Infanticide. - The penalty provided for parricide in Article 246 and for murder in Article 248 shall be imposed upon any person who shall kill any child less than three days of age.

If the crime penalized in this article be committed by the mother of the child for the purpose of concealing her dishonor, she shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods, and if said crime be committed for the same purpose by the maternal grandparents or either of them, the penalty shall be prision mayor.

1. That a child was killed;
2. That the deceased child was less than three days (72 hours) of age; and
3. That the accused killed the said child.

When the offender is the father, mother, or legitimate ascendant, he shall suffer the penalty prescribed for parricide. If the offender is any other person, the penalty is that for murder. In either case, the proper qualification for the offense is infanticide.

If the offender is the parent and the victim is less than three days old, the crime is infanticide and not parricide. The fact that the killing was done to conceal her dishonor will not mitigate the criminal
liability anymore because concealment of dishonor in killing the child is not mitigating in parricide.

Only the mother and maternal grandparents of the child are entitled to the mitigating circumstance of concealing the dishonor.

When infanticide is committed by the mother or maternal grandmother of the victim in order to conceal the mother’s dishonor, such fact is only mitigating.

The delinquent mother who claims that she committed the offense to conceal the dishonor must be of good reputation. Hence, if she is a prostitute, she is not entitled to a lesser penalty because she has no honor to protect.

There is no infanticide when the child was born dead, or although born alive it could not sustain an independent life when it was killed.

A stranger who cooperates in the perpetration of infanticide committed by the mother or grandparent on the mother’s side is liable for infanticide, but he must suffer the penalty prescribed for murder.

Concealment of dishonor is not an element of infanticide. It merely lowers the penalty. If the child is abandoned without any intent to kill and death results as a consequence, the crime committed is not infanticide but abandonment under Article 276.

Bar Exam Question (2006)

Infanticide (2006)

Ana has been a bar girl/GRO at a beer house for more than 2 years. She fell in love with Oniok, the bartender, who impregnated her. But Ana did not inform him about her condition and instead, went home to Cebu to conceal her shame. However, her parents drove her away. So she returned to Manila and stayed with Oniok in his boarding house. Upon learning of her pregnancy, already in an advanced state, Oniok tried to persuade her to undergo an abortion, but she refused. Because of their constant and bitter quarrels, she suffered birth pangs and gave birth prematurely to a live baby girl while Oniok was at his place of work. Upon coming home and learning what happened, he prevailed upon Ana to conceal her dishonor. Hence, they placed the infant in a shoebox and threw it into a nearby creek. However, an inquisitive neighbor saw them and with the help of others, retrieved the infant who was
already dead from drowning. The incident was reported to the police who arrested Ana and Oniok. The 2 were charged with parricide under Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code. After trial, they were convicted of the crime charged. Was the conviction correct?

Suggested Answer:

The conviction of Ana and Oniok is not correct. They are liable for infanticide because they killed a child less than three days of age (Art. 255, Revised Penal Code).