What is the penalty for homicide in the Philippines?

Penalties; Homicide with Modifying Circumstance

Homer was convicted of homicide. The trial court appreciated the following modifying circumstances: the aggravating circumstance of nocturnity, and the mitigating circumstances of passion and obfuscation, no intent to commit so grave a wrong, illiteracy, and voluntary surrender. The imposable penalty for homicide is reclusion temporal the range of which is twelve (12) years and one (1) day to twenty (20) years. Taking into account the attendant aggravating and mitigating circumstances, and applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, determine the proper penalty to be imposed on the accused.

Suggested Answer:

It appears that there is one aggravating circumstance (nocturnity), and four mitigating circumstances (passion and obfuscation, no intent to commit so grave a wrong as that committed and voluntary surrender). Par.4, Art.64 should be applied. Hence, there will be an off-setting of modifying circumstances, which will now result in the excess of three mitigating circumstances. This will, therefore, justify reducing the penalty to the minimum period.

The existence of an aggravating circumstance, albeit there are four mitigating, will not justify the lowering of the penalty to the next lower degree under paragraph 5 of said article, as this is applicable only if there is no aggravating circumstance present. Since the crime committed is homicide and the penalty therefor is reclusion temporal, the maximum sentence under the Indeterminate Sentence Law should be the minimum of the penalty, which is 12 years and 1 day to 14 years and 8 months. The minimum penalty will thus be the penalty next lower in degree, which is prision mayor in its full extent (6 years and 1 day to 12 years). Ergo, the proper penalty would be 6 years and 1 day, as minimum, to 12 years and 1 day, as maximum. I believe that because of the remaining mitigating circumstance after the off-setting it would be very logical to impose the minimum of the minimum sentence under the ISL and the minimum of the maximum sentence. (Bar Exam Question of 1995)

Bar Exam Question (1997)

Penalties; Mitigating Circumstances without Aggravating Circumstance

Assume in the preceding problem that there were two mitigating circumstances and no
aggravating circumstance. Impose the proper prison penalty.

Suggested Answer:

There being two (2) mitigating circumstances without any aggravating circumstance, the proper prison penalty is arresto mayor (in any of its periods, ie. ranging from 1 month and 1 day to 6 months) as minimum to prision correccional in its maximum period 4 years, 2 months, and 1 day to 6 years as maximum. Under Art.64, par. 5 of the Revised Penal Code, when a penalty contains three periods, each one of which forms a period in accordance with Article 76 and 77 of the same code, and there are two or more mitigating circumstances and no aggravating circumstances, the penalty next lower in degree should be imposed. For purposes of the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the penalty next lower in degree should be determined without regard as to whether the basic penalty provided by the Revised penal Code should be applied in its maximum or minimum period as circumstances modifying liability may require. The penalty next lower in degree to prision correccional. Therefore, as previously stated, the minimum should be within the range of arresto mayor and the maximum is within the range of prision correccional in its maximum period.