Civil Liability of a Person Guilty of Felony

ART. 100

Civil liability of a person guilty of felony. - Every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable.

1. Social injury – produced by disturbance and alarm which are the outcome of the offense
2. Personal injury – caused by the victim who may have suffered damage, either to his person, property, honor or chastity

Dual Character Of The Crime As Against:
1. the state, because of the disturbance of peace and order
2. the private person injured, unless it involves the crime of treason, rebellion, espionage, contempt and others where no civil liability arises on the part of the offender either because there are no damages or there is no private person injured by the crime

Damage that may be recovered in criminal cases:
1. Crimes against persons, like crime of physical injuries – whatever he spent for treatment of wounds, doctor’s fees, medicines as well as salary or wages unearned
2. Moral Damages: seduction, abduction, rape or other lascivious acts, adultery or concubinage, illegal or arbitrary detention or arrest, illegal search, libel, slander or any other form of defamation, malicious prosecution
3. Exemplary Damages: imposed when crime was committed with one or more aggravating circumstances


If there is no damage caused by the commission of the crime, offender is not civilly liable.

Dismissal of the information or the criminal action does not affect the right of the offended party to institute or continue the civil action already instituted arising from the offense, because such dismissal does not carry with it the extinction of the civil one.

When accused is acquitted on ground that his guilt has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt, a civil action for damages for the same act or omission may be instituted.

Exemption from criminal liability in favor of an imbecile or insane person, and a person under 15 years, or over 15 but under 18 who acted without discernment and those acting under the
impulse of irresistible force or under the impulse of an uncontrollable fear of an equal or greater injury does not include exemption from civil liability.

Acquittal in the criminal action for negligence does not preclude the offended party from filing a civil action to recover damages, based on the theory that the act is a quasi-delict.

When the court found the accused guilty of criminal negligence but failed to enter judgment of civil liability, the private prosecutor has a right to appeal for the purposes of the civil liability of the accused. The appellate court may remand the case to the trial court for the latter to include in its
judgment the civil liability of the accused.

Before expiration of the 15-day period to appeal, the trial court can amend the judgment of conviction by adding a provision for the civil liability of the accused, even if the convict has started serving the sentence.

If offender dies prior to the institution of the action or prior to the finality of judgment, civil liability ex delicto is extinguished.

An independent civil action may be brought by the injured party during the pendency of the criminal case provided the right is reserved. Reservation is necessary in the following cases:
i. any of the cases referred to in Art 32 (perpetual or temporary disqualification for exercise of the right of suffrage)
ii. defamation, fraud and physical injury (bodily injury and not the crime of physical injury)
iii. civil action is against a member of a city or municipal police force for refusing or failing to render aid or protection to any person in case of danger to life or property.

Prejudicial Question – one which arises in a case, the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved in said case and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal.
(elements provided in Rule 111, Section 7 of RoC) For the principle to apply, it is essential that there be 2 cases involved, a civil and a criminal case. Prejudicial questions must be decided before any criminal prosecution may be instituted or may proceed.

Bar Exam Question (2005)

Civil Liability; When Mandatory; Criminal Liability (2005)

The accused was found guilty of 10 counts of rape for having carnal knowledge with the same woman. In addition to the penalty of imprisonment, he was ordered to pay indemnity in the amount of P50,000.00 for each count. On appeal, the accused questions the award of civil indemnity for each count, considering that the victim is the same woman. How would you rule on the contention of the accused? Explain.

Suggested Answer:

The contention is unmeritorious. Under the law, every person criminally liable is civilly liable. (Art. 100, Revised Penal Code) Since each count charges different felonious acts and ought to be punished differently, the concomitant civil indemnity ex delicto for every criminal act should be adjudged. Said civil indemnity is mandatory upon a finding of the fact of rape; it is distinct from and should not be denominated as moral damages which are based on different jural foundations. (People v. Jalosjos, G.R. Nos. 132875-76, November 16, 2001)