Gossiping or intriguing against honor which has for its principal purpose to blemish the honor or reputation of a person is punishable by imprisonment of arresto menor or a fine not exceeding P20,000.00.
Intriguing against honor is punishable under Article 364 of the Revised Penal Code.
Gossiping or spreading rumors is a favorite pastime for some people. Some individuals are of the mistaken belief that disseminating hearsay information that can tarnish the reputation of persons is harmless and cannot give rise to a lawsuit. A word to the wise : gossiping can land you in jail.
Article 364 of the Revised Penal Code provides:
“Article 364. Intriguing against honor. – The penalty of arresto menor or fine not exceeding Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) shall be imposed for any intrigue which has for its principal purpose to blemish the honor or reputation of a person.”
This provision of law penalizes any person who shall create intrigue which has for its principal purpose to blemish the honor or reputation of a person (Urmaza vs. Rojas, G.R. No. 240012, 22 January 2020).
In intriguing against honor, the source of the gossip is unknown.
Intriguing against honor is gossiping in its truest sense whereby the principal source or author of the gossip is unknown and yet, an individual with the purpose to blemish the reputation of another, passes or repeats the information to other persons. This is different from slander or oral defamation wherein the one uttering the defamatory words is the actual source of the gossip.
Intriguing against honor is punishable by imprisonment or a fine and is considered as a crime involving moral turpitude.
The crime of intriguing against honor or gossiping may sound petty. However, once found guilty of such crime, you may be imprisoned for a period of one (1) day to thirty (30) days or be slapped with a fine not exceeding Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00). More importantly, this felony undoubtedly falls under the coverage of crimes involving moral turpitude, the latter term having been defined as “an act of baseness, vileness, depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes his fellow man, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man, or conduct contrary to justice, honesty, modesty and good morals (Betguen vs. Masangcay, A.M. No. P-93-822, 01 December 1994).
So yes, gossiping can land you in jail. Thus, when in doubt, better to keep those pretty lips shut.
About Nicolas and De Vega Law Offices
If you are a victim of slander or oral defamation or simply need assistance in filing a criminal case, we can help you. Nicolas and de Vega Law Offices is a full-service law firm in the Philippines. You may visit us at the 16th Flr., Suite 1607 AIC Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Ave., Ortigas Center, 1605 Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. You may also call us at +632 84706126, +632 84706130, +632 84016392 or e-mail us at [email protected]. Visit our website www.ndvlaw.com.