Criminal Law Book 2 – Title One
I. CRIMES AGAINST NATIONAL SECURITY
- ELEMENTS OF TREASON:
- That the offender owes allegiance to the Government of the Philippines
- That there is a war in which the Philippines is involved
- That the offender either –
- Levies war against the government,
- breech of allegiance
- actual assembling of men
- for the purpose of executing a reasonable design
- breech of allegiance
- giving aid or comfort to the enemy
- Adheres to the enemies, giving them aid and comfort
- Ways of proving treason:
- 2 witnesses testifying to same overt act
Example: X saw arms landed in La Union and loaded into a motor vehicle. At this stage, not sufficient to convict yet. Y later saw the arms unloaded in a warehouse. Will X + Y be sufficient witnesses to convict? Answer: NO. Because the law requires that 2 witnesses see the SAME OVERT ACT.
- Confession of the accused in open court. Arraignment, pre-trial, trial – OK.
- If he has pleaded NOT guilty already during arraignment, he can still confess in open court by stating the particular acts constituting treason.
- During trial, simply saying “I’m guilty” is not enough.
- Withdrawing plea of “not guilty” during arraignment not necessary
- If during arraignment he pleads guilty, court will ask if the accused understands is plea. Submission of affidavit during trial, even if assisted by counsel is not enough.
- Treason: breach of allegiance to the government, committed by a person who owes allegiance to it. Allegiance: obligation of fidelity and obedience. It is permanent or temporary depending on whether the person is a citizen or an alien.
- Evident premeditation, superior strength and treachery are circumstances inherent in treason, and are, therefore, not aggravating.
- Treason cannot be committed in times of peace, only in times of war – actual hostilities. But no need for declaration of war
- Levying of war: a) that there be an actual assembling of men; b) for the purpose of executing a treasonable design by force (deliver the country in whole or in part to the enemy)
· Not Treasonous:
- Acceptance of public office and discharge of official duties under the enemy does not constitute per se the felony of treason (exception: when it is policy determining)
- Serving in a puppet government (ministerial functions) and in order to serve the populace is NOT treasonous. But it is treason if: a) there is discretion involved; b) inflicts harm on Filipinos; c) it is disadvantageous to them.
- Purpose of offender: to deliver the Philippines to enemy country; if merely to change officials – not treason
- Filipino citizens can commit treason outside the Philippines. But that of an alien must be committed in the Philippines.
- Only Filipino citizens or permanent resident aliens can be held liable
- Alien: with permanent resident status from the BID – it is neither the length of stay in the Philippines nor the marriage with a Filipino that matters.
· On Citizenship
- Treason cannot be proved by circumstantial evidence or by extra-judicial confession of the accused
- Actual hostilities may determine the date of the commencement of war
- No such thing as attempted treason; mere attempt consummates the crime
- Giving aid or comfort – material element, enhances forces of the enemy country. Acts which strengthen or tend to strengthen the enemy in the conduct of war against the traitor’s country or that which weaken and tend to weaken the power of the same.
Example: Financing arms procurement of enemy country. But giving of shelter is not necessarily “giving aid and comfort.”
- Adherence and giving aid or comfort must concur together. Adherence: when a citizen intellectually or emotionally favors the enemy and harbors convictions disloyal to his country’s policy. But membership in the police force during the occupation is NOT treason.
Example: Giving information to, or commandeering foodstuffs for the enemy.
- Adherence may be proved by: (1) one witness; (2) from the nature of the act itself; (3) from the circumstances surrounding the act.
- Treason is a CONTINUING CRIME. Even after the war, offender can be prosecuted.
- If you convict a person for treason by reason of irresistible force or uncontrollable fear, you may use Art.12. No treason through negligence
- When killings and other common crimes are charged as overt act of treason, they cannot be regarded as (1) separate crimes or (2) as complex with treason.
CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT TREASON
- In time of war
- 2 or more persons come to an agreement to
1. levy war against the government, or
2. adhere to the enemies and to give them aid or comfort,
- They decide to commit it
- ELEMENTS OF PROPOSAL TO COMMIT TREASON
- In time of war
- A person who has decided to levy war against the government, or to adhere to the enemies and to give them aid or comfort, proposes its execution to some other person/s.
- Mere agreement and decisions to commit treason is punishable
- Mere proposal even without acceptance is punishable too. If the other accepts, it is already conspiracy.
MISPRISION OF TREASON
- That the offender must be owing allegiance to the government, and not a foreigner
- That he has knowledge of any conspiracy (to commit treason) against the government
- That he conceals or does not disclose and make known the same as soon as possible to the governor or fiscal of the province or the mayor or fiscal of the city in which he resides
- Offender is punished as an accessory to the crime of treason
- This crime does not apply if the crime of treason is already committed
- Crime of omission
- “To report within a reasonable time” – depends on time, place and circumstance – the RPC did not fix time.
- RPC states 4 individuals, what if you report to some other high-ranking government official? Ex. PNP Director? Judge Pimentel says any gov’t official of the DILG is OK.
Espionage by entering, without authority therefor, warship, fort, or naval or military establishments or reservation to obtain any information, plans, photographs or other data of a confidential nature relative to the defense of the Philippines.
- 1. That the offender enters any of the places mentioned therein
- 2. That he has no authority therefore;
- That his purpose is to obtain information, plans, photographs or other data of a confidential nature relative to the defense of the Philippines
Espionage by disclosing to the representative of a foreign nation the contents of the articles, data, or information referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 117, which he had in his possession by reason of the public office holds
- ELEMENTS: That the offender is a public officer
- That he has in his possession the articles, data or information referred to in par 1 of art 117, by reason of the public office he holds
- That he discloses their contents to a representative of a foreign nation
- Purpose: to gather data
- Espionage: the offense of gathering, transmitting, or losing information respecting the national defense with the intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the Philippines or the advantage of any foreign nation. It is not conditioned on citizenship.
- Not necessary that Philippines is at war with the country to which the information was revealed. What is important is that the information related is connected with the defense system of the Philippines.
- Wiretapping is NOT espionage if the purpose is not something connected with the defense
- See CA 616
II. CRIMES AGAINST LAWS OF NATIONS
INCITING TO WAR OR GIVING MOTIVES FOR REPRISALS
- That the offender performs unlawful or unauthorized acts
- That such acts provoke or give occasion for a war involving or liable to involve the Philippines or expose Filipino citizens to reprisals on their persons or property
- Crime is committed in time of peace, intent is immaterial
- Inciting to war – offender is any person
- Reprisals is not limited to military action, it could be economic reprisals, or denial of entry into their country. Example. X burns Chinese flag. If China bans the entry of Filipinos into China, that is already reprisal.
VIOLATION OF NEUTRALITY
- That there is war in which the Philippines is not involved
- That there is a regulation issued by competent authority for the purpose of enforcing neutrality
- That the offender violates such regulation
- Gov’t must have declared the neutrality of the Phil in a war between 2 other countries
- It is neutrality of the Phil that is violated
- Congress has the right to declare neutrality
CORRESPONDENCE WITH HOSTILE COUNTRY
- That it is in time of war in which the Philippines is involved
- That the offender makes correspondence with an enemy country or territory occupied by enemy troops
- That the correspondence is either –
- prohibited by the government, or
- carried on in ciphers or conventional signs, or
- containing notice or information which might be useful to the enemy
- Circumstances qualifying the offense:
a. notice or information might be useful to the enemy
b. offender intended to aid the enemy
- Hostile country exist only during hostilities or after the declaration of war
- Correspondence to enemy country – correspondence to officials of enemy country – even if related to you.
- It is not correspondence with private individual in enemy country
- If ciphers were used, no need for prohibition
- If ciphers were not used, there is a need for prohibition
- In any case, it must be correspondence with the enemy country
- Doesn’t matter if correspondence contains innocent matters – if prohibited, punishable
FLIGHT TO ENEMY’S COUNTRY
- That there is a war in which the Philippines is involved
- That the offender (Filipino or resident alien) must be owing allegiance to the government
- That the offender attempts to flee or go to enemy country
- That going to enemy country is prohibited by competent authority
- Mere attempt consummates the crime
- There must be a prohibition. If none, even if went to enemy country – no violation
- Alien resident may be guilty here.
- 2 Ways of Committing Piracy
- By attacking or seizing a vessel on the high seas or in the Philippine waters (PD 532)
- By seizing the whole or part of the cargo of said vehicles, its equipment or personal belongings of its complement or passengers
- That a vessel is on the high seas/Philippine waters
- That the offenders are not members of its complement or passengers of the vessel
- That the offenders –
- attack or seize that vessel or (hence, if committed by crew or passengers, the crime is not piracy but robbery in the high seas)
- seize the whole or part of the cargo of said vessel, its equipment or personal belongings of its complement or passengers
- High seas: any waters on the sea coast which are without the boundaries of the low water mark although such waters may be in the jurisdictional limits of a foreign gov’t
- PD 532 has been already repealed
- Piracy in high seas – jurisdiction is with any court where offenders are found or arrested
- Piracy in internal waters – jurisdiction is only with Philippine courts
- For purpose of Anti-Fencing Law, piracy is part of robbery and theft
|Robbery or forcible degradation on the high seas, without lawful authority and done with animo furandi and in the spirit and intention of universal hostility.||Unlawful resistance to a superior officer, or the raising of commotion and disturbances on board a ship against the authority of its commander|
|Intent to gain is an element.|
|Attack from outside. Offenders are strangers to the vessel. (this is the standing rule with the repeal of PD 532 which made it possible for any person to commit piracy including a passenger or complement of the vessel).||Attack from the inside.|
- Whenever they have seized a vessel by boarding or firing upon the same
- Whenever the pirates have abandoned their victims without means of saving themselves
- Whenever the crime is accompanied by murder, homicide, physical injuries, or rape. (the above may result to qualified mutiny)
- Parricide/infanticide should be included (Judge Pimentel)
- Note the new rape law. Death is imposed in certain types of rape
- There is a conflict between this provision and the provision on rape. Ex. If rape is committed on someone below 7 – death under the new rape law. But if rape committed on someone below 7 during the time of piracy – RP to death. Irreconcilable.
- Murder/rape/homicide/physical injuries must have been committed on the passengers or complement
Criminal Law Book 2 Reviewer
Ateneo Central Bar Operations 2001