Alarms and scandal
"I was charged with the crime of alarms and scandal. The paralegal that I know informed me that such crime falls under the so-called rules on summary procedure. Thus, I need not be detained and arrested so long as I comply and appear in court whenever required. Since I do not want to have a false expectation regarding my liberty, I want to confirm if indeed a warrant of arrest is not required to be issued in cases of alarms and scandal.Roderick
Dear Roderick,Alarms and scandal is a crime defined and penalized by our laws. Precisely, Act 3815, otherwise known as the Revised Penal Code, as amended, provides the definition and penalty for this crime, to wit:
“Article 155. Alarms and scandals. — The penalty of arresto menor or a fine not exceeding forty thousand pesos (P40,000) 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.”In Article 27 of the same law, arresto menor was defined to be an imprisonment with a duration of one day to thirty days, viz:“Article 27. xxx“Arresto menor. — The duration of the penalty of arresto menor shall be from one day to thirty (30) days.”
Since the maximum penalty of the crime of alarms and scandal does not exceed six months, it is clear that the same falls under the ambit of the Revised Rules on Summary Procedure (the “rule”):“B. Criminal Cases:“(4) All other criminal cases where the penalty prescribed by law for the offense charged is imprisonment not exceeding six months, or a fine not exceeding (P1,000), or both, irrespective of other imposable penalties, accessory or otherwise, or of the civil liability arising therefrom: Provided, however, that in offenses involving damage to property through criminal negligence, this Rule shall govern where the imposable fine does not exceed ten thousand pesos (P10,000). xxx“Section 16. Arrest of accused. — The court shall not order the arrest of the accused except for failure to appear whenever required. Release of the person arrested shall either be on bail or on recognizance by a responsible citizen acceptable to the court.”In Uy vs Javellana (AM MTJ-07-1666, Sept. 5, 2012), ponencia of Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, the rule was categorically pronounced, thus:“Judge Javellana’s issuance of a Warrant of Arrest for the accused in People v[s] Cornelio is in violation of Section 16 of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure, categorically stating that ‘the court shall not order the arrest of the accused except for failure to appear whenever required.’”Therefore, applying the foregoing, it is correct to say that for crimes falling under the Revised Rules on Summary Procedure, an order of arrest need not be issued, provided that the accused appears whenever required.We hope that we were able to answer your queries. This advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com"
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"Alarms and scandal"
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comments. The article was created on 14 September 2021
and updated on 14 September 2021