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CRIMINAL

LAW 1 REVIEWER

CHAPTER 4: APPLICATION OF PENALTIES



SECTION 1 RULES FOR THE APPLICATION OF PENALTIES
TO THE PERSONS CRIMINALLY LIABLE AND FOR THE
GRADUATION OF THE SAME.

Article 46. Penalty to be imposed upon principals in general.
The penalty prescribed by law for the commission of a felony shall be
imposed upon the principals in the commission of such felony.

Whenever the law prescribes a penalty for a felony in general terms it
shall be understood as applicable to the consummated felony.

POINTS

I. Rule
A. General Rule: Penalty Prescribed In General Terms
The penalty prescribed by law in general terms shall be
imposed:
o Upon the principals
o For consummated felony

B. Exception: When The Law Fixes A Penalty For Frustrated Or
Attempted Felony
The exception is when the penalty to be imposed upon the
principal in frustrated or attempted felony is fixed by law.

II. Graduation Of Penalties By Degrees Or By Periods
The graduation of penalties by degrees refers to stages of
execution (consummated, frustrated, attempted) and to the
degree of the criminal participation of the offender (principal,
accomplice or accessory).

The division of a divisible penalty refers to the proper period of


the penalty which should be imposed when aggravating or
mitigating circumstances attend the commission of the crime.


Article 47. In what cases the death penalty shall not be imposed;
Automatic review of death penalty cases.
The death penalty shall be imposed in all cases in which it must be
imposed under existing laws, except when the guilty person is below
18 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime or is more
than seventy years of age or when upon appeal or automatic review
of the case by the Supreme Court, the required majority vote is not
obtained for the imposition of the death penalty, in which cases the
penalty shall be reclusion perpetua.

In all cases where the death penalty is imposed by the Court for
automatic review and judgment by the court en banc, within 20 days
but not earlier than 15 days after promulgation of the judgment or
notice of denial of any motion for new trial or reconsideration. The
transcript shall also be forwarded within 10 days after the filing therof
by the stenographic reporter (As amended by Republic Act No. 2659)

POINTS

I. Duty Of The Courts
A. Majority Vote Of The Supreme Court Is Required For The
Imposition Of Death
The vote of 8 members is required (Article VIII, Section4(1),
1987 Constitution).
o Republic Act No. 296 can be given retroactive effect.
This provides that 8 justices must concur in the
imposition of death penalty. It is procedural and not
substantive and applicable to cases pending at the time
of its approval.


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The records of all cases imposing the penalty of death, reclusion


perpetua or life imprisonment shall be forwarded by the Court
of Appeals to the Supreme Court for review


B. Court Of Appeals To Review Death Penalty Cases
People v. Mateo The Court now deems it wise and
compelling to provide in death penalty cases a review by the
Court of Appeals before it is elevated to the Supreme Court to
minimize the possibility of error in judgment (particularly of
factual issues).

C. The Trial Court Must Require The Prosecution To Present Evidence,
Despite Plea Of Guilty, When The Crime Charged Is Punished With
Death
The essence of judicial review is that while society allows
violent retribution for heinous crimes, it always must make
certain that the blood of the innocent is not spilled or the guilty
made to suffer more than their just measure of punishment.
A sentence of death is valid only if it is susceptible of a fair and
reasonable examination by the court.

II. Suspension Of The Imposition Of The Death Penalty
A. The 1987 Constitution Merely Suspended The Imposition Of Death
Penalty
Article III, Section 19, 1987 Constitution does not expressly
declare the abolition of the death penalty.
It merely suspended the imposition of death penalty.

B. Republic Act No. 7659 v. Republic Act No. 9346
December 31, 1993 Republic Act No. 7659 restored the
death penalty.
June 24, 2006 Republic Act No. 9346 prohibited the
imposition of death penalty, and in lieu of it, reclusion perpetua
was imposed.

Where the penalty of reclusion perpetua is imposed, in lieu of


the death penalty, there is a need to perfect an appeal.
o Perfecting an appeal means doing all the acts necessary
to place the case on the court's calendar.1


III. Imposition Of Death Penalty
A. Death Penalty Is Not Imposed In The Following Cases:
1. When the guilty person is below 18 years of age at the time of
the commission of the crime.
2. When the guilty person is more than 70 years of age.
o Death penalty shall not be imposed when guilty person
is over 70 years. This refers to the time when the final
decision is rendered.
o People v. Alcantara: Even if accused was 64 at the start
of trial, he was past 70 when the final decision was
rendered. Death cant be imposed.
3. When upon appeal or automatic review of the case by the
Supreme Court, the vote of 8 members is not obtained for the
imposition of the death penalty.

B. Exceptional Cases In Which Death Penalty Was Not Imposed
People v. Dela Cruz Considering that the circumstances
under which the offense was perpetrated in light of the
deplorable conditions existing in the national penitentiary.
People v. Marcos When the facts of the case tend to show
that the crime was NOT the result of any deliberate and wellformed nefarious conspiracy of a criminal group. Appellant
obviously did not fully realize the gravity of the crime.

IV. Justification For Death Penalty
1. Social defense
2. Exemplarity

1 Supreme Court of the State of New York,

http://www.courts.state.ny.us/courts/ad2/faqs.shtml


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V. Death Penalty Not Cruel And Unusual
Death penalty is not excessive, unjust or cruel. Punishments are
cruel when they involve torture or lingering death. Cruelty
implies something inhuman and barbarous, that is more than
the extinguishment of life.

VI. Death penalty shall be imposed in all cases in which it must be
imposed under existing law.
As long as death penalty remains in the statute books, it is the
duty of the judicial officers to respect and apply the law
regardless of private opinion (People v. Limaco).

A. Crimes Where Death Penalty Is Imposed
1. Treason
2. Piracy
3. Qualified piracy
4. Qualified bribery
5. Parricide
6. Murder
7. Infanticide
8. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention
9. Robbery with homicide
10. Destructive arson
11. Rape with homicide
12. Plunder
13. Certain violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act
14. Carnapping

Article 48. Penalty for complex crimes.
When a single act constitutes 2 or more grave or less grave felonies,
or when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other,
the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to
be applied in its maximum period.


POINTS

I. At Least Two Crimes Must Be Committed
The commission of at least two crimes. But two or more grave
or less grave felonies must be the result of a single act, or an
offense must be a necessary means for committing the other.
In Complex Crime, When The Offender Executes Various Acts,
He Must Have A Single Purpose
o People v. Gallardo to commit estafa, the accused
had to commit 17 falsifications.
o Gonzalez v. City Fiscal 27 vouchers were falsified not
for the single purpose of estafa. One or more offenses
not necessary means for committing others.

II. A Complex Crime Is Only One Crime
Although two or more crimes are committed, they constitute
only one crime in the eyes of the law one criminal intent.
This is actually for the benefit of the offender since even if two
crimes are committed, the law only punished the offender for
one, although it is in the maximum. In the eyes of the law, the
two crimes stem from one criminal intent this is less perverse
in the crimes of the law compared to punishing him for two
crimes. This applies to both compound crimes and complex
crime proper.
o The reason for the single penalty is that the basis of the
felony is the singularity of the act.
Only one information must be filed charging the complex
felony.
o If you want to charge someone with forcible abduction
with rape, you have to allege the elements of both
forcible abduction and rape.
o If one is not proven, then the accused can be convicted
of the other (Boado).


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III. Two Kinds of Complex Crime:
1. Compound Crime When a single act constitutes two or more
grave or less grave felonies.
2. Complex Crime Proper When an offense is a necessary
means for committing the other.

IV. No Complex Crime:
When two or more crimes are committed but (1) not by a single
act and (2) one is not a necessary means for committing the
other.
When in the definition of a felony one offense is an
indispensable means to commit the other, there is no complex
crime.
o Example: No complex crime when trespass to dwelling
is a direct means to commit a grave offense like rape,
homicide or murder.
When one offense is committed to conceal the other
o After committing homicide, the accused set the house
where it was perpetrated on fire.
o The amount appropriated to himself was in the
possession and at the disposal of the accused and he
could have appropriated it to himself without the
necessity of the falsified document. Two crimes were
committed. The falsification was a means to conceal,
not to commit malversation (US v. Geta).
In the crime of rebellion with murder, arson, robbery or other
common crimes. Murder, arson and robbery are ingredients in
the crime of rebellion and are absorbed and inherent in it.

V. When Two Crimes Produced By A Single Act Are Respectively
Within The Exclusive Jurisdiction Of Two Courts Of Different
Jurisdiction, The Court Of Higher Jurisdiction Shall Try The Complex
Crime

An accused should not be harassed with various prosecutions


based on the same act by splitting it into various charges.
VI. Article 48 Is Intended To Favor The Culprit
It could have no better purpose than to prescribe a penalty
lower than the aggregate of the penalties for each offense, if
imposed separately.
When two or more crimes are the result of a single act, the
offender is deemed less perverse than when he commits said
crimes through separate and distinct acts.

VII. The Penalty For Complex Crime Is The Penalty For The Most
Serious Crime, The Same Is To Be Applied In Its Maximum Period
The same rule observed when an offense is a necessary means
for committing the other.
But when one of the offenses, as a means to commit the other,
was committed by one of the accused by reckless imprudence,
that the accused who committed the offense by reckless
imprudence is liable for his act only.
When the homicide, physical injuries, and the burning of the
house are the result of one single act of negligence, there is
only one penalty, but there are three civil liabilities.
When two felonies constituting a complex crime are punishable by
imprisonment and fine, respectively, only the penalty of imprisonment
should be imposed.

VIII. Article 48 Applies Only To Cases Where The Code Does Not
Provide A Definite Specific Penalty For A Complex Crime

COMPOUND CRIME
I. When a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave
felonies

II. Elements Of Compound Crime:
1. That only a single act is performed by the offender.


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2. That the single act produces
a. Two or more grave felonies or
b. One or more grave and one or more less grave
c. Two or more less grave felonies
d. If a light felony likewise resulted, the light felony shall
be treated as a separate offense. A separate
information must be filed for them.

III. Examples:
A. Single Act
The single act of throwing a hand grenade producing murder
and multiple attempted murder (People v. Guillen).
Placing a time bomb in a plane which caused it to explode midair killing 13 persons is a complex crime of multiple murder and
destruction of property (People v. Largo).
When in obedience to an order several accused simultaneously
shot many persons, without evidence how many each killed,
there is only one single offense, there being a single criminal
impulse (People v. Lawas)
o Note: This rule is applicable only when there is no
evidence at all to show the number of persons killed
by each of several defendants. The single criminal
impulse has no legal basis but is acceptable when it is
not certain who among the accused killed or injured
each of the several victims. The ruling in People v.
Lawas is not applicable when there was conspiracy to
perpetuate the killings.
When it is within the scope of possibility that the two victims
were killed by one and the same missile. Absent showing that
the victims died from more than one bullet, the crime should
be classified as a complex crime (People v. Bersamin).
o Ruling in the Bersamin case is applicable only when
there is no evidence as to how many wounds the

victims received and there is a possibility that they


were killed by one and the same missile.

B. No Single Act
Several shots from Thompson sub-machine gun causing several
deaths, although caused by a single act of pressing the trigger
are considered several acts (People v. Desierto)
o It is not the act of pressing the trigger which should be
considered as producing several felonies, but the
number of bullets which actually produced them.
Act directed against two different persons even though
resulting from one criminal impulse are distinct crimes (People
v. Alfindo).
Two victims each received more than one bullet wound. They
were standing far apart from each other. Accused liable for two
separate murders (People v. Basarain).

IV. Crimes Not Covered By Article 48
A. Felonies
Take note of the word felonies. This precludes application to
ordinances and Special Penal Laws.
The felonies resulting from the single act must be felonies in
the Revised Penal Code.
o If punishable under the Revised Penal Code and a
Special Penal Law (or an ordinance), Article 48 will not
apply. The offender may be charged and convicted for
both crimes, separately without double jeopardy.

B. Examples:
Estafa and illegal recruitment
Estafa and B.P. Blg. 22
Rape and sexual assault (SPL)


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Accused inserted his fingers, and then his penis to victims


vagina. NOT complex crime. One count rape, one count sexual
assault. Not a complex crime. (People v Nequia).
Rape with homicide is a special complex crime not covered by
Article 48. Article 266-B punishes rape with homicide
specifically.
No complex crime of arson with homicide under Article 48.
Article 320 as amended by Republic Act No. No.7659 provides
a penalty.
Theft of firearm and illegal possession of same firearm do not
form a complex crime they are two distinct crimes. Illegal
possession requires intent to use not just own, which is not the
case in every theft (People v. Estoista).
What if only one victim, will Article 48 apply? Yes. Governor
was performing duties and was killed by accused. Complex
crime of direct assault with homicide.
Supposing one wants to kill another with treachery, but there
abberatio ictus or error in personae, can the crime committed
by the accused be a complex crime? Yes. Homicide with
attempted homicide.
Dude stabbed victim with a bolo, the bolo hit both the victim
and the person behind him. Complex crime of murder and
serious physical injuries (People v. Patrolla).
Accused forcibly inserted his penis into the vagina of the
woman. She sustained less serious physical injuries in her
vagina. Complex crime of rape with less serious physical
injuries. (Ingles: cant find the citation by J-Call! Lets trust his
lecture!)
What if there was no intent to kill, but two people died because
of the acts of the accused, will Article 48 apply? Yes. Article 48
applies even to praeter intentionem.
o Example: dude stabbed wife who was 7 months
pregnant. Both wife and baby died. Complex crime of

parricide with unintentional abortion (People v.


Paycana).

V. Light Felonies Produced By The Same Act Should Be Treated And
Punished As Separate Offenses Or May Be Absorbed By The Grave
Felony
1. Several light felonies resulting from one single act not
complex
o Collision between two automobiles resulting into
damage of property and slight physical injuries.
2. When the crime is committed by force or violence, slight
physical injuries are absorbed.
o Slight physical injuries absorbed in rape.

VI. Applicable To Crimes Through Negligence
Article 48 speaks of felonies which make it applicable to Article
365 which defines and penalizes criminal negligence (fault).
Municipal mayor who accidentally discharges a gun in a school
program killing a girl and injuring a boy is liable for a complex
crime of homicide with less serious physical injuries through
reckless imprudence (People v. Castro).

COMPOUND COMPLEX CRIME PROPER
I. When an offense is a necessary means for committing the other
Complex crimes do not exist when the two crimes are punished
under different statutes.

II. Elements Of Compound Complex Crime Proper
1. That at least two offenses are committed.
2. That one or some of the offenses must be necessary to commit
the other.
3. That both or all the offenses must be punished under the same
statute.


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III. FIRST ELEMENT: That At Least Two Offenses Committed
People v. Barbas The falsification of the cedula certificate
which is a crime under Article 171 was necessary to commit the
crime of malversation under Article 217, because the accused
had to falsify the duplicate of the cedulas to obtain from the
taxpayers the money which he later misappropriated.
People v. Manguiat The crime of forcible abduction was a
necessary means for committing the crime of rape.

IV. SECOND ELEMENT: Necessary To Commit The Other
The first crime committed is to insure and facilitate the
commission of the next crime.
o The first is necessary but not indispensable because if
it is indispensable, then it is an element of the crime.
The phrase merely signified that, for instance, a crime such as
simple estafa can be and ordinarily is committed in the manner
defined in the Revised Penal Code, but if the estafador resorts
to or employs falsification, merely to facilitate and insure his
committing estafa, then he is guilty of the complex crime of
estafa through falsification.

V. THIRD ELEMENT: Punished Under The Same Statute
Homicide and illegal possession of firearms are punished under
different statutes.
Republic Act No. No. 8294 made the use of unlicensed firearm
in murder or homicide not as a separate crime but as a special
aggravating circumstance.

PLURALITY OF CRIMES
I. Definition
Consists in the successive execution by the same individual of
different criminal acts upon any of which no conviction has yet
been declared.

II. Kinds Of Plurality Of Crimes


1. Formal or Ideal one criminal liability
o 3 Groups Of Formal Or Ideal Type
a. When the offender commits complex crimes (Article
48)
b. Composite Crimes, that is when the law specially fixes a
single penalty for two or more offenses committed.
c. When the offender commits continued (delito
continuado) or continuing crime (transitory crime).
Ingles: Justice Callejo did not distinguish
between continued crimes and continuing
crimes, he lumped them together as delito
continuado. Boado, however, distinguished
between the two. The distinction it seems is
academic, the effect being the same that only
one crime is considered committed.
2. Real or material there are different crimes in the law as well
as in the conscience of the offender. In such case, the offender
will be punished for each and ever offense he committed.
o Example: A stabbed B with a knife. A also stabbed C.
There are two acts, two crimes.

III. Plurality Of Crimes v. Recidivism
Recidivism
Plurality
There must be conviction by final No conviction of any of the crimes
judgment of the first or prior committed
offense

COMPOSITE CRIMES
I. Definition
Those which in the eyes of the law are treated as single
indivisible offenses although in reality are made up of more
than one crime.


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II. Composite v. Complex Crime
Composite Crime
Complex Crime
Combo of offenses is fixed Combo is not specified but generalized.
by law.
Penalty is specific.
Not specific, but for the most serious
offense in the max period.
Even if there are more than If more than one count of the crime
one
count
of
the forming part of the complex crime, the
component crime (like first shall be complexed, while the other
several rapes), still just one counts are treated as separate crimes
composite crime to be (forcible abduction with rape, with
charged.
subsequent rapes charged separately).
If light felony accompanies Light felonies are not absorbed, they
the commission of the have to be filed separately.
composite offence, such is
absorbed.

CONTINUED CRIME
I. Definition
A principle wherein a single crime consisting of series of acts
but all arising from one criminal resolution.
o Impelled by a single criminal impulse but committed by
a series of overt acts at about the same time in about
the same place and all the overt acts violate one and
the same provision of law.
o When two acts are deemed distinct from one another
although proceeding from the same criminal impulse.
Although there are a series of acts, there is only one crime
committed. One penalty should be imposed.
o When the actor, there being unity of purpose and of
right violated, commits diverse acts, each of which,
although of a delictual character, merely constitutes a
partial execution of a single particular delict, such

concurrence or delictual acts is called a delito


continuado.
The series of acts born of a single criminal impulse may be
perpetrated during a long period of time.


II. A Continued Crime Is Not A Complex Crime
In continued crimes, one offense is not a necessary means for
committing another. As such, penalty imposed not in max.
The principle is applied in connection with two or more crimes
committed with a single intent.

III. Continued Crime v. Transitory Crime
Transitory crime moving crime like kidnapping a person for
the purpose of ransom.
When a transitory crime is committed, the criminal action may
be instituted and tried in the court of the municipality, city or
province wherein any of the essential ingredients thereof took
place. The singleness of the crime, committed by executing tow
or more acts is not considered.

IV. Continued Crime v. Real Or Material Plurality
Real or material
Continued crime
Series of acts performed by the offender
Each act is a separate crime Different acts constitute only one
generated by different criminal crime because all the acts arise
impulses.
from one criminal impulse.

V. Test: Single Criminal Impulse Test
A. Applies To:
Theft of 13 cows at same place and time.
Theft of 6 roosters belonging to 2 different owners from the
same coop and at the same time
Also see Mallari v. People, wherein the accused falsified two
documents over two parcels of land as security for loans from


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two people. He made it appear that the owners of the land
mortgaged the property to the two people from whence he got
the loan. The Supreme Court considered it as only one crime
because they were done in only one occasion (same date, place
and time). There was only one deceit practiced by petitioner on
the two victims.

B. Does Not Apply:
To formal/instantaneous crimes. Adultery is not a delito
continuado. Each sexual act is an offense. It is consummated
and exhausted (like the accused) at the time of carnal union.

CONTINUING CRIME
I. Definition
One where any of the elements of the offense was committed
in different localities such that the accused may be indicted in
any of those localities.

II. Only Considered As One Crime
May also refer to any offense which is continuing in time
o Rebellion
o Squatting
o Violation of B.P. Blg. 22
o Abduction, kidnapping, illegal detention
Applicable to Special Penal Laws? Yes. See Santiago v.
Garchitorena where Court said that Miriams signing the order
to allow 32 aliens to stay was a continuing crime. She was
charged only once.

Article 49. Penalty to be imposed upon the principals when the
crime committed is different from that intended.
In cases in which the felony committed is different from that which
the offender intended to commit, the following rules shall be
observed:

1. If the penalty prescribed for the felony committed be higher


than that corresponding to the offense which the accused
intended to commit, the penalty corresponding to the latter
shall be imposed in its maximum period.
2. If the penalty prescribed for the felony committed be lower
than that corresponding to the one which the accused
intended to commit, the penalty for the former shall be
imposed in its maximum period.
3. The rule established by the next preceding paragraph shall not
be applicable if the acts committed by the guilty person shall
also constitute an attempt or frustration of another crime, if
the law prescribes a higher penalty for either of the latter
offenses, in which case the penalty provided for the attempt
or the frustrated crime shall be imposed in the maximum
period.

POINTS

I. Article 14 Has Reference To The Provision Of The 1st Paragraph Of
Article 4
When the crime actually committed is different from that
intended, the penalty to be imposed must be governed by this
article.

II. Article 14 Applies Only When There Is Mistake In Identity Of The
Victim Of The Crime, And The Penalty For The Crime Committed Is
Different From That For The Crime Intended To Be Committed
Paragraph 1 of Article 4 covers
1. Aberratio Ictus (Mistake in the Blow) A fired his gun at his
father, with intent to kill him, but he missed) and hit C, killing
the latter.
2. Error in Personae (Mistake in Identity) A, thinking that a
person was B, fired at the person who turned out to be C, the
father of A.


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3. Praeter intentionem (More serious consequence not intended)
A, without intent to kill, boxed B, who fell and hit the
pavement. B died due to the fracture of the skull.
The rules stated in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 49 CANNOT
apply to cases involving (1) aberratio ictus (covered by Article
48) and (3) praeter intentionem (covered by Article 13).
It is only applicable to (2) error in personae since only one
crime is produced by the act of the offender, there could be no
complex crime (Article 38) which presupposes the commission
of at least two crimes.

III. Article 49 Is Applicable Only When The Intended Crime And The
Crime Actually Committed Are Punished With Different Penalties
If the intended crime and the crime actually committed are
punished with the same or equal penalties. Article 49 is NOT
applicable.

IV. Article 49 v. Article 48
Article 49
Article 48
The lesser penalty is to be The penalty for the more or most
imposed
serious crime shall be imposed
To be applied in the maximum The same to be applied in its
period
maximum period

V. Rule 3 In Article 49 Is Not Necessary
Because the cases contemplated in that paragraph may well be
covered by Article 48, in view of the fact that the same act
committed by the guilty person, which gives rise to one crime,
also constitutes an attempt or a frustration of another crime.

Article 50. Penalty to be imposed upon principals of a frustrated
crime.
The penalty lower in degree than that prescribed by law for the
consummated felony shall be imposed upon the principals in a

frustrated felony.

Article 51. Penalty to be imposed upon principals of attempted
crime.
The penalty lower by two degrees than that prescribed by law for the
consummated felony shall be imposed upon the principals in an
attempt to commit a felony.

Article 52. Penalty to be imposed upon accomplices in a
consummated crime.
The penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed by law for the
consummated felony shall be imposed upon the accomplices in the
commission of a consummated felony.

Article 53. Penalty to be imposed upon accessories to the
commission of a consummated felony.
The penalty lower by two degrees than that prescribed by law for the
consummated felony shall be imposed upon the accessories to the
commission of a consummated felony.

Article 54. Penalty to be imposed upon accomplices in a frustrated
crime.
The penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed by law for the
frustrated felony shall be imposed upon the accessories to the
commission of a frustrated felony.

Article 55. Penalty to be imposed upon accessories of a frustrated
crime.
The penalty lower by two degrees than that prescribed by law for the
frustrated felony shall be imposed upon the accessories to the
commission of a frustrated felony.

Article 56. Penalty to be imposed upon accomplices in an attempted
crime.


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The penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed by law for an
attempt to commit a felony shall be imposed upon the accomplices in
an attempt to commit the felony.

Article 57. Penalty to be imposed upon accessories of an attempted
crime.
The penalty lower by two degrees than that prescribed by law for the
attempt shall be imposed upon the accessories to the attempt to
commit a felony.

POINTS

I. Diagram Of The Application Of Articles 50 To 57

Consummated Frustrated
Attempted
Principals
0
1
2
Accomplices
1
2
3
Accessories
2
3
4
0 penalty prescribed by law imposed on the principal in a
consummated offense (according to provisions of Article 46)
Other figures degrees to which penalty must be lowered to
meet different situations anticipated by law.
For Articles 50, 51, 52, 53 Basis for reduction of penalty by
one or two degrees: the penalty prescribed by law for
consummated crime.
For Articles 54-55 Basis for reduction: penalty prescribed by
law for frustrated felony.
For Articles 56-57 basic penalty used for reduction by one or
two degrees: for attempted felony.
In making any reduction by one or two degrees: basis used is
that already prescribed NOT as already reduced.
Under Article 51: penalty for attempted crime is that for
consummated felony reduced by two degrees NOT penalty for
the frustrated felony reduced by one degree (De los Angeles v.
People)


A. Examples:
1. Facts: A convicted of attempted homicide A shot B with intent
to kill but without inflicting a mortal wound.
o Penalty for consummated homicide: reclusion
temporal.
o To find the penalty that is lower by one or more
degrees: look in Scale No. 1 of Article 71.
Held: Because A only committed attempted homicide: penalty
to be imposed is that which is lower by two degrees than
reclusion temporal which is prision correccional.
o Penalty for frustrated homicide: one degree lower than
reclusion temporal which is prision mayor in the
same Scale No. 1 of Article 71

2. Facts: A (principal), B (accomplice), C (accessory) convicted of
consummated homicide.
Held:
o As penalty reclusion temporal (as principal)
o Bs penalty prision mayor (as accomplice: penalty
next lower in degree than prescribed for consummated
homicide)
o Cs penalty prision correccional (as accessory: two
degrees lower than that prescribed for consummated
homicide)

In the examples, penalties shall be imposed in the proper
period and shall be subject to the provisions of the
Indeterminate Sentence Law.

II. Exceptions To The Rules Established In Articles 50 To 57
Article 60 Articles 50-57 shall not apply to cases where the
law expressly prescribes the penalty for a frustrated or


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attempted felony, or to be imposed upon accomplices or


accessories.
The penalty for frustrated parricide, murder, or homicide, may
be two degrees lower; and the penalty for attempted parricide,
murder, or homicide may be three degrees lower.
o Article 250 The courts (in view of facts of case) may
impose upon person guilty of frustrated crime of
parricide, murder, or homicide penalty lower by one
degree than that which should be imposed under
Article 50; Courts may reduce by one degree penalty
under Article 51 imposed for an attempt to commit any
of said crimes.


IV. What Are The Bases For The Determination Of The Extent Of
Penalty To Be Imposed Under The Revised Penal Code?
1. Stage reached by the crime in its development
(attempted/frustrated/consummated).
2. Participations therein of the persons liable.
3. Aggravating or mitigating circumstances which attended the
commission of the crime.
For 1 (stages of execution) and 2 (participation of persons
liable) penalty is graduated by degree.

V. What Is A Degree In Relation To Penalty?
DEGREE: one entire/whole penalty; one unit of the penalties
enumerated in the graduates scales found in Article 71.
o Each of the penalties of reclusion perpetua, reclusion
remporal, prision mayor etc. IS a degree
When there is mitigating or aggravating circumstance: penalty
is lowered or increased by period only EXCEPT when penalty is
divisible and there are two ore more mitigating without
aggravating circumstances if this happens, penalty is lowered
by a degree.

VI. What Is A Period Of Penalty?


PERIOD: one of the three equal portions (either minimum/
medium/ maximum) of a divisible penalty (Article 65).
A period of a divisible penalty, when prescribed by the Code as
a penalty for a felony, is in itself a degree.
o Example: In Article 140, the penalty for leader of a
sedition is prision mayor in its minimum period and fine
o It (minimum period) being a degree penalty lower
than that penalty is prision correcional in its maximum
period

Article 58. Additional penalty to be imposed upon certain
accessories.
Those accessories falling within the terms of paragraph 3 of Article 19
of this Code who should act with abuse of their public functions. Shall
suffer the additional penalty of absolute perpetual disqualification if
the principal offender shall be guilty of a grave felony, and that of
absolute temporary disqualification if he shall be guilty of a less grave
felony.

POINTS

I. Additional Penalties For Public Officers Who Are Guilty As
Accessories Under Paragraph 3 Of Article 19
Public officers who help the author of a crime by misusing their
office and duties shall suffer the additional penalties of:
1. Absolute perpetual disqualification if principal offended guilty
of grave felony.
2. Absolute temporary disqualification if principal offender
guilty of less grave felony.
Article 58 limits its provisions to grave or less grave felonies
because it is not possible to have accessories liable for light
felonies (Article 16).


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II. This Article Applies Only To Public Officers Who Abused Their Public
Functions
Accessories referred to in Article 58 those falling within the
term of paragraph 3 of Article 19 (recall: harboring, concealing,
or assisting in the escape).
Additional penalty in Article 58 imposed only on accessories
that misused his public office or authority in participating in
crime (who should act with abuse of their public functions).

Article 59. Penalty to be imposed in case of failure to commit the
crime because the means employed or the aims sought are
impossible.
When the person intending to commit an offense has already
performed the acts for the execution of the same but nevertheless the
crime was not produced by reason of the fact that the act intended
was by its nature one of impossible accomplishment or because the
means employed by such person are essentially inadequate to
produce the result desired by him, the court, having in mind the social
danger and the degree of criminality shown by the offender, shall
imposed upon him the penalty of arresto mayor or a fine ranging from
200-500 pesos.

POINTS

I. Penalty For Impossible Crime
Penalty for impossible crime is arresto mayor or a fine ranging
from 200 to 500 pesos.

II. Basis For Imposition Of Proper Penalty: (1) Social Danger; And (2)
Degree Of Criminality Shown By The Offender
Court must take into consideration the social danger and the
degree of criminality shown by the offender (Article 59).
o Example: Person fired revolver upon enemy 1 kilometer
away shows stupidity rather than dangerousness.

According to Positivist theory: such person should not be


punished there is neither social danger nor degree of
criminality shown by him; act is absolutely harmless; no
common sense.
But one who discharged shotgun at another from 200 yards
away guilty of discharge of firearm (Article 254) not of
impossible crime no proof of intent to kill on part of offender
and it was possible of accomplishing the evil intent of offender
(to frighten offended party) (People v. Agbuya).


III. Is The Penalty For Impossible Crime Proper?
Penalty of arresto mayor or fine of P200-500 subject to
criticism because article uses words offense and crime
which include light felony.
One who attempt to commit light felony of impossible
materialization may be punished by penalty of arresto mayor
(higher than the prescribed for consummated light felony or
arresto menor).
Provision of Article 59 limited to cases where act performed
would be grave felonies or less grave felonies.

Article 60. Exceptions to the rules established in Articles 50 to 57.
The provisions contained in Articles 50 to 57, inclusive, of this Code
shall not be applicable to cases in which the law expressly prescribes
the penalty provided for a frustrated or attempted felony, or to be
imposed upon accomplices or accessories.

POINTS

I. Articles 50 To 57 Do Not Apply When The Law Expressly Prescribes
The Penalty For A Frustrated Or Attempted Felony Or To Be Imposed
Upon Accomplices Or Accessories
On the occasion or in consequence of an attempted or
frustrated robbery, the offender commits a homicide law


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provides in Article 297: the special penalty of reclusion


temporal in its maximum period to reclusion perpetua shall be
imposed upon the offender.
If not for this provision in Article 60, the penalty to be imposed
is reclusion temporal: penalty next lower in degree than
reclusion perpetua to death which is the penalty for
consummated offense of robbery with homicide.
Reason: enormity of the offense of attempted or frustrated
robbery with homicide; law provides special penalty therefore.


II. Accomplice, Punished As Principal
General Rule: Accomplice punished by penalty one degree
lower than penalty imposed upon principal.
Exception: 2 CASES that the Code punishes accomplice with
same penalty upon principal are:
o Article 346 Ascendants, guardians, curators,
teachers, and any person who by abuse of authority or
confidential relationship, shall cooperate as
accomplices in the crimes of rape, acts of lasciviousness
seduction, corruption of minors, white slave trade or
abduction.
o Article 268 One who furnished the place for the
perpetration of the crime of slight illegal detention.
Furnishing the place for the perpetration of the
crime is ordinarily the act of an accomplice.

III. Accessory Punished As Principal
Article 142 knowingly concealing certain evil acts are usually
acts of the accessory but under this article is punished as act of
the principal.

A. Certain Accessories Are Punished With A Penalty One Degree
Lower Instead Of Two Degrees

Article 162 Knowingly using counterfeited seal or forged


signature or stamp of the President.
Article 168 Illegal possession and use of a false treasury note
or bank note.
Article 173(3) Using a falsified document.
Article 173(2) Using a falsified dispatch.


Article 61. Rules for graduating penalties.
For the purpose of graduating the penalties which, according to the
provisions of Articles 50 to 57, inclusive, of this Code, are to be
imposed upon persons guilty as principals of any frustrated or
attempted felony, or as accomplices or accessories, the following
rules shall be observed:
1. When the penalty prescribed for the felony is single and
indivisible, the penalty next lower in degrees shall be that
immediately following that indivisible penalty in the
respective graduated scale prescribed in Article 71 of this
Code.
2. When the penalty prescribed for the crime is composed of
two indivisible penalties, or of one or more divisible penalties
to be impose to their full extent, the penalty next lower in
degree shall be that immediately following the lesser of the
penalties prescribed in the respective graduated scale.
3. When the penalty prescribed for the crime is composed of one
or two indivisible penalties and the maximum period of
another divisible penalty, the penalty next lower in degree
shall be composed of the medium and minimum periods of
the proper divisible penalty and the maximum periods of the
proper divisible penalty and the maximum period of that
immediately following in said respective graduated scale.
4. When the penalty prescribed for the crime is composed of
several periods, corresponding to different divisible penalties,
the penalty next lower in degree shall be composed of the
period immediately following the minimum prescribed and of


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the two next following, which shall be taken from the penalty
prescribed, if possible; otherwise from the penalty
immediately following in the above mentioned respective
graduated scale.
5. When the law prescribes a penalty for a crime in some
manner not especially provided for in the four preceding
rules, the courts, proceeding by analogy, shall impose
corresponding penalties upon those guilty as principals of the
frustrated felony, or of attempt to commit the same, and
upon accomplices and accessories.

POINTS

I. Article 61 provides for the rules to be observed in lowering the
penalty by one or two degrees
Article 46 provides that penalty prescribed by law in general
terms shall be imposed upon principal in consummated felony
Articles 50-57 provides that penalty prescribed by law for the
felony shall be lowered one or two degrees:
a. Principal in frustrated felony one degree lower;
b. Principal in attempted felony two degrees lower;
c. Accomplice in consummated felony one degree
lower; and
d. Accessory in consummated felony two degrees lower.
Rules in Article 61 also applies in determining minimum of the
indeterminate penalty under the Indeterminate Sentence Law
o Minimum of the indeterminate penalty is within the
range of penalty next lower than prescribed by Revised
Penal Code for the offense
Rules also apply in lowering penalty by one or two degrees by
reason of presence of privileged mitigating circumstance
(Article 68 & 69), or when the penalty is divisible and there are
2 or more generic mitigating circumstances and NO
aggravating circumstance (Article 64).


II. The Lower Penalty Shall Be Taken From The Graduated Scale In
Article 71.
Scale No. 1 in Article 71 (penalties in order):
a. Death
b. Reclusion perpetua,
c. Reclusion temporal,
d. Prision mayor,
e. Prision correccional,
f. Arresto mayor,
g. Destierro,
h. Arresto menor,
i. Public censure,
j. Fine.
Indivisible penalties: (1) death, (2) reclusion perpetua, (3) public
censure
Divisible penalties: reclusion temporal down to arresto menor
Divisible penalties divided into 3 periods: (1) minimum, (2)
medium, (3) maximum

ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE RULES
I. FIRST RULE: When the penalty is single and indivisible.
Ex. Reclusion perpetua penalty for kidnapping and failing to
return a minor (Article 270)
In Scale No. 1 of Article 71 penalty immediately following
reclusion perpetua is reclusion temporal (therefore it is the
penalty next lower in degree).

II. SECOND RULE:
A. Penalty is composed of two indivisible penalties.
Indivisible penalties: reclusion perpetua to death
They are the penalties for parricide (Article 246)
Penalty immediately following lesser of the penalties (or
reclusion perpetua) reclusion temporal


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B. When the penalty is composed of one or more divisible penalties to
be imposed to their full extent.
Divisible penalty imposed to full extent reclusion temporal
o Penalty immediately following divisible penalty of
reclusion temporal prision mayor
Two divisible penalties imposed to full extent prision
correccional to prision mayor.
o Penalty immediately following the lesser penalty
between prision correccional to prision mayor
arresto mayor (Scale No. 1 Article 71)

III. THIRD RULE:
A. When the penalty is composed of two indivisible penalties and the
maximum period of a divisible penalty.
Penalty for murder (Article 248) reclusion temporal in
maximum period to death.
Relcusion perpetua (= in between reclusion temporal & death)
included in penalty
Penalty for murder has: 2 indivisible penalties (reclusion
perpetua death) and 1 divisible penalty (reclusion temporal in
max period)
Proper divisible penalty: reclusion temporal penalty
immediately following it: prision mayor
Under third rule: penalty next lower composed of medium &
minimum periods of reclusion temporal and max period of
prision mayor
(This the same penalty computed in People v. Ong Ta)

Illustration:
DEATH


Reclusion Perpetua

(1) Penalty for the
principal
in

1. Maximum
consummated felony.
Reclusion Temporal
2. Medium
(2)
Penalty
for

Prision Mayor

3. Minimum
1. Maximum

2. Medium
3. Minimum

accomplice;
or
penalty
for
the
principal in frustrated
felony.


B. When the penalty is composed of one indivisible penalty and the
maximum period of a divisible penalty.
Ex: Reclusion temporal in max period to reclusion perpetua
Same rule observed in lowering penalty by 1-2 degrees

IV. FOURTH RULE: When the penalty is composed of several periods.
Several mean consisting in more than 2 periods
Fourth rule: contemplates penalty composed of at least 3
periods.
Several periods MUST correspond to different divisible
penalties
Penalty composed of several periods corresponding to different
divisible penalties prision mayor (medium period) TO
reclusion temporal (minimum period)
Period immediately following minimum (= prision mayor in
medium period) is prision mayor in minimum period
Two periods next following are: max and med periods of prision
correccional (=penalty next following scale in Article 71 since it
cannot be taken from penalty prescribed)

Illustration:

1. Maximum

Reclusion temporal
2. Medium

3. Minimum
(1) Penalty for the
principal
in

1. Maximum
consummated felony.
Prision mayor
2. Medium
3. Minimum
(2)
Penalty
for


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Prision correccional

1. Maximum
2. Medium

accomplice;
or
penalty
for
the
principal in frustrated
felony.

3. Minimum

V. FIFTH RULE: By analogy, because not specifically provided for in
the four preceding rules
A. When the penalty has two periods.
Certain offenses in Revised Penal Code: punished with penalty
composed of two periods:
o Either of same penalty: For abduction (Article 343)
prision correccional in its minimum and medium
periods.
o Or of different penalties: For physical injuries (Article
263, subsec. 4) arresto mayor in max period to
prision correccional in minimum period
In these cases: penalty lower by one degree is formed by 2
periods taken from the same penalty prescribed (if possible) OR
from periods of penalty numerically following the lesser of the
penalties prescribed
These cases not covered by fourth rule (cause penalty
contemplated in 4th rule must contain at least 3 periods)
Penalty under fifth rule (by analogy) contains 1 or 2 periods
only


Example:
Penalty next lower than prision correccional in its min and med
periods is arresto mayor in its med and max periods

Maximum

Prision correccional
Medium
Penalty prescribed for
the felony
Minimum

Maximum
Penalty next lower

Arresto mayor

Medium
Minimum



B. When the penalty has one period.
If penalty is any one of the 3 periods of a divisible penalty
penalty next lower in degree = is the period next following the
given penalty.
Ex. Penalty immediately inferior to prision mayor in maximum
period is prision mayor in medium period
If penalty is reclusion temporal in medium period penalty
next lower in degree = reclusion temporal in minimum period
Penalty prescribed by Code for a felony is a degree
If penalty prescribed for felony is 1 of 3 periods of divisible
penalty that period becomes a degree & the period
immediately below is the penalty next lower in degree

VI. Simplified Rules: (for rules in Par. 4 and 5 of Article 61)
1. If penalty prescribed by Code consists in 3 periods
(corresponding to different divisible penalties) penalty next
lower in degree is penalty consisting in 3 periods down the
scale
2. If penalty prescribed by Code consists in 2 periods penalty
next lower in degree is the penalty consisting in 2 periods down
the scale
3. If penalty prescribed by Code consists in only 1 period
penalty next lower in degree is the next period down in the
scale
If the given penalty is composed of 1/2/3 periods penalty
next lower in degree should begin where the given penalty
ends (because otherwise if it were to skip over intermediate
ones it would be lower but not NEXT lower in degree (People v.
Haloot)


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U.S. v. Fuentes Held: Penalty next lower in degree to prision


correccional in medium period = is arresto mayor in medium
period.
Reason for ruling: a degree consists in 1 whole or 1 unit of the
penalties enumerated in the graduated scales in Article 71. To
lower a penalty by 1 degree its necessary to keep a distance
of one whole penalty or one unit of penalties in Article 71
between one degree and another
People v. Co Pao & People v. Gayrama there is a distance of
only 1/3 of a degree (ruling in Fuentes case was superseded by
the rulings in these cases).


VII. Mitigating And Aggravating Circumstances Are Disregarded In The
Application Of The Rules For Graduating Penalties
NOTE: Each paragraph of Article 61 begins with When the
penalty prescribed for the felony or crime.
In lowering the penalty penalty prescribed by the Revised
Penal Code for the crime is the basis (w/o regard to the
mitigating or aggravating circumstances w/c attended the
commission of the crime)
It is only after the penalty next lower in degree is already
determined that the mitigating and/or aggravating
circumstances should be considered.


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