CRIMINAL LAW 1 UPCollege of LawESGUERRA NOTES2004-2005
contract, then the society, through the State, has theright to enforce its laws and protect its own existence.d.
– This assumes thatpunishment is capable of changing/rehabilitatingindividuals.e.
– This rests on the basicpremise that justice must be done: the offender shallnot go unpunished. This belongs to that which maintainsthat punishment is inherent in the very nature of acrime and is thus its necessary consequence.
Criminal law has three main characteristics:1) general, 2) territorial, and 3) prospective.
1. GENERALITY of Criminal Law¤ 1987 Constitution, Article VI, Section 11
A Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by notmore than six years imprisonment, be privileged fromarrest while the Congress is in session. No Member shallbe questioned nor be held liable in any other place forany speech or debate in the Congress or in anycommittee thereof.
¤ Civil Code, Article 14
Penal laws and those of public security andsafety shall be obligatory upon all those who live orsojourn in the Philippine territory, subject to theprinciples of public international law and to treatystipulations.
: The jurisdiction of the civil courts is notaffected by the military character of the accused.
Civil courts have concurrent jurisdiction with generalcourt-martial over soldiers of the Armed Forces of thePhilippines even in times of war, provided that in theplace of the commission of the crime no hostilities are inprogress and civil courts are functioning.
When the military court takes cognizance of the caseinvolving a person subject to military law, the Articles of War apply, not the RPC or other penal laws.
The prosecution of an accused before a court-martialis a bar to another prosecution of the accused for thesame offense.
Offenders accused of war crimes are triable bymilitary commission. A military commission has jurisdiction even if actual hostilities have ceased as longas a technical state of war continues.
Exceptions to the general application of criminallaw
Art. 2, RPC, “Except as provided in the treatiseor laws of preferential application…” Art. 14, Civil Code, “…subject to the principlesof public international law and to treaty stipulations.”
An example of a treaty or treat stipulation is the
entered into by the Philippines andthe US on Mar. 14, 1947 and expired on Sept. 16, 1991.
Another example would be the
signed on Feb.10, 1998 where the Philippines agreed that:
US military authorities shall have theright to exercise within the Philippines allcriminal and disciplinary jurisdiction conferredon them by the military law of the US over USpersonnel in RP;b.US authorities exercise exclusive jurisdiction over US personnel with respect tooffenses, including offenses relating to thesecurity of the us punishable under the law of the US, but not under the laws of RP;
US military authorities shall have theprimary right to exercise jurisdiction over USpersonnel subject to the military law of the USin relation to: (1) offenses solely against theproperty or security of the US or offensessolely against the property or person of USpersonnel; and (2) offenses arising out of anyact or omission done in performance of officialduty.
An example of a law of preferential application wouldbe
R.A. No. 75
which penalizes acts which would impairthe proper observance by the Republic and inhabitantsof the Philippines of the immunities, rights, andprivileges of duly accredited foreign diplomaticrepresentatives in the Philippines.
Persons exempt from the operation of our criminallaws by virtue of the principles of
public international law
(1)Sovereigns and other chiefs of state.
Ambassadors, ministers, plenipotentiary,ministers resident, and charges d’affaires.* a consul is not entitled to the privileges andimmunities of an ambassador or minister.* under the Constitution, members of Congress arenot liable for libel or slander in connection with anyspeech delivered on the floor of an house duringregular or special session.
US v. Sweet (1901)
: Sweet was an employee of the US armyin the Philippines. He assaulted a prisoner of war forwhich he was charged with the crime of physicalinjuries. Sweet interposed the defense that the fact thathe was an employee of the US military authoritiesdeprived the court of the jurisdiction to try and punishhim.
: The case is open to the application of thegeneral principle that the jurisdiction of the civiltribunals is unaffected by the military or other specialcharacter of the person brought before them for trial,unless controlled by express legislation to the contrary.
2. TERRITORIALITY of Criminal Law¤ 1987 Constitution, Article I
The national territory comprises the Philippinearchipelago, with all the islands and waters embracedtherein, and all other territories over which thePhilippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of
/liz@/ viv ©
Page 3 2004-2005