Exemption From Criminal Liability Of Family Members For Certain Crimes


Article II Section 12 of the Constitution provides that the State shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. As a policy of the State, it is the duty of the State to fortify the union of the family. The fulfilment of this mandate of the Constitution is exemplified in Art 332 of the Revised Penal Code which seeks to preserve family harmony and ward off scandal.

Article 332 of the Revised Penal Code provides:

No criminal liability, but only civil liability shall result from the commission of the crime of theft, swindling, or malicious mischief committed or caused mutually by the following persons:

1.Spouses, ascendants and descendants, or relatives by affinity in the same line;

2.The widowed spouse with respect to the property which belonged to the deceased spouse before the same shall have passed into the possession of another; and

3.Brothers and sisters and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, if living together.

The exemption established by this article shall not be applicable to strangers participating in the commission of the crime.

In the case of Intestate of Manolita Gonzales vda. De Carungcong, represented by MediatrixCarungcong as Administratirix vs. People of the Philippines, et al.,MediatrixCarungcong,

Mediatrixcarungcong, in her capacity as the duly appointed administratrixof petitioner intestate estate of her deceased mother Manolita Gonzales vda.deCarungcong, filed a complaint-affidavit for estafa against her brother-in-law, William Sato, a Japanese national. It was alleged that the said accused feloniously induced Manolita Gonzales, the owner of the estate and herein deceased, to sign and thumb mark a special power of attorney (in the pretense of presenting a document pertaining to taxes) which authorized the sale, assignment, transfer and disposition of the latter’s properties. In relation to this, the accused moved for the dismissal of the case.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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