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CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH AGGRAVATE CRIMINAL LIABILITY

Aggravating Circumstances: are those which, if attendant in the commission of the crime, serve to increase the
penalty without, however, exceeding the maximum of the penalty provided by law for the offense.
Basis: greater perversity of the offender as shown by
1. Motivating power itself
2. Place of the commission
3. Means and ways employed
4. Time
5. Personal circumstances of the offended, or of the offended party
4 kinds of A.C.
1. Generic - generally apply to all crimes.
Example - dwelling, nighttime, recidivism
Nos. 1,2,3,4,5,6,9,10,14,18,19 and 20 (except means of motor vehicles)
2. Specific - particular crimes
Example - ignominy in crimes against chastity; cruelty; treachery in crimes against persons
3. Qualifying - change the nature of the crime
Example - Alevosia, evident premeditation qualifies the killing of a person to murder.
Art 248 enumerates the qualifying A.C. which qualify the killing of person to murder.
4. Inherent - must of necessity accompany the commission of the crime (Art. 62, par. 2)
Example - evident premeditation is inherent in robbery, theft, estafa, adultery, concubinage

Qualifying A.C. Generic A.C.

Not only to give the crime its proper and Not offset by any mitigating circumstance,
exclusive name but also to place the author is to increase the penalty which should be
thereof in such situation as to deserve no imposed upon the accused to the
other penalty than that specially prescribed maximum period, but without exceeding
by law for said crime the limit prescribed by law

Cannot be offset by a M.C. May be compensated by a M.C.

Alleged in the information,


but may be proven during the trial over the
Must be alleged in the information objection of the defense and may be
An integral part of the offense appreciated in imposing the sentence.

A.C. which do not have the effect of increasing the penalty.


1. A.C.
a.Which in themselves constitutes a crime especially punishable by law
Examples:
Art 14, par 12 - by means of xxx fir e, xxx explosion - arson (Art 321) or crime involving destruction (Art 324).
It is not be considered to increase the penalty for the crime of arson or for the crime involving destruction.
b. Which are included by the law in defining the crime and prescribing the penalty therefor
shall not be taken into account for the purpose of increasing the penalty (Art. 62, par 1)
Examples:
Art 14, par 3 - committed in the dwelling of the offended party
Art 14, par 18 - crime be committed after an unlawful entry
Art 14, par 19 - means to the commission the wall, roof, floor door or window be broken
They are included by Art 299 in defining robbery in an inhabited house.
2. The same rule apply with respect to any A.C. inherent in the crime to such a degree that it
must be of necessity accompany the commission thereof (Art 62, par 2)
Examples:
Evident premeditation is inherent in theft, robbery, estafa, adultery, concubinage
Taking advantage of public position is inherent in crimes where the offenders, who are public officers, committed
the crime in the exercise of their functions, such as bribery, malversation, etc.
3. A.C. which depend for their application upon the knowledge of the offenders.
1. In the material execution of the act
2. In the means employed to accomplish it, shall serve to aggravate the liability of those
persons only who had knowledge of them at the time of the execution of the act or their
cooperation therein.

Article 14. Aggravating circumstances. - The following


are aggravating circumstance:
1. That advantage be taken by the offender of his public
position.
Requisites
1. When the offender is a public officer.
2. The public officer must use the influence, prestige or ascendancy which his office gives
him as the means by which he realizes his purpose.
Note:
There must be proof that the accused took advantage of his public position.
Failure in official duties is tantamount to abusing of office.

2. That the crime be committed in contempt of or with insult to


the public authorities.
Requisites.
1. That the public authority is engaged in the exercise of his functions.
2. That he who is thus engaged in the exercise of said functions is not the person against
whom the crime is committed. (crime not against the public authority; if it is, the offender
commits direct assault)
3. That the offender knows him to be a public authority. (essential)
4. His presence has not prevented the offender from committing the criminal act.
"Public authority." A person in authority, is a public officer who is directly vested with jurisdiction; that is,
a public officer who has the power the govern and execute the laws.
Councilor, mayor, governor, brgy captain, brgy chairman, municipal mayor
Municipal health officer, municipal nurse, BIR agent
Chief of police - vested with jurisdiction or authority to maintain peace and order.
Teacher (CA No 578, amending Art 152 of the RPC)
3. That the act be committed (1) with insult or in disregard of
the respect due the offended party on account of his (a) rank,
(b) age, or sex, or (2) that it be committed in the dwelling of
the offended party, if the latter has not given provocation.
Rules:
Circumstances considered as 1 A.C.
Crimes against persons or honor.
Offender deliberately intended to offend or insult to the R,A,S of the offended party.
"With insult or in disregard". It is necessary to prove the specific fact or circumstance, other than that
the victim is a woman or an old man or one of high rank, showing insult or disregard of sex or age or rank
in order that it may be considered as aggravating circumstance.
With insult or in disregard of the respect due to the offended party on account -
1. Rank - there must be a difference in the social condition of the offender and the
offended party.
Rank. High social position or standing as a grade in the armed forces; or to a graded official standing or
social position or station; in any scale of comparison, status, grade, including its grade, status, scale of
comparison within a position.
2. Age - old age or tender age.
3. Sex - female sex only
That the crime be committed in the dwelling of the offended party.
Dwelling. Building or structure, exclusively used for rest and comfort.
Inclusion. Dependencies, the foot of the staircase, and enclosure under the house.
Offended party must not give provocation. A condition sine qua non.
Provocation must be:
1. Given by the owner of the dwelling;
2. Sufficient, and
3. Immediate to the commission of the crime.
If all these conditions are present, the offended party is deemed to have given provocation, and that the
crime committed in the dwelling of the offended party is not an aggravating circumstance.
Not A.C.
1. When the offender acted with passion and obfuscation.
2. Where there exists a relationship between the offender and the offended party.
3. When the condition of being a woman is indispensable in the commission of the crime:
Parricide Rape Abduction Seduction
4. Adultery when paramour also lives there (abuse of confidence)- but if the paramour
doesn't live there, it is A.C.
5. Victim not dweller of the house
6. Owner of dwelling gave sufficient and immediate provocation
7. Robbery is committed by the use of force upon things (inherent)
8. Crime of trespass to dwelling (inherent)

4. That the act be committed with (1) abuse of confidence or (2)


obvious ungratefulness.
Must be IMMEDIATE and PERSONAL
Not A.C. - betrayal of confidence; - would be offended party had already lost confidence
in the offender.
Requisites:
Abuse of confidence Obvious ungratefulness

1. That the offended party had 1. That the offended party had
trusted the offender. trusted the offender.
2. Offender abused such trust by 2. Offender abused such trust by
committing a crime against the committing a crime against the
offended party. offended party.
3. Abuse of confidence facilitated
the commission of the crime. 3. That the act be committed with
obvious ungratefulness

5. That the crime be committed in the palace of the Chief


Executive, or in his presence, or where public authorities are
engaged in the discharge of their duties or in a place
dedicated to religious worship.
(1) Palace of the Chief Executive - regardless whether State or Official functions are being held
(2) presence of the Chief Executive - A.C. is present even if he is not engaged in the discharge of
his duties.
(3)where public authorities are engaged in the performance of their duties
Requisites:
1. Public authorities are in the performance of their duties (essential)
2. Public authorities must be in their office.
3. Public authority should be the offended party.
(4)place dedicated to religious worship - regardless whether religious functions are being held.

6. That the crime be committed (1) in the nighttime or (2) in an


uninhabited place, or (3) by a band, whenever such
circumstances may facilitate the commission of the offense.
Whenever there are more than three armed malefactors shall
have acted together in the commission of an offense, it shall
be deemed to have been committed by a band.
*When aggravating -
1. When it facilitated the commission of the crime; or
2. When especially sought for the offender to insure the commission of the crime or for the
purpose of impunity; or
3. When the offender took advantage thereof for the purpose of impunity.
Phrases:
"Whenever such circumstances may facilitate the commission of the offense" - greater certainty in
attaining the ends.
"Especially sought for"; "For the purpose of impunity"; "took advantage thereof" - to prevent
offender from being recognized, or to secure himself against detection or punishment.
(1) Nighttime - from sunset to sunrise
Requisites:
1. The commission of the crime must begin and be accomplished in the nighttime.
2. The offense must be actually committed in the darkness of the night.
3. When the place of the crime is illuminated by light, nighttime is aggravating.
(2) Uninhabited place - where there are no houses at all, a place at a considerable distance form town,
where houses are scattered at a great distance from each other.
(a) SOLITUDE - must be sought to better attain the criminal purpose. Offenders choose the place as an
aid either to:
1. Easy and uninterruptedaccomplishment of their criminal designs; or
2. To insure concealment of the offense
(3)By a band - there are more than three armed malefactors shall have acted together in the commission
of an offense.
Not a Band A.C.

If 1 of 4 armed persons is a principal by


inducement Robbery with homicide

Crime against chastity Crime of illegal detention or treason

Crime against property or against


Brigandage (inherent) persons

7. That the crime be committed on the occasion of a


conflagration, shipwreck, earthquake, epidemic, or other
calamity or misfortune.
Requisites:
1. Crime was committed when there was a calamity or misfortune.
2. Offender took advantage of the state of confusion or chaotic condition from such
misfortune

8. That the crime be committed with the aid of (1) armed men or
(2)persons who insure or afford impunity.
Requisites:
1. That armed men or persons took part in the commission of the crime, directly or
indirectly.
2. That the accused availed himself of their aid or relied upon them when the crime was
committed - (armed men are only accomplices)
Not A.C.
1. When their casual presence near the place where the crime was committed, appears
that the accused did not avail himself of their aid.
2. Attacking party and the party attacked were equally armed.
3. Accused and cooperator acted under the same plan or purpose.

9. That the accused is a recidivist.


A recidivist is one who, at the time of his trial for one crime,
shall have been convicted by final judgment of another crime
embraced in the same title of this Code.
Requisites:
1. That the offender is on trial for an offense;
2. He was previously convicted by final judgment of another crime;
3. Both the 1st and 2nd offenses are embraced in the same title of this Code;
4. That the offender is convicted of new offense.
A need to allege Recidivism in information -
Certified copy of sentence rendered against accused
If the accused does not object the presentation of evidence
Accused admitted in his confession and on the witness stand
Amnesty, Article 89 - extinguishes the penalty and all its effects.
Pardon - does not prevent a former conviction from being considered as an A.C.

10. That the offender has been previously punished for an


offense to which the law attaches an equal or greater penalty
or for two or more crimes to which it attaches a lighter
penalty.
Requisites:
Accused is on trial for an offense;
That he previously served sentence for another offense to which the law attaches an
equal or greater penalty, or for two or more crimes to which it attaches lighter penalty.
Phrases:
"has been previously punished" - accused previously served sentence(s) for another offense(s)
before his trial for new offense
"Equal penalty" - ex. Reclusion temporal for forcible abduction(Art 342)==> Reclusion temporal
for homicide (Art 249)
"Greater penalty" - ex. 12 yr & 1 day to 20 yrs for homicide ==> 6 yrs and 1 day to 12 yrs for
falsification
"Lighter penalty" - ex. 30 days imprisonment for theft ==> 2 mos. For estafa ==> reclusion
temporal for homicide

Recidivism Reiteracion or Habituality

Time limit of not more than 10 years


between every conviction computed from
the 1st conviction or release from
punishment thereof to conviction
No time limit between the first computed from the 2nd conviction or
conviction and the subsequent release therefrom to the 3rd conviction
conviction and so on

2 convictions are enough At least 3 convictions are required.

A special A.C., hence it cannot be offset


by any M.C.
It is a generic A.C. which can be offset Aside from the penalty prescribed by law
by an ordinary M.C. for the crime committed; an additional
If not offset, it would only increase the penalty shall be imposed depending upon
penalty prescribe by law for the crime whether it is already the 3rd conviction,
committed to its maximum period. the 4th, 5th, so on...

Circumstances must be alleged in the


information; otherwise the court cannot
Circumstances need not be alleged in acquire jurisdiction to impose additional
the information penalty.
Necessary that offender shall have
It is enough that a FINAL JUDGMENT SERVED OUT his sentence for 1st
has been rendered in the 1st offense offense

Offenses included in the same title of Previous and subsequent offense must
the Code not be embraced in the same title

Not always aggravating - i.e., penalty for


Is always taken into consideration in murder is death and offenses which the
fixing the penalty to be imposed upon offender previously convicted are crime
the accuse against property.

Forms of Repetition:
1. Recidivism (generic A.C.) under Art. 14 (9)
2. Reiteracion (generic A.C.) under Art. 14 (10)
3. Multi-recidivism or habitual delinquency(extraordinary A.C.) under Art. 62 (5) -
offender within the 10 yr period from the date of his release or last conviction of the
crimes of serious or less serious physical injuries, robo, hurto, estafa or falsification, is
found guilty of the any of said crimes a third time or oftener.
4. Quasi-recidivism (special A.C.) under Art. 160 - person who shall commit a felony after
having been convicted by final judgment before beginning to serve such sentence or
while serving such sentence shall be punished by the maximum period prescribed by
law for the new felony.

11. That the crime be committed in consideration of a price,


reward or promise.
Requisites:
1. There must be 2 or more principals
a. Principal by inducement (one who offers)
b. Principal by direct participation (one who accepts)
2. That price, reward, promise should be for the purpose of inducing author to perform
deed.
Note:
1. Applicable to both principals.
2. If without previous promise it was given voluntarily after the crime has been committed
as an expression of his appreciation for the sympathy and aid shown by the other
accused, it doesn't qualify as A.C.
3. Price, reward or promise need not consist or refer to material things, it being sufficient
that the offer made by the principal by direct participation before the commission of the
offense.
4. Inducement must be the primary consideration for the commission of the crime.

12. That the crime be committed by means of inundation, fire,


poison, explosion, stranding of a vessel or intentional
damage thereto, derailment of a locomotive, or by the use of
any other artifice involving great waste and ruin.
Note:
1. What considered as A.C. - if and when they are used by the offender as means to
accomplish criminal purpose.
2. When another A.C. already qualifies the crime, any of these A.C. shall be considered as
generic A.C. only.
3. When used as a means to kill another person, the crime is qualified to murder.

13. That the act be committed with evident


premeditation. Deliberate planning
Requisites: the prosecution must prove:
1. The time when the offender determined to commit the crime;
2. An act manifestly indicating that the culprit has clung to his determination;
3. A sufficient lapse of time between the determination and execution, to allow him to
reflect upon the consequences of his act and to allow his conscience to overcome the
resolution of his will.
Evident premeditation may be considered as to principal by induction
Essence of premeditation. The execution of the criminal act must be preceded by cool thought and
reflection upon the resolution to carry out the criminal intent during the space of time sufficient to arrive at
a calm judgment.
To establish evident premeditation, it must be shown that there was a period sufficient to
afford full opportunity for meditation and reflection, a time adequate to allow the
conscience to overcome the resolution of the will, as well as outward acts showing the
intent to kill. It must be shown that the offender had sufficient time to reflect upon the
consequence of his act but still persisted in his determination to commit the crime.
Premeditation is absorbed by reward or promise.
When the victim is different from that intended, premeditation is not aggravating.
When the offender premeditated on the killing of any person, it is proper to consider
against the offender the A.C. of premeditation, because whoever is killed by him is
contemplated in his premeditation.

14. That craft, fraud or disguise be employed.


Requisite:
The offender must have actually used craft, fraud, or disguise to facilitate the commission
of the crime.
Craft (astucia) - involves intellectual trickery and cunning on the part of the accused.
Chicanery resorted to by the accused to aid in the execution of his criminal design. It is
employed as a scheme in the execution of the crime.
Fraud (fraude) - insidious words or machinations used to induce the victim to act in a manner which
would enable the offender to carry out his design.
Use of an assumed name in the publication of a libel
Test of disguise is whether the device or contrivance resorted to by offender was
intended to or did make identification more difficult, such as the use of a mask or beard.
Disguise (disfraz) - resorting to any device to conceal identity.

Craft Fraud
Act of the accused done in order not to
arouse the suspicion of the victim Where there is a direct inducement by
constitutes craft insidious words or machinations.

Craft and Fraud - may be absorbed in treachery if they have been deliberately adopted as means,
methods or forms.

15. That (1) advantage be taken of superior strength, or (2)


means employed to weaken the defense.
"Advantage be taken" - to deliberately use excessive force that is out of proportion to the means for self-
defense available to the person attacked.
No advantage of superior strength:
One who attacks another with passion and obfuscation
When a quarrel arose unexpectedly and the fatal blow was struck at a time when the
aggressor and his victim were engaged in a fight.
Illustrations of abuse of superior strength:
1. Strong man ill-treated a child or old person, or sick person;
2. Person attacked is under the influence of liquor
3. When a man attacks a woman with a weapon.
4. Offender uses weapon which is out of proportion to the defense available to the
offended party.
5. When there are several offenders participating in the crime, the must ALL be principals
by direct participation and their attack against the victim must be concerted and
intended to be so.
6. Number of aggressor, if armed, may point to abuse of superior strength.
7. No abuse of superior strength in parricide against the wife - husband is physically
stronger than the wife

By a Band Abuse of superior strength

Element of band is appreciated when the Gravamen of abuse of superiority is


offense is committed by more than 3 taking advantage by the culprits of
armed malefactors regardless of the their collective strength to overpower
comparative strength of victim(s) their relatively weaker victim(s)

Hence, what is taken into account here is


not the number of aggressors nor
Physical strength vis-a vis the offended the fact that they are armed, but their
party. relative

"Means employed to weaken defense" - offender employs means that materially weaken the resisting
power of the offended party.
Example:
1. when the offender, who had the intention to kill the victim, made the deceased
intoxicated, thereby materially weakening the latter's resisting power. - treachery may
be considered, if in his intoxicated state it was impossible for the victim to put up any
defense at the time he was attacked.
2. One fighting with another suddenly casts sand upon the latter's eyes and then wounds
or kills him.
Note: this A.C. is applicable only to crimes against persons, and sometimes against person and property,
i.e., robbery with physical injuries or homicide.

16. That the act be committed with treachery.


There is treachery when the offender commits any of the
crimes against the person, employing means, methods or
forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and
specially to insure its execution, without risk to himself
arising from the defense which the offended party might
make.
Requisites:
1. That at the time of the attack, the victim was not in a position to defend himself;
2. That the offender consciously adopted the particular means, method or form of attack
employed by him.
Rules:
1. Applicable only to crimes against the person
2. Means, methods or forms need not insure accomplishment of crime - does not depend
upon the result but upon the means itself, in connection with the aggressor's purpose in
employing it.
3. Mode of attack must be consciously adopted
This means that:
1. Accused must make some preparation to kill the deceased.
2. Mode of attack must be thought of by the offender, not from unexpected turn of events.
Treachery is taken into account even if the crime against the person is complexed with
another felony involving a different classification in the Code. Accordingly, in the special
complex crime of robbery with homicide, treachery can be appreciated insofar as the
killing is concerned.
Applies in the killing of a child even if the manner of attack is not shown.
Must be proved by clear and convincing evidence.
Against all the offenders when there is conspiracy.
Treachery present:
When the aggression is continuous,treachery must be present in the beginning of the
assault.
When the aggression is not continuous, if that there was interruption, it is sufficient
that treachery was present at the moment the fatal blow was given.
Treachery should be considered even if:
1. Victim was not predetermined but there was a generic intent to treacherously kill any
first two persons belonging to a class (same rule obtains for E. P.)
2. Aberratio ictus and the bullet hit a person different from that intended.
3. Error in personae, hence the victim was not the one intended by the accused.
Reason for the rule: when there is treachery, it is impossible for either the intended victim or the actual
victim to defend himself against the aggression.
Treachery absorbs:
1. Craft
2. Abuse of superior strength
3. Employing means to weaken the defense
4. Cuadrilla or band
5. Aid of armed men
6. Nighttime

Abuse of superior Means employed to weaken


Treachery strength defense

Means, methods,
forms are employed
by offender to make Offender does not employ
it impossible or hard any means, methods, Means are employed but it
for the offended forms; he only takes only materially weakens the
party to put any sort advantage of superior resisting power of the
of resistance strength offended party

17. That means to be employed or circumstances brought


about which add ignominy to the natural effects of the act.
Ignominy. Circumstance pertaining to the moral order, which adds disgrace and obloquy to the
material injury caused by the crime.
Application.:
Crimes against chastity
Less serious physical injuries
Light coercion, circumstances tended to make the effects of the crime humiliating
Grave coercion, circumstance tended to compel a person then put them to shame
Murder
"That means be employed". The accused augmented the wrong done by increasing its pain and adding
ignominy thereto.
"That xxx circumstances be brought about." Where one rapes a married woman in the presence of
her husband, or where the accused rapes a woman in the presence of her fianc.
"Which add ignominy to the natural effects of the act." Means employed or the circumstances
brought about must tend to make the effects of the crime more humiliating or to put the offended party to
shame.

18. That the crime committed after an unlawful entry.


There is unlawful entry when an entrance is effected by a
way not intended for the purpose.
Basis. Means and ways employed to commit the crime.
To effect entrance, not for escape. Unlawful entry must be a means to effect entrance and not for
escape.
Reason. One who acts, not respecting the walls erected by men to guard their property and provide for
their personal safety, shows a greater perversity, a greater audacity; hence, the law punishes him with
more severity.

19. That as a means to the commission of a crime a wall,


roof, floor, door, or window be broken.
Basis. Means and ways employed to commit the crime.

"As means to the commission of a crime." Breaking of a part of the building as a means to the
commission of the crime.
To effect entrance only, breaks a wall or a window of the house, the circumstance is aggravating.

Par 18 Par 19

No breaking as by entry thru the Breaking as by entry of the any parts of the
window. house.

20. That the crime be committed with the aid of persons


under 15 years of age, or by means of motor vehicle,
airships, or other similar means.
Basis. Reference to means and ways employed to commit the crime.
Two different circumstances are grouped in this paragraph:
1. With the aid of persons under 15 years of age:
Tends to repress, so far as possible, the frequent practice resorted to by professional
criminals to avail themselves of minors taking advantage of their irresponsibility.
2. By means of motor vehicles.
Intended to counteract the great facilities found by modern criminals in said means to
commit crime and flee and abscond once the same is committed.
Used as a means to commit the crime and to facilitate escape.
"Or other similar means." Motorized vehicle or other efficient means of transportation similar to
automobile or airplane.

21. That the wrong done in the commission of the crime be


deliberately augmented by causing other wrong not
necessary for its commission.
Cruelty. When the culprit enjoys and delights in making his victim suffer slowly and gradually, causing
him unnecessary physical pain the commission of the act.
For it to be aggravating, it is essential that the wrong done was intended to prolong the suffering of the
victim, causing him unnecessary moral and physical pain
Requisites.
1. That the injury caused be deliberately increased by causing other wrong;
2. That the wrong be unnecessary for the execution of the purpose of the offender.

Ignominy (p 17) Cruelty (p 21)

Moral suffering Physical suffering