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Minor under 15 years old, A12(2) Revised Penal Code

Minor under 15 years old – refers to the exempting circumstance that exempts an accused from criminal liability for committing an offense due to being a minor under 15 years of age.

1. Concept

Minor under 15 years old – refers to the exempting circumstance that exempts an accused from criminal liability for committing an offense due to being a minor under 15 years of age.

a. Legal basis

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

2. A minor under 15 years of age (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 to accused

As with justifying circumstances, exempting circumstances presupposes that the accused admits to the ...

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