What Is The Difference Between Robbery And Theft [Simple Theft]
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In this discussion, we shall tackle Robbery with Force and Intimidation and Force Upon Things. Likewise, we shall go about the difference between Robbery and Theft, the simple one, as distinguished from Qualified Theft.

In discussing Robbery in general, we shall delve on its related mode of commissions and metamorphosis, such as Robbery with Intimidation, Robbery with Force upon Things, and the Special Complex Crimes of Robbery with Homicide, Robbery with Rape, and Robbery with Homicide aggravated by Rape. We shall touch as well Robbery by a Band and Brigandage.

Fundamentally, what is the difference between robbery and theft?

Robbery in general and simple theft can be distinguished in the sense that, in robbery, there is force employed upon persons or things, when stealing or taking away personal property without the consent of the owner or possessor thereof. While in theft, there is none.

You may see this table to readily distinguish robbery from simple theft.

ParticularsRobberySimple Theft
SubjectPersons or Possessor of the Personal Property or Thing of ValuePersons or Possessor of the Personal Property or Thing of Value
ObjectPersonal Property or Thing of Value [Movable]Personal Property or Thing of Value [Movable]
Mens Rea [Criminal Intent]Intent to Gain [Animus Lucrandi]Intent to Gain [Animus Lucrandi]
ModeWith Force, Violence, Intimidation or Force Upon Things mentioned in Articles 299 and 302 RPCAny mode but without force, violence, or intimidation or force upon things mentioned in Articles 299, 300, and 302 RPC
Provisions of RPCArticles 293, 294, 295, 296, 297, and 298 [Robbery with Force, Violence, and Intimidation; Articles 299, 300, 302, and 303 [Robbery with force Upon Things]Articles 308 and 309

We shall discuss first robbery.

What is robbery in general?

In Philippine jurisdiction, Robbery is defined in Article 293 of the Revised Penal Code. the latter provides that:

Article 293. Who are guilty of robbery. – Any person who, with intent to gain, shall take any personal property belonging to another, by means of violence or intimidation of any person, or using force upon anything shall be guilty of robbery.[1]Article 293, Revised Penal Code

Force, Intimidation, and Violence

Readily, you will see in this provision the element of force, which is not present in the crime of theft, whether such force is employed on a person or thing of value.

Force, Violence, and Intimidation upon person (natural person) or individual

In taking away the property of another person against his will, in order to constitute robbery, either force, violence, or intimidation is utilized by the perpetrator to attain his unlawful objective.

These circumstances of duress have been taken advantage of by the offender to afford impunity upon himself and for him to successfully accomplish his sinister acts.

It must be noted in this form of robbery that the force or duress is directed upon a person or individual rather than the thing itself.

Nonetheless, intimidation may be not a threat to bodily harm an individual. There is sufficient intimidation where a person is forced to make a choice against his will, such as choosing between the closure of his store or paying a fine.[2]The Revised Penal Code [RPC], Criminal Law, Book II, Reyes, 19th Ed., p. 686

In addition, the violence or intimidation should be present before the taking of the valuables or personal property is complete.

If there is violence or intimidation at any time before asportation is complete, the taking of personal property is qualified to robbery. It is not necessary that the violence or intimidation should be present from the very beginning.[3]Supra. Reyes, RPC, p. 686

Force upon things

Robbery may also be committed if force is directed upon certain things or property. This form of robbery absolutely excludes force, intimidation, or violence on a person or individual. Otherwise, the robbery is of the first form, regardless whether force is utilized against certain things.

Forcing to open a door in order to gain entry upon the house and taking valuables therefrom is robbery with force upon things.

Surreptitiously entering a house and getting the locked jewelry box and forcing to open the same by breaking it is also robbery with force upon things even if the jewelry box has been forced open outside the house where it comes from.

Robbery with Violence and Intimidation coupled with Force Upon Things

Nevertheless, when robbery with intimidation and with force upon things are attendant in a given situation, it is the opinion of the author to determine the degree of intimidation, force, and violence and their resulting effect upon the life, person, or limbs of the victims.

In Napolis vs. Court of Appeals,[4]G.R. No. L-28865 February 28, 1972 the Supreme Court En Banc, settled this issue. It ruled:

Upon mature deliberation, We find ourselves unable to share the foregoing view. Indeed, one who, by breaking a wall, enters, with a deadly weapon, an inhabited house and steals therefrom valuable effects, without violence against or intimidation upon persons, is punishable under Art. 299 of the Revised Penal Code with reclusion temporal. Pursuant to the above view, adhered to in previous decision, if, aside from performing said acts, the thief lays hand upon any person, without committing any of the crimes or inflicting any of the injuries mentioned in subparagraphs (1) to (4) of Art. 294 of the same Code, the imposable penalty — under paragraph (5) thereof — shall be much lighter. To our mind, this result and the process of reasoning that has brought it about, defy logic and reason.[5]Ibid.

The argument to the effect that the violence against or intimidation of a person supplies the “controlling qualification,” is far from sufficient to justify said result. We agree with the proposition that robbery with “violence or intimidation against the person is evidently graver than ordinary robbery committed by force upon things,” but, precisely, for this reason, We cannot accept the conclusion deduced therefrom in the cases above cited — reduction of the penalty for the latter offense owing to the concurrence of violence or intimidation which made it a more serious one. It is, to our mind, more plausible to believe that Art. 294 applies only where robbery with violence against or intimidation of person takes place without entering an inhabited house, under the conditions set forth in Art. 299 of the Revised Penal Code.[6]Ibid.

We deem it more logical and reasonable to hold, as We do, when the elements of both provisions are present, that the crime is a complex one, calling for the imposition — as provided in Art. 48 of said Code — of the penalty for the most serious offense, in its maximum period, which, in the case at bar, is reclusion temporal in its maximum period. This penalty should, in turn, be imposed in its maximum period — from nineteen (19) years, one (1) month and eleven (11) days to twenty (20) years of reclusion temporal — owing to the presence of the aggravating circumstances of nighttime.[7]Ibid.

When the High Court in the above case of Napolis applied the doctrine of Complex Crime Proper under Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code, it may have noticed that, when following the previous overturned doctrines, injustice and absurdity in the application of penalty may result.

It may have seen that if the perpetrators are armed and they entered an inhabited place under the circumstances mentioned in Article 299 of the Revised Penal Code, taking valuables exceeding the amount of P250.00 (now P50,000.00 [RA No. 10951]), the penalty is Reclusion Temporal.

Whereas if the malefactors use force and intimidation under the circumstances mentioned in par. 5 of Article 294, the penalty that may be imposed (imposable penalty) is only Prision Correcional in its maximum period to Prision Mayor in its medium period.

In previous doctrine prior to Napolis, the controllng qualifications are “violence and intimidation”. The presence of force upon things under the circumstances mentioned in Article 299 [RPC], culprits being armed, and the property taken exceeded the value of P250.00 (now P50,000.00) will be meted only with a lighter punishment, thereby, disregarding the imposable penalty under the law of Reclusion Temporal.

Consequently, in Napolis, the High Court applied the doctrine of Complex Crime Proper under Article 48, RPC. In that, the imposable penalty should be that applicable to the graver offense. Therefore, it must be the imposable sentence in the commission of Robbery with Force Upon things, it being the offense with graver penalty.

Elements of Robbery in general

Therefore, the elements of the felony of robbery in general are as follows, to wit:

  • There must be personal property belonging to another
  • There must be unlawful taking of the said property or thing of value
  • The taking must be attendant with mens rea of intent to gain
  • There must be violence employed or intimidation upon a person or force upon things

Property subject matter of the Offense

In this crime, the property taken must be personal (or movable property), for if real (or immovable) is occupied or real right is usurped by means of violence or intimidation of person, the felony committed is usurpation of real rights. [Article 312, Revised Penal Code.[8]Article 312, Revised Penal Code Occupation of real property or usurpation of real rights in property].[9]The Revised Penal Code, Criminal Law, Book II, Reyes, 19th Ed., p. 680

It bears stressing also that even prohibited articles, such as illegal drugs, may be the subject of robbery.

In a 1914 case, the Supreme Court decided a case against the accused, where the latter was responsible for taking away articles such as opium form an individual against the latter’s will by force and intimidation. Thus, during those times, opium may be property that can be the object of robbery.[10]United States vs. Albao, 29 Phil. 86. G.R. No. L-9369 December 24, 1914

Ownership of the property subject of the Offense, Immaterial

In the above case, the complainant asserted that he is not even the owner of the opium. Nonetheless, the court still convicted the accused for the crime of robbery.

In the commission of the crime of robbery, it is not necessary that the person from whom the property is taken by means of threats and violence, shall be the owner thereof. It is sufficient if the property is taken from him by means of threats and violence, for purposes of gain, on the part of the person appropriating it. The possession of the property is sufficient. Ownership is not necessary. Robbery may be committed from a bailee or from a person who himself has stolen it. It has even been held that the taking of clothing from the body of a dead person constitute robbery, as the property of the executor. Even if the owner of property may be guilty of robbery when, for instance, he takes it from the possession of a bailee, with the intent to charge the bailee with its value. (U.S. v. Albao, 29 Phil. 86)[11]The Revised Penal Code, Criminal Law, Book II, Reyes, 19th Ed., p. 681

Mens Rea: Intent to Gain [Robbery]

It bears to emphasize that intent to gain [animus lucrandi], which is the mens rea or criminal intent, is present from the unlawful taking of any valuables or personal [movable] property for that matter.

The intent to gain, being an internal act, cannot be established by direct evidence, except n the case of confession by the accused. It must, therefore, be deduced from the circumstances surrounding the commission of the offense. As a general rule, however, the unlawful taking of personal property belonging to another involves intent to gain on the part of the offender. (People v. sia Teb Ban,[12]G.R. No. 31695 November 26, 1929  54 Phil. 52)[13]Supra., Reyes, RPC, p. 684

Robbery with Violence and Intimidation of Persons

The Philippine Penal Code, or most popularly known as the Revised Penal Code defines and penalizes Robbery with Violence and Intimidation of Persons. Article 294 thereof states:

Article 294. Robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons; Penalties. – Any person guilty of robbery with the use of violence against or intimidation of any person shall suffer:[14]Article 294, RPC, Supra.

1. The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death, when by reason or on occasion of the robbery, the crime of homicide shall have been committed.[15]Ibid.

2. The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua when the robbery shall have been accompanied by rape or intentional mutilation, or if by reason or on occasion of such robbery, any of the physical injuries penalized in subdivision 1 of Article 263 shall have been inflicted; Provided, however, that when the robbery accompanied with rape is committed with a use of a deadly weapon or by two or more persons, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death (As amended by PD No. 767).[16]Ibid.

3. The penalty of reclusion temporal, when by reason or on occasion of the robbery, any of the physical injuries penalized in subdivision 2 of the article mentioned in the next preceding paragraph, shall have been inflicted.[17]Ibid.

4. The penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period to reclusion temporal in its medium period, if the violence or intimidation employed in the commission of the robbery shall have been carried to a degree clearly unnecessary for the commission of the crime, or when the course of its execution, the offender shall have inflicted upon any person not responsible for its commission any of the physical injuries covered by sub-divisions 3 and 4 of said Article 263.[18]Ibid.

5. The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period to prision mayor in its medium period in other cases. (As amended by R. A. 18).[19]Ibid.

We shall, for this purpose, tackle Robbery with Homicide.

What is robbery with homicide?

This felony is committed when, during the commission or on the occasion of robbery, death resulted. This is a special complex crime. Two crimes have been committed yet one penalty is imposed.

Also, this aggregate crime is not the one contemplated in Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code on Complex Crime proper. Hence, the application of the principle of Special Complex Crime.

As said, this crime, robbery with homicide, is a Special Complex Crime the situation permeating the commission thereof is not the one contemplated in Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code, which provides that:

Article 48. Penalty for complex crimes. – When a single act constitutes two or more grave or less grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means for committing the other, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum period.[20]Article 48, Revised Penal Code

In robbery with homicide, the latter offense may or may not be committed as necessary means to commit robbery. Nonetheless, the perpetrator’s criminal intent here in the first place is to rob someone, not the other way around.

Even if the criminal intent of the malefactor is to take away personal property and using force is one objective, the fact that the victim has been killed first to commit the larceny, still, this will be a Special Complex Crime of Robbery with Homicide and not the Complex Crime Proper under Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code.

The reason is that the provision of Article 294 par. 1 will prevail over Article 48 of the said code, which categorically states that “when BY REASON or ON THE OCCASION OF the robbery, homicide shall have been committed.” These phrases operate to created the Special Complex Crime of Robbery with Homicide.

Note the phrase “on the occasion” and “by reason” of the robbery. This means that homicide or serious physical injuries defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Art. 263 [provisions on serious physical injuries] must be committed in the course or because of the robbery.[21]Supra., Reyes, RPC, p. 692

Incidentally, this is true also in some other crimes such as Kidnapping with Homicide, Robbery with Rape, Kidnapping with Rape, and others which have the same phraseology or similar import.

How is robbery with homicide committed?

As mentioned, homicide must be committed on the occasion or by reason of robbery. Otherwise, homicide and robbery will be considered as separate crimes, not special complex one. Therefore, killing must happen in the course or because of the robbery that is being perpetrated at a particular moment.

More importantly, the prevailing intent of the perpetrator is to commit robbery. Unfortunately, in the course of the commission of robbery, death resulted. Hence:

Nevertheless, it must be stressed that in robbery with homicide, the offender’s original intent must be the commission of robbery. The killing is merely incidental and subsidiary. However, when the offender’s “original criminal design does not clearly comprehend robbery, but robbery follows the homicide as an afterthought or as a minor incident of the homicide, the criminal acts should be viewed as constitutive of two offenses and not of a single complex offense.”[22]People vs. Palema, et al., G.R. No. 228000, July 10, 2019

Additionally:

In robbery with homicide, the original criminal design of the malefactor is to commit robbery, with homicide perpetrated on the occasion or by reason of the robbery. The intent to commit robbery must precede the taking of human life. The homicide may take place before, during or after the robbery. It is only the result obtained, without reference or distinction as to the circumstances, causes or modes or persons intervening in the commission of the crime that has to be taken into consideration. There is no such felony of robbery with homicide through reckless imprudence or simple negligence. The constitutive elements of the crime, namely, robbery and homicide, must be consummated.[23]Ibid.

Conversely:

Notably, the appellants were charged with separate crimes of Murder and Robbery and not the complex crime of Robbery with Homicide. A conviction for Robbery with Homicide requires that Robbery is the main purpose and objective of the malefactors and the killing is merely incidental to the Robbery. If, originally, the malefactors did not comprehend Robbery, but Robbery follows the Homicide either as an afterthought or merely as an incident of the Homicide, then the malefactor is guilty of two separate crimes, that of Homicide or Murder and Robbery, and not of the special complex crime of Robbery with Homicide.[24]People vs. Natindim, G. R. No. 201867, November 04, 2020

Homicide must be understood in its generic sense. Thus, it killing may be murder, parricide, or infanticide, as the case may be. They will be still treated as homicide with committed in the course or because of robbery. thus:

Once a homicide is committed by or on the occasion of the robbery, the felony committed is robbery with homicide. All the felonies committed by reason of or on the occasion of the robbery are integrated into one and indivisible felony of robbery with homicide. The word “homicide” is used in its generic sense. Homicide, thus, includes murder, parricide, and infanticide.[25]Supra., People vs. Palema, et al.

Who should die?

When robbery with homicide is committed, it matters not who died, whether the robber, the victims, or the authorities. The controlling aspect should be death resulting in the course, on the occasion, by reason, and/or because of robbery.

Any person who will be the eventual casualty matters not, when denominating the crime as robbery with homicide, as long as the person or individuals who died as a consequence where there in the course, on the occasion, by reason, and/or because of robbery.

Effect of conspiracy

Conspiracy [to commit crime] exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it.[26]Article 8, Revised Penal Code of the Philippines

In conspiracy, the act of one is the act of all. Hence, if at least three individuals conspired to commit robbery, all of them will be liable for such offense as principal, even one of them has a least participation.

Moreover, if homicide is committed on the occasion or by reason of robbery, all of the conspirator will be liable for robbery with homicide even if only one of them killed the person robbed.

Even the look-out who conspired to commit robbery only and has not entered the house will still be liable for robbery with homicide. This is the legal effect of conspiracy. They will all be considered as principals, no matter the degree of participation in the commission thereof.

In this light, settled is the rule that where there is a proven conspiracy to commit robbery yet homicide is likewise perpetrated, all conspirators are liable for robo con homicidio (Robbery with Homicide), regardless whether they participated in the killing or not.

Foreseeable consequences

A conspirator is liable only for such other crimes which could have been foreseen and which are the natural and logical consequences of the conspiracy. Thus, if the conspiracy is only to rob the victims, rape is not at foreseeable consequence (People vs. Castillo, et al.,[27]G. R. No. L-11793, May 16 1961 G. R. No. L-11793, May 16 1961).[28]Criminal Law Conspectus, Regalado, 1st Ed., p. 37

Accordingly, where the agreed purpose was only to commit robbery, the accused who raped the victim was liable for robbery with rape, but his two companions who did not participate in that sexual assault were held guilty only of robbery. (People vs. Carandang, et al.,[29]G. R No. L-31012, August 15, 1973 G. R No. L-31012, August 15, 1973).[30]Ibid.

On the other hand:

When it comes to Homicide, the same is a foreseeable consequence in robbery. The latter offense presupposes the use of force or violence. Consequently, if the agreement was only to commit robbery of a banca but three victims drowned as a result (People vs. Arpa, et al.,[31]G. R. No. L-26789, April 25, 1969 G. R. No. L-26789, April 25, 1969); or the robbery was accompanied by homicide and physical injuries (People vs. Pujinio,[32]G. R. No. L-21690, April 29 1969 G. R. No. L-21690, April 29 1969); or where the conspiracy was only to rob the victims but, because he was shouting, the robbers took him away and killed him, all the accused are liable for robbery with homicide (People vs. Rogel, et al.,[33]G. R. No. L-15318, March 1, 1962 G. R. No. L-15318, March 1, 1962)[34]Ibid.

Effect of commission by a band

On the other hand, a member of a band in a robbery en quadrilla (perpetrated by at least four [4][35]in the words of law “more than three [3] armed persons” malefactors) is liable for all assaults, inclusive of rape and homicide, where he was present when these other crimes were committed but he did not attempt to prevent the same (Par. 2,[36]Paragraph 2 of Article 296, RPC Art. 296), regardless of whether or not these additional offense were foreseeable or logical consequences of the robbery. This is an exception to the foregoing rule on conspiracy.[37]Ibid.

What is robbery with rape?

The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua when the robbery shall have been accompanied by rape or intentional mutilation, or if by reason or on occasion of such robbery, any of the physical injuries penalized in subdivision 1 of Article 263 shall have been inflicted; Provided, however, that when the robbery accompanied with rape is committed with a use of a deadly weapon or by two or more persons, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death.[38]Article 294, RPC, Supra.

Robbery with Rape is also a Special Complex Crime, being committed together with the commission of the crime of Robbery.

How is it committed?

Robbery with Rape is committed, as mentioned, when robbery shall have been accompanied with sexual intercourse upon the victim or any person thereat against her or his will. Under the present state of criminal law in the Philippines, rape or sexual assault can be committed upon a person other than a female.

As regards the special complex crime of robbery with rape, the law uses the phrase “when the robbery shall have been accompanied by rape.”[39]The Revised Penal Code, Criminal Law, Book II, Reyes, 19th Ed., p. 702

Nevertheless, like in robbery with homicide, the offender must have the intent to take the personal property belonging to another with intent to gain, and such intent must precede the rape.[40]Ibid.

In order to determine whether it is proper to charge the perpetrator with the crime of Robbery with Rape, it is necessary that such rape shall have accompanied the execution of the offense of robbery. Otherwise, the two crimes shall be separately treated.

Effect of conspiracy

As discussed above, when conspiracy is only to rob someone, then the commission of rape by on of the robbers shall not be imputed against those who did not have carnal knowledge with the victim against her will.

The perpetrator who raped his victim during the course of robbery shall be the one solely responsible for the special complex crime of robbery with rape.

Foreseeable consequences

Rape is not a foreseeable consequence in the conspiracy to perpetrate robbery or the commission thereof. Necessarily, rape during the course of robbery shall be attributable, as a general rule, only to those who committed such act of bestiality.

Effect of commission by a band

However, the rule is different when robbery is committed by a band. A member of a band in a robbery en quadrilla will be held responsible when rape is committed by his cohorts, if he shall have been present when that other felony is being done to the victim and he did not attempt to prevent the same, even if he, himself, did not rape her.[41]Supra., Conspectus in Criminal Law, Regalado, p. 38

Consequently, such person can be held liable for robbery with rape. Nevertheless, if he was not in a position to prevent the additional rape or assault on the victim, he shall not be held liable there for.[42]Ibid.

What will be the nature of the felony when, in the commission of robbery, killing and rape are perpetrated simultaneously?

When the perpetrator has robbed a place or certain house, killed the husband, and raped his spouse in a place other then the house itself, the offense committed is a Special Complex Crime of Robbery with Homicide and Rape under Article 294 paragraph 1 of the Revised penal Code. Rape is appreciated only as an Aggravating Circumstance.[43]Supra., Reyes, RPC, p. 706

Is there a crime called “Robbery with Murder”?

There is no crime nomenclature called “Robbery with Murder”. When robbery is attended with killing on the occasion thereof, regardless of how the killing has been perpetrated or the means employed in committing the same, even standing alone, the killing should be deemed falling within the contemplation of murder under Article 248 of the Revised penal Code.

While there is no such nomenclature, however, the allegations in the Complaint-Affidavit, borne out by the initial evidence at hand, should be the controlling factor to determine the initial charge to label against the suspected perpetrator.

In one case, it is said that:

There is no doubt that the defendants killed with treachery because the attack was carried out without any danger to their persons of any aggression that comes from the defense of the two sergeants, since they were completely unaware and walked with all the confidence that they were with guides and not with murderers and thieves. This circumstance, however, cannot be considered as qualifying for murder because the crime they are accused of is the special complex crime of robbery with homicide punishable by article 294, par. 1st of the Revised Penal Code, which is a single crime specifically defined by said article. The robbery and murder committed, because they are linked to each other by the clause with the motive or occasion of the robbery, become a single indivisible crime, that of robbery with homicide, according to the sentences of the Supreme Court of Spain of December 17, 1875 and September 11, 1878 and of this Court in the United States against Villorente and Bislig, 30 Jur. Fil., 62; United States v. Perez, 32 Phil., 163; and United States v. Landasan, 35 Phil., 359. The malfeasance in the present case must be considered not as a qualifying circumstance but only as an aggravating circumstance. (United States v. Antonio, 31 Phil., 205; Pueblo v. Mataram, 52 Phil., 789.)[44]People vs. Mantawar, et al., G.R. No. L-1248, April 30, 1948

–Translated from Spanish

What will happen if there is an attempted or frustrated killing during the commission of robbery or on the occasion thereof?

When during the commission of robbery, be it on the occasion or by reason of the same and attempted or frustrated killing happens, whether attempted homicide or murder or frustrated homicide or murder, as the case may be, these other offenses may be treated as separate crimes, unless they can be legally complexed.

They may not constitute as a single and indivisible offense by becoming Special Complex Crimes, even if they have been committed in the course, on the occasion, by reason, or because of robbery. While “homicide” is used in its generic term, so as to include, parricide, murder, or infanticide, it may be assumed that the same refers to consummated death.

However, in a recent case decided by the Supreme Court, it ruled that:

“Concerning the legal characterization of the crime, the Court finds that its proper designation is not robbery with homicide and frustrated homicide, as inaccurately labelled by the prosecution and unwittingly adopted by the trial court, but is simply one of robbery with homicide. It has been jurisprudentially settled that the term homicide in Article 294, paragraph 1, of the Revised Penal Code is to be used in its generic sense, to embrace not only acts that result in death, but all other acts producing any bodily injury short of death. It is thus characterized as such regardless of the number of homicides committed and the physical injuries inflicted.”[45]People vs. Vallar, G.R. No. 196256, December 05, 2016

What is the nature of the crime committed if robbery is only in its attempted or frustrated yet the killing is consummated?

On the other hand, if the robbery is accomplished only in its attempted or frustrated stage and homicide is committed on the occasion or by reason of the aforesaid attempted or frustrated robbery, as the case may be, then, it will be a Special Complex Crime of Attempted or Frustrated Robbery with Homicide.

Perforce, under the Revised Penal Code, it states that:

Article 297. Attempted and frustrated robbery committed under certain circumstances. – When by reason or on occasion of an attempted or frustrated robbery a homicide is committed, the person guilty of such offenses shall be punished by reclusion temporal in its maximum period to reclusion perpetua, unless the homicide committed shall deserve a higher penalty under the provisions of this Code.[46]Article 297, RPC

What is Robbery with Force Upon Things?

The second mode of committing robbery is through the use of force upon things which may be employed in an inhabited house, public building or edifice devoted to religious worship or in an uninhabited house or private building.[47]Supra., Criminal Law Conspectus, Regalado, p. 542

In either instance, the use of force must have been for the purpose of entry or to actually enable the offender to enter the building.[48]Ibid.

Republic Act [RA] No. 10951 amended the provisions of Article 299 of the Revised Penal Code with respect to the value of the property taken in the commission of Robbery with Force upon Things. Consequently:

Section 79. Article 299 of the same Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

“Art. 299. Robbery in an inhabited house or public building or edifice devoted to worship. – Any armed person who shall commit robbery in an inhabited house or public building or edifice devoted to religious worship, shall be punished by reclusion temporal, if the value of the property taken shall exceed Fifty thousand pesos (₱50,000), and if—[49]RA 10951

“(a) The malefactors shall enter the house or building in which the robbery was committed, by any of the following means:[50]Ibid.

“1. Through an opening not intended for entrance or egress.[51]Ibid.

“2. By breaking any wall, roof, or floor or breaking any door or window.[52]Ibid.

“3. By using false keys, picklocks or similar tools.[53]Ibid.

“4. By using any fictitious name or pretending the exercise of public authority.[54]Ibid.

“Or if—[55]Ibid.

“(b) The robbery be committed under any of the following circumstances:[56]Ibid.

“1. By the breaking of doors, wardrobes, chests, or any other kind of locked or sealed furniture or receptacle.[57]Ibid.

“2. By taking such furniture or objects away to be broken or forced upon outside the place of the robbery.[58]Ibid.

“When the offenders do not carry arms, and the value of the property taken exceeds Fifty thousand pesos (₱50,000), the penalty next lower in degree shall be imposed.[59]Ibid.

“The same rule shall be applied when the offenders are armed, but the value of the property taken does not exceed Fifty thousand pesos (₱50,000).[60]Ibid.

“When said offenders do not carry arms and the value of the property taken does not exceed Fifty thousand pesos (₱50,000), they shall suffer the penalty prescribed in the two (2) next preceding paragraphs, in its minimum period.[61]Ibid.

“If the robbery be committed in one of the dependencies of an inhabited house, public building, or building dedicated to religious worship, the penalties next lower in degree than those prescribed in this article shall be imposed.”[62]Ibid.

What is Simple Theft?

Plainly, Simple Theft is committed when the perpetrator unlawfully take, steal, or get, with intent to gain, the property or thing of value of another without the consent of the latter. Thus:

Article 308. Who are liable for theft. – Theft is committed by any person who, with intent to gain but without violence against or intimidation of persons nor force upon things, shall take personal property of another without the latter’s consent.[63]Article 308, RPC

Theft is likewise committed by:[64]Ibid.

1. Any person who, having found lost property, shall fail to deliver the same to the local authorities or to its owner;[65]Ibid.

2. Any person who, after having maliciously damaged the property of another, shall remove or make use of the fruits or object of the damage caused by him; and[66]Ibid.

3. Any person who shall enter an inclosed estate or a field where trespass is forbidden or which belongs to another and without the consent of its owner, shall hunt or fish upon the same or shall gather cereals, or other forest or farm products.[67]Ibid.

References

References
1 Article 293, Revised Penal Code
2 The Revised Penal Code [RPC], Criminal Law, Book II, Reyes, 19th Ed., p. 686
3 Supra. Reyes, RPC, p. 686
4 G.R. No. L-28865 February 28, 1972
5 Ibid.
6 Ibid.
7 Ibid.
8 Article 312, Revised Penal Code
9 The Revised Penal Code, Criminal Law, Book II, Reyes, 19th Ed., p. 680
10 United States vs. Albao, 29 Phil. 86. G.R. No. L-9369 December 24, 1914
11 The Revised Penal Code, Criminal Law, Book II, Reyes, 19th Ed., p. 681
12 G.R. No. 31695 November 26, 1929
13 Supra., Reyes, RPC, p. 684
14 Article 294, RPC, Supra.
15 Ibid.
16 Ibid.
17 Ibid.
18 Ibid.
19 Ibid.
20 Article 48, Revised Penal Code
21 Supra., Reyes, RPC, p. 692
22 People vs. Palema, et al., G.R. No. 228000, July 10, 2019
23 Ibid.
24 People vs. Natindim, G. R. No. 201867, November 04, 2020
25 Supra., People vs. Palema, et al.
26 Article 8, Revised Penal Code of the Philippines
27 G. R. No. L-11793, May 16 1961
28 Criminal Law Conspectus, Regalado, 1st Ed., p. 37
29 G. R No. L-31012, August 15, 1973
30 Ibid.
31 G. R. No. L-26789, April 25, 1969
32 G. R. No. L-21690, April 29 1969
33 G. R. No. L-15318, March 1, 1962
34 Ibid.
35 in the words of law “more than three [3] armed persons”
36 Paragraph 2 of Article 296, RPC
37 Ibid.
38 Article 294, RPC, Supra.
39 The Revised Penal Code, Criminal Law, Book II, Reyes, 19th Ed., p. 702
40 Ibid.
41 Supra., Conspectus in Criminal Law, Regalado, p. 38
42 Ibid.
43 Supra., Reyes, RPC, p. 706
44 People vs. Mantawar, et al., G.R. No. L-1248, April 30, 1948
45 People vs. Vallar, G.R. No. 196256, December 05, 2016
46 Article 297, RPC
47 Supra., Criminal Law Conspectus, Regalado, p. 542
48 Ibid.
49 RA 10951
50 Ibid.
51 Ibid.
52 Ibid.
53 Ibid.
54 Ibid.
55 Ibid.
56 Ibid.
57 Ibid.
58 Ibid.
59 Ibid.
60 Ibid.
61 Ibid.
62 Ibid.
63 Article 308, RPC
64 Ibid.
65 Ibid.
66 Ibid.
67 Ibid.
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