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Article 48: Penalty for complex crimes producing the several felonies, but the number of

bullets which actually produced them.


AT LEAST TWO CRIMES MUST BE COMMITTED
NO SINGLE ACT IN THE FOLLOWING CASES
But the two or more grave or less grave felonies
must be the result of a single act, or an offense must The 8 killings and the attempted murder were
be a necessary means for committing the other. perpetrated by means of different acts cannot be
regarded as a complex crime.
A COMPLEX CRIME IS ONLY ONE CRIME
The infliction of 4 fatal gunshot wounds on SIyang ad
In complex crime, although two or more crimes are of the wound in the palm of the mayor’s right hand
actually committed, they constitute only one crime was not the result of a single act. The injuries were
In the eyes of the law as well as in the conscience of the consequences of 2 volleys of gunshots.
the offender. The offender has only one criminal
intent. When a conspiracy animates several persons with a
single purpose, their individual acts done in the
TWO KINDS OF COMPLEX CRIME pursuance of that purpose are looked upon as a
single act, the act of execution, giving rise to a single
1. When a single act constitutes two or more
complex offense.
grave or less grave felonies (Compound
crime) “TWO OR MORE GRAVE OR LESS GRAVE FELONIES”
2. When an offense is a necessary means for
committing the other (Complex crime) In the case of a compound crime, the offenses
involved should be either both grave or both less
“WHEN A SINGLE ACT CONSTITUTES TWO OR MORE grave, or one of them a grave felony and the other
GRAVE OR LESS GRAVE FELONIES” less grave
Requisites: LIGHT FELONIES PRODUCED BY THE SAME ACT
SHOULD BE TREATED AND PUNISHED AS A SEPARATE
1. That only single act is performed by the
OFFENSE OR MAY BE ABSORBED BY THE GRAVE
offender
FELONY
2. That the single act produces
- Two or more grave felonies 1. Several light felonies resulting from one
- One or more grave and one or more single act – not complex
less grave felonies
- Two or more less grave felonies Thus, in a collision between two
automobiles driven in careless and
THE SINGLE ACT OF THROWING A GRENADE
negligent manner, resulting in the slight
PRRODUCING MURDER AND MULTIPLE ATTEMPTED
physical injuries of the passengers and light
MURDERS
felony of damage to property, there is no
Placing a time bomb in a plane, which caused it to complex crime, because the crime of slight
explode in mid-air, killing 13 persons therein, physical injuries, as well as that of damage
constitutes crime of multiple murder and to property, is a light felony
destruction of property.
2. When the crime is committed by force or
SEVERAL SHOTS FROM THOMPSON SUB-MACHINE violence, slight physical injuries are
GUN CAUSING SEVERAL DEATHS, ALTHUGH CAUSED absorbed
BY A SINGLE ACT OF PRESSING THE TRIGGER. ARE
CONSIDERED SEVERAL ACTS a. Where the person in authority or his agent,
who was attacked while in the performance
For each death caused or physical injuries inflicted
of his duty, suffered slight physical injuries
upon the victims corresponds a distinct and separate
only, the crime of slight physical injuries is
shot fired by the accused, who this made himself
absorbed in the crime of direct assault.
criminally liable for as many offenses as those
resulting from every single act that produced the
b. When in the commission of rape, slight
same.
physical injuries are inflicted on the girl’s
Although each burst of shots was caused by one genital organ, the crime of slight physical
single act of pressing the trigger of the gun, in view injuries is absorbed in the crime of rape.
of its special mechanism the person firing it has only
to keep pressing the trigger with his finger and it The reason for the rulings is that the slight
would fire continually. Hence, it is not the act of physical injuries are the necessary
pressing the trigger which should be considered as consequences of the force or violence
inherent in the crimes of direct assault and rape when she tried to shout, is no longer
rape controlling.

EXAMPLES OF COMPOUND CRIME WHEN IN OBEDINCE TO AN ORDER SEVERAL


ACCUSED SIMULTANEOUSLY SHOT MANY PERSONS,
a. The single act of Pama in firing a shot, the WITHOUT EVIDENCE HOW MANY EACH KILLED,
same bullet causing the death of 2 persons THERE IS ONLY A SINGLE OFFENSE, THERE BEING A
who were standing on the same line of the SINGLE CRIMINAL IMPULSE
direction of the bullet.
The evidence positively shows that the killing was
In killing two persons, Pama committed 2 the result of a single impulse, which was induced by
homicides, which are 2 grave felonies. Since the order of the leader to fire, and continued with
they were the result of one single act firing the intention to comply therewith, as the firing
a shot, a complex crime was committed. stopped as soon as the leader gave the order to that
effect.
b. The act of raping a girl, causing her physical
injuries which required medical attention The SC held “that if the act or acts complained of
for about 20 days. This is a complex crime resulted from a single criminal impulse, it constitutes
of rape with less serious physical injuries. a single offense”.

It may also be added that there is absolutely no


With due respect, it is believed that there
evidence as to the number of persons killed by each
being only one act of forcible sexual
and every one of the appellants, so even if we were
intercourse which produced the 2 crimes,
induced to hold each appellant responsible for each
the accused committed a compound crime.
and every death caused by him, it is impossible to
carry that desire into effect as it is impossible to
c. After a justice of peace had read to the
ascertain the individual deaths caused by each and
accused the sentence of conviction, the
everyone. The Court is forced to find the appellants
latter took the dagger and stabbed said
guilty of only one offense of multiple homicide.
justice in the back, the wound
incapacitating him for ordinary work for The ruling in the Lawas case applies only when there
more than 30 days. This is a complex crime is no evidence at all to show the number of persons
of direct assault with serious physical killed by each of several defendants
injuries, the single act of stabbing the
justice constituting the 2 less grave felonies The ruling in the Lawas case that each of the
of direct assault and serious physical appellants was guilty only of the complex crime does
injuries. not apply then the appellant alone killed all the six
victims, one after another, with one shot each.
d. Where the victim was killed while
THE RULING IN THE LAWAS CASE IS NOT APPLICABLE
discharging his duty as barangay captain to
WHERE THERE WAS CONSPIRACY TO PERPETUATE
protect life and property and enforce law
THE KILLINGS
and order in his barrio, the crime is a
complex crime It is clear from evidence on record that the 3 crimes
of murder did not result from a single act but from
e. Where the stabbing and killing of the victim several individual and distinct acts. Deeply rooted is
which caused likewise the death of the the doctrine that when various victims expire from
fetus arose from the single criminal intent separate shots, such acts constitute separate and
of killing the victim, as shown by the distinct crimes.
accused’s pursuit of the victim after she was
able to escape, the crime committed is WHEN IT IS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF POSSIBILITY THAT
complex crime of murder with abortion. THE 2 VICTIMS WERE KILLED BY ONE AND THE SAME
MISSILE
RAPE WITH HOMICIDE IS A SPECIAL COMPLEX CRIME
NOT COVERED BY ARTICLE 48 When there is no evidence as to how many wounds
the victims received and it is within the scope of
When by reason or on the occasion of the rape, a possibility that they were killed by one and the same
homicide is committed, or when the rape is missile as they were riding astride the same carabao,
frustrated or attempted and a homicide is and they were shot by the accused in that position,
committed by reason or on the occasion thereof, in the absence of showing that the victims died from
Article 266-B shall apply. more than 1 bullet, the crime should be classified as
a complex crime of double murder.
Raping a girl transmitting to her a venereal disease
which caused her death or that killing the victim f
Ruling in the Bersamin case is applicable only when “WHEN AN OFFFNSE IS A NECESSARY MEANS FOR
there is no evidence as to how many wounds the COMMITTING THE OTHER”
victims received and there is a possibility that they
were killed by one and the same missile. This kind of complex crime does not exist when the 2
crimes are punished under different statutes.
Thus, when the 2 victims each received more than
one bullet wound, they were not close to each other Requisites:
when fired at, and their bodies were found in
1. That at least 2 offenses are committed
different places, the ruling is not applicable.
2. That one or some of the offense must be
THERE IS NO COMPLEX CRIME OF ARSON WITH necessary to commit the other
HOMICIDE UNDER ARTICLE 48 3. That both or all the offenses must be
punished under the same statute
Under an information charging the accused with
setting fire to an automobile in the basement of an AT LEAST 2 OFFENSES MUST BE COMMITTED
inhabited house, whereby said house was destroyed
a. Falsification of public document by an
and one of its inmates burned to death, the accused
accountable officer is an offense which
is guilty of a complex crime of arson with homicide,
is necessary to commit malversation
is no longer applicable.
which is another offense.
APPLICABLE TO CRIMES THROUGH NEGLIGENCE
The falsification of the cedula
A Municipal Mayor who accidentally discharged his certificate, which is a crime under Art
revolver during a school program, killing a girl and 171, was necessary to commit the
injuring a boy requiring medical attendance for more crime of malversation under Art 217,
than 30 days, was found guilty of a complex crime of because the accused had to falsify the
homicide with less serious physical injuries through duplicate of the cedulas to obtain from
reckless imprudence. the taxpayers the money which he later
misappropriated.
It is clear that Article 48 which speaks of “felonies” is
applicable to violations under Art 365 which defines b. Simple seduction by means of
and penalized criminal negligence, a felony by means usurpation of official functions
of fault. - The crime of usurpation of official
function was a necessary means for
The crimes of arson, homicide, serious physical
committing the crime of simple
injuries, and damage to property constitute a
seduction.
complex crime within the meaning of Art 48
Abduction as a necessary means for committing rape
The accused who drove a cargo truck at a fast rate
without sounding its horn and without lights in the The crime of forcible abduction was a necessary
evening, caused his truck to collide with a bicycle means for committing the crime of rape
which was thrown to a group of pedestrians. 2 of
them died and several other persons were seriously THE PHRASE “NECESSARY MEANS” DOES NOT MEAN
injured. INDISPENSABLE MEANS

Held: The 2 deaths and several serious physical A crime such as simple estafa can be and ordinarily is
injuries resulted from his angle act of reckless committed in the manner defined in the Penal Code;
driving. Hence, only one penalty should be imposed but if the “estafador” resorts to or employs
upon him. falsification, merely to facilitate and insure his
committing estafa, then he is guilty of the complex
THEFT OF FIRARM AND ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF crime of estafa through falsification.
SAME FIREARM DO NOT FORM A COMPLEX CRIME –
THEY ARE 2 DISTINCT CRIMES IN COMPLEX CRIME, WHEN THE OFFENDER
EXECUTES VARIOUS ACTS, HE MUST HAVE A SINGLE
While in stealing a firearm, the accused must PURPOSE
necessarily come into possession thereof, the crime
of illegal possession of firearm is not committed by The accused received 17 money orders with a letter,
mere transient possession of the weapon. It requires all in one envelope, addressed to the offended party.
something more: that there must be not only The accused presented them to the post office for
intention to own but also intent to use. Thus, cashing on one occasion, after having falsified the
stealing a firearm with intent not to use but to signature of the remitter on each and every one of
render the owner defenceless, would not justify a the 17 money orders.
charge of illegal possession of the firearm.
Held: In all the acts performed by the accused, there
was only one criminal intent. To commit estafa, the
accused had to commit 17 falsifications. These WHEN THE OFFENDER HAD IN HIS POSSESSION THE
falsifications were necessary to commit estafa. FUNDS WHICH HE MISAPPROPRIATED, THE
FLSIFICATION OF A PUBLIC OR OFFICIAL DOCUMENT
The crime committed is only one complex crime of INVOLVING SAID FUNDS IS A SEPARATE OFFENSE.
estafa through multiple falsifications, and not 17
separate estafas and 17 separate falsifications. The municipal treasurer having in his possession the
funds, the same could be misappropriated by him
But if a person falsified 27 vouchers, not to commit and his co accused without the necessity of falsifying
estafa or malversation, he is liable for 27 any document. Hence, the falsification was not a
falsifications, because the various acts of falsification necessary means for committing the malversation.
were not executed for the attainment of a single
purpose. But when the offender had to falsify a public or
official document to obtain possession of the funds
When in the definition of a felony one offense is a which he misappropriated, the falsification is a
means to commit the other, there is no complex necessary means to commit in the malversation
crime.
NO COMPLEX CRIME WHERE ONE OF THE OFFENSE
In murder where the killing of a person is qualified IS PENALIZED BY A SPECIAL LAW
by the circumstance that it was committed by means
of fire or by means of explosion which in themselves Although the evidence shows that a crime has been
re felonies defined and penalized under Art 321 and committed for the express purpose of committing
324, as arson and crimes involving destruction, another, as when a public officer misappropriate
respectively, there is no complex crime. The crime is public funds for which he is accountable through
murder, plain and simple. falsification of public document, yet both crimes
should be punished separately where it appears that
SUBESEQUENT ACTS OF INTERCOURSE, AFTER they are punished under different statutes, the
FORCIBLE ABDUCTION WITH RAPE, ARE SEPARATE Administrative Code and the Penal Code.
ACTS OF RAPE
ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF FIREARM IS NOT A
When the first act of rape was committed in the NECESSARY MEANS TO COMMIT HOMICIDE
truck, the crime of forcible abduction was already
consummated so that each of the succeeding rapes The accused was previously convicted of homicide
committed in the house cannot legally be considered for the perpetration of which he used a .30 caliber
as still connected with the abduction. rifle. Later, he was prosecuted for illegal possession
of said firearm.
Even while the first act of rape was being performed,
the crime of forcible abduction was already Held: The accused committed 2 different acts with
consummated, so that each of the three succeeding two separate criminal intents, (the desire to take
rapes cannot be complexed with forcible abduction. unlawfully the life of a person, and the wilful
violation of the law which prohibits the possession of
NO COMPLEX CRIME WHEN TRESPASS TO DWELLING a firearm without the required permit.
IS A DIRECT MEANS TO COMMIT A GRAVE OFFENSE
The other reason is that homicide and illegal
When trespass to dwelling is a direct means to possession of firearm are punished under different
commit a graver offense, like rape, homicide or statutes.
murder, there is no complex crime of trespass to
dwelling with rape, homicide, or murder. ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF FIREARM, WHEN
CONSIDERED A SPECIAL AGGRAVATING
NO COMPLEX CRIME, WHEN ONE OFFENSE IS CIRCUMSTANCE
COMMITTED TO CONCEAL THE OTHER
The use of an unlicensed firearm in murder or
But when one of the offense was committed for the homicide is now considered, not as a separate crime,
purpose of concealing the commission of the other, but merely a special aggravating circumstance.
there is no complex crime.
ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF FIREARM ABSORBED IN
a. After committing homicide, the accused, in REBELLION
order to conceal the crime, set fire to the
house where it had been perpetrated. WHEN TWO OR MORE CRIMES ARE COMMITED, BUT
b. The amount appropriated to himself was in (1) NOT BY A SINGLE ACT (2) ONE IS NOT NECESSARY
the possession and at the disposal of the MEANS FOR COMMITTING THE OTHER, THERE IS NO
accused and he could have approporiated it COMPLEX CRIME
to himself without the necessity of the
falsified document. 2 crimes were The accused compelled the pilot to direct the plane
committed. The falsification was a means to from Laoag to Amoy instead of Aparri, and for not
conceal, not to commit, the malversation.
complying with such illegal demand, the accused If a person fired a shot and killed 2 persons with the
shot him to death. same shot, were it not for Art 48, he would be
sentenced to reclusion temporal for each homicide.
Held: They do not constitute a complex crime of But under Art 48, he shall be sentenced to the
grave coercion with murder, because the accused maximum period of one reclusion temporal only.
could have killed the pilot, without necessity of
compelling him to change the route of the airplane ; THE PENALTY FOR COMPLEX CRIME IS THE PENALTY
the coercion was not necessary for the commission FOR THE MOST SERIOUS CRIME, THE SAME TO BE
of murder. Neither was murder necessary to commit APLIED IN ITS MAXIMUM PERIOD
coercion. The accused executed two distinct acts,
and not only one. Compelling the pilot to change the In the complex crime of direct assault with homicide,
route of the airplane is one act. Shooting him when the penalty for homicide, being the most serious
he did not comply with that order is another act. crime, shall be imposed and the penalty is to be
applied in its maximum period. The penalty for direct
THERE S NO COMPLEX CRIME OF REBELLION WTH assault is at most prision correccional in its medium
MURDER, ARSON, ROBBEERY, OR OTHER COMMON and maximum periods. Whereas the penalty for
CRIMES homicide is reclusion temporal.

Murder, arson, and robbery are mere ingredients of The penalty for the complex crime of homicide with
the crime of rebellion, as means necessary for the assault upon a person in authority is the maximum
perpetration of the offense. Such common offense period of the penalty for the more serious crime –
are absorbed or inherent in the crime of rebellion. homicide.
But a rebel who, for some independent or personal
motives, commits murder or other common offenses If the different crimes resulting from one single act
in addition to rebellion, may be prosecuted for and are punished with the same penalty, the penalty for
convicted of such common offenses any one of them shall be imposed, the same to be
applied in the maximum period.
WHEN TWO CRIMES PRODUCED BY A SINGLE ACT
ARE RESPECTIVELY WITHIN THE EXCLUSIVE The same rule shall be observed when an offense is a
JURISDICTION OF TWO COURTS OF DIFFERENT necessary means for committing the other.
JURISDICTION, THE COURT OF HIGHER
A complex crime of the second form may be
JURISIDICTION SHALL TRY THE COMPLEX CRIME
committed by two persons, as in seduction through
Through reckless imprudent committed in one single usurpation of official functions where one of the
act, the accused caused damages to property, accused committed usurpation of official functions
punishable by a fine which only the CFI can impose by simulating the performance of marriage
and less serious physical injuries which ordinarily s ceremony without legal right between the victim
within the jurisdiction of the municipal court. and his co-accused who thereafter seduced the
victim. Both accused, being in conspiracy, were
The CFI should try the case charging a complex sentenced to the maximum period of the penalty for
crime. usurpation of official functions, an offense more
serious than the crime of seduction.
THE CFI (NOWRTC) OF MANILA RETAINED
JURISIDICTION IN A CHARGE OF ABDUCTION WITH But when one of the offenses, as a means to commit
RAPE, ALTHOUGH ABUCTION, WHICH WAS the other, was committed by one of the accused by
COMMENCED IN MANILA, WAS NOT PROVEN, AND reckless imprudence, that accused who committed
THE RAPE WHICH WAS COMMITTED IN CAVITE, WAS the offense by reckless imprudence is liable for his
THE ONLY MATTER PROVED. acts only.

Although the forcible abduction, which was When the homicide, physical injuries, and the
supposedly commenced in Manila, was not proven, burning of a house are the result of one singe act of
and although the rape, which was proven, was negligence, there is only one penalty, but there are 3
actually committed in Cavite, still the CFI of Manila civil liabilities
has jurisdiction to convict the accused of rape.
When the penalty for one of the crimes resulting
ARTICLE 48 IS INTENDED TO FAVOR THE CULPRIT from a single act is beyond the jurisdiction of the
municipal court, there should be additional penalty
Art 48could have had no other purpose than to for the other.
prescribe a penalty lower than the aggregate of the
penalties for each offense, if imposed separately. If there is only damage to property, the amount
When two or more crimes are the result of a single fixed therein shall be imposed, but if there are also
act, the offender is deemed less perverse than when physical injuries, there should be an additional
he commits said crimes through separate and penalty for the latter.
distinct acs.
WHEN TWO FELONIES CONSTITUTING COMPLEX When a complex crime is charged and the evidence
CRIMES ARE PUNISHABLE BY IMPRISONMENTAND fails to support the charges as to one of the
FINE, ONLY THE PENALTY OF IMPRISONMENT component offenses, the defendant can be
SHOULD BE IMPOSED. convicted of the other.

The severity of the penalty for the more serious ARTICLE 48 DOES NOT APPLY WHEN THE LAW
crime should not be judged by the classification of PROVIDES ONE SINGLE PENALTY FOR SPECIAL
each of the penalties involved, but by the nature of COMPLEX CRIMES
the penalties.
In robbery with homicide, robbery with rape,
Even if the fine for damage to property through kidnapping with serious physical injuries, or
reckless imprudence is 40,000, an afflictive penalty, kidnapping with murder or homicide, or rape with
and the penalty for physical injuries resulting from homicide, Art 48 does not apply because the RPC
the same act is only 4 months of arresto mayor, a provides for one single penalty for each of those
correctional penalty, the latter penalty should be special complex crimes
imposed.
SPECIAL COMPLEX CRIME OF KIDNAPPING WITH
If damage to property and physical injuries resulted MURDER OR HOMICIDE
from a single act of the defendant there should be
an additional penalty for the latter, is in disregard of Where the person kidnapped is killed in the course
Art 48 of the RPC which provides that only one of the detention, regardless of whether the killing
penalty should be imposed for complex crime. was purposely sought or was merely an
afterthought, the kidnapping and murder or
The penalty for complex crime is intended to favour homicide can no longer be complexed under Art48,
the offender. nor be treated as separate crimes, but shall be
punished as a special complex crime under the last
ARTICLE 48 APPLIES ONLY TO CASESW WHERE THE paragraph of Art 267
CODE DOES NOT PROVIDE A DEFINITE SPECIFIC
OENALTY FOR A COMPLEX CRIME PLURALITY OF CRIMES

The accused inflicted less serious physical injuries on Plurality of crimes consists in the successive
the municipal mayor in the cockpit where at the execution by the same individual of different
time there were many people present There was a criminal acts upon ay of which no conviction has yet
manifest intent to insult the mayor and of adding been declared.
ignominy to the case.
KINDS OF PLURALITY OF CRIMES
The acts complained of cannot constitute a complex
crime of slander by deed with less serious physical 1. Formal or ideal plurality
injuries, because complex crime exists only in cases 2. Real or material plurality
where the Code has no specific provision penalizing
In real or material plurality, there are different
the same with defined specific penalty.
crimes in law as well as in the conscience of the
ONE INFORMATION SHOULD BE FILED WHEN A offender. The offender shall be punished for each
COMPLEX CRIME IS COMMITTED and every offense that he committed.

Even if several persons were killed, only one EXAMPLE OF REAL OR MATERIAL PLURALITY
information should be filed if the victims were killed
A stabbed B with a knife. Then, A also stabbed C.
by a single act.
There are 2 crimes committed. Note that there are
But if four crimes of murder and a frustrated murder two acts performed.
resulted from the firing of several shots at five
PLURALITY OF CRIMES DISTINGUSHED FROM
victims, the crimes are not complex. 5 informations
RECIDIVISM
should be filed.
In recidivism, there must be conviction by final
The sameruling applies when one of the offenses
judgment of the first or prior offense ; in plurality of
committed is not a necessary means for committing
crimes, there is no conviction of any of the crimes
the other, as when one offense is committed to
committed.
conceal the other. In that case, two informations will
have to be filed and in case of conviction, two PLURAL CRIMES OF THE FORMAL OR IDEAL TYPE ARE
penalties shall be imposed. DIVIDED INTO 3 GROUPS

WHEN A COMPLEX CRIME IS CHARGED AND ONE 1. When the offender commits any of the
OFFENSE IS NOT PROVEN, THE ACCUSED CAN BE complex crimes
CONVICTED OF THE OTHER.
2. When the law specifically fixes a single THE SERIES OF ACTS BORN OF A SINGLE CRIMINAL
penalty for two or more offenses IMPULSE MAY BE PERPETRATED DURING A LONG
committed. PERIOD OF TIME

Examples: It was held that the different acts of sending letters


a. Robbery with homicide of demand for money with threats to kill and burn
b. Kidnapping with serious physical injuries the house of the offended party constitute only one
and the same crime of grave threats born of a single
3. When the offender commits continued criminal impulse to attain a definite objective.
crimes
WHEN TWO ACTS ARE DEEMED DISTINCT FORM ONE
CONTINUED CRIME ANOTEHR ALTHOUGH PROCEEDING FROM THE
SAME CRIMINAL IMPULSE
A continued crime is a single crime, consisting of a
series of acts but all arising from one criminal Where the accused, after uttering defamatory words
resolution. against the offended party, attacked and assaulted
the latter, resulting in slight physical injuries, two
A continuing offense is a continuous, unlawful act or offenses were committed, for while the insults as
series of acts set on foot by a single impulse and well as the assault were the product of the same
operated by an unintermittent force, however long a criminal impulse, the act of insulting is entirely
time it may occupy. different and the distinct from that of inflicting
physical injuries, although the two offenses may
Although there is a series of acts, there is only one have taken place on the same occasion, or that one
crime committed. Hence, only one penalty shall be preceded the other. The act of insulting cannot be
imposed. deemed included in that of inflicting physical
injuries, because the offense of insult is an offense
Examples:
against honor, whereas slight physical injuries is an
1. A collector of a commercial firm offense against persons.
misappropriates for his personal use several
A CONTINUED CRIME IS NOT A COMPLEX CRIME
amounts collected by him from different
persons. There is here one crime only, A continued crime is not a complex crime, because
because the different and successive the offender in continued or continuous crime does
appropriations are but the different not perform a single act, but a series of acts, and one
moments during which one criminal offense is not a necessary means for committing the
resolution arises and a single defraudation other.
develops.
Not being a complex crime, the penalty for
2. A thief who takes from the yard of a house continued crime is not to be imposed in the
two roosters belonging to two different maximum period.
persons commits only one crime, for the
reason that there is unity of though in the The theft of the two roosters belonging to two
criminal purpose of the offender. different persons was punished with one penalty
only, the SC holding that there being only one
3. The several acts of ransacking the different criminal purpose in the taking of the two roosters,
houses were not unconnected and entirely only one crime was committed.
distinct from one another. They formed
A CONTINUED CRIME IS DIFFERENT FROM A
component parts of the general plan to
TRANSITORY CRIME
despoil all those within the vicinity. There is
only one crime of robbery in this case. An example of transitory crime, also called a
“moving crime”, is kidnapping a person for the
purpose of ransom, by forcibly taking the victim
NOT ONE CONTINUING CRIME, BUT 3 SEPARATE
from Manila to Bulacan where ransom was
CRIMES
demanded. The offenders could be prosecuted and
Appellants were charged with the crime of robbery tried either in Manila or in Bulacan.
in band in 3 separate information, committed by
When a transitory crime is committed, the criminal
robing one house, then proceeded to another house
action may be instituted and tried in the court of the
where the second robbery was committed and then
municipality, city or province where in any of the
to another house where the third robbery was
essential ingredients thereof took place. The
committed.
singleness of the crime, committed by executing two
or more acts, is not considered.
DISTINGUISH REAL OR MATERIAL PLURALITY FROM A, thinking that the person walking in a dark
CONTINUED CRIME alley was B, a stranger, fired at that person, who
was killed as a result. It turned out that person
In real or material plurality as well as in continued was C, the father of A.
crime, there is a series of acts performed by the
offender. The crime actually committed is parricide,
punishable by reclusion perpetua to death. The
In real or material plurality, each act performed by crime which A intended to commit is homicide,
the offender constitutes a separate crime, because punishable by reclusion temporal. In view of
each act is generated by a criminal impulse ; in rule 1, the penalty for homicide shall be
continued crime, the different acts constitute only imposed in its maximum period.
one crime because all of the act performed arise
from one criminal resolution But suppose A wanted to kill his father and
waited for the latter in a dark alley where he
Article 49: Penalty to be imposed upon the used to pass in going home ; when A saw a
principals when the crime committed is different person coming and thinking that he was his
from that intended father, A shot him ; and it turned out that that
person was a stranger. In this case, A should be
RULES AS TO THE PENALTY TO BE IMPOSED WHEN
punished with the penalty for homicide to be
THE CRIME COMMITTED IS DIFFERENT FROM THAT
applied in its maximum period.
INTENDED
The lesser penalty is always to be imposed, only
1. If the penalty for the felony committed be
that it shall be imposed in the maximum period.
higher than the penalty for the offense
which the accused intended to commit, the 3. Praeter Intentionem
lower penalty shall be imposed in its
maximum period Art 49 has no application to cases where a
more serious consequence not intended by
2. If the penalty for the felony committed be the offender befalls the same person.
lower than the penalty for the offense
which the accused intended to commit, the ART 49 IS APPLICABLE ONLY WHEN THE INTENDED
lower penalty shall be imposed in its CRIME AND THE CRIME ACTUALLY COMMITTED ARE
maximum period. PUNISED WITH DIFFERENT PENALTIES

3. If the act committed also constitutes an If the intended crime and the crime actually
attempt or frustration of another crime, committed are punished with the same or equal
and the law prescribes a higher penalty for penalties, Art 49 is not applicable.
either of the latter, the penalty for the
ART 49 DISTINGUISED FROM ART 48
attempted or frustrated crime shall be
imposed in its maximum period. The lesser penalty is to be imposed, to be applied in
the maximum period. In art 48, the penalty for the
more or most serious crime shall be imposed, the
ART 49 APPLIES ONLY WHE THERE IS A MISTAKE IN
same to be applied in its maximum period.
THE IDENTITY OF THE VICTIM OF THE CRIME, AND
THE PENALTY FOR THE CRIME COMMITED IS Art 50-57: Penalty to be imposed upon principals,
DIFFERENT FROM THAT FOR THE CRIME INTENDED accomplices, and accessories
TO BE COMMITTED
Art 58: Additional penalty to be imposed upon
1. Abberatio Ictus (Mistake in the blow) certain accessories

A fired his gun at his father, with intent to ADDITIONAL PENALTIES FOR PUBLIC OFFICERS WHO
kill him, but he missed and hit C, killing the ARE GULTY AS ACCESSORIES UNDER PARAGRAPH 3
latter. OF ARTICLE 19

Public officers who help the author of a crime by


In this case, 2 crimes were actually
misusing their office and duties shall suffer the
committed. (1) homicide (2) attempted
additional penalties of:
parricide. One who fires a gun at his father
with intent to kill is guilty of attempted 1. Absolute perpetual disqualification, if the
parricide, even if the latter is not injured at principal offender is guilty of a grave felony
all.
2. Absolute temporary disqualification If the
2. Error in personae principal offender is guilty of less grave
felony
THIS ARTICLE APPLIES ONLY TO PUBLIC OFFICERS maximum period to reclusion perpetua shall be
WHO ABUSED THEIR PUBLIC FUNCTIONS imposed upon the offender.

The additional penalty prescribed in this article will Were it not for this provision in Article 60, the
be imposed only on those accessories whose penalty to be imposed would be reclusion temporal
participation in the crime is characterized by the which is the penalty next lower in degree than
misuse of public officers or authority reclusion perpetua to death, the penalty for
consummated offense of robbery with homicide
Art 59: Penalty to be imposed in case of failure to
commit the crime because the means employed or Because of the enormity of the offense of attempted
the aims sought are impossible or frustrated robbery with homicide, the law
provides a special penalty thereof.
PENALTY FOR IMPOSSIBLE CRIME
ACCOMPLICE, PUNISHED AS PRINCIPAL
The penalty for impossible crime is arresto mayor or
a fine ranging from 200 to 500 pesos But in two cases, the Code punishes an accomplice
with the same penalty imposed upon the principal.
BASIS FOR IMPOSITION OF PROPER PENALTY: (1) They are:
SOCIAL DANGER ; AND (2) DEGREE OF CRIMINALITY
SHOWN BY THE OFFENDER 1. The ascendants, guardians, curators,
teachers and any person who by abuse of
The court must take into consideration the social authority or confidential relationship, shall
danger and the degree of criminality shown by the cooperate as accomplices in the crimes of
offender. rape, acts of lasciviousness, seduction,
corruption of minors.
Thus, a person who fired a revolver upon his enemy
from a distance of one km, shows stupidity rather
2. One who furnished the place for the
than dangerousness. According to the positivist
perpetration of the crime of slight illegal
theory, such person should not be punished,
detention.
because there is neither “social danger” nor any
“degree of criminality” shown by such person. His
said act is absolutely harmless. Even subjectively, a ACCESSORY PUNISHED AS PRINCIPAL
man with a little common sense will know that he
cannot hit a person by firing a revolver one km away. Knowingly concealing certain evil practices is
ordinarily an act of the accessory, but in Art 142,
But one who discharged a gun at another from a such act is punished as the act of the principal.
distance of 200 yards, is guilty of discharge of
firearm under Art 254, not of impossible crime, there CERTAIN ACCESSORIES ARE PUNISHED WITH A
being no proof of intent to kill on the part of the PENALTY ONE DEGREE LOWER, INSTEAD OF TWO
offender and it being possible of accomplishing the DEGREES
evil intent of the offender.
In certain crimes, the participation of the offender is
IS THE ENALTY FOR IMPOSSIBLE CRIME PROPER? that of an accessory because he perpetrates the act
after someone has committed falsification. But the
The fixing of the penalty of arresto mayor is subject penalty for the act perpetrated is one degree lower
to criticism, because this article uses the words instead of two degrees lower in the following crimes:
“offense” and “crime” which include light felony. So,
he who attempts to commit a light felony of 1. Knowingly using counterfeited seal or
impossible materialization may be punished by a forged signature or stamp of the President
penalty of arresto mayor which is higher than that
prescribed for the consummated light felony, which 2. Illegal possession and the use of a false
is arresto menor. treasury or bank note

Art 60: Exceptions to the rule established in Articles 3. Using a falsified document
50 to 57
4. Using a falsified dispatch
ARTICLES 50 TO 57 DO NOT APPLY WHEN THE LAW
EXPRESSLY PRESCRIBES THE PENALTY FOR A Art 61: Rules for graduating penalties
FRUSTRATED OR ATTEMPTED FELONY OR TO BE
IMPOSED UPON ACCOMPLICES OR ACCESSORIES ARTICLE 61 PROVIDES FOR THE RULES TO BE
OBSERVED IN LOWERING THE PENALTY BY ONE OR
Thus, when on the occasion or in consequence of an TWO DEGREES
attempted or frustrated robbery, the offender
commits a homicide, the law provides in Art 297, 1. For the principal in frustrated felony – One
that the special penalty of reclusion temporal in its degree lower
2. For the principal in attempted felony – Two WHEN THE PENALTY IS COMPOSED OF TWO
degrees lower INDIVISIBLE PENALTIES AND THE MAXIMUM PERIOD
OF A DIVISIBLE PENALTY
3. For the accomplice in consummated felony
– One degree lower WHEN THE PENALTY IS COMPOSED OF ONE
INDIVISIBLE PENALTY AND THE MAXIMUM PERIOD
OF A DIVISIBLE PENALTY
4. For the accessory in consummated felony –
Example: Reclusion temporal in its maximum period
Two degrees lower
to reclusion perpetua. The same rule shall be
The rules provided for in Article 61 should also apply observed in lowering the penalty by one or two
in determining the minimum of the indeterminate degrees.
penalty under the ISLAW. The minimum of the
Fourth rule:
indeterminate penalty is within the range of the
penalty next lower than that prescribed by the RPC WHEN THE PENALTY IS COMPOSED OF SEVERAL
for the offense. PERIODS

Those rules also apply in lowering the penalty by one The fourth rule contemplates a penalty composed of
or two degrees by reason of the presence of atleast three periods.
privileged mitigating circumstance, or when the
penalty is divisible and there are two or more The several periods must correspond to different
mitigating circumstances and non aggravating divisible penalties.
circumstance.
The penalty which is composed of several periods
ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE RULES corresponding to different divisible penalties is
prision mayor in its medium period to reclusion
First rule: temporal in its minimum period. The period
immediately following the minimum, which is prision
WHEN THE PENALTY IS SINGLE AND INDIVISIBLE
mayor in its medium period, is prision mayor in its
A single and indivisible penalty is reclusion perpetua. minimum period. The two periods next following are
This is the penalty for kidnapping and failure to the maximum and medium periods of prision
return a minor. In scale no. 1, the penalty correccional, the penalty next following in the scale
immediately following reclusion perpetua is prescribed in Art 71.
reclusion temporal. The penalty next lower in degree
Fifth rule:
therefore, is reclusion temporal.
WHEN THE PENALTY HAS TWO PERIODS
Second rule:
Certain offenses defined in the Code are punished
WHEN THE PENALTY IS COMPOSED OF TWO
with a penalty composed of two periods, either of
INDIVISIBLE PENALTIES
the same penalty –
Two indivisible penalties are reclusion perpetua to
1. For abduction – prision correccional in its
death. This is the penalty for parricide. The penalty
minimum and medium periods
immediately following the lesser of the penalties,
which is reclusion perpetua, is reclusion temporal.
Or of different penalties –
WHEN THE PENALTY IS COMPOSED OF ONE OR 2. For physical injuries – arresto mayor in its
MORE DIVISIBLE PENALTIES TO BE IMPOSED TO maximum period to prision correccional in
THEIR FULL EXTENT its minimum period.

One divisible penalty to be imposed to its full extent WHEN THE PENALTY HAS ONE PERIOD
is reclusion perpetua ; and two divisible penalties to
If the penalty is any of the three periods of a divisible
be imposed to their full extent are prision
penalty, the penalty next lower in degree shall be
correccional to prision mayor. The penalty
that period next following the given penalty. Thus,
immediately following the divisible penalty of
the penalty immediately inferior to prision mayor in
reclusion temporal in Scale no.1 is prision mayor ;
its maximum period is prision mayor in its medium
and the penalty immediately following the lesser o
period.
the penalties of prision correccional to prision mayor
is arresto mayor If the penalty is reclusion temporal in its medium
period, the penalty next lower in degree is reclusion
Third rule:
temporal in its minimum period.

SIMPLIFIED RULES
1. If the penalty prescribed by the Code 2. Which are included by law in defining a
consists in 3 periods, corresponding to crime
different divisible penalties, the penalty
next lower in degree is the penalty That the crime was committed in the
consisting in the 3 periods down in the scale dwelling of the offended party is not
aggravating in robbery with force upon
2. If the penalty prescribes by the Code things; abuse of confidence is not
consists in two periods, the penalty next aggravating in qualified theft committed
lower in degree is the penalty consisting in with grave abuse of confidence.
two periods down in the scale
WHEN THE MAXIMUM OF THE PENALTY SHALL BE
3. If the penalty prescribes by the Code IMPOSED
consists in only one period, the penalty next
1. When in the commission of the crime,
lower in degree is the next period down in
advantage was taken by the offender of his
the scale.
public position

If the given penalty is composed of one, two, or 2. If the offense was committed by any person
three periods, the penalty next lower in degree who belongs to an organized/syndicated
should begin where the given penalty ends, because, crime group.
otherwise, if it were to skip over immediate ones, it
WHAT IS AN ORGANIZED/ SYNDICATED CRIME
would be lower nut not next lower in degree.
GROUP
MITIGATING AND AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES
A group of two or more persons collaborating or
ARE DISREGARDED IN THE APPLICATION OF THE
mutually helping one another for purposes of gain in
RULES FOR GRADUATING PENALTIES
the commission of any crime.
Art 62: Effects of the attendance of mitigating or
Paragraph 2: (inherent in crime)
aggravating circumstance and of habitual
delinquency The same rule applies with respect to aggravating
circumstance which are inherent in the crime.
EFFECTS OF THE ATTENDANCE OF AGGRAVATING OR
MITIGATING CIRCUMSTACES OR OF HABITUAL Paragraph 3:
DELINQUENCY
Aggravating or mitigating circumstances which arise
1. Aggravating circumstances (generic and from (1) the moral attributes of the offender, (2)
specific) have the effect of increasing the from his private relations with the offended party,
penalty, without, however, exceeding the (3) from any other personal cause, serve to
maximum provided by law. aggravate or mitigate the liability of the principals,
accomplices and accessories as to whom such
2. Mitigating circumstances have the effect of circumstances are attendant.
diminishing the penalty
1. From the moral attributes of the offender
3. Habitual delinquency has the effect, not
only of increasing the penalty because of The circumstances of evident premeditation
recidivism which is generally implied in and passion and obfuscation arise from the
habitual delinquency, but also of imposing moral attributes of the offenders.
an additional penalty.
2. From his private relations with the offended
party
RULES REGARDING AGGRAVATING AND MITIGATING
CIRCUMSTANCES: A and C inflicted slight physical injuries on
B. A is the son of B. C is the father of B. In
Paragraph 1: (Advantage and crime group)
this case, the alternative circumstance of
1. Which in themselves constitute a crime relationship, as aggravating, shall be taken
into account against A only, because he is a
That the crime be committed “by means of relative of a lower degree than the
fire” is not considered as aggravating in offended party, B. Relationship is mitigating
arson; and that the crime be committed by as regards C, he being a relative of a higher
means of “derailment of locomotive”, is not degree than the offended party, B.
considered as aggravating in the crime.
3. From any other personal cause
A and B committed a crime. A was under 16 1. That the offender had been convicted of
years of age and B was a recidivist. any of the crimes of serious or less serious
physical injuries, robbery, theft, estafa, or
Paragraph 4: falsification.

The circumstances which consist (1) in the material


2. That after the conviction or after serving his
execution of the act, (2) in the means employed to
sentence, he again committed, and within
accomplish It, shall serve to aggravate or mitigate
10 years from his release or first conviction,
the liability of those persons only who had
he was again convicted of any of the said
knowledge of them at the time of the execution of
crimes for the second time.
the act or their cooperation therein.

1. Material execution of the act 3. That after his conviction or after serving
sentence for the second offense, he again
A, as principal by induction, B, and C agreed committed, and, within 10 years from his
to kill D. B and C killed D with treachery, last release or last conviction, he was again
which mode of committing the offense had convicted of any of said offenses, the third
not been previously agreed upon by them time.
with A. A was not present when B and C
killed D with treachery.
COMPUTATION OF TEN YEAR PERIOD (SEE BOOK 734

The qualifying circumstance of treachery WHY THE STARTING POINT IS DATE OF RELAEASE OR
should not be considered against the DATE OF LAST CONVICTION (SEE BOOK 735)
principal by induction when he left to the
principal by direct participation the means, THE CULPRIT SHALL BE SENTENCED TO THE PENALTY
modes, or methods of the commission of PROVIDED BY LAW FOR THE LAST CRIME OF WHICH
the felony. HE BE FOUND GUILTY

2. Means to accomplish the crime Thus, is the accused is tried for robbery and
previously he was convicted of theft and estafa,
A ordered B to kill C. B invited C to eat with robbery is the last crime, and if found guilty, the
him. B mixed poison with the food of C, penalty for robbery shall be imposed upon him. He
who dies after he had eaten the food. A did will be declared a habitual delinquent upon his
not know that B used poison to kill C. In this conviction of robbery and he will be sentenced also
case, the aggravating circumstance that the to the additional penalty of prision correccional in its
crime be committed by means of poison is medium and maximum periods.
not applicable to A.
ADDITIONAL PENALTY FOR HABITUAL DELINQUENCY
THERE IS NO MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE RELATING
1. Upon a 3rd conviction, the culprit shall be
TO THE MEANS EMPLOYED IN THE EXECUTION OF
sentenced to the penalty provided by law
THE CRIME
for the last crime of which he is found guilty
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN (1) CIRCUMSTANCES and to the additional penalty of prision
RELATING TO THE PERSONS PARTICIPATING IN THE correccional in its medium and maximum
CRIME AD (2) CIRCUMSTANCES CONSISTING IN THE periods.
MATERIAL EXECUTION OR MEANS EMPLOYED
2. Upon a 4th conviction, the culprit shall also
- SEE BOOK PAGE PAGE 732 be sentenced to the additional penalty of
prision mayor in its minimum and medium
Paragraph 5: (habitual delinquent) periods.

WHO IS A HABITUAL DELINQUENT


3. Upon 5th or additional conviction, the
A person is a habitual delinquent if within a period of additional penalty of prision mayor in its
10 years from the date of his last release or last minimum to reclusion temporal in its
conviction of the crimes of serious or less serious minimum
physical injuries, robo, hurto, estafa, falsification, he
is found guilty of any of said crimes a third time.
TOTAL PENALTIES NOT TO EXCEED 30 YEARS
THE CRIMES ARE SPECIFIED IN HABITUAL
The total of the two penalties shall not exceed 30
DELINQUENCY
years. The two penalties refer to (1) the penalty for
REQUISITES OF HABITUAL DELINQUENCY the last crime of which he is found guilty and (2) the
additional penalty for being a habitual delinquent
REASON FOR IMPOSING ADDITIONAL PENALTY IN If the preceding conviction is less than 10 years from
HABITUAL DELINQUENCY the date of the conviction in the offense complained
of, the date of last release is not important, because
If after undergoing punishment for the first time for the release comes after conviction.
any of those crimes, instead of abandoning his ways
he goes on to commit again any of them, this second RULINGS ON HABITUAL DELINQUENCY
offense is punished with the maximum period of the
penalty provided by law. He may be a recidivist. 1. 10 year period computed either from last
conviction or last release
If such graver punishment for committing the second
offense has proved insufficient to restrain his 2. 10 year period is counted not to the date of
proclivities and to amend his life, he is deemed to commission of subsequent offense, but to
have shown a dangerous propensity to crimes. the date of conviction.
Hence, he is punished with a severer penalty for
committing any of those crimes the third time. An
additional penalty is imposed upon him. 3. When an offender has committed several
crimes mentioned in the definition of
PURPOSE OF THE LAW IN IMPOSING ADDITIONAL habitual delinquent, without being first
PENALTY convicted of any of them before committing
the others, he is not a habitual delinquent.
The purpose of the law in imposing additional
penalty on habitual delinquents is to render more
4. Convictions on the same day or about the
effective social dense and the reformation of
same time are considered as one only.
multirecidivists.

SUBSEQUENT CRIME MUST BE COMMITTED AFTER The reason for this ruling lies in the fact that
CONVICTION OF FORMER CRIME the additional penalties fixed by law for
habitual delinquent are reformatory in
Thus, although the accused was six times previously character and that their application should
convicted of estafa, yet if (1) the second crime was be gradual, and this can be carried out only
committed before his first conviction, and (2) the 4th when the second conviction takes place
before his 3rd conviction, and (3) the 5th and 6th were after the first or after service of sentence
committed on the same day, the 6 convictions are for the first crime.
equivalent to 3 only. (see book for illustration page
737) 5. Cries committed on the same date,
although convictions on different dates are
IN THE INFORMATION MUST BE ALLEGED:
considered only one.
1. The dates of the commission of the
previous crimes 6. Previous convictions are considered every
time a new offense is committed.
2. The date of the last conviction or release
7. The commission of any of those crimes
3. The dates of the other previous convictions need not be consummated. He who
or releases commits a crime, whether it be attempted
or frustrated, subjectively reveals the same
degree of depravity and perversity as one
Effect of plea of guilty when allegations are who commits a consummated crime.
insufficient
8. Habitual delinquency applies to accomplices
A plea of guilty to an information which fails to and accessories.
allege the date of commission of previous offenses,
of convictions and of releases is not an admission 9. If one crime was committed during the
that the offender is a habitual delinquent, but only a minority of the offender, such crime should
recidivist. not be considered for the purpose of
treating him as a habitual offender, because
Effect of failure to object to admission of decision
the proceedings as regards that crime were
showing dates of previous convictions
suspended.
Failure to allege said dates in the information is
deemed cured where the accused did not object to 10. The imposition of the additional penalty
the admission of decisions for previous offenses prescribed by law for habitual delinquent is
which show the date of his convictions. mandatory.

DATE OF RELEASE IS NOT ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY


11. Penalty for habitual delinquency is a real When a privileged mitigating circumstance under Art
penalty that determines jurisdiction. 68 or Art 69 is present

12. A habitual delinquent is necessarily a But if the circumstance present is a privileged


recidivists. mitigating circumstance under Art 68 or Art 69 ,
since a penalty lower by one or two degree shall be
CAN A CONVICT BE A HABITUAL DELINQUENT imposed upon the offender, he may yet get a
WITHOUT BEING A RECIDIVIST? penalty one or two degrees lower.

Yes. When no two of the crimes committed are Thus, if a woman being boxed by her husband
embraced in the same title of the code. stabbed him with a knife in the chest, causing his
death, she is entitled to a penalty one degree lower
THE IMPOSITION OF ADDITIONAL PENALTY FOR from reclusion perpetua to death. The penalty one
HABITUAL DELINQUENCY IS CONSTITUTIONAL degree lower is reclusion temporal.
Art 63: Rules for the application of indivisible MORAL VALUE, NOT NUMERICAL WEIGHT, OF
penalties CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD PREVAIL

OUTLINE OF THE RULES MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE IS NOT NECESSARY TO


IMPOSE RECLUSION PERPETUA WHEN THE CRIME IS
1. When the penalty is single indivisible, it
PUNISHABLE WITH TWO INDIVISIBBLE PEANLTIES OF
shall be applied regardless of any mitigating
RECLUSION PERPETUA TO DEATH
or aggravating circumstances.
The reason is that under Art 63, when the crime is
2. When the penalty is composed of two penalized with 2 indivisible penalties, reclusion
indivisible penalties, the following rules perpetua to death, the lesser penalty should be
shall be observed: imposed even when there is no mitigating
circumstance present.
a. When there is only one aggravating
circumstance, the greater penalty shall Art 64: Rules for the application of penalties which
be imposed. contain 3 periods
b. When there is neither mitigating nor
aggravating circumstances, the lesser ARTICLE 64 APPLIES ONLY WHEN THE PENALTY HAS
penalty shall be imposed. THREE PERIODS
c. When there is a mitigating
Applies when the penalty prescribed by law for the
circumstance and no aggravating
offense is reclusion temporal, prision mayor, prision
circumstance, the lesser penalty shall
correccional, arresto mayor, arresto menor, or
be imposed.
prision correccional to reclusion temporal because
d. When both mitigating and aggravating
they are divisible into 3 periods (minimum, medium,
circumstances are present, the court
and maximum)
shall allow them to offset one another.
If the penalty is made up of three different penalties,
ART 63 APPLIES ONLY WHEN THE PENALTY
as prision correccional to reclusion temporal, each
PRESCRIBED BY THE CODE IS EITHER ONE
forms a period according to art 77. Thus, prision
INDIVISIBLE PENALTY OR TWO INDIVISIBLE
correccional will be the minimum; prision mayor the
PENALTIES
medium; and reclusion temporal the maximum.
Art 63 does not apply when the penalty prescribed
OUTLINE OF THE RULES
by the code is reclusion temporal in its maximum
period to death, because although this penalty 1. No aggravating and no mitigating – medium
includes the two indivisible penalties of death and period
reclusion perpetua, it has three periods; namely, the 2. Only mitigating – minimum period
minimum (reclusion temporal maximum); the 3. Only an aggravating – maximum period
medium (reclusion perpetua); and the maximum
(death). As no generic aggravating and mitigating
circumstances were proven in this case, the penalty
WHEN THE PENALTY IS COMPOSED OF TWO for murder should be imposed in its medium period
INDIVISIBLE PENALTIES THE PENALTY CANNOT BE or reclusion perpetua.
LOWERED BY ONE DEGREE, NO MATTER HOW MANY
MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES ARE PRESENT. The RPC provides that when the penalties prescribed
by law contain 3 periods, whether it be a single
Exception: divisible penalty or composed of 3 different
penalties, when neither aggravating nor mitigating
circumstances attend, the penalty prescribes by law 6. No penalty greater than the maximum
shall be imposed in its medium period. period of the penalty prescribed by law
shall be imposed, no matter how many
Illustrations of Nos. 2 and 3: aggravating circumstances are present.

A is convicted of homicide punishable by reclusion


7. The court can determine the extent of the
temporal, which has 3 periods (minimum, medium,
penalty “within the limits of each period,
and maximum):
according to the number” and “nature” of
a. If there is no mitigating or aggravating the aggravating and mitigating
circumstances – the penalty is reclusion circumstances and the greater or lesser
temporal medium “extent of the evil” produced by the crime.

b. If A pleaded guilty and there is no A crime punished with arresto mayor was
aggravating circumstance to offset the committed with the concurrence of 3
mitigating circumstance of plea of guilty, circumstances, 2 aggravating and 1
the penalty is reclusion temporal minimum. mitigating. Under Rule 4, the penalty of
arresto mayor in its maximum period.
c. If A committed the crime of homicide in the
dwelling of the deceased, and there is no Under Rule 7, the court can impose an
mitigating circumstance to offset the intermediate penalty between 4 months
aggravating circumstance of dwelling, the and 1 day to 6 months. It may impose 4
penalty to be imposed on hi is reclusion months and 1 day, 5 months, or 6 months.
temporal maximum.

THE COURT HAS DISCRETION TO IMPOSE THE


When there are 2 aggravating circumstances and PENALTY WITHIN THE LIMITS FIXED BY LAW
there is no mitigating circumstance, the penalty
“EXTENT OF THE EVIL PRODUCED”
prescribed by law for the crime should be imposed in
its maximum period. V deposited in a bank certain checks of no value and
later knowing that he had no money in said bank,
4. When there are aggravating and mitigating
issues checks against it. V was convicted of estafa.
– the court shall offset those of one class
against the other according to their relative Taking into account the extent of the injury
weight produced by the offense which, in certain degree,
disturbed the economic life of a banking institution,
Illustration: it is proper to impose upon the accused, the
A committed homicide in the nighttime, maximum of the medium degree of the penalty.
purposely sought for by him and which
facilitated the commission of the crime. He ART 64 IS NOT APPLICABLE WHEN THE PENALTY IS
surrendered to the mayor of the town and INDIVISIBLE OR PRESCRIBED BY SPECIAL LAW OR
then tried pleaded guilty to the charge. FINE

One mitigating circumstance will offset the IN WHAT CASES ARE MITIGATING AND
aggravating circumstance of nighttime. AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES NOT CONSIDERED
IN THE IMPOSITION OF PENALTY?
The remaining mitigating circumstance will
1. When the penalty is single and indivisible
result in the imposition of the minimum
2. In felonies through negligence
period of the penalty of reclusion temporal,
3. The penalty to be imposed upon a Moro
the penalty for homicide.
4. When the penalty is only a fine imposed by
an ordinance
5. Two or more mitigating and no aggravating
– penalty next lower Art 65: Rules in cases in which the penalty is not
composed of 3 periods
A was once convicted by final judgment of
the crime of serious physical injuries. A now - Computation. See page 756 and 757
committed homicide with 3 mitigating
Art 66: Imposition of fines
circumstances. Is A entitled to a penalty one
degree lower? OUTLINE OF THIS PROVISION

- No. because there is an aggravating 1. The court can fix any amount of the fine
circumstance of recidivism. within the limits established by law
2. The court must consider – UNLAWFUL AGGRESSION IS INDISPENSABLE IN SELF
DEFENSE, DEFENSE OF RELATIVES AND DEFENSE OF
a. The mitigating and aggravating STRANGER
circumstances
b. More particularly, the wealth and B, who was challenged by A to fight, was the first to
means of the culprit attack A with a knife, whereupon A with similar
weapon retaliated by stabbing B, but in the struggle,
WHEN THE MINIMUM OF THE FINE IS NOT FIXED B killed A.

When the law does not fix the minimum of the fine, Although the greater number of the conditions
the determination of the amount of the fine to be required to justify the deed, that is (1)
imposed upon the culprit is left to the sound reasonableness of the means employed and (2) lack
discretion of the court, provided that it shall not of sufficient provocation, is present, since the
exceed the maximum authorized by law. essential of unlawful aggression is lacking, he is not
entitled to a reduction.
FINES ARE NOT DIVIDED INTO 3 EQUAL PORTIONS
When two of the essential requisites for justification
WEALTH OR MEANS OF CULPRIT IS MAIN are present, the penalty lower by two degrees may
CONSIDERATION IN FINE be imposed.
BUT MITIGATING AND AGGRAVATING Where only unlawful aggression is present, the
CIRCUMSTANCES ARE NOT ENTIRELY DISREGARDED. penalty next lower may be imposed.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FINANCIAL CONDITION OF
ACCUSED MAY BE CONSIDERED BY THE COURT The court has the discretion to impose one or two
degrees lower than that prescribed by law for the
The court may also consider other factors, such as offense.
the gravity or seriousness of the crime committed,
the heinousness of its perpetration, and the But in determining the proper period of the penalty
magnitude of its effects on the offender’s victims one or two degrees lower, the court must consider
the number and nature of the conditions of
POSITION AND STANDING OF ACCUSED CONSIDERED exemption or justification present or lacking.
AGGRAVATING IN GAMBLING
WHEN THE MAJORITY OF THE REQUISITES OF SELF
Where a person found guilty of violation of the DEFENSE AND TWO MITIGATING WITHOUT
Gambling law is a man of station or standing in the AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES ARE PRESENT, THE
community, the maximum penalty should be PENALTY IS THREE DEGREES LOWER.
imposed.
If the accused charged with homicide punishable by
Art 67: Penalty to be imposed when not all the reclusion temporal proved unlawful aggression on
requisites of exemption of the 4th circumstance of the part of the deceased and another requisite of
Art 12 are present self defense; plus 2 mitigating circumstances of
surrender and obfuscation, without any aggravating
ART 67 APPLIES ONLY WHEN ALL THE REQUISTIES OF
circumstance, the proper penalty for him is arresto
THE EXEMPTING CIRCUMSTANCE OF ACCIDENT ARE
mayor medium.
NOT PRESENT
Art 70: Successive service of sentences
If all these conditions are not present, the act should
be considered as reckless imprudence if the act is OUTLINE OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE
executed without taking those precautions or
measures which the most common prudence would 1. When the culprit has to serve two or more
require; and simple imprudence, if it is a mere lack penalties, he shall serve them
of precaution in those cases where either the simultaneously if the nature of the penalties
threatened harm is not imminent or the danger is will so permit.
not openly visible.
2. Otherwise, the order of their respective
Art 68: Penalty to be imposed upon a person under severity shall be followed.
18 years of age
3. The respective severity of the penalties is as
ART 68 HAS BEEN PARTLY REPEALED BY RA 9344
follows:
Art 69: Penalty to be imposed when the crime
committed is not wholly excusable a. Death
b. Reclusion Perpetua
c. Reclusion Temporal
d. Prision Mayor
e. Prision Correccional THE 3 FOLD RULE APPLIES ONLY WHEN THE CONVICT
f. Arresto mayor HAS TO SERVE ATLEAST 4 SENTENCES (see book 768)
g. Arresto menor
h. Destierro If the sum total of all the penalties does not exceed
i. Perpetual absolute disqualification the most severe multiplies by 3, the 3 fold rule does
j. Temporary absolute disqualification not apply.
k. Suspension from public office, right to
ALL THE OENALTIES, EVEN IF BY DIFFERENT COURTS
vote
AT DIFFERENT TIMES, CANNOT EXCEED 3 FOLD THE
l. Public censure
MOST SEVERE
THE PENALTIES WHICH CAN BE SIMULTANEOUSLY
This rule, for the reason stated, should be followed
SERVED ARE:
irrespective of the fact that the different offenses
a. Perpetual absolute disqualification are charged in several informations, or are included
b. Perpetual special disqualification in a single prosecution, or the several cases are tried
c. Temporary absolute before the same court or in different courts.
d. Temporary special
The 3 fold rule applies although the penalties were
e. Suspension
imposed for different crimes, at different times, and
f. Destierro
under separate informations.
g. Public censure
h. Fine and bond to keep the peace DURATION OF THE CONVICT’S SENTENCE REFERS TO
i. Civil interdiction SEVERAL PENALTIES FOR DIFFERENT OFFENSES, NOT
j. Confiscation YET SERVED OUT.

The above penalties, except destierro, can be served Note, however, that this rule applies only when the
simultaneously with imprisonment. convict has to serve continuous imprisonment for
several offenses. If the convict already served
Penalties consisting in deprivation of liberty cannot
sentence for one offense, that imprisonment will not
be served simultaneously by reason of the nature of
be considered, for the purpose of the 3 fold rule, if
such penalties.
after this release he commits again and is convicted
THE ORDER OF THE RESPECTIVE SEVERITY OF THE of new offenses.
PENALTIES SHALL BE FOLLOWED SO THAT THEY MAY
Only penalties which have not yet been served out
BE EXECUTED SUCCESSIVELY
can be served simultaneously.
Where the convict was sentenced on Oct 28, 1905,
No prisoner shall be required to remain in prison
to imprisonment for 6 months and for one offense,
continuously for more than 40 years. The duration of
and on November 11 1905, he was sentenced to
perpetual penalties is 30 years.
imprisonment for 4 months and 1 day for another
offense, it was held that he should serve the two If the sentence is indeterminate, the maximum term
terms successively and the time of the second is to be considered
sentence did not commence to run until the
expiration of the first. SUBSIDIARY IMPRISONMENT FORMS PART OF THE
PENALTY
Imprisonment must be served before destierro.
Arresto menor is more severe than destierro. The imposition of 3 fold maximum penalty does not
preclude subsidiary imprisonment for failure to pay a
THE THREE FOLD RULE fine.

According to the 3 fold rule, the maximum duration The rule is to multiple the highest penalty by 3 and
of the convict’s sentence shall not be more than 3 the result will be the aggregate principal penalty
times the length of time corresponding to the most which the prisoner has to serve, plus the payment of
severe of the penalties imposed upon him. all indemnities with or without subsidiary
imprisonment, provided the principal penalty does
THE PHRASE “THE MOST SEVERE OF THE PENALTIES”
not exceed 6 years.
INCLUDES EQUAL PENALTIES
The subsidiary imprisonment for non payment of the
Thus, the petitioner for habeas corpus who had been
fine cannot be eliminated so long as the principal
sentenced in 6 different cases of estafa, in each of
penalty is not higher than 6 years of imprisonment
which he was penalized with 3 months and 11 days
of arresto mayor, cannot be made to suffer more The provision of Art 70 that “no other penalty to
than 3 months and 11 days multiplied by 3 or 9 which he may be liable shall be inflicted after the
months and 33 days. sum total of those imposed equals the said
maximum period”, simply means that the convict
shall not serve the excess over the maximum of 3 THE METROPOLITAN AND MUNICIPAL COURTS CAN
fold the most severe penalty. IMPOSE DESTIERRO

INDEMNITY IS A PENALTY Offenses penalized by destierro fall under the


jurisdiction of justice of peace and municipal courts.
The accused contended that in applying the 3 fold
rule, the court should not have taken into account Destierro, although correctional penalty consisting in
the indemnity of 498 pesos or its corresponding banishment with a duration of 6 months and 1 day
subsidiary imprisonment. to 6 years is considered not higher than arresto
mayor.
Held: This contention is without merit for an
indemnity, to all intents and purposes, is considered Metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts, and
a penalty, although pecuniary in character. Article 70 municipal circuit trial courts shall exercise exclusive
makes no distinction between the principal penalty original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with
and the subsidiary imprisonment. imprisonment not exceeding 6 years irrespective of
the amount of fine, and regardless of other
COURT MUST IMPOSE ALL THE PENALTIES FOR ALL imposable accessory or other penalties, including
THE CRIMES OF WHICH THE ACCUSED IS FOUND the civil liability arising from such offenses or
GUILTY, BUT IN THE SERVICE OF THE SAME, THEY predicated thereon.
SHALL NOT EXCEED THREE TIES THE MOST SEVERE
AND SHALL NOT EXCEED 40 YEARS. MUST DESTIERRO BE APPLIED ONLY WHEN IT IS
SPECIALLY IMPOSED BY LAW?
The 3 fold rule is applied, not in the imposition of the
penalties, but in connection with the service of the No. Destierro may be imposed when it is the penalty
sentences imposed. next lower and the circumstances require the
imposition of a penalty one degree lower.
It was held that the accused were guilty of murders
and that each of them must be sentenced to suffer The penalty two degrees lower from arresto mayor in
reclusion perpetua for each of the five murders, its medium and maximum periods is destierro in its
although the duration of the aggregate penalties minimum and medium periods
shall not exceed 40 years. In this case, after serving
one reclusion perpetua, which is computed at 30 Art72: Preference in the payment of the civil
years the accused will serve 10 years more. All the liabilities
other penalties will not be served.
THE PERSON GUILTY OF TWO OR MORE OFFENSES
DIFFERENT SYSTEMS OF PENALTY HAS TWO OR MORE CIVIL LIABILITIES

1. The material accumulation This article applies when the offender who is found
guilty of two or more offenses is required to pay the
Previous legislation adopted the theory and corresponding civil liabilities resulting from different
established no limitation whatever and, offenses.
accordingly, all the penalties for all the
THE ORDER OF PAYMENT OF CIVIL LIABILITES IS
violations were imposed even if they
BASED ON DATES OF FINAL JUDGMENTS
reached beyond the natural span of human
life. Civil liability is satisfied by following the
chronological order of the dates of the final
2. The juridical accumulation system judgments

Par. 4,5, and 6 o Art 70 are in accordance Art 73: Presumption in regard to the imposition of
with the juridical accumulation system. The accessory penalties
service of the several penalties imposed on
ACCESSORY PENALTIES ARE DEEMED IMPOSED
one and the same culprit is limited to not
more than 3 fold the length of time The accessory penalties provided for in Arts 40 to 45
corresponding to the most severe and in no are deemed imposed by the courts without the
case to exceed 40 years. necessity of making an express pronouncement of
their imposition.
3. The absorption system
In a case, the Solicitor General suggested that the
The absorption system is observed in the decision below be modified to show expressly that
imposition of the penalty in complex appellants were also sentenced to the accessory
crimes, continuing crimes, and specific penalties provided by law. It was held that there was
crimes like robbery with homicide no necessity for such modification, as the accessory
penalties are deemed suspended.
Art 71: Graduated scales
SUBSIDIARY IMPRISONMENT, NOT AN ACCESSORY impose an amount higher than the
PENALTY maximum.

The judgment of conviction must expressly state that AS TO “FINES THAT DO NOT CONSIST OF A FIXED
the offender shall suffer the subsidiary AMOUNT, BUT ARE MADE PROPORTIONAL” (PAGE
imprisonment in case of insolvency 785)

Art 74: Penalty higher than reclusion perpetua in Art 76: Legal period of duration of divisible
certain cases penalties (page 785)

DEATH CANNOT BE THE PENALTY NEXT HIGHER IN Art 77: When the penalty is a complex one
DEGREE WHEN NOT PROVIDED BY LAW composed of 3 distinct penalties

Art 75: Increasing or reducing the penalty of fine by WHAT IS A COMPLEX PENALTY
one or more degrees
It is a penalty prescribed by law composed of 3
FINES ARE GRADUATED INTO DEGREES FOR THE distinct penalties, each forming a period; the lightest
ACCOMPLICES AND ACCESSORIES AND FOR THE of them shall be the minimum, the next the medium,
PRINCIPALS IN FRUSTATED AND ATTEMPTED and the most severe the maximum period.
FELONIES (page 782)
WHEN THE PENALTY IS COMPOSED OF THREE
Fines are also graduated into degrees for the DISTINCT PENALTIES
imposition of the proper amount of the fine on
accomplices and accessories or on the principals in When the law prescribes a penalty composed of 3
frustrated or attempted felonies. distinct penalties, each one shall form a period.

WITHOUT CHANGING THE MINIMUM Example: Reclusion temporal to death

Under this article, the fine must have a minimum Maximum: death
and maximum fixed by law
Medium: Reclusion perpetua
DETERMINATION OF AMOUNT OF REDUCED FINE
Minimum: reclusion temporal
There are cases where it becomes necessary to
reduce the fines, because the penalty has to be
lowered by one or two degrees. In determining the
amount of the reduced fine, a distinction should be
made between cases where the minimum of the fine
is fixed by law and those where the minimum is not
fixed by law.

WHEN THE MINIMUM IS NOT FIXED BY LAW

When only the maximum of the fine is fixed, the


determination of the amount to be imposed is left to
the sound discretion of the courts, which exceeding
the maximum authorized by law.

DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN FINE WITH A MINIMUM


AND FINE WITHOUT A MINIMUM

1. In both, the law fixes the maximum of the


fine.

2. When the law fixes the minimum of the


fine, the court cannot change the minimum;
when the law does not state the minimum
of the fine but only the maximum, the court
can impose any amount not exceeding such
maximum.

3. When the law fixes both the minimum and


the maximum, the court can impose an
amount higher than the maximum; whereas
when only the maximum is fixed, it cannot