Article 1: Time when Act takes effect
History: October 18 1927 the AO 94 of the DOJ tasked the commission to revise the old penal code.
The old penal code took effect on July 14, 1887 until December 31, 1931. It was published on March 13 and 14 1887 in the Official Gazette and took effect 4 months later after publication.
Revised Penal Code was approved on December 8, 1930 and took effect on January 1, 1932. Felonies prior to the January 1, 1932 will be punished by the code enforced at the time of commission, Art 366 of RPC.
Theories in Criminal law:
- Classical Theory- basis for criminal liability is free will and punishment’s purpose is retribution.
- Positivist Theory-
Article 2: Principle of Territoriality of the RPC
The RPC shall take effect within the Philippine archipelago and also outside of its jurisdiction in certain cases (even if the crime has been committed in a foreign country as long as such acts affect the political and economic life of the nation).
Cases outside the territory:
- Any Philippine ship or Airship that is duly registered in the Philippine Bureau of Customs. Crimes committed in these ships in the high seas, shall be tried under the RPC, but if these ships happen to be in a foreign territory, crimes committed shall be tried in the foreign country.
- Forging or counterfeiting of coins or currency note of the Philippines and Introducing such to the country.
- When the offender is a public officer or employee should commit any offenses (in Page 26) abroad shall be tried and prosecuted here.
- Crimes that are against the national security and the laws of nations: treason, conspiracy to commit treason, espionage, flight to enemy’s country, piracy and mutiny on the high seas, etc.
RTC (Regional Trial Court) has jurisdiction over al crimes committed on the high seas.
- Except as provided in the treaties and laws of preferential application.
e.g RP-US Visiting Forces Accord, The Military Bases Agreement between the RP and the US, and RA No. 75.
- Crimes committed aboard a foreign merchant ship or airship on the high seas is not triable in our courts. This is so because our merchant ships are considered as an extension of our territory, so as the foreign merchant ships.
- Continuing Crimes: US vs Bull.
- Crimes committed on a Foreign Merchant Vessel while on the Philippine waters are triable in our courts: US vs Bull.
Two Rules as to jurisdiction over crimes committed in foreign ships:
French 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.
English Rule: Such crimes are triable in that country, unless they merely affect things within the vessel or they refer to the internal management thereof.
PP. vs Wong Cheng (Smoking of opium aboard a foreign merchant ship within the Philippine territory constitutes a felony against the RPC)
US vs Look Chaw (Mere possession of opium doesn’t constitute a felony or breach of public order thus it is not triable in our courts. However, if such opiums are landed from the vessel unto the Philippine ports/soil, this shall constitute an open violation against the laws of the Phils.)
US vs Ah Sing (If the ship is not in transit and Philippines is its port of destination, the mere possession of opium on board the vessel is liable because he may be held guilty of illegal importation of opium.)
1. Philippine courts have no jurisdiction over offenses committed on board of foreign warships even within the Phil. Territory.
Merchant Ships vs Warships
-Merchant ships are subjected to territorial laws.
-Warships are always reputed to be the territory of the country to which it belongs.
2. RA No. 9372 Human Security Act of 2007 (passed on March 6 2007) has extra-territorial application.
Article 3: Felonies.
- Acts or Omissions that are punishable under the RPC. (Acts should be external; and should constitute a felony under the RPC WHILE Omissions should include inaction.)
- Act or omission is incurred by means of dolo or culpa. PP vs Gonzales (Tenants: Gonzales spouses murdered their landlord.)
If no law punishes an omission, then the omission is not a felony. P. 35 PP vs Silvestre and Atienza (Mere passive presence at the scene of another’s crime, mere silence and failure to give the alarm, without evidence of agreement or conspiracy, is not punishable.)
Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege: No crime when there’s no law punishing it.
- Intentional Felonies (with malice by means of deceit or dolo)
- Culpable Felonies (without malice by means of fault or culpa)
Imprudence: deficiency of action; lack of skill
Negligence: deficiency of perception; lack of foresight. The reason for punishing acts of negligence is to protect his own person, rights and property, and those of his fellow beings to keep them from being exposed to all manner of danger and injury.
Voluntariness of the action: (Classical School of Thought: Felonies are done with free will) All felonies whether by means of dolo or culpa should be performed voluntarily by the felon. PP vs Ramirez (When the hunter thought his companion was a deer and shot him dead, the act was performed voluntarily but without malice; thus, the accused was guilty of Homicide through reckless imprudence.)
++When there is compulsion or prevention by force or intimidation, there is no voluntariness in the act.
Requisites of Dolo or Malice:
- Freedom: no compulsion Art 12 (5-6)
- Intelligence: Insane, infants 9 years under, minor 10-14 yrs. old are acting without discernment and intelligence.
- Intent: Purely a mental process, is presumed and the presumption arises from the commission of the unlawful act. PP vs Sia Teb Ban (Accused took the watch and alleged as defense that intent was not proven. From the felony committed freely and deliberately, intent to gain was presumed indisputable and conclusively.)
++However, the presumption of criminal intent does not arise from the proof of the commission of an act which is not unlawful. US vs Catolico (The act of a person does not make him a criminal, unless his mind be criminal.)
PP vs Taneo (A person who got up in his sleep, left the room with bolo in his hand and attacked the wife who stopped him is not criminally liable because he acted in a dream, and had no criminal intent.)
Mistake of Fact: a misapprehension of fact on the part of the person who caused injury to another. PP vs Oanis
Requisites of Mistake of Fact as a defense:
- Act done would have been lawful had the facts been as the accused believed them to be.
- Intention of the accused in performing the act should be lawful.
- Mistake must be without fault or carelessness on the part of the accused.
PP vs Formaran (When the defendant swore to Civil Service Form No. 1 that he was never accused of a violation of any law before any court was prosecuted for perjury. It was held that in view of the factual background of the case, the act of the defendant can be considered only as an error of judgment and did not indicate an intention to commit the crime of perjury. Thus he is not liable criminally for perjury because he had no intent to commit the crime. P. 45)
US vs Ah Chong and PP vs Oanis
In Ah Chong case, there is an innocent mistake of fact without any fault or carelessness on the part of the accused because the accused had not time to make sure who the person behind the door was and he had to act immediately.
In the Oanis case, there was no circumstance that would press the accused to act immediately since the victim was sleeping. The accused had all the time and opportunity to assure the identity of the victim. Thus, the act of killing the victim was done with carelessness.
++Lack of intent to kill the deceased because he intended on killing another does not relieve the accused from the criminal liability. PP vs Gona
++No crime of resistance when there is a mistake of fact. US vs Bautista (One who resists an arrest thinking that the officer was a bandit but then submits upon being informed by the police officer cannot be guilty of crime of resistance.)
++Mistake of fact has to be done without negligence. PP vs Fernando p. 49
When charged with an intentional felony, absence of criminal intent can be a defense. PP vs Pacana p. 50
Requisites for Culpa:
- Imprudence and Negligence or Lacks Foresight or Skill.
Mistake in the identity of the intended victim is not reckless imprudence.
A person causing damage or injury to another, without malice or fault, is not criminally liable under the RPC. US vs Catangay. Provided that the act must be lawful
Special Penal Laws
Dolo or malice is not required in crimes punished by special laws. It is enough that the prohibited act is done freely and consciously. PP vs Bayona (Carrying firearms within the polling station during elections are prohibited by special laws. Although, intentions were not criminal in nature, it is enough that the prohibited act was violated. However, if a man doesn’t have the intent to perpetrate the act prohibited, he does not violate the provision of the law. P 54
Good faith and absence of criminal intent are not valid defences in crimes punished by special laws.
Mala in se: wrongful from their nature (e.g. rape, theft, homicide, etc.) The intent governs in Mala in se
Mala prohibita: wrong merely because prohibited by statute (e.g. illegal possession of firearms) The inquiry is, has the law been violated?
Intent: the purpose to use a particular means to effect such result
Motive: is the moving power which impels one to action for a definite result. Motive does not prevent an act from being a crime. (e.g. Euthanasia)
When is motive relevant?
- The identity of the accused is disputed.
- There are 2 antagonistic versions of the killing.
- No eyewitnesses to the crime and there are several suspects.
- Where evidence is circumstantial. PP vs Oquino.
Motive is proved by evidence, but proof of motive alone is not sufficient to support a conviction. Lack of motive may be an aid in showing the innocence of the accused.
Article 4: Criminal Liability
Criminal Liability is incurred by a person committing a felony although the wrongful act done be different from what he intended and a person performing an act which would be an offense against persons or property.
**One who commits an intentional felony is responsible for all the consequences which may naturally and logically result therefrom, whether foreseen or intended or not. PP vs Cagoco (The deceased died because he fell from a slope due to a fist blow at the back of his head. Obviously, when one commits a felony, he intends the consequences of his act. But some in instances the felon doesn’t intend the consequences.)
He who is the cause of the cause is the cause of the evil caused.
++When a person has not committed a felony, he is not criminally liable for the result which is not intended. PP vs Bindoy (When one’s bolo has been snatched and in efforts of keeping his possession of the bolo, struck the breast of a bystander is not criminally liable because law allows a person to use the necessary force to retain what belongs to him.)
“Actually the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended.” The causes are:
- If there’s mistake in the identity of the victim PP vs Oanis;
- Mistake in the blow, another person got hit instead of the intended victim PP vs Mabugat;
- Act exceeds the intent, i.e. the injurious result is greater than that intended PP vs Cagoco.
The felonious act should be committed.
- attempting to commit suicide;
- Self defense; Defense of Relative, stranger.
++Any person who creates in another’s mind an immediate sense of danger, which causes the latter to do something resulting in the latter’s injuries, is liable for the resulting injuries.
++Wrong done must be the direct, natural and logial consequence of felonious act:
- The victim was threatened or chased with a knife, jumped into the water and drowned;
- PP vs Quianson (when the victim removed the drainage from the wound because of extreme pain and restlessness which then resulted in the development of peritonitis which caused his death, the accused will be liable.)
- Even though the cause of death was the erroneous or unskilful medical or surgical treatment, the accused who incurred the mortal wound would still be liable. PP vs Moldes.
- The Victim was suffering from internal malady:
- a. Blow was efficient cause of death
- b. Blow accelerated death
- c. Blow was proximate cause of death
- The offended party refused to submit to surgical operation. US vs Marasigan (When the accused drew a knife and struck Mendoza but instead, cut the middle finger of Mendoza.)P 74
- The resulting injury was aggravated by infection.
PROXIMATE CAUSE: is that cause,which, in naturaland continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result would not have occurred. Bataclan vs Medina (When the passengers in an overturned bus died out of fire simply because the rescuing villagers’ torches caught fire with the gasoline leak, the driver and the bus company shall be held liable because their negligence was considered as the proximate cause.)
++There must be a relation of “cause and effect” the cause be a felony and the effect be an injury.
++To determine the Proximate Cause in the case of Bataclan vs Medina; Is it the negligence of the driver resulting in the fall into the canal and overturning of the bus; or the fire that burned the bus?
*The PC was the overturning of the bus, because when the vehicle turned not only on its side but completely on its back, the leaking of the gasoline from the tank was not unnatural or unexpected; that the coming of the men with a lighted torch was in response to the call for help made not only by the passengers, but most probably, by the driver and the conductor themselves, and since it was dark, rescuers had to bring with them torches and this was more natural that rescuers would innocently approach the overturned bus to extend aid and help.
NB: The gravity of the crime doesn’t depend on the more or less violent means used, but on the result and consequence of the same and if the accused had not ill-treated the deceased she would not have died. PP vs Luces
Page 78-79 (Not efficient intervening causes)
Death of the victim is presumed to be the natural consequence of the physical injuries inflicted if:
- The victim before the injury, was in normal health.
- Death may be expected from the phys. Injury
- Death ensued within reasonable time.
PP vs Tammang (The teacher who spanked the kid harshly having been confirmed that the kid was in normal health condition before the incident and then died 3 days after the brutal incident, it can be incurred that the teacher is liable for homicide.)
Distinguishing Cagoco and Rockwell cases:
In the former case, there was no active force that intervened between the felonious act and the result. In the Rockwell case, there was an active force (the jumping of the horse upon the deceased) which produced the result.
- a. US vs delos Santos (When there’s slight physical injuries inflicted upon B and then he deliberately immerses his body in a contaminated cesspool, thereby causing infections, A cannot be held liable for the crime of serious physical injuries.)
- b. PP vs Palalon (When A struck the boy in the mouth and then later the boy died. The death could have been caused by other factors such as fever prevalent in the locality.)
- c. US vs Embate page 81-82
- d. Urbano vs IAC (Tetanus was distinctly held possible by the medical findings as an efficient intervening cause of the the death.)
IMPOSSIBLE CRIMES: Art 4 Par. 2
- The act performed would be an offense against persons and property.
- The act was done with evil intent.
- Its accomplishment is inherently impossible; or the means employed is either inadequate or ineffectual.
- The act should not constitute a violation of another provision of the RPC.
Example cases: PP vs Balmores (When one tries to murder a corpse)
Why punish impossible crimes? to suppress criminal propensity or criminal tendencies. Objectively, the offender has not committed a felony, but subjectively, he is a criminal.
Article 5: Duty of the court in: (1) connection with acts which should be repressed but which are not covered by the law, and (2) in cases of excessive penalties.
Requisites of (1):
- The act is not punishable by the law*;
- The court deems it proper to repress such act;
- The court must render** the proper decision by dismissing the case and acquitting the accused;
- The judge must report to the Chief Executive through the DOJ, stating the reasons which induce him to believe that the said act should be made the subject of penal legislation.
*There is no crime if there is no law that punishes it.
**DURA LEX SED LEX (The law is the law even if it is harsh.)
Requisites of (2):
- The court after trial finds accused guilty;
- Penalty provided by law and which the court imposes for the crime committed appears to be clearly excessive because—
- The accused acted with lesser degree of malice PP vs Monleon, and/or;
- There is no injury or the injury caused is lesser gravity.
- The court should not suspend the execution of the sentence;
- The judge should submit a statement to the Chief Executive through the DOJ, recommending executive clemency.
PP vs Monleon (where the husband did not intend to kill his wife but on the process of maltreatment, the wife died)
- recommended for the wife who killed her cruel husband Montemayor, J. concurring in PP vs Canja
- PP vs Manlapaz
Article 6: Stages of Execution
- ATTEMPTED FELONY: when the offender commences the commission of felony directly by overt acts, and doesn’t perform ALL the acts of execution which should produce the felony by reason of some cause or accident OTHER THAN his own spontaneous desistance.
- a. Internal Acts – mere ideas; not punishable
- b. External Actsf – cover (a) preparatory acts* and (b) acts of execution.**
*Preparatory Acts are not punishable except: mere possession of picklocks under Art. 304 are preparatory acts to robbery.
**Acts of Execution are punishable.
++The external acts must be related or must have direct connection to the overt acts of the crime the offender intended to commit. PP vs Lamahang (The accused was seen attempting to get inside a closed chinese store by entering his leg into the small hole he created on the wall. He was then charged with attempted Robbery but the court ruled that he be charged only with attempted trespassing because the intentions of entering was obviously disclosed by his actions of making an opening through the wall)
++PP vs Lizada (The SC of Spain, in its decision of March 21, 1892, declared that for overt acts to constitute an attempted offense, it is necessary that their objective be known and established or such that acts be of such nature that they themselves should obviously disclose the criminal objective necessarily intended, said objective and finality to serve as ground for designation of the offense.)
++PP vs Eduave (If anything yet remained for him to do, he would be guilty of an attempted crime.)
NB: It is a sort of reward granted by law to those who, having one foot on the verge of crime, heed the call of their conscience and return to the path of righteousness. (Viada, Cod. Pen., 35-36)
SUBJECTIVE PHASE: In attempted felony, the felon never passes this phase. The part where the offender still have control as to whether or not to stop or dissent from performing all the acts needed for the commission of a felony. (e.g. poisoned soup put in the mouth of the victim, not yet swallowed)
- FRUSTRATED FELONY: when the offender performs ALL the acts of execution which should produce the felony as a consequence but which, do not produce it by reason of causes independent of the will of the perpetrator.
The felon performed all the acts needed and thought that he had killed or achieved the felony intended, but the victim did not die. (e.g. in a murder or homicide case) US vs Eduave (When the felon thought he had killed and threw the body into the bushes. He then declared that he killed the complainant but death was not resulted; thus, the accused is guilty only of Frustrated Murder.)
PP vs Sy Pio (When the accused enter a store, fired at the owner, and when asked by Kiap why he fired, he shot Kiap in the right shoulder; Kiap run and hid himself. For shooting Kiap, the accused was charged with frustrated murder but the court held that he was only guilty of attempted murder since the accused did not perform all the acts needed.)
PP vs Dagman (When there was use of deadly weapons and mortal wounds were inflicted; and the accused thought the victim was dead simply because the victim feigned death to survive the felonious attack, the accused was guilty with Frustrated Murder.)
++ It could be a frustrated felony if the wound inflicted was mortal. P. 108
++ If the crime or felony is not produced because of the timely intervention of a third person, it is frustrated.
Is there frustration due to inadequate or ineffectual means? –Such frustration is placed on equal footing with an impossible attempt. J
- CONSUMMATED FELONY: when all the elements necessary for its execution and accomplishment are present.
Every crime has its own elements.
- In murder and homicide, the victim must die for the felony to be consummated.
- In theft, without the intent to gain, theft is not consummated.
- In estafa, deceit or abuse of confidence must be proved, otherwise there shall be no felony—only civil liability.
- In robbery with violence against persons, if the element of intent to gain is not proved, the accused can be found guilty of grave coercion, another felony.
- For forcible abduction, element of lewd designs should be proved, otherwise the accused may be held liable for kidnapping and serious illegal detention, another felony.
How to determine whether the crime is only attempted, frustrated of consummated?
- A. Nature of the Crime
++Arson: it is not necessary that the property is totally destroyed by fire. It is consummated even if only a portion of the wall or any other part of the house is burned. The consummation of the crime of arson does not depend upon the extent of the damage caused. PP vs Hernandez. However, if rags soaked with kerosene oil were placed near the wooden partition of the house but were not lit, shall only be frustrated arson. US vs Valdes (read this case) p 113
- B. Elements of the Felony
***refer to the previous notes above J
There is no Frustrated Theft. US vs Adiao and Valenzuela vs PP. (Former case: Actual taking with intent to gain of personal property, belonging to another, without consent constitute, is sufficient to constitute consummated theft. It is not necessary that the offender carries away or appropriates the property taken.)
+++The cases above repealed the rulings in Dino and Espiritu cases.
Difference between the cases: In the Espiritu case, it was held that the crime of theft was consummated because the thieves were able to take or get hold of the hospital linen, although they were not able to get the benefit of such linen.
In the Dino case, the crime was held to be frustrated because the fact determinative of consummation is the ability to dispose freely of the articles stolen.
- C. Manner in Committing the same
1. Formal Crimes: Consummated in one instant, no attempt. (e.g. slander, false testimony, and sale of marijuana and other prohibited drugs-PP vs Marcos)
2. Crimes consummated by mere attempt or proposal or by overt acts: (a) Flight to enemy’s country (b)Corruption of Minors.
3. Felony by omission.
4. Crimes requiring the intervention of two persons to commit them are consummated by mere agreement:
5. Material Crimes: There are three stages of Execution. (e.g. Consummated, Frustrated, Attempted RAPE; Consummated Homicide, Frustrated Murder, Attempted HOMICIDE.)
NB: There is no attempted or frustrated stage for impossible crimes because in impossible crimes, the offender already performed all the acts of execution however it did not produce the desired result because of inherently impossibility and inadequate or ineffectual means employed.
Article 7: Light Felonies
Light Felonies are those which penalties are arresto menor (imprisonment from 1-30 days) or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos, or both. Art 9, par 3. (STAMI)
- Slight physical injuries
- Alteration of boundary marks
- Malicious mischief
- Intriguing against honor
Light felonies are punishable only if consummated. EXCEPTION: if the committed against persons or property, they are punishable even if attempted or frustrated.
Article 8: Conspiracy and proposal to commit felony
*Mere conspiracy or proposal is not a felony since such acts are mere preparatory acts. EXCEPT when the law specifically provides for its punishment (e.g. Treason, coup d’etat, rebellion, insurrection, and sedition); the offenders of such felonies need not to perform the act, mere conspiracy is sufficient.
The act of one is the act of all: Conspiracy as a manner incurring criminal liability, not as a felony itself. The degree of involvement or participation doesn’t matter.
Theory of Absorption: Incurring criminal liability through conspiracy absorbs the felony of conspiracy. (e.g. When a group of people conspires to rebel against the government—thus constituting conspiracy as a felony—did actually rose and rebel, they will no longer be charged with conspiracy as a felony but with rebellion itself.)
PP vs Lopez (The evidence shows that they cooperated in a common design to kill Chu. Regalado initiated the killing when he stabbed Chu on the chest, and the two other appellants joined Regalado in chasing Chu, with Regalado hitting Chu with firewood along the way. Then, when the three of them had cornered Chu, Aragon boxed and kicked Chu, enabling Lopez to stab him several times. These indicate a conspiracy.)
Quidet vs PP (For failure of the prosecution to prove conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt, petitioner’s liability is separate and individual. Considering that it was duly established that petitioner boxed Jimmy and Andrew and absent proof of the extent of the injuries sustained by the latter from these acts, petitioner should only be made liable for two counts of slight physical injuries.)
INDICATIONS OF CONSPIRACY:
- Their acts are aimed at the same object (unity of purpose)
- Their acts, though apparently independent and different from each other, were in fact concerted and cooperative, indicating closeness of personal association. (unity of execution)
PP vs Muit; PP vs Malibiran
NB: Direct proof is not essential to establish conspiracy, and may be inferred from the collective acts of the accused.
REQUISITES OF PROPOSAL:
- That a person has decided to commit a felony;
- That he proposes its execution to some other person or persons.
++ It is not necessary that the person to whom the proposal is made agrees to commit treason or rebellion. What constitutes the felony of proposal to commit treason or rebellion is the making of the proposal.
++ Proposal can be punishable if the it is an overt act of the crime of corruption of public officer. (e.g. One tries to offer money to a public officer to induce him not to perform his duties, but the offer wasn’t accepted by the officer, is liable for attempted bribery.)
Reason why Conspiracy and proposal is punishable: In ordinary crimes, the state survives the victim, and the culprit cannot find in the success of his work any impunity. Whereas, in crimes against the external and internal security of the State, if the culprit succeeds, he would obtain the power and therefore impunity for the crime committed.
Article 9: Classification of Felonies according to their gravity
Heirarch/Order of Punishments
-Reclusion perpetua (indivisible)
– Reclusion temporal (divisible)
-Perpetual of temporary absolute disqualification
-Perpetual of temporary special disqualification
-Prision Mayor (divisible)
-Prision Correccional (divisible)
-Arresto Mayor (divisible)
NB: Divisibility of punishments: Maximum, Medium, Minimum.
Artice 10: Offenses not subject to the provisions of this code
First Clause: The RPC is not intended to supersede special penal laws.
Second Clause: The RPC is supplementary to special laws, unless the special law provides otherwise.
- Special Laws: are penal laws punishing acts not defined and penalized in the RPC.
- Supplementary: The provisions of the RPC shall only provide what is lacking in the special laws.
Article 11: Justifying Circumstances (Part 1)
I – Self-Defense
There is no crime committed, the act being justified, if there is self-defense. Self-defense must be proved with certainty by sufficient, satisfactory and convincing (SSC) evidence that the following are present:
- Unlawful aggression (indispensible requisite);
- Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the aggression; and
- Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.
Burden of Proof is shifted to the party invoking self-defense. This means, that the accused is partially admitting the commission of the felony but alleges to have acted only through self-defense. Failure to prove such allegations (self-defense) will provide venues for conviction of the felony or crime.
Self-defense: defense of the person or body and his rights. It is deemed lawful and justifiable since it is man’s natural instinct to protect, repel, and save his person or rights from impending danger or peril; it is based on the impulse of self-preservation born to man and part of his nature as a human being.
Since it is impossible for the state to protect its citizens all the time and avoid present unjust aggression, self-defense is lawful.
- Fulfilment of a duty; or
- Exercise of a right.
PP vs Gayrama (The act of a chief of police to use violence by throwing stones at the accused when the latter was running away from him to elude arrest for a crime committed in his presence, is not unlawful aggression, it appearing that the purpose of the peace officer was to capture the accused and place him under arrest.)
US vs Merced (The deceased entered the room where the accused and the wife of the deceased were lying, and assaulted the accused with the bolo he was carrying. The assault was natural and lawful, for the reason that it was made by a deceived and offended husband in order to defend his honor and rights by punishing the offender of his honor, and if he killed his wife and the paramour, he would have exercised a lawful right and such acts would have fallen within the sanction of Article 423 (now Art. 247) of the RPC.)
A. UNLAWFUL AGGRESSION:
The threat or assault must be immediate and imminent kind. PP vs Alconga (There is unlawful aggression when the peril to one’s life, limb or right is either actual or imminent.)
- Actual Physical: attack has actually broken our or materialized and present. Thus, mere oral threats, threatening stance or postures, and intimidations are not unlawful aggressions.
US vs Jose Laurel (Laurel kissed Castillo’s girlfriend. Days after the incident, Castillo invited Laurel to fight wherein Castillo used a cane against Laurel. Laurel, on his defense used a pocket knife, thus employed reasonable means to prevent or repel the attack)
- Threat: must be offensive and positively strong, showing the wrongful intent to cause an injury. There is a peril to one’s limb. US vs Guysaco. (The wife became suspicious of her husband and went to the barrio where his husband was and upon reaching the house, the wife entered the house and saw her husband with another woman (owner of the house) and with jealousy, attacked the woman and killed her. There was no threat or actual aggression from the owner of the house, thus self-defense could not be invoked.)
Collinares and Concillado cases
Baxinela vs PP
What constitutes unlawful aggression?
- Slapping on the face constitutes unlawful aggression since the face represents a person’s dignity. PP vs Sabio
- A strong retaliation for an injury or threat may amount to an unlawful aggression. In this case, the assaulted became the offender and that there is no self-defense.
What doesn’t constitute unlawful aggression?
- Mere belief of an impending attack is not sufficient, neither is an intimidating or threatening attitude. (e.g. mere push or shove not followed by any other acts)
- Foot-kick greeting
++Retaliation is different from self-defense. In retaliation, the aggression that was begun by the injured party already ceased to exist when the accused attacked him. In self-defense, the aggression was still existing when the aggressor was injured or disabled by the person making a defense.
++The attack made by the deceased and the killing of the deceased by defendant should succeed each other without appreciable interval of time. US vs Ferrer (If the witness was on the spot at the precise moment when the deceased attacked the defendant, and the latter fired the revolver for the express purpose of preventing the assault, as is alleged by the defense, it would be natural and logical that the said witness would likewise have witnessed the firing of the revolver, because both acts must have been simultaneous or at least must have succeeded each other without appreciable interval of time.)
++The unlawful aggression must come from the person who was attacked by the accused.
++A public officer exceeding his authority may become an unlawful aggressor.
++Natured, character, location, and extent of wound of the accused allegedly inflicted by the injured party may belie claim of self-defense.
++Improbability of the deceased being the aggressor would belie the claim of self-defense. (e.g. an old man was alleged to have assaulted a 24-year-old accused would be unlikely to have.)
++When the accused did not give a statement to the policeman after he surrendered would be inconsistent with the plea of self-defense.
++When the aggressor flees, the unlawful aggression no longer exists. Thus, chasing and killing the aggressor doesn’t warrant self-defense.
PP vs Alconga (Black jack players cheating on each other and upon discovering that he was being cheated on, the deceased and the accused came to blows. The deceased delivered failed blows to the accused and the latter crawled firing his revolver at the deceased. The deceased with his dagger and the accused with his bolo fought and after having wounds, the deceased ran away but the accused followed him and another fight took place and then the accused killed the deceased.)
++However, if it is clear that the aggressor seems to be retreating in order to take more advantageous position, the unlawful aggression did not cease to exist, but rather it continues on.
There is no unlawful aggression in the ff:
- In concerted fights;
- When there is an agreement to fight; and
- The challenge to the fight must be accepted.
++Aggression which occurred ahead of the agreed time and place (of the fight) is considered unlawful.
++One who voluntarily joined the fight cannot claim self-defense.
Stand ground, when in right: where the accused is where he has the rright to be, the law doesn’t require him to retreat when his assailant is rapidly advancing upon him wfith a deadly weapon. US vs Domen
Unlawful aggression in defense of other rights:
- Attempt to rape a woman: defense of right to chastity; PP vs dela Cruz (embracing a woman, touching her private parts and throwing her to the ground for the purpose of raping her in an inhabited place is an unlawful aggression); PP vs Jaurigue (Placing of hand of a man on the woman’s upper thigh is unlawful aggression.)
- Defense of Property PP vs Apolinar (A landowner saw a man carrying something and thought that the man stole his palay, shot the man dead. Defense of property is not of much importance as right to life, and defense of property can be invoked as a justifying circumstance ONLY when it is coupled with an attack on the person of one entrusted with said property.)
- Defense of Home
In the case of dela Cruz the stabbing of the rapist using a pocket knife by the woman (victim) was deemed of reasonable necessity. In the case of Juarigue, the claim of self-defense was deemed incomplete and the means used was of no reasonable necessity, and thus, excessive.
++The belief of the accused may be considered in determining the existence of unlawful aggression. (e.g. A intimidates B with a pistol, B, thinking that the gun was loaded stabbed A which caused the latter’s death. It turned out that the pistol used by B was only loaded with powder and his intention was only to intimidate B)
The doctrine that require a man being attacked to ascertain whether the pistol was real or not defeats the very purpose of self-defense.
++Even if the aggressor used a toy pistol, provided the accused thought it to be real would still constitute unlawful aggression.
B. REASONABLE NECESSITY:
The law protects the one who repels an actual aggression and also the one who prevents an expected or imminent aggression since the person attacked is not duty-bound to expose himself to be wounded or killed.
However, the means employed, SHOULD be reasonable.
Reasonableness depends on the circumstance. The accused is not expected to be capacitated of thinking rationally at the hype of an aggression, thus if killing the aggressor would result, it is justifiable.
No Reasonable Necessity:
- When the aggressor is unarmed;
- When the aggressor ran away PP vs Alconga
- c. PP vs Rivera (killing the person who attempted to burn your house with your two kids were before you managed to get them out alive and safe, would be unreasonable.)
The person defending is not expected to control his blow.
- US vs Macasaet (a person defending is not in the position to think and reflect coolly or to wait after each blow to determine the effects thereof.)
- US vs Mack (If it was necessary for the accused to use his revolver, he could hardly, under the circumstances, be expected to take deliberate and careful aims so as to strike a point less vulnerable than the body of his assailant.)
++In repelling or preventing an unlawful aggression, the one defending must aim at his assailant, and not indiscriminately fire his deadly weapon. (Galacgac case where he was attacked by Pablo Soriano and his head was struck with iron bar causing blood to ooze over his eyes and he fired his weapon randomly.)
NB: The means used to repel or prevent the unlawful aggression must be of equal measures and capacity with the means used by the aggressor. (e.g. Fist for fist, pistol for pistol, dagger for daggers, etc.) However, in some instances wherein means are not freely laid out in front for him to choose, such use of means would be deemed reasonable.
PP vs Lara (read later)
++ Perfect equality between the weapon used by the one defending himself and that of the aggressor is not required because the person assaulted does not have sufficient tranqulity of mind to think to calculate and to choose which weapon to use. PP vs Padua
++What the law requires is rational equivalence in the consideration of which will enter as principal factors the emergency, the imminent danger to which the person attacked is exposed, and the instinct, more than reason, that moves or impels the defense, and the proportionateness thereof does not depend upon the harm done, but rests upon the imminent danger of such injury.
++Use of bayonet against a cane is not reasonable since bayonet could have been sufficient to ward off the blows of the aggressor.
Other Important notes:
- Reasonable necessity of means employed to prevent or repel unlawful aggression to be liberally construed in favour of law-abiding citizens, otherwise, the law-abiding shall be at the mercy of the lawless elements.
- When one is peace officer, he is required to overcome his opponent since a police officer is not required to afford a person attacking him, the opportunity for a fair and equal struggle.
- If the one defending is a private individual, he is expected only to prevent or repel aggression.
C. LACK OF SUFFICIENT PROVOCATION
This third requisite is present—
- When no provocation at all was given to the aggressor;
- The provocation given was not sufficient;
- Even if the provocation was sufficient, it was not given by the person defending himself; or
- Even if a provocation was given by the person defending himself, it was not proximate and immediate to the act of aggression.
- Verbal argument cannot be considered sufficient provocation.
PROVOCATION IS SUFFICIENT:
- US vs McCray (When one challenges the deceased to come out of the house and engage in a fist-fight with him and prove who is the better man.)
- PP vs Sotelo (When one hurls insults or imputes to another the utterance of vulgar language) But it is not enough that the provocative act be unreasonable or annoying. PP vs Dolfo (Electrician asked his assistant to come but the latter did not. Then he threw a pc of wood at his assistant while the latter threw it back. He started to beat his assistant, but the latter defended himself, and inflicted a mortal wound at the former. A petty question of pride does not justify the wounding or killing of an opponent.)
- PP vs Getida (When the accused tried to forcibly kiss the sister of the deceased, the accused gave sufficient provocation to the deceased thus self-defense couldn’t be utilized.)
Battered woman syndrome: RA 9262 Anti-VAWC of 2004. A person who has been cyclically abused and controlled over a period of time, suffers from BWS.
-either physical or psychological coercion;
-battling must be at least twice;
-produces low self-esteem; traditional beliefs about home, the family and the female sex role; emotional dependence upon the dominant male; the tendency to accept responsibility for the batterer’s actions; and false hopes that the relationship will improve.
- Tension-building phase
- The acute battering incident
- The tranquil, loving or at least non-violent phase.
Because of the recurring cycles of violence, her state of mind metamorphoses.