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Crim 1 Case Digest

Estrada vs. Sandiganbayan

G.R. No. 148560. November 19, 2001
Petitioner: Joseph Ejercito Estrada
Respondents: Sandiganbayan (Third Division) and People of the Philippines
Ponente: J. Bellosillo
Section 2 of R.A. No. 7080 (An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Plunder) as amended by
R.A. No. 7659 substantially provides that any public officer who amasses, accumulates or acquires
ill-gotten wealth through a combination or series of overt or criminal acts in the aggregate amount or
total value of at least fifty million pesos (P50,000,000.00) shall be guilty of the crime of
plunder. Petitioner Joseph Ejercito Estrada, being prosecuted under the said Act, assailed its
constitutionality, arguing inter alia, that it abolishes the element of mens rea in crimes already
punishable under The Revised Penal Code; and as such, a violation of the fundamental rights of the
accused to due process and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.
Whether or not the crime of plunder as defined in R.A. No. 7080 is a malum prohibitum.
No. The Supreme Court held that plunder is malum in se which requires proof of criminal intent.
Moreover, the legislative declaration in R.A. No. 7659 that plunder is a heinous offense implies that
it is amalum in se. The predicate crimes in the case of plunder involve acts which are inherently
immoral or inherently wrong, and are committed “willfully, unlawfully and criminally” by the
offender, alleging his guilty knowledge. Thus, the crime of plunder is a malum in se.

Intod v. CA

G.R. No. 103119 October 21, 1992

Lessons Applicable:

Laws Applicable:


• February 4, 1979: Sulpicio Intod, Jorge Pangasian, Santos Tubio and Avelino Daligdig went to
Salvador Mandaya's house and asked him to go with them to the house of Bernardina Palangpangan.
Thereafter, they had a meeting with Aniceto Dumalagan who told Mandaya that he wanted
Palangpangan to be killed because of a land dispute between them and that Mandaya should
accompany them. Otherwise, he would also be killed.
• February 4, 1979 10:00 pm: All of them armed arrived at Palangpangan's house and fired at
Palangpangan's bedroom but there was no one in the room.

• RTC: convicted Intod of attempted murder based on the testimony of the witness

ISSUE: W/N Intod is guilty attempted murder since it is an impossible crime under Art. 4 (2)

HELD: YES. petition is hereby GRANTED, the decision of respondent Court of Appeals holding Petitioner
guilty of Attempted Murder is hereby MODIFIED. sentences him to suffer the penalty of six (6) months
of arresto mayor, together with the accessory penalties provided by the law, and to pay the costs

• Art. 4(2). CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY. — Criminal Responsibility shall be incurred:

xxx xxx xxx

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.

Petitioner contends that, Palangpangan's absence from her room on the night he and his companions
riddled it with bullets made the crime inherently impossible.

• The Revised Penal Code, inspired by the Positivist School, recognizes in the offender his formidability
to punish criminal tendencies in Art. 4(2)

• Legal impossibility occurs where the intended acts, even if completed, would not amount to a crime

• Legal impossibility would apply to those circumstances where

1. the motive, desire and expectation is to perform an act in violation of the law

2. there is intention to perform the physical act

3. there is a performance of the intended physical act

4. the consequence resulting from the intended act does not amount to a crime

o Ex: The impossibility of killing a person already dead

• Factual impossibility occurs when extraneous circumstances unknown to the actor or beyond his
control prevent the consummation of the intended crime – this case

o Ex: man who puts his hand in the coat pocket of another with the intention to steal the latter's wallet
and finds the pocket empty

• United States: where the offense sought to be committed is factually impossible or accomplishment -
attempt to commit a crime; legally impossible of accomplishment - cannot be held liable for any crime