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I. Circumstances Affecting Criminal Liability
Justifying circumstances
Exempting circumstances and other absolutory causes
Mitigating circumstances
Aggravating circumstances
Alternative circumstances

Ii. Imputability And Responsibility
Imputability act was committed freely and consciously and
may be put down to the doer as his very own
Responsibility obligation of suffering the consequences of
the crime
While Imputability implies that a deed may be imputed to a
person, responsibility implies that the person must take the
consequence of such a deed

Iii. Guilt
Guilt is an element of responsibility
o A man cannot be made to answer for the consequences
of his crime unless he is guilty
Presumption of innocence

Iv. Justifying Circumstances
o When the act of a person is said to be in accordance
with the law so that such person is deemed not to
have transgressed the law
Person is therefore free from both criminal and
civil liability

Civil liability can however be applied if

the person benefitted from the
justified act

o Article 11 expressly states the following do not incur
criminal liability

Article 11.
The following do not incur criminal liability:
1. Anyone who acts in defense of his person or rights, provided
that the following circumstances concur:
First, unlawful aggression;
Second, reasonable necessity of the means employed
to prevent or repel it;
Third, lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the
person defending himself
2. Anyone who acts in defense of the person or rights of his
spouse, ascendants, descendants, or legitimate, natural, or
adopted brothers or sisters, or of his relatives by affinity in
the same degrees, and those by consanguinity within the
fourth civil degree, provided that the first and second
requisites prescribed in the next preceding circumstance are
present, and the further requisite, in case the provocation was
given by the person attacked, that the one making defense
had no part therein.
3. Anyone who acts in defense of the person or rights of a
stranger provided that the first and second requisites
mentioned in the first circumstance of this article are present
and that the person defending be not induced by revenge,
resentment, or other evil motive.
4. Any person who, in order to avoid an evil or injury, does an
act which causes damage to another, provided that the
following requisites are present:
First, that the evil sought to be avoided actually exists;

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Second, that the injury feared be greater than that
done to avoid it;
Third, that there be no other practical and less
harmful means of preventing it
5. Any person who acts in the fulfillment of a duty or in the
lawful exercise of a right or office.
6. Any person who acts in obedience to an order issued by a
superior for some lawful purpose.


I. Main Ideas
The persons cited in Article 11 are not criminals because their
acts do not incur any criminal liability
The burden of proof lies with the accused
o Accused must prove that he falls under one of the
categories mentioned in Article 11

Covered by the first paragraph of Article 11
Self defense must be proved with certainty by sufficient,
satisfactory and convincing evidence that excludes any vestige
of criminal aggression on the part of the person invoking it
The plea of self defense cannot be justifiably entertained where
it is not only uncorroborated by any separate competent
evidence but in itself is extremely doubtful

I. Rights Included In Self-Defense
Aside from the right to life on which rests the legitimate
defense of our person, we have the right to property acquired
by us, and the right to honor which is not the lease prized of
mans patrimony

Ii. Reason Why Penal Law Makes Self-Defense Lawful

It is lawful because it would be quite impossible for the state in

all cases to prevent aggression upon its citizens (and even
foreigners) and offer protection to the person unjustly
It cannot be conceived that people should succumb to unlawful
aggression without offering any resistance
The idea of self preservation

III. Elements Of Self-Defense
1. Unlawful aggression
2. Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or
repel it.
3. Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person
defending himself

IV. FIRST ELEMENT: Unlawful Aggression
A. Meaning Of Unlawful Aggression
Unlawful aggression is equivalent to assault or at least
threatened assault of an immediate or imminent kind.
o There is unlawful aggression when the peril to ones
life, limb, or right is either actual or imminent.
o There must be an actually physical assault upon a
person, or at least a threat to inflict real injury.
o In case of threat, the same must be offensive and
positively strong, showing the wrongful intent to cause
an injury.
o When there is no peril to ones life, limb or right, there
is no unlawful aggression.
o Cases
People v. Flores
The act of the deceased in preventing
the accused from inflicting a retaliatory
blow is not unlawful aggression
US v. Padilla

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In the spirit of fun, A (who is a soldier)
tells B (who is also a soldier) that the
latter does not have a singing voice.
With the same spirit of fun, B puts
seizes A by the throat. A ends up killing
B using a rifle.
There is no unlawful aggression in this
case of two companions in arms
quartered in the same barracks
People v. Yncierto
A kills B while trying to get the latter to
let go of his knife in order to avoid
Since there was no unlawful aggression
on the part of B, A is not justified in
killing B.

B. Unlawful Aggression Is An Indispensable Requisite
There can be no self-defense, complete or incomplete, unless
the victim has committed an unlawful aggression against the
person defending himself.
For the right of defense to exist, it is necessary that we be
assaulted or that we be attacked, or at least that we be
threatened with an attack in an immediate and imminent
If there is no unlawful aggression, there is nothing to prevent or
The unlawful aggression must have come from the person who
was either injured or killed.

C. Aggression Must Be Unlawful
Two kinds of aggression:
o Unlawful see Meaning of unlawful

Lawful The fulfillment of a duty or the exercise of a

right in a more or less violent manner is an aggression,
but it is lawful.
People v. Gayrama
o Facts: Policeman throws stones at an escaping
o Ruling: The aggression is not unlawful. The fulfillment
of a duty or the exercise of a right in a more or less
violent manner is an aggression that is lawful.
Valcorza v. People
o Facts: Policeman fires warning shots in the air hoping
that the offenders would stop escaping. Offenders do
not stop escaping and so the policeman shoots directly
at the offenders.
o Ruling: The aggression is not unlawful. The fulfillment
of a duty or the exercise of a right in a more or less
violent manner is an aggression that is lawful
A public officer exceeding his authority may become an
unlawful aggressor
o People v. Hernandez
Sheriff exceeds his authority and takes the
personal property of a debtor.
The debtor has every right to repel the
unlawful aggression of the Sheriff.

D. Peril To Ones Life And Limb
Peril to ones life: must be ACTUAL and IMMINENT.
o Actual peril the danger must be present, that is,
actually in existence.
US v. Jose Laurel
Facts: A kisses Bs sweetheart and runs
away. At a later date, B confronts A. B
eventually hits A with a cane. After

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being hit with the cane, A grabs hold of

a pocket knife and stabs B.
Ruling: A was justified because he
showed all three requisites for self
o Imminent the danger is on the point of happening.
Not necessary that the attack already begins for it may
thus be too late to prevent it.
People v. Cabungcal
Facts: A and B are on a boat with many
people. B decides to shake the boat
and A warns him not to do it. B
continues to shake the boat and A hits
him with an oar that causes him to go
overboard. B manages to cling to the
side of the boat and persists in
attempting to make the boat shake
vehemently. A hits him again with an
oar and this time B dies from the blow
Ruling: A was justified because B
placed everyone on the boat in
imminent danger with his actions
Peril to ones limb When a person is attacked, he is in
imminent danger of death or bodily harm.
o Peril to ones limbs includes peril to the safety of ones
person from physical injuries.
o An attack with fist blows can therefore count as
unlawful aggression.

E. What Constitutes Unlawful Aggression
If there is no imminent and real danger to the life or limb of the
accused, there is no unlawful aggression
o People v. Riduca

Facts: A and B are in a kalesa. A tries to touch

Bs gun. As a result, B shoots A.
Ruling: B is not justified in shooting A because
there was no imminent and real danger to the
life or limb of B.
There must be actual physical force or actual use of a weapon
o Insults alone cannot constitute unlawful aggression (US
v. Carrero).
o A light push on the head with a hand or a mere push
not followed by other acts cannot constitute unlawful
aggression (People v. Yuman).
o A foot-kick greeting among friends does not constitute
unlawful aggression (People v. Roxas).
Aggression that is real and expected
o Aggression must be real and not imaginary
o People v. De la Cruz
Fats: A dislikes B. A goes to the house of B
armed with a gun and sees the latter holding a
knife. A shoots B to death.
Ruling: There is no unlawful aggression in this
case because the aggression was not real since
B was merely holding a knife.
Aggression that is expected is real
o The expected aggression must be imminent
o US v. Batungbacal
When A chases B with the intent to harm him,
there is already aggression even if A has not yet
raised his hand to discharge a blow.
Mere belief of an impending attack is not sufficient.
o Mere belief of an attack unsupported by evidence does
not constitute unlawful aggression.
o Belief of the accused may be considered in
determining the existence of unlawful aggression
Lloyds report as cited in US v. Ah Chong

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If A sees B running towards him with a
gun, and A subsequently fears for his
safety and hits B with a club when the
former gets closer to him, it would be
immaterial that the gun held by B had
fake bullets and thus A had every right
to defend himself in this situation.
People v. Boral
There is self-defense even if the
aggressor used a toy pistol provided
that the accused believed it was a real
People v. Calip
An officer forcibly pushing picketers
around in order to let company trucks
enter the compound cannot be
considered as unlawful aggression.
An intimidating or threatening attitude does not constitute
unlawful aggression.
o A mere threatening or intimidating attitude, not
preceded by an outward and material aggression, is not
unlawful aggression.
o It is required that the act be offensive and positively
strong, showing the wrongful intent of the aggressor to
cause an injury for there to be unlawful aggression.
o US v. Guy-sayco
Facts: Accused enters the house of the
deceased where accuseds husband is.
Deceased is enraged and holding a knife.
Accused lunges for the knife held by the
deceased and a struggle ensues. Accused ends
up killing the deceased.
Ruling: Accused was not acting in self defense
because even if the deceased was holding a

knife, a mere threatening or intimidating

attitude does not constitute unlawful
o Examples of threats to inflict real injury
When threatening attitude of the aggressor is
offensive and positively strong, manifesting
intent to cause an injury
When one aims a pistol at another with the
intention of shooting the latter
When one, through his motions, indicates his
purpose to commit an assault with a weapon
Opening a knife and motioning as if to make an
BUT when intent to attack is manifested, picking up a weapon
is sufficient unlawful aggression
A slap on the face is considered unlawful aggression because
o The face represents a persons dignity therefore
slapping it is a serious personal attack.

F. Retaliation Does Not Amount To Self-Defense
Retaliation is not self-defense.
Retaliation is not a justifying circumstance
Retaliation is done after the aggression has ended.
o The aggression has already ceased thus the imminent
and real danger to the life or limb of the accused has
also ceased
In order to justify homicide on the ground of self defense, it is
essential that the killing of the deceased by the defendant be
simultaneous with the attack made by the deceased, or at least
both acts succeeded each other without appreciable interval of
o People v. Ferrer

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Facts: A has a gun. A is disarmed by B. After

disarming A, B proceeds to grab a knife and
stab him in the abdomen.
Ruling: B was acting in retaliation and not selfdefense because the imminent and real danger
to Bs life ended when A was successfully

G. Source Of Unlawful Aggression
Unlawful aggression must have come from the person who
attacked the accused.
o If the unlawful aggression came from the accused, the
accused could not have been acting in self-defense.
Improbability of the deceased being the aggressor belies the
claim of self-defense.
o People v. Diaz
Fact: Accused is armed with a gun and a bolo.
Deceased had nothing but a pig, which he
refused to give up.
Ruling: It is improbable that the deceased
would have began assaulting the accused given
the situation.
o People v. Ardisa
Fact: Deceased is a 55 year old man with ulcer
who had already lost his right hand in the
conflict with the accused.
Ruling: It is hard to believe that the deceased
would have continued attacking the accused
given the circumstances
When the aggressor flees, unlawful aggression no longer exists
o When the unlawful aggression no longer exists because
the aggressor runs away, the one defending no longer
has a right to wound or kill the aggressor
o People v. Alconga

Facts: B provokes A and they fight. B runs away

and A pursues him. A catches up to B and kills
Ruling: Court rules that A did not kill B out of
self defense because B had ceased his unlawful
o People v. Del Rosario
Facts: A shoots at B. A runs out of bullets and
flees. B pursues him and inflicts several wounds
on him.
Ruling: B was not acting in self defense because
A was fleeing and had ceased his unlawful
o BUT if it is clear that the aggressor merely retreats to
take a more advantageous situation, the unlawful
aggression is still considered continuing and the one
defending himself has the right to pursue and disable
to aggressor.
How to determine the unlawful aggressor
o US v. Laurel
In the absence of direct evidence to determine
who provoked the conflict, it shall be presumed
In the nature of the order of things, the person
who was deeply offended by the insult was the
one who believed he had a right to demand
explanation of the perpetrator of that insult
and the one who struck the first blow when he
was not satisfied with the explanation
o People v. Berio
The accused, not the deceased, had a greater
motive for committing the crime

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H. Nature, Character, Location, And Extent Of Wound Of The Accused
Allegedly Inflicted By The Injured Party May Belie Claim Of SelfDefense
The wound inflicted may be indicative of whether or not the
accused acted in self-defense.
o People v. Mediavilla
Facts: Accused shows a small scar on his head.
Ruling: Court says who would not wound
himself slightly in order to escape the penalty
of reclusion temporal prescribed for the crime
of homicide?
o People v. Batas
Facts: Accused stabs the victims 21 times.
Ruling: 21 stabs shows more than just a desire
to defend ones self.
o People v. Labis
Facts: The wounds inflicted are inconsistent
with reality.
Ruling: The victims wounds had a right-to-left
direction and could not have been inflicted by a
right-handed person in front of the victim with
a two-feet long bolo.

I. No Unlawful Aggression When There Is Agreement To Fight
No unlawful aggression in concerted (mutually agreed) fight
o People v. Marasigan
Facts: A and B agreed to fight. A and B
purchase knives. A tells B that he no longer
wants to fight but B does not mind his
protestations and instead lunges at A with a
knife. A subsequently manages to kill B.
Ruling: There was no unlawful aggression in
this instance because both parties agreed to

fight thus the aggression was reciprocal and

legitimate as between two contending parties.
o People v. Monteroso
Facts: Accused is chased by deceased. Accused
reaches his house, picks up a weapon, taunts
the deceased, and then proceeds to attack and
kill him.
Ruling: There was no unlawful aggression in
this instance because the accused, after arming
himself, decided to fight.
The challenge to fight must have been accepted
o If the accused does not agree to fight, there is unlawful
Logic behind the rule on agreed fights
o There can be no unlawful aggression in an agreed fight
because aggression is necessarily an incident in a fight
because it is bound to arise from any of the
o There can be no fight without aggression.
Aggression (in relation to an expected fight) which is ahead
of the stipulated time and place is unlawful
o If A agrees to fight B at a specified time and place,
A is guilty of unlawful aggression if he attacks B
anywhere or any time other than those specified in
their agreement.
o This is because B is only expected to be ready to fight at
and during the agreed place and time.
Anyone who voluntarily joins a fight cannot claim they were
acting in self-defense

J. Stand ground when in the right
The law does not require people to retreat when an assailant is
rapidly advancing upon them

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The reason for this is because those who flee incur the
risk of getting attacked from behind
Better to stand your ground and defend
yourself than run away

K. When The Accused Declines To Give Any Statement To The Police
When He Surrenders, His Acts Are Inconsistent With The Plea Of Self
People v. Manansala
o A protestation of innocence or justification is the logical
and spontaneous reaction of a man who finds himself
in such an unculpatory predicament as that in which
the policemen came upon him still clutching the death
weapon and his victim dying before him.
People v. De la Cruz
o The accused did not act in self defense because if he
had, he would have reported it to the police whom he
passed as he fled from the scene of the incident

L. Physical Fact May Determine Whether The Accused Acted In SelfDefense
People v. Dorico
o Fact: Accused said that deceased was stabbed as he
lunged forward for the bolo accused was holding.
o Ruling: The court did not believe him because the
evidence showed that the deceased was stabbed from
the back.
People v. Perez
o Ruling: Accused did not act in self-defense because the
deceased was shot 13 times despite his gun still being
tucked inside his waistband. Deceased was defenseless
when shot

M. Unlawful Aggression In Defense Of Other Rights

Attempt to rape a woman (defense of right to chastity)

o People v. De la Cruz
Embracing a woman, fondling her, and
throwing her to the ground with intent to rape
her would constitute an attack upon her honor
and therefore it is considered unlawful
o People v. Jaurigue
Facts: Deceased puts his hand on the upper
thigh of accused. Accused subsequently stabs
him with a knife.
Ruling. Accused acted in self-defense. Placing
of hand by a man on the womans upper thigh
is considered unlawful aggression.
o People v. Luague
An attempt to rape a woman constitutes an
aggression sufficient to put her in a state of
legitimate defense.
The woman thus imperiled may kill her
offender if that is the only means left for her to
protect her honor from so grave an outrage.
Defense of property
o People v. Apolinar
Facts: Accused is holding a shotgun. Accused
sees the deceased carrying a bundle over his
shoulder and assumes that the deceased was
stealing the accuseds palay. Accused issues
warning shots before subsequently killing the
Ruling: The right to life is more important than
the right to property. Thus, the accused could
not have been justified in killing the deceased
because the latter did not make any attempt to
attack the former.

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There must be an attack by the person stealing the
property on the person defending it in order for the
shooting of the deceased to have been warranted.
o Use of force to protect property
The owner or lawful possessor of a thing has
the right to exclude any person from the
enjoyment and disposal thereof.
For this reason, he may use such force as may
be reasonably necessary to repel or prevent an
actual or threatened unlawful physical invasion
or usurpation of his property.
US v. Merced
Facts: Husband walks in on accused
having an affair with his wife. Husband
assaults accused but accused manages
to kill husband. Accused claims selfdefense.
Ruling: Self-defense is not applicable in
this case because the husband was
merely defending his honor and rights
therefore it was not unlawful
aggression. Husband would not have
been guilty of unlawful aggression had
he killed both the accused and his wife
after catching them in bed
Defense of home
o People v. Mirabiles
Violent entry of one into anthers home while
holding a bolo warrants unlawful aggression.
Owner of home does not need to wait for a
blow before he can start acting to prevent or
repel the one who entered his home
o People v. Salatan

Accused assaults a robber who enters the

house of the accused in the darkness.
Even if accused did not see the robber with a
weapon, he is still well within his rights to
exercise self defense because the entry of the
robber into his home constitutes unlawful

V. SECOND REQUISITE: Reasonable Necessity Of The Means Employed
To Prevent Or Repel It
Presupposes the existence of unlawful aggression which is
either imminent or actual
o If there is unlawful aggression, there is a need to
prevent or repel it because we are either in actual or
imminent danger
US v. Batungbacal
The law protects not only the person
who repel aggression but also the
person who tries to prevent an
aggression that is expected.
This requisite of self-defense entails necessity.
o There be a necessity of the course of action taken by
the person making a defense.
o There be a necessity of the means used.
o The necessity to take a course of action and to use a
means of defense
US v. Molina
The person attacked is not duty bound
to expose himself to be wounded or
While the danger to his person or life subsists,
he has a perfect and indisputable right to repel
such danger by wounding his adversary, and if

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necessary, to disable him completely so that he

may not continue his assault.
Either or both the course of action taken and the means used
must be reasonable.
o The reasonableness of the necessity depends upon the

A. Necessity Of The Course Of Action Taken
In emergencies where the person or life of another is imperiled,
human nature does not act upon processes of formal reason
but in obedience to the instinct of self-preservation
o People v. Ocana
Fact: Accused is attacked by deceased while
the former is unarmed. Accused manages to
find a lead pipe and strikes the deceased in a
vital part of the body. Deceased is
subsequently killed.
Ruling: Accused acted reasonably given the
circumstances. There was no time for Accused
to aim for a less vital part of the body because
his life was in danger
There is no necessity when there is no unlawful aggression
o People v. Masangkay
After the accused disarmed the deceased, he
was no longer acting reasonably in self-defense
when he stabbed and killed him.
o People v. Narvaez
Facts: Deceased is chiseling the walls of the
house of the accused. Accused gets a shotgun
and kills the deceased.
Ruling: The means used was not reasonable
because his resistance was disproportionate to
the attack.
Context of the assault matters

o US v. Ah Chong
When the aggressor is disarmed
o If aggressor when disarmed still shows intent to reclaim
the weapon, the aggressor is still showing aggression
(People v. Datinguinoo), but if after being disarmed, the
aggressor shows a refusal to continue fighting, any
attack on the aggressor by the defendant is no longer
justified (People v. Alviar).
When only minor physical injuries are inflicted after the
unlawful aggression has ceased to exist, there is still selfdefense if mortal wounds were inflicted at the time the
requisites of self-defense were present.
o People v. Del Pilar
Minor wounds inflicted after the aggression
ceased to exist are permitted as long as the
major wounds that led to the death of the
aggressor took place when the aggression had
not yet ceased.
This is because the proximate cause of death
would be the major wounds and not the minor
This ruling cannot be applied if the defendant
inflicts a mortal would on the aggressor after
the unlawful aggression has ceased.
Person defending is not expected to control his blow.
o Brownell v. People
One is not required to draw fine distinctions as
to the extent of the injury which a reckless and
infuriated assailant might probably inflict upon
o U.S. v. Macasaet
The accused, in the heat of the encounter at
close quarters, was not in a position to reflect

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coolly or to wait after each blow to determine

the effects thereof.
o U.S. v. Mack
In necessary circumstances, the accused could
hardly be expected to take deliberate and
careful aim so as to strike a point less
vulnerable than the body.
When aggression is so sudden that there is no time left to the
one making a defense to determine what course of action to
o People v. Pante
During the split second the accused had to
think and act to save his superior officer, the
trial court cannot demand him have been able
to control his blow.
In preventing unlawful aggression, the one defending must aim
at the assailant.
o People v. Galacgac
Facts: Galacgac was beaten twice by an iron bar
by one Pablo Soriano thereby causing him to
fire at random with his unlicensed revolver.
Issue: whether his act of defense relieves him
of criminal liability.
Held: No. He was held liable for physical
injuries. Because the accused did not aim at his
assailant but instead indiscriminately fired his
deadly weapon, his act of defense was not
exercised with due care.

B. Necessity Of The Means Used
The means employed by the person making a defense must be
rationally necessary to prevent or repel an aggression.
Instances wherein there was no rational necessity to employ
means used:

U.S. v Apego
A sleeping woman, who was awakened by her
brother-in law grasping her arm, was not
justified in using a knife to kill him as the latter
did not perform any other act which could be
construed as an attempt against her honor.
o People v. Montalbo
When a person was attacked with fist blows
only, there was no reasonable necessity to
inflict upon the assailant a mortal wound with
o People v. Jaurigue
When a man placed his hand on the upper
thigh of a woman seated on a bench in a
chapel, there was no reasonable necessity to
kill him with a knife because there was no
danger to her chastity or honor at that
The test of reasonableness of the means used.
o Whether the means employed is reasonable will
depend upon the nature and quality of the aggressors
weapon, physical condition, character, size, other
circumstances and the place and occasion of the
o Perfect equality between the weapon used by the
defender and the aggressor is not required. What the
law requires is rational equivalence, the imminent
danger and the instinct that moves or impels the
o The reasonableness of the means employed will
depend upon:
The nature and quality of weapons
The use of a knife when attacked by a
club, rod or stick is reasonable if it cant

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be shown that the person assaulted (1)

had other available means or (2) if
there was other means, he could coolly
choose. Use of a bayonet against a
cane is not reasonable.
To use a firearm against a dagger or a
knife does not imply any difference
between such weapons.
When a person is attacked with fist
blows, he must retaliate with fist blows
IF both parties are of the same size and
Physical condition, character and size.
People v. Ignacio when defendant,
who was middle aged, was cornered by
three or four men bigger and stronger,
such person is justified in using a knife.
People v. Sumicad Killing an
aggressor larger and stronger than the
defendant was justified.
People v. Padua Taking into
consideration the character of the
aggressor (troublesome, strong and
aggressive with criminal records), the
CoA held that the striking of bolo was
Other circumstances considered
US v. Batungbacal
o Facts: M killed P, who was
pursuing Ms children with a
bolo, by firing a shotgun at P
and killing him at once.

circumstances, the use of the
shotgun was justified.
Reasonable necessity of means employed to prevent or repel
unlawful aggression is to be interpreted in favor of law-abiding
Rule regarding the reasonableness of the necessity of the
means employed when the one defending himself is a peace
o While the law on self-defense allows a private
individual to prevent or repel an aggression, the duty of
the peace officer requires him to overcome his
o A police officer is not required to afford a person
attacking him, the opportunity for a fair and equal
o US v. Mojica
A policeman is justified in using his revolver
against one who is armed with a knife.
o US v. Mendoza
It was held that it is NOT reasonable for a
policeman to kill his assailant who was using a

VI. THIRD ELEMENT: Lack Of Sufficient Provocation On The Part Of The
Person Defending Himself.
A. Reason For The Third Requisite Of Self Defense.
To be entitled to the benefit of the justifying circumstance of
self-defense, the one defending himself must not have given
cause for the aggression by his unjust conduct.

B. Cases In Which 3rd Requisite Is Considered Present

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1. When no provocation at all was given to the aggressor by the
defending party (B was running amuck with a dagger rushing
towards A when A did nothing to provoke B)
2. When the provocation was insufficient (A asks B a harmless
question that angered the latter who immediately attacked)
o How to determine the sufficiency of provocation
This means that the provocation must be
proportionate to the act of aggression and
adequate to stir the aggressor to its
Verbal argument cannot be considered
sufficient provocation. It is not enough that the
provocative act be unreasonable or annoying. A
petty question of pride does not justify the
wounding or killing of an opponent (People v.
o Requisite of lack of sufficient provocation refers
exclusively to the person defending himself
People v. Espino
If the accused appears to be the
aggressor, it cannot be said that he was
defending himself from the effect of
anothers aggression.
3. When the provocation that was sufficient was not given by the
defending party (C, not A, was the one who provoked B)
4. When the provocation given by the defending party was not
proximate and immediate to the act of aggression. (A slapped
B. Two days later, B attacks A where A defends himself. The
provocation (slapping) should be disregarded)
o Provocation by the person defending himself not
proximate and immediate to the aggression (no.4)
People v. Dolfo
Facts: B was As assistant. A called B. B
replied why are you calling me? A

threw a wood to B. B threw the wood

back. A battered B with the wood. A
mortally injures B with a screwdriver.
Issue: (1) was the retort why are you
calling me? sufficient provocation? (2)
was the defense using the screwdriver
Held: (1) It was not sufficient
provocation. (2) The act of A throwing
a wood to B constituted unlawful
reasonable. The screwdriver was a
reasonable means.
People v. Boholst A wife killed her husband
with a knife as an act of defense when her
husband choked her kneck.

Vii. Battered Woman Syndrome As A Defense
Republic Act No. 9262- Anti-Violence Against Women and
their Children Act of 2004 provided that:
o Sec 26- Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS) as a
Defense- victim survivors suffering from BWS do not
incur criminal and civil liability notwithstanding the
absence of any of the elements for justifying
circumstances of self-defense (courts shall be assisted
by psychiatrists)
Battered woman syndrome, explained
o Battered woman- a woman who is repeatedly
subjected to any forceful physical or psychological
behavior by a man in order to coerce her to do
something he wants her to do without concern for her
o Personality traits of a battered woman-
Low self-esteem

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Traditional Beliefs about the home, family and
sex role
Emotional dependence
Tendency to accept responsibility
False hopes
o A battered womans cycle of violence
1. The tension-building phase
2. Acute battering incident
3. Tranquil and loving phase
Effect of Battery on Appellant
o The cycle of violence immobilizes the womans ability
to act decisively in her own interests, making her feel
trapped in the relationship with no means of escape.
o She also believes that he is capable of killing her, and
that there is no escape. Battered women feel unsafe,
suffer from pervasive anxiety,, and usually fail to leave
the relationship.
Flight after the commission of a crime is highly evidentiary of guilt and
incompatible with self-defense.


I. Relatives That Can Be Defended
1. Spouse
2. Ascendants
3. Descendants
4. Legitimate, natural or adopted brothers and sisters, or relatives
by affinity in the same degrees
o Relatives by affinity because of marriage
5. Relatives by consanguinity within the fourth civil degree.
o Relatives by consanguinity blood relatives

Ii. Basis Of Justification

The justification of this clause is formed not only upon a

humanitarian sentiment, but also upon the impulse of blood

Iii. Elements Of Defense Of Relatives
1. Unlawful aggression
2. Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or
repel it
3. In case of provocation was given by the person attacked, the
one making a defense had no part therein

IV. Defense Of Relatives Also Requires That There Be Unlawful
Of the 3 requisites of defense of relatives, unlawful aggression
is a sine qua non, for without it any defense is not possible or
When two persons are getting ready to strike each other, there
can be no unlawful aggression (People v. Moro Munabe).

V. Unlawful Aggression Can Be Made To Depend Upon The Honest
Belief Of The One Making A Defense.
When A attacked and wounded B with a dagger but B defended
himself and seriously wounded A. (note: A is the unlawful
aggressor) Then the sons of A came and believed in good faith
that their father was the victim of an unlawful aggression. If
they kill B, they are justified by a mistake of fact.

Vi. Third Element Of Defense Of Relative
Reason for the rule that although the provocation prejudices
the person who gave it, its effects do not reach the defender
who took no part therein, because the latter was prompted by
some noble or generous sentiment in protecting and saving the
The fact that the relative defended gave provocation is

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Vii. Examples Of Defense Of Relatives
People v. Ammalun
o The accused heard his wife shouting from their house.
He rushed to the house and killed the man forcibly
abusing his wife.
US v Rivera
o Antonio Rivera kills the person who was attacking his


I. Element For Defense Of Stranger:
1. Unlawful aggression
2. Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or
repel it
3. The person defending be not induced by revenge, resentment
or other motive

II. THIRD ELEMENT Of Defense Of Stranger
Such defense must be actuated by a disinterested or generous
motive, when it puts down revenge, resentment or other evil
3rd requisite would be lacking if such person was prompted by
his grudge against the assailant

III. Persons Deemed As Strangers
Persons not included in the enumeration of relatives
mentioned in paragraph 2 of this article (close friend or distant
relatives are included).
o People v. Valdez
A heard a cry for help. He saw B attacking Bs
wife with a dagger. A defended Bs wife and

inflicted wounds on B. Held: It was a valid

defense of a stranger


I. Elements For Avoidance Of Greater Injury:
1. That the evil sought to be avoided actually exists.
2. That the injury feared be greater than that done to avoid it
3. That there be no other practical and less harmful means of
preventing it.

II. Damage To Another Is Required
This covers injury to persons and damage to property.

III. FIRST ELEMENT: Existence Of Evil Sought To Be Avoided
If the evil sought to be avoided is merely expected or
anticipated or may happen in the future, par. 4 is not
Example of injury to person under par. 4:
o Guevara A person was driving his car with due
diligence when an incoming truck cause him to swerve
his car to the right thereby saving his life however
killing a passerby.

IV. SECOND ELEMENT: Injury Feared By Greater Than That Done To
The greater evil should not be brought about by the negligence
or imprudence of the actor.
o Driver drove his car at full speed, disregarding the
condition of the place, and although he saw the six-bysix truck at a distrance of 500 meters away, he didnt
not slacken his speed. He cannot invoke par. 4 because
the necessity (of avoiding greater injury) was brought
about by his reckless imprudence.

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When the accused was not avoiding any evil, he cannot invoke
the justifying circumstance of avoidance of a greater evil or
o People v. Ricohermoso
Facts: Pio and Severo attacked Geminiano who
was wounded. Nearby, Juan embraced
Marianito, Geminianos son, who had a gun
and grappled with him. Geminiano died. Pio,
Severo and Juan were persecuted for murder.
Issue: Can Juan validly invoke the justifying
circumstance of avoidance of greater evil?
Held. No. His reliance on that justifying
circumstance is erroneous. He was not avoiding
any evil when he sought to disable Marianito.
The evil which brought about the greater evil must not result
from a violation of law by the actor.
There is civil liability under this paragraph. The civil liability is
borne by the persons benefited.


I. Elements Fulfillment Of A Duty Or Lawful Exercise Of Right Or
1. That the accused acted in the performance of a duty or in the
lawful exercise of a right or office
2. That the injury caused or the offense committed be the
necessary consequence of the due performance of duty or the
lawful exercise of such right or office.

II. Fulfillment Of A Duty
People v. Felipe Delima
o Facts: Felipe Delima pursued and shot Lorenzo Napilon
who escaped from prison a few days prior to the

incident. The policeman was tried and convicted by the

Court of First Instance of homicide and sentenced him
to reclusion temporal.
o Held: The killing was done in performance of the duty.
In accordance with Article 8, No. 11 (now Article 11,
par 5 of Revised Penal Code) Felipe Delima committed
no crime and is acquitted.
Shooting an offender who refused to surrender is justified, but
shooting a thief who refused to be arrested is not justified
Legitimate performance of duty v. Illegal performance of duty
o People v. Cabrera
When the victim without apparent reason, but
probably due to drunkenness, fired his gun
several times at the Alta Vista Club, the
accused and his partner had to intervene for
they were with the NBI. They would have been
remiss in their duty if they did not. It must be
presumed that both officers acted pursuant to
the law when they tried to discharge his duty
as an NBI agent.
o People v. Tan
The attitude adopted by the deceased in
putting his hands in his pocket is not sufficient
to justify the accused to shoot him. The
deceased was unarmed and the accused could
have first warned him.
Distinguished from self-defense and from consequence of
felonious act.
o The public officer acting in the fulfillment of a duty may
appear to be an aggressor but his aggression is not
unlawful, it being necessary to fulfill a duty.

III. Lawful Exercise Of Right Or Office
Of Right

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Under the Civil Code (Article 429) the owner or lawful
possessor of a thing has the right to exclude any person
from the enjoyment and disposal thereof. For this
purpose, he may use such force as may be reasonably
necessary to repel or prevent an actual or threatened
unlawful physical invasion or usurpation of his
o If in protecting his possession, he injured the one trying
to get it from him, he is justified under this paragraph.
Of Office
o The executioner of the Bilibid Prison cannot be held
liable for murder for the execution performed by him
because he was merely acting in the lawful exercise of
his office (Guevara).
o A surgeon who amputated the leg of a patient to save
him from gangrene is not liable for the crime of
mutilation, because he was acting in the lawful exercise
of his office.

IV. The Actual Invasion Of Property May Consist Of A Mere
Disturbance Of Possession Or Of A Real Dispossession
If its mere disturbance of possession, force may be used
against it at any time as long as it continues, even beyond the
prescriptive period of an action of forcible entry.


I. Elements:
1. That an order has been issued by a superior
2. That such order must be for some lawful purpose
3. That the means used by the subordinate to carry out said order
is lawful.


Both the person who gives the order and the person who
executes it, must be acting within the limitations prescribed by
When the order is not for a lawful purpose, the subordinate
who obeyed it is criminally liable.
People v. Barroga
o One who prepared a falsified document with full
knowledge of its falsity is not excused even if he merely
acted in obedience to the instruction of his superior
because the instruction was not for a lawful purpose.
People v. Margen
o Upon order, a soldier tortured to death the deceased
for bringing a kind of fish different from that he had
been asked to furnish. The order to torture was illegal
so the accused was not bound to obey it.
The subordinate is not liable for carrying out an illegal order of
his superior if he is not aware of the illegality of the order and
he is not negligent.

DEFENSE OF PROPERTY: Lentejas punched a thief, who fell and
died as a result, while she was trying to prevent the theft of her
mobile phone.
o She is not liable under Article 4 because she was
exercising a lawful right and not a felony. Therefore,
she can claim defense in Article 11(1) and (5).
o However, if she pulls out a gun and kills the thief using
such, she may be criminally liable because it exceeds
the second provision that there should be reasonable
necessity of the means employed to repel the
supposed unlawful aggression Article 11(1). As such,

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she has overstepped the lawful exercise of her right to

defend her property.
What is the extent to which you can protect your property
without incurring criminal liability?
o The standard depends on the reasonable necessity of
the means used.
o In the defense of property rights, there must be
unlawful aggression on the person of the owner.
However, in the exercise of the right to protect your
property, no unlawful aggression on the person of the
owner is necessary to entitle the accused to use
reasonable force to defend his or her property.
DEFENSE OF HOME: Thieves entered your home with a torch,
which you mistook for aliens and thus fired your shotgun at
them. Can you argue defense of property?
o Issue: given that the situation took place in the house,
is there a need for unlawful aggression in order to
entitle you to defend your property?
o Ruling: NO. The defense of ones home does not
require unlawful aggression towards the accused. Even
if there is not aggressive stance on the part of the
victims, the owner can already exercise defense (so
long as the means used was reasonable).
General rule for unlawful aggression in relation to defense of
home: No need for unlawful aggression.

Belief of the accused
Facts: Friend who played a trick on you by grabbing you at
night, and you thinking that it was a threat to your person
hit the person and he died.
Ruling: You are justified in your acts because you did not have
the intent to kill the person, and (assuming) you did not act


Does it require equality? Such that if someone punches you,
you may only just use your fists?
o Not necessarily. See B. Necessity of Means Used
Mr. Arzaga is holding Mr. Bonifacio by the neck. Unknowing to
him, Mr. Bonifacio had gotten hold of a cutter. If Mr. Bonifacio
uses the instrument against Mr. Arzaga, can he invoke the
defense that his means was reasonable and necessity?

Article 12. Circumstances which exempt from criminal liability.
The following are exempt from criminal liability:
1. An imbecile or an insane person, unless the latter has acted
during a lucid interval.
When the imbecile or an insane person has committed an act
which the law defines as a felony, the court shall order his
confinement in one of the hospitals or asylums established for
persons thus afflicted, which he shall not be permitted to
leave without first obtaining the permission of the same
2. A person under nine years of age
3. A person over nine years of age and under fifteen, unless he
has acted with discernment, in which case, such minor shall
be proceeded against in accordance with the provisions of
Article 80 of this code.
When such a minor is adjudged to be criminally irresponsible,
the court, in conformity with the provisions of this and the
preceding paragraph, shall commit him to the care and
custody of his family who shall be charged with his
surveillance and education; otherwise, he shall be committed
to the care of some institution or person mentioned in said
Article 80.
4. Any person who, while performing a lawful act with due care,
causes an injury by mere accident without fault or intention of
causing it

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5. Any person who acts under the compulsion of an irresistible
6. Any person who acts under the impulse of an uncontrollable
fear of an equal or greater injury.
7. Any person who fails to perform an act required by law, when
prevented by some lawful or insuperable cause.


I. Exempting Circumstances
1. Definition: Are grounds for exemption from punishment
because there is wanting in the agent of the crime any of the
conditions which make the act voluntary or negligent
2. Basis The exemption from punishment is based on the
complete absence of intelligence, freedom of action, or intent,
or on the absence of negligence on part of the accused.

II. In Exempting Circumstances, There Is A Crime Committed But No
Criminal Liability Arises
Technically, one who acts by virtue of any of the exempting
circumstances commits a crime, although by the complete
absence of any of the conditions which constitute free will or
voluntariness of the act, no criminal liability arises.
Circumstances mentioned in Art 12 is a matter of defense and
the same must be proved by the defendant to the satisfaction
of the court.


I. Basis Of Paragraph 1
Complete absence of intelligence, an element of voluntariness.

II. Imbecility Distinguished From Insanity

Imbecile is one who, while advanced in age, has a mental

development comparable to that of children between 2 and 7
years of age. Such person is exempt in ALL cases from criminal
Insane is one who is deprived completely of reason or
discernment and freedom of the will at the time of committing
the crime. Such person is not exempt if it can be shown that he
acted during a lucid interval (when the insane acts with

III. To Constitute Insanity There Must Be Complete Deprivation Of
Intelligence Or That There Be A Total Deprivation Of The Freedom Of
The Will
Complete deprivation of intelligence- the accused is deprived of
reason and without the least discernment.
Mere abnormality of mental faculties is NOT enough, especially
if the offender has not lost consciousness of his acts.

IV. Procedure When The Imbecile Or The Insane Committed A Felony
Court shall order his confinement in one of the hospitals or
asylums established for persons afflicted.
Court has no power to permit the insane to leave such facility
without first obtaining the opinion of the Director of Health
that he may be released.

V. Insanity At The Time Of The Commission Of The Felony
Distinguished From Insanity At The Time Of The Trial
When a person is insane at the time of the commission of the
felony, he is exempt from criminal liability.
When he becomes insane only at the time of the trial, he is
criminally liable.

VI. Who Has The Burden Of Proof To Show Insanity?

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The defense must prove the insanity of the accused at the time
of the commission of the crime.
The presumption is always in favor of sanity.
How much evidence is necessary to overthrow the presumption
of sanity?
o In order to ascertain a persons mental condition at the
time of the act, it is permissible to receive evidence of
the condition of his mind during a reasonable period
both before and after that time.
o Direct testimony is not required.

A. Evidence Of Insanity
The evidence of insanity must refer to the time preceding the
act under prosecution of to the very moment of its execution.
If the insanity is only occasional or intermittent in its nature,
the presumption of its continuance does not arise.
Where it is shown that the defendant had lucid intervals, it will
be presumed that the offense was committed in one of them.

B. When A Defense Of Insanity Is Not Credible:
People v. Renegado Where appellant, Loreto, testified that
he was acting sanely that morning before he killed Lira after
being confused and losing his senses. Moreover, he was able
to recall most of the incidents that morning. The defense of
insanity is incredible.
People v. Ambal Being able to recall significant events in the
weeks prior to the crime, he was declared sane.
People v. Magallano Where psychiatrists who observed the
accused for a month attested that he did not manifest any odd
behavior and it was evident that he was coherent and
intelligent, the presumption of sanity holds.
People v. Puno In spite of his schizophrenic reaction, his
symptoms were not socially incapacitating and he could
adjust to his environment. He is not legally insane.

People v. Aquino The doctor attested that despite having

organic mental disorder with psychosis, the accused recalled
events prior to the commission of the crime. The presence of
his reasoning faculties discounts any intimation of insanity.

VII. Coverage of the terms

A. Dementia Praecox (Schizophrenia) Is Covered By The Term Insanity
When a person is suffering from a form of psychosis (a type of
dementia pracox) homicidal attack is common because of
delusions. During the period of excitement, such person has
not control whatever of his acts.
People v. Bonan An irresistible homicidal impulse was
considered embraced in the term insanity. It may be said that
a person who has lost the power of his will, at the moment,
also lost consciousness of his acts.

B. Schizophrenia, Formerly Called Dementia Praceox
It is a chronic mental disorder characterized by inability to
distinguish between fantasy and reality and often accompanied
by hallucinations and delusions.
Schizophrenic reactions are recognizable through odd and
bizarre behavior apparent in aloofness or periods of impulsive
destructiveness and immature and exaggerated emotionality,
often ambivalently directed.

C. Kleptomania
If the unlawful act of the accused is due to mental disease or a
mental defect, producing an irresistible impulse, as when the
accused has been deprived or has lost the power of his will the
irresistible impulse should be considered covered by insanity.
On the other hand, if the mental defect only diminishes the
exercise of his will-power then kleptomania is only a
mitigating circumstance.

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D. Epilepsy May Be Covered By Insanity
This is a disease characterized by fits, occurring at intervals,
attended by convulsive motions of the muscles and loss of
An accused must be undergoing an epileptic fit when he
committed the crime in order to be acquitted (People v.
Mancao and Aguilar).

E. Feeblemindedness Is Not Imbecility.
A feebleminded person can distinguish right from wrong, in
contrast to an imbecile or insane person who cannot do so.

F. Pedophilia Is Not Insanity
Pedophiles can distinguish right from wrong. (People v. Diaz)

G. Amnesia Is Not Proof Of Mental Condition Of The Accused
Amnesia, in itself, is no defense to a criminal charge unless it is
shown that the accused did not know the nature and quality of
his action.

H. Other Cases Of Lack Of Intelligence
1. Committing a crime while in a dream does not make one
criminally liable (Somnambulism/ sleepwalking)
a. Hypnotism - whether this causes somnambulism
2. Committing a crime while suffering from malignant malaria
does not make one criminally liable for malaria affects the
nervous system and causes complications such as melancholia
and insanity.


I. Basis Of Paragraph 2
Complete absence of intelligence

II. Age Of Absolute Irresponsibility Raised To Fifteen Years Of Age
Republic Act No. 9344 (Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act) raised
the age of absolute irresponsibility from 9 to 15.
Absolute irresponsibility exempts the offender from criminal


I. Basis Of Paragraph 3
Absence of Intelligence

II. Par. 3, Art. 12 Of The Revised Penal Code Impliedly Repealed By
Republic Act No. 9344
The age bracket for conditional responsibility is now 15-18
years of age instead of 9-15.
The child is exempted from criminal liability, but not from civil
It is incumbent upon the prosecution to prove that a minor has
acted with discernment, in order for him to be deprived of this
exempting circumstance.

III. Periods Of Criminal Responsibility

IRRESPONSIBILITY 15 years and below
RESPONSIBILITY 15 years and 1 day to 18 years
(Child in conflict with the law)
18 years or over (adolescence) to
70 (maturity)

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15 years and 1 day to 18 years,

the offender acting with
discernment; over 70 years of age.

Senility the age over 70 years, although said to be the
second childhood is only a mitigated responsibility. It cannot be
considered as similar to infancy which is exempting.

IV. Meaning Of Discernment
Capacity of the child to understand the difference between
right and wrong and its consequences.

A. Determination Of Discernment
The determination of discernment shall take into account the
ability of a child to understand the moral and psychological
components of criminal responsibility and the consequences of
the wrongful act.

B. Discernment & Intent Distinguished
Intent refers to the desired act of the person
Discernment the moral significance that a person ascribes to
the said act.

C. Discernment May Be Shown By:
1. Manner of committing the crime (e.g. minor committed the
crime during nighttime to avoid detection).
2. Conduct of the offender (e.g. a minors perverted character and
satisfaction upon the accomplishment of the act).

D. The Allegation Of With Intent To Kill In The Information Is
Sufficient Allegation Of Discernment
People v. Neito
o Facts: Alleged accused, with intent to kill, did then and
there willfully, criminally and feloniously push 8-year-

old Lolita Padilla (victim) into a deep place thus causing

her death by drowning.
Ruling: The allegation clearly conveys the idea that she
knew what would be the consequence of her unlawful
act of pushing her victim into deep water and that she
knew it to be wrong.

V. Burden Of Proof Of Age
Any person alleging the age has the burden of proof.
A. Presumption Of Minority
A child shall enjoy all the presumption of minority and all the
rights of a child until proven to be eighteen years or older at
the time of the commission of the offense.

B. Determination Of Age
A childs age shall be determined according to the ff rules:
1. Original or certified true copy of birth certificate.
2. Similar authentic documents (baptismal certificates, school
3. Testimony of a member of the family related to the child by
affinity or consanguinity, testimonies of other persons, physical
appearance of the child and other relevant evidence.


I. Basis Of Paragraph 4
Lack of negligence and intent
Under this circumstance, the person does not commit either an
intentional felony or a culpable felony.

II. Elements:
1. A person is performing a lawful act

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2. With due care
3. He causes an injury by mere accident
4. Without fault or intention of causing it

III. FIRST ELEMENT: The Person Must Be Performing A Lawful Act
People v. Galacgac
o The discharge of a firearm in a crowded place in Manila
being prohibited by Article 155, appellant Galacgac was
not performing a lawful act. Hence, exemption cannot
be invoked.
Striking another with a gun in self-defense, even if it fired and
seriously injured the assailant is a lawful act
o People v. Vitug
When the defendant drew his gun and with it
struck the diseased after the latter had given
him a fist blow on the shoulder, the defendant
was performing a lawful act. Whether the gun
was cocked or uncocked the striking could not
have been done in any other manner. The act
was a legitimate act of defense.
The fact that the gun fired because the hand of
the defendant was on the trigger when he hit
deceased was a mere accident without any
fault or intention of causing it.
People v. Reyta
o The act of drawing a weapon in the course of a quarrel
not being in self-defense is unlawful. It is light threat
(Art. 285, par. 1).

IV. SECOND ELEMENT: The Person Performing A Lawful Act Must Do
So With Due Care, Without Fault Or Negligence
Criminal liability exemption in this article cannot be invoked if
the appellant is guilty of negligence.

V. THIRD ELEMENT: Causes Injury By Mere Accident

A. What Is An Accident?
Something that happens outside the sway of our will, and
although it comes about through some act of our will, lies
beyond the bounds of humanly foreseeable consequences.
o It is an event that does not necessarily and logically
follow/result from ones act.
It is negligence when the consequences are foreseeable.
Examples Of An Accident:
US v. Tanedo
o Facts: the accused, while hunting, saw wild chickens
and fired a shot. The slug recoiled and hit the tenant
who was a relative of the accused, thereby killing him.
o Held: IF life is taken by misfortune or accident while the
actor is in performance of a lawful act executed with
due care and without intention of doing harm, there is
no criminal liability.
US v. Tayongtong
o A chauffer, while driving on the proper side of the road
at a moderate speed and with due diligence, suddenly
and unexpectedly hit a man. It was held that he is not
criminally liable, it being a mere accident.

VI. FOURTH ELEMENT: Without Fault Of Intention Of Causing It
A. Accident Presupposes Lack Of Intention To Commit The Wrong
The exempting circumstance of Article 12 refers to purely
accidental cases where there was absolutely NO intention to
commit the wrong done.

B. Case Of Negligence, Not Accident
People v. Nocum

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The defendant drew a pistol and shot twice in the air to
get the attention of 2 persons fighting. He fired another
shot that ricocheted and hit an innocent bystander. He
was convicted of homicide through reckless
Comment: Such ruling was given because the consequences in
the given situation are foreseeable.

C. Accident And Negligence, Intrinsically Contradictory
Jarco Marketing Corporation v. Court of Appeals
o Accident and negligence are intrinsically contradictory.
One cannot exist with the other.
People v. Ayaya
o Court held that the absence of any reasonable motive
to prompt said defendant to injure her husband
compelled the court to conclude that in thrusting her
umbrella in the opening of the door, she did so to free
her son from imminent danger of having his head
crushed or being strangle; the injury was caused by a
mere accident.

D. When Claim Of Accident Not Appreciated:
1. People v Taylaran Repeated blows negate claim of wounding
by mere accident.
2. People v. Reyes Accidental shooting is negated by
threatening words preceding it.


I. Basis Of Paragraph 5
Complete absence of freedom, an element of voluntariness.
Presumption: person is compelled by means of force or
violence to commit a crime.

II. Elements:
1. Compulsion is by means of physical force
2. Physical force must be irresistible
o Before a force can be considered an irresistible one, it
must produce such an effect upon the individual that,
in spite of all resistance, it reduces him to a mere
instrument (reason why hes incapable of committing
the crime)
o In spite of all resistance, it compels the person to obey
or act upon it.
3. Physical force must come from a third person
Example: US v. Caballeros
Facts: Baculi, one of the accused but is not part of the band
which murdered the American school-teachers, was at the
scene of the crime and was made to bury the bodies because
he was struck with the butts of the bands guns.
Held: Baculi was not criminally liable because an outside
irresistible force compelled him to do the said act.

III. FIRST & SECOND ELEMENT: Compulsion Of Irresistible Force
NO Compulsion of irresistible force
People v Sarip
o Pretension of an accused to be threatened with a gun
by a friend doesnt hold when the accused has a rifle at

IV. THIRD ELEMENT: Physical Force Must Come From A Third Person
Passion or obfuscation cannot be irresistible force
Irresistible force can never consist in an impulse or passion or
obfuscation. Irresistible force must consist of an extraneous
force from a third party.

V. Nature Of Force Required

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Irresistible to reduce the actor to a mere instrument who acts

not only without will but against his will.
Duress, force, fear, or intimidation must be present, imminent
and impending to induce a well-grounded apprehension of
death or serious bodily harm if the act is not done.
Compulsion must be of such a character as to leave no
opportunity to the accused for escape or self-defense in equal


I. Basis of Paragraph 6
Based on the complete absence of freedom; actus me invite
factus non est meus actus (an act done by me against my will
is not my act.).
Presumption: a person is compelled to commit a crime by
means of intimidation or threat.

II. Elements:
1. Threat which causes the fear is an evil greater than or at least
equal to that which he is required to commit.
2. It promises an evil of such gravity and imminence that the
ordinary man would have succumbed to it.

III. Elements:
1. Existence of an uncontrollable fear.
2. Fear must be real or imminent.
3. Fear of an injury is greater than or at least equal to that
Example: (US v. Exaltacion)
Facts: Liberato Exaltacion and Buenaventura Tanchinco swore
allegiance to the Katipunan because of fear of death.

Held: Cannot be held criminally liable because the impulse of

an uncontrollable fear of an equal or greater injury (penalty of
rebellion is prision mayor or imprisonment for a period of 6-12
years and fine is less than the injury of death)

IV. Nature Of Duress As A Valid Defense (People v. Quilloy)
Should be based on real, imminent, or reasonable fear for ones
life or limb.
Should not be speculative, fanciful, or remote fear.

V. The Accused Must Not Have Opportunity For Escape Or SelfDefense
Compulsion must be of such a character as to leave no
opportunity to the accused for escape or self-defense in equal
Duress is unavailing where the accused had every opportunity
to run away or resist when he wanted to because he was
When several opportunities are present but accused did not act
upon it, defense of being under intimidation is untenable.
When the accused carries a much stronger weapon that the
one intimidating him, its held that accused did not act under
impulse of an uncontrollable fear of an equal or greater injury.
Command of Hukbalahap killers cause of uncontrollable fear
because of their ruthless killing nature (People v. Regala)
In treason nothing will excuse that act of joining an enemy,
but the fear of imminent death.

VI. Speculative, Fanciful, And Remote Fear Is Not Uncontrollable Fear
Threat must be of a serious character and imminence as to
create in the mind of the defendant an uncontrollable fear and
an infliction of an equal or greater evil would be done upon him
on non-compliance.

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Absence of proof of actual physical or moral compulsion to act,

it not sufficient to exempt the accused from criminal liability.

VII. Real, Imminent Or Reasonable Fear
Case of US v. Exaltacion as an example
Threat of future injury is not enough it must be clearly
shown that the compulsion must be of such character as to
leave NO opportunity to escape

VIII. Distinction Between Irresistible Force And Uncontrollable Fear
Irresistible force (par. 5) uses violence or physical force
Uncontrollable fear (par. 6) uses intimidation or threat


I. Basis Of Paragraph 7
Accused acts without intent.

II. Elements:
1. Act is required by law to be done.
2. Person fails to perform such act.
3. His failure to perform such act was due to some lawful or
insuperable cause

III. When Prevented By
A. Some Lawful Cause
(Vide, Sec. 24[d], Rule 130, Rules of Court)
A confessed to a Filipino priest that theres an ongoing
conspiracy against the government, which he is a part of. Under
the law, one is required to tell the government about the said
act. Non-compliance of this law by the Filipino priest exempts
him from criminal liability because he is bound by his
professional capacity for non-disclosure of confessions.

B. Some Insuperable Cause
Municipal president detained the offended party for three days
and was not able to comply with the 18-hour requirement
because of the no means of transportation (US v. Vicentillo)
insuperable cause is the no transportation.
A mother who was overcome by severe dizziness and extreme
debility left her child in a thicket who subsequently died is not
liable for infanticide because of the impossibility to take the
child home. (People v. Bandian) insuperable cause is the
severe dizziness and extreme debility.

I. In All The Exempting Circumstances, Intent Is Wanting In The Agent
Of The Crime
Intent presupposed the exercise of freedom and the use of

II. Distinction Between Justifying And Exempting Circumstances
Justifying circumstances
o Person does not transgress the law, he does not
commit any crime in the eyes of the law.
o There is nothing unlawful in the act as well as the
o Act is in itself just and lawful.
o There is neither a crime nor a criminal.
o No civil liability except for par. 4 (causing damage to
another in state of necessity).
Exempting circumstances
o There is a crime but NO criminal liability.
o Act is not justified but the actor is not criminally liable.
o There is civil liability except in pars. 4 and 7(causing
injury by mere accident; failing to perform an act

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required by law when prevented by some lawful or
insuperable cause).

III. Absolute Causes
Definition: Those where the act committed is a crime but for
reasons of public policy and sentiment there is no penalty

A. Other Absolutory Causes (Aside From Article 11 And 12)
Article 6 the spontaneous desistance of the person who
commenced the commission of a felony before he could
perform all the acts of execution.
Article 7 Light felony is only attempted or frustrated, and is
not against persons or property.
Article 20 The accessory is a relative of the principal.
Article 124, last paragraph legal grounds for arbitrary
Article 247, pars. 1 and 2 Death or physical injuries inflicted
under exceptional circumstances.
o Any legally married person who, having surprised his
spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with
another person, shall kill any of them or both of them
in the act or immediately thereafter, or shall inflict
upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer the
penalty of destierro.
o If he shall inflict upon them physical injuries of any
other kind, he shall be exempt from punishment.
Article 280, par. 3 Legal grounds for trespass.
Article 332 The crime of theft, swindling or malicious mischief
is committed against a relative.
Article 344, par. 4 Marriage of the offender with the offended
party when the crime committed is rape, abduction, seduction,
or acts of lasciviousness.

B. Instigation Is An Absolutory Cause

US v. Phelps
o Facts: an internal revenue agent represented himself as
a private individual and asked the accused to lead him
where he could smoke opium. Agent went to the
accused three times and insisted so much, hence the
accused brought him to a place where opium is
o Held: Accused not criminally liable because he was
instigated to commit the crime of smoking opium.
Suppose the agent induced the accused to sell him opium and
accused did sell the agent opium, is the accused liable for illegal
possession of opium? YES, because mere possession of opium is
a crime in itself.

Instigation Must Be Made By Public Officers Or Private Detectives
A sound public policy requires that the courts shall condemn
this practice by directing an acquittal whenever it appears that
the public authorities or private detectives, with their
cognizances, have taken active steps to lead the accused into
the commission of the act.
If the one who made the instigation is a private individual who
is not performing a public function, both he and the one
accused is criminally liable for the crime committed.
Private individual as principal by induction.
Accused as principal by direct participation.

C. Entrapment Is Not An Absolutory Cause
The general rule: no defense to the perpetrator of the crime
that facilities for its commission were purposely placed in his
way, or that the criminal act was done at the decoy
solicitation of persons seeking to expose the criminal, or that
detectives feigning complicity in the act were present and
apparently assisting in its commission. Especially is this true in

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that class of cases where the offense is one of kind habitually

committed, and the solicitation merely furnishes evidence of a
course of conduct.
People v. Lua Chua
o Facts: The accused wrote to his correspondent in
Hongkong to send him a shipment of opium, which had
already been waiting for a ship to Cebu. The Collector
of Customs of Cebu received information regarding the
plan of the accused to land opium in the port. Juan
Samson, a secret servicemen pretended to smooth the
way for the importation, while the Collector of Customs
received P20,000.
o Ruling: It is true that Juan Samson smoothed the way
for the introduction of the prohibited drug, but that
was after the accused had already planned its
importation and had made the order.
o Alternative Scenario: Supposed the accused had not yet
ordered for the opium, but after the assurance of the
Collector of Customs, he made the order.
Ruling: There would be instigation.

D. Entrapment And Instigation Distinguished
o Instigator practically induces he would-be accused into
the commission of the offense and instigator becomes
a co-principal.
o Bar to prosecution and conviction of lawbreaker.
o Law enforcer conceives the commission of the crime
and suggests to the accused who adopts the idea and
carries it into execution.
o Exempts the criminal from liability.
o An absolutory cause.

Ways and means are resorted to for the purpose of

trapping and capturing the lawbreaker in the execution
of his criminal plan.
o No bar to prosecution and conviction of lawbreaker.
o Means originate from the mind of the criminal.
o No exemption in liability.
o Not a defense.
There Is Neither Instigation Nor Entrapment When The Violation Of
The Law Is Simply Discovered
People v. Tan Tiong
o Facts: Accused sold a can of powder above the ceiling
price and contended that the government agent
induced him to violate the law by purchasing from him
the specified article.
o Held: agent did not induce the accused. Agent only
knew the price difference when he bought from the
accused. Accused was the one who charged and
collected the price. There was no entrapment.

E. Assurance Of Immunity By A Public Officer Does Not Exempt A
Person From Criminal Liability
Not even the President could give such assurance of immunity
to any violator of the firearm law. His constitutional clemency
can be exercised only after conviction.

IV. Complete Defense In Criminal Cases
1. The prosecution does not prove any of the essential elements
of the crime charged and elements proved do not constitute
any crime.
2. Acts falling under justifying circumstances
3. Acts falling under exempting circumstances
4. Covered by any absolutory causes
5. Guilt of the accused not established beyond reasonable doubt
6. Prescription of crimes

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7. Pardon by the offended party before the institution of criminal
action in crime against chastity

What allowance is granted by law to the person who uses a certain
method to defend himself?
Instinct of self-preservation is in play during actual emergencies
that pose danger to life and limb Defendant is not required
to analyze the situation and with mathematical precision and
equality analyze the least harmful way to defend himself. His
instinct, not necessarily his formal reason, is in motion during

Original Material from TABLE TURNERS (2012-2013). Edited by Rachelle Anne Gutierrez (2015-2016)