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Sharing tips from my Criminal Law Professor Atty. Ruben C. Talampas, Jr.

The examiner will be looking and expecting for the following from your

1. Proper understanding and appreciation of the facts, particularly of the components

or details that can be material in resolving the given problem;
2. Appreciation of the applicable laws that may come into play;
3. Recognition of the issues posed;
4. Resolution of the issues through the analysis and application of the law to the given
facts; and
5. Presentation and articulation of answer.

In essence, your answer should clearly indicate:

1. the relevant facts;

2. the applicable law;
3. your analysis; and
4. your conclusion.

To expound it further, a Bar examinees answer should clearly demonstrate:


Your answer should demonstrate your ability to identify correctly the problem(s) and
issue(s) of law presented in the question. Your answer should demonstrate your ability
to articulate and classify the problem presented, that is, to state it in a lawyer-like
fashion and to place it in its proper category or categories of doctrine.


Your answer should demonstrate your knowledge of legal principles and your ability to
repeat them accurately on the examination as they relate to the problem presented by
the question. You should state concisely the principle(s) and rule(s) governing the
issue(s) presented by the question.


Your answer should reveal your capacity to reason logically by applying the appropriate
rule or principle to the operative facts of the question as a step in reaching your
conclusion. This involves making the correct preliminary determination as to which
facts in the question are legally important and which, if any, are irrelevant.
The line of reasoning that you adopt should be clear and consistent without gaps or
digressions. This is the most important element in your answer and, therefore, carries
the most weight in the grading process.


You should address yourself to the task that the question asks you to perform. For
example, if the question calls for a specific conclusion or result, such conclusion should
clearly appear in your answer and should be stated concisely and without equivocation.

An answer that consists entirely of mere conclusions unsupported by any statements or

discussion of the rules or reasoning upon which it is based is entitled to little credit.
Clarity and conciseness are important, but make your answer complete. Do not
volunteer irrelevant or immaterial information.


Articulation is expressive of the following basic fundamentals: good language,

impressive presentation, logical reasoning and substantial background knowledge of law
and procedure. Impressive answers showing the candidates reasoning faculty is what
the examiners want to read in your examination notebooks.

Your answer should demonstrate your ability to analyze the facts presented by the
question, to select the material from the immaterial facts, and to discern the points upon
which the question turns. It should show your knowledge and understanding of the
pertinent principles and theories of law involved and their qualifications and
limitations. It should demonstrate your ability to apply the law to the given facts, and to
reason logically in a lawyer like manner to a sound conclusion from the given premises.

You must also be aware that the Bar questions are not all case or situationer problems.
There are other types of Bar essay questions you ought to know so you will be able to
prepare and answer them properly in case you encounter one. The usual types of Bar
essay question are enumerated below:

1. Enumeration;
2. Distinction;
3. Definition;
4. Reason behind the law/concept/principle; and
5. Case Problem.


This type comprises an average of 80 90 percent of the questions in every subject,

hence, it is imperative that you are well-versed in answering the same.
Given that you know already the law; that you know how to apply it to the set of facts;
that you write legibly enough; left you with one problem that is how are you going to
present or articulate it in an impressive manner.

A ready outline or structure of your answer will tremendously help you to answer faster
without missing an important part. By constant practice in answering this type of
question with the outline/structure in your mind, you will be amazed how it easy for you
to start outright and tackle the question and come up with an impressive answer.

Below is the suggested outline/structure of your answer for a case/situationer problem


1st Paragraph Positive/Negative/Qualified Answer

2nd Paragraph Applicable Law/Jurisprudence

3rd Paragraph Correlation of the Law/Jurisprudence with the Facts of the Case

4th Paragraph Conclusion (this may be part of the 3rd Paragraph)

Okay, you already have an outline but isnt it boring for the examiner to read in your
answers the same words or phrase at the beginning of your paragraphs? For example
you will use these words in every answer: the contention is untenable; the law provides;
therefore. The examiner will spot this and might not be impressed to you at all which
will result to a lesser points.

You will agree that the hardest thing to do is to start. We want that the first sentences or
paragraph we will write will impress the examiner and more often we cannot find the
right words to start. Would it be easier if just like the outline you have already a pool of
words waiting to be used?

Knowing First Liners or introductory words will greatly help you to quickly and
smoothly string your thoughts and effectively convey your answers. The following first
liners or introductory words can be used interchangeably to begin every paragraph of
your outlined answer.

The following Useful Introductory Lines are mostly taken from the article of Atty. Rey
C. Tatad, Jr. with the same title.


1. The petition is meritorious.

2. The contention has legal basis.
3. The case will prosper.
4. The argument is proper.
5. The provision is perfectly applicable.
6. The action is tenable.
7. The motion should be granted.
8. The Judge is correct.
9. The petition is impressed with merit.
10. Yes. It is a (i.e. patent violation) of the
11. There is merit in the petition.
12. The petitioners contention is sustainable.


1. The decision is not in accord with law and jurisprudence.

2. The decision is erroneous.
3. The contention is totally misplaced.
4. The doctrine of.. does not apply in this case.
5. The petition is not meritorious.
6. The evidence presented deserves scant consideration.
7. The contention has no legal basis.
8. The argument is bereft of merit.
9. The petition is devoid of merit.
10. Petitioners/Respondents/Complainants/Plaintiffs/Defendants/Accused reliance
on the (i.e. doctrine of) is inappropriate.
11. It is a futile gesture on the part of the respondent to invoke the rule on
12. The theory/argument has no ground to stand upon.
13. The contention has no leg with which to stand on.
14. The position of the petitioner runs counter with the doctrine of
15. The case will not prosper.
16. The case is not tenable.
17. The act of the accused in is of no moment.
18. The assertion lacks substance.
19. The (i.e. respondent) cannot rely on (i.e. mere alibis) to aid his cause.
20. The court cannot countenance the (i.e. inconsistent postures of the petitioner)
21. The testimony that, cannot be given credence.
22. The evidence presented has no probative value.
23. The allegation is belied by the fact that
24. To put it otherwise would be to render the law on _____________ useless/futile.
25. The actuations of the accused in (i.e. fleeing and hiding) negates (i.e. innocence)
26. While it is true that _______________ is a (i.e. constitutional guaranteed right
of a person), it does not, however mean
27. It is not correct to say that
28. It is not proper to state that
29. It is not accurate to conclude outright that
30. A contrary conclusion would erode the rule that provides in part that
31. To sustain the contention would be to render the law on ____________
32. It would be absurd and incongruous to sustain the argument that
33.It is not enough that
34. The fact that is immaterial since
35. The fact that is irrelevant since
36. In itself, mere is not sufficient (i.e. to warrant conviction).
37. The petitioner cannot give any additional meaning to the clear and plain language of
the law.
38. The Supreme Court, in several cases, has struck down the (i.e. defense of alibi)
39. The attendant circumstances of the case are contrary to the petitioners assertion.
40. The evidence does not support the theory of the petitioners.
41. There is no cogent reason to disturb the ruling of the (i.e. Court of Appeals)
42. The claim for (i.e. moral damages) must necessarily fail.


(But if the facts are complete in itself, do not attempt to add facts or assume anything.)

1. We must distinguish. If (or As far as the __________ is concerned)

2. It depends. If(or As far as the __________ is concerned)
3. The question requires a qualified answer. If
4. I will qualify. If
5. On the assumption that
6. My answer must be qualified.


1. No less than the (i.e. 1987 Constitution) provides for the

2. The (i.e. Rules of Court) substantially provides in part that
3. Under the broad principles of (i.e. due process clause)
4. Under the all-encompassing doctrine of (i.e. incontestability clause)
5. Under the law
6. According to the (i.e. Family Code)
7. The law is explicit on the matter.
8. The law explicitly expresses in part that
9. By express provision of law,
10. By operation of law
11. As a matter of law
12. Worth remembering is the rule on _______________ which provides in part
13. Decisive on the matter is the pertinent provision of the (i.e. Law on Property)
14. The law prescribes certain rules on
15. By legislative fiat


1. The Supreme Court in one case, had the occasion to rule that
2. In a long-line of cases decided by the Supreme Court, it has always been
(consistently) held that
3. In a litany of cases decided by the Supreme Court,
4. In a long-string of cases decided by the highest court of the land,
5. According to several cases decided by the Supreme Court,
6. In a series of cases decided by the Supreme Court,

* Do not use the words series, litany or long-line if there is only one
decision/jurisprudence for that topic.

7. In one case decided by the highest court of the land, it was held that
8. In one case, the Supreme Court ruled that
9. It has been said that
10. In a recent case, the Supreme Court has laid to rest the issue of whether or not
11. It is well settled in this jurisdiction
12. It is well settled in this country
13. The Supreme Court has steadfastly adhered to the doctrine which states that
14. In a case with similar facts, the Supreme Court ruled that
15. In several notable Supreme Court decisions, the highest court declared that
16. The Supreme Court has often stressed that
17. In the landmark case of _____________, (if the case is so famous) the Supreme
Court laid down the doctrine which substantially provides that
18. In the leading case of
19. As enunciated by the Supreme Court in one case,
20. The court has repeatedly ruled
21. A case in point is a case already decided by no other than the highest court of the
land, where the Supreme Court held that
22. There is likewise an array of cases in this jurisdiction where the Supreme Court has
consistently declared that
23. Deeply rooted is the jurisprudence which provides that
24. In one case, the Supreme Court was emphatic when it ruled that.

1. It is hornbook doctrine in (i.e. Civil Law) that

2. Immortal is the rule that
3. Well settled is the rule
4. Well entrenched is the principle that..
5. Elementary is the rule that..
6. The cardinal rule in (i.e. labor law) is that
7. It is a familiar canon in (i.e. political law) that
8. By well settled public law
9. Basic is the rule in (i.e. Criminal Law)
10. It is an elementary principle in
11. It is a fundamental doctrine in
12. Well accepted is the rule that
13. It is axiomatic in (i.e. Civil Law) that
14. Enshrined in the 1987 Constitution is the rule that (i.e. no person shall be deprived
of life, liberty or property without due process of law)
15. Consonant with the rule on
16. It is a recognized doctrine in (i.e. Civil law) that
17. It is a basic tenet in (i.e. Commercial Law)
18. Consistent with current jurisprudence
19. It is a legal presumption, born of wisdom and experience, that
20. It is an oft-repeated rule that
21. The Philippines adhere to the principle of


(Correlating the facts with the law/jurisprudence)

1. Applying the said law/doctrine in the instant case,

2. From the facts given, noteworthy is the
3. From the facts of the case, it is readily observable that
4. In the instant case, it may be observed that
5. It is crystal clear from the facts presented that (i.e. the crime of treason) is present
(or was committed).
6. In the present case, it is immediately noticeable that the element of __________
is wanting (or lacking).
7. Under the circumstances, the proper remedy would be
8. The case obtaining indicates a case of (i.e. B.P. 22)
9. It logically follows
10. It goes without saying
11. Even assuming arguendo, for the sake of argument that
12. The situation in the case at hand
13. The situation presented evinces a case of
14. The facts sufficiently indicated
15. In the given facts, it is immediately apparent that
16. It is evident that
17. In the same token
18. Under the facts stated in the problem,
19. In the case under consideration,
20. Worth stressing is the fact that
21. Worth emphasizing is the fact that
22. The facts would reveal that
23. A careful perusal of the facts of the case would reveal that
24. A careful scrutiny of the actuations of the accused would reveal that
25. A careful reading of the (i.e. Deed of Absolute Sale) would reveal that
26. A cursory examination of the


1. From the gamut of evidence on hand, it can be gathered/deduced that,

2. Taken all together,
3. Finally,
4. Hence,
5. Therefore,
6. From the foregoing, it can be deduced that there is really (i.e. a violation of)
7. From the foregoing, it is now safe to conclude that.
8. Lastly,
9. Consequently,
10. As a necessary consequence
11. The logical implication is that
12. At any rate,
13. In view of the foregoing,
14. As an inevitable conclusion,
15. In the light of the circumstances,
16. Undoubtedly,
17. Indubitably,
18. Clearly, the case at hand falls squarely within the purview of
19. Verily, he/she has committed
20. For this/these reason/s, it is unavoidable to conclude that
21. Based on the facts obtaining,
22. In this light,
23. This being the case
24. Clearly therefore, applying the aforecited ruling in the case at hand,
25. In light of the foregoing, it is beyond cavil (doubt) that,
26. There is no doubt that
27. To the unprejudiced mind, the actuations of the three, when analyzed and taken
together, leads to no other conclusion except that (i.e. conspiracy among them
28. Inescapably, therefore,
29. All things considered,
30. It follows therefore that
31. As a logical result
32. In sum,..
33. In view of the fact that,
34. All told,
35. Given the prevailing facts
36. Having stated the foregoing premises,
37. One final point,
38. Accordingly,

Using the outline and the first liners above, make a format or model of your answer
and use what you deem is applicable in a given question. You may make your own
models as many as you want but it is suggested to have at least 10 models. Here are
some examples (taken from my 2007 Bar Tips to NEU and INC Bar Examinees):

No/Yes. He can/cannot..,
The law provides that/The Supreme Court has held in a line of cases
In the case at bar..
Xs claim is not meritorious, hence the case should be decided against him
According to the law/The Supreme Court, in many cases, has ruled that.
Based on the facts of the case
Therefore/Consequently . . .
The. . . . is proper/tenable/untenable
It is a well settled rule/As provided for under the
Moreover . . ..Hence/Therefore
Under the provisions of RA/Constitution/Law/Statute. . . .
On the problem at hand..,..Consequently
On the other hand.
As such it should be ruled


The real secret in remembering the matters contained in an enumeration is the use of
keywords. Make your keywords on enumerations you consider important. Never leave a
blank in an enumeration! However, if you use the letters a, b, c, etc. for numbers in the
enumeration, so much the better. Ten to one, the examiner may not count his fingers.
Make the first four in the enumeration definitely good.

If you can enumerate all, write it in bulleted or numbered form to highlight the fact that
you know all of them and for more convenient-reading purposes.


If you cannot enumerate all, write it in paragraph form so that it would not easily be
noticeable that you missed something.

1. In capsule form, the following are the elements of the crime of _______
2. In a nutshell, the following are the elements of the crime of _________
3. The following elements are generally considered in the determination of the
presence of (i.e. employer-employee relationship)
4. Among the (i.e. defenses/remedies) available to (i.e. Mr. X) as provided for by/in
the (i.e. Civil Code) are: (1)
5. The following are the requisites for
6. In order that a case for (i.e. B.P. 22) to prosper, the following elements must be
7. To constitute (i.e. homicide), the following requisites must concur:
8. (i.e. Legal compensation) requires the concurrence of the following conditions:
9. To establish a persons culpability under (i.e. estafa), it is indispensable that


When being asked to distinguish, do not state its definition. If you give its definition,
you are in effect asking the examiner to extract out the differences of the two [or more]
from your definition. Do not also give their similarities. You are asked to differentiate
and contrast, so similarities are not included. The number of distinctions you will give
must also be proportionate on the points allotted for such. If it is only worth two points,
do not give 8 distinctions. The examiner cannot give you 8 points for that. For a two
point distinction question, perhaps, three would be enough (four is not too much).

1. The (i.e. two) may be distinguished from each other in the following ways:

2. In the first, it is necessary that there be.., whereas in the second it is sufficient that
there be .
3. In the former, while in the latter
4. The former requires while the latter
5. on the other hand ______________ is


1. ________________ is a comprehensive term used to describe _______.

2. _________________, in its generally accepted sense, refers to .
3. It is a safeguard and guarantee provided by the 1987 Constitution..
4. It is a kind of relief granted to a ______________ by the
5. ________________ is a branch of public law (or private law) which deals with..
6. It pertains to
7. It connotes a .
8. is a doctrine in (i.e. Civil Law) which refers to
9. is a principle in (i.e. Criminal Law) which states that
10. It presupposes
11. Its principal identifying feature is..
12. It is akin to
13. The function of which is to
14. The office of which is to


1. The purpose of the law is

2. The law is designed to
3. It is intended to shield
4. It is primarily aimed at protecting ____________ from unwarranted ____
5. The rationale behind the law is
6. The spirit of the law is to the effect that


1. Finishing is the key. Many fail the Bar exam because they dont finish the exam.
They spend so much time on an early question that they cant finish the later ones.
Or they work on all of the questions at once, but without finishing some or all of
them. Either way, these Bar candidates are writing too slowly, and it costs them
their ticket to a law license. Focus on one question at a time. Dont bother or think
of another question while answering one.
2. Budget your time according to the number of questions and length of problems.
Check the point percentage allocation for each question. This will be your guide on
how much time you will spend for a question. Of course, you will devote more
minutes to questions with a big or higher percentage (i.e. 5%; 10%) than questions
with a minimum point percentage (i.e. 1%; 2%).

3. Set a time schedule. Its easy to waste time by getting carried away by a single
question or by getting stuck on a question thats giving you trouble. Make a general
allocation for each question and adjust the time depending on their percentage
weight. Monitor your pace so that you stay calm and will be able to answer all
questions on the exam.

4. If the question is lengthy, read first what is required at the bottom of the question.
By doing this, you will be able to determine what facts do you need and what facts
are immaterial. This will save you time from re-reading the question. You can also
start formulating your answer in mind while reading the question, thus, it will be
easier and faster for you to write your answers since you are already guided by your
earlier analysis. It will also minimize errors and erasures.

5. Be reminded that one of your tasks while preparing for the Bar exam is to become
an expert fact pattern reader. So what do you do if you arent very good at
reading facts? You need to experiment with different ways to get better at reading
facts. Practice answering past Bar questions as many as you can. Analyze the
suggested answers and take note how the answers used the facts in the problem.
Remember, you wont get all the possible points if you dont understand what the
Bar examiners are asking you. You must become an expert fact reader in order to
write a complete exam answer.

6. Before answering, formulate on your mind what will be placed on your first, second
and third paragraphs. Mentally apply your outline. The first paragraph normally
contains a one-sentence direct to the point answer to the question. The second
paragraph commonly contains legal basis (provision of law in point, jurisprudence,
co-relation of the jurisprudence/provision with the facts of the case and
application). Third paragraph normally contains the conclusion. When you are
already decided of your answer, write it according to your thoughts. In this
approach, you will not only be avoiding unnecessary revisions and erasures, you
will also maintain the cleanliness of your booklet. Bear in mind that, a dirty booklet
is irritating to the eyes of the person checking the same.

7. Use logic or common sense when you do not know the answer. Ask the question,
What is the best solution or resolution for this case? or If I were the examiner
how do I want the question answered? Do not just guess, make a smart guess. Your
best guide is to think what is most just and equitable since these are the purpose
any law seeks to achieve.
8. If you really have no idea on how to answer a really difficult question, or a
borderline case, or you do not know what the answer is, the use of inverted pyramid
of answering question may be helpful. This may be done by inverting the usual
answer format. Initially, present your knowledge of the law and/or jurisprudence,
then make your smart guess. With this, you may be able to show or convince the
examiner that you know something about the issue but you were merely incorrect in
your conclusion, you may get a credit for your answer.

9. Number your answer accordingly. Dont make the Examiner search for your
answers. Make your answer look professional. Dont use textspeak and dont
abbreviate. Answers which look professional, are well organized and which use
paragraphs and indenting where appropriate make the Examiners job easier.

10. An answer to one question in one problem requires a separate page. Answers to
sub-questions may be presented continuously in a page separated by space/s. It is
suggested, however, that even answers to sub-questions be presented on separate
page, unless your answer is very short, so that in case you want to change any or in
case you have missed a sub-question, you can still insert your answer in the
remaining spaces of the page.

11. Dont submit your test booklet too early. Theres no prize for early finishers. Budget
and utilize all the time allocated for you to: (a) compose good answers; (b) review
your answers; and (c) write legibly.

12. Practice, practice, practice. Practice is vital to your success in the Bar exam. You
must get used answering Bar essay questions. The only way to know if you can (or if
you know the law) is to practice. Answering Bar questions regularly will help you
learn the law as well as become a better tester. There are many sample bar exam
essay questions and answers available on the internet. You may also find the Q&A
published by the UP Law Center helpful.

13. The key to success in any endeavor is preparation. Familiarity with the structure of
the essay questions and how you respond to them will go a long way in alleviating
your anxiety on test day. You job is to practice the approach weve just outlined so
that it becomes so automatic by exam day that you move from one step to the other
without missing a beat.

14. At least twice during your bar prep (ideally four), do a simulated Bar exam day. Do
a mock version of it. The key is to practice under conditions similar to the actual
Bar examinations. This will make you mindful of time constraints and more
comfortable when you approach the real test, the Bar exam.

15. Finally, PRAY!

The task ahead of us is not as great as the Power behind us.

May the Force be with you!!!

By nejadzinin TIPSNovember 18, 20155,181 WordsLeave a comment

PHILIPPINES, respondents

G.R. Nos. 111168-69. June 17, 1998


Herein petitioner Joaquin E. David was charged with homicide and frustrated homicide
for the fatal shooting of Noel Nora and the serious wounding of the latters brother,
Narciso Nora, Jr., on March 28, 1981, in Malabon, Metro Manila.

The antecedent facts of the event are as follows:

On March 28, 1981, at about 10:00 p.m., while the Nora brothers Arturo, Arnel,
Noel and Narciso were walking along Flerida Street in Malabon, they saw petitioner
near the compound of his house.
Noel Nora, the deceased, confronted him about derogatory remarks allegedly made
by the latter. Petitioner ran to his house to get a gun.
When the Nora brothers reached the intersection of Flerida and Capitan Tiago
Streets, he shouted at them Putang ina ninyo (You sons of a bitch) and other
epithets, and then fired four times at them. One shot hit Noel, killing him. Another
shot hit Narciso Nora on the ankle. Another nearly hit the zipper of Arturo Nora.
Petitioner claimed self-defense. He alleged that on the night in question, he went to
the corner of Flerida and Capitan Tiago Streets because Noel Nora had earlier
challenged him to a fight. However, upon reaching the place, he found that Noel
had brought along his three (3) brothers and other companions who ganged up on

The Court finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Homicide
and Frustrated Homicide without any mitigating or aggravating circumstance in both

On appeal, the Court of Appeals, in its decision rendered on October 29, 1992, modified
the sentence after crediting petitioner with the mitigating circumstance of voluntary
surrender. Then on July 29, 1992, the appellate court further modified the sentence on
petitioner on the ground that the evidence did not show that he had a police record or
that he was incorrigible.
The claim of self-defense was denied by the court. However, the court pointed out one
circumstance not raised by the defense but evident from the record of this case

In his statement to the police given on April 2, 1981, petitioner gave his personal
circumstances as follows: Joaquin David y Ejercito, 17 taong gulang, 2nd year college,
binata at naninirahan sa 12-C Flerida St., Acacia, Malabon, Metro Manila. At the
hearing on November 11, 1987, petitioners mother stated that he was 16 or 17 years old
when the shooting incident happened.


Whether or not the mitigating circumstance of minority is applicable in the case at bar


Yes, herein petitioner is entitled to the privileged mitigating circumstance of minority.

The court said, It is clear that on March 28, 1981, when the crime was committed, he
(the petitioner) was only 17 years old.

According to the court, if the accused alleges minority and the prosecution does not
disprove his claim by contrary evidence, such allegation can be accepted as a fact. And
that any doubt in respect of the accused is resolved in his favor.

see full text here

By nejadzinin CASE DIGESTSNovember 18, 2015497 WordsLeave a comment


G.R. NO. 139759, January 14, 2005


The trial court convicted accused Danilo Mendoza, petitioner herein, for homicide
wherein the victim was Alfonso Nisperos. Petitioner does not seek acquittal but merely
prays that the privileged mitigating circumstance of incomplete self-defense be
considered in his favor.

Herein petitioner narrated the antecedent facts as follows:

That during a drinking spree, he had an altercation with a certain Willy Baluyot.
Feeling bad, he slammed the table with a pitcher containing water. Then he left.
At a distance, he heard the victim calling him. When they were close to each other,
the victim blamed him for his conduct. He apologized but the victim started
stabbing him with a knife.
He tried to parry the attack as he retreated. That moment, his back was against the
wall. He then grappled for the knife which he was able to wrench from the victim.
They rolled over on the ground. At that point, he repeatedly stabbed the victim with
his own knife.

On the other the hand, the prosecution, to prove that the petitioner was the aggressor
presented Loreta Nisperos, mother of the victim.

Loreta said:

Alfonso Nisperos, stepped out of their house. When he returned, he told her that he
saw a person near their cow tied to a tamarind tree.
Alfonso then went out again to check on the person he saw. After a short while,
Loreta suddenly heard Alfonso screaming Mother, help me!
She rushed to her son. She found him lying, face down, with petitioner on top of
him, stabbing him with a knife.
She then approached petitioner, pleading to him not to kill her son. But instead of
heeding her plea, he suddenly attacked her with his knife, hitting her right arm.
Petitioner then dashed away from the scene.


Whether or not the petitioner is entitled to the privileged mitigating circumstance of

incomplete self-defense


No, the petitioner cannot be accorded with privileged mitigating circumstance of

incomplete self-defense.

Unlawful aggression on the part of the victim should be clearly established to make the
claim of self-defense, whether complete or incomplete, acceptable.

In the case at bar, the court found that there was no unlawful aggression on the part of
the victim. This element being absent, petitioner cannot be accorded the privileged
mitigating circumstance of incomplete self-defense.

see full text here

By nejadzinin CASE DIGESTSNovember 18, 2015400 WordsLeave a comment

Case Digest: CSC vs SOJOR
THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, petitioner, vs. HENRY A. SOJOR, respondent

554 SCRA 160, May 22, 2008


Herein respondent, Henry Sojor, president of Negros Oriental State University

(formerly known as Central Visayas Polytechnic College) was charged of nepotism,
dishonesty, falsification of official documents, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial
to the best interest of the service before the Civil Service Commission.

Herein petitioner moved to dismiss these cases on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction.
Academic freedom was also invoked.


1. Whether or not a president of a State University is outside the reach of the

disciplinary jurisdiction constitutionally granted to the Civil Service Commission
2. Whether or not the assumption by the Civil Service Commission of jurisdiction over
a president of a State University violate academic freedom


1. No, the president of a State University is still within the reach of the disciplinary
jurisdiction constitutionally granted to the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

As explained by the court, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution or by law,

the CSC shall have the final authority to pass upon the removal, separation and
suspension of all officers and employees in the civil service and upon all matters
relating to the conduct, discipline, and efficiency of such officers and employees.

In the case at bar, it is clear that while the Board of Regents (BOT) of the Negros
Oriental State University (NORSU) has the sole power of administration over the
university, such power is not exclusive in the matter of disciplining and removing its
employees. Instead, such power is concurrent between the BOT and the CSC.

Hence, herein respondent Henry Sojor, the president of NORSU, is within the
disciplinary jurisdiction of the CSC.

2. No, the assumption by the CSC of jurisdiction over a president of a State University
does not violate academic freedom.

While it is certain that academic institutions and personnel are granted with wide
latitude of academic freedom, such freedom does not give an institution the unbridled
authority to perform acts without any statutory basis. For that reason, as the court
explained in its ruling, a school official, who is a member of the civil service, may not be
permitted to commit violations of civil service rules under the justification that he was
free to do so under the principle of academic freedom.

In the case at bar, the respondent is facing charges of grave offenses punishable with
suspension or even dismissal. And evidently, these cases have not been acted upon by
the university officials based on the re-appointment they have given to respondent. And
according to the law, in complaints against civil service officials and employees which
are not acted upon by the agencies and such other complaints requiring direct or
immediate action, in the interest of justice the CSC may take over.

Hence, the assumption of the CSC of jurisdiction over herein respondent State
University president is only deemed proper and not in violation of academic freedom.