Direct Assault

ART. 148.


1. Without public uprising, by employing force or intimidation for attainment of any of the purposes enumerated in defining the crimes of rebellion and sedition (first form)

1. Offender employs  force or intimidation;
2. Aim of offender is to attain any of the purposes of the crime of rebellion and sedition; and
3. That there is no public uprising.

2. Without public uprising, by attacking, by employing force or by seriously intimidating or by seriously resisting any person in authority or any of his agents, while engaged in the performance of official duties, or on occasion of such performance. (second form)

1. Offender
(a) makes an attack,
(b) employs force,
(c) makes a serious intimidation, or
(d) makes a serious resistance;
2. Person assaulted is a person in authority or his agent;
3. At the time of the assault the person in authority or his agent
a. is engaged in the actual performance of official duties (motive is not essential); or
b. is assaulted by reason of the past performance of official duties (motive is essential);
4. That the offender knows that the one he is assaulting is a person in authority or his agent (with intention to offend, injure or assault); and
5. No public uprising.


General Rule: Direct assault is always complexed with the material consequence of the act (Ex. direct assault with murder).
Exception: If resulting in a light felony, the consequent crime is absorbed.

The force employed need not be serious when the offended party is a person in authority (Ex. Laying of hands).

The intimidation or resistance must be serious whether the offended party is an agent only or a person in authority (Ex. Pointing a gun).

A person in authority is any person directly vested with jurisdiction (power or authority to govern and execute the laws) whether as an individual or as a member of some court or governmental corporation, board, or commission.

Examples: A barangay captain, a Division Superintendent of Schools, President of Sanitary Division and a teacher.

An agent is one 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.

Examples: Barrio councilman and any person who comes to the aid of the person in authority, policeman, municipal treasurer, postmaster, sheriff, agents of the BIR, MalacaƱang confidential agent.

Even when the person in authority or the agent agrees to fight, direct assault is still committed.

When the person in authority or the agent provoked/attacked first, innocent party is entitled to defend himself and cannot be held liable for assault or resistance nor for physical injuries, because he acts in legitimate self-defense.

There can be no assault upon or disobedience to one’s authority by another when they both contend that they were in the exercise of their respective duties.

When assault is made by reason of the performance of his duty there is no need for actual performance of his official duty when attacked.

Direct assault cannot be committed during rebellion.

Direct assault may be committed upon a private person who comes to the aid of a person in authority since he is then considered an agent of a person in authority.

Classifications of direct - simple and qualified.

1. when the assault is committed with a weapon;
2. when the offender is a public officer or employee; or
3. when the offender lays hand upon a person in authority

The first form of direct assault is tantamount to rebellion or sedition, except that there is no pubic uprising.

When the assault results in the killing  of that agent or of a person in  authority, there arises a complex  crime of direct assault with murder or homicide.

The only time when it is not complexed is when material consequence is a light felony, that is, slight physical injury. Direct assault absorbs the lighter felony.

Resistance or disobedience to an agent of a person in authority is always serious, but to an agent of a person in authority, it may or may not be serious.

If the public officer is not a person in authority, the assault on him is an aggravating circumstance in Art. 14, no. 3 (rank).

Teachers, lawyers and heads of schools recognized by government are persons in authority only for purposes of Art. 152 in relation to Arts. 148 and 151, and in connection with their duties.

A person in authority includes a barangay chairman and members of the Lupong Tagapagkasundo as provided under the Local Government Code.

direct assault
Example of Direct Assault (1995 Bar Examination Question)

On his way to buy a lotto ticket, a policeman suddenly found himself surrounded by four men. One of them wrestled the police officer to the ground and disarmed him while the other companions who were armed with a hunting knife, an ice pick, and a balisong, repeatedly stabbed him. The policeman died as a result of the multiple stab wounds inflicted by his assailants.

What crime or crimes were committed? Discuss fully.

All the assailants are liable for the crime of murder, qualified by treachery,(which absorbed abuse of superior strength) as the attack was sudden and unexpected and the victim was totally defenseless. Conspiracy is obvious from the concerted acts of the assailants. Direct assault would not complex the crime, as there is no showing that the assailants knew that the victim was a policeman; even if there was knowledge, the fact is that he was not in the performance of his official duties, and therefore there is no direct assault.