Homicide, Revised Penal Code

1. Concept and legal basis

Article 249. Homicide. – Any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article 246, shall kill another without the attendance of any of the circumstances enumerated in the next preceding article, shall be deemed guilty of homicide and be punished by reclusion temporal. (Act 3815, Revised Penal Code)

2. Elements of the offense

Elements of the offense:

1) A person was killed;

2) The accused killed him without any justifying circumstance;

3) The accused had the intention to kill, which is presumed; and,

4) The killing was not attended by any of the qualifying circumstances of murder, or by that of parricide or infanticide. (Wacoy v. People, G.R. No. 213792, 22 June 2015)

a. A person was killed

That a person was killed must be duly proven in line with corpus delicti.

b.  Accused killed him without any justifying circumstance

That the accused was the one who killed the decedent without justifying circumstance must be established.

c. Intention to kill (presumed)

The intention to kill is presumed in homicide.

The intent to kill being an essential element of the offense of frustrated or attempted homicide, said element must be proved by clear and convincing evidence. That element must be proved with the same degree of certainty as is required of the other elements of the crime. The inference of intent to kill should not be drawn in the absence of circumstances sufficient to prove such intent beyond reasonable doubt. (Mondragon v. People, En Banc, G.R. No. L-17666, 30 June 1966)

1) How established

Intent to kill may be established through the overt and external acts and conduct of the offender before, during and after the assault, or by the nature, location and number of the wounds inflicted on the victim. (De Guzman, Jr. v. People, G.R. No. 178512, 26 November 2014)

2) Factors

Factors to determine the presence of intent to kill:

1) The means used by the malefactors;

2) The nature, location, and number of wounds sustained by the victim;

3) The conduct of the malefactors before, during, or immediately after the killing of the victim;

4) The circumstances under which the crime was committed and the motives of the accused; and,

5) The motive of the offender and the words he uttered at the time of inflicting the injuries on the victim. (Ibid.)

NB: Since intent to kill is an element, there can be no attempted or frustrated homicide through imprudence as negligence is inconsistent with intent to kill.

d. Not murder, parricide, infanticide

In homicide, the killing should not be attended by any of the qualifying circumstances of murder, or by that of parricide or infanticide. Otherwise, it will not be homicide; rather, it would be murder, parricide, or infanticide depending on the qualifying circumstances.

3. Contrasted with other offenses/crimes

Homicide may be contrasted with the following offenses/crimes.

a. Frustrated homicide v. Serious physical injuries

Frustrated homicide requires intent to kill on the part of the offender. Without proof of such intent, the felony may only be serious physical injuries. (Mondragon v. People, En Banc, supra.)


Title 8 – Crimes Against Persons, Book 2, Revised Penal Code

/Updated: January 18, 2023

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