MMDA traffic officer roughed up by motorist. Discussion: direct assault

     The MMDA Chair  “has directed the agency’s Legal Service to file direct assault charges”  “on behalf of Traffic Constable Saturnino Fabros” “against Robert Blair Carabuena, Philip Morris recruitment officer,“ (philstar.com).

     Direct assault is an attack on a person in authority, or his/her agents, while in the performance of his/her official functions on or occasion of such. When the offender  lays a hand or uses a weapon, the penalty  is  prision correccional medium to maximum, that is, imprisonment of from four years and two months to a maximum of six years.

      Usually, the issue is: Who is a “person in authority”?

Art. 152 of the  Revised Penal Code provides (we’ll break these down a bit, below, don’t worry) : 

  ”Persons in authority and agents of persons in authority; Who shall be deemed as such. — In applying the provisions of the preceding and other articles of this Code, any person directly vested with jurisdiction, whether as an individual or as a member of some court or governmental corporation, board, or commission, shall be deemed a person in authority. A barrio captain and a barangay chairman shall also be deemed a person in authority.

“A person who, by direct provision of law or by election or by appointment by competent authority, is charged with the maintenance of public order and the protection and security of life and property, such as a barrio councilman, barrio policeman and barangay leader and any person who comes to the aid of persons in authority, shall be deemed an agent of a person in authority.

“In applying the provisions of Articles 148 and 151 of this Code, teachers, professors and persons charged with the supervision of public or duly recognized private schools, colleges and universities, and lawyers in the actual performance of their professional duties or on the occasion of such performance, shall be deemed persons in authority.”

      In other words, “persons in authority” include: 1) judges; 2) public officers who adjudicate or those who are in the hearing boards of government corporations, government boards, government commissions; and 3) for purposes of the direct assault provisions: teachers, professors, administrative officials of public and private schools, colleges, universities, and lawyers in actual performance of official functions.

    (i suppose those public officers who have appellate jurisdiction, or those who can overrule judges plus those who can overrule members of the hearing boards of government corporations, government boards, government commissions, are persons in authority.)

    The  following  are considered agents of persons in authority:

1)    Any law-enforcement authority, or those charged by law to maintain public order. Examples are: barrio captain or barangay chair,  policemen, barangay leaders, barangay council members.

     Plus,

     2) those who:  

       a) come in the aid of  judges, or of public officers who adjudicate, or of those who are in the hearing boards of government corporations, government boards, government commissions (and, i suppose those who come in the aid of public officers who have appellate jurisdiction or those who come in the aid of public officers who can overrule those in hearing boards etc.)

      b) those who come in the aid of: the  barrio captain or barangay captain;

     c) those who come in the aid of teachers, professors, administrative officials of public and private schools, colleges, universities,

      d) those who come in the aid of lawyers in actual performance of official functions.

       The catch-all phrases here, i think,  are: those who are “charged with the maintenance of public order and the protection and security of life and property”,     and those who “come in the aid of” etc. . In other words, these create broad categories for purposes of the direct assault provisions.