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Felonies, A3 Revised Penal Code

1. Concept

Felonies – refer to acts or omissions that are punishable by law.

a. Legal basis

Article 3. Definitions. – Acts and omissions punishable by law are felonies (delitos).
Felonies are committed not only by means of deceit (dolo) but also by means of fault (culpa).
There is deceit when the act is performed with deliberate intent and there is fault when the wrongful act results from imprudence, negligence, lack of foresight, or lack of skill.

(Revised Penal Code)

b. Acts or omissions

Felonies cover both acts and omissions.

Acts – refer to action or what a person has done.

Omissions – refer to non-action or what a person has not done.

2. Ways of committing a felony

There are two (2) ways to commit a felony:

1) By deficit (dolo); or

2) By fault (culpa).

a. Deceit

Deceit – refers to an “act [that] is performed with deliberate intent.” (REVISED PENAL CODE, Article 3)

Several offenses under the Revised Penal Code involve deceit, such as estafa, counterfeiting, forgery, to name a few.

b. Fault

Fault – refers to a “wrongful act [that] results from imprudence, negligence, lack of foresight, or lack of skill.” (REVISED PENAL CODE, Article 3

This is covered by acts involving criminal negligence, such as reckless imprudence resulting in homicide or damage to property.

3. Other things to note

The following are other things to note.

a. Felonies vs Crimes

Some law authors and/or law books distinguish felonies from crimes stating that felonies are those penalized under the Revised Penal Code (as it is where felonies are defined), and Crimes are those penalized under the Revised Penal Code and special criminal laws.

For practical purposes and how it is applied in practice, the word felony and crime is sometimes interchangeable in usage. What matters is that they both refer to acts or omissions punishable by law.

References

Chapter 1 – Felonies, Title I, Book I, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code

/Updated: November 4, 2023

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