Sie sind auf Seite 1von 14

Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code involves death or physical injuries inflicted under

exceptional circumstances. It states that:


Any legally married person who having surprised his spouse in the act of committing sexual
intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or immediately
thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer the penalty of
destierro.
If he shall inflict upon them physical injuries of any other kind, he shall be exempt from
punishment.
These rules shall be applicable, under the same circumstances, to parents with respect to their
daughters under eighteen years of age, and their seducer, while the daughters are living with their
parents.
Any person who shall promote or facilitate the prostitution of his wife or daughter, or shall
otherwise have consented to the infidelity of the other spouse shall not be entitled to the benefits
of this article.
In the case of People vs. Araquel, the Supreme Court explained the rationale of Article 247, to
wit:
As may readily be seen from its provisions and its place in the Code, the above-quoted article,
far from defining a felony, merely provides or grants a privilege or benefit _ amounting practically
to an exemption from an adequate punishment _ to a legally married person or parent who shall
surprise his spouse or daughter in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another, and shall
kill any or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious
physical injury. Thus, in case of death or serious physical injuries, considering the enormous
provocation and his righteous indignation, the accused who would otherwise be criminally liable
for the crime of homicide, parricide, murder, or serious physical injury, as the case may be is
punished only with destierro. And where physical injuries other than serious are inflicted, the
offender is exempted from punishment. In effect, therefore, Article 247, or the exceptional
circumstances mentioned therein, amount to an exempting circumstance, for even where death or
serious physical injuries is inflicted, the penalty is so greatly lowered as to result to no
punishment at all.
For Article 247 to apply these elements must be present:
1. The offender is any legally married person;

2. The offender surprises his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another
person;
3. The offender kills or seriously injures any or both of them;
4. The offender kills or seriously injures during the act of sexual intercourse or immediately
thereafter.
The term immediately thereafter means that from discovery to the escape and the killing, there
must be no interruption or interval of time. The pursuit and the killing must form part of one
continuous act. However, it is not necessary that the victim is to be killed instantly by the accused
after surprising his spouse in the act of intercourse with another person. What is required is that
the death caused must be the proximate result of the outrage overwhelming the accused after
chancing upon his spouse in the act of infidelity. This is because the purpose of the law is to afford
protection to a spouse who is considered to act in a justified outburst of passion or a state of
mental disequillibrium.
The act of commiting sexual intercourse means that a carnal act is being committed by the
victims at the time they are killed or injured by the offender. Thus, it does not apply when a man
kills his wife just because he saw another man jump out the window of his house upon his arrival
or when his spouse and another man are merely sleeping on the same bed. It also does not include
acts preparatory to sexual intercourse.
If death or serious physical injuries occur, the punishment is destierro. However, the banishment is
intended more for the protection of the offender rather than a penalty.
This article cannot be availed by persons who have promoted or facilitated prostitution of their
wife or daughter nor by those who have consented to the infidelity of the other spouse

Repealing Article 247 of the Revised Penal


Code
Policy Brief No. 5
Upholding the Right of Life and Security of Spouses and Daughters:
REPEALING ARTICLE 247 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE
This policy brief provides the rationale for amending Articles 96 and 124 of the Family Code
of the Philippines. It puts together illustrations on how traces of inequality between the
spouses are still maintained in the said law, as well as legal and practical bases for policy
makers to address the issue.
WHAT IS THE ISSUE?
In some jurisdiction, there are the so-called laws in defense of honor. Under such laws,
husbands or family members are exempted from criminal liability for the murders or other
forms of violence they committed against their wives, daughters or sisters. The rationale
behind such laws is that womens unacceptable sexual behavior besmirches family honor. 1
A somewhat similar law still exists in our Revised Penal Code:
Art. 247. Death or physical injuries inflicted under exceptional circumstances. Any legally
married person who having surprised his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse
with another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or immediately
thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer the penalty of
destierro.
If he shall inflict upon them physical injuries of any other kind, he shall be exempt from
punishment.
These rules shall be applicable, under the same circumstances, to parents with respect to
their daughters under eighteen years of age, and their seducer, while the daughters are
living with their parents.
Any person who shall promote or facilitate the prostitution of his wife or daughter, or shall
otherwise have consented to the infidelity of the other spouse shall not be entitled to the
benefits of this article.

WHY IS THE ISSUE IMPORTANT?


Death penalty has been outlawed in our country with the enactment of RA 9346 in 2006,2
but Article 247 practically penalizes with death a spouse or daughter who is caught in the
act of committing sexual intercourse. Under the law, a spouse adjudged guilty of killing or
inflicting serious physical injuries on the other spouse caught in the act of committing sexual
intercourse with another person shall only be penalized with destierro. In contrast to the
penalties for parricide or serious physical injuries, destierro only prohibits the convicted
person from entering court-designated places or a specified radius of those places. This is
not so much a penalty but a means of protecting the convicted person from retaliation of
the family members of the deceased.
The law has been rationalized as follows: (The) law, when the circumstances provided by
this article are present, considers the spouse as acting in a justified burst of passion.3
While passion can be considered as a mitigating circumstance which could lower the penalty
by one degree under other circumstances, Article 247 provides a different appreciation of
passion as it provides for the absolution of the convicted person.
There are gender-based assumptions underlying this that should be exposed, and some of
these are:

that women should keep a particular sexual conduct or should maintain certain moral
standards;

that they are wards or property of the men or the parents; and

that their deviation from the sexual or moral norm (the good-bad woman
dichotomy), excuses the parents, particularly the fathers and husbands killing or
injuring them.4

WHAT ARE THE EXISTING LAWS OR POLICY ISSUANCES RELATED TO THE ISSUE?
Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women provides that the government shall
take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters
relating to marriage and family relations. Further, the provision on equal treatment before
the law mandates the State to take steps to review and amend and/or repeal existing laws
that are discriminatory to women, which include Article 247 of the RPC.

The 1987 Constitution Article III, Section I provides that, "No person shall be deprived of
life, liberty, or property without due process of law."
RPC Article 246 provides that any person who shall kill his father, mother, or child, whether
legitimate or illegitimate, or any of his ascendants, or descendants, or his spouse shall be
guilty of parricide and shall be punished by the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
Sexual Infidelity is a ground for legal separation under the Family Code of the Philippines. It
is also considered a crime under specific circumstances provided for in RPC Articles 333 and
334.
With regards to the provision pertaining to daughters, the Declaration of Policy of Republic
Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and
Discrimination Act mandates that, The best interests of children shall be the paramount
consideration in all actions concerning them, whether undertaken by public or private social
welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities, and legislative bodies Every
effort shall be exerted to promote the welfare of children and enhance their opportunities
for a useful and happy life.
WHAT ARE THE CONSIDERATIONS IN ADDRESSING THIS ISSUE IN THE COUNTRY?
Promoting womens rights and gender equality
Repealing RPC Article 247 will contribute to promoting womens rights and enhancing the
status of women in the Philippine society. It will also uphold the right to life of girl children.
Responding to International Commitments
Repealing RPC Article 247 responds to the Philippine Governments State Obligation under
the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW),
particularly the State obligation to repeal all discriminatory laws and practices, and provide
effective mechanisms and remedies where women can seek redress for rights violations.
It is also in response to the Convention of the Rights of the Child, specifically Article 19
which mandates our government to take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social
and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence,
injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation including
sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has
care of the child.
Alignment with National Priorities
Repealing RPC Article 247 is consistent with item 13 on Gender Equality of the governments
16-Point Agenda on Gender Equality which states, from a lack of concern for gender

disparities and shortfall, to the promotion of equal gender opportunity in all spheres of
public policies and programs.
More importantly, it responds to the mandate of Congress under the Magna Carta of Women
to amend or repeal laws that are discriminatory to women.
POLICY RECOMMENDATION
It is recommended that Article 247 of the RPC be repealed, consistent with the
Constitutional provision that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
due process to law. The said provision clearly rejects the policy of allowing people to take
the law into their own hands.
It is further recommended that the circumstances referred to in Article 247 should be
treated as a possible mitigating circumstance that would allow imposition of lesser penalty,
but not absolute exemption.
CONCLUSION
Legislative proposals to repeal RPC Article 247 were filed but remained pending during the
previous Congress. It is hoped that, in the interest of fulfilling their mandates under the
Constitution and the Magna Carta of Women, our legislators will prioritize and favor the
immediate enactment of a law to repeal the said provision.#

PCW Policy Briefs aim to stimulate informed discourse and guide policy actions on issues
concerning the empowerment of women and promotion of gender equality.
---------1 Santos, Aida F. et. al. Toward a Gender-Responsive Legislation. National Commission on
the Role of Filipino Women, 1999
2 R.A. 9346 An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines
3 People vs. Gonzales, 69 Phil 65, quoted in Toward a Gender-Responsive Legislation.
National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women, 1999
4 Santos, Aida F. et. al. Toward a Gender-Responsive Legislation. National Commission on
the Role of Filipino Women, 1999

When Killing Your Spouse and


his/her Lover is Excused
Last week, a husband was reported to have surprised his wife and her lover inside a motel.
The first thing that entered my mind is not about infidelity, but death. Killing someone in
flagrante delicto (caught in the act), or death inflicted under exceptional circumstances,
does not carry any imprisonment.
The act of killing another person is a criminal offense. Its the rule. Its not uncommon,
however, for rules to have exceptions. For instance, there is no criminal offense when killing
is done in self defense or under exceptional circumstances.
Death under exception circumstances covers both death and physical injuries, when a
married person either the husband or the wife surprises the other spouse in flagrante
delicto in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person. Article 247 of
the Revised Penal Codereads:
ART. 247. Death or physical injuries inflicted under exceptional circumstances.
Any legally married person who, having surprised his spouse in the act of committing sexual
intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or
immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer the
penalty of destierro.
If he shall inflict upon them physical injuries of any other kind, he shall be exempt from
punishment.
These rules shall be applicable, under the same circumstances, to parents with respect to
their daughters under eighteen years of age, and their seducers, while the daughters are
living with their parents.
Any person who shall promote or facilitate prostitution of his wife or daughter, or shall
otherwise have consented to the infidelity of the other spouse shall not be entitled to the
benefits of this article.
As stated in a case, Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code does not define and provide for a
specific crime, but grants a privilege or benefit to the accused for the killing of another or
the infliction of serious physical injuries under the circumstances therein mentioned. Far

from defining a felony, this provision merely provides or grants a privilege or benefit
amounting practically to an exemption from an adequate punishment to a legally married
person or parent who shall surprise his spouse or daughter in the act of committing sexual
intercourse with another, and shall kill any or both of them in the act or immediately
thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury. It is, in effect, an exempting
circumstance.
The penalty of infidelity is death. The requirements before exemption is granted:
1. A legally married person (or a parent) surprises his spouse (or his daughter, under 18
years of age and living with him), in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another
person.
2. He/she kills any or both of them or inflicts upon any or both of them any serious physical
injury in the act or immediately thereafter.
3. That he has not promoted or facilitated the prostitution of his wife (or daughter) or that he
or she has not consented to the infidelity of the other spouse.
Theres an interesting aspect of the penalty when a spouse kills his/her spouse under
exceptional circumstances. The penalty is destierro, which we commonly know as
banishment. This is not a penalty but a measure of protection for the accused (the spouse
who killed the other spouse) to prevent a situation when relatives or friends of the dead
spouse/lover might exact revenge.
What is the effect of consent or pardon by the offended spouse?
The criminal charge cannot prosper if the offended spouse has consented to the offense or
pardoned the offenders. Pardon can be express or implied. An example of express pardon is
when the offended party in writing or in an affidavit asserts that he or she is pardoning his or
her erring spouse and paramour for their act. There is implied pardon when the offended
party continued to live with his spouse even after the commission of the offense. Pardon
must come before the institution of the criminal action and both offenders must be pardoned
by the offended party.
What if I killed or injured my spouse when I caught him/her in the act of
committing sexual intercourse with another person?

The law provides that any legally married person who, having surprised his spouse in the
act of committing sexual intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them or both of
them in the act or immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical
injury, shall suffer the penalty of destierro (RPC, Article 247). The accused spouse, which
could be the husband or the wife, must prove the following:
1. A legally married person (or a parent) surprises his spouse (or his daughter, under 18
years of age and living with him), in the act of committing sexual intercourse with
another person.
2. He or she kills any or both of them or inflicts upon any or both of them any serious
physical injury in the act or immediately thereafter.
3. He has not promoted or facilitated the prostitution of his wife (or daughter) or that he
or she has not consented to the infidelity of the other spouse.
The accused must proved that he/she actually surprised the other spouse in flagrante
delicto (or in the act of doing the deed), and that he/she killed the other spouse and/or the
other party during or immediately thereafter.
Sources: Revised Penal Code; People vs. Nepomuceno, G.R. No. L-40624, 27 June 1975;
Pilapil vs. Ibay-Somera, G.R. No. 80116, 30 June 1989; Ligtas vs. CA, G.R. No. L-47498, 7 May
1987;People vs. Puedan, G.R. No. 139576, 2 September 2002; People vs. Bastasa, G.R. No.
L-32792, 2 February 1979

When Killing Your Spouse and


his/her Lover is Excused
Last week, a husband was reported to have surprised his wife and her lover inside a motel.
The first thing that entered my mind is not about infidelity, but death. Killing someone in
flagrante delicto (caught in the act), or death inflicted under exceptional circumstances,
does not carry any imprisonment.
The act of killing another person is a criminal offense. Its the rule. Its not uncommon,
however, for rules to have exceptions. For instance, there is no criminal offense when killing
is done in self defense or under exceptional circumstances.
Death under exception circumstances covers both death and physical injuries, when a
married person either the husband or the wife surprises the other spouse in flagrante

delicto in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person. Article 247 of
the Revised Penal Codereads:
ART. 247. Death or physical injuries inflicted under exceptional circumstances.
Any legally married person who, having surprised his spouse in the act of committing sexual
intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or
immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer the
penalty of destierro.
If he shall inflict upon them physical injuries of any other kind, he shall be exempt from
punishment.
These rules shall be applicable, under the same circumstances, to parents with respect to
their daughters under eighteen years of age, and their seducers, while the daughters are
living with their parents.
Any person who shall promote or facilitate prostitution of his wife or daughter, or shall
otherwise have consented to the infidelity of the other spouse shall not be entitled to the
benefits of this article.
As stated in a case, Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code does not define and provide for a
specific crime, but grants a privilege or benefit to the accused for the killing of another or
the infliction of serious physical injuries under the circumstances therein mentioned. Far
from defining a felony, this provision merely provides or grants a privilege or benefit
amounting practically to an exemption from an adequate punishment to a legally married
person or parent who shall surprise his spouse or daughter in the act of committing sexual
intercourse with another, and shall kill any or both of them in the act or immediately
thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury. It is, in effect, an exempting
circumstance.
The penalty of infidelity is death. The requirements before exemption is granted:
1. A legally married person (or a parent) surprises his spouse (or his daughter, under 18
years of age and living with him), in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another
person.
2. He/she kills any or both of them or inflicts upon any or both of them any serious physical
injury in the act or immediately thereafter.

3. That he has not promoted or facilitated the prostitution of his wife (or daughter) or that he
or she has not consented to the infidelity of the other spouse.
Theres an interesting aspect of the penalty when a spouse kills his/her spouse under
exceptional circumstances. The penalty is destierro, which we commonly know as
banishment. This is not a penalty but a measure of protection for the accused (the spouse
who killed the other spouse) to prevent a situation when relatives or friends of the dead
spouse/lover might exact revenge.

log Lecture No. 65: Death or Physical


Injuries Under
Exceptional Circumstances
What is the general rule when one kills or maims another?
Under ordinary circumstances, people who kill or inflict physical injuries upon another person get a
prison term (and depending on other factors, even a life sentence).
But there is an exemption to this where a person merely gets destierro.
What the hell is destierro?
According to Article 114 of the Revised Penal Code:
Those sentence to destierro shall be precluded from entering the place or places designated in the
sentence, or within the radius therein designated, which shall include a distance of 25 kilometers at
least, and 250 kilometers at most, from the place designated.
Its more a restraining order than anything else. The banishment is intended more for the protection
of the offender rather than a penalty.
So what is this exceptional circumstance?
Under Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code:
Any legally married person who having surprised his spouse in the act of committing sexual
intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or immediately
thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer the penalty of destierro.
If he shall inflict upon them physical injuries of any other kind, he shall be exempt from punishment.

These rules shall be applicable, under the same circumstances, to parents with respect to their
daughters under eighteen years of age, and their seducer, while the daughters are living with their
parents.
Any person who shall promote or facilitate the prostitution of his wife or daughter, or shall otherwise
have consented to the infidelity of the other spouse shall not be entitled to the benefits of this
article.
So to whom does this apply?
This applies to:
1. A spouse who kills or injuries the other spouse and the paramour
2. A parent with respect to their daughters under eighteen years and her seducer.
So what are the requisites for this to apply?
1. The offender is any legally married person (or the parent while the daughter still lives with the
parents);
2. The offender surprises his spouse (or the daughter under 18) in the act of committing sexual
intercourse with another person (or the seducer in the case of the daughter);
3. The offender kills or seriously injures any or both of them;
4. The offender kills or seriously injures during the act of sexual intercourse or immediately
thereafter.
What does immediately thereafter mean?
The term immediately thereafter means that from discovery to the escape and the killing, there
must be no interruption or interval of time. The pursuit and the killing must form part of one
continuous act.
However, it is not necessary that the victim is to be killed instantly by the accused after surprising his
spouse in the act of intercourse with another person. This law only requires that the death caused
must be the proximate result of the outrage overwhelming the accused after chancing upon his
spouse in the act of infidelity, because the purpose of the law is to afford protection to a spouse (or
the parent) who is considered to act in a justified outburst of passion or a state of mental instability.
The vindication of a Mans honor is justified because of the scandal an unfaithful wife creates; the
law is strict on this, authorizing as it does, a man to chastise her, even with death. But killing the

errant spouse as a purification is so severe as that it can only be justified when the unfaithful spouse
is caught in flagrante delicto; and it must be resorted to only with great caution so much so that the
law requires that it be inflicted only during the sexual intercourse or immediately thereafter.
(People vs. Wagas, 171 SCRA 69)
What does caught in the act mean?
Of course you know what caught in the act means the carnal act is being committed by the
victims at the time they are killed or injured by the offender.
Thus, it does not apply when a man kills his wife just because he saw another man jump out the
window of his house upon his arrival or when his spouse and another man are merely sleeping on the
same bed. It also does not include acts preparatory to sexual intercourse (such as you know what
means).
DESTRUCTION OF LIFE
A. ELEMENTS OF PARRICIDE: (246)
1. That a person is killed.
2. That the deceased is killed by the accused.
3. That the deceased is the father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate,
or a legitimate other ascendant or other descendant, or the legitimate spouse of the
accused.
Notes:
1. The relationship of the offender with the victim is the essential element of the felony
2. Parents and children are not included in the term ascendants or descendants
3. The other ascendant or descendant must be legitimate. On the other hand, the
father, mother or child may be legitimate or illegitimate
4. The child should not be less than 3 days old. Otherwise, the offense is infanticide
5. Relationship must be alleged
6. A stranger who cooperates in committing parricide is liable for murder or homicide
7. Even if the offender did not know that the person he had killed is his son, he is still
liable for parricide because the law does not require knowledge of the relationship
B. DEATH OR PHYSICAL INJURIES UNDER EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES
Requisites:
1. A legally married person or parent surprises his spouse or daughter (the latter must
be under 18 and living with them) in the act of committing sexual intercourse with
another person
2. He/she kills any or both of them or inflicts upon any or both of them any serious
physical injury in the act or immediately thereafter
3. He has not promoted or facilitated the prostitution of his wife or daughter, or that he
has not consented to the infidelity of the other spouse.
Notes:
1. Article does not define or penalize a felony

2.
3.
4.
5.

6.
7.
8.
9.

Not necessary that the parent be legitimate


Article applies only when the daughter is single
Surprise: means to come upon suddenly or unexpectedly
Art 247 is applicable when the accused did not see his spouse in the act sexual
intercourse with another person. However, it is enough that circumstances reasonably
show that the carnal act is being committed or has been committed
Sexual intercourse does not include preparatory acts
Immediately thereafter: means that the discovery, escape, pursuit and the killing
must all form parts of one continuous act
The killing must be the direct by-product of the rage of the accused
No criminal liability is incurred when less serious or slight physical injuries are
inflicted. Moreover, in case third persons caught in the crossfire suffer physical
injuries, the accused is not liable. The principle that one is liable for the consequences
of his felonious act is not applicable because he is not committing a felony