Husband who kills cheating wife may not be imprisoned
"My friend is in his first year of studying criminology. He told me and our other friends that their professor shared with their class a story in which the husband killed his wife, whom he caught in the act of sexual intercourse with her paramour. The husband was not convicted or imprisoned. Is this legally possible? We really thought that when a husband kills his wife, that is parricide, which is penalized with imprisonment. Please enlighten me on this matter.
Generally, a husband may be held criminally liable for the crime of parricide with the penalty of imprisonment if he takes the life of his wife. As provided for under Article 246 of the Revised Penal Code:“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 xxx.” (Emphasis supplied)
However, a husband who, having surprised by his spouse in sexual intercourse with another person, may only be held liable for destierro and not imprisonment. This is explicitly stated under Article 247 of the said law:“Death or physical injuries inflicted under exceptional circumstances. — Any legally married person who having surprised his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall suffer the penalty of destierro.
“If he shall inflict upon them physical injuries of any other kind, he shall be exempt from punishment.” (Emphasis supplied)It bears stressing, though, that these elements must be clearly proven by the husband. As ruled by the Supreme Court in the case of People vs. Oyanib (GR 130634-35, March 12, 2001, Ponente: former associate justice Bernardo Pardo):“xxx Accused must prove these elements by clear and convincing evidence, otherwise his defense would be untenable. “The death caused must be the proximate result of the outrage overwhelming the accused after chancing upon his spouse in the act of infidelity. Simply put, the killing by the husband of his wife must concur with her flagrant adultery.”We hope that we were able to answer your queries. This advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to "
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"Husband who kills cheating wife may not be imprisoned"
was written by Mary
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comments. The article was created on 15 September 2021
and updated on 15 September 2021