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Samonte, David Lawrenz Oliver J.

Advanced Legal Writing


Identified Problem:

Strict Interpretation of Art. 247 of the Revised Penal Code, referring to death or physical
injuries inflicted under exceptional circumstances.

Tentative solution:

As the law stands now, the accused, in order to be entitled to the diminution of
punishment provided under the said article, shall have surprised his spouse in the act of
sexual intercourse with another person. This means that he actually sees with his own
two eyes the actual sexual intercourse, and not merely preparatory acts such as
foreplay or kissing.

We are then given the possible scenario that the accused chanced upon his spouse and
the paramour not in the act of sexual intercourse, but there is good ground to believe
that they are going to have carnal knowledge (e.g. kissing, foreplay, removing clothes.)

In view of the above scenario, no person in his right mind would wait and watch his
spouse commit a dastardly violation of his honor. Naturally, the accused would
immediately pounce at the scene to prevent any further act of disloyalty by the
paramour and his spouse. Death or physical injuries may then be inflicted at this

Hence, a liberal interpretation of the law, allowing the accused to invoke Art. 247 of the
Revised Penal Code even when he had not seen his spouse and her paramour commit
actual sexual intercourse, so long as he had reasonable grounds to believe that they
would have commenced with the actual act where it not for his timely interruption, in
consideration of the natural impulse of human beings, and reality, is more proper.


The above problem is novel because courts have ruled upon cases falling under Art.
247, based on the strict wordings of the law, that is, having surprised his spouse in the
act of sexual intercourse. Hence, to apply a liberal interpretation would deviate from to-
the- letter rulings, and cases the facts of which only prove foreplay or other preparatory
acts, when they were surprised by the accused, could avail of the benefits afforded to
the accused under the aforementioned article.

Non- obviousness:

It is non- obvious since it caters only to a short range of cases. Those having facts so
peculiar, that the accused must necessarily be exonerated, or at least given a much
lesser punishment despite committing a crime which ordinarily would have been
punishable by reclusion temporal or reclusion perpetua.

Usefulness and Soundness:

The solution proposed above is useful and sound because it would provide the accused
an opportunity not to be imprisoned, and to continue with his ordinary life. Although he
had committed a crime which ordinarily would result to murder or homicide and would
entitle him to a cell in a penal institution for more or less 40 years, his penalty is
minimized to destierro as the law regards the devastating damage to his honor as
sufficient penalty for him. He is a free man, and meted out with a penalty which in
actuality is intended to protect him from the wrath of the relatives of his spouse or the

Demonstrate that the public sees your claim as novel, non- obvious, useful and sound:

As already mentioned above, the above proposed solution is novel and non- obvious
because it only applies to a select few the facts of their cases are so peculiar, the law
provides a different punishment for an act which ordinarily would have been murder or

It is useful and sound because it entitles the accused to escape liability because the law
regards the injury done to his honor as sufficient punishment for the crime committed.
Hence, although he had only seen kissing or foreplay, his natural impulse would dictate
him not to watch, and immediately interrupt the scene. Damage to his honor having
been present already, it is quite absurd to require him to wait for the actual sexual
intercourse before pouncing to the scene and attack the paramour or his spouse.