Last night, while we were in Mama Maria’s Pizzeria, waiting for the rain to stop, we watched in disgust the

incident that happened in LRT 1. A woman jumped onto the railway and was hit by the train and was eventually killed. People who saw the incident said it was clearly a suicide. The train’s driver was, however, charged with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. My companions were upset. How come he was charged when the woman’s death was plainly not his own doing? I said, “Well it’s ok. The real question is will he be convicted?” I submit no; the accused is exempted from the criminal liability under Art. 12, paragraph 4, of the Revised Penal Code, which provides: “Any person who, while performing a lawful act with due care, causes an injury by mere accident without fault or intention of causing it.” Before such exempting circumstance can be validly invoked, the following elements must concur: 1. 2. 3. 4. The accused is performing a lawful act; The accused is performing the lawful act with due care; The accused causes an injury to another by mere accident; and The accused acted without fault or intention of causing it.

Now, let’s examine each element and see if they are present in the circumstance that surrounds the incident. 1. The accused is performing a lawful act Never has it been decreed in this country that to maneuver a train is unlawful. To the first element, check. 2. The accused is performing the lawful act with due care Unlike other vehicles, a train follows the railway. It can never overtake another vehicle, make a Uturn, or drift. And it only stops at its designated train stop. So to the second element, check. 3. The accused causes an injury to another by mere accident What is an accident? “An accident is 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.” The train driver couldn’t have foreseen that someone will jump onto the railway because common sense has it that no man in his right mind would jump onto the railway and came out unscathed or alive. 4. The accused acted without fault or intention of causing it

That the woman jumped onto the railway is no fault of the train driver. There is no way that he can prevent the woman from doing so. Neither is it his intention to hit the woman. Therefore, having satisfied all the elements, the accused will most likely be exempted from criminal liability for the death of the woman.

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