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CRITICAL AREAS IN CRIMINAL LAW

ATTY. JUMAMIL
PRELIMINARIES: As the title of the Revised Penal Code suggests, its
just a revision of the old Penal Code of Spain (1870).
-

Effective from July 14, 1887 to Jan. 01, 1931.


From Jan. 01, 1932, the RPC took effect.
US VS. TAMPARONG.
FIRST QUESTION IN THE BAR EXAM: what is criminal law?
Give its cardinal principles or principal characteristics and the
exceptions therefrom.
o
CRIMINAL LAW is that branch of public substantive
law that defines crimes, breach of their nature, and
provides for their punishment.

There are TWO THEORIES of penology:


1.

2.

JURISTIC/CLASSICAL THEORY: the basis of criminal liability


is the offenders free will. The purpose of the penalty is
retribution.
POSITIVIST/REALISTIC THEORY: the basis of criminal
liability is the sum of the social and economic phenomena to
which the actor has been exposed, and therefore the purpose
of the penalty is for correction or reformation.

NOTE: The RPC was based on the old RPC of Spain, and the latter
was based on the French Penal Code of 1810, which was CLASSICAL
in orientation.
-

RPC is basically CLASSICAL in orientation with few trappings


of the POSITIVIST SCHOOL, namely, the provision on
IMPOSSIBLE CRIME (Art. 4, PAR. 2), and the provision on
HABITUAL DELINQUENCY (Art. 62, PAR. 5).
NOTE: the classical orientation of the RPC invariably touches
base with the MENS REA or the criminal intent/animo felonico.

DOMESTICS

DOMESTIC SERVANTS

Those who live under the same


household as a diplomat.

One who ministers to the


personal comfort of a diplomat.

EXCEPTIONS: conditions under


which the privilege inures are:

EXCEPTIONS: conditions under


which the privilege inures are:

1.

1.

The domestic must have


been registered with the
DFA.
If the action is based on a
contract or an obligation
arising from a contract
executed
prior to
the
domestics entry into the
service of the diplomat. And
provided further that the
domestic is a Filipino citizen.

2.

What are the CARDINAL PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL LAW/RPC?


1.

GENERALITY: refers to persons. Penal laws and those of


public security and safety are obligatory on all those who live or
sojourn in Philippine territory, regardless of nationality, gender,
age or personal circumstances. So when you talk of
GENERALITY, you refer to the persons who commit violations
of the RPC.
o
Such that civil courts have jurisdiction over the accused
regardless of his military character.
o
VALDEZ VS. LUCERO.
o
Even in times of war, where civil courts are functioning.
o
EXCEPTIONS TO THE PRINCIPLE OF GENERALITY:
1) Persons exempted from criminal jurisdiction by
treaties and stipulations.

Treaties and executive agreements are


placed on the same footing.

ART. 13 of the former US Military Bases


Agreement which exempted from
criminal jurisdiction of Philippine courts
certain crimes or felonies committed by
US servicemen in the Philippines.

EXAMPLE of an executive agreement


that exempts US troops from criminal
jurisdiction of Philippine courts: Visiting
Forces Agreement of 1990.
2) Laws of preferential application.

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SEC. 11, of ART. 6 of the Constitution


that exempts from arrest and therefore
from criminal prosecution congressmen
while the Congress is in session from
crimes or offenses penalized by not
more than 6 years of imprisonment. So
when the penalty imposable for the
crime committed is more than 6 years
(prison mayor), they are not exempted
from arrest and from prosecution.
EXAMPLE: RA 75, which guarantees
the observance of the RP of the
immunities, privileges and rights of duly
accredited diplomats, domestics, and
domestic servants. It prohibits the
procurement and enforcement of
criminal processes against diplomats,
their
domestics,
and
diplomatic
servants.

The domestic must have


been registered with the
DFA.

3)

SEC. 07 of RA 75: the bass of the


exemption from criminal liability is the
principle of RECIPROCITY. The country
of the diplomat must accord the same
benefits to Filipino diplomats, their
domestics, and domestic servants.
Principles of public international law.

Who are exempt from the criminal


jurisdiction of Philippine courts pursuant
to PIL? Sovereigns, or heads of states,
or persons with diplomatic immunity.

NOTE: Consuls are not so exempt. SCHNECKENBURGER VS.


MORAN: Consuls may be exempted from criminal jurisdiction only
through treaty stipulations.
2.

TERRITORIALITY: applies to all crimes committed within


Philippine territory. The RP territory is now well defined in Art. 1
of the Constitution, which consists of the Phil. Archipelago, with
all the islands and waters embraced therein consisting of its
territorial, fluvial, or maritime zone, including the territorial sea,
the seabed, etc.

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The RP Archipelago was that ceded by Spain to the US


on Dec. 10, 1898, pursuant to the Treaty of Paris, as
modified by the Treaty of Washington on Jan. 2, 1930.
Insofar as the jurisdiction over the territorial sea, it is 12
miles measured from the low water mark Philippine
courts have jurisdiction.
RULES ON CRIMES COMMITTED ABOARD
FOREIGN MERCHANT VESSELS:

FRENCH or NATIONALITY
RULE

ENGLISH or TERRTORIALITY
RULE

Philippine courts do NOT have


jurisdiction over crimes committed
aboard foreign merchant vessels,
EXCEPT only when they affect
the public security of the order of
the RP.

Philippine courts have jurisdiction,


EXCEPT if the act refers to the
internal management of the
vessel.

EXCEPT when there is a SAVING CLAUSE


to the effect that acts or omissions
committed before the enactment of this law
shall be punished in accordance with
existing laws (LAGRIMAS VS. DIRECTOR
OR PRISONS).

FAILS TO PUNISH
THE ACT PENALIZED
UNDER THE
REPEALED LAW

If the repealing law fails to punish the act


penalized under the repealed law, then the
court loses jurisdiction (PEOPLE VS.
PASTOR).

BY REENACTMENT

If the repeal is by re-enactment, then the


court does not lose jurisdiction.

ART. 2:
Embodies both the territorial and extraterritorial jurisdiction of
Philippine courts.

NOTE: there is no difference between these rules. The difference lies


in the emphasis. So whether under the French or English rules,
Philippine courts have jurisdiction of the act affects the public order or
safety of the RP. So the RP applies or adopts the TERRITORIALITY
PRINCIPLE and that is why crimes committed aboard foreign
merchants vessel in transit only in Phil. Waters, Phil. Courts DO NOT
HAVE jurisdiction (US VS. AH SING).
o

3.

Recognized EXCEPTIONS on the territoriality principle


(ART. 2, PAR. 1 5).
PROPECTIVITY: covered by ART. 21, 22 and 366 of the Code.
o
ART. 21: not prescribed by law prior to its
commission, nulla poena sine lege.
o
ART. 366: committed before the effectivity of this
Code will be punished by laws then enforced.
o
ART. 22: shall have retroactive effect only if they are
favourable to the accused who is not a habitual
criminal.
o
Penal laws do not have retroactive effect EXCEPT
when favourable to the accused.

EXCEPTION TO THE EXCEPTION: even when


favourable to the accused, [1] if the law says it
will not have retroactive effect and [2] when the
offender is a habitual criminal (ART. 62, PAR.
5).

Generic word of OFFENSE is used: applies to both to felonies


and crimes.
SHIP OR AIRSHIP without distinction: whether public or
private.
o
What determines a Philippine ship or airship is its
registration with Philippine authorities, meaning the
Bureau of Customs, insofar as vessels are concerned
and in the Civil Aeronautics Administration, insofar as
airships are concerned.
o
The ownership is not considered.

If a vessel or an airship is 100%


Filipino-owned but registered
outside the Philippines.

It is NOT a Philippine ship or


airship.

Even if owned 100% by aliens, if


registered in the Philippines.

It is a Philippines ship or airship.

So the Philippines will have jurisdiction over crimes


committed aboard Philippine ships or airships in
international waters or open seas, or on air, applying
this extraterritorial application of Philippine law.

RULES ON CONSTRUCTION OF PENAL LAWS:


-

US VS. ABAD SANTOS: penal laws as strictly construed


against the state and liberally against the accused. Loss or
derogation of rights are strictly construed against the state.
In case of conflict between the English and the Spanish text,
the Spanish text prevails because the Code was enacted and
approved in Spanish.
PEOPLE VS. MANABA, PEOPLE VS. ABILONG, PEOPLE VS.
MANGULABNAN, PEOPLE VS. GERONIMO.
Insofar as the effects of REPEAL OF PENAL LAWS, it depends
on the kind of effect of repeal.

If the Philippine ship or airship is


in a foreign country.

Its within the jurisdiction of the


foreign country. It is subject to the
locus delicti, the law of the place
where the crime was committed.

If the Philippine ship or airship is


within Philippine jurisdiction.

Do not apply PAR. 1; apply the


territoriality principle.

PAR 2 and 3: refer to crimes committed abroad involving counterfeiting


of Philippine coins or currency notes, or forgery of obligation or
securities issued by the RP.
EXPRESS REPEAL

The act ceases to be criminal. The court


loses jurisdiction over the case (PEOPLE
VS. TAMAYO).

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PAR. 4: on crimes committed by public officials or employees abroad


in the discharge of their duties.
-

Spanish word dolo translates to deceit or fraud, not


all felonies are committed by that means.

Dolo here refers to the mens rea or criminal


intent, or animo felonico.

Connotes guilty mind, guilty knowledge or


criminal intent and when used in an indictment
to signify an allegation setting out the
defendants knowledge of the crime charged.

Dolo refers to mens rea.

These counterfeit coins or forged treasury or bank notes, or


other obligations and securities, are sought to be introduced in
the Philippines.
The acts of forgery or counterfeiting or mutilation where
committed abroad where these coins or currency notes or
obligations are being introduced into the Philippines.
So the Philippines is given extraterritorial jurisdiction because
these acts affect the economic security of the State, as
opposed to PAR. 5, which acts addressed or are against the
national security of the Philippines.

These are crimes referred to under ART. 7, Title 7 of this Code:


Crimes Committed by Public Officers.
These crimes must have been committed virtute officii,
meaning, in their official capacity.

CRIMINAL LAW is concerned on what is and what is not a crime. It


does not concern itself with the procedure for convicting a person, for
arresting him, for penalizing him.
-

A and B are part of the Philippine Trade Mission in the US. They were
given a cash advance of P1M for expenses. A and B malversed the
P1M while in the US.
-

Applying PAR. 4, Philippine courts will have jurisdiction.

While in the US, A raped B.


-

While it may be said that they were in the discharge of official


duties, the act involves a discharge that is not official and
Philippine courts would NOT have jurisdiction.

The territoriality principle is of UNIVERSAL APPLICATION on the


basis of the pragmatic consideration that sovereign powers are more
effectively exercised within the limits of a countrys territory.
-

The state has the strongest motivation, the strongest interest


and the most powerful instruments of repressing crimes within
their jurisdictions.
But on account of the advances in transportation and
communications, the possibility of transnational crimes pose
constituent elements transcend the boundaries of two or more
states impel states to adopt AUXILLIARY MEASURES to
address transnational crimes.
o
Thus, the purely territorial principle of criminal law has
been expanded by adapting other auxiliary principles.

To be criminally liable: ACTUS REUS + MENS REA.


-

Answers the HOW: How is criminal liability incurred?

Provides for the ELEMENTS of felonies.


1) An act or omission imputable to the accused.
2) By dolo or cupla.
3) Which is punishable by law.
Jurisprudence has clarified certain defects in the formulation of
ART. 3:
1. The LAW referred to is the RPC because felonies are
specified in PAR. 1.
2. DECEIT, not an accurate manner of describing
commission of intentional crimes because while the

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In the doing of the act, or the failing of doing the act, or the
bringing about a state of affairs, the mental state required by
law as an element of the act or the omission, or state of affairs
must be present.
A wrongful mind, no matter how wrong, is not penalized.
An act, no matter how wrong, when there is no law when it is
done, does not make a person criminally liable.
But there has to be confluence between the actus reus, or
complementation, and the mens rea to be criminally liable.

Insofar as the actus reus, the actus reus of felonies under the Code
are specified under Book II.

ART. 3:

A guilty mind alone, no matter how wrong (an evil thought


alone) cannot make a person criminal.
Conversely, an act or an omission alone does not make a
person criminal.
Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea: an act does not make
the doer guilty unless his mind is guilty.
COMPONENTS
BEFORE
A
PERSON
BECOMES
CRIMINALLY LIABLE:
1) There must be actus reus: the act or the omission or
the state of affairs which a penal law penalizes.
2) Must be coupled by the mental state required by law as
an element.

MENTAL STATE: either by dolo or by culpa


when the person made the act or made the
omission or brought forth the state of affairs.

But the mens rea is committed either by dolo or culpa. Or when


you talk of state of affairs that is penalized by law, you are
referring actually to acts MALA PROHIBITA.
o
Regardless of your state of mind, the mere
performance or perpetration of the act, and that at itself
is penalized by law, already constitutes a crime
regardless of criminal intent.
o
FUNDAMENTS OF CRIMINAL LAW: Dolo or culpa, or
without dolo or culpa, as long as it is made mala
prohibita.
o
The actus reus may vary from crime to crime, but the
mens rea also must be present.

FELONIES COMMITED BY DOLO:


-

ELEMENTS:
1) Criminal intent: the mental state required by law as an
element of a felony.

Criminal intent is negated by/it is not present by


justifying circumstances, or valid mistake of fact.
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JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTACES

VALID MISTAKE OF FACT

The act of the person is said to be


in accord with law, and therefore
he does not incur criminal liability.
Justifying
circumstances
are
based on law of criminal intent.

Elements (the act would have


been lawful):
1.

2.

the crime has been committed, or that the accused committed


it.

Had the fact been as the


accused believed them to
be.
There must be no unlawful
intent, negligence or bad
faith on the part of the
offender.

A general criminal intent suffices EXCEPT in


specific intent crimes (that state of mind where
circumstances indicate that a person desired a
particular or a specific result to follow from his
act or failure to act).

Particular consequence.

When a specific criminal intent is


required for conviction, it must be
alleged in the information and proven by
the prosecution.
Intent being an INTERNAL state of mind is
determined from the external acts of a person.
PEOPLE VS. MABUGAT, PEOPLE VS.
SANTOS-RENEGADO.
Implied from the commission presume rather
from the commission of an unlawful act (SEC.
3B, Rule 131, Rules of Court).

IMPRUDENCE

NEGLIGENCE

Failure to avoid an impending


injury due to lack of skill.

Failure to perceive an impending


injury by reason of lack of
foresight.

MOTIVE is NOT an element of a felony.


MOTIVE is simply defined as the reasons why the accused committed
the act complained of while intent is his adaption of the particular
means of committing the crime. While motive is not an element of the
crime, a void in the evidence thereof may prove a weakness on the
prosecutions case. That is why proof of motive in some instances
provides the judicial perspective needed for conviction.

1.
2.
3.
4.

5.

6.

7.

When there is doubt as to the identity of the offender. PEOPLE


VS. MCMANN.
To prove the voluntariness of the act. PEOPLE VS. TANEO,
PEOPLE VS. BASCOS.
In case of self defense, unlawful aggression being an element,
the motive of the attack must be established. US VS. LAUREL.
To determine whether the shooting was intentional or
accidental because if the accused had personal motives, then
that would militate against his claim of unintentional shooting.
ART. 11, SEC. 3: in defense of strangers, the third requisite for
defense of strangers is the offender must not have been
motived by revenge, resentment, or other evil motive.
To determine the true nature of the crime.
o
For instance, common crimes committed in furtherance
of rebellion are absorbed in rebellion.
o
Therefore, there is no complex crime of rebellion with
murder or rebellion with homicide.
o
An attack against a person in authority who is not in the
actual discharge of his duties, because if the act
whereby reason of his past performance of official
duties, then it will be direct assault. Otherwise, it will
only be physical injuries or any other appropriate
crimes, assuming the elements are present.
When the evidence is circumstantial or there is doubt whether

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Crimes committed by culpa: Intent is supplanted


by culpa. That is why two or more persons who
are not in conspiracy with each other may be
held criminally liable for different crimes. One is
for intentional killing, and the other for killing
through negligence.

PEOPLE VS. PUGAY, 1988


-

In the following instances, proof of motive is essential:

Insofar as crimes committed by culpa, intent is


substituted by FAULT.

It is required however that the omission


itself must be punishable by law. Thus,
mere failure to report a crime generally
not punishable. US VS. CABALLEROS.
PEOPLE
VS.
SILVESTRE
AND
ATIENZA.

The only exception is when the omission


itself is declared a crime, such as in
misprision of treason under ART. 116.
As noted correctly by some commentators,
there is some redundancy in the definition of
IMPRUDENCE and NEGLIGENCE on culpa.

The accused, Pugay, doused gasoline on the victim. When


Samson saw what Pugay did to the victim as part of their funmaking, he set on fire the deceased.
So Samson, knowing that the clothes of the victim are soaked
with gasoline, knew the danger of setting the victim on fire. He
was convicted intentional homicide, while Pugay, who did
nothing more that pour gasoline on the victim, was convicted of
homicide, through reckless imprudence.

2)
3)

Intelligence: negated by insanity, imbecility and


minority.
Freedom: negated by force, or fear.

Actus me invito factus, non est meus actus. An


act against my will is not my act.

It is required that the actor acts not only without


will, but against his will.

Why is it against his will? Because by


compulsion or force, or impulse of irresistible
fear, he is required to do something against his
will. And therefore, he is not only acting without
a will, but against his will. He is literally an
automaton who dances to the tune of
whomsoever is using the force or causing the
fear.

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ART. 4

CRIMES MAY BE FURTHER CLASSIFIED INTO [1] MALA IN SE AND


[2] MALA PROHIBTA.

Answers the WHO: Who incurs criminal liability?


-

The traditional concept of these crimes is borrowed from the


American law.

MALA IN SE

MALA PROHIBITA

Wrong in themselves. Wrong at


their very nature and requires
criminal intent.

Not wrong by their very nature,


but are made wrong only because
positive law prohibits them for
reason of public order, policy or
convenience.

Require criminal intent.

Do not require criminal intent.

Refer to felonies.

Refer to crimes.

INACCURATE: there are felonies


under the Code that are declared
to be so regardless of the intent
of the offender.

There also special laws that


require
criminal
intent
for
conviction.

Example: Attempted flight to


enemy country, correspondence
with the enemy (ART. 120, 121),
illegal possession of picklocks
(ART. 304).

A intends to commit suicide. He went to the top floor of this building,


jumped over then hits B, killing B while A survived.
-

RA 7610 of the Child Abuse Law,


Anti-Sexual Harassment Act, PD
1866 as amended by RA 8294 on
legal possession of firearms.
-

When we were still in San Beda, we were asked by the monks to


lecture to the community about Sexual Harassment, in light of the
many cases filed against the clergy. I said that insofar as 7877 is
concerned, when the relationship subsists, you call it romance. When
the relationship ends, its called harassment. So the moral of the story,
is do not end the relationship.
ISSUE: Whether reckless imprudence is a crime in itself, or only a
modality on the commission of the crime, the decisions of the SC
initially were vacillating, or flip-flopping.
-

1955, QUIZON VS. JUSTICE OF THE PEACE OF BACOLOR,


PAMPANGA: the SC ruled that reckless imprudence is a crime
in itself and therefore the charge should be reckless
imprudence, resulting in homicide or whatever.
1958, SAMSON VS. CA: the SC said it was only a modality in
the commission of the crime and therefore a person charged
with intentional falsification may be convicted of falsification
through negligence.
1966, PEOPLE VS. CANO: the SC reverted to the Quizon
doctrine.
From 1983, MADEJA VS. CARO: the SC consistently ruled that
reckless imprudence is only a modality in the commission of a
crime.

CLASSIFICATION OF CRIMES: If you are asked to classify crimes,


answer on the basis of ART. 3, 6 and 9.
-

ART. 3 classifies crimes into manner of commission, ART. 6,


according to the stage of execution, and ART. 9, according to
gravity (determined by the penalty attached to it).
Alternative answer: Titles 1 to 14 (from crimes against national
security up to quasi-offenses).

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EMPHASIS: this is one of two fulcrums of a lot of questions in


Criminal Law.
Criminal liability is incurred by (two persons who incur criminal
liability):
1) By any person committing a felony (delito) although the
wrongful act done be different from that which he
intended.

Requisites:
1. He must be committing a felony. There
is no point talking of the second
requisite if the first element is not
present.
US
VS.
VILLANUEVA,
PEOPLE VS. BINDOY (Reyes).

What is the criminal liability of A?


There is no law that penalizes committing suicide. There is a
law that defines and penalizes lending assisting to suicide, but
there is no law that penalizes committing suicide. So what
happens if A is not criminal liability because he did not commit
a felony? Why did he not commit a felony? Because it is nullum
crimen, nulla poena sine lege.
What happens to the death of B, the bystander? It is damnum
absque injuria. Tama lang sa kanya, tatanga tanga siya.
The first instance when the first element of PAR. 1 is lacking is
when a person is merely performing an act, not committing a
felony.
o
In this case, when A attempted to commit suicide, he
was not committing a felony. He was performing an act.
o
Why was he performing an act, only not a felony?
Because there is no law that penalizes that act as a
felony.

A and B were sweethearts. They decided to commit suicide because


their relationship was imposed by their parents as they were first
cousins. They decided to commit suicide by shooting each other. A
shot B, B shot A. B died, A survived. That is the criminal liability of A?
-

First inquiry: was A committing a felony? The answer is YES.


o
It would have been different if A shot himself, B shot
himself; so they were committing suicide.
o
But in this particular instance, they were lending
assistance to the suicide of the other so each was
committing a felony.
Because they were committing a felony, they are liable.
That is the only time that you look at the sequel, although the
crime committed is committed from that which the offender
intended to commit.
That is highlighted by the fact that after A shot B, B shot A, the
bullet that was fired by A hit the adjoining room, hitting the
couple C and D, killing both.
o
Criminal liability of A: for lending assistance to the
suicide of B, and liable to the unintended consequences
because he was committing a felony.
o
Proximate cause of the unintended consequence: the
performance by A of the intended felony (lending
assistance to suicide).

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2.

3.

4.

Because the word felonies is used,


that does apply to crimes.

The first element is not


applicable to crimes because
felonies are specified.
That element is also wanting if the
felony is culpable felony because even if
it were a culpable felony, there is no
room of application of the next phrase
although the crime committed is
different from that which the offender
intended to commit.

Intent is inconsistent with fault.

So in culpable felonies, there is


no occasion although the crime
committed is different from that
of the offender intended to
commit.
When the act is justified.

intentionem DO NOT exempt a


person from criminal liability.

A, intending to shoot B, hit C due to poor sight.


-

A saw B, who bore a strong resemblance with his wife, entering a


motel with C. Then after 10 minutes, he barges into the room occupied
by the couple, saw the couple in carnal knowledge, shoots the couple,
killing both. The bullets piercing the wall of the room, hitting an
adjoining couple.
-

A attacks B. B, in self defense, shoots A. Then, the bullets that were


fired from the gun of B in defending himself also hit C and D.
-

Here, it is a case of mistake of the blow.


Whatever it is, he was already committing a felony. His act
would not have been lawful even if the facts turned out to be as
he believed them: his act is still unlawful.
Whether it is the intended victim or the unintended victim, the
act is still unlawful.

Its a case of mistake of identity.


Was he committing a felony? YES because even if it was his
wife, he would still be liable for parricide or murder under
exemptional (?) circumstances. The penalty is destierro.

B is not criminal liable for the killing of B. He was not


committing a felony.
Always, your inquiry is were you committing a felony, or was a
felony committed before you talk of the second phrase.
PEOPLE VS. CAGOCO (error in personae, praeter intentionem).
-

On your way out of this school this evening, you saw your car being
opened by A. Then he hastily entered, after opening the door, drove
away with your car. You are armed with a licensed firearm, with the
permit to carry. You drew your firearm, aimed very carefully at the tires
of your car, fired at the tires, hitting the tires. Then, as a result of the
explosion of the tires, your car swerved to the right, hitting a tricycle,
killing the passengers, wounding seriously the driver of the tricycle.
What is your criminal liability?
-

ART. 4, PAR. 1: were you committing a felony? NO, because


there is no need for a simultaneous attack on the person
defending his property rights.
In light of the recognition of the SC of the independent rights of
the owner, or lawful possessor of a thing, to use reasonable
means to defend these possessions.
ART. 429, 536, 539 of the Civil Code.
Will the killing of the passenger of the tricycle and the serious
injury of the driver be damnum absque injuria? NO. The
carnapper of the vehicle is criminally liable for the unintended
consequences of his unlawful act.
o
He committed a crime of carnapping, under 6539,
before it used to be qualified theft under ART. 310.

2)

When there is valid mistake of fact.

Elements of a valid mistake of


fact: [1] the act would have been
lawful had the facts been as the
accused believe them to be [2]
there must be no bad faith,
negligence or unlawful intent on
the part of the offender.

By reason of the first element,


aberratio
ictus,
error
in
personae,
and
praeter

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By any person performing an act which would be an


offense against persons or property, were it not for the
inherent impossibility of its accomplishment or an
account of the employment of inadequate or ineffectual
means.

Absent when there is bad faith, unlawful intent,


or negligence.

PEOPLE VS. OANIS


-

5.

A intended to hit B at the back of his head, inflict only injuries.


Unfortunately, the victim fell on the pavement, his head hitting
hard the pavement, killing him. So he had no intent to kill, but
just the same, he is liable for the unintended consequences of
his unlawful act.
What was the unlawful act? Inflicting physical injuries on the
victim.
The unintended consequences: the death.
But he will be credited with the mitigating circumstance of lack
of intent to commit so grave a wrong under ART. 13, PAR. 3.

A policeman was under instruction to arrest an escapee. When


upon reaching a hut, the policeman saw a man whose back
towards the door, sleeping. Believing the man was the
escapee, shot the man to death, who turned out to be an
innocent person.
There is here, lacking of the second element, because there is
negligence: the policeman as not under imminent threat of
attack.
o
He had the opportunity to verify the identity of the
victim.
The same ruling was made in PEOPLE VS. DE FERNANDO.

Page 6 | Bantay

US VS. AH CHONG
-

All the elements for valid self-defense were present, although


acting pursuant to mistake of fact.
There was a lawful aggression on the part of the companion of
Ah Chong, who barged in into the room despite the warnings
made by Ah Chong. And there was no reasonable opportunity
for Ah Chong to verify the identity of his companion.
-

When a person is committing a felony, he is


liable for the unintended consequences of his
unlawful act.
It is HOWEVER, required for the application of
the second part, of ART. 4, PAR. 1, the
unintended consequences must be the
DIRECT,
NATURAL,
and
LOGICAL
consequence of the performance by the
accused of the intended crime.

The proximate cause of the unintended


consequences was the performance or
execution of the intended crime.

PEOPLE VS. ROCKWELL


-

PROXIMATE CAUSE
-

BATACLAN VS. MEDINA, ET AL: that cause, which, in natural


and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient
intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the
result would not have occurred.
The relationship of cause and effect:
o
CAUSE: intended crime.
o
EFFECT: the unintended consequences; must not be
broken by an efficient intervening cause.
o
INTERVENING CAUSE: maybe attributable to the
offended party himself or herself to a third person, or an
extraneous factor.

A stabs B, inflicting serious injuries on B. B, the victim, refuses


to submit to medical attention.
A, the accused, cannot argue that the refusal of B to submit to
medical attention is an efficient intervening cause.
The offended party is not required to submit to medical
attention.
Lets say that B, the offended party, submits to medical
attention, but due to unskilful medical attention, he dies.
o
That unskilful medical attention is NOT an efficient
intervening cause.
o
So even if the offended party refuses to submit to
medical attention, or dies as a consequence of unskilful
medical attention, that fact does not constitute an
efficient intervening cause.

Lets say that A inflicted less serious physical injuries on B. There was
no intent to kill so it was only a case of less serious physical injuries. In
the desire of B, the victim, to exacerbate the legal problems of A, he
deliberately immerses his wounds in a contaminated pool, transforming
the less serious injuries into serious physical injuries.
-

That independent act of the victim in deliberately immersing his


wounds in a contaminated pool constituted an efficient
intervening cause attributable to the victim.

1 - CRITICAL AREAS IN CRIMINAL LAW | ATTY. JUMAMIL | AUF SOL 2014

Almost identical preliminary facts: A hit the back of the head of


B, with intent only to inflict injuries. B fell then as a
consequence of the fright brought about by the falling of B, a
horse nearby jumped and on its way down, hit the head of B,
killing him.
That independent act constituted an extraneous factor that
broke the chain of causation.
A is only liable to physical injuries inflicted.

A and B boarded a passenger bus along Recto. While the bus was
traversing the length of Recto, A and B announced a hold-up,
frightened, the passengers jumped over. Some were killed, some were
seriously injured. So A and B now claimed that they are not liable to
the death and serious injuries to the passengers.
-

US VS. MARASIGAN

What would be the liability, because the intended crime is this


less serious physical injuries? The unintended consequence is
the serious physical injuries.
o
But the serious physical injuries were brought about by
the deliberate act of the offended party.
o
There was no a break, an efficient intervening cause
that broke the chain of causation of the intended crime
and the effect.
o
A will only respond to the less serious physical injuries.
The same is if the aggravation was due to an independent act
of a third person: pouring contaminated water on the wounds of
B to exacerbate/transform it to less serious to serious.
EXAMPLE OF AN EXTRANEOUS FACTOR THAT BREAKS
THE CHAIN OF CAUSATION: PEOPLE VS. CAGOCO.
o
A hit the back of Bs head, intended only to injure B. B
fell on the pavement. His head, hitting the pavement
hard, he died. So there was no break in the chain of
causation between the crime, the physical injuries, and
the unintended consequence (death).

They CANNOT because the death and injuries were the direct,
natural and direct consequences of their unlawful act (robbery).
Were they committing a felony? YES.
What was the unintended consequence? The homicide and
serious injuries.
So it will be a case of robbery with homicide (used in its generic
sense) as special complex crime.

PEOPLE VS. TOLING


-

The principle cited or applied to this case was adopted from US


VS. VALDEZ, and that principle says: he who creates on
another persons mind an immediate sense of danger, which
impels that person to avoid the danger, and in the process kills
or seriously injures himself, the person causing that state of
mind is criminally liable for the unintended consequences.

US VS. VALDEZ
-

Valdez was pursuing A. Valdez, armed with a knife, intended


to kill A. He pursued A. When A was cornered by the bank of
the river, with nowhere else to go, and that not knowing how to
swim, he jumped over. He died drowning.
The claim of Valdez was that he cannot be held liable for the
Page 7 | Bantay

death of the victim.


That principle was applied: he who creates on another persons
mind an immediate sense of danger, which impels this person
to avoid the danger by escaping, and in the process he kills or
injures himself, then the person causing that state of mind is
criminally liable.

But he is criminally liable for being an accessory to the crime of


murder.
So his act here, while impossible of accomplice-ment, would
subject him to a criminal liability of a different kind under the
Code.

ART. 6
Take not of the phraseology of any person
performing an act.

So hes not committing a crime. He is


merely performing an act which would
have constituted a crime against
persons or property.

The accused technically did not commit


a crime, but because had exhibited his
evident criminal tendencies, the law
imposes a penalty to supress his
evident criminal tendencies.

The court considers the nature of the


crime and the injury caused thereby.
PRINCIPLE 1: The rule is if the act of a person,
which would have constituted an impossible
crime, also constitutes a felony punishable
under the code, or would subject him to a
criminal liability of a different kind, then he will
not be liable for the impossible crime, but for
such other crimes.

APPLICATION NO. 1: A is armed with a homemade gun with a


maximum range of 20 meters. He sees his enemy, B, standing some
50 meters away. He aims at B, fires at B.
-

Obviously, it would be impossible for A to inflict any injury on B


because of physical impossibility of doing: the gun had a range
of only 20 meters.
While his act would have constituted an impossible crime, his
act constitutes also a felony under the Code, and that is the
crime of illegal discharge of firearms under ART. 254.

Provides for the second classification of felonies: according to STAGE


OF EXECUTION.

CONSUMMATED

ATTEMPTED

FRUSTRATED

When
all
the
elements necessary
for its execution and
accomplishment are
present.

When the offender


commences
the
commission of the
crime directly by
overt acts, and does
not perform all the
acts of execution
which
should
produce the felony by
reason
of
some
cause or accident
other than this own
spontaneous
desistance.

When the offenders


performs all acts of
execution,
which
would produce the
felony
as
a
consequence,
but
which nevertheless
does not produce it
by reason of causes
independent of the
will
of
the
perpetrator.

PENALTY: ART. 46.

ART. 50 and 51*

One of the determinants of the penalty that is imposable on the


accused, according to stage of execution.

* The penalty of frustrated is one degree lower for the consummated.


And according to ART. 51, that for the attempted, the principal for an
attempted felony is two degrees lower than that of the principal of the
consummated felony.
PAR. 2 and 3: providing for the statute of definition of those three.

APPLICATION NO. 2: A intends to commit theft in the house of B. He


enters the house of B, sees a watch by the table, takes the watch and
leaves. To his dismay, he discovered that that was the watch he lost
two weeks ago.

US VS. EDUAVE (defined the subjective phase of the offense)


-

So here he CANNOT commit theft of his own property.


But what did he commit? He committed trespass.
o
So while his act may be legally impossible of being
committed, his act also constituted a crime punishable
under the Code.

The SUBJECTIVE PHASE marks the beginning of the


commission of the crime and the end thereof is the
OBJECTIVE PHASE.

INTERNAL ACTS: not punishable by law.

EXTERNAL ACTS: punishable by law.


PRINCIPLE 2: It would not also constitute an
impossible crime if the act would subject the
offender to a different criminal liability under the
Code.

For instance, the warden, after killing the prisoner, A, shoots the
cadaver of the prisoner aimed at the back of the cadaver to make it
appear that when the warden killed the prisoner, he was escaping.
-

It was impossible to A to kill the victim because he was already


dead.

1 - CRITICAL AREAS IN CRIMINAL LAW | ATTY. JUMAMIL | AUF SOL 2014

A.

PREPARATORY ACTS: as a rule, not punishable, EXCEPT


only in those instance where the law especially provides a
penalty therefore, such as conspiracy and proposal to commit
treason, rebellion, sedition.
o
Devising ways and means of effecting a particular
criminal objective.
o
A person who merely performs a preparatory act does
not commit an attempted felony because to constitute
an attempted felony, the act must be such that it shows

Page 8 | Bantay

the crime intended to be committed or that the act itself


must constitute a consummated felony.
A person who merely performs a preparatory act is not
criminally liable unless that preparatory act is made
especially punishable by law.
Commission of mere preparatory acts does not amount
to an attempt to commit a crime.

An attempt to commit a crime marks the


beginning of the subjective phase of the
offense.

SUBJECTIVE PHASE OF THE OFFENSE is


that portion occupied by the acts of the
offender, starting from the point where he
begins its commission up to the point where he
performs the last act, which would prior acts
would constitute the consummated felony.

That portion of the act of the offender


commencing from the point where he
begins, up to the point where he is still
has control over his acts and their
consequences.

WHEN MERE ATTEMPT: If between


those two points, the offender is stopped
by any cause other than his own
spontaneous desistance, the crime is a
mere attempt.

WHEN ABSOLVED: If he is stopped by


a spontaneous desistance, then he is
absolved from criminal liability.

WHEN
CONSUMMATED
OR
FRUSTRATED: If he is not so stopped,
then the subjective phase is passed, the
objective phase sets in (then the crime
is
either
CONSUMMATED
or
FRUSTRATED).

A intends to kill B by poisoning.


-

So that is an internal state. No matter how wrong, that is not


punishable.
As long as the offender does not externalize his evil thoughts,
he is not criminally liable.
In furtherance of his thoughts, of his intention to kill B, A
procures poison from the store. That is NOT an attempt.
o
It is merely a preparatory act.
o
WHY? For the preparatory act to constitute an attempt,
the intended felony must be proven, or must be shown.
Suppose now, after procuring the poison because he could
have used the poison for industrial uses, he mixes the poison
with the food of B.
o
That is now commencing the commission of a felony,
directly by overt acts.
o
That is now the start of the subjective phase.
If A is stopped by any cause other than his own spontaneous
desistance, it is a MERE ATTEMPT.
o
After mixing the food of B, B places the food on his
mouth. For unknown reason, B spits out the food.
o
That is a cause due to an accident other than the
spontaneous desistance of the offender.
o
That is mere attempt, because here, the overt acts, the
intention now concur.
o
When B placed the food on his mouth: that is the last
point where A has still control over his acts and their
consequences.
o
If B spits out the food, that is a cause other than the
spontaneous desistance of the offender, so that is a
mere attempt.
o
If C bumps B and as a consequence, he throws out the

1 - CRITICAL AREAS IN CRIMINAL LAW | ATTY. JUMAMIL | AUF SOL 2014

food, then that is an accident that places the situation to


only attempted.
If after B puts the food in his mouth out of remorse, A tells B to
throw out the food, to spit out the food, then he VOLUNTARILY
desisted at the attempted stage, then he is ABSOLVED from
criminal liability.
The ATTEMPTED STAGE is that portion of the act,
commencing from the point where the offender begins, up to
the point when he still has control of his acts and their
consequences.
The moment B swallows the food, A has no more control over
his acts.
If B dies, then the crime is CONSUMMATED.
If B does not die because of timely medical assistance, then it
is FRUSTRATED.

ART. 6 only provides for the general concept of attempted, frustrated,


or consummated felonies. The actus reus of the different felonies in
Book II must be considered.
-

ART. 6 is only a general categorization.


EXAMPLE: BRIBERY always consummated.
o
No attempted or frustrated bribery.
o
Bribery, either direct or indirect, or qualified, is always
consummated, or there is no crime at all.

A offers B, a public officer, P1M to commit the act of falsification so


that the tax liabilities of A will be obliterated.
-

Remember that bribery is committed by a public officer, who


accepts a promise, gift, or present in consideration of his
performance of an act, whether constituting a crime or not, or in
consideration for refraining from performing his acts. And the
penalty depends on whether the act agreed upon was
consummated or not consummated.
B agreed to As offer.
So the liability of B consummated bribery.
The liability of A is not bribery. The liability of A is corruption of
public officials under ART. 212. He incurs the same penalty (as
B).
Suppose B rejects As offer. Then B does not incur liability.
o
A, on the other hand, the bribe offeror, is liable for
attempted corruption of public officials.
o
So corruption of public officials is either ATTEMPTED
or CONSUMMATED.
o
While bribery is always consummated.
o
Frustrated bribery (PEOPLE VS. DIEGO QUING
LEE): the public officer returned the bribe money after
accepting it. Resolving the doubt in favour of the
accused, the SC ruled that it is mere frustrated, when it
should have been consummated (the return of the
amount only affects his civil liability).
o
In conflict with US VS. TE TONG, where the SC ruled it
was mere attempted bribery.
The basic doctrine is if the crime requires the participation of
two persons to consummate it, if the offer of one is rejected by
the other, it is a MERE ATTEMPT.
o
In bribery, however, if the offer s rejected by the public
official, he incurs no criminal liability. The bribe offeror
is liable for attempted corruption of public officials.

In arson, when part of the building is burned or is charred, the


crime is CONSUMMATED (PEOPLE VS. HERNANDEZ).
o
Our basic law in arson is PD 1613, minus SEC. 2,
because SEC. 2, dwelling on destructive arson, has
been transposed back to the RPC, as ART. 320, as
amended now by 7659.
Page 9 | Bantay

o
o

While all other forms of arson are covered by PD 1613.


If rugs were set on fire, but no part of the building was
burned, it is FRUSTRATED arson (US VS. VALDEZ).
o
If gasoline was poured on the rugs, but the act was
discovered, it is ATTEMPTED arson.
o
There are aberrant cases: when hospital linens, or the
contents of the hospital were set on fire, but no part of
the hospital was burned, the ruling of the SC was
CONSUMMATED arson.

With almost identical facts in PEOPLE VS.


GARCIA, the hospital linens were burned but no
part of the building was burned, it was
ATTEMPTED.

Both of the cases were WRONG: there should


be CONSUMMATED arson of the personal
properties.
o
Fire is still a qualifying, aggravating circumstance for
murder. You can commit murder, by fire, without
committing arson.

For instance, you brought your victim into an


open pit, poured gasoline on him, set him on
fire. You commit murder by fire, but you did not
commit arson.
Insofar as theft is concerned, the prevailing rule now is
VALENZUELA VS. PEOPLE, there is no frustrated theft (there
is no crime of frustrated theft).

VALENZUELA VS. PEOPLE


-

The SC took note of actus reus for the crime of theft.


Theft is committed is the following requisites are present:
1) Bienes muebles as the subject matter of the crime or
personal property.
2) There must be animus lucrandi, or intent to gain.
3) Asportation or unlawful taking, or apoderamiento.
4) The means of committing is through strategy or stealth,
meaning without the consent of the owner.
The accused here was a merchandise man of SM City, in North
EDSA. He was able to extract 3 cartloads of unknown brand
detergent, which was brought out of the Department Store and
loaded in a taxi cab. When the taxi cab was about to leave the
post of the security guard, on its way out, the cartons were
discovered, so he was charged with and convicted of
consummated theft.
In his appeal, Valenzuela argued, citing the case of PEOPLE
VS. DINO and US VS. DOMINGUEZ, that he should only be
convicted of frustrated theft, because in DINO, considering the
subject matter (3 boxes of rifles), which was discovered when
the vehicle was about to leave the checkpoint, he should only
be held guilty of frustrated theft because he has no freedom of
disposition.
IN DINO, ESPIRITU, DOMINGUEZ: the SC ruled that what
determines the consummation of theft is whether the offender
had the capacity to freely dispose of the property, even is his
possession thereof was more or less temporary.
o
So freedom of disposition was used as the determining
factor.
o
Applying that rule, Valuenzuela argued that he had no
freedom of disposition when the cartons were
discovered shortly after he had loaded them in the taxi
cab and before he left the guardhouse of the security
guard.
The SC said in revisiting the previous rulings that there is no
frustrated theft because the actus reus, once the asportation is
complete, the law does not require freedom of disposition on
the part of the offender.
The decision was CONSUMMATED THEFT.

1 - CRITICAL AREAS IN CRIMINAL LAW | ATTY. JUMAMIL | AUF SOL 2014

HOMICIDE:

PEOPLE VS. BORINAGA (aberrant case)


-

The decision is frustrated homicide, relying in the belief of the


accused that he had inflicted a mortal wound on the victim.
When the knife that he used in stabbing the victim got stuck at
the back of the chair, Borinaga was not able to perform all acts
of execution because when he stabbed the victim who was
sitting in the chair, he thought what he hit was the back of the
victim when it is fact the back of the chair.
So in fact, the chair prevented Borinaga from performing all
acts of execution.
But his professed belief that he was able to inflict a mortal
wound on the victim became the basis of the SCs decision that
it was frustrated.

PEOPLE VS. CALALO


-

Corrected PEOPLE VS. BORINAGA.


That the offender in crimes involving intentional killing must be
able to inflict a mortal wound on the victim as a matter of fact,
not as a matter of belief, for the crime to be either frustrated or
consummated.

In the crime of rape, rape in its traditional sense is either


attempted or consummated.
o
In its traditional case, the offender is a man, the
offended party is a woman.

PEOPLE VS. ERINIA


-

Involving a victim of 3 years, 11 months old.


The doubt was resolved in favour of the accused because
according to the SC, there was physical impossibility of
penetration, considering the tender age of the offended party,
disregarding the fact that mere contact of the labia majora with
the male organ already consummates the crime.

o
o

The judicial misstep in ERINIA was elevated by the


sacramental wordings of the law, crafted by lawmakers,
by providing for frustrated rape, with homicide.
So the succeeding ART. 335 (original law on rape) was
successively amended by RA 2632 and 4111, which
both provided for the crime of frustrated rape with
homicide.
Even ART. 7659 carried that judicial misstep.
It was only when RA 8353, the Rape Law of 1997, that
frustrated rape was abolished from the statute books.

The SC never again came up a decision


involving frustrated rape.
Insofar as the expanded law on rape, PAR. 2, ART.
266-A, on acts of sexual assaults that are defined and
penalized as rape.

The first act thereupon, any person who puts his


penis in the mouth or anal orifice of the other;
obviously the offender is only a man, and the
offended party may be a man or a woman.

The second part of sexual assault: by inserting


any instrument or object into the genital or anal
Page 10 | Bantay

orifice of another. The offender here may be a


man or a woman. The offended party may be a
man or a woman.

PEOPLE VS. FLORES


-

ISSUE: WON inserting a finger/s into the genital of the woman


would constitute an object or instrument within the meaning of
the expanded rape law.
CA: answered the issue on the affirmative.
Not yet resolved by the SC.
The finger was considered as an instrument or object.
To Professors mind, an instrument or object, common sense
dictates, is something that is foreign to the body of a person
because it would have provided putting the penis of the mouth
or anal orifice of another, it could have clearly states also,
putting the finger into the genital or anal orifice of another.
o
But it said instrument or object.
Anyway, the CA has decided already.

B.

ACTS OF EXECUTION

- END -

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