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CRIMINAL LAW 2

Finals

Karl Emmanuel Divina - A

Ferdinand Alexander Estrella - B

Team A
Submitted to: Atty. Ildefonso Jimenez

FACTS
In Asin City, a large metropolitan unit in the National Capital Region,

resided Ryan James, or RJ for short, RJ was the enigmatic and charismatic

leader of a group called Iglesia ni Pangcoga or INP, a group that worships

their patron Amir NaJim or ANJ. The supposed belief of INP was that ANJ

was the prophet of the almighty, and that this supposedly manifested as a spirit

that appeared with ANJ. The group had members ranging around 15,000 and

gaining notoriety in the past few months for their growing numbers and public

displays and congregations, with some even going as far as calling them a

cult.

A ritual particular to the Iglesia ni Pangcoga is the burning of a set of

clothes. They hang a set of donated clothes, usually from one of the members,

on a rack that has been covered dipped in water and then covered with oil.

This was to ensure than the fire would not spread and would be contained.

They have monthly congregations and it usually starts with the burning of the

clothes and would usually end when it is all gone. This means that their

religious events can last from as short as fifteen minutes up to as long as an

hour. The variety of clothing makes it all burn at different rates. The reason

they choose burning is because of the stories that the Sacred Prophet Pangcoga

is immune to fire. They have heard that there was once an explosion that

happened and he was unaffected by it, leaving only scorch marks where he

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walked. The belief is that he was protected by the unseeable spirit and thus

unaffected by the flames. The principle behind the ritual is that they believe

flames can burn away sin. Sin should be removed in order to live a peaceful

life and reach the grand conclusion, eternality.

Ryan James, due to the notoriety of INP, had become acquainted with

the administration of Asin City; among these was the head, Mayor Rhodey

Duarte a rather controversial populist leader of the city. During the monthly

congregations of INP, Duarte regularly appeared with his family to garner

their support due to an upcoming reelection. Duarte internally was losing faith

in the administration and felt a better future could be found elsewhere and

needed to ensure the populace was on his side. During one particular

congregation, Duarte asked for a private meeting with RJ.

Duarte asks, “How are the believers of your faith doing?”

Ryan replies, “We are doing excellent. The Iglesia is well on its way to

spreading its virtues to more individual. We shall not let this nation be ruled

by barbarians no more.”

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“I agree. This nation is rotten to its core. I have seen other nations flourish

under the leadership of wise men like yourself”

“Is that true? Maybe I should follow the examples of those nations instead!”

“Your benevolence, look to China. Their progress has continued over the

centuries. Certainly an alliance with them would be profitable. The faith will

expand under such a leadership”

“Haha, maybe so, but this is the soil our founder was born, the soil in which

those who follow will be born as well. Those who follow will be saved, and

those who are saved are free of sin.”

“I agree. But maybe the soil you are on doesn’t necessarily have to be under

the power of this government? Don’t you agree?”

Ryan was put to thought. Is it possible to separate from this wretched nation?

If so what happens? Duarte interrupts Ryan’s thoughts, “The great state of

China is truly something isn’t it? All this power and influence, maybe if our

nation was more similar we then could count on a better future”

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“Yes, I agree”, Ryan replied, his head formulating what he could do. While

he was thinking, Duarte coughs, cutting off Ryan’s train of thought,

“Benevolent Ryan, I just remembered, I would like to introduce you to my

daughter, Kitkat”

In enters the 16-year old daughter of Mayor Duarte, Kitkat. Her looks

belie her age, for one might think she was already legal had they not been

informed of her true age. She was tall, had a pretty face and had curves in all

the right places. Ryan eyed her from top of head, with her long flowing

brunette hair, to the voluptuous breasts that she had developed, to the

noticeable thighs being highlighted by her tight skirt, down to her bottom of

her feet. He looked at her as if he was a predator hunting for prey.

Ryan introduced himself to her and they had chatted for a while, and

during this time Mayor Duarte requested audience with the INP congregation

for a while to get to know their needs, and wants or any other relevant

concerns with the administration of the city, to which he excused himself from

the office of RJ and told Kitkat to wait for him to return. During the silence

RJ decided to strike up conversation with Kitkat telling her about the wonders

and graces afforded to them by their patron ANJ, and asked Kitkat, who at

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this point was wide eyed with curiosity at the blessings she could receive, if

she was interested in taking part of it.

“Yes.” was her reply, followed by “What do I need to do?”

Ryan then told her about the sacred ritual that she would be able to

perform with Ryan that would forever bind her with the favour of ANJ, and

he detailed that it would require them to have intercourse to be blessed. While

a little apprehensive, Kitkat agreed and Ryan put out all the necessary

ornaments to perform the “ritual” and the two consummated the act, and Ryan

hurriedly put things back in order before Duarte arrived, after which he

warned Kitkat that there must be solemnity with the ritual, just as like a

Catholic confession for it to be recognized by ANJ.

Shortly afterward Duarte returned and began discussing with Ryan how

nice his operation was, noting the various ornaments and decorations that

were attached to the rafters, roof and walls, constructed out of cloth with

printouts of various imagery relation to ANJ and the religious beliefs. The

walls were adorned with wooden sculptures, and an oak rack of vestments for

both Ryan, ANJ and the servers for the congregation. With that, Duarte

wanted to discuss with Ryan how he could contribute to the growth,

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expansion, and improvement of the group. Thereafter he produced a large

silver briefcase and handed it to Ryan, telling him this currency would be the

fulfillment of their separation from the wretched nation with a sly grin. Upon

opening it Ryan discovered stacks and stacks of cash and coin, what seems to

be Philippine Peso, found in the briefcase. When he saw them he found that

instead of “Republika ng Pilipinas” it was inscribed with “Philippine Republic

of China”, remembering what Duarte told him, he immediately went and

ordered various items for himself and the church.

While Ryan was on his spending spree, Duarte noticed Kitkat visibly

uneasy in the corner of the office. Concerned he asked what was troubling her,

and she took a moment, but asked him to go outside for a moment. Outside

the office Kitkat confessed the occurrence of the ritual to Duarte and with

mostly stunned silence after which Duarte excused himself and went back into

the office. Kitkat only hearing vague noises of what was going on inside. After

a short while Duarte exited and instructed Kitkat to enter. Inside Kitkat was

chastised by Ryan for disobeying the requirements of the sacred ritual. Further

because she violated the sacred pact, it was a sin that would also turn the act

of the ritual a sin as well, and that she will be punished for eternity by ANJ

shall she not repent and cleanse her sins and transgressions, this went on and

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on in detail as Ryan described how ANJ punishes the disobedient and

unfaithful.

Ryan held the congregation of the INP. It usually occurs on Sundays,

during the afternoon. The believers went in droves. They go inside the church

in order to celebrate the teachings of the Sacred Prophet. The church looked

the same as ever. Religious symbols lined the walls, the rafters had ornaments

denoting fire hanging from it, the roof still above their head with the imagery

left behind by the previous followers of the INP. Wooden seats lined the room.

Only the foundation of the building was made of metal and stone, a symbol in

itself that was must be strong is what is inside and not merely what is on the

outside. Ryan himself fantasized about tests of faith that asked if he was

willing to die for it. On this particular congregation, he seemed to want to test

his faith as well.

When everyone was inside, Ryan made his sermon. He stated that their

great faith should be separate from the nation. They have been bound by the

spoiled the nation long enough. He stated, “Is our faith really so simple that it

must be tied down to where it was founded? Would it not be better if it reached

others who are not like us?” and the others were visibly in agreement with

him. Ryan proclaimed, “To save ourselves, we must be able and willing to

save this nation. And in what way can we save this nation except by excluding

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ourselves from it? When we look from the outside going in, what we see

becomes clearer than if we were in the situation ourselves. Like a frog in hot

water who doesn’t know it’s already being cooked, we must go outside the

pot in order to ascertain the gravity of the situation.”

During the same monthly congregation of the INP, Ryan had the clothes

of the Sacred Prophet Pangcoga on display at the sacred altar and the sacred

dagger of the prophet. He wanted to show to the followers that the strength of

faith exceeded the need for a prophet. The dagger is believed to have given

the sacred prophet the spirit that defends him. The sacred ritual began and all

the followers of the faith were shocked that Ryan burned the prophet’s clothes.

It made many of the followers question their belief and if the man in front of

them was a true believer at all. Some became angry, protesting that the

prophet’s clothes are a sacred relic and should be defended and protected at

all costs. Some became somber, unaccepting that the belief they held would

go to such lengths to prove a point. Others praised the action, believing that

true salvation lies not on worldly possession but on the freedom to choose

what to do. The church had many screams and cries akin to a wet market at

dawn.

The fire on Sacred Prophet Pangcoga’s clothes spread quickly. It did

not turn into ash but kept on burning, like a candle wick waiting to run out.

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While the flames on a regular layman’s clothes does not generally affect other

areas of the church, the Sacred Vestments were, in particular, made of an

easily burnable material. Anything that touches the material immediately sets

on fire, as long as it is inflammable. Now on this particular congregation, the

church had wooden floors and it was dry due to the summer heat evaporating

even the drops of liquid contained in the wood. The air had low humidity and

particles of dust floated in the grand halls of the Iglesia. These factors, all

together, made for the perfect flammable environment. Thus, when the Sacred

Vestments started to burn, the floor was not saved from it.

The fire spread quickly and with indifference as to what it was burning.

Ryan enjoyed himself as the fire spread to the pillars that made the church

stand. The crowd exited the insides of the building quickly. The egress was

quick but not rowdy. Confused feelings sowed among the followers quickly

following the events. One girl in particular felt the fire itself burning within

her, although she had not been touched by the flames. This girl was Kitkat,

Duarte’s daughter that Ryan took advantage of.

When everyone was out, Ryan was overjoyed. The building was on fire,

as if symbolizing that even monuments were not safe from the freedom of sin.

He loudly proclaimed, “Rejoice Brothers and Sisters! The sin of this world

shall burn and we shall be saved!” He looked to Kitkat and saw her enamored

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by the flames that engulfed the church. They locked eyes, as if to make a silent

accord between them. He gave her the sacred dagger.

Ryan shouted to his followers, “Our salvation is at hand! Sin burns within that

building! Whatever else is contained within shall be burned of its sin!”

Kitkat, upon hearing those words, ran back inside the burning church.

The others tried to save her. When Kitkat was inside the church, she was

visible to all. With the dagger in hand, she stabbed herself. She started

bleeding and after a few moments fell, as if she lost her breath. Ryan, the

leader of the religious organization, merely looked upon her and the flames

that have engulfed the entirety of their previous occupancy. The followers

could not believe what had transpired. They had gone out there to simply have

a celebration of their belief yet the events that followed the proclamations of

Ryan James had led to this situation where one of them died.

The believers became angry. They marched down onto the City Hall

and proclaimed that they will not be part of the rabble anymore. They state

that the land they stand on is not to be part of the nation. They wish that Asin

City will not be controlled by the Philippines. They called for the mayor to go

down and come out. Mayor Duarte went down from his office because he

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heard the people complaining. He saw the many faces of the INP followers,

Ryan being among them even though he was tied down and trying to escape.

He had been caught by the believers of the faith for burning down the the

clothes of the Sacred Prophet as well as the church. They believe Ryan James

had gone to far with his belief and that it was the fault of the wretched nation.

Duarte acceded to the demand of the followers. Duarte went into the crowd

and he received a sermon from the INP followers. He felt the pain of loss due

to what he has heard of what happened to his daughter. He just gave them

what they wanted while dealing with his grief. Asin City lost its mayor and

was unable to function away from the National Government. INP talked to

Duarte and gave him a lesson on the teachings of ANJ.

Rhodey Duarte was unable to return to his office. The INP followers

had carried hammers and wood and barricaded the City Hall. They sang songs

in the street and cried out at the loss of their prophet’s belongings. Everyone

in Asin City had been stuck in traffic, they were shouted at, and some had

damage to their property because of the posts the INP were making. Not even

public officials could do their duties. Ryan, in order to avoid all this, hid

himself in his home.

After a few days, the police arrived and put an end to everything that

had happened. Everyone had calmed down and the noise that had covered

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Asin City had gone. Mayor Duarte was restored to office. He started to do his

duties again, yet still felt the pain of the loss of his daughter. The government

filed a case against those involved, in particular against Ryan James. They

filed a singular complaint for offending the religious feelings, connivance in

uttering false coins, sedition, seduction, arson, and homicide against Ryan

James due to what he has down with the INP, Asin City, Duarte’s money, and

Kitkat Duarte.

After all the events had died down, Duarte was in his corner office at

the top of the Asin City Hall. Looking down from the 34th floor seeing all the

commotion that transpired at the events, he had an irritated sullen expression.

He mumbled, “The plan has been ruined, that bumbling cult fanatic idiot.”

A voice then replied, from across his desk, a lone man in a simple suit texting

on his phone,“So where does this leave our original plan?”

“In the gutter”, Duarte said.

He continued, “The attention with the supposed separation from the

Philippines and counterfeiting means we can’t follow up anymore, at least not

anytime soon. Furthermore while I did get good P.R. in the end, if word leaked

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out I was dealing with you, I’ll be exiled here and need to live in Shenzhen or

somewhere.”

The figure stood up and stepped forward, revealing a lean frame, matted hair,

and an I.D. that read “Mike Yang”.

“Nevertheless this is a minor setback, we shall make sure the money you

helped us print will be disposed of, and burn any trace of the plans we set to

create a secession from the Philippines. We will just try other ways, maybe an

influx of contraband, or we can create an immigration crisis?”

Duarte smiled, “That’s all very well and good, but let’s save that conversation

once we’re in contact with the CPC, and of course Leader Shi Jin Pooh to

arrange that. Oh and make sure you take the back exit, there’s a lot of media

right now.”

“All right” was simply Yang’s reply.

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Duarte and Yang’s plan may not have turned out the way they expected it to,

but the fault falls with Ryan James. Their plan will continue, and another

victim will fall and receive the blame.

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