SPECIAL PENAL LAWS Fiscal Freddie Nojara San Sebastian College of Law-Recoletos Manila Leviathan Sorroritas Prepared by: Ms. Monica May R. Ramos/Ariane Aquino I.Nature and Concept Criminal Law –A branch of municipal law which defines crimes, treats of their nature and provides for their punishment. Sources of Criminal Law 1.The Revised Penal Code 2.Special Penal Laws –Acts enacted of the Philippine Legislature punishing offenses or omissions II.Mala in se v Mala Prohibita (Bar 1997, 2003, 2005) Question: Distinguish between crimes mala in se and mala prohibita. Crimes mala in se are felonious acts committed by dolo or culpa as defined in the Revised Penal Code. Lack of criminal intent is a valid defense, except when the crime results from criminal negligence. On the other hand, crimes mala prohibita are those considered wrong only because they are prohibited by statute. They constitute violations of mere rules of convenience designed to secure a more orderly regulation of the affairs of society. Question: May an act be both mala in se and mala prohibita? Yes, an act may be malum in se and malum prohibitum at the same time. In People v. Sunico, et aL. (CA 50 OG 5880) it was held that the omission or failure of election inspectors and poll clerks to include a voter's name in the registry list of voters is wrong per se because it disenfranchises a voter of his right to vote. In this regard it is considered as malum in se. Since it is punished under a special law (Sec. 101 and 103, Revised Election Code), it is considered malum prohibitum. Note: Test to determine if violation of special law is malum prohibitum or malum in se Analyze the violation: Is it wrong because there is a law prohibiting it or punishing it as such? If you remove the law, will the act still be wrong?If the wording of the law punishing the crime uses the word “willfully”,then malice must be proven. Where malice is a factor, good faith is a defense.In violation of special law, the act constituting the crime is a prohibited act. Therefore culpa is not a basis of liability, unless the special law punishes an omission.When given a problem, take note if the crime is a violation of the Revised Penal Code or a special law.III.Distinction between crimes punished under the Revised Penal Code and crimes punished under special laws 1 RPC SPL As to moral trait of the offendermoral trait of the offender is considered. This is why liability would only arise when there is dolo or culpa in the commission of the punishable act. not considered; it is enough that the prohibited act was voluntarily done. As to use of good faith as defensevalid defense; unless the crime is the result of culpa not a defense As to degree of accomplishment of the crimetaken into account in punishing the offender; thus, there are attempted, frustrated, and consummated stages in the commission of the crime.