2016 (Criminal Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 3

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Criminal Law Instructions; 2016 Mercantile Law questions: 1245678910111213141516171819 and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]

-III-

Pedro is married to Tessie. Juan is the first cousin of Tessie. While in the market, Pedro saw a man stabbing Juan. Seeing the attack on Juan, Pedro picked up a spade nearby and hit the attacker on his head which caused the latter’s death.

Can Pedro be absolved of the killing on the ground that it is in defense of a relative? Explain. (5%)

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  2. Technically, this is not a defense of a relative because Juan is not a “relative” in the context of Article 12 par. 2. However he may be absolved on the ground that it is a defense of a stranger under Article 12 par. 3.

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  3. No, Pedro cannot be absolved of the killing on the ground that it is in defense of a relative. The person being attacked, Juan, is the first cousin of Tessie. For purposes of applying the provisions of defense of a relative, the first cousin of a wife does not fall within the degree of relationship required for the defense of relatives by affinity.

    However, Pedro may be absolved on the ground of defense of a stranger. First, there is unlawful aggression. Second, it appears that Pedro is not induced by revenge, resentment, or other evil motive. Third, the means employed to repel the aggression is reasonably necessary under the circumstances.

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