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Criminal law, defined

Refers to the division or branch of public law which defines


crimes, treats of their nature, and provides for their
punishments.

Republic Act 3815, the Revised Penal Code, which took effect
on January 1, 1932

Composed of 367 articles, Book I (1-113)


and Book II (114-367)
1-20 (Principles affecting criminal liability)
21-113 (Provisions on penalties including criminal and civil
liability)
114-367 (Felonies defined under 14 different titles)
 Crime: An act committed or omitted in violation of a
public law. (“Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege”) –
There is no crime, when there is no law punishing it.
 Sources of criminal law:
 1. Revised Penal Code (R.A. 3815), and its amendments
 2. Special penal laws passed by the Philippine
Commission, Philippine Assembly, Philippine Legislature,
National Assembly, the Congress of the Philippines, and
the Batasang Pambansa
 3. Penal Presidential Decrees issued during Martial Law
 Felonies – acts and omissions punishable by the
Revised Penal Code
 Offense – crimes punished under special law
 Misdemeanor - minor infraction of law, such
as violation of an ordinance
 Crime – Acts and omissions punishable by any
law

 CRIMES AND FELONIES ARE USED


INTERCHANGEABLY
Construction of penal laws:

- Strictly construed against the government and


liberally in favor of an accused

- Spanish text is controlling as it was


approved by the Philippine Legislature in its
Spanish text
Common law crimes not recognized in the
Philippines
 Court decisions are not sources of criminal law
 The State has the power to define and punish crimes
 Constitutional Limitations on the power to define and
punish crimes:
 a. Ex post facto law
 b. Bill of attainder
 c. Due process clause of law
Bill of Attainder: A legislative act which inflicts
punishment without trial

 Ex post facto law: makes criminal an act done


before the passage of the law and innocent when
done; aggravates the crime or makes it greater than
it was when committed; changes the punishment
and inflicts greater punishment; alters the legal
rules of evidence; imposes penalty or deprivation of
a right for a lawful act done; deprives protection to
an accused;
CHARACTERISTICS OF CRIMINAL LAW:
 1. GENERALITY – criminal law is binding on all persons who
live or sojourn in the Philippine territory.
 2. TERRITORIALITY – criminal laws undertake to punish
crimes committed within the Philippine territory. As a rule,
penal laws of the Philippines are enforceable only within its
territory.
 3.PROSPECTIVITY - a penal law cannot make an act
punishable in a manner in which it was not punished when
committed. Under Article 366 of the Revised Penal Code,
crimes are punished under the laws in force at the time of
their commission.
 Civil courts have concurrent jurisdiction with general
courts martial over soldiers of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines
 War crimes are triable by military commission, EXCEPT (1)
treaty stipulations; (2) law of preferential application such
as R.A. 75 on rights, immunities, privileges of duly
accredited foreign diplomatic representatives in the
Philippines
 In International law, the following are not subject to the
operation of criminal laws: (1) sovereigns and other chiefs
of state (2) ambassadors, ministers, plenipotentiary,
ministers residents, and charges d’ affairs. N.B. consul not
entitled to privileges and immunities of ambassadors
Philosophies underlying the criminal justice system:
I. Classical or Juristic – basis is human free will; purpose of the penalty is
retribution; emphasis is on the offense committed; works on heinous
crimes
Heinous crime is a grievous, odious, and hateful offense which by reason
of its inherent or manifest wickedness, viciousness, atrocity and
perversity, is regarded as seriously outrageous to the common standards
or norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized and orderly society.
II. Positivist or Realistic – basis: man is good but becomes socially sick;
purpose of penalty is corrective or curative; emphasis is on the offender
III. Eclectic or Mixed – combines good features of both Classical and
Positivist theories
IV. Utilitarian or Protective – the primary function of punishment is to
protect society from potential and actual wrongdoers
Equipoise Rule: When the evidence of the prosecution and the
defense are equally balanced, the scale should be tilted in favor of
the accused because of the presumption of innocence.

 The burden of proving guilt lies on the prosecution which must


rely on the strength of its own evidence and not on the weakness
of the defense
 In dubio pro reo: When moral certainty as to culpability hangs in
the balance, acquittal based on reasonable doubt inevitably
becomes a matter of right.
 Reasons: (1) ambiguity of the law
 (2) Equipoise Rule based on presumption of innocence
ACT No. 3815 (December 8, 1930)
AN ACT REVISING THE PENAL CODE
AND OTHER PENAL LAWS
Preliminary Article - This law shall be known as "The Revised Penal Code."

BOOK ONE
GENERAL PROVISIONS REGARDING THE DATE OF ENFORCEMENT AND
APPLICATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS CODE, AND REGARDING THE
OFFENSES, THE PERSONS LIABLE AND THE PENALTIES
 Preliminary Title
 DATE OF EFFECTIVENESS AND APPLICATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS
CODE
 Article 1. Time when Act takes effect. - This Code shall take effect on the
first day of January, nineteen hundred and thirty-two.
Intra-territorial application: within the
Philippines

Extra-territorial: outside the Philippine


jurisdiction
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 interior 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 (subject to assumption of territorial jurisdiction of another State)
 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 presiding number;
 4. While being public officers or employees, should commit an
offense in the exercise of their functions; or
 5. Should commit any of the crimes against national security
and the law of nations, defined in Title One of Book Two of this
Code
Crimes in the exercise of public functions: direct
bribery; indirect bribery; frauds against the public
treasury; possession of prohibited interest;
malversation of public funds or property; failure of
accountable office to render accounts; illegal use of
public funds of property; failure to make delivery of
public funds or property; falsification of public
officer or employee committed with abuse of his
official position
Crimes against national security and the
law of nations are 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 enemy’s country; and piracy and mutiny
on the high seas.
Question: A singer in a boxing bout
between Manny Pacquiao and Keith
Thurman on July 21, 2019 in Las Vegas,
USA, will sing the Philippine National
Anthem in a rock or pop style, in
violation of the Philippine Heraldic Law.
Can this singer be prosecuted/charged in
the Philippines?
Rules as to jurisdiction over crimes committed
aboard foreign merchant (NOT WAR) vessels:
1. FRENCH RULE: “Flag” rule. Such crimes are NOT
triable in the courts of that country, UNLESS their
commission affects the peace and security of the
territory or the safety of the State is endangered.
2. ENGLISH RULE: “Situs” rule. Such crimes are
TRIABLE in that country, UNLESS merely affect things
within the vessel or property or they refer to the
internal management thereof.
N.B. THE PHILIPPINES FOLLOWS THE ENGLISH RULE.
Title One
FELONIES AND CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH AFFECT CRIMINAL
LIABILITY
Chapter One
FELONIES
Article 3. Definitions. - Acts and omissions punishable by law are
felonies (delitos).

Felonies are committed not only by means of deceit (dolo) but


also by means of fault (culpa).

There is deceit when the act is performed with deliberate intent


and there is fault when the wrongful act results from
imprudence, negligence, lack of foresight, or lack of skill
Acts and omissions punishable by law are felonies
(delitos).

 Felonies are committed not only be means of deceit


(dolo) but also by means of fault (culpa).

 There is DECEIT when the act is performed with


deliberate intent and there is FAULT when the
wrongful act results from imprudence, negligence,
lack of foresight, or lack of skill
Felonies: Acts and omissions punishable by the RPC.

Elements: 1. There must be an act or omission.

2. The act or omission must be


punishable by law.

3. The act is performed or the omission


incurred by means of dolo or culpa.
Act - bodily movement tending to produce some
effect in the external world; it is unnecessary
that the action be actually produced; the
possibility of its production is sufficient; only
EXTERNAL ACT is punished
Omission – means inaction; the failure to
perform a positive duty which one is bound to
do. There must be a law requiring the doing or
performance of an act. The omission must be
punishable by law.
Classification of felonies according to the
means by which they are committed:
 1. INTENTIONAL FELONIES – The act or omission of the
offender is MALICIOUS. The act is performed with DELIBERATE
INTENT. In performing the act or in incurring the omission, the
offender has the INTENTION TO CAUSE AN INJURY to another.

 2. CULPABLE FELONIES - The act or omission of the offender is


NOT MALICIOUS. The injury caused by the offender to another
person is UNINTENTIONAL, it being simply the incident of
another act performed WITHOUT MALICE. The wrongful act
results from imprudence, negligence , lack of foresight or lack
of skill.
Examples: Failure to render assistance to any person found
wounded in an uninhabited place (Abandonment of person
in danger, Article 275, RPC)
 Failureto issue receipt in collection of taxes (Illegal
exaction, Article 213, RPC)

 Failure
to disclose any conspiracy against the Philippines of
person owing allegiance (Misprision of treason, Article 116,
RPC)
Imprudence: indicates a deficiency of action
Negligence: indicates a deficiency of perception

 Imprudence: A person fails to take the necessary precaution to avoid


injury to a person or damage to property
 - LACK OF SKILL
 Negligence: A person fails to pay proper attention and to use due
diligence in foreseeing the injury or damage impending to be caused
 - LACK OF FORESIGHT
Reasons for punishing acts of negligence:
- Use of common sense
- Exercise of due reflection in all actions
- Need to be careful and prudent, out of instinct and fear of being
punished
ACTS COMMITTED ARE ‘VOLUNTARY’ – A CRIMINAL ACT IS
PRESUMED TO BE VOLUNTARY

 Reasons why felonies are voluntary:


 * RPC is based on the Classical Theory (basis of criminal liability is
human free will)
 * Act or omission punished is always deemed voluntary, because
man is a rational being. He must prove that he is exempt from
criminal liability
* In dolo, the act performed is with deliberate intent
In culpa, the imprudence is done voluntarily, but without malice,
for doing or failing to do an act which results in injury
Requisites of dolo (criminal intent) or malice:
FREEDOM while doing an act or omitting to do
an act

INTELLIGENCE while doing an act or omitting


to do an act

INTENT while doing an act or omitting to do an


act
Requisites of culpa:
FREEDOM while doing an act or omitting to do
an act

INTELLIGENCE while doing an act or omitting


to do an act

IMPRUDENT, NEGLIGENT, LACK OF FORESIGHT


OR LACK OF SKILL
Intent vs. Discernment
 Intentis the determination to do a certain
thing, an aim or purpose of the mind. It is the
design to resolve or determination by which a
person acts

 Discernment is the mental capacity to tell right


from wrong. It relates to the moral significance
that a person ascribes to his act and relates to
the intelligence as an element of dolo, distinct
from intent.
Intent vs. Motive
 Motiveis the moving power which impels one to
action for a definite result.

 Intentis demonstrated by the use of a particular


means to bring about a desired result – it is not a
state of mind or reason for committing a crime.
Intent is the purpose to use a particular means to
effect the desired result.
Article 4. Criminal liability. - Criminal liability shall
be incurred:

 1.By any person committing a felony (delito) although


the wrongful act done be different from that which he
intended.

 2.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.