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TitleCriminal Law 1
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Total Pages102
Table of Contents
                            Question & Answer
Question & Answer
	Difference between instigation and entrapment
	Self Defense
	Defense of property rights
	Defense of stranger
Question & Answer
	State of necessity
	Fulfillment of duty
	Imbecility and insanity
	Damnum absque injuria
		Mitigating circumstances
Question & Answer
	Praeter intentionem
	Sufficient threat or provocation
Question & Answer
	Vindication of a grave offense
	Passion or obfuscation
	Voluntary surrender
	Physical defect
	Analogous cases
		Aggravating circumstances
	Taking advantage of public position
	Disrespect due to rank, age, sex
	Abuse of confidence
	Uninhabited place
Question & Answer
	Habitual delinquency
	In consideration of a price, reward or promise
	By means of inundation or fire
	Evident premeditation
	Abuse of superior strength
	Distinction between ignominy and cruelty
	Unlawful entry
	Motor vehicle
	Organized or syndicated crime group
		Alternative circumstances
	Four alternative circumstances
	Degree of instruction and education
		Principal by inducement
Questions & Answers
	Acquiring the effects of piracy or brigandage
	Destroying the corpus delicti
	Harboring or concealing an offender
		Repeal of Article 80
		Correlating Article 24 with Article 29
Questions & Answers
	Duration of penalties
	Reclusion perpetua
	Civil Interdiction
		Primary classification of penalties
	Principal penalties and accessory penalties
Questions & Answers
Questions & Answers
	Bond to keep the peace
	Bond for good behavior
Questions & Answers
	Divisible and indivisible penalties
		The capital punishment
		Designation of penalty
		Reclusion perpetua as modified
		Subsidiary penalty
Questions & Answers
	When is subsidiary penalty applied
		Articles 63 and 64
		Article  66
		Article 75 – Fines
		Article 66
		The Three-Fold Rule
		Mandatory conditions:
		Total extinction of criminal liability
	Death of the offender
	Amnesty and pardon
		Partial extinction  of criminal liability
	Good conduct allowance
	Restitution or restoration
	Reparation of the damage caused
			Composite Crime/Special Complex Crime
Document Text Contents
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Criminal law is that branch of municipal law which defines crimes, treats of their nature and provides for
their punishment.

It is that branch of public substantive law which defines offenses and prescribes their penalties. It is
substantive because it defines the state’s right to inflict punishment and the liability of the offenders. It
is public law because it deals with the relation of the individual with the state.

Limitations on the power of Congress to enact penal laws

1. Must be general in application.

2. Must not partake of the nature of an ex post facto law.

3. Must not partake of the nature of a bill of attainder.

4. Must not impose cruel and unusual punishment or excessive fines.

Characteristics of Criminal Law

1. Generality

2. Territoriality

3. Prospectivity.


Generality of criminal law means that the criminal law of the country governs all persons within the
country regardless of their race, belief, sex, or creed. However, it is subject to certain exceptions
brought about by international agreement. Ambassadors, chiefs of states and other diplomatic officials
are immune from the application of penal laws when they are in the country where they are assigned.

Note that consuls are not diplomatic officers. This includes consul-general, vice-consul or any consul in
a foreign country, who are therefore, not immune to the operation or application of the penal law of the
country where they are assigned. Consuls are subject to the penal laws of the country where they are

It has no reference to territory. Whenever you are asked to explain this, it does not include territory. It
refers to persons that may be governed by the penal law.


Territoriality means that the penal laws of the country have force and effect only within its territory. It
cannot penalize crimes committed outside the same. This is subject to certain exceptions brought
about by international agreements and practice. The territory of the country is not limited to the land
where its sovereignty resides but includes also its maritime and interior waters as well as its

Terrestrial jurisdiction is the jurisdiction exercised over land.

Fluvial jurisdiction is the jurisdiction exercised over maritime and interior waters.

Aerial jurisdiction is the jurisdiction exercised over the atmosphere.

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The Archipelagic Rule

All bodies of water comprising the maritime zone and interior waters abounding different islands
comprising the Philippine Archipelago are part of the Philippine territory regardless of their breadth,
depth, width or dimension.

On the fluvial jurisdiction there is presently a departure from the accepted International Law Rule,
because the Philippines adopted the Archipelagic Rule. In the International Law Rule, when a strait
within a country has a width of more than 6 miles, the center lane in excess of the 3 miles on both sides
is considered international waters.

Question & Answer

If a foreign merchant vessel is in the center lane and a crime was committed there, under the

International Law Rule, what law will apply?

The law of the country where that vessel is registered will apply, because the crime is deemed
to have been committed in the high seas.

Under the Archipelagic Rule as declared in Article 1, of the Constitution, all waters in the archipelago
regardless of breadth width, or dimension are part of our national territory. Under this Rule, there is no
more center lane, all these waters, regardless of their dimension or width are part of Philippine territory.

So if a foreign merchant vessel is in the center lane and a crime was committed, the crime will be
prosecuted before Philippine courts.

Three international law theories on aerial jurisdiction

(1) The atmosphere over the country is free and not subject to the jurisdiction of the subjacent

state, except for the protection of its national security and public order.

Under this theory, if a crime is committed on board a foreign aircraft at the atmosphere of a
country, the law of that country does not govern unless the crime affects the national security.

(2) Relative Theory – The subjacent state exercises jurisdiction over its atmosphere only to the

extent that it can effectively exercise control thereof. The Relative Theory

Under this theory, if a crime was committed on an aircraft which is already beyond the control of
the subjacent state, the criminal law of that state will not govern anymore. But if the crime is
committed in an aircraft within the atmosphere over a subjacent state which exercises control,
then its criminal law will govern.

(3) Absolute Theory – The subjacent state has complete jurisdiction over the atmosphere above it

subject only to innocent passage by aircraft of foreign country.

Under this theory, if the crime is committed in an aircraft, no matter how high, as long as it can
establish that it is within the Philippine atmosphere, Philippine criminal law will govern. This is
the theory adopted by the Philippines.


This is also called irretrospectivity.

Acts or omissions will only be subject to a penal law if they are committed after a penal law had already
taken effect. Vice-versa, this act or omission which has been committed before the effectivity of a
penal law could not be penalized by such penal law because penal laws operate only prospectively.

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The accused went to a barrio dance. In that gathering, there was a bully and he told the accused that
he is not allowed to go inside. The accused tried to reason out but the bully slapped him several times
in front of so many people, some of whom were ladies who were being courted by the accused, so he
was humiliated and embarrassed. However, he cannot fight the bully at that time because the latter was
much bigger and heavier. Accused had no choice but to go home. When he saw the bully again, this
time, he was armed with a knife and he stabbed the bully to death. The evidence for the accused
showed that when he went home, he was not able to sleep throughout the night, thinking of the
humiliation and outrage done to him, despite the lapse of about 22 hours. The Supreme Court gave
him the benefit of this mitigating circumstance. The reason stated by the Supreme Court for allowing
the accused to be benefited by this mitigating circumstance is that the effect of the humiliation and
outrage emitted by the offended party as a provocation upon the accused was still present when he
committed the crime and, therefore, the reason for paragraph 4 still applies. The accused was still
acting under a diminished self control because he was thinking of the humiliation he suffered in the
hands of the offended party. The outrage was so serious unless vindicated.

This is the correct interpretation of paragraph 4, Article 13. As long as the offender at the time he
committed the felony was still under the influence of the outrage caused by the provocation or threat,
he is acting under a diminished self control. This is the reason why it is mitigating.

You have to look at two criteria:

(1) If from the element of time, there is a material lapse of time stated in the problem and there is

nothing stated in the problem that the effect of the threat or provocation had prolonged and
affected the offender at the time he committed the crime, then you use the criterion based on
the time element.

(2) However, if there is that time element and at the same time, facts are given indicating that at the

time the offender committed the crime, he is still suffering from outrage of the threat or
provocation done to him, then he will still get the benefit of this mitigating circumstance.

In People v. Diokno, a Chinaman eloped with a woman. Actually, it was almost three days before
accused was able to locate the house where the Chinaman brought the woman. Here, sufficient
provocation was one of the mitigating circumstances considered by the Supreme Court in favor of the

Vindication of a grave offense

The word “offense” should not be taken as a crime. It is enough if what was imputed or what was done
was wrong. In considering whether the wrong is a grave one upon the person who committed the
crime, his age, education and social status will be considered.

Here, in vindication of a grave offense, the vindication need not be done by the person upon whom the
grave offense was committed. So, unlike in sufficient threat or provocation where the crime should be
inflicted upon the very person who made the threat or provocation, here, it need not be the same
person who committed the grave offense or who was offended by the wrong done by the offended

The word “immediate” here does not carry the same meaning as that under paragraph 4. The word
“immediate” here is an erroneous Spanish translation because the Spanish word is “proxima” and not
“immediatementa.” Therefore, it is enough that the offender committed the crime with the grave offense
done to him, his spouse, his ascendant or descendant or to his brother or sister, whether natural,
adopted or legitimate and that is the proximate cause of the commission of the crime.

Passion or obfuscation

This stands on the premise or proposition that the offender is suffering from a diminished self control
because of the passion or obfuscation. The same is true with the circumstances under paragraphs 4
and 5. So, there is a ruling to the effect that if the offender is given the benefit of paragraph 4, he
cannot be given the benefit of paragraph 5 or 6, or vice-versa. Only one of the three mitigating
circumstances should be given in favor of the offender.

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However, in one case, one of the mitigating circumstances under paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 stands or
arises from a set of facts, and another mitigating circumstance arises from another set of facts. Since
they are predicated on different set of facts, they may be appreciated together, although they arose
from one and the same case. Hence, the prohibition against considering all these mitigating
circumstances together and not as one applies only if they would be taken on the basis of the same set
of facts.

If the case involves a series of facts, then you can predicate any one of these circumstances on one
fact and the other on another fact and so on.

The passion must be legitimate. As a rule, it cannot be based on common law relationship because
common law relationships are illicit. However, consider whether passion or obfuscation is generated by
common law relationship or by some other human consideration.

In a case where the relationship between the accused and the woman he was living with was one of
common law, he came home and surprised his common law wife having sexual intercourse with a
friend. This infuriated him. He killed the friend and he claimed passion or obfuscation. The trial court
denied his claim because the relationship was a common law one.

On review, the accused was given the benefit of the circumstances and the basis of considering
passion or obfuscation in favor of the accused was the act of the common law wife in committing
adultery right from the conjugal bed. Whether or not they are married, any man who discovers that
infidelity was committed on the very bed provided by him to the woman would naturally be subjected to

When a married person surprised his better half in the act of sexual intercourse with another, he gets
the benefit of Article 247. However, that requisite which in the first place, the offender must have
surprised his/her spouse actually committing sexual intercourse should be present. If the surprising was
done not in the actual act of sexual intercourse but before or after it, then Article 247 does not apply.

Although this is the ruling, still, the accused will be given the benefit of sufficient provocation if the
intercourse was done in his dwelling. If this act was done somewhere else and the accused kills the
paramour or the spouse, this may be considered as mitigation of a grave offense to him or otherwise as
a situation sufficient to create passion or obfuscation. Therefore, when a married man upon coming
home, surprises his wife who was nude and lying with another man who was also nude, Article 247
does not apply. If he kills them, vindication of a grave offense will be mitigating in favor of the offender.


A is courting B, a receptionist in a beerhouse. C danced with B. A saw this and stabbed C. It was held
that jealousy is an acknowledged basis of passion.

A, a male classmate is escorting B, a female classmate. On the way out, some men whistled lustfully.
The male classmate stabbed said men. This was held to be obfuscation.

When a man saw a woman bathing, almost naked, for which reason he raped her, such man cannot
claim passion as a mitigating circumstance.

A man and a woman were living together for 15 years. The man left the village where they were living
and never returned home. The common law wife learned that he was getting married to a classmate.
On the scheduled wedding day, she stabbed the groom in the chest, instantly killing him. She
confessed and explained that any woman cannot tolerate what he did to her. She gave him the best
years of her life. She practically waited for him day and night. It was held that passion and obfuscation
were considered mitigating. Ingratitude was shown here.

Voluntary surrender

The essence of voluntary surrender requires that the offender, after having committed the crime, had
evaded the law enforcers and the law enforcers do not know of his whereabouts. In short, he continues
to elude arrest. If, under this circumstance, the offender would come out in the open and he gives
himself up, his act of doing so will be considered as indicative of repentance and he also saves the
government the time and the expense of looking for him.

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them several times. This was only a dissenting opinion of Justice Aquino, that there could be only one
complex crimeof abduction with rape, regardless of the number of rapes committed because all the
rapes are but committed out of one and the same lewd design which impelled the offender to abduct
the victim.

In People v. Bojas, the Supreme Court followed the ruling in People v. Jose that the four men who
abducted and abused the offended women were held liable for one crime – one count or forcible
abudction with rape and distinct charges for rape for the other rapes committed by them.

In People v. Bulaong , the Supreme Court adopted the dissenting opinion of Justice Aquino in People
v. Pabasa, that when several persons abducted a woman and abused her, regardless of the number of
rapes committed, there should only be one complex crime of forcible abduction with rape. The rapes
committed were in the nature of a continued crime characterized by the same lewd design which is an
essential element in the crime of forcible abduction.

The abuse amounting to rape is complexed with forcible abduction because the abduction was already
consummated when the victim was raped. The forcible abduction must be complexed therewith. But
the multiple rapes should be considered only as one because they are in the nature of a continued

Note: This is a dangerous view because the abductors will commit as much rape as they can, after all,
only one complex crime of rape would arise.

In adultery, each intercourse constitutes one crime. Apparently, the singleness of the act is not
considered a single crime. Each intercourse brings with it the danger of bringing one stranger in the
family of the husband.

Article 48 also applies in cases when out of a single act of negligence or imprudence, two or more
grave or less grave felonies resulted, although only the first part thereof (compound crime). The
second part of Article 48 does not apply, referring to the complex crime proper because this applies or
refers only to a deliberate commission of one offense to commit another offense.

However, a light felony may result from criminal negligence or imprudence, together with other grave or
less grave felonies resulting therefrom and the Supreme Court held that all felonies resulting from
criminal negligence should be made subject of one information only. The reason being that, there is
only one information and prosecution only. Otherwise, it would be tantamount to splitting the criminal
negligence similar to splitting a cause of action which is prohibited in civil cases.

Although under Article 48, a light felony should not be included in a complex crime, yet by virtue of this
ruling of the Supreme Court, the light felony shall be included in the same information charging the
offender with grave and/or less grave felonies resulting from the negligence of reckless imprudence and
this runs counter to the provision of Article 48. So while the Supreme Court ruled that the light felony
resulting from the same criminal negligence should be complexed with the other felonies because that
would be a blatant violation of Article 48, instead the Supreme Court stated that an additional penalty
should be imposed for the light felony. This would mean two penalties to be imposed, one for the
complex crime and one for the light felony. It cannot separate the light felony because it appears that
the culpa is crime itself and you cannot split the crime.

Applying the concept of the “continued crime”, the following cases have been treated as constituting
one crime only:

(1) The theft of 13 cows belonging to two different persons committed by the accused at the same

place and period of time (People v. Tumlos, 67 Phil. 320 );

(2) The theft of six roosters belonging to two different owners from the same coop and at the same

period of time (People v. Jaranillo );

(3) The illegal charging of fees for service rendered by a lawyer every time he collects veteran’s

benefits on behalf of a client who agreed that attorney’s fees shall be paid out of such benefits
(People v. Sabbun, 10 SCAR 156). The collections of legal fees were impelled by the same
motive, that of collecting fees for services rendered, and all acts of collection were made under
the same criminal impulse.

On the other hand, the Supreme Court declined to apply the concept in the following cases:

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(1) Two Estafa cases, one which was committed during the period from January 19 to December,

1955 and the other from January 1956 to July 1956 (People v. Dichupa, 13 Phil 306 ). Said
acts were committed on two different occasions;

(2) Several malversations committed in May, June and July 1936 and falsifications to conceal said

offenses committed in August and October, 1936. The malversations and falsifications were not
the result of one resolution to embezzle and falsify (People v. CIV, 66 Phil. 351 );

(3) Seventy-five estafa cases committed by the conversion by the agents of collections from the

customers of the employer made on different dates.

In the theft cases, the trend is to follow the single larceny doctrine, that is taking of several things,
whether belonging to the same or different owners, at the same time and place, constitutes one larceny
only. Many courts have abandoned the separate larceny doctrine, under which there was distinct
larceny as to the property of each victim.

Also abandoned is the doctrine that the government has the discretion to prosecute the accused for
one offense or for as many distinct offenses as there are victims (Santiago v. Justice Garchitorena,
decided on December 2, 1993). Here, the accused was charged with performing a single act – that of
approving the legalization of aliens not qualified under the law. The prosecution manifested that they
would only file one information. Subsequently, 32 amended informations were filed. The Supreme
Court directed the prosecution to consolidate the cases into one offense because (1) they were in
violation of the same law – Executive Order No. 324; (2) caused injury to one party only – the
government; and (3) they were done in the same day. The concept of delito continuado has been
applied to crimes under special laws since in Article 10, the Revised Penal Code shall be
supplementary to special laws, unless the latter provides the contrary.

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