Criminal law RPC (Book 1)
Criminal Law - a branch of municipal law which defines crimes,
treats of their nature and provides for their punishment.
Characteristics of Criminal Law
1. General 2. Territorial 3. Prospective
General - binding on all persons who reside or sojourn in the
1. Treaty Stipulation
2. Laws of Preferential Application
3. Principles of Public International Law
ex. 1. Sovereigns and other chief of state
2. Ambassadors, Minister resident, and
charges d' affaires
Note: Consuls, Vice Consuls, and other foreign
commercial representatives can not claim the
privileges and immunities accorded to
ambassadors and ministers.
Territorial - Penal laws of the Philippines are enforceable only
within its territory.
Exception: Art. 2 of the RPC - binding even on
crimes committed outside the Philippines.
1. Offenses committed while on a Philippine ship
2. Forging or counterfeiting any coin or currency
note of the Philippines or obligations and
securities issued by the government.
3. Introduction into the country of the above
mentioned obligations and securities.
4. While being public officers and employees, an
offense is committed in the exercise of their
5. Crimes against the National Security and the Law
of the Nations.
Prospective - The law does not have any retroactive effect.
Exception: When the law is favorable to the
Exception to the Exception:
1. The New Law is expressly made inapplicable
to pending actions or existing causes of
2. Offender is a habitual criminal.
Theories of Criminal Law
1. Classical Theory - basis is man's free will to choose between
good and evil, that is why more stress is placed upon the
result of the felonious act than upon the criminal himself. The
purpose of penalty is retribution. The RPC is generally
governed by this theory.
2. Positivist Theory - basis is the sum of social and economic
phenomena which conditions man to do wrong in spite of or
contrary to his volition. This is exemplified in the provisions
on impossible crimes and habitual delinquency.
3. Mixed Theory - combination of the classical and positivist
theories wherein crimes that are economic and social in
nature should be dealt in a positive manner. The law is thus
Construction of Penal Laws
1. Liberally construed in favor of offender.
Example: a. The offender must clearly fall within the terms
of the law.
b. An act is criminal only when made so by the
2. In cases of conflict with official translation, original Spanish
text is controlling.
3. No interpretation by analogy.
Limitations on Power of Congress to Enact Penal Laws
1. Ex Post Facto Law
2. Bill of Attainder
3. Law that violates the equal protection clause of the
4. Law which imposes cruel and unusual punishments nor
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