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Imputation made in good faith by person for protection of his or oth
er's interests. Caution intended for good of person to whom conveyed or for public
good. 500. Punishment for defamation. 501. Printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory. 502. Sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter.
OF CRIMINAL INTIMIDATION, INSULT AND ANNOYANCE
503. 504. 505. 506.
object of the Divine displeasure.
OF ATTEMPTS TO COMMIT OFFENCES
Punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with trans
portation or imprisonment.
The criminal law of the Philippines is patterned after the Spanish Penal Code of 1870 which was extended to the Philippines by an 1886 royal order of the Spanish Crown and made effective in this former Spanish colony in 1887. The Spanish Code was based on the classical theory of criminal science which dictates that criminal responsibility can only be demanded or exacted on grounds of imputability (or actor's knowledge or free will) and that penalty imposed by way of retribution must be proportionate to the harm done, not only quantitatively but also qualitatively; i.e., the emphasis is on the act and not on the doer. The same theory, not surprisingly, pervades the current basic criminal law of the Philippines, the Revised Penal Code, which was approved by the former Philippine Legislature on December 8, 1930 and took effect on January 1, 1932. The Code has since undergone several changes. 1
Criminal procedure which, along with other procedural rules in the Philippines, comes under the general heading, “Remedial Law,” is governed basically by the Rules of Court as revised on January 1, 1964. We hope to discuss briefly the relvant rules and other special procedural laws as required. At this point, it should be pointed out that the Philippines has one central government with all political subdivisions made subordinate to it. There is one Supreme Court, one Court of Appeals, quite a number of courts of first instance and other inferior courts distributed over designated judicial districts. A court's jurisdiction rests on such factors as personal circumstances, subject matter, grarity of offense charged, etc., prescribed by law. The basic codes are applicable nationally. The penal code, however, is enforceable not only within the Philippines but also outside the country in certain cases, such as those involving offenses committed on board Philippine ships or airships; those concerning counterfeiting or Philippine coins or currency, etc.; those against national security: and others committed in the exercise of official functions by government employees abroad.
As amended to date, the Revised Penal Code contains 367 articles, numbered consecutively starting at 1. It is divided into Books I and II. Book I consists of two parts: (1) the basic principles affecting criminal liability (Articles The Revised Penal Code (Act 3815, as amended), 1964 ed., Central Book Supply Co., Manila (1964). 158 p.
1-20); and (2) the provisions on penalties, including both criminal and civil liabilities (Articles 21-113). Felonies are defined in Book II with the corresponding penalties classified and grouped under 14 titles (Articles 114_365). Felonies, Intent or Culpability
Pursuant to Article 3, they are "acts and omissions" divided into: (1) intentional felonies committed "by means of deceit (dolo)”; and (2) culpable felonies committed “by means of fault (culpa)." Luis B. Reyes, in a widely-used commentary on the Code, makes the following pertinent observation :
In intentional felonies, the act or omission of the offender is malicious. In the language of Art. 3, the act is performed with deliberate intent (with malice). The offender, in performing the act or in incurring the omission, has the intention to cause an injury to another. In culpable felonies, the act or omission of the offender is not malicious. The injury caused by the offender to another person is “unintentional, it being simply the incident of another act performed without malice":
By way of illustration, the same author cites a felony by omission as follows: “Anyone who fails to render assistance to any person whom he finds in an uninhabited place, wounded or in danger of dying, is liable for abandonment of persons in danger (Art. 275, par. 1, Revised Penal Code)."? Vote, however, that for an omission to be a felony there must be an express provision of law, making it so and punishing it as such. Common law crimes or those which do not rest for their authority upon any express declaration of the legislature, are not recognized in the Philippines. In this jurisdiction what is controlling is the maxim nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege (there is no crime where there is no law punishing it).
In both felonies committed either by dolo or culpa, the acts or omissions must be voluntary. Those committed by means of dolo are considered performed voluntarily or with deliberate intent, it being presumed in all cases that negligent acts or omissions are voluntary. Deliberate intent refers to criminal intent. Defenses
Mistake of fact (not mistake of law) constitutes a defense provided, however, the following requisites are present: (1) That the act done would have been lawful had the facts been as the accused believed them to be; (2) That the intention of the accused in performing the act should be lawful; (3) That the mistake must be without fault or carelessness on the part of the accused.
Insanity as a defense is covered in Article 12 which treats with exempting circumstances. In this connection, Judge Reyes, quoting a famous Filipino criminologist, states that an imbecile-one who while advanced in age has a mental development comparable to that of a child of two or seven years of age-is exempt in all cases from criminal liability because of the absence of the conditions of free will and voluntariness in any of his actions; whereas, an insane person may not be so exempt if it can be shown that he acted during a lucid interval.'
On the matter of self-defense, the Code provides :
Art. 11. Justifying circumstances.—The following do not incur any criminal liability :
1. Anyone who acts in defense of his person or rights, provided that the following circumstances concur:
First. Unlawful aggression ; Second. Reasonable necessity of the means employed to prevent or repel it; Third. Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.
2. Anyone who acts in defense of the person or rights of his spouse, ascendants, descendants, or legitimate, natural or adopted brothers or sisters, or of his relatives by affinity in the same degrees, and those by consanguinity within the fourth civil degree, provided that the first and second requisites prescribed in the next preceding circumstance are present, and the further requisite, in case the provocation was given by the person attacked, that the one making defense had no part therein.
1 Reyes, Luis B. The Revised Penal Code, criminal law, 8 ed., Reyes Bros., Quezon City, 1969. l'ol. 1. p. 37.
? Ibid., p. 35.
3. Anyone who acts in defense of the person or rights of a stranger, provided that the first and second requisites mentioned in the first circumstance of this article are present and that the person defending be not induced by revenge, resentment, or other evil motive.
Aggression within the context of the above article refers to actual or imminent aggression, and the “reasonableness of the necessity" to repel or prevent aggression is measured in terms of the type of weapon used, physical condition of both the attacker and the victim and other circumstances.
Under paragraph 2 of the article on defense, "relatives” extend to those connected by affinity (in-laws) or consanguinity (blood relatives) up to the *fourth civil degree” such as first cousins, provided however the circumstances stipulated in sub-paragraphs 1 and 2, supra, are present and that if there was any provocation at all, the person undertaking the defense had no part in it whatsoever. Procedural Matters
Sentences or judgments appealed to a higher court may be lowered, raised, confirmed or remanded back to the trial courts for new trial, as the circumstances may warrant. Under applicable rules, only questions of law are directly appealable to the Supreme Court. Generally, both questions of fact and questions of law may, under certain standards, be appealable to the ourt of Appeals. Written reasons for decisions are required, unless they involve decisions handed down by inferior courts which are not of record ; i.e., municipal courts.
All offenses under the Revised Penal Code calling for capital punishment, such as murder and kidnapping, if given the death penalty by a court of first instance, are automatically appealed to the Supreme Court which can only confirm the death sentence by a unanimous vote of the Justices.
On multiple prosecutions for related offenses and others concerned with prosecutions barred by a former prosecution for another offense, the Rules of Court follow more or less the same procedural patterns of the American judicial system. Crimes Without Victims
Abortion, gambling, prostitution are not, under any circumstances, exempt from criminal liability and are dealt with more or less severely. Homosexual activity, however, is generally prosecuted under vagrancy provisions of the Code. Parole
Indeterminate sentencing in the Philippines is covered by a special law, Act 4103 of 1933, otherwise known as the Indeterminate Sentence Law. This law formalized and established the present-day administrative machinery for implementing an effective parole system in the country. It provided the guidelines for the application by the Court of the minimum and maximum penalties for the offense defined by the Revised Penal Code and other laws in accordance with the prescribed rules, and the procedure for releasing on parole certain convicts whose behavior, training and good potentials merit "a second change" at a normal life. Provisions of the law are implemented by a Board of Indeterminate Sentence with broad powers of investigation and the discretion to authorize the release of prisoners who have served the minimum penalty but subject to re-arrest and confinement should the conditions of the parole be violated." Penalties
Attached is a copy of a table excerpted from the Code itself, showing the duration and category of each penalty. This should put in a better light the provisions of the proposed U.S. Federal Code on concurrent and consecutive terms of imprisonment in relation to Article 70 of the Revised Penal Code which provides as follows:
Art. 70. Successive service of sentences.-When the culprit has to serve two or more penalties, he shall serve them simultaneously if the nature of the penalties will so permit; otherwise, the following rules shall be observed :
1 Bunye, Alfredo M. An analytical study of the application of penalties in the Revised Penal Code, in relation to the provisions of the Indeterminate Sentence Law in Decision Law Journal, vol. 5, January 31, 1949, pp. 1-11.
In the imposition of the penalties, the order of their respective severity shall be followed so that they may be executed successively or as nearly as may be possible, should a pardon have been granted as to the penalty or penalties first imposed, or should they have been served out.
For the purpose of applying the provisions of the next preceding paragraph the respective severity of the penalties shall be determined in accordance with the following scale :
11. Suspension from public office, the right to vote and be voted for, the right to follow profession or calling, and 12. Public censure.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the rule next preceding, the maximum duration of the convict's sentence shall not be more than threefold the length of time corresponding to the most severe of the penalties imposed upon him. No other penalty to which he may be liable shall be inflicted after the sum total of those imposed equals the same maximum period.
The preceding should be read together with Article 81 which specifically states that “death sentence shall be executed with preference to another..." Proposed Philippine Code of Crimes
The Revised Penal Code of the Philippines is in the process of total revision. You might find the ideas from this current revision effort enlightening. In 1947, the President of the Philippines created a Code Commission to revise "all existing substantive laws and codify them in conformity with the customs and traditions of the people and with modern trend in legislation and the progressive principles of law.” Several years and several commissions later, a Code of Crimes was drafted but, for one reason or another, was never enacted into law. Recently, however, a leading Manila paper,' carried the story that President Marcos certified for immediate enactment by the Philippine Congress what appears to be the same draft code. This draft and relevant periodical literature ? might prove more interesting and useful for your purposes. The general structure of the proposed Code of Crimes may be gleaned from "rationale" of the Code Commission, which is excerpted as follows:
The first and most far-reaching task of the Code Commission was to determine the basic philosophy of the new Code of Crimes. For this purpose, the conflict between two opposite theories or schools—the classical or juristic, and the positivist or realistic—had to be examined . . . To the classicist, and specifically the framers of the Spanish Penal Code of 1870, man is essentially a moral creature with an absolutely free will to choose between good and evil. They assert that man should be adjudged and held accountable for wrongful acts, so long as that free will appears unimpaired . . However, eventually, the classical method of considering the offender as an abstract being, and of prefixing for him, through a series of hard-and-fast rules, a great multitude of penalties with scant regard to the human element, found stubborn and severe critics in the persons of Dr. Cesare Lombroso and Professors Rafael Garofalo and Enrico Ferri, who were the forerunners and founders of the positivist school of criminology...
The positivists hold that man is subdued occasionally by a strange and morbid phenomenon which constrains him to do wrong, in spite of or contrary to his volition. It is for this reason that the central idea of all positivist thinking is the defense of the community from anti-social activities, whether actual or potential, against the morbid type of man who is called a "socially dangerous person." To forestall the social danger and to achieve social defense, the posi.
1 The Manila Times, February 12 (?), 1972.
2 Guevara, Guillermo B. The anatomy ofthe code of crimes. In Philippine Law Journal, vol. 33, May 1968, p. 146. See also: Lawyers Journal, Jan. 28, 1950, pp. 83-86.
tivist philosophy has thus chosen a different path. Premised upon the proposition that man is primary, while the deed is only secondary, the new school takes the view that crime is essentially a social and natural phenomenon, and as such, it cannot be treated and checked by the application of abstract principles of law and jurisprudence nor by the imposition of a punishment, fixed and determined a priori; but rather through the enforcement of individual measures in each particular case after a thorough, personal and individual investigation conducted by a competent body of psychiatrists and social scientists.
After a deliberate and careful study of the vast field of criminal science, the Commission came to the conclusion that no particular school of thought or theory could claim perfection and monopoly of the true and rightful approach toward the administration of criminal justice ...
The foregoing reasons, among others, kept the Commission from committing itself entirely to either of the two opposing schools of thought. The Commis. sion prefers to follow the path of Criminal Politic which may be considered as the giusto mezzo or the happy medium between the two extreme theories.
For this purpose, the Commission retains the principle of moral blame or free will in every act or omission (Articles 14 and 16), but at the same time the man or the actor is considered as more important than the act itself. (Arts. 106 to 112)
The proposed Code contains 951 articles as compared with 367 of the present Code. Among the new concepts introduced are: (1) a crime is either consummated or attempted, discarding in effect the classical distinction between attempted, frustrated and consummated crimes; (2) the accessory after the fact whose guilt depended largely upon the guilt of the principal under the present Code became the principal of a separate and different crime (Arts. 32, 384-390); (3) the idea of a quasi-offense was scraped and a bi-partite classification of offenses was adopted ; i.e., an act is either a crime or a misdemeanor (Article 13); (4) the requisites for self-defense were enlarged to include defense of property and a juris tantum presumption that the injury inflicted upon an intruder was reasonably necessary to prevent or repel the aggression; (5) wealth dishonestly accumulated by a public official is made subject to forfeiture in favor of the government (Art. 445); (6) the right against self-incrimination has been restricted (Art. 446); (7) persons judicially declared "socially dangerous” are subject to curative security measures until such time that they have been pronounced no longer dangerous to society (Arts. 561-562); (8) the refusal of any person to aid an officer of the law in the arrest of any lawbreaker, or in the maintenance of peace and order is penalized as a misdemeanor against the public administration (Art. 804); and (9) the principles enunciated in Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code have been abrogated. The article in question, a most interesting and intriguing one, provides in part: "any legally married person, who having suprised his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injuries, shall suffer the penalty of destierro. This penalty is simple banishment to an area outside of the commission of the crime. The same article further provides that if the injuries inflicted are not serious, there is an absolute exemption from criminal liability. Under the proposed Code, repressions of imprisonment are provided. Conclusion
Hopefully, this report on both the Revised Penal Code and the proposed Code of Crimes of the Philippines will help put in a better perspective the pros and cons surrounding the current moves to further develop American criminal jurisprudence.
QUESTIONS 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 The Subcommittee on Criminal Laws and Procedures of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary has, as of January 26, 1972, requested information about a large number of subjects related to the criminal codes of
1 Code of Crimes prepared and submitted by the Code Commission, Bureau of Printing, Manila, 1950.