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ARTICLE 12: MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES 1.

Incomplete self-defense, defense of relatives and
Mitigating circumstances: if present in the commission defense of stranger
of the crime, do not entirely free the actor from criminal ▪ Unlawful aggression must be present
liability, but serve only to reduce the penalty ▪ What is absent is either one or both of the last
Basis: the diminution of either freedom of action, two requirements (reasonable necessity and
intelligence, or intent or on the lesser perversity of the lack of sufficient provocation)
offender ▪ If two of the three requisites are present
Classes of mitigating circumstances: (unlawful aggression and another) 
1. Ordinary mitigating: enumerated in subsection 1 privileged mitigating rather than just ordinary
to 10 of Article 13 mitigating
2. Privileged mitigating • Because majority of the conditions
a. Article 68: Penalty to be imposed upon a required is present
person under 18 years of age 2. Incomplete justifying circumstance of avoidance
b. Article 69: Penalty to be imposed when the of greater evil or injury
crime is committed is not wholly excusable ▪ If any of the last 2 requirements in paragraph
c. Article 64: Rules for the application of 4 of Article 11 is absent  mitigating
penalties which contain three periods 3. Incomplete justifying circumstance of
performance of duty
Ordinary Mitigating Privileged Mitigating ▪ 2 requisites under Article 11 (5)
Susceptible of being Cannot be offset by • Accused acted in the performance of a
offset by any aggravating aggravating circumstance duty or in lawful exercise of right or office
circumstance • Injury caused or offense committed be
If not offset by Produces the effect of the necessary consequence of the due
aggravating imposing upon the performance of such duty or the lawful
circumstance, produces offender the penalty exercise of such right or office
only the effect of lower by one or two • Since the SC considered one of the two
applying the penalty degrees than that requisites as constituting the majority, it
provided by law for the provided by law for the seems that there is no ordinary mitigating
crime in its minimum crime circumstance under Article 13 (1), when
period the justifying or exempting circumstance
*Mitigating circumstances only reduce the penalty, but has 2 requisites only. (Therefore,
do not change the nature of the crime. privileged mitigating)
Paragraph 1: All requisites of justifying and exempting 4. Incomplete justifying circumstance of obedience
circumstances are not attendant to an order
• Requisites necessary to justify the act or exempt • When all the requisites necessary to exempt from
from criminal liability in the respective cases are criminal liability are not attendant:
attendant: 1. Incomplete exempting circumstance of minority
1. Self-defense over 15 and under 18 years of age
2. Defense of relatives ▪ If the minor over 15 and under 18 acted with
3. Defense of stranger discernment  mitigating circumstance only
4. State of necessity 2. Incomplete exempting circumstance of accident
5. Performance of duty ▪ Requisites:
6. Obedience to order of superior • Performing a lawful act
7. Minority above 15 but below 18 • With due care
8. Causing injury by mere accident • Causes injury to another by mere accident
9. Uncontrollable fear • Without fault or intention of causing it
• Paragraphs 1 & 2 of Article 12 cannot give place to ▪ If second requisite and the 1st part of the
mitigation because the condition of a person is fourth requisite are absent  Article 365:
indivisible; that there is no middle ground between punishes a felony by negligence or
sanity and insanity, between presence and absence imprudence but there is a mitigating
of intelligence circumstance because the penalty is lower
• When all the requisites necessary to justify the act than that provided for intentional felony
are not attendant:

not mitigating in physical Paragraph 2: Offender is under 18 and over 70 years of injuries age o In crime against persons who do not dies a • Repealed by the provision of RA 9344 declaring a result of the assault. ▪ If only one of these requisites is present. The 2nd and 3rd requisites his act. but also by the fact that the blow was or will not be present either. in the period that the court may appreciated where the offense committed is deem applicable according to the number and nature of characterized by treachery. inciting. the absences of intent to child above 15 years but below 18 years of age shall kill reduces the felony to mere physical injuries. psychological. is diminished • Diversion Program: program that the child in Paragraph 4: Sufficient provocation or threat on the conflict with the law is required to undergo after part of the offended party immediately preceded the he/she is found responsible for an offense without act resorting to formal court proceedings • Provocation: any unjust or improper conduct or act • If offender is over 70 years of age is only a generic of the offended party. an element of voluntariness in court proceedings intentional felony. ▪ If the first requisite and the 2nd part of fourth • Intention. such child in conflict with • Not applicable to felonies by negligence the law shall undergo diversion programs. • If acted with discernment. or at least equal to. that • Not applicable when the offender employed brute which he was required to commit force • It promised an evil such gravity and • It is the intention of the offender at the moment imminence that an ordinary person would when he is committing the crime which is have succumbed to it (uncontrollable) considered. not to his intention during the planning. aggravating circumstances: penalty next lower to that • Lack of intention to commit so grave a wrong is not prescribed by law. be exempt from criminal liability unless he/she has but it does not constitute a mitigating acted with discernment circumstance. mitigating circumstance or irritating any one o Article 68. was not aimed at a vital part of the body 3. a condition of o Provocation must be immediate to the act voluntariness • Sufficient: adequate to excite a person to commit Paragraph 3: No intention to commit so grave a wrong the wrong and must accordingly be proportionate as that committed to its gravity • Can be taken into account only when the facts o Depends upon: proven show that there is a notable and evident ▪ act constituting the provocation disproportion between the means employed to ▪ the social standing of the person provoked execute the criminal act and its consequences . economic. or slander educational background without resulting to formal • Basis: intent. because the person by external acts. committed an unlawful act and had the o Is judged not only by the proportion of the intention of causing the injury. not on state of *two or more mitigating circumstances and no mind of accused. o Reason: the offender acts without intent • Diversion: alternative. such circumstance • Lack of intent to kill. being an internal state. child-appropriate process of • Applicable only to offenses in physical injuries or determining the responsibility and treatment of a material harm child in conflict with the law on the basis his/her o Not appreciated in cases of defamation or social. there • Appreciated in murder qualified by circumstances is only a mitigating circumstance based on manner of commission. capable of exciting. it will be an means employed by him to the evil produced by intentional felony. Incomplete exempting circumstance of o Weapon used uncontrollable fear o Part of the body injured ▪ Requisites: o Injury inflicted • Threat which caused the fear was of an o Manner it is inflicted evil greater than. cultural. does not include the case of o Provocation must be sufficient offenders over 70 years old o It must originate from the offended party • Basis: diminution of intelligence. must be judged requisite are absent. providing for privileged mitigating • Requisites: circumstances.

no self-defense. which it was inflicted. ascendants. legitimate. circumstance of immediate provocation. so immediate. beware. Paragraph 6: Acted upon an impulse so powerful as descendants. the threat to inflict real injury *Reason for difference: greater leniency in the case of is an unlawful aggression which may give rise to vindication is due undoubtedly to the fact that it self-defense.”) vindication: • Basis: diminution of intelligence and intent o Whether a certain personal offense is grave Paragraph 5: The act was committed in the immediate must be decided by the court in consideration vindication of a grave offense to the one committing of: the felony. Provocation in Provocation Vindication defense mitigating circumstance Made directly only to the May be committed also Must be absent or Present on the part of person committing the against the offender’s insufficient on the part of the offended party felony relative mentioned by the person defending the law himself Cause that brought about Offended party must the provocation need not have done a grave • The provocation by the deceased in the first stage be a grave offense offense to the offender of the fight is not a mitigating circumstance when or his relatives the accused killed him after he had fled. to recover his serenity • Provocation vs vindication Provocation in self. lasted until the moment the there was however the mitigating crime was committed. his spouses. or relatives. natural or adopted naturally to have produced passion or obfuscation brothers or sisters. In o Example: abduction this case. by affinity *obfuscation: making something difficult to understand within the same degree • Requisites: . committed to the vindication thereof • Provocation must originate from the offended • Interval of time negating vindication: sufficient time party. his spouse. it was held that the influence thereof because the challenge was accepted by the by reason of its gravity and the circumstances under accused. the deceased insulted the accused ▪ The offense did not cease while and then challenged the latter. or ▪ Place and time when the insult was made relatives by affinity within same degrees • Basis: diminution of the conditions of voluntariness *vindicate: to show something is right • Vindication of a grave offense and passion or • Requisites: obfuscation cannot be counted separately and o There be a grave offense done to the one independently committing the felony. Necessary that the May be proximate. A lapse of time is allowed o Examples: between the vindication and the doing of the ▪ When the deceased and ill-treated the grave offense accused by kicking and cursing the latter. ascendants. the • Applies to grave offense committed against accused who killed him committed the crime surviving spouse of deceased relative with this mitigating circumstance • Lapse of time: Although the grave offense was not ▪ Although there was no unlawful aggression. ▪ the place and time when the provocation is o The felony is committed in vindication of such made grave offense. which o Because the deceased the moment he fled did provocation of threat is admits of an interval of not give any provocation for the accused to immediately preceded time between the grave pursue and to attack him the act offense done by the • Provocation must be immediate to the commission offended party and the of the crime. concerns the honor of a person • Vague threats not sufficient (example: “If you do • Basis to determine the gravity of offense in not agree. descendants. natural or adopted brothers or sisters. and therefore. whereabouts remained unknown  no • The performance of a duty is not a source of interruption from the time the offense was provocation. ▪ Social standing of the person legitimate. (no interval of time in between) commission of the crime • The threat should not be offensive and positively by the accused strong because if it is.

• Passion and obfuscation cannot co-exist with • Exercise of a right or fulfillment of duty is not evident premeditation. • Vindication or obfuscation cannot be considered o Crime committed by the accused must be when the person attacked is not the one who gave provoked by prior unjust or improper acts of the cause therefor. although closely connected) not far removed from the commission of the • Passion or obfuscation compatible with lack of crime by a considerable length of time. irresistible force because • The defense must prove that the act which irresistible force requires produced passion or obfuscation took place at a physical force time not far removed from the commission of the Is in the offender himself Come from a third crime. during intention to commit so grave a wrong which the perpetrator might recover is normal • Passion or obfuscation incompatible with treachery equanimity (calm emotions) (in treachery. committed in a spirit of: • Basis: diminution of intelligence and intent ▪ Lawlessness • Provocation and obfuscation arising from one and ▪ Revenge the same cause should be treated as only one • Requisites: mitigating circumstance. or several Cannot give rise to an Requires physical force hours. • Passion or obfuscation vs Irresistible force: • The act must be sufficient to produce such a Passion or Obfuscation Irresistible Force condition of mind. the offender • The offender must act under the impulse of special motives. • Reason: When there are causes naturally producing • Where the killing of the deceased by the accused in a person powerful excitement. proper source of passion or obfuscation. which may be caused by party • Passion and obfuscation may build up and provocation strengthen over time until it can no longer be Need not be immediate Must immediately repressed and will ultimately motivate the precede the commission commission of the crime. o There be an act. injured party. (Exception: When o Said act which produced the obfuscation was there are other facts. reason and self-control. means employed are consciously • The act of the offended party must be unlawful or adopted) unjust. exercise of his will power. o Passion or obfuscation should arise from lawful • May passion or obfuscation lawfully arise from sentiments. or half an hour. o Accused acted upon an impulse • Obfuscation arising from jealousy cannot be o Impulse must be so powerful that it naturally invoked in favor of the accused whose relationship produced passion or obfuscation in him with the woman was illegitimate. Paragraph 7: Voluntarily surrendered prior to the o The person who you asked to deliver a letter. person • The crime committed must be the result of a Must arise from lawful Unlawful sudden impulse of natural and uncontrollable fury. presentation of evidence or voluntarily confessed his failed to deliver the letter. Mitigating circumstance Exempting circumstance • No passion or obfuscation after 24 hours. of the crime • Passion or obfuscation must arise from lawful Effect: loss of reason and self-control on the part of sentiments. sentiments o The circumstance of passion and obfuscation • Passion or obfuscation vs provocation cannot be mitigating in a crime which is planned Passion or Obfuscation Provocation and calmly meditated before its execution. • The cause producing passion or obfuscation must • Rule for the application: come from the offended party. causes existing only in the honest belief of the o No mitigating circumstance when the act is offender? YES. he loses his arose out of rivalry for the hand of a woman. . both unlawful and sufficient to • Vindication of grave offense cannot exits co-exist produce such condition of mind with passion and obfuscation. thereby diminishing the passion or obfuscation is mitigating. Produced by an impulse Comes from the injured • Vengeance is not a lawful sentiment.

he is entitled to the benefit of this trouble and expense that his search and circumstance.” to custody by the authorities cannot amount to o Voluntary surrender depends on the actual facts voluntary surrender. is entitled to the benefit of the • Time and place of surrender mitigating circumstance of voluntary surrender. or by election or o Offender had not been actually arrested by appointment by competent authority. either because district engineer is not mitigating. but admitting complicity in the killing  not upon meeting a policeman voluntarily went with voluntary surrender him to the jail.guilty before an open court prior to the presentation of • Surrender of weapons cannot be equated with the evidence for prosecution voluntary surrender. o What matters voluntary surrender before his • Where a person. o Voluntary confession of guilt o Person in authority: one directly vested with • When both are present. who. the occur surrender is mitigating. • Requisite to voluntary surrender: by direct provision of the law. o Accompanying the police to the scene of the • The accused who fled and hid himself to avoid crime without surrendering to him and reprisals from the companions of the deceased. voluntarily waited for ▪ Acknowledgment of his guilt the agents of the authorities and voluntarily gave ▪ Intention to save the authorities from himself up. even if he was placed under arrest by capture would require a policemen then and there. surrounding the very act of giving himself up . after committing the offense and arrest showing: having opportunity to escape. showed that the defendant was in fact arrested. the crime. the interest of the accused to surrender o Voluntary surrender to the chief clerk of a unconditionally to the authorities. o RPC does not make any distinction among the • When the warrant has not been served or not various moments when the surrender may returned unserved because cannot be located. they should have an effect jurisdiction that is a public officer who has the of mitigating as two independent circumstances power to govern and execute the laws o Effect has greater extent o Agent of a person in authority: a person. is o Offender surrendered himself to a person in charged with the maintenance of public order authority or to latter’s agent and the protection and security of life and o Surrender was voluntary property and any person who comes to the aid • Voluntary surrender in such a manner that it shows of persons in authority. he acknowledged his guilt or because he wishes to • Voluntary surrender does not simply mean non- save them the trouble and expenses necessarily flight. prior to the order of arrest. • The surrender must be by reason of the commission • The law does not require that the surrender be of the crime for which defendants is prosecuted. his arrest being • The accused who run to the municipal building after inevitable. • The conduct of the accused after the commission of voluntary surrender is mitigating. the surrender us not spontaneous  not the commission of the crime had the intention or voluntary desire to surrender. • Surrender through an intermediary: appreciated as o When after the commission of the crime and mitigating the issuance of the warrant of arrest. the • Spontaneous: inner impulse acting without external accused presented himself in the municipal stimulus building to post bond for temporary release. determined the spontaneity of the o The mere filing of an information and/or the surrender. *If none of these two reasons impelled the accused • When the accused helped in carrying his victim to to surrender because his surrender was obviously the hospital  tantamount to voluntary surrender by an intention to insure his safety. incurred in his search and capture o It does not matter if the accused never avoided • No voluntary surrender if the warrant of arrest arrest and never hid or fled. • 2 mitigating circumstances: • The surrender must be made to a person in o Voluntary surrender authority or his agent. issuance of a warrant of arrest will not • The circumstance that the accused did not resist automatically make the surrender arrest or struggle to free himself after he was taken “involuntary.

or a stutterer before the presentation of evidence by prosecution • This paragraph does not distinguish between is still mitigating educated and uneducated deaf-mute or blind o Even if pleaded not guilty during arraignment persons • A conditional plea of guilty is not a mitigating • Basis: Does not have complete freedom of action  circumstance diminution of freedom of voluntariness • Death penalty changed to life imprisonment Paragraph 9: Illness that diminishes the exercise of because of plea of guilty even if done during the willpower without however depriving him the presentation of evidence consciousness of his acts o Indicates submission to the law and a moral • Requisites: disposition on his part to reform o Illness of the offender must diminish the • Plea of guilty to amended information exercise of his willpower o In view of the willingness of the accused to o Illness should not deprive the offender of plead guilty for a lesser offense. defense. • Requisites of plea of guilty the court should take his testimony in spite of his o Offender spontaneously confessed his guilt plea of guilty. the o The accused is entitled to the mitigating mind. Part 2 • When the accused is charged with a grave offense. • When the offender imposed a condition or acted • Plea of guilty to the offense charged in the with external stimulus. or the moral faculty) circumstance of plea of guilty. lesser than that charged in voluntary. it may be an exempting circumstance. qualified. frustrated homicide. Paragraph 8: Deaf and dumb. not mitigating • There is spontaneity even if the surrender is o Plea of guilty must be to the offense charged induced by fear of retaliation by the victim’s o If the voluntary confession is conditional or relatives. communication with fellow beings • Withdrawal of plea of not guilty and pleading guilty • Physical defect: armless. o Confession of guilt was made in open court and • Mandatory presentation of evidence in plea of is before the competent court that is to try the guilty to capital offense case o Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure: Court shall o Confession of guilt was made prior to the conduct a searching inquiry into the presentation of evidence for the prosecution voluntariness and full comprehension of the • The plea must be made before trial begins consequences of his plea and shall require the • Plea of guilty on appeal. and the accused pleased • Does this circumstance include illness of the mind? thereto. amended said • When the offender completely lost the exercise of information to make it one for homicide and will-power. the nerves. with leave of court. the original is mitigating. the consciousness of his act prosecution. his surrender is not amended information. o Refers only to diseases of pathological state that o That was an entirely new information and no trouble the conscience of will evidence was presented in connection with the o People vs Francisco: This paragraph applies to charges made therein before the accused defendant who committed the crime while entered his plea of guilty. without actually • Plea of guilty to lesser offense than that charged. surrendering is not mitigating. blind or some physical o It is not necessary that all the evidence of the defect which restricts his means of action. . not mitigating (lacks the prosecution to prove his guilt and the precise willingness of the accused to admit the commission degree of culpability. cripple. or prosecution have been presented. it is not mitigating. The accused may present of the offense charged) evidence in his behalf. • Plea of not guilty upon arraignment at the • Reason why plea of guilty is mitigating: it is an act of preliminary investigation in the municipal court is repentance and respect for the law no plea at all • Basis: lesser perversity of the offender (perversity: • The confession of guilt must be made in open court deliberate desire to behave in an unreasonable or • The confession of guilt must be made prior to the unacceptable way) presentation of the evidence for the prosecution. suffering from some illness (of the body.• Intention to surrender.

or Pagans • Mitigating circumstances which: (1) From the moral attributes of the offender (2) From his private relations with the offended party (3) From any other personal cause Shall only serve to mitigate the liability of the principals. similar to over 70 years of age mentioned in paragraph 2. • Impulse of jealous feeling. • Not resisting arrest  not analogous to voluntary surrender • The condition of running amuck is not mitigating. o It would seem that a diseased mind. o Mitigating circumstances must be applied alike to all criminals be they Christians. amounting to insanity. may give place to exempting or mitigating in the commission of mitigation. similar to incomplete justification based on state of necessity o Not mitigating where the accused had impoverished himself and lost his gainful occupation by committing crimes and not driven to crime due to want and poverty • The act of the accused testifying for the prosecution. not (5) Performance of righteous action: not justifying. accomplices. and although the accused had saved • Basis: diminution of intelligence and intent lives of a though and one persons. Morons. and accessories as to whom such circumstances are attendant • Circumstances which are nether exempting nor mitigating: (1) Mistake in the blow or aberration ictus (2) Mistake in the identity of the victim (3) Entrapment of the accused (4) The accused is over 18 years of age . if he caused Paragraph 10: Other circumstances of a similar nature the killing of a single human being. without previous discharge. wrongs. similar to passion and obfuscation mentioned in paragraph. • Outraged feeling of animal taken for ransom analogous to vindication of a grave offense • Outraged feeling of creditor. • Restitution in malversation case is only mitigating circumstance  akin to voluntary surrender • Killing the wrong man is not mitigating. he is and analogous to those above-mentioned nonetheless criminally liable • Over 60 years old with failing sight. analogous to an illness that diminishes the existence of will power • Voluntary restitution of stolen property similar to voluntary surrender mentioned in paragraph 7 • Extreme poverty and necessity. similar to passion and obfuscation • Manifestation of Battered Wife Syndrome. is mitigating circumstance analogous to a plea of guilty.