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9 Circumstances Affecting Criminal Liability VI.

Aggravating Circumstance (Article 14)

VII. Alternative Circumstances (Article 15)
VIII. Absolutory Causes – exempting by reason of public
I. Stages of Execution (Article 6)
• Spontaneous desistance on attempted crimes
• consummated – penalty imposable is the
(Article 6)
penalty prescribed by law
• Light felonies except in crimes against persons
• frustrated – one degree lower
or properties (Article 7)
• attempted – two degrees lower
• Accessory related to principal (Article 20)
II. Gravity of Offense (Article 9)
• Legal grounds for arbitrary detention (Article
• grave felonies – those with afflictive penalties
(ranging from prision mayor to reclusion
• Legal grounds for trespass to dwelling (Article
• less grave felonies – those with correctional
• Crimes against property committed by accused
penalties (prision correctional with
against relative (Article 332)
imprisonment of 6 months to 1 day to 6 years)
• Physical Injuries under exceptional
• light felonies – those punishable by arresto
circumstances (Article 247)
menor (1 day and 1 month) and arresto mayor
• Marriage of Offended party to the accused in
(1 month and 1 day to 6 months)
crimes against chastity (Article 344)
Scale of Penalties: • Mistake of Fact
• Instigation
• Arresto Menor – 1 day and 30 days
IX. Degree of Participation
• Arresto Mayor – 30 days and 1 day to 6 months
• principal
• Prision Correctional – 6 months to 6 years
• accomplice – penalty imposable is one degree
• Prision Mayor - 6 years and 1 day to 12 years
• Reclusion Temporal – 12 years and 1 day to 20
• accessory - penalty imposable is two degree
• Reclusion Temporal – 20 years and 1 day to 40
years Rules of Penalty Application:
III. Justifying Circumstances (Article 11)
• 2 mitigating, no aggravating – one degree
IV. Exempting Circumstance (Article 12)
V. Mitigating Circumstances (Article 13)

Lecture of Atty. Cesar Merin, Transcribed by M. Calceta for V-Executive Class 1

• 1 aggravating, no mitigating – maximum IX. Right to Appeal
*** Statutory Rights can be waived.
• 1 mitigating, no aggravating – minimum
Characteristics of Criminal Law
• no aggravating, no mitigating – medium
period I. Territoriality
8 Constitutional Rights of the Accused 1. Article 2 of RPC
2. International crimes (e.g. trafficking, mutiny, piracy)
I. Right to speedy trial (Section 16)
– jurisdiction will fall on the country who took
II. Due process and equal protection of law (Section 14)
cognizance of the crime
III. Right to Bail (Section 13)
3. Battleships and embassy offices as extensions of the
IV. Presumption of Innocence (Section 14)
territory. Note that merchant ships are not
V. Right against self-incrimination (Section 17)
extensions of foreign territory.
VI. Prohibition against excessive fines (Section 19)
VII. Principle of Double Jeopardy (Section 21)
Rules on Merchant Ships:
VIII. Free access to the court and non-denial for reason of
1. French Rule - when the crime committed affects the
poverty (Section 11)
peace and tranquility of the place where the ship is
9 Statutory Rights of the Accused docked, such place has jurisdiction over the case
2. British/English Rule – when the crime committed is
I. Presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond punishable by law in the place where the ship is
reasonable doubt docked, such place shall have jurisdiction over the
II. be informed of the nature of the crime under the Miranda case, provided that such crime does not refer to any
Doctrine internal rules/ management of the ship
III. Be present in every stage of the proceedings II. Generality
IV. Right to testify on his behalf XPN: Law of Preferential Treatment and Treaty –
V. Right against self-incrimination ambassadors and diplomats are exempt from criminal
VI. Chance to cross-examine the witnesses against him prosecution.
VII. Right to compulsory process of the court in issuing
subpoena to witnesses XPN to XPN: Consuls (representatives of foreign
VIII. Right to a speedy/impartial trial countries for business/trade relationships) except if

Lecture of Atty. Cesar Merin, Transcribed by M. Calceta for V-Executive Class 2

there is a bilateral agreement between the foreign decide between what is right and wrong. Penalty is
country and Philippines, providing for the exemption of accorded to every wrong committed.
consuls from criminal prosecution, except cases of 2. Positivist Theory - a person is merely a victim of a morbid
slander by deed or reckless imprudence (Ppl vs Liang phenomena, or that he has committed a crime against his
GR125865 1/28/2000) will.
- Principles applicable are justifying, exempting and
III. Prospectivity mitigating circumstances
1. favorable to the accused Felonies
2. the new law expressly so provides
3. Rule 5, Art 362 on habitual delinquents Felonies are acts/omissions punishable by law (Article 3). Two
4. when it is a repeal of the law types: dolo and culpa:

1. Elements of Dolo Crimes

- Freedom
Construction of Penal Laws o instigation – exempting circumstance
o mistake of fact – exempting circumstance
Penal laws are strictly construed against the state and liberally o presence of uncontrollable fear – exempting
construed in favor of the accused. Should there be conflict between circumstance
the Spanish text and penal laws of the Philippines, the former shall - Intelligence
prevail. o insanity/ lacks intelligence – exempting
The RPC has been in effect since January 1, 1932 (Note: Atty. Merin
- Criminal Intent
mentioned January 1, 1931). It has two books (Book 1 treats of the
o Note: Motive is not an element of dolo crimes. It
nature of the crime and Book 2 defines crimes)
is necessary when there is doubt as to the
Theories on the Enactment of Law identity of the accused. It is presumed in crimes
against persons (e.g. parricide, homicide,
murder, infanticide)
1. Classical Theory – founded from a Muslim principle, a tooth
2. Elements of Culpa Crimes
for a tooth, an eye for an eye
- Imprudence – deficiency of action
- embodies the principle of retribution, which means that
- Negligence – deficiency of precaution
when a person commits a crime, he has done it
- Lack of Skill
deliberately or voluntarily because of his free will to
- Lack of Foresight

Lecture of Atty. Cesar Merin, Transcribed by M. Calceta for V-Executive Class 3


- Negligence is not a crime per se. It becomes punishable

if it is used as a means to commit a crime or if it results
to a crime. It becomes a quasi-offense because your own
negligence does not make you criminally liable except if
it causes damage to another.
- Culpa is punishable under Art. 365 of RPC.

Practical Tips:

- If the trial lawyer cannot prove the presence of

exempting circumstances, prove the existence of
mitigating circumstances in order to lower the penalty
- No person will kill somebody unless there is a reason
behind it. So, even if your client is guilty, lower the
penalty imposable.
- If the prosecution proves aggravating circumstance, try
to prove the presence of a mitigating circumstance to

Lecture of Atty. Cesar Merin, Transcribed by M. Calceta for V-Executive Class 4