During an argument with the second husband of my mother, I heard him utter the words: “Magpatayan na lang tayo!” and from the corner of my eye I could see him approaching me. 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 do anything about it. Do I need to go to the barangay (village) authorities or straight to the police station in our place?
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 his family is committing a 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 the offender shall have attained his purpose. The crime shall also 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 (1) month and one (1) day to six (6) months and fine not exceeding 500 pesos because the threat was not subject to a condition.
Considering that the maximum penalty for grave threat is six (6) 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 email@example.com