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Impossible crimes

The requisites of an impossible crime are:

1) That the act performed would be an offense against persons or property;

2) That the act was done with evil intent; and,

3) That its accomplishment was inherently impossible, or the means employed was either inadequate or ineffectual. (Jacinto v. People, G.R. No. 162540, 13 July 2009)

NB: Impossible crime is related to Paragraph 2, Article 4, RPC: Criminal liability shall be incurred… by any person performing an act which would be an offense against persons or property, were it not for the inherent impossibility of its accomplishment or an account of the employment of inadequate or ineffectual means.

Examples of an impossible crime, which formerly was not punishable but is now under article 59 of the Revised Penal Code, are the following:

1) When one tries to kill another by putting in his soup a substance which he believes to be arsenic when in fact it is common salt; and

2) When one tries to murder a corpse. (People v. Balmores, En Banc, G.R. No. L-1896, 16 February 1950, citing Guevara, Commentaries on the Revised Penal Code, 4th ed., page 15; decision, Supreme Court of Spain, November 26, 1879; 12 Jur. Crim., 343.,)

 Judging from the appearance of the falsified ticket in question, we are not prepared to say that it would have been impossible for the appellant to consummate the crime of estafa thru falsification of said ticket if the clerk to whom it was presented for the payment had not exercised d...

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