IS THAT SO? Duterte’s age only a mitigating factor

AWARE of the possible repercussions his war on drugs might cause him, President Rodrigo Duterte uses the Revised Penal Code as his battle armor. In particular, he has cited his age — he’s 71 — as one ground for his release should he be arrested.

“Wala akong pakialam diyan sa ano. Sabi ko [pauses) I have a problem to solve. I must first solve the problems of the country. Tutal kung makulong, ako naman rin. Ikulong naman ako, 71 years old na ako. Ang sabi ng Revised Penal Code, pagdating mo ng 70, irelease ka na…Ngayon, ‘pag [..] ko, pwede idemanda ako. Buksan mo yung Revised Penal Code. All persons upon reaching the age—mandatory labas. 71 na ako. Pagkatapos ko Presidente, 77. Saan mo ako ilagay? Eh di wala naman.”

(Source: Talk to the Troops, Aug., 5 2016. Watch 17:17 – 18:12)


FACT: Article 13 Section 2 of theRevised Penal Code states age is just a mitigating circumstance and not a justifying circumstance that exempts a person from criminal liability (Articles 11 and 12).

“It does not mean that he cannot be charged and, if found convicted, cannot serve his sentence in a jail. Being 70 years of age merely reduces the penalty to its minimum (or, if there are other mitigating circumstances, by 1 to 2 degrees lower),” lawyer Raymond Fortun said.

Fortun also cited the case of former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile who, in 2015, was charged with plunder and was convicted at age 90.

Enrile was later allowed to post bail for humanitarian reasons.

See related post: IS THAT SO? ICC can strip off Duterte’s immunity

FOR FURTHER READING

VERA FILES FACT SHEET: These are the crimes Duterte has said he’d committed

If he were not president, Duterte could be penalized for these crimes.

VERA FILES FACT SHEET: Understanding good conduct time allowance for prisoners: 4 things you should know

A debate on the implementation of a law that increases the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) of…

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Use of ‘alleged’ not a defense against libel

PCOO Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson is wrong.

About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

Contact Us

Email us at newsroom@verafiles.org

MEMBER