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Exempting Circumstances
(ASKED 14 TIMES IN BAR EXAMS) SIX TYPES of exempting circumstances:
1. Imbecility/Insanity
2. Minority
3. Accident
4. Compulsion of irresistible force
5. Impulse of uncontrollable fear
6. Insuperable or lawful cause
of negligence, imprudence, lack of foresight or lack of skill.
1. Insanity and Imbecility
Imbecile - One who, while advanced in age, has a mental development comparable to that of a
child between 2 and 7 years of age. Exempt in all cases from criminal liability Insane - There is
a complete deprivation of intelligence in committing the act but capable of having lucid intervals.
During a lucid interval, the insane acts with intelligence and thus, is not exempt from criminal
liability Insanity is a defense in the nature of confession and avoidance and must be proved
beyond reasonable doubt Note: There is another school of thought that believes that insanity, as
with other such defenses, need only be proved to a degree sufficient to raise a reasonable
doubt of guilt. Evidence of insanity must refer to:
a. the time preceding the act under prosecution or
b. at the very moment of its execution.
Insanity subsequent to commission of crime is not exempting Feeblemindedness is not
imbecility. It is necessary that there is a complete deprivation of intelligence in committing the
act, that is, the accused be deprived of reason, that there is no responsibility for his own acts;
that he acts without the least discernment; that there be complete absence of the power to
discern, or that there be a complete deprivation of the freedom of the will. (People vs.
Formigones). Cases covered under this article:
(1) Dementia praecox
Note: Cited in OLD cases, but is a term no longer used by mental health practitioners
(2) Kleptomania: if found by a competent psychiatrist as irresistible
(3) Epilepsy
(4) Somnambulism: sleep-walking (People vs. Taneo)
(5) Malignant malaria: which affects the nervous system
People vs. Dungo: The insanity that is exempting is limited only to mental aberration or disease
of the mind and must completely impair the intelligence of the accused.
Two tests of insanity:
(1) The test of cognition, or whether the accused acted with complete deprivation of intelligence
in committing the said crime;
(2) The test of volition, or whether the accused acted in total deprivation of freedom of will.
(People vs. Rafanan)
Juridical Effects of Insanity
(1) If present at the time of the commission of the crime EXEMPT from liability.

(2) If present during trial proceedings will be SUSPENDED and accused is committed to a
(3) After judgment or while serving sentence Execution of judgment is SUSPENDED, the
accused is committed to a hospital. The period of confinement in the hospital is counted for the
purpose of the prescription of the penalty.
2. Minority
Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 (R.A. 9344); also refer to Child and Youth Welfare
Code (P.D. 603, as amended) a. Definition of child in conflict with the law Section 4 (e). "Child in
conflict with the law" a child who is alleged as, accused of, or adjudged as, having committed
an offense under Philippine laws. b. Minimum age of criminal responsibility RA 9344, SEC. 6.
Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility. - A child fifteen (15) years of age or under at the time of
the commission of the offense shall be exempt from criminal liability. However, the child shall be
subjected to an intervention program pursuant to Section 20 of this Act. A child above fifteen
(15) years but below eighteen (18) years of age shall likewise be exempt from criminal liability
and be subjected to an intervention program, unless he/she has acted with discernment, in
which case, such child shall be subjected to the appropriate proceedings in accordance with this
Act. The exemption from criminal liability herein established does not include exemption from
civil liability, which shall be enforced in accordance with existing laws. What is the Juvenile
Justice and Welfare System?
"Juvenile Justice and Welfare System" refers to a system dealing with children at risk and
children in conflict with the law, which provides child-appropriate proceedings, including
programs and services for prevention, diversion, rehabilitation, re-integration and aftercare to
ensure their normal growth and development. (See Title V: Juvenile Justice and Welfare System
of RA 9344). c. Determination of age (Sec. 7, RA 9344)
PRESUMPTION: Minority of child in conflict with the law. S/he shall enjoy all the rights of a child
conflict with the law until s/he is proven to be 18 years old or older. The age of a child may be
determined from:
The childs birth certificate,
Baptismal certificate, or
Any other pertinent documents.
In the absence of these documents, age may be based on:
information from the child himself/herself,
testimonies of other persons,
the physical appearance of the child, and
other relevant evidence.
In case of doubt as to the childs age, it shall be resolved in his/her favor. d. Exemption from
criminal liability
(1) 15 yrs old or below at the time of commission of offense: absolutely exempt from criminal
liability but subject to intervention program
(2) Over 15 yrs old but below 18: exempt from criminal liability & subject to intervention program
If acted w/ discernment subject to diversion program
(3) Below 18 yrs are exempt from:
(1) Status offense
(2) Vagrancy and Prostitution

(3) Mendicancy (PD1563)

(4) Sniffing of Rugby (PD 1619)
Discernment mental capacity to understand the difference between right and wrong as
determined by the childs appearance , attitude, comportment and behavior not only before and
during the commission of the offense but also after and during the trial. It is manifested through:
(1) Manner of committing a crime Thus, when the minor committed the crime during nighttime
to avoid detection or took the loot to another town to avoid discovery, he manifested
(2) Conduct of the offender The accused shot the victim with his sling shot and shouted
Putang ina mo.
Note: The exemption from criminal liability shall not include exemption from civil liability.
Automatic Suspension of Sentence Once the child who is under eighteen (18) years of age at
the time of the commission of the offense is found guilty of the offense charged, the court shall
determine and ascertain any civil liability which may have resulted from the offense committed.
However, instead of pronouncing the judgment of conviction, the court shall place the child in
conflict with the law under suspended sentence, without need of application: Provided, however,
That suspension of sentence shall still be applied even if the juvenile is already eighteen years
(18) of age or more at the time of the pronouncement of his/her guilt. Upon suspension of
sentence and after considering the various chcumstances of the child, the court shall impose
the appropriate disposition measures as provided in the Supreme Court Rule on Juveniles in
Conflict with the Law. (Sec. 38) Discharge of the Child in Conflict with the Law. - Upon the
recommendation of the social worker who has custody of the child, the court shall dismiss the
case against the child whose sentence has been suspended and against whom disposition
measures have been issued, and shall order the final discharge of the child if it finds that the
objective of the disposition measures have been fulfilled. The discharge of the child in conflict
with the law shall not affect the civil liability resulting from the commission of the offense, which
shall be enforced in accordance with law. (Sec. 39)
3. Accident
(Damnum Absque Injuria) Requisites:
(1) A person performing a lawful act;
(2) With due care;
(3) He causes an injury to another by mere accident;
(4) Without fault or intention of causing it.
Accident - something that happens outside the sway of our will and, although coming about
through some act of our will, lies beyond the bounds of humanly foreseeable consequences.
Under Article 12, paragraph 4, the offender is exempt not only from criminal but also from civil
liability. Illustration:
A person who is driving his car within the speed limit, while considering the condition of the
traffic and the pedestrians at that time, tripped on a stone with one of his car tires. The stone
flew hitting a pedestrian on the head. The pedestrian suffered profuse bleeding. There is no civil
liability under paragraph 4 of Article 12. Although this is just an exempting circumstance, where
generally there is civil liability, yet, in paragraph 4 of Article 12, there is no civil liability as well as
criminal liability. The driver is not under obligation to defray the medical expenses.
4. Irresistible Force
(1) That the compulsion is by means of physical force.
(2) That the physical force must be irresistible.

(3) That the physical force must come from a third person
Note: Before a force can be considered to be an irresistible one, it must produce such an effect
on the individual that, in spite of all resistance, it
reduces him to a mere instrument and, as such, incapable of committing the crime. (Aquino,
Revised Penal Code)
People v. Lising (1998) Held: To be exempt from criminal liability, a person invoking irresistible
force must show that the force exerted was such that it reduced him to a mere instrument who
acted not only without will but against his will.
5. Uncontrollable Fear
(1) That the threat which causes the fear is of an evil greater than or at least equal to, that which
he is forced to commit;
(2) That it promises an evil of such gravity and imminence that the ordinary man would have
succumbed to it.
A threat of future injury is not enough. The compulsion must be of such a character as to leave
no opportunity to the accused for escape or self-defense in equal combat. Illustration: A is
forced at gun point to forge the signature of B.
US v. Exaltacion (1905): Exaltacion and Tanchico were convicted w/ rebellion based on
documents found in the house of Contreras, a so-called general of bandits, containing
signatures of defendants swearing allegiance to the Katipunan. Defendants aver that these
documents were signed under duress and fear of death. They allege further that they were
abducted by thieves and that these men forced the defendants to sign the documents Held: The
duress under which the defendants acted relieved them from criminal liability . Prosecution was
unable to prove the guilt of the accused and testimonies of witnesses for the accused further
corroborated their defense.
Irresistible Force Uncontrollable Fear
Irresistible force must operate directly upon the person of the accused and the injury feared may
be a lesser degree than the damage caused by the accused.
Uncontrollable fear may be generated by a threatened act directly to a third person such as the
wife of the accused, but the evil feared must be greater or at least equal to the damage caused
to avoid it.
Offender uses physical force or violence to compel another person to commit a crime.
Offender employs intimidation or threat in compelling another to commit a crime.
6. Insuperable or Lawful Causes
(1) That an act is required by law to be done;
(2) That a person fails to perform such act;
(3) That his failure to perform such act was due to some lawful or insuperable cause
Insuperable means insurmountable. Illustration: Person was arrested for direct assault at 5:00
pm after government offices close. Art 125 RPC requires that a person arrested be delivered to
judicial authorities within prescribed number of hours according to the gravity of offense. But

complaint may only be filed the next day when offices open. The circumstance of time of arrest
may be considered as an insuperable cause.
People v. Bandian (1936): A woman cannot be held liable for infanticide when she left her
newborn child in the bushes without being aware that she had given birth at all. Severe
dizziness and extreme debility made it physically impossible for Bandian to take home the child
plus the assertion that she didnt know that she had given birth.
See Part F for absolutory causes
C. Mitigating Circumstances
(ASKED 19 TIMES IN BAR EXAMS) TWELVE TYPES of mitigating circumstances:
1. Incomplete Justification and Exemption
2. Under 18 or Over 70 years of age
3. No intention to commit so grave a wrong
4. Sufficient Provocation or Threat
5. Immediate vindication of a grave offense
6. Passion or obfuscation
7. Voluntary surrender
8. Voluntary plea of guilt
9. Plea to a lower offense
10. Physical defect
11. Illness
12. Analogous Circumstances
Mitigating circumstances or causas attenuates are those which, if present in the commission of
the crime, do not entirely free the actor from criminal liability, but serve only to reduce the
penalty. Basis: They are based on the diminution of either freedom of action, intelligence or
intent or on the lesser perversity of the offender. However, voluntary surrender and plea of guilt
which, being circumstances that occur after the commission of the offense, show the accuseds
respect for the law (voluntary surrender) and remorse and acceptance of punishment (plea of
guilt), thereby necessitating a lesser penalty to effect his rehabilitation (based on the Positivist
The circumstances under Article 13 are generally ordinary mitigating. However, paragraph 1, is
treated as a privileged mitigating circumstance if majority of the requisites concurred, otherwise,
it will be treated as an ordinary mitigating circumstance. (Reyes, citing Art. 69). Correlate Article
13 with Articles 63 and 64. Article 13 is meaningless without knowing the rules of imposing
penalties under Articles 63 and 64. TIP: In bar problems, when you are given indeterminate
sentences, these articles are very important. Distinctions Ordinary MC Privileged MC
Can be offset by any aggravating circumstance
Cannot be offset by aggravating circumstance
If not offset by aggravating circumstance, produces the effect of applying the penalty provided
by law for the crime in its min period in case of divisible penalty
The effect of imposing upon the offender the penalty lower by one or two degrees than that
provided by law for the crime.
1. Incomplete Justification and Exemption

The circumstances of justification or exemption which may give place to mitigation, because not
all the requisites necessary to justify the act or to exempt from criminal liability in the respective
cases are attendant, are the following:
(1) Self-defense (Art. 11, par. 1)
(2) Defense of relatives (Art. 11, par. 2)
(3) Defense of strangers (Art. 11, par. 3)
(4) State of necessity (Art. 11, par. 4)
(5) Performance of duty (Art. 11, par. 5)
(6) Obedience to the order of superiors (Art. 11, par. 6)
(7) Minority over 15 years of age but below 18 years of age (Art. 12, par. 3)
(8) Causing injury by mere accident (Art. 12, par.4)
(9) Uncontrollable fear (Art. 12 par. 6)
Incomplete justifying circumstances:
a. Incomplete self-defense, defense of relatives, defense of stranger
In these 3 classes of defense, UNLAWFUL AGGRESSION must always be present. It is an
indispensable requisite. Par. 1 of Art. 13 is applicable only when
unlawful aggression is present
but one or both of the other 2 requisites are not present in any of the cases referred to in
circumstances number 1, 2 and 3 or Art. 11.
Example: When the one making defense against unlawful aggression used unreasonable
means to prevent or repel it, he is entitled to a privileged mitigating circumstance. Note: When
two of the three requisites mentioned therein are present, the case must be considered as a
privileged mitigating circumstance referred to in Art. 69 of this Code. (Article 69 requires that a
majority of the conditions required must be present.)
b. Incomplete justifying circumstance of avoidance of greater evil or injury
Requisites under par. 4 of Art. 11:
(1) That the evil sought to be avoided actually exists;
(2) That the injury feared be greater than that done to avoid it;
(3) That there be no other practical and less harmful means of preventing it.
Avoidance of greater evil or injury is a justifying circumstance if all the three requisites
mentioned in par. 4 of Art. 11 are present. But if any of the last two requisites is lacking, there is
only a mitigating circumstance. The first element is indispensable.
c. Incomplete justifying circumstance of performance of duty
Requisites under par.5, Art. 11
(1) That the accused acted in the performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or
office; and
(2) That the injury caused or offense committed be the necessary consequence of the due
performance of such duty or the lawful exercise of such right or office.
In the case of People v. Oanis (1943), where only one of the requisites was present, Article 69
was applied. People v. Oanis (1943): The SC considered one of the 2 requisites as constituting
the majority. It seems that there is no ordinary mitigating circumstance under Art. 13 par. 1 when

the justifying or exempting circumstance has 2 requisites only. Incomplete exempting

(1) Incomplete exempting circumstance of accident
Requisites under par. 4 of Art. 12:
(1) A person is performing a lawful act
(2) With due care
(3) He causes an injury to another by mere accident
(4) Without fault or intention of causing it
If the 2nd requisite and 1st part of the 4th requisite are absent, the case will fall under Art.
365 which punishes reckless imprudence.
If the 1st requisite and 2nd part of the 4th requisite are absent, it will be an intentional felony
(Art. 4, par. 1).
(2) Incomplete exempting circumstance of uncontrollable fear.
Requisites under par. 6 of Art. 12:
(1) That the threat which caused the fear was of an evil greater than, or at least equal to, that
which he was required to commit;
(2) That it promised an evil of such gravity and imminence that an ordinary person would have
succumbed to it.
Note: If only one of these requisites is present, there is only a mitigating circumstance.
2. Under 18 Or Over 70 Years Of Age
a. In lowering the penalty:
Based on age of the offender at the time of the commission of the crime not the age when
sentence is imposed
b. In suspension of the sentence:
Based on age of the offender (under 18) at the time the sentence is to be promulgated (See Art.
80, RPC)
c. Par. 2 contemplates the ff:
(1) An offender over 9 but under 15 of age who acted with discernment.
(2) An offender fifteen or over but under 18 years of age.
(3) An offender over 70 years old
Legal effects of various ages of offenders:
1. 15 and below - Exempting
2. Above 15 but under 18 years of age, also an exempting circumstance, unless he acted with
discernment (Art. 12, par. 3 as amended by RA 9344).
3. Minor delinquent under 18 years of age, the sentence may be suspended. (Art. 192, PD No.
603 as amended by PD 1179)
4. 18 years or over, full criminal responsibility.

5. 70 years or over mitigating, no imposition of death penalty; if already imposed. Execution of

death penalty is suspended and commuted.
Determination of Age The child in conflict with the law shall enjoy the presumption of minority.
He/She shall enjoy all the rights of a child in conflict with the law until he/she is proven to be
eighteen (18) years old or older. The age of a child may be determined from the child's birth
certificate, baptismal certificate or any other pertinent documents. In the absence of these
documents, age may be based on information from the child himself/herself, testimonies of
other persons, the physical appearance of the child and other relevant evidence. In case of
doubt as to the age of the child, it shall be resolved in his/her favor.
Any person contesting the age of the child in conflict with the law prior to the filing of the
information in any appropriate court may file a case in a summary proceeding for the
determination of age before the Family Court which shall decide the case within twenty-four (24)
hours from receipt of the appropriate pleadings of all interested parties. If a case has been fiied
against the child in conflict with the law and is pending in the appropriate court, the person shall
file a motion to determine the age of the child in the same court where the case is pending.
Pending hearing on the said motion, proceedings on the main case shall be suspended. In all
proceedings, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges and other government officials
concerned shall exert all efforts at determining the age of the child in conflict with the law. (Sec.
7, RA 9344). Basis: Diminution of intelligence
3. No Intention to Commit So Grave A Wrong (Praeter Intentionem)
There must be a notable disproportion between the means employed by the offender and the
resulting harm.
The intention, as an internal act, is judged
o not only by the proportion of the means employed by him to the evil produced by his act,
o but also by the fact that the blow was or was not aimed at a vital part of the body;
o this includes: the weapon used, the injury inflicted and his attitude of the mind when the
accused attacked the deceased.
The lack of intention to commit so grave a wrong can also be inferred from the subsequent
acts of the accused immediately after committing the offense, such as when the accused helped
his victim to secure medical treatment.
This circumstance does not apply when the crime results from criminal negligence or culpa.
Only applicable to offense resulting in death, physical injuries, or material harm (including
property damage). It is not applicable to defamation or slander.
This mitigating circumstance is not applicable when the offender employed brute force.
Lack of intent to commit so grave a wrong is not appreciated where the offense committed is
characterized by treachery.
When the victim does not die as a result of the assault in cases of crimes against persons,
the absence of the intent to kill reduces the felony to mere physical injuries, but it does not
constitute a mitigating circumstance under Art. 13(3).
People v. Calleto (2002): Held: The lack of "intent" to commit a wrong so grave is an internal
state. It is weighed based on the weapon used, the part of the body injured, the injury inflicted
and the manner it is inflicted. The fact that the accused used a 9-inch hunting knife in attacking
the victim from behind, without giving him an opportunity to defend himself, clearly shows that
he intended to do what he actually did, and he must be held responsible therefor, without the
benefit of this mitigating circumstance.

People v. Ural (1974): Held: The intention, as an internal act, is judged not only by the
proportion of the means employed by him to the evil produced by his act, but also by the fact
that the blow was or was not aimed at a vital part of the body. Thus, it may be deduced from the
proven facts that the accused had no intent to kill the victim, his design being only to maltreat
him, such that when he realized the fearful consequences of his felonious act, he allowed the
victim to secure medical treatment at the municipal dispensary.
4. Sufficient Provocation or Threat
(1) That the provocation must be sufficient
(2) That it must originate from the offended party
(3) That the provocation must be immediate to the act, i.e., to the commission of the crime by
the person who is provoked
Provocation - Any unjust or improper conduct or act of the offended part capable of exciting,
inciting, or irritating anyone. Provocation in order to be mitigating must be SUFFICIENT and
IMMEDIATELY preceding the act. (People v. Pagal)
Sufficient means adequate to excite a person to commit a wrong and must accordingly
be proportionate to its gravity. (People v. Nabora).
Sufficiency depends upon:
a. the act constituting provocation
b. the social standing of the person provoked
c. the place and time when the provocation is made.
Between the provocation by the offended party and the commission of the crime, there
should not be any interval in time. Reason: When there is an interval of time between the
provocation and the commission of the crime, the perpetrator has time to regain his reason.
Sufficient provocation as a requisite of incomplete self-defense Provocation as a mitigating
It pertains to its absence
It pertains to its
on the part of the person defending himself. (People v. CA, G.R. No. 103613, 2001)
presence on the part of the offended party.
TIP: The common set-up given in a bar problem is that of provocation given by somebody
against whom the person provoked cannot retaliate; thus the person provoked retaliated on a
younger brother or on the father. Although in fact, there is sufficient provocation, it is not
mitigating because the one who gave the provocation is not the one against whom the crime
was committed. You have to look at two criteria:
a. If from the element of time,
(1) there is a material lapse of time stated in the problem and
(2) there is nothing stated in the problem that the effect of the threat of provocation had
prolonged and affected the offender at the time he committed the crime
(3) then you use the criterion based on the time element.
b. If there is that time element and at the same time,
(1) facts are given indicating that at the time the offender committed the crime, he is still
suffering from outrage of the threat or provocation done to him

(2) then he will still get the benefit of this mitigating circumstance.
Romera v. People (2004: Provocation and passion or obfuscation are not 2 separate mitigating
circumstances. It is well-settled that if these 2 circumstances are based on the same facts, they
should be treated together as one mitigating circumstance. It is clear that both circumstances
arose from the same set of facts. Hence, they should not be treated as two separate mitigating
5. Immediate Vindication of A Grave Offense
(1) That there be a grave offense done to the one committing the felony, his spouse,
ascendants, descendants, legitimate, natural or adopted brothers or sisters, or relatives by
affinity within the same degree.
(2) That the felony is committed in vindication of such grave offense. A lapse of time is allowed
between the vindication and the doing of the grave offense.
(3) The vindication need not be done by the person upon whom the grave offense was
Note: Lapse of time is allowed. The word immediate used in the English text is not the
correct translation. The Spanish text uses proxima. Although the grave offense (slapping of
the accused in front of many persons hours before the killing), which engendered the
perturbation of mind, was not so immediate, it was held that the influence thereof, by reason of
its gravity, lasted until the moment the crime was committed. (People v. Parana). The question
whether or not a certain personal offense is grave must be decided by the court, having in mind
a. the social standing of the person,
b. the place and
c. the time when the insult was made.
Vindication of a grave offense and passion or obfuscation cannot be counted separately and
People v. Torpio (2004: The mitigating circumstance of sufficient provocation cannot be
considered apart from the circumstance of vindication of a grave offense. 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.
Provocation Vindication
It is made directly only to the person committing the felony.
The grave offense may be committed against the offenders relatives mentioned by law.
The offense need not be a grave offense.
The offended party must have done a grave offense to the offender or his relatives.
The provocation or threat must immediately precede the act.
The grave offense may be proximate, which admits of an interval of time between the grave
offense done by the offended party and the commission of the crime by the accused.
It is a mere spite against the one giving the provocation or threat.
It concerns the honor of the person.
6. Passion or obfuscation (Arrebato y Obsecacion)
(1) The accused acted upon an impulse

(2) The impulse must be so powerful that it naturally produces passion or obfuscation in him.
(1) That there be an act, both unlawful and sufficient to produce such condition of mind; and
(2) That said act which produced the obfuscation was not far removed from the commission of
the crime by a considerable length of time,
during which the perpetrator might recover his normal equanimity. (People v. Alanguilang)
Note: Passion or obfuscation must arise from lawful sentiments. Passion or obfuscation not
applicable when:
a. The act committed in a spirit of LAWLESSNESS.
b. The act is committed in a spirit of REVENGE.
The mitigating circumstance of obfuscation arising from jealousy cannot be invoked in favor of
the accused whose relationship with the woman was illegitimate. Also, the act must be sufficient
to produce such a condition of mind. If the cause of loss of self-control is trivial and slight,
obfuscation is not mitigating. Moreover, the defense must prove that the act which produced the
passion or obfuscation took place at a time not far removed from the commission of the crime.
(People v. Gervacio, 1968) Passion and obfuscation may lawfully arise from causes existing
only in the honest belief of the offender.
US v. De la Cruz (1912): De la Cruz, in the heat of passion, killed the deceased who was his
querida (lover) upon discovering her in the act of carnal communication with a mutual
acquaintance. He claims that he is entitled to the mitigating circumstance of passion or
obfuscation and that the doctrine in Hicks is inapplicable. Held: US v. Hicks is not applicable to
the case. In Hicks, the cause of the alleged passion and obfuscation of the aggressor was the
convict's vexation, disappointment and deliberate anger engendered by the refusal of the
woman to continue to live in illicit relations with him, which she had a perfect reason to do. In
this case, the impulse upon which the defendant acted was the sudden revelation that his
paramour was untrue to him and his discovery of her in flagrante in the arms of another. This
was a sufficient impulse in the ordinary and natural course of things to produce the passion and
obfuscation which the law declares to be one of the mitigating circumstances to be taken into
the consideration of the court.
Passion and Obfuscation cannot co-exist with:
(1) Vindication of grave offense
Exception: When there are other facts closely connected. Thus, where the deceased, had
eloped with the daughter of the accused, and later when the deceased saw the accused
coming, the deceased ran upstairs, there are 2 facts which are closely connected, namely: (1)
elopement, which is a grave offense for the family of old customs, and (2) refusal to deal with
him, a stimulus strong enough to producepassion. The court in People v. Diokno (G.R. No. L45100), considered both mitigating circumstances in favor of the accused.
( 2) Treachery (People v. Wong)
Passion/Obfuscation v. Irresistible Force (Reyes, Revised Penal Code) Passion/Obfuscation
Irresistible force
Mitigating Circumstance
Exempting circumstance
Cannot give rise to physical force because it does not involves physical force.
Physical force is a condition sine qua non.
Passion/obfuscation comes from the offender himself.

Irresistible force comes from a third person.

Must arise from lawful sentiments to be mitigating.
Irresistible force is unlawful.
Passion/Obfuscation v. Provocation (Reyes, Revised Penal Code) Passion/Obfuscation
Passion/obfuscation is produced by an impulse which may be caused by provocation.
Provocation comes from the injured party.
The offense which engenders the perturbation of mind need not be immediate. It is only
required that the influence thereof lasts until the moment the crime is committed.
Must immediately precede the commission of the crime.
In both, the effect of the loss of reason and self-control on the part of the offender.
7. Voluntary Surrender
(1) That the offender had not been actually arrested
(2) That the offender surrendered himself to a person in authority or to the latters agent
(3) That the surrender was voluntary.
Two Mitigating Circumstances Under This Paragraph:
(1) Voluntary surrender to a person in authority or his agents;
(2) Voluntary confession of guilt before the court prior to the presentation of evidence for the
Whether or not a warrant of arrest had been issued is immaterial and irrelevant. Criterion is
whether or not
a. the offender had gone into hiding
b. and the law enforcers do not know of his whereabouts.
Note: For voluntary surrender to be appreciated, the surrender must be spontaneous, made in
such a manner that it shows the interest of the accused to surrender unconditionally to the
authorities, either because (1) he acknowledges his guilt or (2) wishes to save them the trouble
and expenses that would be necessarily incurred in his search and capture. (Andrada v.
People). If none of these two reasons impelled the accused to surrender, the surrender is not
spontaneous and therefore not voluntary. (People v. Laurel).
The accused must actually surrender his own person to the authorities, admitting complicity
of the crime. Merely requesting a policeman to accompany the accused to the police
headquarters is not voluntary surrender. (People v. Flores)
Effect of Arrest General Rule: Not mitigating when defendant was in fact arrested. (People v.
Conwi) Exceptions:
(1) But where a person, after committing the offense and having opportunity to escape,
voluntarily waited for the agents of the authorities and voluntarily gave up, he is entitled to the
benefit of the circumstance, even if he was placed under arrest by a policeman then and there.
(People v. Parana)
(2) Where the arrest of the offender was after his voluntary surrender or after his doing an act
amounting to a voluntary surrender to the agent of a person in authority. (People v. Babiera;
People v. Parana)

Person in Authority and his Agent Person in authority is one directly vested with jurisdiction,
that is, a public officer who has the power to govern and execute the laws whether as an
individual or as a member of some court or governmental corporation, board or commission. A
barrio captain and a barangay chairman are also persons in authority. (Art. 152, RPC, as
amended by PD No. 299). Agent of a person in authority is a person, who, by direct provision
of law, or by election or by competent authority, is charged with the maintenance of public order
and the protection and security of life and property and any person who comes to the aid of
persons in authority. (Art. 152, as amended by RA 1978). Time of Surrender The RPC does not
distinguish among the various moments when the surrender may occur. (Reyes, Revised Penal
Code). The fact that a warrant of arrest had already been issued is no bar to the consideration
of that circumstance because the law does not require that the surrender be prior the arrest.
(People v. Yecla and Cahilig). What is important is that the surrender be spontaneous.
8. Plea Of Guilt
(1) That the offender spontaneously confessed his guilt.
(2) That the confession of guilt was made in open court, that is, before the competent court that
is to try the case; and
The extrajudicial confession made by the accused is not voluntary confession because it was
made outside the court. (People v. Pardo)
(3) That the confession of guilt was made prior to the presentation of evidence for the
The change of plea should be made at the first opportunity when his arraignment was first
A conditional plea of guilty is not mitigating.
Plea of guilt on appeal is not mitigating.
Withdrawal of plea of not guilty before presentation of evidence by prosecution is still
mitigating. All that the law requires is voluntary plea of guilty prior to the presentation of the
evidence by the prosecution.
A plea of guilty on an amended information will be considered as an attenuating circumstance
if no evidence was presented in connection with the charges made therein. (People v. Ortiz)
9. Plea to a Lesser Offense
Rule 116, sec. 2, ROC: At arraignment, the accused, with the consent of the offended party and
prosecutor, may be allowed by the trial court to plead guilty to a lesser offense which is
necessarily included in the offense charged. After arraignment but before trial, the accused may
still be allowed to plead guilty to said lesser offense after withdrawing his plea of not guilty. No
amendment of the complaint or information is necessary.
People v. Dawaton (2002): Information for murder was filed against Dawaton. When first
arraigned he pleaded not guilty, but during the pre-trial he offered to plead guilty to the lesser
offense of homicide but was rejected by the prosecution. The trial court sentenced him to death.
He avers that he is entitled to the mitigating circumstance of plea of guilty.
Held: While the accused offered to plead guilty to the lesser offense of homicide, he was
charged with murder for which he had already entered a plea of not guilty. We have ruled that
an offer to enter a plea of guilty to a lesser offense cannot be considered as an attenuating
circumstance under the provisions of Art. 13 of RPC because to be voluntary the plea of guilty
must be to the offense
charged. Also, Sec. 2, Rule 116, of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure requires the
consent of the offended party and the prosecutor before an accused may be allowed to plead

guilty to a lesser offense necessarily included in the offense charged. The prosecution rejected
the offer of the accused.
10. Physical Defects
This paragraph does not distinguish between educated and uneducated deaf-mute or blind
persons. Physical defect referred to in this paragraph is such as being armless, cripple, or a
stutterer, whereby his means to act, defend himself or communicate with his fellow beings are
limited. The physical defect that a person may have must have a relation to the commission of
the crime. Where the offender is deaf and dumb, personal property was entrusted to him and he
misappropriated the same. The crime committed was estafa. The fact that he was deaf and
dumb is not mitigating since that does not bear any relation to the crime committed. If a person
is deaf and dumb and he has been slandered, he cannot talk so what he did was he got a piece
of wood and struck the fellow on the head. The crime committed was physical injuries. The
Supreme Court held that being a deaf and dumb is mitigating because the only way is to use his
force because he cannot strike back in any other way.
11. Illness
(1) That the illness of the offender must diminish the exercise of his will-power
(2) That such illness should not deprive the offender of consciousness of his acts.
When the offender completely lost the exercise of will-power, it may be an exempting
circumstance. It is said that this paragraph refers only to diseases of pathological state that
trouble the conscience or will. A mother who, under the influence of a puerperal fever, killed her
child the day following her delivery.
People v. Javier (1999): Javier was married to the deceased for 41 years. He killed the
deceased and then stabbed himself in the abdomen. Javier was found guilty of parricide. In his
appeal, he claims that he killed his wife because he was suffering from insomnia for a month
and at the time of the killing, his mind went totally blank and he did not know what he was doing.
He also claims that he was insane then.
Held: No sufficient evidence or medical finding was offered to support his claim. The court also
took note of the fact that the defense, during the trial, never alleged the mitigating circumstance
of illness. The alleged mitigating circumstance was a mere afterthought to lessen the criminal
liability of the accused.
12. Analogous Mitigating Circumstances
Any other circumstance of similar nature and analogous to the nine mitigating circumstances
enumerated in art. 513 may be mitigating.
(1) The act of the offender of leading the law enforcers to the place where he buried the
instrument of the crime has been considered as equivalent to voluntary surrender.
(2) Stealing by a person who is driven to do so out of extreme poverty is considered as
analogous to incomplete state of necessity.
Canta v. People: Canta stole a cow but alleges that he mistook the cow for his missing cow. He
made a calf suckle the cow he found and when it did, Canta thought that the cow he found was
really his. However, he falsified a document describing the said cows cowlicks and markings.
After getting caught, he surrendered the cow to the custody of the authorities in the municipal
hall. Held: Cantas act of voluntarily taking the cow to the municipal hall to place it in the custody
of authorities (to save them the time and effort of having to recover the cow) was an analogous
circumstance to voluntary surrender.
(3) Over 60 years old with failing sight, similar to over 70 years of age mentioned in par. 2.
(People v. Reantillo).
(4) Voluntary restitution of stolen goods similar to voluntary surrender (People v. Luntao).

(5) Impulse of jealous feelings, similar to passion and obfuscation. (People v. Libria).
(6) Extreme poverty and necessity, similar to incomplete justification based on state of
necessity. (People v. Macbul).
(7) Testifying for the prosecution, without previous discharge, analogous to a plea of guilty.
(People v. Narvasca).