2016 (Criminal Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 12

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Criminal Law Instructions; 2016 Criminal Law questions: 123456789101113141516171819 and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]


Arnold, 25 years of age, was sitting on a bench in Luneta Park watching the statue of Jose Rizal when, without his permission, Leilani, 17 years of age, sat beside him and asked for financial assistance, allegedly for payment of her tuition fee, in exchange for sex. While they were conversing, police operatives arrested and charged him with violation of Section 10 of RA 7610 (Special Protection of Children against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act), accusing him of having in his company a minor, who is not related to him, in a public place. It was established that Arnold was not in the performance of a social, moral and legal duty at that time.

Is Arnold liable for the charge? Explain. (5%)


  1. Arnold is not liable. Criminal liability only occur after the act is committed.

    Nulla Poena Sine Lege, is a legal principle that one cannot be punished for doing something that is not prohibited by law.

  2. Section 10 of RA 7610 is rather an odd law. It must be unconstitutional for being absurd. The phrase “in a public place” should be stricken out, because nobody can sanction anyone from conversing with anybody in a public place. It’s a daily occurrence. It would have been reasonable if what the law sanctions is “in places inappropriate for minors such as motels, cabarets, sauna, nightclubs, brothels, and similar others.”

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