2013 (Criminal Law) Bar Exam Questions: Multiple Choice Question 4

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Who among the following accused is entitled to a privileged mitigating circumstance that would lower the imposable penalty by one degree? (0.5%)

(A) A minor above 15 years old and below 18 years old who acted with discernment.

(B) One who, in fulfillment of his duty to carry out the warrant of arrest of a fugitive, shot the fugitive to death without ascertaining his identity.

(C) One who defended himself against an unlawful aggression but used unreasonable means and gave provocation.

(D) All of the above.


  1. A. Minority is always a privilege mitigating circumstance. It is easy to detect whether the circumstance which mitigates the liability of the offender is privilege or not, that is, if the penalty is reduced by degree. If the penalty is lowered by one or two degrees, it is privilege; therefore, even if there is an aggravating circumstance, do not compensate because that would be violating the rules.

    The circumstances under Article 13 are generally ordinary mitigating, except in paragraph 1, where it is privilege, Article 69 would apply. So also, paragraph 2, in cases where the offender is below 18 years old, such an offender if criminally liable is entitled to the lowering of penalty by one degree. But if over nine but under 15, he is entitled to a discretionary penalty of at least two degrees lower. When there is a lowering of penalties by degrees, it is a privilege. It cannot be offset by an aggravating circumstance.

    Although the bulk of the circumstances in Article 13 are ordinary mitigating circumstances, yet, when the crime committed is punishable by a divisible penalty, two or more of these ordinary mitigating circumstances shall have the effect of a privilege mitigating circumstances if there is no aggravating circumstance at all.

  2. A. art.68 of the revised penal code provides that Penalty to be imposed upon a person under eighteen years of age. – When the offender is a minor under eighteen years and his case is one coming under the provisions of the paragraph next to the last of article 80 of this Code, the following rules shall be observed:
    x x x
    x x x
    2. Upon a person over fifteen and under eighteen years of age the penalty next lower than that prescribed by law shall be imposed, but always in the proper period.

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