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JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES Introduction: The Use of Force Defenses: These are the justifying circumstances where the accused is allowed to use force i.e to inflict injury upon the victim or to destroy property. The force may either be (i) Deadly Force or that which can result to serious physical injuries or even to the death of the victim and (ii) Non-Deadly but reasonable force. The Use- of-Force-Defenses include (i) self-Defense (ii) Defense of Relative and (iii) Defense of Stranger. Par. 1. SELF DEFENSE I. Concept: When a person uses force and causes injury to another or destroys the property of another, in order to defend his own person, rights, property or honor against an aggression/attack coming from the victim. The elements: It requires proof of the existence of an: (i) unlawful aggression, (ii) the reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the attack and (iii) the lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the accused. The first two are common to the three Use-of- Force- Defenses. II. First element: There must be present an unlawful aggression coming from the victim. A. This refers either to: 1. Real or Material Aggression or an attack that has broken out or has actually materialized. Examples; the act of shooting another’s with a gun; hitting another with or without a weapon; trespass to another’s property; running away with another’s property; uttering slanderous words; publicizing or broadcast of libelous matters. 2. Imminent or one which is at the point of happening. They refer to acts of the victim which show a clear and positively strong intention to cause harm to the accused, which can only be prevented through the use of force. These are more than mere threatening attitudes, or oral threats or threatening stance or postures B. An aggression is more serious that an act of simple provocation by the victim. C. This element is the foundation of the Use of Force Defenses. It has to be proven otherwise there is nothing to defend against D. Principles: 1. The aggression must be “unlawful” i.e the victim was not acting in accordance with laws, or under color of right. Thus the following do not constitute “unlawful” aggression: (i) the act of a property owner in pushing out an intruder for refusing to leave peacefully (ii) the act of a policeman in handcuffing a law violator (iii) the scolding by a teacher of an unruly student. 2. The aggression must come from the victim. 3. At the time of the defense, the aggression must still be continuing and in existence. In the following instances there is no more aggression and if the accused still uses forces, he becomes the aggressor: a). When the attacker desists, or is prevented or restrained by third persons; or is divested of his weapon, or is overpowered b). When the attacker retreats unless it is to secure a more vantage position 4. Question: When the person attacked was able to wrest the weapon or has disarmed his attacker, may he use the weapon against the attacker? Answer: No because the aggression has ceased unless the attacker persist to grab back the weapon for in such case, there is still imminent danger tot his life or limb.
A person under attack has the right to defend. The reasonableness of the means include two aspects: (1). The question is whether the defense is appropriate and commensurate to the type. However he is entitled to an incomplete self defense: (a) if he is met with excessive force in return and is forced to defend himself or (b) When he withdraws or retreats from the attack but is pursued by the intended victim and he had to defend himself.5. Reasonableness of the Mode of Defense and (2) Reasonableness of the Choice of Weapon. Second element: There must be reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel the attack. 77 Phil. Stand-Your-Ground-When-In-The-Right Principle. This doctrine is impractical and has been abandoned 2. This is availed of where armed persons intrude into a dwelling as it is natural to expect that the armed persons would use their weapons at any time and upon any occupant of the dwelling. whether the weapon chosen is commensurate to the attack. As a rule one who initiates an attack can not claim self defense being himself the aggressor. vs. and intensity of the aggression taking into consideration the place. such as to the time. to be determined by considering both the subjective and objective aspects of the situation. Thus: there must be no appreciable lapse of time between the unlawful aggression and the act done to repel or prevent it 6. it may be presumed that the one who was deeply offended by the insult was the one who had a right to demand an explanation from the perpetrator of the insult and he must have been the one who struck first if the proffered explanation was unsatisfactory ( PP. Presumption as to the Aggressor: Where there is no direct evidence who was the aggressor. Ramos. b) A related doctrine is the Castle Doctrine. It applies to all especially to law enforcement agents who are expected to stand their ground and to subdue. place and choice of weapons agreed upon. he need not retreat but he may immediately use force to defend himself. G. 2. F. but as it proper for him to sue a weapon and if so.The doctrine which holds that when a person is attacked in the place where he has a right to be. Neither one can put up self defense because each is an aggressor to the other and both anticipate the aggression coming from the other. degree. III. A. then the person attacked may claim self defense.-When a person is attacked in his dwelling (a man’s house is his castle) he is not expected to retreat but he may immediately use force to defend himself and his dwelling. Retreat-to-the-Wall Principle. –The doctrine which states that before a person is entitled to use force in self defense he must first attempt to withdraw from the encounter by giving as much ground as possible and it is only there is no more place to retreat that he may now use force to defend himself. Rule when there is an agreement to a fight or when one accepts a challenge to a fight. May the attacker claim self defense? 1. a). This is the prevailing doctrine followed. C. overcome and arrest criminals. The law requires Rational Necessity and Rational Equivalence of Weapons and not Factual Equality. . At what point may a person attacked put up a defense? 1. They include the following: . The law leaves them where they are.. B. occasion and surrounding circumstances of the aggression. Except when one is attacked by the other in violation of the terms and conditions of the fight. 4) E.
Provocation: This includes any conduct which excites. reasonable force may still be used as is necessary to protect the property from being seized. knowledge of martial arts ( the hands and feet of boxers. he may fight back with a similar libel or defamation provided it is only to the extent which is necessary to free himself from the effects of the libel/defamation. When there was provocation but it was not sufficient i. The third element: Lack of Sufficient Provocation on the part of the Person Claiming Self Defense. If there is no attack on the person’s life or limb. When there is an attack on a person’s life or limbs i. When one is libeled or defamed. otherwise only reasonable force must be used. consider the instrument of aggression and the means of defense most readily and immediately available to the person attacked 3. The Principle of Self defense and Use of Deadly Force does not apply to situations where a person is injured or killed as a result of the installation of Protective Devises/Methods such as by the installation of live electric wires on a fence. IV. Destroying the victim’s property . The sufficiency must be measured in relation to the reaction of the victim 3. In case of an attack upon one’s property. This is called the “ Doctrine of Justified Libel” or “ The Privilege of a Reply Doctrine”. C. Imputing to the victim the utterance of vulgar language 2. 2. B. it is conduct which vexes or annoys.1.e. which in turn angered the victim to attack the accused. Consider the physique. 5. if there is no clear intent to rape only reasonable force must be used 4. deadly force is allowed if there is a clear intent to rape. the person attacked can call for immediate assistance 5. When can Deadly Force be used? 1. When the attacker is armed. incites or induces a person to re-act. Concept: The person attacked must not have given sufficient reason for the victim to attack him. Jokes made in poor taste or bad mouthing the victim 4. In case of attack on one’s honor or reputation. such conduct on the part of the accuse is not provocation. When a property owner angrily demands why the victim built a fence on his land. In case of an attack on chastity. it may have vexed or annoyed but was not sufficient for the victim to make the kind of attack he employed upon the accused. The imminence of the danger as it appeared to the accused coupled by the instinct for selfpreservation 2. age. including the reputation of the attacker as a person of violence 4. This third element is present in any of the following situations: 1.e he may either be killed or seriously injured 2. or by attack dogs let loose in one’s yard. wrestlers. Consider whether under the time and place of the attack. When no provocation at all was given by the accused. martial artists. When sufficiency provocation was given but it was not immediate to the attack D. the use of physical force is never justified. Examples of sufficient provocation: 1. destroyed or interfered with under the Doctrine of Self Help provided for In Article 429 of the New Civil Code. sex. Consider the number of the attackers D. irritates or angers another. 3. which intent maybe negated by the circumstances of time and place. size. it must be coupled with an attack on the person’s life or limb which promises death or serious bodily harm. are considered deadly weapons) of the attacker and the person attacked. A. Trespassing into the property of the victim 3.
II. relatives by affinity in the same degree. Even if the person defending acted out of evil motive. another can do for him. RELATED PRINCIPLES TO THE USE OF FORCE DEFENSES I. number and nature of the wounds of the victim must be considered and may disprove the claim of self-defense C. such as revenge.. the one defending was not aware of it 3. Political and natural Rights III. The third element: The Person Defending Should Not Be actuated by Revenge. QUESTION: Suppose it was the stranger who gave provocation? The accused is entitled to this defense. The accused must prove he acted out of an honest desire to save the life or limb or property of the stranger and not because his true intention was to harm the victim. must be asserted promptly. Relative: They refer exclusively tot eh a persons’ spouse. This is present in the following instances: 1. A claim of self-defense. The relative defended did not give any provocation at all 2. If otherwise he is deemed to be committing a crime there being present the elements of actus reus and mens rea. descendant. Defense of Honor/Reputation D.DEFENSE OF RELATIVE I. if true. The state can not protect its citizens at all times hence it gives them the right to defend themselves B. For Defense of Relative: It is in recognition of the strong ties of blood i.e blood is thicker than water. or non-assertion thereof. For Defense of Strangers: What a man can do in his defense. II. Resentment. ascendant. The lack of wounds of the accused may disprove self defense and proof the lack of aggression on the part of the victim D. and by consanguinity within the 4th civil degree II. If the relative gave provocation. A. The claim of self defense. The location. this defense is still available DEFENSE OF A STRANGER I. and must be corroborated by independent evidence B. Stranger is any person not a relative. Rationale behind these defenses: A. . The third element: The One Defending Had No part in the Provocation. B. Cases in which the Principle of Self Defense Applies A. For self defense: 1. Factors Affecting the Credibility of the Defenses A. Defense of Life and Limb B. is inconsistent with a claim of self defense. It is the natural and inherent right of every person to defend himself 2. brothers of sisters. A refusal to give a statement upon surrendering. the one defending did not participate either actually or morally. Defense of Chastity E. or Other Evil Motive A. C. Defense of Property C. Defense of Civil. If the relative gave provocation. ( as well as of relative and stranger) are inherently weak and easily fabricated. as by encouragement B.
A policeman in the performance of duty is justified in using force as is reasonably necessary to secure and detain the offender. Shooting an escaping prisoner in order to immobilize and prevent his escape. the force exerted … may there fore differ from that which ordinarily may be offered in self-defense. 2. The accused was in the actual performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office B. Scolding lazy students by teachers is not defamation F. the policeman could be justified… if the policeman had used necessary force. suddenly grabbed the armalite rifle of one of the policemen and jumped from the vehicle. Re: Duty to Issue Warning. However. Cabanlig vs. Executioners are not criminally liable .Par. Requirements/Elements A. Killing of rebels by soldiers is not homicide or murder. The directive to issue a warning contemplates a situation where several options are still available to the law enforcers. Illustrations: A. In case injury or death results from the policeman’s exercise of such force. But not shooting him again after he was already immobilized. to the detriment of the life of law enforcers. Lawyers calling witnesses as liars are not liable for defamation or unjust vexation E. One of the policemen shouted “hoy” and the accused policeman simultaneously shot the suspect three times resulting to the death of the suspect. Sandiganbayan ( July 28. and there is no other option but to use force to subdue the . Application in Relation to Law Enforcers Who Used Force and kill or Injure Suspects/accused 1. The term office or duty does not necessarily refer to a public office or public duty as it is to be understood in its generic sense. When injuries are inflicted on a suspect who resists a valid arrest B. A lawyer who writes a reply-letter describing the adverse party as untruthful and hypocrite IV. over come his resistance. or excess or oppression on the part of the accused II. ( Cabanlig vs. The duty to issue a warning is not absolutely mandated at all times and at all cost. He acted in lawful performance of duty. Sandiganbayan ( July 28. He was not negligent or that there was no abuse. recapture him if necessary and protect himself form bodily injury. 2005). or he gives up C. or destruction of private property in a firefight between rebels/criminals and soldiers/law enforcers Amputation of patients by physicians in order to save their lives D. 5 Any Person Who Acts in Fulfillment of a Duty Or In Lawful Exercise of a Right or Office I. It includes private office or employment or duty as well as the exercise of a calling or a profession or occupation. 2005) FACTS: A suspect who was onboard a police vehicle. HELD: No. Since the policeman’s duty requires him to overcome the offender. even if the shooting resulted to his death. a policeman is never justified in using unnecessary force or in treating the offender with wanton violence. or in resorting to dangerous means when the arrest could be effected otherwise. In exceptional circumstances… where the threat to the life of a law enforcer is already imminent. Is he policeman liable for the death of the victim? . III. He caused harm or injury to another as a necessary consequence of the performance of his duty or exercise of a right or office C. prevent escape.
Such rank is not necessarily in the AFP or PNP but includes both public and private employment and extends even to rank in social standing or in personal relations. emotional dependence upon the dominant male. traditional beliefs about home. Development in the Philippines 1.offender. a). Sandiganbayan) case: Par. The means to carry out the order is lawful II. The Battered Woman Syndrome 1. It is a psychological condition in which a woman commits physical violence against her husband or mate as a result of the continued physical ort mental abuse to which he has subjected her. in order to be classified as a battered woman. Legal Provision: Created under R. The theory is that women in such circumstances have two choices: either wait for their husband to kill them or strike first in a form of offensive selfdefense. Furthermore. such as low self esteem. the law enforcer’s failure to issue a warning is excusable. the family and the female sex role. He is not libel provided the following elements are present: A. Concept a). the tendency to accept responsibility for the batterer’s action. Under this defense a woman who is constantly abused by her husband may be justified in using force at a time when there is not strictly “immediate danger”. 2004 419 SCRA 537) involving a wife who was convicted of Parricide for killing her husband who was sleeping. and false hopes that the relationship will improve. An order was issued by a superior acting within the sphere of his lawful rights B. the courts shall be assisted by expert psychologists.. The term “superior” includes any person higher in rank to the accused and who is entitled to demand obedience form the accused. 2. c) The syndrome is characterized by the so called “Cycle of Violence” which has three phases: . The Case in which it was first recognized was People vs.A. b). Marivic Genosa. Jan 15. In the determination of the state of mind of the woman who was suffering from battered woman syndrome at the time of the commission of the crime. The order is for some lawful purpose C. 9262 known as the “Anti Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004” Section 26: Battered Woman Syndrome as a Defense: Victim-survivors who are found by the courts to be suffering from battered woman syndrome do not incur any criminal and civil liability notwithstanding the absence of any of the elements for justifying circumstances of self-defense under the Revised Penal code. 6. c). Concept and Elements: Any person who acts in obedience to an order issued by a superior for some lawful purpose. ( Cabanlig vs. Obedience to a Lawful Order of a Superior I. 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 rights. the couple must go through the cycle at least twice” b) Battered women exhibit common personality traits. (they) include wives or women in any form of intimate relationship with men. This presupposes that a person carried out the order of his superior but in so doing he cause armor injury to another.
But her placatory and passive behavior legitimizes his belief that he has the right to abuse her. gentle and caring man is the real person she loves. The woman also tries to convince herself that the battery will never happen again. The Tranquil. QUESTION: Must there be unlawful aggression at the time of the killing? In The Genosa case. On one hand the man shows a tender and nurturing behavior and he knows he has been viciously cruel and tries to make up for it begging her forgiveness and promising never to beat her again. The woman tries to pacify the man through a show of kind. The woman deems this incident as unpredictable yet also inevitable. RA 9262 has liberalized it in view of the provisions which reads: “… notwithstanding the absence for the elements of self defense…” . What actually happens is that she allows herself to be abused in way that to her fare minor. Loving or Non-Violent Phase.no immediate and unexpected attack on her at the time she shot him. However. sometimes death. it was ruled that the accused was not entitled to complete exoneration because there was no unlawful aggression. thereby entitling her to the mitigating factor under paragraphs 9 and 10 of Article 13. But the severe beatings repeatedly inflicted constituted a form of cumulative psychological paralysis: diminished her will power.(i) The Tension Building Phase: minor battering occurs: it could be verbal or slight physical abuse or other form of hostile behavior. (ii). d). She has a sense of detachment although she may later clearly remember the details. or by simply staying out of his way. that this good. Alls he wants is to prevent the escalation of the violence. destructiveness an. that her partner will change for the better. the woman is convinced that the man still loves her. The Acute Battering Phase: this is characterized by brutality. The couple experience profound relief. The foregoing cycle happens because: (i) the woman believes that the violence was her fault (ii) the woman fears for her life and her children’s lives (iii) the woman has an irrational belief that the abuser is all powerful and that she is beer off with him than without him for financial reasons and (iv) Love: inspite of constant assault. Her apparent passivity is because the man is stronger physically and it is useless to fight back (iii). after a little cajoling. She has no control: only the man can put an end tog the violence She realizes that she can not reason with him and that resistance would only exacerbate her condition. nurturing behavior.
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