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It is a manner or incurring criminal liability according to Paragraph 1, Article 4, Revised Penal Code.c

It is a mistake in the identity of the victim, which may either be
(a) "error in personae"
(mistake of the person), or
(b) "aberratio ictus" (mistake in the blow), it is neither exempting nor mitigating
(People vs. Gona, 54 Phil. 605 [1930]).


can be used as a complete self-defense to be exonerated from a crime.

Ex. Ah Chong

Mistake of fact


This case happened during the American regime, there were a lot of lawless element hiding and they used to enter the residence of the people. So when darkness comes, all houses are already closed. In the case of Ah Chong while he was resting in the middle of the night, he heard some loud knocks at the door so Ah Chong challenged and ask, “Who are you?!” several times, but no response was given. So it made Ah Chong think that the one who is trying to open the door is a criminal or a lawless element.

Then all of the sudden the door swung open and came a dark shadow rushing towards, and Ah Chong believing that he is being attacked, he get hold of a bladed weapon and then stab the rushing black shadow. And when he put on the light he recognized that it was his roommate in the house. So Ah Chong was charged with murder.

The S.C under the principle of mistake of fact acquitted Ah Chong.


There are 3 requisites for an accused to be entitled for a mistake of fact:

1. That the act would have been lawful have the facts been what he believed him to be.

Ah Chong at that time when he challenged the man who was knocking at his door and nobody responded. He already have in mind that it could be a lawless criminal.

And when the door swung open, believing that his life is in danger he attacked. There was unlawful aggression, he repealed what he believed to be an unlawful aggression by holding that bladed weapon and stabbed the man. It turned out that there was a MISTAKE OF FACT because the person whom he stabbed was not a criminal.

2. The purpose of the act must have been lawful.
3. There must be no fault or negligence on the part of the actor.

Ah Chong has no negligence or fault on his part, because he had already challenged whoever was knocking at his door.

So all of the requisites under mistake of fact are present, hence he was acquitted.


maybe invoked as a complete self-defense to exonerate an accused from a crime.

Mistake of Fact


cannot be used as a self-defense because “Ignorance of the law excuses no one.

Mistake of the law


A and B is a married couple in the Philippines. A went to the states to look for a greener pasture. While there, he applied for divorce and later on it was approved by the court in the states in America. And then B in the Philippines after having learned that his husband is coming to be wed in states, she accepted suitor and marry the man.

Later on after marrying the man, B was charged with Bigamy. B now invoked the MISTAKE OF FACT. He argued that she never knew that she could not marry she could not marry. It is her honest belief that she could already remarry in the Philippines without being prosecuted with bigamy.


The Supreme court held that , it is not meritorious defense, what applies here is IGNORANCE OF THE LAW. “Ignorance of the law excuses no one”


Complex crime.

When X fires a bullet against his intended victim Y who was not hit. The crime committed is _____

The same bullet that is intended to Y that landed on the 3rd person who died as a consequence. The crime committed is _____

1. Attempted Homicide
2. Consummated Homicide


When a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum period.

When a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies, that is a complex crime of homicide with attempted homicide. The penalty here shall be applied in its maximum period which is reclusion temporal in its maximum period.

The principles that are pronounced in the first paragraph are:

1. He who is the cause of the cause is the cause of the evil caused.
2. A person who commits a felony shall be liable for the direct, natural and logical consequences of his act.

In a bus, one of the passengers runs amok and he was stabbing left and right the passengers in the bus. Then two passengers at the back of the bus thinking that they will also be attacked jump out of the running bus, their heads hit the cemented road causing their death, one of the victim of the stabbing also die.

Q. Is the person liable not only against the person whom he had stabbed, but also for those two who jump out of the running bus and who died as a consequence?

A. Yes, because whoever caused a minute sense of danger in the mind of a person and does an act to avoid injury to himself, but in so doing got injured or died as a consequence, then that person who proposes a minute sense of danger shall be liable. If there had been no attack made by the culprit, there could not be any reason for the 2 passengers to be afraid.y

Art. 48. Penalty for complex crimes.





Article 4 of the Revised Penal code enumerates two instances for criminal liabilities to be incurred, and they are:

1. By any person committing a felony (delito) although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended.

2. 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 on account of the employment of inadequate or ineffectual means.

The first paragraph is the topic of this article, and under the first paragraph there are 3 causes where the offender is liable even if the crime committed is different from which that is intended. These are, Aberratio Ictus, Error in Personam, Praeter Intentionem. Let us discuss them one by one.


This happens if the person he injured is not the intended victim.
X wanted to kill his enemy Y. He knows that, Y is always passing through a small alley coming from his office. So X posted himself of the opposite side of the alley, then in the afternoon, a person whom he believes was Y emerge from the another end of the alley. So he points his pistol and shouted “Y this is your end” and squeezed the trigger and the man was hit by the bullet and fell on the ground and died. When X approached the victim he was surprised it was not Y whom he had killed, but his own father who happens who have a physical resemblance with Y.

So here may be charge with Parricide. He could not validly invoke the defense that, he has no intent to kill his own father, because it will not hold water. This is for the reason that, at the time he shoots at that person whom he believes his enemy, he was already committing a felony, although the wrong done is not what he intended.

Q. How shall the offender be penalized?

A. Article 49 states that, when the crime is committed as a result of error in personam. The penalty to be imposed, that which pertain to the crime actually committed or the crime he intended to commit whichever is lesser but to be imposed in its maximum period.

In the example given, where X intends to kill Y and Y had been killed it could have been homicide the penalty would have been reclusion temporal, but because of mistake of Identity that crime he committed is Parricide violation of Article 246. The penalty here is reclusion perpetua.


To apply the penalty, he will be charged with parricide, and once he has been convicted the penalty of parricide will not be imposed by him, because under the rule, the penalty for the intending crime which is lesser to be imposed. So it is RECLUSION TEMPORAL IN ITS MAXIUM.

Error in personae


Special Mitigating Circumstance, the penalty for a lesser offense for the crime shall be imposed.

Error in personae or Mistake in Identity


Special aggravating circumstance, penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed and to be applied in its maximum period.

Abberatio Ictus or
Mistake in Blow


When A always meets B in the presence of many people. A would ridicule B. So because of that, one time B lost his patience. So he approached A and B throw a fistic blow in the face of A, but because of the strong impact A loses his balance and A fall in the cemented floor and cause internal hemorrhage resulting to his death.

Q. Is B liable for homicide?

A. Under the principle of Praeter Intertionem, he shall be liable for homicide, but he shall be entitled to a ______________ that is found under paragraph 3 of the Article 3, “That he did not intend to commit so grave a wrong than what has been committed.” He did not intend to kill the victim, what he wants is to inflict physical harm to the victim.

However, such fistic blow is the cause that made A hit the cemented floor and died. “He who is the cause of the cause is the cause of the evil caused.” A person incurred a criminal liability when he commits a felony, although the wrongful act done is different from that which he intended. When he throw a fistic blow hitting the victim, he already commits a felony and that is __________ However, the wrong done went beyond the intent in which cause the victims death. In that case, that is only __________, and applying one mitigating circumstance that he does not intend to commit so grave a wrong. The penalty for homicide shall be fixed in its minimum period which is, Reclusion temporal in its minimum.

Physical Injury
simple homicide


In a criminal case for attempted homicide where the victim is not physically injured at all, ________ criminal intent is a burden addressed prosecution.



What is the scope of application of the Revised Penal Code shall apply public ... Or employees who commit an offense in the exercise of their function?

Intraterritorial and


During a party, C administered an injurious substance called "ecstasy" of V. Who sustained less serious physical injuries as consequence ...felony did C commit?

Less Serious Physical Injury


X threatened to kill Y if Y will not sign a Deed of Sale of Y's property in ... Y signed the Deed of Sale. What felony dos X commit?



X kidnapped children A, B and C and asked for ransom from their... The parents failed to give the ransom money, X killed A, B and C. What... X commit?

Kidnapping with Homicide


X forcibly abducted Y and attempted to rape the latter. What crime...

Forcible Abduction


R raped W in the presence of W's auntie-in-law. What crime did R



X was able to have carnal knowledge of his girlfriend while the... What crime did X commit.



X stole a Rolex watch from a locker by means of the key of the owner. Did he commit?



A took several jewelry from a room by entering through the window



What crime can be committed through negligence or imprudence (culpa)



W, common-law wife of H, administered poison to H. Bothered by ... W gave H an antidote. H did not die but suffered slight physical ... Felony. If any, did W committed

Attempted Murder


Once intoxication is established by satisfactory evidence, it is disputable



Even if there is conspiracy, if a co-conspiracy merely ... Insignificant or minimal acts, such co-conspirator should be ... Accomplice only, Except when the felony constitute a _____

Composite Crime


External acts which, if continued, will logically result in a felony ... Criminal liability

Overt act