2010 Bar Exam Questions - Criminal Law

An agonizing and protracted trial having come to a close, the
judge found A guilty beyond reasonable doubt of homicide and
imposed on him a straight penalty of SIX (6) YEARS and ONE (1)
DAY of prision mayor.
The public prosecutor objected to the sentence on the ground
that the proper penalty should have been TWELVE (12) YEARS
and ONE (1) DAY of reclusion temporal.
The defense counsel chimed in, contending that application
of the Indeterminate Sentence Law should lead to the imposition of
a straight penalty of SIX (6) MONTHS and ONE (1) DAY of
prision correccional only. Who of the three is on the right track?
Explain. (3%)
A. What is the crime of qualified bribery? (2%)
B. May a judge be charged and prosecuted for such felony?
How about a public prosecutor? A police officer? Explain.
May a public officer charged under Section 3(b) of Republic
Act No. 3019 [“directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any
gift, present, share, percentage or benefit, for himself or for any
other person, in connection with any contract or transaction
between the government and any other party, wherein the public
officer in his official capacity has to intervene under the law”] also
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be simultaneously or successively charged with direct bribery
under Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code? Explain. (4%)
Because of the barbarity and hideousness of the acts
committed by the suspects/respondents in cutting off their victims’
appendages, stuffing their torsos, legs, body parts into oil drums
and bullet-riddled vehicles and later on burying these oil drums,
vehicles with the use of backhoes and other earth-moving
machinery, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) investigating
team recommended to the panel of public prosecutors that all
respondents be charged with violation of the “Heinous Crimes
Law.” The prosecution panel agreed with the CHR. As the Chief
Prosecutor tasked with approving the filing of the Information,
how will you pass upon the recommendation? Explain. (5%)
Arlene is engaged in the buy and sell of used garments, more
popularly known as “ukay-ukay.” Among the items found by the
police in a raid of her store in Baguio City were brand-new Louie
Feraud blazers.
Arlene was charged with “fencing.” Will the charge prosper?
Why or why not? (5%)
There being probable cause to believe that certain deposits
and investments in a bank are related to an unlawful activity of
smuggling by Alessandro as defined under Republic Act (RA) No.
9160, as amended (Anti-Money Laundering Act) an application for
an order to allow inquiry into his deposit was filed with the
Regional Trial Court.
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After hearing the application, the court granted the
application and issued a freeze order.
Pass upon the correctness of the court’s order. Explain.
A widower of ten years, septuagenarian Canuto felt that he
had license to engage in voyeurism. If not peeping into his
neighbors’ rooms through his powerful single-cylinder telescope,
he would trail young, shapely damsels along the hallways of
shopping malls. While going up the escalator, he stayed a step
behind a mini-skirted one, and in a moment of excitement, put his
hand on her left hip and massaged it. The damsel screamed and
hollered for help. Canuto was apprehended and brought up on
inquest. What charge/s, if any, may he be held responsible for?
Explain. (5%)
A asked financial support from her showbiz friend B who
accommodated her by issuing in her favor a postdated check in the
sum of P90,000.00. Both of them knew that the check would not
be honored because B’s account had just been closed. The two
then approached trader C whom they asked to change the check
with cash, even agreeing that the exchange be discounted at
P85,000.00 with the assurance that the check shall be funded upon
maturity. Upon C’s presentment of the check for payment on due
date, it was dishonored because the account had already been
What action/s may C commence against A and B to hold
them to account for the loss of her P85,000.00? Explain. (5%)
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Proserfina, an assistant public high school principal, acted to
facilitate the release of salary differentials and election duty per
diem of classroom teachers with the agreement that they would
reimburse her for her expenses.
Did Proserfina commit a crime? Explain. (5%)
A, B and C are members of SFC Fraternity. While eating in
a seaside restaurant, they were attacked by X, Y and Z, members
of a rival fraternity. A rumble ensued in which the abovenamed
members of the two fraternities assaulted each other in a confused
and tumultuous manner resulting in the death of A. As it cannot
be ascertained who actually killed A, the members of the two
fraternities who took part in the rumble were charged for death
caused in a tumultuous affray. Will the charge prosper? Explain.
Angelina maintains a website where visitors can give their
comments on the posted pictures of the goods she sells in her
exclusive boutique. Bettina posted a comment that the red Birkin
bag shown in Angelina’s website is fake and that Angelina is
known to sell counterfeit items.
Angelina wants to file a case against Bettina. She seeks your
advice. What advice will you give her? (4%)
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A. Define Money Laundering. What are the three (3) stages in
money laundering? (3%)
B. What is the doctrine of pro reo? How does it relate to Article
48 of the Revised Penal Code? (3%)
While his wife was on a 2-year scholarship abroad, Romeo
was having an affair with his maid Dulcinea. Realizing that the
affair was going nowhere, Dulcinea told Romeo that she was going
back to the province to marry her childhood sweetheart. Clouded
by anger and jealousy, Romeo strangled Dulcinea to death while
she was sleeping in the maid’s quarters.
The following day, Romeo was found catatonic inside the
maid’s quarters. He was brought to the National Center for Mental
Health (NCMH) where he was diagnosed to be mentally unstable.
Charged with murder, Romeo pleaded insanity as a defense.
A. Will Romeo’s defense prosper? Explain. (2%)
B. What is the effect of the diagnosis of the NCMH on the case?
Paul lives with his long-time girlfriend Joan in a
condominium in Makati. For more than a year, he has been
secretly saving money in an envelope under their bed to buy her an
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engagement ring. One day, while Joan was cleaning their room,
she found the envelope, took the money, and left Paul. As
prosecutor, what crime, if any, would you charge Joan? Explain.
Suspecting that her husband of twenty years was having an
affair, Leilanie hired a private investigator to spy on him. After
two weeks, the private investigator showed Leilanie a video of her
husband having sexual intercourse with another woman in a room
of a five-star hotel. Based on what she saw on the video, Leilanie
accused her husband of concubinage.
Will the case of concubinage prosper? Explain. (3%)
The president, treasurer, and secretary of ABC Corporation
were charged with syndicated estafa under the following
That on or about the 1st week of January 2010 or
subsequent thereto in Cebu City and within the jurisdiction of
this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring and
confederating together and all of them mutually helping and
aiding one another in a syndicated manner, through a
corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC), with intention of carrying out the unlawful
or illegal act, transaction, enterprise or scheme, with intent to
gain and by means of fraud and deceit, did then and there
wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously defraud Virna, Lana,
Deborah and several other persons by falsely or fraudulently
pretending or representing in a transaction or series of
transactions, which they made with complainants and the public
in general, to the effect that they were in a legitimate business
of foreign exchange trading successively or simultaneously
operating under the name and style of ABC Corporation and
DEF Management Philippines, Incorporated, induced and
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succeeded in inducing complainants and several other persons
to give and deliver to said accused the amount of at least
P20,000,000.00 on the strength of said manifestations and
representations, the accused knowing fully well that the abovenamed
corporations registered with the SEC are not licensed
nor authorized to engage in foreign exchange trading and that
such manifestations and representations to transact in foreign
exchange were false and fraudulent, that these resulted to the
damage and prejudice of the complainants and other persons,
and that the defraudation pertains to funds solicited from the
public in general by such corporations/associations.
Will the case for syndicated estafa prosper? Explain. (5%)
A killed his wife and buried her in their backyard. He
immediately went into hiding in the mountains.
Three years later, the bones of A’s wife were discovered by
X, the gardener. Since X had a standing warrant of arrest, he hid
the bones in an old clay jar and kept quiet about it. After two
years, Z, the caretaker, found the bones and reported the matter to
the police.
After 15 years of hiding, A left the country but returned three
years later to take care of his ailing sibling. Six years thereafter, he
was charged with parricide but raised the defense of prescription.
A. Under the Revised Penal Code, when does the period of
prescription of a crime commence to run? (1%)
B. When is it interrupted? (1%)
C. Is A’s defense tenable? Explain. (3%)
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On her way home, Eva Marie saw an injured chow chow
puppy behind a bush. Since the puppy did not have a collar, she
brought it home so she could have it as a pet. Her son in fact
begged Eva Marie to keep the puppy. The following day, Eva
Marie bought a collar for the puppy and brought it to a veterinarian
for treatment.
A. Did Eva Marie incur criminal liability in bringing the puppy
home as a pet? Explain. (2%)
B. Did she incur civil liability? Explain. (2%)
Jack and Jill have been married for seven years. One night,
Jack came home drunk. Finding no food on the table, Jack started
hitting Jill only to apologize the following day.
A week later, the same episode occurred – Jack came home
drunk and started hitting Jill.
Fearing for her life, Jill left and stayed with her sister. To
woo Jill back, Jack sent her floral arrangements of spotted lilies
and confectioneries. Two days later, Jill returned home and
decided to give Jack another chance. After several days, however,
Jack again came home drunk. The following day, he was found
Jill was charged with parricide but raised the defense of
“battered woman syndrome.”
A. Define “Battered Woman Syndrome.” (2%)
B. What are the three phases of the “Battered Woman
Syndrome”? (3 %)
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C. Would the defense prosper despite the absence of any of the
elements for justifying circumstances of self-defense under
the Revised Penal Code? Explain. (2%)
Matt was found guilty of drug trafficking while his younger
brother Jeff was found guilty of possession of equipment,
instrument, apparatus and other paraphernalia for dangerous drugs
under Section 12 of Republic Act No. 9165.
Matt filed a petition for probation. Jeff appealed his
conviction during the pendency of which he also filed a petition for
The brothers’ counsel argued that they being first time
offenders, their petitions for probation should be granted. How
would you resolve the brothers’ petitions for probation? Explain.
Because peace negotiations on the Spratlys situation had
failed, the People’s Republic of China declared war against the
Philippines. Myra, a Filipina who lives with her Italian expatriate
boyfriend, discovered e-mail correspondence between him and a
certain General Tung Kat Su of China.
On March 12, 2010, Myra discovered that on even date her
boyfriend had sent an e-mail to General Tung Kat Su, in which he
agreed to provide vital information on the military defense of the
Philippines to the Chinese government in exchange for P1 million
and his safe return to Italy. Two weeks later, Myra decided to
report the matter to the proper authorities.
Did Myra commit a crime? Explain. (3%)
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Immediately after murdering Bob, Jake went to his mother to
seek refuge. His mother told him to hide in the maid’s quarters
until she finds a better place for him to hide. After two days, Jake
transferred to his aunt’s house. A week later, Jake was
apprehended by the police. Can Jake’s mother and aunt be made
criminally liable as accessories to the crime of murder? Explain.
(3 %)
Christopher, John, Richard, and Luke are fraternity brothers.
To protect themselves from rival fraternities, they all carry guns
wherever they go. One night, after attending a party, they boarded
a taxicab, held the driver at gunpoint and took the latter’s earnings.
A. What crime, if any, did the four commit? Enumerate the
elements of the crime. (2%)
B. Would your answer be the same if they killed the driver?
Explain. (2%)

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