Bar Q & A, Criminal Law

Bar Exam 2014 Suggested Answers in Criminal Law by the UP Law Complex

CRIMINAL LAW

I.

Ms. A had been married to Mr. B for 10 years. Since their marriage, Mr. B had been jobless and a drunkard, preferring to stay with his “barkadas” until the wee hours of the morning. Ms. A was the breadwinner and attended to the needs of their three (3) growing children. Many times, when Mr. B was drunk, he would beat Ms. A and their three (3) children, and shout invectives against them. In fact, in one of the beating incidents, Ms. A suffered a deep stab wound on her tummy that required a prolonged stay in the hospital. Due to the beatings and verbal abuses committed against her, she consulted a psychologist several times, as she was slowly beginning to lose her mind. One night, when Mr. B arrived dead drunk, he suddenly stabbed Ms. A several times while shouting invectives against her.

Defending herself from the attack, Ms. A grappled for the possession of a knife and she succeeded. She then stabbed Mr. B several times which caused his instantaneous death. Medico-Legal Report showed that the husband suffered three (3) stab wounds.

Can Ms. A validly put up a defense? Explain. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Yes, Ms. A can put up the defense of battered woman syndrome. It appears that she is suffering from physical and psychological or emotional distress resulting from cumulative abuse by her husband. Under Section 26 of RA No. 9262, “victim 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.” As a rule, once the unlawful aggression ceased, stabbing the victim further is not self-defense. However, even if the element of unlawful aggression in self-defense is lacking, Ms. A, who is suffering from battered woman syndrome, will not incur criminal and civil liability.

ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:

Ms. A may validly put up the justifying circumstance of self-defense, all requisites thereof being present, namely:

1) Unlawful aggression which is a condition sine qua non. Here, Mr. B arrived that night dead drunk and he suddenly stabbed Ms. A several times while shouting invectives. This is unlawful aggression that is sudden and imminent and places Ms. A’s life in peril.

2). Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it. The sudden and imminent armed attack by Mr. B gave no other option to Ms. A but to : attempt to disarm Mr. B of his knife and to use the same to protect and save herself.

3) Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself. The circumstances obtaining is very clear on this regard. Mr. B arrived one night dead drunk, he suddenly stabbed Ms. A several times while shouting invectives. There is absolutely no circumstances mentioned in the problem to indicate provocation on the part of the person defending herself.

 

II

Macho married Ganda, a transgender. Macho was not then aware that Ganda was a transgender. On their first night, after their marriage, Macho discovered that Ganda was a transgender. Macho confronted Ganda and a heated argument ensued. In the course of the heated argument, a fight took place wherein Ganda got hold of a knife to stab Macho. Macho ran away from the stabbing thrusts and got his gun which he pointed at Ganda just to frighten and stop Ganda from continuing with the attack. Macho had no intention at all to kill Ganda. Unfamiliar with guns, Macho accidentally pulled the trigger and hit Ganda that caused the latter’s death.

What was the crime committed? (4%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Considering that death resulted from Macho’s accidentally pulling the trigger of his gun and even if there be no intent to kill, the crime is still homicide. Here, intent to kill is conclusively presumed when the victim dies as a consequence.

 

ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:

Macho did not commit a crime. His act of pointing his gun at Ganda is a reasonable means to repel an unprovoked unlawful aggression committed by the latter. Since his act of pointing the gun is lawful, the firing thereof, which hit Ganda causing her death, should be treated as accident, which is an exempting circumstance. In People v. Tiongco (C.A. 63 O.G. 3610), the accused, who accidentally fired his gun while exercising his right of self-defense, was acquitted. His act of confronting Ganda about his real gender cannot be considered sufficient provocation on his part.

III.

City Engr. A, is the city engineer and the Chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the City of Kawawa In 2009, the City of Kawawa, through an ordinance, allotted the amount of P100 million for the construction of a road leading to the poblacion. City Engr. A instead, diverted the construction of the road leading to his farm. Investigation further showed that he accepted money in the amount of P10 million each from three (3) contending bidders, who eventually lost in the bidding.

Audit report likewise showed that service vehicles valued at P2 million could not be accounted for although reports showed that these were lent to City Engr. A’s authorized drivers but the same were never returned.

Further, there were funds under City Engr. A’s custody amounting to P10 million which were found to be missing and could not be accounted for. In another project, he was instrumental in awarding a contract for the construction of a city school building costing P10 million to a close relative, although the lowest bid was P8 million. Investigation also revealed that City Engr. A has a net worth of more than P50 million, which was way beyond his legitimate income. (8%)

(A) If you are the Ombudsman, what charge or charges will you file against City Engr. A? (B) Suppose the discovered net worth of City Engr. A is less than P50 million, will your answer still be the same?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

(A) If I am the Ombudsman, I would file a case of Plunder under R.A. No. 7080 against City Engineer A. It is very clear from the facts given that all the elements of plunder are present, namely:

  1. The offender is a public officer holding a public office in the Government of the Republic of the Philippines;
  2. The offender amassed, accumulated, or acquired ill-gotten wealth through a combination of overt or criminal acts of misuse, misappropriation, conversion or malversation of public funds, receiving kickbacks from persons in connection with a government contract or project by reason of his office or position and illegally or fraudulently conveying or disposing of assets belonging to the National Government or any of its subdivisions; and
  3. The aggregate amount or total value of the ill- gotten wealth amassed, accumulated or acquired is at least P50 million.

(B) Yes, the answer will still be the same since in plunder the basis is the combination of criminal acts or series of acts, which constitutes the accumulation of more than P50 million. The predicate crimes are already absorbed in the crime of plunder. City Engineer A’s net worth being less than P50 million is not determinative of his liability, as long as the wealth amassed/ accumulated is more than P50M.

IV.

Madam X, a bank teller, received from depositor Madam a check payable to cash in the amount of P1 million, to be deposited to the account of Madam Y. Because the check was not a crossed check. Madam X credited the amount to the account of her good friend, Madam W, by accomplishing a deposit slip. Seven (7) days after, Madam X contacted her good friend, Madam W and told her that the amount of P1 million was wrongfully credited to Madam W, thus, Madam X urged Madam W to withdraw the amount of P1 million from her account and to turn over the same to Madam X. As a dutiful friend, Madam W readily acceded. She was gifted by Madam X with an expensive Hermes bag after the withdrawal of the amount.

What crime/ s, if any, did Madam X and Madam W commit? Explain. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Madam X shall be liable as principal in the crime of qualified theft committed with grave abuse of confidence defined and punishable under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code. Being a bank teller, she had only the physical possession, not juridical possession of the money received by her. Consequently, her subsequent misappropriation of the same shall constitute the crime of theft, qualified with grave abuse of confidence.

Madam W, on the other hand, is not criminally liable. She had no knowledge of the crime and withdrew the money from her account and turned over the same to Madam X because of the misrepresentation of the latter that the P1 million was wrongfully deposited to her account. Her participation is not based on conspiracy or community of design, without which she cannot be held liable as principal by direct participation, principal by indispensable cooperation or accomplice. Receiving an expensive Hermes bag from Madam X will not make Madam W liable as an accessory since the latter has no actual knowledge of the commission of the crime of theft by the former and the bag cannot be considered as the “effects of the crime” since there is no showing that the money withdrawn was used in buying it.

V.

Congress passed a law reviving the Anti-Subversion Law, making it a criminal offense again for a person to join the Communist Party of the Philippines. Reporma, a former high-ranking member of the Communist Party, was charged under the new law for his membership in the Communist Party when he was a student in the 80’s. He now challenges the charge against him.

What objections may he raise? (3%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Reporma may raise the limitations imposed by the 1987 Constitution on the power of Congress to enact retroactive penal laws which are prejudicial to the accused. Under the Bill of Rights of the Constitution such is classified as an ex post facto law. It should be noted that when Congress decriminalized the crime of subversion under R.A. 7637, it obliterated the felony and its effects upon Reporma. Consequently, charging him now under the new law for his previous membership in the Communist Party would be constitutionally impermissible.

VI.

A was caught peeping through a small hole in the bathroom door while a young 16-year-old lady was taking a bath. A is liable for: (1%)

(A) violation of R.A. 9262 or Violence Against Women and their Children

(B) violation of R.A. 7610 – Child Abuse Law

(C) light coercion

(D) acts of lasciviousness

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

(C) light coercion

VII.

Filthy, a very rich businessman, convinced Loko, a clerk of court, to issue an order of release for Takas, Filthy’s cousin, who was in jail for a drug charge. After receiving P500,000.00, Loko forged the signature of the judge on the order of release and accompanied Filthy to the detention center.

At the jail, Loko gave the guard P10,000.00 to open the gate and let Takas out.

What crime or crimes did Filthy, Loko, and the guard commit? (4%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Filthy is liable for (1) delivery of prisoner from jail (Article 156, Revised Penal Code) for working out the escape of prisoner Takas; (2) corruption of public officials (Article 212, Revised Penal Code) for giving P500,000.00 to Loko; and (3) falsification of public documents, as a principal by inducement (Article 172 (1), Revised Penal Code).

Loko in conspiracy with Filthy is liable for (1) direct bribery (Article 210, Revised Penal Code) for accepting the P500,000.00 in consideration of the Order she issued to enable Takas to get out of jail; (2) falsification of public documents for forging the Judge’s signature on said Order (Article 171, Revised Penal Code); (3) delivery of prisoners from jail (Article 156, Revised Penal Code) for making the false Order and forging the Judge’s signature thereon, to enable Takas to get out of jail.

The guard is liable for (1) direct bribery for agreeing to open the gate in consideration of P10,000.00 and (2) infidelity in the custody of prisoner for consenting to the escape of the prisoner by opening the gate.

VIII.

Pretty was a campus beauty queen who, because of her jooks and charms, attracted many suitors. Having decided that she would become a nun, Pretty turned down all her suitors. Guapo, one of her most persistent suitors, could not handle rejection and one night, decided to accost Pretty as she walked home. Together with Pogi, Guapo forced Pretty into his car and drove her to an abandoned warehouse where he and Pogi forced Pretty to dance for them. Later, the two took turns in raping her. After satisfying their lusts, Guapo and Pogi dropped her off at her house. (4%)

(A) What crime or crimes did Guapo and Pogi commit? (B) Pretty, after the ordeal, decided to take her own life by

hanging herself one hour after the rape. Would Guapo and Pogi be liable for Pretty’s death? Explain.

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

(A) The crimes committed by Guapo and Pogi are Forcible Abduction with rape. There is no doubt at all that the forcible abduction of Pretty as she walked home was a necessary if not indispensable means which enabled them to commit the successive acts of rape upon her person. It bears noting, however, that even while the first act of rape was being performed, the crime of forcible abduction had already been consummated, so that the second rape cannot legally be considered as still connected with the abduction—in other words, the second rape should be detached from, and considered independently of, that of forcible abduction and, therefore, the former can no longer be complexed with the latter (People V. Jose, G.R. No. L-28232, February 6, 1971; People v. Garcia, G.R. No. 141125, February 28, 2002).

Since there is conspiracy, Guapo and Pogi are responsible not only for the rape each personally committed but also for the rape committed by his co- conspirator (People v. Villa, G.R. No. L-591, June 30, 1948, 81 Phil 193; People v. Alfaro, G.R. Nos. 136742-43, September 30, 2003, 91 Phil 404).

B) Guapo and Pogi cannot be held liable for the death of Pretty due to suicide committed by reason of the rapes. Suicide is an intervening cause that breaks the connection between the rapes and death. The death resulting from suicide cannot be considered as the direct, natural and logical consequence of the rapes committed by Guapo and Pogi. In People v. Napudo (G.R. No. 168448, October 8, 2008), the victim committed suicide due to rape. However, the accused was only charged with and convicted of rape.

 

IX.

A, B, and C agreed to rob the house of Mr. Dat 10 o’clock in the evening, with C as the driver of the tricycle which they would use in going to and leaving the house of Mr. D, and A and B as the ones who would enter the house to get the valuables of Mr. D. As planned, C parked the tricycle in a dark place, while A and B entered the house thru an open door. Once inside, A entered the master’s bedroom and started getting all the valuables he could see, while B entered another room. While inside the room, B saw a male person and immediately B brought out his gun but he accidentally pulled its trigger. The bullet went through the window, hitting a neighbor that killed him. Neighbors were then awakened by the gunfire and policemen were alerted. Not long after, policemen arrived. A and B panicked and got hold of a young boy and shouted to the policemen who were already outside of the house that they would harm the boy if the policemen did not disperse. A and B demanded that they should be allowed to use a vehicle to bring them to a certain place and that would be the time that they would release the young boy. The policemen acceded. In the meantime, C was arrested by the policemen while he was about to flee, while A and B, after releasing the young boy, were arrested.

What crime/s did A, B, and C commit, and what modifying circumstances attended the commission of the crime/s? (6%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

A, B and C committed the crime of robbery with homicide under paragraph 1 of Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code. It is immaterial that the death of a person occurred by mere accident. As long as homicide is produced by reason or on the occasion of the robbery, the crime is robbery with homicide as it is only the result, without reference or distinction as to the circumstances, causes, modes or persons intervening in the commission of the crime that has to be taken into consideration. They are not liable for the detention of the boy as illegal detention is absorbed by the crime of robbery.

The modifying circumstance of dwelling attended the commission of the crime. The settled rule is that dwelling is aggravating in robbery with homicide.

 

X

Loko advertised on the internet that he was looking for commercial models for a TV advertisement. Ganda, a 16vear-old beauty, applied for the project. Loko offered her a contract, which Ganda signed. She was asked to report to an address which turned out to be a high-end brothel. Ganda became one of its most featured attraction.

What is Loko’s liability, if any? What effect would Ganda’s minority have on Loko’s liability? (4%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Loko may be held liable for the crime of trafficking in persons under R.A. No. 9208 for recruiting, offering and hiring Ganda by means of fraud or deception for the purpose of exploitation or prostitution. Loko .recruited Ganda in the guise of making her a commercial model, the deceit that Loko employed in order to recruit Ganda for the purpose of prostitution making him liable for trafficking in persons.

Ganda’s minority is a qualifying circumstance. The criminal liability or the penalty for the trafficker is higher when the crime committed is qualified trafficking in person.

XI.

A, in a public place, fired his gun at B with the intention of killing B, but the gun did not fire because the bullet is a dud. The crime is: (1%)

(A) attempted homicide

(B) grave threat

(C) impossible crime

(D) alarm and scandal

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

(A) attempted homicide

 

XII.

Sexy boarded a taxi on her way home from a party Because she was already tipsy, she fell asleep. Pogi, the taxi driver, decided to take advantage of the situation and drove Sexy to a deserted place where he raped her for a period of two (2) weeks.

What crime did Pogi commit? (4%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The crime committed by Pogi is kidnapping and serious illegal detention with rape. Since Sexy was raped for two weeks, there was a clear deprivation of liberty, which constitutes the crime of kidnapping with serious illegal detention. This crime is committed when one kidnaps or detains another, or in any other manner deprives her of his liberty and the kidnapping or detention has lasted more than three days or the victim is a female. Since as a consequence of the detention, the victim is raped, the crime committed is special complex crime of kidnapping with rape. No matter how many rapes had been committed in the special complex crime of kidnapping with rape, the resultant crime is only one kidnapping with rape. This is because these composite acts are regarded as a single indivisible offense as in fact R.A. No. 7659 punishes these acts with only a single penalty (People v. Mirandilla, Jr., G.R. NO July 27, 2011).

 

XIII

Puti detested Pula, his roommate, because Pula was courting Ganda, whom Puti fancied. One day, Puti decided to teach Pula a lesson and went to a veterinarian (Vet) to ask for poison on the pretext that he was going to kill a sick pet, when actually Puti was intending to poison Pula. The Vet instantly gave Puti a non-toxic solution which, when mixed with Pula’s food, did not kill Pula. (4%),

(A) What crime, if any, did Puti commit?

(B) Would your answer be the same if, as a result of the mixture, Pula got an upset stomach and had to be hospitalized for 10 days?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

(A) Puti committed an impossible crime of murder. Puti with intent to kill Pula unknowingly employed ineffectual means to accomplish the intended felony, that is, using a non-toxic solution.

(B) No. If as a result of the mixture administered by Puti, Pula suffered an upset stomach and had to be hospitalized for 10 days, Puti shall be liable for less serious physical injuries. The rule is, in impossible crime the act performed should not constitute a violation of another provision of the Revised Penal Code.

 

XIV.

Malo, a clerk of court of a trial court, promised the accused in a drug case pending before the court, that i would convince the judge to acquit him for a consideration of P5 million. The accused agreed and delivered the money through his lawyer, to the clerk of court.

The judge, not knowing of the deal, proceeded to rule on the evidence and convicted the accused. (4%)

(A) Malo was charged with violation of Section 3(b), Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3019, which prohibits a public officer from directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present, share percentage or benefit wherein the public officer, in his official capacity, has to intervene under the law. He was later charged also with indirect bribery under the Revised Penal Code. Malo claims he can no longer be charged under the Revised Penal Code for the same act under R.A. 3019.

Is he correct? (B) Malo was charged with estafa under Article 315 because

he misrepresented that he had influence, when he actually had none. Is the charge correct?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

(A) No. One may be charged with violation of R.A. No. 3019 in addition to a felony under the Revised Penal Code for the same delictual act, either concurrently or subsequent to being charged with a felony under the Revised Penal Code. This is very clear from Section 3 of R.A. No. 3019. Also, R.A. No. 3019 is a special law, the elements of the crime is not the same as those punished under the Revised Penal Code.

(B) Yes. Estafa is committed by any person who shall ask money from another for the alleged purpose of bribing a government employee when in truth the offender intended to convert the money to his own personal use and benefit (Article 315 (2) (c) of the Revised Penal Code).

 

XV.

Which of the following is not a privilege mitigating circumstance? (1%)

(A) 17-year-old offender

(B) 14-year-old offender

(C) incomplete self-defense

(D) incomplete defense of a relative

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

(C) 14-year-old offender

XVI.

Mr. Benjie is the owner of a hardware store specializin. in the sale of plumbing materials. On February 1, 2014 Mr. Ed, a friend and regular customer of Mr. Benjie, visited the hardware store and purchased several plumbing mate. rials in the total amount of P5 million. Mr. Benjie readily accepted Mr. Ed’s payment of three (3) postdated checks. in the amount of P1 million pesos each in view of the assurance of Mr. Ed that the checks will be honored upon presentment for payment. Mr. Benjie, as a consequence. immediately delivered the materials to the house of Mr. Ed. The following day, Mr. Ed went back to Mr. Benjie to tender another two (2) postdated checks in the amount of P1 million each to complete the payment, with the same assurance that the checks will be honored upon presentment for payment. When the checks were presented for payment, all were dishonored for insufficiency of funds and corresponding notices of dishonor were sent and received by Mr. Ed. One month after receipt of the notices of dishonor, Mr. Ed failed to make good the checks. Thereafter, Mr. Benjie filed before the public prosecutor’s office a complaint against Mr. Ed, although no demand letter was earlier sent to Mr. Ed.

During the preliminary investigation, Mr. Benjie accepted several amounts from Mr. Ed as partial payments. The wife of Mr. Benjie protested and insisted that the complaint should continue despite the partial payments. On the other hand, Mr. Ed counters that no demand letter was earlier sent to him, that the obligation is merely civil in character and that novation took place when Mr.Benjie accepted the partial payments.

Discuss the criminal liability, if any, of Mr. Ed. (6%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Mr. Ed is liable for one count of estafa under Article 315 (2) (d) for the issuance of the first three checks because he issued them simultaneous with the transaction in order to defraud another. However, the two other checks are deemed to have been issued in payment of a pre-existing obligation, hence the same act could not have been the efficient cause of defraudation required in estafa under the Revised Penal Code.

He is also liable for two counts of violation of B.P. 22 for the issuance of the five checks which were dishonoured for insufficiency of funds. The gravamen of B.P. 22 is the issuance of a worthless or unfunded check. Deceit is not material to B.P. 22.

Mr. Ed’s defense of partial payments constituting novation and absence of demand letter will not exculpate him from the criminal liability incurred. The partial payments made would only affect his civil liability while his claim of absence of demand letter is negated by his receipt of notices of dishonor.

 

XVII.

Pierce is a French diplomat stationed in the Philippines. While on EDSA and driving with an expired license, he hit a pedestrian who was crossing illegally. The pedestrian died. Pierce was charged with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. In his defense, he claimed diplomatic immunity.

Is Pierce correct? (3%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Yes, Pierce is correct. Pierce, being a French diplomat stationed in the Philippines, would be exempt from the general application of our criminal laws, as provided for under laws or treaties of preferential application, more particularly under R.A. No. 75.

XVIII.

Manolo, an avid art collector, was invited to Tonio’s house. There, Manolo noticed a nice painting that exactly looked like the painting which he reported was stolen from him some years back. Manolo confronted Tonio about the painting, but Tonio denied any knowledge, claiming that he bought the painting legitimately from a friend. Manolo later proved to Tonio that the painting was indeed the stolen painting. (4%)

(A) What crime/s, if any, may Tonio be charged with? (B) Manolo decided to take matters into his own hands and, one night, broke into Tonio’s house by destroying the wall and taking the painting. What, if any, would be the liability of Manolo?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

(A) Tonio may be charged with the crime of fencing. Under Section 5 of P.D. 1612, mere possession of a stolen article or object or anything of value which has been the subject of robbery or thievery is prima facie evidence of fencing. Since Tonio is in possession of a stolen property, it is presumed that he committed the crime of fencing.

(B) Manolo is liable for the crime of trespass to dwelling Qualified by use of force since he entered the house of Tonio against the latter’s will. There is no robbery because the owner of the property taken cannot commit robbery.

 

XIX.

Clepto went alone to a high-end busy shop and decided to take one of the smaller purses without paying for it Overcame by conscience, she decided to leave her own purse in place of the one she took. Her act was discovered and Clepto was charged with theft. She claimed that there was no theft, as the store suffered no injury or prejudice because she had left a purse in place of the one she took.

Comment on her defense. (3%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Her defense is untenable. Theft was already consummated from the taking of the personal property of another with intent to gain without the consent of the latter. The presence of injury or damage is not an element of theft. Her leaving behind her own purse will not alter the fact that she took a purse from the high-end shop without the consent of the owner.

XX.

Which of the following is not a qualifying aggravating circumstance? (1%)

(A) treachery

(B) evident premeditation

(C) dwelling

(D) cruelty

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

(C) dwelling

XXI.

During trial for theft in 2014, the prosecution managed to show that accused AA has also been convicted by final judgment for robbery in 2003, but she eluded capture. A subsequent verification showed that AA had several convictions, to wit: 1. In 1998, she was convicted of estafa 2. In 2002, she was convicted of theft 3. In 2004, she was convicted of frustrated homicide

The judge trying the theft case in 2014 is about to convict AA. What circumstances affecting the liability or penalty may the judge appreciate against AA? (4%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The judge may appreciate the aggravating circumstance of recidivism. A recidivist is one who, at the time of his trial for one crime, shall have been previously convicted by final judgment of another crime embraced in the same title of the Revised Penal Code. Robbery. theft and estafa are crimes against property embraced in Title Ten of the Revised Penal Code.

The judge may also appreciate the aggravating circumstance of habituality or reiteracion, because there have been two or more crimes committed for which she has been punished, regardless of the degree of penalty.

 

XXII.

Mr. Red was drinking with his buddies, Mr. White and Mr. Blue when he saw Mr. Green with his former girlfriend. Ms. Yellow. Already drunk, Mr. Red declared in a loud voice that if he could not have Ms. Yellow, no one can. He then proceeded to the men’s room but told Mr. White and Mr. Blue to take care of Mr. Green. Mr. Blue and Mr. White asked Mr. Red what he meant but Mr. Red simply said, “You already know what I want,” and then left. Mr. Blue and Mr. White proceeded to kill Mr. Green and hurt Ms. Yellow. (4%)

(A) What, if any, are the respective liabilities

of Mr. Red, Mr. White and Mr. Blue for the

death of Mr. Green? (B) What, if any, are the respective liabilities of

Mr. Red, Mr. White and Mr. Blue for the injuries of Ms. Yellow?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

(A) Mr. Blue and Mr. White are liable for the death of Mr. Green as principals by direct participation. They were the ones who participated in the criminal resolution and who carried out their plan and personally took part in its execution by acts which directly tended to the same end. Mr. Red cannot be held criminally liable as principal by inducement because his statement that Mr. Blue and Mr. White are to take care of Mr. Green was not made directly with the intention of procuring the commission of the crime. There is no showing that the words uttered by him may be considered as so effica- . cious and powerful so as to amount to physical or moral coercion (People v. Assad, G.R. No. L-33673, February 24, 1931). Neither is there evidence to show that Mr. Red has an ascendancy or influence over Mr. White and Mr. Blue (People v. Abarri, G.R. No. 90815, March 1, 1995).

(B) Mr. Blue and Mr. White are liable as principals by direct participation for the crime of physical injuries for hurting Ms. Yellow to the extent of the injuries inflicted. Having no participation in the attack upon Ms. Yellow, Mr. Red would have no criminal liability therefor.

XXIII.

Carla, four (4) years old, was kidnapped by Enrique. the tricycle driver engaged by her parents to drive her to and from school every day. Enrique wrote a ransom note demanding that Carla’s parents pay him P500,000.00 ransom in exchange for her liberty. However, before the ransom note could be received by Carla’s parents, Enrique’s hideout was discovered by the police. Carla was rescued while Enrique was arrested. The prosecutor considered that the ransom note was never received by Carla’s parents and filed a case of “Impossible crime to commit kidnapping against Enrique.

Is the prosecutor correct? If he is not correct, can he instead file a case of grave coercion? (4%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The crime committed by Enrique is kidnapping for ransom. Even before the rapsom note was received, the crime of kidnapping with serious illegal detention had already been committed. The act cannot be considered an impossible crime because there was no inherent improbability of its accomplishment or the employment of inadequate or ineffectual means. The delivery of the ransom note after the rescue of the victim did not extinguish the offense, which had already been consummated when Enrique deprived Carla of her liberty. The sending of the ransom note would have had the effect only of increasing the penalty to death under the last paragraph of Article 267 (People v. Tan, G.R. No. 95322, March 1, 1993). Furthermore, kidnapping is a crime against liberty while in impossible crime it is important that the accused committed an act that would have been a crime against person or property.

The prosecutor cannot file a case of grave coercion instead, since as discussed above the crime committed by Enrique is kidnapping for ransom.

 

XXIV.

A a young boy aged sixteen (16) at the time of the mmission of the crime, was convicted when he was Tready seventeen (17) years of age for violation of Section în of R.A. 9165 or Illegal Possession of Dangerous Drugs for which the imposable penalty is life imprisonment and a fine. Section 98 of the same law provides that if the penalty imposed is life imprisonment to death on minor offenders, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death. Under R.A. 9344, a minor offender is entitled to a privilege mitigating circumstance. (8%)

(A) May the privilege mitigating circumstance of minority be appreciated considering that the penalty imposed by law is life imprisonment and fine?

(B) is the Indeterminate Sentence Law applicable conoid ering that life imprisonment has no fixed duration and the Dangerous Drugs Law is malum prohibitum? (C) If the penalty imposed is more than six (6) years and a notice of appeal was filed by A and given due course by the court, may A still file an application for probation?

(D) If probation is not allowed by the court, how will A serve his sentence?

SUGGESTED ANSWER: –

(A) Yes. Minority as a privileged mitigating circum stance is always considered as a modifying circumstance in the imposition of penalty of a child in conflict with the law.

(B) Yes. The Indeterminate Sentence Law is applicable even to special laws. Since life imprisonment was converted into reclusion perpetua, which in turn was graduated to reclusion temporal, the Indeterminate Sentence Law is applicable (People v. Montalaba, G.R. No. 186227, July 20, 2011).

(C) Yes, A may still file an application for probation even if he filed a notice of appeal. Section 42 of R.A. No. 9344 provides that “The court may, after it shall have been convicted and sentenced a child in conflict with the law, and upon application at any time, place the child on probation in lieu of service of his/her sentence taking into account the best interest of the child.” The said section also provides that the Probation Law is amended accordingly. The phrase “at any time” mentioned in Section 42 means the child in conflict with the law may file application for probation at any time, even beyond the period for perfecting an appeal and even if the child has perfected the appeal from the judgment of conviction.

(D) If probation is not allowed by the court, the minor shall serve his sentence in an agricultural camp or other training facility in accordance with Section 51 of No. 9344.

 

XXV.

Mr. Gray opened a savings account with Bank A with on initial deposit of P50,000.00. A few days later, he deposited a check for P200,000.00 drawn from Bank B and endorsed by Mr. White. Ten days later, Mr. Gray withdrew the P200,000.00 from his account. Mr. White later complained to Bank B when the amount of P200,000.00 was later debited to his account, as he did not issue the check and his signature thereon was forged. Mr. Gray subsequently deposited another check signed by Mr. White for P200,000.00, which amount he later withdrew. Upon receiving the amount, Mr. Gray was arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Mr. Gray was convicted of estafa and attempted estafa, both through the use of commercial documents. (4%)

(A) Mr. Gray claims as defense that, except for Mr. White’s

claim of forgery, there was no evidence showing that he was the author of the forgery and Mr. White did not suffer any injuries as to the second check (attempted

estafa). Rule on the defense of Mr. Gray. (B) Mr. Gray claims that he was entrapped illegally because

there was no showing that the second check was a forgery and, therefore, his withdrawal based on the second check was a legal act. Is Mr. Gray correct?

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

(A) The defense of Mr. Gray that there is no evidence showing that he was the author of the forgery is unmeritorious. The law provides the presumption that the possessor and user of a falsified document is the one who falsified the same. His contention that Mr. White did not suffer injuries is likewise bereft of merit. Damage or intent to cause damage is not considered in attempted estafa, only in consummated estafa.

(B) Since the first check is forged, such circumstance justifies the entrapment of Mr. Gray since there is already probable cause that the second check is also forged. Moreover, even assuming that the entrapment is illegal, it will not validate the withdrawal based on . the second check, which is also forged. The criminality in forging the second check is not affected by the alleged illegality of the entrapment operation.

 

XXVI.

Awas bitten by a dog owned by a neighbor. The following day, angered by the incident, A took the dog without the knowledge of the owner, had it butchered and cooked the meat. He then invited his friends to partake of the dish with his friends who knew fully well that the dog was taken without the knowledge of the owner.

What are the friends of A liable for? (1%)

(A) theft (B) malicious mischief (C) accessories (D) obstruction of Justice

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

(C) accessories

NOTE: The correct answer is that the friends are not liable for any crime, which is not in the choices in the given problem. The profiting that will make them 1 ble as accessories should be material profiting, and enjoying the food is not.

 

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