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PD No. 533 August 8, 1974

Purpose of the Law

Due to increase thievery of large cattle, there is now an urgent need to protect large cattle raising industry and small time large cattle owners and raisers. To encourage them to raise more cattle and concentrate in their agricultural works. To increase our source of meat and dairy products as well as agricultural production and allied industries which depend on the cattle raising industry.


Rustling taking away by any means, methods or schemes, without the consent of the owner/raiser, of any large cattle whether or not for profit or gain, or whether committed with or without violence against or intimidation of person or force upon things. It includes the killing of large cattle, or taking its meat or hide without the consent of the owner/raiser.


A large cattle is taken It belongs to another The taking is done without the consent of the owner The taking is done by any means, methods or scheme The taking is with or without intent to gain The taking is accomplished with or without violence or intimidation against person or force upon things

Relations with the RPC


theft Malicious Mischief

Is the Anti-Cattle Rustling Law a special penal law?


PD 533 shall be deemed as an amendment of the RPC, with respect to the offense of theft of large cattle under Art. 310 (Qualified Theft) or Art. 104 on civil liability of the offender.


in se

PD 533 is not a malum prohibitum but a modification of theft and malicious mischief. Therefore, the rules and system on penalties and the rules on modifying circumstances and Indeterminate Sentence Law under the RPC applies.

When homicide is committed during cattle rustling, are the offenders liable for cattle rustling and for homicide?

Killing is absorbed in cattle rustling because it is still malum in se being an amendment of Article 310 Qualified Theft. The crime is still cattle rustling albeit qualified cattle rustling.

People v. Escarda

The gravamen in the crime of cattle-rustling is the "taking" or "killing" of large cattle or "taking" its meat or hide without the consent of the owner. The "owner" includes the herdsman, caretaker, employee or tenant of any firm or entity engaged in the raising of large cattle or other persons in lawful possession of such large cattle. P.D. 533 does not supersede the crime of qualified theft of large cattle under Articles 309 and 310 under the RPC. It merely modified the penalties provided for qualified theft of large cattle under Article 310 by imposing stiffer penalties thereon under special circumstances.

People v. Martinada

The circumstances of "committed with violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things and a person was seriously injured or killed as a result or on the occasion of the commission of cattling rustling" are no doubt qualifying aggravating circumstances as they "not only give the clime committed its proper and exclusive name but also place the author thereof in such a situation as to deserve no other penalty than that especially prescribed for said crime. Thus, the trial court could no longer convict separately accused Martinada and Mesias of the crime of Frustrated Murder, otherwise there would be double jeopardy.