Blog Lecture No. 66: Alarms and Scandals

What does our penal laws provide when it comes to alarms and scandals?

Article 155 of the Revised Penal Code provides:

Article 155. Alarms and scandals. — The penalty of arresto menor or a fine not exceeding P200 pesos shall be imposed upon:

1. Any person who within any town or public place, shall discharge any firearm, rocket, firecracker, or other explosives calculated to cause alarm or danger;

2. Any person who shall instigate or take an active part in any charivari or other disorderly meeting offensive to another or prejudicial to public tranquility;

3. Any person who, while wandering about at night or while engaged in any other nocturnal amusements, shall disturb the public peace; or

4. Any person who, while intoxicated or otherwise, shall cause any disturbance or scandal in public places, provided that the circumstances of the case shall not make the provisions of article 153 applicable.

What is this crime called alarms and scandals?

Briefly put, these are crimes of disturbance, disturbance of the public peace, by means of cause a scandal or an alarming situation, as described by the law above.

Give examples of act of the acts.

Sure.

1. A person firing a shot in the air, calculated to cause a panic in the crowd.
2. A person that starts or takes part in a charivari or some other disorderly meeting
3. A person wandering about the city’s nightlife in a rude manner, disturbing the peace
4. A drunk or other wise sober person just disturbing the peace in public nature that is not of a serious nature (or not as described above). If it’s serious, it’s called a tumult or a public disturbance under Article 153 of the Revised Penal Code.

What are scandalous acts?

These are acts offensive to morals, good customs and public policy such as streaking, etc.

If the one discharges the firearm at another, is that considered under this law?

That may be attempted or frustrated homicide (if it hit a vital part) and since that’s more serious he will be charged for this more serious offense rather than this “slap on the wrist” crime.

How what is aresto menor?

It’s imprisonment from one to thirty days.

Is this crime probationable?

Yes. And even if not, the prison term will be shorter than the time it would take to prosecute it, so pleading guilty to this may even be a better option…

What is a charivari?

It is a medley of discordant voices, a mock serenade of discordant noises made on kettles, tins, horns, etc. designed to annoy or insult. In other words, the cr@p you see in Master Showman (or That’s Entertainment before).

Apply this law to Samson Macariola.

It will probably not apply/prosper in his case. I submit that the disturbance to the public should be instantaneous to the alarming or scandalous act itself. If there is a delayed reaction (such as in his case, a few days), there was no disturbance of the peace to speak of.

I’m more inclined to charge those handling airport security for this crime because their ineptness is now causing a such an alarm or a scandal.

But what about that other charge called unjust vexation?

I’ll tackle that later… Stay tuned…

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Blog Lecture No. 66: Alarms and Scandals

  1. Lizel

    I wanna seek legal advice. Kindly please help me…
    I’ve got married in 2006 in the Philippines with my filipino bf . ( Civil wedding). a couple of weeks our marriage didnt work..He abondoned me. In 2008 i became Canadian Citizen and in 2010 got divorce.
    Here are my questions that i would like to ask…
    1. Do i still need to file annullment? If not what steps do i need so that i can remarry in the Philippines?
    2. How to clear my record in NSO?

  2. sean francis

    sir,
    What if a drunk a person became wild and threat his neighbor proving trouble to any one by challenging others to fight him and because of that a old lady collapse and was brought to the hospital, is alarm and scandal be appllied as a case mybe.

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