[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2017 bar exam Criminal Law Instructions; 2017 Criminal Law questions: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11; See also 2017 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]
Tonito, an 8-year-old boy, was watching a free concert at the Luneta Park with his father Tony. The child stood on a chair to be able to see the performers on the stage. Juanito, a 10-year-old boy, who was also watching the concert, could not see much of the performance on the stage because Tonito was blocking his line of sight by standing on the chair. Using his elbow, Juanito strongly shoved Tonito to get a good view of the stage. The shove caused Tonito to fall to the ground. Seeing this, Tony struck Juanito on the head with his hand and caused the boy to fall and to hit his head on a chair. Tony also wanted to strangle Juanito but the latter’s aunt prevented him from doing so. Juanito sustained a lacerated wound on the head that required medical attendance for 10 days.
Tony was charged with child abuse in violation of Sec. 10(a), in relation to Sec. 3(b)(2), of R.A. No. 7610 (Child Abuse Law) for allegedly doing an “act by deeds or words which debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being.” In his defense, Tony contended that he had no intention to maltreat Juanito, much less to degrade his intrinsic worth and dignity as a human being.
(a) Distinguish crimes mala in se from crimes ma/a prohibita. (3%)
(b) Was Tony criminally liable for child abuse under R.A. No. 7610? Explain your answer. (3%)