Crimes punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or reclusion temporal shall prescribe in twenty years. 


X killed Y. 

Out of fear, X hide inside the cave. Then, 25 years later, X got tired of hiding and came out. There he was caught by the police for murdering Y. 

Has the crime of murder prescribe?

Click here



Crimes punishable by other afflictive penalties shall prescribe in fifteen years. 

To know what are afflictive penalties, go back to Art 25, and Art 26. 

Does murder prescribe in 15 years?

How about theft? 

The answers lie under Art 25-26. 

If you know the definition of afflictive penalties, it will be too easy. 


Those punishable by a correctional penalty shall prescribe in ten years; with the exception of those punishable by arresto mayor, which shall prescribe in five years.

In Book 2, Revised Penal Code, all crimes have penalty. 

For example

Art. 114. Treason. — .Any person…….shall be punished by reclusion temporal to death and shall pay a fine not to exceed P20,000 pesos.

If you are that person, how many years will you hide to make your crimes prescribe?

10 years? 

Clearly, the penalty for treason is afflictive. So, the answer is No. 


The crime of libel or other similar offenses shall prescribe in one year.

Libel is 1 year. 

The crime of oral defamation and slander by deed shall prescribe in six months.

Oral defamation is 6 months.



Inside the Prosecutors Office Date February 7, 2019

Woman: Atty. I’d like to file a case against Mr. X.

Prosecutor: Why? 

Woman: He told me publicly that I am a prostitute. 

Prosecutor: When did he tell you that?

Woman: Last January 1, 2018

Prosecutor: Forget about him


Why did the prosecutor say so? 

Because it’s been more than a year now!


Light offenses prescribe in two months.

Know what are light felonies. And, you’re good to go. 

What is the importance of this?

It’s like a drug, when it prescribed, it has no more therapeutic effect. It’s no longer usable. 

When the penalty fixed by law is a compound one, the highest penalty shall be made the basis of the application of the rules contained in the first, second and third paragraphs of this article. (As amended by RA 4661, approved June 19, 1966).

Example of compound crimes? 

Robbery with homicide

So, which carry the highest penalty when treated individually? 

Robbery or homicide? 

Certainly it’s homicide. So, the compound crime of robbery with homicide shall prescribe in 15 years. 

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