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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEWER
Criminal Law Reviewer
I. Revised Penal Code / Special Laws, Presidential Decrees, and Executive Orders
Book 1 (Articles 1-99, RPC, excluding provisions on civil liability), including related Special Laws
1. Fundamental Principles a. Definition of Criminal Law Criminal Law is that branch or division of law which defines crimes, treats of their nature, and provides for their punishments. Difference between Mala in Se and Mala Prohibita Mala in Se Mala Prohibita
As to Nature Wrong from its very nature, evil, or bad that they are Not inherently bad, evil or wrong but prohibited by almost universally condemned. law for public good, public welfare or interest and when violated are penalized by law. As to Essential Element Voluntariness is essential. As to Defenses Good faith or lack of criminal intent may be raised as The only defense is the lack of voluntariness in the a defense. commission of the crime. As to the Commission Criminal liability is generally incurred even if it is The act gives rise to a crime only when it is only attempted or frustrated. consummated. No attempted or frustrated unless provide by the special law. As to Imposition of penalties The degree of participation of each accused in the The degree of participation of any offender is not commission of the crime is taken into account in considered. No principal, accomplice or accessory to imposing the penalty. consider. Mitigating and aggravating circumstances are Not appreciated unless the special law has adopted appreciated in the imposition of the penalty. the scheme or scale of penalties under the RPC. Criminal intent is essential. b. Scope of Application and Characteristics of the Philippine Criminal Law (1) Generality General Rule: Criminal law of the country governs all persons within the country regardless of their race, belief, sex or creed. Generality has no reference to territory. It refers to persons that may be governed by the penal law. Exceptions: Art. 2, RPC, “Except as provided in the treatise or laws of preferential application…” Art. 14, Civil Code, “…subject to the principles of public international law and to treaty stipulations.” Examples: US-PH Bases Agreement, V.F.A. Members of the Congress who are not liable for libel or slander with any speech in Congress or congressional committee. (Sec 11, Art VI 1987 Constitution) Ambassadors, chiefs of states and other diplomatic officials are immune from the application of penal laws when they are in the country where they are assigned. (RA 75) Exception to the exception: Consuls are not diplomatic officers. These include consul-general, viceconsul or and consul in a foreign country, who are therefore, not immune to the operation or application of the penal law of the country where they are assigned. (2) Territoriality
under the law: i) to be performed by the public officer ii) in the Foreign Service of thePhilippine government iii) in a foreign country. Illustration: If two petty officers aboard a Russian ship docked in Manila North Harbor got into a fistfight which resulted in serious physical injuries. It cannot penalize crimes committed outside the same. Note: The country of registry determines the nationality of the vessel. This means that the location or situs of the crime determines jurisdiction UNLESS the crime merely relates to internal management of the vessel. its interior waters and maritime zone. Should forge or counterfeit any coin or currency note of the Philippine Islands or obligations and securities issued by the Government of the Philippine Islands. Terrestrial jurisdiction is the jurisdiction exercised over land. The Revised Penal Code governs if the crime (whether or not in relation to the exercise of public functions) was committed within the Philippine Embassy or within the embassy grounds in a foreign country. NOT ITS OWNERSHIP. but also outside of its jurisdiction. or b) The High Seas i. waters NOT under the jurisdiction of any State (extraterritorial application) Philippines adhere to the ENGLISH RULE as to jurisdiction over crimes committed aboard merchant vessels while in the territorial waters of another country. Should commit an offense while on a Philippine ship or airship The RPC is applied to Philippine vessels if the crime is committed while the ship is treading: a) Philippine waters (intraterritorial application). Fluvial jurisdiction is the jurisdiction exercised over maritime and interior waters.[Mark Anthony N. 2. 2. 4. he may be prosecuted here. against those who: 1. A Filipino-owned vessel registered in China must fly the Chinese flag. it is Russian Law which will apply. since it is as if he contracted the marriage here in the Philippines. The territory of the country is not limited to the land where its sovereignty resides but includes also its maritime and interior waters as well as its atmosphere. Exceptions: Article 2 of RPC Art.e. This is because embassy grounds are considered an extension of sovereignty. While being public officers or employees. which are. Application of its provisions. Thus the crime is deemed to have been committed in Philippine soil. The functions contemplated are those. then Philippine Law must apply because importation of illegal substance is a violation of public peace and order. However. Should be liable for acts connected with the introduction into these islands of the obligations and securities mentioned in the presiding number. if the second marriage was celebrated within the Philippine embassy. However. the Revised Penal Code governs only when the crime committed pertains to the exercise of the public official’s functions: Those having to do with the discharge of their duties in a foreign country. Illustration: A Philippine consulate official who is validly married here in the Philippines and who marries again in a foreign country cannot be prosecuted here for bigamy because this is a crime not connected with his official duties. — Except as provided in the treaties and laws of preferential application. or As a general rule. if the cause of the fight is a dispute over the ownership of several hundred grams of cocaine stashed somewhere in the ship. 3. should commit an offense in the exercise of their functions. Aerial jurisdiction is the jurisdiction exercised over the atmosphere. including its atmosphere. . Manuel] CRIMINAL LAW REVIEWER General Rule: Penal laws of the country have force and effect only within its territory. the provisions of this Code shall be enforced not only within the Philippine Archipelago.
defined in Title One of Book Two of this Code. should be construed strictly against the State and liberally in favor of the accused. 22 (RPC). Should commit any of the crimes against national security and the law of nations. (3) Prospectivity Acts or omissions will only be subject to a penal law if they are committed AFTER a penal law had already taken effect. the new law shall be applied. — Penal Laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they favor the persons guilty of a felony. Any crime against public order is under the jurisdiction of the host country. Ex post facto law is one that is specifically made to retroact to cover acts before it became effective to the prejudice of the accused. This is consistent with the general principle that criminal laws. Vice versa. the crime is obliterated. . who is not a habitual criminal. Exceptions: Art. Retroactive effect of penal laws.[Mark Anthony N. this act or omission which has been committed before the effectivity of a penal law could not be penalized by such penal law because penal laws operate only prospectively. as this term is defined in Rule 5 of Article 62 of this Code. or to make a certain crime graver or prescribe a heavier penalty for it. the law in force at the time of the commission of the offense shall be applied. Ø Different effects of repeal of penal law If the repeal makes the penalty lighter in the new law. Rebellion is not included. except when the offender is a habitual delinquent or when the new law is made not applicable to pending action or existing causes of action. Note: Rule of prospectivity also applies to judicial decisions. If the new law totally repeals the existing law so that the act which was penalized under the old law is no longer punishable. although at the time of the publication of such laws a final sentence has been pronounced and the convict is serving the same. being a limitation on the rights of the people. administrative rulings and circulars. General Rule: Ex post facto law is prohibited. Manuel] CRIMINAL LAW REVIEWER 5. If the new law imposes a heavier penalty.