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CRIMINAL

LAW 1 REVIEWER

CHAPTER 2: CLASSIFICATION OF PENALTIES



Article 25. Penalties which may be imposed.
The penalties which may be imposed according to this Code, and their
different classes, are those included in the following:

SCALE
PRINCIPAL PENALTIES
Capital punishment:
Death.

Afflictive penalties:
Reclusion perpetua,
Reclusion temporal,
Perpetual or temporary absolute disqualification,
Perpetual or temporary special disqualification,
Prision mayor.

Correctional penalties:
Prision correccional,
Arresto mayor,
Suspension,
Destierro.

Light penalties:
Arresto menor,
Public censure.

Penalties common to the three preceding classes:
Fine, and
Bond to keep the peace.

ACCESSORY PENALTIES
Perpetual or temporary absolute disqualification,

Perpetual or temporary special disqualification,


Suspension from public office, the right to vote and be voted
for, the profession or calling.
Civil interdiction,
Indemnification,
Forfeiture or confiscation of instruments and proceeds of the
offense,
Payment of costs.

POINTS

I. The Penalties Which May Be Imposed According To This Code x x x
Are Those Included in Article 25 only
The Revised Penal Code does not prescribe the penalty of life
imprisonment for any of the felonies therein defined, that
penalty being invariably imposed for serious offenses penalized
not by the Revised Penal Code but by special law.
Examples:
o Sentence of five years in Bilibid is defective because it
does not specify the exact penalty prescribed in the
RPC (US v. Avillar)
o Penalty of life imprisonment or cadena perpetua is
erroneous as it has been abolished. The correct term is
reclusion perpetua. (People v. Abletes).
Reclusion perpetua is not the same as life imprisonment as the
Code does not prescribe life imprisonment as a penalty. It is a
penalty used by special laws. Reclusion perpetua entailed
imprisonment for at least 30 years after which the convict
becomes eligible for parole. It also carried with accessory
penalties such as perpetual special disqualification.

II. R.A. 9346 Prohibited The Imposition Of The Death Penalty
Signed into law on June 24, 2006 and provided for the
imposition of penalty of reclusion perpetua in lieu of death


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

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when the law violated makes use of the nomenclature of the
penalties of the RPC.

III. Classifications Of Penalties
A. Principal v. Accessory Penalties
Two classifications
o Principal Penalties those expressly imposed by the
court in the judgment of conviction.
o Accessory Penalties those that are deemed included
in the imposition of the principal penalties.
Principal Penalties according to their divisibility
o Divisible Penalties are those that have fixed
duration and are divisible into three periods
o Indivisible Penalties those which have no fixed
duration.
Death
Reclusion Perpetua
Perpetual absolute or special disqualification
Public censure
Penalties are either principal or accessory
o Perpetual
or
temporary
absolute/special
disqualification and suspensions may be principal or
accessory penalties, because they are formed in two
general classes.
o Article 236 punishes the crime of anticipation of
duties of public office through suspension as principal
penalty.
o Article 226, 227 and 228 punishing infidelity of
public officers in the custody of documents, provide for
temporary special disqualification as a principal
penalty.

B. Classification Of Penalties According To Subject-Matter
1. Corporal (death)

2.
3.
4.
5.

Deprivation of freedom (reclusion, prision, arresto)


Restriction of freedom (destierro)
Deprivation of rights (disqualification and suspension)
Pecuniary (fine)


C. Classification Of Penalties According To Their Gravity
1. Capital
2. Afflictive
3. Correctional
4. Light
Corresponds to Article 9: Grave, less grave, light felony

D. Public Censure Is A Penalty
Being a penalty, not properly imposed in acquittal.
The court may only impose a penalty if the accused is found
guilty. The power to mete out punishments; a finding of guilt
must precede the punishment.

IV. Court Acquitting The Accused May Criticize His Acts Or Conduct
The court, while acquitting an accused, may permit itself
nevertheless to criticize or reprehend his acts or conduct in
connection with the transaction out of which the accusation
arose.

V. Reclusion Perpetua
Court should use proper Revised Penal Code nomenclature
Indivisible penalty (Reclusion Perpetua, Perpetual absolute or
special disqualification, public censure)
o Not affected by mitigating or aggravating
circumstances. The penalty is imposed in its entirety,
even if there is special aggravating or two mitigating, it
will not be affected.
o But if PRIVILEGED mitigating, it may be reduced by 1 or
2 degrees.


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

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After imprisonment of 30 years, eligible for pardon.


o Court may not impose 30 years of reclusion perpetua,
they should just impose reclusion perpetua.
o The 30 years does not refer to the duration of reclusion
perpetua, but to the eligibility of parole and for
purposes of computing the three-fold rule.
Different from life imprisonment
o Exception: In Presidential Decree No. 818 (Syndicated
Estafa), imprisonment is a maximum of 30 years with
accessory penalties provided by Revised Penal Code for
30 years.


VI. Disqualification And Suspension
A. Dual Personality Of Disqualification And Suspension
It can be a principal penalty
o Temporary disqualification 6years, 1 day to 12 years.
o Suspension 6 months, 1 day to 6 years.
It can also be an accessory penalty
o Follow the period of the principal penalty.
o Court cannot extend the disqualification or suspension
if it merely follows the principal penalty, cant extend
beyond principal penalty.

B. Suspension
All prisoners whether under preventive detention or serving
final sentence, cannot practice their profession or engage in
any business or occupation, or hold office, elective or
appointive, while in detention.

VII. Bond To Keep The Peace
Bond to keep the peace is a principal penalty yet there is no
crime in Book II that imposes it. No occasion to mete this
penalty on a convict.

Compare with bond for good behavior (Article 248 for grave
and light threats only). Failure to post bond for good behavior
means destierro for accused. Failure to post bond to keep the
peace.


VIII. Instances When Lesser Offense Absorbs Graver Offense
Rebellion (RT) absorbs murder (RP)
Forcible abduction (RT) absorbs illegal detention of a woman
(RP)
Slavery involving kidnapping of a person (PM) absorbs
kidnapping (RP)

Article 26. When afflictive, correctional, or light penalty.
A fine, whether imposed as a single of as an alternative penalty, shall
be considered an afflictive penalty, if it exceeds 6,000 pesos; a
correctional penalty, if it does not exceed 6,000 pesos but is not less
than 200 pesos; and a light penalty if it less than 200 pesos.

POINTS

I. Whether Imposed As A Single Or As An Alternative Penalty
Example: Article 144 punishing disturbance of proceedings, the
penalty is arresto mayor or a fine ranging from P200 to P1,000.

A. Penalties Cannot Be Imposed In The Alternative
The law does not permit any court to impose a sentence in the
alternative, its duty being to indicate the penalty imposed
definitely and positively.
Fine is not a substitute for imprisonment. Its completely
independent.

II. Article 26 Merely Classifies Fines And Has Nothing To Do With The
Definition Of Light Felony


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

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If the fine prescribed by the law for a felony is exactly P200, it is


a light felony because Article 9, Paragraph 3 which defines light
felonies should prevail.
What if exactly P200, how do you reconcile Article 9 and Article
26?
o Article 9 should prevail when the issue is prescription of
crime. Its considered a light felony and prescribes in 2
months.
o Article 26 should prevail when the issue is prescription
of penalty. Its considered correctional, and prescribes
in 10 years.


A. Fine Is:
1. Afflictive over P6,000
2. Correction P200 to P6,000
3. Light penalty less than P200

B. Bond To Keep The Peace Is By Analogy:
1. Afflictive over P6,000
2. Correctional P200 to P6,000
3. Light penalty less than P200

III. Who Receives The Fines
Fine is not given to the complainant; it is given to the State.
Fine is for vindication!
Accused can use his cash bail bond to pay his fine, if he is
convicted. Law does not prohibit him from using his cash bail
bond to pay his fine. It is only meant to ensure his attendance
during the process.


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

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