Article 287 of the Revised Penal Code reads:
Art. 287. Light coercions. – Any person, who by means of violence, shall seize anything belonging to his debtor for the purpose of applying the same to the payment of the debt, shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period and a fine equivalent to the value of the thing, but in no case less than 75 pesos.
Any other coercions or unjust vexations shall be punished by arresto menor or a fine ranging from 5 to 200 pesos, or both.
The second paragraph of the Article is broad enough to include any human conduct which, although not productive of some physical or material harm, could unjustifiably annoy or vex an innocent person. Compulsion or restraint need not be alleged in the Information, for the crime of unjust vexation may exist without compulsion or restraint. However, in unjust vexation, being a felony by dolo, malice is an inherent element of the crime. Good faith is a good defense to a charge for unjust vexation because good faith negates malice. The paramount question to be considered is whether the offender’s act caused annoyance, irritation, torment, distress or disturbance to the mind of the person to whom it is directed. The main purpose of the law penalizing coercion and unjust vexation is precisely to enforce the principle that no person may take the law into his hands and that our government is one of law, not of men. It is unlawful for any person to take into his own hands the administration of justice.