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Solicitor General


Associate Solicitor III

SUBJECT : Whether or not there is frustrated arson

DATE : 28 April 2018

Dear Chief:

This memorandum is with regard to the question of

whether or not there is frustrated arson.

In determining whether the felony is attempted,

frustrated or consummated, the court consider the
definition under Article 6 of the Revised Penal Code, or the
stages of execution of the felony.

ARTICLE 6. Consummated, frustrated, and

attempted felonies. – Consummated felonies as well as
those which are frustrated and attempted, are

A felony is consummated when all the elements

necessary for its execution and accomplishment are
present; and it is frustrated when the offender perform
all the acts of execution which would produce a felony
as a consequence but which, nevertheless, do not
produce it by reason of some causes independent of the
will of the perpetrator.

There is an attempt when the offender

commences the commission of a felony directly or over
acts, and does not perform all the acts of execution
Memorandum for the Solicitor General
Whether or not there is frustrated arson
Page 2 of 3

which would produce the felony by reason of some

cause or accident other that this own spontaneous

The frustrated stage of arson has been eased out. The

reasoning is that one cannot say that the offender, in the
crime of arson, has already performed all the acts of
execution which could produce the destruction of the
premises through the use of fire, unless a part of the
premises has begun to burn. If it has not begun to burn,
that means that the offender has not yet performed all
the acts of execution. On the other hand, the moment it
begins to burn, the crime is consummated. Actually, the
frustrated stage is already standing on the consummated
stage except that the outcome did not result. As far as the
stage is concerned, the frustrated stage overlaps the
consummated stage.

In People v. Hernandez,1 the court ruled that “the crime

of arson was consummated, notwithstanding the fact that
the fire was afterwards extinguished, for, once the fire has
been started, the consummation of the crime of arson does
not depend upon the extent of the damage caused.”

In People v. Po Chengco,2 the court ruled that “When a

building is set on fire, it is not necessary that it should be
entirely consumed in order to constitute the consummated
Crime; nor is the crime affected by the prompt extinction of
the fire.”

There can be no frustrated stage, but only attempted

stage if the fire was not yet applied to the building. But if fire
was applied to the building or a part thereof but no part of
the building was burned, then it is attempted. The only
G.R. No. 31770
G.R. No. 7819
Memorandum for the Solicitor General
Whether or not there is frustrated arson
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consideration is whether or not the accused succeeded in

burning a part of the building. If no part of the building was
burned, it is still attempted arson no matter how far gone
were the acts of the accused. Slightest discoloration of a part
of a building is consummated arson.

In this case, the undersigned is convinced that there is

no frustrated stage in the Crime of Arson.

Respectfully submitted.

Truly yours,


Assistant Solicitor General