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Unjust vexation raps filed vs students in ‘dirty finger’ selfie

By: Emmariel Ares - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | January 23,2024 - 06:26 PM

The two students who took a selfie with a dirty finger while having policemen as background are now behind bars while awaiting charges to be filed against them.  | Paul Lauro

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Unjust vexation charges have been filed by the police against the two male students who took a selfie with a ‘dirty finger’ using policemen as background.

The two were arrested in Barangay San Roque, Cebu City on Sunday, January 21, 2024.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office Central Visayas (PRO-7) said the incident reportedly happened while the two were partying during the Sinulog festival celebrations.

READ: 2 college students jailed for selfie with dirty finger during Sinulog

The suspects, whose names were withheld by CDN Digital for their security, are both engineering students from a university in the city.

During the festivities, the two reportedly made a stop along Lapu-Lapu Street to take selfies with the background showing several police officers stationed in the area to secure the festival.

One of the policemen noticed the students raising their middle fingers for the pictures and laughing while looking at the officers. They were then arrested and detained at the Waterfront Police Station.

The students then claimed that the photos were meant for their friends and that they did not intend to insult the officers near them. 

However, Pelare told reporters on Tuesday, January 23, that the arrested persons did more than just pose with their middle fingers or ddirty finger extended in front of policemen. 

“Ang katong ilang gihimo and previously pa adtong ilang paghimo sa act, there were already actions done by these students nga nakapa-vex or nakapa-insulto aning mga police nga involved. So katong ilang paghimo sa maong action, which is very inappropriate, will qualify in the filing of complaint for unjust vexation,” he stated.

READ: Court acquits rights lawyer, wife in unjust vexation case filed by local police chief

Based on Article 287 of the Philippine’s Revised Penal Code, “unjust vexation” is considered a form of light coercion and is committed when a person causes annoyance, irritation, disturbance, distress or torment to the person it was directed at.

The crime is punishable under Article 287 which states that, “Any other coercions or unjust vexation shall be punished by arresto menor or a fine ranging from One thousand pesos (P1,000) to not more than Forty thousand pesos (P40,000), or both.”

Pelare explained that the students’ inappropriate behavior at the time of the incident fits into what is referred to as an “unjust vexation,” hence they were arrested.

With some individuals questioning whether the arrest was legal, Pelare assured that the officers had sufficient legal basis to bring the students to the police station for their actions. 

“It’s up to them how they’re going to explain it to the court. But as far as the police is concerned, we have arrested them legally and with enough sufficient legal basis,” he said.

Pelare said that the dirty finger incident should serve as a warning for others to be mindful with how they act in public in order not to aggravate other people.

“So this should serve as a warning to everyone nga be very careful in your actions because like this one, our police officers were religiously delivering their duties, performing their duties. And you cannot just insult them. And you cannot just offend them by doing this very insulting action,” stated Pelare.

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TAGS: dirty finger, policemen, Sinulog, unjust vexation

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