Criminal Law

CRIMES AGAINST NATIONAL SECURITY AND LAW OF NATION and CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER

Crimes Against National Security and Law of Nation

Treason [Article 114]

Committed by:

A Filipino citizen

An Alien residing in the Philippines

(A person who owes allegiance to the Philippines whether perpetual or temporary)

**It is a war crime. It cannot be committed in times of peace.

How Committed:

*Levy war against the Philippines

*Adhere to her enemies, giving them aid or comfort within the Philippines or elsewhere

Treachery, Abuse of Superior Strength and Evident premeditation are inherent in the offense of treason.

The TWO WITNESS RULE

No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses at least to the same overt act or on (judicial) confession of the accused in open court.

Proposal or Conspiracy to commit treason  

Committed by:

Filipino citizen

Resident Alien

Proposal —– How Committed:

*Has decided to commit treason and proposes its execution to some other person/s.

*The person to whom the proposal is made does not agree to commit treason

Conspiracy —– Committed by:

Two or more Filipino citizens/Resident aliens

How Committed:

Come to an agreement to commit treason and decide to commit it.

Misprision of Treason

Committed by:

A Filipino citizen who has knowledge of any conspiracy against the government and shall conceal or shall not disclose or make known the same, as soon as possible to the governor, mayor, fiscal of the place in which he resides.

Espionage

Committed by any person, who, without authority therefore, shall enter a warship, fort, or naval or military establishment or reservation to obtain any information, plans, photographs or any data of a confidential nature relative to the defense of the Philippines.

or

A public officer who discloses to the representative of a foreign nation the contents of the articles, data or information of a confidential nature relative to the defense of the Philippine archipelago which he has in his possession by reason of the public office he hold.

Espionage is committed by public officer, who is in possession, by reason of the public office he holds, of the articles, data, or information of a confidential nature relative to the defense of the Philippine Archipelago, discloses their contents to a representative of a foreign nation. (Art. 117)

Violation of Neutrality [Article 119]

Committed by (anyone) 

On occasion of a war in which the Government is not involved, violates  any regulation issued by competent authority for the purpose of enforcing neutrality

Correspondence with hostile country

Committed by [any person]

[In time of war]

*shall have correspondence with an enemy country or territory occupied by enemy troops 

1. if the correspondence has been prohibited by the Government;

2. if such correspondence be carried on in ciphers or conventional signs; and

3. if notice or information be given thereby which might be useful to the enemy or If the offender intended to aid the enemy by giving such notice or information.

Piracy [Article 122]

Committed by [any person] 

Where? [on the high seas] 

*shall attack or seize a vessel or, not being a member of its complement nor a passenger, shall seize the whole or part of the cargo of said vessel, its equipment, or personal belongings of its complement or passengers.

[People v. Lol-lo and Saraw G.R. No. 17958 February 27, 1922]

Piracy is robbery or forcible depredation on the high seas, without lawful authority and done animo furandi (intention to steal), and in the spirit and intention of universal hostility.

Pirates are in law hostes humani generis (“enemy of mankind”). Piracy is a crime not against any particular state but against all mankind. It may be punished in the competent tribunal of any country where the offender may be found or into which he may be carried. 

The jurisdiction of piracy unlike all other crimes has no territorial limits. As it is against all so may it be punished by all. Nor does it matter that the crime was committed within the jurisdictional 3-mile limit of a foreign state, “for those limits, though neutral to war, are not neutral to crimes.” (U.S. vs. Furlong [1820], 5 Wheat., 184.)

Qualified Piracy [Article 123] 

The penalty of reclusion temporal to death shall be imposed upon those who commit any of the crimes referred to in the preceding article, under any of the following circumstances:

1. Whenever they have seized a vessel by boarding or firing upon the same;

2. Whenever the pirates have abandoned their victims without means of saving themselves; or

3. Whenever the crime is accompanied by murder, homicide, physical injuries or rape.

Bar Q & A

(2008) No. VII. a. The inter-island vessel M/V Viva Lines I, while cruising off Batanes, was forced to seek shelter at the harbor of Kaoshiung, Taiwan because of a strong typhoon. While anchored in said harbor, Max, Baldo and Bogart arrived in a speedboat, fired a bazooka at the bow of the vessel, boarded it and divested the passengers of their money and jewelry. A passenger of M/V Viva Lines I, Dodong took advantage of the confusion to settle an old grudge with another passenger, and killed him. After their apprehension, all four were charged with qualified piracy before a Philippine court.

Was the charge of qualified piracy against the three person (Max, Badong and Bogart) who boarded the inter-island vessel correct? Explain. ( 3% )

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Yes, they (Max, Baldo and Bogart) boarded and fired upon the ship, and divested the passengers of their money and jewelry (Art. 122, 123, RPC, as amended by R.A. 7659 and P.D. 532). As long as murder or homicide is committed as a result of or on occasion of piracy, the special complex crime of qualified piracy is committed.

2012 Bar 

V. Conspiracy to commit a felony is punishable only in cases where the law specifically provides a penalty. Which of the following combinations contain specific felonies under the Revised Penal Code?

(0.5%)

(A) Conspiracy to commit treason, conspiracy to commit rebellion,

conspiracy to commit coup d’etat, conspiracy to commit misprision of treason.

(B) Conspiracy to commit rebellion, conspiracy to commit coup d’etat, conspiracy to commit treason, conspiracy to commit sedition.

(C) Conspiracy to commit rebellion or insurrection, conspiracy to

commit sedition, conspiracy to commit illegal assemblies,

conspiracy to commit treason.

(D) Conspiracy to commit treason, conspiracy to commit sedition, conspiracy to commit terrorism.

(E) None of the above.

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

(B) Conspiracy to commit rebellion, conspiracy to commit coup d’etat, conspiracy to commit treason, conspiracy to commit sedition. 

Conspiracy to commit coup d‟etat or rebellion is punishable under Article 136 of the Revised Penal Code; conspiracy to commit treason under Article 115, and conspiracy to commit sedition under Article 141.

Mutiny [Article 122]

Committed by  [a member of its complement of a vessel or a passenger of the vessel]

*unlawfully resist a superior officer or raise commotion or disturbance on the on board a vessel against the authority of its commander on the high seas or in Philippine waters.

Hijacking [R.A. 6235]

Section 1.

Committed by *any person  who

  1. compel a change in the course or destination of an aircraft of Philippine registry, or 
  2. to seize or usurp the control thereof, while it is in flight.

 {An aircraft is in flight from the moment all its external doors are closed following embarkation until any of such doors is opened for disembarkation.}

  1. to compel an aircraft of foreign registry to land in Philippine territory or to seize or usurp the control thereof while it is within the said territory.

Section 2. Qualified Hijacking

[Any person committing such violation] under any of the following circumstances:

1. Whenever he has fired upon the pilot, member of the crew or passenger of the aircraft;

2. Whenever he has exploded or attempted to explode any bomb or explosive to destroy the aircraft; or

3. Whenever the crime is accompanied by murder, homicide, serious physical injuries or rape.

2013 Bar

VIII. Compelling the pilot of an aircraft of Philippine Registry to change its destination is __________. (0.5%) 

(A) grave coercion 

(B) a violation of the AntiHijacking Law or R.A. No. 6235 

(C) grave threats 

(D) a violation of the Human Security Act of 2007 or the AntiTerrorism Law 

(E) All of the above

SUGGESTED ANSWER: 

(B) a violation of the Anti-Hijacking Law or R.A. No. 6235. 

It shall be unlawful for any person to compel a change in the course or destination of an aircraft of Philippine registry, or to seize or usurp the control thereof, while it is in flight (Section I, Rep. Act no. 6235).

Human Security Act of 2007 [R.A. 9372]

Section 3. Terrorism

Committed by:

*Any Person

[sowing and creating a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace, in order to coerce the government to give in to an unlawful demand]

CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC ORDER

Rebellion or insurrection [Article 134]

The crime of rebellion or insurrection is committed by rising publicly and taking arms against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to said Government or its laws, the territory of the Philippine Islands or any part thereof, of any body of land, naval or other armed forces, depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, of any of their powers or prerogatives. (As amended by R.A. 6968).

Rebellion and Treason [Judge Marlo B. Campanilla]

1. In treason, the offender levies war against the government in adherence to an enemy; while in rebellion, the offenders engage war against the forces of government without adherence to the enemy; 

2. Treason includes giving aid and comfort in adherence to the enemy; while giving aid and comfort in adherence to rebels is not rebellion unless there is a conspiracy; 

3. In treason, intent to betray the government by adherence to the enemy is required while the intention of the rebels in rising publicly and taking up arms is to remove the allegiance to the government and its laws from the territory of the Philippines or part thereof or armed forces, or to deprive executive or legislative power; 

4. Treason can only be committed by a Filipino citizen or resident alien while rebellion can be committed by any person; 

5. Treason is a war crime while rebellion can be committed in times of war or peace; and 

6. Treason is subject to the extraterritoriality rule, while rebellion is governed by the territoriality principle. 

Coup d’etat [Article 134-A.]

The crime of coup d’etat is a swift attack accompanied by violence, intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth

*** directed against duly constituted authorities of the Republic of the Philippines, or any military camp or installation, communications network, public utilities or other facilities needed for the exercise and continued possession of power, singly or simultaneously carried out anywhere in the Philippines 

* by any person or persons, belonging to the military or police or holding any public office of employment with or without civilian support or participation for the purpose of seizing or diminishing state power. (As amended by R.A. 6968).

2012 Bar

No. IX. b. Distinguish by way of illustration conspiracy as a felony from conspiracy as a manner of incurring liability in relation to the crimes of rebellion and murder. (5%) 

SUGGESTED ANSWER: 

Conspiracy to commit rebellion – if “A” and “B” conspired to overthrow the government, conspiracy is punishable. Conspiracy to commit rebellion is a felony.

Rebellion – if they committed rebellion, they are equally liable for the crime of rebellion. However, they will not be additionally charged with conspiracy to commit rebellion. 

Since they committed what they conspired, conspiracy will not be considered as an independent felony but as a manner of incurring criminal responsibility. conspiracy to commit homicide, not punishable – if “A” and “B” conspire to kill “X”, conspiracy is not punishable. 

The law provides no penalty for conspiracy to commit homicide. Homicide – if pursuant to conspiracy to commit homicide, “A” embraced “X” and then “B” stabbed and killed “X”, the conspirators are equally liable for homicide.

Conspirators are equally liable for homicide. Conspiracy in this case will be considered as a manner of incurring liability

2013 Bar

XXIII. During a military uprising aimed at ousting the duly constituted authorities and taking over the government, General Tejero and his men forcibly took over the entire Rich Hotel which they used as their base. They used the rooms and other facilities of the hotel, ate all the available food they found, and detained some hotel guests. What crime did General Tejero and his men commit? (1%)

(A) Rebellion complexed with serious illegal detention and estafa.

(B) Rebellion.

(C) Coup d’etat.

(D) Terrorism.

(E) None of the above.

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

(C) Coup d’etat.

It appears that General Tejero and his men launched a swift attack accompanied by violence, intimidation or threat directed against public utilities or other facilities needed for the exercise and continued possession of power for the purpose of seizing state power (Article 134-A, RPC)

Rebellion and Coup d’état  [Judge Marlo B. Campanilla]

The differences between rebellion and coup d’état are as follows: 

1. The criminal act in rebellion is public uprising and taking up arms; while that in coup d’état is a swift attack by means of violence, intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth against the duly constituted authorities or facilities needed for the exercise and continued possession of power; 

2. The purpose of rebellion is removal of the Philippine territory or part thereof or armed forces from the allegiance to the government and its laws or deprivation of executive or legislative powers or privileges; while that of coup d’état is seizure or diminution of State power; and 

3. The offenders in rebellion are any persons; on the other hand, the offenders in coup d’état are military officer, police officer and public officers; however, this crime can be committed with or without the participation of civilians. (1991 and 2004 Bar Exams) 

Overthrowing the government is an objective of rebellion or coup d’état since the purpose of the offenders is to remove the territory of the Philippines from the allegiance of the people to the government and its laws, or to seize state power. 

Secession is an objective of rebellion or coup d’état since the purpose of the offenders is to remove part of the territory of the Philippines (e.g., Mindanao) from the allegiance of the people to the government and its laws, or to diminish state power. 

2012 Bar

7. Proposal to commit felony is punishable only in cases in which the law specifically provides a penalty therefor. Under which of the following instances are proponents NOT liable?

a. Proposal to commit coup d’etat.

b. Proposal to commit sedition.

c. Proposal to commit rebellion.

d. Proposal to commit treason.

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

B. proposal to commit treason, rebellion or coup d’etat (Articles 115 and 136 of the Revised Penal Code) is punishable but proposal to commit sedition is not.

Disloyalty of public officers or employees. [Article 137]

Committed by

*public officers or employees 

How committed?

**when they have failed to resist a rebellion by all the means in their power, or shall continue to discharge the duties of their offices under the control of the rebels or shall accept appointment to office under them.

2012 Bar

36. What is the proper charge against public officers or employees who, being in conspiracy with the rebels, failed to resist a rebellion by all means in their power, or shall continue to discharge the duties of their offices under the control of the rebels, or shall accept appointment to office under them? 

a. disloyalty of public officers or employees;

b. rebellion;

c. conspiracy to commit rebellion;

d. dereliction of duty.

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

B. The crime of disloyalty of public officers is committed by public officers who have failed to resist a rebellion by all the means in their power, or shall continue to discharge the duties of their offices under them (Article 137 of the Revised Penal Code). However, the public officer who performs any of the acts of disloyalty should not be in conspiracy with the rebels; otherwise, he will be guilty of rebellion, not merely disloyalty, because in conspiracy, the act of one is the act of all (The Revised Penal Code by CA Justice Luis Reyes). 

Since in the facts given, the public officers performed acts of disloyalty in conspiracy with the rebels, the crime committed is rebellion.

Doctrine of Absorption — 

In  cases of rebellion, other crimes  committed in  the course  of crime  are  deemed  absorbed  in  the  crime  of  rebellion  either  as  a means necessary for its commission or as an unintended effect of rebellion

> They cannot be charged as separate offenses in themselves

> Exception: when the  common  crimes are committed  without any political motivation. In such case, they will not be absorbed by rebellion. [Batasnatin.com]

VARIANCE RULE AND DOUBLE JEOPARDY RULE 

[Judge Marlo B. Campanilla]

The crime of rebellion or coup d’état is necessarily included in the charge of terrorism since the former is just an element of the latter; hence, terrorism and its predicate crime are subject to the variance rule and double jeopardy. 

Where the information charged the accused of terrorism in relation to rebellion, but the evidence merely establishes the crime of rebellion but not the other elements of terrorism such as coercing the government to give in to an unlawful demand, the court can convict the accused of the lesser crime of rebellion, which is necessarily included in the charge of terrorism. This is in accordance with the variance rule. 

Where the information charged the accused of terrorism in relation to rebellion, and then he was convicted or acquitted of terrorism, the accused cannot anymore be prosecuted for rebellion because the latter is necessarily included in the charge of the former. This is in accordance with the rule on double jeopardy under Section 49 of R.A. No. 9372.

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