Grave threat complaint can be filed in barangay

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
During an argument with the second husband of my mother, I heard him utter the words: “Magpatayan na lang tayo!” and at the corner of my eyes I could see him approaching. My mother was in the middle of us and eventually sent him to the other direction .Can this be considered as grave threat?My mother suffered multiple physical injuries from him when I was a child, but my mother would not care anything about it. Do I need to go to the barangay or straight to the police station in our place?

Dear J.L.,
The crime of grave threat is punishable under Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). It is stated therein that any person who shall threaten another with the infliction upon the person, honor, or property of the latter or of his family or any wrong amounting to a crime. The threat is considered to be grave if the offender shall have made the threat demanding money or imposing any other condition, even though not unlawful, and that said offender shall have attained his purpose. The crime shall likewise be grave threat even if the threat of infliction of harm upon a person, his honor or property was not made subject to a condition.

The second husband of your mother may be liable for the crime of grave threat considering that he has uttered, “Magpatayan na lang tayo!” These are words that have threatened you with the infliction upon your person of harm amounting to a crime which may be homicide or murder. The penalty for this crime is merely arresto mayor or imprisonment of one month and one day to six months and fine not exceeding P500 because the threat was not subject to a condition.

Considering that the maximum penalty for grave threat is six months, you need to go to your barangay to file a complaint in order that the officials therein could exert efforts for possible amicable settlement (Section 408, Local Government Code). It is only after a failed settlement in the barangay and after the issuance of a Certificate to File Action that you can pursue your complaint at the higher office or the Office of the Prosecutor (Section 18, Rules on Summary Procedure).

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


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1 Comment

  1. Dear Pao, pano po ba malalaman na may sagot na ang aking katanungan,
    maaria po ba sa email na lang ang sagot..
    salamat po