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Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on

Except as provided in the treaties and laws of preferential application, the provisions of this Code shall be enforced not only within the Philippine Archipelago, including its atmosphere, its interior waters and maritime zone, but also outside of its jurisdiction, against those who:

  1. Should commit an offense while on a Philippine ship or airship;
  2. Should forge or counterfeit any coin or currency note of the Philippine Islands or obligations and securities issued by the Government of the Philippine Islands;
  3. Should be liable for acts connected with the introduction into these Islands of the obligations and securities mentioned in the preceding number;
  4. While being public officers or employees, should commit an offense in the exercise of their functions; or
  5. Should commit any of the crimes against national security and the law of nations, defined in Title One of Book Two of this Code.


What is the meaning of this article?

A. It means that the Revised Penal Code shall be enforced against any person who violates it while living or sojourning in the Philippines whether inside or outside of its territory. 

What do you mean by sojourn?

sojourner is a person who resides temporarily in a place. Like a tourist, visitors or business individuals.

Although, the general rule is that the Revised Penal Code shall be enforced against any person who violates while living or sojourning in the Philippines.

The exceptions to that rule may be provided by the treaties like the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement.

The following are not subject to the operation of Revised Penal Code;

  1. Sovereigns and other chief of State
  2. Ambassadors, and ministers

What is a treaty? 

A treaty is an agreement between nations.

B. When is Revised Penal Code still applicable even OUTSIDE the Philippines?

First, when the offender commits a crime while on board a Philippine ship or airship.


Andrew was on board a Cokaliong Shipping Lines. While this ship was on the high seas, he grabbed the bra of a pretty lady passenger. If you are that lady, which court  will you file the case?

Answer Click here

What’s the reason for it?

Because Cokaliong Shipping Lines is a Filipino Merchant ship and also all Filipino ship is considered an extension of the Philippine territory.

But, but, but…take note of the word “high seas.”

What is it, anyway?

High seas is just a part of the ocean that does not belong to any country.

In tagalog, walang nagmamay-ari.

In bisaya, walay tag-iya.

In Spanish, sin dueño

So, you can only say that it is an extension of Philippine territory when the Philippine ship is on the HIGH SEAS. If not, there is another rule for that.

Are we clear?



Now, let’s continue…

But before that, how do I know whether the ship is Filipino or foreign?


The nationality of the ship depends on the country where it is registered.


Mr. Huang Zhu is a Chinese citizen. He has newly-built ships. Since, Chinese registration will cost him 125,000 Yuan while in the Philippines will only cost him P 500. So, he went to the Philippines and have his ships registered under Philippine laws.

What is the nationality of his ships?

Answer Click here

Now, let’s go back when the Philippine ship is in a foreign territory.

If the Philippine ship in no longer on a high seas. Like when it is beaching on the port of China or anywhere else. A different rule is used. I hope you are still familiar with FRENCH RULE and ENGLISH RULE.

If not, let me refresh your kokoti.

French rule says that such crimes are not triable in the courts of that country, unless their commission affects the peace and security of the territory of the state.

English Rule says that such crimes are triable in that country, unless they merely affect things within the vessel or they refer to the internal management thereof.

Got it? No?

Don’t worry let me give you an example.

Bella is a prostitute. One day she hitched a Japanese passenger ship bound for Manila. When the ship docked at the Philippine shore, she had sexual relations with the captain for $ 5,000 per day and night.

If they are caught, are they triable in Philippine court?

The answer is yes because prostitution is a public disturbance. Even though, the Japanese merchant ship where prostitution was committed is an extension of the territory of Japan.  But according to the French rule when such disturbs the peace of the foreign state, the crime is triable in that state.

But, but, but, take note again. You need to know whether the foreign ship is a MERCHANT  SHIP OR WAR SHIPS.



Because  a warship is always the extension of the territory of the country where it belongs WHILE a merchant ship is subject to the French or English Rule.


Mr. Richards raped a Filipina on board the USS Reagan battleship while docking in Manila Bay. The Filipina filed a case in RTC – Manila. But Judge Mata Fang dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.

Mr. Richards cannot be arrested and imprisoned in the Philippines, that is it!

The French Rule nor the English Rule cannot be used. Warships are always reputed to be the territory of the country to which they belong and cannot be subjected to the laws of another state.

Lesson for girls is you have to know first what ship you are dating in. Be sure its a merchant ship because French rule says when it disturbs the peace of the country, the court of that country will have jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction means power to hear a case.

Ok, so far?


If the crime disturbs the peace of the ship only, like brawling among crews– It is not triable in the Philippines. (English Rule)

However, if the crime disturbs the peace of the country, like the crime of rape , it is triable in the Philippines, if it happened on a MERCHANT SHIP and not a WAR SHIP


So, if there is crime committed on board a ship?

Ask the following to know whether it is triable in our courts;

  1. Is it a foreign ship?
  2. Where is it registered?
  3. Is it in the High Seas or territorial waters?
  4. Is it Merchant ship or Warship?


Now, that you know that the Revised Penal Code is applicable even the crime is committed outside the Philippine territory so long as the crime is committed while on board a Philippine ship. Now, so much for that, let’s move on to the next topic.

Here is the second one. Paragraph 2 is like this.

2. Should forge or counterfeit any coin or currency note of the Philippine Islands or obligations and securities issued by the Government of the Philippine Islands;

Let’s say you want P 1 million pesos. But you don’t want to work. And, nobody would want to lend you that amount because you are very lazy. But, you have a very bright idea. And, you say to yourself, ” Aha, I will print money! bwahahaha!!!!!

However, you understand that printing money, securities and treasury notes are illegal. It’s against the law (Revised Penal Code) And, you don’t want to go to jail. So, you had another bright idea, bwahahahahaha

” I will go to Indonesia, so that the Revised Penal Code will have no effect on me, and there, I will print Philippine money. As much as I want it!”

So, you went there and print P 1,000 peso bill worth P 1 million pesos. And, you did.

You go back to the Philippines, get inside a mall and buy everything you desire. But the police know that you are bringing counterfeit bills, and you were arrested.

Your defense of course was you were in Indonesia when you print the money.

But, sorry nalang bro, you will still be prosecuted before the Philippine courts for violation of Artile 163 or Art 166 in relation to Article 2, of the Revised Penal Code.

You know why? Read Article 2, Book 1, RPC. And, you’ll see.

That’s the second one. But the third one is self-explanatory.

So, let’s move to no.4.

In no.4, these are the crimes that even you commit them outside the country, you can still be held liable.



  • Direct bribery (Art 210)

Senator Trillanes received $ 20 million from Kim Jon Ong as token for introducing a Senate Bill No. 23345334 – 2020 providing for North Korean Nuclear facility in the Philippines. Even though, the bribery took place in North Korean peninsula, still  Senator Trillanes can still be held liable under the Revised Penal Code.

So, the same with the other cases below, if they are committed regardless whether the offender is inside or outside Philippine Archipelago.

  • Indirect Bribery (Art 211)
  • Frauds against the public treasury (Art 213)
  • Possession of prohibited interest (Art 216)
  • Malversation of public funds or property (Art 217)
  • Failure of accountable officer to render accounts (Art 218)
  • Illegal use of public funds or property (Art 220)
  • Failure to make delivery of public funds or property (Art 221)
  • Falsification with abuse if his official position (Art 171)

Also, when the offender commits any of these crimes against national security and the law of nations, alams na. Even if they did it in Hawaii, or in Iraq, they are still liable.

  • Treason (Art 114)
  • Conspiracy and proposal to commit treason (Art 115)
  • Espionage (Art 117)
  • Inciting to war and giving motives to reprisal  (Art 118)
  • Violation of neutrality (Art 119)
  • Correspondence with hostile country (Art 120)
  • Flight to enemy country (Art 121)
  • Piracy and mutiny on the high seas (Art 122)

Take note of these cases. Mamili ka nalang diyan. Gawin mo kahit saang lupalop nang mundo kapa ay pwede ka paring kasohan under the Revised Penal Code.





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