Alarms and Scandals Image Article Nicolas and de Vega Law

This article talks about the crime of alarms and scandals such as discharging explosives, making loud noises, disturbing public peace and making a scandal in public punishable under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines.

We all have that resident lasinggero in the neighborhood wandering the streets at night. It’s fine until he starts shouting/ singing at the top of his lungs thus waking you from your deep slumber.

We also have that resident palengkera who picks a fight in public and loves to create scandals. It’s fine until the whole street is jammed with traffic since she won’t budge while shouting in the middle of the street.

Unfortunately for these lasinggeros, palengkeras and eskandalosas, they may be held liable for the crime of alarms and scandals.

Article 155 of the Revised Penal Code states:

“ART. 155. Alarms and Scandals. – The penalty of arresto menor or a fine not exceeding Forty thousand pesos (P40,000) shall be imposed upon:

“1. Any person who within any town or public place, shall discharge any rocket, firecracker, or other explosives calculated to cause alarm or danger;

2.  Any person who shall instigate or take an active part in any charivari or other disorderly meeting offensive to another or prejudicial to public tranquility;

3.  Any person who, while wandering about at night or while engaged in any other nocturnal amusements, shall disturb the public peace; or

4.  Any person who, while intoxicated or otherwise, shall cause any disturbance or scandal in public places, provided that the circumstances of the case shall not make the provisions of Article 153 applicable.”

The crime of alarms and scandals is an offense against public order [People vs. Doriquez, G.R. No. L-24444, 29 July 1968]. Take note that engaging in charivari is a crime. The term charivari includes a medley of discordant voices, a mock serenade of discordant noises made on kettles, tins, horns, etc. designed to annoy and insult [Reyes, The Revised Penal Code Book 2, p. 197 (2021)].

This crime carries with it a punishment of imprisonment ranging from 1 day to 30 days OR a fine not exceeding P40,000.  Thus, think twice before you disturb the peace in your neighborhood or any public place. You just might land in jail!

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