Intriguing against honor, A364 Revised Penal Code

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To cause an intrigue is to arouse an atmosphere of unwarranted interest or curiosity, or in some cases, suspicion, over another person.

1. Concept

Intriguing against honor – refers to “any intrigue which has for its principal purpose to blemish the honor and reputation of a person.” (Betguen v. Masangcay, En Banc, A.M. No. P-93-822, December 1, 1994, Per Curiam)

a. Legal basis

Art. 364. Intriguing against honor. – The penalty of arresto menor or fine not exceeding Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000) shall be imposed for any intrigue which has for its principal purpose to blemish the honor or reputation of a person. (As amended by R.A. 10951)

(NB: If the article has been amended by legislation or has been the subject of Supreme Court decision which may have impacted how it is interpreted, do let us know so we can consider for the next update of this article. You may send it via: Feedback.)

2. Mode of commission

The following is the mode of committing the offense:

•  To cause any intrigue

a. Mode 1: To cause any intrigue

Elements of the offense:

1) The offender causes any intrigue; and

2) The principal purpose is to blemish the honor or reputation of a person. (Article 364, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

1) Element 1: Intrigue

Intrigue – means “to arouse the interest, desire, or curiosity of” (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

In the context of the offense, to cause an intrigue is to arouse an atmosphere of unwarranted interest or curiosity, or in some cases, suspicion, over another person. The act of causing intrigue should fall short of libel or slander; otherwise, if there is defamation via publication, by utterances, or deed, then it is no longer causing intrigue.

To cause an intrigue, it may involve acts or omissions which would cast doubt or suspicion on the honor of the complainant.

For example, in a dinner conversation among co-workers, A who is married becomes the topic in relation to weekend out of town trips not connected to work nor a family activity. B who has a grudge against A, intentionally remarks in a tone very suggestive of inappropriate conduct – e.g., what else would a married person be doing every weekend if not related to work nor involving family? If it can be objectively and reasonably understood that the intention of B was to cast doubt or suspicion on B, then B may have caused intrigue.

2) Element 2: To blemish honor or reputation

Not all remarks suggestive of inappropriate conduct will result in the offense of intrigue against honor. In particular, in our above example, if the remark was instead said in jest or lighthearted fashion as to be intended as a humor, then there is no intrigue against the honor. A joke was simply made.

Thus, to constitute the offense of intrigue, the offender’s principal purpose should be to blemish the honor or reputation of a person.

3. Things to note

The following are some additional things to note about this offense.

a. Subject should be alive

The subject should be alive for the following reasons:

1) The offense of intrigue against honor cannot be prosecuted de oficio since it is a crime against honor, i.e., it requires the complainant or the subject to file the complaint.

2) Offenses involving crimes against honor are intended to protect living individuals from the consequences of the illegal act, particularly for cases where blemishing the honor or reputation of a person may lead to dire consequences such as losing a job or being made an outcast in a community.

a. Moral turpitude

 This felony undoubtedly falls under the coverage of crimes involving moral turpitude. (Betguen v. Masangcay, supra; So v. Lee, En Banc, B.M. No. 3288, April 10, 2019; Teves v. COMELEC, En Banc, G.R. No. 180363, April 28, 2009)

Moral turpitude – refers to “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” (Tak Ng vs. Republic of the Philippines, 106 Phil. 727 [1959], cited in Betguen v. Masangcay, supra.).

b. Necessarily included in serious oral defamation

[W]hile there appears to be merit in the Solicitor General’s contention that the offense of intriguing against honor is necessarily included in the crime of serious oral defamation. (People v. Bao, En Banc, G.R. No. L-12102, September 25, 1959, Per Gutierrez David, J.)


• Title XIII – Crimes Against Honor, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code

/Updated: May 20, 2023

Disclaimer: All information is for educational and general information only. These should not be taken as professional legal advice or opinion. Please consult a competent lawyer to address your specific concerns. Any statements or opinions of the author are solely his own and do not reflect that of any organization he may be connected.

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