• Double whammy for jealous attacker

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    Persida Acosta

    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    My sister was attacked by her officemate’s wife out of jealousy. She  sustained injuries in different parts of the body. Aside from slight physical injuries, what other crime can my sister file against the attacker since her reputation was maligned, too, because the woman who assaulted her also accused her of being a mistress?
    Celine

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    Dear Celine,
    The crime of slight physical injuries is punishable under Article 266 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). This law provides that the penalty of arresto menor or imprisonment of one (1) day to thirty (30) days shall be imposed upon an offender who shall perform any of the following acts: (1) when the offender has inflicted physical injuries, which shall incapacitate the offended party for labor from one to nine days, or shall require medical attendance during the same period; (2) when the offender has caused physical injuries, which do not prevent the offended party from engaging in his habitual work nor require medical attendance; (3) when the offender shall ill-treat another by deed without causing any injury. Based on the foregoing, the crime of slight physical injuries is the proper case to be filed if the injury sustained by your sister is one of those mentioned under Article 266 of the RPC.

    As to the accusation made by the attacker that your sister is a mistress, your sister may file a case for slander or oral defamation that is punishable under Article 358 of the law. It states, “Oral defamation shall be punished by arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correctional in its minimum period if it is of a serious and insulting nature; otherwise, the penalty shall be arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos.” The accusation that your sister is a mistress may be considered slanderous. The term oral defamation or slander has been defined as the speaking of base and defamatory words that  tend to prejudice another in his reputation, office, trade, business or means of livelihood (Villanueva v. People, G.R. No. 160351, April 10, 2006).

    We hope that we have answered your query. Our legal opinion may vary if other facts are stated 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 dearpao@manilatimes.net

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