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Art. 4. Criminal liability.

Criminal liability shall be incurred:


1. By any person committing a felony (delito) although the wrongful act done be
different from that which he intended.
2. By any person performing an act which would be an offense against persons or
property, were it not for the inherent impossibility of its accomplishment or on
account of the employment of inadequate or ineffectual means.
*Article 4 refers how criminal liability can be incurred.
In the 1st paragraph, there are cases where the consequences of the felonious act of
the offender are not intended by him. In those cases, "the wrongful act done" is
"different from that which he intended."
In view of paragraph 1 of Art. 4, a person committing a felony is criminally liable
although the consequences of his felonious act are not intended by him.
Rational of paragraph 1 - "el que es causa de la causa es causa del mal causado" (he
who is the cause of the cause is the cause of the evil caused)
EX:
1. Death of victim was due to her head falling on the pavement because of her
struggling since she was being raped by accused.
2. One who fired his gun at B, but missed and hit C instead, is liable for the injury
caused to C, although the one who fired the gun had no intention to injure C.
Causes which may produce a result different from that which the offender
intended are:
1. mistake in the identity of the victim (error in personae)
2. mistake in the blow, that is, when the offender intending to do an injury to one person
actually inflicts it on another (aberratio ictus)
3. the act exceeds the intent, that is, the injurious result is greater than that intended
(praeter intentionem)
ELEMENTS OF PARAGRAPH 1 ARTICLE 4:
1. An intentional felony has been committed
2. That the wrong done to the aggrieved party be the direct, natural and logical
consequence of the felony committed by the offender. (felony committed must be the
proximate cause of the wrong done)
*Paragraph 1 also applies to any person who creates in another's mind an immediate
sense of danger, which causes the latter to do something resulting in the latter's injuries,
is liable for the resulting injuries.
(EXAMPLE: During a robbery in a passenger jeepney, one of the culprits told the
women passengers "to bring out their money and not to shout 'or else there will be
shots.'" One of the women jumped out of the jeepney. Her head struck the pavement.
She died as a consequence.)

Felony committed is not the proximate cause of the resulting injury when:
1. there is an active force that intervened between the felony committed and the
resulting injury, and the active force is a distinct act or fact absolutely foreign from the
felonious act of the accused
2. the resulting injury is due to the intentional act of the victim.
Causes, not being efficient intervening causes, do not break the relation of cause and
effect the felony committed and the resulting injury.
The felony committed is not the proximate cause of the resulting injury when:
1. There is an active force that intervened between the felony committed and the
resulting injury, and the active force is a distinct act or fact absolutely foreign from the
felonious act of the accused
2. The resulting injury is due to the intentional act of the victim.

In the 2nd paragraph of Article 4, the commission of an impossible crime is indicative of


criminal propensity or criminal tendency on the part of the actor. Such person is a
potential criminal.
Requisites of impossible crime:
1. That the act performed would be an offense against persons
or property.
2. That the act was done with evil intent.
3. That its accomplishment is inherently impossible, or that the means employed is
either inadequate or ineffectual.
4. That the act performed should not constitute a violation of another provision of the
Revised Penal Code.
Paragraph 2 contemplates offenses against persons or property and the attempt is
impossible.
EXAMPLES OF CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS AND PROPERTY:
Parricide, murder, rape, robbery, theft, swindling, etc.

*Since the offender in impossible crime intended to commit an offense against persons
or against property, it must be shown that the actor performed the act with evil intent,
that is, he must have the intent to do an injury to another.
*In impossible crime, the act performed by the offender cannot produce an offense
against persons or property, because:
1. the commission of the offense (against persons or against property) is inherently
impossible of accomplishment
2. the means employed is either (a) inadequate or (b) ineffectual.
Inherent impossibility - means that the act intended by offender is impossible to
accomplish.
2 impossibilities:
1. legal impossibility
2. physical impossibility
Legal impossibility example - A stole B's watch. A then found out after he stole the watch
that it was his watch that he lost before. It is legal impossibility because A cannot steal
something that belonged to him. (presence of criminal tendency)
Physical impossibility example - A tries to pickpocket B. It turned out there was nothing
to steal from his pocket. It is physical impossibility because A tried to steal but there was
nothing to steal from the pockets of B. (presence of criminal tendency)
Inadequate means - Means employed were not sufficient to accomplish the act.
example of inadequate means - A tries to poison B. A put some poison solution onto the
drink of B thinking that it would be enough to kill B. B drinks the beverage but he did not
die because the amount of poison put by A was inadequate. (presence of criminal
tendency)
Ineffectual means - means employed was ineffective to accomplish the act. Still there
was criminal tendency on the part of the offender.
Example - A tried to poison B. A, believing it was a poison solution, put soy sauce on
beverage of B. B drinks it and nothing happens. A employed ineffectual means to poison
B.