I was involved in an altercation last December 2013 in a bar in Manila. My friend and I were asked to get out of the establishment by the bouncers there. We understand that the bouncers were only doing their job but I think they have abused their strength when they ordered us to leave. One of the bouncers did not only place his hand on my face and shoved me away but slapped my face when I tried to get my friend’s bag that was left inside the bar. I want to pursue a case for minor physical assault against the bouncer. Please advise me of what to do?
Under the Revised Penal Code, the crime which deals with minor physical assault is called physical injuries punishable therein under Article 263 for serious physical injuries, Article 265 for less serious physical injuries and Article 266 for slight physical injuries. Under the circumstances which you have mentioned, you may file a case for slight physical injuries punishable under Article 266 of the Revised Penal Code, taking into consideration that you may have only suffered physical injuries which do not prevent you from engaging in your habitual work nor require medical attendance (Par. 2, Article 266, Revised Rules of Court).
In order to institute a case for slight physical injuries, you must file a complaint before the Office of the Prosecutor of Manila considering that the injuries were inflicted within the territories of the City of Manila (Section 10, Rule 110, Rules of Court). Considering the provision of Article 90 of the Revised Penal Code which provides that light penalty prescribes in two months, you must initiate the complaint before the lapse of two months from the date of the incident before the aforesaid office; otherwise the complaint for physical injuries may only be dismissed because the crime already prescribed. The Public Attorney’s Office in Manila may assists you with your concern as long as you qualify as an indigent client or one who is unemployed or who is earning not more than P14,000 a month if living within Metro Manila, P13,000 a month if living in other cities and P12,000 if living in municipalities (Section 3, Article II, PAO Operations Manual). We advise that you bring your certificate of indigency, if unemployed or latest one month payslip, if unemployed to prove your indigency. We also request that you bring a copy of police blotter or report, barangay blotter, medical certificates and all other documents which you deem important in your case.
Finally, please be reminded that the above legal opinion is solely based on our appreciation of the problem that you have stated. The opinion may vary when other facts are included 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 firstname.lastname@example.org