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People vs.

Schneckenburger (GR L-48143)


Date Promulgated: November 10, 1941
Petitioner: The People of the Philippines
Respondent: Rodolfo A. Schneckenburger. et al.
Ponente: Moran, J.

Stated in the Case: Article 344 of the RPC
The offended party cannot institute criminal prosecution without including both the guilty parties, if they are both alive, nor, in any
case, if he shall have consented or pardoned the offenders.

Current Topic: Article 56 (2)
The petition for legal separation shall be denied on any of the following grounds:
.
(2) Where the aggrieved party has consented to the commission of the offense or act
complained of.

Facts of the Case:
1. Roberto married Elena Ramirez Cartagena on March 16, 1926 but after 7 years they agreed to live separately. They then
executed a document which states that they agree to live apart from each other for the rest of their lives and will not
intervene, under any circumstances, in each others public or private life (something to that effect fr google translate)
2. June 15, 1935: Roberto secures a decree of divorce from the civil court in Chihuahua, Mexico without ever leaving the
Philippines. (Not valid)
3. May 11, 1936: Roberto marries Julia Medel in Malabon
4. 2 actions were filed against Roberto
a. Bigamy (court of First Instance in Rizal) convicted, penalty: 2 mos and one day of arresto mayor
b. Concubinage (court of First Instance in Manila) Accused posed a plea of double jeopardy and the case was
dismissed.

The Fiscal appealed and the Court held the dismissal to be premature.

The case was then remanded to the trial court. He was finally convicted and sentenced to two months and one day
of arresto mayor. Hence, this appeal.

Issues/ Held:
1. W/N judgment of the court of first instance in Manila was valid, and that the respondent is guilty of concubinage?

Court: No, Roberto should be acquitted of the crime of concubinage.

The document executed by the accused and his first wife, in which they agreed to complete liberty of action, while illegal for
the purpose it was executed, constitutes a VALID CONSENT to the act of concubinage.

Under Art 344 of the RPC: The offended party cannot institute criminal prosecution without including both the guilty
parties, if they are both alive, nor, in any case, if he shall have consented or pardoned the offenders. (Pardon refers to
offense AFTER its commission, while consent must have been intended to refer to the offense PRIOR to its commission)

Prior consent is as effective as subsequent consent to bar the offended party from prosecuting the offense.


Court Decision:
Judgment is reversed and the accused is acquitted.

Buzz words:
Consent, Concubinage, Article 56