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ARTICLE 15: ALTERNATIVE CIRCUMSTANCES

1. Relationship
What should be taken into consideration? the relationship with the offended party including:
a. Spouse
b. Ascendant
c. Descendant
d. Legitimate, natural or adopted brother or sister
e. Relative by affinity in the same degrees of the offender.
Excluded from the list
*stepbrother-stepsister (not related by blood or affinity)
*uncle-niece, cousins, etc. (relationships are by consanguinity)
When is the circumstance of relationship mitigating or aggravating?
The Revised Penal Code is silent as to when relationship is mitigating or aggravating. Given the case, the following
can be inferred:
Crimes Against Chastity relationship is always aggravating (ex: acts of lasciviousness)
Crimes against Property
Relationship is mitigating in the crimes of robbery, usurpation, fraudulent insolvency
Relationship is exempting in the crimes of theft, estafa, and malicious mischief.
Crimes Against Persons
Less serious/Slight physical injuries
Relationship is mitigating if the offended party is a relative of a lower degree (infliction could be a disciplinary
action)
Relationship is aggravating if the offended party is a relative of a higher degree (older, lesser capability for
defense)
Serious physical injuries relationship is always aggravating
Rape relationship is always aggravating
Murder relationship is always aggravating
Parricide, adultery, and concubinage are not included since relationship is inherent in these crimes.
To summarize:
Mitigating

Aggravating

Neither of the two

Robbery

Less serious/slight physical injuries*


(higher degree)

Parricide

Usurpation
Fraudulent Insolvency
Less serious/slight physical injuries*
(lower degree)

Serious physical injuries


Rape
Murder
Acts of lasciviousness

Adultery
Concubinage
Theft
Estafa
Malicious Mischief

Cannot be considered in such cases:


1. Crimes committed by an uncle against his niece
2. Crimes committed by a stepbrother against his stepsister.
3. Relationship has not been alleged (see notes).
Examples:
1. Acts of lasciviousness committed by a grandfather against his granddaughter.
2. Rape: father against his minor daughter/married daughter/daughter of his common-law spouse
/stepdaughter.
3. Murder committed by the accused against his brother/sister/parent-in-law/brother-in-law/parent/stepparent
Notes:
1. The word step in conjunction with a degree of kinship presupposes a valid marriage.
2. Relationship by affinity survives the death of either party to the marriage which created the affinity.
3. Relationship must be alleged in the information.
2. Intoxication

What should be taken into consideration? The effect of intoxication in the will-power of the accused
committing a crime.
When is the circumstance of intoxication mitigating or aggravating?
Mitigating
Aggravating
If intoxication is not habitual, or

If intoxication is habitual, or

If intoxication is not subsequent to the plan to commit a


felony

If it is intentional or subsequent to the plan to commit


a felony; drinks fully, knowing its effects, to find a
stimulant to commit a crime or a means to suffocate
any remorse

Mitigating
What should be shown to be entitled to the mitigating circumstance of intoxication?
1. That at the time of the commission of the criminal act, the accused has taken such quantity of alcoholic
drinks as to blur his reason and deprive him of a certain degree of control; and
2. That such intoxication is not habitual, or subsequent to the plan to commit the felony.
When we say that the quantity of alcoholic drinks blurred the accuseds reason, what does that mean?
The quantity or amount of alcohol is so intoxicating as to diminish a mans rational capacity, or impair the exercise
of his willpower or the capacity to know the injustice of his act.
What is the presumption in intoxication, if there is no proof to the contrary? That it is neither habitual nor
intentional.
Aggravating
Habitual Drunkard: is one given to intoxication by excessive use of intoxicating drinks; habit should be actual &
confirmed.
In the aggravating circumstance of intoxication, what should be established? Clear and convincing
(sufficient) evidence that it is habitual or intentional on the part of the accused; prosecution must prove every
aggravating circumstance as fully as the crime itself and any doubt as to its existence must be resolved in favor of
the accused.
Cannot be considered in such cases:
1. Medical certificates did not show intoxication.
2. No showing that intoxication was habitual or intentional, or it impaired the accuseds will power or his
capacity to understand the wrongfulness of his acts.
3. No proof that the amount of liquor the accused had taken was of such quantity as to effect his mental
faculties.
4. No proof that the accused is a habitual and excessive drinker or that he intentionally got drunk in order to
commit the crime or where there is no showing that the accused was so drunk that his will-power was
impaired or that he could not comprehend the wrongfulness of his acts.
5. (Mitigating)The accused was able to resume his routine work after drinking; was a little bit drunk
6. (Mitigating) The accused had a glass of beer so as not to diminish him of his will-power.
Examples:
1. (Mitigating) The accused drank for two hours before committing the crime.
2. (Aggravating) There was justification for the belief that the accused, who had plotted the death of the
victim, had drunk wine in order to embolden him in the carrying out of his evil plan.
Note: Intoxication must be alleged in the information.
3. Degree of Instruction and education of the offender
What should be taken into consideration? the level of intelligence; there should be lack of sufficient
intelligence.
General rule: the circumstance of lack of sufficient intelligence is mitigating, except for:
1. Crimes against property (arson, estafa, theft, robbery)
2. Crimes against chastity.
3. Treason
4. Murder
5. Rape
General explanation for exceptions: However unschooled one may be, the accused is not ignorant to know that
these crimes are inherently wrong and violations of law.
Low degree of instruction and education or lack of it mitigating
High degree of instruction and education aggravating when the offender took advantage of his learning in
committing the crime.

Cannot be considered in such cases:


1. The record disclosed that the accused possessed an intelligence worthy of a lawyer/educated man.
2. The accused finished grade one or grade two.
3. Robbery, theft or homicide: no one, however unschooled he may be, is so ignorant as not to know that theft
or robbery, or assault upon the person of another, is inherently wrong and a violation of the law.
4. Treason: love of country should be a natural feeling of every citizen, however unlettered or uncultured.
Examples:
1. A wage-earner who could not sign her statement before the police and had to affix thereto her thumbmark.
2. An accused who could neither write nor read
Note: Lack of education or instruction refers to lack of sufficient intelligence, not mere illiteracy or lack of formal
education or schooling.
Scenario 1: a person may sign his name but otherwise so densely ignorant and of such low intelligence (mitigating)
Scenario 2: a person unable to write due to lack of educational facilities or opportunities, may yet be highly or
exceptionally intelligent and mentally alert (not mitigating)

ARTICLE 16: PERSONS CRIMINALLY LIABLE FOR FELONIES


Liable for grave and less grave felonies
1. Principal
2. Accomplices
3. Accessories
Liable for light felonies punishable only when consummated, except for crimes against persons or property
1. Principal
2. Accomplices
Remember: Only natural persons can be criminally liable.
1. Felonies can be committed only by means of deceit (dolo) or fault (culpa); only natural persons are capable
of committing these felonies
2. Only natural persons can suffer imprisonment or deprivation of liberty as a form of punishment.
Juridical persons, under Art. 44 of the Civil Code, are
1. The State and its political subdivisions;
2. Other corporations, institutions and entities for public interest or purpose
3. Corporations, partnerships and associations for private interest or purpose.
Remember: Juridical persons cannot be criminally liable because they can neither act with the mens rea which is
essential for criminal liability nor be confined in a jail; only the officers or agents of the corporation who participated
in the commission of the crime can be criminally liable.
Examples:
1. Violations of Anti-Money Laundering Act to be imposed upon the responsible officers of the corporation,
partnership, association or any juridical person who participated in the commission of the crime.
2. Violations of Anti-Dummy Law to be imposed upon the president, manager or person in charge of such
corporation, partnership or association violating the law.
In addition, according to Art. 46 of the Civil Code, juridical persons can bring a criminal action; they may possess
property of all kinds, as well as incur obligations and bring civil and criminal actions, in conformity with laws and
regulations of their organization.
Two parties in a crime
1. Active subject (the criminal) as enumerated by Art. 16, RPC.
2. Passive subject (the injured party)
The holder of the injured right; the man, the juristic person, the group, and the state.
Corporation and partnership can be a passive subject of a crime.
Corpses and animals cannot be passive subjects because they have no rights that may be injured.
o Exception: the crime of defamation may be committed against the memory of one who is dead)

ARTICLE 17: PRINCIPALS


Principal by direct participation

Principal by inducement

Those who take a direct part in


the execution of the act

Those who directly force


induce others to commit it.

1.

Principal by indispensable cooperation


or

Those who cooperate in the commission of the


offense by another act without which it woulod
not have been accomplished.

By direct participation one who takes a direct part in the execution of the crime.

Requisites:
1. That they participated in the criminal resolution; and
2. That they carried out their plan and personally took part in its execution by acts directly tended to the same
end*
*when the second requisite is lacking, there is only conspiracy.
Notes:
1. While it is not indispensable that the act of agreement be demonstrated, the fact of agreement must
nevertheless be convincingly shown; there must be unity of purpose and unity in the execution of the
objective.
2. When there is conspiracy, the conspirators are equally liable as principals by direct participation, no matter
how minimal the participation may be.
3. When there is conspiracy, it is unnecessary to pinpoint who inflicted the fatal blow since the conspirators
are equally liable as conspirators, regardless of the extent of their constabulary participation.
4. The conspiracy may be implied (Doctrine of implied conspiracy) if it is proved that two or more persons
aimed, by their acts, at the accomplishment of the same unlawful object, each doing a part so that their
acts, though apparently independent, were in fact connected and cooperative, indicating a closeness of
personal association and concurrence of sentiment, a conspiracy may be inferred though no actual meeting
among them to concert ways and means is proved.
5. Direct participation is necessary, with the exception of persons not in the scene of the crime who took part
in the criminal design (leaders, masterminds, primemovers as principals by inducement)
6. The principal by direct participation who does not appear at the scene of the crime is not liable (desistance)
7. Conspiracy is not necessary when the accused takes a direct part in the commission of the crime.
8. In the absence of conspiracy, an accused may be held liable only as an accomplice and not as a co-principal
if he had knowledge of the criminal resolution.
9. In the absence of conspiracy. The accused shall be liable individually and only up to the extent of his
participation in the commission of the crime.
10. Mere presence at the scene of the crime does not make one a conspirator. But if his presence at the situs
criminis is to provide moral support and reinforce the aggression, then he may be liable as a conspirator.
11. Conspiracy must be established by clear and convincing evidence like any other felony.
12. In case of doubt, the accused shall be held liable only as an accomplice but not as a conspirator.
13. Conspiracy is presumed when crime is committed by a band.
14. Conspiracy does not presuppose evident premeditation (because there can be implied conspiracy)
15. A conspirator is not liable for anothers crime when it is not an object of the conspiracy or which is not a
necessary and logical consequence thereof.
Exception: robbery by a band (Art. 296); exception to the exception: If it is shown that he attempted to
prevent the occurrence of the act that is not an object to the conspiracy.
16. When there is conspiracy, the fact that an element of the offense is not present as regards one of the
conspirators is immaterial.
Exception: Relationship and treachery (Act of one, act of all. Not crime of one, crime of all)
Examples of conspiracy:
1. One of the accused held and restrained the victim while the other stabbed the latter (even minimal
participation)
2. Both of the accused dragged the victim away from her house until they reached a nearby barrio. In a
secluded house, one of the accused ravaged the victim while the other stood guard to prevent any intrusion
(implied)
3. One of the accused initially decided to stab the victim, but during the commission of the crime, two others
agreed to join in. The three simultaneously stabbed the victim (showing of overt acts)
4. During the killing of the two accused of a victim, another accompanied them all throughout the incident
(presence of an accused providing moral support)
Examples of acts not showing conspiracy:

1.

2.
2.

All the accused and the victim were drinking together. They went home after drinking, but the victim was
suddenly hit on the face by a slingshot by one of the accused. Another ran to where the victim fell and held
him, while the third one hit the victim on the head with a stone, rendering him unconscious. While the
victim was unconscious, two of the accused hacked the victim with a bolo.*
*no other evidence was presented by the prosecution to show conspiracy
Mere presence at the scene and shouting of to kill; no other evidence was shown to constitute conspiracy,
and as such the accused was only liable as an accomplice.

By inducement -- one who directly forced or induces another to commit a crime; does not have to take part in
its material execution. Inducement exists whenever the act performed by the physical author of the crime is
determined by the influence of the inducer over the mind of him who commits the acts whatever the source of
such influence.

Requisites (Amurao)
1. The inducement should precede the commission of the crime
2. The inducement should be direct and determining cause of the crime.
3. The inducement was offered with the intention of producing the result thereof.
Requisites (Memory Aid)
1. That the inducement be made directly with the intention of procuring the commission of the crime; and
2. That such inducement is the determining cause of the commission of the crime by the material executor.
*one cannot be held guilty of having instigated the commission of the crime without first being shown that the
crime was actually committed (or attempt) by another.
Two ways in which one can become principal by inducement:
1. By giving a price or offering a reward or promise; and
2. By using words of command.
Two ways (Memory aid)
1. By direct forcing another to commit a crime by using irresistible force or causing uncontrollable fear
2. By directly inducing another to commit a crime by giving of price, or offering of reward or promise or using
words of command. (No. 2: two ways in Amurao)
Requisites of using words of command:
1. That the one uttering the words of command must have the intention of procuring the commission of the
crime
2. That the one uttering the words of command must have an ascendancy or influence over the person who
acted
3. That the words must be so direct, so efficacious, so powerful as to amount to physical or moral coercion
4. The words of command must be uttered prior to the commission of the crime
5. The material executor of the crime has not personal reason to commit the crime.
Notes:
1. The acts or utterances should be the determining cause of the crime or done with the intention of producing
the result thereof.
2. The inducer must have the most positive resolution and the most persistent effort to secure the commission
of the crime.
3. Imprudent utterances, exciting or encouraging words or remarks made after the mortal blow has been
inflicted, do not make one a principal by inducement.
4. An accused may be both a principal by direct participation and a principal by inducement.
Principal by inducement

Offendor who made proposal to commit a felony


In both

There is an inducement to commit a crime


When liable
Becomes liable only when the crime is
committed by the principal by direct
participation.

The mere proposal to commit a felony is punishable in


treason or rebellion. However, the person to whom the
proposal is made should not commit the crime; otherwise,
the proponent becomes a principal by inducement.

What kind of crime involved


Involves any crime

The proposal to be punishable must involve only treason,

rebellion, insurrection or coup d etat (TRIC).


Examples of inducement:
1. The accused was established as the instigator of the robbery. Unable to carry it himself, he employed
another.
2. The accused induced another to sign the travel expense voucher in exchange for receiving a share of the
proceeds of the claim even if he was not entitled thereto.
3. The accused induced another to kill her husband in order for them to live together in illicit relations
4. The accused ordered another to sign the receive portion of the payrolls as payee to make it appear that
persons whose names appeared on the same had signed the document when they in fact did not.
5. The accused ordered another to shoot the victim.
6. The accused told the father of the child, Here is your child, do with it whatever you please. Throw it into
the sea if you choose to.
7. The father cried out in a loud voice to his sons who were fighting with others to kill those with whom they
were fighting before they were killed themselves.
Examples of acts without inducement:
1. The remark of the person to take care of the two does not constitute the command required by law.
2. The remark Sigue! is only a mere assault.
3. The person merely said, Stab him! Stab him! it not appearing that he did anything more than say the
words
4. A person who advised a married woman to just rob her stingy husband.
5. Mere imprudent utterances said in the excitement of the hour such as Kill him and we will bury him.
3.

By indispensable cooperation one who, having direct participation in the criminal design, cooperates in the
commission of the crime by committing another act without which the crime would not have been accomplished

Requisites:
1. Participation in the criminal resolution, that is, there is either anterior conspiracy or unity of criminal
purpose and intention immediately before the commission of the crime charged; and
2. Cooperation in the commission of the offense by performing another act without which the crime would not
have been accomplished.
Notes:
1. The accused must unite with the criminal design of the principal by indispensable cooperation.
2. Raised suspicion does not make an accused a principal by indispensable cooperation.
3. An accused may be both a principal by direct participation and a principal by indispensable cooperation.
Collective criminal responsibility (CCR)
This is present when the offenders are criminally liable in the same manner and to the same extent. The
penalty to be imposed must be the same for all.
Principals by direct participation have collective criminal responsibility.
Principals by induction, except those who directly forced another to commit a crime, have CCR.
Principals by indispensable cooperation have CCR with the principal by direct participation.
Individual criminal responsibility (ICR)
In the absence of any previous conspiracy, unity of criminal purpose and intention immediately before the
commission of the crime, or community of criminal design, the criminal responsibility arising from different
acts directed against one and the same person is individual and not collective.
Examples of indispensable cooperation:
1. Holding the victims hands to prevent him from drawing his pistol and defending himself, while his coaccused was simultaneously stabbing the victim repeatedly
2. The accused seized the running victim in such a manner that the latter could not even move or turn around,
enabling the principal by direct participation to overtake the victim and stab him at the back without risk.
Examples of acts without indispensable cooperation:
1. If contributory acts were made after the crime was committed, the accused cannot be considered to be a
principal by indispensable cooperation.
2. Mere kicking of the victim does not constitute indispensable cooperation.
3. Merely introducing somebody to the principal by direct participation is not evidence of cooperation.

ARTICLE 18: ACCOMPLICES


Accomplices are the persons who, not being included in Article 17, cooperate in the execution of the offense by
previous or simultaneous acts; those who know the criminal design of the principal and cooperate knowingly or
intentionally therewith by an act which, even if not rendered, the crime would be committed just the same.
Elements of an accomplice:
1. The community of criminal design, that is, knowing the criminal design of the principal by direct
participation, he concurs with the latter in his purpose; and
2. The performance of previous or simultaneous acts which are not indispensable to the commission of the
crime.
Requisites (Memory aid):
1. That there be community of design;
2. That he cooperates in the execution of the offense by previous or simultaneous acts, with the intention of
supplying material or moral aid in the execution of the crime in an efficaciously way; and
3. That there be a relation between the acts done by the principal and those attributed to the person charged
as an accomplice
Notes:
1. The participation of an accomplice presupposes that the principal and the accomplice acted in conjunction
and directed their efforts to the same end.
2. The previous acts of cooperation by the accomplice should not be indispensable to the commission of the
crime; otherwise, the accused would be liable as a principal by indispensable cooperation.
3. In the absence of conspiracy, giving a pre-arranged signal to another accused may make one an
accomplice.
4. In the absence of complicity between the accomplice and the author of the crime, the person purported to
be an accomplice may not be held liable.
5. Mere presence at the scene of the crime does not make one an accomplice.
6. Utterances are not sufficient to fix complicity upon a person charged as an accomplice, where other facts
show that the spokesman did not speak said words with the intention that the person slain should be
wounded.
7. Under PD 532 (Anti-Piracy and Anti-Robbery Law of 1974), the acts of an accomplice are specified in Section
4 thereof.
Examples of acts of accomplices:
1. Hitting the victims companion with the piece of wood to prevent him from helping the victim is an act of an
accomplice
2. Trampling upon the victims face and breast after the fatal injury was inflicted upon the latter.
3. Throwing of stones at the victim while the latter was struggling with the principal by direct participation
Examples of acts that do not make the accused an accomplice:
1. Performance of overt acts; such acts make the accused principal by direct participation.
2. The accused drew a knife and stabbed the victim; the person charged only sided with the accused and was
seated beside him
3. Mere holding of the victim without knowledge that the accused would use such advantage to commit the
crime.
Special case: Acting as Lookout
As a principal: when he is part of a conspiracy and he participated in the resolution to commit a crime.
As an accomplice: when he is not part of the conspiracy or the resolution to commit the crime; if the acts
committed are not indispensable in the commission of the felony
Conspirator and accomplice distinguished.
Conspirator
1.
2.

Conspirators take part in the criminal


intention or design.
They decide that a crime should be
committed.

Accomplice
1.
2.

Accomplices merely agree to cooperate in the


execution of the criminal intention or design.
They merely concur in it. They do not decide
whether the crime should be committed. They
merely assent to the plan and cooperate in its

3.

They are the authors of the crime.

3.

accomplishment
They are merely the authors instruments who
perform acts not essential to the perpetration of
the offense.

Certain accomplices to be punished as principals in certain crimes against chastity (Article 346)
ascendant, guardian, curator, teacher and any person who, by abuse of authority or confidential relationship, shall
cooperate as an accomplice in the perpetration of the crimes embraced in Chapters 2, 3 and 4 of Book 2, Title 11
shall be punished as principals.
1. Rape (Art 335)
2. Acts of Lasciviousness (Art 336)
3. Qualified seduction (Art 337)
4. Simple seduction (Art 338)
5. Acts of lasciviousness with the consent of the offended party (Art 339)
6. Corruption of minors (Art 340)