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JURISTS BAR REVIEW CENTER™

Notes on Special Penal Laws


By Prof. Ramel C. Muria

A. Juvenile Justice Act (RA 9344)

1. Minimum age of criminal responsibility. A child fifteen (15) years of age or under at the time of the
commission of the offense shall be exempt from criminal liability. However, the child shall be subjected
to an intervention program pursuant to Section 20 of this Act. A child above fifteen (15) years but below
eighteen (18) years of age shall likewise be exempt from criminal liability and be subjected to an
intervention program, unless he/she has acted with discernment, in which case, such child shall be
subjected to the appropriate proceedings in accordance with this Act. The exemption from criminal
liability herein established does not include exemption from civil liability, which shall be enforced in
accordance with existing laws (sec. 6, R.A. 9344).

2. Basis for determination of age. The age of a child may be determined from the child‘s birth certificate,
baptismal certificate or any other pertinent documents. In the absence of these documents, age may be
based on information from the child himself/herself, testimonies of other persons, the physical
appearance of the child and other relevant evidence. In case of doubt as to the age of the child, it shall be
resolved in his/her favor (see sec. 7, RA 9344).

3. Release of children below 15 years of age. Under Sec. 20 of RA 9344, children below the age of criminal
responsibility (15 years and below) shall be immediately released to their parents or guardians or to the
child‘s nearest relative subject to the appropriate rehabilitation programs to be conducted by the local
social welfare officers.

4. Diversion program. Children above fifteen (15) but below eighteen (18) and who acted with discernment
shall be referred to appropriate diversion program (see sec. 22, RA 9344).

a. Where the imposable penalty for the crime committed is not more than six (6) years imprisonment,
the diversion program shall be conducted by the law enforcement officer or punong barangay with
the assistance of the local social welfare or development office.
b. In victimless crimes where the imposable penalty is not more than six (6) years imprisonment, the
diversion shall be conducted by the local social welfare or development officer.
c. Where the imposable penalty for the crime exceeds six (6) years imprisonment, diversion may be
resorted to only by the court (see sec. 23, RA 9344).

5. Definition of discernment. Discernment is the mental capacity to understand the difference between right
and wrong and such capacity may be known and should be determined by the records in each case, the
very appearance, the very comportment and behavior of said minor, not only before and during the
commission of the act but also after and even during trial. In short, it is mental capacity to distinguish
what is right and what is wrong (see People v. Duquenia, 68 Phil. 580). Discernment is more than the
mere understanding between right and wrong. It means the mental capacity of a minor to fully appreciate
the consequences of his unlawful act.

6. Basis for modification of the minimum age of criminal responsibility. Republic Act 9344 modifies as well
the minimum age limit of criminal irresponsibility for minor offenders; it changed what paragraphs 2 and
3 of Article 12 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as amended, previously provided – i.e., from ―under
nine years of age‖ and ―above nine years of age and under fifteen‖ (who acted without discernment) – to
―fifteen years old or under‖ and ―above fifteen but below 18‖ (who acted without discernment) in
determining exemption from criminal liability. In providing exemption, the new law – as the old
paragraphs 2 and 3, Article 12 of the RPC did – presumes that the minor offenders completely lack the

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intelligence to distinguish right from wrong, so that their acts are deemed involuntary ones for which
they cannot be held accountable. The current law also drew its changes from the principle of restorative
justice that it espouses; it considers the ages 9 to 15 years as formative years and gives minors of these
ages a chance to right their wrong through diversion and intervention measures. The Supreme Court
applied the provisions of Republic Act 9344 retroactively and dismissed the cases against the accused
(Robert Sierra v. People, G.R. No. 182941, July 3, 2009, 591 SCRA 666, 667-669).

7. Penalty of imprisonment for children in conflict with the law not prohibited. A review of the provisions
of Republic Act No. 9344 reveals that imprisonment of children in conflict with the law is by no means
prohibited. While Section 5 (c) of Republic Act No. 9344 bestows on children in conflict with the law the
right not to be unlawfully or arbitrarily deprived of their liberty; imprisonment as a proper disposition of
a case is duly recognized, subject to certain restrictions on the imposition of imprisonment, namely: (a)
the detention or imprisonment is a disposition of last resort, and (b) the detention or imprisonment shall
be for the shortest appropriate period of time (Hubilla v. People, G.R. No. 176102, November 26, 2014,
742 SCRA 487, 496-499).

8. Suspended sentence is applicable even if the accused who committed the crime in his minority had
reached the age of beyond 21 years old. To give meaning to the legislative intent of the Act, the
promotion of the welfare of a child in conflict with the law should extend even to one who has exceeded
the age limit of twenty-one (21) years, so long as he/she committed the crime when he/she was still a
child. The offender shall be entitled to the right to restoration, rehabilitation and reintegration in
accordance with the Act in order that he/she is given the chance to live a normal life and become a
productive member of the community. The age of the child in conflict with the law at the time of the
promulgation of the judgment of conviction is not material. What matters is that the offender
committed the offense when he/she was still of tender age. Accused may be confined in an agricultural
camp or any other training facility in accordance with Sec. 51 of Republic Act No. 9344 (People v.
Ancajas, G.R. No. 199270, October 21, 2015, 773 SCRA 518, 543-544).

9. Status offenses under RA 9344. Section 57 of RA 9344 provides that any conduct not considered an
offense or not penalized if committed by an adult shall not be considered as an offense and shall not be
punished if committed by a child.

10. Offenses not applicable to children. Section 58 of the RA 9344 provides that persons below eighteen (18)
years of age shall be exempt from prosecution for the crime of vagrancy and prostitution under art. 202
of the RPC, of mendicancy under PD 1563, and sniffing of rugby under PD 1619, such prosecution being
inconsistent with the UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child; provided that said persons shall
undergo appropriate counselling and treatment program.

11. Exemption from the application of death penalty. Section 59 of RA 9344 provides that the provisions of
the Revised Penal Code, RA 9165, and other special laws notwithstanding, no death penalty shall be
imposed upon children in conflict with the law.

B. Anti-violence against Women and their Children (RA 9262)

1. Battered Woman Syndrome as a defense. Under section 26 of RA 9262, victims-survivors who are found
by the courts to be suffering from battered woman syndrome do not incur any criminal and civil liability
notwithstanding the absence of any of the elements for justifying circumstances of self-defense under
the Revised Penal Code.

2. Characteristics of battered woman syndrome: (1) The woman believes that the violence was here fault;
(2) She has an inability to place the responsibility for the violence elsewhere; (3) She fears for her life
and/or her children‘s life; and (4) She has an irrational belief that the abuser is omnipresent and
omniscient (see People v. Genosa, 341 SCRA 493).

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3. Violence against women and their children refers to any act or a series of acts committed by any person
against a woman who is his wife, former wife, or against a woman with whom the person has or had a
sexual or dating relationship, or with whom he has a common child, or against her child whether
legitimate or illegitimate, within or without the family abode, which result in or is likely to result in
physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts,
battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty (sec. 3, a, RA No. 9262) .

4. Elements of harassment as vawc. The elements of the crime of violence against women through
harassment are: (a) The offender has or had a sexual or dating relationship with the offended woman; (b)
The offender, by himself or through another, commits an act or series of acts of harassment against the
woman; and (c) The harassment alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to her
(see Ang v. CA, G.R. No. 182835, April 20, 2010).

5. Sexual relationship vis-à-vis dating relationship. R.A. 9262 provides in Section 3 that violence against
women x x x refers to any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman x x x with
whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship. Clearly, the law itself distinguishes a
sexual relationship from a dating relationship. Indeed, Section 3(e) above defines dating relationship
while Section 3(f) defines sexual relations. The latter refers to a single sexual act which may or may not
result in the bearing of a common child. The dating relationship that the law contemplates can, therefore,
exist even without a sexual intercourse taking place between those involved (see Ang v. CA, G.R. No.
182835, April 20, 2010).

6. Act of violence not required to be as consequence of sexual or dating relationship. Notably, while it is
required that the offender has or had a sexual or dating relationship with the offended woman, for RA
9262 to be applicable, it is not indispensable that the act of violence be a consequence of such
relationship. Nowhere in the law can such limitation be inferred. Hence, applying the rule on statutory
construction that when the law does not distinguish, neither should the courts, then, clearly, the
punishable acts refer to all acts of violence against women with whom the offender has or had a sexual
or dating relationship. As correctly ruled by the RTC, it is immaterial whether the relationship had
ceased for as long as there is sufficient evidence showing the past or present existence of such
relationship between the offender and the victim when the physical harm was committed (see Dabalos v.
RTC, Br. 59, Angeles City (Pampanga), G.R. No. 193960, January 7, 2013).

7. Psychological violence as element of Section 5(j) of RA No. 9262. Psychological violence is an element
of violation of Section 5(i) just like the mental or emotional anguish caused on the victim. Psychological
violence is the means employed by the perpetrator, while mental or emotional anguish is the effect
caused to or the damage sustained by the offended party. To establish psychological violence as an
element of the crime, it is necessary to show proof of commission of any of the acts enumerated in
Section 5(i) or similar such acts. And to establish mental or emotional anguish, it is necessary to present
the testimony of the victim as such experiences are personal to this party (Dinamling v. People, G.R. No.
199522, June 22, 2015, 760 SCRA 23, 49).

7.1. Neither the physical injuries suffered by the victim nor the actual physical violence done by the
perpetrator are necessary to prove the essential elements of the crime as defined in Section 5(i) of
RA 9262. The only exception is when the physical violence done by the accused is alleged to
have caused the mental and emotional suffering; in which case, such acts of physical violence
must be proven. In this instance, the physical violence was a means of causing mental or
emotional suffering. As such, whether or not it led to actual bodily injury, the physical violence
translates to psychological violence since its main effect was on the victim's mental or emotional
well-being (see (Dinamling v. People, G.R. No. 199522, June 22, 2015, 760 SCRA 23).

8. Denial of financial support as vawc. The deprivation or denial of financial support to the child is
considered an act of violence against women and children. In addition, considering that respondent is
currently living in the Philippines, we find strength in petitioner‘s claim that the Territoriality Principle

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in criminal law, in relation to Article 14 of the New Civil Code, applies to the instant case, which
provides that: "[p]enal laws and those of public security and safety shall be obligatory upon all who live
and sojourn in Philippine territory, subject to the principle of public international law and to treaty
stipulations." On this score, it is indisputable that the alleged continuing acts of respondent in refusing to
support his child with petitioner is committed here in the Philippines as all of the parties herein are
residents of the Province of Cebu City. As such, our courts have territorial jurisdiction over the offense
charged against respondent. It is likewise irrefutable that jurisdiction over the respondent was acquired
upon his arrest (see Soccoro v. Ernst Johan Brinkman Van Wilsem, G.R. No. 193707, December 10,
2014).

8.1. The act of denying support to a child under Section 5(e)(2) and (i) of R.A. No. 9262 is a
continuing offense, which started in 1995 but is still ongoing at present. Accordingly, the crime
charged in the instant case has clearly not prescribed (see Soccoro v. Ernst Johan Brinkman Van
Wilsem, G.R. No. 193707, December 10, 2014).

9. TPO constitutionally valid. The grant of a TPO ex parte cannot, [therefore], be challenged as violative of
the right to due process. Just like a writ of preliminary attachment which is issued without notice and
hearing because the time in which the hearing will take could be enough to enable the defendant to
abscond or dispose of his property, in the same way, the victim of VAWC may already have suffered
harrowing experiences in the hands of her tormentor, and possibly even death, if notice and hearing were
required before such acts could be prevented. It is a constitutional commonplace that the ordinary
requirements of procedural due process must yield to the necessities of protecting vital public interests,
among which is protection of women and children from violence and threats to their personal safety and
security (see Garcia v. Drilon, G.R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013).

C. Anti-Child Abuse Law (RA 7610)

1. Consented sex is not an admissible defense in the case for violation of Section 5(b) of Republic Act 7610
for lascivious conduct. For purposes of sexual intercourse and lascivious conduct in child abuse cases
under RA 7610, the sweetheart defense is unacceptable. A child exploited in prostitution or subjected to
other sexual abuse cannot validly give consent to sexual intercourse with another person. The language
of the law is clear: it seeks to punish [t]hose who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious
conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse. Unlike rape, therefore,
consent is immaterial in cases involving violation of Section 5, Article III of RA 7610. The mere act of
having sexual intercourse or committing lascivious conduct with a child who is exploited in prostitution
or subjected to sexual abuse constitutes the offense. It is a malum prohibitum, an evil that is proscribed.
A child cannot give consent to a contract under our civil laws. This is on the rationale that she can easily
be the victim of fraud as she is not capable of fully understanding or knowing the nature or import of her
actions. The State, as parens patriae, is under the obligation to minimize the risk of harm to those who,
because of their minority, are as yet unable to take care of themselves fully. Those of tender years
deserve its protection (Michael John Malto v. People, G.R. No. 164733, September 21, 2007, 533 SCRA
643, 651).

2. Hitting a child without intention to debase his “intrinsic worth and dignity” as a human being is not child abuse.
With the loss of his self-control, accused lacked that specific intent to debase, degrade or demean the intrinsic
worth and dignity of a child as a human being that was so essential in the crime of child abuse. It is not trite to
remind that under the well-recognized doctrine of pro reo every doubt is resolved in favor of the accused. Thus, the
Court should consider all possible circumstances in his favor (Bongalon v. People, G.R. No. 169533, March 20,
2013).

3. The victim was a Grade 1 pupil of Cawitan Elementary School. He was playing "langit lupa" during
recess with the daughter of the accused and two other classmates. During the course of their game, he
touched the shoulder of the girl which caused her to fall down and sustained injury on her head. He
helped her stand up while one of his classmates called the accused. When the accused arrived she

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slapped him on his neck and choked him. The victim was able to get out of her hold when he removed her
hands from his neck. He immediately ran towards their house some 500 meters away from the school. Is
the accused criminally liable for child abuse under Republic Act 7610? No. The laying of the hands on
the victim was an offshoot of the accused emotional outrage after being informed that her daughter's head
was punctured, and whom she thought was already dead. The spontaneity of the acts of the accused
against the victim is just a product of the instinctive reaction of a mother to rescue her own child from
harm and danger as manifested only by mild abrasions, scratches, or scrapes suffered by Lin, thus,
negating any intention on inflicting physical injuries. Having lost the strength of her mind, she lacked
that specific intent to debase, degrade or demean the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human
being that was so essential in the crime of child abuse. In fine, the essential element of intent was not
established with the prescribed degree of proof required for a successful prosecution under Section 10(a),
Article VI of R.A. No. 7610 (Jabalde v. People, G.R. No.195224, June 15, 2016; Bongalon v. People,
G.R. No. 169533; March 20, 2013).

D. Obstruction of justice (P.D. 1829)

1. Punishable acts of obstruction of justice. Any person who knowingly or willfully obstructs, impedes,
frustrates or delays the apprehension of suspects and the investigation and prosecution of criminal
cases committing any of the following acts:

a. Preventing witnesses from testifying in any criminal proceeding or from reporting the
commission of any offense or the identity of any offender/s by means of bribery,
misrepresentation, deceit, intimidation, force or threats;

b. Altering, destroying, suppressing or concealing any paper, record, document, or object with intent
to impair its verity, authenticity, legibility, availability, or admissibility as evidence in any
investigation of or official proceedings in criminal cases, or to be used in the investigation of, or
official proceedings in, criminal cases;

c. Harboring or concealing, or facilitating the escape of, any person he knows, or has reasonable
ground to believe or suspect, has committed any offense under existing penal laws in order to
prevent his arrest, prosecution and conviction;

d. Publicly using a fictitious name for the purpose of concealing a crime, evading prosecution or the
execution of a judgment, or concealing his true name and other personal circumstances for the
same purpose or purposes;

e. Delaying the prosecution of criminal cases by obstructing the service of process or court orders or
disturbing the proceeding in the fiscal‘s offices, in Tanodbayan, or in the courts;

f. Making, presenting or using any record, document, paper or object with knowledge of its falsity
and with intent to affect the course or outcome of the investigation of, or official proceedings in
criminal cases;

g. Soliciting, accepting, or agreeing to accept any benefit in consideration of abstaining from,


discontinuing, or impending the prosecution of a criminal offender;

h. Threatening directly or indirectly another with the infliction of any wrong upon his person, honor
or property or that of any immediate member or members of his family in order to prevent such
person from appearing in the investigation of, or official proceedings in, criminal cases, or
imposing a condition, whether lawful or unlawful, in order to prevent a person from appearing in
the investigation of, or in official proceedings in criminal cases;

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i. Giving of false or fabricated information to mislead or prevent the law enforcement agencies
from apprehending the offender or from protecting the life or property of the victim; or
fabricating information from the data gathered in confidence by investigating authorities for
purposes of background information and not for publication and publishing or disseminating the
same to mislead the investigation or the court (see sec. 1, P.D. No. 1829).

2. Accused were charged with illegal possession of lumber as an accessory for taking away the truck
containing undocumented lumber so that it could not be used as evidence and avoid its confiscations
by the government as a tool or instrument of the crime. They were convicted as accessories. Is the
conviction proper? No. Article 19, paragraph 2 defines "accessories" as those who, with knowledge
of the commission of the crime and without having participated therein, either as principals or
accomplices, take part subsequent to its commission by concealing or destroying the body of the
crime, its effects or instruments, in order to prevent its discovery (Padernal v. People, G.R. No.
18111, August 17, 2015, 766 SCRA 614, 627-628). Note: The Supreme Court found the accused
liable for obstruction of justice under Section 1(b) of P.D. 1829.

E. Anti-Fencing Law (PD 1612)

1. Fencing. Fencing is the act of any person who, with intent to gain for himself or for another, shall
buy, receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any other
manner deal in any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows, or should be known to
him, to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft (sec. 2a, P.D. No. 1612).

2. Presumption of fencing. Mere possession of any goods, article, item, object, or anything of value
which has been the subject of robbery or thievery shall be prima facie evidence of fencing (sec. 5,
P.D. No. 1612).

3. Elements of fencing. The essential elements of the crime of fencing are as follows: (1) a crime of
robbery or theft has been committed; (2) the accused, who is not a principal or accomplice in the
commission of the crime of robbery or theft, buys, receives, possesses, keeps, acquires, conceals,
sells or disposes, or buys and sells, or in any manner deals in any article, item, object or anything of
value, which has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; (3) the accused
knew or should have shown that the said article, item, object or anything of value has been derived
from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; and, (4) there is, on the part of the accused, intent
to gain for himself or for another (see Francisco v. People, G.R. No. 146584, July 12, 2004).

4. Malum prohibitum. Fencing is malum prohibitum, and P.D. No. 1612 creates a prima
facie presumption of fencing from evidence of possession by the accused of any good, article, item,
object or anything of value which has been the subject of robbery or theft, and prescribes a higher
penalty based on the value of the property. The stolen property subject of the charge is not
indispensable to prove fencing. It is merely corroborative of the testimonies and other evidence
adduced by the prosecution to prove the crime of fencing (see Dizon v. Pamintuan, 234 SCRA 63).

5. When can the accused be deemed to have known ought to have known that the thing he bought or
sold was the fruit of theft or robbery. Dimat claims lack of criminal intent as his main defense. But
Presidential Decree 1612 is a special law and, therefore, its violation is regarded as malum
prohibitum, requiring no proof of criminal intent. Of course, the prosecution must still prove that
Dimat knew or should have known that the Nissan Safari he acquired and later sold to Delgado was
derived from theft or robbery and that he intended to obtain some gain out of his acts. Dimat testified
that he met Tolentino at the Holiday Inn Casino where the latter gave the Nissan Safari to him as
collateral for a loan. Tolentino supposedly showed him the old certificate of registration and official
receipt of the vehicle and even promised to give him a new certificate of registration and official
receipt already in his name. But Tolentino reneged on this promise. Dimat insists that Tolentinos
failure to deliver the documents should not prejudice him in any way. Delgado himself could not

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produce any certificate of registration or official receipt. Based on the above, evidently, Dimat knew
that the Nissan Safari he bought was not properly documented. He said that Tolentino showed him its
old certificate of registration and official receipt. But this certainly could not be true because, the
vehicle having been carnapped, Tolentino had no documents to show. That Tolentino was unable to
make good on his promise to produce new documents undoubtedly confirmed to Dimat that the
Nissan Safari came from an illicit source. Still, Dimat sold the same to Sonia Delgado who apparently
made no effort to check the papers covering her purchase. That she might herself be liable for fencing
is of no moment since she did not stand accused in the case (see Dimat v. People, G.R. No. 181184,
January 25, 2012).

6. Should know standard to determine the mental element of fencing. The words "should know" denote
the fact that a person of reasonable prudence and intelligence would ascertain the fact in performance
of his duty to another or would govern his conduct upon assumption that such fact exists (see Ong v.
People, G.R. No. 190475, April 10, 2013).

7. Clearance required only if accused is engaged in the business of buying and selling. The clearance
stated in Sec. 6 of PD 1612 is only required if several conditions, are met: first, that the person, store,
establishment or entity is in the business of buying and selling of any good, articles item object, or
anything of value; second, that such thing of value was obtained from an unlicensed dealer or
supplier thereof; and third, that such thing of value is to be offered for sale to the public.
In the present case, the first and third requisites were not met. Nowhere was it established that
petitioner was engaged in the business of buy and sell. Neither was the prosecution able to establish
that petitioner intended to sell or was actually selling the subject grader to the public (Lim v. People,
G.R. No. 211977, October 12, 2016).

F. Indeterminate Sentence Law (Act 4103)

1. Disqualified offenders:
a. Those convicted of offense punishable with death penalty or life imprisonment.
b. Those convicted of treason, conspiracy or proposal to commit treason.
c. Those convicted of misprision of treason, rebellion, sedition, espionage.
d. Those convicted of piracy.
e. Habitual delinquents
f. Persons who escaped from confinement or evaded sentence.
g. Those who have been granted pardon but violated the terms thereof.
h. Those convicted by maximum prison term of one year.

2. How to determine the maximum and minimum sentences.


a. Crimes punished under the RPC. The maximum term shall be taken in the penalty that can be
properly imposed under the RPC considering the attending circumstances. The minimum
penalty shall be taken within any period of the penalty next lower in degree to that prescribed
by law.
b. Offenses punished under special laws. The maximum term shall not exceed the maximum
fixed by law and the minimum shall not be less than the minimum prescribed by the said law.

G. Probation (P.D. 1990)

1. Purposes of Probation:
a. promote the correction and rehabilitation of an offender by providing him with individualized
treatment;
b. provide an opportunity for the reformation of a penitent offender which might be less
probable if he were to serve a prison sentence; and
c. prevent the commission of offenses.

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2. Disqualified offenders:
a. Those sentenced to serve maximum term of imprisonment of more than 6 years.Those convicted of
subversion or any crime against national security or the public order.
b. Those who have previously been convicted by final judgment of an offense punished by
imprisonment of not less than one month and one day or fine of not less than 200 pesos.
c. Those who have been once on probation under PD 968.
d. Those who are already serving sentence at the time PD 968 became applicable.
e. Those who have perfected an appeal.

3. Appeal and probation are mutual exclusive. The Probation Law requires that an accused must not have
appealed his conviction before he can avail himself of probation. This requirement outlaws the element
of speculation on the part of the accused to wager on the result of his appeal that when his conviction is
finally affirmed on appeal, the moment of truth well-nigh at hand, and the service of his sentence
inevitable, he now applies for probation as an escape hatch thus rendering nugatory the appellate courts
affirmance of his conviction. However, when the appeal was taken because the trial court imposed an
erroneous penalty which prevented the accused from applying for probation, an application for probation
may still be made after the appellate court imposed the correct penalty which is well-within the penalties
allowed under the Probation Law (see Colinares v. People, G.R. No. 182748, December 13, 2011).

Section 4 of P.D. No. 968, as amended by P.D. No. 1990, reads:Sec. 4. Grant of Probation. Subject to
the provisions of this Decree, the trial court may, after it shall have convicted and sentenced a
defendant and upon application by said defendant within the period for perfecting an appeal, suspend
the execution of the sentence and place the defendant on probation for such period and upon such
terms and conditions as it may deem best; Provided, that no application for probation shall be
entertained or granted if the defendant has perfected an appeal from the judgment of conviction.
Probation may be granted whether the sentence imposes a term of imprisonment or a fine only. An
application for probation shall be filed with the trial court. The filing of the application shall be
deemed a waiver of the right to appeal. An order granting or denying probation shall not be
appealable.

4. Exceptions. An accused may be allowed to apply for probation even if he has filed a notice of appeal,
provided that his appeal is limited to the following grounds:

a. When the appeal is merely intended for the correction of the penalty imposed by the lower
court, which when corrected would entitle the accused to apply for probation; and

b. When the appeal is merely intended to review the crime for which the accused was
convicted and that the accused should only be liable to the lesser offense which is
necessarily included in the crime for which he was originally convicted and the proper
penalty imposable is within the probationable period.

c. Probation should not be granted to the accused in the following instances:

(1) When the accused is convicted by the trial court of a crime where the penalty imposed is
within the probationable period or a fine, and the accused files a notice of appeal; and
(2) When the accused files a notice of appeal which puts the merits of his conviction in
issue, even if there is an alternative prayer for the correction of the penalty imposed by the
trial court or for a conviction to a lesser crime, which is necessarily included in the crime
in which he was convicted where the penalty is within the probationable period ((see
Dimakuta v. People, G.R. No. 206513, October 30, 2015; Colinares v. People, G.R. No.
182748, December 13, 2011).

Relevant provisions of RA 9165

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5. Suspension of Sentence of a First-Time Minor Offender. – An accused who is over fifteen (15) years of
age at the time of the commission of the offense mentioned in Section 11 of this Act, but not more than
eighteen (18) years of age at the time when judgment should have been promulgated after having been
found guilty of said offense, may be given the benefits of a suspended sentence, subject to the following
conditions:
a. He/she has not been previously convicted of violating any provision of this Act, or of the Dangerous
Drugs Act of 1972, as amended; or of the Revised Penal Code; or of any special penal laws;
b. He/she has not been previously committed to a Center or to the care of a DOH-accredited physician;
and
c. The Board favorably recommends that his/her sentence be suspended. While under suspended
sentence, he/she shall be under the supervision and rehabilitative surveillance of the Board, under
such conditions that the court may impose for a period ranging from six (6) months to eighteen (18)
months (see section 66, RA 9165).

6. Discharge after Compliance with Conditions of Suspended Sentence of a First-Time Minor Offender. – If
the accused first time minor offender under suspended sentence complies with the applicable rules and
regulations of the Board, including confinement in a Center, the court, upon a favorable recommendation
of the Board for the final discharge of the accused, shall discharge the accused and dismiss all
proceedings (see section 67, RA 9165).

7. Privilege of Suspended Sentence to be Availed of Only Once by a First-Time Minor Offender. – The
privilege of suspended sentence shall be availed of only once by an accused drug dependent who is a
first-time offender over fifteen (15) years of age at the time of the commission of the violation of Section
15 of this Act but not more than eighteen (18) years of age at the time when judgment should have been
promulgated (see section 68, RA 9165).

8. Probation or Community Service for a First-Time Minor Offender in Lieu of Imprisonment. – Upon
promulgation of the sentence, the court may, in its discretion, place the accused under probation, even if
the sentence provided under this Act is higher than that provided under existing law on probation, or
impose community service in lieu of imprisonment. In case of probation, the supervision and
rehabilitative surveillance shall be undertaken by the Board through the DOH in coordination with the
Board of Pardons and Parole and the Probation Administration. Upon compliance with the conditions of
the probation, the Board shall submit a written report to the court recommending termination of
probation and a final discharge of the probationer, whereupon the court shall issue such an order (see
section 70, RA 9165).

H. Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (Republic Act 9165)

1. Elements of sale of illegal drug. The elements of the sale of illegal drugs are a) the identities of the
buyer and seller, b) the transaction or sale of the illegal drug, and c) the existence of the corpus delicti.
With respect to the third element, the prosecution must show that the integrity of the corpus delicti has
been preserved. This is crucial in drugs cases because the evidence involved—the seized chemical—is
not readily identifiable by sight or touch and can easily be tampered with or substituted (People v.
Peralta, 613 SCRA 763, GR 173472, February 26, 2010).

2. Elements of illegal possession of dangerous drugs. For a successful prosecution for illegal possession of
dangerous drugs, the following elements must be established: (1) the accused is in possession of an item
or object identified to be a prohibited or a regulated drug; (2) such possession is not authorized by law;
and (3) the accused freely and consciously possessed said drug. Obtained through a valid search the
drug operatives conducted pursuant to Section 13, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court, the sachets recovered
from appellant's person all tested positive for Methamphetamine Hydrochloride or shabu. Mere
possession of a prohibited drug constitutes prima facie evidence of knowledge or animus possidendi
sufficient to convict an accused in the absence of any satisfactory explanation of such possession. The

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burden to explain the absence of animus possidendi rests upon the accused, and in the case at bar, this
the appellant failed to do (People v. Rafols, G.R. No. 214440, June 15, 2016).

3. Effect of non-compliance with Section 21 of R.A. No. 9165. Concerning the supposed failure to comply
with the procedures prescribed by Section 21 of R.A. No. 9165, jurisprudence has it that non-
compliance with these procedures does not render void the seizures and custody of drugs in a buy-bust
operation. What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and evidentiary value of the
seized items because the same will be utilized in ascertaining the guilt or innocence of the accused
(People v. Enriquez, G.R. No. 21503, June 22, 2016).

4. Chain of custody. The links that must be established in the chain of custody in a buy-bust situation are
as follows: (1) the seizure and marking, if practicable, of the illegal drug recovered from the accused by
the apprehending officer; (2) the turnover of the illegal drug seized to the investigating officer; (3) the
turnover by the investigating officer of the illegal drug to the forensic chemist for laboratory
examination; and (4) the turnover and submission of the illegal drug from the forensic chemist to the
court (People v. Enad, G.R. No. 205764, February, 3, 2016).

I. The Law on Arson (PD 1613)

1. Destructive arson vis-à-vis simple arson. The nature of Destructive Arson (Art 320, RPC) is
distinguished from Simple Arson (Section 3, PD 1613) by the degree of perversity or viciousness of the
criminal offender. The acts committed under Art. 320 of the Revised Penal Code constituting
Destructive Arson are characterized as heinous crimes ‗for being grievous, odious and hateful offenses
and which, by reason of their inherent or manifest wickedness, viciousness, atrocity and perversity are
repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just,
civilized and ordered society. On the other hand, acts committed under PD 1613 constituting Simple
Arson are crimes with a lesser degree of perversity and visciousness that the law punishes with a lesser
penalty. In other words, Simple Arson contemplates crimes with less significant social, economic,
political and national security implications that Destructive Arson. However, acts falling under Simple
Arson may nevertheless be converted into Destructive Arson depending on the qualifying circumstances
present (Buebos v. People, 550 SCRA 210; People v. Soriano, 407 SCRA 367; People v. Malngan, 503
SCRA 294).

2. Two categories of arson. It may not be amiss to point out that there are actually two categories of arson,
namely: Destructive Arson under Article 320 of the Revised Penal Code and Simple Arson under
Presidential Decree No. 1316. Said classification is based on the kind, character and location of the
property burned, regardless of the value of the damage caused. Article 320 contemplates the malicious
burning of structures, both public and private, hotels, buildings, edifices, trains, vessels, aircraft,
factories and other military, government or commercial establishments by any person or group of
persons. On the other hand, Presidential Decree No. 1316 covers houses, dwellings, government
buildings, farms, mills, plantations, railways, bus stations, airports, wharves and other industrial
establishments (People v. Murcia, 614 SCRA 714, GR 182460, March 9, 2010).

3. When death occurred. In cases where both burning and death occur, in order to determine what
crime/crimes was/were perpetrated—whether arson, murder or arson and homicide/murder, it is de
riguer to ascertain the main objective of the malefactor: (a) if the main objective is the burning of the
building or edifice, but death results by reason or on the occasion of arson, the crime is simply arson,
and the resulting homicide is absorbed; (b) if, on the other hand, the main objective is to kill a particular
person who may be in a building or edifice, when fire is resorted to as the means to accomplish such
goal the crime committed is murder only; lastly, (c) if the objective is, likewise, to kill a particular
person, and in fact the offender has already done so, but fire is resorted to as a means to cover up the
killing, then there are two separate and distinct crimes committed—homicide/murder and arson (People
v. Baluntong, 615 SCRA 455, GR 182061, March 15, 2010, citing People v. Malngan, 503 SCRA 294).

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J. Anti-Check Bouncing Law (Batas Pambansa Blg. 22)

1. Requisites for conviction. For an accused to be validly convicted of the crime under B.P. Blg.22, the
following requisites must concur: (1) the making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply for account
or for value; (2) the knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue he does not have
sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full upon its
presentment; and (3) the subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiencyof funds
or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to
stop payment (Arceo, Jr. v. People, 495 SCRA 204).

2. Nature of presumption. The presumption is not conclusive as it may be rebutted by full payment. If the
maker or drawer pays, or makes arrangement with the drawee bank for the payment of the amount due
within the five-day period from notice of dishonour, he or she may no longer be indicted for such
violation. It is a complete defense that would lie regardless of the strength of the evidence presented by
the prosecution. In essence, the law affords the drawer or maker the opportunity to avert prosecution by
performing some acts that would operate to pre-empt the criminal action, which opportunity serves to
mitigate the harshness of the law in its application. It is a general rule that only a full payment at the time
of its presentment or during the five-day grace period could exonerate one from criminal liability under
BP Blg. 22 and that subsequent payments can only affect the civil, but not the criminal, liability (Tan v.
PCIB, 552 SCRA 532, GR 152666, April 23, 2008).

3. When the value is already covered by payment, criminal liability for BP 22 is extinguished. Where the
creditor had collected more than a sufficient amount to cover the value of the checks representing rental
arrearages, holding the debtor‘s president to answer for a criminal offense under BP Blg. 22 two years
after the said collection is no longer tenable nor justified by law or equitable considerations. In that case,
the court rule that albeit made beyond the grace period but two years prior to the institution of the
criminal case, the payment collected from the proceeds of the foreclose and auction sale of the
petitioner‘s impounded properties, with more than a million pesos to spare, justified the acquittal of the
petitioner (Griffith v. Court of Appeals, 379 SCRA 94).

4. Notice of dishonor required. The presumption is brought into existence only after it is proved that the
issuer had received a notice of dishonour and that within five days from receipt thereof, he failed to pay
the amount of the check or to make arrangements for its payment. The presumption or prima facie
evidence as provided in this section cannot arise, if such notice of non-payment by the drawee bank is not
sent to the maker or drawer, or if there is no proof as to when such notice was received by the drawer,
since there would simply be no way of reckoning the crucial 5 day period. A notice of dishonour received
by the maker or drawer of the check is thus indispensable before a conviction can ensue. The notice of
dishonour may be sent by the offended party or the drawee bank. The notice must be in writing. A mere
oral notice to pay a dishonoured check will not suffice. The lack of written notice is fatal for the
prosecution (Azarcon v. People, 622 SCRA 341, GR 185906, June 29, 2010; see also Dico v. Court of
Appeals, 452 SCRA 441).

5. Registry return receipt not sufficient to prove notice of dishonor. Both the spirit and letter of the
Bouncing Checks Law require for the act to be punished thereunder not only that the accused issued a
check that is dishonoured, but also that the accused has actually been notified in writing of the fact of
dishonour. The evidence for the prosecution failed to prove the second element. While the registry
receipt, which is said to cover letter-notice of dishonour and of demand sent to petitioner was presented,
there is no proof that he or a duly authorized agent received the same. Receipts for registered letters
including return receipts do not themselves prove receipt; they must be properly authenticated to serve as
proof of receipt of the letters (Svendsen v. People, 546 SCRA 659; GR 175381, February 26, 2008; see
Rico v. People, 392 SCRA 61).

6. Registry return receipt insufficient to establish that the accused received the demand letter required for
prosecution of violation of BP 22. The prosecution failed to sufficiently prove the actual receipt by the

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petitioner of the demand letter sent by Tan. No witness testified to authenticate the registry return card
and the signature appearing thereon. The return card provides that the letter was received by one Rolando
Villanueva, without even further proof that the said person was the petitioner's duly authorized agent for
the purpose of receiving the correspondence (Dela Cruz v. People, G.R. No. 163494, August 3, 2016).

7. Motive for the issuance of a bad check is not a defense for violation of BP 22. The gravamen of the
offense punished under B.P. Blg. 22 is the act of making or issuing a worthless check or a check that is
dishonored upon its presentment for payment. The law has made the mere act of issuing a bad check
malum prohibitum, an act proscribed by the legislature for being deemed pernicious and inimical to
public welfare. Considering the rule in mala prohibita cases, the only inquiry is whether the law has been
breached. Criminal intent becomes unnecessary where the acts are prohibited for reasons of public
policy, and the defenses of good faith and absence of criminal intent are unavailing (see Isidro Pablito
Palana v. People, G.R. No. 149995, September 28, 2007, 534 SCRA 296).

K. Anti-Carnapping Law (RA 6539, as amended by RA Nos. 7659, 10833)

1. Carnapping defined. Carnapping is the taking, with intent to gain, of a motor vehicle belonging to
another without the latter‘s consent, or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by
using force upon things (see sec. 3, RA 10833).

2. Elements of the crime. The elements of carnapping are the following: (a) That there is an actual taking
of the vehicle; (b) That the vehicle belongs to a person other than the offender himself; (c)That the
taking is without the consent of the owner thereof; or that the taking was committed by means of
violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things; and (d) That the offender
intends to gain from the taking of the vehicle (see People v. Lagat, G.R. No. 187044, September 14,
2011).

3. Carnapping with homicide. Under the last clause of Section 14 of the R.A. 6539, as amended, the
prosecution has to prove the essential requisites of carnapping and of the homicide or murder of the
victim, and more importantly, it must show that the original criminal design of the culprit was
camapping and that the killing was perpetrated "in the course of the commission of the carnapping or on
the occasion thereof "In other words, to prove the special complex crime of camapping with homicide,
there must be proof not only of the essential elements of carnapping, but also that it was the original
criminal design of the culprit and the killing was perpetrated in the course of the commission of the
camapping or on the occasion thereof (see People v. Donio, G.R. No. 212815, March 1, 2017).

3.1. Under the last clause of Section 14 of the R.A. No. 6539, as amended, the prosecution has to prove
the essential requisites of carnapping and of the homicide or murder of the victim, and more
importantly, it must show that the original criminal design of the culprit was carnapping and that
the killing was perpetrated "in the course of the commission of the carnapping or on the occasion
thereof." In other words, to prove the special complex crime of carnapping with homicide, there
must be proof not only of the essential elements of carnapping, but also that it was the original
criminal design of the culprit and the killing was perpetrated in the course of the commission of
the carnapping or on the occasion thereof (see People v. Macaranas, G.R. No. 226846, June 21,
2017).

4. Proof required for carnapping with homicide. When the evidence falls short of proving all the elements
of carnapping with homicide, but the killing is conclusively established, the accused may be convicted
only of homicide when the Information does not allege any qualifying circumstance (see People v.
Latayada, G.R. No. 146865, February 18, 2004).

5. What carnapping covers. It is to be noted, however, that while the anti-carnapping law penalizes the
unlawful taking of motor vehicles, it excepts from its coverage certain vehicles such as roadrollers,
trolleys, street-sweepers, sprinklers, lawn mowers, amphibian trucks and cranes if not used on public

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highways, vehicles which run only on rails and tracks, and tractors, trailers and tractor engines of all
kinds and used exclusively for agricultural purposes. By implication, the theft or robbery of the
foregoing vehicles would be covered by Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended and the
provisions on robbery, respectively (see People v. Bustinera, G.R. No. 148233, June 8, 2004).

6. Unlawful taking in carnapping. Unlawful taking, or apoderamiento, is the taking of the motor vehicle
without the consent of the owner, or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using
force upon things; it is deemed complete from the moment the offender gains possession of the thing,
even if he has no opportunity to dispose of the same. In Roque v. People, the Court ruled that qualified
theft may be committed even when the personal property is in the lawful possession of the accused prior
to the commission of the felony. The concept of unlawful taking in theft, robbery and carnapping being
the same, the holding in Roque v. People equally applies to carnapping. Hence, in People v. Bustinera,
appellant, who was hired as taxi driver, was found guilty of carnapping under R.A. No. 6539 after he
failed to return the Daewoo Racer taxi assigned to him by the cab company where he was employed (see
People v. Asamuddin, G.R. No. 21393, September 2, 2015).

L. Anti-Plunder Act (RA 7080, as amended)

1. Plunder defined. Any public officer who, by himself or in connivance with members of his family,
relatives by affinity or consanguinity, business associates, subordinates or other persons, amasses,
accumulates or acquires ill-gotten wealth through a combination or series of overt or criminal acts as
described in Section 1(d) hereof, in the aggregate amount or total value of at least Fifty million pesos
(P50,000,000.00) shall be guilty of the crime of plunder and shall be punished by reclusion perpetua to
death. Any person who participated with the said public officer in the commission of an offense
contributing to the crime of plunder shall likewise be punished for such offense. In the imposition of
penalties, the degree of participation and the attendance of mitigating and extenuating circumstances,
as provided by the Revised Penal Code, shall be considered by the court. The court shall declare any
and all ill-gotten wealth and their interests and other incomes and assets including the properties and
shares of stocks derived from the deposit or investment thereof forfeited in favor of the State (sec. 2,
RA 7080).

2. Connivance in plunder. Plunder may be committed by any public officer either by himself or in
connivance with other persons; it may also be committed by a person who participates with a public
officer in the commission of an offense contributing to the crime of plunder. A person may thus be
held accountable under the law by conniving with the principal co-accused or by participating in the
commission of an offense contributing to the crime of plunder. The term "in connivance" would
suggest an agreement or consent to commit an unlawful act or deed with or by another,
to connive being to cooperate secretly or privily with another. Upon the other hand, to participate is to
have a part or a share in conjunction with another of the proceeds of the unlawful act or deed (see
Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 148965, February 26, 2002, Separate opinion, Vitug, J.)

3. Wheel conspiracy and chain conspiracy in plunder. There is no denying the fact that the plunder of an
entire nation resulting in material damage to the national economy is made up of a complex and
manifold network of crimes. In the crime of plunder, therefore, different parties may be united by
a common purpose. In the case at bar, the different accused and their different criminal acts have a
commonality to help the former President amass, accumulate or acquire ill-gotten wealth. Sub-
paragraphs (a) to (d) in the Amended Information alleged the different participation of each accused in
the conspiracy. The gravamen of the conspiracy charge, therefore, is not that each accused agreed to
receive protection money from illegal gambling, that each misappropriated a portion of the tobacco
excise tax, that each accused ordered the GSIS and SSS to purchase shares of Belle Corporation and
receive commissions from such sale, nor that each unjustly enriched himself from commissions, gifts
and kickbacks; rather, it is that each of them, by their individual acts, agreed to participate,
directly or indirectly, in the amassing, accumulation and acquisition of ill-gotten wealth of and/or

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for former President Estrada. In the American jurisdiction, the presence of several accused in
multiple conspiracies commonly involves two structures: (1) the so-called wheel or circle conspiracy,
in which there is a single person or group (the hub) dealing individually with two or more other
persons or groups (the spokes); and (2) the chain conspiracy, usually involving the distribution of
narcotics or other contraband, in which there is successive communication and cooperation in much the
same way as with legitimate business operations between manufacturer and wholesaler, then
wholesaler and retailer, and then retailer and consumer (see Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No.
148965, February 26, 2002).

4. Identification of main plunderer required. The law on plunder requires that a particular public officer
must be identified as the one who amassed, acquired or accumulated ill-gotten wealth because it
plainly states that plunder is committed by any public officer who, by himself or in connivance with
members of his family, relatives by affinity or consanguinity, business associates, subordinates or other
persons, amasses, accumulates or acquires ill gotten wealth in the aggregate amount or total value of at
least P50,000,000.00 through a combination or series of overt criminal acts us described in Section
1(d) hereof. Surely, the law requires in the criminal charge for plunder against several individuals that
there must be a main plunderer and her co-conspirators, who may be members of her family, relatives
by affinity or consanguinity, business associates, subordinates or other persons. In other words, the
allegation of the wheel conspiracy or express conspiracy in the information was appropriate because
the main plunderer would then be identified in either manner. Of course, implied conspiracy could also
identify the main plunderer, but that fact must be properly alleged and duly proven by the Prosecution
(see Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo v. People, G.R. No. 220598, July 19, 2016 & April 18, 2017).

5. Proof of use or benefit for personal property required in plunder. To discern the proper import of the
phrase raids on the public treasury, the key is to look at the accompanying words: misappropriation,
conversion, misuse or malversation of public funds. This process is conformable with the maxim of
statutory construction noscitur a sociis, by which the correct construction of a particular word or
phrase that is ambiguous in itself or is equally susceptible of various meanings may be made by
considering the company of the words in which the word or phrase is found or with which it is
associated. Verily, a word or phrase in a statute is always used in association with other words or
phrases, and its meaning may, therefore, be modified or restricted by the latter. To convert connotes
the act of using or disposing of another's property as if it were one's own; to misappropriate means to
own, to take something for one's own benefit; misuse means "a good, substance, privilege, or right
used improperly, unforeseeably, or not as intended;" and malversation occurs when "any public officer
who, by reason of the duties of his office, is accountable for public funds or property, shall appropriate
the same or shall take or misappropriate or shall consent, through abandonment or negligence, shall
permit any other person to take such public funds, or property, wholly or partially." The common
thread that binds all the four terms together is that the public officer used the property taken.
Considering that raids on the public treasury is in the company of the four other terms that require the
use of the property taken, the phrase raids on the public treasury similarly requires such use of the
property taken. Accordingly, the Sandiganbayan gravely erred in contending that the mere
accumulation and gathering constituted the forbidden act of raids on the public treasury. Pursuant to
the maxim of noscitur a sociis, raids on the public treasury requires the raider to use the property
taken impliedly for his personal benefit (see Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo v. People, G.R. No. 220598,
April 18, 2017).

M. Anti-Hazing Law (RA 8049)

1. Malum prohibitum. Prior to the 1995 Anti-Hazing Law, there was to some extent a lacuna in the law;
hazing was not clearly considered an intentional felony. And when there is doubt on the interpretation of
criminal laws, all must be resolved in favor of the accused. In dubio pro reo (see Villareal v. People,
G.R. Nos. 151258, 154954, 155101, 178057, 178080, February 1, 2012).

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2. Presumption of actual participation. R.A. No. 8049, nevertheless, presents a novel provision that
introduces a disputable presumption of actual participation; and which modifies the concept of
conspiracy. Section 4, paragraph 6 thereof provides that the presence of any person during the hazing is
prima facie evidence of participation as principal, unless he prevented the commission of the punishable
acts. This provision is unique because a disputable presumption arises from the mere presence of the
offender during the hazing, which can be rebutted by proving that the accused took steps to prevent the
commission of the hazing (see Dungo vs. People, G.R. No. 209464, July 1, 2015, 761 SCRA 375).

N. Anti-Piracy and Anti-Highway Robbery (P.D. No. 532)

1. Highway robbery as indiscriminate highway robbery. As defined under Section 2(e) of Presidential
Decree No. 532, Highway Robbery/Brigandage is the seizure of any person for ransom, extortion or
other unlawful purposes, or the taking away of the property of another by means of violence against or
intimidation of person or force upon things or other unlawful means, committed by any person on any
Philippine highway. Also, as held in People v. Puno:In fine, the purpose of brigandage
is, inter alia, indiscriminate highway robbery. If the purpose is only a particular robbery, the crime is
only robbery, or robbery in band if there are at least four armed participants. Further, that Presidential
Decree No. 532 punishes as highway robbery or brigandage only acts of robbery perpetrated by outlaws
indiscriminately against any person or persons on Philippine highways as defined therein, and not acts of
robbery committed against only a predetermined or particular victim[Emphasis supplied.] (see Abay v.
People, G.R. No. 165896, September 19, 2008).

2. Purpose of highway robbery. In People vs. Puno, this Court, speaking through the learned Mr. Justice
Florenz D. Regalado, explained the purpose of brigandage as follows: In fine, the purpose of brigandage
is inter alia, indiscriminate highway robbery. If the purpose is only a particular robbery, the crime is
only robbery, or robbery in band if there are at least four armed participants. (citing U.S. vs. Feliciano, 3
Phil. 422 [1904]) x x xx x x Presidential Decree No. 532 punishes as highway robbery or brigandage
only acts of robbery perpetrated by outlaws indiscriminately against any person or persons on Philippine
highways as defined therein, and not acts of robbery committed against only a predetermined or
particular victim, xxx (see People v. Mendoza, G.R. No. 104461, February 23, 1996).

O. The Human Security Act (RA 9372)

1. Definition of Terrorist Organization. any organization, association, or group of persons


a. organized for the purpose of engaging in terrorism, or
b. which although not organized for that purpose, actually uses the acts to terrorize mentioned in this
act, or
c. to sow and create a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace
d. in order to coerce the government to give in to an unlawful demand (Sec. 17. Proscription of Terrorist
Organizations, Association, or Group of Persons)

2. Period for filing charges after warrantless arrest.


a. If an accused was arrested without a warrant, any police or law enforcement personnel who has taken
custody of a person charged with or suspected of the crime of conspiracy to commit terrorism shall,
without incurring any liability for delay in the delivery of detained persons to the proper judicial
authorities, deliver said charged or suspected person to the proper judicial authority within a period of
three (3) days counted from the moment the said charged or suspected person has been apprehended
or arrested, detained, and taken into custody by the said police, or law enforcement personnel.
(Section 18, R.A. 9372).

b. However, if there is an actual or imminent terrorist attack the following should be observed by the
arresting authority:
(1) Suspects may not be detained for more than three (3) days without the written approval of a
municipal, city, provincial or regional official of a Human Rights Commission or judge of the

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municipal, regional trial court, the Sandiganbayan or a justice of the Court of Appeals nearest the
place of the arrest.
(2) If the arrest is made during Saturdays, Sundays, holidays or after office hours, the arresting police
or law enforcement personnel shall bring the person thus arrested to the residence of any of the
officials mentioned above that is nearest the place where the accused was arrested. The approval in
writing of any of the said official shall be secured by the police or law enforcement personnel
within five (5) days after the date of the detention of the persons arrested concerned.
(3) Within three (3) days after the detention of the suspects, whose connection with the terror attack or
thereat is not established, shall be released immediately. (Sec. 19)

3. Qualified universal jurisdiction of Philippine courts for crimes punished under the Human Security. Act.
Section 58 of the Human Security Act (Republic Act 9372) provides for the extra-territorial application
of the law against those (1) individual persons who, although physically outside the territorial limits of
the Philippines, commit, conspire or plot to commit any of the crimes defined and punished in this Act
inside the territorial limits of the Philippines; (2)individual persons who, although physically outside the
territorial limits of the Philippines, commit any of the said crimes on board Philippine ship or Philippine
airship; (3) Individual persons who commit any of said crimes within any embassy, consulate, or
diplomatic premises belonging to or occupied by the Philippine government in an official capacity; (4)
individual persons who, although physically outside the territorial limits of the Philippines, commit said
crimes against Philippine citizens or persons of Philippine descent, where their citizenship or ethnicity
was a factor in the commission of the crime; and (5) individual persons who, although physically outside
the territorial limits of the Philippines, commit said crimes directly against the Philippine government.

P. The Anti-Torture Act of 2009 (Republic Act 9745)

1. Definition of Torture. Torture refers to an act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or
mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him/her or a third
person information or confession; punishing him/her for an act he/she or a third person has committed or
is suspected of having committed; or intimidating or coercing him/her or a third person; or for any reason
based on discrimination on any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or
with consent or acquiescence of a person in authority or agent of a person in authority. It does not include
pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions. (Sec. 3a)

2. Elements:
a. severe pain, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person;
b. the purpose of the infliction are (1) to obtain information or confession; (2) punishing him or her for
an act committed; or (3) intimidating or coercing him or her, or (4) for any reason based on
discrimination of any kind;
c. by or at the instigation of or with consent or acquiescence of a person in authority.

3. Punishable Acts:
a. Physical torture is a form of treatment or punishment inflicted by a person in authority or agents of a
person in authority upon another in his/her custody that causes severe pain, exhaustion, disability or
dysfunction of one or more parts of the body, such as:
(1) Systematic beating, headbanging, punching, kicking, striking with truncheon or rifle butt or
other similar objects, and jumping on the stomach;
(2) Food deprivation or forcible feeding with spoiled food, animal or human excreta and other
stuff or substances not normally eaten;
(3) Electric shock;
(4) Cigarette burning; burning by electrically heated rods, hot oil, acid; by the rubbing of pepper
or other chemical substances on mucous membranes, or acids or spices directly on the
wound(s);
(5) The submersion of the head in water or water polluted with excrement, urine, vomit and/or
blood until the brink of suffocation;

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(6) Being tied or forced to assume fixed and stressful bodily position;
(7) Rape and sexual abuse, including the insertion of foreign objects into the sex organ or rectum,
or electrical torture of the genitals;
(8) Mutilation or amputation of the essential parts of the body such as the genitalia, ear, tongue,
etc.;
(9) Dental torture or the forced extraction of the teeth;
(10) Pulling out of fingernails;
(11) Harmful exposure to the elements such as sunlight and extreme cold;
(12) The use of plastic bag and other materials placed over the head to the point of asphyxiation;
(13) The use of psychoactive drugs to change the perception, memory, alertness or will of a
person, such as:
(i) The administration of drugs to induce confession and/or reduce mental competency; or
(ii) The use of drugs to induce extreme pain or certain symptoms of a disease; and
(14) Other analogous acts of physical torture; and

b. Mental/Psychological Torture refers to acts committed by a person in authority or agent of a person


in authority which are calculated to affect or confuse the mind and/or undermine a person‘s dignity
and morale, such as:
(1) Blindfolding;
(2) Threatening a person/s or his/her relative(s) with bodily harm, execution or other wrongful
acts;
(3) Confinement in solitary cells or secret detention places;
(4) Prolonged interrogation;
(5) Preparing a prisoner for a ―show trial‖, public display or public humiliation of a detainee or
prisoner;
(6) Causing unscheduled transfer of a person deprived of liberty from one place to another,
creating the belief that he/she shall be summarily executed;
(7) Maltreating a member/s of a person‘s family;
(8) Causing the torture sessions to be witnessed by the person‘s family, relatives or any third
party;
(9) Denial of sleep/rest;
(10) Shame infliction such as stripping the person naked, parading him/her in public places,
shaving the victim‘s head or putting marks on his/her body against his/her will;
(11) Deliberately prohibiting the victim to communicate with any member of his/her family;
and
(12) Other analogous acts of mental/psychological torture. (Section 4)

c. Other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment refers to a deliberate and aggravated
treatment or punishment not enumerated under Section 4 of this Act, inflicted by a person in authority
or agent of a person in authority against another person in custody, which attains a level of severity
sufficient to cause suffering, gross humiliation or debasement to the latter. The assessment of the
level of severity shall depend on all the circumstances of the case, including the duration of the
treatment or punishment, its physical and mental effects and, in some cases, the sex, religion, age and
state of health of the victim. (Section 5)

4. Exclusionary rule. Any confession, admission or statement obtained as a result of torture shall be
inadmissible in evidence in any proceedings, except if the same is used as evidence against a person or
persons accused of committing torture (Section 8).

5. Who are criminally liable.

(a) Any person who actually participated or induced another in the omission of torture or other cruel
inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment or who cooperated in the execution of the act of

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torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment by previous or
simultaneous acts shall be liable as principal.

(b) Any superior military, police or law enforcement officer or senior government official who
(1)issued an order to any lower ranking personnel to commit torture for whatever purpose shall be
held equally liable as principals.

(c) The immediate commanding officer of the unit concerned of the AFP or the immediate senior
public official of the PNP and other law enforcement agencies shall be held liable as a principal to
the crime of torture or other cruel or inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment for any act
or omission, or negligence committed by him/her that (2) shall have led, assisted, abetted or
allowed, whether directly or indirectly, the commission thereof by his/her subordinates. If he/she
has knowledge of or, owing to the circumstances at the time, should have known that acts of
torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment shall be committed, is
being committed, or has been committed by his/her subordinates or by others within his/her area of
responsibility and, despite such knowledge,(3) did not take preventive or corrective action either
before, during or immediately after its commission, when he/she has the authority to prevent or
investigate allegations of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment
but failed to prevent or investigate allegations of such act, whether deliberately or due to
negligence shall also be liable as principals.

(d) Any public officer or employee shall be liable as an accessory if he/she has knowledge that torture
or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment is being committed and without
having participated therein, either as principal or accomplice, takes part subsequent to its
commission in any of the following manner:
(1) By themselves profiting from or assisting the offender to profit from the effects of the act of
torture or other cruel, inhuman and during treatment or punishment;
(2) By concealing the act of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment
and/or destroying the effects or instruments thereof in order to prevent its discovery; or
(3) By harboring, concealing or assisting in the escape of the principal/s in the act of torture or other
cruel , inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment: Provided, That the accessory acts are
done with abuse of the official‘s public functions. (Section 13)

6. Torture as a separate and independent crime.—Torture as a crime shall not absorb or shall not be
absorbed by any other crime or felony committed as a consequence, or as a consequence, or as a means
in the conductor commission thereof. In which case, torture shall be treated as a separate and
independent criminal act whose penalties shall be impossible without prejudice to any criminal liabilities
provided for by domestic and international laws.

Note: accomplices are punished as principal

7. Requisites of superior responsibility:


a. Superior-subordinate relationship;
b. The superior knew or should have known that the crime was being or was going to be
committed;
c. The superior had the ability to prevent the criminal conduct or put a stop to it; and
d. The superior failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures within his power to prevent the
criminal conduct or put a stop to it.

Note: absorption theory and the provision on complex crime do not apply in cases of torture.

Q. The Law against Illegal Possession of Firearms (PD 1866, as amended by Republic Act 8294 and
10591)

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1. Unlicensed firearm cannot be prosecuted separately from crime committed with its use. A simple reading
shows that if an unlicensed firearm is used in the commission of any crime, there can be no separate
offense of simple illegal possession of firearms. Hence, if the ―other crimes‖ is murder or homicide,
illegal possession of firearms becomes merely an aggravating circumstance, not a separate offense. Since
direct assault with multiple attempted homicide was committed in this case, appellant can no longer be
held liable for illegal possession of firearms. (b) The law is clear: the accused can be convicted of simple
illegal possession of firearms, provided no other crime was committed by the person arrested (People v.
Ladjaalam, 340 SCRA 617).

Prevailing Rule: there must be a conviction for the other crime before the illegal possession case will be
dismissed.

2. Animus possidendi. When the crime is punished by a special law, as a rule, intent to commit the crime is
not necessary. It is sufficient that the offender has the intent to perpetrate the act prohibited by the special
law. Intent to commit the crime and intent to perpetrate the act must be distinguished. A person may not
have consciously intended to commit a crime; but he did intend to commit an act, and that act is, by the
very nature of things, the crime itself. In the first (intent to commit the crime), there must be criminal
intent; in the second (intent to perpetrate the act) it is enough that the prohibited act is done freely and
consciously. In the present case, a distinction should be made between criminal intent and intent to
possess. While mere possession, without criminal intent, is sufficient to convict a person for illegal
possession of a firearm, it must still be shown that there was animus possidendi or an intent to possess on
the part of the accused. Such intent to possess is, however, without regard to any other criminal or
felonious intent which the accused may have harbored in possessing the firearm. Criminal intent here
refers to the intention of the accused to commit an offense with the use of an unlicensed firearm. This is
not important in convicting a person under Presidential Decree No. 1866. Hence, in order that one may
be found guilty of a violation of the decree, it is sufficient that the accused had no authority or license to
possess a firearm, and that he intended to possess the same, even if such possession was made in good
faith and without criminal intent. Concomitantly, a temporary, incidental, casual, or harmless possession
or control of a firearm cannot be considered a violation of a statute prohibiting the possession of this
kind of weapon, such as Presidential Decree No. 1866. Thus, although there is physical or constructive
possession, for as long as the animus possidendi is absent, there is no offense committed (see Libo-on
Dela Cruz v. People, , G.R. No. 209387, July 11, 2016, quoting People v. De Gracia, G.R. Nos. 102009-
10, July 6, 1994, 233 SCRA 716, 727).

R. Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 (REPUBLIC ACT 9775)

1. Definition. Child pornography refers to any representation, whether visual, audio, or written combination
thereof, by electronic, mechanical, digital, optical, magnetic or any other means, of child engaged or
involved in real or simulated explicit sexual activities. (Section 3a)

2. Child pornography (RA 9775) has the following elements:


a. Representation, whether visual, audio, or written combination thereof,
b. By electronic, mechanical, digital, optical or magnetic or any other means
c. Of child engaged or involved in real or simulated explicit sexual activities.

3. Explicit Sexual Activity includes actual or simulated


As to form:
a. Sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct including, but not limited to, contact involving genital to
genital, oral to genital, anal to genital, or oral to anal, whether between persons of the same or
opposite sex;
(1) bestiality;
(2) masturbation;
(3) sadistic or masochistic abuse;

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(4) lascivious exhibition of the genitals, buttocks, breasts, pubic area and/or anus; or
(5) use of any object or instrument for lascivious acts. (Section 3c)

4. Unlawful or Prohibited Acts.—It shall be unlawful for any person:


a. To hire, employ, use, persuade, induce or coerce a child to perform in the creation or production
of any form of child pornography;
b. To produce, direct, manufacture or create any form of child pornography;
c. To publish, offer, transmit, sell, distribute, broadcast, advertise, promote, export or import any
form of child pornography;
d. To possess any form of child pornography with the intent to sell, distribute, publish or broadcast:
Provided. That possession of three (3) or more articles of child pornography of the same form
shall be prima facie evidence of the intent to sell, distribute, publish or broadcast;
e. To knowingly, willfully and intentionally provide a venue for the commission of prohibited acts
as, but not limited to, dens, private rooms, cubicles, cinemas, houses or in establishments
purporting to be a legitimate business;
f. For film distributors, theaters and telecommunication companies, by themselves or in cooperation
with other entities, to distribute any form of child pornography;
g. For a parent, legal guardian or person having custody or control of a child to knowingly permit
the child to engage, participate or assist in any form of child pornography;
h. To engage in luring or grooming of a child;
i. To engage in pandering of any form of child pornography;
j. To willfully access any form of child pornography;
k. To conspire to commit any of the prohibited acts stated in this section;
l. To possess any form of child pornography. (Section 4)

5. Syndicated Child Pornography.—The crime of child pornography is deemed committed by a syndicate if


carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with one another.
(Section 5)

S. Anti-Graft and Corrupt Protection Act (RA 3109)

6. Elements of Section 3
a. Persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a
violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in
connect ion with the official duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be persuaded, induced, or
influenced to commit such violations or offense.
b. Directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present, share, percentage, or benefit, for
himself or for any other person, in connection with any contract or transaction, between the
government and any other party, wherein the public officer in his official capacity ahs to
intervene under the law.
c. Causing undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party any
unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official, administrative or
judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.
d. Entering, on behalf of the government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly
disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby.

7. In Stilgrove v. Sabas, 550 SCRA 28, A.M. No. P-06-2257, March 28, 2008, the Supreme Court held that
there are two alternative ways whereby Section 3( e) may be committed. There are by giving undue
injury to any party including the government or by causing any private party any unwarranted benefit,
advantage or preferences.

T. Anti-Trafficking in Human Persons Act of 2008 (RA 9208)

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1. Qualified trafficking. Trafficking in Persons refers to the recruitment, transportation, transfer or
harboring, or receipt of persons with or without the victim's consent or knowledge, within or across
national borders by means of threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud,
deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the
giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over
another person for the purpose of exploitation which includes at a minimum, the exploitation or the
prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery, servitude or
the removal or sale of organs. When the trafficked person is a child, a person below 18 years of age or
one who is over 18 but is unable to fully take care of or protect himself/herself from abuse, neglect,
cruelty, exploitation, or discrimination because of a physical or mental disability or condition, the offense
becomes qualified (People v. Spouses Ybanez, G.R. No. 220461, August 24, 2016).

2. Elements of trafficking in human persons under RA 9208


1. Recruitment, transportation, transfer or harboring, or receipt of persons
2. With or without the victim‘s consent or knowledge
3. within or across national borders
4. By means for threat, or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of
power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or, the giving or receiving
of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person
5. For the purpose of exploitation which includes at a minimum,
a. the exploitation, or the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, or
b. forced labor or services, slavery, servitude, or
c. the removal or sale of organs.

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