BBM bends over low to greet and meet his supporters
This week we were able to watch the social media footage of the caravan/rally of presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in the province of Quezon.
The people, who went out of their homes to show their support – for how else can their enthusiasm to meet the 64-year-old former senator be thusly described – was again another page for the UniTeam’s political campaign chronicle for the May 9, 2022, national elections.
But there was a whitlow in that caravan, which we think is an isolated incident and does not reflect the sentiments of the majority of the voters, including the young and the elderly, of the province.
We refer to the water-throwing incident while the Marcos UniTeam vehicle was slowly rolling down the road with crowds of animated ten people thick on either side, their hands raised while shouting Marcos’ byname in a demonstration of their energized welcome to the 2022 pre-election different surveys consistent front runner.
Before that incident, some anti-Marcos zealot, a wolf in sheep’s clothing as the person was also in the pro-Marcos crowd of welcomers in one city in Metro Manila, lobbed at Marcos up in the open campaign vehicle that bore the image of one of his opponents for the presidential race.
What else will they think of next?
But we go back to the Quezon incident, certainly an irritant however we may look at it.
That was truly unjust vexation since there was human conduct that unjustly annoyed or irritated another person. Notice Marcos instinctively stepped back from the water splash.
The act satisfies unjust vexation since it was not attended by violence but visibly, from where we were watching the footage, the person’s conduct caused visible annoyance, irritation, torment, distress, or disturbance to the good-natured Marcos to whom the water was directed.
Of course, as a defense, the person might present good faith, if the person had been caught – by whatever twist or miracle we do not want to second guess – and therefore there was no malice.
Some may argue that Marcos, apart from that back step, did not appear to be annoyed, which would suggest there was no crime at all, with some citing the definition by the Supreme Court of unjust vexation as any human conduct which, although not productive of some physical or material harm, would unjustly annoy or irritate an innocent person.
While the Revised Penal Code failed to define the punishable act under unjust vexation, we run to the Supreme Court for jurisprudence and guidance.
In Renato Baleros Jr. versus People, the Supreme Court defined unjust vexation as any human conduct, without violence, that unjustly annoys an innocent person.
The test is “whether the offender’s act causes annoyance, irritation, torment, distress or disturbance to the mind of the person to whom it is directed.” (Baleros vs People, G.R. 138033, 22 February 2006).
Unjust vexation therefore may exist without inflicting any physical or material harm, without any compulsion or restraint, without the physical presence of the offended party at the time the crime was being committed, (Maderazo vs People, G.R. 165065, 26 September 2006).
Or even through the use of information technology such as social media. (RA 10175, Cybercrime Prevention Act, Section 6, Chapter II).
Based on these parameters, the elements of unjust vexation are: (1) there is human conduct that unjustly annoys or irritates another person; (2) such human conduct was not attended with violence; (3) such human conduct caused annoyance, irritation, torment, distress or disturbance to the mind of the person to whom it is directed; and (4) the offender acted with criminal intent.
On another point, we fault the UniTeam tandem’s slapdash security cordon could not properly spot an intruder with criminal or whatever intent.
Remember, that was not the first time some political maniac was able to approach Marcos and fling an unwanted material to his person.
Perhaps some people think Marcos, who has been espousing unity among Filipinos, will never be annoyed, will never be irritated, and will turn his other cheek even if he gets hit on one.
Some people are wrong. They cannot be thinking right forever in their lifetime.