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Minor 15 to 17 years old, A12(3) Revised Penal Code

Minor 15 to 17 years old – refers to the exempting circumstance that exempts an accused from criminal liability for committing an offense due to being a 15 to 17 years old, unless the accused acted with discernment.

1. Concept

Minor 15 to 17 years old – refers to the exempting circumstance that exempts an accused from criminal liability for committing an offense due to being a 15 to 17 years old, unless the accused acted with discernment.

a. Legal basis

Article 12. Circumstances which exempt from criminal liability. - the following are exempt from criminal liability:

3. Minor above 15 years but below 18 years of age, unless acted with discernment (as amended by Section 6, R.A. 9344);

(Revised Penal Code)

b. Effects of exempting circumstances

1) Admission by the accused

An exempting circumstance, by its nature, admits that criminal and civil liabilities exist, but the accused is freed from criminal liability; in other words, the accused committed a crime, but he cannot be held criminally liable therefor because of an exemption granted by law. (Sierra v. People, G.R. No. 182941, July 3, 2009, Per Brion, J.)

Strictly speaking, a person acting under any of the exempting circumstances commits a crime but cannot be held criminally liable therefor. The exemption from punishment stems from the complete absence of intelligence or free will in performing the act. (People v. Pantoja, G.R. No. 223114, November 29, 2017, Per Martires, J.)

2) Burden shifts...

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