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Analogous mitigating circumstances, A13(10) Revised Penal Code

1. Concept

Analogous mitigating circumstance – refers to the mitigating circumstance under the Revised Penal Code that is similar to the other mitigating circumstances under Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code.

a. Legal basis

Article 13. Mitigating circumstances. – The following are mitigating circumstances;
10. And, finally, any other circumstances of a similar nature and analogous to those above mentioned.

(Revised Penal Code)

2. Analogous circumstances

For the mitigating circumstance of analogous mitigating circumstances, they have to be circumstances similar or substantially the same with those under Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code.

a. Cases considered analogous circumstances

1) Extreme poverty

People v. Macbul, En Banc, G.R. No. L-48976, October 11, 1943, Per Ozaeta, J.:

• [The Accused] pleaded guilty to an information for theft of two sacks of papers valued at P10 belong to the Provincial Government of Sulu, alleged to have been committed on March 9, 1943, in the municipality of Jolo; it being also alleged that he was a habitual delinquent, having been twice convicted of the same crime on November 14, 1928, and August 20, 1942.

• The trial court considered extreme poverty and necessity as a mitigating circumstance falling within No. 10 of article 13 of the Revised Penal Code, which authorizes the court to consider in favor of an accused “any other circumstance of a similar nature and analogous to those above mentioned.” The trial court predicates such consideration upon its finding that the accused, on account of extreme poverty and of the economic difficulties brought about by the present cataclysm, was forced to pilfer the two sacks of papers mentioned in the information from the Customhouse Building, which he sold for P2.50, in order to be able to buy something to eat for various minor children of his. (The stolen goods were subsequently recovered.) The Solicitor General interposes no objection to the consideration of such circumstance as mitigating under No. 10 of article 13. We give it our stamp of approval, recognizing the immanent principle that the right to life is more sacred than a mere property right. That is not to encourage or even countenance theft but merely to dull somewhat the keen and pain-producing edges of the stark realities of life.

2) Intoxication

The ordinary rule is that intoxication may be considered either as aggravating or as mitigating, depending upon the circumstances attending the commission of the crime. Intoxication has the effect of decreasing the penalty, if the intoxication is not habitual or subsequent to the plan to commit the contemplated crime; upon the other hand, when intoxication is habitual or intentional, it is considered as an aggravating circumstance. The person pleading intoxication must present proof that he had taken a quantity of alcoholic beverage, prior to the commission of the crime, sufficient to produce the effect of blurring his reason; and at the same time, he must prove that not only was intoxication not habitual but also that his imbibing the alcoholic drink was not intended to fortify his resolve to commit the crime. (People v. Buenaflor, G.R. No. 93752, July 15, 1992, Per Feliciano, J.)

People v. Buenaflor, G.R. No. 93752, July 15, 1992, Per Feliciano, J.:

• The record here does not show that appellant had taken an alcoholic beverage prior to raping [the Victim]. The testimony of appellant himself on direct examination did not establish such drinking as a fact. The sole basis of appellant’s claim to the alternative circumstance of intoxication is his own remark during cross-examination that he was a “little bit drunk” when he inflicted himself sexually upon [the Victim]. We do not believe that appellant’s own remark sufficiently established his asserted state of intoxication.

3) No instruction

As to mitigating circumstances, it is not proper to consider lack of instruction in favor of the defendant, inasmuch as he admitted that he had studied in the first grade in a public elementary school. Lack of instruction cannot apply to one who has studied in the first grade in a public school, but only to him who really has not received any instruction. (People v. Mangsant, En Banc, G.R. No. L-45704, May 25, 1938, Per Imperial, J.)

b. Cases considered not analogous

1) Insignificant value of thing stolen

People v. Quijano, En Banc, G.R. No. L48630, June 4, 1943, Per Ozaeta, J.:

• The trial court recognized that “under the law, the accused is no longer entitled to this mitigating circumstance,” but nevertheless gave the accused the benefit thereof, “taking into account the insignificant value of the property stolen, which is P1.10 only.” We cannot sanction that view. The relative insignificance of the booty does not mitigate the criminality of the robber. On the contrary, it only serves to bring out his perversity in bolder relief; for he who commits violence against persons for a trifle must be a real criminal.

2) Lack of education; Belonging to a cultural minority

People v. Macatanda, G.R. No. L-51368, November 6, 1981, Per De Castro, J.:

• Citing the case of U.S. vs. Maqui, [the Accused] contends that his lack of instruction and education and his being a Moslem belonging to a cultural minority should mitigate his liability, and the penalty imposed by the trial court should be reduced accordingly. He also cites the fact that the prosecution did not object to his being credited with the aforesaid mitigating circumstances.

• Under the circumstances of the present case, the Maqui case may not be invoked as a precedent. In the first place, in that case, the Supreme Court found indication in the record which tends to show that Maqui was an uncivilized Igorot. In the present case, owing to [the Accused]’s plea of guilty, the records discloses no evidence presented to prove the mitigating circumstances of lack of instruction, which needs to be proven, as all circumstances modifying criminal liability should be proved directly and positively.

• Likewise, nowhere in the Maqui case was it disclosed that his being a member of a cultural minority, being an Igorot, sufficed to mitigate his liability on that circumstance alone. What the Court considered mitigating was his being an uncivilized Igorot which amounted to more than just lack of instruction. Again, there is no proof on record that [the Accused] herein may be similarly described. In any case, mere membership in a cultural minority is not expressly mentioned by the Revised Penal Code among the mitigating circumstances nor would it come under paragraph 10, Art. 3 of said Code, which speaks of “’any other circumstances of a similar nature and analogous to those above mentioned.”

• Some later cases which categorically held that the mitigating circumstance of lack of instruction does not apply to crimes of theft and robbery leave us with no choice but to reject the plea of [the Accused]. Membership in a cultural minority does not per se imply being an uncivilized or semi- uncivilized state of the offender, which is the circumstance that induced the Supreme Court in the Maqui case, to apply lack of instruction to the [the Accused] therein who was charged also with theft of large cattle. Incidentally, the Maqui case is the only case where lack of instruction was considered to mitigate liability for theft, for even long before it, in U.S. vs. Pascual, 6 a 1908 case, lack of instruction was already held not applicable to crimes of theft or robbery. The Maqui case was decided in 1914, when the state of civilization of the Igorots has not advanced as it had in reaching its present state since recent years, when it certainly can no longer be said of any member of a cultural minority in the country that he is uncivilized or semi-uncivilized.

• But more than what has just been observed. a legal impediment stands in the way to giving the lenient treatment [the Accused] invokes in his appeal. It is that the records of the case do not afford any basis on which to judge the degree of instruction of the [the Accused], no evidence having been taken relative thereto because he entered a plea of guilty.

c. Unclear whether analogous or not

1) Relationship

The Revised Penal Code is silent as to when relationship is mitigating and when it is aggravating. (People v. Orilla, En Banc, G.R. Nos. 148939-40, February 13, 2004,)

References

Title I – Felonies and Circumstances which Affect Criminal Liability, Book I, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code

/Updated: September 3, 2023

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