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What to Know About: Grave and Light Threats

Have you ever been on the other end of a threat? Many people throw threats left and right without ever meaning to follow up on them. More often than not, they’re are lightly given to friends as a joke. But a serious threat that causes fear or mental disturbance should not be taken lightly.

Threats come in three separate categories. These can help differentiate the gravity and intention of each one that you may come across. Here’s what you need to know about the difference between grave threats, light threats, and other light threats.

What are Grave Threats?

You receive a grave threat if someone threatens to commit a crime that could potentially harm you, your family, or your property. It must amount to some form of legal crime to be considered a grave threat. Grave threats are punishable under Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code.

This type is further divided into three categories:

  1. Threatening the victim, then offering said victim his or her safety if he/she fulfills a certain condition. The victim then follows through with the condition. For example, the offender would be guilty of this type of grave threat if he or she threatens to kill his/her victim unless the victim gives him/her money, then receives money as a result.
  2. Making a similar threat as above, except the victim does not fulfill the conditions given to him or her.
  3. Threatening the victim without giving him or her any conditions to fulfill that could protect him/her from the threat.

An example is from Caluag vs People, G.R. No. 171511, in which the petitioner held a gun to one of the two private complainants and verbally threatened her by uttering, to wit, “Saan ka pupunta gusto mo ito?”

What are Light Threats?

A light threat does not amount to a crime, but still causes fear or mental disturbance. This type of threat also always comes with a condition that the victim must fulfill. For example, instead of being threatened with murder or property damage, the offender might instead threaten to share the victim’s darkest secret if he/she doesn’t do what the offender says.  Light threats are punishable under Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code.

What are Other Light Threats?

Finally, other light threats also do not amount to a crime, nor is there ever a condition for the victim to fulfill. The offender should also never have intended to follow through with the threat that he/she made towards the victim. Other light threats are punishable under Article 285 of the Revised Penal Code.

An example is from Ignacio vs People, G.R. No. 226991, wherein Ignacio was found guilty of Other Light Threats by brandishing a bolo knife to the private complainants and threatening them with it. No condition was given, and the petitioner never intended to follow through with her threat.

If you feel fearful for your safety after receiving a threat, remember that you have the power to seek legal help. Here at Sadsad Tamesis Legal and Accountancy Firm, we will always strive for a positive and just outcome for their clients, for their future and peace of mind. Book a consultation with our team of lawyers today.

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