|

Robbery, A293 Revised Penal Code

Robbery is an offense committed by any person who, with intent to gain, shall take any personal property belonging to another, by means of violence or intimidation of any person, or using force upon anything shall be guilty of robbery.

1. Concept

Robbery – is an offense committed by “any person who, with intent to gain, shall take any personal property belonging to another, by means of violence or intimidation of any person, or using force upon anything shall be guilty of robbery.” (REVISED PENAL CODE, Article 293)

a. Legal basis

Article 293. Who are guilty of robbery. – Any person who, with intent to gain, shall take any personal property belonging to another, by means of violence or intimidation of any person, or using force upon anything shall be guilty of robbery.

(Revised Penal Code)

2. Modes of commission

By definition in the RPC, robbery can be committed in three ways, by using:

1) Violence against any person;

2) Intimidation of any person; and/or

3) Force upon anything. (Ablaza v. People, G.R. No. 217722, September 26, 2018, Per Del Castillo, J.)

NB: While there is jurisprudence dividing robbery into 3 modes, the vast majority of other case law divides robbery only into two by combining violence against or intimidation of persons into one and the other via force upon things.

Thus, the following are the modes of committing the offense:

1) With violence against or intimidation of persons; or

3) By the use of force upon things. (Marquez v. People, G.R. No. 181138, December 3, 2012, Per Del Castillo, J.)

a. Mode 1: Violence or intimidation against persons

Elements of the offense:

1) That there is personal property belonging to another;

2) That there is unlawful taking of that property;

3) That the taking is with intent to gain; and

4) That there is violence against or intimidation of persons. (Sazon v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 150873, February 10, 2009, Per Nachura, J.)

For more information: Robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons, A294-298 Revised Penal Code

2. Mode 2: Force upon things

Elements of the offense:

1) That there is personal property belonging to another;

2) That there is unlawful taking of that property;

3) That the taking is with intent to gain; and

4) That there is… force upon things. (Sazon v. Sandiganbayan, supra.)

For more information: Robbery by use of force upon things, A299-A303 Revised Penal Code

3. Things to note

The following are some additional things to note about this offense.

a. Common provisions

This offense shares common provisions with other offenses under Title X of the Revised Penal Code – Crimes Against Property. See: Crimes Against Property

b. Recovery of stolen items, immaterial

The recovery of stolen items is immaterial and thus will not render the intent to gain ineffective.

Poquiz v. People, G.R. No. 238715, January 11, 2021, Per Delos Santos, J.:

A careful review of the records and the testimony of Belver (victim) shows that Belver’s bag was already forcibly taken and Belver was dispossessed of the same when Poquiz and Valencia left the scene of the crime. Poquiz and Valencia fled in fear and dropped the bag after Belver fired his gun. When Poquiz and Valencia unlawfully took Belver’s bag, the crime of Robbery had been fully consummated. It is of no moment that Belver was able to subsequently recover the items forcibly taken from him. Such instance does not preclude the presence of intent to gain on the part of Poquiz and Valencia.

Hence, all the aforementioned elements of Robbery under Article 293 of the RPC are present: (1) the subject property involved is one of the bags which Belver had with him when he alighted from the bus; (2) Poquiz and Valencia unlawfully took the bag from Belver; (3) there was animus lucrandi or intent to gain on the part of Poquiz and Valencia in taking Belver’s bag; and (4) Poquiz and Valencia used violence by throwing punches and lunging a knife on Belver to perpetrate the crime. Accordingly, the crime of Robbery was committed by Poquiz and Valencia.

3A. Procedural

The following are some procedural matters.

a. Taken property need not be presented

When the fact of asportation has been established beyond reasonable doubt, conviction of the accused is justified even if the property subject of the robbery is not presented in court. After all, the property stolen may have been abandoned or thrown away and destroyed by the robber or recovered by the owner. (People v. De Jesus, En Banc, supra.)

b. Value need not be proven

The prosecution is not burdened to prove the actual value of the property stolen or amount stolen from the victim. Whether the robber knew the actual amount in the possession of the victim is of no moment because the motive for robbery can exist regardless of the exact amount or value involved. (People v. De Jesus, En Banc, supra.)

c. If both robbery by use of force upon things and robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons, are committed

In Napolis v. Court of Appeals, the Court abandoned the doctrine adopted in United States v. De los Santos that when the felonies of robbery in an inhabited house under Article 299 of the Revised Penal Code and robbery with violence against or intimidation of a person under Article 294 of the Revised Penal Code are committed, the penalty for the latter crime (although the lighter one) should be imposed because the violence against or intimidation of a person was the “controlling qualification,” on the theory that “robbery which is characterized by violence or intimidation against the person is evidently graver than ordinary robbery committed by force upon things, because where violence or intimidation against the person is present there is greater disturbance of the order of society and the security of the individual.” (Frandsilla v. People, G.R. No. 197562, April 20, 2015, Per Bersamin, J.)

Napolis v. Court of Appeals, No. L-28865, February 28, 1972, Per Concepcion, CJ.:

• Upon mature deliberation, We find ourselves unable to share the foregoing view. Indeed, one who, by breaking a wall, enters, with a deadly weapon, an inhabited house and steals therefrom valuable effects, without violence against or intimidation upon persons, is punishable under Art. 299 of the Revised Penal Code with reclusion temporal. Pursuant to the above view, adhered to in previous decisions, if, aside from performing said acts, the thief lays hand upon any person, without committing any of the crimes or inflicting any of the injuries mentioned in subparagraphs (1) to (4) of Art. 294 of the same Code, the imposable penalty – under paragraph (5) thereof – shall be much lighter. To our mind, this result and the process of reasoning that has brought it about, defy logic and reason.

• The argument to the effect that the violence against or intimidation of a person supplies the “controlling qualification,” is far from sufficient to justify said result. We agree with the proposition that robbery with “violence or intimidation against the person is evidently graver than ordinary robbery committed by force upon things,” but, precisely, for this reason, We cannot accept the conclusion deduced therefrom in the cases above cited – reduction of the penalty for the latter offense owing to the concurrence of violation or intimidation which made it a more serious one. It is, to our mind, more plausible to believe that Art. 294 applies only where robbery with violence against or intimidation of a person takes place without entering an inhabited house, under the conditions set forth in Art. 299 of the Revised Penal Code.

4. Distinguish from other offenses

This offense is distinguished from other offenses or crimes below.

a. Robbery vs Theft

FactorsRobberyTheft
Offended PartyAny personAny person
OffenderAny personAny person
Overt ActsOffender unlawfully takes personal property belonging to another with intent to gain, and via violence/intimidation against any person or force upon thingsOffender unlawfully takes personal property belonging to another with intent to gain, and without any violence/intimidation against any person or force upon things

The elements of robbery are: (1) there is a taking of personal property; (2) the personal property belongs to another; (3) the taking is with animus lucrandi; and (4) the taking is with violence against or intimidation of persons or with force upon things.48 Theft, on the other hand, is committed by any person who, with intent to gain but without violence against or intimidation of persons nor force upon things, shall take the personal property of another without the latter’s consent. (Del Rosario v. People, G.R. No. 235739, July 22, 2019, Per Caguioa, J.)

Thus, the distinguishing element between the crimes of robbery and theft is the use of violence or intimidation as a means of taking the property belonging to another; the element is present in the crime of robbery and absent in the crime of theft. (Del Rosario v. People [2019], supra.)

1) Requisite violence

[F]or the requisite of violence to obtain in cases of simple robbery, the victim must have sustained less serious physical injuries or slight physical injuries in the occasion of the robbery. (Ablaza v. People, G.R. No. 217722, September 26, 2018, Per Del Castillo, J.)

Ablaza v. People, G.R. No. 217722, September 26, 2018, Per Del Castillo, J.:

• The OSG argues that the use of the word “grabbed”, by itself, shows that violence or physical force was employed by the offenders in taking Snyders’ necklaces. The Court, however, finds the argument to be a pure play of semantics. Grab means to take or seize by or as if by a sudden motion or grasp; to take hastily. Clearly, the same does not suggest the presence of violence or physical force in the act; the connotation is on the suddenness of the act of taking or seizing which cannot be readily equated with the employment of violence or physical force. Here, it was probably the suddenness of taking that shocked Snyder and not the presence of violence or physical force since, as pointed out by [the Accused], Snyder did not at all allege that she was pushed or otherwise harmed by the persons who took her necklaces.

a) Snatching

[W]hen the complainant herself merely testified that the offender snatched her shoulder bag, without saying that such offender used violence, intimidation or force in snatching her shoulder bag, the snatching of the shoulder bag constitutes the crime of theft, not robbery. (Del Rosario v. People [2019], supra.)

References

Title 10 – Crimes Against Property, Book 2, Revised Penal Code

/Updated: November 6, 2023

Similar Posts