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FUNDAMENTALS OF LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITING

LEGAL WRITING EXERCISES


PROFESSOR: ATTY. MARY JUDE CANTORIAS-MARVEL

Answer the following questions using the IRAC principle/structure. You may go to the library to
research the substantive aspects of the answers. Bear in mind that the IRAC structure must be
followed.

1. Aki and Ben, while walking together, met Caloy. There was an altercation between Ben
and Caloy so that Ben chased and stabbed Caloy with a knife hitting his right arm thereby
causing slight physical injury. Ben desisted from further assaulting Caloy, but Aki lunged
at Caloy and felled him this time with a bolo which mortally wounded Caloy. Thus, he
died. a) What is the criminal liability of Aki? How about that of Ben? Explain your answers.

IRAC Answer

Issue: a. Whether or not Aki committed the


crime of murder?
b. Whether or not Ben is liable of
felony?

Rule: ARTICLE 248, Sec. 1 of RPC provides


that “any person who, not falling within
the provisions of Article 246 shall kill
another, shall be guilty of murder and
shall be punished by reclusion Perpetua
to death, if committed with any of the
following attendant circumstances:

1. With treachery, taking advantage of


superior strength, with the aid of armed
men, or employing means to weaken the
defense or of means or persons to insure
or afford impunity.”

Luis B. Reyes, Revised Penal Code


Book 2 (2012), p. 549. A physical injury
which incapacitates the offended party
from working for 9 days and some hours
without amounting to 10 days, is a slight
physical injury.
Analysis: In the case at bar, Aki employed treachery,
taking advantage of his superior strength
with the use of bolo and with the aid of
armed men (Ben).

Meanwhile, Ben chased and stabbed Caloy


with a knife hitting his right arm thereby
causing slight physical injury.

Conclusion: a. Therefore, Aki is liable for murder.

b. Based on facts and law, it can be


deduced that Ben is liable for slight
physical injuries.

a. Whether or not Aki committed the crime of murder?

Under the law, article 248, Sec. 1 of RPC provides that “any person who, not falling
within the provisions of Article 246 shall kill another, shall be guilty of murder and shall
be punished by reclusion Perpetua to death, if committed with the attendant circumstance
of treachery, taking advantage of superior strength, with the aid of armed men, or
employing means to weaken the defense or of means or persons to insure or afford
impunity.”

In the case at bar, Aki employed treachery, taking advantage of his superior strength
with the use of bolo and with the aid of armed men (Ben).
Based on the facts and law, Aki is liable for murder.

b. Whether or not Ben is liable for slight physical injuries?

Under the Revised Penal Code, the elements of less serious physical injuries are that
the offended party is incapacitated for labor for 10 days or more (but not more than 30
days), or needs medical attendance for the same period of time and that the physical injuries
must not be those described in the preceding articles.

In the aforementioned case, Ben chased and stabbed Caloy with a knife hitting his right
arm thereby causing slight physical injury.

Based on law and facts, it can be deduced that Ben is liable for slight physical injuries.
2. Deeply enraged by his wife’s infidelity, the husband shot and killed her lover. The husband
subsequently surrendered to the police. How will the court appreciate the mitigating
circumstances of (i) passion or obfuscation, (ii) vindication of a grave offense, and (iii)
voluntary surrender that the husband invoked and proved? Explain your answers.

IRAC Answer

Issue: Whether or not the husband can invoke the


mitigating circumstances of passion or
obfuscation, vindication of a grave
offense, and voluntary surrender.
Rule: Article 13, paragraph 6, Revised Penal
Code states that, those of having acted
upon an impulse so powerful as naturally
to have produced passion or obfuscation.

For this mitigating circumstance to be


considered, it must be shown that:
(Requisites)
1. An unlawful act sufficient to
produce passion and obfuscation
was committed by the intended
victim,
2. That the crime was committed
within a reasonable length of time
from the commission of the
unlawful act that produced the
obfuscation in the accused’s mind,
and
3. That the passion and obfuscation
arose from lawful sentiments and
not from a spirit of lawlessness or
revenge.

Article 13, paragraph 5, Revised Penal


Code provides: That the act was
committed in the immediate vindication of
a grave offense to the one committing the
felony (delito), his spouse, ascendants, or
relatives by affinity within the same
degrees.
Requisites:
1. That there be a grave offense done
to the one committing they felony,
his spouse, ascendants,
descendants or relatives by affinity
within the same degree, and
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. [Luis B. Reyes,
Revised Penal Code Book 1
(2012)]

Article 13, paragraph 7, Revised Penal


Code provides: that the offender had
voluntarily surrendered himself to a person
in authority or his agents, or that he had
voluntarily confessed his guilt before the
court prior to the presentation of the
evidence for the prosecution.

Analysis: In the case at bar, the killing, arose from


lawful sentiments and not from a spirit of
lawlessness or revenge. And the voluntary
surrender of the husband entitles him of
the mitigating circumstances.
Conclusion: Based on law and facts, the husband can
invoke the mitigating circumstances of
passion or obfuscation, vindication of a
grave offense, and voluntary surrender.

IRAC ESSAY:

Whether or not the husband can invoke the mitigating circumstances of passion or
obfuscation, vindication of a grave offense, and voluntary surrender.

Article 13, paragraph 6, Revised Penal Code states that, those of having acted upon an
impulse so powerful as naturally to have produced passion or obfuscation.

For this mitigating circumstance to be considered, it must be shown that: (Requisites)


1. An unlawful act sufficient to produce passion and obfuscation was committed by the
intended victim,
2. That the crime was committed within a reasonable length of time from the commission of
the unlawful act that produced the obfuscation in the accused’s mind, and
3. That the passion and obfuscation arose from lawful sentiments and not from a spirit of
lawlessness or revenge.
Article 13, paragraph 5, Revised Penal Code states: That the act was committed in the
immediate vindication of a grave offense to the one committing the felony (delito), his spouse,
ascendants, or relatives by affinity within the same degrees.
Requisites:
That there be a grave offense done to the one committing the felony, his spouse,
ascendants, descendants or relatives by affinity within the same degree, and 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. [Luis B. Reyes, Revised
Penal Code Book 1 (2012)]

Article 13, paragraph 7, Revised Penal Code: That the offender had voluntarily
surrendered himself to a person in authority or his agents, or that he had voluntarily confessed
his guilt before the court prior to the presentation of the evidence for the prosecution.

In the case at bar, the killing, arose from lawful sentiments and not from a spirit of
lawlessness or revenge. And the voluntary surrender of the husband entitles him of the mitigating
circumstances.

Based on law and facts, the husband can invoke the mitigating circumstances of passion or
obfuscation, vindication of a grave offense, and voluntary surrender.

3. Isabel, a housemaid, broke into a pawnshop intent on stealing items of jewelry in it. She
found, however, that the jewelry were in a locked chest. Unable to open it, she took the
chest out of the shop. She was subsequently charged with the crime of Theft. Should the
case be dismissed? Explain your answer.

IRAC Answer

Issue: Whether or not the case of theft be


dismissed.
Rule: Article 308, Revised Penal Code provides
that, Theft is committed by any person
who, with intent to gain but without
violence against or intimidation of persons
nor force upon things, shall take personal
property of another without the latter's
consent.

Theft is likewise committed by:


Any person who, having found lost
property, shall fail to deliver the same to
the local authorities or to its owner;
Any person who, after having maliciously
damaged the property of another, shall
remove or make use of the fruits or object
of the damage caused by him; and

Any person who shall enter an enclosed


estate or a field where trespass is forbidden
or which belongs to another and without
the consent of its owner, shall hunt or fish
upon the same or shall gather cereals, or
other forest or farm products.

Elements of Theft:
1. There be taking of personal
property;
2. Said property belongs to another;
3. The taking be done with intent to
gain;
4. The taking be done without the
consent of the owner;
5. The taking be accomplished
without the use of violence against
or intimidation of persons or force
upon things.

Analysis: In the aforementioned case, there is a


violence or force employed when Isabel
broke into the store to steal the jewelry
hence will make Isabel liable for robbery.

Article 293, Revised Penal Code provides:


Any person who, with intent to gain, shall
take any personal property belonging to
another, by means of violence or
intimidation of any person, or using force
upon anything shall be guilty of robbery.

What distinguishes theft from robbery is


that in theft, the offender does not use
violence or intimidation or does not enter a
house or building through any of the
means specified in Article 299 or 302 in
taking personal property of another with
intent to gain.
Unless the force upon things is employed
to enter a building, the taking of the
personal property belonging to another
with intent to gain is theft, not robbery.

Conclusion: Based on law and facts, the crime of theft


charged to Isabel should be dismissed.

Whether or not the case of theft be dismissed.

Article 293, Revised Penal Code provides; Any person who, with intent to gain, shall
take any personal property belonging to another, by means of violence or intimidation of any
person, or using force upon anything shall be guilty of robbery.

In the case at bar, there is violence or force employed when Isabel broke into the store to
steal the jewelry thus will make Isabel liable for robbery and not theft. What distinguishes theft
from robbery is that in theft, the offender does not use violence or intimidation or does not enter
a house or building through any of the means specified in Article 299 or 302 in taking personal
property of another with intent to gain.

Therefore, based on law and facts, the crime of theft charged to Isabel should be
dismissed.

4. Zeno and Primo asked Bert to give them a sketch of the location of Andy’s house since
they wanted to kill him. Bert agreed and drew them the sketch. Zeno and Primo drove to
the place and killed Andy. What crime did Bert commit? Explain your answer.

IRAC Answer

Issue: Whether or not Bert is liable for the crime


of murder in the commission of crime as
principal by indispensable cooperation.
Rule: Article 17 (3) of the Revised Penal Code
considers as principals by indispensable
cooperation "those who cooperate in the
commission of the offense by another act
without which it could not have been
accomplished".

Its requisites are (1) participation of the


subject accused in the criminal resolution
and (2) performance by him of another act
indispensable to the accomplishment of
the crime.
Analysis: In the case at bar, Bert cooperated in the
commission of the crime by drawing a
sketch of the location of Andy’s house,
without which Andy would not have been
killed.

In People vs Dina Dulay y Pascual, G.R.


No. 19385, September 24, 2012 the court
ruled that, 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
offense by performing another act without
which it would not have been
accomplished.
Conclusion: Therefore, based on law and facts, Bert
commit the crime of murder as principal
by indispensable cooperation.

IRAC ESSAY:

Whether or not Bert is liable for the crime of murder in the commission of crime as
principal by indispensable cooperation.

Article 17 (3) of the Revised Penal Code considers as principals by indispensable


cooperation "those who cooperate in the commission of the offense by another act without
which it could not have been accomplished".

Its requisites are (1) participation of the subject accused in the criminal resolution and (2)
performance by him of another act indispensable to the accomplishment of the crime.

In the case at bar, Bert cooperated in the commission of the crime by drawing a
sketch of the location of Andy’s house, without which Andy would not have been killed.
Furthermore, People vs Dina Dulay y Pascual, G.R. No. 19385, September 24, 2012 the
court ruled that, 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 offense by performing another act without which it would not have been
accomplished.

Therefore, based on law and facts, Bert commit the crime of murder as principal by
indispensable cooperation.