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US v. Fowler, 1 Phil. 614

Subject Matter: Applications of the provisions of Art. 2 of the Revised Penal Code

In August 12, 1901, the defendants were accused of the theft of 16 champagne bottles worth 20
dollars while on board the vessel, “Lawton”. The counsel for defendants alleged to the Court of
First Instance of Manila that they were without jurisdiction over the crime charged. Since it
happened in the high seas and not in the city of Manila or in the territory in which the
jurisdiction of the court extends, they asked that the case be dismissed.

Whether or not the Court of First Instance of Manila has jurisdiction over the criminal case theft
committed on board while navigating on high seas on a vessel not registered in the Philippines.

No. The Philippine court has jurisdiction over the crime of theft committed on high seas on
board a vessel not registered or licensed in the Philippines. The English Rule states that such
crimes are triable in our country when crimes are committed on board a foreign vessel sailing
from a foreign port and which enters the Philippine waters. In the case at bar, the vessel Lawton
was navigating the high seas at the commission of the crime. Given the location of the vessel at
the time, such act is not triable within our jurisdiction.

US vs Bull, 15 Phil 7
Subject Matter: Applicability of Art. 2 of the Revised Penal Code


On December 2, 1908, a steamship vessel engaged in the transport of animals named Stanford
commanded by H.N. Bull docked in the port of Manila, Philippines. It was found that said vessel
from Ampieng, Formosa carried 674 heads of cattle without providing appropriate shelter and
proper suitable means for securing the animals which resulted for most of the animals to get hurt
and others to have died while in transit.
This cruelty to animals is said to be contrary to Acts No. 55 and No. 275 of the Philippine
Constitution. It is however contended that cases cannot be filed because neither was it said that
the court sitting where the animals were disembarked would take jurisdiction, nor did it say
about ships not licensed under Philippine laws, like the ships involved.

Whether or not the court had jurisdiction over an offense committed on board a foreign ship
while inside the territorial waters of the Philippines.

Yes. When the vessel comes within 3 miles from the headlines which embrace the entrance of
Manila Bay, the vessel is within territorial waters and thus, the laws of the Philippines shall
apply. A crime committed on board a Norwegian merchant vessel sailing to the Philippines is
within the jurisdiction of the courts of the Philippines if the illegal conditions existed during the
time the ship was within the territorial waters - regardless of the fact that the same conditions
existed when the ship settled from the foreign port and while it was on the high seas,

In light of the above restriction, the defendant was found guilty and sentenced to pay a fine of
two hundred and fifty pesos with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the
People vs Wong Cheng, 46 Phil 729
Subject Matter: Applicability of Art. 2 of the Revised Penal Code


The appellant, in representation of the Attorney General, filed an appeal that urges the revocation
of a demurrer sustained by the Court of First Instance of Manila presented by the defendant. The
defendant, accused of having illegally smoked opium aboard the merchant vessel Changsa of
English nationality while the said vessel was anchored in Manila Bay, two and a half miles from
the shores of the city. In the said demurrer, the defendant contended the lack of jurisdiction of
the lower court of the said crime, which resulted to the dismissal of the case.

Whether or not the Philippine courts have jurisdiction over the crime committed aboard
merchant vessels anchored in our jurisdictional waters.

Yes. The crime in the case at bar was committed in our internal waters thus the Philippine courts
have a right of jurisdiction over the said offense. The Court said that having the opium smoked
within our territorial waters even though aboard a foreign merchant ship is a breach of the public
order because it causes such drugs to produce pernicious effects within our territory. Therefore,
the demurrer is revoked and the Court ordered further proceedings.

US vs Look Chow, 18 Phil 573

Subject Matter: Applicability of the provisions of Art 2 of the Revised Penal Code

Between 11 and 12 o'clock a.m. in August 19, 1909, the Port of Cebu and internal revenue agent
of Cebu, respectively, went aboard the steamship Erroll to inspect and search its cargo, and
found two sacks containing opium. The defendant stated freely and voluntarily that he had
bought these sacks of opium in Hong Kong with the intention of selling them as contraband in
Mexico or Vera Cruz, and that as his hold had already been searched several times for opium he
ordered two other chinamen to keep the sack. All the evidence found properly constitutes corpus
It was established that the steamship Erroll was of English nationality, that it came from Hong
Kong, and that it was bound for Mexico, via the call ports in Manila and Cebu.

Whether or not courts of local state can exercise its jurisdiction over foreign vessels stationed in
its port.

Yes. The Philippine courts have jurisdiction over the matter. The mere possession of a thing of
prohibited use in these Islands, aboard a foreign vessel in transit, in any of their ports, does not,
as a general rule, constitute a crime triable by the courts of this country, on account of such
vessel being considered as an extension of its own nationality. However, the same rule does not
apply when the article, whose use is prohibited within the Philippines, in the present case, a can
of opium, is landed from the vessel upon the Philippine soil, thus committing an open violation
of the penal law in force at the place of the commission of the crime. Only the court established
in the said place itself has competent jurisdiction, in the absence of an agreement under an
international treaty.
US vs Ah Sing, 36 Phil 978
Subject Matter: Applicability of Art. 2 of the Revised Penal Code

Ah Sing is a fireman at the steamship Shun Chang, a foreign vessel which arrived in the port of
Cebu from Saigon. He bought 8 cans of opium in Saigon, brought them on board and had them
in his possession during the said trip. The 8 cans of opium were found in the ashes below the
boiler of the steamer's engine by authorities who made a search upon anchoring on the port of
Cebu. The defendant confessed that he was the owner of the opium and that he had purchased it
in Saigon. He dis not confess, however, as to his purpose in buying the opium. He did not say
that it was his intention to import the prohibited drug.

Whether or not the crime of illegal importation of opium into the Philippine Islands is criminally
liable in the Philippines.

Yes. As stated in the Opium Law, we expressly hold that any person who unlawfully imports or
brings any prohibited drug into the Philippine Islands, when the prohibited drug is found under
this person's control on a vessel which has come direct from a foreign country and is within the
jurisdiction limits of the Philippines, is guilty of the crime of illegal importation of opium, unless
contrary circumstances exist or the defense proves otherwise.


(G.R. No. 142396 February 11, 2003)


Violation of the “Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972,” was filed against Minucher following a “buy-
bust operation” conducted by Philippine police narcotic agents accompanied by Scalzo in the
house of Minucher, an Iranian national, where heroin was said to have been seized. Minucher
was later acquitted by the court.

Minucher later on filed for damages due to trumped-up charges of drug trafficking made by
Arthur Scalzo.

Scalzo on his counterclaims that he had acted in the discharge of his official duties as being
merely an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States Department of

Scalzo subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that, being a special
agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, he was entitled to diplomatic
immunity. He attached to his motion Diplomatic Note of the United States Embassy addressed to
DOJ of the Philippines and a Certification of Vice Consul Donna Woodward, certifying that the
note is a true and faithful copy of its original. Trial court denied the motion to dismiss.


Whether or not Arthur Scalzo is indeed entitled to diplomatic immunity.



A foreign agent, operating within a territory, can be cloaked with immunity from suit as long as
it can be established that he is acting within the directives of the sending state.
The consent or imprimatur of the Philippine government to the activities of the United States
Drug Enforcement Agency, however, can be gleaned from the undisputed facts in the case.

 The official exchanges of communication between agencies of the government of the two
 Certifications from officials of both the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and the
United States Embassy
 Participation of members of the Philippine Narcotics Command in the “buy-bust operation”
conducted at the residence of Minucher at the behest of Scalzo

These may be inadequate to support the “diplomatic status” of the latter but they give enough
indication that the Philippine government has given its imprimatur, if not consent, to the
activities within Philippine territory of agent Scalzo of the United States Drug Enforcement

The job description of Scalzo has tasked him to conduct surveillance on suspected drug suppliers
and, after having ascertained the target, to inform local law enforcers who would then be
expected to make the arrest.

In conducting surveillance activities on Minucher, later acting as the poseur-buyer during the
buy-bust operation, and then becoming a principal witness in the criminal case against Minucher,

Scalzo hardly can be said to have acted beyond the scope of his official function or duties.

WHO vs Aquino Case Digest

Diplomatic Immunity, Political Question, Suits against International Agencies

Dr. Leonce Verstuyft was assigned by WHO to its regional office in Manila as Acting Assistant
Director of Health Services. His personal effects, contained in twelve (12) crates, were allowed
free entry from duties and taxes. Constabulary Offshore Action Center (COSAC) suspected that
the crates “contain large quantities of highly dutiable goods” beyond the official needs
of Verstuyft. Upon application of the COSAC officers, Judge Aquino issued a search warrant for
the search and seizure of the personal effects of Verstuyft.
Secretary of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. Romulo advised Judge Aquino that Dr. Verstuyft is
entitled to immunity from search in respect for his personal baggage as accorded to members of
diplomatic missions pursuant to the Host Agreement and requested that the search warrant be
suspended. The Solicitor General accordingly joined Verstuyft for the quashal of the search
warrant but respondent judge nevertheless summarily denied the quashal. Verstuyft, thus, filed a
petition for certiorari and prohibition with the SC. WHO joined Verstuyft in asserting diplomatic

Whether or not personal effect of Verstuyft can be exempted from search and seizure under the
diplomatic immunity.

Yes. The executive branch of the Phils has expressly recognized that Verstuyft is entitled to
diplomatic immunity, pursuant to the provisions of the Host Agreement. The DFA formally
advised respondent judge of the Philippine Government's official position. The Solicitor General,
as principal law officer of the gorvernment, likewise expressly affirmed said petitioner's right to
diplomatic immunity and asked for the quashal of the search warrant.
It is a recognized principle of international law and under our system of separation of powers
that diplomatic immunity is essentially a political question and courts should refuse to look
beyond a determination by the executive branch of the government, and where the plea of
diplomatic immunity is recognized and affirmed by the executive branch of the government as in
the case at bar, it is then the duty of the courts to accept the claim of immunity upon appropriate
suggestion by the principal law officer of the government, the Solicitor General in this case, or
other officer acting under his discretion. Courts may not so exercise their jurisdiction by seizure
and detention of property, as to embarass the executive arm of the government in conducting
foreign relations.
The Court, therefore, holds the respondent judge acted without jurisdiction and with grave abuse
of discretion in not ordering the quashal of the search warrant issued by him in disregard of the
diplomatic immunity of petitioner Verstuyft.


These cases have been consolidated because they all involve the doctrine of
stateimmunity. In GR No. 76607, The private respondents are suing several officers of the US
Air Force inClark Air Base in connection with the bidding conducted by them for contracts for
barber services inthe said base which was won by a certain Dizon. The respondents wanted to
cancel the award to theb i d w i n n e r b e c a u s e t h e y c l a i m e d t h a t D i z o n h a d
i n c l u d e d i n h i s b i d a n a r e a n o t i n c l u d e d i n t h e invitation to bid, and subsequently,
to conduct a rebidding.In GR No. 79470, Fabian Genove filed a complaint for damages against
petitioners Lamachia,Belsa, Cartalla and Orascion for his dismissal as cook in the US Air Force
Recreation Center at CampJohn Hay Air Station inBaguioCity. It had been ascertained after
investigation, from the testimony of Belsa, Cartalla and Orascion, that Genove had poured urine
into the soup stock used in cooking thevegetables served to the club customers. Lamachia, as
club manager, suspended him and thereafterreferred the case to a board of arbitrators
conformably to the collective bargaining agreementbetween the center and its employees. The
board unanimously found him guilty and recommended hisdismissal. Genove’s reaction was to
file his complaint against the individual petitioners. In GR No. 80018, Luis Bautista, who was
employed as a barracks boy in Cano O’ Donnell, anextension of Clark Air Bas, was arrested
following a buy-bust operation conducted by the individualpetitioners who are officers of the US
Air Force and special agents of the Air Force Office of SpecialInvestigators. On the basis of
the sworn statements made by them, an information for violation of R.A. 6425, otherwise known
as the Dangerous Drugs Act, was filed against Bautista in the RTC of Tarlac. Said officers
testified against him at his trial. Bautista was dismissed from his employment. Hethen filed a
complaint against the individual petitioners claiming that it was because of their acts thathe was
removed.In GR No. 80258, a complaint for damages was filed by the private respondents against
theherein petitioners (except theUS), for injuries sustained by the plaintiffs as a result of the acts
of thedefendants. There is a conflict of factual allegations here. According to the plaintiffs, the
defendantsbeat them up, handcuffed them and unleashed dogs on them which bit them in several
parts of theirbodies and caused extensive injuries to them. The defendants deny this and claim
that plaintiffs werearrested for theft and were bitten by the dogs because they were struggling
and resisting arrest. In amotion to dismiss the complaint, theUS and the individually named
defendants argued that the suitwas in effect a suit against theUS, which had not given its consent
to be sued.

Whether the defendants were also immune from suit under the RP-US Bases Treaty for actsdone
by them in the performance of their official duties.

The rule that a State may not be sued without its consent is one of the generally
acceptedprinciples of international law that were have adopted as part of the law of our land.
Even withoutsuch affirmation, we would still be bound by the generally accepted principles of
international lawunder the doctrine of incorporation. Under this doctrine, as accepted by
the majority of the states,such principles are deemed incorporated in the law of every
civilized state as a condition andconsequence of its membership in the society of nations. All
states are sovereign equals and cannotassert jurisdiction over one another.While the doctrine
appears to prohibit only suits against the state without its consent, it is alsoapplicable to
complaints filed against officials of the states for acts allegedly performed by them in
thedischarge of their duties. The rule is that if the judgment against such officials will require the
stateitself to perform an affirmative act to satisfy the same, the suit must be regarded as against
the statealthough it has not been formally impleaded.


People vs GonzalesPeople of the Philippines, plaintiff-appelle, vs. Fausta Gonzales, Augusto

Gonzales, CustodioGonzales Sr., Nerio Gonzales, and Rogelio Lanida, accused; Custodio
Gonzales Sr., accused-appellant

Doctrine: The commission of a felony under Art. 3 of the Revised Penal Code requires that an
act apunishable act or omission must be committed, and that it must be committed with deceit
and/or fault.Keywords: murder, felony, criminal intent, credibility of witnessNature: Appeal
from the decision of the Court of AppealsDate: March 19, 1990Ponente: Justice Sarmiento
:The appellant is appealing to the court regarding his participation in the killing of a certain
LolyPenacerrada. He claims that he did not participate in the killing based on the claim that he
was notpresent in the said act.The antecedent facts are as follows:-
At around 9:00 p.m. of February 21, 1981, Bartolome Paja, barangay captain of Brgy.
Tipacla,Ajuy, Iloilo, was awakened by two of the accused (Augusto and Fausta). Paja learns
thatFausta killed their landlord, Lloyd Penacerrada, and would like to surrender to authorities.
Knife used in killing was seen, and blood was found smeared on Fausta’s dress.
Paja immediately ordered a nephew to take spouses to the police at the Municipal Hall
inPoblacon, Ajay, where the couple informed the police on duty of the incident.-
Several patrolmen, along with Paja and Augusto proceeded to the residence at SitioNabitasan
where the killing incident allegedly occurred, and found the body of the deceased,clad in
underwear, sprawled face down inside the bedroom.-
Group stayed for an hour in which the scene was inspected, and a rough sketch of the areawas
The next day, a patrolman, accompanied by a photographer, went back to the scene forfurther
investigations. Fausta was brought back to the police station.-
The autopsy of the deceased was performed at 11:20 a.m. Report shows the following:
oSixteen wounds: five fatal as they penetrated the internal organs
oMultiple puncture, stab, incision, and lacerated wounds-

The day after the autopsy, Augusto appeared before the sub-station and voluntarilysurrendered to
Police Corporal Sazon for detention and protective custody for having beeninvolved in the
killing of the deceased. Augusto requests to be taken to where Fausta wasalready detained.Based
on the investigations conducted, an information for murder dated August 26, 1981, was
filed by the Provincial Fiscal of Iloilo against the spouses. However, they pleaded ‘not guilty.’ Before the
trial, however, a certain Jose Huntoria presented himself to the wife of the deceased. Huntoria
claims tobe a witness of the killing, and on October 6, 1981, volunteers as a witness for the
prosecution. Areinvestigation of the case was called, in which several more were filed as
accused, including theappellant. All the accused except for Lenida pleaded not guilty.
At the trial, the prosecution presented Dr. Jesus Rojas, the physician who conducted the
autopsyon the body, Paja, the patrolmen and constabulary members who joined in the
investigation, the widow,and Huntoria.Dr. Rojas testified that he performed the autopsy at
around 11:20 a.m. on Feb. 1981 after thedeceased was taken to the municipal hall. He found 4
puncture wounds, 7 stab wounds, 4 incisions, and1 laceration; five of these were fatal wounds.
Rojas admitted one of two possibilities:-

Only one weapon might have caused all the wounds-

Multiple instruments were used due to the number and different characteristics
The brunt of the prosecution’s case rested on Huntoria’s alleged eyewitness account of the
incident, which was as follows:-
Testified on July 27, 1982; at 5 pm on Feb. 21, 1981, he left his work at Brgy. Central,
andwalked home, taking a short-cut.-

While passing at the vicinity of the Gonzales spouses’ home at around 8:00 pm, he heard
cries for help. Curiosity prompted him to approach the place where the shouts were from.-

15-20 m away from the scene, he hid himself behind a clump of banana trees, and saw allthe
accused ganging upon the deceased near a threshing platform. He said he clearlyrecognized all
the accused as the place was awash in moonlight.-

After stabbing and hacking the victim, the accused lifted his body and carried it to the
house.Huntoria then left home. Upon reaching his house, he related what he saw to his
wife andmother before going to sleep.-

Eight months after the incident, bothered by his conscience and the fact that his father wasa
tenant of the deceased, he thought of helping the widow. Out of his own volition, he
travelled to the widow’s houise, and related to her what he saw.
Except Fausta who admitted killing the deceased as he was trying to rape her, the rest
deniedparticipation in the crime. The appellant claimed that he was asleep in his house which
was onekilometre away from the scene of the crime, and he knew of the crime only when his
grandchildrenwent to his house that night.
The trial court disregarded the version of the defense; it believed the prosecution’s version.
Onappeal to the Court of Appeals, the appellant contended that the trial court erred in convicting
him onthe basis of the testimony of the lone witness, and in not appreciating his defense of alibi.
The Courtfound no merit in the errors, and rejected defense of alibi. Worsening this is that the
appellate courtfound the sentence erroneous, and upgraded the penalty to that of murder
—reclusion temporal/death.The case is now brought upon certification by the Court of Appeals,
hence the appeal.

Whether or not the client, under the evidence presented, has committed the felony of murder.

: No, he has not.

:Court’s analysis of the evidence:
Investigation conducted left much to be desired. Centeno gave the date of commission asMarch
21, 1981. The sketch made was troubling, as it did not effectively indicate the extentof the blood
stains in the scenes of crime. This would have added a lot of weight to any oneof the versi-
ons of the incident
Sazon, who claimed that Gonzales surrendered to him, failed to state clearly the reason forthe
surrender. It may even be possible that Augusto surrendered just so he could be safe
from the victim’s kin. Sazon also admitted that Augusto never mentioned to him the
participation of other persons in the killing.-
Rojas’ statement showed two possibilities for the killing. Fausta’s admission that she was
the only killer is plausible. Furthermore, there were only five fatal wounds, which will
bediscussed later.-
Huntoria’s testimony, of which the prosecution’s argument solely rests, needs to beexamined further. Huntoria’s
claims in his testimony did not exact
ly match with those fromhis cross-examination. He first claimed that he recognized the people
involved. However, inthe cross-
examination, he “only saw flashes.”
This implies that he may not have recognizedanyone at all.
As such, Huntoria’s testimony co
uld not place a definite act committed or contributed by theappellant in the killing of the
deceased.On the criminal liability of the appellant:-

There is nothing in the findings or the evidence that establishes the criminal liability of
theappellant as a principal for direct participation under Art. 17, para. 1 of the Revised

Furthermore, there is nothing in the findings or evidence that inculpates him by

inducement,under paragraph 2 of the same article. Based on the definition of felonies in Art. 3 of
Revised Penal Code, the prosecution’s evidence could not establish intent nor fault. Recall
that the elements of felonies include:
oAn act or omission
oAct or omission must be punishable
oAct is performed or omission incurred by deceit or fault-

The lone witness could not properly establish any acts or omissions done by the appellant.He
stated that he does not know who hacked or stabbed the victim, thus implying that hedoes not
know what the appellant did. With this, the essential elements of felonies may noteven be

Furthermore, the fact that there were five stab wounds and six accused would imply thatone of
them may not have caused a grave wound (especially given the statement of thephysician). This
may have been the appellant, and given that there is no evidence that the
appellant caused any of the wounds, coupled with the prosecution’s failure to prove the
presence of conspiracy (that is, how many people actually took part in the killing), itweakens the
arguments against the appellant.On the lone witness:-

Huntoria’s credibility as a witness is tarnished by two points:

oHe came out eight months after the killing. He claims that he feared for his life, butthere was no
proof that he was being threatened, nor was the length of timereasonable given
the circumstances.
oHe is not exactly a disinterested/neutral witness. He admitted to being a tenant of the deceased,
and stated that one of the reasons why he testified was because thevictim was his landlord.-

Under our socioeconomic set-up, a tenant owes the source of his livelihood from hislandlord. As
such, they would do everything to get the landlords to their favour. Posing as a
witness would have been a convenient way to do this, especially as he ceased to beemployed as
early as May 1981.Finally, based on Philippine customs and traditions, it is unlikely for the
appellant to be in thescene of the crime, as under our family culture, aging parents are usually
sheltered and insulated frompossible harm. It is improbable for the accused to bring their aging
father when they were clearly inbetter shape than he was, and it was unlikely for the appellant to
offer his services as they were more orless enough to handle what could have been a perceived
enemy.Although alibi is a weak defense, in cases like this where the participation of the
appellant is notclear, it may be considered. In light of the evidence on record, it may be sufficient
for an acquittal.Decision of the CA is reversed and set aside. Appellant acquitted. Costs de

People vs. Silvestre and Atienza (Crim1)

People of the Philippine Islands, plaintiff-appellee, vs. Romana Silvestre and Martin Atienza,

En Banc

Villareal, December 14, 1931

Topic: Elements of criminal liability (Art 3.) -- Physical element -- Act/Omission

 Romana Silvestre is the wife of Domingo Joaquin by his second marriage
 Romana cohabited with codefendant Martin Atienza from March 1930 in Masocol,
Paombong, Bulacan
 On May 16, 1930, Domingo filed with the justice of the peace for Paombong, Bulacan a
sworn complaint for adultery
 After being arrested and released on bail, the two defendants begged the municipal
president of Paombong to speak to the complainant and urge him to withdraw the complaint
 The two accused bound themselves to discontinue cohabitation and promised not to live
again in Masocol (Atienza signed the promise)
 On May 20, 1930, Domingo Joaquin filed a motion for the dismissal of his complaint and
the justice of the peace dismissed the adultery case
 The accused left Masocol and wen to live in Santo Niño, in Paombong
 About November 20, 1930: Romana met her son by her former marriage, Nicolas de la
Cruz, in Santo Niño and followed him home to Masocol (under the pretext of asking him for
some nipa leaves)
 Martin Atienza, who continued to cohabit with Romana, followed her and lived in the
home of Nicolas
 On the night of November 25, 1930, while Nicolas, his wife Antonia, and the appellants
were gathered after supper, Martin told Nicolas and Antonia to take their furniture out of the
house because he was going to set fire to it
 He said that that was the only way he could be revenged upon the people of
Masocol who, he said, had instigated the charge of adultery against him and Romana
 Martin was armed with a pistol so no one dared say anything to him
 Nicolas and Antonia went to ask for help but were too late
 The fire destroyed about 48 houses
 Witnesses saw Martin and Romana leaving the house on fire
 The Court of First Instance of Bulacan convicted Martin and Romana of arson
 Martin was convicted as principal by direct participation (14 years, 8 months, and
1 day of cadena temporal)
 Romana was convicted as accomplice (6 years and 1 day of presidio mayor)
 The court-appointed counsel for the accused-appellant prays for the affirmance of the CFI
decision with regard to Martin, but assigns errors with reference to Romana:
 The lower court erred in convicting Romana as acoomplice
 The court erred in not acquitting Romana upon ground of insufficient evidence, or
at least, of reasonable doubt

 Whether or not Romana can be convicted as accomplice
 No.
 Art. 14 of the Penal Code, in connection with Art. 13 defines an accomplice to be one
who does not take a direct part in the commission of the act, who does not force or induce other
to commit it, nor cooperates in the commission of the act by another act without which it would
not have been accomplished, yet cooperates in the execution of the act by previous or
simultaneous actions.
 In the case of Romana: there is no evidence of moral or material cooperation and none of
an agreement to commit the crime in question. Her mere presence and silence while they are
simultaneous acts, do not constitute cooperation, for it does not appear that they encouraged or
nerved Martin Atienza to commit the crime of arson; and as for her failure to give the alarm, that
being a subsequent act it does not make her liable as an accomplice.
 Mere passive presence at the scene of another's crime, mere silence and failure to give the
alarm, without evidence of agreement or conspiracy, do not constitute the cooperation required
by Art. 14 of the Penal Code for complicity in the commission of the crime witnessed passively,
or with regard to which one has kept silent
Decision is affirmed with reference to Martin Atienza, reversed with reference to Romana
Silvestre, who is acquitted.


It is unnatural for aggrieved relatives to falsely accuse someone other than the actual culprit, for
their natural interest in securing the conviction of the guilty would deter them from implicating
any other. Paterno Morcillo was about to transfer his Carabao in front of their house in
Cabatuan, Iloilo when gunshots were fired against him which caused his death. Morcillo‘s two
sons, Benjamin and Felipe saw that the perpetrator was Bernardo Sara and Efren Robles. Upon
investigation, the police found Berning and Efren to be positive for gunpowder residue but they
denied the allegation. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) acquitted Efren and convicted Berning
guilty of murder. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the RTC.


Whether or not the evidence of the prosecution established the guilt of Bernardo Sara beyond
reasonable doubt


Both Felipe and Benjamin testified that there was ample illumination from the moon to enable
them to see the face of there father‘s assailant. There was thus no possibility for both witnesses
to be mistaken in identifying their father‘s assailant, especially considering that they have known
Bernardo Sara, their neighbor, for a long time. There being no indication that Felipe and
Benjamin were actuated by any improper motive to falsely testify against appellant, their
relationship with the victim notwithstanding, there is no reason to doubt the veracity of their
testimonies. Relationship could in fact even strengthen the witnesses‘ credibility; it being
unnatural for aggrieved relatives to falsely accuse someone other than the actual culprit, for their
natural interest in securing the conviction of the guilty would deter them from implicating any

US v. Maleza

November 17, 1909 (14 Phil 468)

Plaintiff and appellant: United States
Defendants and appellees: Luciano Maleza, Gabriel Adlaon

Maleza and Adlaon were charged with falsification of public document by reason of reckless
negligence. Maleza, municipality treasurer, certified an account showing payments for the
construction of municipal building. Adlaon signed the document saying that he received the
money for the construction of the building when in fact the money is not for teh construction but
it’s to be given to Bastes who loaned the money t the municipal president and treasurer.
Defendants claimed that the facts complained of did not constitute a crime.

WON reckless negligence is considered a crime.

Yes. Between an act performed voluntarily and intentionally and another committed
unconsciously and quite unintentionally, there exist another, performed without malice, but at the
same time punishable, though in a lesser degree and with an equal material result, an
intermediate act which the Penal Code qualifies as negligence or reckless negligence.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES V. PEDRO RAMIREZG.R. No. 138261; April 17, 2001Panganiban,
In the evening of May 23, 1993, in Ormoc City, Montano Banez invited the private offended
party, Jonathan „Jojo´ Alkuino
to a drinking session at a nearby sari-sari store. While the twowere in the middle of their drinking
spree, the accused/appellant, Pedro Ramirez calmlyapproached the two, and suddenly and without any warning,
stabbed Alkuino on the rightside of his body just below his ribs. Alkuino was immediately brought to the
hospital but died eventually died the next day due tomassive blood loss. While on the throes of death,
Alkuino related to his father the identity ofhis assailant. This, in turn, was presented as testimonial evidence during
trial as a dyingdeclaration of the victim.The trial court found Pedro Ramirez guilty of Murder and sentencing him
to "suffer
imprisonment of forty (40) years reclusion perpetua.”

Whether or not the Trial Court correctly sentenced the accused/appellant to "suffer
imprisonment of forty (40) years reclusion perpetua.”
:The Supreme Court has held that the Trial Court erred in sentencing appellant "to sufferimprisonment of forty
(40) years reclusion perpetua", which is an indivisible penalty under
the Revised Penal Code. The Supreme Court has held in People v. Diquit that “since
reclusion perpetua is an indivisible penalty, it has no minimum, medium or maximumperiods. It is imposed in its
entirety regardless of any mitigating or aggravatingcircumstances that may have attended the commission of the
crime as provided under Art.63, RPC.Reclusion perpetua is imprisonment for life but the person sentenced to
suffer it may bepardoned after serving thirty (30) years imprisonment, unless by reason of his conduct orsome
other serious cause, he shall be considered by the Chief Executive as unworthy ofpardon Art. 27, RPC

People vs MacalisangG.R. No. L-24546, February 22, 1968Sanchez, J

Isaias Macalisang, chief of police, together with Mayor Sofronio Avanceña, were on foot going
toattend a wedding. Victoriano Simbajon, defeated candidate, offered his jeep to Avanceña.
Thelatter again declined, Immediately thereafter, there was a burst of gunfire in rapid
succession.Mayor Avanceña was mortally wounded; his two companions critically wounded.

Minutes after theincident, Fr. William Bourke, town parish priest, who heard the shots, came
upon the scene of thecrime together with his houseboy, Benjamin Lopez, in the former's jeep.
They brought Macalisangto Hospital. While the jeep was negotiating a curve, Macalisang
pointed his gun at FranciscoDano and fired which caused his death. But appellant pleads that he
was unconscious or under shock at the time the act was committed.

Whether or not the criminal act of Macalisang is voluntary

Appellant's testimony falls far short of convincing the court that he did not deliberately fire
atDano. He was, indeed, conscious at that time. When placed on the jeep, he took the
precautionof placing his service revolver on his lap. Lopez saw him take that gun and fire at
Dano. Thepriest, upon hearing the shot, saw appellant with the gun still pointed at the side of the
road. Theversion of Captain Benjamin Rafols, who interviewed appellant in the hospital
furnishes theclincher. Appellant admitted to the captain, "I was the one who shot Mr. Dano."
This statement isdefinite, although the captain stated that Macalisang was confused as to the
shooting incidentthat occurred earlier in the morning. A criminal act is presumed to be voluntary.
Court cannotseize upon speculation or guesswork to overturn this presumption.

US vs. Ah Chong (Crim1)

The United States, plaintiff-appellee, vs. Ah Chong, defendant-appellant.

En Banc
Carson, March 19, 1910
Topic: Mental element (Mens rea) - Deliberate intent (Dolo) - Mistake of fact


 The defendant Ah Chong was a cook at "Officers' quarters, No. 27," Fort McKinley,
Rizal Province
 Pascual Gualberto, deceased, works at the same place as a house boy or muchacho
 "Officers' quarters, No. 27" was a detached house some 40 meters from the nearest
 No one slept in the house except the two servants who jointly occupied a small room
toward the rear of the building, the door of which opened upon a narrow porch running along the
side of the building
 This porch was covered by a heavy growth of vines for its entire length and height
 The door of the room was not furnished with a permanent bolt or lock; the
occupants, as a measure of security, had attached a small hook or catch on the inside of the door,
and were in the habit of reinforcing this somewhat insecure means of fastening the door by
placing against it a chair
 On the night of August 14, 1908, at about 10:00 pm, the defendant was suddenly
awakened by some trying to force open the door of the room
 He called out twice, "Who is there?"
 He heard no answer and was convinced by the noise at the door that it was being pushed
open by someone bent upon forcing his way into the room
 The defendant warned the intruder "If you enter the room, I will kill you."
 Seizing a common kitchen knife which he kept under his pillow, the defendant struck out
wildly at the intruder (when he entered the room) who turned out to be his roommate Pascual
 Pascual ran out upon the porch heavily wounded
 Recognizing Pascual, the defendant called to his employers who slept in the next house
and ran back to his room to secure bandages to bind up Pascual's wounds
 Pascual died from the effects of the wound the following day
 The roommates appear to have been in friendly and amicable terms prior to the incident,
and had an understanding that when either returned at night, he should knock that the door
and acquaint his companion with his identity
 The defendant alleges that he kept the knife under his pillow as personal protection
because of repeated robberies in Fort McKinley
 Defendant admitted to stabbing his roommate, but said that he did it under the impression
that Pascual was "a ladron (thief)" because he forced open the door of their sleeping room,
despite the defendant's warnings
 Defendant was found guilty by the trial court of simple homicide, with extenuating
(mitigating) circumstances, and sentenced to 6 years and 1 day presidio mayor, the minimum
penalty prescribed by law
 Whether or not the defendant can be held criminally responsible
 No.
 By reason of a mistake as to the facts, the defendant did an act for which he would be
exempt from criminal liability if the facts were as he supposed them to be (i.e. if Pascual was
actually a thief, he will not be criminally liable/responsible because it would be self-defense), but
would constitute the crime of homicide or assassination if the actor had known the true state of
the facts (i.e. if he knew that it was actually Pascual, he would be guilty of
 The defendant's ignorance or mistake of fact was not due to negligence or bad faith
 "The act itself foes not make man guilty unless his intention were so"
 The essence of the offense is the wrongful intent, without which it cannot exist
 "The guilt of the accused must depend on the circumstances as they appear to him."
 If one has reasonable cause to believe the existence of facts which will justify a killing, if
without fault or carelessness he does believe them, he is legally guiltless of the homicide
 The defendant was doing no more than exercise his legitimate right of self-defense
 He cannot be said to have been guilty of negligence or recklessness or even
carelessness in falling into his mistake as to the facts
RTC's decision is reversed. The defendant is acquitted.

US v. Ah Chong GR No. L-5272, March 19, 1910

The defendant, Ah Chong, was employed as a cook in one of the Officers’
quarters at Fort McKinley, Rizal Province. Together living with him in the said quarters was thedeceased, Pascual
Gualberto, who was employed as a houseboy. There had been severalrobberies in Fort McKinley prior to the
incident thus prompting the defendant and his roommateto reinforce the flimsy hook used to lock the door of their
room by placing a chair against it. Thedefendant and the deceased had an understanding that when either returned
at night, he shouldknock on the door and say his name. On the night of Aug. 14, 1908, Ah Chong, who was
alonein his room, was awakened by someone trying to force open the door of the room. Thedefendant called out
twice, asking the identity of the person but heard no answer. Fearing thatthe intruder was a robber or a thief, the
defendant called out that he would kill the intruder if hetried to enter. At that moment, the door was forced open
and the defendant was struck firstabove the knee by the edge of the chair. Because of the darkness of the room, the
defendantthought he was being hit by the intruder and tried to defend himself by striking wildly at theintruder
using a common kitchen knife which he kept under his pillow. It turned out that the said
intruder was actually the defendant’s roommate, Pascual Gualberto. The roommate was
brought to the military hospital where he died from the effects of the wound the following day.
WON the defendant was criminally liable for committing a felony.
Defendant was not criminally liable and exonerated.In order for mistake of fact to be held as a valid defense, there
has to be several requisites.One, that the act done would have been lawful had the facts been as the accused
believedthem to be. Two, that the intention of the accused in performing the act should be lawful, andlastly, that the
mistake must be without fault or carelessness on the part of the accused.In the case at bar, had the intruder been a
robber as the defendant believed him to be, then AhChong acted in good faith, without malice or criminal intent,
and would have been whollyexempt from criminal liability and that he cannot be said to have been guilty of
negligence orrecklessness.
54 Phil. 52

Found guilty of qualified theft and habitual delinquency, the defendant was sentenced by the
municipal court of Manila, and on appeal, by the Court of First Instance of this City, to two
years, four months, and one day presidio correccional, with costs, and to the additional penalty
of twenty-one years' imprisonment.
He now contends that he is not guilty of the crime with which he is charged.
But it has been proved that he took the watch described in the information without the owner's
consent, having been overtaken a few moments later by a friend of the offended party, who
found the stolen Watch on the appellant. It is alleged that animus lucrandi has not been proved.
We find it sufficiently established, as the acts of the accused (one's intention may be gathered
from one's deeds) unequivocally show.
It is a fundamental doctrine of law that the act penalized by the law is presumed to be voluntary
unless the contrary is shown (art. 1, Penal Code). And from the appellant's felonious acts, freely
and deliberately executed, the moral and legal presumption of a criminal and injurious intent
arises conclusively and indisputably, in the absence of evidence to the contrary (sec. 334, No. 2,
Act No. 190).
In view of the fact that we find no merit in this appeal and that the law provides for the
imposition of accessory penalties, the appealed judgment is modified, the appellant being
sentenced to the accessory penalties provided in article 58 of the Penal Code, the said judgment
being affirmed in all other respects, with costs against the appellant. So ordered.

US vs Catolico GR No 6486 18 Phil 504 02 March 1911


Facts: The justice of peace of Cagayan had before him 16 separate civil cases initiated by Juan
Canillas for damages resulting from breach of contract. All cases were decided in favour of
Canillas and all defendants appealed the decision and deposited Php 16 and a bond of Php 50 as
required by law. It appears that the sureties of the bond were insolvent and new bonds were not
presented on the extension given. Canillas appealed. The justice of peace dismissed the appeals
and ordered the sm of money attached and delivered to Canillas in satisfaction of the judgment.
The judge was prosecuted for malversation of funds.
Issue: Whether or not the defendant is guilty of felony.
Decision: Judgment of conviction is reversed and defendant ordered to be discharged from
The judge decided in good faith under the belief that he was acting judiciously and correctly. It
was a result of erroneous exercise of judicial function and not an intention to deprive any person
of his property feloniously. He acted that debts might be paid t those who they are legally and
justly due and not to enrich himself or another by criminal misappropriation. It was a mistake not
a crime.

People vs. Oanis (Crim1)

The People of the Philippines, plaintiff-appellee, vs. Antonio Z. Oanis and Alberto Galanta,

July 27, 1943

Moran, J:

 Chief of Police Antonio Oanis and Corporal Alberto Galanta were instructed by the
Constabulary Provincial Inspector to arrest the escaped convict, Anselmo Balagtas, with
bailarina named Irene, and if overpowered, to get him dead or alive.
 Upon arrival at the place where Irene could be found, Oanis approached and asked
Brigada Mallare where Irene's room was. Brigada indicated the room and said that Irene was
sleeping with her paramour.
 Oanis and Galanta then went to the room and upon seeing a man sleeping with his back
towards the door, they simultaneously fired at him.
 Shocked by the entire scene, Irene fainted.
 It turned out later that the man shot and killed was not Balagtas but an innocent man
named Serapio Tecson, Irene's paramour.
 Whether or not Oanis and Galanta can be held responsible for Tecson's death.
 Yes
 No unnecessary or unreasonable force shall be used in making an arrest, and the person
arrested shall not be subject to any greater restraint than is necessary for his detention. A peace
officer cannot claim exemption from criminal liability if he uses unnecessary or unreasonable
force in making an arrest.
 Through impatience of desire to take chances, Oanis and Galanta have exceeded
in the fulfillment of their duty by killing the person whom they believed to be Balagtas without
any resistance from him and without making any previous inquiry as to his identity.

Magsumbol vs People
G.R. No. 207175November 26, 2014
Around 11:00 o’clock in the afternoon of February 1, 2002, Caringal, the overseer of a one-
hectareunregistered parcel of land located in Candelaria, ue!on and co-o"ned by
#enandro, sa" the fouraccused, along "ith seven others, cutting do"n the coconut
trees on the said property$ %n February &,2002, #enandro and Caringal reported
the incident to the police$ 'hereafter, the t"o, acco(panied by)*%1 #analo, "ent to the
coconut plantation and discovered that about thirty-three +&& coconut trees hadbeen cut
do"n$% n t h e o t h e r h a n d , a c c o r d i n g t o A t a n a c i o , h e a u t h o r i ! e d h i s b r o t h e r s -
i n - l a " , # a g s i n o a n d #agsu(bol, to cut do"n the coconut trees "ithin the boundary of his
property, "hich "as ad acent to theland co-o"ned by #enandro$ .n addition, /rgy$
Captain Arguelles also said that #agsu(bol, #agsino, a(ire!, and .nanoria ca(e to his
office seeking per(ission to cut do"n the coconut trees planted on theland of Atanacio$*etitioner
#agsu(bol and his co-accused, "as convicted of the cri(e of theft$
hether or not (alice and intent to gain, as ele(ents of the cri(e of theft, are present in the caseat
Ruli !:
o$ #alice and intent are not present in the case at hand$.n vie" of the conflicting clai(s and
considering the (eager evidence on hand, the Court cannotdeter(ine "ith certainty the o"ner of the
&& felled coconut trees$ 'he uncertainty of the e3act location ofthe coconut trees negates the
presence of the cri(inal intent to gain$At any rate, granting arguendo that the said coconut trees
"ere "ithin #enandro’s land, no (aliceor cri(inal intent could be rightfully attributed to
#agsu(bol and his co-accused$ 'he 'C and the CAoverlooked one i(portant point in
the present case, to "it: #agsu(bol and his co-accused "ent to/arangay 4inatihan .,
Candelaria, ue!on, to cut do"n the coconut trees belonging to Atanacio upon thelatter’s
instruction$'he cri(inal (ind is indeed "anting in the situation "here #agsu(bol and his co-accused
evensought prior per(ission fro( /rgy$ Captain Arguelles to cut do"n the coconut trees "hich "as
done openlyand during broad daylight effectively negated (alice and cri(inal intent on their part$
.t defies reason thatthe accused "ould still approach the barangay captain if their real intention
"as to steal the coconut treesof #enandro

Crim Law 1 Case Digest: People V. Fernando 1926

People v. Fernando

G.R. No. L-24978 March 27, 1926

Lessons Applicable: when negligent, mistake of fact is not a defense

Laws Applicable:

· Before the day of crime: Moro prisoners had escaped from the Penal Colony of San Ramon,
· 3 suspicious looking persons who were prowling around the place alarmed the residents
· As municipal policeman Fernando de Fernando, Paciencia Delgado daughter of Remigio
Delgado told him that her father wished to see him
· Remigio Delgado informed him that the 3 suspicious persons in blue were lurking in his house
· About 7pm: De Fernando seated on a bench near the window talking to Paciencia when about
4 meters from the stairs was a person in dark clothes with 3 bolos tied together calling out “Nong
Miong” without answering the inquiry of De Fernando.
o De Fernando took out his revolver and fired a shot in the air but the person still continued to go
up the stairs so he shot him at the base of the neck at the right side
o The shot person turned out to be Buenventura Paulino, nephew of Remigio, who ran to their
neighbor Leon Torres’ house, placing the bolo on the table, fell on the floor and died
· de Fernando called the police chief to relay what happened
· CFI of Zamboanga: guilty of the crime of murder

ISSUE: W/N de Fernando is guilty of negligence

HELD: YES. reversing the appealed judgment, guilty of the crime of homicide through reckless

· De Fernando failed to use the ordinary precaution that he should have used before taking such
fatal action
o The calling of “Nong Miong” indicated that the owner of the house might be an older relative of
the one calling, or an intimate friend
o De Fernando failed to ask Paciencia Delgado who was it was that was calling her father with
such familiarity
· NO malicious intent because he though at the time that he was justified in acting as he did
· homicide through reckless negligence under article 568, in relation with article 404, of the
Penal Code
People v. Guillen GR No. L-1477, January 18, 1950

The accused Julio Guillen, was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of thecrime of murder and multiple
frustrated murder after his attempt to assassinate the Presidentof the Philippines, Manuel Roxas on March 10,
1947.During the 1946 Presidential Elections, Guillen voted for the opposing candidateof Manuel Roxas.
According to the accused, he was disappointed with the latter for failing toredeem and fulfill promises made by
President Roxas during the elections. Consequently, theaccused determined to assassinate the President and found
the oppoturnity to do so on thenight of March 10, 1947 when the President attended a popular meeting by the
Liberal Partyat Plaza de Miranda, Quiapo, Manila. Guillen first intended to use a revolver to accomplish hisgoal
but he had previously lost his licensed firearm, so he thought of using two handgrenades which were given to him
by an American soldier in exchange for two bottles of whisky. The accused stood on the chair he had been sitting
on and hurled the grenade at thePresident when the latter had just closed his speech. A general who was on the
platform sawthe smoking grenade and kicked it away from the platform towards an open space where hethought
the grenade was likely to do the least harm. The grenade exploded in the middle of agroup of persons standing
close to the platform and grenade fragments seriously injuredSimeon Varela, who died the next day due to the
mortal wounds caused, and several other persons. Guillen was arrested and he readily admitted his responsibility
WON the accused was guilty only of homicide through reckless imprudence in regard to thedeath of Simeon
Varela and of less serious physical injuries in regard to the other injuredpersons.
The facts do not support the contention of the counsel for the appellant. In throwing the handgrenade at the
President with the intention of killing him, the appellant acted with malice andis therefore liable for all the
consequences of his wrongful act. As provided by Art. 4 of theRevised Penal Code, criminal liability is incurred by
any person committing a felony althoughthe wronful act done be different from that which he intended. In criminal
negligence, theinjury caused to another should be unintentional, it being simply the incident of another
actperformed without malice. As held by thie Court, a deliberate intent to do an unlawful act isessentially
inconsistent with the idea of reckless imprudence. Where such unlawful act iswilfully done, a mistake in the
identity of the intended victim cannot be considered recklessimprudence.The sentence of the trial court is affirmed
by unanimous vote and death sentence shall beexecuted in accordance with article 81 of the Revised Penal Code.

Garcia v. People (GR 157171, March 14 2006)

FACTS: On May 11, 1995, within the canvassing period of 1995 senatiorial elections, Aquilino
Pimintel, Jr., was informed that Arsenia Garcia (Arsenia), along with her co-conspirators,
willfully and unlawfully decreased the number of votes of the candidate from 6,998 to 1921
Pimintel filed a complaint against Asenia and her co-conspirators. All the accused was acquited
due to lack of evidence except for Arsenia who was found guilty of the crime defined under
Republic Act 6646, Section 27 (b) for decreasing the votes of Senator Pimentel in the total
of 5,034 and in relation to BP Blg. 881.

Petitioner appealed to CA which also affirmed the decision of the RTC.

Arsenia appealed to SC, contending that the judgment of CA is erroneous and there was no
motive on her part to reduce the votes of private complainant.

Respondent on the other hand contends that good faith is not a defense in the violation of an
election law, which falls under the class of mala prohibita.

ISSUES: (1) Whether or not a violation of Section 27(b) of Rep. Act No. 6646, classified
under mala in se.
(2) Whether or not good faith and lack of criminal intent be valid defenses?
HELD: (1) YES. Section 27(b) of Republic Act No. 6646 provides: Any member of the board of
election inspectors or board of canvassers who tampers, increases, or decreases the votes
received by a candidate in any election or any member of the board who refuses, after proper
verification and hearing, to credit the correct votes or deduct such tampered votes.
Clearly, the acts prohibited in Section 27(b) are mala in se. For otherwise, even errors and
mistakes committed due to overwork and fatigue would be punishable.
(2) NO. Public policy dictates that extraordinary diligence should be exercised by the members
of the board of canvassers in canvassing the results of the elections. Any error on their part
would result in the disenfranchisement of the voters. The Certificate of Canvass for senatorial
candidates and its supporting statements of votes prepared by the municipal board of canvassers
are sensitive election documents whose entries must be thoroughly scrutinized.

The instant petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals sustaining
petitioners conviction but increasing the minimum penalty in her sentence to one year instead of
six months is AFFIRMED.