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I. Title I Felonies and Circumstances which Affect
Criminal Liability
A. Article 3

1. What are felonies? How are they committed?

a) Felonies
(1) are acts and omissions punishable by law or by the revised
penal code.
b) They are committed
(1) either by deceit (Dolo) or by fault (Culpa). There is dolo
(intentional felonies) when the acts is performed with deliberate or
malicious intent to cause an injury to another; and there is culpa
(culpable felonies) when the wrongful act results from (1)
imprudence, (2) negligence, (3) lack of foresight, or (4) lack of

2. What are the elements of felonies?

a) In general, the elements of felonies are:

(1) There should be an act or omission;
(2) Such an act or omission is punishable by the Revised Penal
Code; and
- nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege, that is, there is no crime where there is no
law punishing it.
(3) That the act or omission is done either by dolo or culpa.

3. What is the difference between an act and an omission?

a) The difference between an act and an omission is that

(1) An act is any bodily movement tending to produce an
effect on the outside world, it being unnecessary that the same be
actually produced, as the possibility of its production is sufficient;
an omission means inaction, or the failure to perform a positive
duty to do or perform. It should be noted that there should a law
requiring the doing or performing of the act.

4. Note: Punishable by law

a) The term punished by law should be understood to mean
punishable by the revised penal code and not by the special penal laws.
That is to say, felonies are acts and omissions PUNISHED BY THE
REVISED PENAL CODE as distinguished from crimes and offenses
which are applied to infractions of the law punished by special statutes.
b) Felonies = RPC::Crimes and Offenses = Special Statutes

5. Causes of Culpable Felonies

a) Imprudence indicates a deficiency of action. Imprudence usually

involves lack of skill. The failure to take the necessary precaution to avoid
injury to person or property.
b) Negligence indicates a deficiency of perception. Negligence
usually involves lack of foresight. The failure to pay proper attention and
to use due diligence in foreseeing the injury or damage impending to be

6. In felonies committed by dolo or culpa, the acts or omissions are


a) In both felonies, culpable or intentional, both are performed

voluntarily. The difference between the two is the presence or absence of
malice or intent to cause harm or bad faith. In intentional felonies, there is
intent and thus there is malice while in culpable felonies there is none. If
there is compulsion or prevention by force or intimidation, there is no
voluntariness in the act.

7. Why should the act or omission be in felonies must be voluntary?

a) The RPC continues to be based on classical theory, according to

which the basis of criminal liability is free will.
b) Felonies are always deemed/presumed voluntary, unless there are
facts or evidence to the contrary.
c) In felonies both culpable and intentional, the acts and omissions
are voluntary with or without malice.

8. Requisites of Intentional Felony

Freedom Intelligence Intent

Without To determine Being a mental process is presumed

freedom he is the morality of and it presupposes the preceding
factors. It is shown and deduced from
merely a tool. human acts. the overt acts of a person.

- Criminal Intent is presumed from the commission of an unlawful act. A felonious act
committed with intelligence and freedom is presumed to be committed with intent to
do harm in the absence of evidence to the contrary. The presumption does not,
however, arise from the commission of an act which is NOT unlawful.
- There is no felony by dolo if there is no intent.
- Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea a crime is not committed if the mind of the
person performing to act complained be innocent.
9. Mistake of fact.
a) While ignorantia legis non excusat ignorance of the law excuses
no one from compliance therewith, ignorance or mistake of fact relieves
the accused from criminal liability ignorantia facti excusat.
b) Mistake of fact is a misapprehension of fact on the part of the
person who caused injury which excuses him from criminal liability there
being no criminal intent.
c) An honest mistake of fact destroys the presumption of criminal
intent which arises upon commission of a felonious act.
d) Requisites of mistake of fact as a defense.