Application of penalties

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Chapter 4 of the Revised Penal Code provides the basic rules for the application of penalties.

Contents

Persons criminally liable

A person who is liable for a felony is classified as a principal, accomplice or accessory.

Penalty on principals

The penalty prescribed by law for the commission of a felony shall be imposed upon the principals in the commission of such felony.[1] Whenever the law prescribes a penalty for a felony is general terms, it shall be understood as applicable to the consummated felony.[2]

Penalty to be imposed upon the principals when the crime committed is different from that intended

In cases in which the felony committed is different from that which the offender intended to commit, the following rules shall be observed:[3]

  • If the penalty prescribed for the felony committed be higher than that corresponding to the offense which the accused intended to commit, the penalty corresponding to the latter shall be imposed in its maximum period.
  • If the penalty prescribed for the felony committed be lower than that corresponding to the one which the accused intended to commit, the penalty for the former shall be imposed in its maximum period.
  • The rule established by the next preceding paragraph shall not be applicable if the acts committed by the guilty person shall also constitute an attempt or frustration of another crime, if the law prescribes a higher penalty for either of the latter offenses, in which case the penalty provided for the attempted or the frustrated crime shall be imposed in its maximum period.

Penalty on principals, frustrated crimes

The penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed by law for the consummated felony shall be imposed upon the principal in a frustrated felony.[4]

Penalty on principals, attempted crimes

A penalty lower by two degrees than that prescribed by law for the consummated felony shall be imposed upon the principals in an attempt to commit a felony.[5]


Accomplices

Accomplices, penalty in consummated crimes

The penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed by law for the consummated shall be imposed upon the accomplices in the commission of a consummated felony.[6]

Accomplices, penalty in frustrated crimes

The penalty next lower in degree than prescribed by law for the frustrated felony shall be imposed upon the accomplices in the commission of a frustrated felony.[7]

Accomplices, penalty in attempted crimes

The penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed by law for an attempt to commit a felony shall be imposed upon the accomplices in an attempt to commit the felony.[8]

Exception to these rules

The provisions contained in Articles 50 to 57, inclusive, of this Code shall not be applicable to cases in which the law expressly prescribes the penalty provided for a frustrated or attempted felony, or to be imposed upon accomplices or accessories.[9]


Accessories

Accessories, penalty in consummated felony

The penalty lower by two degrees than that prescribed by law for the consummated felony shall be imposed upon the accessories to the commission of a consummated felony.[10]

Accessories, penalty in frustrated felony

The penalty lower by two degrees than that prescribed by law for the frustrated felony shall be imposed upon the accessories to the commission of a frustrated felony.[11]

Accessories, penalty in attempted felony

The penalty lower by two degrees than that prescribed by law for the attempted felony shall be imposed upon the accessories to the attempt to commit a felony.[12]

Additional penalty to be imposed upon certain accessories

Those accessories falling within the terms of paragraphs 3 of Article 19 of this Code who should act with abuse of their public functions, shall suffer the additional penalty of absolute perpetual disqualification if the principal offender shall be guilty of a grave felony, and that of absolute temporary disqualification if he shall be guilty of a less grave felony.[13]

Exception to these rules

The provisions contained in Articles 50 to 57, inclusive, of this Code shall not be applicable to cases in which the law expressly prescribes the penalty provided for a frustrated or attempted felony, or to be imposed upon accomplices or accessories.[14]


Graduation of criminal penalties

For the purpose of graduating the penalties which are to be imposed upon persons guilty as principals of any frustrated or attempted felony, or as accomplices or accessories, or when the law prescribed a penalty lower or higher by one or more degrees than another given penalty,[15] the following rules shall be observed:[16]

Single and indivisible

When the penalty prescribed for the felony is single and indivisible, the penalty next lower in degrees shall be that immediately following that indivisible penalty in the respective graduated scale prescribed in Article 71 of this Code.[17]

Divisible penalties / Two indivisible penalties

When the penalty prescribed for the crime is composed of two indivisible penalties, or of one or more divisible penalties to be impose to their full extent, the penalty next lower in degree shall be that immediately following the lesser of the penalties prescribed in the respective graduated scale.[18]

Two indivisible penalties and divisible penalty

When the penalty prescribed for the crime is composed of one or two indivisible penalties and the maximum period of another divisible penalty, the penalty next lower in degree shall be composed of the medium and minimum periods of the proper divisible penalty and the maximum periods of the proper divisible penalty and the maximum period of that immediately following in said respective graduated scale.[19]

Different periods in divisible penalties

when the penalty prescribed for the crime is composed of several periods, corresponding to different divisible penalties, the penalty next lower in degree shall be composed of the period immediately following the minimum prescribed and of the two next following, which shall be taken from the penalty prescribed, if possible; otherwise from the penalty immediately following in the above mentioned respective graduated scale.[20]

Application by analogy

When the law prescribes a penalty for a crime in some manner not especially provided for in the four preceding rules, the courts, proceeding by analogy, shall impose corresponding penalties upon those guilty as principals of the frustrated felony, or of attempt to commit the same, and upon accomplices and accessories.[21]

Graduated scales

The lower or higher penalty shall be taken from the graduated scale in which is comprised the given penalty. The courts, in applying such lower or higher penalty, shall observe the following graduated scales:[22]

  • Scale No. 1
1. Death
2. Reclusion perpetua
3. Reclusion temporal
4. Prision mayor
5. Prision correccional
6. Arresto mayor
7. Destierro
8. Arresto menor
9. Public censure
10. Fine
  • Scale No. 2
1. Perpetual absolute disqualification
2. Temporal absolute disqualification
3. Suspension from public office, the right to vote and be voted for, the right to follow a profession or calling
4. Public censure
5. Fine


Special rules for application of penalties

There are special rules that apply in certain circumstances, including:


References

  1. Revised Penal Code, Art. 46
  2. Revised Penal Code, Art. 46
  3. Revised Penal Code, Art. 49
  4. Revised Penal Code, Art. 50
  5. Revised Penal Code, Art. 51
  6. Revised Penal Code, Art. 52
  7. Revised Penal Code, Art. 54
  8. Revised Penal Code, Art. 56
  9. Revised Penal Code, Art. 60
  10. Revised Penal Code, Art. 53
  11. Revised Penal Code, Art. 55
  12. Revised Penal Code, Art. 57
  13. Revised Penal Code, Art. 58
  14. Revised Penal Code, Art. 60
  15. Revised Penal Code, Art. 71
  16. Revised Penal Code, Art. 61
  17. Revised Penal Code, Art. 61(1)
  18. Revised Penal Code, Art. 61(2)
  19. Revised Penal Code, Art. 61(3)
  20. Revised Penal Code, Art. 61(4)
  21. Revised Penal Code, Art. 61(5)
  22. Revised Penal Code, Art. 71
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