Reckless imprudence vis-à-vis simple negligence. -
Art. 365 of the Revised Penal Code provides that “reckless imprudence consists in voluntary, but without malice, doing or falling to do an act from which material damage results by reason of inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the person performing of failing to perform such act, taking into consideration his employment or occupation, degree of intelligence, physical condition and other circumstances regarding persons, time and place”.
The same article provides that “simple imprudence consists in the lack of precaution displayed in those cases in which the damage impending to be caused is not immediate nor the danger clearly manifest”.
Penalty for Reckless imprudence. –
Art. 365 of the Rev. Penal Code (“Imprudence and negligence”) provides that “any person who, by reckless imprudence, shall commit any act which, had it been intentional, would constitute a grave felony, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its medium period; if it would have constituted a less grave felony, the penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods shall be imposed; if it would have constituted a light felony, the penalty of arresto menor in its maximum period shall be imposed”.
Penalty for Simple Imprudence or Negligence. –
The aforecited Art. 365 provides that “any person who, by simple imprudence or negligence, shall commit an act which would otherwise constitute a grave felony, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its medium and maximum periods; if it would have constituted a less serious felony, the penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed”.
Penalty for Damage to Property –
Article 365 provides that “when the execution of the act covered by this article shall have only resulted in damage to the property of another, the offender shall be punished by a fine ranging from an amount equal to the value of said damages to three times such value, but which shall in no case be less than twenty-five pesos”.
Penalty for Light Felony-
A fine not exceeding two hundred pesos and censure shall be imposed upon any person who, by simple imprudence or negligence, shall cause some wrong which, if done maliciously, would have constituted a light felony.
Exceptions under Art. 365 -
The provisions of Art. 365 are not be applicable:
1. “When the penalty provided for the offense is equal to or lower than those provided in the first two paragraphs of this article, in which case the court shall impose the penalty next lower in degree than that which should be imposed in the period which they may deem proper to apply.
2. When, by imprudence or negligence and with violation of the Automobile Law, the death of a person shall be caused, in which case the defendant shall be punished by prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods.”
Failure to Lend Help –
Art. 365 provides that “the penalty next higher in degree to those provided for in this article shall be imposed upon the offender who fails to lend on the spot to the injured parties such help as may be in this hand to give”. (As amended by R.A. 1790, approved June 21, 1957).
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10586 (“Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013″) –
Punishable Act –
Sec. 5 of RA 10586 (“Punishable Act”) provides that “it shall be unlawful for any person to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and/or other similar substances”.
Mandatory Tests –
Sec. 8 (“Refusal to Subject Oneself to Mandatory Tests”) of the said provides that “a driver of a motor vehicle who refuses to undergo the mandatory field sobriety and drug tests under Sections 6, 7 and 15 of this Act shall be penalized by the confiscation and automatic revocation of his or her driver’s license, in addition to other penalties provided herein and/or other pertinent laws”.
Penalties under RA 10586 –
The penalties imposed by the said law are contained in Sec. 12 (“Penalties”) thereof. It provides that “a driver found to have been driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and/or other similar substances, as provided for under Section 5 of this Act” shall be penalized as follows:
“(a) If the violation of Section 5 did not result in physical injuries or homicide, the penalty of three (3) months imprisonment, and a fine ranging from Twenty thousand pesos (Php20,000.00) to Eighty thousand pesos (Php80,000.00) shall be imposed”;
“(b) If the violation of Section 5 resulted in physical injuries, the penalty provided in Article 263 of the Revised Penal Code or the penalty provided in the next preceding subparagraph, whichever is higher, and a fine ranging from One hundred thousand pesos (Php100,000.00) to Two hundred thousand pesos (Php200,000.00) shall be imposed”;
Article 263 (Serious physical injuries) of the Rev. Penal Code provides that “any person who shall wound, beat, or assault another, shall be guilty of the crime of serious physical injuries and shall suffer:
1. The penalty of prision mayor, if in consequence of the physical injuries inflicted, the injured person shall become insane, imbecile, impotent, or blind;
2. The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods, if in consequence of the physical injuries inflicted, the person injured shall have lost the use of speech or the power to hear or to smell, or shall have lost an eye, a hand, a foot, an arm, or a leg or shall have lost the use of any such member, or shall have become incapacitated for the work in which he was therefor habitually engaged;
3. The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods, if in consequence of the physical injuries inflicted, the person injured shall have become deformed, or shall have lost any other part of his body, or shall have lost the use thereof, or shall have been ill or incapacitated for the performance of the work in which he as habitually engaged for a period of more than ninety days;
4. The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period, if the physical injuries inflicted shall have caused the illness or incapacity for labor of the injured person for more than thirty days.
If the offense shall have been committed against any of the persons enumerated in Article 246, or with attendance of any of the circumstances mentioned in Article 248, the case covered by subdivision number 1 of this Article shall be punished by reclusion temporal in its medium and maximum periods; the case covered by subdivision number 2 by prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its minimum period; the case covered by subdivision number 3 by prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods; and the case covered by subdivision number 4 by prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods.
The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not be applicable to a parent who shall inflict physical injuries upon his child by excessive chastisement.”
Article 248 (Murder) of the Rev. Penal Code provides that “any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article 246 shall kill another, shall be guilty of murder and shall be punished by reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death, if committed with any of the following attendant circumstances:
1. With treachery, taking advantage of superior strength, with the aid of armed men, or employing means to weaken the defense or of means or persons to insure or afford impunity.
2. In consideration of a price, reward, or promise.
3. By means of inundation, fire, poison, explosion, shipwreck, stranding of a vessel, derailment or assault upon a street car or locomotive, fall of an airship, by means of motor vehicles, or with the use of any other means involving great waste and ruin.
4. On occasion of any of the calamities enumerated in the preceding paragraph, or of an earthquake, eruption of a volcano, destructive cyclone, epidemic or other public calamity.
5. With evident premeditation.
6. With cruelty, by deliberately and inhumanly augmenting the suffering of the victim, or outraging or scoffing at his person or corpse.”
(c) “If the violation of Section 5 resulted in homicide, the penalty provided in Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code and a fine ranging from Three hundred thousand pesos (Php300,000.00) to Five hundred thousand pesos (Php500,000.00) shall be imposed”;
Article 249 (Homicide) of the Rev. Penal Code provides that “any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article 246, shall kill another without the attendance of any of the circumstances enumerated in the next preceding article, shall be deemed guilty of homicide and be punished by reclusion temporal”.
Article 246. Parricide. - Any person who shall kill his father, mother, or child, whether legitimate or illegitimate, or any of his ascendants, or descendants, or his spouse, shall be guilty of parricide and shall be punished by the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death.
(d) “The nonprofessional driver’s license of any person found to have violated Section 5 of this Act shall also be confiscated and suspended for a period of twelve (12) months for the first conviction and perpetually revoked for the second conviction. The professional driver’s license of any person found to have violated Section 5 of this Act shall also be confiscated and perpetually revoked for the first conviction. The perpetual revocation of a driver’s license shall disqualify the person from being granted any kind of driver’s license thereafter.”
Without Prejudice to Other Applicable Laws. –
Art. 12 of RA 10586 provides that the “prosecution for any violation of this Act shall be without prejudice to criminal prosecution for violation of the Revised Penal Code, Republic Act No. 9165 and other special laws and existing local ordinances, whenever applicable”. The crime defined under RA 10586, a special law, is classified as malum prohibitum. The offender may still be prosecuted under Art. 365, et. seq. of the Rev. Penal Code, where the offenses defined therein are classified as mala en se.
Direct Criminal and Civil Liabilities
of the Operator –
of the Operator –
Sec. 13 (“Direct Liability of Operator and/or Owner of the Offending Vehicle”) of RA 10586 provides that “the owner and/or operator of the vehicle driven by the offender shall be directly and principally held liable together with the offender for the fine and the award against the offender for civil damages unless he or she is able to convincingly prove that he or she has exercised extraordinary diligence in the selection and supervision of his or her drivers in general and the offending driver in particular.”
The said section provides that it “shall principally apply to the owners and/or operators of public utility vehicles and commercial vehicles such as delivery vans, cargo trucks, container trucks, school and company buses, hotel transports, cars or vans for rent, taxi cabs, and the like”.
What laws did RA 10586 repeal? –
Sec. 19 (Repealing Clause) of RA 10586 repealed the following laws:
1. “Subparagraph (f), Section 56, Article 1 of Republic Act No. 4136, otherwise known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, as amended”;
Section 56 (Penalty for violation) of RA 4136 provides that the penalty for “(f) Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor or narcotic drug, a fine of not less than two hundred pesos nor more than five hundred pesos, or imprisonment of not more than three months, or both, at the discretion of the Court”.
2. “Subparagraph (f), Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7924, otherwise known as “An Act Creating the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Defining its Powers and Functions, Providing Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes;”
Subparagraph (f), Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7924 provides that among the powers of the MMDA is to “install and administer a single ticketing system, fix, impose and collect fines and penalties for all kinds of violations of traffic rules and regulations, whether moving or non-moving in nature, and confiscate and suspend or revoke driver's licenses in the enforcement of such traffic laws and regulations, the provisions of RA 4136, and PD 1605 to the contrary notwithstanding.”
3. “Subparagraph (a), Section 36 of Republic Act No. 9165”; and
RA 9165, “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002". -
“Section 36, Subparagraph (a) (Authorized Drug Testing) of RA 9165, or the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002”, provides that “no driver's license shall be issued or renewed to any person unless he/she presents a certification that he/she has undergone a mandatory drug test and indicating thereon that he/she is free from the use of dangerous drugs;”
4. “All other laws, orders, issuances, circulars, rules and regulations or parts thereof which are inconsistent with any provision of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly”.
Atty. Manuel J. Laserna Jr.
Laserna Cueva-Mercader Law Offices
Las Pinas City, MM, PH