48 is committed. (See: Ambito, vs. People, G. R. No.
127327, Feb. 13, 2009; People vs. Barbas, G.R. No. 41265, July 27, 1934). Separate
crimes - If falsifcation of public, ofcial or commercial document is used as a means
to conceal estafa or malversation, two distinct crimes of estafa (or malversation) and
falsifcation are committed. There is nocomplex crime since falsifcation is not a
necessary means to commit estafa or malversation since the latter was already
consummated when the former was committed (See: People vs. Monteverde, G.R. No.
139610, August 12, 2002).
In Patula vs. People, G.R. No. 164457, April 11, 2012 - According to the theory
and proof of the Prosecution, petitioner misappropriated or converted the sums paid
by her customers, and later falsifed the duplicates of the receipts before turning such
duplicates to her employer to show that the customers had paid less than the amounts
actually refected on the original receipts. Obviously, she committed the falsifcation in
order to conceal her misappropriation or conversion. Considering that the falsifcation
was not an ofense separate and distinct from the estafa charged against her, the
Prosecution could legitimately prove her acts of falsifcation as its means of
establishing her misappropriation or conversion as an essential ingredient of the crime
duly alleged in the information. In that manner, her right to be informed of the nature
and cause of the accusation against her was not infringed or denied to her.
ROBBERY
Case law has it that whenever homicide has been committed by reason of or on
the occasion of the robbery, all those who took part as principals in the robbery will
also be held guilty as principals of robbery with homicide although they did not take
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part in the homicide, unless it appears that they endeavored to prevent the homicide
(People vs. Gonzales, G.R. No. 140756, April 4, 2003); Essential for conviction of
robbery with homicide is proof of a direct relation, an intimate connection between the
robbery and the killing, whether the latter be prior or subsequent to the former or
whether both crimes were committed at the same time. Homicide is committed by
reason or on the occasion of robbery if its commission was (a) to facilitate the robbery
or the escape of the culprit; (b) to preserve the possession by the culprit of the loot; (c)
to prevent discovery of the commission of the robbery; or, (d) to eliminate witnesses in
the commission of the crime. As long as there is a nexus between the robbery and the
homicide, the latter crime may be committed in a place other than the situs of the
robbery (People vs. Buyagan, G.R. No. 187733, February 8, 2012).

a. Intent to rob - A conviction for robbery with homicide requires certitude
that the robbery is the main purpose and objective of the malefactor and the killing is
merely incidental to the robbery. The animo lucrandi must proceed the killing. If the
original design does not comprehend robbery, but robbery follows the homicide either
as an afterthought or merely as an incident of the homicide, then the malefactor is
guilty of two separate crimes, that of homicide or murder and robbery, and not of the
special complex crime of robbery with homicide, a single and indivisible ofense. It is
the intent of the actor to rob which supplies the connection between the homicide and
the robbery necessary to constitute the complex crime of robbery with homicide
(People vs. Daniela, G.R. No. 139230, April 24, 2003).
b. Intent to kill and rob - However, the law does not require that the sole
motive of the malefactor is robbery and commits homicide by reason or on the
occasion thereof. In one case, it was ruled that even if the malefactor intends to kill
and rob another, it does not preclude his conviction for the special complex crime of
robbery with homicide. The fact that the intent of the felons was tempered with a
desire also to avenge grievances against the victim killed, does not negate the
conviction of the accused and punishment for robbery with homicide (People vs.
Daniela, G.R. No. 139230, April 24, 2003).
c. Robbing, killing and raping - A conviction for robbery with homicide is
proper even if the homicide is committed before, during or after the commission of the
robbery. The homicide may be committed by the actor at the spur of the moment or
by mere accident. Even if two or more persons are killed and a woman is raped and
physical injuries are inficted on another, on the occasion or by reason of robbery,
there is only one special complex crime of robbery with homicide. What is primordial
is the result obtained without reference or distinction as to the circumstances, cause,
modes or persons intervening in the commission of the crime (People vs. Daniela,
G.R. No. 139230, April 24, 2003).
d. One of the robbers is the victim of homicide - It is immaterial that the
death would supervene by mere accident; or that the victim of homicide is other than
the victim of robbery, or that two or more persons are killed or that aside from the
homicide, rape, intentional mutilation, or usurpation of authority, is committed by
reason or on the occasion of the crime. Likewise immaterial is the fact that the victim
of homicide is one of the robbers; the felony would still be robbery with homicide.
Once a homicide is committed by or on the occasion of the robbery, the felony
committed is robbery with homicide. All the felonies committed by reason of or on the
occasion of the robbery are integrated into one and indivisible felony
of robbery with homicide. The word homicide is used in its generic sense. Homicide,
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thus, includes murder, parricide, and infanticide (People vs. Laog, G.R. No. 178321,
October 5, 2011).
In People vs. Concepcion, G.R. No. 200922, July 18, 2012 - Accused snatched
victims shoulder bag which was hanging on her left shoulder. No violence,
intimidation or force was used in snatching her shoulder bag. Given the facts, the
snatching of shoulder bag constitutes the crime of theft, not robbery. Accuseds co-
conspirator, who was driving the motorcycle, died because he lost control of the
motorcycle and crashed in front of a taxi. Since accused as passenger in the
motorcycle, did not perform or execute any act that caused the death of his
companion, he cannot be held liable for homicide.
CONSPIRACY - All those who took part in the robbery are liable as principals
even though they did not actually take part in the killing. Case law establishes that
whenever homicide has been committed by reason of or on the occasion of the
robbery, all those who took part as principals in the robbery will also be held guilty as
principals of robbery with homicide although they did not take part in the
homicide, unless it appears that they sought to prevent the killing (People vs. Castro,
G.R. No. 187073, March 14, 2012)
UNINHABITED HOUSE - In Marquez vs. People, G.R. No. 181138, December 3,
2012 - The records show that the store alleged to have been robbed by petitioners is
not an inhabited house, public building or building dedicated to religious worship and
their dependencies under Article 299 and as defned under Article 301. From
Valderosas testimony, it can be deduced that the establishment allegedly robbed was a
store not used as a dwelling. In fact, after the robbery took place, there was a need to
inform Valderosa of the same as she was obviously not residing in the store. If the
store was not actually occupied at the time of the robbery and was not used as a
dwelling, since the owner lived in a separate house, the robbery committed therein is
punished under Article 302. Neither was the place where the store is located owned by
the government. It was actually just a stall rented by Valderosa from a private person.
Hence, the applicable provision in this case is Article 302 and not Article 299 of the
RPC.
THREATS
What is the diference among grave threats, light threats and other light
threats? In grave threats, the wrong threatened amounts to a crime which may or may
not be accompanied by a condition. In light threats, the wrong threatened does not
amount to a crime but is always accompanied by a condition. In other light threats,
the wrong threatened does not amount to a crime and there is no condition (Calauag
vs. People, (G. R. No. 171511, March 4, 2009).
BLACKMAIL
Blackmailing may constitute: (1) Light threats under Article 283; (2)
Threatening to publish, or ofering to prevent the publication of, a libel for
compensation under Article 356; and (3) robbery with intimidation against person.
Example: X, DENR ofcer, threatened to confscate the hot logs from complainant and
prosecute it for illegal logging unless the latter will give her P100,000. Complainant
gave X the amount demanded. The crime committed is robbery with intimidation
(extortion). In robbery with intimidation of persons, the intimidation consists in
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causing or creating fear in the mind of a person or in bringing in a sense of mental
distress in view of a risk or evil that may be impending, real or imagined. Such fear of
injury to person or property must continue to operate in the mind of the victim at the
time of the delivery of the money. In this case, the P100,000.00 "grease money" was
taken by X from complainant through intimidation. By using her position as the DENR
ofcer, X succeeded in coercing the complainants to choose between two alternatives:
to part with their money, or sufer the burden and humiliation of prosecution and
confscation of the logs (Sazon vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 150873, February 10,
2009).
ARSON
Is it necessary for the prosecution to prove wrongful intent to burn on the part
of the accused to establish arson? No. Although intent may be an ingredient of the
crime of arson, it may be inferred from the acts of the accused. There is a
presumption that one intends the natural consequences of his act; and when it is
shown that one has deliberately set fre to a building, the prosecution is not bound to
produce further evidence of his wrongful intent. If there is an eyewitness to the crime
of arson, he can give in detail the acts of the accused. When this is done the only
substantial issue is the credibility of the witness (People vs. De Leon, G. R. No.
180762, March 4, 2009).
What is the crime committed if the ofender burned the building and there is
person who died? In the classifcation of crimes committed by fre involving the killing
of the victim, attention must be given to the intention of the author. Main objective of
the ofender determines the kind of crime committed. (a) Intent to burn If the main
objective is the burning of the building or edifce, but death results by reason or on
the occasion of arson, the crime is simply arson (qualifed by dead of the victim), and
the resulting homicide is absorbed. (b) Intent to kill If the main objective is to kill a
particular person who may be in a building or edifce, when fre is resorted to as the
means to accomplish such goal the crime committed is murder only. When the Code
declares that killing committed by means of fre is murder, it intends that fre should
be purposely adopted as a means to that end. There can be no murder without a
design to take life. Murder qualifed by means of fre absorbs the crime of arson since
the latter is an inherent means to commit the former (People vs. Baluntong, G.R. No.
182061, March 15, 2010; People vs. Cedenio, G.R. No. 93485, June 27, 1994) (c)
Intent to conceal If the objective is to kill, and in fact the ofender has already done
so, and arson is resorted to as a means to cover up the killing, the ofender may be
convicted of two separate crimes of either homicide or murder, and arson.
RAPE
It is commonly denominated as organ rape or penile rape and must be
attended by any of the circumstances enumerated in subparagraphs (a) to (d) of
paragraph 1. On the other hand, rape under paragraph 2 of Article 266-A is
commonly known as rape by sexual assault. The perpetrator, under any of the
attendant circumstances mentioned in paragraph 1, commits this kind of rape by
inserting his penis into another persons mouth or anal orifce, or any instrument or
object into the genital or anal orifce of another person. It is also called instrument or
object rape, also gender-free rape (People vs. Soria, G.R. No. I 79031, November 14,
2012).
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MENTAL RETARDATION - In rape, the phrase "deprived of reason" refers to
mental abnormality, defciency or retardation, which includes (a) idiot (equivalent to
two-year old child); (b) imbecile (seven-year old child); (c) moron or feebleminded
(twelve-year old child) and (d) borderline intelligence. A person is guilty of rape when he
had sexual intercourse with a female who was sufering from a "borderline mental
defciency (People vs. Butiong, G.R. No. 168932, October 19, 2011; G.R. No. 140209,
December 27, 2002, People vs. Dalandas,)
Mental retardation was not alleged in the information. However, the accused
can be convicted of with rape though intimidation alleged in the Information. Having
sex with a mentally retarded person even with consent constitutes rape through
intimidation (People vs. Balatazo, G.R. No. 118027, January 29, 2004).
UNTENABLE DEFENSE - In crimes against chastity, the medical examination of
the victim is not an indispensable element for the successful prosecution of the crime
as her testimony alone, if credible, is sufcient to convict the accused thereof (People
vs. Ortega, G.R. No. 186235, January 25, 2012).
In Sison vs. People, G.R. No. 187229, February 22, 2012 -While petitioner was
portraying AAA as a prostitute, the latter cried. AAA's crying shows how she might
have felt after being raped by the petitioner and yet be accused of a woman of loose
morals. The victim's moral character in rape is immaterial where it is shown that
intimidation was used for the victim to have sex with the accused.
Time and again, we have taken into consideration how rapists are not deterred
by the presence of people nearby, such as the members of their own family inside the
same room, with the likelihood of being discovered, since lust respects no time, locale
or circumstance (People vs. Colorado, G.R. No. 200792, November 14, 2012)
RAPE THROUGH FRAUDELENT MACHINATION - In U.S. vs. Hernandez, 29
Phil. 109, accused Hernandez, who seduced a 15-year-old girl to live with him by
procuring the performance of a fctitious marriage ceremony with the help of
Bautista, who pretended to be a Protestant minister, was held liable for the complex
crime proper of simple seduction (Art. 338) through usurpation of ofcial function
(Art. 177). Usurping the function of a priest to solemnize marriage is a necessary
means to seduce a minor. Comment: The case of Hernandez was decided prior to the
efectivity of the RPC. At that time, a religious ofcial such as a bishop is a person in
authority within the purview of the Old Penal Code (Smith, G.R. No. 14057, January
22, 1919).However, Article 152 of RPC does not include religious minister as a person
in authority. Hence, performing the function of religious minister in solemnizing
marriage is not usurpation of ofcial function. It is submitted that the crime
committed by accused is rape through fraudulent machination.
HOMICIDE - In the special complex crime of rape with homicide, the term
"homicide" is to be understood in its generic sense, and includes murder and slight
physical injuries committed by reason or on occasion of the rape. Hence, even if the
circumstances of treachery, abuse of superior strength and evident premeditation are
alleged in the information and duly established by the prosecution, the same would
not qualify the killing to murder and the crime committed is still rape with homicide.
However, these circumstances shall be regarded as ordinary aggravating (People vs.
Laog, G.R. No. 178321, October 5, 2011).
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HOMICIDE ON OCCASION OF RAPE - The phrase by reason of the
rape obviously conveys the notion that the killing is due to the rape, which is the
crime the ofender originally designed to commit. The victim of the rape is also the
victim of the killing. The indivisibility of the homicide and the rape (attempted or
consummated) is clear and admits of no doubt. In contrast, the import of the
phrase on the occasion of the rape may not be as easy to determine. The phrase on the
occasion of the rape as shown by Senate deliberations refers to a killing that occurs
immediately before or after, or during the commission itself of the attempted or
consummated rape, where the victim of the homicide may be a person other than the
rape victim herself for as long as the killing is linked to the rape, became evident (People
vs. Villafores, G.R. No. 184926, April 11, 2012).
A and B were walking along the rice paddies when X suddenly assaulted
them with a lead pipe. X killed A, and thereafter, raped B. X is liable for special
complex crime of rape with homicide. There is no doubt that X killed A to prevent
her from aiding B or calling for help once she is able to run away, and also to silence
her completely so she may not witness the rape of B, the original intent of X (People
vs. Laog, G.R. No. 178321, October 5, 2011).
In People vs. Isla, G.R. No. 199875, November 21, 2012 - With respect to the
stabbings, it appears that Isla committed two acts. The frst was while he was
ravishing AAA. The Court considers this and the rape as one continuous act, the
stabbing being necessary, as far as he was concerned, for the successful perpetration
of the crime. When he testifed, Isla claimed that he had to use the knife so he could
have sexual intercourse with her. The second stabbing took place after consummation
of the rape act. According to AAA, after her deflement, she noticed the knife bloodied
and she tried to wrest it from him. In their struggle, she was stabbed under her lower
left breast but she was able to force Isla to drop the knife. This second stabbing is a
separate and distinct ofense as it was not a necessary means to commit the rape. It
was intended to do away with her life.
QUALIFIED RAPE - In People vs. Lascano, G.R. No. 192180, March 21, 2012
Rape is qualifed when the ofender knew of the mental disability, emotional disorder
and/or physical handicap of the ofended party at the time of the commission of the
crime. However, the information in the present case merely stated that the victim was
blind; it did not specifcally allege that the appellant knew of her blindness at the time
of the commission of the rape. Hence, the crime committed is simple rape.
SPONTANEOUS DESISTANCE AND NOT VOLUNTARY DESISTANCE - The
term spontaneous is not equivalent to voluntary. Even if the desistance is voluntary,
the same could not exempt the ofender from liability for attempted felony if there is an
external constraint. The term spontaneous means proceeding from natural feeling or
native tendency without external constraint; it is synonymous with impulsive,
automatic and mechanical (People vs. Lizada, G.R. No. 143468-71, January 24, 2003,
En Banc).
Accused had previously raped the victim several times. During the subject
incident, accused was wearing a pair of short pants but naked from waist up. He
entered the bedroom of victim, went on top of her, held her hands, removed her panty,
mashed her breasts and touched her sex organ. However, accused saw Rossel peeping
through the door and dismounted. He berated Rossel for peeping and ordered him to
go back to his room and to sleep. Accused then left the room of the victim. Held:
Accused intended to have carnal knowledge of victim. The overt acts of accused
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proven by the prosecution were not merely preparatory acts. By the series of his overt
acts, accused had commenced the execution of rape, which, if not for his desistance,
will ripen into the crime of rape. Although accused desisted from performing all the
acts of execution, however, his desistance was not spontaneous as he was impelled to
do so only because of the sudden and unexpected arrival of Rossel. Hence, accused is
guilty only of attempted rape (People vs. Lizada, G.R. No. 143468-71, January 24,
2003, En Banc).
ATTEMPTED RAPE - X removed the towel wrapped in the body of A, laid
her on the sofa and kissed and touched her. A testifed that X wanted to rape her. Is
X liable for attempted rape? No. The acts of X does not demonstrate the intent to
have carnal knowledge of A; thus, dismissing the mere opinion and speculation of
A, based on her testimony, that X wanted to rape her. Even so, the acts should not
be left unpunished as the elements of the crime of acts of lasciviousness (People vs.
Rellota, G.R. No. 168103. August 3, 2010)
What is the crime committed if the penis of the accused touched female organ
of the non-consenting victim?(a) If the touching" of the female organ constitutes the
sliding of the penis into or the touching of either labia majoraor labia minoraof the
pudendum, the crime committed is consummated rape. Anything short of that will
only result in either attempted rape or acts of lasciviousness (People vs. Publico, April
13, 2011, G.R. No. 183569). Sexual penetration even without laceration of the hymen
or even the briefest of contact consummates rape (People vs. Pangilinan, G.R. No.
183090, November 14, 2011). However, the penis that touches the external genitalia
must be capable of consummating the sexual act to constitute consummated rape
(People vs. Butiong, G.R. No. 168932, October 19, 2011). (b) If the touching merely
constitutes an epidermal contact, stroking or grazing of organs, a slight brush or a
scrape of the penis on the external layer of the victims vagina, or the mons pubis, the
crime committed is either attempted rape or acts of lasciviousness (People v.
Campuhan, G.R. No. 129433, March 30, 2000). Attempted rape is committed when the
touching of the vagina by the penis is coupled with the intent to penetrate;
otherwise, there can only be acts of lasciviousness. The diference between attempted
rape and acts of lasciviousness lies in the intent of the perpetrator as deduced from
his external acts. (People vs. Dadulla, G. R. No. 172321, February 9, 2011; People vs.
Collado G.R. Nos. 135667-70, March 1, 2001).
X opened the zipper and buttons of the victims shorts, touching her, and
trying to pull her from under the bed. Is X liable for acts of lasciviousness or
attempted rape?The acts of X manifested lewd designs, not intent to lie with her. The
evidence to prove that a defnite intent to lie with the victim motivated X was plainly
wanting, therefore, rendering him guilty only of acts of lasciviousness (People vs.
Dadulla, G. R. No. 172321, February 9, 2011).
Mother of the victim saw X was kneeling before victim whose pajamas and
panty were already removed, while his short pants were down to his knees. Accused
was forcing his penis into victims vagina. Horrifed, she cursed the accused and boxed
him several times. Is X liable for acts of lasciviousness or attempted rape? X should
be held liable for attempted rape since it was not shown that his penis was able to
penetrate vagina of victim however slight (People vs. Campuhan, G.R. No. 129433,
March 30, 2000, En Banc). Intent to have sexual intercourse was clearly established in
this case.
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X committed lascivious acts against his 8-year old daughter by touching her
breasts and licking her vagina. The victim testifed that X only touched her private
part and licked it, but did not insert his fnger in her vagina. Is X liable for rape
through sexual assault? No. In rape through sexual assault, the slightest penetration
of the tongue or even its slightest contact with the outer lip or the labia majora of the
vagina already consummates the crime. However, in this case, it cannot be identifed
what specifc part of the vagina was defled by X. Hence, X should be held liable for
acts of lasciviousness in relation to Section 5 (b) of RA No. 7610 (People vs. Bonaagua,
G.R. No. 188897, June 6, 2011).
In the following circumstances, the accused were convicted of attempted rape:
(1) kissing AAAs nape and neck; undressing her; removing his clothes and briefs; lying
on top of her; holding her hands and parting her legs; and trying to insert his penis
into her vagina; (2) The victim declared that the accused placed his penis on her
vagina; and claimed that it touched her private parts. The victims testimony is too
ambiguous to prove the vital element of penile penetration; (3) The victim testifed that
the accused placed his penis on top of her vagina, and that she felt pain. There was no
showing that the accuseds penis entered the victims vagina. The pain that the victim
felt might have been caused by the accuseds failed attempts to insert his organ into
her vagina; (4) The victim did not declare that there was the slightest penetration,
which was necessary to consummate rape. (5) The victim testifed that the accused
poked her vagina. The Court could not discern from the victim's testimony that the
accused attained some degree of penile penetration, which was necessary to
consummate rape. (5) The victims statements that the accused was trying to force his
sex organ into mine and binundol-undol ang kanyang ari did not prove that the
accuseds penis reached the labia of the pudendum of the victims vagina (People vs.
Pareja, G.R. No. 188979, September 5, 2012).
CONSPIRACY - Accused are liable for two (2) counts of rape on account of a
clear conspiracy between them, shown by their obvious concerted eforts to perpetrate,
one after the other, the rapes. Each of them is responsible not only for the
rape committed personally by him but also for the rape committed by the other as well
(People vs. Lascano, G.R. No. 192180, March 21, 2012).
ABDUCTION AND MULTIPLE RAPES - What is/are the crime/s committed if
the accused forcibly took the victim and raped her on four occasions?When the
objective of abduction is to deprive the victim of his liberty, and thereafter, she was
raped several times, the crime committed is special complex crime of kidnapping with
rape. No matter how many rapes had been committed in the special complex crime of
kidnapping with rape, the resultant crime is only one kidnapping with rape. This is
because these composite acts are regarded as a single indivisible ofense as in fact
R.A. No. 7659 punishes these acts with only one single penalty. In a way, R.A. 7659
depreciated the seriousness of rape because no matter how many times the victim was
raped, like in the present case, there is only one crime committed the special
complex crime of kidnapping with rape (People vs. Mirandilla, Jr., G.R. No. 186417,
July 27, 2011). When the abduction is made with lewd design, the crime committed is
complex crime of forcible abduction with rape. For the crime of kidnapping with rape,
the ofender should not have taken the victim with lewd designs; otherwise, it would
be complex crime of forcible abduction with rape. If the taking was by forcible
abduction and the woman was raped several times, the crimes committed is one
complex crime of forcible abduction with rape, in as much as the forcible abduction
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was only necessary for the frst rape; and each of the other counts of rape constitutes
distinct and separate count of rape (People vs. Mirandilla, Jr., G.R. No. 186417, July
27, 2011). Hence, the accused should be held liable for three counts of rape and
forcible abduction with rape. When the objective of the abduction was to commit the
rape, the ofender cannot be held guilty of the complex crime of forcible abduction with
rape. Under the circumstances, the rape absorbed the forcible abduction (People vs.
Sabadlab, G.R. No. 175924, March 14, 2012). Hence, the accused should be held
liable for four counts of rape.
In forcible abduction with rape unlike in rape involving abduction, the victim
must be detained for appreciable length of time.
TENACIOSUS RESISTANCE - Is it necessary in rape through intimidation to
show that the victim ofered a tenacious resistance against the accused?No. Victim
failure to ofer tenacious and sufcient resistance does not imply her submission to
the bestial demands of the accused. It is not required that she resists his sexual
advances. All that is necessary is that force and intimidation were employed by the
accused against her, which enabled him to commit the crime. Neither is it necessary
for the victim to sustain physical injuries. She need not kick, bite, hit or scratch the
appellant with her fngernails to prove that she had been defensive. It is sufcient
that she yielded because of a real application of bodily harm (People vs. Torres, G.R.
No. 134766, January 16, 2004).
Among the amendments of the law on rape introduced under Republic Act No.
8353 (The Anti-Rape Act of 1997) is Section 266-D, which adverts to the degree of
resistance that the victim may put up against the rapist, viz: Article 266-D.
Presumptions. - Any physical overt act manifesting resistance against the act of rape in
any degree from the ofended party, or where the ofended party is so situated as to
render her/him incapable of giving valid consent, may be accepted as evidence in the
prosecution of the acts punished under Article 266-A (People vs. Sabadlab, G.R. No.
175924, March 14, 2012).
At the Bicameral Conference Committee Meeting on the disagreeing provisions
of S.B. No. 950 and H.B. No. 6265, the forerunners of R.A. No. 8353, the legislators
agreed that Article 266-D is intended to "soften the jurisprudence of the 1970's" when
resistance to rape was required to be tenacious. The lawmakers took note of the fact
that rape victims cannot mount a physical struggle in cases where they were gripped
by overpowering fear or subjugated by moral authority. Article 266-D tempered the
case law requirement of physical struggle by the victim with the victim's fear of the
rapist or incapacity to give valid consent.Thus, the law now provides that resistance
may be proved by any physical overt act in any degree from the ofended party (People
vs. Dulay, G.R. Nos. 144344-68, July 23, 2002, En banc)
In People vs. Abanilla, G.R. Nos. 148673-75, October 17, 2003, En Banc - At
around 10:00 oclock in the evening he laid beside her daughter, Lorena, who was
sleeping. Lorena was then 17 years old for [she was] born on October 3, 1982. He
touched her private parts, removed her shorts and pant[y], undressed himself and laid
on top of her. He inserted his penis into her vagina causing her pain. He then made
the up and down movement and ejected something hot from his penis. He told Lorena
not to make any noise since her siblings were sleeping in the same room. He warned
her not to tell anyone about the incident because, if she did, he would kill her.
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The rule is that resistance may be proved by any physical overt act in any
degree from the ofended party. Tenacious resistance, however, is not required. Neither
is a determined and persistent physical struggle on the part of the victim necessary. It
is true that complainants testimony does not indicate that she put up any resistance
against the sexual advances of appellant. This notwithstanding, proof of resistance is
not necessary in light of appellants moral ascendancy over the complainant. Being the
father, appellants force or threat was sufcient to create fear in the mind of the
complainant compelling her to submit to his sexual abuse.
Physical resistance need not be established in rape when threats and
intimidation are employed, and the victim submits herself to her attackers because of
fear. The use of a weapon, by itself, is strongly suggestive of force or at least
intimidation, and threatening the victim with a gun is sufcient to bring her into
submission. Thus, the law does not impose upon the private complainant the burden
of proving resistance (People vs. Tubat, G.R. No. 183093, February 1, 2012).
Where the ofended party is so situated as to render her/him incapable of
giving valid consent, may be accepted as evidence in the prosecution of rape. This
happens when the ofender committed rape with grave abuse of authority, which is
now a new mode to commit the crime of rape.
In incestuous rape of a minor, actual force or intimidation need not even be
employed where the overpowering moral infuence of appellant, who is private
complainants father, would sufce (People vs. Samandre, G.R. No. 181497, February
22, 2012) In rape committed by a father, his moral ascendancy and infuence over the
victim substitute for the requisite force, threat, and intimidation, and strengthen the
fear which compels the victim to conceal her dishonor (People vs. Ortega, G.R. No.
186235, January 25, 2012). The absence of violence or ofer of resistance would not
afect the outcome of the case because the overpowering and overbearing moral
infuence of the father over his daughter takes the place of violence and ofer of
resistance required in rape cases committed by an accused who did not have blood
relationship with the victim (People vs. Osma, G.R. No. 187734, August 29, 2012).
In People vs. Rubio, G.R. No. 195239, March 7, 2012 - Accused seeks to deny
the charge against him by stating that the victim, his daughter, did not shout during
the alleged bestial act. Failure to shout or ofer tenacious resistance does not make
voluntary the victims submission to the perpetrators lust. Besides, physical
resistance is not an essential element of rape.
ACTS OF LASCIVIOUNESS
The elements of acts of lasciviousness, punishable under Article 336 of the
RPC, are: (1) That the ofender commits any act of lasciviousness or lewdness; (2) That
it is done under any of the following circumstances: a. By using force or intimidation;
or b. When the ofended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; or c.
When the ofended party is under 12 years of age; and (3) That the ofended party is
another person of either sex (People vs. Garcia, G.R. No. 200529, September 19, 2012)
The modes of committing acts of lasciviousness are the same as those of
committing rape under the old version.
CHILD PROSTITUTION
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The elements of paragraph (a) are: 1. the accused engages in, promotes,
facilitates or induces child prostitution; 2. the act is done through, but not limited to,
the following means: a. acting as a procurer of a child prostitute; b. inducing a person
to be a client of a child prostitute by means of written or oral advertisements or other
similar means; c. taking advantage of infuence or relationship to procure a child as a
prostitute; d. threatening or using violence towards a child to engage him as a
prostitute; or e. giving monetary consideration, goods or other pecuniary beneft to a
child with intent to engage such child in prostitution; 3. the child is exploited or
intended to be exploited in prostitution and 4. the child, whether male or female, is
below 18 years of age (People vs. Dulay, G.R. No. 193854. September 24, 2012).
In People vs. Dulay, G.R. No. 193854. September 24, 2012 - To be a principal by
indispensable cooperation, one must participate in the criminal resolution, a
conspiracy or unity in criminal purpose and cooperation in the commission of the
ofense by performing another act without which it would not have been accomplished.
Nothing in the evidence presented by the prosecution does it show that the acts
committed by appellant are indispensable in the commission of the crime of rape.
From the time appellant convinced AAA to go with her until appellant received money
from the man who allegedly raped AAA, are not indispensable in the crime of rape.
Anyone could have accompanied AAA and ofered the latter's services in exchange for
money and AAA could still have been raped. Even AAA could have ofered her own
services in exchange for monetary consideration and still end up being raped. Thus,
this disproves the indispensable aspect of the appellant in the crime of rape. It must
be remembered that in the Information, as well as in the testimony of AAA, she was
delivered and ofered for a fee by appellant, thereafter, she was raped by Speed.
However, the appellant is liable for child prostitution.
CHILD PROSTITUION AND SEXUAL ABUSE
Children exploited in prostitution are those indulge in sexual intercourse or
lascivious conduct for money, proft, or any other consideration. Having sexual
intercourse or lascivious conduct with child exploited in prostitution constitutes child
prostitution. Sexual abuse - Children subjected to other sexual abuse are those
indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct due to the coercion or infuence of
any adult, syndicate or group. Having sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with
child subjected to other abuse constitutes sexual abuse.
Can rape be complexed with child prostitution or sexual abuse? No. Rape
cannot be complexed with child prostitution or sexual abuse under RA 7610. Under
Section 48 of the Revised Penal Code (on complex crimes), a felony under the Revised
Penal Code (such as rape) cannot be complexed with an ofense penalized by a special
law (Pangilinan, G.R. No. 183090, November 14, 2011; People v. Dahilig, G.R. No.
187083, June 13, 2011).
X taking advantage of his ascendancy committed sexual intercourse with his
daughter (15 years of age). What crime can X be prosecuted for? The child is under the
infuence of an adult. Hence, X can be prosecuted for either (1) sexual abuse under
violation of Section 5 (b) of RA No. 7610; or (2) rape (Pangilinan, G.R. No. 183090,
November 14, 2011; People v. Dahilig, G.R. No. 187083, June 13, 2011).
X taking advantage of his ascendancy committed sexual intercourse with his
daughter (9 years of age). What crime can X be prosecuted for? The child, who is under
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the infuence of an adult, is under 12 years of age. Hence, X should be prosecuted for
statutory rape. Section 5 (b) of RA No. 7610 provides that when the victim (child
subjected to sexual abuse) is under 12 years of age, the perpetrators shall be
prosecuted for rape (People vs. Jalosjos, G.R. Nos. 132875-76, November 16, 2001).
X forced a child (10 years of age) in an isolated place and inserted his fnger
into her vagina. What crime can X be held liable? Section 5 (b) of RA No. 7610
prescribes a penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period for sexual abuse and
provides that when the victim is under 12 years of age, the perpetrators shall be
prosecuted for rape. On the other hand, the penalty for simple rape through sexual
assault is prision mayor under RA No. 8353"The Anti-Rape Law of 1997."Despite the
rule that when the victim is under 12 years of age, the perpetrators shall be prosecuted
for rape, X should be held liable for sexual abuse. To rule otherwise is to create an
absurd situation where the ofender is punished for a lesser penalty if the victim is
below 12 years of age or for a more severe penalty if the child is older. To be sure, it
was not the intention of the framers of RA No. 8353 to have disallowed the
applicability of RA No. 7610 to sexual abuses committed against child below 12 years
of age. Despite the passage of RA No. 8353, RA No. 7610 is still good law (People vs.
Chingh, G.R. No. 178323, March 16, 2011).
X taking advantage of his moral ascendency inserted his fnger and tongue into
the vagina of his 8-year-old daughter. What crime can X be held liable? Section 5 (b) of
RA No. 7610 provides that when the victim is under 12 years of age, the perpetrators
shall be prosecuted for rape. Hence, X should be held liable for qualifed rape through
sexual assault.
Since the crime committed is rape through sexual assault with qualifying
circumstance of minority and relationship, the rationale of unfairness to the child
victim that Chingh case wanted to correct is absent because the Revised Penal Code
already prescribes the penalty of reclusion temporal for this crime. Hence, there is no
more need to apply the penalty prescribed by RA No. 7610 for child prostitution or
sexual abuse (People vs. Bonaagua, G.R. No. 188897, June 6, 2011).
X forced a child (10 years of age) in an isolated place and inserted his fnger
into her vagina. Thereafter, X inserted his penis into her vagina. What crimes can X be
held liable? Separate crimes of sexual abuse and rape (People vs. Chingh, G.R. No.
178323, March 16, 2011).
CONSENT OF THE VICTIM - Is consent of the victim a defense in rape, or
child prostitution or sexual abuse? Consent of the victim is a defense in rape except if
the victim is under 12 years of age. However, consent of the minor prostitute is not a
defense in child prostitution. Child exploited in prostitution is incapable of giving
rational consent to any lascivious act or sexual intercourse (People vs. Delantar, G.R. No.
169143, February 2, 2007). Submissiveness of child under infuence or psychological
coercion of adult is not likewise a defense in sexual abuse (People vs. Larin, G.R. No.
128777, October, 7 1998). However, if the sexual abuse is committed as alleged in the
information against a child, who indulges in sexual intercourse under coercion, the
prosecution must show lack of consent on the part of the victim. Showing that the
child consented to the sexual intercourse will negate coercion as an element of the
crime (see: People vs. Abello,G.R. No. 151952, March 25, 2009).
KIDNAPPING
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As for the crime of kidnapping, the following elements, as provided in Article
267 of the Revised Penal Code, must be proven: (a) a person has been deprived of his
liberty, (b) the ofender is a private individual, and (c) the detention is unlawful.
(People vs. Jovel, G.R. No. 189820. October 10, 2012).
X appellant dragged A, seven years of age, to his house after the latter
refused to go with him. Upon reaching the house, X tied her hands. When A
pleaded that she be allowed to go home, X refused. After more or less one hour, X
released A and instructed her on how she could go home. Can X be held liable for
kidnapping and serious illegal detention? Yes. When X tied the hands of A, the
formers intention to deprive A of her liberty has been clearly shown. For there to be
kidnapping, it is enough that the victim is restrained from going home. Since A is a
minor the duration of his detention is immaterial (People vs. Jacalne, G.R. No.
168552, October 3, 2011). Note: If the victim is not a minor, the detention must have
lasted more than three days to constitute serious illegal detention.
What is the meaning of deprivation as an element of kidnapping and serious
illegal detention involving a minor? The deprivation required by Article 267 of the RPC
means not only the imprisonment of a person, but also the deprivation of his liberty in
whatever form and for whatever length of time. It involves a situation where the victim
cannot go out of the place of confnement or detention or is restricted or impeded in
his liberty to move. In other words, the essence of kidnapping is the actual deprivation
of the victim's liberty, coupled with indubitable proof of the intent of the accused to
efect such deprivation.
Where the victim in a kidnapping case is a minor, it becomes even more
irrelevant whether the ofender forcibly restrained the victim. Leaving a child in a place
from which he did not know the way home, even if he had the freedom to roam around
the place of detention, would still amount to deprivation of liberty (People vs. Baluya,
G.R. No. 181822, April 13, 2011).
In this case, victim, a minor, was not locked up. However, she was seized and
taken from her house through force and dragged to the mountain. Since then, she was
restrained of her liberty by and kept under the control of accused. She was prevented
from going back home for a period of about six days. Is accused is guilty of kidnapping
and illegally detaining victim even if she was not lock-up. Yes. Under the Spanish
Penal Code, the modes of committing illegal detention is "Secuestrare" and "Encerrare".
"Secuestrare" means sequestration. To sequester is to separate for a special purpose,
remove or set apart, withdraw from circulation. It also means to lock-up or imprison.
"Encerrare" is a broader concept than secuestrare. Encerrare includes not only the
imprisonment of a person but also the deprivation of his liberty in whatever form and
for whatever length of time (People vs. Baldago, G.R. No. 128106-07, January 24,
2003).
DEFAMATION
Is truthful defamatory imputation against private individual and government
employee a defense in libel? Proof of truth of defamatory imputation against private
individual is a defense if it is published with good motives and for justifable ends.
Proof of the truth of defamatory imputation against government employees is a
defense: (1) if it is published with good motives and for justifable ends; or (2) if the act
or omission imputed constitutes a crime; or (3) if the imputation not constituting a
crime is related to the discharge of his duties. Truthfulness of imputation of a crime or
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a function-related defamatory act against a public ofcer is a defense even though he
does not prove that the imputation was published with good motives and for justifable
ends (Vasquez vs. CA, G.R. No. 118971, September 15, 1999).
MALICE - What are the diferent rules on presumption involving malice as an
element of libel or oral defamation? 1. Disputable presumption of malice - Every
defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious. Presumed malice is also known
as malice in law. However, the following circumstances negate the presumption of
malice in a defamatory statement: (1) if there is a good intention and justifable motive
for making it is shown; (2) if the defamatory statements is a qualifed privilege
communication such (a) A private communication made by any person to another in
the performance of any legal, moral or social duty; and (b) A fair and true report, made
in good faith, without any comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative or other
ofcial proceedings which are not of confdential nature, or of any statement, report or
speech delivered in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by public ofcers
in the exercise of their functions (Article 354 of RPC). The enumeration under Article
354 is not an exclusive list of qualifedly privileged communications since fair
commentaries on matters of public interest are likewise privileged (Borjal vs. CA, G.R.
No. 126466 January 14, 1999). 2. Conclusive presumption of lack of malice If the
defamatory statements are an absolute privilege communication, lack of malice is
conclusively presumed. Thus, the person making defamatory imputation is not
answerable for libel. Absolutely privileged communications are those which are not
actionable even if the author has acted in bad faith such as speech or debate in the
Congress or in any Committee thereof (Philippine Journalists, Inc vs. Thoenen, G.R.
No. 143372, December 13, 2005) or words uttered or published in the course of
judicial proceedings, provided the statements are pertinent or relevant to the case
(Malit vs. People, G.R. No. L-58681, May 31, 1982).
FAIR COMMENT DOCTRINE - What is the doctrine of fair comment? Under
this doctrine, fair commentaries on matters of public interest are privileged and
constitute a valid defense in an action for libel or slander. The doctrine of fair
comment means that while in general every defamatory and public imputation is
deemed false, and every false imputation is deemed malicious, nevertheless, when the
defamatory imputation is directed against a public person in his public capacity, it is
not necessarily actionable. In order that such defamatory imputation to a public
ofcial may be actionable, it must either be a false allegation of fact or a comment
based on a false supposition. If the comment is an expression of opinion, based on
established facts, then it is immaterial that the opinion happens to be mistaken, as
long as it might reasonably be inferred from the facts (Borjal vs. CA, G.R. No. 126466,
January 14, 1999).
What is the diference between fair and true report, and fair comment as a
privilege communications? (1) In fair and true report, the accused makes a report on
the function-related acts performed by public ofcers without any comments or
remarks. On the other hand, in fair comment, the accused is making a comment on the
function-related acts performed by public ofcers. (2) In fair and true report, the
prosecution must prove actual malice i.e., such as the report was made in bad faith. In
fair comment, the prosecution must actual malice i.e., comment was made with
knowledge that comment was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or
not (Sulivan vs. Newyork Times doctrine; Guingguing vs. the Honorable Court of
Appeals, G.R. No. 128959, September 30, 2005) Only false statements made with the
high degree of awareness of their probable falsity demanded by New York Times may be
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the subject of either civil or criminal sanctions (Flor vs. People, G.R. No. 139987,
March 31, 2005). (3) In fair and true report, the report involving defamatory statement
must be true. In fair comment, the defamatory imputation in the commentary is not
true but the accused has no knowledge that it is false and has not recklessly
disregarded to know whether it is false or not.
Is error or misstatement in commentaries on function related acts of public
ofcer actionable in a news articles for being libelous? Even assuming that the
contents of the articles are false, mere error, inaccuracy or even falsity alone does not
prove actual malice. Errors or misstatements are inevitable in any scheme of truly free
expression and debate. Consistent with good faith and reasonable care, the press
should not be held to account, to a point of suppression, for honest mistakes or
imperfections in the choice of language. There must be some room for misstatement of
fact as well as for misjudgment. Only by giving them much leeway and tolerance can
they courageously and efectively function as critical agencies in our democracy (Borjal
vs. CA, G.R. No. 126466, January 14, 1999).
Brillante implicated Jejomar Binay, then the OIC Mayor of Makati, and Dr.
Nemesio Prudente, then President of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in a
planned assassination of Syjuco as well as election-related terrorism. Is the doctrine of
fair comment applicable in this libel case? The New York Times principle is not
applicable since the utterances are unrelated to a public ofcers performance of his
duties (Brillante vs. CA, G.R. Nos. 118757 & 121571, October 19, 2004). Obviously,
commission of murder and terrorism is not related to the performance of their duties
as public ofcers.
Cristy Fermin imputed to Annabelle Rama Gutierrez an actress the crime of
malversation and of vices or defects for being fugitives from the law and of being a
wastrel. Is the doctrine of fair comment applicable in this libel case? No. It is unrelated
to public fgures work (Fermin vs. People, G.R. No. 157643, March 28, 2008). The
defamatory imputation has nothing to do to with works of Annabelle as a as an
actress.
In his series of articles of Erwin Tulfo, he targeted one Atty. "Ding" So of the
Bureau of Customs as being involved in criminal activities, and was using his public
position for personal gain. He went even further than that, and called Atty. So an
embarrassment to his religion, saying "ikawnayataangpinakagago at
magnanakawsamiyembronito." He accused Atty. So of stealing from the government
with his alleged corrupt activities. And when Atty. So fled a libel suit against him,
Tulfo wrote another article, challenging Atty. So, saying, "Nagalititongtarantadongsi
Atty. So dahilbinabantayankosiya at in-expose angkagaguhanniyasa [Bureau of
Customs]." In his testimony, Tulfo admitted that he did not personally know Atty. So,
and had neither met nor known him prior to the publication of the subject articles. He
also admitted that he did not conduct a more in-depth research of his allegations
before he published them, and relied only on his source at the Bureau of Customs. Is
Tulfo liable for Libel? Yes. Journalists bear the burden of writing responsibly when
practicing their profession, even when writing about public fgures or matters of public
interest. The report made by Tulfo cannot be considered as "fair" and "true" since he
did not do research before making his allegations, and it has been shown that these
allegations were baseless. The articles are not "fair and true reports," but merely wild
accusations. He had written and published the subject articles with reckless disregard
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of whether the same were false or not (Erwin Tulfo vs. People, G.R. No. 161032,
September 16, 2008).
The article in Bander newspaper details the sexual activities of a certain Miss
S and one Philip Henson who had a romantic liaison. The words used in the article
convey that Miss S is a sexual libertine with unusually wanton proclivities in the
bedroom. Is the article defamatory and malicious? Is the writer liable for libel? Yes. In
a society such as ours, where modesty is still highly prized among young ladies, the
behavior attributed to Miss S by the article in question had besmirched both her
character and reputation. Since on its face the article is defamatory, there is a
presumption that the ofender acted with malice. However, the writer cannot be held
liable for libel. The libelous article, while referring to "Miss S," does not give a
sufcient description or other indications which identify "Miss S." In short, the article
fails to show that "Miss S" and complainant are one and the same person. Although
the article is libelous, complainant could not have been the person defamed therein
(Diaz v. People, G.R. No. 159787, May 25, 2007).
INTERNET LIBEL - Under Article 355, a libel committed by means of writing,
printing, lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition,
cinematographic exhibition, or any similar means. Is the internet used to post a
malicious defamatory imputation through facebook within the contemplation of the
phrase any similar means in Article 355? Yes. Writing, printing, lithography,
engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic
exhibition has a common characteristic, and that is, their permanent nature as a
means of publication, and this explains the graver penalty for libel than that
prescribed for oral defamation (People vs. Santiago, G.R. No. L-17663, May 30, 1962).
Hence, the phrase any similar means should be understood in the lights of the said
common characteristic of the means to commit libel. Since nature of internet as a
means of publication is likewise permanent, it should be considered as a means to
commit libel.
What is the venue for internet libel committed? As a general rule, the venue of
libel cases where the complainant is a private individual is limited to only either of two
places, namely: 1) where the complainant actually resides at the time of the
commission of the ofense; or 2) where the alleged defamatory article was printed and
frst published (Article 360 of RPC).However, the place where libelous article was
accessed by the ofended party in the internet is not equivalent to the place where the
libelous article is printed and frst published. To rule otherwise is to allow the evil
sought to be prevented by the amendment to Article 360, and that was the
indiscriminate laying of the venue in libel cases in distant, isolated or far-fung areas,
to harass an accused. At any rate, Article 360 still allow ofended party to fle the civil
or criminal complaint for internet libel in their respective places of residence (Bonifacio
vs. RTC, Makati, Branch 149, G.R. No. 184800, May 5, 2010).
RECKLESS IMPRUDENCE
Following a vehicular collision in August 2004, Jason Ivler was charged with
reckless imprudence resulting in slight physical injuries for injuries sustained by
Maria and reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to property for the
death of Nestor and damage to their vehicle. Court convicted Jason for the frst
charged. Should the information for the second charge be quashed on the basis of the
rule on double jeopardy? Reckless imprudence under Article 365 is a single quasi-
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ofense by itself and not merely a means to commit other crimes; hence conviction or
acquittal of such quasi-ofense bars subsequent prosecution for the same quasi-
ofense, regardless of its various consequences. The essence of the quasi ofense of
criminal negligence under article 365 of the Revised Penal Code lies in the execution of
an imprudent or negligent act that, if intentionally done, would be punishable as a
felony. The law penalizes thus the negligent or careless act, not the result thereof. The
gravity of the consequence is only taken into account to determine the penalty. It does
not qualify the substance of the ofense. And, as the careless act is single, whether the
injurious result should afect one person or several persons, the ofense criminal
negligence remains one and the same, and cannot be split into diferent crimes and
prosecutions (Ivler vs. Modesto-San Pedro, G.R. No. 172716, November 17, 2010).
Note: The principle in Ivler case has abandoned the principle (Ortega view) that culpa
is just a modality by which a felony may be committed.
In People vs. Dumayag, G.R. No. 172778, 26 November 2012 - The evidence
indubitably shows that before the collision, the passenger bus was cruising along its
rightful lane when the tricycle coming from the opposite direction suddenly swerved
and encroached on its lane. The accident would not have happened had Genayas, the
tricycle driver, stayed on his lane and did not recklessly try to overtake another vehicle
while approaching a blind curve. Section 37 of R.A. No. 4136 mandates all motorists to
drive and operate vehicles on the right side of the road or highway. When overtaking
another, it should be made only if the highway is clearly visible and is free from
oncoming vehicle. Overtaking while approaching a curve in the highway, where the
drivers view is obstructed, is not allowed. Corollarily, drivers of automobiles, when
overtaking another vehicle, are charged with a high degree of care and diligence to
avoid collision. The obligation rests upon him to see to it that vehicles coming from the
opposite direction are not taken unaware by his presence on the side of the road upon
which they have the right to pass.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMAN
Are the acts of attaching the face of his ex-girlfriend on a nude body of a
woman in a picture, sending the picture to her through cell phone text message and
threatening to post it in the internet for all to see that caused substantial emotional
and psychological distress to her constitutive of psychological violence against woman
under Section 5 (h) of RA No. 9262? Yes. Under Section 5 (h) of RA No. 9262 the
following conduct that caused substantial emotional and psychological distress to the
woman with whom the ofender has a marital, sexual or dating relationship is
punishable: (1) Stalking (2) Peering in the window or lingering outside the residence of
the woman or her child; (3) Entering or remaining in the dwelling against her will; (4)
Destroying property and inficting harm to animals; and (5) Engaging in any form of
harassment or violence;
The acts described above are considered harassment within the contemplation
of the phrase any form of harassment in Section 5 (h) (5) (Ang vs. The Honorable CA,
G.R. No. 182835, April 20, 2010).
Is habituality an element of violence against women and their children under
Section 5 (h)? No. Section 3(a) of R.A. 9262 punishes "any act or series of acts" that
constitutes violence against women. This means that a single act of harassment
contemplated in Section 5 (h), which translates into violence, would be enough. The
object of the law is to protect women and children. Punishing only violence that is
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repeatedly committed would license isolated ones (Ang vs. The Honorable CA, G.R. No.
182835, April 20, 2010).
HAZING
The night before the commencement of the rites, the neophytes of AngGaling
fraternity were briefed on what to expect. They were told that there would be physical
beatings, that the whole event would last for three days, that that they could quit
anytime. A, a neophyte, consented to the initiation ritual, having asked his parents
for permission to join the fraternity. Even after going through the fraternitys grueling
tradition ritualsmainly being beaten by a paddle on the arms and legsduring the
frst day, A continued and completed the second day of initiation. As consequence of
the hazing, A died. What is the crime committed by members of the fraternity, who
directly participated in the infiction of harm against A? The crime committed is
hazing. The principle in Villareal vs. People, G.R. No. 151258, February 1, 2012
fnding the accused liable for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide is not
anymore controlling in the lights of of RA No. 8049 (Anti-hazing Law)
Under Section 4 of RA 8049, the ofcers and members of the fraternity, sorority
or organization who actually participated in the infiction of physical harmupon
recruit, neophyte or applicant on occasion of hazing shall be liable as principals for
the crime of hazing. Hazing is an initiation rite or practice as a prerequisite for
admission into membership in a fraternity, sorority or organization (such as AFP, PNP,
ROTC) or a requirement for employment in a corporation by placing the recruit,
neophyte or applicant in some embarrassing or humiliating situations.
What are the diferences between hazing and homicide or murder? The
diferences of homicide or murder and hazing are as follows: (a) In homicide or murder,
what is criminal is the killing of person. Hence, intent to kill is an indispensable
element. Death of the victim consummates the crime. In hazing, what is prohibited is
the infiction of physical harm. Hence, intent to kill is not material. Death of the
neophyte is only important to determine the proper imposable penalty. (b) Homicide or
murder is malum in se. Consent of the victim to the infiction of harm may negate dolo
or criminal intent, which would make the killing punishable as reckless imprudence
(Villareal vs. People, G.R. No. 151258, February 1, 2012). Hazing is malumprohibitum.
Consent of the neophyte is not a defense. (c) In homicide or murder,
praeterintentionem is appreciable as a mitigating circumstance. In hazing, the law
expressly disallows the appreciation of this circumstance. In homicide or murder, the
basis of criminal liability is the actual and conspiratorial participation of the ofender
in killing the victim. In hazing, criminal responsibility is based on (1) actual
participation in inficting physical harm, (2) presumed participation (of those who are
present during the hazing), (3) the presence of adviser, (4) participation in the
planning (by ofcers, former ofcers and alumni of the fraternity); (5) knowledge (of
the parent of frat member in the home of whom hazing occurred, owner of the place
commission, and school authorities). (d) In hazing, taking action to prevent the
occurrence of hazing is a defense by any ofender except (1) those who actually
inficted physical harm and (2) those (ofcers, former ofcers and alumni of the
fraternity), who planned the hazing.
UNLICENSED FIREARM
Under Republic Act No. 8294, the use of an unlicensed gun to commit homicide
(or murder) is a special aggravating circumstance (People vs. Badajos, G.R. No.
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139692, January 15, 2004,). The lack of license to possess the frearms is a negative
averment, an essential element of the crime which, under Section 8, Rule 110 of the
Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, must be alleged in the Information (People vs.
Allawan, G.R. No. 149887, February 13, 2004). The aggravating circumstance of illegal
possession of frearm can be appreciated, even though the frearm used was not
recovered. The actual frearm itself need not be presented if its existence can be proved
by the testimonies of witnesses or by other evidence presented (People vs. Agcanas,
G.R. No. 174476, October 11, 2011).
Political crime -Under PD No. 1866, if the commission of illegal possession of
unlicensed frearm is in furtherance of or incident to, or in connection with the crime
of rebellion or insurrection, sedition, or attempted coup detat, such violation shall be
absorbed as an element of the crime of rebellion, or insurrection, sedition, or
attempted coup detat (People v. Rodriguez, 107 Phil. 659). Homicide or murder If the
ofender killed a person with the use of unlicensed frearm, he is liable for homicide
or murder aggravated by use of unlicensed frearm (People vs. Bergante, G.R. No.
120369-70, February 27, 1998). The law in efect has explicitly decriminalized illegal
possession of frearms. Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege (People vs. Presiding Judge
of RTC, Muntinlupa, G.R. No. 151005, June 8, 2004). Commission of other crimes: If
the ofender committed illegal possession of frearm and crime other than murder,
homicide, rebellion, sedition, or coup detat, the ofender cannot be prosecuted
separately for illegal possession of frearm. RA 8294 prescribes a penalty for
possession of unlicensed frearm provided, that no other crime was committed. A
simple reading of PD 1866 shows that if an unlicensed frearm is used in the
commission of any crime, there can be no separate ofense of simple illegal possession
of frearms
In Sison vs. People, G.R. No. 187229, February 22, 2012 - A simple reading
thereof shows that if an unlicensed frearm is used in the commission of any crime,
there can be no separate ofense of simple illegal possession of frearms. We afrm
petitioner's conviction for the crime of rape. However, petitioner's conviction of illegal
possession of frearms is set aside.
Under PD No. 1866 as amended by RA No. 9516, if possession of explosives is a
necessary means for committing any of the crimes, or is in furtherance of, incident to,
in connection with, by reason of, or on occasion of any of the crimes, the penalty of
reclusion perpetua shall imposed. Hence, commission of other crime shall be
considered as a qualifying circumstance that will require the imposition of reclusion
perpetua for illegal possession of explosives. The ofender can be held liable with either
qualifed illegal possession of explosive or the other crime committed such as murder;
however, the ofender cannot be held liable for both since Section 3-D of PD No. 1866
has adopted the rule on double jeopardy.
DANGEROUS DRUGS
POSSESSION OF DIFFERENT DRUGS - Accused was charged under two
Informations, one for illegal possession of marijuana and and the other for illegal
possession of shabu. Can the court impose single penalty (the higher penalty) for both
charges? Yes. Absent any clear interpretation as to the application of the penalties in
cases such as the present one, this Court shall construe it in favor of the petitioner for
the subject provision is penal in nature. It is a well-known rule of legal hermeneutics
that penal or criminal laws are strictly construed against the state and liberally in
favor of the accused. Thus, an accused may only be convicted of a single ofense of
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possession of dangerous drugs if he or she was caught in possession of diferent kinds
of dangerous drugs in a single occasion. If convicted, the higher penalty shall be
imposed, which is still lighter if the accused is convicted of two (2) ofenses having two
(2) separate penalties. This interpretation is more in keeping with the intention of the
legislators as well as more favorable to the accused. (David vs. People, G.R. No.
181861, October 17, 2011).
ANIMUS POSSEDENDI - In Del Castillo vs. People, G.R. No. 185128, January
30, 2012 - It must be put into emphasis that this present case is about the violation of
Section 16 of R.A. 6425. In every prosecution for the illegal possession of shabu, the
following essential elements must be established: (a) the accused is found in
possession of a regulated drug; (b) the person is not authorized by law or by duly
constituted authorities; and (c) the accused has knowledge that the said drug is a
regulated drug.
In Del Castillo vs. People, G.R. No. 185128, January 30, 2012 - This crime
is mala prohibita, and, as such, criminal intent is not an essential element. However,
the prosecution must prove that the accused had the intent to possess (animus
posidendi) the drugs. Possession, under the law, includes not only actual possession,
but also constructive possession. Actual possession exists when the drug is in the
immediate physical possession or control of the accused. On the other hand,
constructive possession exists when the drug is under the dominion and control of the
accused or when he has the right to exercise dominion and control over the place
where it is found. Exclusive possession or control is not necessary. The accused
cannot avoid conviction if his right to exercise control and dominion over the place
where the contraband is located, is shared with another.

KNOWLEDGE - Is knowledge an element of dangerous drugs despite this crime
is malum prohibitum? Yes. For illegal possession of dangerous drugs, the prosecution
must establish that the accused freely and consciously possessed the dangerous drug
without authority. However, mere possession of dangerous drug constitutes prima
facie evidence of knowledge or animus possidendi sufcient to convict an accused in
the absence of any satisfactory explanation (Asiatico vs. People, G.R. No. 195005,
September 12, 2011).
ATTEMPTED SALE - A, poseur buyer, asked X if he has available shabu
for sale. X answered in the afrmative and showed to A a plastic sachet containing
shabu. A immediately identifed himself as a policeman, and then, apprehended X
and confscated the shabu from his pocket. What is the crime committed by X? X
is liable for attempted sale of shabu punishable under Section 26 of RA 9165. Attempt
to sell shabu was shown by the overt act of appellant therein of showing the substance
to the poseur-buyer. The sale was aborted when the police ofcers identifed
themselves and placed appellant under arrest (People vs. Figueroa, G.R. No. 186141,
April 11, 2012).
DELIVERY - Is the absence of marked money as evidence fatal to prosecution of
sale and delivery of dangerous drugs? No. The law defnes deliver as a persons act of
knowingly passing a dangerous drug to another with or without
consideration. Considering that the appellant was charged with the sale and
the delivery of prohibited drugs, the consummation of the crime of delivery of
marijuana may be sufciently established even in the absence of the marked money
(People vs. Domingcil, G.R. No. 140679, January 14, 2004).
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LACK OF COORDINATION WITH PDEA - Silence of the law as to the
consequences of the failure on the part of the law enforcers to seek the prior authority
of the PDEA cannot be interpreted as a legislative intent to make an arrest without
such PDEA participation illegal or evidence obtained pursuant to such an arrest
inadmissible (People vs. Clarite, G.R. No. 187157, February 15, 2012). Lack of
coordination with the PDEA will not invalidate a buy-bust operation. Such
coordination is not an indispensable requirement in buy-bust operations. Neither
Section 86 of Republic Act No. 9165 nor its Implementing Rules and Regulations make
PDEAs participation a condition sine qua non for the conduct of a buy-bust operation
(People vs. Mendosa, G.R. No. 189327, February 29, 2012)
CONFIRMATORY TEST - In Ambre vs. People, G.R. No. 191532. August 15,
2012 - In no instance did accused challenge, at the RTC, the supposed absence of
confrmatory drug test conducted on her. Accused only questioned the alleged
omission when she appealed her conviction before the CA. It was too late in the day
for her to do so. Well entrenched is the rule that litigants cannot raise an issue for the
frst time on appeal as this would contravene the basic rules of fair play and justice.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND INVENTORY - The failure of the arresting ofcer to
comply strictly with Section 21 of Republic Act No. 9165 (requiring photography and
inventory of seized items) is not fatal. It will not render the arrest of the accused illegal
or the items seized or confscated from him inadmissible. What is of utmost important
is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items, as the
same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused
(People vs. Brainer, G.R. No. 188571, October 10, 2012).
CHAIN OF CUSTODY - Chain of Custody" means the duly recorded authorized
movements and custody of seized drugs or controlled chemicals or plant sources of
dangerous drugs or laboratory equipment of each stage, from the time of
seizure/confscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory to safekeeping to presentation
in court for destruction. Such record of movements and custody of seized item shall
include the identity and signature of the person who held temporary custody of the
seized item, the date and time when such transfer of custody was made in the course
of safekeeping and use in court as evidence, and the fnal disposition.
The diferent links that the prosecution must prove in order to establish the
chain of custody in a buy-bust operation are: First, the seizure and marking, if
practicable, of the illegal drug recovered from the accused by the apprehending ofcer;
Second, the turnover of the illegal drug seized by the apprehending ofcer to the
investigating ofcer; Third, the turnover by the investigating ofcer of the illegal drug
to the forensic chemist for laboratory examination; and Fourth, the turnover and
submission of the marked illegal drug seized by the forensic chemist to the court
(People vs. Bataluna, G.R. No. 189817, October 3, 2012).
PARAPHERNALIA WITH TRACES OF SHABU In People vs. Matinez, G.R. No.
191366, December 13, 2010 - This Court notes the practice of law enforcers of fling
charges under Sec. 11 in cases where the presence of dangerous drugs as basis for
possession is only and solely in the form of residue, being subsumed under the last
paragraph of Sec. 11. Although not incorrect, it would be more in keeping with the
intent of the law to fle charges under Sec. 15 instead in order to rehabilitate frst time
ofenders of drug use, provided that there is a positive confrmatory test result as
required under Sec. 15. The minimum penalty under the last paragraph of Sec. 11 for
the possession of residue is imprisonment of twelve years and one day, while the
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penalty under Sec. 15 for frst time ofenders of drug use is a minimum of six months
rehabilitation in a government center. To fle charges under Sec. 11 on the basis of
residue alone would frustrate the objective of the law to rehabilitate drug users and
provide them with an opportunity to recover for a second chance at life.
In order to efectively fulfll the intent of the law to rehabilitate drug users, this
Court thus calls on law enforcers and prosecutors in dangerous drugs cases to
exercise proper discretion in fling charges when the presence of dangerous drugs is
only and solely in the form of residue and the confrmatory test required under Sec. 15
is positive for use of dangerous drugs. In such cases, to aford the accused a chance to
be rehabilitated, the fling of charges for or involving possession of dangerous drugs
should only be done when another separate quantity of dangerous drugs, other than
mere residue, is found in the possession of the accused as provided for in Sec. 15.
PLANTING OF EVIDENCE - As a general rule, planting of evidence (such as
unlicensed frearm) to incriminate an innocent person constitutes the crime of
incriminating an innocent person under Article 363 of RPC. However, if the
incriminatory evidence planted is dangerous drugs or unauthorized explosives, the
crime committed is planting of evidence under RA 9165 for the dangerous drug and
PD 1866 as amended by RA 9516 for the explosive. Unlike planting of explosive, PD
1866 has no provision punishing planting of unlicensed frearm. Hence, plating of
unlicensed frearm should be punished as incriminating innocent person under RPC.
PLEA BARGAINING - Section 23 of RA No. 9165, any person charged under
any crime involving dangerous drugs regardless of the imposable penalty shall not be
allowed to avail of the provision on plea-bargaining.
TRAFFICKING IN PERSON
Can accused be convicted of illegal recruitment and trafcking in person for the
same of act of recruiting a person for prostitution without violating the rule on double
jeopardy? Yes. When an act or acts violate two or more diferent laws and constitute
two diferent ofenses, a prosecution under one will not bar a prosecution under the
other. The constitutional right against double jeopardy only applies to risk of
punishment twice for the same ofense, or for an act punished by a law and an
ordinance. The prohibition on double jeopardy does not apply to an act or series of
acts constituting diferent ofenses (People vs. Lalli, G.R. No. 195419, October 12,
2011).
Is trafcking in persons limited to transportation of victims? No. Trafcking in
Persons under Sections 3(a) and 4 of RA 9208 is not only limited to transportation of
victims, but also includes the act of recruitment of victims for trafcking (People vs.
Lalli, G.R. No. 195419, October 12, 2011).
Is recruitment of the victim for prostitution with her consent or knowledge
constitutive of the crime of trafcking in person? Yes. The crime of Trafcking in
Persons can exist even with the victims consent or knowledge (People vs. Lalli, G.R.
No. 195419, October 12, 2011).
ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT
It is well-established in jurisprudence that a person may be charged and
convicted for both illegal recruitment and estafa. The reason therefor is not hard to
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discern: illegal recruitment is malum prohibitum, while estafa is mala in se. In the
frst, the criminal intent of the accused is not necessary for conviction. In the second,
such intent is imperative (People vs. Chua, G. R. No. 187052, September 13, 2012).
BP BLG. 22
What Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 punished was the mere act of issuing a
worthless check. The law did not look either at the actual ownership of the check or of
the account against which it was made, drawn, or issued, or at the intention of the
drawee, maker or issuer. Also, that the check was not intended to be deposited was
really of no consequence to her incurring criminal liability under Batas Pambansa Blg.
22 (Resterio vs. People, G.R. No. 177438. September 24, 2012).
The giving of the written notice of dishonor does not only supply the proof for
the second element arising from the presumption of knowledge the law puts up but
also afords the ofender due process. The law thereby allows the ofender to avoid
prosecution if she pays the holder of the check the amount due thereon, or makes
arrangements for the payment in full of the check by the drawee within fve banking
days from receipt of the written notice that the check had not been paid. The Court
cannot permit a deprivation of the ofender of this statutory right by not giving the
proper notice of dishonor (Resterio vs. People, G.R. No. 177438. September 24, 2012).
NOTICE OF DISHONOR IN ESTAFA CASE - The essential elements of the
felony are: (1) a check is postdated or issued in payment of an obligation contracted at
the time it is issued; (2) lack or insufciency of funds to cover the check; and (3)
damage to the payee thereof. It is criminal fraud or deceit in the issuance of a check
which is made punishable under the RPC, and not the non-payment of a debt. The
postdating or issuing of a check in payment of an obligation when the ofender had no
funds in the bank or his funds deposited therein are not sufcient to cover the
amount of the check is a false pretense or a fraudulent act. However deceit is
presumed if the drawer of the check fails to deposit the amount needed to cover his
check within three days from receipt of notice of dishonor.
a. No notice of dishonor - If there is no notice of dishonor, the prosecution
can still prove the existence of deceit such as in a case where the accused knows that
his checking account is closed. The receipt by the drawer of the notice of dishonor is
not an element of the estafa through bouncing check.
b. With notice of dishonor - If there is notice of dishonor, the presumption of
deceit can still be rebutted by: (1) proof that the check is issued in payment of a pre-
existing obligation or (1) evidence of good faith, a defense in estafa by postdating a
check. Good faith may be demonstrated, for instance, by a debtors ofer to arrange a
payment scheme with his creditor or making full payment of the entire amount of the
dishonored checks. However, simply empty promise to pay complainant the value of
the bum checks issued in order to induce her to part with her property in favor of
accused is not an evidence of good faith that will rebut the presumption of deceit.
(See: People vs. Ojeda, G.R. Nos. 104238-58, June 3, 2004, Corona; Lopez vs. People,
G.R. No. 166810, June 26, 2008, De Castro; Recuerdo vs. People, G.R. No. 168217,
June 27, 2006, Callejo)
NOTICE OF DISHONOR IN BP BLG. 22 - Notice of dishonor of a check to the
maker in BP Blg. 22 must be in writing. A mere oral notice to the drawer or maker of
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the dishonor of his check is not enough. If the maker or drawer pays, or makes
arrangements with the drawee bank for the payment of the amount due within the
fve-day period from notice of the dishonor given to the drawer, it is a complete
defense; the accused may no longer be indicted for violation of Section 1, B.P. Blg.
22. If he is so indicted, he may set up the payment of the amount due as a complete
defense. Assuming that the accused had knowledge that he had insufcient funds in
the drawee bank when he issued the questioned checks, he could still have paid the
checks or made arrangements with the drawee bank for the payment of the said
checks if he had been duly notifed of their dishonor. In not sending a notice or letter
of dishonor to the petitioner as required by law, the complaint deprived the accused of
his right to avoid prosecution for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 (Sia vs. G.R. No.
149695. April 28, 2004, Callejo).
FULL PAYMENT OF AMOUNT OF DISHONORED CHECKS - The full payment
of the amount appearing in the check within fve banking days from notice of
dishonor is a complete defense (Lina Lim Lao v. CA, 274 SCRA 572) regardless of the
strength of the evidence ofered by the prosecution (Meriz vs. People, G.R. No.
134498, November 13, 2001). The accused has the burden to establish by convincing,
satisfactory and credible evidence that payment was made within the grace period
(Arceo vs. People, G.R. No. 142641, July 17, 2006). Exceptions: In Grifth vs. Hon.
Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 129764, March 12, 2002 and in Cruz vs. Cruz, G.R. No.
154128, February 8, 2007 considered full payment of the check after the expiration of
grace period of fve days from receipt of notice of dishonor. The SC in these cases
applied the utilitarian doctrine instead of the mala prohibita principle. (1) In
Grifth, since the creditor have collected already more than a sufcient amount to
cover the value of the checks for payment of rentals, via auction sale, holding the
debtors president to answer for a criminal ofense under B.P. 22 two years after said
collection, is no longer tenable nor justifed by law or equitable considerations. (2)
In Cruz vs. Cruz, petitioner made full payment of the dishonored check after eleven
(11) days from receipt of notice of dishonor. Respondent fled the complaint almost six
(6) months after the said payment.
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