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LAW 171 | CRIMINAL LAW REVIEWER not only at the final hearing, but also at the preliminary

Atty. Dan P. Calica | UP Law 1st Sem AY 18-19 investigation, if by confronting the witnesses for the
prosecution he can convince the court that the charges
INTRODUCTION are groundless. There is no justice in compelling him to
undergo the troubles of a final hearing if at the
A. Course Guidelines and Overview preliminary hearing the case can be terminated in his
favor.
B. Penological objectives NOTES:
1. The case doesn't specifically define what criminal
A.F. Tadiar, Philosophy of a Penal Code, 52 law is, but it's under that topic in the syllabus. In Reyes
Phil.L.J. 165 (1977) Book 1, I found this one sentence that can be
connected: "Court decisions are not sources of criminal
PART I: General Principles of Criminal Law law, because they merely explain the meaning of, and
apply, the law as enacted by the legislative branch of
A. Definitions the government." In the present case, the SC cited the
case of Saling Buhay v. Arellano in interpreting the
1. Criminal law provision of the Rules of Court, stating that "there is
nothing in it or any other law restricting the authority,
“Criminal law is that branch or division of law which inherent in a court of justice, to pursue a course of
defines crimes, treats of their nature, and provides for action reasonably calculated to bring out the truth."
their punishment.” [Luis B. Reyes, The Revised Penal
Code, Eighteenth Edition, 2012, at 1, citing 12 Cyc. 2. Another possible relation to the syllabus' topic is that
129] the syllabus also states that criminal law is
substantive because it defines the state’s right to
It is that branch of public substantive law which defines inflict punishment and the liability of the offenders. In
offenses and prescribes their penalties. It is the present case, it was stated in the dissent of J. Feria
substantive because it defines the state’s right to inflict that the right of the defendant to cross-examine the
punishment and the liability of the offenders. It is public prosecution's witnesses against him/her is a
law because it deals with the relation of the individual substantive right. J. Feria also said that since the rule
with the state. in question (Rule 108, Sec. 11 of the 1940 Rules of
Court) diminishes the said substantive right of the
Bustos v. Lucero, 81 Phil. 640 (1948) accused, the said provision should be declared as
SUMMARY: Pet. Bustos was the accused in a criminal NULL AND VOID. J. Feria further stated that the
case. During preliminary investigation, Bustos pleaded Supreme Court is not empowered, and therefore
not guilty. Bustos' counsel moved for the complainant cannot enact or promulgate substantive laws or rules,
to present her evidence so that she and her witnesses for it is obvious that rules which diminish, increase or
could be examined and cross-examined. The modify substantive rights, are substantive and not
prosecution objected to the motion, invoking Rule 108, adjective laws or rules concerning pleading, practice
Sec. 11 of the 1940 Rules of Court, which made no and procedure.
mention that the accused could examine the
complainant. Justice of the peace Court of Masantol 2. Crime
ruled that Bustos renounced his right to present
evidence. Bustos filed a motion with CFI Pampanga to Crime is an act committed or omitted in violation of a
remand case back to Masantol. Resp. CFI Judge public law forbidding or commanding it. [Reyes, supra,
Lucero denied Bustos' motion. A special civil action for at 1, citing I Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, Rawle’s Third
mandamus was filed by Bustos. SC ruled in favor of Revision, 729]
Resp. Judge Lucero, stating that Judge Lucero did
NOT commit GADALEJ in denying Bustos' motion. B. Nullum crimen nulla poena sine lege
DOCTRINE: The constitutional right of an accused to
be confronted by the witnesses against him does not 1. “Applicable here is a familiar maxim in criminal law:
apply to preliminary hearings; nor will the absence of a Nullum crimen nulla poena sine lege. There is no crime
preliminary examination be an infringement of his right where there is no law punishing it.” [Potenciana
to confront witnesses. Evangelista v. People, G.R. Nos. 108135-36, 14
DOCTRINES FROM THE DISSENTS: August 2000]
1. [J. Feria] The right granted by law upon a defendant
to be confronted with and cross-examine the witnesses -Case was about Tanduay's application for tax credit
for the prosecution in preliminary investigation as well with the BIR,claiming that it is only liable to pay specific
as in the trial of the case is a substantive right. taxes, and not ad valorem taxes.
2. [J. Perfecto] The accused must be afforded the -In the information, it was stated that the Petitioner
opportunities to have the charges against him quashed, caused undue injury to the Government and gave

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unwarranted benefits to Tanduay when they endorsed imposed - a penalty, to repeat, that can be fixed by the
approval of the claim for tax credit. Yet, she was legislative body, and the legislative body alone. So
convicted of issuing the certification without identifying constitutionalism mandates, with its stress on
the kinds of tax for which the TNCs stand and without jurisdictio rather than guvernaculum. The judiciary as
indicating whether Tanduay was really entitled to tax the dispenser of justice through law must be aware of
credit or not. Petitioner further contends that she was the limitation on its own power. [Concurring Opinion,
convicted of a supposed crime not punishable by law. Justice Fernando, People v. Cabural, G.R. No.
34105, 4 February 1983]
I: WON Evangelista was convicted due to an offense
NOT punishable by law? YES. Evangelista's MR is -Rape case of maid by Timoteo Cabural.
granted.
- Nothing more appropriately appertains to the
- R.A. 3019, Section 3(e), as amended, provides as legislative branch than the definition of a crime and the
one of its elements that the public officer should have prescription of the penalty to be imposed. That is not a
acted by causing any undue injury to any party, doctrine of recent vintage. It is traceable to United
including the Government, or by giving any private States v. Wiltberger, 9 an 1820 America. Supreme
party unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in Court opinion. No less than the eminent Chief Justice
the discharge of his functions. The use of the Marshall spoke for the Court. To quote his exact
disjunctive term "or" connotes that either act qualifies language: "The rule that penal laws are to be
as a violation of Section 3(e), or as aptly held in construed strictly is perhaps not much less old than
Santiago, as two different modes of committing the construction itself. It is founded on the tenderness of
offense. This does not however indicate that each the law for the rights of individuals; and on the plain
mode constitutes a distinct offense, but rather, that an principle that the power of punishment is vested in the
accused may be charged under either mode or under legislative, not in the judicial department. It is the
both. legislature, not the court, which is to define a crime,
• The certification can even be read as a and ordain its punishment."
recommendation of denial of the application. It lists -"Criminal statutes are to be strictly construed. No
down the confirmation receipts covering tax payments person should be brought within their terms who is not
by Tanduay for the covered period, during which clearly within them, nor should any act be pronounced
Tanduay alleges that it made erroneous ad valorem criminal which is not clearly made so by the statute."
tax payments, classified according to TNC numbers. 13 The same year, Justice Carson in United States v.
The tax payments therein are described only as falling Estapia 14 in rejecting the contention that the
under TNC No. 3011-0001 (specific tax) and TNC No. application of a penal provision even if not covered by
0000-0000 (unclassified taxes). its terms should be viewed by the judiciary as
-There are no tax payments classified as falling under commendable, conducive as it is to the repression of a
TNC No. 3023-2001, the code for ad valorem taxes. reprehensible practice" pointed out: "To this it should
- Petitioner further argues that her conviction was be sufficient answer to say that neither the executive
merely based on her alleged failure to identify with nor the judicial authorities are authorized to impose
certainty in her certification the kinds of taxes paid by fines and prison sentences in cases wherein such fines
Tanduay and to indicate what the TNCs stand for, and prison sentences are not clearly authorized by law,
which acts were different from those described in the and this without regard to the end sought to be
Information under which she was charged. Employees attained by the enforcement of such unauthorized
of the BIR were expected to know what the TNCs penalties."
stand for. If they do not, there is a "Handbook of Tax
Numeric Code of Revenue Sources" which they can 3. “Although courts must not remain indifferent to
consult. We find that petitioner’s omission to indicate public sentiments, in this case the general
what kind of taxes TNC Nos. 3011-0001 and 0000- condemnation of a hazing-related death, they are still
0000 stand for was not a criminal act. Applicable here bound to observe a fundamental principle in our
is the familiar maxim in criminal law: Nullum crimen criminal justice system – ‘[N]o act constitutes a crime…
nulla poena sine lege. There is no crime where there is unless it is made so by law.’ Nullum crimen, nulla
no law punishing it. poena sine lege. Even if an act is viewed by a large
section of the populace as immoral or injurious, it
2. The maxim Nullum crimen nulla poena sine lege has cannot be considered a crime, absent any law
its roots in history. It is in accordance with both prohibiting its commission. As interpreters of the law,
centuries of civil law and common law tradition. judges are called upon to set aside emotion, to resist
Moreover, it is an indispensable corollary to a regime being swayed by strong public sentiments, and to rule
of liberty enshrined in our Constitution. It is of the strictly based on the elements of the offense and the
essence then that while anti-social acts should be facts allowed in evidence.” [Artemio Villareal v.
penalized, there must be a clear definition of the People, G.R. Nos. 151258, 154954, 155101, 178057
punishable offense as well as the penalty that may be & 178080, 1 February 2012]

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President. So, what we want to discourage is the
-Hazing death of Lenny Villa (ALS Aquila Legis) so-called initial innocent act.
-Criminal liability shall be incurred [b]y any person -That is why there is need to institute this kind of
committing a felony (delito) although the wrongful act hazing. Ganiyan po ang nangyari. Ang fraternity o ang
done be different from that which he intended. sorority ay magre-recruit. Wala talaga silang
-Thus, once a person is found to have committed an intensiyong makamatay. Hindi ko na babanggitin at
initial felonious act, such as the unlawful infliction of buhay pa iyong kaso. Pero dito sa anim o pito na
physical injuries that results in the death of the victim, namatay nitong nakaraang taon, walang intensiyong
courts are required to automatically apply the legal patayin talaga iyong neophyte. So, kung maghihintay
framework governing the destruction of life. This rule is pa tayo, na saka lamang natin isasakdal ng murder
mandatory, and not subject to discretion. kung namatay na, ay after the fact ho iyon. Pero, kung
-In turn, the existence of malicious intent is necessary sasabihin natin sa mga kabataan na: Huwag ninyong
in order for conspiracy to attach. Article 8 of the gagawin iyong hazing. Iyan ay kasalanan at kung
Revised Penal Code which provides that conspiracy mamatay diyan, mataas ang penalty sa inyo.
exists when two or more persons come to an -
agreement concerning the commission of a felony and
decide to commit it is to be interpreted to refer only to 4. Sources of Philippine criminal law
felonies committed by means of dolo or malice. The a. The Revised Penal Code (Act No. 3815) and
phrase coming to an agreement connotes the amendments thereto [crimes]
existence of a prefaced intent to cause injury to b. Special penal laws [statutory offenses]
another, an element present only in intentional c. Penal provisions in other laws [statutory offenses]
felonies. In culpable felonies or criminal negligence, d. Local ordinances [misdemeanors]
the injury inflicted on another is unintentional, the
wrong done being simply the result of an act performed 5. REV. PEN. CODE, art. 5, 21
without malice or criminal design.[126] Here, a person
performs an initial lawful deed; however, due to RPC Article 5. Duty of the court in connection with
negligence, imprudence, lack of foresight, or lack of acts which should be repressed but which are not
skill, the deed results in a wrongful act.[127] Verily, a covered by the law, and in cases of excessive
deliberate intent to do an unlawful act, which is a penalties. - Whenever a court has knowledge of any
requisite in conspiracy, is inconsistent with the idea of act which it may deem proper to repress and which is
a felony committed by means of culpa.[128] not punishable by law, it shall render the proper
-Based on the foregoing contextual background, and decision, and shall report to the Chief Executive,
absent further proof showing clear malicious intent, we through the Department of Justice, the reasons which
are constrained to rule that the specific animus induce the court to believe that said act should be
iniuriandi was not present in this case. Even if the made the subject of legislation.
specific acts of punching, kicking, paddling, and other In the same way, the court shall submit to the Chief
modes of inflicting physical pain were done voluntarily, Executive, through the Department of Justice, such
freely, and with intelligence, thereby satisfying the statement as may be deemed proper, without
elements of freedom and intelligence in the felony of suspending the execution of the sentence, when a
physical injuries, the fundamental ingredient of criminal strict enforcement of the provisions of this Code would
intent was not proven beyond reasonable doubt. On result in the imposition of a clearly excessive penalty,
the contrary, all that was proven was that the acts were taking into consideration the degree of malice and the
done pursuant to tradition. injury caused by the offense.
-SENATOR LINA. x x x Another point, Mr. President, is
this, and this is a very telling difference: When a RPC Article 21. Penalties that may be imposed. -
person or group of persons resort to hazing as a No felony shall be punishable by any penalty not
requirement for gaining entry into an organization, the prescribed by law prior to its commission.
intent to commit a wrong is not visible or is not present,
Mr. President. Whereas, in these specific crimes, Mr. United States v. Taylor (1914)
President, let us say there is death or there is F:
homicide, mutilation, if one files a case, then the 1) Carson Taylor was the ACTING editor, proprietor,
intention to commit a wrong has to be proven. But if manager, printer, and publisher of the Manila Daily
the crime of hazing is the basis, what is important is Bulletin. It has a large circulation in the PH and the US.
the result from the act of hazing. To me, that is the 2) This case was brought against him because a
basic difference and that is what will prevent or deter certain Ramon Sotelo, a lawyer and a private
the sororities or fraternities; that they should really individual, was allegedly defamed by Taylor in the
shun this activity called hazing. Because, initially, Sept. 25, 1913 issue of the Manila Daily Bulletin, which
these fraternities or sororities do not even consider imputed that Sotelo was involved in a conspiracy that
having a neophyte killed or maimed or that acts of caused a house at Calle O'donnell street to be burned
lasciviousness are even committed initially, Mr. to collect insurance on it.

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to the publication. That relation may as well exist under
I: WON Taylor is guilty for libel? NO. some other name or denomination.

R: Corpuz v. People (2014)


-No act constitutes a crime in the PH unless it is made -3. Whether the Court may adjust penalties fixed by
so by law. law—NO. The Court here went into a long discussion
-Under Act. No. 277 of the US Phil. Commission, libel about the correct penalties to be imposed because
is defined and the particular conditions necessary to they were excessive, as based on the amount of
constitute it is stipulated, as well as the names of the damage measured by the value of money in 1932. It
persons that are guilty of such crime. decided that it could not modify the said range of
-ITC: The complaint of Sotelo alleged that Taylor was penalties as it would be judicial legislation. It would be
the acting editor etc. of the Manila Daily Bulletin. encroachment to remedy the legislature's failure in
-Sec. 6 of the Act states that "Every author, editor, or amending penalties through judcicial decisions. Article
proprietor of any book, newspaper, or serial publication 5 RPC provides that in case of excessive penalties, the
is chargeable with the publication of any words Court shall render the proper decision and report to the
contained in any part of said book or # of each Chief Executive reasons for legislative action
newspaper or serial as fully as if he were the author of
the same." RA 10951 (2016)
-Since the Act only punished the enumerated persons, -AN ACT ADJUSTING THE AMOUNT OR THE
unless Sotelo proves that Taylor was the actual VALUE OF PROPERTY AND DAMAGE ON WHICH A
author, editor, or proprietor, then Taylor cannot be held PENALTY IS BASED, AND THE FINES IMPOSED
liable as the acting editor of the Manila Daily Bulletin. UNDER THE REVISED PENAL CODE, AMENDING
-There is no proof that Taylor was the actual editor etc. FOR THE PURPOSE ACT NO. 3815, OTHERWISE
Hence, he must be acquitted of the crime of libel KNOWN AS “THE REVISED PENAL CODE”, AS
unless it's shown that Taylor, as the "manager" of the AMENDED
Bulletin, was directly responsible for the writing,
editing, or publishing of the matter in the libelous -Art. 9. Grave felonies, less grave felonies, and light
article. felonies. = P40k or arresto menor
-We do not desire to be understood in our conclusions -Art. 26. Fine. - When afflictive, correctional, or light
here as holding that the "manager" or the "printer" may penalty.
not, under certain conditions and proper proof, he held >Afflictive penalty if it exceends P1.2M
to be the "author, editor, or proprietor" of a newspaper. >Correctional penalty if it does NOT exceed
He may nominate himself as "manager" or "printer" P1.2M, but not less than P40k
simply, and be at the same time the "author, editor, or >Light penalty if less than P40k
proprietor" of the newspaper. He can not avoid
responsibility by using some other term or word, -Art. 114. Treason. = P4M
indicating his relation to the newspaper or the ~etc.
publication, when, as a matter of fact, he is the "author,
the editor, or the proprietor" of the same. His real C. State authority to punish crimes
relation to the said publication is a matter of proof.
-An examination into the character of the business and 1. The right to prosecute and punish crimes is an
the contract of his employment must be made for the attribute of sovereignty “Each State has the authority,
purpose of ascertaining definitely what his duties and under its police power, to define and punish crimes”
obligations are. His exact relation is always a matter of [People v. Santiago, 43 Phil. 120 (1922)]
proof. It is incumbent upon the prosecution is a case
like the present, to show that whatever title, name or “The right to prosecute and punish crimes is an
designation the defendant may bear, he was, in fact, attribute of sovereignty” [People v. Santiago, 43 Phil.
the "author, the editor, or the proprietor" of the 120 (1922)]
newspaper. If he was in fact the "author, editor, or
proprietor," he can not escape responsibility by calling -car accident case; Accused Santiago killed a 7yo boy.
the "manager" or "printer." It is the relation which he
bears to the publication and not the name or title he “The right and prosecution for a crime is one of the
has assumed, which is important in an investigation. attributes that by a natural law belong to the sovereign
He can not wear the toga of author of editor and hide power instinctively charged by the common will of the
his responsibility by giving himself some other name. members of the society to look after, guard and defend
While the terms "author, editor, and proprietor" of a the interests of the community, the individual and
newspaper are terms well defined, the particular words social rights and the liberties of every citizen and the
"author, editor, or proprietor" are not material or guaranty of the exercise of his rights.” [United States
important, further than that they are words which are v. Pablo, 35 Phil. 94 (1916)]
intended to show the relation of the responsible party

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- Policeman Andres Pablo raided a jueteng game. He “The power to define crimes and prescribe their
excluded from his testimony two other accused in corresponding penalties is legislative in nature and
exchange for money (20PHP). This was discovered by inherent in the sovereign power of the state to maintain
the provincial fiscal so he was charged with perjury in social order as an aspect of police power. The
violation of Arts. 318 – 324 of the Penal Code. His legislature may even forbid and penalize acts formerly
defense was that such articles were already repealed considered innocent and lawful provided that no
and so no crime of perjury existed when he committed constitutional rights have been abridged.”
the assailed act. The court convicted him nonetheless,
saying that the repeal was merely implied and as such d. Delegated legislative power to LGUs
the subsequent repeal of the repealing law, in effect,
reinstated the validity of the articles. (i) Rep. Act No. 7160 (1991):
- DOCTRINE: An old law which is impliedly repealed Sec. 16: General Welfare. - Every local government
by a newer law, after such newer law is subsequently unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those
repealed by another law (newest law), becomes re- necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers
enacted and becomes effective again. necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient
and effective governance, and those which are
2. Police power essential to the promotion of the general welfare.
Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, local
 People v. Evangeline Siton and Krystel Kate government units shall ensure and support, among
Sagarano, G.R. No. 169364, 18 September 2009 other things, the preservation and enrichment of
culture, promote health and safety, enhance the right
“Police power is an inherent attribute of sovereignty. It of the people to a balanced ecology, encourage and
has been defined as the power vested by the support the development of appropriate and self-reliant
Constitution in the legislature to make, ordain, and scientific and technological capabilities, improve public
establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable morals, enhance economic prosperity and social
laws, statutes and ordinances, either with penalties or justice, promote full employment among their
without, not repugnant to the Constitution, as they shall residents, maintain peace and order, and preserve the
judge to be for the good and welfare of the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants.
commonwealth, and for the subjects of the same. The
power is plenary and its scope is vast and pervasive, Sec. 48. Local Legislative Power. - Local legislative
reaching and justifying measures for public health, power shall be exercised by the sangguniang
public safety, public morals, and the general welfare.” panlalawigan for the province; the sangguniang
panlungsod for the city; the sangguniang bayan for the
-Re: Vagrancy provision in the RPC Art. 202 (2) and municipality; and the sangguniang barangay for the
WON it's Constitutional. (it is!) barangay.

b. CONST., art. II, sec. 5: The maintenance of peace Sec. 447(a)(1)(ii): (Sangguniang Bayan) Powers,
and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, Duties, Functions and Compensation. - (a) The
and the promotion of the general welfare are essential sangguniang bayan, as the legislative body of the
for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of municipality, shall enact ordinances, approve
democracy. resolutions and appropriate funds for the general
welfare of the municipality and its inhabitants pursuant
3. Who exercises police power? to Section 16 of this Code and in the proper exercise of
the corporate powers of the municipality as provided
a. CONST., art. VI, sec. 1: The legislative power shall for under Section 22 of this Code, and shall: (1)
be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which Approve ordinances and pass resolutions necessary
shall consist of a Senate and a House of for an efficient and effective municipal government,
Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the and in this connection shall:
people by the provision on initiative and referendum. (ii) Maintain peace and order by enacting measures to
prevent and suppress lawlessness, disorder, riot,
b. CONST., art II, sec. 1: The Philippines is a violence, rebellion or sedition and impose penalties for
democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides the violation of said ordinances;
in the people and all government authority emanates (iii) Approve ordinances imposing a fine not exceeding
from them. Two thousand five hundred pesos (P2,500.00) or an
imprisonment for a period not exceeding six (6)
c. [SUPRA]  People v. Evangeline Siton and months, or both in the discretion of the court, for the
Krystel Kate Sagarano, G.R. No. 169364, 18 violation of a municipal ordinance;
September 2009 (v) Enact ordinances intended to prevent, suppress
and impose appropriate penalties for habitual
drunkenness in public places, vagrancy, mendicancy,

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prostitution, establishment and maintenance of houses pollution, acceleration of eutrophication of rivers and
of ill repute, gambling and other prohibited games of lakes, or of ecological imbalance;
chance, fraudulent devices and ways to obtain money
or property, drug addiction, maintenance of drug dens, Sec. 468(a)(1)(ii): (Sangguniang Panlalawigan)-
drug pushing, juvenile delinquency, the printing, Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation. (a) The
distribution or exhibition of obscene or pornographic sangguniang panlalawigan, as the legislative body of
materials or publications, and such other activities the province, shall enact ordinances, approve
inimical to the welfare and morals of the inhabitants of resolutions and appropriate funds for the general
the municipality; welfare of the province and its inhabitants pursuant to
(vi) Protect the environment and impose appropriate Section 16 of this Code in the proper exercise of the
penalties for acts which endanger the environment, corporate powers of the province as provided for under
such as dynamite fishing and other forms of Section 22 of this Code, and shall:
destructive fishing, illegal logging and smuggling of (1) Approve ordinances and pass resolutions
logs, smuggling of natural resources products and of necessary for an efficient and effective provincial
endangered species of flora and fauna, slash and burn government and, in this connection, shall:
farming, and such other activities which result in (ii) Maintain peace and order by enacting measures to
pollution, acceleration of eutrophication of rivers and prevent and suppress lawlessness, disorder, riot,
lakes, or of ecological imbalance; violence, rebellion or sedition and impose penalties for
the violation of said ordinances;
Sec. 458(a)(1)(ii): Sangguniang Panglungsod.- (iii) Approve ordinances imposing a fine not exceeding
Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation. (a) The Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) or imprisonment not
sangguniang panlungsod, as the legislative body of the exceeding one (1) year, or both in the discretion of the
city, shall enact ordinances, approve resolutions and court, for the violation of a provincial ordinance;
appropriate funds for the general welfare of the city (v) Enact ordinances intended to prevent, suppress
and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of this Code and impose appropriate penalties for habitual
and in the proper exercise of the corporate powers of drunkenness in public places, vagrancy, mendicancy,
the city as provided for under Section 22 of this Code, prostitution, establishment and maintenance of houses
and shall: (1) Approve ordinances and pass resolutions of ill repute, gambling and other prohibited games of
necessary for an efficient and effective city chance, fraudulent devices and ways to obtain money
government, and in this connection, shall: or property, drug addiction, maintenance of drug dens,
(ii) Maintain peace and order by enacting measures to drug pushing, juvenile delinquency, the printing,
prevent and suppress lawlessness, disorder, riot, distribution or exhibition of obscene or pornographic
violence, rebellion or sedition and impose penalties for materials or publications, and other activities inimical to
violation of said ordinances; the welfare and morals of the inhabitants of the
province;
(iii) Approve ordinances imposing a fine not exceeding (vi) Protect the environment and impose appropriate
Five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) or an imprisonment penalties for acts which endanger the environment,
for a period not exceeding one (1) year, or both in the such as dynamite fishing and other forms of
discretion of the court, for the violation of a city destructive fishing, illegal logging and smuggling of
ordinance; logs, smuggling of natural resources products and of
(v) Enact ordinances intended to prevent, suppress endangered species of flora and fauna, slash and burn
and impose appropriate penalties for habitual farming, and such other activities which result in
drunkenness in public places, vagrancy, mendicancy, pollution acceleration of eutrophication of rivers and
prostitution, establishment and maintenance of houses lakes, or of ecological imbalance;
of ill repute, gambling and other prohibited games of
chance, fraudulent devices and ways to obtain money  (ii) Mayor Pablo Magtajas v. Pryce Properties
or property, drug addiction, maintenance of drug dens, Corp., G.R. No. 111097, 20 July 1994
drug pushing, juvenile delinquency, the printing,
distribution or exhibition of obscene or pornographic -RE: PAGCOR Casinos in CDO being contested by the
materials or publications, and such other activities LGU.
inimical to the welfare and morals of the inhabitants of
the city. Cagayan de Oro City, like other local political
(vi) Protect the environment and impose appropriate subdivisions, is empowered to enact ordinances for the
penalties for acts which endanger the environment, purposes indicated in the Local Government Code. It is
such as dynamite fishing and other forms of expressly vested with the police power under what is
destructive fishing, illegal logging and smuggling of known as the General Welfare Clause now embodied
logs, smuggling of natural resources products and of in Section 16 and Section 458 of the LGC. (see
endangered species of flora and fauna, slash and burn provisions above)
farming, and such other activities which result in

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- The only question we can and shall resolve in this Constitution strengthening the policy of local
petition is the validity of Ordinance No. 3355 and autonomy. Without meaning to detract from that policy,
Ordinance No. 3375-93 as enacted by the we here confirm that Congress retains control of the
Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cagayan de Oro City. local government units although in significantly
And we shall do so only by the criteria laid down by law reduced degree now than under our previous
and not by our own convictions on the propriety of Constitutions. The power to create still includes the
gambling. The tests of a valid ordinance are well power to destroy. The power to grant still includes the
established. A long line of decisions 9 has held that to power to withhold or recall. True, there are certain
be valid, an ordinance must conform to the following notable innovations in the Constitution, like the direct
substantive requirements: conferment on the local government units of the power
1) It must not contravene the constitution or any to tax, 12 which cannot now be withdrawn by mere
statute. statute. By and large, however, the national legislature
2) It must not be unfair or oppressive. is still the principal of the local government units, which
3) It must not be partial or discriminatory. cannot defy its will or modify or violate it.
4) It must not prohibit but may regulate trade.
5) It must be general and consistent with public policy. - We hold that the power of PAGCOR to centralize and
6) It must not be unreasonable. regulate all games of chance, including casinos on
land and sea within the territorial jurisdiction of the
We begin by observing that under Sec. 458 of the Philippines, remains unimpaired. P.D. 1869 has not
Local Government Code, local government units are been modified by the Local Government Code, which
authorized to prevent or suppress, among others, empowers the local government units to prevent or
"gambling and other prohibited games of chance." suppress only those forms of gambling prohibited by
Obviously, this provision excludes games of chance law. Casino gambling is authorized by P.D. 1869. This
which are not prohibited but are in fact permitted by decree has the status of a statute that cannot be
law. amended or nullified by a mere ordinance. Hence, it
was not competent for the Sangguniang Panlungsod of
The petitioners are less than accurate in claiming that Cagayan de Oro City to enact Ordinance No. 3353
the Code could have excluded such games of chance prohibiting the use of buildings for the operation of a
but did not. In fact it does. The language of the section casino and Ordinance No. 3375-93 prohibiting the
is clear and unmistakable. Under the rule of noscitur a operation of casinos.
sociis, a word or phrase should be interpreted in
relation to, or given the same meaning of, words with -For all their praiseworthy motives, these ordinances
which it is associated. Accordingly, we conclude that are contrary to P.D. 1869 and the public policy
since the word "gambling" is associated with "and announced therein and are therefore ultra vires and
other prohibited games of chance," the word should be void.
read as referring to only illegal gambling which, like the
other prohibited games of chance, must be prevented 4. Limitations on power to enact penal legislation
or suppressed.
a. Due process and vageuness.
- The apparent flaw in the ordinances in question is
that they contravene P.D. 1869 and the public policy [SUPRA]  (i) People v. Evangeline Siton and
embodied therein insofar as they prevent PAGCOR Krystel Kate Sagarano
from exercising the power conferred on it to operate a
casino in Cagayan de Oro City. The petitioners have - Petitioner argues that every statute is presumed valid
an ingenious answer to this misgiving. They deny that and all reasonable doubts should be resolved in favor
it is the ordinances that have changed P.D. 1869 for an of its constitutionality; that, citing Romualdez v.
ordinance admittedly cannot prevail against a statute. Sandiganbayan,[ the overbreadth and vagueness
Their theory is that the change has been made by the doctrines have special application to free-speech
Local Government Code itself, which was also enacted cases only and are not appropriate for testing the
by the national lawmaking authority. In their view, the validity of penal statutes; that respondents failed to
decree has been, not really repealed by the Code, but overcome the presumed validity of the statute, failing
merely "modified pro tanto" in the sense that PAGCOR to prove that it was vague under the standards set out
cannot now operate a casino over the objection of the by the Courts; and that the State may regulate
local government unit concerned. This modification of individual conduct for the promotion of public welfare in
P.D. 1869 by the Local Government Code is the exercise of its police power.
permissible because one law can change or repeal -On the other hand, respondents argue against the
another law. limited application of the overbreadth and vagueness
- This basic relationship between the national doctrines. They insist that Article 202 (2) on its face
legislature and the local government units has not violates the constitutionally- guaranteed rights to due
been enfeebled by the new provisions in the process and the equal protection of the laws; that the

Alex Austria | 2018 7


due process vagueness standard, as distinguished invalid merely because it might have been more
from the free speech vagueness doctrine, is adequate explicit in its wordings or detailed in its provisions,
to declare Article 202 (2) unconstitutional and void on especially where, because of the nature of the act, it
its face; and that the presumption of constitutionality would be impossible to provide all the details in
was adequately overthrown. --The Court finds for advance as in all other statutes.
petitioner. The power to define crimes and prescribe
their corresponding penalties is legislative in nature - We discern nothing in the foregoing that is vague or
and inherent in the sovereign power of the state to ambiguous - as there is obviously none - that will
maintain social order as an aspect of police power. confuse petitioner in his defense. Although subject to
The legislature may even forbid and penalize acts proof, these factual assertions clearly show that the
formerly considered innocent and lawful provided that elements of the crime are easily understood and
no constitutional rights have been abridged. provide adequate contrast between the innocent and
-However, in exercising its power to declare what acts the prohibited acts. Upon such unequivocal assertions,
constitute a crime, the legislature must inform the petitioner is completely informed of the accusations
citizen with reasonable precision what acts it intends to against him as to enable him to prepare for an
prohibit so that he may have a certain understandable intelligent defense.
rule of conduct and know what acts it is his duty to - Petitioner, however, bewails the failure of the law to
avoid. provide for the statutory definition of the terms
-This requirement has come to be known as the "combination" and "series" in the key phrase "a
void-for- vagueness doctrine which states that a combination or series of overt or criminal acts" found in
statute which either forbids or requires the doing of an Sec. 1, par. (d), and Sec. 2, and the word "pattern" in
act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence Sec. 4. These omissions, according to petitioner,
must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to render the Plunder Law unconstitutional for being
its application, violates the first essential of due impermissibly vague and overbroad and deny him the
process of law. right to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation against him, hence, violative of his
 (ii) Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, 421 Phil. 290 fundamental right to due process.
(2001) - Hence, it cannot plausibly be contended that the law
does not give a fair warning and sufficient notice of
-RE: Erap questioning RA 7659, Anti-Plunder Law what it seeks to penalize. Under the circumstances,
SUMMARY: In 2001, the Ombudsman filed before the petitioner's reliance on the "void-for-vagueness"
Sandiganbayan eight separate Informations against doctrine is manifestly misplaced.
then President Joseph Estrada, including one for -The doctrine has been formulated in various ways, but
violation of the Plunder Law. Estrada, who as a is most commonly stated to the effect that a statute
senator voted for the passage of the law, posited that establishing a criminal offense must define the offense
the said penal law is unconstitutional because of three with sufficient definiteness that persons of ordinary
reasons: (a) it suffers from the vice of vagueness; (b) it intelligence can understand what conduct is prohibited
dispenses with the "reasonable doubt" standard in by the statute. It can only be invoked against that
criminal prosecutions; and, (c) it abolishes the element specie of legislation that is utterly vague on its face,
of mens rea in crimes already punishable under the i.e., that which cannot be clarified either by a saving
RPC. The SC held that the Plunder Law is clause or by construction.
constitutional because: (a) there is nothing vague or - A statute or act may be said to be vague when it
ambiguous about the Plunder Law; (b) that the same lacks comprehensible standards that men of common
law does not in any manner refashion the standard intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and
quantum of proof in the crime of plunder; and that (c) differ in its application. In such instance, the statute is
plunder is a malum in se which requires proof of repugnant to the Constitution in two (2) respects - it
criminal intent. violates due process for failure to accord persons,
especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of what
DOCTRINE: The test in determining whether a criminal conduct to avoid; and, it leaves law enforcers unbridled
statute is void for uncertainty is whether the language discretion in carrying out its provisions and becomes
conveys a sufficiently definite warning as to the an arbitrary flexing of the Government muscle.
proscribed conduct when measured by common - But the doctrine does not apply as against
understanding and practice. It must be stressed, legislations that are merely couched in imprecise
however, that the "vagueness" doctrine merely language but which nonetheless specify a standard
requires a reasonable degree of certainty for the though defectively phrased; or to those that are
statute to be upheld - not absolute precision or apparently ambiguous yet fairly applicable to certain
mathematical exactitude, as petitioner seems to types of activities. The first may be "saved" by proper
suggest. Flexibility, rather than meticulous specificity, construction, while no challenge may be mounted as
is permissible as long as the metes and bounds of the against the second whenever directed against such
statute are clearly delineated. An act will not be held activities. With more reason, the doctrine cannot be

Alex Austria | 2018 8


invoked where the assailed statute is clear and free inapt for testing the validity of penal statutes. As the
from ambiguity, as in this case. U.S. Supreme Court put it, in an opinion by Chief
-The test in determining whether a criminal statute is Justice Rehnquist, "we have not recognized an
void for uncertainty is whether the language conveys a 'overbreadth' doctrine outside the limited context of the
sufficiently definite warning as to the proscribed First Amendment." In Broadrick v. Oklahoma, the Court
conduct when measured by common understanding ruled that "claims of facial overbreadth have been
and practice. It must be stressed, however, that the entertained in cases involving statutes which, by their
"vagueness" doctrine merely requires a reasonable terms, seek to regulate only spoken words" and, again,
degree of certainty for the statute to be upheld - not that "overbreadth claims, if entertained at all, have
absolute precision or mathematical exactitude, as been curtailed when invoked against ordinary criminal
petitioner seems to suggest. Flexibility, rather than laws that are sought to be applied to protected
meticulous specificity, is permissible as long as the conduct." For this reason, it has been held that "a
metes and bounds of the statute are clearly delineated. facial challenge to a legislative act is the most difficult
An act will not be held invalid merely because it might challenge to mount successfully, since the challenger
have been more explicit in its wordings or detailed in must establish that no set of circumstances exists
its provisions, especially where, because of the nature under which the Act would be valid."
of the act, it would be impossible to provide all the - As for the vagueness doctrine, it is said that a litigant
details in advance as in all other statutes. may challenge a statute on its face only if it is vague in
- Moreover, we agree with, hence we adopt, the all its possible applications. "A plaintiff who engages in
observations of Mr. Justice Vicente V. Mendoza during some conduct that is clearly proscribed cannot
the deliberations of the Court that the allegations that complain of the vagueness of the law as applied to the
the Plunder Law is vague and overbroad do not justify conduct of others."
a facial review of its validity - The void-for-vagueness - In sum, the doctrines of strict scrutiny, overbreadth,
doctrine states that "a statute which either forbids or and vagueness are analytical tools developed for
requires the doing of an act in terms so vague that testing "on their faces" statutes in free speech cases
men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at or, as they are called in American law, First
its meaning and differ as to its application, violates the Amendment cases. They cannot be made to do
first essential of due process of law." The overbreadth service when what is involved is a criminal statute.
doctrine, on the other hand, decrees that "a With respect to such statute, the established rule is
governmental purpose may not be achieved by means that "one to whom application of a statute is
which sweep unnecessarily broadly and thereby constitutional will not be heard to attack the statute on
invade the area of protected freedoms." the ground that impliedly it might also be taken as
- A facial challenge is allowed to be made to a vague applying to other persons or other situations in which
statute and to one which is overbroad because of its application might be unconstitutional."
possible "chilling effect" upon protected speech. The - As has been pointed out, "vagueness challenges in
theory is that "[w]hen statutes regulate or proscribe the First Amendment context, like overbreadth
speech and no readily apparent construction suggests challenges typically produce facial invalidation, while
itself as a vehicle for rehabilitating the statutes in a statutes found vague as a matter of due process
single prosecution, the transcendent value to all typically are invalidated [only] 'as applied' to a
society of constitutionally protected expression is particular defendant."
deemed to justify allowing attacks on overly broad - Consequently, there is no basis for petitioner's claim
statutes with no requirement that the person making that this Court review the Anti-Plunder Law on its face
the attack demonstrate that his own conduct could not and in its entirety. Indeed, "on its face" invalidation of
be regulated by a statute drawn with narrow statutes results in striking them down entirely on the
specificity." ground that they might be applied to parties not before
- The possible harm to society in permitting some the Court whose activities are constitutionally
unprotected speech to go unpunished is outweighed protected.
by the possibility that the protected speech of others
may be deterred and perceived grievances left to  (iii) Alfredo Romualdez v. Sandiganbayan, G.R.
fester because of possible inhibitory effects of overly No. 152259, 29 July 2004
broad statutes. This rationale does not apply to penal FACTS:
statutes. Criminal statutes have general in terrorem • An information was filed against Petitioner Alfredo
effect resulting from their very existence, and, if facial Romualdez before the Sandiganbayan for a violation of
challenge is allowed for this reason alone, the State RA 3019, Section 5.
may well be prevented from enacting laws against Section 5 provides: Section 5. Prohibition on certain
socially harmful conduct. In the area of criminal law, relatives. – It shall be unlawful for the spouse or for
the law cannot take chances as in the area of free any relative, by consanguinity or affinity, within the
speech. third civil degree, of the President of the Philippines,
-The overbreadth and vagueness doctrines then have the Vice-President of the Philippines, the President of
special application only to free speech cases. They are the Senate, or the Speaker of the House of

Alex Austria | 2018 9


Representatives, to intervene, directly or indirectly, in understood in its ordinary meaning, that is to come
any business, transaction, contract or application with between.
the Government: • Thus, the Court held that the assailed provision is not
Provided, That this section shall not apply to any vague.
person who, prior to the assumption of office of any of - Section 5 of the Anti-Graft Law is constitutional. It
the above officials to whom he is related, has been penalizes certain presidential relatives who intervene,
already dealing with the Government along the same directly or indirectly, in any business, transaction,
line of business, nor to any transaction, contract or contract or application with the Government. This
application already existing or pending at the time of provision is not vague or impermissibly broad, because
such assumption of public office, nor to any application it can easily be understood with the use of simple
filed by him the approval of which is not discretionary statutory construction. Neither may the constitutionality
on the part of the official or officials concerned but of a criminal statute such as this be challenged on the
depends upon compliance with requisites provided by basis of the overbreadth and the void-for-vagueness
law, or rules or regulations issued pursuant to law, nor doctrines, which apply only to free-speech cases.
to any act lawfully performed in an official capacity or - It is best to stress at the outset that the
in the exercise of a profession. overbreadth[20] and the vagueness doctrines have
• Before the Supreme Court, petitioner argued that RA special application only to free-speech cases. They are
3019, Section 5 was unconstitutional because its not appropriate for testing the validity of penal statutes.
vagueness violates the due process right of an Mr. Justice Vicente V. Mendoza explained the reason
individual to be informed of the nature and the cause of as follows: A facial challenge is allowed to be made to
the accusation against him. a vague statute and to one which is overbroad
ISSUE: • Whether RA 3019, Sec. 5 is because of possible chilling effect upon protected
unconstitutional for vagueness speech. The theory is that [w]hen statutes regulate or
RULING: Facial challenges allowed only in free proscribe speech and no readily apparent construction
speech cases suggests itself as a vehicle for rehabilitating the
• The overbreadth and void-for-vagueness doctrines statutes in a single prosecution, the transcendent value
apply only to free speech cases. It is because of the to all society of constitutionally protected expression is
potential chilling effect of vague statutes on protected deemed to justify allowing attacks on overly broad
speech that a facial challenge is allowed. statutes with no requirement that the person making
• This rationale does not apply to penal statutes. the attack demonstrate that his own conduct could not
Criminal statutes generally have an in terrorem effect be regulated by a statute drawn with narrow specificity.
on proscribed conduct and to allow facial challenges The possible harm to society in permitting some
will essentially prevent the State from enacting laws unprotected speech to go unpunished is outweighed
against socially harmful conduct. by the possibility that the protected speech of others
• As conduct, not speech is the subject of RA 3019, the may be deterred and perceived grievances left to
constitutionality of the statute shall be based as fester because of possible inhibitory effects of overly
applied to the defendant (i.e. not facially). Vague broad statutes. This rationale does not apply to penal
statutes, standard statutes. Criminal statutes have general in terrorem
• A statute is vague when it lacks comprehensible effect resulting from their very existence, and, if facial
standards that men of common intelligence must challenge is allowed for this reason alone, the State
guess as its meaning and differ in its application. In may well be prevented from enacting laws against
such instances, the statute is repugnant to the socially harmful conduct. In the area of criminal law,
Constitution in two respects: the law cannot take chances as in the area of free
(1) it violates due process for failure to accord persons, speech. xx x x xx x x x In sum, the doctrines of strict
especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of what scrutiny, overbreadth, and vagueness are analytical
conduct to avoid; and tools developed for testing on their faces statutes in
(2) it leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in free speech cases or, as they are called in American
carrying out its provisions. law, First Amendment cases. They cannot be made to
• A statute is utterly vague on its face when it cannot do service when what is involved is a criminal statute.
be clarified by a saving clause or by construction. RA With respect to such statute, the established rule is
3019 is not unconstitutional for vagueness • Petitioner that one to whom application of a statute is
claims that the phrase “to intervene directly or constitutional will not be heard to attack the statute on
indirectly in any business [or] transaction […] with the the ground that impliedly it might also be taken as
Government” is vague. Specifically, he harps on the applying to other persons or other situations in which
term intervene as the statute does not specify which its application might be unconstitutional. As has been
acts are punishable under the term. pointed out, vagueness challenges in the First
• However, the SC, agreeing with the OSG, ruled that Amendment context, like overbreadth challenges
the statute is not vague as a verba legis construction typically produce facial invalidation, while statutes
clarifies the meaning. The term intervene should be found vague as a matter of due process typically are
invalidated [only] as applied to a particular

Alex Austria | 2018 10


defendant.[22] (underscoring supplied) To this date, Overbreadth and vagueness doctrines then have
the Court has not declared any penal law special application only to free speech cases. They are
unconstitutional on the ground of ambiguity. [23] While inapt for testing the validity of penal statutes.
mentioned in passing in some cases, the -Since a penal statute may only be assailed for
void-for-vagueness concept has yet to find direct being vague as applied to petitioners, a limited
application in our jurisdiction. vagueness analysis of the definition of “terrorism”
in RA 9372 is legally impossible absent an actual
 (iv) Southern Hemisphere Engagement Network, or imminent chargeagainst them.
Inc. v. Anti-Terrorism Council, G.R. Nos. 178552, - The doctrine of vagueness and the doctrine of
178554, 178581, 178890, 179157 & 179461, October overbreadth do not operate on the same plane.
5, 2010, 632 SCRA 146 -A statute or acts suffers from the defect of vagueness
when:
FACTS: > It lacks comprehensible standards that men of
common intelligence must necessarily guess at its
 This case consists of 6 petitions challenging meaning and differ as to its application. It is repugnant
the constitutionality of RA 9372, “An Act to to the Constitution in 2 ways:
Secure the State and Protect our People from 1) Violates due process for failure to accord fair notice
Terrorism,” aka Human Security Act of 2007. of conduct to avoid
 Petitioner-organizations assert locus standion 2) Leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in
the basis of being suspected “communist carrying out its provisions and becomes an arbitrary
fronts” by the government, whereas individual flexing of the Government muscle.
petitioners invoke the “transcendental 3) The overbreadth doctrine decrees that a
importance” doctrine and their status as governmental purpose to control or prevent activities
citizens and taxpayers. constitutionally subject to state regulations may not be
 KARAPATAN, Hustisya, Desaparecidos, achieved by means, which sweep unnecessarily
SELDA, EMJP, and PCR allege they have broadly and thereby invade the area of protected
been subjected to “close security surveillance freedoms.
by state security forces,” their members -A “facial” challenge is likewise different from an
followed by “suspicious persons” and “vehicles “as applied” challenge.
with dark windshields,” and their offices > “As applied” challenge considers only extant facts
monitored by “men with military build.” They affecting real litigants.
likewise claim they have been branded as > “Facial” challenge is an examination of the entire law,
“enemies of the State.” pinpointing its flaws and defects, not only on the basis
of its actual operation to the parties, but also on the
DOCTRINE: The doctrines of void-for-vagueness and assumption or prediction that its very existence may
overbreadth find no application in the present case cause others not before the court to refrain from
since these doctrines apply only to free speech cases constitutionally protected speech or activities.
and that RA 9372 regulates conduct, not speech. > Under no case may ordinary penal statutes be
- Romualdez v. Sandiganbayan: The overbreadth and subjected to a facial challenge. If facial challenge to a
the vagueness doctrines have special application only penal statute is permitted, the prosecution of crimes
to free speech cases, and are not appropriate for may be hampered. No prosecution would be possible.
testing the validity of penal statutes. - There is no merit in the claim that RA 9372
- Romualdez v. COMELEC:A facial invalidation of regulates speech so as to permit a facial analysis
criminal statutes is not appropriate, but the Court of its validity.
nonetheless proceeded to conduct a vagueness >Section 3 of RA 9372 provides the following elements
analysis, and concluded that the therein subject of the crime of terrorism:
election offense under the Voter’s Registration Act of > Offender commits an act punishable under RPC and
1996, with which the therein petitioners were charged, the enumerated special penal laws;
is couched in precise language. > Commission of the predicate crime sows and creates
- The aforementioned cases rely heavily on Justice a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and
Mendoza’s Separate Opinion in the Estrada case: panic among the populace;
Allegations that a penal statute is vague and overbroad > The offender is actuated by the desire to coerce the
do not justify a facial review of its validity. A facial government to give in to an unlawful demand.
challenge is allowed to be made to a vague statute and - Petitioners contend that the element of “unlawful
to one, which is overbroad because of possible demand” in the definition of terrorism must necessarily
chilling effect upon protected speech. This rationale be transmitted through some form of expression
does not apply to penal statutes. Criminal statutes protected by the free speech clause. The argument
have general in terrorem effect. If facial challenge is does not persuade. What RA 9372 seeks to penalize is
allowed, the State may well be prevented from conduct, not speech.
enacting laws against socially harmful conduct.

Alex Austria | 2018 11


-Petitioners’ notion on the transmission of message is publication of such laws a final sentence has been
entirely inaccurate, as it unduly focuses on just one pronounced and the convict is serving the same.
particle of an element of the crime. Almost every
commission of a crime entails some mincing of words Art. 366. Application of laws enacted prior to this
on the part of offender. -- Code. — Without prejudice to the provisions contained
- Utterances not elemental but inevitably incidental in Article 22 of this Code, felonies and misdemeanors,
to the doing of the criminal conduct alter neither committed prior to the date of effectiveness of this
the intent of the law to punish socially harmful Code shall be punished in accordance with the Code
conduct nor the essence of the whole act as or Acts in force at the time of their commission.
conduct and not speech.
 (iv) Pesigan v. Angeles, 129 SCRA 174 (1984)
b. Effectivity of penal laws
Facts: In the evening of April 2, 1982, Anselmo
(i) CIV. CODE, art. 2: Laws shall take effect after Pesigan and Marcelo Pesigan who were carabao
fifteen days following the completion of their dealers transported 26 of the said animals and a calf
publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise from Sipocot, Camarines Sur with Batangas as the
provided. This Code shall take effect one year after destination using an Isuzu ten-wheeler truck. They had
such publication. the necessary certificates and permits to be allowed
the transport. However, they were stopped on the road
(ii) Exec. Order No. 292 (Revised Admin Code) at Basud, Camarines Norte by town police station
commander Lieutenant Zenarosa and provincial
 Sec. 18: When Laws Take Effect. - Laws shall take veterinarian Dr. Miranda who confiscated the carabaos
effect after fifteen (15) days following the completion of based on EO No. 626-A which bans the transport of
their publication in the Official Gazette or in a carabaos from one province to another. Dr. Miranda
newspaper of general circulation, unless it is otherwise distributed the carabos among farmers of Basud and
provided. from the Vinzons municipal nursery. Petitioners filed an
action for replevin which was dismissed for lack of
 Sec. 24: Contents. - There shall be published in the cause of action. Petitioners appealed. Issue: Whether
Official Gazette all legislative acts and resolutions of a or not EO No. 626-A is enforceable before its
public nature; all executive and administrative publication in the Official Gazette
issuances of general application; decisions or Held: No.
abstracts of decisions of the Supreme Court and the -EO No. 626-A, while issued on October 25, 1980
Court of Appeals, or other courts of similar rank, as should not be enforced in this case as it was only
may be deemed by said courts of sufficient importance published June 14, 1982 in the Official Gazette, more
to be so published; such documents or classes of than two months later, and it only became effective 15
documents as may be required so to be published by days thereafter as provided by Art. 2 of the Civil Code.
law; and such documents or classes of documents as -Publication is necessary to apprise the public of the
the President shall determine from time to time to have contents of the regulations and make the said
general application or which he may authorize so to be penalties binding on the persons affected thereby. The
published. carabaos were ordered to be returned to the Pesigans
but they are now bound to EO No. 292 and cannot
 C.A. No. 638 (1941) transport it to Batangas.
-Dr. Miranda and Lt. Zenarosa acted in good faith in
ordering the forfeiture and dispersal of the carabaos.
(iii) REV. PEN. CODE - Respondents Miranda and Zenarosa are ordered to
restore the carabaos, with the requisite documents, to
 Article 1. Time when Act takes effect. - This Code the petitioners, who as owners are entitled to possess
shall take effect on the first day of January, nineteen the same, with the right to dispose of them in Basud or
hundred and thirty-two. Sipocot, Camarines Sur.

Art. 21. Penalties that may be imposed. — No felony  (v) Tañada v. Tuvera, 136 SCRA 27 (1985)
shall be punishable by any penalty not prescribed by
law prior to its commission. The case is a petition to review the decision of the
Executive Assistant to the President. The petitioners
Art. 22. Retroactive effect of penal laws. — Penal seek a writ of mandamus to compel respondent public
Laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they officials to publish, and/or cause the publication in the
favor the persons guilty of a felony, who is not a Official Gazette of various presidential decrees, letters
habitual criminal, as this term is defined in Rule 5 of of instructions, general orders, proclamations,
Article 62 of this Code, although at the time of the executive orders, letter of implementation and
administrative orders. The petitioners invoked the

Alex Austria | 2018 12


people’s right to be informed on matters of public
concern, a right recognized in Section 6, Article VI of • ONLY EXCEPTIONS: Interpretative regulations and
the 1973 Philippine Constitution; as well as the those merely internal in nature, that is, regulating
principle that laws to be valid and enforceable must be only the personnel of the administrative agency and
published in the Official Gazette or otherwise not the public, or letters of instructions issued by
effectively promulgated. administrative superiors concerning the rules or
guidelines to be followed by their subordinates in the
The respondents posit that the case should be performance of their duties
dismissed on the ground that petitioners have no legal • “We hold therefore that all statutes, including those
personality or standing to bring the petition. According of local application and private laws, shall be
to respondents, there is absence of showing that the published as a condition for their effectivity, which
petitioners are personally and directly affected or shall begin fifteen days after publication unless a
prejudiced by the alleged non-publication of the different effectivity date is fixed by the legislature.”
presidential issuances in question. Furthermore, they
argue, said petitioners are without the requisite legal • Publication must be in full or it is no publication
personality to institute the mandamus proceeding, they at all since its purpose is to inform the public of
not being “aggrieved parties” within the meaning of the contents of the laws.
Section 3, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.
In addition, respondents contend that publication in the Covered by this rule are presidential decrees and
Official Gazette is not a sine qua non requirement for executive orders promulgated by the President in the
the effectivity of laws where the laws themselves exercise of legislative powers whenever the same are
provide for their own effectivity dates. validly delegated by the legislature or, at present,
directly conferred by the Constitution. Administrative
The clear object of publication is to give the general rules and regulations must also be published if their
public adequate notice of the various laws which are to purpose is to enforce or implement existing law
regulate their actions and conduct as citizens. Without pursuant also to a valid delegation.
such notice and publication, there would be no basis
for the application of the maxim ignorantia legis non ON THE MEANING OF THE PHRASE “UNLESS
excusat. It would be the height of injustice to punish or OTHERWISE PROVIDED”
burden a citizen for the transgression of a law which he The clause "unless it is otherwise provided" refers to
had no notice whatsoever. the date of effectivity and not to the requirement of
publication itself, which cannot in any event be omitted.
The publication of all presidential issuances “of public This clause does not mean that the legislature may
nature” or “of general applicability” is mandated by law. make the law effective immediately upon approval, or
Obviously, presidential decrees that provide for fines, on any other date, without its previous publication.
forfeitures or penalties for their violation or otherwise
impose a burden on the people, such as tax and 2) W/N publication in the Official Gazette need not
revenue measures, fall within this category. Other be made considering its erratic releases and
presidential issuances which apply only to particular limited readership — COURT CANNOT RULE
persons or class of persons, such as administrative UPON THE WISDOM OF THE LAW.
and executive orders, need not be published on the
assumption that they have been circularized to all • The Court’s task is merely to interpret and apply the
law as conceived and approved by the political
concerned.
departments of the government in accordance with
the prescribed procedure.
Petition is GRANTED. Court ordered respondents to
publish in the OG all unpublished presidential • “Consequently, we have no choice but to pronounce
issuances which are of general application, and unless that under Article 2 of the Civil Code, the publication
so published, shall have no legal binding force and of laws must be made in the Official Gazette and not
effect. elsewhere, as a requirement for their effectivity after
fifteen days from such publication or after a different
 (vi) Tañada v. Tuvera, 146 SCRA 446 (1986) period provided by the legislature.”

1) W/N publication is required for all laws to be • “We also hold that the publication must be made
effective regardless of nature or applicability — forthwith or at least as soon as possible, to give
YES effect to the law pursuant to the said Article 2. There
The term "laws" should refer to all laws and not only to is that possibility, of course, although not suggested
those of general application, for strictly speaking all by the parties that a law could be rendered
laws relate to the people in general albeit there are unenforceable by a mere refusal of the executive,
some that do not apply to them directly. for whatever reason, to cause its publication as
required. This is a matter, however, that we do not
need to examine at this time.”
Alex Austria | 2018 13
 (vii) Nagkakaisang Maralita ng Sitio Masigasig, (ii) REV. PEN. CODE, art. 1, 22 (supra)
Inc. V. Military Shrine Service Philippine Veterans  (iii) In re. Kay Villegas Kami, Inc., 35 SCRA 429
Affairs Office, G.R. No. 187587, 5 June 2013 (1970)
Petitioner filed a petition to the SC questioning the
Summary: [RE: CLASSIFICATION OF LANDS IN validity of RA 6132, Sec. 8(a) as to the prohibition of
BGC AND MCKINLEY HILL] President Marcos issued allowing any political group to support a candidate to
Proclamation No. 2476, which declared barangays in the 1971 Constitutional Convention. Petitioner
Lower Bicutan, Upper Bicutan, and Signal Village open contended that the Act was an ex post facto law. SC
for disposition. The Proclamation included a denied the petition.
handwritten addendum likewise declaring barangays
in Western Bicutan open for disposition, but this An ex post facto law is one which:.
addendum was not published in the Official Gazette. (1) Makes criminal an act done before the
Petitioners occupied lots in Western Bicutan and passage of the law and which was innocent
sought to have them reclassified as alienable and when done, and punishes such an act;
disposable, pursuant to PN 2476’s addendum. The (2) Aggravates a crime, or makes it greater
Court held that these lands could not be reclassified as than it was, when committed;
such, because the addendum was never published (3) Changes the punishment and inflicts a
and therefore never took effect. greater punishment than the law annexed to
the crime when committed;
Ratio: The requirement of publication is (4) Alters the legal rules of evidence, and
indispensable to give effect to the law, unless the authorizes conviction upon less or different
law itself has otherwise provided. The phrase testimony than the law required at the time of
“unless otherwise provided” refers to a different the commission of the offense;
effectivity date other than after 15 days following (5) Assuming to regulate civil rights and
the completion of the law’s publication in the remedies only, in effect imposes penalty or
Official Gazette, but does not imply that the deprivation of a right for something which
requirement of publication may be dispensed with. when done was lawful; and
All statutes, including those of local application (6) Deprives a person accused of a crime of
and private laws, shall be published as a condition some lawful protection to which he has
for their effectivity, which shall begin fifteen days become entitled, such as the protection of a
after publication unless a different effectivity date former conviction or acquittal, or a
is fixed by the legislature. proclamation of amnesty.

 The requirement of publication is IN THIS CASE: Even if RA 6132's Sec. 18 penalizes a


indispensable to give effect to the law, violation of any provision of the said law, including Sec.
unless the law itself has otherwise 8(a), the penalty is imposed only for acts committed
provided. The phrase “unless otherwise after the approval of the law, and not those
provided” refers to a different effectivity perpetrated prior thereto.
date other than after 15 days following the 4. There is nothing in the Act that indicates that Secs.
completion of the law’s publication in the 8(a) and 18, or any other provision, shall apply to acts
Official Gazette, but does not imply that the carried out prior to its approval.
requirement of publication may be 5. Sec. 23 of the Act directs that the entire law shall be
dispensed with. effective upon its approval. (The Act was approved
 As held in Tañada v. Tuvera: Publication is on August 24, 1970.)
indispensable in every case, but the legislature
may in its discretion provide that the usual  (iv) People v. Villaraza, 81 SCRA 95 (1978)
fifteen-day period shall be shortened or
extended. Facts:
 We hold therefore that all statutes, including An assistant city fiscal charged Caesar Puerto with
those of local application and private laws, estafa in the city court of Cagayan de Oro City for
shall be published as a condition for their having issued on October 16, 1974 two bouncing
effectivity, which shall begin fifteen days after checks. City Judge Rolando R. Villaraza in his order
publication unless a different effectivity date is March 31, 1976 noted that the accused had waived the
fixed by the legislature. second stage of the preliminary investigation and
directed that the case be elevated, for trial, to the Court
c. Ex-post facto law of First Instance or the Circuit Criminal Court. The CFI
returned the case to the city court because in its
(i) CONST. (1987), art. III, sec. 22: No ex post facto opinion the case falls within the concurrent jurisdiction
law or bill of attainder shall be enacted. of the two courts and, the city court, as the first court

Alex Austria | 2018 14


which took cognizance of the case, should try it. -Ex post facto laws, unless they are favorable to
Respondent city judge still directed the re-elevation of the defendant, are prohibited in this jurisdiction. Every
the case, saying that the case falls within the exclusive law that makes an action, done before the passage of
original jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance the law, and which was innocent when done, criminal,
because estafa committed by the accused is and punishes such action, is an ex post facto law. In
punishable by prision mayor medium under the present case Act No. 2655 made an act which had
Presidential Decree No. 818 which took effect on been done before the law was adopted, a criminal act,
October 22, 1975 and which amended article 315 of and to make said Act applicable to the act complained
the Revised Penal Code. of would be to give it an ex post facto operation. The
Issue: Whether or not the CFI has exclusive Legislature is prohibited from adopting a law which will
jurisdiction over the estafa case make an act done before its adoption a crime. A law
Held/Ratio: No. CFI order affirmed. may be given a retroactive effect in civil action,
 The estafa imputed to Caesar Puerto is providing it is curative in character, but ex post facto
punishable under article 315 of the Revised laws are absolutely prohibited unless its retroactive
Penal Code by arresto mayor maximum to effect is favorable to the defendant.
prision correccional minimum or four months
and one day to two years and four months. d. Bill of attainder
The penalty of prision mayor medium, or eight
years and one day to ten years, imposed by (i) CONST. (1987), art. III, sec. 22 (SUPRA)
Presidential Decree No. 818, applies only to
swindling by means of issuing bouncing  (ii) People v. Ferrer, 48 SCRA 382 (1972)
checks which was committed on or after
October 22, 1975. That increased penalty Facts:
does not apply to the estafa committed by The Anti-Subversion Act outlaws the Communist Party
Puerto on October 16, 1974. To apply it to of the Philippines and other "subversive associations,"
Puerto would make the decree an ex post and punishes any person who "knowingly, willfully and
facto law. Its retroactive application is by overt acts affiliates himself with, becomes or
prohibited by articles 21 and 22 of the remains a member" of the Party or of any other similar
Revised Penal Code and section 12, Article "subversive" organization.
IV of the Constitution.
 Section 87 of the Judiciary Law, as amended On March 5, 1970 a criminal complaint for violation of
by Republic Acts Nos. 2613 and 3828, section 4 of the Anti-Subversion Act was filed against
provides that "judges of city courts shall have the respondent Feliciano Co in CFI Tarlac for being an
like jurisdiction as the Court of First Instance to officer of the Communist Party of the Philippines and
try parties charged with an offense committed being an instructor in the Mao Tse Tung University. Co
within their respective jurisdictions, in which moved to quash on the ground that the Anti-
the penalty provided by law does not exceed Subversion Act is a bill of attainder. Meanwhile, on
prision correccional or imprisonment for not May 25, 1970, another criminal complaint was filed
more than six years or fine not exceeding six with the same court, sharing the respondent Nilo
thousand pesos or both." Tayag and five others with subversion. On July 21,
1970 Tayag moved to quash, impugning the validity of
 (v) U.S. v. Diaz-Conde, 42 Phil. 766 (1922) the statute on the grounds that (1) it is a bill of
attainder; (2) it is vague; (3) it embraces more than one
-RE: Retroactivity of the Usury law subject not expressed in the title thereof; and (4) it
denied him the equal protection of the laws.
-A law imposing a new penalty, or a new liability or
disability, or giving a new right of action, must not be The Anti-Subversion Act was condemned by the CFI
construed as having a retroactive effect. It is an as a bill of attainder because it "tars and feathers" the
elementary rule of contract that the laws in force at the Communist Party of the Philippines as a "continuing
time the contract was made must govern its menace to the freedom and security of the country; its
interpretation and application. Laws must be construed existence, a 'clear, present and grave danger to the
prospectively and not retrospectively. If a contract is security of the Philippines.'" By means of the Act, the
legal at its inception, it cannot be rendered illegal by trial court said, Congress usurped "the powers of the
any subsequent legislation. If that were permitted then judge," and assumed "judicial magistracy by
the obligations of a contract might be impaired, which pronouncing the guilt of the CCP without any of the
is prohibited by the organic law of the Philippine forms or safeguards of judicial trial." According to the
Islands. (U.S. vs. Constantino Tan Quingco Chua, 39 trial court, "if the only issue [to be determined] is
Phil., 552; Aguilar vs. Rubiato and Gonzales Vila, 40 whether or not the accused is a knowing and voluntary
Phil., 570.) member, the law is still a bill of attainder because it
has expressly created a presumption of organizational

Alex Austria | 2018 15


guilt which the accused can never hope to overthrow. - Even assuming, however, that the Act specifies
The trial court declared the statute void on the grounds individuals and not activities, this feature is not enough
that it is a bill of attainder and that it is vague and to render it a bill of attainder. In the Philippines the
overboard, and dismissed the informations against the validity of section 23 (b) of the Industrial Peace
two accused. The Government appealed. Act, requiring labor unions to file with the Department
of Labor affidavits of union officers "to the effect that
1) W/N The Anti-Subversion Act is a Bill of they are not members of the Communist Party and that
Attainder — NO they are not members of any organization which
- The constitutional ban against bills of attainder serves teaches the overthrow of the Government by force or
to implement the principle of separation of powers by by any illegal or unconstitutional method," was upheld
confining legislatures to rule-making and thereby by this Court.
forestalling legislative usurpation of the judicial
function. The singling out of a definite class, the Indeed, it is only when a statute applies either to
imposition of a burden on it, and a legislative intent, named individuals or to easily ascertainable members
suffice to make a statute as a bill of attainder. of a group in such a way as to inflict punishment on
them without a judicial trial does it become a bill of
- ITC: When the Act is viewed in its actual operation, it attainder.
will be seen that it does not specify the Communist
Party of the Philippines or the members thereof for the In the Philippines the character of the Communist
purpose of punishment. What it does is simply to Party has been the object of continuing scrutiny by this
declare the Party to be an organized conspiracy for the Court. In 1932 we found the Communist Party of the
overthrow of the Government for the purposes of the Philippines to be an illegal association. In 1969 we
prohibition, stated in section 4, against membership in again found that the objective of the Party was the
the outlawed organization. The term "Communist Party "overthrow of the Philippine Government by armed
of the Philippines" issued solely for definitional struggle and to establish in the Philippines a
purposes. The Act applies not only to the CPP but also communist form of government similar to that of Soviet
to "any other organization having the same purpose Russia and Red China." In Lansang vs. Garcia, the
and their successors." Its focus is not on individuals SC noted the growth of the CPP and the organization
but on conduct. of Communist fronts among youth organizations such
as the Kabataang Makabayan (KM) and the
- Were the Anti-Subversion Act a bill of attainder, it emergence of the New People's Army. The SC held:
would be totally unnecessary to charge Communists in "We entertain, therefore, no doubts about the
court, as the law alone, without more, would suffice to existence of a sizeable group of men who have
secure their punishment. But the undeniable fact is that publicly risen in arms to overthrow the government and
their guilt still has to be judicially established. have thus been and still are engaged in rebellion
against the Government of the Philippines.
As to the claim that under the statute organizational
guilt is nonetheless imputed despite the requirement of Nor is it enough that the statute specify persons or
proof of knowing membership in the Party, suffice it to groups in order that it may fall within the ambit of the
say that is precisely the nature of conspiracy, which prohibition against bills of attainder. It is also
has been referred to as a "dragnet device" whereby all necessary that it must apply retroactively and reach
who participate in the criminal covenant are liable. The past conduct. This requirement follows from the nature
contention would be correct if the statute were of a bill of attainder as a legislative adjudication of guilt.
construed as punishing mere membership devoid of As Justice Frankfurter observed, "frequently a bill of
any specific intent to further the unlawful goals of the attainder was ... doubly objectionable because of its ex
Party. But the statute specifically required that post facto features. This is the historic explanation for
membership must be knowing or active, with uniting the two mischiefs in one clause — 'No Bill of
specific intent to further the illegal objectives of Attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.' ...
the Party. That is what section 4 means when it Therefore, if [a statute] is a bill of attainder it is
requires that membership, to be unlawful, must be also an ex post facto law. But if it is not an ex post
shown to have been acquired "knowingly, willfully and facto law, the reasons that establish that it is not
by overt acts." The ingredient of specific intent to are persuasive that it cannot be a bill of attainder."
pursue the unlawful goals of the Party must be shown
by "overt acts." This constitutes an element of Section 4 thereof expressly states that the prohibition
"membership" distinct from the ingredient of guilty therein applies only to acts committed "After the
knowledge. The former requires proof of direct approval of this Act." Only those who "knowingly,
participation in the organization's unlawful activities, willfully and by overt acts affiliate themselves with,
while the latter requires proof of mere adherence to the become or remain members of the Communist
organization's illegal objectives. Party of the Philippines and/or its successors or of
any subversive association “after June 20, 1957,

Alex Austria | 2018 16


are punished. Those who were members of the Party notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided
or of any other subversive association at the time of that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear
the enactment of the law, were given the opportunity of is unjustifiable.
purging themselves of liability by renouncing in writing
and under oath their membership in the Party. The law Sec. 16: All persons shall have the right to a speedy
expressly provides that such renunciation shall operate disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-
to exempt such persons from penal liability. The judicial, or administrative bodies.
penalties prescribed are therefore not inescapable.
Sec. 17: No person shall be compelled to be a
5. Other Constitutional and statutory limitations witness against himself.
and the rights of the accused
Sec. 18: (1) No person shall be detained solely by
a. CONST. (1987), art. III: BILL OF RIGHTS reason of his political beliefs and aspirations.
(2) No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist
Sec. 1: No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party
property without due process of law, nor shall any shall have been duly convicted.
person be denied the equal protection of the laws.
Sec. 19: (1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed,
Sec. 12: nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted.
(1) Any person under investigation for the commission Neither shall death penalty be imposed, unless, for
of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the
right to remain silent and to have competent and Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty
independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion
the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he perpetua.
must be provided with one. These rights cannot be (2) The employment of physical, psychological, or
waived except in writing and in the presence of degrading punishment against any prisoner or
counsel. detainee or the use of substandard or inadequate
(2) No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or penal facilities under subhuman conditions shall be
any other means which vitiate the free will shall be dealt with by law.
used against him. Secret detention places, solitary,
incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are Sec. 20: No person shall be imprisoned for debt or
prohibited. non-payment of a poll tax.
(3) Any confession or admission obtained in violation
of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in Sec. 21: No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of
evidence against him. punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished
(4) The law shall provide for penal and civil sanctions by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal
for violations of this section as well as compensation to under either shall constitute a bar to another
and rehabilitation of victims of torture or similar prosecution for the same act.
practices, and their families.
b. RULES OF COURT, Rule 115: RIGHTS OF
Sec. 13: All persons, except those charged with ACCUSED SECTION 1. Rights of accused at the
offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when trial.—In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be
evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be entitled to the following rights:
bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on (a) To be presumed innocent until the contrary is
recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to proved beyond reasonable doubt.
bail shall not be impaired even when the privilege of (b) To be informed of the nature and cause of the
the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail accusation against him.
shall not be required. (c) To be present and defend in person and by counsel
Sec. 14: at every stage of the proceedings, from arraignment to
(1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal promulgation of the judgment.
offense without due process of law. The accused may, however, waive his presence at the
(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be trial pursuant to the stipulations set forth in his tail,
presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and unless his presence is specifically ordered by the court
shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and for purposes of identification. The absence of the
counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accused without justifiable cause at the trial of which
accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial, he had notice shall be considered a waiver of his right
and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to be present thereat. When an accused under custody
to have compulsory process to secure the attendance escapes, he shall be deemed to have waived his right
of witnesses and the production of evidence in his to be present on all subsequent trial dates until custody
behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may proceed over him is regained. Upon motion, the accused may

Alex Austria | 2018 17


be allowed to defend himself in person when it Section 1. Any person who shall falsely assume and
sufficiently appears to the court that he can properly take upon himself to act as a diplomatic, consular, or
protect his rights without the assistance of counsel. any other official of a foreign government duly
(d) To testify as a witness in his own behalf but subject accredited as such to the Government of the Republic
to cross-examination on matters covered by direct of the Philippines with intent to defraud such foreign
examination. His silence shall not in any manner government or the Government of the Philippines, or
prejudice him. any person, or in such pretended character shall
(e) To be exempt from being compelled to be a witness demand or obtain, or attempt to obtain from person or
against himself. from said foreign government or the Government of the
(f) To confront and cross-examine the witnesses Philippines, or from any officer thereof, any money,
against him at the trial. Either party may utilize as part paper, document, or other thing, of value, shall be
of its evidence the testimony of a witness who is fined not more than five thousand pesos, or shall be
deceased, out of or can not with due diligence be imprisoned for not more than five years, or both, in
found in the Philippines, unavailable, or otherwise addition to the penalties that may be imposed under
unable to testify, given in another case or proceeding, the Revised Penal Code.
judicial or administrative, involving the same parties
and subject matter, the adverse party having the Section 2. Any person, other than a diplomatic or
opportunity to cross-examine him. consular officer or attaché, who shall act in the
(g) To have compulsory process issued to secure the Republic of the Philippines as an agent of a foreign
attendance of witnesses and production of other government without prior notification to, and
evidence in his behalf. registration with, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs shall
(h) To have speedy, impartial and public trial. be fined not more than five thousand pesos, or
(i) To appeal in all cases allowed and in the manner imprisoned not more than five years, or both, aside
prescribed by law. from other penalties that may be imposed by law.

D. Characteristics of criminal law


Section 3. Any person, who with intent to deceive or
mislead, within the jurisdiction of the Republic, wear
1. General
any naval, military, police, or other official uniform,
decoration, or regalia of any foreign State, nation or
a. CONST. (1987), art. VI, sec. 1. The legislative
government with which the Republic of the Philippines
power shall be vested in the Congress of the
is at peace, or any uniform, decoration or regalia so
Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a
nearly resembling the same as to be calculated to
House of Representatives, except to the extent
deceive, unless such wearing thereof be authorized by
reserved to the people by the provision on initiative such State, nation, or government, shall upon
and referendum. conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding two
hundred pesos or imprisonment not exceeding six
b. CIV. CODE, art. 14. Penal laws and those of public
months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
security and safety shall be obligatory upon all who live
or sojourn in the Philippine territory, subject to the
principles of public international law and to treaty Section 4. Any writ or process sued out or prosecuted
stipulations. by any person in any court of the Republic of the
Philippines, or by any judge or justice, whereby the
c. Agreement Between the Government of the person of any ambassador or public minister of any
Republic of the Philippines and the Government of foreign State, authorized and received as such by the
the United States of America Regarding the President, or any domestic or domestic servant of any
Treatment of United States Armed Forces Visiting such ambassador or minister is arrested or imprisoned,
the Philippines, 10 February 1998 (Visiting Forces or his goods or chattels are distrained, seized, or
Agreement) attached, shall be deemed void, and every person by
whom the same is obtained or prosecuted, whether as
d. REP. ACT NO. 75 party or as attorney, and every officer concerned in
executing it, shall upon conviction, be punished by
imprisonment for not more than three years and a fine
AN ACT TO PENALIZE ACTS WHICH WOULD
of not exceeding two hundred pesos in the discretion
IMPAIR THE PROPER OBSERVANCE BY THE
of the court.
REPUBLIC AND INHABITANTS OF THE
PHILIPPINES OF THE IMMUNITIES, RIGHT, AND
PRIVILEGES OF DULY ACCREDITED FOREIGN Section 5. The provisions of section four hereof shall
DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR AGENTS IN THE not apply to any case where the person against whom
PHILIPPINES the process is issued is a citizen or inhabitant of the
Republic of the Philippines, in the service of an
ambassador or a public minister, and the process is

Alex Austria | 2018 18


founded upon a debt contracted before he entered Be it enacted by the Senate and House of
upon such service; nor shall the said section apply to Representatives of the Philippines in Congress
any case where the person against whom the assembled::
process is issued is a domestic servant of an
ambassador or a public minister, unless the name of Section 1. Members of the Armed Forces of the
the servant has, before the issuing thereof, been Philippines and other persons subject to military law,
registered in the Department of Foreign Affairs, and including members of the citizens Armed Forces
transmitted by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to Geographical Units, who commit crimes or offenses
the Chief of Police of the City of Manila, who shall penalized under the Revised Penal Code other special
upon receipt thereof post the same in some public penal laws, or local government ordinances regardless
place in his office. All persons shall have resort to the of whether or not civilians are co-accused, victims, or
list of names so posted in the office of the Chief of offended parties which may be natural or juridical
Police, and take copies without fee. persons, shall be tried by the proper civil court except
when the offense, as determined before arraignment
Section 6. Any person who assaults, strikes, wounds, by the civil court, is service-connected, in which case
imprisons or in any other manner offers violence to the the offense shall be tried by court-martial: provided,
person of an ambassador or a public minister, in that the President of the Philippines may, in the
violation of the law of nations, shall be imprisoned not interest of justice, order or direct at any time before
more than three years, and fined not exceeding two arraignment that any such crimes or offenses be tried
hundred pesos, in the discretion of the court, in by the proper civil courts.
addition to the penalties that may be imposed under
the Revised Penal Code. As used in this Section, service-connected crimes or
offenses shall be limited to those defined in Articles 54
Section 7. The provisions of this Act shall be to 70, Articles 72 to 92, and Articles 95 to 97 of
applicable only in case where the country of the Commonwealth Act No. 408, as amended.
diplomatic or consular representative adversely
affected has provided for similar protection to duly In imposing the penalty for such crimes or offenses,
accredited diplomatic or consular representatives of the court-martial may take into consideration the
the Republic of the Philippines by prescribing like or penalty prescribed thereforee in the Revised Penal
similar penalties for like or similar offenses herein Code, other special laws, or local government
contained.itc-alf ordinances.

Section 8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval. Section 2. Subject to the provisions of Section 1
hereof, all cases filed or pending for filing with court-
Approved: October 21, 1946 martial or other similar bodies, except those where the
accused had already been arraigned, shall within thirty
(30) days following the effectivity of this Act transferred
to the proper civil courts: provided, that the Chief of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines shall, upon petition
before commencement of trial and with the written
consent of the accused, order the transfer of such
e. REP. ACT NO. 7055 Cf. PRES. DECREE No. 1850 excepted case or cases to the proper civil courts for
trial and resolution.
RA 7055:
Section 3. Presidential Decrees Nos. 1822, 1822-A,
June 20, 1991 1850 and 1952, and all acts, general orders, executive
orders, and other presidential issuances, rules and
AN ACT STRENGTHENING CIVILIAN SUPREMACY regulations inconsistent with this Act are hereby
OVER THE MILITARY RETURNING TO THE CIVIL repealed or amended accordingly.
COURTS THE JURISDICTION OVER CERTAIN
OFFENSES INVOLVING MEMBERS OF THE Section 4. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days
ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES, OTHER following its publication in the Official Gazette or in at
PERSONS SUBJECT TO MILITARY LAW, AND THE least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.
MEMBERS OF THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL
POLICE, REPEALING FOR THE PURPOSE Approved: June 20, 1991.
CERTAIN PRESIDENTIAL DECREES
PD 1850

Alex Austria | 2018 19


PROVIDING FOR THE TRIAL BY COURTS-MARTIAL separation from the active service without jurisdiction
OF MEMBERS OF THE INTEGRATED NATIONAL having duly attached beforehand unless otherwise
POLICE AND FURTHER DEFINING THE provided by law.
JURISDICTION OF COURTS-MARTIAL OVER
MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE As used herein, the term uniformed members of the
PHILIPPINES Integrated National Police shall refer to police officers,
policemen, firemen and jail guards.
WHEREAS, under Section 12, Article XV of the
Constitution, the State shall establish and maintain an SECTION 2. Segregation of Criminal Cases of Armed
integrated national police force whose organization, Forces and Integrated National Police from Civilian Co-
administration, and operation shall be provided by law; accused. – In cases where there are two or more
accused one or some of whom is or are civilian(s), the
WHEREAS, under and pursuant to existing laws, the case against the latter shall be segregated from
various municipal/city police and fire departments and accused Armed Forces of Integrated National Police
jails have been integrated into law-enforcement units member, and filed with the appropriate civil court for
under the operational control and organization set-up trial in accordance with existing
of the Philippine Constabulary; laws; Provided, however, that should such civilian
accused waive in writing civil court jurisdiction and
WHEREAS, in the interest of discipline and public submit himself to court-martial jurisdiction, then the
service, it is desirable that members of the Integrated whole case involving members of the Armed Forces or
National Police be subject to trial by courts-martial the Integrated National Police as well as the civilian(s)
under Commonwealth Act No. 408, as amended, shall be referred for trial to a court-martial.
otherwise known as the “Articles of War for the Armed
Forces of the Philippines,” for all crimes of offenses SECTION 3. Appointing Authorities. –
which are heretofore cognizable by the civil courts;
(a) Where uniformed member(s) of the Integrated
WHEREAS, as a complementary measure, there is a National Police are charged. – The President of the
need to clarify existing provisions of law relating to Philippines and the Chief of Constabulary/Director
jurisdiction of courts-martial and the General, Integrated National Police are hereby
Tanodbayan/Sandiganbayan and the regular civil empowered to appoint general, special and summary
courts over crimes and offenses committed by courts-martial for the trial of uniformed members of the
members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; Integrated National Police. The Constabulary Regional
Commanders/Directors, Integrated National Police
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E, MARCOS, may appoint special and summary courts-martial, and
President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers when empowered by the President, they may also
vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby order and appoint general courts-martial. Other subordinate field
decree: commanders of the Philippine Constabulary/Integrated
National Police may appoint summary courts-martial
when empowered by the President.
SECTION 1. Court-Martial Jurisdiction over Integrated
National Police and Members of the Armed Forces. –
Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding – (b) Where military personnel and Integrated National
(a) uniformed members of the Integrated National Police members are commonly charged. – The court-
Police who commit any crime or offense cognizable by martial shall be appointed by the appointing authorities
the civil courts shall henceforth be exclusively tried by specified in Articles 8, 9, 10 and 11 of Commonwealth
courts-martial pursuant to and in accordance with Act No. 408, as amended.
Commonwealth Act No. 408, as amended, otherwise
known as the Articles of War; SECTION 4. Composition of Courts-Martial. –
(b) all persons subject to military law under Article 2 of Membership, whether military personnel or Integrated
the aforecited Articles of War who commit any crime or National Police members, in a general or special court-
offense shall be exclusively tried by courts-martial or martial for the trial of a member of the Integrated
their case disposed of under the said Articles of National Police shall be in a ratio as determined by the
War; Provided, that, in either of the aforementioned appointing authority; Provided, however, that the
situations, the case shall be disposed of or tried by the number of Integrated National Police personnel
proper civil or judicial authorities when court-martial detailed shall not be less than one-third of the total
jurisdiction over the offense has prescribed under membership of the court.
Article 38 of Commonwealth Act Numbered 408, as
amended, or court-martial jurisdiction over the person SECTION 5. Administrative Action. – Court-martial
of the accused military or Integrated National Police action against uniformed personnel of the Integrated
personnel can no longer be exercised by virtue of their National Police as herein provided shall not preclude
Alex Austria | 2018 20
the taking of administrative action against said officers and employees may be removed from office as
personnel as may be warranted pursuant to the provided by law, but not by impeachment.
provisions of existing law.
g. Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
SECTION 6. Transitory Provisions. – All cases pending (1961) and Vienna Convention on Consular
before the civil courts against military personnel in the Relations (1963)
active service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
or against Integrated National Police personnel where, h. Cases:
on the effective date of this Decree, the accused have
been arraigned, shall continue to be tried and decided  (i) United States v. Sweet, 1 Phil. 18 (1901)
by said civil courts. All other cases against such S: Sweet was employed by the United States military
personnel shall be tried by courts-martial or disposed who committed an offense against a POW. His case is
of pursuant to this Decree. filed with the CFI, who is given original jurisdiction in all
criminal cases for which a penalty of more than 6
months is imposed. He is now contending that the
SECTION 7. Promulgation of Rules. – The Chief of
courts are without jurisdiction because he was “acting
Staff, AFP shall formulate rules and regulations
necessary to carry out the provisions of this Decree, in the line of duty.”
which shall, upon recommendation of the Minister of
ISSUES AND RATIO
National Defense, be subject to the approval of the
1. WON this case is within the jurisdiction of the
President.
CFI.
Yes. By Act No. 136 of the US-Phil Commission, the
SECTION 8. Appropriations. – The amount of two CFIs are given original jurisdiction in all criminal cases
million pesos (P2,000,000.00) is hereby authorized to in which a penalty more than 6 months imprisonment
be appropriated out of the funds in the National or a fine greater than $100 may be imposed.
Treasury not otherwise appropriated to carry out the Furthermore, CFIs have jurisdiction to try offenders
purpose of this Decree and, thereafter, such amounts charged with violation of the Penal Code within their
as may be necessary for this purpose shall be included territorial limits, regardless of the military character of
in the annual appropriation of the Integrated National the accused. The defendant and his acts are within the
Police. jurisdiction of the CFI because he failed to prove that
he was indeed acting in the line of duty.
SECTION 9. Repealing Clause. – All laws, rules and 2. WON an assault committed by a soldier or
regulations, or portions thereof, which are contrary to, military employee upon a prisoner of war is not an
or inconsistent with, the provisions of this Decree, are offense under the penal code?
hereby repealed or modified accordingly. Yes. Though assault by military officer against a POW
is not in the RPC, physical assault charges may be
SECTION 10. Effectivity. – This Decree shall take pressed under the RPC.
effect immediately. 3. Assuming that it is an offence under the penal
code, whether or not the military character
Done in the City of Manila, this 4th day of October, the sustained by the person charged with the offence
year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty-two. at the time of its commission exempts him from
the ordinary jurisdiction of the civil tribunals?
No. The application of the general principle that the
f. CONST., art. VI, sec. 11 and art. XI, sec. 2
jurisdiction of the civil tribunals is unaffected by the
military or other special character brought before them
Art. VI, Sec. 11. A Senator or Member of the House
for trial (R.A. No. 7055). Appellant claims that the act
of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by
was servicebut this cannot affect the right of the Civil
not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged
Court to takes jurisdiction of the case.”
from arrest while the Congress is in session. No
Dispositive: Judgment affirmed.
Member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any
“An offense charged against a military officer in
other place for any speech or debate in the Congress
consequence of an act done in obedience to an order
or in any committee thereof.
is clearly shown on the face, where such offense is
against the military law, is not within the jurisdiction of
Art. XI, Sec. 2. The President, the Vice-President,
the courts of the Civil Government.” ––Per Cooper, J.,
the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of
concurring
the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman
may be removed from office, on impeachment for, and
 (ii) Liang v. People, 323 SCRA 692 (2000)
conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution,
treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high
SUMMARY: Liang accused his co-worker of theft and
crimes, or betrayal of public trust. All other public
was charged with two counts of slander. The DFA sent

Alex Austria | 2018 21


an “office of protocol” communication saying that Liang provided. This Code shall take effect one year after
was covered by immunity under the Headquarters such publication.
Agreement between the ADB and the PH government.
The MeTC judge dismissed the two charges, but the b. CONST. (1987), art. I National Territory. The
RTC reversed the MeTC and ordered Liang’s arrest. national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago,
Liang appeals to the SC for his acquittal but the SC with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and
dismissed, saying that the DFA communication was all other territories over which the Philippines has
not binding regarding his immunity. sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial,
DOCTRINE: Slandering a person could not possibly be fluvial, and aerial domains, including its territorial sea,
covered by the Headquarters Agreement or even the the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations because submarine areas. The waters around, between, and
the commission of a crime is not part of official connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless
functions which are covered by relative immunity. of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the
internal waters of the Philippines.
Read also Annotation on “Various Categories of
Diplomatic Immunity from Local Jurisdiction” in c. Visiting Forces Agreement, art. V
323 SCRA 699-715 (2000)
d. REP. ACT NO. 9372 (Human Security Act of
 (iii) Schneckenburger v. Moran, 63 Phil. 249 2007), sec. 58: Subject to the provision of an existing
(1936) treaty of which the Philippines is a signatory and to any
contrary provision of any law of preferential application,
S: Petitioner was duly accredited honorary consul of the provisions of this Act shall apply:
Uruguay at Manila. He was subsequently charged with (1) to individual persons who commit any of the crimes
the crime of falsification of private documents. He defined and punished in this Act within the terrestrial
questioned the jurisdiction of the court on the ground domain, interior waters, maritime zone, and airspace of
that both under the Constitution of the US and the the Philippines:
Constitution of the Philippines, the Court of First (2) to individual persons who, although physically
Instance (“CFI”) had no jurisdiction to try him. outside the territorial limits of the Philippines, commit,
conspire or plot to commit any of the crimes defined
D: A consul is not entitled to the privileges and and punished in this Act inside the territorial limits of
immunities of an ambassador or minister, but is subject the Philippines;
to the laws and regulations of the country to which he (3) to individual persons who, although physically
is accredited. A consul is not exempt from criminal outside the territorial limits of the Philippines, commit
prosecution for violations of the laws of the country to any of the said crimes on board Philippine ship or
which he resides. Philippine airship;
(4) to individual persons who commit any of said
 (iv) Khosrow Minucher v. Court of Appeals, G.R. crimes within any embassy, consulate, or diplomatic
No. 142396, 11 February 2003 premiscs belonging to or occupied by the Philippine
government in an official capacity;
F: Sometime in May 1986, an Information for violation (5) to individual persons who, although physically
of Section 4 of Republic Act No. 6425, otherwise also outside the territorial limits of the Philippines, commit
known as the "Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972," was said crimes against Philippine citizens or persons of
filed against petitioner Khosrow Minucher and one Philippine descent, where their citizenship or ethnicity
Abbas Torabian with the Regional Trial Court, Branch was a factor in the commission of the crime; and
151, of Pasig City. The criminal charge followed a (6) to individual persons who, although physically
"buy-bust operation" conducted by the Philippine police outside the territorial limits of the Philippines, commit
narcotic agents in the house of Minucher, an Iranian said crimes directly against the Philippine government.
national, where a quantity of heroin, a prohibited drug,
was said to have been seized. The narcotic agents e. REP. ACT NO. 10173 (Data Privacy Act of 2012),
were accompanied by private respondent Arthur sec. 6: Extraterritorial Application. – This Act applies to
Scalzo who would, in due time, become one of the an act done or practice engaged in and outside of the
principal witnesses for the prosecution. On 08 January Philippines by an entity if:
1988, Presiding Judge Eutropio Migrino rendered a (a) The act, practice or processing relates to personal
decision acquitting the two accused. information about a Philippine citizen or a resident;
(b) The entity has a link with the Philippines, and the
2. Territorial entity is processing personal information in the
Philippines or even if the processing is outside the
a. REV. PEN. CODE, art. 2. Laws shall take effect Philippines as long as it is about Philippine citizens or
after fifteen days following the completion of their residents such as, but not limited to, the following:
publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise (1) A contract is entered in the Philippines;

Alex Austria | 2018 22


(2) A juridical entity unincorporated in the Philippines 3. In the cases provided for in paragraphs 1 and 2, the
but has central management and control in the coastal State shall, if the master so requests, notify a
country; and diplomatic agent or consular officer of the flag State
(3) An entity that has a branch, agency, office or before taking any steps, and shall facilitate contact
subsidiary in the Philippines and the parent or affiliate between such agent or officer and the ship's crew. In
of the Philippine entity has access to personal cases of emergency this notification may be
information; and communicated while the measures are being taken.
(c) The entity has other links in the Philippines such as,
but not limited to: 4. In considering whether or in what manner an arrest
(1) The entity carries on business in the Philippines; should be made, the local authorities shall have due
and regard to the interests of navigation.
(2) The personal information was collected or held by
an entity in the Philippines. 5. Except as provided in Part XII or with respect to
violations of laws and regulations adopted in
f. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea accordance with Part V, the coastal State may not take
(UNCLOS), art. 2, 3, 27, 29-33, 46-49, 55 any steps on board a foreign ship passing through the
territorial sea to arrest any person or to conduct any
UNCLOS Article 2: Legal status of the territorial investigation in connection with any crime committed
sea, of the air space over the territorial sea and of its before the ship entered the territorial sea, if the ship,
bed and subsoil proceeding from a foreign port, is only passing through
1. The sovereignty of a coastal State extends, beyond the territorial sea without entering internal waters.
its land territory and internal waters and, in the case of
an archipelagic State, its archipelagic waters, to an UNCLOS Article 29 Definition of warships For the
adjacent belt of sea, described as the territorial sea. purposes of this Convention, "warship" means a ship
2. This sovereignty extends to the air space over the belonging to the armed forces of a State bearing the
territorial sea as well as to its bed and subsoil. external marks distinguishing such ships of its
3. The sovereignty over the territorial sea is exercised nationality, under the command of an officer duly
subject to this Convention and to other rules of commissioned by the government of the State and
international law. whose name appears in the appropriate service list or
its equivalent, and manned by a crew which is under
UNCLOS Article: 3 Breadth of the territorial sea regular armed forces discipline.
Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its
territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical UNCLOS Article 30 Non-compliance by warships
miles, measured from baselines determined in with the laws and regulations of the coastal State If any
accordance with this Convention. warship does not comply with the laws and regulations
of the coastal State concerning passage through the
UNCLOS Article 27: Criminal jurisdiction on board a territorial sea and disregards any request for
foreign ship compliance therewith which is made to it, the coastal
1. The criminal jurisdiction of the coastal State should State may require it to leave the territorial sea
not be exercised on board a foreign ship passing immediately.
through the territorial sea to arrest any person or to
conduct any investigation in connection with any crime UNCLOS Article 31 Responsibility of the flag State
committed on board the ship during its passage, save for damage caused by a warship or other government
only in the following cases: ship operated for non-commercial purposes The flag
(a) if the consequences of the crime extend to the State shall bear international responsibility for any loss
coastal State; or damage to the coastal State resulting from the non-
(b) if the crime is of a kind to disturb the peace of the compliance by a warship or other government ship
country or the good order of the territorial sea; operated for non-commercial purposes with the laws
(c) if the assistance of the local authorities has been and regulations of the coastal State concerning
requested by the master of the ship or by a diplomatic passage through the territorial sea or with the
agent or consular officer of the flag State; or provisions of this Convention or other rules of
(d) if such measures are necessary for the suppression international law.
of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs or psychotropic
substances. UNCLOS Article 32 Immunities of warships and
other government ships operated for non-commercial
2. The above provisions do not affect the right of the purposes With such exceptions as are contained in
coastal State to take any steps authorized by its laws subsection A and in articles 30 and 31, nothing in this
for the purpose of an arrest or investigation on board a Convention affects the immunities of warships and
foreign ship passing through the territorial sea after other government ships operated for non-commercial
leaving internal waters. purposes.

Alex Austria | 2018 23


stipulated by agreement between those States shall
UNCLOS Article 33 Contiguous zone - continue and be respected.
1. In a zone contiguous to its territorial sea, described 7. For the purpose of computing the ratio of water to
as the contiguous zone, the coastal State may land under paragraph l, land areas may include waters
exercise the control necessary to: lying within the fringing reefs of islands and atolls,
(a) prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal, including that part of a steep-sided oceanic plateau
immigration or sanitary laws and regulations within its which is enclosed or nearly enclosed by a chain of
territory or territorial sea; limestone islands and drying reefs lying on the
(b) punish infringement of the above laws and perimeter of the plateau.
regulations committed within its territory or territorial 8. The baselines drawn in accordance with this article
sea. shall be shown on charts of a scale or scales adequate
2. The contiguous zone may not extend beyond 24 for ascertaining their position. Alternatively, lists of
nautical miles from the baselines from which the geographical coordinates of points, specifying the
breadth of the territorial sea is measured. geodetic datum, may be substituted.
9. The archipelagic State shall give due publicity to
UNCLOS Article 46 Use of terms For the purposes such charts or lists of geographical coordinates and
of this Convention: shall deposit a copy of each such chart or list with the
(a) "archipelagic State" means a State constituted Secretary-General of the United Nations
wholly by one or more archipelagos and may include
other islands; UNCLOS Article 48 Measurement of the breadth of
(b) "archipelago" means a group of islands, including the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive
parts of islands, interconnecting waters and other economic zone and the continental shelf The breadth
natural features which are so closely interrelated that of the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive
such islands, waters and other natural features form an economic zone and the continental shelf shall be
intrinsic geographical, economic and political entity, or measured from archipelagic baselines drawn in
which historically have been regarded as such. accordance with article 47.

UNCLOS Article 47 Archipelagic baselines UNCLOS Article 49 Legal status of archipelagic


1. An archipelagic State may draw straight archipelagic waters, of the air space over archipelagic waters and
baselines joining the outermost points of the outermost of their bed and subsoil
islands and drying reefs of the archipelago provided 1. The sovereignty of an archipelagic State extends to
that within such baselines are included the main the waters enclosed by the archipelagic baselines
islands and an area in which the ratio of the area of the drawn in accordance with article 47, described as
water to the area of the land, including atolls, is archipelagic waters, regardless of their depth or
between 1 to 1 and 9 to 1. distance from the coast.
2. The length of such baselines shall not exceed 100 2. This sovereignty extends to the air space over the
nautical miles, except that up to 3 per cent of the total archipelagic waters, as well as to their bed and subsoil,
number of baselines enclosing any archipelago may and the resources contained therein.
exceed that length, up to a maximum length of 125 3. This sovereignty is exercised subject to this Part.
nautical miles. 4. The regime of archipelagic sea lanes passage
3. The drawing of such baselines shall not depart to established in this Part shall not in other respects
any appreciable extent from the general configuration affect the status of the archipelagic waters, including
of the archipelago. the sea lanes, or the exercise by the archipelagic State
4. Such baselines shall not be drawn to and from low- of its sovereignty over such waters and their air space,
tide elevations, unless lighthouses or similar bed and subsoil, and the resources contained therein.
installations which are permanently above sea level
have been built on them or where a low-tide elevation UNCLOS Article 55 Specific legal regime of the
is situated wholly or partly at a distance not exceeding exclusive economic zone. - The exclusive economic
the breadth of the territorial sea from the nearest zone is an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial
island. sea, subject to the specific legal regime established in
5. The system of such baselines shall not be applied this Part, under which the rights and jurisdiction of the
by an archipelagic State in such a manner as to cut off coastal State and the rights and freedoms of other
from the high seas or the exclusive economic zone the States are governed by the relevant provisions of this
territorial sea of another State. Convention.
6. If a part of the archipelagic waters of an archipelagic
State lies between two parts of an immediately g. Cases:
adjacent neighbouring State, existing rights and all
other legitimate interests which the latter State has  (i) Miquiabas v. Commanding General, 80 Phil.
traditionally exercised in such waters and all rights 262 (1948)

Alex Austria | 2018 24


 (ii) United States v. Bull, 15 Phil. 7 (1910) behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may proceed
notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided
 (iii) United States v. Look Chaw, 18 Phil. 573 that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear
(1910) is unjustifiable.

 (iv) United States v. Ah Sing, 36 Phil. 978 (1917)  People v. Garcia, 85 Phil. 651 (1950)

 (v) People v. Wong Cheng, 46 Phil. 729 (1922) 2. Spanish text of the Revised Penal Code prevails
over its English transaction
 (vi) People v. Lo-lo & Saraw, 43 Phil. 19 (1922)
 People v. Manaba, 58 Phil. 665 (1933)
3. Prospective
3. Retroactive application if favorable to the
a. REV. PEN. CODE, arts. 1, 21, 22 accused

 RPC 1. Time when Act takes effect. - This Code REV. PEN. CODE, art. 22
shall take effect on the first day of January, nineteen
hundred and thirty-two. Article 22. Retroactive effect of penal laws. - Penal
Laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they
 RPC 21. Penalties that may be imposed. — No favor the persons guilty of a felony, who is not a
felony shall be punishable by any penalty not habitual criminal, as this term is defined in Rule 5 of
prescribed by law prior to its commission. Article 62 of this Code, although at the time of the
publication of such laws a final sentence has been
 RPC 22. Retroactive effect of penal laws. — Penal pronounced and the convict is serving the same.
Laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they
favor the persons guilty of a felony, who is not a 4. Prescribed, but undeserved, penalties
habitual criminal, as this term is defined in Rule 5 of
Article 62 of this Code, although at the time of the REV. PEN. CODE, art. 5, 2nd par.
publication of such laws a final sentence has been
pronounced and the convict is serving the same. Article 5. Duty of the court in connection with acts
which should be repressed but which are not covered
b. CIV. CODE, art. 4. Laws shall have no retroactive by the law, and in cases of excessive penalties. -
effect, unless the contrary is provided. Whenever a court has knowledge of any act which it
may deem proper to repress and which is not
c. Cases: punishable by law, it shall render the proper decision,
and shall report to the Chief Executive, through the
 (i) People v. Ringor, 320 SCRA 342 (1999) Department of Justice, the reasons which induce the
court to believe that said act should be made the
 (ii) In Re: Kay Villegas Kami, Inc., supra subject of legislation.

 (iii) Gumabon v. Director of Prisons, 37 SCRA In the same way, the court shall submit to the Chief
420 (1971)
Executive, through the Department of Justice, such
statement as may be deemed proper, without
 (iv) People v. Pimentel, 288 SCRA 542 (1998) suspending the execution of the sentence, when a
strict enforcement of the provisions of this Code would
E. Construction/Interpretation of Penal Laws
result in the imposition of a clearly excessive penalty,
taking into consideration the degree of malice and the
1. Strict construction against the State and liberally
injury caused by the offense.
in favor of the accused

CONST. (1987), art. III, sec. 14(2) 5. Effects of repeal/amendment of penal law

(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be a. Tuates v. Bersamin, G.R. No. 138962, 4 October
presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and 2002
shall enjoy the right to be heard by himself and
counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the b. Benedicto v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
accusation against him, to have a speedy, impartial, 125359, 4 September 2001
and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and
to have compulsory process to secure the attendance  c. People v. Garcia, supra
of witnesses and the production of evidence in his
II. FELONIES AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY
Alex Austria | 2018 25
There is an attempt when the offender commences the
REV. PEN. CODE, art. 3-10 commission of a felony directly or over acts, and does
not perform all the acts of execution which should
 Article 3. Definitions. - Acts and omissions produce the felony by reason of some cause or
punishable by law are felonies (delitos). accident other than this own spontaneous desistance.

Felonies are committed not only be means of deceit  Article 7. When light felonies are punishable. - Light
(dolo) but also by means of fault (culpa). felonies are punishable only when they have been
consummated, with the exception of those committed
There is deceit when the act is performed with against person or property.
deliberate intent and there is fault when the wrongful
act results from imprudence, negligence, lack of  Article 8. Conspiracy and proposal to commit
foresight, or lack of skill. felony. - Conspiracy and proposal to commit felony are
punishable only in the cases in which the law specially
 Article 4. Criminal liability. - Criminal liability shall provides a penalty therefor.
be incurred:
A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come
1. By any person committing a felony (delito) although to an agreement concerning the commission of a
the wrongful act done be different from that which he felony and decide to commit it.
intended.
There is proposal when the person who has decided to
2. By any person performing an act which would be an commit a felony proposes its execution to some other
offense against persons or property, were it not for the person or persons.
inherent impossibility of its accomplishment or an
account of the employment of inadequate or ineffectual  Article 9. Grave felonies, less grave felonies and
means. light felonies. - Grave felonies are those to which the
law attaches the capital punishment or penalties which
 Article 5. Duty of the court in connection with acts in any of their periods are afflictive, in accordance with
which should be repressed but which are not covered Art. 25 of this Code.
by the law, and in cases of excessive penalties. -
Whenever a court has knowledge of any act which it Less grave felonies are those which the law punishes
may deem proper to repress and which is not with penalties which in their maximum period are
punishable by law, it shall render the proper decision, correctional, in accordance with the above-mentioned
and shall report to the Chief Executive, through the Art..
Department of Justice, the reasons which induce the
court to believe that said act should be made the Light felonies are those infractions of law for the
subject of legislation. commission of which a penalty of arrest menor or a
fine not exceeding 200 pesos or both; is provided.
In the same way, the court shall submit to the Chief
Executive, through the Department of Justice, such  Article 10. Offenses not subject to the provisions of
statement as may be deemed proper, without this Code. - Offenses which are or in the future may be
suspending the execution of the sentence, when a punishable under special laws are not subject to the
strict enforcement of the provisions of this Code would provisions of this Code. This Code shall be
result in the imposition of a clearly excessive penalty, supplementary to such laws, unless the latter should
taking into consideration the degree of malice and the specially provide the contrary.
injury caused by the offense.
A. Felonies
 Article 6. Consummated, frustrated, and attempted
felonies. - Consummated felonies as well as those 1.Definition/Elements
which are frustrated and attempted, are punishable.
REV. PEN. CODE, art. 3
A felony is consummated when all the elements  Article 3. Definitions. - Acts and omissions
necessary for its execution and accomplishment are punishable by law are felonies (delitos).
present; and it is frustrated when the offender performs
all the acts of execution which would produce the Felonies are committed not only be means of deceit
felony as a consequence but which, nevertheless, do (dolo) but also by means of fault (culpa).
not produce it by reason of causes independent of the
will of the perpetrator. There is deceit when the act is performed with
deliberate intent and there is fault when the wrongful

Alex Austria | 2018 26


act results from imprudence, negligence, lack of Article 234. Refusal to discharge elective office. -
foresight, or lack of skill. The penalty of arresto mayor or a fine not exceeding
1,000 pesos, or both, shall be imposed upon any
a. Act person who, having been elected by popular election
to a public office, shall refuse without legal motive to
People v. Gonzales, 183 SCRA 309 (1990) be sworn in or to discharge the duties of said office.

b. Omission Article 275. Abandonment of person in danger and


abandonment of one's own victim. - The penalty of
(i) REV. PEN. CODE, art. 116, 137, 208, 213(2)(b), arresto mayor shall be imposed upon:
224, 234, 275(1) 1. Any one who shall fail to render assistance to any
person whom he shall find in an uninhabited place
 Article 116. Misprision of treason. - Every person wounded or in danger of dying, when he can render
owing allegiance to (the United States) the such assistance without detriment to himself, unless
Government of the Philippine Islands, without being a such omission shall constitute a more serious offense.
foreigner, and having knowledge of any conspiracy
against them, conceals or does not disclose and make (ii)People v. Sylvestre and Atienza, 56 Phil. 353
known the same, as soon as possible to the governor (1931)
or fiscal of the province, or the mayor or fiscal of the
city in which he resides, as the case may be, shall be c. Punishable by the Revised Penal Code
punished as an accessory to the crime of treason.
(i) Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege
 Article 137. Disloyalty of public officers or (“There is no crime when there is no law punishing
employees. - The penalty of prision correccional in its it.”)
minimum period shall be imposed upon public officers
or employees who have failed to resist a rebellion by (ii) REV. PEN. CODE, art. 3, 5, 1st par., sec. 21
all the means in their power, or shall continue to
discharge the duties of their offices under the control of  Article 3. Definitions. - Acts and omissions
the rebels or shall accept appointment to office under punishable by law are felonies (delitos).
them. (Reinstated by E.O. No. 187).
Felonies are committed not only be means of deceit
Article 208. Prosecution of offenses; negligence and (dolo) but also by means of fault (culpa).
tolerance. - The penalty of prision correccional in its
minimum period and suspension shall be imposed There is deceit when the act is performed with
upon any public officer, or officer of the law, who, in deliberate intent and there is fault when the wrongful
dereliction of the duties of his office, shall maliciously act results from imprudence, negligence, lack of
refrain from instituting prosecution for the punishment foresight, or lack of skill.
of violators of the law, or shall tolerate the commission
of offenses.  Article 5, 1st par. Duty of the court in connection
with acts which should be repressed but which are not
 Article 213. Frauds against the public treasury and covered by the law, and in cases of excessive
similar offenses. - The penalty of prision correccional in penalties. - Whenever a court has knowledge of any
its medium period to prision mayor in its minimum act which it may deem proper to repress and which is
period, or a fine ranging from 200 to 10,000 pesos, or not punishable by law, it shall render the proper
both, shall be imposed upon any public officer who: decision, and shall report to the Chief Executive,
2. Being entrusted with the collection of taxes, through the Department of Justice, the reasons which
licenses, fees and other imposts, shall be guilty or any induce the court to believe that said act should be
of the following acts or omissions: made the subject of legislation.
(b) Failing voluntarily to issue a receipt, as provided by
law, for any sum of money collected by him officially. Art. 21. Penalties that may be imposed. — No felony
shall be punishable by any penalty not prescribed by
Article 224. Evasion through negligence. - If the law prior to its commission.
evasion of the prisoner shall have taken place through
the negligence of the officer charged with the (iii) United States v. Carson Taylor, supra
conveyance or custody of the escaping prisoner, said
officer shall suffer the penalties of arresto mayor in its (iv) Lito Corpuz v. People of the Philippines, supra
maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum
period and temporary special disqualification. 2.How committed

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 Article 3. Definitions. - Acts and omissions impending to be caused is not immediate nor the
punishable by law are felonies (delitos). danger clearly manifest. The penalty next higher in
degree to those provided for in this article shall be
Felonies are committed not only be means of deceit imposed upon the offender who fails to lend on the
(dolo) but also by means of fault (culpa). spot to the injured parties such help as may be in this
hand to give. (As amended by R.A. 1790, approved
There is deceit when the act is performed with June 21, 1957).
deliberate intent and there is fault when the wrongful
act results from imprudence, negligence, lack of  Article 205. Judgment rendered through
foresight, or lack of skill. negligence. - Any judge who, by reason of inexcusable
negligence or ignorance shall render a manifestly
 Article 365. Imprudence and negligence. - Any unjust judgment in any case submitted to him for
person who, by reckless imprudence, shall commit any decision shall be punished by arresto mayor and
act which, had it been intentional, would constitute a temporary special disqualification.
grave felony, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor
in its maximum period to prision correccional in its  Article 208. Prosecution of offenses; negligence
medium period; if it would have constituted a less and tolerance. - The penalty of prision correccional in
grave felony, the penalty of arresto mayor in its its minimum period and suspension shall be imposed
minimum and medium periods shall be imposed; if it upon any public officer, or officer of the law, who, in
would have constituted a light felony, the penalty of dereliction of the duties of his office, shall maliciously
arresto menor in its maximum period shall be imposed. refrain from instituting prosecution for the punishment
Any person who, by simple imprudence or negligence, of violators of the law, or shall tolerate the commission
shall commit an act which would otherwise constitute a of offenses.
grave felony, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor
in its medium and maximum periods; if it would have  Article 217. Malversation of public funds or
constituted a less serious felony, the penalty of arresto property; Presumption of malversation. - Any public
mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed. When officer who, by reason of the duties of his office, is
the execution of the act covered by this article shall accountable for public funds or property, shall
have only resulted in damage to the property of appropriate the same or shall take or misappropriate or
another, the offender shall be punished by a fine shall consent, through abandonment or negligence,
ranging from an amount equal to the value of said shall permit any other person to take such public
damages to three times such value, but which shall in funds, or property, wholly or partially, or shall otherwise
no case be less than twenty-five pesos. A fine not be guilty of the misappropriation or malversation of
exceeding two hundred pesos and censure shall be such funds or property, shall suffer: 1. The penalty of
imposed upon any person who, by simple imprudence prision correccional in its medium and maximum
or negligence, shall cause some wrong which, if done periods, if the amount involved in the misappropriation
maliciously, would have constituted a light felony. In or malversation does not exceed two hundred pesos.
the imposition of these penalties, the court shall 2. The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum and
exercise their sound discretion, without regard to the medium periods, if the amount involved is more than
rules prescribed in Article sixty-four. The provisions two hundred pesos but does not exceed six thousand
contained in this article shall not be applicable: 1. pesos. 3. The penalty of prision mayor in its maximum
When the penalty provided for the offense is equal to period to reclusion temporal in its minimum period, if
or lower than those provided in the first two paragraphs the amount involved is more than six thousand pesos
of this article, in which case the court shall impose the but is less than twelve thousand pesos. 4. The penalty
penalty next lower in degree than that which should be of reclusion temporal, in its medium and maximum
imposed in the period which they may deem proper to periods, if the amount involved is more than twelve
apply. 2. When, by imprudence or negligence and with thousand pesos but is less than twenty-two thousand
violation of the Automobile Law, to death of a person pesos. If the amount exceeds the latter, the penalty
shall be caused, in which case the defendant shall be shall be reclusion temporal in its maximum period to
punished by prision correccional in its medium and reclusion perpetua. In all cases, persons guilty of
maximum periods. Reckless imprudence consists in malversation shall also suffer the penalty of perpetual
voluntary, but without malice, doing or falling to do an special disqualification and a fine equal to the amount
act from which material damage results by reason of of the funds malversed or equal to the total value of the
inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the property embezzled. The failure of a public officer to
person performing of failing to perform such act, taking have duly forthcoming any public funds or property
into consideration his employment or occupation, with which he is chargeable, upon demand by any duly
degree of intelligence, physical condition and other authorized officer, shall be prima facie evidence that
circumstances regarding persons, time and place. he has put such missing funds or property to personal
Simple imprudence consists in the lack of precaution use. (As amended by RA 1060).
displayed in those cases in which the damage

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 Article 224. Evasion through negligence. - If the b. Dandy L. Dungo v. People, G.R. No. 209464, 1
evasion of the prisoner shall have taken place through July 2015
the negligence of the officer charged with the
conveyance or custody of the escaping prisoner, said c. Lozano v. Martinez, 146 SCRA 323 (1986)
officer shall suffer the penalties of arresto mayor in its
maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum d. United States v. Go Chico, 14 Phil. 128 (1909)
period and temporary special disqualification.
e. Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, supra
a. Dolo
2. Relation of RPC to special laws
(i) Elements
 a. REV. PEN. CODE, art. 10
(ii) Presumption of intent
 Article 10. Offenses not subject to the provisions of
United States v. Apostol, 14 Phil. 92 (1909) this Code. - Offenses which are or in the future may be
punishable under special laws are not subject to the
United States v. Catolico, 18 Phil. 504 (1911) provisions of this Code. This Code shall be
supplementary to such laws, unless the latter should
 RULES OF COURT, Rule 131, sec. 3(b) specially provide the contrary.
Section 3. Disputable presumptions. — The following
presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted, but b. REP. ACT NO. 9372, art. 52;
may be contradicted and overcome by other evidence:
(b) That an unlawful act was done with an unlawful  SEC. 52. Applicability of the Revised Penal Code. -
intent; The provisions of Book I of the Revised Penal Code
shall be applicable to this Act.
(iii) General and specific intent
People v. Puno, 219 SCRA 85 (1993)  Rep. Act No. 9165 Section 25. Qualifying
People v. Delim, 396 SCRA 386 (2003) Aggravating Circumstances in the Commission of a
Crime by an Offender Under the Influence of
(iv) Intent and Motive Dangerous Drugs. – Notwithstanding the provisions
People v. Temblor, 161 SCRA 623 (1988) of any law to the contrary, a positive finding for the
People v. Hassan, 157 SCRA 261 (1988) use of dangerous drugs shall be a qualifying
People v. Delim, supra aggravating circumstance in the commission of a
crime by an offender, and the application of the
(v)Mistake of fact
penalty provided for in the Revised Penal Code shall
United States v. Ah Chong, 15 Phil. 488 (1910)
be applicable.
People v. Oanis, 74 Phil. 257 (1943)

b. Culpa  Section 26. Attempt or Conspiracy. – Any


attempt or conspiracy to commit the following
(i) Quizon v. Justice of the Peace, G.R. No. L-6641, unlawful acts shall be penalized by the same
28 July 1955 penalty prescribed for the commission of the same
as provided under this Act:
(ii)Venancio M. Sevilla v. People, G.R. No. 194390,
13 August 2014 (a) Importation of any dangerous drug
and/or controlled precursor and essential
(iii) Elements chemical;
People v. Carmen, 355 SCRA 267 (2001)

(iv) Distinguished from dolo (b) Sale, trading, administration,


People v. Pugay, 167 SCRA 439 (1988) dispensation, delivery, distribution and
transportation of any dangerous drug and/or
B. Crimes defined and penalized by special laws controlled precursor and essential chemical;

1. Crimes Mala in se and Mala prohibita (c) Maintenance of a den, dive or resort
where any dangerous drug is used in any
a. Arsenio B. Garcia v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. form;
157171, 14 March 2006

Alex Austria | 2018 29


(d) Manufacture of any dangerous drug shall be imposed in its maximum period. 3. The rule
and/or controlled precursor and essential established by the next preceding paragraph shall not
chemical; and be applicable if the acts committed by the guilty person
shall also constitute an attempt or frustration of another
(e) Cultivation or culture of plants which are crime, if the law prescribes a higher penalty for either
of the latter offenses, in which case the penalty
sources of dangerous drugs.
provided for the attempted or the frustrated crime shall
be imposed in its maximum period.
 Section 98. Limited Applicability of the Revised
Penal Code. – Notwithstanding any law, rule or  (ii) People v. Iligan, 191 SCRA 643 (1990)
regulation to the contrary, the provisions of the
Revised Penal Code (Act No. 3814), as amended,  (iii) People v. Mananquil, 132 SCRA 196 (1984)
shall not apply to the provisions of this Act, except in
the case of minor offenders. Where the offender is a  (iv) Bataclan v. Medina, 102 Phil. 181 (1957)
minor, the penalty for acts punishable by life
imprisonment to death provided herein shall be  (v) People v. Orlando Acuram, G.R. No. 117954,
reclusion perpetua to death. 27 April 2000
 c. Ladonga v. People, 451 SCRA 673 (2005)  (vi) Virgilio Talampas v. People, G.R. No.
180219, 23 November 2011
 d. People v. Enriquez, 281 SCRA 103 (1997)
 (vii) People v. Guillen, 85 Phil. 307 (1950)
C. Criminal Liability
 (viii) United States v. Brobst, 14 Phil. 310 (1909)
1. How incurred
 (ix) People v. Albuquerque, 59 Phil. 150 (1933)
a. Wrongful act done be different from what was
intended  (x) People v. Gona, 54 Phil. 605 (1903)
(i) REV. PEN. CODE, art. 4(1),  (xi) Guillermo Wacoy v. People, G.R. No. 213792,
22 June 2015
 Article 4. Criminal liability. - Criminal liability shall
be incurred: 1. By any person committing a felony  (xii) United States v. Valdez, 41 Phil. 497 (1921)
(delito) although the wrongful act done be different
from that which he intended.  (xii) People v. William Page, 77 SCRA 348 (1977)
b. Impossible crimes
 Article 13. Mitigating circumstances. - The following
are mitigating circumstances;  (i) REV. PEN. CODE, art. 4(2)
3. That the offender had no intention to commit so Article 4. Criminal liability. - Criminal liability shall be
grave a wrong as that committed. incurred:
2. By any person performing an act which would be an
 Article 48. Penalty for complex crimes. - When a offense against persons or property, were it not for the
single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave inherent impossibility of its accomplishment or an
felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means for account of the employment of inadequate or ineffectual
committing the other, the penalty for the most serious means.
crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its
maximum period.  Article 59. Penalty to be imposed in case of failure
to commit the crime because the means employed or
 Article 49. Penalty to be imposed upon the the aims sought are impossible. - When the person
principals when the crime committed is different from intending to commit an offense has already performed
that intended. - In cases in which the felony committed the acts for the execution of the same but nevertheless
is different from that which the offender intended to the crime was not produced by reason of the fact that
commit, the following rules shall be observed: the act intended was by its nature one of impossible
1. If the penalty prescribed for the felony committed be accomplishment or because the means employed by
higher than that corresponding to the offense which the such person are essentially inadequate to produce the
accused intended to commit, the penalty result desired by him, the court, having in mind the
corresponding to the latter shall be imposed in its social danger and the degree of criminality shown by
maximum period. the offender, shall impose upon him the penalty of
2. If the penalty prescribed for the felony committed be arresto mayor or a fine from 200 to 500 pesos.
lower than that corresponding to the one which the
accused intended to commit, the penalty for the former
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 (ii) People v. Balmores, 85 Phil. 493 (1950)  Article 3. Definitions. - Acts and omissions
punishable by law are felonies (delitos).
 (iii) Intod v. Court of Appeals, 215 SCRA 52
(1992) Felonies are committed not only be means of deceit
(dolo) but also by means of fault (culpa).
 (iv) Jacinto v. People, G.R. No. 162540, 13 July
2009 There is deceit when the act is performed with
deliberate intent and there is fault when the wrongful
2. Stages of commission act results from imprudence, negligence, lack of
foresight, or lack of skill.
a. Definitions
1. Imprudence and negligence
(i) REV. PEN. CODE
 REV. PEN. CODE, art. 3
 Article 6. Consummated, frustrated, and attempted Article 3. Definitions. - Acts and omissions
felonies. - Consummated felonies as well as those punishable by law are felonies (delitos).
which are frustrated and attempted, are punishable.
Felonies are committed not only be means of deceit
A felony is consummated when all the elements (dolo) but also by means of fault (culpa).
necessary for its execution and accomplishment are
present; and it is frustrated when the offender performs There is deceit when the act is performed with
all the acts of execution which would produce the deliberate intent and there is fault when the wrongful
felony as a consequence but which, nevertheless, do act results from imprudence, negligence, lack of
not produce it by reason of causes independent of the foresight, or lack of skill.
will of the perpetrator.
 Article 365. Imprudence and negligence. - Any
There is an attempt when the offender commences the person who, by reckless imprudence, shall commit any
commission of a felony directly or over acts, and does act which, had it been intentional, would constitute a
not perform all the acts of execution which should grave felony, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor
produce the felony by reason of some cause or in its maximum period to prision correccional in its
accident other than this own spontaneous desistance. medium period; if it would have constituted a less
grave felony, the penalty of arresto mayor in its
 Article 7. When light felonies are punishable. - Light minimum and medium periods shall be imposed; if it
felonies are punishable only when they have been would have constituted a light felony, the penalty of
consummated, with the exception of those committed arresto menor in its maximum period shall be imposed.
against person or property. Any person who, by simple imprudence or negligence,
shall commit an act which would otherwise constitute a
grave felony, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor
 (ii) Esmeraldo Rivera v. People, G.R. No. 166326, in its medium and maximum periods; if it would have
25 January 2006 constituted a less serious felony, the penalty of arresto
mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed. When
 (iii) United States v. Eduave, 36 Phil. 209 (1917) the execution of the act covered by this article shall
have only resulted in damage to the property of
 (iv) People v. Listerio, 335 SCRA 40 (2000) another, the offender shall be punished by a fine
ranging from an amount equal to the value of said
 (v) People v. Enriquez, supra damages to three times such value, but which shall in
no case be less than twenty-five pesos. A fine not
exceeding two hundred pesos and censure shall be
imposed upon any person who, by simple imprudence
or negligence, shall cause some wrong which, if done
maliciously, would have constituted a light felony. In
the imposition of these penalties, the court shall
exercise their sound discretion, without regard to the
rules prescribed in Article sixty-four. The provisions
contained in this article shall not be applicable: 1.
When the penalty provided for the offense is equal to
or lower than those provided in the first two paragraphs
of this article, in which case the court shall impose the
XIV. Quasi-Offenses IN RE: RPC Art. 3 penalty next lower in degree than that which should be
imposed in the period which they may deem proper to

Alex Austria | 2018 31


apply. 2. When, by imprudence or negligence and with
violation of the Automobile Law, to death of a person  Cuyos v. Garcia, 160 SCRA 302 (1988)
shall be caused, in which case the defendant shall be
punished by prision correccional in its medium and  Jason Ivler v. Maria Rowena Modesto-San Pedro,
maximum periods. Reckless imprudence consists in G.R. No. 172716, 17 November 2010
voluntary, but without malice, doing or falling to do an
act from which material damage results by reason of  Venancio Sevilla v. People, G.R. No. 194390, 13
inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the August 2014
person performing of failing to perform such act, taking
into consideration his employment or occupation,  Rogelio Gonzaga v. People, G.R. No. 19567121
degree of intelligence, physical condition and other January 2015
circumstances regarding persons, time and place.
Simple imprudence consists in the lack of precaution
displayed in those cases in which the damage
impending to be caused is not immediate nor the
danger clearly manifest. The penalty next higher in
degree to those provided for in this article shall be
imposed upon the offender who fails to lend on the
spot to the injured parties such help as may be in this
hand to give. (As amended by R.A. 1790, approved
June 21, 1957).

 Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 (1980), sec. 32, par. 2

Section 32. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts,


Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial
Courts in criminal cases. – Except in cases falling
within the exclusive original jurisdiction of Regional
Trial Courts and of the Sandiganbayan, the
Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:

(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses


punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6)
years irrespective of the amount of fine, and regardless
of other imposable accessory or other penalties,
including the civil liability arising from such offenses or
predicated thereon, irrespective of kind, nature, value,
or amount thereof: Provided, however, That in offenses
involving damage to property through criminal
negligence they shall have exclusive original
jurisdiction thereof. (as amended by R.A, No. 7691)

 Rep. Act No. 10951 (2016)

 Quizon v. The Justice of the Peace of Pampanga,


et.al., 97 Phil. 342 (1955)

 People v. Faller, 67 Phil. 529 (1939)

 Carillo v. People, 229 SCRA 386 (1994)

 Gan v. Court of Appeals, 165 SCRA 378 (1988)

 Ibabao v. People, 132 SCRA 217 (1984)

 People v. Buan, 22 SCRA 1383 (1968)

 Buerano v. Court of Appeals, 115 SCRA 217


(1982)

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