Attorneys of the Philippines Legal News

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Know The Rights Of Arrested Individuals

Our country's current state only proves that anyone can fit the profile for a druggie or a criminal. You can be subject for interrogation or execution. You choose. With the recent brouhaha over CHR's meager budget, you will be confronted with a realization that no one can defend you at this point but yourself. As reality looks you straight in the eye, knowledge is the only thing that can save you from the inevitable. What does Article 3, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution otherwise known as the Bill of Rights have to say about a person under investigation? 

"the person shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice."

Now, what if you can't afford a lawyer? The state will provide you with one. Have you ever wondered why you have the right to remain silent? It's because any statement you give can be used against you in court. You also have the right to have access to lawyer at all times. These rights can only be waived in "writing and in the presence of counsel."

Your rights as an arrested person:

  • Know the reason you were arrested. It should also be via an arrest warrant.
  • Obtain the arresting officer's identity and authority
  • Be "entitled to a trial within a reasonable time"
  • Should you undergo physical examination, ensure that it is done by an independent and competent doctor of your choice

If authorities have invited you for questioning, tell them that you will first consult a lawyer, who will be the one to arrange a time, date and place for questioning. They cannot insist on taking you as this will be equivalent to an arrest. 

Note that his type of investigation is not similar to custodial investigation where you are taken into police custody for interrogation. More often than not, "custodial investigation follows warrantless arrest." 

Warrantless Arrest

Under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, a peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:

(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;

(b) When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and

(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.

What Are The Crimes Against Persons In Authority And Their Agents

Recent news involving persons in authority or public officers clouded people's mind with doubts, questioning the credibility of individuals who are supposed to maintain peace and order. However, perpetrators resisting arrest and disobeying authorities are as prevalent as public officers employing force. The Revised Penal Code gives details on crimes against persons in authority. 



Art. 148. Direct assaults. — Any person or persons who, without a public uprising, shall employ force or intimidation for the attainment of any of the purpose enumerated in defining the crimes of rebellion and sedition, or shall attack, employ force, or seriously intimidate or resist any person in authority or any of his agents, while engaged in the performance of official duties, or on occasion of such performance, shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods and a fine not exceeding P1,000 pesos, when the assault is committed with a weapon or when the offender is a public officer or employee, or when the offender lays hands upon a person in authority. If none of these circumstances be present, the penalty of prision correccional in its minimum period and a fine not exceeding P500 pesos shall be imposed.

Art. 149. Indirect assaults. — The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods and a fine not exceeding P500 pesos shall be imposed upon any person who shall make use of force or intimidation upon any person coming to the aid of the authorities or their agents on occasion of the commission of any of the crimes defined in the next preceding article.

Art. 150. Disobedience to summons issued by the National Assembly, its committees or subcommittees, by the Constitutional Commissions, its committees, subcommittees or divisions. — The penalty of arresto mayor or a fine ranging from two hundred to one thousand pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment shall be imposed upon any person who, having been duly summoned to attend as a witness before the National Assembly, (Congress), its special or standing committees and subcommittees, the Constitutional Commissions and its committees, subcommittees, or divisions, or before any commission or committee chairman or member authorized to summon witnesses, refuses, without legal excuse, to obey such summons, or being present before any such legislative or constitutional body or official, refuses to be sworn or placed under affirmation or to answer any legal inquiry or to produce any books, papers, documents, or records in his possession, when required by them to do so in the exercise of their functions. The same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who shall restrain another from attending as a witness, or who shall induce disobedience to a summon or refusal to be sworn by any such body or official.

Art. 151. Resistance and disobedience to a person in authority or the agents of such person. — The penalty of arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding 500 pesos shall be imposed upon any person who not being included in the provisions of the preceding articles shall resist or seriously disobey any person in authority, or the agents of such person, while engaged in the performance of official duties.

When the disobedience to an agent of a person in authority is not of a serious nature, the penalty of arresto menor or a fine ranging from 10 to P100 pesos shall be imposed upon the offender.

Art. 152. Persons in authority and agents of persons in authority; Who shall be deemed as such. — In applying the provisions of the preceding and other articles of this Code, any person directly vested with jurisdiction, whether as an individual or as a member of some court or governmental corporation, board, or commission, shall be deemed a person in authority. A barrio captain and a barangay chairman shall also be deemed a person in authority.

A person who, by direct provision of law or by election or by appointment by competent authority, is charged with the maintenance of public order and the protection and security of life and property, such as a barrio councilman, barrio policeman and barangay leader and any person who comes to the aid of persons in authority, shall be deemed an agent of a person in authority.

In applying the provisions of Articles 148 and 151 of this Code, teachers, professors and persons charged with the supervision of public or duly recognized private schools, colleges and universities, and lawyers in the actual performance of their professional duties or on the occasion of such performance, shall be deemed persons in authority. (As amended by PD No. 299, Sept. 19, 1973 and Batas Pambansa Blg. 873, June 12, 1985). 

Disturbance Of Public Order

Have you ever been into an embarrassing situation where someone has challenged you to a fight in a public place? This is considered as serious disturbance of public order. Another instance in this crime is committed is when someone fires a gun within a public building's premise. However, when somebody was hurt, the person is liable for the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to physical injuries.

Chapter Five


Art. 153. Tumults and other disturbance of public orders; Tumultuous disturbance or interruption liable to cause disturbance. — The penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period to prision correccional in its minimum period and a fine not exceeding 1,000 pesos shall be imposed upon any person who shall cause any serious disturbance in a public place, office, or establishment, or shall interrupt or disturb public performances, functions or gatherings, or peaceful meetings, if the act is not included in the provisions of Articles 131 and 132.

The penalty next higher in degree shall be imposed upon persons causing any disturbance or interruption of a tumultuous character.

The disturbance or interruption shall be deemed to be tumultuous if caused by more than three persons who are armed or provided with means of violence.

The penalty of arresto mayor shall be imposed upon any person who in any meeting, association, or public place, shall make any outcry tending to incite rebellion or sedition or in such place shall display placards or emblems which provoke a disturbance of the public order.

The penalty of arresto menor and a fine not to exceed P200 pesos shall be imposed upon these persons who in violation of the provisions contained in the last clause of Article 85, shall bury with pomp the body of a person who has been legally executed.

Art. 154. Unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances. — The penalty of arresto mayor and a fine ranging from P200 to P1,000 pesos shall be imposed upon:

1. Any person who by means of printing, lithography, or any other means of publication shall publish or cause to be published as news any false news which may endanger the public order, or cause damage to the interest or credit of the State;

2. Any person who by the same means, or by words, utterances or speeches shall encourage disobedience to the law or to the constituted authorities or praise, justify, or extol any act punished by law;

3. Any person who shall maliciously publish or cause to be published any official resolution or document without proper authority, or before they have been published officially; or

4. Any person who shall print, publish, or distribute or cause to be printed, published, or distributed books, pamphlets, periodicals, or leaflets which do not bear the real printer's name, or which are classified as anonymous.

Art. 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.