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2015 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW

UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER


JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
PRO REO
In dubio pro reo is means "when in doubt, for the accused. Intimately related to the in
dubio pro reo principle is the rule of lenity. The rule applies when the court is faced with two
possible interpretations of a penal statute, one that is prejudicial to the accused and another
that is favorable to him. The rule calls for the adoption of an interpretation which is more
lenient to the accused (Intestate estate of Gonzales vs. People, G.R. No. 181409, February 11,
2010).
POSITIVIST THEORY AND CLASSICAL THERORY
The positivist theory states that the basis for criminal liability is the sum total of the
social and economic phenomena to which the offense is expressed. The purpose of penalties is
to secure justice. The penalties imposed must not only be retributive but must also be
reformative, to give the convict an opportunity to live a new life and rejoin society as a
productive and civic-spirited member of the community. The adoption of the aspects of the
Positivist theory is exemplified by the indeterminate sentence law, impossible crime, privilege
mitigating circumstance of minority and modifying circumstances, rule on imposition of
penalties for heinous and quasi-heinous crimes) (Joya vs. Jail Warden of Batangas, G.R. Nos.
159418-19, December 10, 2003;).
Under the classical theory, man is essentially a moral creature with an absolutely free
will choose between good and evil. When he commits a felonious or criminal act, the act is
presumed to have been done voluntarily, i.e. with freedom, intelligence and intent. Man,
therefore, should be adjudged or held accountable for wrongful acts so long as free will appears
unimpaired (People vs. Estrada, G.R. No. 130487, June 19, 2000). Since the Revised Penal
Code is based on the classical school of thought, it is the identity of the mens rea which is
considered the predominant consideration and, therefore, warrants the imposition of the same
penalty for conspirators on the consequential theory that the act of one is thereby the act of all
(Hon. Sandiganbayan, Honrado, G.R. No. 115439-41, July 16, 1997). Under this theory, the
criminal liability is based on the result of the felonious act (proximate cause rule).
CHARACTERISTIC OF CRIMINAL LAW
There are three characteristics of criminal law, to wit: (1) generality (2) territoriality,
and (3) prospectivity. The general, territorial and prospective characteristics of criminal law
are principles that define and demarcate the scope and limitation of the operation of criminal
law. Under these three principles, the operation or enforceability of criminal law is limited to
wrongful acts committed on or after its effectivity (prospectivity) within the territory of the
Philippines (territoriality) by person living and sojourning therein (generality).
GENERALITY - Generality principle is akin to territoriality principle in the sense that
the demarcating factor of both principles is the territory of the Philippines. Under generality
principle, criminal law is enforceable to person living or sojourning in the territory of the
Philippines. Under the territoriality principle, criminal law is applicable only to criminal act
committed within the territory of the Philippines. But the concept of generality is different
from territoriality. The applicability of territoriality principle or generality principle will depend
on the issue raised by the accused in questioning the jurisdiction of the court. If the accused
attacks the jurisdiction of the court because of the unique characteristic of his person (e.g. he
is a foreigner, military, hermit, primitive, ambassador, legislator, President), the applicable
principle is generality. If the accused attacks the jurisdiction of the court due to the unique
characteristic of the place where the crime was committed (e.g. the place of commission is
foreign vessel, embassy or high sea) etc, the applicable principle is territoriality.
1. Military officers - The Revised Penal Code and special criminal laws are
enforceable against military men living or sojourning in the Philippines. However, CA 408
(Articles of War) which vests jurisdiction over members of the AFP to the courts-martial. RA
7055 (AN ACT STRENGTHENING CIVILIAN SUPREMACY OVER THE MILITARY) did not divest
the military courts of jurisdiction to try cases involving "service-connected crimes or offenses"
under CA 408 (Example: Mutiny or sedition, quarrels, frays; disorders, breaking an arrest or
escaping from confinement, releasing prisoners without proper authority, wrongful
appropriation of captured property, corresponding with, or aiding the enemy, spies, dueling,
fraud against the government affecting matters and equipment). In fact, RA No. 7055
mandates that these service-connected crimes shall be tried by the court-martial (Navales v.
Abaya, G.R. No. 162318, October 25, 2004). CA 408 is a law of preferential application since

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2015 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW


UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER
JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
it excludes members of the AFP from the operation of the Revised Penal Code and special
criminal laws if the crimes committed by them are service-connected as defined by RA 7055.
2. Consular officers - Despite the ruling in Schneckenburger vs. Moran, consular
officers and employees are now enjoying immunity from criminal prosecution of acts
performed in the exercise of consular function under 1967, Convention on Consular Relation.
Slander (Liang vs. People, GR NO 125865, January 28, 2000) or reckless imprudence
resulting in homicide is not function-related. Consul is liable for committing this crime.
TERRITORIALITY PRINCIPLE: Under the principle of territoriality, the Philippines has
jurisdiction over crimes committed inside its territory except as provided in the treaties and
laws of preferential application.
1. Embassy - The ground occupied by US embassy is in fact the territory of the USA to
which the premises belong through possession or ownership. A person who committed a crime
within the premises of an embassy will be prosecuted under the law of Philippines because of
the principle of territoriality (See: Reagan vs. Commission on Internal Revenue, 30 SCRA 968,
En Banc; Answers to 2009 Bar Examination Questions by UP Law Complex). However,
jurisdiction of the Philippines over the embassy is limited or restricted by the principles of
inviolability of diplomatic premises, which is a generally accepted principle of international
law. Warrant of arrest cannot be served inside US embassy without waiver of American
government of its right under the principle of inviolability.
2. English rule - There are two fundamental rules in International Law regarding
crimes committed aboard a foreign merchant vessel (not military vessel), if the same is within
the 12-mile territorial water (not internal or archipelagic water or high seas) of the Philippines
to wit: (1) French rule - Crimes committed aboard a foreign merchant vessel within the
territorial water of the Philippines are subject to the jurisdiction of the flag state (extraterritoriality principle) unless their commission affects the peace and security of our country.
(2) English rule Crimes committed aboard a foreign merchant vessel within the territorial
water of the Philippines are subject to jurisdiction of the Philippines (territoriality principle)
unless their commission does not affect its peace and security, or has no pernicious effect
therein. It is the English rule that obtains in this jurisdiction.
3. Convention of the law of the Sea - Under the Convention on the Law of the Sea,
the flag state of foreign merchant vessel passing through the territorial sea has jurisdiction
over crimes committed therein. However, the Philippines can exercise jurisdiction to arrest
any person or to conduct any investigation in connection with any crime committed on board
the ship during its passage in the following cases: (1) if the consequences of the crime extend
to the coastal State; (2) if the crime is of a kind to disturb the peace of the country or the good
order of the territorial sea; (3) if the assistance of the local authorities has been requested by
the master of the ship or by a diplomatic agent or consular officer of the flag State; or (4) if
such measures are necessary for the suppression of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs or
psychotropic substances.
4. Drug trafficking - Following the English rule, the Philippines has no jurisdiction
over transportation of opium in a foreign vessel in transit in territorial water of our country
because possession of opium does not have a pernicious effect on our country (U.S. vs. Look
Chaw). But under the Convention of the law of the Sea, the Philippines can exercise
jurisdiction to arrest any person or to conduct any investigation involving transportation of
dangerous drugs since this is a measure necessary for the suppression of illicit traffic in
narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances.
EXTRA-TERRITORIALITY - Under the principle of extra-territoriality, the Philippines
has jurisdiction over crimes committed outside its territory for those five instances mention in
Article 2 such as crime committed in vessel of Philippines registry (ownership is not material),
function-related crime committed by public officer (such as corruption or direct bribery),
crimes against national security (such as treason, espionage; rebellion is not a crime against
national security), and crime against law of nation such as piracy and mutiny). In People vs.
Tulin, G.R. No. 111709, August 30, 2001- Piracy is an exception to the rule on territoriality in
criminal law (Article 2). The same principle applies even if accused were charged, not with a
violation of qualified piracy under the penal code but under a special law, PD No. 532 which
penalizes piracy in Philippine waters. It is likewise, well-settled that regardless of the law
penalizing the same, piracy is a reprehensible crime against the whole world.
PROSPECTIVITY: Article 22 of RPC - If the court in trying an accused, who committed
a crime prior to the passage of the law, should give retroactive effect to the law provided that:

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2015 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW


UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER
JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
(1) it is favorable to the accused and (2) the accused is not a habitual delinquent (Article 22).
Ex post facto law - Congress in passing a law can insert retroactive effect provision therein
subject to the Constitution of ex post facto law. If the retroactive provision of the law has
passed the constitutional test on prohibition against ex post facto law, the court must give
retroactive effect to this law even if the accused is a habitual delinquent. Nullum crimen poena
sine lege If the law repeals a previous law or provision defining a crime, the applicable
principle is not Article 22 of RPC but nullum crimen poena sine lege (There is no crime when
there is no law punishing it). Since the intention of the new law is to decriminalize an act
punishable by the repealed law, the accused should be acquitted or released if the already
convicted, even though he is a habitual delinquent.
X committed crime under RA No. 6425, the penalty for which is life imprisonment. RA
No. 7659 amended RA No. 6425 by prescribing the penalty of reclusion temporal. Should RA
No. 7659 be given retroactive effect? Answer: Yes. The maximum duration of reclusion
temporal is 40 years of imprisonment while life imprisonment has no duration. Thus, reclusion
perpetua is a lighter penalty than life imprisonment. The amendatory law, being more lenient
and favorable to the accused than the original provisions thereof should be accorded
retroactive application (People vs. Morilla, GR No. 189833, February 05, 2014).
RA No. 9346 prohibits the imposition of death penalty, prescribes reclusion perpetua
in lieu of death penalty or life imprisonment if the special law does not use the nomenclature
of the penalties under RPC and declares a person sentenced to reclusion perpetua as a
prescribed or reduced penalty is ineligible for parole. This law has a retroactive effect. Penal
laws which are favorable to accused are given retroactive effect. This principle is embodied
under Article 22 of RPC, which provides: Penal laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as
they favor the persons guilty of a felony, who is not a habitual criminal (People vs. Talaro,
et.al., GR No. 175781, March 20, 2012).
REPEAL: Decriminalization - Repeal of a penal law deprives the courts of jurisdiction to
punish persons charged with a violation of the old penal law prior to its repeal (Sindiong and
Pastor, 77 Phil. 1000; Binuya, 61 Phil. 208; U.S. vs. Reyes, 10 Phil. 423; U.S. vs. Academia,
10 Phil. 431; Arizala vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 43633, September 14, 1990; Almuete, et
al., G.R. No. L-265, February 27,19 76). The intention of the new law is to decriminalize an act
punishable of old law. Thus, person cannot be punished for subversion under RA 1700, which
was repealed by RA 7637, even though he is a habitual delinquent.
New regulation - Repeal with re-enactment of a penal law does not deprive the courts of
jurisdiction to punish persons charged with a violation of the old penal law prior to its repeal.
Such repeal even without a saving clause would not destroy criminal liability of the accused
(U.S. vs. Cana, 12 Phil. 241). The intention of the new law is not to decriminalize an act
punishable of old law but merely to provide new regulation. If the new law is favorable to the
accused, who is not a habitual delinquent, it shall be given retroactive effect. Example: A
was charged for the crime of rape under Article 336 of RPC for raping his minor daughter.
However, RA 8353 expressly repealed Article 336 but re-enacted the provision on rape by
reclassifying it as a crime against person, redefining it and prescribing a graver penalty for the
commission thereof. The repeal of Article 336 does not deprive the courts of jurisdiction to try
and punish A for rape under Article 336. RA No. 8353 shall not be given retroactive effect
since it is not favorable to the accused.
DECRIMINALIZATION
1. Vagrancy - Before Article 202 of RPC punishes vagrancy and prostitution. But
Article 202 of RPC as amended merely penalizes prostitution. In sum, RA No. 10158 has
decriminalized vagrancy by omitting portions of Article 202 involving crime vagrancy. A reading
of the Senate deliberation pertaining to the passage of law decriminalizing vagrancy shows that
they considered vagrants as victims of poverty and that the law on vagrancy serves to oppress
the very people that the government sought to protect.
In view of the new policy of the State decriminalizing vagrancy, which is embodied in
RA No. 10158, ordinance, which punishes vagrancy, should be declared as contrary to law, and
hence, invalid. Settled is the rule that what the national legislature expressly allows by law, a
local legislature may not disallow by ordinance or resolution (Lina vs. Pana, G.R. No. 129093,
August 30, 2001). The spring cannot rise higher than its source. As aptly explained by Justice
Nachura in his book, An ordinance must not be contrary to the Constitution or law. Prohibited
activities may not be legalized in the guise of regulation; activities allowed by law cannot be
prohibited, only regulated.

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2015 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW


UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER
JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
RA No. 10158 shall be given retroactive effect. Under Section 2 and 3 thereof, all
pending cases for vagrancy shall be dismissed and all persons serving sentence for vagrancy
shall be immediately released. Since Sections 2 and 3 of RA No. 10158 expressly provide
retroactive application to the law without distinction, whether the offender is a habitual
delinquent or not.
2. Premature marriage - Under Article 351 of RPC, a woman in contracting marriage
within 301 days from death of husband, or dissolution or annulment of marriage is liable for
the crime of premature marriage. However, RA No. 10655 decriminalizes premature marriage
by repealing Article 351. Premature marriage was decriminalize since Article 351 discriminates
women because this provision is not applicable to men. Moreover, Article 351 sought to prevent
a possible confusion as to whether the father of the child born after the dissolution of the
marriage is the first husband or the second. This preventive measure is not anymore necessary
since paternity and filiation could now be easily determined through modern technology.
MISTAKE OF FACT PRINCIPLE:
Requisites: (1) That the acts done would have been lawful had the facts been as the
accused believed them to be (2) that the mistake of fact is not due to negligence or unlawful
intent of the offender. The Supreme Court in several cases had applied the mistake of fact
doctrine, which allowed the accused, who committed a crime on a mistaken belief, to enjoy the
benefit of the justifying circumstance of self-defense (United States vs. Ah Chong, 15 Phil.,
488), defense of person and right (US vs. Bautista, G.R. No. 10678 August 17, 1915), defense
of honor (United States vs. Apego, 23 Phil. 391), performance of duty, (People vs. Mamasalaya,
G.R. No.L-4911, February 10, 1953), and the exempting circumstance of obedience of an order
of superior officer (People vs. Beronilla, G.R. No. L-4445, February 28, 1955). In Ah Chong, the
accused, who believed that the victim was a robber and that his life was in danger because of
the commencement of unlawful aggression, was acquitted due to mistake of fact doctrine in
relation to the rule on self-defense. In Oanis vs. Galanta, the accused, who believed that the
sleeping victim is a notorious criminal to be arrested by them, was held guilty of murder for
shooting him since the mistake of fact principle in relation to performance of duty is not
applicable. Second element is not present since they did not ascertain first his identify despite
opportunity. The first element is not likewise present since the killing of victim believed to be a
criminal was not necessary consequence of the due performance of duty of the accused as
police officers.
The gist of the theft is the intent to deprive another of his property in a chattel, either
for gain or out of wantonness or malice to deprive another of his right in the thing taken. This
cannot be where the taker honestly believes the property is his own or that of another, and
that he has a right to take possession of it for himself or for another, for the protection of the
latter. However, the belief of the accused of his ownership over the property must be honest
and in good faith and not a mere sham or pretense. If the claim is dishonest, a mere pretense,
taking the property of another will not protect the taker (Gaviola vs. People, G.R. No. 163927,
January 27, 2006). This belief of ownership as a defense in theft is in accordance with the
mistake of fact doctrine.
X informed the authorities regarding armed rebel elements on board a vehicle in a
certain barangay. Several policemen, Barangay officers and members of the Civil Home Defense
Force (CHDF) responded to information and set a check point. X pointed at an approaching
jitney occupied by rebels. They flagged down the vehicle but the same did not stop. They
attacked the vehicle with automatic weapons by firing directly thereat. One died and another
was wounded. It turned out however that the victims are unarmed innocent civilians. Are those
responsible for the death and injuries of the victims liable for homicide? Is the doctrine of
mistake of fact applicable? Answer: They are liable for homicide and attempted homicide. The
duty of those manning the check point is to identify the occupants of their suspect vehicle and
search for firearms inside it to validate the information they had received; they may even effect
a bloodless arrest. While, rebellion is a continuing offense, they cannot open fire at or kill the
suspects under any and all circumstances. There is no evidence showing that they were placed
in real mortal danger in the presence of the victims. Hence, the mistake of fact principle is not
applicable since there is negligence or bad faith on their part (Yapyucu vs. Sandiganbayan, GR
No. 120744-46, June 25, 2012).
South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide after
the judge found he killed his girlfriend by mistake. The judge said the athlete had acted
"negligently" when he fired shots through a toilet door, but in the "belief that there was an
intruder". If the case happened here, should the athlete be convicted of homicide or reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide?

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2015 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW


UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER
JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
Answer: The athlete should be held liable with homicide with privilege mitigating
circumstance of defense of property.
In mistake of fact, which negates dolo, it is important requisite that that act would have
been lawful had the fact been as the accused believed them to be. If there was really an
intruder inside the toilet, it would be considered as unlawful aggression against his property,
which would allow him to use reasonable means to repel it in accordance with the self-help
doctrine under Article 429 of the Civil Code and defense of property under Article 12 of the
Revised Penal Code. However, the means employed by him firing shots through the toilet door
is not reasonable; and hence, he is only entitled to privileged migrating circumstance of
incomplete defense of property (See: People vs. Narvaez, G.R. Nos. L-33466-67, April 20, 1983).
In sum, the act would have been attended by the privilege mitigating circumstance of
incomplete justification had the facts been as the accused believed them to be.
VOLUNTARINESS Concurrence of freedom, intelligence and intent makes up the
criminal mind behind the criminal act. Thus, to constitute a crime, the act must, generally
and in most cases, be accompanied by a criminal intent. Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit
rea. No crime is committed if the mind of the person performing the act complained of is
innocent (People vs. Ojeda, G.R. Nos. 104238-58, June 3, 2004). Voluntariness is an element
of crime, whether committed by dolo or culpa or punishable under special law. The act to be
considered a crime must be committed with freedom and intelligence. In addition to
voluntariness, intentional felony must be committed with dolo (malice), culpable felony with
culpa, and mala prohibita under special law with intent to perpetrate the act or with specific
intent (such as animus possidendi in illegal possession of firearm). Presumption of
voluntariness: In the determination of the culpability of every criminal actor, voluntariness is
an essential element. Without it, the imputation of criminal responsibility and the imposition
of the corresponding penalty cannot be legally sanctioned. The human mind is an entity, and
understanding it is not purely an intellectual process but is dependent to a large degree upon
emotional and psychological appreciation. A mans act is presumed voluntary. It is improper
to assume the contrary, i.e. that acts were done unconsciously, for the moral and legal
presumption is that every person is presumed to be of sound mind, or that freedom and
intelligence constitute the normal condition of a person (People vs. Opuran, G.R. Nos. 14767475, March 17, 2004).
CRIMINAL INTENT To be held liable for intentional felony, the offender must commit
the act prohibited by RPC with specific criminal intent and general criminal intent. General
criminal intent (dolo in Article 3 of RPC) is an element of all crimes but malice is properly
applied only to deliberate acts done on purpose and with design. Evil intent must unite with
an unlawful act for there to be a felony. A deliberate and unlawful act gives rise to a
presumption of malice by intent. On the other hand, specific intent is a definite and actual
purpose to accomplish some particular thing. In estafa, the specific intent is to defraud, in
homicide intent to kill, in theft intent to gain (Recuerdo vs. People, G.R. No. 168217, June 27,
2006, ). In the US vs. Ah Chong, the accused was acquitted because of mistake of fact
principle even though the evidence showed that he attacked the deceased with intent to kill
(United States vs. Apego, G.R. No. 7929, November 8, 1912; Dissenting opinion of J. Trent),
which was established by the statement of the accused "If you enter the room I will kill you."
Article 249 (homicide) should be read in relation to Article 3. The accused was acquitted not
because of the absence of intent to kill (specific intent) but by reason of lack of general intent
(dolo or malice).
PRESUMED MALICE - The general criminal intent (malice) is presumed from the
criminal act and in the absence of any general intent is relied upon as a defense, such
absence must be proved by the accused (Ah Chong case, the accused was able to rebut the
presumption of general criminal intent or malice). Generally, a specific intent is not presumed.
Its existence, as a matter of fact, must be proved by the State just as any other essential
element. This may be shown, however, by the nature of the act, the circumstances under
which it was committed, the means employed and the motive of the accused (Recuerdo vs.
People, G.R. No. 168217, June 27, 2006). There are other specific intents that are presumed.
If a person died due to violence, intent to kill is conclusively presumed. Intent to gain is
presumed from taking property without consent of owner.
MOTIVE
Doubt as to the identity of the culprit - Motive gains importance only when the
identity of the assailant is in doubt. As held in a long line of cases, the prosecution does not
need to prove the motive of the accused when the latter has been identified as the author of the
crime. The accused was positively identified by witnesses. Thus, the prosecution did not have

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2015 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW


UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER
JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
to identify and prove the motive for the killing. It is a matter of judicial knowledge that persons
have been killed for no apparent reason at all, and that friendship or even relationship is no
deterrent to the commission of a crime. The lack or absence of motive for committing the crime
does not preclude conviction where there are reliable witnesses who fully and satisfactorily
identified the petitioner as the perpetrator of the felony (Kummer vs. People, GR No. 174461,
September 11, 2013).
Circumstantial or inconclusive evidence - Indeed, motive becomes material when the
evidence is circumstantial or inconclusive, and there is some doubt on whether a crime has
been committed or whether the accused has committed it. The
following
circumstantial
evidence is sufficient to convict accused: 1. Accused had motive to kill the deceased because
during the altercation the latter slapped and hit him with a bamboo, prompting Romulo to get
mad at the deceased; 2. Accused was chased by the deceased eastward after the slapping and
hitting incident; 3. Said accused was the last person seen with the deceased just before he
died; (4) Accused and Antonio Trinidad surrendered to police authorities with the samurai; (5)
Some of the wounds inflicted on the deceased were caused by a bolo or a knife. (Trinidad vs.
People, GR No. 192241, June 13, 2012).
INDETERMINATE OFFENSE DOCTRINE In People vs. Lamahang, G.R. No. 43530,
August 3, 1935, En Banc - Accused who was caught in the act of making an opening with an
iron bar on the wall of a store was held guilty of attempted trespassing and not attempted
robbery. The act of making an opening on the wall of the store is an overt act of trespassing
since it reveals an evident intention to enter by means of force said store against the will of its
owner. However, it is not an overt act of robbery since the intention of the accused once he
succeeded in entering the store is not determinate; it is subject to different interpretations. His
final objective could be to rob, to cause physical injury to its occupants, or to commit any
other offense. In sum, the crime the he intended to commit inside the store is indeterminate,
and thus, an attempt to commit it is not punishable as attempted felony.
In Cruz vs. People, G.R. No. 166441, October 08, 2014 - The petitioner climbed on top
of the naked victim, and was already touching her genitalia with his hands and mashing her
breasts when she freed herself from his clutches and effectively ended his designs on her. Yet,
inferring from such circumstances that rape, and no other, was his intended felony would be
highly unwarranted. This was so, despite his lust for and lewd designs towards her being fully
manifest. Such circumstances remained equivocal, or "susceptible of double interpretation"
(People v. Lamahang). Verily, his felony would not exclusively be rape had he been allowed by
her to continue, and to have sexual congress with her, for some other felony like simple
seduction (if he should employ deceit to have her yield to him) could also be ultimate felony.
PROXIMATE CAUSE
Proximate cause is the primary or moving cause of the death of the victim; it is the
cause, which in the natural and continuous sequence unbroken with any efficient intervening
cause produces death and without which the fatal result could not have happened. It is the
cause, which is the nearest in the order of responsible causation (Blacks Law Dictionary).
Intervening cause - The direct relation between the intentional felony and death may be broken
by efficient intervening cause or an active force which is either a distinct act or fact absolutely
foreign from the felonious act of the offender. Lightning that kills the injured victim or tetanus
infecting the victim several days after the infliction of injuries, or voluntary immersing the
wounds to aggravate the crime committed by accused is an intervening cause. Thus, the
accused is liable for physical injuries because of the intervening cause rule. On the other
hand, carelessness of the victim, or involuntary removal of the drainage, lack of proper
treatment is not an intervening cause. Hence, the accused is liable for the death because of
the proximate cause rule.
If the victim died due to tetanus of which he was infected when the accused inflicted
injuries upon him, the crime committed is homicide (People vs. Cornel, G.R. No. L-204, May
16, 1947). If the victim died due to tetanus of which he was infected after the accused inflicted
injuries upon him, the crime committed is physical injuries. The accused is not liable for
homicide because tetanus is an efficient intervening cause. Thus, the proximate cause of the
death of the victim is not the infliction of injuries. In Villacorta vs. People, G.R. No. 186412,
September 7, 2011 (Justice De Castro), there had been an interval of 22 days between the
date of the stabbing and the date when victim was rushed to hospital, exhibiting symptoms of
severe tetanus infection. Since the victim was infected of severe tetanus, he died the next day.
The incubation period of severe tetanus is less than 14 days. Hence, he could not have been
infected at the time of the stabbing since that incident occurred 22 days before the victim was

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2015 BAR REVIEWER ON CRIMINAL LAW


UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES LAW CENTER
JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
rushed to the hospital. The infection of victims stab wound by tetanus was an efficient
intervening cause. The accused was held liable for physical injuries.
Proximate cause has been defined as "that cause, which, in natural and continuous
sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which
the result would not have occurred." Although there was no direct injury on his vital organs of
the victim, his wounds affected his kidneys, causing multiple organ failure and eventually his
death. Accused is liable for homicide. Without the stab wounds, the victim could not have been
afflicted with an infection which later on caused multiple organ failure that caused his death.
The offender is criminally liable for the death of the victim if his delictual act caused,
accelerated or contributed to the death of the victim (Belbis, Jr. vs. People, GR No. 181052,
November 14, 2012).
ERROR IN PERSONAE - In case of error in personae, person is criminally responsible
for committing an intentional felony although the consequent victim is different from that
intended due to mistake of identity. Requisites: In order to make a person criminally liable in
case of error in personae, the following requisites must be present: (1) Offender committed an
intentional felony; (2) The consequent victim against whom the felony was directed is different
from that intended due to mistake of identity. If the penalty for the intended crime is different
from that of the committed crime, the court shall impose the penalty for the intended crime or
committed crime, whichever is lesser.
ABERRATIO ICTUS - In case of aberratio ictus, person is criminally responsible for
committing an intentional felony although the consequent victim is different from that
intended due to mistake of blow. Requisites: In order to make a person criminally liable in
case of aberratio ictus, the following requisites must be present: (1) Offender committed an
intentional felony; (2) The consequent victim against whom the felony was directed is different
from that intended due to mistake of blow. The crime committed against the intended victim
and victim injured due to aberratio ictus shall be made a complex crime (compound crime).
The court shall impose the penalty for the most serious crime in its maximum period.
The circumstance of aberratio ictus (mistake in the blow) can neither exempt the
accused from criminal responsibility nor mitigate his criminal liability. Under Article 4 of
RPC, criminal liability is incurred by any person committing a felony although the wrongful act
done be different from that which he intended (Matic vs. People, G.R. No. 180219, November
23, 2011).
PRAETER INTENTIONEM: In case of praeter intentionem, person is criminally
responsible for committing an intentional felony although its wrongful consequence is graver
than that intended. Requisites: In order to make a person criminally liable under Article 4 (1)
in case of praeter intentionem, the following requisites must be present: (1) Offender
committed an intentional felony; (2) The wrongful act done, which is graver than that
intended, is the direct, natural and logical consequence of the felony committed by the
offender. Praeter intentionem may be appreciated as mitigating circumstance of lack of intent
to commit so grave a wrong than that committed.
When death resulted, even if there was no intent to kill, the crime is homicide, not just physical
injuries, since with respect to crimes of personal violence the penal law looks particularly to the
material results following the unlawful act and holds the aggressor responsible for all the consequences
thereof. He who is the cause of the cause is the cause of the evil caused (Seguritan vs. People, G.R.
No. 172896, April 19, 2010).
1. Mitigating circumstance - The mitigating circumstance that the offender had no
intention to commit so grave a wrong as that committed or praeter intentionem is obtaining
when there is a notable disparity between the means employed by the accused to commit a
wrong and the resulting crime committed. The intention of the accused at the time of the
commission of the crime is manifested from the weapon used, the mode of attack employed and
the injury sustained by the victim (People vs. Maglian, G.R. No. 189834, March 30, 2011).The
mitigating circumstance of praeter intentionem cannot be appreciated if the acts employed by accused
were reasonably sufficient to produce and did actually produce the death of the victim (People vs.
Sales, G.R. No. 177218, October 3, 2011).
2. Evident premeditation- In case of aberatiu ictus and error in personae, the SC did
not appreciate evident premeditation since the victim, who was actually killed, is not
contemplated in the premeditation of the accused (People vs. Trinidad, G.R. NO. L-38930,
June 28, 1988; People vs. Mabug-at, 51 Phil., 967; People vs. Trinidad, G.R. No. L-38930,
June 28, 1988). However, praeter intentionem and evident premeditation can be

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independently appreciated. there is no incompatibility between evident premeditation and no
intention to commit so grave a wrong since the latter is based on the state of mind of the
offender while the former manner of committing the crime (Reyes; People vs. Enriquez, 58 Phil.
536).
3. Treachery - If accused employed means to render the victim defenseless, treachery
shall be appreciated even if the killing is due to error in personae (People vs. Del Castillo, Sr.,
G.R. No. L-32995, April 30, 1984) or aberratio ictus (People vs. Mabug-at, G.R. No. 25459,
August 10, 1926, En Banc) or with the circumstance of praeter intentionem (People vs.
Cagoco, G.R. No. 38511, October 6, 1933)
4. Conspiracy - Conspirators, who conspired to kill a particular parson, are equally
liable for the killing of another person due to error in personae (People vs. Pinto, Jr. and
Buenaflor, G.R. No. No. 39519, November 21, 1991). However, conspirator, who never even
fired a single shot and whose only participation was to drive their getaway vehicle and to lend
his firearm to his back rider so that the latter could finish off the target victim was not found
accountable for the injury sustained by the unintended victim was just a star-crossed
bystander who was accidentally hit in the process (aberratio ictus) (People vs. Herbias, G.R.
No. 112716-17, December 16, 1996; People vs. Flora and Flora, G.R. No. 125909, June 23,
2000).
INTENT TO KILL: Intent to kill is an element of homicide and murder. But even if
offender had no intent to kill, he would be held just the same liable for homicide or murder if
his felonious act is the proximate cause of the death of the latter. Even if there is no intent to
kill, offender is liable for homicide or murder if the victim died as a result of the felonious act
of the former. The offenders act is considered felonious if it is accompanied with criminal or
evil intent such as intent to inflict injury, intent to hide the body of the crime, intent to
threaten victim, intent to silence the hold-up victim, or intent to rape. Offender is liable for
homicide because it is the natural, direct and logical consequence of an act committed with
criminal intent.
a. With intent to hide the body of the crime In People vs. Ortega, Jr., G.R. No.
116736, July 24, 1997 - Ortega stabbed the victim. Garcia assisted Ortega in concealing the
body of the victim by throwing the body into the well. Victim died due to drowning. Issue: Is
Garcia liable for the death of the victim as principal in homicide even if his intention was not
to kill the victim but merely to assist Ortega in concealing his dead body not knowing that the
victim was still alive at that time? In assisting Ortega carry the body of victim to the well,
Garcia was committing an intentional felony; concealing the body of the crime to prevent its
discovery makes him liable as an accessory in homicide. Hence, Garcia should be held liable
for the direct, natural and logical consequence of his felonious act of assisting Ortega in
hiding the body of the victim. Since proximate cause of death of the victim is the felonious and
accessory act of throwing the victim into the well, Garcia should be held liable for the death as
principal in homicide.
b. With intent to threaten In US vs. Valdez, G.R. No. 16486, March 22, 1921, En
Banc - The accused in rage he moved towards victim with a big knife in hand, threatening to
stab him. Victim believing himself in great and immediate peril jumped into the water where
he was drowned. The accused was found guilty of homicide. The act of threatening to stab
victim constitutes a felony of threat. Hence, accused is liable for the direct, natural and logical
consequence of his intentional and felonious act. It was held that: "If a man creates in another
man's mind an immediate sense of danger which causes such person to try to escape, and in so
doing he injures himself, the person who creates such a state of mind is responsible for the
injuries which result."
d. Intent to inflict injury - Intentional infliction of injury resulting in death of the
victim constitutes homicide or murder. In People vs. Pugay, et al., No 74324, November 17,
1988, the deceased, a retardate, and the accused Pugay were friends. Deceased used to run
errands for Pugay and at times they slept together. During a town fiesta fair was held in the
public plaza. Accused, Pugay and Samson with several companions, who appeared to be
drunk, made the deceased dance by tickling him with a piece of wood. Not content with what
they were doing with the deceased, the accused Pugay suddenly took a can of gasoline from
under the engine of the Ferris wheel and poured its contents on the body of the former. Then,
the accused Samson set victim on fire making a human torch out of him. Pugay and Samson
were stunned when they noticed the deceased burning. Crime committed by Samson: There is
no intent to kill. The act of the Accused was merely a part of their fun-making that evening.
Accused merely intended to set the deceased's clothes on fire. His act, however, does not
relieve him of criminal responsibility. Burning the clothes of the victim would cause at the

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very least some kind of physical injuries on his person, a felony. Since such felony of physical
injuries resulted into a graver offense, he must be held responsible therefor. (Note: The crime
is not murder qualified by means of fire because the fire was not use to kill but merely to
inflict injury).
e. Recklessness Even if there is no intent to kill and evil intent, offender is liable for
culpable felony if the victim died as a result of the recklessness of the former. Crime
committed by Pugay: Having taken the can from under the engine of the Ferris wheel and
holding it before pouring its contents on the body of the deceased, this accused knew that the
can contained gasoline. The stinging smell of this flammable liquid could not have escaped his
notice even before pouring the same. Clearly, he failed to exercise all the diligence necessary
to avoid every undesirable consequence arising from any act that may be committed by his
companions who at the time were making fun of the deceased. The accused is only guilty of
homicide through reckless imprudence.
f. Accident - If there is no intent to kill, evil intent and recklessness on the part of the
accused, he is not liable for his intentional act, which caused the death of the victim. In
United States vs. Tanedo (15 Phil. Rep., 196), deceased went with the accused to hunt wild
chickens at the forest. While hunting, the accused came upon a wild chicken, and, not seeing
deceased about and not knowing or having any reason to believe that he was in that vicinity
shot the chicken. The bullet that hit the chicken recoiled and hit the deceased. It was held
that accused is not criminally liable. Life was taken by misfortune or accident while in the
performance of a lawful act executed with due care and without intention of doing harm. Note:
The accused could not have foreseen that the slug after hitting the chicken would recoil and
hit deceased. The principle enunciated in Tanedo case will not apply if the place where the
accused lawfully discharged his firearm is populated. In People vs. Nocum, G.R. No. L-482, 25
February 1947, En Banc - There was a fistic fight between two persons. Desiring to stop the
encounter, accused shouted at the combatants. As these paid him no attention, he drew a .45
caliber pistol and shot twice in the air. The bout continued, however; so he fired another shot
at the ground, but unfortunately the bullet ricocheted, and hit an innocent by-stander,
resident of the place. Victim died. It was held that: The mishap should be classed as homicide
through reckless imprudence, the slaying having been unintentional. It is apparent that
defendant willfully discharged his gun-for without taking the precautions demanded by the
circumstance that the district was populated, and the likelihood that his bullet would glance
over the hard pavement of the Manila thoroughfare. Note: The accused should have foreseen
that the slug after hitting the pavement would recoil and might hit somebody.
IMPOSSIBLE CRIME
Offender shall be held liable for impossible crime if the following requisites are present:
(1) offender performing an act which would have been an offense against person or property;
(2) offender performed an act with evil intent; (3) offender did not commit the offense because
of the impossibility of its accomplishment or employment of inadequate or ineffectual means;
and (4) offender in performing an act is not violating another provision of the law (Luis B.
Reyes).
Impossible crime of theft - X, employee of Mega Inc., received check from the
customer of her employer. Instead of remitting the check to her employer, X deposited the
check under her account. However, the drawee bank dishonored the check because of
insufficiency of funds. What is the crime committed by X? Answer: The crime committed is
impossible crime of qualified theft. Qualified theft is a crime against property. The act of
depositing the check is committed with evil intent. The mere act of unlawfully taking the check
meant for Mega Inc. showed her intent to gain or be unjustly enriched. There is factually
impossibility to accomplish the crime of qualified theft since the check is unfunded. (Jacinto
vs. People, G.R. No. 162540, July 13, 2009).
Intod principle - In Intod vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 103119, October 21, 1992
Outside the house of the victim, accused with intent to kill fired at the bedroom, where the
victim is supposed to be sleeping. No one was in the room when the accused fired the shots.
No one was hit by the gun fire. The accused were convicted of impossible crime. Accused
shoot the place where he thought his victim would be, although in reality, the victim was not
present in said place and thus, the accused failed to accomplish their end due to its factual
impossibility. In the United States, criminal laws are silent regarding impossible crimes; hence
where the offense sought to be committed is factually impossible of accomplishment, the
offender shall be liable for attempted crime. On the other hand, where the offense is legally
impossible of accomplishment, the actor cannot be held liable for any crime. In the
Philippines, the crime committed is impossible crime if the offense sought to be committed is

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factually or legally impossible. Killing a dead person is impossible crime because of legal
impossibility. Putting the hand inside an empty pocket with intention to steal a wallet is
impossible crime because of factual impossibility.
Raping a dead person - Prior to RA 8353, rape is a crime against chastity. Thus, if a
person raped a dead person believing that she was just sleeping, offender could not be held
liable for impossible crime (J. Ramon Aquino). In impossible crime the act could have
constituted the crime against person or property if its accomplishment was not impossible.
Rape is neither a crime against person nor against property. However, RA 8353 reclassifies
rape from crime against chastity to crime against person. Hence, an offender for raping a dead
person without knowing that she was already dead may now be held liable for impossible
crime.
Committing another crime - A discharged shotgun at B from a distance of 300
yards; but because of the limited range of the firepower of the shotgun, it would be impossible
for A to harm B. A is liable of discharged of firearm and not impossible crime. Where the
offender unlawful entered the house and took a watch that turned out to be his own, he is
liable for trespass to dwelling and not impossible crime (Criminal Law Conspectus by Justice
Florenz Regalado). If the accused administered abortive drugs upon his girlfriend whom he
believed to be pregnant, which turned out not to be true, but the woman became ill for more
than 30 days, the accused will be liable for serious physical injuries and not impossible crime
of abortion (Criminal Law Reviewer by Gregorio).
STAGES
ATTEMPTED AND FRUSTRATED STAGES: In attempted felony, the offender performs
directly an overt act, which consists of one or more acts of execution, but not enough to
consequently produce the felony. In frustrated felony, the offenders perform all the acts of
execution that would produce the felony as a matter of consequence. To determine whether
the felony is at the attempted or frustrated stage, acts of execution of execution of a felony
must be identified. Example: The acts of execution that would produce homicide or murder
are infliction of mortal wounds upon the victim. If the wounds inflicted upon the victim with
intent to kill are non-mortal, the crime committed is attempted homicide; if wounds are
mortal, the crime committed is frustrated homicide.
In attempted felony and frustrated felony, the external acts performed by the offender
and the intended felony must have a direct connection; but in an attempted felony, the
offender failed to perform all the acts of execution; thus his external acts would not produce
the felony as a consequence; on the other hand in a frustrated felony, the offender performed
all the acts of execution; thus, his external acts would produce the felony as a consequence.
FRUSTRATED AND CONSUMMATED - In frustrated and consummated felony, the
accused performed all acts of execution that would produce the felony as a consequence. If the
felony is not produced due to external cause, the crime committed is frustrated felony; if the
felony is produced the crime committed is consummated.
In frustrated felony, the offender performed all the acts of execution but the felony was
not produced as a consequence due to extraneous cause. However, there are felonies, the
commission of which has no frustrated stage since the performance of all the acts of execution
immediately consummates the felony. In homicide or murder case, once the offender inflicted
mortal wound on the victim, all the acts of execution are considered performed. However, what
consummates homicide or murder is not the infliction of mortal wounds but the death of the
victim as a consequence of the mortal wound inflicted. Thus, if the mortally wounded victim
did not die due to medical intervention, homicide or murder is only at the frustrated stage. On
the other hand, in rape once the offender sexually penetrate the labia of the vagina of the
victim, all the acts of execution are considered performed. But since sexual penetration
consummates rape, there are no occasions where the offender performed all the acts of
execution and yet the felony was not produced as a consequence. In sum, there is no such
thing as frustrated rape since the performance of all the acts of execution immediately
consummates rape.
ABSOLUTORY CAUSE In attempted felony and frustrated felony, the offender failed
to accomplish his criminal objective by reason of extraneous causes; if the causes are not
extraneous, the accused will be absolved from criminal liability.
a. Negative Act - In the attempted stage of the execution of a felony, the offender must
do a negative act to be exempt from criminal liability for attempted felony; since the offender

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has not yet performed all the acts of execution that would produce the felony as a
consequence, he must spontaneously desist from further doing criminal acts that will
complete all the acts of execution. Example: A with intent to kill shot B; B sustained nonmortal wound. To be exempt from criminal liability for attempted homicide or murder, A
must spontaneously desist from further shooting B in order not to inflict mortal injury upon
him.
b. Positive Act If the offender performs all the acts of execution, which would
produce the felony as a consequence, offender is not exempted from liability for frustrated
felony even if he voluntary desisted from further doing criminal act. Spontaneous desistance is
a defense in attempted felony but not in frustrated felony. In the frustrated stage of the
execution of a felony, the offender must do a positive act to be exempt from criminal liability;
since the offender has performed all the acts of execution that would produce the felony as a
consequence, he must do something to prevent, or thwart the production of the felony.
Example: A with intent to kill shot B; B sustained mortal wound. To be exempt from
criminal liability for frustrated felony, it is not enough that A would desist from further
shooting B. The spontaneous desistance is not a valid defense since A had already inflicted
mortal wound on B that would cause his death as a consequence. Thus, A must save the
life of B by treating his wound. If B did not die because As medical treatment, the latter
will not be held liable for frustrated felony because the homicide was not produced due to the
will of A.
c. Not absolutory cause If the felony is consummated, offender cannot undo what
was done. Offender would not be absolved from criminal liability even if he had done
something that will mitigate the effects of the felonious act. Example: (1) Restitution of funds
malversed immediately and voluntarily made before the case was instituted is not an
absolutory cause (Navarro vs. Meneses III, CBD Adm. Case No. 313, January 30, 1998, En
Banc). (2) A stole chicken under the house of B one evening. Realizing that what he did
was wrong, A returned the chicken to the place under the house of B. Since the crime of
theft was already consummated, the return of the stolen property does not relieve A of
criminal responsibility. A had already performed all the acts of execution, which produced
the crime of theft before he returned the chicken (Reyes). (3) The fact that the accused
abandoned victim after six days of captivity does not lessen his criminal culpability much less
exempt him from criminal liability for the kidnapping and detention of victim (Baldogo, G.R.
No. 128106-07, January 24, 2003, En Banc).
SPONTANOEUS DESISTANCE - The term spontaneous is not equivalent to voluntary.
Even if the desistance is voluntary, the same could not exempt the offender from liability for
attempted felony if there is an external constraint. The term spontaneous means proceeding
from natural feeling or native tendency without external constraint; it is synonymous with
impulsive, automatic and mechanical (People vs. Lizada, G.R. No. 143468-71, January 24,
2003, En Banc).
Accused had previously raped the victim several times. During the subject incident,
accused was wearing a pair of short pants but naked from waist up. He entered the bedroom of
victim, went on top of her, held her hands, removed her panty, mashed her breasts and
touched her sex organ.
However, accused saw Rossel peeping through the door and
dismounted. He berated Rossel for peeping and ordered him to go back to his room and to
sleep. Accused then left the room of the victim. Held: Accused intended to have carnal
knowledge of victim. The overt acts of accused proven by the prosecution were not merely
preparatory acts. By the series of his overt acts, accused had commenced the execution of
rape, which, if not for his desistance, will ripen into the crime of rape. Although accused
desisted from performing all the acts of execution, however, his desistance was not
spontaneous as he was impelled to do so only because of the sudden and unexpected arrival of
Rossel. Hence, accused is guilty only of attempted rape (People vs. Lizada, G.R. No. 14346871, January 24, 2003, En Banc).
HOMICIDE OR MURDER The intent to kill, as an essential element of homicide at
whatever stage, may be before or simultaneous with the infliction of injuries. The evidence to
prove intent to kill may consist of, inter alia, the means used; the nature, location and number
of wounds sustained by the victim; and the conduct of the malefactors before, at the time of, or
immediately after the killing of the victim (Escamilla vs. People, GR No. 188551, February 27,
2013).
X opened the door and while still in the car drew a gun and shot A once, hitting him
just below the left armpit. X sped away. The wound sustained by A is not fatal. What is the
crime committed? Answer: X only shot the victim once and did not hit any vital part of the

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latter's body. If he intended to kill him, X could have shot the victim multiple times or even ran
him over with the car. Since intent to kill is lacking but wounds are inflicted upon the victim,
the crime is not attempted murder but physical injuries only (Pentecostes, Jr. vs. People, GR
No. 167766, April 07, 2010).
X was charged with frustrated murder for hacking the neck of victim with the use of a
scythe. Invoking the doctrine in Pentecostes, Jr., X claimed that had he intended to kill victim,
he could have repeatedly hacked him to ensure the latters death. Is the argument tenable?
Answer: No. Pentesoste Jr. case is not applicable since the victim in that case was shot in the
arm, a non-vital part of the body. In this case, the use of a scythe against victims neck was
determinative of the homicidal intent of X. A single hacking blow in the neck could be enough
to decapitate a person and leave him dead. Refraining from further hacking the victim does not
negate intent to kill. What could have been a fatal blow was already delivered and there was no
more desistance to speak of (People vs. Abella, G.R. No. 198400, October 07, 2013).
Using a gun, he shot the victim in the chest. Despite a bloodied right upper torso, the
latter still managed to run towards his house to ask for help. Nonetheless, petitioner
continued to shoot at him three more times, albeit unsuccessfully. The wound sustained by the
victim is fatal. The crime committed is frustrated homicide (Escamilla vs. People, GR No.
188551, February 27, 2013).
COMPLEX CRIME
Killing persons and injuring two more by treacherously detonating a hand grenade in a
dancing place constitutes the complex crime of multiple murders with double attempted
murder. Single act of detonating an explosive device may quantitatively constitute a cluster of
several separate and distinct offenses, yet these component criminal offenses should be
considered only as a single crime in law on which a single penalty is imposed because the
offender was impelled by a single criminal impulse which shows his lesser degree of perversity.
Even though the other victim did not suffer mortal wounds, the crime committed is not
physical injuries, because accused was motivated by the same intent to kill when he detonated
the explosive device inside the dancing place (People vs. Barde, G.R. No. 183094, September
22, 2010).
RECOMMENDED EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY
Accused was convicted of crime RA No. 8282 for his failure to remit SSS contributions
of his employees and was sentenced to suffer up to 20 years of reclusion temporal. The penalty
is excessive since he already paid his delinquent contribution. Under Article 5 of the Revised
Penal Code, the courts are bound to apply the law as it is and impose the proper penalty, no
matter how harsh it might be. The same provision, however, gives the Court the discretion to
recommend to the President actions it deems appropriate but are beyond its power when it
considers the penalty imposed as excessive. Although an accused is convicted under a special
penal law, the Court is not precluded from giving the Revised Penal Code suppletory
application in light of Article 10 of the same Code (Mendoza vs. People, G.R. No. 183891,
October 19, 2011).
CONSPIRACY
IMPLIED CONSPIRACY - In People vs. Dollendo, G.R. No. 181701, January 18, 2012 The evidence of a chain of circumstances, to wit: that appellant went inside the house of
Romines to ascertain that the victim was there; that he fetched Dollendo to bring him to Ruiz;
that he gave the dipang to Dollendo to commit the crime; and that they both fled after the
stabbing, taken collectively, shows a community of criminal design to kill the victim. Evidently,
there was conspiracy in the commission of the crime.
COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY - It is immaterial whether appellant acted as a
principal or as an accomplice because the conspiracy and his participation therein have been
established. In conspiracy, the act of one is the act of all and the conspirators shall be held
equally liable for the crime (People vs. Siongco, G.R. No. 186472, July 5, 2010).
DISSOCIATION - To exempt himself from criminal liability, a conspirator must have
performed an overt act to dissociate or detach himself from the conspiracy to commit the felony
and prevent the commission thereof (People vs. Ebet, G.R. No. 181635 November 15, 2010).
MASTERMIND - To be held liable as conspirator, it must also be shown that the
accused performed an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy except in the case of the

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mastermind of a crime (People vs. Vera, GR No. 128966, August 18, 1999). One who plans the
commission of a crime is liable as conspirator and principal by inducement (People vs.
Comiling, G.R. No. 140405, March 4, 2004, En banc).Notwithstanding, the fact that one was
not at the crime scene, evidence proved that he was the mastermind of the criminal act or the
principal by inducement. What is important is that inducement was the determining cause of
the commission of the crime. The command or advice made by principal by inducement was of
such nature that, without it, the crime would not have materialized (People vs. Janjalani, G.R.
No. 188314, January 10, 2011).
PRESENCE - Accused, unarmed, appeared in the company of his employer, and
another person. His employer shot and killedthe victim. Accused did nothing to prevent the
killing. Accused fled together with his employer and other person.The fact that accused
appeared together with employer and another and fled with them proves a certain degree of
participation and cooperation in the execution of the crime. However, there is doubt as to
whether accused acted as a principal or just a mere accomplice. Such doubt should be resolved
in favor of the milder form of criminal liabilitythat of a mere accomplice (People vs. Tomas,
G.R. No. 192251, February 16, 2011). If the accused is armed at the time, he could be held
liable as principal on the basis of implied conspiracy. The fact that the companion of the
criminal actor is armed may mean that the former is supplying moral assistance to the latter.
The armed presence of conspiratorial companion may prove a sense of security and
encouragement on the part of the material executor or may serve as deterrence against possible
defender or rescuer (Galgo, G.R. No. 133887, May 28, 2002, En Banc).
SPECIAL LAW - B.P. Blg. 22 does not expressly proscribe the supplementary
application of the provisions RPC including the rule on conspiracy. Hence, such rule may be
applied supplementarily. Thus, a non-issuer of bum check can be held liable for violation of
BP Blg. 22 on the basis of conspiracy. (Ladonga vs. People, G.R. No. 141066, February 17,
2005). The principle of conspiracy may be applied to RA No. 9262. Thus, a person (such as
mother-in-law), who has no marital, sexual or dating relationship with the victim, can be held
liable for violence against woman on the basis of conspiracy (Go-Tan vs. Go, G.R. No. 168852,
September 30, 2008)
Anti-graft law - May a private person be indicted for conspiracy in violating Section 3(g)
of R.A. 3019 even if the public officer, with whom he was alleged to have conspired, has died
prior to the filing of the Information? Answer: Yes. The death of the public officer does not
mean that the allegation of conspiracy between him and private individual can no longer be
proved or that their alleged conspiracy is already expunged. The only thing extinguished by
the death of the public officer is his criminal liability. His death did not extinguish the crime
nor did it remove the basis of the charge of conspiracy between him and private individual
(People vs. Go, GR NO. 168539, March 25, 2014, en banc).
Robbery with rape When a homicide takes place by reason of or on the occasion of
the robbery, all those who took part shall be guilty of the special complex crime of robbery with
homicide whether they actually participated in the killing, unless there is proof that there was
an endeavor to prevent the killing. The records are bereft of any evidence to prove, or even
remotely suggest, that appellant attempted to prevent the killing. Therefore, the basic principle
in conspiracy that the "act of one is the act of all," applies in this case (People vs. Ebet, GR No.
181635, November 15, 2010; People vs. De Leon, GR No. 179943, June 26, 2009; People vs.
Diu, GR No. 201449, April 03, 2013)
If a robber tries to prevent the commission of homicide after the commission of the
robbery, he is guilty only of robbery and not of robbery with homicide. All those who conspire
to commit robbery with homicide are guilty as principals of such crime, although not all
profited and gained from the robbery. One who joins a criminal conspiracy adopts the criminal
designs of his co-conspirators and can no longer repudiate the conspiracy once it has
materialized (People vs. Ebet, GR No. 181635, November 15, 2010; People vs. Diu, GR No.
201449, April 03, 2013).
Kidnapping with rape - A, B and C kidnapped X from her house, and then detained
her in a safe house for purpose of extorting ransom. While C went to Jolibee to buy food, A
raped X in the presence of B. What is the crime committed by A, B and C? Answer: A is liable
for special complex crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with rape. Since X is a
female, taking her away from her house against her will and holding her as captive constitute
kidnapping and serious illegal detention. Raping the kidnapped victim is a qualifying
circumstance. These two crimes should be integrated together to form a composite crime where
the law prescribes a single penalty.

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B is also liable for special complex crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention
with rape. Since conspiracy is established between A and B in the commission of kidnapping,
the latter is responsible for the rape committed by former since there is no showing that B
endeavored to prevent A from raping X (People vs. Anticamaray, GR No. 178771, June 08,
2011).
C is only liable for kidnapping and serious illegal detention. Since there is no evidence
that he is aware of the commission of rape, he could not have prevented A from raping the
victim. Hence, he is not responsible for the rape (People vs. Anticamaray, supra).
SELF-DEFENSE
SELF-HELP PRINCIPLE - In People vs. Apolinar, CA, 38 O.G. 2870, it was held:
Defense of property is not of such importance as right to life, and defense of property can be
invoked as a justifying circumstance only when it is coupled with an attack on the person of
one entrusted with said property. However, in People vs. Narvaez, G.R. Nos. L-33466-67, April
20, 1983, the SC found the presence of unlawful aggression despite the fact that the invasion
of his property right was not coupled by an attack against the accused. The accused has the
right to resist pursuant Article 429 of the Civil Code, which provides: The owner or lawful
possessor of a thing has the right to exclude any person from the enjoyment and disposal
thereof. For this purpose, he may use such force as may be reasonably necessary to repel or
prevent an actual or threatened unlawful physical invasion or usurpation of his property.
However, since the means employed to resist the invader (killing) is not reasonable, the
accused is merely given the benefit of incomplete self-defense. Justice Florenz Regalado stated
that the rule in Apolinar case may be deemed to have been superseded by Narvaez case.
UNLAWFUL AGGRESSION The essential requisites of self-defense are the following:
(1) unlawful aggression on the part of the victim; (2) reasonable necessity of the means
employed to prevent or repel such aggression; and (3) lack of sufficient provocation on the part
of the person resorting to self-defense. Verily, to invoke self-defense successfully, there must
have been an unlawful and unprovoked attack that endangered the life of the accused, who
was then forced to inflict severe wounds upon the assailant by employing reasonable means to
resist the attack (Belbis, Jr. vs. People, GR No. 181052, November 14, 2012).
The rule consistently adhered to in this jurisdiction is that when the accuseds defense
is self-defense he thereby admits being the author of the death of the victim, that it becomes
incumbent upon him to prove the justifying circumstance to the satisfaction of the court. The
rationale for the shifting of the burden of evidence is that the accused, by his admission, is to
be held criminally liable unless he satisfactorily establishes the fact of self-defense. But the
burden to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt is not thereby lifted from the shoulders of the
State, which carries it until the end of the proceedings. In other words, only the onus
probandi shifts to the accused, for self-defense is an affirmative allegation that must be
established with certainty by sufficient and satisfactory proof. He must now discharge the
burden by relying on the strength of his own evidence, not on the weakness of that of the
Prosecution, considering that the Prosecutions evidence, even if weak, cannot be disbelieved in
view of his admission of the killing (People vs. Roman, GR No. 198110, July 31, 2013).
Unlawful aggression is a condition sine qua non for the justifying circumstance of selfdefense. Without it, there can be no self-defense, whether complete or incomplete, that can
validly be invoked. There is an unlawful aggression on the part of the victim when he puts in
actual or imminent danger the life, limb, or right of the person invoking self-defense. There
must be actual physical force or actual use of a weapon. It is present only when the one
attacked faces real and immediate threat to ones life. It must be continuous; otherwise, it
does not constitute aggression warranting self-defense (People vs. Gamez, GR No. 202847,
October 23, 2013). Accordingly, the accused must establish the concurrence of three elements
of unlawful aggression, namely: (a) there must be a physical or material attack or assault; (b)
the attack or assault must be actual, or, at least, imminent; and (c) the attack or assault must
be unlawful (People vs. Roman, GR No. 198110, July 31, 2013).
Kinds of aggression - Unlawful aggression is of two kinds: (a) actual or material
unlawful aggression; and (b) imminent unlawful aggression. Actual or material unlawful
aggression means an attack with physical force or with a weapon, an offensive act that
positively determines the intent of the aggressor to cause the injury. Imminent unlawful
aggression means an attack that is impending or at the point of happening; it must not consist
in a mere threatening attitude, nor must it be merely imaginary, but must be offensive and
positively strong (like aiming a revolver at another with intent to shoot or opening a knife and
making a motion as if to attack). Imminent unlawful aggression must not be a mere

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threatening attitude of the victim, such as pressing his right hand to his hip where a revolver
was holstered, accompanied by an angry countenance, or like aiming to throw a pot (People v.
Del Castillo, G.R. No. 169084, January 18, 2012; People vs. Roman, GR No. 198110, July 31,
2013; People vs. Malicdem, G.R. No. 184601, November 12, 2012 (Justice De Castro)
Ordinarily there is a difference between the act of drawing ones gun and the act of
pointing ones gun at a target. The former cannot be said to be unlawful aggression on the part
of the victim. For unlawful aggression to be attendant there must be a real danger to life or
personal safety. Unlawful aggression requires an actual, sudden and unexpected attack, or
imminent danger thereof, and not merely a threatening or intimidating attitude. Here, the act
of the victim in drawing a gun from his waist cannot be categorized as unlawful aggression.
Such act did not put in real peril the life or personal safety of appellant. The facts surrounding
the case must, however, be differentiated from current jurisprudence on unlawful aggression.
Accused was justified in defending himself considering that victim was a trained police officer
and an inebriated and disobedient colleague. Even if the victim did not point his firearm at
accused, there would still be a finding of unlawful aggression on the part of the victim (Nacnac
vs. People, G.R. No. 191913, March 21, 2012).
In People vs. Fontanilla, G.R. No. 177743, January 25, 2012 - Indeed, had victim really
attacked accused, the latter would have sustained some injury from the aggression. It remains,
however, that no injury of any kind or gravity was found on the person of accused
when he presented himself to the hospital. In contrast, the physician who examined the
cadaver of victim testified that he had been hit on the head more than once. The plea of selfdefense was thus belied, for the weapons used by accused and the location and number of
wounds he inflicted on victim revealed his intent to kill, not merely an effort to prevent or repel
an attack from victim. We consider to be significant that the gravity of the wounds manifested
the determined effort of the accused to kill his victim, not just to defend himself.
Ceased aggression - The unlawful aggression on the part of the victim ceased when
accused Rodolfo was able to get hold of the bladed weapon. Although there was still some
struggle involved between the victim and accused, there is no doubt that the latter, who was in
possession of the same weapon, already became the unlawful aggressor. Retaliation is not the
same as self-defense. In retaliation, the aggression that was begun by the injured party already
ceased when the accused attacked him, while in self-defense the aggression still existed when
the aggressor was injured by the accused. Such an aggression can also be surmised on the
four stab wounds sustained by the victim on his back. It is hard to believe based on the
location of the stab wounds, all at the back portion of the body, that accused was defending
himself. It would have been different if the wounds inflicted were located in the front portion of
the victim's body. Thus, the first element of self-defense is not present (Belbis, Jr. vs. People,
GR No. 181052, November 14, 2012).
Necessary means - The means employed by a person claiming self-defense must be
commensurate to the nature and the extent of the attack sought to be averted, and must be
rationally necessary to prevent or repel an unlawful aggression. In the present case, four stab
wounds that are the product of direct thrusting of the bladed weapon are not necessary to
prevent what the accused claim to be the continuous unlawful aggression from the victim as
the latter was already without any weapon. In connection therewith, having established that
there was no unlawful aggression on the part of the victim when he was stabbed, accused
cannot avail of the mitigating circumstance of incomplete self-defense (Belbis, Jr. vs. People,
GR No. 181052, November 14, 2012).
Under doctrine of rationale equivalence, plea of self-defense would prosper if there is a
rational equivalence between the means of attack by the unlawful aggressor and the means of
defense by the accused that would characterize the defense as reasonable. The doctrine of
rational equivalence presupposes the consideration not only of the nature and quality of the
weapons used by the defender and the assailantbut of the totality of circumstances
surrounding the defense vis--vis, the unlawful aggression. Clearly, this continuous attack by
accused despite the fact that aggressor already was neutralized by the blow constitutes force
beyond what is reasonably required to repel the aggressionand is therefore unjustified
(Espinosa vs. People, G.R. No. 181071, March 15, 2010).
BATTERED WOMAN SYNDROME: "Battered Woman Syndrome" refers to a
scientifically defined pattern of psychological and behavioral symptoms found in women living
in battering relationships as a result of cumulative abuse (Section 3 of RA No. 9262). Each of
the phases of the cycle of violence must be proven to have characterized at least two battering
episodes between the accused and her intimate partner and such final episode produced in
the battered persons mind an actual fear of an imminent harm from her batterer and an

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honest belief that she needed to use force in order to save her life. (People vs. Genosa, G.R.
No. 135981, January 15, 2004). The three phases of the Battered Woman Syndrome are: (1)
the tension-building phase; (2) the acute battering incident; and (3) the tranquil, loving or
non-violent phase (People vs. Genosa, G.R. No. 135981, January 15, 2004; Answer to the
2010 Bar Examination Questions by UP Law Complex). The essence of this defense of
Battered Woman Syndrome as a defense is that battered woman, who suffers from physical
and psychological or emotional distress, is acting under an irresistible impulse to defend
herself although at the time of commission of the crime the batterer-victim had not yet
committed unlawful aggression. In Genosa supra, it was held that it is crucial to the BWS
defense is the state of mind of the battered woman at the time of the offense. She must have
actually feared imminent harm from her batterer and honestly believed in the need to kill him in
order to save her life. That is why even in the absence of actual aggression or any other
element of self-defense, a woman, who is found to be suffering from battered woman
syndrome is not criminally liable for killing her husband.
IRRESISTABLE FORCE
A person who acts under the compulsion of an irresistible force, like one who acts
under the impulse of an uncontrollable fear of equal or greater injury, is exempt from criminal
liability because he does not act with freedom. Actus me invite factus non est meus actus. An
act done by me against my will is not my act. The force contemplated must be so formidable as
to reduce the actor to a mere instrument who acts not only without will but against his
will. The duress, force, fear or intimidation must be present, imminent and impending, and of
such nature as to induce a well-grounded apprehension of death or serious bodily harm if the
act be done. A threat of future injury is not enough. The compulsion must be of such a
character as to leave no opportunity for the accused for escape or self-defense in equal combat
(People vs. Dequina, G.R. No. 177570, January 19, 2011)
MINORITY
The rights and privileges of a child in conflict with the law are as follows:
1. Exempting circumstance of minority - To exempt a minor, who is 15 years old or
more, from criminal liability, it must be shown that he committed the criminal act without
discernment. Choosing an isolated and dark place to perpetrate the crime, to prevent detection
and boxing the victim to weaken her defense are indicative of accuseds mental capacity to
fully understand the consequences of his unlawful action (People vs. Jacinto, G.R. No. 182239,
March 16, 2011).
A child, who are already serving sentence, shall likewise benefit from the retroactive
application of RA 9344. They shall be immediately released if they are so qualified under this
Act or other applicable law (Section 68 of RA No. 9344; People vs. Monticalvo, G.R. No. 193507,
January 30, 2013).
2. Privilege mitigating circumstance In People vs. Agacer, G.R. No. 177751,
January 7, 2013 Accused is entitled to the privileged mitigating circumstance of minority,
which graduates the penalty one degree lower. The rationale of the law in extending such
leniency and compassion is that because of his age, the accused is presumed to have acted
with less discernment. This is regardless of the fact that his minority was not proved during
the trial and that his birth certificate was belatedly presented for our consideration, since to
rule accordingly will not adversely affect the rights of the state, the victim and his heirs.
Under Section 98 of RA No. 9165, the provisions in RPC is not applicable unless the
accused is a minor. In such case, the penalty of life imprisonment shall be considered
reclusion perpetua. In sum, if the accused is a minor, Article 68 of RPC on the privilege
mitigating circumstance of minority shall apply to crime of illegal possession of dangerous drug
even though this is malum prohibitum punishable by life imprisonment. Hence, the penalty of
life imprisonment for illegal possession of dangerous drug committed by a minor, which is
treated as reclusion perpetua, shall be graduated to reclusion temporal because of the privilege
mitigating circumstance of minority (People vs. Montalaba, G.R. No. 186227, July 20, 2011)
3. Suspension of sentence - While Section 38 of RA 9344 provides that suspension of
sentence can still be applied even if the child in conflict with the law is already 18 years of age
or more at the time of the pronouncement of his/her guilt, Section 40 of the same law limits
the said suspension of sentence until the child reaches the maximum age of 21. Hence, the
child in conflict with the law, who reached 21 years, cannot avail of privilege of suspension of
sentence (People vs. Mantalba, G.R. No. 186227, July 20, 2011; People vs. Salcedo, GR No.

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186523, June 22, 2011; People vs. Arpon, G.R. No. 183563, December 14, 2011 (Justice De
Castro; People vs. Monticalvo, G.R. No. 193507, January 30, 2013).
4. Probation - Right to apply for probation despite appeal - Section 4 of PD No. 968
provides: Application for probation must be filed within the period of perfecting an appeal and no
application for probation shall be entertained or granted if the defendant has perfected the
appeal from the judgment of conviction. However, RA No. 9344 has expressly amended Section
4 of PD No. 968 and provides that a child in conflict with the law can apply for probation at any
time. Section 42 of RA No. 9344 provides: The court may, after it shall have convicted and
sentenced a child in conflict with the law, and upon application at any time, place the child on
probation in lie of service of his/her sentence taking into account the best interest to the
child. The phrase at any time mentioned in Section 42 means the child in conflict with the law
may file application for probation even beyond the period of perfecting an appeal and even if
the child has perfected the appeal from the judgment of conviction.
Right of possessor or user of dangerous drugs to apply for probation - The rule under
Section 24 of RA No. 9165, which disqualifies drug traffickers and pushers for applying for
probations, does not extend to possessor of dangerous drugs. In Padua vs. People, G.R. No.
168546, July 23, 2008, it was held that: The law considers the users and possessors of illegal
drugs as victims while the drug traffickers and pushers as predators. Hence, while drug
traffickers and pushers, like Padua, are categorically disqualified from availing the law on
probation, youthful drug dependents, users and possessors alike, are given the chance to
mend their ways.
Right to apply for probation even if the penalty for possession of dangerous drug is
more than 6 years Under Section 9 of PD 968, one is sentenced to suffer a penalty (maximum
indeterminate penalty) of more than is not qualified to apply for probation. However, under
Section 70 of RA No. 9165, a first time minor offender can apply for probation for the crime of
illegal possession of dangerous drug even if the penalty is higher than 6 years of imprisonment.
5. Agricultural camp or other training facilities - The child in conflict with the law
may, after conviction and upon order of the court, be made to serve his sentence, in lieu of
confinement in a regular penal institution, in an agricultural camp and other training facilities
in accordance with Section 51 of RA No. 9344 (People vs. Mantalba, G.R. No. 186227, July 20,
2011; People vs. Salcedo, GR No. 186523, June 22, 2011; People vs. Arpon, G.R. No. 183563,
December 14, 2011, Justice De Castro).
6. Full credit of preventive imprisonment - Under Article 29 of RPC, a convicted
recidivist is not entitled to a full or 4/5 credit of his preventive imprisonment. However, if the
convict is a child, the applicable rule for crediting the period of commitment and detention is
not Article 29 of RPC but Section 41, RA 9344. Under the said provision, the full time spent in
actual commitment and detention of juvenile delinquent shall be credited in the services of his
sentence (Atizado vs. People, G.R. No. 173822, October 13, 2010.
IMBECILITY
In exempting circumstance of minority under Section 6 of RA No. 9344, what is
important is the chronological age of the accused. If the actual age of the child is 15 years or
under, he is exempt from criminal liability. In People vs. Roxas, G.R. No. 200793, June 04,
2014 - In determining age for purposes of exemption from criminal liability, Section 6 clearly
refers to the age as determined by the anniversary of ones birth date, and not the mental age.
In exempting circumstance of imbecility, what is important is the mental age of the
accused. If the mental age of the accused is 2 years, he is an idiot; if his mental age is 7 years
old, he is an imbecile (People vs. Butiong, G.R. No. 168932, October 19, 2011). An idiot or
imbecile is exempt from criminal liability.
If the mental age of the accused is 12 years old, he is a feebleminded (People vs.
Butiong). A feebleminded is not an imbecile; hence, he is not exempt from criminal liability
(People vs. Nunez, G.R. NO. 112429-30, July 23, 1997)
In People vs. Roxas, the chronological age of the victim is 18 years while his mental age
is 9 years old. Exempting circumstance of minority cannot be appreciated since he is not a
minor. His actual age is not below 18 years. Exempting circumstance of imbecility cannot be
appreciated. He is not an imbecile since his mental age is not 7 years.

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INSANITY
Acts penalized by law are always presumed to be voluntary, and it is improper to
conclude that a person acted unconsciously in order to relieve him of liability, unless his
insanity is conclusively proved (People vs. Pambid, GR No. 124453, March 15, 2000).Insanity is
the exception rather than the rule in the human condition. The presumption, under Article 800
of the Civil Code, is that every human is sane. Anyone who pleads the exempting circumstance
of insanity bears the burden of proving it with clear and convincing evidence. It is in the nature
of confession and avoidance. An accused invoking insanity admits to have committed the crime
but claims that he or she is not guilty because of insanity (People vs. Tibon, G.R. No.
188320, June 29, 2010).
Insanity as an exempting circumstance must relate to the time immediately preceding
or coetaneous with the commission of the offense with which accused is charged (People vs.
Tibon, supra).
COGNITION TEST AND VOLITION TEST - The case of Formigones established two
distinguishable tests to determine the insane condition of the accused:
(a) The test of cognition whether there was a complete deprivation of intelligence in
committing the criminal act After satisfying his lust, accused threatened the victim. This
implies that accused knew what he was doing, that it was wrong, and wanted to keep it a
secret. It also indicated that the crime was committed during one of his lucid intervals.
Accused is not exempt from liability for failure to pass the cognition test (People vs. Alipio, G.R.
No. 185285, October 5, 2009) and
Evidence tended to show that accused was not deprived of reason at all and can still
distinguish right from wrong when, after satisfying his lust, he threatened victim. This single
episode irresistibly implies, for one, that accused knew what he was doing, that it was wrong,
and wanted to keep it a secret. And for another, it indicated that the crime was committed
during one of lucid intervals of accused (People vs. Alipio, supra).
(b) The test of volition whether there was a total deprivation of freedom of the will. In
the Bonoan case, schizophrenic accused, who acted under irresistible homicidal impulse to kill
(volition test), was acquitted due to insanity. This is not anymore a good rule. Even if the
mental condition of the accused had passed the volition test, the plea of insanity will not
prosper unless it also passed the cognition test. The controlling test is cognition (People vs.
Opuran, G.R. Nos. 147674-75, March 17, 2004). Accused will be convicted if he was not totally
deprived of reason and freedom of will (People vs. Garchitorena, G. R. No. 175605, August 28,
2009 (Justice De Castro). Only when there is a complete deprivation of intelligence at the time
of the commission of the crime should the exempting circumstance of insanity be considered
(People vs. Bulagao, G.R. No. 184757, October 05, 201, Justice De Castro).
In recent Supreme Court cases, the plea of insanity of person, who is suffering from
schizophrenia, was rejected because of failure to pass the cognition test. In sum, a
schizophrenic accused must be deprived completely of intelligence to be exempt from criminal
liability (See: People vs. Medina, G.R. No. 113691, February 6, 1998; People vs. Pascual, G.R.
No. 95029, March 24, 1993).If a person (such as sex maniac, homicidal maniac or
kleptomaniac)had merely passed the volition test but not the cognition test, he will only be
given the benefit of mitigating circumstance of illness. Diminution of freedom of the will is
enough to mitigate the liability of the offender suffering from illness (See: People vs. Rafanan,
Jr. November 21, 1991, G.R. No. 54135, November 21, 1991).
ABSOLUTORY CAUSE IN CRIME AGAINST PROPERTY
No criminal liability is incurred by the stepfather who commits malicious mischief
against his stepson; by the stepmother who commits theft against her stepson; by the
stepfather who steals something from his stepson; by the grandson who steals from his
grandfather; by the accused who swindles his sister-in-law living with him; and by the son who
steals a ring from his mother (Intestate Estate of Gonzales vs. People, G.R. No. 181409,
February 11, 2010). The absolutory cause applies to theft, swindling and malicious mischief. It
does not apply to theft through falsification or estafa through falsification (Intestate Estate of
Gonzales vs. People, G.R. No. 181409, February 11, 2010). There are two viewson whether the
extinguishment of marriage by death of the spouse dissolves the relationship by affinity for
purpose of absolutory cause. The first holds that relationship by affinity terminates with the
dissolution of the marriage, while the second maintains that relationship continues even after
the death of the deceased spouse. The principle of pro reo calls for the adoption of the

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continuing affinity view because it is more favorable to the accused (Intestate estate of
Gonzales vs. People, G.R. No. 181409, February 11, 2010).
INSTIGATION AND ENTRAPMENT
Instigation means luring the accused into a crime that he, otherwise, had no intention
to commit, in order to prosecute him." It differs from entrapment which is the employment of
ways and means in order to trap or capture a criminal. In instigation, the criminal intent to
commit an offense originates from the inducer and not from the accused who had no intention
to commit and would not have committed it were it not for the prodding of the inducer. In
entrapment, the criminal intent or design originates from the accused and the law enforcers
merely facilitate the apprehension of the criminal by using ruses and schemes. Instigation
results in the acquittal of the accused, while entrapment may lead to prosecution and
conviction.
Instigation means luring the accused into a crime that he, otherwise, had no intention
to commit, in order to prosecute him. It differs from entrapment which is the employment of
ways and means in order to trap or capture a criminal. In instigation, the criminal intent to
commit an offense originates from the inducer and not from the accused who had no intention
to commit and would not have committed it were it not for the prodding of the inducer. In
entrapment, the criminal intent or design originates from the accused and the law enforcers
merely facilitate the apprehension of the criminal by using ruses and schemes. Instigation
results in the acquittal of the accused, while entrapment may lead to prosecution and
conviction (People vs. Espiritu, G.R. No. 180919, January 9, 2013).
In People vs. Espiritu et. Al., G.R. No. 180919, January 9, 2013 - Here, the evidence
clearly established that the police operatives employed entrapment, not instigation, to capture
appellant and her cohorts in the act of selling shabu. It must be recalled that it was only upon
receipt of a report of the drug trafficking activities of Espiritu from the confidential informant
that a buy-bust team was formed and negotiations for the sale of shabu were made. Also,
appellant testified that she agreed to the transaction of her own free will when she saw the
same as an opportunity to earn money. Notably too, appellant was able to quickly produce a
sample. This confirms that she had a ready supply of the illegal drugs. Clearly, she was never
forced, coerced or induced through incessant entreaties to source the prohibited drug for Carla
and PO3 Cario and this she even categorically admitted during her testimony.
Moreover, a police officers act of soliciting drugs from appellant during the buy-bust
operation, or what is known as the "decoy solicitation," is not prohibited by law and does not
invalidate the buy-bust operation. in a prosecution for sale of illicit drugs, any of the following
will not exculpate the accused: "(1) that facilities for the commission of the crime were
intentionally placed in his way; or (2) that the criminal act was done at the solicitation of the
decoy or poseur-buyer seeking to expose his criminal act; or (3) that the police authorities
feigning complicity in the act were present and apparently assisted in its commission."
Hence, even assuming that the PAOCTF operatives repeatedly asked her to sell them
shabu, appellants defense of instigation will not prosper. This is "especially true in that class
of cases where the offense is the kind that is habitually committed, and the solicitation merely
furnished evidence of a course of conduct. Mere deception by the police officer will not shield
the perpetrator, if the offense was committed by him free from the influence or instigation of
the police officer."
MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES
VOLUNTARY SURRENDER To appreciate the mitigating circumstance of voluntary
surrender, the following requisites must be proven, namely: (1) the offender has not actually
been arrested; (2) the offender surrendered himself to a person in authority; and (3) the
surrender was voluntary. A surrender to be voluntary must be spontaneous, showing the
intent of the accused to submit himself unconditionally to the authorities, either because he
acknowledges his guilt, or he wishes to save them the trouble and expense necessarily incurred
in his search and capture. Voluntary surrender presupposes repentance (People vs. Tabarnero,
G.R. No. 168169, February 24, 2010, Justice De Castro)
The surrender made after 14 days from the date of killing cannot be considered
voluntary since his act did not emanate from a natural impulse to admit the killing or to save
the police officers the effort and expense that would be incurred in his search and
incarceration. (People vs. Agacer, G.R. No. 177751, December 14, 2011).

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The accused surrendered only after having been informed of the charge of rape against
him or about two months from the commission of the alleged crime. He even denied the said
charge upon his purported surrender. The alleged surrender, therefore, does not qualify as a
mitigating circumstance (People vs. Salle, G.R. No. 181083, January 21, 2010, Justice De
Castro).
Surrender is not voluntary where the accused went to Barangay Chairman after the
killings to seek protection against the retaliation of the victims relatives, not to admit his
participation in the killing of the victims (People vs. Del Castillo, G.R. No. 169084, January 18,
2012).
The evidence shows that the appellants were arrested when the police officers manning
the checkpoint stopped the passenger jeepney driven by appellant Ronald and arrested the
appellants. The fact that the appellants did not resist but went peacefully with the peace
officers does not mean that they surrendered voluntarily (People vs. Castillano, G.R. No.
139412, April 2, 2003).
VOLUNTARY CONFESSION - A plea of guilty made after the prosecution had begun
presenting its evidence cannot be considered voluntary since it was made only after the
accused realized that the evidence already presented by the prosecution is enough to cause his
conviction. It is not required that the prosecution must have presented all its evidence when
the plea of guilty was made to negate the appreciation of mitigating circumstance of voluntary
confession (People vs. Montinola, G.R. No. 131856-57, July 9, 2001, En Banc).
VENDICATION: The mitigating circumstance of having acted in the immediate
vindication of a grave offense was, likewise, properly appreciated. The appellant was
humiliated, mauled and almost stabbed by the deceased. Although the unlawful aggression
had ceased when the appellant stabbed Anthony, it was nonetheless a grave offense for which
the appellant may be given the benefit of a mitigating circumstance. But the mitigating
circumstance of sufficient provocation cannot be considered apart from the circumstance of
vindication of a grave offense. These two circumstances arose from one and the same incident,
i.e., the attack on the appellant by Anthony, so that they should be considered as only one
mitigating circumstance (People vs. Torpio, G.R. No. 138984, June 4, 2004).
In vindication of grave offense, criminal exemption of accessories, alternative
circumstance of relationship and defense of stranger, the concept of relationship is the same. It
refers to (1) spouse, (2) ascendants, (3) descendants, or (4) legitimate, natural or adopted
brothers or sisters or (5) of his relatives by affinity in the same degrees. However, in defense of
relative, there is an additional concept of relationship. It includes relatives by consanguinity
within the fourth civil degree. Thus, an uncle is a relative within the concept of defense of
stranger (Reyes). However, relationship of uncle and niece is not an alternative circumstance
(People vs. Ulit, G.R. Nos. 131799-801, February 23, 2004).
PASSION - The following essential requirements must be present: (1) there was an act
that was both unlawful and sufficient to produce such condition (passion or obfuscation) of the
mind; and (2) such act was not far removed from the commission of the crime by a
considerable length of time, during which the perpetrator might have recovered his normal
equanimity (People vs. Comillo, G.R. No. 186538, November 25, 2009). Four days after the
victims attempted on the virtue of his wife, accused killed them. The period of four days was
sufficient enough a time within which accused could have regained his composure and selfcontrol. Hence, passion should not be appreciated (People vs. Rebucan, G.R. No. 182551, July
27, 2011, Justice De Castro).
AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES
Generic aggravating circumstances has the effect of increasing the penalty for the crime
to its maximum period, but it cannot increase the same to the next higher degree. It must
always be alleged and charged in the information, and must be proven during the trial in order
to be appreciated. Moreover, it can be offset by an ordinary mitigating circumstance (People vs.
De Leon, GR No. 179943, June 26, 2009).
It is now a requirement that the aggravating as well as the qualifying circumstances be
expressly and specifically alleged in the complaint or information. Otherwise, they cannot be
considered by the trial court in its judgment, even, if they are subsequently proved during trial
(Sombilon, Jr. vs. People, G.R. No. 175528, September 30, 2009, Justice De Castro)

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Section 8, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court has expressly required that qualifying and
aggravating circumstances be specifically alleged in the information. Due to such requirement
being pro reo, the Court has authorized its retroactive application in favor of even those
charged with felonies committed prior to December 1, 2000, which is the date of the effectivity
of the 2000 revision of the Rules of Criminal Procedure that embodied the requirement (People
vs. Dadulla, G. R. No. 172321, February 9, 2011).
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF POSITION - The mere use of service firearm is not enough to
constitute taking advantage of public position. Fact that accused made use of firearms which
they were authorized to carry or possess by reason of their positions, could not supply the
required connection between the office and the crime.The crime in question, for example, could
have been committed by the defendants in the same or like manner and with the same case if
they had been private individuals and fired with unlicensed weapons (People vs. Mandolado,
G.R. No. L-51304, June 28, 1983; People vs. Joyno, G.R. No. 123982, March 15, 1999, En
Banc; People vs. Villa, Jr., G.R. No. 129899, April 27, 2000; People vs. Villamor, G.R. Nos.
140407-08 and 141908-09, January 15, 2002, En Banc; and People vs. Fallorina, G.R. No.
137347, March 4, 2004, En Banc).
IGNOMINY - After killing the victim, the accused severed his sexual organ. Should
ignominy be appreciated? No. For ignominy to be appreciated, it is required that the offense be
committed in a manner that tends to make its effect more humiliating, thus adding to the
victims moral suffering. Where the victim was already dead when his body or a part thereof
was dismembered, ignominy cannot be taken against the accused (People vs. Cachola, G.R.
Nos. 148712-15, January 21, 2004)`
TREACHERY To appreciate treachery, two (2) conditions must be present, namely, (a)
the employment of means of execution that gives the person attacked no opportunity to defend
himself or to retaliate, and (b) the means of execution were deliberately or consciously adopted
(People vs. Duavis, GR No. 190861, December 07, 2011).
Treachery is not a qualifying circumstance but a generic aggravating circumstance to robbery
with homicide although said crime is classified as a crime against property and a single and indivisible
crime (People vs. Baron, G.R. No. 188601, June 29, 2010).
As the killing, in this case, is perpetrated with both treachery and by means of
explosives, the latter shall be considered as a qualifying circumstance since it is the principal
mode of attack. Reason dictates that this attendant circumstance should qualify the offense
while treachery will be considered merely as a generic aggravating circumstance (People vs.
Barde G.R. No. 183094, September 22, 2010).
EMPLOMENT OF MEANS TO WEAKEN DEFENSE - If the employment of means to
weaken the defense of the victim renders the victim defenseless, treachery absorbs
circumstance of employing means to weaken defense (People vs. Tunhawan, G.R. NO. L-81470,
October 27, 1988).
DISGUISE - If the accused covers his face with a handkerchief when he treacherously
killed the victim, the crime committed is murder qualified by treachery and aggravated by
disguise (People vs. Piring, G.R. No. 45053, October 19, 1936). If the accused covers his face
with a handkerchief when he killed the victim, the crime committed is murder qualified by
employment of means of affords impunity.
If the accused treacherously stabbed the victim, and the crime committed is murder
qualified by treachery and aggravated by disguise. If the accused covers his face with a
handkerchief when he killed the victim, the crime committed is murder qualified by
employment of means of affords impunity.
NIGHTTIME - Thus, treachery absorbs nighttime where had it not been at night the
offender, with his cohorts, would not have been able to approach the deceased without the
latter's becoming aware of his presence and guessing his intention; If they were able to catch
victim completely unawares, it was due to the darkness of the night which covered them
(People vs. Gumarang , GR N. 46413, October 6, 1939).
As a general rule, nighttime is aggravating because the darkness of the night facilitated
the commission of the crime or insured impunity. Thus, nighttime cannot aggravate the crime
if it is committed in a lighted place although at the wee hours of the night (People vs. Clario,
G.R. NO. 134634, July 31, 2001). The darkness of the night and not nighttime per se is
important in appreciating it as modifying circumstance (People vs. Banhaon, G.R. No. 131117,

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June 15, 2004). But if the offender purposely selected the wee hour of the night when
neighbors and occupants of the house including the victim were sleeping to facilitate the
commission of the crime or to afford impunity, nighttime is appreciable even if the place of
commission is lighted. (People vs. Demate, G.R. No. 132310, January 20, 2004, En Banc).While
accused were already outside the victims house at around 11:00 p.m., they purposely waited
until 2:00 a.m. before breaking into the residence so as not to call the attention of the victims,
household members and/or their neighbors. Taking advantage of the fact that the victim and
household members were asleep, accused entered the well-lighted bedroom and killed the
victim. Nighttime should be appreciated since accused took advantage of the silence of the night
(People vs. Ventura and Ventura, G.R. No. 148145-46, July 5, 2004, Per Curiam).
ABUSE OF SUEPRIOR STRENGHT - Abuse of superior strength is present whenever
there is inequality of forces between the victim and the aggressor, considering that a situation
of superiority of strength is notoriously advantageous for the aggressor and is selected or taken
advantage of by him in the commission of the crime (People vs. Garchitorena, G. R. No.
175605, August 28, 2009 (Justice De Castro).The victim need not be completely defenseless in
order for the said aggravating circumstance to be appreciated (People vs. Paling, G.R.
No. 185390 March 16, 2011). If the victim is completely defenseless, treachery should be
appreciated (People vs. Rebucan, G.R. No. 182551, July 27, 2011). When the circumstance of
abuse of superior strength concurs with treachery, the former is absorbed in the latter (People
vs. Dadao, et.al., G.R. No. 201860, January 22, 2014 (Justice De Castro).
EVIDENT PREMEDITATION - To warrant a finding of evident premeditation, the
prosecution must establish the confluence of the following requisites: (a) the time when the
offender determined to commit the crime; (b) an act manifestly indicating that the offender
clung to his determination; and (c) a sufficient interval of time between the determination and
the execution of the crime to allow him to reflect upon the consequences of his act (People vs.
Sabangan, G.R. No. 191722, December 11, 2013, Justice De Castro). The essence of evident
premeditation is that the execution of the criminal act must be preceded by cool thought and
reflection upon the resolution to carry out the criminal intent during a space of time sufficient
to arrive at a calm judgment (People vs. Alinao, GR No. 191256, September 18, 2013).
Accused told witness that they were going to kill the doctor. After less than thirty
minutes, the accused killed the victim, who is a doctor. Evident premeditation should not be
appreciated. The span of time (less than thirty minutes), from the time the accused showed
their determination to kill the victim up to the time they shot the victim, could not have
afforded them full opportunity for meditation and reflection on the consequences of the crime
they committed (People vs. Patelan, G.R. No. 182918, June 6, 2011).Unlike evident
premeditation, there is no requirement for conspiracy to exist that there be a sufficient period
of time to elapse to afford full opportunity for meditation and reflection. Instead, conspiracy
arises on the very moment the plotters agree, expressly or impliedly, to commit the subject
felony (People vs. Carandang, G.R. No. 175926, July 6, 2011).
DISREGARD OF SEX: Robbery with homicide is essentially a felony against property.
The aggravating circumstance of disregard of the victims age is applied only to crimes against
persons and honor. Moreover, the bare fact that the victim is a woman does not per
se constitute disregard of sex. For this circumstance to be properly considered, the
prosecution must adduce evidence that in the commission of the crime, the accused had
particularly intended to insult or commit disrespect to the sex of the victim (People vs. Reyes,
G.R. No. 153119, April 13, 2004.
The circumstances of disregard of sex, age or rank should be taken singly or together.
But the circumstance of dwelling should be considered independently from the circumstance
of disregard of age, sex and rank since these circumstances signify different concepts. In the
latter, the disrespect shown by offender pertains to the person of the offended due to her rank,
age and sex. In the former, the disrespect pertains to the dwelling of the offended party due to
the sanctity of privacy which the law accords it. In People vs. Puno, G.R. No. L-33211, June
29, 1981, En Banc - Disregard of rank and dwelling were appreciated independently.
In robbery with violence and intimidation against persons, dwelling is aggravating
because in this class of robbery, the crime may be committed without the necessity of
trespassing the sanctity of the offended party's house(People vs. Evangelio, G.R. No. 181902,
August 31, 2011).
AID OF ARMED MEN: Aid of armed men or persons affording immunity requires (1)
that the armed men are accomplices who take part in minor capacity, directly or indirectly
(People vs. Lozano, G.R. Nos. 137370-71, September 29, 2003, En Banc) and (2) that the

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accused availed himself of their aid or relied upon them when the crime was committed. Thus,
this circumstance should not be appreciated were armed men acted in concert to ensure the
commission of the crime (People vs. Carino, G.R. No. 131117, June 15, 2004). In aid of armed
men, the men act as accomplices only. They must not be acting in the commission of the
crime under the same purpose as the principal accused, otherwise they are to be regarded as
co-principals or co-conspirators (People vs. Enoja, GR No. 204894, March 10, 2014).
CRUELTY: The crime is not aggravated by cruelty simply because the victim sustained
ten stab wounds, three of which were fatal. For cruelty to be considered as an aggravating
circumstance there must be proof that, in inflicting several stab wounds on the victim, the
perpetrator intended to exacerbate the pain and suffering of the victim. The number of wounds
inflicted on the victim is not proof of cruelty (Simangan vs. People, G.R. No. 157984. July 8,
2004).
REPETITION - Differences of recidivism, quasi-recidivism, reiteracion and habitual
delinquency:
(a) Nature of crime In recidivism, the first crime, and the aggravated second crime are
embraced in the same Title of the Revised Penal Code; In quasi-recidivism, the nature of the
first crime and aggravated second crime is not material. In reiteration, the penalty for the first
crime is equal or greater than that for the aggravated second crime or the penalty for the first
two crimes is lighter than that for the aggravated third crime. In habitual delinquency, the first,
second and third crimes must be a habitual-delinquency crime, and that is, serious or less
serious physical injuries, theft, robbery, estafa or falsification of document.
(b) Time element In recidivism, the accused was convicted of the first crime by final
judgment at the time of trial of the second crime. In quasi-recidivism, the accused has been
convicted by final judgment of the first offense but before beginning to serve his sentence or
while servicing of his sentence, he committed the second crime. In reiteration, the accused was
convicted of the first crime (or first two crimes) and served his sentences at the time he was
convicted of the second crime (or third crime). In habitual delinquency, the accused was
convicted of first habitual-delinquency crime; within 10 years after conviction or release, he
was found guilty of habitual-delinquency crime for the second time; within 10 years after
conviction or release he was found guilty of habitual-delinquency crime for the third time or
oftener.
(c) Nature of the aggravating circumstance - Recidivism and reiteration are ordinary
aggravating circumstances, the presence of any of which will trigger the application of the
penalty for the second crime committed in its maximum period unless it is off-set by mitigating
circumstance. Quasi-recidivism is special aggravating circumstance, the presence of which will
trigger the application of the penalty for the second crime or third crime in its maximum period
regardless of the presence of mitigating circumstance. Habitual delinquency is an extraordinary
or special aggravating circumstance, the presence of which will trigger the imposition of
additional penalty for the third or subsequent crime. This is not subject to the off-set rule.
ALTERNATIVE CIRCUMSTANCE
Alternative circumstances are those which must be taken into consideration as
aggravating or mitigating according to the nature and effects of the crime and other conditions
attending its commission. Based on a strict interpretation, alternative circumstances are thus
not aggravating circumstances per se. (People vs. Orilla, G.R. Nos. 148939-40, February 13,
2004, En banc).
If the offender has committed a felony in a state of intoxication, this circumstance may
be mitigating or aggravating. If the prosecution claims intoxication as aggravating, it must
establish that the intoxication is habitual or intentional (People vs. Patelan, G.R. No. 182918,
June 6, 2011). Even if the accused could still fully comprehend what is right and what is
wrong, intoxication is aggravating as long as intoxication is habitual or intentional and it
boasted the courage of accused that propelled him to commit the crime. To aggravate the
liability of the accused, it is not necessary that degree of intoxication must have impaired the
will power of the accused (People vs. Ga, G.R. No. 49831, June 27, 1990). If accused claims
intoxication as mitigating, he must establish that his intoxication was not habitual or
subsequent to the plan to commit the crime and that he took such quantity of alcoholic
beverage, prior to the commission of the crime, as would blur his reason (People vs. Fontillas,
G.R. No. 184177, December 15, 2010, Justice De Castro). Failure of the prosecution or the
accused to do so, intoxication is neither aggravating nor mitigating.

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PARTICIPATION
Chief actor - Criminal or chief actor is the person who actually committed the crime.
He is the one who committed or omitted the act, which causes the criminal result. He directly
perpetrated the acts, which constitute the crime. With or without conspiracy, the chief actor is
a principal by direct participation.
Criminal participator - Criminal participator is the offender who participated in
committing a crime by indispensable or dispensable act. He performed an act, which is not
constitutive of felony but intended to give moral or material aid to the chief actor.
(1) With conspiracy - If there is conspiracy, the criminal participator or cooperator is a
principal by direct participation. The act of the chief actor is considered the act of the
criminal participator.
(2) Without conspiracy - If there is no conspiracy, criminal participator may be held
liable as principal by indispensable cooperation, accomplice or accessory depending upon
the nature and time of participation. A criminal participator may participate in the
commission of the crime by previous, simultaneous and/or subsequent acts.
(a) Previous or simultaneous acts The criminal participator by previous or
simultaneous acts is liable either as principal by indispensable cooperation or
accomplice. If the cooperation is indispensable, the participator is a principal by
indispensable cooperation; if dispensable an accomplice.
(b) Subsequent acts The criminal participator by subsequent acts is liable as an
accessory. An accessory does not participate in the criminal design, nor cooperate in
the commission of the felony, but, with knowledge of the commission of the crime, he
subsequently takes part by any of the three modes under Article 19.
The liability of accessory and principal should also be considered as quasi-collective. It
is quasi-collective in the sense that the principal and the accessory are liable for the felony
committed but the penalty for the latter is two degrees lower than that for the former.
ACCOMPLICE AND CONSPIRATOR - In People vs. PO1 Eusebio G.R. No. 182152,
February 25, 2013 - It noted that victim had only three gunshot wounds despite the many
shots fired at him. Since Bongon shot victim thrice at very close range, causing him to fall, it
appears that it was only Bongon who inflicted those wounds. And, considering that the
prosecution evidence did not show that the shots three other accused fired from their guns
made their marks, there is doubts that the three agreed beforehand with Bongon to kill victim.
It cannot rule out the possibility that they fired their guns merely to scare off outside
interference.
Because witnesses are rarely present when several accused come to an agreement or
conspired to commit a crime, such agreement is usually inferred from their "concerted actions"
while committing it. On the other hand, accomplices are the persons who, not being principals,
cooperate in the execution of the offense by previous or simultaneous acts.
The line that separates a conspirator by concerted action from an accomplice by
previous or simultaneous acts is indeed slight. Accomplices do not decide whether the crime
should be committed; but they assent to the plan and cooperate in its accomplishment. The
solution in case of doubt is that such doubt should be resolved in favor of the accused. It was
held that when there is doubt as to whether a guilty participant in a homicide performed the
role of principal or accomplice, the Court should favor the "milder form of responsibility." He
should be given the benefit of the doubt and can be regarded only as an accomplice. Hence, in
the case at bar, the other three accused should be granted the benefit of doubt and should
considered merely as accomplices.
It is immaterial whether accused acted as a principal or an accomplice. What really
matters is that the conspiracy was proven and he took part in it. Without the participation of
accused, the offense would not have been committed. He was the one who paved the way for
victim to board the vehicle and his closeness with the victim led the latter to trust the former,
thus, accomplishing their devious plan of kidnapping him. Consequently, the conspirators
shall be held equally liable for the crime, because in a conspiracy the act of one is the act of all
(People vs. Cruz, Jr., GR No. 168446, September 18, 2009).

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ACCOMPLICE - In order that a person may be considered an accomplice, namely, (1)
that there be community of design; that is knowing the criminal design of the principal by
direct participation, he concurs with the latter in his purpose; (2) that he cooperates in the
execution by previous or simultaneous act, with the intention of supplying material or moral
aid in the execution of the crime in an efficacious way; and (3) that there be a relation between
the acts done by the principal and those attributed to the person charged as accomplice (People
vs. Gambao, GR No. 172707, October 01, 2013).
Accused entered the room where the victim was detained and conversed with
kidnappers regarding stories unrelated to the kidnapping. Accused should be held liable as
accomplice. The defenses raised by accused are not sufficient to exonerate her criminal
liability. Assuming arguendo that she just came to the resort thinking it was a swimming party,
it was inevitable that she acquired knowledge of the criminal design of the principals when she
saw victim being guarded in the room. A rational person would have suspected something was
wrong and would have reported such incident to the police. Accused, however, chose to keep
quiet; and to add to that, she even spent the night at the cottage. It has been held before that
being present and giving moral support when a crime is being committed will make a person
responsible as an accomplice in the crime committed. It should be noted that the accusedappellants presence and company were not indispensable and essential to the perpetration of
the kidnapping for ransom; hence, she is only liable as an accomplice. Moreover, in case of
doubt, the participation of the offender will be considered as that of an accomplice rather than
that of a principal (People vs. Gambao, GR No. 172707, October 01, 2013).
X and Y did not participate when the victim was forcibly abducted. However, they
owned the safehouse, the basement of their house, where the kidnapped victim was detained.
X assisted the kidnappers when the victim the basement stairs of the safehouse. Y brought
foods to the safehouse. Are X and Y liable as accomplice or principal by direct participation?
They are liable as principals because of conspiracy. Their participations are of minor
importance. These acts pertain to those committed by mere accomplices. However, their acts
coincide with their ownership of the safehouse. They provided the place where the victim is to
be detained, which is logically a primary consideration in a conspiracy to commit the crime of
kidnapping for ransom. Ownership of the safehouse and their participations reasonably
indicate that they were among those who at the outset planned, and thereafter concurred with
and participated in the execution of the criminal design (People vs. Salvador, GR No. 201443,
April 10, 2013).
FENCING
The essential elements of the crime of fencing are as follows: (1) a crime of robbery or
theft has been committed; (2) the accused, who is not a principal or on accomplice in the
commission of the crime of robbery or theft, buys, receives, possesses, keeps, acquires,
conceals, sells or disposes, or buys and sells, or in any manner deals in any article, item,
object or anything of value, which has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery
or theft; (3) the accused knew or should have known that the said article, item, object or
anything of value has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; and (4)
there is, on the part of one accused, intent to gain for oneself or for another (Ong vs. People,
GR No. 190475, April 10, 2013).
The essential elements of the crime of fencing under PD No. 1612 are as follows: (1) A
crime of robbery or theft has been committed; (2) The accused, who is not a principal or
accomplice in the commission of the crime of robbery or theft (or carnapping but not
malversation or estafa), buys, receives, possesses, keeps, acquires, conceals, sells or disposes,
or buys and sells, or in any manner deals in any article, item, object or anything of value,
which has been derived from the proceeds of the said crime; (3) The accused knows or should
have known that the said article, item, object or anything of value has been derived from the
proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; and (4) There is on the part of the accused, intent to
gain for himself or for another (Francisco vs. People, G.R. No. 146584, July 12, 2004).
a. Proving robbery or theft Commission of robbery or theft by the principal as an
element of fencing should be proven beyond reasonable doubt to convict the fencer. One may
not be convicted of the crime of fencing if the complainant did not lodge a criminal complaint
against the principal in the crime of theft. This will create doubt if theft was really committed
(Tan vs. People, G.R. No. 134298, August 26, 1999) Failure to show finality of conviction of
theft against the principal is fatal to prosecution for fencing. In Francisco vs. People, G.R. No.
146584, July 12, 2004, - The decision of the trial court convicting the principal of theft does
not constitute proof against the accused for the crime of fencing, that the principal had,
indeed, stolen the jewelry. There is no showing that the said decision was already final and

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executory when the trial court rendered its decision in the fencing case. Accused was
acquitted.
b. Knowledge - In Dimat vs. People, G.R. No. 181184, January 25, 2012 But
Presidential Decree 1612 is a special law and, therefore, its violation is regarded as malum
prohibitum, requiring no proof of criminal intent. Of course, the prosecution must still prove
that accused knew or should have known that the Nissan Safari he acquired and later sold to
complainant was derived from theft or robbery and that he intended to obtain some gain out of
his acts. Accused knew that the Nissan Safari he bought was not properly documented. He
said that Tolentino showed him its old certificate of registration and official receipt. But this
certainly could not be true because, the vehicle having been carnapped, Tolentino had no
documents to show. That Tolentino was unable to make good on his promise to produce new
documents undoubtedly confirmed to accused that the Nissan Safari came from an illicit
source. Still, accused sold the same to complainant who apparently made no effort to check
the papers covering her purchase. That complainant might herself be liable for fencing is of no
moment since she did not stand accused in the case.
Accused was in the business of buy and sell of tires for the past 24 years, ] ought to have
known the ordinary course of business in purchasing from an unknown seller. Admittedly, Go
approached accused and offered to sell the 13 tires (which were stolen) and he did not even ask
for proof of ownership of the tires. The entire transaction, from the proposal to buy until the
delivery of tires happened in just one day. His experience from the business should have given
him doubt as to the legitimate ownership of the tires considering that it was his first time to
transact with Go and the manner it was sold is as if Go was just peddling the 13 tires in the
streets. Accused was convicted of fencing (Ong vs. People, GR No. 190475, April 10, 2013).
Accused knew the requirement of the law in selling second hand tires. Section 6 of P.D.
1612 requires stores, establishments or entities dealing in the buying and selling of any good,
article, item, object or anything else of value obtained from an unlicensed dealer or supplier
thereof to secure the necessary clearance or permit from the station commander of the
Integrated National Police in the town or city where that store, establishment or entity is
located before offering the item for sale to the public. In fact, accused has practiced the
procedure of obtaining clearances from the police station for some used tires he wanted to
resell but, in this particular transaction, he was remiss in his duty as a diligent businessman
who should have exercised prudence (Ong vs. People, GR No. 190475, April 10, 2013).
The issuance of a sales invoice or receipt is proof of a legitimate transaction and may be
raised as a defense in the charge of fencing; however, that defense is disputable. In this case,
the validity of the issuance of the receipt was disputed, and the prosecution was able to prove
that Gold Link and its address were fictitious. Accused failed to overcome the evidence
presented by the prosecution and to prove the legitimacy of the transaction. Thus, he was
unable to rebut the prima facie presumption under Section 5 of P.D. 1612 (Ong vs. People, GR
No. 190475, April 10, 2013).
c. Presumption: Section 6 of PD No. 1612 provides: Mere possession of any good,
article, item, object, or anything of value which has been the subject of robbery or thievery
shall be prima facie evidence of fencing.Possession is not limited to actual manual control of
the offender over the stolen property but extends to power and dominion over it.
Circumstances normally exist to forewarn, for instance, a reasonably vigilant buyer that
the object of the sale may have been derived from the proceeds of robbery or theft. Such
circumstances include the time and place of the sale, both of which may not be in accord with
the usual practices of commerce. The nature and condition of the goods sold, and the fact that
the seller is not regularly engaged in the business of selling goods may likewise suggest the
illegality of their source, and therefore should caution the buyer. This justifies the presumption
found in Section 5 of P.D. No. 1612 that mere possession of any goods, object or anything of
value which has been the subject of robbery or thievery shall be prima facie evidence of fencing.
This presumption is reasonable for no other natural or logical inference can arise from the
established fact of possession of the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft (Ong vs. People,
GR No. 190475, April 10, 2013).
The accessory in theft should materially benefit from it. Riding in a stolen vehicle is not
profiting within the contemplation of Article 17 of the Revised Penal Code since it does not
improve his economic position. Profiting is not synonymous to intent to gain as an element of
theft (Gregorio). However, in violation of PD No. 1612, use of stolen property gives rise to the
presumption of fencing. Hence, the user may be held liable for fencing even though he did not
materially benefit from crime of theft.

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The presumption of theft is disputable. The presumption of fencing may be overcome by
showing proof that accused bought the item from a licensed dealer of second-hand items
(Hizon-Pamintuan vs. People, G.R. No. 11414, July 11, 1994) or by showing official receipts
covering the purchases of property, which is the subject of fencing (D. M Consunji, Inc. vs.
Esguerra, G.R. No. 118590, July 30, 1996).
d. Recently stolen property If suspect is found in possession of recently stolen
property, he should be charged as principal in the crime of theft or robbery. Under Section 3
(j), Rule 131, a person found in possession of a thing taken in the doing of recently wrongful
act is the taker and the doer of the whole act. Settled is the rule that unexplained possession
of recently stolen property is prima facie evidence of guilt of the crime of theft ( US vs. Ungal,
37 Phil., 835). If the subject property is not recently stolen, the presumption under Section 3
(j), Rule 131 will not arise. However, the possessor is still presumed to have violated PD No.
1612 even if the property being possessed was not recently stolen. Under the law, mere
possession of stolen property gives rise to the presumption of fencing.
OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
Obstruction of justice under PD No. 1829 is committed by any person who knowingly
or willfully obstructs, impedes, frustrates or delays the apprehension of suspects and the
investigation and prosecution of criminal cases by (1) altering, destroying, suppressing or
concealing any paper, record, document, or object, with intent to impair its verity,
authenticity, legibility, availability, or admissibility as evidence in any investigation of or
official proceedings in, criminal cases, or to be used in the investigation of, or official
proceedings in, criminal cases; (2) harboring or concealing, or facilitating the escape of, any
person he knows, or has reasonable ground to believe or suspect, has committed any offense
under existing penal laws in order to prevent his arrest prosecution and conviction;
a. Commission of crime, not an element - To be held liable as accessory under the
Revised Penal Code, it is required that the crime was committed by the principal. To be held
liable for obstruction of justice, it is not necessary that the crime was committed by a criminal
suspect. Example: A committed suicide. To make it appear that B murdered A, C placed
the gun used in perpetrating suicide inside the bag of B. C committed the crime of
obstruction of justice for having obstructed the investigation of a criminal case involving the
death of A. C cannot be held liable as accessory because murder was not really committed.
b. Knowledge - An accessory under Revised Penal Code must have knowledge of the
commission of the crime by the principal. To commit obstruction of justice, what is important
is not knowledge of the commission of a crime but awareness of an ongoing or impending
investigation and prosecution of a criminal case. In fact, even though the suspect did not
commit a crime, obstruction of justice is committed if he knowingly obstructs, impedes, or
frustrates the said investigation and prosecution.
c. Obstructing criminal investigation or prosecution - Public officer, who destroyed
dangerous drugs as evidence for monetary consideration, is liable for obstruction of justice in
addition to graft and corruption and direct bribery (2005 Bar Exam)
If a respondent in a preliminary investigation altered the allegation in the complaintaffidavit as to the date of criminal incident to make it appear that the crime, with which he
was charged, had prescribed, the alteration is constitutive of the crime of falsification of
document under Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code and obstruction of justice under PD
No. 1829.
d. Principal of the crime - A and B killed X. After the slaughter, A and B
burned the dead body of X in the forest to prevent its discovery. Can A and B be charged
as accessory of the crime to murder or obstruction of justice? A and B are principals by
direct participation in the crime of murder qualified by employment of means to afford
impunity. Hence, they cannot be charged as accessories. Under the Revised Penal Code,
accessories must not have participated in the commission of the crime as principals. However,
in addition to murder, they can be charged with the crime of obstruction of justice for
destroying an object to impair its availability as evidence in a case. Under PD No. 1829, it is
not required that the offenders must not have participated as principals.
e. Suspicion - An accessory under Article 19 (3) of the Revised Penal Code must have
knowledge of the commission of the crime by the principal. Entertaining suspicion is not itself
proof of knowledge that a crime has been committed. Knowledge and suspicion are not

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synonymous. The word suspicion is defined as being the imagination of the existence of
something without proof, or upon very slight evidence or upon no evidence at all (Reyes). On
the other hand, the offender may violate Section 1 (c) of PD No. 1829 even though he has no
knowledge of the commission of the crime as long as he has reasonable ground to believe or
suspects that the person he assisted has committed a crime. In some, mere suspicion is
enough to establish the second element of the offense.
d. Preventing an illegal arrest Harboring or concealing a criminal suspect in order
to prevent a lawful warrantless arrest or the implementation of a warrant of arrest constitutes
obstruction of justice. However, harboring or concealing a criminal suspect to prevent an
illegal arrest is not a crime. The term arrest in Section 1 (c) of PD No. 1829 contemplates a
lawful arrest (Posadas vs. the Hon. Ombudsman, G.R. No. 131492, September 29, 2000)
e. Accessory To make a person liable as accessory under the Revised Penal Code, it
is required that he is a public officer, who acted with abuse of his public functions, or that the
person assisted is guilty as principal in treason, parricide, murder, or an attempt to take the
life of the Chief Executive or a principal, who is known to be habitually guilty of some other
crime. This requirement is not applicable if the accused is charged with obstruction of justice.
f. No exempting circumstance - Accessories are exempt from criminal liability if the
principal merely committed a light felony (Article 16 of the Revised Penal Code). Accessories of
the second or third kind are exempt also from criminal responsibility if they are related to the
criminal actor (Article 20 of the Code). However, if the accessories of the crime were charged
with the crime of obstruction of justice, they cannot claim criminal exemption under the
Revised Penal Code. PD No. 1829 has no provision on criminal exemption.

Article 29 of RPC
RA NO. 10592 and its implementing rules
1. Preventive imprisonment Under Article 29 of RPC as amended by RA No. 10592
and its implementing rules and regulations, an accused who has undergone preventive
imprisonment shall be credited, either full or four-fifths (4/5) term, for his actual detention or
service of his sentence, provided he is not disqualified.
Credit for preventive imprisonment for the penalty of reclusion perpetua shall be
deducted from thirty (30) years.
a. No credit by reason of disqualification The grant of credit of preventive
imprisonment shall not apply to the following:
a. An accused who is recidivist;
b. An accused who has been convicted previously twice or more times of any crime; and
c. An accused who, upon being summoned for the execution of his sentence, has failed
to surrender voluntarily before a court of law.
b. Full time credit - An accused who has undergone preventive imprisonment shall be
credited with the full time during which he has undergone preventive imprisonment if;
a. He agrees voluntarily, in writing, to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed
upon convicted prisoners; and
b. Such undertaking is executed with the assistance of the counsel.
The undertaking is called detainees manifestation, which is defined as a written
declaration of a detained prisoner, with the assistant of a counsel, stating his refusal to abide
by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon a convicted prisoner for the purpose of availing
the full credit of the period of his preventive imprisonment
c. 4/5 time credit - An accused who has undergone preventive imprisonment and who
does not agree to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon prisoners convicted by
final judgment shall be credited by the service of his sentence with four-fifths (4/5) of the time
during which he has undergone preventive imprisonment if;
a. He shall do in writing
b. With the assistance of counsel.

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In sum, the detainee must execute a written waiver, which is called detainees waiver
defined as a written declaration of a detained prisoner, with the assistant of a counsel, stating
his refusal to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon a prisoner convicted by final
judgment and thus be entitled to a credit of four-fifths (4/5) of the time during preventive
imprisonment.
d. Full time credit for child in conflict with the law - If the offender is a child, the
applicable rule for crediting the period of commitment and detention is not Article 29 of the
Revised Penal Code but Section 41, RA 9344. Under the said provision, the full time spent in
actual commitment and detention of juvenile delinquent shall be credited in the services of his
sentence.
2. Immediate release Under Article 29 of RPC as amended by RA No. 10592,
whenever an accused has undergone preventive imprisonment for a period equal to the
imposable maximum imprisonment of the offense charged to which he may be sentenced and
his case is not yet decided, he shall be released immediately without prejudice to the
continuation of the trial thereof or the proceeding on appeal, if the same is under review,
except for the following:
1)
2)
3)
4)

Recidivist
Habitual Delinquent
Escapee
Person charged with heinous crimes

If the maximum penalty to which the accused may be sentenced is destierro, he shall be
released after thirty (30) days of imprisonment.
The computation of preventive imprisonment for purposes of immediate release shall be
the actual period of detention with good conduct time allowance; provided, however, that if the
accused is absent without motu propio order the re-arrest of the accused.
3. Good conduct time allowance (GCTA) Before, only prisoner service sentence is
entitled to allowance for good conduct. However, under Article 94 of RPC as amended by RA
10592, the following shall be entitled to good conduct time allowance:
a. A detention prisoner qualified for credit for preventive imprisonment for his good
conduct and exemplary behaviour; and
b. A prisoner convicted by the final judgment in any penal institution, rehabilitation or
detention center or any other local jail for his good conduct and exemplary behaviour.
The good conduct time allowances under Article 97 as amended are as follows:
First 2 years of imprisonment 20 days for each month of good behavior
3rd to 5th year 23 days for each month of good behavior
6th to 10th year 25 days for each month of good behavior
11th year and successive years 30 days for each month of good behavior
An appeal by the accused shall not deprive him of entitlement to the above allowances
for good conduct.
4. Time Allowance for Study, Teaching and Mentoring (TASTM) - A prisoner is also
entitled to Time Allowance for Study, Teaching and Mentoring, which is privilege granted to a
prisoner, whether detained or convicted by final judgment, as a reward for having earned a
post post-graduate degree or collage degree, a certificate of completion of a vocational or
technical skills or values development course, a high school or elementary diploma or to one
serving his fellow prisoner as a teacher or mentor while incarcerated, equivalent to a deduction
of a maximum of fifteen (15) days for every month of study or mentoring services
5. Special time allowance for loyalty (STAL) - Special time allowance for loyalty is a
privilege granted to a prisoner, whether detained or convicted by final judgment, who has
evaded preventive imprisonment or service of sentence during said calamity, and surrendered
to the authorities within forty-eight (48) hours following the proclamation announcing the
passing away of the calamity and the catastrophe referred to in the said article in the form of
the deduction of one fifth (1/5) from his preventive imprisonment or service of sentence or a
deduction of two fifth (2/5) if prisoner opted to stay in jail or prison during the calamity.

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However, prisoner is not entitled to special time allowance for loyalty if he has
committed other offense or any act in violation of the law.
In case of disorder in the penal institution resulting from a conflagration, earthquake,
explosion, or similar catastrophe, or during a mutiny in which the prisoner has not
participated, the prisoner, entitled to special time allowance for loyalty (STAL) or liable for
evasion of sentence.
a. No evasion - In case said prisoner chose to stay in the place of his confinement
notwithstanding the existence of a calamity or catastrophe, he is entitled to deduction of twofifths (2/5) of the period of his sentence. This a new rule introduced by RA No. 10592.
Article 98 under the original version does not grant special allowance for loyalty to
prisoner who did not escape despite the existence of calamity (Losada vs. Acenas, GR NO. L810, March 31, 1947; Fortuno vs. Director of Prisons, GR NO. L-1782, February 2, 1948). RA
No. 10529 sought to correct this rule since a prisoner who did not escape despite of the
calamity manifests a higher degree of loyalty to the penal system than those who evaded their
sentence but thereafter gives themselves up upon the passing away of the calamity.
b. Evasion In case the prisoner chose to evade evaded his preventive imprisonment or
the service of his sentence during the calamity and the President issued a proclamation by the
President announcing the passing away of such calamity, he has to options:
1. He may give himself up to the authorities within forty-eight hours following the
issuance of a proclamation by the President announcing the passing away of such calamity. In
such case, he is entitled to one fifth (1/5) special time allowance for loyalty under Article 98; or
2. He may not give himself up to the authorities within said period of forty-eight hours.
In such case, he is liable for evasion of sentence under Article 158. The penalty for evasion
under Article 158 is equivalent to one-fifth of the time still remaining to be served under the
original sentence, which in no case shall exceed six months.
Prisoner is entitled to special time allowance for loyalty whether he is a convicted or
detention prisoner. Article 98 of RPC as amended by RA No. 10592 provides "This Article shall
apply to any prisoner whether undergoing preventive imprisonment or serving sentence."
Special allowance is given to prisoner, who evaded his preventive imprisonment or the service of
his sentence during calamity but give himself up within the required period.
However, a detention prisoner is not liable for evasion of sentence under Article 158 of
RPC if he fails to give himself up within forty-eight hours following the announcement of the
passing away of such calamity. RA No. 10592 amended Article 98 to extend the benefit of a
special allowance to preventive prisoner but the amendment does not include Article 158. The
crime of evasion under Article 158 is committed only by a convict, who shall evade the service
of his sentence during calamity and fail to give himself up within the period.
PENALTY
In De Castro vs. People, G.R. No. 171672, February 02, 2015, the court should
prescribe the correct penalties in complex crimes in strict observance of Article 48 of
the Revised Penal Code. In estafa through falsification of commercial documents, the court
should impose the penalty for the graver offense in the maximum period. Otherwise, the
penalty prescribed is invalid, and will not attain finality.
RECLUSION PERPETUA AND LIFE IMPRISONMENT
If the law was amended to change the penalty from life imprisonment to reclusion
perpetua, the amendatory law, being more lenient to the accused than the previous law, should
be accorded retroactive application. The penalty of reclusion perpetua is a lighter penalty than
life imprisonment. (People vs. Pang, G.R. No. 176229, October 19, 2011).
ISLAW
RA 9165 provides that illegal possession of less than five (5) grams of shabu is penalized
with imprisonment of 12 years and 1 day to 20 years. The court sentenced the accused to
suffer a straight penalty of imprisonment of 12 years and 1 day. Is the penalty imposed by the
court correct? No. The indeterminate Sentence Law mandates that, in case of a special law, the
accused shall be sentenced "to an indeterminate sentence, the maximum term of which shall

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not exceed the maximum fixed by said law and the minimum shall not be less than the
minimum term prescribed by the same." (Asiatico vs. People, G.R. No. 195005, September 12,
2011)
SPECIAL MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCE: Under Article 64 (5), the presence of two or
more mitigating circumstances will graduate the divisible penalty prescribed by law to one
degree lower. This is called special mitigating circumstance. However, the appreciation of this
circumstance is subject to two conditions: (1) the penalty prescribed by law must be divisible;
and (2) there must be no aggravating circumstance. In People vs. Takbobo, G.R. No. No.
102984, June 30, 1993 - Accused was found guilty of parricide punishable by the penalty of
reclusion perpetua to death. Applying Article 63, when the penalty is composed of two
indivisible penalties, the penalty cannot be lowered by one degree, no matter how many
mitigating circumstances are present. The rule on special mitigating circumstance is found in
Article 64 (5) which provides the "rules for the application of penalties which contain three
periods," meaning, divisible penalties. Article 64 (5) is inapplicable. Thus, the rule applicable
in said case is found in Article 63, and not in Article 64.
If there are two mitigating circumstances, the penalty prescribed law shall graduated to
one degree lower, and the graduated penalty shall be applied in it medium period. If there are
three mitigating circumstances taken as special mitigating, the penalty prescribed law shall
graduated to one degree lower, and the graduated penalty shall be applied in it minimum
period. Reason: The two mitigating circumstances were taken to constitute special mitigating
circumstance; while the remaining mitigating circumstance was used to apply the graduated
penalty in its minimum period.
GRADUATING DEATH PENALTY - For purposes of graduating penalty, the penalty of
death is still the penalty to be reckoned with. RA No. 9346, which prohibits the imposition of
death penalty, does not exclude death penalty in the order of graduation of penalties. In
qualified rape, the penalty for accomplice is reclusion perpetua, the penalty next lower in
degree than death prescribed for the crime (See: People vs. Jacinto, G.R. No. 182239, March
16, 2011).
SUPPLETORY APPLICATION - A special law prescribes the penalty of 10 years of
imprisonment for violation thereof while another law prescribes the penalty of arresto mayor.
Can the rules on graduation of penalties or application of penalty on its proper imposable
period under RPC applicable to violation of these special laws?(a) Where the special law has not
adopted the Spanish penalties (10 years of imprisonment) under RPC, rules on graduation of
penalties or application of penalty on its proper imposable period is not applicable. Article 10 of
RPC on suppletory effects of the Code cannot be invoked where there is a legal or physical
impossibility of such supplementary application (People vs. Mantalba, G.R. No. 186227, July
20, 2011). The penalty of 10 years of imprisonment can neither be graduated by decrees nor
divided into three periods. (b) Where the special law has adopted the Spanish penalty (arresto
mayor) under RPC, rules on graduation of penalties or application of penalty on its proper
imposable period are applicable. Where the penalty under a special law is actually taken from
the Revised Penal Code in its technical nomenclature, the penal system under the Code is
necessarily applicable to this law (See: People vs. Mantalba, supra). This adoption reveals the
statutory intent to give the provisions on penalties for felonies under RPC the corresponding
application to said special law, in the absence of any express or implicit proscription in these
special laws (See: People vs. Simon, G.R. No. 93028, July 29, 1994).
SUBSIDIARY PENALTY UNDER RA No. 10159
Article 39 of the Revised Penal Code as amended by RA No. 10159 provides: If the
convict has no property with which to meet the fine mentioned in paragraph 3 of the next
preceding article, he shall be subject to a subsidiary personal liability at the rate of one day for
each amount equivalent to the highest minimum wage rate prevailing in the Philippines at the
time of the rendition of judgment of conviction by the trial court, subject to the following rules:
1. If the principal penalty imposed be prision correctional or arresto and fine, he shall
remain under confinement until his fine referred in the preceding paragraph is satisfied, but
his subsidiary imprisonment shall not exceed one-third of the term of the sentence, and in no
case shall it continue for more than one year, and no fraction or part of a day shall be counted
against the prisoner.
2. When the principal penalty imposed be only a fine, the subsidiary imprisonment
shall not exceed six months, if the culprit shall have been prosecuted for a grave or less grave
felony, and shall not exceed fifteen days, if for a fight felony.

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3. When the principal penalty imposed is higher than prision correctional, no
subsidiary imprisonment shall be imposed upon the culprit.
4. If the principal penalty imposed is not to be executed by confinement in a penal
institution, but such penalty is of fixed duration, the convict, during the period of time
established in the preceding rules, shall continue to suffer the same deprivations as those of
which the principal penalty consists.
5. The subsidiary personal liability which the convict may have suffered by reason of his
insolvency shall not relieve him from the fine in case his financial circumstances should
improve.
Special law - In Escalante vs. People, G.R. No. 192727, January 9, 2013 - The penalty
for election offense is imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years.
Under ISLAW, if the offense is punished by special law, the court shall sentence the accused to
an indeterminate sentence, the maximum term of which shall not exceed the maximum fixed
by said law and the minimum shall not be less than the minimum term prescribed by the
same. Applying the ISLAW, the imposable penalty for violation of the election gun ban should
have a maximum period, which shall not exceed six (6) years, and a minimum period which
shall not be less than one (1) year.
THREE-FOLD AND 40 YEARS LIMITATION RULE
Simultaneous service - When the culprit has to serve two or more penalties, he shall
serve them simultaneously if the nature of the penalties will so permit. Thus, convict could
serve simultaneously arresto mayor and fine, prision correccional and perpetual absolute
disqualification, or reclusion perpetua and civil interdiction. In sum, while lingering in prison,
convict could pay fine, return the property confiscated, be disallowed to cast his vote or to act
function as a public officer. In Rodriguez vs. Director of Prisons, G.R. No. L-35386, September
28, 1972, En Banc - Penalties which could be served simultaneously with other penalties, are
perpetual or temporary absolute disqualification, perpetual or temporary special
disqualification, public censure, suspension from public office and other accessory penalties.
There are only two modes of serving two or more (multiple) penalties: simultaneously or
successively. Successive service When the culprit has to serve two or more penalties, he shall
serve them successively if the nature of the penalties will not permit simultaneous service.
Convict must serve multiple penalties successively: (1) where the penalties to be served are
destierro and imprisonment; and (2) where the penalties to be served are imprisonment.
However, the successive service of sentences is subject to the three-fold rule and 40-year
limitation rule.
a. Three-fold rule - The maximum period of the imprisonment that convict must
suffer in serving multiple penalties must not exceed threefold the length of time corresponding
to the most severe of the penalties imposed upon him. A was sentenced to suffer penalty of 7
years of prision mayor for serious physical injuries, 6 years of prision correccional for qualified
less serious physical injuries, 5 years of prision correccional for robbery and 5 years of prison
correccional for theft. The total duration of the penalties imposed on him is 23 years. The
most severe penalty imposed on him is 7 years of prision mayor. Thus, threefold the length of
time corresponding to the most severe of the penalties is 21 years. A will be imprisoned for
21 years because of the three-fold rule.
b. Forty-year limitation rule The maximum period of the imprisonment that convict
must suffer in serving multiple penalties must not exceed forty years. A was sentenced to
suffer three penalties of 15 years of reclusion temporal for three counts of homicide and the
penalty of 10 years of prision mayor for serious physical injuries. The total duration of the
penalties imposed on him is 55 years. The most severe penalty imposed on him, is 15 years of
reclusion temporal. Thus, threefold the length of time corresponding to the most severe of the
penalties is 45 years. A will be imprisoned for 40 years because of the forty year limitation
rule.
Article 70 provides that the maximum duration of the convicts sentence shall not be
more than threefold the length of time corresponding to the most severe of the penalties
imposed upon him. No other penalty to which he may be liable shall be inflicted after the sum
total of those imposed equals the said maximum period. Such maximum period shall in no
case exceed forty years. Applying said rule, despite the four penalties of reclusion perpetua for
four counts of qualified theft, accused-appellant shall suffer imprisonment for a period not
exceeding 40 years (People vs. Mirto, G.R. No. 193479, October 19, 2011).

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In Mejorada vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. L-51065-72, June 30, 1987, En Banc - This
article is to be taken into account not in the imposition of the penalty but in connection with
the service of the sentence imposed. Article 70 speaks of "service" of sentence. Nowhere in the
article is anything mentioned about the "imposition of penalty". It merely provides that the
prisoner cannot be made to serve more than three times the most severe of these penalties the
maximum of which is forty years.
SPECIAL COMPLEX CRIME
KIDNAPPING WITH HOMICIDE
Old rule: (1) Where the accused kidnapped the victim for the purpose of killing him, and
he was in fact killed by his abductor, the crime committed was the complex crime of
kidnapping with murder as the kidnapping of the victim was a necessary means of committing
the murder. (2) Where the victim was kidnapped not for the purpose of killing him but was
subsequently slain as an afterthought, two (2) separate crimes of kidnapping and murder were
committed. Present rule: Where the person kidnapped is killed in the course of the detention,
regardless of whether the killing was purposely sought or was merely an afterthought, the
kidnapping and murder or homicide can no longer be complexed, nor be treated as separate
crimes, but shall be punished as a special complex crime (People vs. Ramos, G.R. No.
118570, October 12, 1998, En Banc, People vs. Larranaga, 138874-75, February 3, 2004, En
Banc; People vs. Montanir, GR No. 187534, April 04, 2011; People vs. Dionaldo, G.R. No.
207949, July 23, 2014)
However, where there is no actual detention (People vs. Masilang, 1986) or intent to
deprive liberty (People vs. Estacio Jr., G.R. No. 171655, July 22, 2009, En Banc) killing the
person is murder. Demand for ransom will not convert the crime into kidnapping.
If kidnapping is a necessary means to commit frustrated murder, special complex crime
of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with frustrated homicide. Homicide as a component
of special complex crime must be at the consummated stage. In this situation, the crime
committed is complex crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with frustrated murder
(See: People vs. Roxas, GR No. 172604, August 17, 2010)

RAPE WITH HOMICIDE


Raping a dying victim Stabbing the victim and raping her while she was dying is not
a special complex crime of rape with homicide because the original design of the victim is kill
and not to rape the victim. These are not separate crimes of murder and rape since the
bestiality at the threshhold of death of the victim shall be regarded either as a form
of ignominy causing disgrace or as a form of cruelty which aggravated the murder because it
was unnecessary to the commission thereof (People vs. Laspardas, G.R. No. L-46146, Oct. 23,
1979). Hitting the victim thrice with a piece of wood and inserting toothbrush into the anal
orifice while the victim was dying is not special complex crime of rape through sexual assault
with homicide because the original design of the victim is kill and not to sexually assault the
victim. These are not separate crimes of murder and rape through sexual assault since the
bestiality at the threshhold of death of the victim shall be regarded as a form of cruelty which
aggravated the murder because it was unnecessary to the commission thereof (People vs.
Bernabe, G.R. No. 185726, October 16, 2009, Justice De Castro)
Homicide - In the special complex crime of rape with homicide, the term "homicide" is
to be understood in its generic sense, and includes murder and slight physical injuries
committed by reason or on occasion of the rape. Hence, even if the circumstances of treachery,
abuse of superior strength and evident premeditation are alleged in the information and duly
established by the prosecution, the same would not qualify the killing to murder and the crime
committed is still rape with homicide. However, these circumstances shall be regarded as
ordinary aggravating (People vs. Laog, G.R. No. 178321, October 5, 2011).
By reason or on occasion of rape - The phrase by reason of the rape obviously
conveys the notion that the killing is due to the rape, which is the crime the offender originally
designed to commit. The victim of the rape is also the victim of the killing. The indivisibility of
the homicide and the rape (attempted or consummated) is clear and admits of no doubt. In
contrast, the import of the phrase on the occasion of the rape may not be as easy to determine.
The phrase on the occasion of the rape as shown by Senate deliberations refers to a killing

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that occurs immediately before or after, or during the commission itself of the attempted or
consummated rape, where the victim of the homicide may be a person other than the rape
victim herself for as long as the killing is linked to the rape, became evident (People vs.
Villaflores, G.R. No. 184926, April 11, 2012).
A and B were walking along the rice paddies when X suddenly assaulted them
with a lead pipe. X killed A, and thereafter, raped B. X is liable for special complex crime
of rape with homicide. There is no doubt that X killed A to prevent her from aiding B or
calling for help once she is able to run away, and also to silence her completely so she may not
witness the rape of B, the original intent of X (People vs. Laog, G.R. No. 178321, October 5,
2011).
Stabbing after the rape - In People vs. Isla, G.R. No. 199875, November 21, 2012 With respect to the stabbings, it appears that Isla committed two acts. The first was while he
was ravishing AAA. The Court considers this and the rape as one continuous act, the stabbing
being necessary, as far as he was concerned, for the successful perpetration of the crime. When
he testified, Isla claimed that he had to use the knife so he could have sexual intercourse with
her. The second stabbing took place after consummation of the rape act. According to AAA,
after her defilement, she noticed the knife bloodied and she tried to wrest it from him. In their
struggle, she was stabbed under her lower left breast but she was able to force Isla to drop the
knife. This second stabbing is a separate and distinct offense as it was not a necessary means
to commit the rape. It was intended to do away with her life.
COMPLEX CRIME
There are two kinds of complex crimes. The first is known as compound crime, or when
a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies. The second is known as
complex crime proper, or when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other
(People vs. Rebucan, G.R. No. 182551, July 27, 2011).The underlying philosophy of complex
crimes in the Revised Penal Code, which follows the pro reo principle, is intended to favor the
accused by imposing a single penalty irrespective of the crimes committed. The rationale being,
that the accused who commits two crimes with single criminal impulse demonstrates lesser
perversity than when the crimes are committed by different acts and several criminal
resolutions (People vs. Gaffud, Jr., G.R. No. 168050, September 19, 2008)
COMPLEX CRIME AND COMPOSITE CRIME - A composite crime, also known as a
special complex crime, is composed of two or more crimes that the law treats as a
single indivisible and unique offense for being the product of a single criminal impulse. It is a
specific crime with a specific penalty provided by law. The distinctions between a composite
crime, on the one hand, and a complex or compound crime under Article 48 are as follows: (1)
In a composite crime, the composition of the offenses is fixed by law; In a complex or
compound crime, the combination of the offenses is not specified but generalized, that is, grave
and/or less grave, or one offense being the necessary means to commit the other; (2) For a
composite crime, the penalty for the specified combination of crimes is specific; for a complex
or compound crime, the penalty is that corresponding to the most serious offense, to be
imposed in the maximum period; and (3) A light felony that accompanies a composite crime is
absorbed; a light felony that accompanies the commission of a complex or compound crime
may be the subject of a separate information (People vs. Villaflores, G.R. No. 184926, April 11,
2012).
COMPOUND CRIME
The single act of pitching or rolling the hand grenade on the floor of the gymnasium
which resulted in the death of one victim and injuries to other victims constituted a compound
crime of multiple murders qualified by means of explosion (People vs. Mores, GR No. 189846,
June 26, 2013, Justice De Castro). The single act of running over the victims with a van
constitutes compound crime of multiple murders (People vs. Punzalan, Jr., G.R. No. 199892,
December 10, 2012 (Justice De Castro)
X was charged with complex crime with murder and attempted murder. The information
alleges that the accused shot the victim, but it does not allege that he did so several times.
However, the evidence show that accused shot her and her father several times. Can X be
convicted of separate crimes of murder and attempted murder or complex crime? Answer: On
the basis of evidence, X committed separate crimes of murder and attempted murder. Several
shootings rule out the application of the concept of complex crime. However, evidence does not
conform to the Information, which contains no allegation accused shot the victims several

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times. In the absence of a clear statement of several shootings in the Information, the accused
may be convicted only of the complex crime of murder with attempted murder. After all, the
concept of complex crimes is intended to favor the accused by imposing a single penalty
irrespective of the number of crimes committed. Information merely states that accused shot
the victims. This is a compound crime since murder and attempted murder was produced by a
single act of shooting. To rule that the accused should be convicted of two separate offenses of
murder and attempted murder pursuant to the evidence presented but contrary to the
allegations in the Information is to violate the right of the accused to be informed of the nature
and cause of the accusation against him (People vs. Bernardo, GR No. 198789, June 03, 2013).
Single act rule - If there is more than one death resulting from different acts there is
no compound crime of multiple homicides or murder. Article 48 speaks of a single act. In
People vs. Toling, G.R. No. L-27097, January 17, 1975 - Twin brothers, who ran amok like
juramentados in a passenger train, and killed their eight co-passengers, were held liable for
eight (8) murders and one attempted murder. The conduct of the twins evinced conspiracy and
community of design. The eight killings and the attempted murder were perpetrated by means
of different acts. Hence, they cannot be regarded as constituting a complex crime under Article
48 of the Revised Penal Code, which refers to cases where "a single act constitutes two or more
grave felonies, of, when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other.
In People vs. Punzalan G .R. No. 199892, December 1, 2001 - Appellant was animated
by a single purpose, to kill the navy personnel, and committed a single act of stepping on the
accelerator, swerving to the right side of the road ramming through the navy personnel,
causing the death of two persons and, at the same time, constituting an attempt to kill others.
The crime committed is complex crime of multiple murders and attempted murder.
Single criminal impulse Several acts committed by several offenders with one criminal
impulse resulting in several deaths constitute one crime: the compound crime of multiple
homicides or murders. In People vs. Lawas, L-7618-20, June 30, 1955 - Members of the Home
Guard, upon order of their leader, Lawas, simultaneously and successively fired at several
victims. After a short time, the firing stopped immediately when Lawas ordered his men to
cease fire. As a result of the firing, fifty (50) persons died. It was held that the evidence
positively shows that the killing was the result of a single impulse, which was induced by the
order of the leader to fire, and continued with the intention to comply therewith, as the firing
stopped as soon as the leader gave the order to that effect. There was no intent on the part of
the accused either to fire at each and every of the victims as separately and distinctly from
each other. If the act or acts complained of resulted from a single criminal impulse, it
constitutes a single offense - compound crime of multiple homicides.
Under the Lawas principle, if accused fired their guns killing several victims pursuant
to a single impulse, they shall be held liable for continued crime of murder. The Lawas
principle should only be applied in a case where (1) there is no conspiracy (People vs. Hon.
Pineda, G.R. No. L-26222, July 21, 1967) and (2) it is impossible to ascertain the number of
deaths caused by each accused (People vs. Tabaco, G.R. No. 100382-100385, March 19, 1997).
In conspiracy, each conspirator is not only liable for deaths attributable to him but also for
deaths caused by others because in conspiracy the act of one is the act of all. Thus, the Lawas
doctrine should not be applied if there is conspiracy since the number of victims actually killed
by each conspirator is not anymore material if there is conspiracy (People vs. Elarcosa, G.R.
No. 186539, June 29, 2010).
In People vs. Nelmida, G.R. No. 184500. September 11, 2012 - Significantly, there was
no conspiracy in Lawas case. However, the Lawas doctrine is more of an exception than the
general rule. With the presence of conspiracy in the case at bench, appellants had assumed
joint criminal responsibility the act of one is the act of all. The ascertainment of who among
them actually hit, killed and/or caused injury to the victims already becomes immaterial.
Collective responsibility replaced individual responsibility. The Lawas doctrine, premised on the
impossibility of determining who killed whom, cannot be applied.
In Lawas, this Court was merely forced to apply Article 48 of RPC because of the
impossibility of ascertaining the number of persons killed by each accused. Since conspiracy
was not proven therein, joint criminal responsibility could not be attributed to the accused.
Each accused could not be held liable for separate crimes because of lack of clear evidence
showing the number of persons actually killed by each of them.
In conspiracy, the act of one is the act of all. It is as though each one performed the act
of each one of the conspirators. Each one is criminally responsible for each one of the deaths
and injuries of the several victims. The severalty of the acts prevents the application of Article

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48. The applicability of Article 48 depends upon the singularity of the act, thus the definitional
phrase "a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies." To apply the first half
of Article 48, there must be singularity of criminal act; singularity of criminal impulse is not
written into the law.
Single purpose rule - In People vs. Abella, 93 SCRA 25, the Lawas principle was
applied despite the presence of conspiracy. In the said case, sixteen prisoners, who are
members of the OXO gang, were able to break into the cell of Sigue-Sigue gang and killed
fourteen (14) inmates. All accused were convicted for a compound crime. It was held: Where a
conspiracy animates several persons with a single purpose, their individual acts done in
pursuance of that purpose are looked upon as a single act, the act of execution, giving rise to a
complex offense. Various acts committed under one criminal impulse may constitute a single
complex offense. Basis - The single purpose rule was actually adopted in consideration of the
plight of the prisoners. Requisites -There are two requisites to apply the Abella principle: (1)
there must be a conspiracy, which animates several persons to commit crimes under a single
criminal purpose; and (2) the offenders committed crimes in prison against their fellow
prisoners (People vs. Pincalin, et al., G.R. No. L-38755, January 22, 1981).
In People vs. Nelmida, G.R. No. 184500. September 11, 2012 - The application of the
Abella doctrine, has already been clarified in Pincalin, thus: where several killings on the same
occasion were perpetrated, but not involving prisoners, a different rule may be applied, that is
to say, the killings would be treated as separate offenses. If the killings did not involve
prisoners or it was not a case of prisoners killing fellow prisoners, Abella would not apply.
COMPLEX CRIME PROPER - In U.S. vs. Hernandez, 29 Phil. 109, accused
Hernandez, who seduced a 15-year-old girl to live with him by procuring the performance of a
fictitious marriage ceremony with the help of Bautista, who pretended to be a Protestant
minister, was held liable for the complex crime proper of simple seduction (Art. 338) through
usurpation of official function (Art. 177). Usurping the function of a priest to solemnize
marriage is a necessary means to seduce a minor. Comment: The case of Hernandez was
decided prior to the effectivity of the RPC. At that time, a religious official such as a bishop is a
person in authority within the purview of the Old Penal Code (Smith, G.R. No. 14057, January
22, 1919). However, Article 152 of RPC does not include religious minister as a person in
authority. Hence, performing the function of religious minister in solemnizing marriage is not
usurpation of official function.
DOCTRINE OF ABSORPTION - What is the effect of the elimination of the overt acts of
violence in Article 135 by RA No. 9668? In People vs. Hernandez, G.R. No. L-6025, July 18,
1956 The Supreme Court justified the doctrine of absorption in rebellion since murder,
robbery, and arson are just a part of the engaging in war against the forces of the
government", "committing serious violence", and destroying property in Article 135. However,
RA No. 6968 eliminated the phrases "engaging in war against the forces of the government",
"committing serious violence" and destroying property in Article 135. According to Florenz
Regalado, the amendment of Article 135 does not affect the accepted concept of rebellion and
these overt acts of violence are deemed subsumed in the provision on rebellion in Article
134. Under this principle of subsumption, engaging in combat against the forces of the
Government, destroying property or committing serious violence is an essential ingredient of
rebellion.
If the accused committed robbery, but thereafter, they detained the victims to forestall
their capture by the police, the crime committed is robbery only. Robbery absorbs kidnapping
and serious illegal detention. The detention was only incidental to the main crime of robbery,
and although in the course thereof women and children were also held, that threats to kill were
made, the act should not be considered as a separate offense (People vs. Astor, G.R. Nos. L71765-66, 29 April 1987). If the accused committed robbery, but thereafter, they detained the
victims to demand additional money, and later forestall their capture by the police, the crime
committed is complex crime of robbery through kidnapping and serious illegal detention. The
detention was availed of as a means of insuring the consummation of the robbery. The
detention was not merely a matter of restraint to enable the malefactors to escape, but
deliberate as a means of extortion for an additional amount. Hence, the Astor principle is not
applicable (People vs. Salvilla, G.R. No. 86163 April 26, 1990). If the accused committed
robbery by band, but thereafter, they took one of the victims and detained him for seven days
in another place for purpose of demanding ransom, they are liable of separate crimes of
robbery by band and kidnapping for ransom (People vs. Basao, G.R. No. 189820, October 10,
2012, Justice De Castro).
ABDUCTION AND MULTIPLE RAPES

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Main objective is to rape If the main objective of the accused is to rape the victim,
the crime committed is rape. Forcible abduction (People vs. Mejoraday, G.R. No. 102705, July
30, 1993; People vs. Almanzor, G.R. No. 124916, July 11, 2002) or illegal detention (People vs.
Nuguid, G.R. No. 148991, January 21, 2004), which is incidental to the commission of rape, is
absorbed. The doctrine of absorption rather than Article 48 of RPC is applicable since forcible
abduction or illegal detention is an indispensable means to commit rape.
Abduction with lewd design If forcible abduction is a necessary means to commit
rape, this is a complex crime proper under Article 48 of RPC. However, multiple rapes were
committed, forcible abduction will be considered as a necessary means to commit the first rape
but not the subsequent rape. Hence, with respect to the first rape, the crime committed is rape
though forcible abduction while the subsequent rapes will be treated as separate crimes
(People vs. Jose, G.R. No. L-28232, February 6, 1971; People vs. Garcia, G.R. No. 141125,
February 28, 2002, En Banc; People vs. Amaro, G.R. No. 199100, July 18, 2014).
As a rule, forcible abduction is an indispensable means to commit rape; hence, the
latter absorbs the former. However, if the victim was brought in a house or motel or in a place
with considerable distance from the place where she was abducted, forcible abduction will be
considered as a necessary means to commit rape; hence, the crime committed is complex crime
proper.
Abduction to deprive liberty If the accused abducted the victim without clear
showing of lewd design, the crime committed is kidnapping and serious illegal detention since
it will appear that the intention of the accused is to deprive victim of his liberty. If as a
consequence of illegal detention, the victim was rape, the crime committed is a special complex
crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with rape. This is the crime committed
regardless of the number of rapes. Multiple rapes will be considered as a component of this
special complex crime (People vs. Mirandilla, Jr., G.R. No. 186417, July 27, 2011; People vs.
Anticamaray, G.R. No. 178771, June 8, 2011). If as a consequence of illegal detention, the
victim was rape and then killed, the crime committed is a special complex crime of kidnapping
and serious illegal detention with homicide and rape. Both the homicide and rape will be
considered as a component of this special complex crime (People vs. Larranaga, 138874-75,
February 3, 2004, En Banc).
The difference between rape through forcible abduction and kidnapping with rape lies
on the criminal intention of the accused at the precise moment of abduction. If the abduction is
committed with lewd design, the crime committed is rape through forcible abduction. On the
other hand, if the abduction is committed without lewd design, the crime committed is
kidnapping and serious illegal detention with rape (People vs. Mirandilla, Jr., G.R. No. 186417,
July 27, 2011). Even if the victim was detained for one week and in the course thereof, she was
rape, the crime committed is rape through forcible abduction if the abduction is committed
with lewd design (People vs. Amaro, G.R. No. 199100, July 18, 2014).
MULTIPLE KIDDNAPPINGS - In People v Tadah, G.R. No. 186226, February 1, 2012 Since the prosecution adduced proof beyond reasonable doubt that the accused conspired to
kidnap the 5 victims for ransom, and kidnapped and illegally detained them until they were
released by the accused after the latter received the P2,000,000.00 ransom xxx Appellant
Yusop Tadah is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of 5 counts of kidnapping.
DELICTO CONTINUADO
In order that continuous crime may exist, there should be: (1) plurality of acts
performed separately during a period of time; (2) unity of criminal intent and purpose and (3)
unity of penal provision infringed upon or violated (Santiago vs. Garchitorena , GR NO.
109266, December 2, 1993).
a. Single criminal impulse to steal - In People vs. Tumlos, G.R. No. 46428, April 13,
1939, En Banc - The theft of the thirteen cows owned by six owners involved thirteen (13) acts
of taking. However, the acts of taking took place at the same time and in the same place;
consequently, accused performed but one act. The intention was likewise one, namely, to take
for the purpose of appropriating or selling the thirteen cows which he found grazing in the
same place. The fact that eight of said cows pertained to one owner and five to another does
not make him criminally liable for as many crimes as there are owners, for the reason that in
such case neither the intention nor the criminal act is susceptible of division.

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b. Single criminal impulse to commit robbery - In People vs. Dela Cruz, G.R. No. L1745, May 23, 1950, it was held that ransacking several houses located within the vicinity of a
sugar mill while two of the bandits guarded the victims with guns leveled at them is a
continued crime of robbery. Several acts of robbery were made pursuant to general plan to
despoil all those in the said place, which is an indicative of a single criminal design.
Accused intended only to rob one place; and that is the Energex gasoline station. That
they did; and in the process, also took away by force the money and valuables of the employees
working in said gasoline station. Clearly inferred from these circumstances are the series of
acts which were borne from one criminal resolution. A continuing offense is a continuous,
unlawful act or series of acts set on foot by a single impulse and operated by an unintermittent
force, however long a time it may occupy. The perpetrated acts were not entirely distinct and
unconnected from one another. Thus, there is only single offense or crime (People vs. De Leon,
GR No. 179943, June 26, 2009).
c. Single criminal impulse to satisfy lust - In People vs. Aaron, G.R. NOS. 13630002, September 24, 2002 - The accused inserted his penis into the victims vagina; he then
withdrew it and ordered the latter to lie down on the floor and, for the second time, he inserted
again his penis into the victims vagina; the accused, thereafter, stood up and commanded the
victim to lie near the headboard of the makeshift bed and, for the third time, he inserted again
his penis into the victims vagina and continued making pumping motions. Accused is
convicted of only one count of rape. Accused thrice succeeded in inserting his penis into the
private part of victim. However, the three penetrations occurred during one continuing act of
rape in which the accused obviously motivated by a single criminal intent. Accused decided to
commit those separate and distinct acts of sexual assault merely because of his lustful desire
to change positions inside the room where the crime was committed.
In People vs. Lucena, GR No. 190632, February 26, 2014 - Accused thrice succeeded in
inserting his penis into the private part of victim. The three (3) penetrations occurred one after
the other at an interval of five (5) minutes wherein the accused would rest after satiating his
lust upon his victim and, after he has regained his strength, he would again rape the victim.
When the accused decided to commit those separate and distinct acts of sexual assault upon
victim, he was not motivated by a single impulse, but rather by several criminal intents. Hence,
his conviction for three (3) counts of rape is indubitable.
d. Foreknowledge doctrine - In Gamboa vs. CA, G.R. No. L-41054, November 28,
1975 - Accused cannot be held to have entertained continuously the same criminal intent in
making the first abstraction on October 2, 1972 for the subsequent abstractions on the
following days and months until December 30, 1972, for the simple reason that he was not
possessed of any fore-knowledge of any deposit by any customer on any day or occasion and
which would pass on to his possession and control. At most, his intent to misappropriate may
arise only when he comes in possession of the deposits on each business day but not in
future, since petitioner company operates only on a day-to-day transaction. As a result, there
could be as many acts of misappropriation as there are times the private respondent
abstracted and/or diverted the deposits to his own personal use and benefit (People vs.
Dichupa, G.R. No. L-16943, October 28, 1961).
X as punong barangay was angered when he discovered a tap from the main line of
the public water tank. On separate occasions, X threatened to kill and crack the skulls of
A, B, and C, who suspected to be responsible for the tapping of water line. There is no
continued crime since the three crimes of grave threat were not committed under a single
criminal impulse. Xs intent to threaten A, B, and C with bodily harm arose only when
he chanced upon each of his victims. Moreover, X has no foreknowledge that will change
upon the second and third victims at the time he was committing the first threat. Several
threats can only be considered as continued crime if the offender threatened three individuals
at the same place and at the same time (Paera vs. People, G.R. No. 181626, May 30, 2011).
NOVATION
The novation theory may perhaps apply prior to the filing of the criminal information in
court by the state prosecutors because up to that time the original trust relation may be
converted by the parties into an ordinary creditor-debtor situation, thereby placing the
complainant in estoppel to insist on the original trust. But after the justice authorities have
taken cognizance of the crime and instituted action in court, the offended party may no longer
divest the prosecution of its power to exact the criminal liability, as distinguished from the
civil. The crime being an offense against the state, only the latter can renounce it (Degaos vs.
People, GR No. 162826, October 14, 2013).

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It may be observed in this regard that novation is not one of the means recognized by
the Penal Code whereby criminal liability can be extinguished; hence, the role of novation may
only be to either prevent the rise of criminal liability or to cast doubt on the true nature of the
original basic transaction, whether or not it was such that its breach would not give rise to
penal responsibility, as when money loaned is made to appear as a deposit, or other similar
disguise is resorted to (Degaos vs. People, GR No. 162826, October 14, 2013).
Although the novation of a contract of agency to make it one of sale may relieve an
offender from an incipient criminal liability, that did not happen here, for the partial payments
and the proposal to pay the balance the accused made during the barangay proceedings were
not at all incompatible with Degaos liability under the agency that had already attached.
Rather than converting the agency to sale, therefore, he even thereby confirmed his liability as
the sales agent of the complainants. The acceptance of partial payments, without further
change in the original relation between the complainant and the accused, cannot produce
novation. For the latter to exist, there must be proof of intent to extinguish the original
relationship, and such intent cannot be inferred from the mere acceptance of payments on
account of what is totally due. Much less can it be said that the acceptance of partial
satisfaction can effect the nullification of a criminal liability that is fully matured, and already
in the process of enforcement. Thus, this Court has ruled that the offended partys acceptance
of a promissory note for all or part of the amount misapplied does not obliterate the criminal
offense (Degaos vs. People, GR No. 162826, October 14, 2013).
DEATH OF THE ACCUSED
Novation can only be used as a defense in a crime where one of its elements is the
existence of contractual relationship between the offender and the victim. Defense of novation is
applicable to estafa through misappropriation because the contractual trust relationship
between the parties can be validly novated or converted by the parties into an ordinary
creditor-debtor situation, thereby placing the complainant in estoppel to insist on the original
trust (People vs. Nery, G.R. No. L-19567, February 5, 1964, En Banc). Novation cannot be used
as a defense in case of theft or estafa through falsification of document. In theft case, there was
no contractual relationship or bilateral agreement which can be modified or altered by the
parties (People vs. Tanjutco, G.R. No. L-23924, April 29, 1968, En Banc).In estafa through
falsification of public documents, the liability of the offender cannot be extinguished by mere
novation (Milla vs. People, G.R. No. 188726, January 25, 2012).
In People v. Bayotas, the Court laid down the rules in case the accused dies prior to
final judgment:
1. Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction extinguishes his criminal
liability as well as the civil liability based solely thereon. As opined by Justice Regalado, in this
regard, the death of the accused prior to final judgment terminates his criminal liability
and only the civil liability directly arising from and based solely on the offense committed, i.e.,
civil liability ex delicto in senso strictiore.
2. Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding the death of accused,
if the same may also be predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. Article 1157 of
the Civil Code enumerates these other sources of obligation from which the civil liability may
arise as a result of the same act or omission: law; contracts; quasi-contracts; quasi-delicts;
3. Where the civil liability survives, as explained in Number 2 above, an action for
recovery therefor may be pursued but only by way of filing a separate civil action and subject to
Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended. This separate civil
action may be enforced either against the executor/administrator or the estate of the accused,
depending on the source of obligation upon which the same is based as explained above.
4. Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture of his right to file this
separate civil action by prescription, in cases where during the prosecution of the criminal
action and prior to its extinction, the private-offended party instituted together therewith the
civil action. In such case, the statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed interrupted
during the pendency of the criminal case, conformably with provisions of Article 1155 of the
Civil Code, that should thereby avoid any apprehension on a possible privation of right by
prescription (People vs. Amistoso, GR No. 201447, August 28, 2013)
PRESCRIPTION

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JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
The crime of falsification of a public document involving a deed of sale which was
registered with the Registry of Deeds, the rule on constructive notice can be applied in the
construction of Article 91. Hence, the prescriptive period of the crime shall have to be
reckoned from the time the notarized deed of sale was recorded in the Registry of Deeds
(People vs. Reyes, G.R. No. 74226, July 27, 1989). Constructive notice rule is not applicable to
registration of bigamous marriage in the Office of the Civil Registrar. Furthermore, P.D. 1529,
which governed registration of document involving real property, specifically provides the rule
on constructive notice. On the other hand, Act No. 3753 or the Family Code, which governed
registration of marriage do not provide rule on constructive notice (Sermonia vs. Court of
Appeals, G.R. No. 109454, June 14, 1994); hence the period of prescription commences to run
on the date of actual discovery of the bigamous marriage.
COMMENCEMENT - As a rule, period of prescription commence to run from the date of
discovery of its commission. However, if the crime is not yet actionable at the time of its
commission, period of prescription will commence to run from the time it becomes actionable.
In false testimony, the crime was committed at the time the accused falsely testified in court.
However, the period of prescription for false testimony commences to run from the date of the
finality of judgment of a case in which the offender testified falsely. Prior to the date of finality,
the crime is not yet actionable (People vs. Maneja, G.R. No. 47684, June 10, 1941).
In violation of BP Blg. 22, the crime is consummated upon the dishonor of the check
by the drawee bank (Bautista vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 143375, July 6, 2001). However,
the period of prescription for such crime commences to run from the date of the expiration of
the five-day period from receipt of notice of dishonor by the drawer. Prior to that date, the
crime is not yet actionable since the offender can still avert criminal prosecution by satisfying
the amount of the check or making arrangement for its payment within five day grace period.
Moreover, the running of prescription for crime punishable under special law shall be
interrupted upon filing of complaint with prosecutor office for preliminary investigation. It
would be absurd to consider the prescriptive period for crime under BP Blg. 22 as already
running even prior to the expiration of the grace period despite the fact that the complainant
could not cause its interruption by filing a complaint for preliminary investigation since it is
not yet actionable.
In People vs. Pangilinan, G.R. No. 152662, June 13, 2012 - This Court reckons the
commencement of the period of prescription for violations of BP Blg. 22 imputed to accused
sometime in the latter part of 1995, as it was within this period that the accused was notified
by the private complainant of the fact of dishonor of the subject checks and, the five (5) days
grace period granted by law had elapsed. The private complainant then had, pursuant to Act
3326, four years there from or until the latter part of 1999 to file her complaint or information
against the petitioner before the proper court.
Blameless ignorance doctrine - Generally, the prescriptive period shall commence to
run on the day the crime is committed. An exception to this rule is the "blameless ignorance"
doctrine, incorporated in Section 2 of Act No. 3326. Under this doctrine, "the statute of
limitations runs only upon discovery of the fact of the invasion of a right which will support a
cause of action. Considering that during the Marcos regime, no person would have dared to
assail the legality of the transactions involving cronies such as behest loan, it would be
unreasonable to expect that the discovery of the unlawful transactions was possible prior to
1986 (Disini vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 169823-24 and 174764-65, September 11, 2013).
Hence, the prescriptive period for violation of RA No. 3019 commenced from the date of its
discovery in 1992 after the Committee made an exhaustive investigation (Presidential Ad hoc
fact-finding committee vs. Hon. Desierto, G.R. No. 135715, April 13, 2011)
INTERRUPTION OF PRESCRIPTION Under Act No. 3326, the running of the
prescription of offense punishable under special law shall be interrupted when judicial
proceedings for investigation and punishment are instituted against the guilty person. The
proceeding is described as judicial since when Act No. 3326 was passed on December 4,
1926, preliminary investigation of criminal offenses was conducted by justices of the peace.
Considering that preliminary investigation in criminal case for purposes of prosecution has
become the exclusive function of the executive branch, the term proceedings should now be
understood either executive or judicial in character: executive when it involves the
investigation phase and judicial when it refers to the trial and judgment stage. Hence,
institution of proceeding, whether executive or judicial, interrupts the running of prescriptive
period (Panaguiton vs. Department of Justice, G.R. No. 167571, November 25, 2008).

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Thus, the commencement of the following proceedings for the prosecution of the
accused effectively interrupted the prescriptive period for the offense charged: (1) Filing of
complaint for violation of BP 22 with the Office of the City Prosecutor (Panaguiton vs.
Department of Justice, supra); (2) Filing of complaint for violations of the Revised Securities
Act and the Securities with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC vs. Interport
Resources Corporation, G.R. No. 135808, October 6, 2008, the Supreme Court En Banc); and
(3) Filing of complaint for violation of RA No. 3019 with the Office of the Ombudsman (Disini
vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 169823-24 and 174764-65, September 11, 2013)
Exceptions:
1. Violation of ordinance In Zaldivia v. Reyes, Jr., G.R. No. 102342, July 3, 1992 The proceedings referred to in Section 2 of Act No. 3326 are judicial proceedings (which does
not include administrative proceedings). Thus, a crime such as violation of ordinance may
prescribe even if the complaint is filed seasonably with the prosecutor's office if, intentionally or
not, he delays the institution of the necessary judicial proceedings until it is too late.
In Jadewell Parking Systems Corp. vs. Lidua, Sr., GR No. 169588, Oct. 7, 2013, the
Supreme Court applied the Zaldivia principle to prescription of violation of ordinance. In this
case, what is involved in this case is violation of ordinance of Baguio City, a chartered city.
Accordingly, when the representatives of the petitioner filed the Complaint before the Provincial
Prosecutor of Baguio, the prescription period was running. It continued to run until the filing of
the Information. They had two months to file the Information and institute the judicial
proceedings by filing the Information with the Municipal Trial Court.
While the case of Pangilinan categorically abandoned the Zaldivia principle, the
Supreme Court in Jadewell case ruled the doctrine of Pangilinan pertains to violations of
special laws but not to ordinances. In sum, if what is involved is prescription of violation of
special law, institution of administrative proceeding for investigation interrupts the
prescriptive period. Zaldivia is not controlling. If what is involved is prescription of violation of
ordinance, institution of judicial proceeding is required to interrupt the running of
prescription. Zaldivia case is controlling.
2. Invalid proceeding In People vs. Romualdez and Sandiganbayan, G.R.
No. 166510, April 29, 2009 - The investigatory power of the PCGG extended only to alleged illgotten wealth cases, absent previous authority from the President for the PCGG to investigate
such graft and corruption cases involving the Marcos cronies. Accordingly, the preliminary
investigation conducted by the PCGG leading to the filing of the first information is void ab
initio, and thus could not be considered as having tolled the fifteen (15)-year prescriptive
period for violation of RA No. 3019. After all, a void ab initio proceeding such as the first
preliminary investigation by the PCGG could not be accorded any legal effect.
MARRIAGE IN RAPE
There are two rules under Article 334 of RPC in connection with marriage as a mode
of criminal extinction. First, in cases of seduction, abduction, acts of lasciviousness and rape,
the marriage of the offender with the offended party shall extinguish the criminal action or
remit the penalty already imposed upon him. Second, the provisions of this paragraph shall
also be applicable to the co-principals, accomplices and accessories after the fact of the
abovementioned crimes.
According to Regalado, since rape is now a crime against person, it should be
considered ad deleted from the text of Article 334. In case of rape, the applicable rule is
Article 266-C of RPC as amended by RA 8353. Under this provision, subsequent marriage
between the offender and offended party shall extinguish the criminal action or penalty. It
seems that RA 8353 adopted the first rule in Article 344 of RPC but not the second rule.
Hence, marriage between the offender and offended party will not extinguish the criminal
liability of the co-principal, accomplice or accessory of the crime of rape
PROBATION
Probation distinguished from parole and pardon (1) Grant of probation is judicial while
that of parole and pardon is executive. (2) Probation and parole are suspension sentence while
pardon is remission of penalty. (3) Offender can only apply for probation within the period of
perfecting an appeal; offender is eligible for pardon after conviction by final judgment; offender
is eligible for parole after serving the minimum of the indeterminate penalty. (4) Offender, who

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JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
was sentenced to suffer a penalty of more than 6 years of imprisonment, is disqualified to
apply for probation. Offender, who was sentence to suffer reclusion perpetua or death penalty,
is not qualified for parole. However, the President can pardon offender even if the penalty
imposed upon him is reclusion perpetua or death penalty.
a. Mutual exclusive remedies - Probation is not a right but a mere privilege, an act of
grace and clemency conferred by the State, and may be granted by the court to a deserving
defendant. Accordingly, the grant of probation rests solely upon the discretion of the court. It is
to be exercised primarily for the benefit of organized society, and only incidentally for the
benefit of the accused (Almero vs. People, GR No. 188191, March 12, 2014).
Probation is a special privilege granted by the state to a penitent qualified offender. It
essentially rejects appeals and encourages an otherwise eligible convict to immediately admit
his liability and save the state of time, effort and expenses to jettison an appeal. The law
expressly requires that an accused must not have appealed his conviction before he can avail
of probation. This outlaws the element of speculation on the part of the accused to wager on
the result of his appeal that when his conviction is finally affirmed on appeal he now
applies for probation as an escape hatch thus rendering nugatory the appellate court's
affirmance of his conviction (Almero vs. People, GR No. 188191, March 12, 2014).
Aside from the goals of according expediency and liberality to the accused, the rationale
for the treatment of appeal and probation as mutually exclusive remedies is that they rest on
diametrically opposed legal positions. An accused applying for probation is deemed to have
accepted the judgment. The application for probation is an admission of guilt on the part of an
accused for the crime which led to the judgment of conviction. This was the reason why the
Probation Law was amended: precisely to put a stop to the practice of appealing from
judgments of conviction even if the sentence is probationable for the purpose of securing an
acquittal and applying for the probation only if the accused fails in his bid (Almero vs. People,
GR No. 188191, March 12, 2014).
While accused did not file an appeal before applying for probation, he assailed the
validity of the conviction in the guise of a petition supposedly assailing the denial of probation.
In so doing, he attempted to circumvent P.D. No. 968, as amended by P.D. 1990, which seeks
to make appeal and probation mutually exclusive remedies (Almero vs. People, GR No. 188191,
March 12, 2014).
b. Non-probationable offense - The accused, who was convicted by the lower court of
a non-probationable offense (frustrated homicide), but on appeal was found guilty of a
probationable offense (attempted homicide), may apply for probation upon remand of the case
to the RTC because of the following reasons: (1) The Probation Law never intended to deny an
accused his right to probation through no fault of his. The underlying philosophy of probation
is one of liberality towards the accused. Such philosophy is not served by a harsh and
stringent interpretation of the statutory provisions; (2) If the accused will not be allowed to
apply for probation, he will be made to pay for the trial courts erroneous judgment with the
forfeiture of his right to apply for probation; (3) While it is true that probation is a mere
privilege, the accused has the right to apply for that privilege; (4) It is true that under the
probation law the accused who appeals "from the judgment of conviction" is disqualified from
availing himself of the benefits of probation. But, as it happens, two judgments of conviction
have been meted out to accused: one, a conviction for frustrated homicide by the regional trial
court, now set aside; and, two, a conviction for attempted homicide by the Supreme Court
(Colinares vs. People, G.R. No. 182748, December 13, 2011). The SC reaffirmed the Colinares
case in Villareal vs. People, G.R. No. 151258, December 1, 2014, accused was convicted of
homicide, a non-probationable crime, by the trial court. However, the SC found them liable for
reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, which is a probationable crime, because of lack of
dolo. They can still apply for probation.
CRIMES AGAINST FUNDEMENTAL LAW
UNLAWFUL ARREST AND ARBITRARY DETENTION
In unlawful arrest, the private individual or public officer in its private capacity arrests
or detains the victim without reasonable ground or legal authority for purpose of delivering him
to the proper judicial authority. In arbitrary detention, the public officer, who has authority to
make arrest, detains the victim without legal grounds (People vs. Bringas G.R. No.
189093, April 23, 2010) for the purpose of: (1) Delivering him to judicial authority (U.S. us.
Gellada, 15 Phil. 120); (2) Conducting criminal investigation (People vs. Oliva, 95 Phil. 962; U.S.
vs. Agravante, G.R. No. 3947, January 28, 1908); or (3) Determining if he committed or is
committing a crime [U.S. vs. Hawchaw, G.R. No. L-6909, February 20, 1912].

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JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
Arbitrary detention is a crime against fundamental law of the law or the Constitution. A
public officer, who is vested with the authority to detain or to order the detention of a person
accused of a crime, is acting in behalf of the State in arresting or detaining a person. If such
public officer detained a person in violation of his constitutional right against unreasonable
seizure (or not in accordance with Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
Procedure), the crime committed is arbitrary detention. Unlawful arrest is a crime against
personal liberty and security. A public officer, who is not vested with the authority to detain or
to order the detention of a person (e.g. stenographer, researcher or municipal treasurer), is not
acting in behalf of the State in making a warrantless arrest. Such public officer acting in his
private capacity (or a private individual) could not violate the Constitution (People vs Marti,
G.R. No. 81561, January 18,1991); hence, if he arrests or detains a person not in accordance
with Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, the crime committed is
unlawful arrest. The essence of this crime is not violation of fundamental law of the law but
deprivation of liberty of the victim.
CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC INTEREST
FALSIFICATION
Affidavit - In Lonzanida vs. People, G.R. Nos. 160243-52, July 20, 2009, Justice De
Castro - Petitioner as mayor, who is authorized to administer oath, attested to the fact that the
affiants swore and signed their affidavits in his presence when in fact they never did. He
committed falsification by causing it to appear that persons have participated in an act or
proceeding when in fact and in truth, they did not participate in the act or proceeding.
Commercial document - Commercial documents are, in general, documents or
instruments which are used by merchants or businessmen to promote or facilitate trade or
credit transactions. Promissory notes facilitate credit transactions while a check is a means of
payment used in business in lieu of money for convenience in business transactions. A
cashiers check necessarily facilitates bank transactions for it allows the person whose name
and signature appear thereon to encash the check and withdraw the amount indicated therein
(Tanenggee vs. People, GR No. 179448, June 26, 2013).
Damage as an element - Is intent to cause damage an element of falsification of public
or official document? No. In falsification of public or official documents, it is not necessary that
there be present the idea of gain or the intent to injure a third person because in the
falsification of a public document, what is punished is the violation of the public faith and the
destruction of the truth as therein solemnly proclaimed (Regidor, Jr., vs. People, G. R. Nos.
166086-92 Feb. 13, 2009).
Falsification and estafa, malversation or theft
When the offender commits falsification of public, official or commercial document as a
necessary means to commit malversation (People vs. Barbas, G.R. No. L-41265, July 27, 1934),
estafa (Ilumin vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 85667, February 23, 1995; Intestate Estate of
Gonzales vs. People, G.R. No. 181409, February 11, 2010; Ambito vs. People, G.R. No. 127327,
February 13, 2009, Justice De castro, Tanenggee vs. People, GR No. 179448, June 26, 2013) or
theft (People vs. Salonga, G.R. No. 131131, June 21, 2001), the crime committed is complex
crime proper under Article 48 of RPC.
If the public officer is an accountable officer, misappropriation of public funds is
malversation (People vs. Barbas). If the public officer is not an accountable officer,
misappropriation of funds is estafa (Ilumin vs. Sandiganbayan).
Using a falsified check to defraud the bank is estafa through falsification of commercial
document (Tanengee vs. People). Using a stolen and falsified check to defraud the bank is theft
through falsification of commercial document (People vs. Salonga).
When the offender commits falsification of public, official or commercial document as a
means to conceal malversation (People vs. Sendaydiego, G.R. Nos. L-33252-54, January 20,
1978; People vs. Villanueva, G.R. No. 39047, October 31, 1933, En Banc), estafa (People vs.
Monteverde, G.R. No. 139610, August 12, 2002; People vs. Benito, G.R. No. 36979, November
23, 1932) or theft, the crimes are separate. This is not complex crime proper since one is not a
necessary means to commit another.

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JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
Other view: If falsification is committed for purpose of enabling the accused to commit
malversation (People vs. Silvanna, G.R. No. L-43120, July 27, 1935; Zafra vs. People, G.R. No.
176317, July 23, 2014) or estafa (People vs. Go, G.R. No. 191015, August 06, 20140, the
accused is liable for complex crime proper.
Under the doctrine of common element, an element used to complete one crime cannot
be legally re-used to complete the requisites of a subsequent crime (Regalado). The common
element of estafa or malversation and falsification is damage to the victim. Thus, falsification of
private document and estafa cannot co-exist. The use of damage as an element in falsification
precludes the re-use thereof to complete the elements of estafa, and vice versa.
If the falsification of a private document is committed as a means to commit estafa, the
proper crime to be charged is falsification. If the estafa can be committed without the necessity
of falsifying a private document, the proper crime to be charged is estafa (Batulanon vs.
People, G.R. NO. 139857, September 15, 2006).
If the offender commits falsification of private document as a means to commit estafa,
he is liable for falsification only. Falsification absorbs estafa. (See: U.S. vs Chan Tiao, G.R. No.
12609, October 30, 1917; People vs. Reyes, G.R. No. L-34516, November 10, 1931).
If a person commits falsification of private document to conceal malversation or estafa,
the crime is malversation or estafa only. Falsification of private document is not committed
because: (a) the use of damage as an element in estafa precludes the re-use thereof to complete
the elements of falsification; and (b) the damage to third person is not caused by the falsity in
the document but by the commission of estafa (See: People vs. Beng, 40 O.G. 1913).
If falsification of private document was used as a means to commit estafa, the former
was committed ahead of the latter; hence, falsification absorbs the element of damage of estafa.
If falsification of private document was used as a means to conceal estafa, the latter was
committed ahead of the former; hence, estafa absorbs the element of damage of falsification.
USURPATION OF FUNCTION
Usurpation of authority is committed by knowingly and falsely representing himself to
be an officer, agent or representative of any department or agency of the government or of any
foreign government. Usurpation of function is committed by performing any act under
pretense of official position pertaining to any person in authority or public officer of the
government or any foreign government, or any agency thereof, without being lawfully entitled to
do so (Ruzol vs. Sandiganbayan, GR Nos. 186739-960, April 17, 2013).
In Ruzol vs. Sandiganbayan, GR Nos. 186739-960, April 17, 2013 - Accused, a mayor
issued permits to transport salvaged forest products. According to prosecution, DENR is the
only government instrumentality that can issue the permits to transport salvaged forest
products. The prosecution asserted that accused usurped the official functions that properly
belong to the DENR.
Accused chose to exercise the right to protect the environment and to share in this
responsibility by exercising his authority as municipal mayoran act which was executed with
the cooperation of non-governmental organizations, stakeholders, and concerned citizens. His
acts may be invalid but it does necessarily mean that such mistakes automatically justify his
conviction.
There is no showing that accused possessed that criminal mind when he in his
capacity as mayor issued the subject permits. What is clear from the records is that accused,
as municipal mayor, intended to regulate and monitor salvaged forest products in order to
avert the occurrence of illegal logging in the area.
Good faith is a defense in criminal prosecutions for usurpation of official functions. The
requirement of permits to transport was accuseds decision alone; it was a result of the
collective decision of the participants during the Multi-Sectoral Consultative Assembly. If,
indeed, accused intended to usurp the official functions of the DENR, he would not have asked
the presence of a DENR official who has the authority and credibility to publicly object against
accuseds allegedly intended usurpation. Thus, the presence of DENR official during the MultiSectoral Assembly strengthens accuseds claim of good faith.

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JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
The DENR is not the sole government agency vested with the authority to issue permits
relevant to the transportation of salvaged forest products, considering that, pursuant to the
general welfare clause, LGUs may also exercise such authority.
CRIMES COMMITTED BY PUBLIC OFFICER
MALVERSATION
The essential elements common to all acts of malversation under Article 217 of the
Revised Penal Code are: (1) That the offender be a public officer; (2) That he had the custody or
control of funds or property by reason of the duties of his office; (3) That he had the custody or
control of funds or property by reason of the duties of his office; (4) That those funds or
property were public funds or property for which he was accountable; and (5) That he
appropriated, took, misappropriated or consented, or through abandonment or negligence,
permitted another person to take them (Legrama vs. Sandiganbayan, GR No. 178626, June 13,
2012).
Accountable officer An accountable public officer is one who has custody or control
of public funds or property by reason of the duties of his office. The nature of the duties of the
public officer or employee, the fact that as part of his duties he received public money for which
he is bound to account and failed to account for it, is the factor which determines whether or
not malversation is committed by the accused public officer or employee. Hence, a school
principal of a public high school may be held guilty of malversation if he or she is entrusted
with public funds and misappropriates the same (Torres vs. People, GR No. 175074, August 31,
2011).
The municipal mayor initiated the request for obligation of allotments and certified and
approved the disbursement vouchers. The municipal accountant obligated the allotments
despite lack of prior certification from the budget officer. Municipal treasurer certified to the
availability of funds and released the money even without the requisite budget officers
certification. The signatures of beneficiaries, who supposed to have received the money, were
forged. Can the mayor and accountant be held liable for malversation even though they are not
accountable officer? Yes. Ordinarily, a municipalitys mayor and accountant are not
accountable public officers as defined under the law. However, a public officer who is not in
charge of public funds or property by virtue of his official position, or even a private individual,
may be liable for malversation if such public officer or private individual conspires with an
accountable public officer to commit malversation. In this case, combined acts of the mayor
and accountant, and treasurer, an accountable officer, conspired to defraud the government
(People vs. Pajaro, G.R. Nos. 167860-65, June 17, 2008).
In addition, municipal mayors are chief executives of their respective municipalities.
Under the Government Auditing Code of the Philippines, he is responsible for all government
funds pertaining to the municipality. As a required standard procedure, the signatures of the
mayor and the treasurer are needed before any disbursement of public funds can be made. No
checks can be prepared and no payment can be effected without their signatures on a
disbursement voucher and the corresponding check. In other words, any disbursement and
release of public funds require their approval. The mayor and treasurer had control and
responsibility over the funds of the municipality. Hence, they are accountable officers. Any
unlawful disbursement or misappropriation of the municipal funds would make them
accountable for malversation (Evangelista vs. Hon. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 158413, February
08, 2012).
Intentional and culpable malversation Malversation may be committed either
through a positive act of misappropriation of public funds or property, or passively through
negligence. To sustain a charge of malversation, there must either be criminal intent or
criminal negligence, and while the prevailing facts of a case may not show that deceit attended
the commission of the offense, it will not preclude the reception of evidence to prove the
existence of negligence because both are equally punishable for malversation (Torres vs. People,
GR No. 175074, August 31, 2011).
Even when the Information charges intentional malversation, conviction for
malversation through negligence may still be adjudged if the evidence ultimately proves the
mode of commission of the offense. Malversation is committed either intentionally or by
negligence. The dolo or the culpa present in the offense is only a modality in the perpetration of
the felony. Even if the mode charged differs from mode proved, the same offense of
malversation is involved and conviction thereof is proper (Torres vs. People, GR No. 175074,
August 31, 2011).

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JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
Presumption of malversation - Mere absence of funds is not sufficient proof of
conversion; neither is the mere failure of the public officer to turn over the funds at any given
time sufficient to make even the prima facie case. In fine, conversion must be proved.
However, an accountable officer may be convicted of malversation even in the absence of direct
proof of misappropriation so long as there is evidence of shortage in his account which he is
unable to explain.
Under Article 217, a presumption was installed that upon demand by any duly
authorized officer, the failure of a public officer to have duly forthcoming any public funds or
property with which said officer is accountable should be prima facie evidence that he had
put such missing funds or properties to personal use. When these circumstances are present,
a presumption of law arises that there was malversation of public funds or properties. To be
sure, this presumption is disputable and rebuttable by evidence showing that the public officer
had fully accounted for the alleged cash shortage (Legrama vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No.
178626, June 13, 2012).
In the crime of malversation, all that is necessary for conviction is sufficient proof that
the accountable officer had received public funds, that he did not have them in his possession
when demand therefor was made, and that he could not satisfactorily explain his failure to do
so. Direct evidence of personal misappropriation by the accused is hardly necessary as long as
the accused cannot explain satisfactorily the shortage in his accounts (Icdang vs.
Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 185960, January 25, 2012).
FAILURE TO RENDER ACCOUNTING
In People vs. Lumauig, G.R. No.166680, July 7, 2014 - Article 218 of RPC consists of
the following elements: (1) that the offender is a public officer, whether in the service or
separated therefrom; (2) that he must be an accountable officer for public funds or property; (3)
that he is required by law or regulation to render accounts to the Commission on Audit, or to a
provincial auditor; and (4) that he fails to do so for a period of two months after such accounts
should be rendered.
Petitioner received cash advance for payment of the insurance coverage of motorcycles
purchased by the Municipality in 1994. Under COA Circular, petitioner is required to liquidate
the same within 20 days after the end of the year or on ore before January 20, 1995. To avoid
liability under Article 218, he should have liquidated the cash advance within two months from
the time it was due, or on or before March 20, 1995. Petitioner was liable for failure to render
account under Article 218 because it took him over six years before settling his accounts.
Demand before an accountable officer is held liable for a violation of the crime is not required.
Article 218 merely provides that the public officer be required by law and regulation to render
account.
KNOWINGLY RENDERING UNJUST JUDGEMENT
To commit the offense of knowingly rendering an unjust judgment, the offender must be
a judge who is adequately shown to have rendered an unjust judgment, not one who merely
committed an error of judgment or taken the unpopular side of a controversial point of law. The
term knowingly means sure knowledge, conscious and deliberate intention to do an
injustice. Thus, the complainant must not only prove beyond reasonable doubt that the
judgment is patently contrary to law or not supported by the evidence but that it was also
made with deliberate intent to perpetrate an injustice. Good faith and the absence of malice,
corrupt motives or improper consideration are sufficient defenses that will shield a judge from
the charge of rendering an unjust decision. In other words, the judge was motivated by hatred,
revenge, greed or some other similar motive in issuing the judgment. Bad faith is, therefore, the
ground for liability. The failure of the judge to correctly interpret the law or to properly
appreciate the evidence presented does not necessarily render him administratively liable (Re:
Verified Complaint for Disbarment of AMA LAnd Inc. against CA Association Justice Bueser
et.al., OCA IPI No. 12-204-CA-J, March 11, 2014).
USURPATION OF JUDICIAL AUTHORITY
Under Article 241 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of usurpation of judicial
authority involves the following elements: (1) that the offender is an officer of the executive
branch of the government; and (2) that he assumes judicial powers, or obstructs the execution
of any order or decision rendered by any judge within his jurisdiction. These elements were
alleged in the information. Mayor Irisari was an officer of the executive branch (Munez vs.

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JUDGE MARLO B. CAMPANILLA
Arino, A.M. No. MTJ-94-985, February 21, 1995). In usurpation of judicial function, the
accused, who is not a judge, attempts to perform an act the authority for which the law has
vested only in a judge (Mioso v. Pamulag, A.M. No. P-05-2067, 31 August 2005; Pace v.
Leonardo, A.M. No. P-03-1675, 6 August 2003,). A Provincial Adjudicator, who rendered
judgment in DARAB Case in the performance of a quasi-judicial function, closely akin to the
function of a judge of a court of law, could not be held liable under Article 241 of RPC,
therefore, considering that the acts constitutive of usurpation of judicial function were lacking
herein (Reyes vs. People, G.R. Nos. 177105-06, August 12, 2010). A clerk of court, who is not
an officer of the executive branch, cannot be held liable for usurpation of judicial function.
However, a clerk of court, who usurped judicial prerogative of the judge by issuing the arrest of
an accused in a criminal case, is administratively liable for grave misconduct (Albior vs.
Auguis, A.M. No. P-01-1472, June 26, 2003).
CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS
PARRICIDE
Parricide is committed when: (1) a person is killed; (2) the deceased is killed by the accused;
and (3) the deceased is the father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, or a
legitimate other ascendant or other descendant, or the legitimate spouse of the accused (People
vs. Gamez, GR No. 202847, October 23, 2013).
MURDER
Murder, the prosecution must prove that: (1) a person was killed; (2) the accused killed
him; (3) the killing was attended by any of the qualifying circumstances mentioned in Article
248; and (4) the killing is neither parricide nor infanticide (People vs. Camat, G.R. No. 188612,
July 30, 2012
ATTEMPTED MURDER - Accused opened the door of his vehicle and then drew a gun
and shot victim once, hitting him just below the left armpit. Victim immediately ran at the back
of the car, while accused sped away. Is the accused liable for attempted murder? No. Accused
only shot the victim once and did not hit any vital part of the latters body. If he intended to kill
him, accused could have shot the victim multiple times or even ran him over with the
car. When such intent is lacking but wounds are inflicted upon the victim, the crime is not
attempted murder but physical injuries only (Pentecoste, Jr. vs. People, G.R. No. 167766, April
7, 2010).
EXCESSIVE CHASTISEMENT
X tied his son to a coconut tree and, there after hit on his right eye and right leg. As a
consequence, his son sustained injuries that would heal in one week upon medication. Is X
liable for slight physical injuries despite the fact that his intention in beating his son is merely
to discipline him? Yes. X cannot evade criminal culpability by the circumstance that he
merely intended to discipline his son (People vs. Sales, G.R. No. 177218, October 3, 2011).
RAPE
INTIMIDATION - It is a well-entrenched law that intimidation in rape includes the
moral kind of intimidation or coercion. Intimidation is a relative term, depending on the age,
size and strength of the parties, and their relationship with each other. It can be addressed to
the mind as well. For rape to exist it is not necessary that the force or intimidation employed
be so great or of such character as could not be resisted. It is only necessary that the force or
intimidation be sufficient to consummate the purpose which the accused had in mind.
Intimidation must be viewed in the light of the victim's perception and judgment at the time of
the rape and not by any hard and fast rule. It is therefore enough that it produces fear -- fear
that if the victim does not yield to the bestial demands of the accused, something would
happen to her at the moment or thereafter, as when she is threatened with death if she reports
the incident. Intimidation would also explain why there are no traces of struggle which would
indicate that the victim fought off her attacker (People vs. Leonardo G.R. No. 181036. July 6,
2010).
Tenacious resistance - Among the amendments of the law on rape introduced under
RA No. 8353 is Section 266-D, which provides Any physical overt act manifesting resistance
against the act of rape in any degree from the offended party, or where the offended party is so
situated as to render her/him incapable of giving valid consent, may be accepted as evidence in
the prosecution rape (People vs. Sabadlab, G.R. No. 175924, March 14, 2012). The legislators

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agreed that Article 266-D is intended to soften the jurisprudence on tenacious resistance
(People vs. Dulay, G.R. Nos. 144344-68, July 23, 2002, En banc). Failure to shout should not
be taken against the victim (People vs. Rivera, GR No. 200508, September 04, 2013; see: People
vs. Rubio, G.R. No. 195239, March 7, 2012; People vs. Penilla, GR No. 189324, March 20,
2013). It necessary for the victim to sustain physical injuries. She need not kick, bite, hit or
scratch the offender with her fingernails to prove that she had been defensive. It is sufficient
that she yielded because of a real application of bodily harm (People vs. Torres, G.R. No.
134766, January 16, 2004). The use of a weapon, by itself, is strongly suggestive of force or at
least intimidation, and threatening the victim with a gun is sufficient to bring her into
submission (People vs. Tubat, G.R. No. 183093, February 1, 2012; People vs. Penilla, GR No.
189324, March 20, 2013).
In incestuous rape of a minor, actual force or intimidation need not even be employed
where the overpowering moral influence of appellant, who is private complainants father,
would suffice (People vs. Samandre, G.R. No. 181497, February 22, 2012) In rape committed
by a father, his moral ascendancy and influence over the victim substitute for the requisite
force, threat, and intimidation, and strengthen the fear which compels the victim to conceal her
dishonor (People vs. Ortega, G.R. No. 186235, January 25, 2012; People vs. Broca, GR No.
201447, January 09, 2013 People vs. Candellada, G.R. No. 189293, July 10, 2013, Justice De
Castro). The absence of violence or offer of resistance would not affect the outcome of the case
because the overpowering and overbearing moral influence of the father over his daughter
takes the place of violence and offer of resistance required in rape cases committed by an
accused who did not have blood relationship with the victim (People vs. Osma, G.R. No.
187734, August 29, 2012, Justice De Castro). In People vs. Abanilla, G.R. Nos. 148673-75,
October 17, 2003, En Banc - Being the father, appellants force or threat was sufficient to
create fear in the mind of the complainant compelling her to submit to his sexual abuse.
Sweetheart theory - The sweetheart theory, as a defense, necessarily admits carnal
knowledge, the first element of rape. This admission makes the sweetheart theory more difficult
to defend, for it is not only an affirmative defense that needs convincing proof; after the
prosecution has successfully established a prima facie case, the burden of evidence is shifted to
the accused, who has to adduce evidence that the intercourse was consensual (People vs.
Deligero, GR No. 189280, April 17, 2013).
Sweetheart defense will not exculpate accused from liability for rape against mentally
retarded person. In the rape of a woman deprived of reason or unconscious, the victim has no
will. The absence of will determines the existence of the rape. Such lack of will may exist not
only when the victim is unconscious or totally deprived of reason, but also when she is
suffering some mental deficiency impairing her reason or free will. Carnal knowledge of a
woman so weak in intellect as to be incapable of legal consent constitutes rape (People vs.
Caoile, GR No. 203041, June 05, 2013).
A child was not capable of fully understanding or knowing the import of her actions and
in consequence, remained vulnerable to the cajolery and deception of adults. Unlike rape,
therefore, consent is immaterial in cases involving sexual absue under Section 5 of RA 7610.
For purposes of sexual abuse, the sweetheart defense is unacceptable. A child exploited in
prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse cannot validly give consent to sexual
intercourse with another person (Caballo vs. People, GR No. 198732, June 10, 2013).
MENTAL RETARDATION In People vs. Dalan, G.R. No. 203086, June 11, 2014 - The
term statutory rape should only be confined to situations where the victim of rape is a person
less than 12 years of age. If the victim of rape is a person with mental abnormality, deficiency,
or retardation, the crime committed is simple rape committed against a person "deprived of
reason" . In short, carnal knowledge with a mental retardate with mental age of below 12 years,
while akin to statutory rape should still be designated as simple rape. At any rate, proof of
force, threat or intimidation is dispensed with in both statutory rape and rape with a person
who is deprived of reason.
In rape, the phrase "deprived of reason" refers to mental abnormality, deficiency or
retardation, which includes (a) idiot (equivalent to two-year old child); (b) imbecile (seven-year
old child); (c) moron or feebleminded (twelve-year old child) and (d) borderline intelligence. A
person is guilty of rape when he had sexual intercourse with a female who was suffering from a
"borderline mental deficiency (People vs. Butiong, G.R. No. 168932, October 19, 2011; G.R. No.
140209, December 27, 2002, People vs. Dalandas)

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Intimidation - Mental retardation was not alleged in the information. However, the
accused can be convicted of with rape though intimidation alleged in the Information. Having
sex with a mentally retarded person even with consent constitutes rape through intimidation
(People vs. Balatazo, G.R. No. 118027, January 29, 2004).
Demented person - The term demented refers to a person who has dementia, which is
a condition of deteriorated mentality, characterized by marked decline from the individuals
former intellectual level and often by emotional apathy, madness, or insanity. On the other
hand, the phrase deprived of reason includes those suffering from mental abnormality,
deficiency, or retardation. Thus, a mental retardate can be properly classified as a person who
is deprived of reason, and not one who is demented.
Accused was charged in the Information with rape of a demented person with a mental
age of 7 years old. Evidence however shows that the victim is not demented but mentally
retarded. The mistake will not exonerate accused. His rights to be informed of the nature and
cause of the accusation against him were violated. The allegation that the victim is a person
with a mental age of 7 years old is sufficient to inform accused of the nature of the charges
against him. Carnal knowledge of a woman who is a mental retardate is rape (People vs. Caoile,
GR No. 203041, June 05, 2013, Justice De Castro).
Accused was charged in the Information with rape of a demented person with mental
capacity below 18 years old. Evidence however shows that the victim is not demented but
mentally retarded. Mistake in the information will not exonerate the accused he failed to raise
this as an objection, and the particular facts stated in the Information were protestation
sufficient to inform him of the nature of the charge against him (People vs. Ventura, Sr. GR.
No. 205230, March 12, 2014).
Deafmute - The deprivation of reason need not be complete. Mental abnormality or
deficiency is enough. Cohabitation with a feebleminded, idiotic woman is rape. Sexual
intercourse with an insane woman was considered rape. But a deafmute is not necessarily
deprived of reason. These circumstances must be proven. Intercourse with a deafmute is not
rape of a woman deprived of reason, in the absence of proof that she is an imbecile (People vs.
Caoile, GR No. 203041, June 05, 2013).
Borderline intelligence - The traditional but now obsolescent terms applied to those
degrees of mental retardation were (a) idiot, having an IQ of 0-19, and a maximum intellectual
factor in adult life equivalent to that of the average two-year old child; (b)imbecile by an IQ of
20 to 49 and a maximum intellectual function in adult life equivalent to that of the average
seven-year old child; (c) moron or feebleminded, having an IQ of 50 to 69 and a maximum
intellectual function in adult life equivalent to that of the average twelve-year old child.
Psychiatrists and psychologists apply the term borderline intelligence to those with IQ
between 70 to 89. A person is guilty of rape when he had sexual intercourse with a female who
was suffering from a borderline mental deficiency (People vs. Bayrante, G.R. No. 188978, June
13, 2012 (Justice De Castro).
STATUTORY RAPE - In statutory rape, what the law punishes is carnal knowledge of a
woman below 12 years of age. Thus, the only subject of inquiry is the age of the woman and
whether carnal knowledge took place. The law presumes that the victim does not and cannot
have a will of her own on account of her tender years (People vs. Dollano, Jr., GR No. 188851,
October 19, 2011).
QUALIFIED RAPE - RPC punishes the rape of a mentally disabled person regardless of
the perpetrators awareness of his victims mental condition. However, the perpetrators
knowledge of the victims mental disability, at the time he committed the rape, qualifies the
crime (People vs. Caoile, GR No. 203041, June 05, 2013). Since knowledge is an element of this
qualifying circumstance, it must be formally alleged in the information and duly proved by the
prosecution (People vs. Obogne, GR No. 199740, March 24, 2014). In People vs. Lascano, G.R.
No. 192180, March 21, 2012 the information in the present case merely stated that the victim
was blind; it did not specifically allege that the appellant knew of her blindness at the time of
the commission of the rape. Hence, the crime committed is simple rape.
In qualifying circumstances of minority and relationship in rape and special aggravating
circumstance under Section 31(c) of RA No. 7610 in sexual abuse under Section 5, the
guardian must be a person who has legal relationship with his ward. He must be legally
appointed was first (People vs. Flores G.R. No. 188315, August 25, 2010).

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MARITAL RAPE In People vs. Jumawan, G.R. No. 187495, April 21, 2014 Husbands do not have property rights over their wives bodies. Sexual intercourse, albeit within
the realm of marriage, if not consensual, is rape. This is the clear State policy expressly
legislated in Section 266-C of RPC as amended by RA No. 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law of 1997,
which provides in case it is the legal husband who is the offender, the subsequent forgiveness
by the wife as the offended party shall extinguish the criminal action or the penalty. RA No
8353 eradicated the archaic notion that marital rape cannot exist because a husband has
absolute proprietary rights over his wifes body and thus her consent to every act of sexual
intimacy with him is always obligatory or at least, presumed. Husbands are once again
reminded that marriage is not a license to forcibly rape their wives. A husband does not own
his wifes body by reason of marriage. By marrying, she does not divest herself of the human
right to an exclusive autonomy over her own body and thus, she can lawfully opt to give or
withhold her consent to marital coitus. A husband aggrieved by his wifes unremitting refusal
to engage in sexual intercourse cannot resort to felonious force or coercion to make her yield.
He can seek succor before the Family Courts that can determine whether her refusal
constitutes psychological incapacity justifying an annulment of the marriage.
CONSPIRACY - Accused are liable for two (2) counts of rape on account of a clear
conspiracy between them, shown by their obvious concerted efforts to perpetrate, one after the
other, the rapes. Each of them is responsible not only for the rape committed personally by him
but also for the rape committed by the other as well (People vs. Lascano, G.R. No. 192180,
March 21, 2012).
PARDON - For crimes of seduction, abduction, and acts of lasciviousness, pardon and
marriage extinguish criminal liability. However, pardon should have been made prior to the
institution of the criminal actions (People vs. Dollano, Jr., GR No. 188851, October 19, 2011).
Rape is no longer a crime against chastity for it is now classified as a crime against
persons. Consequently, rape is no longer considered a private crime or that which cannot be
prosecuted, except upon a complaint filed by the aggrieved party. Hence, pardon by the
offended party of the offender in the crime of rape will not extinguish the offender's criminal
liability (People vs. Bonaagua, GR No. 188897, June 06, 2011).
UNTENABLE DEFENSE - In crimes against chastity, the medical examination of the
victim is not an indispensable element for the successful prosecution of the crime as her
testimony alone, if credible, is sufficient to convict the accused thereof (People vs. Ortega, G.R.
No. 186235, January 25, 2012).
In Sison vs. People, G.R. No. 187229, February 22, 2012 -While petitioner was
portraying AAA as a prostitute, the latter cried. AAA's crying shows how she might have felt
after being raped by the petitioner and yet be accused of a woman of loose morals. The victim's
moral character in rape is immaterial where it is shown that intimidation was used for the
victim to have sex with the accused.
Time and again, we have taken into consideration how rapists are not deterred by the
presence of people nearby, such as the members of their own family inside the same room,
with the likelihood of being discovered, since lust respects no time, locale or circumstance
(People vs. Colorado, G.R. No. 200792, November 14, 2012)
It is not absurd nor contrary to human experience that AAA gave birth ten (10) months
after the alleged sexual assault as there may be cases of long gestations. In any event, we
dismiss appellants contention as immaterial to the case at bar because jurisprudence tells us
that impregnation is not an element of rape. Whether the child which the rape victim bore was
fathered by the accused, or by some unknown individual, is of no moment. What is important
and decisive is that the accused had carnal knowledge of the victim against the latters will or
without her consent, and such fact was testified to by the victim in a truthful manner (People
vs. Gahi, G.R. No. 202976, February 19, 2014, Justice De Castro).
STAGES
CONSUMMATED RAPE If the touching" of the female organ constitutes the sliding of
the penis into or the touching of either labia majoraor labia minoraof the pudendum, the crime
committed is consummated rape. Anything short of that will only result in either attempted
rape or acts of lasciviousness (People vs. Publico, April 13, 2011, G.R. No. 183569). However,
the penis that touches the external genitalia must be capable of consummating the sexual act
to constitute consummated rape (People vs. Butiong, G.R. No. 168932, October 19, 2011).
Touching must be made in the context of the presence or existence of an erect penis capable of
penetration (People vs. Campuhan, G.R. No. 129433, March 30, 2000).

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Circumstantial evidence - In People vs. Castillo, GR No. 193666, February 19, 2014,
Justice De Castro - Absent any showing of the slightest penetration of the female organ, i.e,
touching of either labia of the pudendum by the penis, there can be no consummated rape.
However, even though the victim testified that there was no penetration and the accused
simply rubbed his penis in the victim's vagina, accused will be convicted of consummated Rape
if there are evidence that the pain felt by the victim, the sex organ of the victim suffered injury,
and there is bleeding of the victim's genitalia.
Hymen is intact - Sexual penetration even without laceration of the hymen or even the
briefest of contact consummates rape (People vs. Pangilinan, G.R. No. 183090, November 14,
2011). It is possible for the victims hymen to remain intact despite repeated sexual
intercourse. Likewise, whether the accuseds penis fully or only partially penetrated the
victims genitalia, it is still possible that her hymen would remain intact because it was thick
and distensible or elastic. The strength and dilability of the hymen varies from one woman to
another such that it may be so elastic as to stretch without laceration during intercourse, or on
the other hand, may be so resistant that its surgical removal is necessary before intercourse
can ensue. In some cases even, the hymen is still intact even after the woman has given birth
(People vs. Deligero, GR No. 189280, April 17, 2013; People vs. Broca, GR No. 201447, January
09, 2013).
ATTEMPTED RAPE If the touching merely constitutes an epidermal contact,
stroking or grazing of organs, a slight brush or a scrape of the penis on the external layer of the
victims vagina, or the mons pubis, the crime committed is either attempted rape or acts of
lasciviousness (People v. Campuhan, G.R. No. 129433, March 30, 2000). Attempted rape is
committed when the touching of the vagina by the penis is coupled with the intent to
penetrate; otherwise, there can only be acts of lasciviousness. The difference between
attempted rape and acts of lasciviousness lies in the intent of the perpetrator as deduced from
his external acts. (People vs. Dadulla, G. R. No. 172321, February 9, 2011; People vs.
Collado G.R. Nos. 135667-70, March 1, 2001).
To be held liable of attempted rape, it must be shown that erectile penis is in the
position to penetrate (Cruz vs. People, G.R. No. 166441, October 08, 2014) or the offender
actually commenced to force his penis into the victim's sexual organ (People vs. Banzuela, G.R.
No. 202060, December 11, 2013, Justice De Castro).
Mother of the victim saw X was kneeling before victim whose pajamas and panty were
already removed, while his short pants were down to his knees. Accused was forcing his penis
into victims vagina. Horrified, she cursed the accused and boxed him several times. Is X
liable for acts of lasciviousness or attempted rape? X should be held liable for attempted rape
since it was not shown that his penis was able to penetrate vagina of victim however slight
(People vs. Campuhan, G.R. No. 129433, March 30, 2000, En Banc). Intent to have sexual
intercourse was clearly established in this case.
The victims statements that the accused was trying to force his sex organ into mine
and binundol-undol ang kanyang ari did not prove that the accuseds penis reached the labia
of the pudendum of the victims vagina. Accused was convicted of attempted rape (People vs.
Pareja, G.R. No. 188979, September 5, 2012).
ACTS OF LASCIVIOUNESS - The elements of acts of lasciviousness, punishable under
Article 336 of the RPC, are: (1) That the offender commits any act of lasciviousness or
lewdness; (2) That it is done under any of the following circumstances: a. By using force or
intimidation; or b. When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; or
c. When the offended party is under 12 years of age; and (3) That the offended party is another
person of either sex (People vs. Garcia, G.R. No. 200529, September 19, 2012; (People vs.
Rellota, GR No. 168103 , August 03, 2010). The modes of committing acts of lasciviousness are
the same as those of committing rape under the old version.
Undressing the victim (People vs. Sanico, G.R. No. 208469, August 13, 2014) or
touching her vagina by the hand of the accused (People vs. Banzuela) or rubbing his penis on
the mons pubis of the pudendum (People vs. Abanilla, G.R. Nos. 148673-75, October 17, 2003)
is merely acts of lasciviousness.
RAPE THROUGH SEXUAL ASSAULT
It is commonly denominated as organ rape or penile rape and must be attended by
any of the circumstances enumerated in subparagraphs (a) to (d) of paragraph 1. On the other

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hand, rape under paragraph 2 of Article 266-A is commonly known as rape by sexual assault.
The perpetrator, under any of the attendant circumstances mentioned in paragraph 1, commits
this kind of rape by inserting his penis into another persons mouth or anal orifice, or any
instrument or object into the genital or anal orifice of another person. It is also called
instrument or object rape, also gender-free rape (People vs. Soria, G.R. No. I 79031,
November 14, 2012).
A, a child, testified that X touched her private part and licked it but he did not insert his
finger inside her vagina. What is the crime committed? Answer: If the tongue, in an act of
cunnilingus, touches the outer lip of the vagina, the act should also be considered as already
consummating the crime of rape through sexual assault, not the crime of acts of
lasciviousness. This testimony of the victim, however, is open to various interpretation, since it
cannot be identified what specific part of the vagina was defiled by X. Thus, X cannot be
convicted of rape through sexual assault. Thus, X is liable for acts of lasciviousness (People vs.
Bonaagua, GR No. 188897, June 06, 2011).
Prior to RA No. 8353, rape through sexual assault is considered as acts
lasciviousness. However, upon the passage of RA No. 8353, acts, which were as acts
lasciviousness before, are now treated as rape through sexual assault. However, the concept
rape through sexual assault has not acquired some of the characteristic of acts
lasciviousness.

of
of
of
of

1. Doctrine of absorption If the accused commits rape and acts of lasciviousness,


the latter is absorbed by the former (People vs. Dy, G.R. Nos. 115236-37, January 29, 2002).
But if the accused commits rape through sexual intercourse and rape through sexual abuse,
the doctrine of absorption is not applicable. The accused will be convicted of separate crimes of
rape through sexual intercourse and rape through sexual abuse.
In People vs. Crisostomo, GR No. 196435, January 29, 2014 Accused on the same
occasion inserted a lit cigarette stick into genital orifice of victim (6 years of age) and her anal
orifice, and had sexual intercourse with her. He is guilt for two counts of rape by sexual
assault and rape through sexual intercourse.
In People vs. Espera, G.R. No. 202868, October 02, 2013 - Justice De Castro
Accused inserted his penis into the mouth of the victim, and thereafter, rape her. He was
convicted of rape through sexual assault by inserting his penis into the mouth of the victim
and rape by sexual intercourse. Doctrine of absorption was not applied.
2. Variance rule If the crime charged is rape, but the crime proven is acts of
lasciviousness, the accused will be convicted of the latter because of the variance rule. Acts of
lasciviousness is necessarily included in the charge of rape.
If the crime charged is rape through sexual intercourse, but the crime proven is rape
through sexual assault, the accused cannot be convicted of the latter. The variance rule is not
applicable since rape through sexual assault is not necessarily included in the charge of rape
through sexual intercourse. The elements of these two crimes are materially and substantially
different. In such case, the accused will be convicted of acts of lasciviousness (People vs.
Pareja, GR No. 202122, January 15, 2014, Justice De Castro; People vs. Cuaycong, G.R. No.
196051, October 02, 2013, Justice De Castro; People vs. CA, G.R. No. 183652, February 25,
2015).
CHILD PROSTITUION AND SEXUAL ABUSE
Sexual abuse under Section 5(b) of R.A. No. 7610 has three elements: (1) the accused
commits an act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct; (2) the said act is performed with a
child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse; and (3) the child is below 18
years old.
Sexual abuse and lascivious conduct - "Sexual abuse" includes the employment, use,
persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion of a child to engage in, or assist another
person to engage in, sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct or the molestation, prostitution,
or incest with children;
"Lascivious conduct" means the intentional touching, either directly or through
clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks, or the introduction of
any object into the genitalia, anus or mouth, of any person, whether of the same or opposite
sex, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire

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of any person, bestiality, masturbation, lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a
person (Section 2(g) and (h) of the Rules and Regulations on the Reporting and Investigation of
Child Abuse Cases)
Child exploited in prostitution or subject to other sexual abuse - Children, whether
male or female, who for money, profit, or any other consideration or due to the coercion or
influence of any adult, syndicate or group, indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct,
are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse (Section 5 of RA No
7610).
The averments in the information against the accused clearly make out a charge for
sexual abuse under Section 5(b) of RA No. 7610 although the caption charged him with child
abuse under Section 10 (a). However, the character of the crime is not determined by the
caption or preamble of the information nor from the specification of the provision of law alleged
to have been violated (People vs. Rayon, G.R. No. 194236, January 30, 2013)
Sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct under the coercion or influence of any adult
exists when there is some form of compulsion equivalent to intimidation which subdues the
free exercise of the offended partys free will (Caballo vs. People, GR No. 198732, June 10,
2013).
Accused (23 years of age) repeatedly assured the victim (17 years) of his love for her,
and even, promised to marry her. In addition, he also guaranteed that she would not get
pregnant since he would be using the "withdrawal method" for safety. These were meant to
influence her to set aside her reservations and eventually give into having sex with accused,
with which he succeeded. The age disparity between an adult and a minor placed accused in a
stronger position over the victim so as to enable him to force his will upon the latter. An
important factor is that the victim refused accused's incipient advances and in fact, asked him
to leave. However, the victim eventually yielded. Thus, it stands to reason that she was put in a
situation deprived of the benefit of clear thought and choice. The actuations of the accused
may be classified as "coercion" and "influence" within the purview of Section 5 of RA 7610.
Hence, accused is guilty of sexual abuse (Caballo vs. People, GR No. 198732, June 10, 2013).
The Information alleged that accused committed acts of lasciviousness upon the person
of victim, a minor subjected to sexual abuse. Can the accused be convicted for sexual abuse
under Section 5 (b) of RA No. 7610? Answer: No. Under the law, committing lascivious conduct
upon a child under coercion or influence of an adult or group is sexual abuse. There is no
allegation of coercion or influence, which is an indispensable ingredient of this crime. It does
not contain the essential facts constituting the offense, but a statement of a conclusion of
law. Thus, accused cannot be convicted of sexual abuse under such Information. The
information is void for being violative of the accuseds constitutionally-guaranteed right to be
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him (People vs. Pangilinan, GR No.
183090, November 14, 2011, ).
Child 12 years of age or above X taking advantage of his ascendancy committed
sexual intercourse with his daughter (15 years of age). What crime can X be prosecuted for?
The child is under the influence of an adult. This is sexual abuse under Section 5 (b) of RA No.
7610. The act is committed with psychological intimidation or grave abuse authority. This is
rape. Hence, X can be prosecuted for either (1) sexual abuse under violation of RA No. 7610; or
rape under Article 266-A of RPC. X should not be charged for Rape in relation to sexual abuse.
Existing jurisprudence, however, proscribes charging an accused for both crimes, rather, he
may be charged only for either (Alberto vs. Hon. Court of Appeals, GR No. 182130, June 19,
2013). X cannot be accused of both crimes for the same act because his right against double
jeopardy will be prejudiced. A person cannot be subjected twice to criminal liability for a single
criminal act. Likewise, rape cannot be complexed with a violation of Section 5(b) of RA 7610.
Under Section 48 of RPC, a felony cannot be complexed with an offense penalized by a special
law (People v. Abay, G.R. No. 177752, February 24, 2009; People vs. Pangilinan, G.R. No.
183090, Nov. 14, 2011, , People v. Dahilig, G.R. No. 187083, June 13, 2011, People v. Matias,
G.R. No. 186469, June 13, 2012 and Alberto vs. Hon. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 182130, June
19, 2013).
Child under 12 years Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious
conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subject to other sexual abuse; Provided, That
when the victims is under twelve (12) years of age, the perpetrators shall be prosecuted for rape
and for rape or lascivious conduct, as the case may be: Provided, That the penalty for
lascivious conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion temporal
in its medium period (Section 5).

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X taking advantage of his ascendancy committed sexual intercourse with his daughter
(9 years of age). What crime can X be prosecuted for? The child, who is under the influence of
an adult, is under 12 years of age. Hence, X should be prosecuted for statutory rape. Section 5
(b) of RA No. 7610 provides that when the victim (child subjected to sexual abuse) is under 12
years of age, the perpetrators shall be prosecuted for rape (People vs. Jalosjos, G.R. Nos.
132875-76, November 16, 2001).
Accused was convicted of rape through sexual assault committed against a 4 year old
child. There is no allegation in the Information that the child is indulged in lascivious conduct
for money, profit, or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult,
syndicate or group. Accused was punished under RPC. In sum, the penalty under RA 7160 was
not imposed since the information failed to allege that the victim is exploited in prostitution or
subjected to sexual abuse (Pielago vs. People, GR No. 202020, March 13, 2013)
Rape through sexual assault and sexual abuse - X forced A, a minor, in an isolated
place and inserted his finger into her vagina. (a) For what crimes can X be prosecuted if A is 17
years of age at the time?
Answer: X committed rape through sexual assault, or object or instrument rape under
RPC since he inserted object, his finger, into the vaginal orifice of A by using force. The crime of
sexual abuse under Section 5 of RA No. 7160 is also committed since A is indulged in
lascivious conduct under coercion of an adult. However, X can only be prosecuted either for
rape or sexual abuse.
(b) Would your answer be the same if the age A is 10 years old?
Answer: Since A, who is a child indulged in lascivious conduct under coercion of an
adult, is under 12 years of age, X should be prosecuted for rape through sexual assault under
RPC. Under Section 5 of RA No. 7610, when the child subjected to sexual abuse is under
twelve (12) years of age, the perpetrators shall be prosecuted for rape under RPC (People vs.
Pangilinan, GR No. 183090, November 14, 2011, ).
(c) The penalty for rape through sexual assault under RPC as amended by RA No. 8353
is prision mayor while the penalty under RA No. 7610 for acts of lasciviousness committed
against a child subjected to sexual abuse, under 12 years of age, is reclusion temporal in its
medium period. If the age of A is 10 years old, would you impose the penalty under RA No.
8353 or under RA No. 7610?
Answer: One who commits acts of lasciviousness in relation to RA No. 7610 suffers the
more severe penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period than the one who commits rape
through sexual assault, which is merely punishable by prision mayor. This is undeniably
unfair to the child victim. To be sure, it was not the intention of the framers of RA No. 8353, to
have disallowed the applicability of RA No. 7610 to sexual abuses committed to children.
Despite the passage of RA No. 8353, R.A. No. 7610 is still good law, which must be applied
when the victims are children (People vs. Chingh, G.R. No. 178323, March 16, 2011). The
penalty under RA No. 7160 should be imposed.
(d) The penalty for qualified rape through sexual assault is reclusion temporal under
RPC as amended by RA No. 8353. If A is the 10 year-old daughter of X, would you impose
penalty penalty under RA No. 8353 or under RA No. 7610?
Answer: Since the crime committed is rape through sexual assault with qualifying
circumstance of minority and relationship, the rationale of unfairness to the child victim that
Chingh case wanted to correct is absent because RPC as amended by RA No. 8353 already
prescribes the penalty of reclusion temporal for this crime. Hence, there is no more need to
apply the penalty prescribed by RA No. 7610 for sexual abuse (People vs. Bonaagua, G.R. No.
188897, June 6, 2011). The penalty under RPC should be imposed.
CONSENT OF THE VICTIM - Is consent of the victim a defense in rape, or child
prostitution or sexual abuse? A child exploited in prostitution may seem to "consent" to what is
being done to her or him and may appear not to complain. However, a child who is "a person
below eighteen years of age or those unable to fully take care of themselves or protect
themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or discrimination because of their age or
mental disability or condition" is incapable of giving rational consent to any lascivious act or
sexual intercourse (People vs. Dulay, GR No. 193854, September 24, 2012; People vs. Delantar,
G.R. No. 169143, February 2, 2007). Submissiveness of child under influence or psychological

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coercion of adult is not likewise a defense in sexual abuse (People vs. Larin, G.R. No. 128777,
October, 7 1998).
But if the sexual abuse is committed as alleged in the information against a child, who
indulges in sexual intercourse under coercion, the prosecution must show lack of consent on
the part of the victim. Showing that the child consented to the sexual intercourse will negate
coercion as an element of the crime (see: People vs. Abello, G.R. No. 151952, March 25,
2009).
CHILD PROSTITUTION
The elements of child prostitution are: (1) The accused engages in, promotes, facilitates or
induces child prostitution; (2) The act is done through, but not limited to, the following means:
(a) Acting as a procurer of a child prostitute; Inducing a person to be a client of a child
prostitute by means of written or oral advertisements or other similar means; (c) Taking
advantage of influence or relationship to procure a child as a prostitute; (d) Threatening or
using violence towards a child to engage him as a prostitute; or giving monetary consideration,
goods or other pecuniary benefit to a child with intent to engage such child in prostitution; (3)
The child is exploited or intended to be exploited in prostitution and (4) The child, whether
male or female, is below 18 years of age (People vs. Dulay, GR No. 193854, September 24,
2012).
X convinced A to accompany her. When they reached Kubuhan, X suddenly pulled A
inside a room where Y. Y gives money to X and tells her to look for a younger girl. Thereafter, Y
wielded a knife and tied As hands to the papag and raped her. A asked for X's help when she
saw the latter peeping into the room while she was being raped, but X did not do so. After the
rape, X and Y told A not to tell anyone what had happened or else they would get back at her.
What is the crime committed by X?
Answer: X is not liable as principal by indispensable cooperation. From the time X
convinced A to go with her until X received money from Y are not indispensable in the crime of
rape. Anyone could have accompanied A and offered the latter's services in exchange for money
and A could still have been raped. Note: Conspiracy was not alleged in the information.
X is liable for child prostitution under Section 5 of RA No. 7610. X facilitated or induced
child prostitution. The act of X in convincing A, who was 12 years old at that time, to go with
her and thereafter, offer her for sex to a man in exchange for money makes her liable for child
prostitution (People vs. Dulay, GR No. 193854, September 24, 2012).
CHILD ABUSE
Under Section 10 (a) of RA No. 7610, child abuse or cruelty is committed by any person
who shall commit any other acts of child abuse, cruelty or exploitation or be responsible for
other conditions prejudicial to the childs development including those covered by Article 59 of
PD No. 603 but not covered by the RPC.
Under Section 3 (b), "child abuse" refers to the maltreatment, whether habitual or not,
of the child which includes any of the following: (1) Psychological and physical abuse, neglect,
cruelty, sexual abuse and emotional maltreatment; (2) Any act by deeds or words which
debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being; (3)
Unreasonable deprivation of his basic needs for survival, such as food and shelter; or (4)
Failure to immediately give medical treatment to an injured child resulting in serious
impairment of his growth and development or in his permanent incapacity or death.
Section 10 (a) punishes not only those enumerated under Article 59 of PD No. 603, but
also four distinct acts, i.e., (a) child abuse, (b) child cruelty, (c) child exploitation and (d) being
responsible for conditions prejudicial to the child's development. We stress that Section 10
refers to acts of child abuse other than child prostitution and other sexual abuse under Section
5, attempt to commit child prostitution under Section 6, child trafficking under Section 7,
attempt to commit child trafficking under Section 8, and obscene publications and indecent
shows under Section 9 (People vs. Rayon, G.R. No. 194236, January 30, 2013).
In Bongalon vs. People, G.R. No. 169533, March 20, 2013 - Accused saw the victim and
his companions hurting his minor daughters. Angered, accused struck minor-victim at the
back with his hand and slapped his face. Since the accused committed the act at the spur of
the moment, they are perpetrated without intent to debase his "intrinsic worth and dignity" as

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a human being, or to humiliate or embarrass him. Without such intent, the crime committed is
not child abuse under RA 7610 but merely slight physical injuries.
In Rosaldes vs. People, G.R. No. 173988, October 08, 2014 - Although the accused, as a
schoolteacher, could duly discipline her minor student, her infliction of the physical injuries on
him was unnecessary, violent and excessive. The boy even fainted from the violence suffered at
her hands. She could not justifiably claim that she acted only for the sake of disciplining him.
Her physical maltreatment of him was precisely prohibited by no less than the Family Code,
which has expressly banned the infliction of corporal punishment by a school administrator,
teacher or individual engaged in child care exercising special parental authority. Accused was
convicted of child abuse under Section 10 (a) of RA No. 7610.
CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY
ESTAFA
ESTAFA THROUGH MISAPPROPRIATION The elements of estafa under Article 315,
par. 1 (b) of the Revised Penal Code are the following: (a) that money, goods or other personal
property is received by the offender in trust or on commission, or for administration, or under
any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of or to return the same; (b) that there
be misappropriation or conversion of such money or property by the offender, or denial on his
part of such receipt; (c) that such misappropriation or conversion or denial is to the prejudice
of another; and (d) there is demand by the offended party to the offender (Tabaniag vs. People,
GR No. 165411, June 18, 2009; Magtira vs. People, G.R. No. 170964, March 7, 2012).
However, demand is not necessary if there is evidence of misappropriation.
Misappropriation as an element of the offense of estafa connotes an act of using, or
disposing of, anothers property as if it were ones own, or of devoting it to a purpose or use
different from that agreed upon. Failure to account upon demand for funds or property held in
trust without offering any satisfactory explanation for the inability to account is circumstantial
evidence of misappropriation. Demand for the return of the thing delivered in trust and the
failure of the accused to account are similarly circumstantial evidence that the courts can
appreciate (Magtira vs. People, G.R. No. 170964, March 7, 2012).
The essence of estafa under Article 315, par. 1(b) is the appropriation or conversion of
money or property received to the prejudice of the owner. The words "convert" and
"misappropriate" connote an act of using or disposing of another's property as if it were one's
own, or of devoting it to a purpose or use different from that agreed upon. To misappropriate
for one's own use includes not only conversion to one's personal advantage, but also every
attempt to dispose of the property of another without right (Tabaniag vs. People, GR No.
165411, June 18, 2009).
X received from A jewelry with obligation to return the same if unsold or deliver the
proceeds of sale. In the acknowledgement receipt, X is prohibited from selling jewelry the
jewelry on credits or giving it for safekeeping. X transferred the jewelry to Y, a subagent. Y
failed to return the jewelry. Is X liable for estafa through conversion?
Answer: No. It must be pointed out that the law on agency in our jurisdiction allows the
appointment by an agent of a substitute or sub-agent in the absence of an express agreement
to the contrary between the agent and the principal. In the case at bar, the appointment of
sub-agent was not expressly prohibited by A. Neither does it appear that X was verbally
forbidden by A from passing on the jewelry to another person. Thus, it cannot be said that X's
act of entrusting the jewelry to Y is characterized by abuse of confidence because such an act
was not proscribed and is, in fact, legally sanctioned.
Since properties were given by X to Y to achieve the very same end for which they were
delivered to her in the first place, there is no conversion since the same were not devoted to a
purpose or use different from that agreed upon. Similarly, it cannot be said that X delivered
them to Y "without right." Aside from the fact that no condition or limitation was imposed on
the mode or manner by which X was to effect the sale, it is also consistent with usual practice
for the seller to necessarily part with the valuables in order to find a buyer and allow inspection
of the items for sale (Tabaniag vs. People, GR No. 165411, June 18, 2009).
Can X be held liable for estafa through negligence? Answer: No. In estafa, the profit or
gain must be obtained by the accused personally, through his own acts, and his mere

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negligence in permitting another to take advantage or benefit from the entrusted chattel cannot
constitute estafa (Tabaniag vs. People, GR No. 165411, June 18, 2009).
Can X be held liable for estafa on the basis of conspiracy? Answer: No. If an agent
acted in conspiracy with subagent in carrying out the actual misappropriation, then the former
would be answerable for the acts of his co-conspirators. However, the mere fact that X failed to
return the pieces of jewelry upon demand is not proof of conspiracy, nor is it proof of
misappropriation or conversion (Tabaniag vs. People, GR No. 165411, June 18, 2009).
ESTFA THROUGH ISSUANCE OF BOUNCING CHECK - The essential elements of
estafa through bouncing check: (1) the accused shall defraud another by issuing or postdating
check in payment of an obligation contracted at the time the check is issued; (2) lack or
insufficiency of funds to cover the check; (3) check was issued or postdated prior to or
simultaneously with the parting of money or property by the payee; and (4) damage to the
payee thereof.
It is the criminal fraud or deceit in the issuance of a check that is punishable, not the
non-payment of a debt. Prima facie evidence of deceit exists by law upon proof that the drawer
of the check failed to deposit the amount necessary to cover his check within three days from
receipt of the notice of dishonor. To be guilty of estafa the accused must have used the check
in order to defraud the complainant. What the law punishes is the fraud or deceit, not the mere
issuance of the worthless check. Accused could not be held guilty of estafa simply because he
had issued the check used to defraud complainant. The proof of guilt must still clearly show
that it had been accused as the drawer who had defrauded complainant by means of the
check. Complainant admitted that it was another person who received the rice from him and
who delivered the bearer check to him (People vs. Reyes, GR No. 157943, September 04, 2013).
In order to constitute estafa under this statutory provision, the act of postdating or issuing a
check in payment of an obligation must be the efficient cause of the defraudation. This means
that the offender must be able to obtain money or property from the offended party by reason
of the issuance of the check, whether dated or postdated. In other words, the Prosecution must
show that the person to whom the check was delivered would not have parted with his money
or property were it not for the issuance of the check by the offender (People vs. Reyes, GR No.
157943, September 04, 2013).
ABUSE OF CONFIDENCE AND DECEIT - The offense of estafa, in general, is committed
either by (a) abuse of confidence or (b) means of deceit. The acts constituting estafa committed
with abuse of confidence are enumerated in item (1) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code,
as amended; item (2) of Article 315 enumerates estafa committed by means of deceit. Deceit is
not an essential requisite of estafa by abuse of confidence; the breach of confidence takes the
place of fraud or deceit, which is a usual element in the other estafas (Brokmann vs. People,
G.R. No. 199150, February 6, 2012).
ESTAFA AND OTHER DECEIT - What is the difference between estafa through false
representation and other deceit? The common elements of these two crimes are: (1) false
pretense, fraudulent act or pretense must be made or executed prior to or simultaneously with
the commission of the fraud; and (2) as a result, the offended party suffered damage or
prejudice. It is essential that such false statement or fraudulent representation constitutes the
very cause or the only motive for the private complainant to part with her property. In estafa
under Article 315, the false representation is committed by using fictitious name, or falsely
pretending to possess power, influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency, business or
imaginary transactions; or by means of other similar deceits. Following the principle of
ejusdem generis, other deceit as a means to commit estafa must be similar to pretending to
possess power, imaginary transaction etc. If the deceit is not similar to pretending to possess
power or imaginary transaction, the crime committed is other deceit under Article 318. In
Guinhawa vs. People, G.R. No. 162822 August 25, 2005 () - Fraudulent representation of the
seller that the van to be sold is brand new constitutes other deceit under Article 318. On the
other hand, in People vs. Rubaton, C.A., 65 O.G. 5048, issue of May 19, 1069, false
representation that accused has a palay by reason of which the victim parted his money in
consideration of the palay constitutes estafa under Article 315. Unlike in the Guinhawa case,
the transaction in Rubaton case is imaginary.
Authority to sell - Primelink entered into joint venture agreement with the owner of a
certain land to develop a club. Accused represent to complainant on October 10, 1996
Primelink will finished the Club by July 1998. Because of this representation complainant
purchased a Club share. However, the Club was not completed because the owner of the
property mortgaged it in violation of their agreement. The projected was aborted. Accused is not
liable for estafa for such representation. False pretense of power to develop the Club resulting

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in damage to buyer is estafa. However, the law requires that the false pretense be used prior to
or simultaneous with the execution of the fraud, and that is October 10, 1996. In this case,
there is no showing that Primelink possessed no power (capability) to develop the Club and that
accused knew that the Club was a bogus project. Primelink is a legitimate developer. In fact, it
has already released money for the initial funding of the project. The project was only aborted
because of the problem with the owner of the land, which occurred after October 10, 1996.
However, the false pretense made by accused that Primelink was authorized to sell
membership shares is estafa. False pretense of qualification (to sell securities) is within the
contemplation of the provision on estafa (Lopez vs. People, GR NO. 199294, July 31, 2013)
SUBSEQUENT FRAUD - Is the fraudulent act committed by the accused subsequent to
the time the victim parted his money constitutes estafa? In the prosecution for this kind of
estafa, it is indispensable that the false pretense or fraudulent act is committed prior to or
simultaneously with the commission of the fraud, it being essential that such false statement
or representation constitutes the very cause or the only motive which induces the offended
party to part with his money. In the absence of such requisite, any subsequent act of the
accused, however fraudulent and suspicious it might appear, cannot serve as basis for
prosecution for estafa (Ambito, vs. People, G. R. No. 127327, Feb. 13, 2009).
REPRESENTATION OF FUTURE PROFIT - When will a representation of a future
profits or income be considered as an actionable fraud or estafa? Where one states that the
future profits or income of an enterprise shall be a certain sum, but he actually knows that
there will be none, or that they will be substantially less than he represents, the statements
constitute an actionable fraud where the hearer believes him and relies on the statement to his
injury. In the present case, it is abundantly clear that the profits which Elvira and her coconspirators promised to Elizabeth would not be realized (Joson vs. People, G. R. No. 178836,
July 23, 2008).
OTHER DECEIT- Other deceit under Article 316 (a) of RPC is committed by any person
who, knowing that the real property is encumbered, shall dispose of the same, although such
encumbrance be not recorded. The law was taken from Article 455 of the Spanish Penal Code.
However, the words "como libre" in the Spanish Penal Code, which means "free from
encumbrance" do not appear in the English text of RPC, nonetheless, the same are deemed
incorporated in the RPC. The gravamen of the crime is the disposition of legally encumbered
real property by the offender under the express representation that there is no encumbrance
thereon. Hence, for one to be criminally liable for estafa under the law, the accused must
make an express representation in the deed of conveyance that the property sold or disposed
of is free from any encumbrance (Naya vs. Abing, G.R. No. 146770, February 27, 2003, ).
THEFT
QUALIFIED THEFT - The elements of the crime of theft are: (1) that there be taking of
personal property; (2) that said property belongs to another; (3) that the taking be done with
intent to gain; (4) that the taking be done without the consent of the owner; and (5) that the
taking be accomplished without the use of violence against or intimidation of persons or force
upon things. Theft becomes qualified "if committed by a domestic servant, or with grave abuse
of confidence, or if the property stolen is a motor vehicle, mail matter or large cattle, or consists
of coconuts taken from the premises of a plantation, fish taken from a fishpond or fishery, or if
property is taken on the occasion of fire, earthquake, typhoon, volcanic eruption, or any other
calamity, vehicular accident or civil disturbance (People vs. Bayon, GR No. 168627, July 02,
2010).
ABUSE OF CONFIDENCE - To warrant the conviction and, hence, imposition of the
penalty for qualified theft, there must be an allegation in the information and proof that there
existed between the offended party and the accused such high degree of confidence ]or that the
stolen goods have been entrusted to the custody or vigilance of the accused. In other words,
where the accused had never been vested physical access to, or material possession of, the
stolen goods, it may not be said that he or she exploited such access or material possession
thereby committing such grave abuse of confidence in taking the property (Viray vs. People, GR
No. 205180, November 11, 2013).
In Zapanta vs. People, G.R. No. 170863, March 20, 2013 - Accused betrayed the trust
and confidence reposed on him when he, as project manager, repeatedly took construction
materials from the project site, without the authority and consent of Engr. Marigondon, the
owner of the construction materials. He is liable for qualified theft.

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Taking committed by accused cannot be qualified by the breaking of the door, as it was
not alleged in the Information. Moreover, the same breaking of the door does not constitute the
qualifying element of grave abuse of confidence. The very fact that accused forced open the
main door because he was denied access to complainants house negates the presence of such
confidence in him by private complainant. Without ready access to the interior of the house
where the properties were taken, it cannot be said that complaint had a firm trust on
accused and that the same trust facilitated taking of the personal properties (Viray vs. People,
GR No. 205180, November 11, 2013).
If the subject matter of a crime against property was money, identity of the offended
party is material and necessary for the proper identification of the offense charged. Since
money is generic and has no earmarks that could properly identify it, the only way that it
(money) could be described and identified in a complaint is by connecting it to the offended
party or the individual who was robbed as its owner or possessor. Thus, the erroneous
designation of the offended party would also be material, as the subject matter of the offense
could no longer be described with such particularity as to properly identify the offense charged
(Senador vs. People, GR No. 201620, March 06, 2013).
If the subject matter of a crime against property is specific or one described with such
particularity as to properly identify the offense charged, then an erroneous designation of the
offended party is not material and would not result in the violation of the accuseds
constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against her. Such
error would not result in the acquittal of the accused (Senador vs. People, GR No. 201620,
March 06, 2013).
Accused asserted that the person named as the offended party in the Information is not
the same person who made the demand and filed the complaint. According to accused, the
private complainant in the Information went by the name Cynthia Jaime, whereas, during
trial, the private complainant turned out to be Rita Jaime. Applying the Uba principle, the
case should be dismissed. Is the argument tenable?
Answer: No. The principle in People vs. Uba, 106 Phil. 332 is not applicable. In Uba
case, the appellant was charged with oral defamation, a crime against honor, wherein the
identity of the person against whom the defamatory words were directed is a material element.
Thus, an erroneous designation of the person injured is material. On the contrary, in the
instant case, accused was charged with estafa, a crime against property that does not
absolutely require as indispensable the proper designation of the name of the offended party.
Rather, what is absolutely necessary is the correct identification of the criminal act charged in
the information. Thus, in case of an error in the designation of the offended party in crimes
against property, Rule 110, Sec. 12 of the Rules of Court mandates the correction of the
information, not its dismissal.
In this case, the subject matter of the offense does not refer to money or any other
generic property. Instead, the information specified the subject of the offense as various kinds
of jewelry valued in the total amount of P705,685.00. Thus, The error in the designation of the
offended party in the information is immaterial and did not violate accuseds constitutional
right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against her.
THEFT THROUGH MISAPPROPRIATION - Misappropriation of personal property in
possession of the accused may constitute estafa or theft depending upon the nature of
possession. If his possession of the property is physical or de facto, misappropriation thereof is
constitutive of theft. If the possession is juridical or legal, misappropriation thereof is estafa
through misappropriation.
1. Agency - A travelling sales agent, who failed to return to his principal the proceeds of
goods he was commissioned or authorized to sell, is liable for estafa because his possession is
juridical. Under the Civil Code Article 1914 of the Civil Code, an agent can even assert, as
against his own principal, an independent, autonomous, right to retain money or goods
received in consequence of the agency; as when the principal fails to reimburse him for
advances he has made, and indemnify him for damages suffered without his fault (Guzman
v. Court of Appeals, 99 Phil. 703). On the other hand, branch manager of the company, who
misappropriate payments from customers that he collected and accepted, is liable for qualified
theft. Because of this employer-employee relationship, he cannot be considered an agent of the
company and is not covered by the Civil Code provisions on agency. Money received by an
employee in behalf of his employer is considered to be only in the material possession of the
employee (People vs. Mirto, G.R. No. 193479, October 19, 2011).

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In Carganillo vs. People, G.R. No. 182424, September 22, 2014 Accused received
money from complainant for the purpose of buying palay with the corresponding obligations to
(1) deliver the palay to the Palay Buying Station or (2) return the money in case of failure to
purchase palay. Possession is juridical. Failure to return is estafa.
In Tria vs. People, G.R. No. 204755, September 17, 2014 - By selling the jewelry on
credit, the petitioner used the property for a purpose other than that agreed upon. The words
convert and misappropriate connote an act of using or disposing of anothers property as if
it were ones own or devoting it to a purpose or use different from that agreed upon.
In Velayo vs. People, G.R. No. 204025, November 26, 2014 Accused induced to
complainant to entrust to her the funds for the taxes because she knew someone at the BIR
who could help her facilitate the remittance, and even reduce the amounts due. She received
the money for remit the same to the BIR with full freedom and discretion. Thus, she had
juridical possession of money. The crime committed is estafa,
2. Employer-employee relationship As a rule, the possession of the employee is only
physical possession. Hence, misappropriation of property is considered as theft. If the property
is accessible to the employee, the qualifying circumstance of abuse of confidence can be
appreciated.
In People v. Locson, G.R. No. L-35681, October 18, 1932 - The receiving teller of a bank,
who misappropriated the money received by him for the bank, is liable for qualified theft.
The possession of the teller is the possession of the bank. Payment by third persons to the
teller is payment to the bank itself. The teller has no independent right or title to retain or
possess the same as against the bank.
In Balerta vs. People, G.R. No. 205144, November 26, 2014 Accused was handling the
funds lent by Care Philippines to his employer as cash custodian. Over the funds, she had
mere physical or material possession, but she held no independent right or title, which she can
set up against employer. Hence, juridical possession of the funds as an element of the crime
of estafa by misappropriation is absent.
In Benabaye vs. People, G.R. No. 203466, February 25, 2015 - Accused was merely
a collector of loan payments from clients of his employer. Hence, as an employee of the Bank,
specifically, its temporary cash custodian whose tasks are akin to a bank teller, she had no
juridical possession over the missing funds but only their physical or material possession.
Since the accused was charged with estafa, but the crime proven is theft, the case was
dismissed without prejudice,
Driver of jeepney under boundary arrangement, who did not return the vehicle to its
owner, is liable for carnapping. In People v. Isaac G.R. No. L-7561, April 30, 1955, the rules
prohibits motor vehicle operator from allowing the use and operation of his equipment by
another person under a fixed rental basis. In the eye of the law the driver was only an employee
of the owner rather than a lessee. For being an employee, his possession of the jeepney is
physical, and misappropriation thereof is qualified theft. In People vs. Bustinera, G. R. No.
148233, June 8, 2004, the Supreme Court affirmed the principle in Isaac case, but found the
accused guilty of carnapping in view of the passage of RA No. 6539(Anti-Carnapping Act).
However, there are instances where the possession of the employee is considered as
juridical.
1. In Aigle vs. People, G.R. No. 174181, June 27, 2012 - A corporate officer received the
property to be utilized in the fabrication of bending machines in trust from the corporation and he
has absolute option on how to use them without the participation of the corporation. Upon
demand, the officer failed to account the property. Since the corporate officer received the
property in trust with absolute option on how to use them without the participation of the
corporation, he acquired not only physical possession but also juridical possession over the
equipment. He is liable for estafa through misappropriation.
2. In People vs. Go, G.R. No. 191015, August 6, 2014 The President of the Bank is
holding the banks fund in trust or for administration for the banks benefit. His possession is
juridical. Hence, misappropriating the funds by making fictitious loan is estafa.

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3. In Gamboa vs. People, G.R. No. 188052, April 21, 2014 - Accused employed as
Liaison Officer of a pawnshop received money in trust to secure or renew licenses and permits.
His possession is juridical. Hence, misappropriating the money is estafa.
THEFT OF INTANGIBLE PROPERTY The term "personal property" in the Revised
Penal Code should be interpreted in the context of the Civil Code. Consequently, any personal
property, tangible or intangible, corporeal or incorporeal, capable of appropriation can be the
object of theft. Business may be appropriated under Bulk Sales Law. Thus, the business of
providing telecommunication and the telephone service is a personal property (Laurel vs.
Abrogar, G.R. No. 155076, January 13, 2009,).
The word "take" in the RPC includes controlling the destination of the property stolen to
deprive the owner of the property, such as the use of a meter tampering, use of a device to
fraudulently obtain gas, and the use of a jumper to divert electricity. Appropriation of forces of
nature which are brought under control by science such as electrical energy can be achieved
by tampering with any apparatus used for generating or measuring such forces of nature,
wrongfully redirecting such forces of nature from such apparatus, or using any device to
fraudulently obtain such forces of nature (Laurel vs. Abrogar).
A "phreaker" is one who engages in the act of manipulating phones and illegally
markets telephone services. Phreaking includes the act of engaging in International Simple
Resale (ISR) or the unauthorized routing and completing of international long distance calls
using lines, cables, antennae, and/or air wave frequency and connecting these calls directly to
the local or domestic exchange facilities of the country where destined (Laurel vs. Abrogar, G.R.
No. 155076, February 27, 2006 and January 13, 2009).
Can PLDT validly claim that the long distance calls are its properties stolen by the
phreaker? No. International long distance calls take the form of electrical energy. It cannot be
said that such international long distance calls were personal properties belonging to PLDT
since the latter could not have acquired ownership over such calls. PLDT merely encodes,
augments, enhances, decodes and transmits said calls using its complex communications
infrastructure and facilities. PLDT not being the owner of said telephone calls, then it could
not validly claim that such telephone calls were taken without its consent (Laurel vs. Abrogar).
Telephone calls belong to the persons making the calls.
Can phreaker be held criminally liable for engaging in ISR involving the telephone
facilities of PLDT? Yes. Phreaker can be held liable for access device fraud under RA No. 8484
and theft under the Revised Penal Code.PLDTs business of providing telecommunication or
telephone service is personal property which can be the object of theft. While telephone calls
are not properties belonging to PLDT that can be stolen, it is the use of these communications
facilities without the consent of PLDT that constitutes the crime of theft, which is the unlawful
taking of the telephone services and business.The act of conducting ISR operations by illegally
connecting various equipment or apparatus to PLDTs telephone system, through which
petitioner is able to resell or re-route international long distance calls using respondent PLDTs
facilities constitutes acts of subtraction (taking)penalized under the said article(Laurel vs.
Abrogar).
THEFT OF BULKY GOODS - Is the ability of the accused to freely dispose of bulky
goods stolen from the owner determinative as to the consummation of theft? No. In Valenzuela
vs. People, G. R. No. 160188, June 21, 2007, the Supreme Court En Banc expressly
abandoned the principle in Dio case. It was held that: The ability of the offender to freely
dispose of the property stolen is not a constitutive element of the crime of theft. Such factor
runs immaterial to the statutory definition of theft, which is the taking, with intent to gain, of
personal property of another without the latters consent. While the Dio dictum is considerate
to the mindset of the offender, the statutory definition of theft considers only the perspective of
intent to gain on the part of the offender, compounded by the deprivation of property on the
part of the victim.
Unlawful taking is deemed complete from the moment the offender gains possession of
the thing, even if he has no opportunity to dispose of the same. Unlawful taking, which is the
deprivation of ones personal property, is the element which produces the felony in its
consummated stage. At the same time, without unlawful taking as an act of execution, the
offense could only be attempted theft, if at all. Thus, theft cannot have a frustrated stage. Theft
can only be attempted or consummated (Valenzuela vs. People, G. R. No. 160188, June 21,
2007, En Banc).

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THEFT OF CHECK - In Miranda vs. People, G.R. No. 176298, January 25, 2012 Petitioner was entrusted with checks payable to complainant by virtue of her position as
accountant and bookkeeper. She deposited the said checks to the joint account maintained by
complainant, then withdrew a total of P797,187.85 from said joint account using the presigned checks, with her as the payee. Petitioner argued that full ownership of the thing stolen
needed to be established first before she could be convicted of qualified theft. Held: The subject
of the crime of theft is any personal property belonging to another. Hence, as long as the
property taken does not belong to the accused, who has a valid claim thereover, it is immaterial
whether said offender stole it from the owner, a mere possessor, or even a thief of the property.
ROBBERY
Robbery with homicide exists when a homicide is committed either by reason, or on
occasion, of the robbery. To sustain a conviction for robbery with homicide, the prosecution
must prove the following elements: (1) the taking of personal property is committed with
violence or intimidation against persons; (2) the property belongs to another; (3) the taking
is animo lucrandi or with intent to gain; and (4) on the occasion or by reason of the robbery, the
crime of homicide, as used in the generic sense, was committed.
a. Intent to rob - A conviction needs certainty that the robbery is the central purpose
and objective of the malefactor and the killing is merely incidental to the robbery. The intent to
rob must precede the taking of human life, but the killing may occur before, during or after the
robbery (People vs. Ladiana, GR No. 174660, May 30, 2011).
Assuming that robbery was indeed committed, the prosecution must establish with
certitude that the killing was a mere incident to the robbery, the latter being the perpetrators
main purpose and objective. It is not enough to suppose that the purpose of the author of the
homicide was to rob; a mere presumption of such fact is not sufficient. Stated in a different
manner, a conviction requires certitude that the robbery is the main purpose, and objective of
the malefactor and the killing is merely incidental to the robbery. The intent to rob must
precede the taking of human life but the killing may occur before, during or after the robbery.
What is crucial for a conviction for the crime of robbery with homicide is for the prosecution to
firmly establish the offenders intent to take personal property before the killing, regardless of
the time when the homicide is actually carried out (People vs. Gatarin, GR NO. 198022, April
07, 2014).
b. Intent to kill and rob - However, the law does not require that the sole motive of
the malefactor is robbery and commits homicide by reason or on the occasion thereof. In one
case, it was ruled that even if the malefactor intends to kill and rob another, it does not
preclude his conviction for the special complex crime of robbery with homicide. The fact that
the intent of the felons was tempered with a desire also to avenge grievances against the
victim killed, does not negate the conviction of the accused and punishment for robbery with
homicide (People vs. Daniela, G.R. No. 139230, April 24, 2003).
c. Robbing, killing and raping - A conviction for robbery with homicide is proper even
if the homicide is committed before, during or after the commission of the robbery. The
homicide may be committed by the actor at the spur of the moment or by mere accident. Even
if two or more persons are killed and a woman is raped and physical injuries are inflicted on
another, on the occasion or by reason of robbery, there is only one special complex crime of
robbery with homicide. What is primordial is the result obtained without reference or
distinction as to the circumstances, cause, modes or persons intervening in the commission of
the crime (People vs. Daniela, G.R. No. 139230, April 24, 2003).
d. One of the robbers is the victim of homicide - It is immaterial that the death
would supervene by mere accident; or that the victim of homicide is other than the victim of
robbery, or that two or more persons are killed or that aside from the homicide, rape,
intentional mutilation, or usurpation of authority, is committed by reason or on the occasion of
the crime. Likewise immaterial is the fact that the victim of homicide is one of the robbers; the
felony would still be robbery with homicide. Once a homicide is committed by or on the
occasion of the robbery, the felony committed is robbery with homicide. All the felonies
committed by reason of or on the occasion of the robbery are integrated into one and indivisible
felony of robbery with homicide. The word homicide is used in its generic sense. Homicide,
thus, includes murder, parricide, and infanticide (People vs. Laog, G.R. No. 178321, October 5,
2011; (People vs. Ebet, GR No. 181635, November 15, 2010; People vs. De Leon, GR No.
179943, June 26, 2009; People vs. Diu, GR No. 201449, April 03, 2013).

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In People vs. Concepcion, G.R. No. 200922, July 18, 2012 - Accused snatched victims
shoulder bag which was hanging on her left shoulder. No violence, intimidation or force was
used in snatching her shoulder bag. Given the facts, the snatching of shoulder bag constitutes
the crime of theft, not robbery. Accuseds co-conspirator, who was driving the motorcycle, died
because he lost control of the motorcycle and crashed in front of a taxi. Since accused as
passenger in the motorcycle, did not perform or execute any act that caused the death of his
companion, he cannot be held liable for homicide.
e. Homicide through reckless imprudence - In robbery with homicide, the original
criminal design of the malefactor is to commit robbery, with homicide perpetrated on the
occasion or by reason of the robbery. The intent to commit robbery must precede the taking of
human life. The homicide may take place before, during or after the robbery. It is only the
result obtained, without reference or distinction as to the circumstances, causes or modes or
persons intervening in the commission of the crime that has to be taken into consideration.
There is no such felony of robbery with homicide through reckless imprudence or simple
negligence. The constitutive elements of the crime, namely, robbery and homicide, must be
consummated (People vs. Ebet, GR No. 181635, November 15, 2010; People vs. De Leon, GR
No. 179943, June 26, 2009; People vs. Diu, GR No. 201449, April 03, 2013).
f. Failure to present the stolen property - Intent to rob is an internal act but may be
inferred from proof of violent unlawful taking of personal property. When the fact of taking has
been established beyond reasonable doubt, conviction of the accused is justified even if the
property subject of the robbery is not presented in court. After all, the property stolen may
have been abandoned or thrown away and destroyed by the robber or recovered by the owner.
The prosecution is not burdened to prove the actual value of the property stolen or amount
stolen from the victim. Whether the robber knew the actual amount in the possession of the
victim is of no moment because the motive for robbery can exist regardless of the exact amount
or value involved (People vs. Ebet, GR No. 181635, November 15, 2010; People vs. De Leon, GR
No. 179943, June 26, 2009; People vs. Diu, GR No. 201449, April 03, 2013).
g. Direct connection between robbery and homicide - Essential for conviction of
robbery with homicide is proof of a direct relation, an intimate connection between the
robbery and the killing, whether the latter be prior or subsequent to the former or whether
both crimes were committed at the same time (People vs. Buyagan, G.R. No. 187733, February
8, 2012). Homicide is said to have been committed by reason or on the occasion of robbery if,
for instance, it was committed to (a) facilitate the robbery or the escape of the culprit; (b) to
preserve the possession by the culprit of the loot; (c) to prevent discovery of the commission of
the robbery; or, (d) to eliminate witnesses in the commission of the crime. As long as there is a
nexus between the robbery and the homicide, the latter crime may be committed in a place
other than the situs of the robbery (People vs. Ebet, GR No. 181635, November 15, 2010,).
h. Claim of ownership - The 10th floor unit of a building is owned by a corporation and
served as the family residence prior to the death of the parents of X and A. The unit, including
the personal properties inside, is the subject of estate proceedings pending in another court
and is, therefore, involved in the disputed claims among the siblings. X armed with a Board
Resolution authorizing him to break open the door lock system of 10 th floor unit of a building
and to install a new door lock system went up to the subject unit to implement said resolution.
According to A, X brought out from the unit her personal belongings. Is X liable for robbery?
Answer: No. X took property openly and avowedly under that claim of ownership. The
fact that these properties were taken under claim of ownership negates the element of intent to
gain. One who takes the property openly and avowedly under claim of title offered in good faith
is not guilty of robbery even though the claim of ownership is untenable. X should not be held
liable for the alleged unlawful act absent a felonious intent. Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit
rea. A crime is not committed if the mind of the person performing the act complained of is
innocent (Sy vs. Gutierrez, GR No. 171579, November 14, 2012).
i. Robbery with rape - To be convicted of robbery with rape, the following elements
must concur: (1) the taking of personal property is committed with violence or intimidation
against persons; (2) the property taken belongs to another; (3) the taking is characterized by
intent to gain or animus lucrandi; and (4) the robbery is accompanied by rape (People vs.
Evangelio, GR No. 181902, August 31, 2011).
The following circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution, when analyzed and
taken together, lead to the inescapable conclusion that the accused raped AAA: first, while two
of the robbers were stealing, appellant and one of the robbers brought AAA inside the comfort
room; second, inside the comfort room, AAA was stripped off her clothes and her panty; third,

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when AAA resisted and struggled, appellant and the other robber banged her head against the
wall, causing her to lose consciousness; fourth, when she regained consciousness, the culprits
were already gone and she saw her shorts and panty strewn at her side; and fifth, she suffered
pain in her knees, head, stomach and, most of all, in her vagina which was then bleeding
(People vs. Evangelio, GR No. 181902, August 31, 2011).
UNINHABITED HOUSE - In Marquez vs. People, G.R. No. 181138, December 3, 2012 The records show that the store alleged to have been robbed by petitioners is not an inhabited
house, public building or building dedicated to religious worship and their dependencies under
Article 299 and as defined under Article 301. From Valderosas testimony, it can be deduced
that the establishment allegedly robbed was a store not used as a dwelling. In fact, after the
robbery took place, there was a need to inform Valderosa of the same as she was obviously not
residing in the store. If the store was not actually occupied at the time of the robbery and was
not used as a dwelling, since the owner lived in a separate house, the robbery committed
therein is punished under Article 302. Neither was the place where the store is located owned
by the government. It was actually just a stall rented by Valderosa from a private person.
Hence, the applicable provision in this case is Article 302 and not Article 299 of the RPC.
CARNAPPING - Under the Anti-Carnapping Act, the penalty of reclusion perpetua to
death shall be imposed when the owner or driver of the vehicle is killed in the course of the
commission of the carnapping or on the occasion thereof. To prove the special complex crime of
carnapping with homicide, there must be proof not only of the essential elements of
carnapping, but also that it was the original criminal design of the culprit and the killing was
perpetrated "in the course of the commission of the carnapping or on the occasion thereof"
(People vs. Nocum et. Al., G.R. No. 179041, April 1, 2013).
Under RA 9346, persons convicted of offenses punishable with reclusion perpetua or
whose sentences will be reduced to reclusion perpetua by reason of this law, shall not be
eligible for parole.
ARSON
Is it necessary for the prosecution to prove wrongful intent to burn on the part of the
accused to establish arson? No. Although intent may be an ingredient of the crime of arson, it
may be inferred from the acts of the accused. There is a presumption that one intends the
natural consequences of his act; and when it is shown that one has deliberately set fire to a
building, the prosecution is not bound to produce further evidence of his wrongful intent. If
there is an eyewitness to the crime of arson, he can give in detail the acts of the
accused. When this is done the only substantial issue is the credibility of the witness (People
vs. De Leon, G. R. No. 180762, March 4, 2009).
What is the crime committed if the offender burned the building and there is person
who died? In the classification of crimes committed by fire involving the killing of the victim,
attention must be given to the intention of the author. Main objective of the offender
determines the kind of crime committed. (a) Intent to burn If the main objective is the
burning of the building or edifice, but death results by reason or on the occasion of arson, the
crime is simply arson (qualified by dead of the victim), and the resulting homicide is absorbed.
(b) Intent to kill If the main objective is to kill a particular person who may be in a building or
edifice, when fire is resorted to as the means to accomplish such goal the crime committed
is murder only. When the Code declares that killing committed by means of fire is murder, it
intends that fire should be purposely adopted as a means to that end. There can be no murder
without a design to take life. Murder qualified by means of fire absorbs the crime of arson since
the latter is an inherent means to commit the former (People vs. Baluntong, G.R. No. 182061,
March 15, 2010; People vs. Cedenio, G.R. No. 93485, June 27, 1994) (c) Intent to conceal If
the objective is to kill, and in fact the offender has already done so, and arson is resorted to as
a means to cover up the killing, the offender may be convicted of two separate crimes of either
homicide or murder, and arson.
Article 320 of RPC contemplates the malicious burning of structures, both public and
private, hotels, buildings, edifices, trains, vessels, aircraft, factories and other military,
government or commercial establishments by any person or group of persons. Section 3 of PD
No. 1613, on the other hand, currently governs simple arson. P.D. No. 1613 contemplates the
malicious burning of public and private structures, regardless of size, not included in Article
320 of the RPC, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659. This law punishes simple arson with a
lesser penalty because the acts that constitute it have a lesser degree of perversity and
viciousness. Simple arson contemplates crimes with less significant social, economic, political,
and national security implications than destructive arson (People vs. Macabando, GR No.

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188708, July 31, 2013). Burning of inhabited house or dwelling is simple arson under Section
3 of P.D. No. 1613, and not destructive arson under RPC. Burning personal property is also
simple arson under Section 1 of PD No. 1613.
The nature of Destructive Arson is distinguished from Simple Arson by the degree of
perversity or viciousness of the criminal offender. The acts committed under Art. 320 of The
Revised Penal Code constituting Destructive Arson are characterized as heinous crimes "for
being grievous, odious and hateful offenses and which, by reason of their inherent or manifest
wickedness, viciousness, atrocity and perversity are repugnant and outrageous to the common
standards and norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered society." On the
other hand, acts committed under PD 1613 constituting Simple Arson are crimes with a lesser
degree of perversity and viciousness that the law punishes with a lesser penalty. In other
words, Simple Arson contemplates crimes with less significant social, economic, political and
national security implications than Destructive Arson (People vs. Macabando, GR No. 188708,
July 31, 2013).
The Information alleged that the appellant set fire to his own house, and that the fire
spread to other inhabited houses. These allegations were established by evidence. The accused
testified that his burnt two-story house was used as a residence. That the appellants act
affected many families will not convert the crime to destructive arson, since the appellants act
does not appear to be heinous or represents a greater degree of perversity and viciousness
when compared to those acts punished under Article 320 of the RPC. The established evidence
only showed that the appellant intended to burn his own house, but the conflagration spread
to the neighboring houses (People vs. Macabando, GR No. 188708, July 31, 2013). Note:
Setting fire to his own property under circumstances which expose to danger the life or
property of another is arson under Section 1 of PD No. 1613.
CRIMES AGAINST LIBERTY AND SECURITY
KIDNAPPING
As for the crime of kidnapping, the following elements, as provided in Article 267 of the
Revised Penal Code, must be proven: (a) a person has been deprived of his liberty, (b) the
offender is a private individual, and (c) the detention is unlawful. (People vs. Jovel, G.R. No.
189820. October 10, 2012).
The crime has the following elements: (1) the offender is a private individual; (2) he
kidnaps or detains another, or in any manner deprives the latter of his liberty; (3) the act of
detention or kidnapping is illegal; and (4) in the commission of the offense, any of the following
circumstances is present: (a) the kidnapping or detention lasts for more than three days; (b) it
is committed by simulating public authority; (c) any serious physical injuries are inflicted upon
the person kidnapped or detained or threats to kill him are made; or (d) the person kidnapped
or detained is a minor, female or a public official (People vs. Jacalney, GR No. 168552, October
03, 2011).
The essence of the crime of kidnapping is the actual deprivation of the victim's liberty,
coupled with the intent of the accused to effect it. It includes not only the imprisonment of a
person but also the deprivation of his liberty in whatever form and for whatever length of
time. It involves a situation where the victim cannot go out of the place of confinement or
detention, or is restricted or impeded in his liberty to move (People vs. Jacalney, GR No.
168552, October 03, 2011).
X dragged A, a minor, to his house after the latter refused to go with him. Upon
reaching the house, X tied her hands. When A pleaded that she be allowed to go home, he
refused. After more or less one hour, X released A and instructed her on how she could go
home. What is the crime committed? Answer: The crime committed is kidnapping and serious
illegal detention. When X tied the hands of A, the former's intention to deprive the latter of her
liberty has been clearly shown. For there to be kidnapping, it is enough that the victim is
restrained from going home. Because of her tender age, and because she did not know her way
back home, she was then and there deprived of her liberty. This is irrespective of the length of
time that she stayed in such a situation. If the victim is a minor, the duration of his detention
is immaterial (People vs. Jacalney, GR No. 168552, October 03, 2011).
X seized A, 9 years of age, him by twisting his right arm, pointed a knife at him. X
brought A to a in a place strange and unfamiliar to him. Because of his tender age, he did not
know the way back home. X called victims mother to inform her that the child is in his custody
and of threatening her that she will no longer see her son if she failed to show his wife to him.

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In a case for kidnapping and serious illegal detention, X argued s free to go home if he wanted
to because he was not confined, detained or deprived of his liberty. Is the argument tenable?
Answer: No. For kidnapping to exist, it is not necessary that the offender kept the victim in an
enclosure or treated him harshly. Where the victim in a kidnapping case is a minor, it becomes
even more irrelevant whether the offender forcibly restrained the victim. Leaving a child in a
place from which he did not know the way home, even if he had the freedom to roam around
the place of detention, would still amount to deprivation of liberty. For under such a situation,
the childs freedom remains at the mercy and control of the abductor (People vs. Baluya, GR
No. 181822, April 13, 2011, ).
In this case, victim, a minor, was not locked up. However, she was seized and taken
from her house through force and dragged to the mountain. Since then, she was restrained of
her liberty by and kept under the control of accused. She was prevented from going back home
for a period of about six days. Accused is guilty of kidnapping and illegally detaining victim
even if she was not lock-up. Under the Spanish Penal Code, the modes of committing illegal
detention is "Secuestrare" and "Encerrare". "Secuestrare" means sequestration. To sequester is
to separate for a special purpose, remove or set apart, withdraw from circulation. It also means
to lock-up or imprison. "Encerrare" is a broader concept than secuestrare. Encerrare includes
not only the imprisonment of a person but also the deprivation of his liberty in whatever form
and for whatever length of time (People vs. Baldago, G.R. No. 128106-07, January 24, 2003).
THREATS
What is the difference among grave threats, light threats and other light threats?
In grave threats, the wrong threatened amounts to a crime which may or may not be
accompanied by a condition. In light threats, the wrong threatened does not amount to a crime
but is always accompanied by a condition. In other light threats, the wrong threatened does
not amount to a crime and there is no condition (Calauag vs. People, (G. R. No. 171511, March
4, 2009).
BLACKMAIL
Blackmailing may constitute: (1) Light threats under Article 283; (2) Threatening to
publish, or offering to prevent the publication of, a libel for compensation under Article 356;
and (3) robbery with intimidation against person. Example: X, DENR officer, threatened to
confiscate the hot logs from complainant and prosecute it for illegal logging unless the latter
will give her P100,000. Complainant gave X the amount demanded. The crime committed is
robbery with intimidation (extortion). In robbery with intimidation of persons, the intimidation
consists in causing or creating fear in the mind of a person or in bringing in a sense of mental
distress in view of a risk or evil that may be impending, real or imagined. Such fear of injury to
person or property must continue to operate in the mind of the victim at the time of the
delivery of the money. In this case, the P100,000.00 "grease money" was taken by X from
complainant through intimidation. By using her position as the DENR officer, X succeeded in
coercing the complainants to choose between two alternatives: to part with their money, or
suffer the burden and humiliation of prosecution and confiscation of the logs (Sazon vs.
Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 150873, February 10, 2009).
CRIMES AGAINST CIVIL STATUS
A priest, who performed a marriage ceremony despite knowledge that the couple had no
marriage license, is liable for illegal marriage. The non-filing of a criminal complaint against the
couple does not negate criminal liability of the petitioner. Article 352 does not make this an
element of the crime.
Bigamy
Even if the first marriage is null and avoid because of psychological incapacity of either
or both parties (Wiegel v. Sempio-Diy, 143 SCRA 499) or the absence of a marriage license or of
an affidavit of cohabitation (Lasanas vs. People, G.R. No. 159031, June 23, 2014), contracting
a second marriage constitutes the crime of bigamy unless a judicial declaration of the nullity of
the first marriage has been secured beforehand.
However, the principle that one who enters into a subsequent marriage without first
obtaining such judicial declaration is guilty of bigamy is not applicable where the parties
merely signed the marriage contract without marriage ceremony performed by a duly authorized
solemnizing officer. The mere private act of signing a marriage contract bears no semblance to
a valid marriage and thus, needs no judicial declaration of nullity. Such act alone, without

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more, cannot be deemed to constitute an ostensibly valid marriage for which one might be held
liable for bigamy unless he first secures a judicial declaration of nullity before he contracts a
subsequent marriage. The law abhors an injustice and the Court is mandated to liberally
construe a penal statute in favor of an accused and weigh every circumstance in favor of the
presumption of innocence to ensure that justice is done (Morigo vs. People, G.R. No. 145226,
February 06, 2004).
X married A, but during the subsistence of such marriage X married B. A filed a
complaint for bigamy against X. X filed a petition for the annulment of his first marriage with
A on the ground of psychological incapacity which was granted. X moved for the quashal of the
information and dismissal of the criminal complaint alleging that his first marriage had already
been declared void ab initio. (a) Is the argument tenable?
No. Article 40 of the Family Code has settled once and for all the conflicting
jurisprudence on the matter. A declaration of the absolute nullity of a marriage is now
explicitly required either as a cause of action or a ground for defense. It has been held in a
number of cases that a judicial declaration of nullity is required before a valid subsequent
marriage can be contracted; or else, what transpires is a bigamous marriage, reprehensible and
immoral.
What makes a person criminally liable for bigamy is when he contracts a second or
subsequent marriage during the subsistence of a valid marriage. Parties to the marriage should
not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for the same must be submitted to the
judgment of competent courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so declared can it be
held as void, and so long as there is no such declaration, the presumption is that the marriage
exists. Therefore, he who contracts a second marriage before the judicial declaration of nullity
of the first marriage assumes the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy. Otherwise, a person who
commits bigamy can simply evade prosecution by immediately filing a petition for the
declaration of nullity of his earlier marriage and hope that a favorable decision is rendered
therein before anyone institutes a complaint against him (People vs. Odtuhan, GR No. 191566,
July 17, 2013).
(b) Would your answer be the same if the declaration of nullity of the first marriage was
obtained before the filing of the complaint for bigamy against X?
Yes. Settled is the rule that criminal culpability attaches to the offender upon the
commission of the offense and from that instant, liability appends to him until extinguished as
provided by law and that the time of filing of the criminal complaint or information is material
only for determining prescription (People vs. Odtuhan, GR No. 191566, July 17, 2013, ).
(c) Would your answer be the same if the first marriage was contracted prior to the
Family Code?
Yes. Article 40, which is a rule of procedure, should be applied retroactively because
Article 256 of the Family Code itself provides that said "Code shall have retroactive effect
insofar as it does not prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights." The fact that procedural
statutes may somehow affect the litigants' rights may not preclude their retroactive application
to pending actions. The retroactive application of procedural laws is not violative of any right of
a person who may feel that he is adversely affected. The reason is that as a general rule, no
vested right may attach to, nor arise from, procedural laws (Jarillo vs. People, GR No. 164435,
June 29, 2010, ).
(d) Would your answer be the same if the second marriage was the one declared null
and void?
Yes. It is a settled rule that the criminal culpability attaches to the offender upon the
commission of the offense, and from that instant, liability appends to him until extinguished as
provided by law. It is clear then that the crime of bigamy was committed by X from the time he
contracted the second marriage with B. Thus, the finality of the judicial declaration of nullity of
Xs second marriage does not impede the filing of a criminal charge for bigamy against him
(Walter vs. People, GR No. 183805, July 03, 2013, ).
(e) Would your answer be the same if both the first marriage and the second marriage
are declared null and void?
Yes. The subsequent judicial declaration of nullity of Xs two marriages cannot be
considered a valid defense in the crime of bigamy. The moment X contracted a second marriage

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without the previous one having been judicially declared null and void, the crime of bigamy
was already consummated because at the time of the celebration of the second marriage, first
marriage, which had not yet been declared null and void by a court of competent jurisdiction,
was deemed valid and subsisting. Neither would a judicial declaration of the nullity of second
marriage make any difference. Since a marriage contracted during the subsistence of a valid
marriage is automatically void, the nullity of this second marriage is not per se an argument for
the avoidance of criminal liability for bigamy. What the law penalizes is the mere act of
contracting a second or subsequent marriage during the subsistence of a valid marriage" (Jarillo
vs. People, GR No. 164435, September 29, 2009)
Illegal marriage
In Ronulo vs. People, G.R. No. 182438, July 02, 2014 - Article 352 of the RPC, as
amended, penalizes an authorized solemnizing officer who shall perform or authorize any illegal
marriage ceremony. The elements of this crime are as follows: (1) authority of the solemnizing
officer; and (2) his performance of an illegal marriage ceremony. The law sets the minimum
requirements constituting a marriage ceremony: first, there should be the personal appearance
of the contracting parties before a solemnizing officer; and second, their declaration in the
presence of not less than two witnesses that they take each other as husband and wife. For
purposes of determining if a marriage ceremony has been conducted, a marriage certificate is
not included in the requirements.
CRIMES AGAINST HONOR
DEFAMATION
Is truthful defamatory imputation against private individual and government employee
a defense in libel? Proof of truth of defamatory imputation against private individual is a
defense if it is published with good motives and for justifiable ends. Proof of the truth of
defamatory imputation against government employees is a defense: (1) if it is published with
good motives and for justifiable ends; or (2) if the act or omission imputed constitutes a crime;
or (3) if the imputation not constituting a crime is related to the discharge of his duties.
Truthfulness of imputation of a crime or a function-related defamatory act against a public
officer is a defense even though he does not prove that the imputation was published with good
motives and for justifiable ends (Vasquez vs. CA, G.R. No. 118971, September 15, 1999).
MALICE - What are the different rules on presumption involving malice as an element
of libel or oral defamation? 1. Disputable presumption of malice - Every defamatory imputation
is presumed to be malicious. Presumed malice is also known as malice in law. However, the
following circumstances negate the presumption of malice in a defamatory statement: (1) if
there is a good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown; (2) if the defamatory
statements is a qualified privilege communication such (a) A private communication made by
any person to another in the performance of any legal, moral or social duty; and (b) A fair and
true report, made in good faith, without any comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative
or other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or of any statement, report or
speech delivered in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers in the
exercise of their functions (Article 354 of RPC). The enumeration under Article 354 is not an
exclusive list of qualifiedly privileged communications since fair commentaries on matters of
public interest are likewise privileged (Borjal vs. CA, G.R. No. 126466 January 14, 1999). 2.
Conclusive presumption of lack of malice If the defamatory statements are an absolute
privilege communication, lack of malice is conclusively presumed. Thus, the person making
defamatory imputation is not answerable for libel. Absolutely privileged communications are
those which are not actionable even if the author has acted in bad faith such as speech or
debate in the Congress or in any Committee thereof (Philippine Journalists, Inc vs. Thoenen,
G.R. No. 143372, December 13, 2005) or words uttered or published in the course of judicial
proceedings, provided the statements are pertinent or relevant to the case (Malit vs. People,
G.R. No. L-58681, May 31, 1982).
FAIR COMMENT DOCTRINE - What is the doctrine of fair comment? Under this
doctrine, fair commentaries on matters of public interest are privileged and constitute a valid
defense in an action for libel or slander. The doctrine of fair comment means that while in
general every defamatory and public imputation is deemed false, and every false imputation is
deemed malicious, nevertheless, when the defamatory imputation is directed against a public
person in his public capacity, it is not necessarily actionable. In order that such defamatory
imputation to a public official may be actionable, it must either be a false allegation of fact or a
comment based on a false supposition. If the comment is an expression of opinion, based on
established facts, then it is immaterial that the opinion happens to be mistaken, as long as it

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might reasonably be inferred from the facts (Borjal vs. CA, G.R. No. 126466, January 14,
1999).
What is the difference between fair and true report, and fair comment as a privilege
communications? (1) In fair and true report, the accused makes a report on the functionrelated acts performed by public officers without any comments or remarks. On the other hand,
in fair comment, the accused is making a comment on the function-related acts performed by
public officers. (2) In fair and true report, the prosecution must prove actual malice i.e., such
as the report was made in bad faith. In fair comment, the prosecution must actual malice i.e.,
comment was made with knowledge that comment was false or with reckless disregard of
whether it was false or not (Sulivan vs. Newyork Times doctrine; Guingguing vs. the Honorable
Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 128959, September 30, 2005) Only false statements made with the
high degree of awareness of their probable falsity demanded by New York Times may be the
subject of either civil or criminal sanctions (Flor vs. People, G.R. No. 139987, March 31, 2005).
(3) In fair and true report, the report involving defamatory statement must be true. In fair
comment, the defamatory imputation in the commentary is not true but the accused has no
knowledge that it is false and has not recklessly disregarded to know whether it is false or not.
Is error or misstatement in commentaries on function related acts of public officer
actionable in a news articles for being libelous? Even assuming that the contents of the articles
are false, mere error, inaccuracy or even falsity alone does not prove actual malice. Errors or
misstatements are inevitable in any scheme of truly free expression and debate. Consistent
with good faith and reasonable care, the press should not be held to account, to a point of
suppression, for honest mistakes or imperfections in the choice of language. There must be
some room for misstatement of fact as well as for misjudgment. Only by giving them much
leeway and tolerance can they courageously and effectively function as critical agencies in our
democracy (Borjal vs. CA, G.R. No. 126466, January 14, 1999).
Brillante implicated Jejomar Binay, then the OIC Mayor of Makati, and Dr. Nemesio
Prudente, then President of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in a planned
assassination of Syjuco as well as election-related terrorism. Is the doctrine of fair comment
applicable in this libel case? The New York Times principle is not applicable since the
utterances are unrelated to a public officers performance of his duties (Brillante vs. CA, G.R.
Nos. 118757 & 121571, October 19, 2004). Obviously, commission of murder and terrorism is
not related to the performance of their duties as public officers.
Cristy Fermin imputed to Annabelle Rama Gutierrez an actress the crime of
malversation and of vices or defects for being fugitives from the law and of being a wastrel. Is
the doctrine of fair comment applicable in this libel case? No. It is unrelated to public figures
work (Fermin vs. People, G.R. No. 157643, March 28, 2008). The defamatory imputation has
nothing to do to with works of Annabelle as a as an actress.
In his series of articles of Erwin Tulfo, he targeted one Atty. "Ding" So of the Bureau of
Customs as being involved in criminal activities, and was using his public position for personal
gain. He went even further than that, and called Atty. So an embarrassment to his religion,
saying "ikawnayataangpinakagago at magnanakawsamiyembronito." He accused Atty. So of
stealing from the government with his alleged corrupt activities. And when Atty. So filed a libel
suit against him, Tulfo wrote another article, challenging Atty. So, saying,
"Nagalititongtarantadongsi
Atty.
So
dahilbinabantayankosiya
at
in-expose
angkagaguhanniyasa [Bureau of Customs]." In his testimony, Tulfo admitted that he did not
personally know Atty. So, and had neither met nor known him prior to the publication of the
subject articles. He also admitted that he did not conduct a more in-depth research of his
allegations before he published them, and relied only on his source at the Bureau of Customs.
Is Tulfo liable for Libel? Yes. Journalists bear the burden of writing responsibly when practicing
their profession, even when writing about public figures or matters of public interest. The
report made by Tulfo cannot be considered as "fair" and "true" since he did not do research
before making his allegations, and it has been shown that these allegations were baseless. The
articles are not "fair and true reports," but merely wild accusations. He had written and
published the subject articles with reckless disregard of whether the same were false or not
(Erwin Tulfo vs. People, G.R. No. 161032, September 16, 2008).
The article in Bander newspaper details the sexual activities of a certain Miss S and
one Philip Henson who had a romantic liaison. The words used in the article convey that
Miss S is a sexual libertine with unusually wanton proclivities in the bedroom. Is the article
defamatory and malicious? Is the writer liable for libel? Yes. In a society such as ours, where
modesty is still highly prized among young ladies, the behavior attributed to Miss S by the
article in question had besmirched both her character and reputation. Since on its face the

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article is defamatory, there is a presumption that the offender acted with malice. However, the
writer cannot be held liable for libel. The libelous article, while referring to "Miss S," does not
give a sufficient description or other indications which identify "Miss S." In short, the article
fails to show that "Miss S" and complainant are one and the same person. Although the article
is libelous, complainant could not have been the person defamed therein (Diaz v. People, G.R.
No. 159787, May 25, 2007).
INTERNET LIBEL - Under Article 355, a libel committed by means of writing, printing,
lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic
exhibition, or any similar means. Is the internet used to post a malicious defamatory
imputation through facebook within the contemplation of the phrase any similar means in
Article 355? Yes. Writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting,
theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition has a common characteristic, and that is,
their permanent nature as a means of publication, and this explains the graver penalty for libel
than that prescribed for oral defamation (People vs. Santiago, G.R. No. L-17663, May 30,
1962). Hence, the phrase any similar means should be understood in the lights of the said
common characteristic of the means to commit libel. Since nature of internet as a means of
publication is likewise permanent, it should be considered as a means to commit libel.
What is the venue for internet libel committed? As a general rule, the venue of libel
cases where the complainant is a private individual is limited to only either of two places,
namely: 1) where the complainant actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense;
or 2) where the alleged defamatory article was printed and first published (Article 360 of
RPC).However, the place where libelous article was accessed by the offended party in the
internet is not equivalent to the place where the libelous article is printed and first published.
To rule otherwise is to allow the evil sought to be prevented by the amendment to Article 360,
and that was the indiscriminate laying of the venue in libel cases in distant, isolated or farflung areas, to harass an accused. At any rate, Article 360 still allow offended party to file the
civil or criminal complaint for internet libel in their respective places of residence (Bonifacio vs.
RTC, Makati, Branch 149, G.R. No. 184800, May 5, 2010).
Libel is not a constitutionally protected speech and that the government has an
obligation to protect private individuals from defamation. Indeed, cyber libel is actually not a
new crime since Article 353, in relation to Article 355 of the penal code, already punishes it. In
effect, Section 4(c)(4) above merely affirms that online defamation constitutes similar means
for committing libel (Disini vs. Secretary of Justice, G.R. No. 20335, February 18. 2014).
VENUE - The rules on venue for libel in Article 360 of RPC are as follows: (1) Whether
the offended party is a public official or a private person, the criminal action may be filed in the
Regional Trial Court of the province or city where the libelous article is printed and first
published; (2) If the offended party is a private individual, the criminal action may also be filed
in the Regional Trial Court of the province where he actually resided at the time of the
commission of the offense. (3) If the offended party is a public officer whose office is in Manila
at the time of the commission of the offense, the action may be filed in the Regional Trial Court
of Manila. (4) If the offended party is a public officer holding office outside of Manila, the action
may be filed in the Regional Trial Court of the province or city where he held office at the time
of the commission of the offense (Foz, Jr., vs. People, GR No. 167764, October 09, 2009, ).
Information alleged that the libelous writings were published in Panay News, a daily
publication with a considerable circulation in the City of Iloilo and that complainant (private
individual) is a physician in Iloilo. Is the Information quashable for improper venue?
Answer: Yes. The allegations in the Information that "Panay News, a daily publication
with a considerable circulation in the City of Iloilo" only showed that Iloilo was the place
where Panay News was in considerable circulation but did not establish that the said
publication was printed and first published in Iloilo City.
The Information failed to allege the residence of complainant. While the Information
alleges that complainant is a physician in Iloilo City, such allegation did not clearly and
positively indicate that he was actually residing in Iloilo City at the time of the commission of
the offense. It is possible that complainant was actually residing in another place (Foz, Jr., vs.
People, GR No. 167764, October 09, 2009).
RECKLESS IMPRUDENCE
Following a vehicular collision in August 2004, Jason Ivler was charged with reckless
imprudence resulting in slight physical injuries for injuries sustained by Maria and reckless

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imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to property for the death of Nestor and damage
to their vehicle. Court convicted Jason for the first charged. Should the information for the
second charge be quashed on the basis of the rule on double jeopardy? Reckless imprudence
under Article 365 is a single quasi-offense by itself and not merely a means to commit other
crimes; hence conviction or acquittal of such quasi-offense bars subsequent prosecution for the
same quasi-offense, regardless of its various consequences. The essence of the quasi offense of
criminal negligence under article 365 of the Revised Penal Code lies in the execution of an
imprudent or negligent act that, if intentionally done, would be punishable as a felony. The law
penalizes thus the negligent or careless act, not the result thereof. The gravity of the
consequence is only taken into account to determine the penalty. It does not qualify the
substance of the offense. And, as the careless act is single, whether the injurious result should
affect one person or several persons, the offense criminal negligence remains one and the
same, and cannot be split into different crimes and prosecutions (Ivler vs. Modesto-San Pedro,
G.R. No. 172716, November 17, 2010). Note: The principle in Ivler case has abandoned the
principle (Ortega view) that culpa is just a modality by which a felony may be committed.
In People vs. Dumayag, G.R. No. 172778, 26 November 2012 - The evidence indubitably
shows that before the collision, the passenger bus was cruising along its rightful lane when the
tricycle coming from the opposite direction suddenly swerved and encroached on its lane. The
accident would not have happened had Genayas, the tricycle driver, stayed on his lane and did
not recklessly try to overtake another vehicle while approaching a blind curve. Section 37 of
R.A. No. 4136 mandates all motorists to drive and operate vehicles on the right side of the road
or highway. When overtaking another, it should be made only if the highway is clearly visible
and is free from oncoming vehicle. Overtaking while approaching a curve in the highway, where
the drivers view is obstructed, is not allowed. Corollarily, drivers of automobiles, when
overtaking another vehicle, are charged with a high degree of care and diligence to avoid
collision. The obligation rests upon him to see to it that vehicles coming from the opposite
direction are not taken unaware by his presence on the side of the road upon which they have
the right to pass.
In Sevilla vs. People, G.R. No. 194390, August 13, 2014 - That in answer to the
question of whether there is a pending criminal case against him, accused, a a municipal
councilor marked the box corresponding to the no answer despite the pendency of a criminal
case against him for direct assault. According to the accused, the PDS was prepared by his
secretary. It was held that there was a legal obligation on the part of accused a to disclose in
his PDS that there was a pending case against him. However, accused cannot be convicted of
falsification of public document since he did not act with malicious intent to falsify the
aforementioned entry in his PDS. However, considering that accuseds PDS was haphazardly
and recklessly done, which resulted in several false entries therein, accused was convicted of
reckless imprudence resulting in falsification of document.
In Solidum vs. People, GR No. 192123, March 10, 2014 - The standard of medical care
of a prudent physician must be determined from expert testimony in most cases; and in the
case of a specialist (like an anesthesiologist), the standard of care by which the specialist is
judged is the care and skill commonly possessed and exercised by similar specialists under
similar circumstances. The specialty standard of care may be higher than that required of the
general practitioner. Here, the Prosecution presented no witnesses with special medical
qualifications in anesthesia to provide guidance to the trial court on what standard of care was
applicable. It would consequently be truly difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether the
first three elements of a negligence and malpractice action were attendant.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMAN
Are the acts of attaching the face of his ex-girlfriend on a nude body of a woman in a
picture, sending the picture to her through cell phone text message and threatening to post it
in the internet for all to see that caused substantial emotional and psychological distress to her
constitutive of psychological violence against woman under Section 5 (h) of RA No. 9262? Yes.
Under Section 5 (h) of RA No. 9262 the following conduct that caused substantial emotional
and psychological distress to the woman with whom the offender has a marital, sexual or
dating relationship is punishable: (1) Stalking (2) Peering in the window or lingering outside the
residence of the woman or her child; (3) Entering or remaining in the dwelling against her will;
(4) Destroying property and inflicting harm to animals; and (5) Engaging in any form of
harassment or violence. The acts described above are considered harassment within the
contemplation of the phrase any form of harassment in Section 5 (h) (5) (Ang vs. The
Honorable CA, G.R. No. 182835, April 20, 2010).

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Is habituality an element of violence against women and their children under Section 5
(h)? No. Section 3(a) of R.A. 9262 punishes "any act or series of acts" that constitutes violence
against women. This means that a single act of harassment contemplated in Section 5 (h),
which translates into violence, would be enough. The object of the law is to protect women and
children. Punishing only violence that is repeatedly committed would license isolated ones (Ang
vs. The Honorable CA, G.R. No. 182835, April 20, 2010).
HAZING
The night before the commencement of the rites, the neophytes of AngGaling
fraternity were briefed on what to expect. They were told that there would be physical beatings,
that the whole event would last for three days, that that they could quit anytime. A, a
neophyte, consented to the initiation ritual, having asked his parents for permission to join the
fraternity. Even after going through the fraternitys grueling tradition ritualsmainly being
beaten by a paddle on the arms and legsduring the first day, A continued and completed
the second day of initiation. As consequence of the hazing, A died. What is the crime
committed by members of the fraternity, who directly participated in the infliction of harm
against A? The crime committed is hazing. The principle in Villareal vs. People, G.R. No.
151258, February 1, 2012 finding the accused liable for reckless imprudence resulting in
homicide is not anymore controlling in the light of RA No. 8049 (Anti-hazing Law).
The crime of hazing is thus committed when the following essential elements are
established: (1) a person is placed in some embarrassing or humiliating situation or subjected
to physical or psychological suffering or injury; and (2) these acts were employed as a
prerequisite for the persons admission or entry into an organization (People vs. Bayabos, G.R.
No. 171222, February 18, 2015).
Failure to allege that the physical or psychological harm were employed as a
prerequisite for admission or entry into the organization would prevent the successful
prosecution of the criminal responsibility of the accused, either as principal or as accomplice,
for the crime of hazing. Plain reference to a technical term in this case, hazing is insufficient
and incomplete, as it is but a characterization of the acts allegedly committed and thus a mere
conclusion of law (People vs. Bayabos).
Under Section 4 of RA 8049, the officers and members of the fraternity, sorority or
organization who actually participated in the infliction of physical harm upon recruit, neophyte
or applicant on occasion of hazing shall be liable as principals for the crime of hazing. Hazing
is an initiation rite or practice as a prerequisite for admission into membership in a fraternity,
sorority or organization or a requirement for employment in a corporation by placing the
recruit, neophyte or applicant in some embarrassing or humiliating situations.
Organization includes but is not limited to groups, teams, fraternities, sororities,
citizen army training corps, educational institutions, clubs, societies, cooperatives, companies,
partnerships, corporations, the PNP, and the AFP. The Philippine Merchant Marine Academy is
included in the term organization within the meaning of the law (People vs. Bayabos).
What are the differences between hazing and homicide or murder? The differences of
homicide or murder and hazing are as follows: (a) In homicide or murder, what is criminal is
the killing of person. Hence, intent to kill is an indispensable element. Death of the victim
consummates the crime. In hazing, what is prohibited is the infliction of the infliction of
physical or psychological suffering on another in furtherance of the latters admission or entry
into an organization (People vs. Bayabos). Hence, intent to kill is not material. Death of the
neophyte is only important to determine the proper imposable penalty. (b) Homicide or murder
is malum in se. Consent of the victim to the infliction of harm may negate dolo or criminal
intent, which would make the killing punishable as reckless imprudence (Villareal vs. People,
G.R. No. 151258, February 1, 2012). Hazing is malum prohibitum. Consent of the neophyte is
not a defense. (c) In homicide or murder, praeter intentionem is appreciable as a mitigating
circumstance. In hazing, the law expressly disallows the appreciation of this circumstance. In
homicide or murder, the basis of criminal liability is the actual and conspiratorial participation
of the offender in killing the victim. In hazing, criminal responsibility is based on (1) actual
participation in inflicting physical harm, (2) presumed participation (of those who are present
during the hazing), (3) the presence of adviser, (4) participation in the planning (by officers,
former officers and alumni of the fraternity); (5) knowledge (of the parent of frat member in the
home of whom hazing occurred, owner of the place commission, and school authorities).

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The owner of the place commission, and school authorities are liable for hazing as
accomplices.
In the case of school authorities and faculty members who have had no direct
participation in the act, they may nonetheless be charged as accomplices if it is shown that (1)
hazing, as established by the above elements, occurred; (2) the accused are school authorities
or faculty members; and (3) they consented to or failed to take preventive action against hazing
in spite actual knowledge thereof (People vs. Bayabos).
The corresponding responsibilities of the principal, accomplice, and accessory are
distinct from each other. As long as the commission of the offense (hazing) can be duly
established in evidence, the determination of the liability of the accomplice or accessory can
proceed independently of that of the principal (People vs. Bayabos).
In hazing, taking action to prevent the occurrence of hazing is a defense by any offender
except (1) those who actually inflicted physical harm and (2) those (officers, former officers and
alumni of the fraternity), who planned the hazing.
LOOSE FIREARM
Section 29 of RA No. 10591 provides:
SEC. 29. Use of Loose Firearm in the Commission of a Crime. The use of a loose
firearm, when inherent in the commission of a crime punishable under the Revised Penal Code
or other special laws, shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance: Provided, That if the
crime committed with the use of a loose firearm is penalized by the law with a maximum
penalty which is lower than that prescribed in the preceding section for illegal possession of
firearm, the penalty for illegal possession of firearm shall be imposed in lieu of the penalty for
the crime charged:Provided, further, That if the crime committed with the use of a loose firearm
is penalized by the law with a maximum penalty which is equal to that imposed under the
preceding section for illegal possession of firearms, the penalty of prision mayor in its
minimum period shall be imposed in addition to the penalty for the crime punishable under
the Revised Penal Code or other special laws of which he/she is found guilty.
If the violation of this Act is in furtherance of, or incident to, or in connection with the
crime of rebellion of insurrection, or attempted coup d etat,such violation shall be absorbed as
an element of the crime of rebellion or insurrection, or attempted coup d etat.
If the crime is committed by the person without using the loose firearm, the violation of
this Act shall be considered as a distinct and separate offense.
USE OF LOOSE FIREARM AS AGGRVATING CIRCUMSTANCE - As a rule, when use
of a loose firearm in committing is inherent in the commission of other crime, such
circumstance shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance. For example, if a loose
firearm was used in committing homicide, the penalty of reclusion temporal prescribed for
shall be applied in its maximum period.
However, if the penalty for illegal possession of loose firearm is graver than that
prescribed for other crime committed, the penalty for the latter shall be applied. For example,
the penalty for simple robbery is prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor
in its medium period while the penalty for illegal possession of small arm under Section 28 of
RA No. 10591 is prision mayor in its medium period. If a loose firearm classified as small arm
is used in committing simple robbery, the penalty of prision mayor in its medium period
prescribed under RA 10591 shall be imposed.
Furthermore, if the maximum penalty prescribed for the other crime is equal to that for
illegal possession of loose firearm, prision mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed in
addition to the penalty for the other crime. For example, the penalty of reclusion perpetua is
prescribed for homicide and illegal possession of a Class B light weapon. If a loose firearm
involving a Class B light weapon is used to commit homicide, the penalty of prision mayor in
its minimum period in addition to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed.
Lastly, if a loose firearm is used in the commission of rebellion, sedition or coup d etat,
the latter shall be absorbed in the former.
DISTINCT AND SEPARATE CRIME - If the crime is committed by the person without
using the loose firearm, the violation of this Act shall be considered as a distinct and separate

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offense (RA No. 10591). Conversely, if the crime is committed by the person with the use of
loose firearm, illegal possession of loose firearm is not a separate offense. In such a case, the
illegal possession of loose firearm shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance or a
special circumstance that justifies that imposition of graver penalty or additional penalty, or as
a mere element of rebellion, sedition or coup d etat.
QUASABLE INFORMATION - Prior to RA 8294, the rules obtaining, if the offender
killed a person with the use of unlicensed firearm, were as follows: (1) use of unlicensed firearm
was not an aggravating circumstance in murder or homicide under PD 1866; (2) offender is
liable independently for homicide or murder and illegal possession of firearm.
Under PD 1866 as amended by RA 8294, the rules, if the offender killed a person with
the use of unlicensed firearm, are as follows: (1) offender is liable for homicide or murder with
aggravating circumstance of use of unlicensed firearm; and (2) the crimes of murder or
homicide and illegal use or possession of firearm are integrated into a single offense.
In People vs. Bergante, G.R. No. 120369-70, February 27, 1998 - The violation of PD
No. 1866 should have been punished separately conformably with our ruling in the case of
Quijada G.R. No. 115008-09, July 24, 1996, En Banc. Nevertheless, fortunately for appellant,
PD No. 1866 was recently amended by RA No. 8294, which provides that if homicide or
murder is committed with the use of an unlicensed firearm, such use of an unlicensed firearm
shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance. In short, only one offense should be
punished, viz., either homicide or murder, and the use of the unlicensed firearm should only
be considered as an aggravating circumstance.
In Celino vs. CA, G.R. No. 170562, June 29, 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that:
When the other crime involved is one of those enumerated under RA 8294 (e.g. homicide,
murder, rebellion, sedition or coup d etat) any information for illegal possession of firearm should
be quashed because the illegal possession of firearm would have to be tried together with such
other offense, either considered as an aggravating circumstance in murder or homicide,, or
absorbed as an element of rebellion, insurrection, sedition or attempted coup detat.
When the other crime involved is not one of those enumerated under RA 8294, any
information for illegal possession of firearm should not be quashed. The separate case for illegal
possession of firearm should continue to be prosecuted. Settled is the rule that an accused cannot
be convicted for illegal possession of firearm if another crime was committed at the same time.
Since accusation is not synonymous with guilt, it cannot establish outright that other crime was
committed. However, the accused must be exonerated of illegal possession of firearms if he is
convicted of some other crime.
Considering that under RA No. 10591 use of loose firearm is not only an aggravating
circumstance in murder or homicide but also in other crime such as robbery or grave threat,
the illegal possession of firearm should not be considered a separate and distinct crime if
other crime is committed and the use of loose firearm in inherent therein. Following the same
line of reasoning in the case of Celino, any information for illegal possession of firearm should
be quashed because the illegal possession of loose firearm would have to be tried together with
such other offense, either considered as an aggravating circumstance in murder or homicide,,
robbery, grave threat, alarm and scandal, physical injuries or absorbed as an element of
rebellion, insurrection, sedition or attempted coup detat.
DANGEROUS DRUGS
POSSESSION OF DRUGS For a prosecution for illegal possession of a dangerous drug
to prosper, it must be shown that (a) the accused was in possession of an item or an object
identified to be a prohibited or regulated drug; (b) such possession is not authorized by law;
and (c) the accused was freely and consciously aware of being in possession of the drug (David
vs. People, Gr No. 181861, October 17, 2011, ).
This crime is mala prohibita, and, as such, criminal intent is not an essential element.
However, the prosecution must prove that the accused had the intent to possess (animus
posidendi) the drugs. Possession, under the law, includes not only actual possession, but also
constructive possession. Actual possession exists when the drug is in the immediate physical
possession or control of the accused. On the other hand, constructive possession exists when
the drug is under the dominion and control of the accused or when he has the right to exercise
dominion and control over the place where it is found. Exclusive possession or control is not
necessary. The accused cannot avoid conviction if his right to exercise control and dominion

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over the place where the contraband is located, is shared with another (Del Castillo vs. People,
GR No. 185128, January 30, 2012, ).
Mere possession of a dangerous drug per se constitutes prima facie evidence of
knowledge or animus possidendi sufficient to convict an accused absent a satisfactory
explanation of such possession - the onus probandi is shifted to the accused, to explain the
absence of knowledge or animus possidendi (Miclat, Jr. vs. People, GR No. 176077, August 31,
2011, ).
KNOWLEDGE - Is knowledge an element of dangerous drugs despite this crime is
malum prohibitum? Yes. For illegal possession of dangerous drugs, the prosecution must
establish that the accused freely and consciously possessed the dangerous drug without
authority. However, mere possession of dangerous drug constitutes prima facie evidence of
knowledge or animus possidendi sufficient to convict an accused in the absence of any
satisfactory explanation (Asiatico vs. People, G.R. No. 195005, September 12, 2011).
ATTEMPTED SALE - A, poseur buyer, asked X if he has available shabu for sale.
X answered in the affirmative and showed to A a plastic sachet containing shabu. A
immediately identified himself as a policeman, and then, apprehended X and confiscated the
shabu from his pocket. What is the crime committed by X? X is liable for attempted sale of
shabu punishable under Section 26 of RA 9165. Attempt to sell shabu was shown by the overt
act of appellant therein of showing the substance to the poseur-buyer. The sale was aborted
when the police officers identified themselves and placed appellant under arrest (People vs.
Figueroa, G.R. No. 186141, April 11, 2012).
DELIVERY - Is the absence of marked money as evidence fatal to prosecution of sale
and delivery of dangerous drugs? No. The law defines deliver as a persons act of knowingly
passing a dangerous drug to another with or without consideration. Considering that the
appellant was charged with the sale and the delivery of prohibited drugs, the consummation of
the crime of delivery of marijuana may be sufficiently established even in the absence of the
marked money (People vs. Domingcil, G.R. No. 140679, January 14, 2004).
LACK OF COORDINATION WITH PDEA - Silence of the law as to the consequences of
the failure on the part of the law enforcers to seek the prior authority of the PDEA cannot be
interpreted as a legislative intent to make an arrest without such PDEA participation illegal or
evidence obtained pursuant to such an arrest inadmissible (People vs. Clarite, G.R.
No. 187157, February 15, 2012). Lack of coordination with the PDEA will not invalidate a buybust operation. Such coordination is not an indispensable requirement in buy-bust
operations. Neither Section 86 of Republic Act No. 9165 nor its Implementing Rules and
Regulations make PDEAs participation a condition sine qua non for the conduct of a buy-bust
operation (People vs. Mendosa, G.R. No. 189327, February 29, 2012)
CONFIRMATORY TEST - In Ambre vs. People, G.R. No. 191532. August 15, 2012 - In
no instance did accused challenge, at the RTC, the supposed absence of confirmatory drug
test conducted on her. Accused only questioned the alleged omission when she appealed her
conviction before the CA. It was too late in the day for her to do so. Well entrenched is the rule
that litigants cannot raise an issue for the first time on appeal as this would contravene the
basic rules of fair play and justice.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND INVENTORY Under Section 21 of RA No. 9165, the
apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall, immediately after
seizure and confiscation, physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the
accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized, or his/her
representative or counsel, a representative from the media and the Department of Justice
(DOJ), and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory
and be given a copy thereof; However, the Implementing rules of RA No. 9165 provides that
non-compliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds, as long as the integrity and
the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending
officer/team, shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items.
Non-compliance with the requirements of Section 21 of R.A. No. 9165 will not
necessarily render the items seized or confiscated in a buy-bust operation inadmissible. Strict
compliance with the letter of Section 21 is not required if there is a clear showing that the
integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items have been preserved, i.e., the items being
offered in court as exhibits are, without a specter of doubt, the very same ones recovered in the
buy-bust operation. Hence, once the possibility of substitution has been negated by evidence of
an unbroken and cohesive chain of custody over the contraband, such contraband may be

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admitted and stand as proof of the corpus delicti notwithstanding the fact that it was never
made the subject of an inventory or was photographed pursuant to Section 21 (1) of Republic
Act No. 9165 (David vs. People, Gr No. 181861, October 17, 2011, ; Marquez vs. People, G.R.
No. 197207, March 13, 2013; People vs. Morate, GR No. 201156, January 29, 2014; People vs.
Ladip, GR No. 196146, March 12, 2014; People vs. Bis, GR No. 191360, March 10, 2014).
In People vs. Gonzales, G.R. No. 182417, April 3, 2013 - By way of exception, Republic
Act No. 9165 and its IRR both state that the non-compliance with the procedures thereby
delineated and set would not necessarily invalidate the seizure and custody of the dangerous
drugs provided there were justifiable grounds for the non-compliance, and provided that the
integrity of the evidence of the corpus delicti was preserved. But the non-compliance with the
procedures, to be excusable, must have to be justified by the States agents themselves.
Considering that PO1 Dimla tendered no justification in court for the non-compliance with the
procedures, the exception did not apply herein. The absolution of accused should then
follow, for we cannot deny that the observance of the chain of custody as defined by the law
was the only assurance to him that his incrimination for the very serious crime had been
legitimate and insulated from either invention or malice. In this connection, the Court states
that the unexplained non-compliance with the procedures for preserving the chain of custody
of the dangerous drugs has frequently caused the Court to absolve those found guilty by the
lower courts.
CHAIN OF CUSTODY As a method of authenticating evidence, the chain of custody
rule requires that the admission of an exhibit be preceded by evidence sufficient to support a
finding that the matter in question is what the proponent claims it to be. It would include
testimony about every link in the chain, from the moment the item was picked up to the time it
is offered into evidence, in such a way that every person who touched the exhibit would
describe how and from whom it was received, where it was and what happened to it while in
the witness possession, the condition in which it was received and the condition in which it
was delivered to the next link in the chain. These witnesses would then describe the
precautions taken to ensure that there had been no change in the condition of the item and no
opportunity for someone not in the chain to have possession of the same (People vs.
Constantino, Jr. GR No. 199689, March 12, 2014).
Thus, the following links must be established in the chain of custody in a buy-bust
situation: first, the seizure and marking, if practicable, of the illegal drug recovered from the
accused by the apprehending officer; second, the turn over of the illegal drug seized by the
apprehending officer to the investigating officer; third, the turn over by the investigating officer
of the illegal drug to the forensic chemist for laboratory examination; and fourth, the turn over
and submission of the marked illegal drugs seized from the forensic chemist to the court
(People vs. Constantino, Jr. GR No. 199689, March 12, 2014)
MARKING - Crucial in proving the chain of custody is the marking of the seized
dangerous drugs or other related items immediately after they are seized from the accused, for
the marking upon seizure is the starting point in the custodial link that succeeding handlers of
the evidence will use as reference point. Moreover, the value of marking of the evidence is to
separate the marked evidence from the corpus of all other similar or related evidence from the
time of seizure from the accused until disposition at the end of criminal proceedings, obviating
switching, planting or contamination of evidence. A failure to mark at the time of taking of
initial custody imperils the integrity of the chain of custody that the law requires (People vs.
Constantino, Jr. GR No. 199689, March 12, 2014)
The rule requires that the marking of the seized items should be done in the presence of
the apprehended violator and immediately upon confiscation to ensure that they are the same
items that enter the chain and are eventually the ones offered in evidence. There are occasions
when the chain of custody rule is relaxed such as when the marking of the seized items
immediately after seizure and confiscation is allowed to be undertaken at the police station
rather than at the place of arrest for as long as it is done in the presence of an accused in
illegal drugs cases. However, even a less-than-stringent application of the requirement would
not suffice to sustain the conviction in this case. There was no categorical statement from any
of the prosecution witnesses that markings were made, much less immediately upon
confiscation of the seized items. There was also no showing that markings were made in the
presence of the accused in this case (Lopez vs. People, GR No. 188653, January 29, 2014).
Drug peddling in schools is prevalent; the scenario attending this case is likely to be
repeated many times. To impose on school personnel the observance of the same procedure
required of law enforces (like marking) processes that are unfamiliar to them is to set a
dangerous precedent that may eventually lead to the acquittal of many drug peddlers. To our

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mind, the evidentiary value of the seized specimen remains intact as long as the school
personnel who had initial contact with the drug/s was able to establish that the evidence had
not been tampered with when he handed it to the police (Marquez vs. People, G.R. No. 197207,
March 13, 2013)

PARAPHERNALIA WITH TRACES OF SHABU In People vs. Matinez, G.R. No.


191366, December 13, 2010 - This Court notes the practice of law enforcers of filing charges
under Sec. 11 in cases where the presence of dangerous drugs as basis for possession is only
and solely in the form of residue, being subsumed under the last paragraph of Sec. 11.
Although not incorrect, it would be more in keeping with the intent of the law to file charges
under Sec. 15 instead in order to rehabilitate first time offenders of drug use, provided that
there is a positive confirmatory test result as required under Sec. 15. The minimum penalty
under the last paragraph of Sec. 11 for the possession of residue is imprisonment of twelve
years and one day, while the penalty under Sec. 15 for first time offenders of drug use is a
minimum of six months rehabilitation in a government center. To file charges under Sec. 11 on
the basis of residue alone would frustrate the objective of the law to rehabilitate drug users and
provide them with an opportunity to recover for a second chance at life.
In order to effectively fulfill the intent of the law to rehabilitate drug users, this Court
thus calls on law enforcers and prosecutors in dangerous drugs cases to exercise proper
discretion in filing charges when the presence of dangerous drugs is only and solely in the form
of residue and the confirmatory test required under Sec. 15 is positive for use of dangerous
drugs. In such cases, to afford the accused a chance to be rehabilitated, the filing of charges
for or involving possession of dangerous drugs should only be done when another separate
quantity of dangerous drugs, other than mere residue, is found in the possession of the
accused as provided for in Sec. 15.
PENALTY FOR POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA AND SHABU - Possession of different
kinds of dangerous drugs in a single occasion constitutes a single offense of
possession of dangerous drugs (David vs. People, G.R. No. 181861, October 17, 2011).
PLANTING OF EVIDENCE - As a general rule, planting of evidence to incriminate an
innocent person constitutes the crime of incriminating an innocent person under Article 363
of RPC. However, if the incriminatory evidence planted is dangerous drugs or unauthorized
explosives, loose firearm, the crime committed is planting of evidence under RA 9165 for the
dangerous drug, PD 1866 as amended by RA 9516 for the explosive and RA No. 10591.
PLEA BARGAINING - Section 23 of RA No. 9165, any person charged under any crime
involving dangerous drugs regardless of the imposable penalty shall not be allowed to avail of
the provision on plea-bargaining.
TRAFFICKING IN PERSON
Can accused be convicted of illegal recruitment and trafficking in person for the same of
act of recruiting a person for prostitution without violating the rule on double jeopardy? Yes.
When an act or acts violate two or more different laws and constitute two different offenses, a
prosecution under one will not bar a prosecution under the other. The constitutional right
against double jeopardy only applies to risk of punishment twice for the same offense, or for an
act punished by a law and an ordinance. The prohibition on double jeopardy does not apply to
an act or series of acts constituting different offenses (People vs. Lalli, G.R. No. 195419,
October 12, 2011).
Is trafficking in persons limited to transportation of victims? No. Trafficking in Persons
under Sections 3(a) and 4 of RA 9208 is not only limited to transportation of victims, but also
includes the act of recruitment of victims for trafficking (People vs. Lalli, G.R. No. 195419,
October 12, 2011).
Is recruitment of the victim for prostitution with her consent or knowledge constitutive
of the crime of trafficking in person? Yes. The crime of Trafficking in Persons can exist even
with the victims consent or knowledge (People vs. Lalli, G.R. No. 195419, October 12, 2011).
In People vs. Casio, G.R. No. 211465, December 03, 2014 - Accused took advantage of
AAAs vulnerability as a child and as one who need money. The victims consent is rendered
meaningless due to the coercive, abusive, or deceptive means employed by perpetrators of
human trafficking. Even without the use of coercive, abusive, or deceptive means, a minors
consent is not given out of his or her own free will.

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If the accused sell the child to another for purpose of prostitution on a single occasion, the
crime committed is child prostitution under Section 5 (a) of RA No 7610 (People vs. Dulay, GR
No. 193854, September 24, 2012). If the accused maintained the child for prostitution, the
crime committed is qualified trafficking in person under Section 4 and 6 of RA No. 9208 (People
vs. Casio).
ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT
It is well-established in jurisprudence that a person may be charged and convicted for
both illegal recruitment and estafa. The reason therefor is not hard to discern: illegal
recruitment is malum prohibitum, while estafa is mala in se. In the first, the criminal intent of
the accused is not necessary for conviction. In the second, such intent is imperative (People vs.
Chua, G. R. No. 187052, September 13, 2012).
BP BLG. 22
What Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 punished was the mere act of issuing a worthless check.
The law did not look either at the actual ownership of the check or of the account against
which it was made, drawn, or issued, or at the intention of the drawee, maker or issuer. Also,
that the check was not intended to be deposited was really of no consequence to her incurring
criminal liability under Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 (Resterio vs. People, G.R. No.
177438. September 24, 2012).
The giving of the written notice of dishonor does not only supply the proof for the
second element arising from the presumption of knowledge the law puts up but also affords the
offender due process. The law thereby allows the offender to avoid prosecution if she pays the
holder of the check the amount due thereon, or makes arrangements for the payment in full of
the check by the drawee within five banking days from receipt of the written notice that the
check had not been paid. The Court cannot permit a deprivation of the offender of this
statutory right by not giving the proper notice of dishonor (Resterio vs. People, G.R. No.
177438. September 24, 2012).
Where the check is drawn by a corporation, company or entity, the person or persons
who actually signed the check in behalf of such drawer shall be liable under this Act." This
provision recognizes the reality that a corporation can only act through its officers. Hence, its
wording is unequivocal and mandatory that the person who actually signed the corporate
check shall be held liable for a violation of BP 22. This provision does not contain any
condition, qualification or limitation (Mitra Vs. People and Tarcelo, G.R. No. 191404. July 5,
2010)
NOTICE OF DISHONOR IN ESTAFA CASE - The essential elements of the felony are:
(1) a check is postdated or issued in payment of an obligation contracted at the time it is
issued; (2) lack or insufficiency of funds to cover the check; and (3) damage to the payee
thereof. It is criminal fraud or deceit in the issuance of a check which is made punishable
under the RPC, and not the non-payment of a debt. The postdating or issuing of a check in
payment of an obligation when the offender had no funds in the bank or his funds deposited
therein are not sufficient to cover the amount of the check is a false pretense or a fraudulent
act. However deceit is presumed if the drawer of the check fails to deposit the amount needed
to cover his check within three days from receipt of notice of dishonor.
a. No notice of dishonor - If there is no notice of dishonor, the prosecution can still
prove the existence of deceit such as in a case where the accused knows that his checking
account is closed. The receipt by the drawer of the notice of dishonor is not an element of the
estafa through bouncing check.
b. With notice of dishonor - If there is notice of dishonor, the presumption of deceit
can still be rebutted by: (1) proof that the check is issued in payment of a pre-existing
obligation or (1) evidence of good faith, a defense in estafa by postdating a check. Good faith
may be demonstrated, for instance, by a debtors offer to arrange a payment scheme with his
creditor or making full payment of the entire amount of the dishonored checks. However,
simply empty promise to pay complainant the value of the bum checks issued in order to
induce her to part with her property in favor of accused is not an evidence of good faith that
will rebut the presumption of deceit. (See: People vs. Ojeda, G.R. Nos. 104238-58, June 3,
2004, Corona; Lopez vs. People, G.R. No. 166810, June 26, 2008, De Castro; Recuerdo vs.
People, G.R. No. 168217, June 27, 2006, )

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NOTICE OF DISHONOR IN BP BLG. 22 - Notice of dishonor of a check to the maker in
BP Blg. 22 must be in writing. A mere oral notice to the drawer or maker of the dishonor of
his check is not enough. If the maker or drawer pays, or makes arrangements with the drawee
bank for the payment of the amount due within the five-day period from notice of the dishonor
given to the drawer, it is a complete defense; the accused may no longer be indicted for
violation of Section 1, B.P. Blg. 22. If he is so indicted, he may set up the payment of the
amount due as a complete defense. Assuming that the accused had knowledge that he had
insufficient funds in the drawee bank when he issued the questioned checks, he could still
have paid the checks or made arrangements with the drawee bank for the payment of the said
checks if he had been duly notified of their dishonor. In not sending a notice or letter of
dishonor to the petitioner as required by law, the complaint deprived the accused of his right
to avoid prosecution for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 (Sia vs. G.R. No. 149695, April 28, 2004).
In San Mateo vs. People, G.R. No. 200090, March 6, 2013 - Complainant tried to serve
the notice of dishonor to the accused two times. On the first occasion, complainants counsel
sent a demand letter to accuseds residence at Greenhills, San Juan which the security guard
refused to accept. Thus, the liaison officer left the letter with the security guard with the
instruction to hand it to accused. But the prosecution failed to show that the letter ever
reached accused. On the second occasion, counsel sent a demand letter to accused by
registered mail which was returned with the notation "N/S Party Out 12/12/05" and that
accused did not claim it despite three notices to her. Since there is insufficient proof that
accused actually received the notice of dishonor, the presumption that she knew of the
insufficiency of her funds cannot arise. For this reason, the Court cannot convict her with
moral certainty of violation of B.P. 22.
Nevertheless, accuseds acquittal does not entail the extinguishment of her civil liability
for the dishonored checks. An acquittal based on lack of proof beyond reasonable doubt does
not preclude the award of civil damages. For this reason, the trial courts directive for San
Mateo to pay the civil liability in the amount representing the total value of the checks plus
12% interest per annum from the time the said sum became due and demandable until fully
paid, stands.
In Campos vs. People. G.R. No. 187401, September 17, 2014 - Exerting efforts to reach
an amicable settlement with her creditor after the checks which she issued were dishonored by
the drawee bank is a circumstantial evidence of receipt of notice of dishonor. Accused would
not have entered into the alleged arrangements if she had not received a notice of dishonor
from her creditor, and had no knowledge of the insufficiency of her funds with the bank and
the dishonor of her checks.
Lopez vs. People, G.R. No. 166810, June 26, 2008, Justice De Castro -Under Section
114(d) of the Negotiable Instruments Law, notice of dishonor is not required to be given to the
drawer in either of the following cases where the drawer has no right to expect or require that
the drawee or acceptor will honor the check. Since petitioner's bank account was already
closed even before the issuance of the subject check, he had no right to expect or require the
drawee bank to honor his check. By virtue of the aforequoted provision of law, petitioner is not
entitled to be given a notice of dishonor.
The crime involved in Lopez vs. People is estafa through issuance of bouncing check.
However, it is submitted the Lopez principle can be applied to violation of BP 22.
PAYMENT - In Lim vs. People, G.R. No. 190834, November 26, 2014 - The fact that the
issuer of the check had already paid the value of the dishonored check after having received
the subpoena from the Office of the Prosecutor should have forestalled the filing of the
Information in court. The spirit of the law which, for B.P. Big. 22, is the protection of the
credibility and stability of the banking system, would not be served by penalizing people who
have evidently made amends for their mistakes and made restitution for damages even before
charges have been filed against them. In effect, the payment of the checks before the filing of
the informations has already attained the purpose of the law.
It should be emphasized as well that payment of the value of the bounced check after
the information has been filed in court would no longer have the effect of exonerating the
accused from possible conviction for violation of B.P. Big. 22. Since from the commencement of
the criminal proceedings in court, there is no circumstance whatsoever to show that the
accused had every intention to mitigate or totally alleviate the ill effects of his issuance of the
unfunded check, then there is no equitable and compelling reason to preclude his prosecution.
In such a case, the letter of the law should be applied to its full extent.

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Furthermore, to avoid any confusion, the Court's ruling in this case should be well
differentiated from cases where the accused is charged with estafa under Article 315, par. 2(d)
of the Revised Penal Code, where the fraud is perpetuated by postdating a check, or issuing a
check in payment of an obligation when the offender had no funds in the bank, or his funds
deposited therein were not sufficient to cover the amount of the check. In said case of estafa,
damage and deceit are the essential elements of the offense, and the check is merely the
accused's tool in committing fraud. In such a case, paying the value of the dishonored check
will not free the accused from criminal liability. It will merely satisfy the civil liability of the
crime but not the criminal liability.
SUSPENSION OF PAYMENT - X in his capacity as officer of Z corporation issued a
corporate check in favor of A. The check bounced due to DAIF. Notice of dishonor was received
by X. After three months, SEC issued order creating the Management Committee and ordering
the suspension of all pending actions for claims against Z corporation. (a) Is X liable for
violation of BP Blg. 22?
Answer: Yes. X was formally notified of the dishonor of the checks. Yet, it was only
more than three months after, that the SEC issued order for the suspension of all pending
actions for claims against Z corporation. Thus, X was not precluded from making good the
checks during that three-month gap when he received the letter and when the SEC issued the
order (Tiong Rosario vs. Co, G.R. No. 133608, August 26, 2008)
(b) Would your answer be the same if the order of suspension was issued before the
presentment for payment of the check when the drawee bank and the sending of notice of
dishonor?
Answer: No. X is not liable for violation of BP Blg. 22. Considering that there was a
lawful Order from the SEC, the contract is deemed suspended. When a contract is suspended,
it temporarily ceases to be operative; and it again becomes operative when a condition occurs or a situation arises - warranting the termination of the suspension of the contract. When a
contract is subject to a suspensive condition, its birth takes place or its effectivity commences
only if and when the event that constitutes the condition happens or is fulfilled. Thus, at the
time A presented the check for encashment, it had no right to do so, as there was yet no
obligation due from X (Gidwani vs. People, GR No. 195064, January 15, 2014).
ANTI-GRAFT AND CORRUPT PRACTICES LAW
RA NO. 3019
Conspiracy Only public officer can be held criminally liable for violation of RA No.
3019. However, if there is conspiracy, the act of the public officer in violating RA No. 3019 is
imputable to the private individual although there are not similarly situated in relation to the
object of the crime. Moreover, Section 9 provides penalty for public officer or private person for
crime under Section 3. Hence, a private individual can be prosecuted for violation of RA No.
3019 (Go vs. The Fifth Division, Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 172602, April 13, 2007). Even if the
public officer with whom the private individual allegedly conspired, the latter can still be
prosecuted for violation of RA No. 3019. Death extinguishes the criminal liability but not the
crime. Hence, if there is proof of the crime and conspiracy of dead public officer with private
individual, the latter can still be convicted of violation of RA No. 3019 (People vs. Go, GR NO.
168539, March 25, 2014). However, the public officer with whom the private individual
allegedly conspired is acquitted, the latter should also be acquitted (Marcos vs. Sandiganbayan,
G.R. No. 126995, October 6, 1998).
SECTION 3 (a) - The elements of Section 3(a) of Republic Act No. 3019 are: 1. The
offender is public officer; 2. The offender persuades, induces or influences another public
officer to perform an act or the offender allows himself to be persuaded, induced, or influenced
to commit an act; 3. That the act performed by the other public officer or committed by another
constitutes a violation of ruled and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an
offense in connection with the official duty of the latter (Ampil vs. Hon. Ombudsman, G.R. No.
192685, July 31, 2013.
In Baviera vs. Zoleta, G.R. No. 169098, Oct. 12, 2006 - The Supreme Court considered
the Senate deliberation of Section 3 (a) of RA No. 3019 in resolving the case. According to
Senator Tolentino, if there is no proof of the consideration in the use of the influence, the
offense is not committed under the bill. Because the logic and intention of the sponsor (Senator
TOLENTINO) of the aforecited provision, the SC said that Acting Secretary of Justice did not
commit a violation of the same as there is no proof that she received consideration in exchange

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for her decision to allow Mr. Raman to travel abroad despite the Hold Departure Order issued
by the Secretary of Justice.
SECTION 3 (b) - The elements of the crime under Section 3 (b) of RA No. 3019 are: (1)
the offender is a public officer; (2) he requested or received a gift, present, share, percentage or
benefit; (3) he made the request or receipt on behalf of the offender or any other person; (4) the
request or receipt was made in connection with a contract or transaction with the government
and (5) he has the right to intervene, in an official capacity under the law, in connection with a
contract or transaction has the right to intervene (Merencillo vs. People, G.R. Nos. 142369-70,
April 13, 2007).
Section 3 (b) of RA No. 3019, directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift,
present, share, percentage, or benefit, for himself or for any other person, in connection with
any contract or transaction between the Government and any other party, wherein the public
officer in his official capacity has to intervene under the law is punishable. Section 3 (b) is
limited only to contracts or transactions involving monetary consideration where the public
officer has the authority to intervene under the law. Preliminary investigation is not a contract
or transaction is not a contract or transaction within the contemplated of Section 3 (b). Hence,
requesting or receiving money in connection with a preliminary investigation is not a violation
of this provision (Soriano, Jr. vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 65952, July 31, 1984; People vs.
Sandiganbayan. and Justice Secretary Perez).
SECTION 3 (e) - In Dela Cuersta vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 164068-69, November
19, 2013 - The informations alleged that accused as members of the Philippine Coconut
Authority, acting in conspiracy with each other and with evident bad faith and manifest
partiality, gave financial assistance to COCOFED, a private entity, without an appropriate
budget, giving unwarranted benefit to the same and causing undue injury to the Government.
The element in the crime of technical malversation that public fund be appropriated for
a public use requires an earmarking of the fund or property for a specific project. For instance
there is no earmarking if money was part of the municipalitys general fund, intended by
internal arrangement for use in paving a particular road but applied instead to the payrolls of
different barangay workers in the municipality. That portion of the general fund was not
considered appropriated since it had not been earmarked by law or ordinance for a specific
expenditure. Here, there is no allegation in the informations that the P2 million and P6 million
grants to COCOFED had been earmarked for some specific expenditures.
What is more, the informations do not allege that the subject P2 million and P6 million
were applied to a public use other than that for which such sums had been appropriated. Quite
the contrary, those informations allege that those sums were unlawfully donated to a private
entity, not applied to some public use. Clearly, the constitutional right of the accused to be
informed of the crimes with which they are charged would be violated if they are tried for
technical malversation under criminal informations for violation of Section 3(e) of R.A.
3019 filed against them.
This crime has the following essential elements: 1. The accused must be a public officer
discharging administrative, judicial or official functions; 2. He must have acted with manifest
partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence; and 3. His action caused any
undue injury to any party, including the government, or gave any private party unwarranted
benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his functions (People vs. Atienza, GR No.
171671, June 18, 2012).
First element - The accused must be a public officer discharging administrative, judicial
or official functions. In Consigna vs. People, G.R. no. 175750, April 2, 2014 Petitioner, a
municipal treasurer, is considered a public officer discharging official functions when she
misused such position to be able to take out a loan from complainant, who was misled into the
belief that former, as municipal treasurer, was acting on behalf of the municipality. The
petitioner misrepresented that the loan is to be used to pay for the salaries of the employees of
the municipality and to construct the municipal gymnasium. The victim could have been the
Municipality of General Luna since the checks signed by the mayor was issued to the
complainant. It was just fortunate that the mayor instructed the bank to stop payment of the
checks issued by petitioner. Thus, the municipal treasurer can be held liable for violation of
Section 3 (e) of RA No. 3019 for causing damage to complainant.
Mejorada principle - In Stilgrove vs. Sabas, A.M. No. P-06-2257, March 28, 2008
Admittedly, the Court made a statement in Zoomzat that for one to be held liable under Section
3 (e), he must be an officer or employee of offices or government corporations charged with the

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grant of licenses or permits or other concessions. The earlier case of Mejorada however,
squarely addressed the issue on the proper interpretation of Section 3 (e). Mejorada was
decided by the Court en banc. Following the constitutional mandate that no doctrine or
principle of law laid down by the Court in a decision rendered en banc or in division may be
modified or reversed except by the Court sitting en banc, the case of Zoomzat cannot reverse
the pronouncement in Mejorada, the former case having been decided by a Division of the
Court. In Consigna vs. People, G.R. No. 175750, April 2, 2014, the SC re-affirmed the principle
in Mejorada.
Second element - The accused must have acted with manifest partiality, evident bad
faith or gross inexcusable negligence. Section 3(e) of RA 3019 may be committed either by dolo,
as when the accused acted with evident bad faith or manifest partiality, or by culpa, as when
the accused committed gross inexcusable negligence (Plameras vs. People, GR No. 187268,
September 04, 2013).
Arias principle - In Arias v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 81563 & 82512, 19 December
1989 - All heads of offices have to rely to a reasonable extent on their subordinates and on the
good faith of those who prepare bids, purchase supplies, or enter into negotiations. If a
department secretary entertains important visitors, the auditor is not ordinarily expected to
call the restaurant about the amount of the bill, question each guest whether he was present at
the luncheon, inquire whether the correct amount of food was served, and otherwise personally
look into the reimbursement voucher's accuracy, propriety, and sufficiency. There has to be
some added reason why he should examine each voucher in such detail. Any executive head of
even small government agencies or commissions can attest to the volume of papers that must
be signed. There are hundreds of documents, letters, memoranda, vouchers, and supporting
papers that routinely pass through his hands. The number in bigger offices or departments is
even more appalling. There should be other grounds than the mere signature or approval
appearing on a voucher to sustain a conspiracy charge and conviction.
Non-applicability of the Arias principle The principle of Arias case where reliance
on the subordinate was considered as a defense in case of violation of Section 3 (e) RA No. 3019
is not applicable:
(1) Where the accused has foreknowledge of existing anomaly - e.g. mayor signed the
inspection report and the disbursement voucher despite the fact that he had foreknowledge
that the materials delivered by Guadines have already been confiscated by the DENR (Escara
vs. People, G.R. No. 164921, July 8, 2005);
(2) Where there is deviation from ordinary procedure e.g. mayor issued and encashed
municipal checks despite the facts that the disbursement vouchers were in the name of Kelly
Lumber but the checks were not payable to the supplier, Kelly Lumber and that checks were
payable upon his order (Cruz vs. The Hon. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 134493, August 16, 2005).
(3) Where the public official invoking the Arias principle is not acting in his capacity as
head of office, who is relying on his subordinate e.g. head of the office of the city administrator
relied on the acts of the heads of the Office of the City Treasurer, the Office of the City
Accountant in granting cash advance to a paymaster (Jaca vs. People, G.R. No. 166967,
January 28, 2013).
4. Rivera vs. People, G.R. No. 156577, December 03, 2014 - In the case at bench, Perez
should have placed himself on guard when the documents and vouchers given to him by his
subordinates did not indicate the retention money required by P.D. No. 1594. Moreover, when
he personally inspected the construction site of PAL Boat, he should have noticed the financial
weakness of the contractor and the defective works. Deplorably, Perez kept mum and chose to
continue causing undue injury to the government. No other conclusion can be inferred other
than his manifest partiality towards PAL Boat
Conspiracy of silence or inaction - As a rule, the principle of conspiracy as a mode of
committing a crime or for purpose of applying the collective responsibility rule is only
applicable to intentional felony. The concept of conspiracy, the elements of which are
agreement and decision to commit a crime, are not consistent with culpable felony. Persons
cannot definitely agree and decide to commit a culpable crime.
Exception:
Public officers can incur collective criminal responsibility through a conspiracy for
violation of Section 3(e) of RA No. 3019 through gross and inexcusable negligence, and of

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incurring. This is called conspiracy of silence and inaction arising from gross inexcusable
negligence. To establish this kind of conspiracy, it is essential to prove the breach of duty
borders on malice and is characterized by flagrant, palpable and willful indifference to
consequences insofar as other persons may be affected. Conspiracy of silence or inaction would
almost always be inferred only from the surrounding circumstances and the parties' acts or
omissions that, taken together, indicate a common understanding and concurrence of
sentiments respecting the commission of the offense. The duties and responsibilities that the
occupancy of a public office carry and the degree of relationship of interdependence of the
different offices involved here determine the existence of conspiracy where gross inexcusable
negligence was the mode or commission of the offense (Jaca vs. People, G.R. No. 166967,
January 28, 2013).
In Jaca vs. People, supra - A paymaster obtained cash advances despite the fact that
she has previous unliquidated cash advances. The cash advance remained unliquidated to the
damage of the city. The City Treasurer certified that the cash advances are necessary, lawful
and incurred under my direct supervision. The City Accountant certified that the expenditures
are supported by documents and previous cash advances are liquidated and accounted for.
The City Administrator approved the voucher and countersigned the check. The paymaster is
liable for violation of Section 3 (e) of RA No. 3019. The City Treasurer, City Accountant and City
administrator are liable because of conspiracy of silence or inaction. According to SC, the
petitioners are all heads or their respective offices that perform interdependent functions in the
processing of cash advances. The petitioners' attitude of buck-passing in the face of the
irregularities in the voucher and the absence of supporting documents and their indifference to
their individual and collective duties to ensure that laws and regulations are observed in the
disbursement of the funds of the local government of Cebu can only lead to a finding of
conspiracy of silence and inaction.
Erroneous interpretation of the law - An erroneous interpretation of a provision of
law regarding the entitlement of a government employee who was wrongfylly removed to RATA,
absent any showing of some dishonest or wrongful purpose, does not constitute and does not
necessarily amount to bad faith (Ysidoro vs. Hon. Leonardo-De Castro, G.R. No. 171513,
February 06, 2012).
Third element - His action caused undue injury to any party, including the government
or gave any private party unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his
functions.
There are two ways by which a public official violates Section 3(e) of RA No. 3019 in the
performance of his functions, namely: (1) by causing undue injury to any party, including the
Government; or (2) by giving any private party any unwarranted benefit, advantage or
preference. The accused may be charged under either mode or both. The disjunctive term or
connotes that either act qualifies as a violation of Section 3(e) (Rivera vs. People, G.R. No.
156577, December 03, 2014).
The concept of "undue injury," in the context of Section 3(e) RA No. 3019 is the same as
the civil law concept of "actual damage." It is required that undue injury must be specified,
quantified and proven to the point of moral certainty. Speculative or incidental injury is not
sufficient. The damages suffered cannot be based on flimsy and non-substantial evidence or
upon speculation, conjecture or guesswork but must depend on competent proof and on the
best evidence obtainable regarding specific facts which could afford some basis for measuring
compensatory or actual damage (M.A. Jimenez Inc. vs. The Hon. Ombudsman, G.R. No.
155307, June 06, 2011).
In Braza vs. the Hon. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 195032, February 20, 2013 - There are
two (2) ways by which a public official violates Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019 in the performance
of his functions, namely: (1) by causing undue injury to any party, including the Government;
or (2) by giving any private party any unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference. The
accused may be charged under either mode or under both. The disjunctive term or connotes
that either act qualifies as a violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. No. 3019. ] In other words, the
presence of one would suffice for conviction. "To be found guilty under the second mode, it
suffices that the accused has given unjustified favor or benefit to another, in the exercise of his
official, administrative and judicial functions." The element of damage is not required for
violation of Section 3 (e) under the second mode.
Private party - In Ambil vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 175457, July 06, 2011 - In
drafting the Anti-Graft Law, the lawmakers opted to use "private party" rather than "private
person" to describe the recipient of the unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference for a

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reason. The term "party" is a technical word having a precise meaning in legal parlance as
distinguished from "person" which, in general usage, refers to a human being. Thus, a private
person simply pertains to one who is not a public officer. While a private party is more
comprehensive in scope to mean either a private person or a public officer acting in a private
capacity to protect his personal interest. In the present case, when petitioners transferred
Mayor Adalim from the provincial jail and detained him at petitioner Ambil, Jr.'s residence,
they accorded such privilege to Adalim, not in his official capacity as a mayor, but as a
detainee charged with murder. Thus, for purposes of applying the provisions of Section 3(e),
R.A. No. 3019, Adalim was a private party.
SECTION 3 (g) In Braza vs. the Hon. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 195032, February 20,
2013 - For conviction of violation of Sec. 3(g), the prosecution must establish the following
elements: 1. The offender is a public officer; 2. He entered into a contract or transaction in
behalf of the government; and 3. The contract or transaction is manifestly and grossly
disadvantageous to the government.
On the other hand, an accused may be held criminally liable of violation of Section 3 (e)
of R.A. No. 3019, provided that the following elements are present: 1. The accused must be a
public officer discharging administrative, judicial or official functions; 2. The accused must
have acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence; and 3.
His action caused undue injury to any party, including the government or gave any private
party unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his functions.
Although violation of Sec. 3 (g) of R.A. No. 3019 and violation of Sec. 3(e) of the same
law share a common element, the accused being a public officer, the latter is not inclusive of
the former. The essential elements of each are not included among or do not form part of those
enumerated in the other. For double jeopardy to exist, the elements of one offense should
ideally encompass or include those of the other. What the rule on double jeopardy prohibits
refers to identity of elements in the two offenses.
Overpricing In Sajul vs. Sandiganbayan, supra - To substantiate the assertion that
the price of Bato-Bato Enterprises was exorbitant, the prosecution presented a quotation from
Zodiac Trading which states that a fire extinguisher of the same make and kind would allegedly
cost only about P1,500 which was P1,000 less of Bato-Batos price. It was held that: The
comparison of prices between Bato-bato Enterprises with that of Zodiac Trading is rather
unacceptable. In the first place, Zodiac trading was not properly identified as a company
dealing with fire extinguishers or a leading company selling fire extinguishers, for that matter.
Nobody from the company appeared in court to testify about its company or its product. The
components of its fire extinguishers were not actually proven to be the same as that of BatoBato Enterprises. The quotation of Zodiac Trading was merely solicited. The veracity of such
quotation was not proven. Considering all these circumstances, it is rather unfair to compare
the prices of Bato-Bato Enterprises with that of Zodiac Trading when the basis of the
comparison has not been established. It could not be concluded that there was an overpricing
of the fire extinguishers when the prosecution single out only one company, which apparently
quoted a lower price than that of Bato-Bato Enterprises.
In order to show that there was an overpricing in the subject transaction, a canvass of
different suppliers with their corresponding prices should have been procured which could
readily show the differences in the price quotations. Absent this competent evidence, it is rather
unfair to conclude that the price of Bato-Bato Enterprises was exorbitant on the basis alone of
a submitted quotation of one company and to further rule that the contract was grossly
injurious to the government. The contract entered into by the petitioner would not cause
obvious or glaring injury to the government when petitioner merely continued the purchase
from a regular supplier, which he had authority to do so even without the benefit of bidding.
In Caunan vs. People, G.R. Nos. 181999 & 182001-04 and Marquez vs.
Sandiganbayan, Fourth Division, G.R. Nos. 182020-24, September 2, 2009 The evidence of
the prosecution did not include a signed price quotation from the walis tingting suppliers of
Paraaque City. In fact, even the walis tingting furnished the audit team by petitioners and the
other accused was different from the walis tingting actually utilized by the Paraaque City
street sweepers at the time of ocular inspection by the audit team. At the barest minimum, the
evidence presented by the prosecution, in order to substantiate the allegation of overpricing,
should have been identical to the walis tingting purchased in 1996-1998. Only then could it be
concluded that the walis tingting purchases were disadvantageous to the government because
only then could a determination have been made to show that the disadvantage was so
manifest and gross as to make a public official liable under Section 3(g) of R.A. No. 3019.

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SECTION 4 (a) - In Disini vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 169823-24 and 174764-65,
September 11, 2013 The elements of the offense under Section 4 (a) of R.A. No. 3019 are: (1)
That the offender has family or close personal relation with a public official; (2) That he
capitalizes or exploits or takes advantage of such family or close personal relation by directly or
indirectly requesting or receiving any present, gift, material or pecuniary advantage from any
person having some business, transaction, application, request, or contract with the
government; (3) That the public official with whom the offender has family or close personal
relation has to intervene in the business transaction, application, request, or contract with the
government.
The allegations in the information charging the violation of Section 4(a) of R.A. No.
3019, if hypothetically admitted, would establish the elements of the offense, considering that:
(1) Disini, being the husband of Paciencia Escolin-Disini, the first cousin of First Lady Imelda
Romualdez-Marcos, and at the same time the family physician of the Marcoses, had close
personal relations and intimacy with and free access to President Marcos, a public official; (2)
Disini, taking advantage of such family and close personal relations, requested and received
$1,000,000.00 from Burns & Roe and $17,000,000.00 from Westinghouse, the entities then
having business, transaction, and application with the Government in connection with the
PNPPP; (3) President Marcos, the public officer with whom Disini had family or close personal
relations, intervened to secure and obtain for Burns & Roe the engineering and architectural
contract, and for Westinghouse the construction of the PNPPP.
SECTION 7 Section 7 of RA No. 3019 provides: Section 7. Statement of assets and
liabilities. Every public officer, within thirty days after the approval of this Act or after assuming
office, and within the month of January of every other year thereafter, as well as upon the
expiration of his term of office, or upon his resignation or separation from office, shall prepare and
file with the office of the corresponding Department Head, or in the case of a Head of Department
or chief of an independent office, with the Office of the President, or in the case of members of the
Congress and the officials and employees thereof, with the Office of the Secretary of the
corresponding House, a true detailed and sworn statement of assets and liabilities, including a
statement of the amounts and sources of his income, the amounts of his personal and family
expenses and the amount of income taxes paid for the next preceding calendar year: Provided,
That public officers assuming office less than two months before the end of the calendar year,
may file their statements in the following months of January.
On the other hand, Section 8 of RA No. 6713 provides: SECTION 8. Statements and
Disclosure. Public officials and employees have an obligation to accomplish and submit
declarations under oath of, and the public has the right to know, their assets, liabilities, net
worth and financial and business interests including those of their spouses and of unmarried
children under eighteen (18) years of age living in their households. (A) Statements of Assets and
Liabilities and Financial Disclosure. All public officials and employees, except those who serve
in an honorary capacity, laborers and casual or temporary workers, shall file under oath their
Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth and a Disclosure of Business Interests and
Financial Connections and those of their spouses and unmarried children under eighteen (18)
years of age living in their households. XXXXXX The documents must be filed: (a) within thirty
(30) days after assumption of office; (b) on or before April 30, of every year thereafter; and (c)
within thirty (30) days after separation from the service.
The rule directing full disclosure of wealth in the SALN is a means of preventing said
evil and is aimed particularly at minimizing if not altogether curtailing the opportunities for
official corruption and maintaining a standard of honesty in the public service. By the SALN,
the public is able to monitor movement in the fortune of a public official; it serves as a valid
check and balance mechanism to verify undisclosed properties and wealth (Gupilan-Aguilar vs.
Office of the Umbudsman, G.R. No. 197307, February 26, 2014).
It is imperative that every public official or government employee must make and
submit a complete disclosure of his assets, liabilities and net worth in order to suppress any
questionable accumulation of wealth. This serves as the basis of the government and the
people in monitoring the income and lifestyle of public officials and employees in compliance
with the constitutional policy to eradicate corruption, to promote transparency in government,
and to ensure that all government employees and officials lead just and modest lives, with the
end in view of curtailing and minimizing the opportunities for official corruption and
maintaining a standard of honesty in the public service (OCA vs. Usman, A.M. No. SCC-08-12,
October 19, 2011). In fact, filing SALN is a constitutional duty. Article 11, Section 17 of the
1987 Constitution provides: Section 17. A public officer or employee shall, upon assumption of

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office and as often thereafter as may be required by law, submit a declaration under oath of his
assets, liabilities, and net worth.
Failure to file SALN as required by law is a violation of Section 8 of RA No. 6713 and
Section 7 of RA No. 3019 (Concerned Taxpayer vs. Doblada, A.M. No. P-99-1342, June 8,
2005). Since both laws provide a penalty for failure to file SALN, the offender should only be
prosecuted and punished either under one or the other.
However, it is submitted that Section 7 of RA No. 3019 has been modified by Section 8
of RA No. 6713. The court takes judicial notice of the fact that public officers are now
submitting SALN in compliance with Rules Implementing the Code of Conduct and Ethical
Standards for Public Officials and Employees issued by the Civil Service Commission. They are
required to file the SALN on or before April 30, of every year as required under RA No. 6713
and not within the month of January of every other year as mandated under RA No. 3019.
Section 8 of RA No. 6713 excludes public officials and employees, who serve in an
honorary capacity, laborers and casual or temporary workers from the requirement of filling
SALN. If these public officers are excused from filling SALN under RA 6713, it would be absurd
to criminally make them responsible under RA No. 3019 for failure to file it. By parity of
reasoning, if a public officer filed a SALN in April of a certain year in compliance of RA No.
6713 he should not be made criminally liable under RA No. 3019 which requires that the SALN
should be filed within the month of January.
RA No. 3019 is enacted in 1960 or prior to the 1987 Constitution, while RA No.6713 is
passed precisely to implement the constitutional provision on SALN. Section 8 of RA No. 6713
is the latest legislative expression that gives spirit and substance to State policy of
transparency and public accountability. Hence, the time regulation and the exclusionary rule
under RA No. 6713 regarding the filing of SALN is controlling even if the accused is charged for
failure to file SALN under Section 7 of RA No. 3019.
SECTION 13 - Any incumbent public officer against whom any criminal prosecution
under a valid information for crime of corruption under RA 3019, crimes committed by public
officer under RPC or for any offense involving fraud upon government or public funds or
property whether as a simple or as a complex offense and in whatever stage of execution and
mode of participation, is pending in court, shall be suspended from office. Usurpation of public
authority (Miranda vs. Hon. Sandiganbayan, G.R. NO. 154098, July 27, 2005, En Banc) and
election offense (Juan vs. People, G.R. No. 132378, January 18, 2000) are offenses involving
fraud upon the government. Falsification of document (voucher) is offense involving fraud upon
public funds or property (Bustillo vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 146217, April 7, 2006).
Presumption of innocence - The preventive suspension under Section 13 of RA No.
3019 is not penalty. Thus, suspension, which is being ordered before a judgment of conviction
is reached, is not violation of constitutional right to be presumed innocent (Bunye vs. Escareal,
G.R. No. 110216, September 10, 1993). The suspended accused, whose culpability remains to
be proven, are still entitled to the constitutional presumption of innocence (Juan vs. People,
G.R. No. 132378, January 18, 2000).
Ex post facto law - Article 24 (3) of the Revised Penal Code clearly states that
suspension from the employment or public office during the trial or in order to institute
proceedings shall not be considered as penalty. It is not a penalty because it is not imposed as a
result of judicial proceedings. In fact, if acquitted, the official concerned shall be entitled to
reinstatement and to the salaries and benefits, which he failed to receive during suspension.
This is merely preventive measures before final judgment. Not being a penal provision,
therefore, the suspension from office, pending trial, of the public officer charged with crimes
mentioned in the amendatory provision committed before its effectivity does not violate the
constitutional provision on ex post facto law (Bayot vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. L-61776 to L61861, March 23, 1984).
Pre-suspension hearing - While the suspension of a public officer under this provision
is mandatory, the suspension requires a prior hearing to determine the validity of the
information filed against him, taking into account the serious and far reaching consequences
of a suspension of an elective public official even before his conviction. The accused public
officials right to challenge the validity of the information before a suspension order may be
issued includes the right to challenge the (i) validity of the criminal proceeding leading to the
filing of an information against him, and (ii) propriety of his prosecution on the ground that the
acts charged do not constitute a violation of R.A. No. 3019 or of the provisions on bribery of the
Revised Penal Code (Miguel vs. Hon. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 172035, July 04, 2012).

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In Luciano vs. Mariano, G.R. N L-32950, July 30, 1971 Where the preliminary
investigation was for falsification, the office of the prosecutor could not validly charged the
petitioner with the graver crime of violation of RA No. 3019. Thus, he is entitled to a new
preliminary investigation. The ruling on the validity of the information is to be held in abeyance
until after the outcome of the preliminary investigation of violation of RA No. 3019, and hence
no suspension order can issue. Should the fiscal find no case, he will then so inform the trial
court and move to dismiss the case. In the contrary case, respondent court will then have to
hear and decide petitioners' pending motion to quash before it, which squarely raises question
that the facts charged do not constitute an offense and are not punishable under section 3 (a)
and (e) of Republic Act No. 3019, contrary to the information's averment.
Procedure - Upon the filing of such information, the trial court should issue an order
with proper notice requiring the accused officer to show cause at a specific date of hearing why
he should not be ordered suspended from office pursuant to 13 of RA No. 3019. Where either
the prosecution seasonably files a motion for an order of suspension or the accused in turn
files a motion to quash the information or challenges the validity thereof, such show-cause
order of the trial court would no longer be necessary. What is indispensable is that the trial
court duly hear the parties at a hearing held for determining the validity of the information,
and thereafter hand down its ruling, issuing the corresponding order of suspension should it
uphold the validity of the information or withholding such suspension in the contrary case.
No specific rules need be laid down for such pre-suspension hearing. Suffice it to state
that the accused should be given a fair and adequate opportunity to challenge the validity of
the criminal proceedings against him, e.g. that he has not been afforded the right of due
preliminary investigation; that the acts for which he stands charged do not constitute a
violation of the provisions of Republic Act No. 3019 or of the bribery provisions of the Revised
Penal Code which would warrant his mandatory suspension from office under section 13 of the
Act; or he may present a motion to quash the information on any of the grounds provided in
Rule 117 of the Rules of Court (Miguel vs. Hon. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 172035, July 04,
2012)
Period of preventive suspension- Even though the law is silent on the duration of the
preventive suspension, the suspension should not be indefinite. Section 13 of RA No. 3019
does not provide the period of preventive suspension. Hence, the duration of suspension under
the Administrative Code, which provides that the suspension may not exceed 90 days (Layus
M.D. vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 134272, December 8, 1999) may be adopted in fixing the
duration of suspension under RA 3019. The said 90-day maximum period for suspension shall
apply to all those who are validly charged under RA 3019, whether elective or appointive officer
or employee (Gonzaga vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 96131, September 6, 1991).
SPEEDY DISOPOSITION OF CASES - In People vs. Hon. Sandiganbayan, and Perez,
G.R. No. 188165, December 11, 2013 - There was really no sufficient justification tendered by
the State for the long delay of more than five years in bringing the charges against the
respondents before the proper court. On the charge of robbery, the preliminary investigation
would not require more than five years to ascertain the relevant factual and legal matters. The
basic elements of the offense, that is, the intimidation or pressure allegedly exerted on Cong.
Jimenez, the manner by which the money extorted had been delivered, and the respondents
had been identified as the perpetrators, had been adequately bared before the Office of the
Ombudsman. The obtention of the bank documents was not indispensable to establish
probable cause to charge them with the offense. In fine, the Office of the Ombudsman
transgressed the respondents right to due process as well as their right to the speedy
disposition of their case. Because of the inordinate delay in resolving the criminal complaint by
the Ombudsman against respondent, the cases against respondent were dismissed.
PLUNDER
RA No. 7080
1. The elements of plunder are:
(1) That the offender is a public officer who acts by himself or in connivance with
members of his family, relatives by affinity or consanguinity, business associates, subordinates
or other persons;
(2) That he amassed, accumulated or acquired ill-gotten wealth through a combination
or series of the following overt or criminal acts:

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(a) through misappropriation, conversion, misuse, or malversation of public
funds or raids on the public treasury;
(b) by receiving, directly or indirectly, any commission, gift, share, percentage,
kickback or any other form of pecuniary benefits from any person and/or entity in
connection with any government contract or project or by reason of the office or position
of the public officer;
(c) by the illegal or fraudulent conveyance or disposition of assets belonging to
the National Government or any of its subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities of
Government owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries;
(d) by obtaining, receiving or accepting directly or indirectly any shares of stock,
equity or any other form of interest or participation including the promise of future
employment in any business enterprise or undertaking;
(e) by establishing agricultural, industrial or commercial monopolies or other
combinations and/or implementation of decrees and orders intended to benefit
particular persons or special interests; or
(f) by taking advantage of official position, authority, relationship, connection or
influence to unjustly enrich himself or themselves at the expense and to the damage
and prejudice of the Filipino people and the Republic of the Philippines; and,
(3) That the aggregate amount or total value of the ill-gotten wealth amassed,
accumulated or acquired is at least P50,000,000.00 (Joseph Ejercito Estrada vs.
Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 148560, November 19, 2001).
2. A Senator on three occasions identified Napoles bogus non-governmental as recipient
of his PDAP in the total amount of 100 million. Instead of using the fund for legitimate
purpose, the Senator and Napoles divided the money on the basis of 40-60 sharing. Napoles
got the lions share. Did they commit plunder?
No. The Senator as a public officer did not amassed, accumulated or acquired ill-gotten
wealth through series of misuse or malversation of public funds in the aggregate amount of at
least P50,000,000.00. The Senator merely acquired 40 million pesos in this modus operandi.
On the other hand, Napoles on her private capacity cannot commit plunder.
3. Would you answer be the same if the Senator got the lions share of 60%?
Yes. The Senator, who acquired 60 million pesos, is liable for plunder. Under RA 7080,
plunder can be committed by a public officer who acts by himself or in connivance other
persons
Napoles is likewise liable on the basis of conspiracy. Because of conspiracy, the acts of
plunder committed by the Senator, a public officer, is attributable to Napoles, a private
individual, although they are not similarly situated in relation to the object of the crime.
4. Can the Senator use the defense in malversation that he is not responsible for the
misuse of his PDAP since it is the duty of the appropriate implementing agency of the
government to check that the recipient of the fund is not bogus?
No. Assuming that the duty to check that the recipient of the Senators PDAP is not
bogus belongs to the appropriate agency of the government, the Senator is still liable since
malversation can be committed through culpa.
CYBERLIBEL
Writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical
exhibition, cinematographic exhibition are means of publication in libel (2002 Bar
Examination). They have a common characteristic, and that is, their permanent nature as a
means of publication and this explains the graver penalty for libel than that prescribed for oral
defamation. Hence, the phrase any similar means should be understood in the lights of the
said common characteristic of the means to commit libel. Thus, defamation thorough amplifier
constitutes slander under Article 358 and not libel since its nature as means of publication is
not permanent, and thus, it is not similar to radio or other means mentioned in Article 355
since (People vs. Santiago, G.R. No. L-17663, May 30, 1962). On the other hand, television

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though not expressly mentioned in Article 355 easily qualifies under the general provision or
any similar means (People vs. Casten, CA-G.R. No. 07924-CR, December 13, 1974; 2005 Bar
Examination). Since nature of internet as a means of publication is permanent, it should be
considered as a means to commit libel. In Disini, the Supreme Court ruled:
The Court agrees with the Solicitor General that libel is not a constitutionally
protected speech and that the government has an obligation to protect private individuals
from defamation. Indeed, cyberlibel is actually not a new crime since Article 353, in
relation to Article 355 of the Penal Code, already punishes it. In effect, Section 4(c)(4)
above merely affirms that online defamation constitutes "similar means" for committing
libel.
Venue of cyber libel - As a general rule, the venue of libel cases where the complainant
is a private individual is limited to only either of two places, namely: 1) where the complainant
actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense; or 2) where the alleged defamatory
article was printed and first published (Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code).
However, the place where libelous article was accessed by the offended party in the
internet is not equivalent to the place where the libelous article is printed and first
published within the contemplation of the rule on venue under Article 360 of the Revised Penal
Code.
To rule otherwise is to allow the evil sought to be prevented by the amendment to
Article 360, and that was the indiscriminate or arbitrary laying of the venue in libel cases in
distant, isolated or far-flung areas, meant to accomplish nothing more than harass or
intimidate an accused. The disparity or unevenness of the situation becomes even more acute
where the offended party is a person of sufficient means or possesses influence, and is
motivated by spite or the need for revenge.
To equate the first access to the defamatory article on website with "printing and first
publication of the article" would spawn the very ills that the amendment to Article 360 of the
RPC sought to discourage and prevent. It hardly requires much imagination to see the chaos
that would ensue in situations where the websites author or writer, a blogger or anyone who
posts messages therein could be sued for libel anywhere in the Philippines that the private
complainant may have allegedly accessed the offending website.
At any rate, Article 360 still allow offended party to file the civil or criminal complaint
for internet libel in their respective places of residence (Bonifacio vs. RTC, Makati, Branch
149,G.R. No. 184800, May 5, 2010)

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