False Testimony Against A Defendant


False testimony against a defendant. - Any person who shall give false testimony against the defendant in any criminal case shall suffer:

1. The penalty of reclusion temporal, if the defendant in said case shall have been sentenced to death;

2. The penalty of prision mayor, if the defendant shall have been sentenced to reclusion temporal or reclusion perpetua;

3. The penalty of prision correccional, if the defendant shall have been sentenced to any other afflictive penalty; and

4. The penalty of arresto mayor, if the defendant shall have been sentenced to a correctional penalty or a fine, or shall have been acquitted.

In cases provided in subdivisions 3 and 4 of this article the offender shall further suffer a fine not to exceed 1,000 pesos.

1. That there be a Criminal proceeding;
2. Offender testifies falsely under oath against the defendant therein;
3. Offender knows that it is false; and
4. The defendant against whom the false testimony is given is either acquitted or
   convicted in a final judgment.

FALSE TESTIMONY - committed by a person who, being under oath and required to testify as to the truth of a certain matter at a hearing before a competent authority, shall deny the truth or say something contrary to it


Violation of this article requires criminal intent. Hence, it cannot be committed through negligence.

The offender need not impute guilt upon the accused to be liable.

The defendant must at least be sentenced to a correctional penalty or a fine or must have been acquitted.

The witness who gave false testimony is liable even if the court did not consider his testimony.

Penalty depends upon sentence imposed on the defendant except in the case of a judgment of acquittal. Since Art. 180 does not prescribe the penalty where the defendant in a criminal case is sentenced to a light penalty, false testimony in this instance cannot be punished considering that a penal must be strictly construed.

Three forms of false testimony
1. False testimony in criminal cases under Article 180 and 181;
2. False testimony in civil case under Article 182;
3. False testimony in other cases under Article 183.

Articles 180 – 184 punish the acts of making false testimonies since because such acts seriously expose the court to miscarriage of justice.