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CRIMINAL

LAW 1 REVIEWER

Criminal Law in General



POINTS

I. Definitions
What is criminal law?
o Branch or division of law which defines crimes, treats of
their nature, and provides for their punishment.
What is crime?
o An act committed or omitted in violation of a public law
forbidding or commanding it.

II. Sources of Criminal Law
Revised Penal Code
Special Penal Laws passed by the Legislative
Presidential Decrees issued during Martial Law

III. Common Law Crimes
Crimes not written in the law but are understood as all to be
offenses.
The Philippines does not have common law crimes. Thus, even if
the act be socially or morally wrong, its commission incurs no
criminal liability if the act is not punishable by a particular
provision in penal law or special penal law.

IV. Power to Define and Punish Crimes
The state, as part of its police power, has a large measure of
discretion and possesses the authority to define and punish
crimes and lay down the rules of criminal procedure.
This power is given to the state by its people in order for the
former to be able to look after the rights of the latter.

V. Limits to the Power of Law-Making Bodies
No ex post facto law or a Bill of Attainder.

Bill of Attainder a legislative act which inflicts


punishment without trial. Its essence is the substitution
of legislative act for a judicial determination of guilt.
Cannot enact laws that punish people without due process.
o


VI. Why Ex Post Facto Laws are Prejudicial to the Accused
1. Makes criminal an act, which before the laws passage was
innocent.
2. Aggravates a crime.
3. Changes the punishment and inflicts a greater penalty than the
law annexed to the crime when committed.
4. Alters the legal rules of evidence, and authorizes conviction
upon less or different testimony than the law required at the
time of the commission of the offense.
5. Imposes penalty or deprivation of a right for something which
when done was lawful.
6. Deprives a person accused of a crime some lawful protection
which he was entitled to, such as the protection from a former
conviction or acquittal.

VII. Constitutional and Statutory Rights
Constitutional Rights (Article III, Bill of Rights, 1987
Constitution)
o Bill of Rights states that the accused has the right to
speedy trial, due process, right against self
incrimination, free access to the courts, etc.
Statutory Rights are found in and created by statutes
o Section 1 Rule 115 of the Revised Rules in Criminal
Procedure states that the accused have the right to be
informed of accusations against him, confront and
cross-examine witnesses, make appeals, etc.

VIII. Can an Accused Waive his Rights?
YES but only those that affect only him and not society


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o

He can waive his right to cross-examine but he cannot


waive his right to be informed of the crime


IX. Characteristics of Criminal Law
General
o Binding on all persons who live or sojourn in the
Philippines.
Territorial
o Criminal Law undertakes to punish crimes committed
within Philippine territory
Prospective
o Forward Looking and never retroactive

X. The Military
General Rule: Jurisdiction of civil court over a case is not
affected by the military character of the accused.
o When the military courts takes cognizance of a case
involving a person subject to military law, the Articles of
War apply. The Revised Penal code and other penal law
is not applicable.
Members of the military can be tried under civil court because
military courts and civil courts have concurrent jurisdiction.
o This is true even in times of war provided that (a) the
crime was not committed where hostilities are in
progress, and (b) the civil courts are functioning.
o US v. Sweet
Sweet was a member of the US military. He
claimed that because of this, our courts had no
jurisdiction over him and the case filed against
him.
The fact that he was a member of the US
military did not affect the jurisdiction of the civil
courts unless special legislation said otherwise

For a member of the military to be tried in military court, his


offense must be service- oriented (Articles of War).
o Article 63 Disrespect toward the President
o Article 64 Disrespect toward superior court
o Article 67 Conduct Unbecoming of an Officer and a
Gentleman.
o Article 97 General Article.
The Revised Penal Code is not applicable when the Military
Court is in charge of the case though the said court can refer to
the RPC when considering what penalty to give.
Once tried in a military court, that same case cannot be tried in
a civil court and vice versa.
War criminals are triable by Military Commission.


XI. Exceptions to the applicability of the RPC
Laws and Treaties of preferential application
o Bases Agreement March 14, 1947
o RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement February 10, 1998
o Republic Act 75 October 21, 1946
Republic Act No. 75
RA No. 75 works in favor of diplomatic representatives and their
domestic servants (Section 4).
Exception: When the process against servant (who is a citizen of
the Philippines) is founded on debt contracted before he
entered such service (Section 5).
Not applicable when the foreign country adversely affected
does not provide similar protection to our diplomatic
representatives.
Persons exempt from the operation of our criminal laws by virtue of
the principles of public international law
II Hyde International Law: as a principle of international law,
the following are not subject to the operation of our criminal
laws:
o Sovereigns and other chiefs of state.


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o

Ambassadors, ministers, plenipotentiary, ministers


resident, and charges daffaires.


XII. Exceptions to the prospective application of criminal laws: New
Statutes that are more lenient or favorable to the accused
Must be favorable to the accused in order for it to be followed
as long as (a) accused committed act before the new statute
came out, and (b) he is not a habitual criminal.

XIII. Different Effects of Repeals on Penal Law
If the penalty in the repeal is lighter, it shall be applied to the
case except if accused is a habitual criminal.
If the penalty in the repeal is heavier, the law in force when the
offense was committed shall be applied.
If the new law totally repeals the old law, the crime is
obliterated.
o People v. Tamayo
While the case was pending, the ordinance
violated was repealed.
The accused was acquitted.
If the new law simply reenacts the old law, criminal liability is
not destroyed.
o US v. Cuna
Accused was charged with selling opium
While the case was pending, a new law against
opium was passed which still included the act
done by the accused
The new law does not take away the criminal
liability of the accused
If both old law and new law punish the same offense, offender
can be tried in the law which is more favorable to him
provided that the old law was still in place when he committed
the offense.

If the new law fails to penalize an act (punishable under the old
law), it is no longer punishable.
o Cessante ratione legis cessat ipsa lex
The reason for the law ceasing, the law itself
also ceases.
o People v. Sindiong and Pastor
Accused was prosecuted from neglecting to
make a return of the sales of newspapers and
magazines within time prescribed as stated in
law.
While case was pending, a new law was passed
wherein the act of the accused was no longer
included as punishable.
The accused were acquitted.
If someone is mistakenly accused and convicted under a
repealed law, he may be tried again under the new law as long
as such an offense still exists in the law.
Self repealing laws (laws with expiry dates) are self executing.


XIV. Construction of Penal Laws
Penal Laws are strictly construed against government and
liberally in favor of the accused.
o This does not apply if the law is clear and unambiguous.
o People v. Garcia
Respondent accused of violating a law
prohibiting the selling of PCSO tickets without
being authorized
Accused claims he sold llave tickets
Respondent is acquitted because the law does
not expressly prohibit the selling of llave tickets
The Spanish text is superior to the English text.
o People v. Mangulabnan
Respondent fires a gun upwards while
committing a robbery.


Original Material from TABLE TURNERS (2012-2013). Edited by Rachelle Anne Gutierrez (2015-2016)

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Respondent ends up killing the owner of the


house who was situated on the floor above him
Respondent is accused of robbery with.
homicide because though the English text says
that the killing should be intentional for it to be
homicide, the Spanish text says that homicide
can take place even by mere accident.

The Revised Penal Code



I. History
September 4, 1884 Royal Decree ordering penal code in the
Peninsula to be published and applied in the Philippines
December 17, 1886 Royal Order directed the execution of
the September 4, 1984 decree
March 13 & 14, 1887 Penal Code published in the Official
Gazette of Manila
July 14, 1897 Penal Code takes effect
October 18, 1927 A committee was created by Department
of Justice Administrative Order No. 94 to revise the penal code,
taking into consideration the existing conditions and the special
laws and ruling laid down by the Supreme Court.
o Anacleto Diaz as chairman, Quintin Paredes, Guillermo
Guevara, Alex Reyes and Mariano H. De Joya.
o The RPC does not embody the latest progress of
criminal science, as the results of the application of
advanced and radical theories still remains to be seen.
December 8, 1930 draft of the Revised Penal Code approved.
January 1, 1932 RPC takes effect.
o Felonies and misdemeanors committed prior this were
punished in accordance with the Code or Acts in force at
the time of their commission, as directed by Article 366.

II. Content
Book I
o Basic principles affecting criminal liability (Art. 1-20)
o Provisions on penalties including criminal and civil
liability (Art. 21-113)
Book II
o Definition of felonies with the corresponding penalties
(art. 114-365)

III. Theories that guided the RPC
Classical
o The basis of criminal liability is free will and the purpose
of the penalty is retribution.
o Man is seen as an essentially moral creature. Thus,
more emphasis on the act and its effect rather than on
the person who committed the act.
o Establishment of a mechanical and direct proportion
between crime and punishment.
Positivist
o Man is subdued occasionally by a strange and morbid
phenomenon which constrains him to do wrong in spite
of or contrary to his volition.
o Crime is a natural and social phenomenon; each case is
different.
The RPC is guided primarily by the Classical theory though it is
also partly influenced by the Positivist Theory.







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PRELIMINARY TITLE
DATE OF EFFECTIVENESS AND APPLICATION OF THE
PROVISIONS

Article 1. Time when Act takes effect
This code shall take effect on the first day of January, nineteen
hundred and thirty two.

Article 2. Application of its provisions.
Except as provided in the treaties and laws of preferential application,
the provisions of this code shall be enforced not only within the
Philippine archipelago, including its atmosphere, its internal waters
and maritime zone, but also outside of its jurisdiction, against those
who:
1. Should commit an offense while on a Philippine ship or airship;
2. Should forge or counterfeit any coin or currency note of the
Philippine Islands or obligations and securities issued by the
government of the Philippine Islands;
3. Should be liable for acts connected with the introduction into
these Islands of the obligations and securities mentioned in
the preceding number;
4. While being a public officers or employees, should commit an
offense in the exercise of their functions; or
5. Should commit any of the acts against national security and
the law of nations, defined in title one of book two of this
code.

POINTS

I. Important Phrases
Its atmosphere

Penal laws extend to all their air space which covers the
territory, subject to the right of way or easement in
favor of foreign aircrafts.
Interior Waters
o Bodies of water within the 3 mile limit
Maritime Zone
o 3 miles from the coastline starting from the low water
mark
o 12 miles measured in a straight line from headland to
headland
o Established through international treaties
o


II. Human Security Act of 2007 (RA 9372)
Has provisions providing for extra-territorial application subject
to existing treaties and laws of preferential application
The Act shall apply to:
o Persons committing a crime within the Philippine
territory
o Persons involved in a crime within the Philippine
territory despite being physically outside of the territory
o Persons who commit an offense while on a Philippine
ship or airship
o Persons who commit crimes within our embassies,
consulates, and other diplomatic premises occupied by
the Philippine government in an official capacity
o Any person committing a hate crime against Filipinos
o Any person committing a crime directly against the
Philippine government

PAR. 1: The RPC with regards offenses on a Philippine ship or airship
Does not apply when the ship or airship is within foreign
territory.
Does not apply if ship or airship is not properly registered with
the Philippine Bureau of Customs even if owner is Filipino.


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Does not apply if the crime is committed in high seas (i.e. areas
of the seas not belonging to any one country), BUT the vessel is
not registered or licensed in the Philippines.


I. The RPC and Foreign ships or airships
Continuing offense:
o Defined as forbidden conditions existing while the ship
or airship was in our territory even if such conditions
already existed prior to its entry into our territory.
o Continuing offense is punishable by our courts.
When a foreign merchant vessel enters the 3-mile limit, the
ships officers and crew are subject to the jurisdiction of our
courts.
o Disorders which disturb only the peace of the ship or
those on board are to be dealt exclusively by the
sovereignty of the home of the ship.
o Disturbances which may affect public peace of the
Philippines may be suppressed and the offenders may
be punished by Philippine authorities.
With regards foreign ships, the Philippines follows the English
Rule:
o French Rule crimes are not triable unless they affect
the peace and security of the territory and safety of the
state.
o English Rule crimes are triable unless they only involve
matters within the vessel.
Absolutely no jurisdiction over foreign war ships.

II. Crimes not involving a breach of public order committed on board a
foreign merchant vessel in transit are not triable by our courts
Carrying opium on a ship which is in transit is not triable in our
courts. BUT, when the opium is landed, it is within our
jurisdiction because such act is an open violation of the laws of
the Philippines (US v. Look Chaw).

Smoking opium on a ship while it is in transit is triable because it


affects our territory (atmosphere) (People v. Wong Cheng).
A person who is carrying opium and who is on board a foreign
merchant ship may be liable for illegal importation of opium (US
v. Ah Sing).


PAR. 2: SHOULD FORGE OR COUNTERFEIT ANY COIN OR CURRENCY OF
THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, OR OBLIGATIONS AND SECURITIES ISSUED BY
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.
AND
PAR. 3: SHOULD BE LIABLE FOR ACTS CONNECTED WITH THE
INTRODUCTION INTO THESE ISLANDS OF THE OBLIGATIONS AND
SECURITIES MENTIONED IN THE PRECEDING NUMBER.

I. Why are people who introduce forged or counterfeit obligations and
securities being punished?
They are being punished because such acts have an effect on
our economy
Thus, any person who makes counterfeits in a foreign country
may be prosecuted before our courts for violation of Article 163
(coins or currency counterfeit) OR Article 166 (forging securities
or obligations) of the RPC.

PAR. 4: WHILE BEING PUBLIC OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES SHOULD
COMMIT AN OFFENSE IN THE EXERCISE OF THEIR FUNCTIONS

I. Does the RPC apply to public servants and employees who commit
their offenses abroad?
Yes as long as it was during the exercise of their functions.

PAR. 5: SHOULD COMMIT ANY OF THE CRIMES AGAINST NATIONAL
SECURITY AND THE LAWS OF NATIONS, DEFINED IN TITLE ONE, BOOK
TWO OF THIS CODE.


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I. Examples of offenses against national security and the law of nations
Treason, conspiracy and proposal to commit treason, espionage,
inciting to war and giving motives for reprisals, violation of
neutrality, correspondence with hostile country, flight to
enemys territory, piracy and mutiny on the high seas.


Original Material from TABLE TURNERS (2012-2013). Edited by Rachelle Anne Gutierrez (2015-2016)