Criminal Law

CRIMES AGAINST THE FUNDAMENTAL LAWS OF THE STATE

RPC, Bar Q & A, Jurisprudence

Arbitrary Detention [Article 124]

Committed by:

Any public officer or employee 

How committed?

Detains a person [without legal grounds]

The following are considered LEGAL GROUNDS for the detention of any person.

(1) commission of a crime 

(2) violent insanity or 

(3) any other ailment requiring the compulsory 

confinement of the patient in a hospital 

Delay in the delivery of detained persons to the proper judicial authorities [Article 125]

Committed by

A public officer or employee

*Who shall detain any person for some legal ground and shall fail to deliver such person to the proper judicial authorities within the period of; 

*** Twelve (12) hours, for crimes or offenses punishable by light penalties, or their equivalent; 

*** Eighteen(18) hours, for crimes or offenses punishable by correctional penalties, or their equivalent; and 

*** Thirty-six (36) hours, for crimes, or offenses punishable by afflictive or capital penalties, or their equivalent.

In every case, the person detained shall be 

  1. informed of the cause of his detention and 
  2. shall be allowed upon his request, to communicate and confer at any time with his attorney or counsel. (As amended by E.O. Nos. 59 and 272, Nov. 7, 1986 and July 25, 1987, respectively).

Delaying Release [Article 126]

Committed by:

Any public officer or employee

How committed?

*Delays for the period of time specified therein the performance of any judicial or executive order for the release of a prisoner or detention prisoner, or 

**Unduly delays the service of the notice of such order to said prisoner or the proceedings upon any petition for the liberation of such person.

2013 Bar 

20. 

Arbitrary detention v. Unlawful arrest

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Arbitrary detention is a crime against fundamental law of the law or the Constitution. A public officer, who is vested with the authority to detain or to order the detention of a person accused of a crime, is acting in behalf of the government in arresting or detaining a person. If such public officer detained a person in violation of his constitutional right against unreasonable seizure (or not in accordance with Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure), the crime committed is “arbitrary detention.” 

Unlawful arrest is a crime against personal liberty and security. A public officer, who is not vested with the authority to detain or to order the detention of a person (e.g. stenographer, researcher or municipal treasurer), is not acting in behalf of the government in making a warrantless arrest. Such public officer acting in his private capacity (or a private individual) could not violate the Constitution (People v, Marti, GR No. 81561, January 18, 1991); hence, if he arrests or detains a person not in accordance with Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rule of Criminal Procedure, the crime committed is “unlawful arrest”. The essence of this crime is not violation of fundamental law of the law but deprivation of liberty of the victim. 

R.A. 7438 Custodial Investigation Law

Section 2

(e) Any waiver by a person arrested or detained under the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, or under custodial investigation, shall be in writing and signed by such person in the presence of his counsel; otherwise the waiver shall be null and void and of no effect.

In the absence of any lawyer, no custodial investigation shall be conducted and the suspected person can only be detained by the investigating officer in accordance with the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code.

Expulsion [Article 127]

Committed by:

Any public officer or employee 

*who, not being thereunto authorized by law, shall expel any person from the Philippine Islands or shall compel such person to change his residence.

2013 Bar (UPLC)

34. What is the criminal liability, if any, of a mayor who, without being authorized by law, compels prostitutes residing in his city to go to, and live in, another place against their will? 

a. The mayor is criminally liable for violation of domicile. 

b. The mayor is criminally liable for expulsion. 

c. The mayor is criminally liable for grave coercion.

d. The mayor incurs no criminal liability because he merely wants to protect the youth against the indecency of the prostitutes. 

SUGGESTED ANSWER: 

B. the prostitute are not chattels but human beings protected by the constitutional guaranties such as the provision on liberty of abode. The mayor could not even for the most praiseworthy of motives render the liberty of the citizen so insecure. 

No liberty of the citizen so insecure. No official, no matter how high, is above the law (Villavicencio v. Lukban, GR No. 14639, March 25, 1919). A public officer, who, not being thereunto authorized by law, shall compel persons to charge their residence, is liable for the crime of expulsion under Article 127 of the Revised Penal Code.

Violation of domicile [Art. 128] 

Committed by:

[Any public officer or employee]

** Not being authorized by judicial order, shall 

  1. enter any dwelling against the will of the owner thereof, 
  2. search papers or other effects found therein without the previous consent of such owner, or 
  3. having surreptitiously entered said dwelling, and being required to leave the premises, shall refuse to do so.

If the offense be committed in the night-time, or if any papers or effects not constituting evidence of a crime be not returned immediately after the search made by the offender, the penalty shall be prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods. 

2009 Bar

No. I. e. A policeman who, without a judicial order, enters a private house over the owner’s opposition is guilty of trespass to dwelling.

SUGGESTED ANSWER: 

False, the crime committed by the policeman in this case is violation of domicile because the official duties of a policeman carry with it an authority to make searches and seizure upon judicial order. He is therefore acting under color of his official authority (Art. 128, RPC).

Disturbance of Proceedings [Article 144] 

Committed by:

Any person 

How?

— Disturb the meetings of the National Assembly (Congress of the Philippines) or of any of its committees or subcommittees, constitutional commissions or committees or divisions thereof, or of any provincial board or city or municipal council or board, or 

— in the presence of any such bodies should behave in such manner as to interrupt its proceedings or to impair the respect due it. (Reinstated by E.O. No. 187).

ASSAULT UPON, AND RESISTANCE AND DISOBEDIENCE

TO, PERSONS IN AUTHORITY AND THEIR AGENTS

Direct Assaults [Article 148] 

Committed by

Any person or persons 

*Without a public uprising, 

— employ force or intimidation for the attainment of any of the purpose enumerated in defining the crimes of rebellion and sedition, or 

— Attack, employ force, or seriously intimidate or resist any person in authority or any of his agents

[while engaged in the performance of official duties,] or 

(Qualified Direct Assault)

**on occasion of such performance

— when the assault is committed with a weapon or 

— when the offender is a public officer or employee, or 

— when the offender lays hands upon a person in authority.

2017 Bar

VII.

Bernardo was enraged by his conviction for robbery by Judge Samsonite despite insufficient evidence Pending his appeal, Bernardo escaped in order to get even with Judge Samsonite. Bernardo learned that the Judge regularly slept in his mistress’ house every weekend. Thus, he waited for the Judge to arrive on Saturday evening at the house of his mistress. It was about 8:00 p.m. when Bemardo entered the house of the mistress. He found the Judge and his mistress having coffee in the kitchen and engaging in small talk. Without warning, Bernardo stabbed the judge at least 10 times. The judge instantly died. 

Prosecuted and tried, Bernardo was convicted of direct assault with murder. Rule with reasons whether or not the conviction for direct assault with murder was justified

   x x x

 SUGGESTED ANSWER 

The phrase “on occasion of such performance” used in Article 148 of RPC means “by reason of the past performance of official duty because the purpose of the law is to allow them to discharge their duties without fear of being assaulted by reason thereof (People y, Renegado, GR No. L-27031, May 31, 1974). 

Attacking Judge Samsonite by reason of past performance of duty of convicting Bernardo based on his assessment of the evidence constitutes qualified direct assault (US v. Garcia, G.R. No. 6820, October 16, 1911). Since the single act of attacking Judge Samsonite  constitutes direct assault and murder qualified by the circumstance of treachery, the two shall be merged together to form a complex crime of direct assault with murder (People v. Estonilo, Jr., GR No. 201565).

Disregard of rank, being inherent in direct assault, is absorbed. Disregard of age shall not be considered for lack of showing of intent to offénd or insult the age of Judge Samsonite (People v. Onabia, GR No. 128288, April 20, 1999).

2013 BAR 

VII.

Miss Reyes, a lady professor, caught Mariano, one of her students, cheating during an examination. Aside from calling Mariano’s attention, she confiscated his examination booklet and sent him out of the room, causing Mariano extreme embarrassment. In class the following day, Mariano approached Miss Reyes and without any warning, slapped her on the face. Mariano would have inflicted grave injuries on Miss Reyes had not Dencio, another student, intervened. Mariano then turned his ire on Dencio and punched him repeatedly, causing him injuries.

What crime or crimes, if any, did Mariano commit? (7%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Mariano is liable of 2 counts of Direct Assault.

The elements of Direct Assault are: 

(a) that the accused makes an attack, employs force, makes a serious intimidation or a serious resistance; 

(b) that the person assaulted is a person in authority or his agent; 

(c) that at the time of the assault the person in authority or his agent is engaged in the performance of his official duties or that the assault was on the occasion of the performance of his official duties; 

(d) that the accused knows that the person he is assaulting is a person in authority or his agent in the exercise of his duties; and (e) that there is no public uprising.

The first Direct Assault is qualified by laying of hands on a person in authority. Mariano slapped Ms. Reyes, a person in authority under Article 152, RPC, while she was in the performance of her official duties.

The second Direct Assault was committed when Mariano repeatedly punched Dencio who became an agent of a person in authority when he came to the aid of Ms. Reyes, a person in authority who was a victim of direct assault.

Who are persons in authority?

ANSWER:

Persons in authority and agents of persons in authority; Who shall be deemed as such [Article 152] 

— Any person directly vested with jurisdiction, whether as an individual or as a member of some court or governmental corporation, board, or commission, shall be deemed a person in authority. 

— A barrio captain and a barangay chairman shall also be deemed a person in authority.

— A person who, by direct provision of law or by election or by appointment by competent authority, is charged with the maintenance of public order and the protection and security of life and property, such as a barrio councilman, barrio policeman and barangay leader and any person who comes to the aid of persons in authority, shall be deemed an agent of a person in authority.

— In applying the provisions of Articles 148 and 151 of this Code, teachers, professors and persons charged with the supervision of public or duly recognized private schools, colleges and universities, and lawyers in the actual performance of their professional duties or on the occasion of such performance, shall be deemed persons in authority. (As amended by PD No. 299, Sept. 19, 1973 and Batas Pambansa Blg. 873, June 12, 1985).

Indirect assaults [Article 149] — 

Committed by: 

Any person 

How committed: 

— Make use of force or intimidation upon any person coming to the aid of the authorities or their agents on occasion of the commission of any of the crimes defined in the next preceding article.

Attacking a third person who comes to the aid of an agent of a person in authority, who is a victim of direct assault, constitutes INDIRECT ASSAULT. [Judge Marlo B. Camapanilla]

Resistance and disobedience to a person in authority or the agents of such person [Article 151]

Committed by:

Any person 

How committed?

Resist or seriously disobey any person in authority, or the agents of such person, while engaged in the performance of official duties. 

Tumults and other disturbance of public orders; Tumultuous disturbance or interruption liable to cause disturbance [Article 153] 

Committed by: 

Any person 

— Cause any serious disturbance in a public place, office, or establishment, or 

— Interrupt or disturb public performances, functions or gatherings, or peaceful meetings, if the act is not included in the provisions of Articles 131 and 132 (Prohibition, interruption and dissolution of peaceful meetings and Art. 132. Interruption of religious worship)

The penalty next higher in degree shall be imposed upon persons causing any disturbance or interruption of a tumultuous character.

The disturbance or interruption shall be deemed to be tumultuous if caused by more than three persons who are armed or provided with means of violence.

The penalty of arresto mayor shall be imposed upon any person who in any meeting, association, or public place, shall make any outcry tending to incite rebellion or sedition or in such place shall display placards or emblems which provoke a disturbance of the public order.

The penalty of arresto menor and a fine not to exceed P200 pesos shall be imposed upon these persons who in violation of the provisions contained in the last clause of Article 85, shall bury with pomp the body of a person who has been legally executed.

2010 Bar

No. X. A, B and C are members of SFC Fraternity. While eating in a seaside restaurant, they were attacked by X, Y and Z, members of a rival fraternity. A rumble ensued in which the abovenamed members of the two fraternities assaulted each other in a confused and tumultuous manner resulting in the death of A. As it cannot be ascertained who actually killed A, the members of the two fraternities who took part in the rumble were charged for death caused in a tumultuous affray. Will the charge prosper? Explain. 

SUGGESTED ANSWER: 

No, the charge of death caused in a tumultuous affray will not prosper. In death caused by tumultuous affray under Art. 251 of the Revised Penal Code, it is essential that the persons involved did not compose groups organized for the common purpose of assaulting and attacking each other reciprocally.

In this case, there is no tumultuous affray since the participants in the rumble belong to organized fraternities. The killer of A, a member of SFC Fraternity could not be any other but member of the rival fraternity. Conspiracy is therefore present among the attackers form the rival fraternity and thus rules out the idea of an affray. The liability of the attackers should be collective for the crime of homicide or murder as the case may be. 

Alarms and Scandals [Article 155] 

1. Any person who within any town or public place, shall discharge any firearm, rocket, firecracker, or other explosives calculated to cause alarm or danger;

2. Any person who shall instigate or take an active part in any charivari or other disorderly meeting offensive to another or prejudicial to public tranquility;

3. Any person who, while wandering about at night or while engaged in any other nocturnal amusements, shall disturb the public peace; or

4. Any person who, while intoxicated or otherwise, shall cause any disturbance or scandal in public places, provided that the circumstances of the case shall not make the provisions of Article 153 applicable. 

2013 Bar

XIV.
Amelia, a famous actress, bought the penthouse unit of a posh condominium building in Taguig City. Every night, Amelia would swim naked in the private, but open air, pool of her penthouse unit. It must have been obvious to Amelia that she could be seen from nearby buildings. In fact, some residents occupying the higher floors of the nearby residential buildings did indeed entertain themselves and their friends by watching her swim in the nude from their windows. 

What crime did Amelia commit?  

(A) Alarms and scandals because her act of swimming naked disturbs the public tranquility. 

(B) Grave scandal because she committed highly scandalous acts that are offensive to decency or good customs. 

(C) Immoral doctrines, obscene publications and exhibitions, and indecent shows under Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code, because her act of swimming naked is akin to an indecent live show. 

(D) Amelia did not commit any crime because the swimming pool is located in her private home. 

SUGGESTED ANSWER: 

(D) Amelia did not commit any crime because the swimming pool is located in her private home. Ameli did not commit the crime of alarms and scandals because she did not intend to disturb public peace as she was merely swimming within the confines of her private home. Neither did Amelia commit grave scandal because her conduct cannot be deemed highly scandalous as stated in Article 200 of the Revised Penal Code, nor did Amelia commit any of the acts mentioned in Article 201 to constitute an indecent live show to satisfy the market for lust

or phornography.

Delivery of prisoners from jails [Article 156] 

Committed by:

Any person 

How committed?

— Remove from any jail or penal establishment any person confined therein or 

— Help the escape of such person, by means of violence, intimidation, or bribery. If other means are used, the penalty of arresto mayor shall be imposed.

If the escape of the prisoner shall take place outside of said establishments by taking the guards by surprise, the same penalties shall be imposed in their minimum period.

Evasion of service of sentence [Article 157] 

Committed by:

Any convict 

How committed?

— Evade service of his sentence by escaping during the term of his imprisonment by reason of final judgment. 

However, if such evasion or escape shall have taken place by means of unlawful entry, by breaking doors, windows, gates, walls, roofs, or floors, or by using picklocks, false keys, deceit, violence or intimidation, or through connivance with other convicts or employees of the penal institution, the penalty shall be prision correccional in its maximum period.

Evasion of service of sentence on the occasion of disorder, conflagrations, earthquakes, or other calamities [Article 158] 

— A convict who shall evade the service of his sentence, by leaving the penal institution where he shall have been confined, on the occasion of disorder resulting from a conflagration, earthquake, explosion, or similar catastrophe, or during a mutiny in which he has not participated, shall suffer an increase of one-fifth of the time still remaining to be served under the original sentence, which in no case shall exceed six months, if he shall fail to give himself up to the authorities within forty-eight hours following the issuance of a proclamation by the Chief Executive announcing the passing away of such calamity.

Convicts who, under the circumstances mentioned in the preceding paragraph, shall give themselves up to the authorities within the above mentioned period of 48 hours, shall be entitled to the deduction provided in Article 98.

2009 Bar

No. X. 

To secure the release of his brother Willy, a detention prisoner, and his cousin Vincent, who is serving sentence for homicide, Chito asked the RTC Branch Clerk of Court to issue an Order which would allow the two prisoners to be brought out of jail. 

At first, the Clerk refused, but when Chito gave her P50,000.00, she consented. She then prepared an Order requiring the appearance in court of Willy and Vincent, ostensibly as witnesses in a pending case. She forged the judge’s signature, and delivered the Order to the jail warden who, in turn, allowed Willy and Vincent to go out of jail in the company of an armed escort, Edwin. Chito also gave Edwin P50,000.00 to leave the two inmates unguarded for three minutes and provide them with an opportunity to escape. Thus, Willy and Vincent were able to escape.

What crime or crimes, if any, had been committed by Chito, Willy, Vincent, the Branch Clerk of Court, Edwin, and the jail warden? Explain your answer. 

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The crime committed in this case are as follows:

a. Chito committed the crimes of –

1. Delivery of Prisoners from Jail (Art. 156, RPC) for working out the escape of prisoners Willy and Vincent;

2. Two counts of Corruption of Public Officials (Art. 212, RPC); and

3. Falsification of Public Documents, as a principal by inducement (Art. 172[1], RPC).

b. Willy Committed the crime of Delivery of Prisoners from Jail (Art. 156, RPC) as a principal by indispensable participation if he was aware of the criminal plan of Chito to have them escape from prison and he did escape pursuant to such criminal plan; otherwise he would not be liable for said crime if he escaped pursuant to human instinct only.

c. Vincent, being a prisoner serving sentence by final judgment, committed the crime of Evasion of Service of Sentence (Art. 157, RPC) for escaping during the term of his imprisonment.

d. The Branch Clerk of Court committed the crimes of:

1. Direct Bribery (Art. 210, RPC) for accepting the P50,000.00 – in consideration of the Order she issued to enable the prisoners to get out of jail;

2. Falsification of Public Document for forgoing the judge’s signature on said Order (Art. 171, RPC);

3. Delivery of Prisoners from Jail (Art. 156, RPC), as a co principal of Chito by indispensable cooperation for making the false Order and forgoing the judge‟s signature thereon, to enable the prisoners to get out of jail; 

4. Evasion of Service of Sentence (Art. 157, RPC); as a co principal of Vincent by indispensable cooperation for making the false Order that enable Vincent to evade service of his sentence;

e. Edwin, the jail guard who escorted the prisoner in getting out of jail, committed the crimes of –

1. Infidelity in the Custody of Prisoners, especially conniving with or consenting to Evasion for leaving unguarded the prisoners escorted by him and provide them an opportunity to escape (Art. 223, RPC);

2. Direct Bribery for receiving the P50,000.00 as consideration for leaving the prisoners unguarded and allowing them the opportunity to escape (Art. 210, RPC);

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