Murder Versus Homicide: How Can You Tell The Difference

One of the most controversial cases that is currently undergoing further investigation is the case of two arrested suspects for illegal drug possession who were killed by Pasay City cops. The suspects for the possession of illegal drugs were Renato Bertes and Jaypee Bertes, residents of Ignacio Street in Pasay City. According to the investigation, only one handcuff was used for restraining two drug suspects. Things went out of hand upon their return to the detention cell. When PO2 Alipio Balo was removing the handcuff, Renato attempted to grab the gun. Balo was able to take control of the gun and shot Renato while PO1 Michael Tomas shot Jaypee.

Murder charges were filed against two policemen involved in the killing of the drug suspects. Although the investigation held on August 22, covered other cases of extra judicial killing, the case of the two policemen were the first to undergo scrutiny. Senior Supt. Nolasco Bathan was in the hot seat as Senator Leila de Lima, chair of justice and human rights committee asked for the basis of filing the murder case. Bathan was not able to give a clear answer, leading De Lima to probe more. Bathan said that the murder charges were filed because someone got killed. De Lima wanted to know why file murder charges instead of homicide. What is the difference between homicide and murder?


Premeditation refers to the action of planning something beforehand. This means that the killer has already made a decision to kill or thought about killing another person. This may require meticulous planning to make the killing appear to be an accident.

"Art. 248. Murder. — Any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article 246 shall kill another, shall be guilty of murder and shall be punished by reclusion temporal in its maximum period to death, if committed with any of the following attendant circumstances:

1. With treachery, taking advantage of superior strength, with the aid of armed men, or employing means to weaken the defense or of means or persons to insure or afford impunity.

2. In consideration of a price, reward, or promise.

3. By means of inundation, fire, poison, explosion, shipwreck, stranding of a vessel, derailment or assault upon a street car or locomotive, fall of an airship, by means of motor vehicles, or with the use of any other means involving great waste and ruin.

4. On occasion of any of the calamities enumerated in the preceding paragraph, or of an earthquake, eruption of a volcano, destructive cyclone, epidemic or other public calamity.

5. With evident premeditation.

6. With cruelty, by deliberately and inhumanly augmenting the suffering of the victim, or outraging or scoffing at his person or corpse.

Art. 249. Homicide. — Any person who, not falling within the provisions of Article 246, shall kill another without the attendance of any of the circumstances enumerated in the next preceding article, shall be deemed guilty of homicide and be punished by reclusion temporal."

Pinoy Attorney

Written by : Pinoy Attorney