Ricardo Mendoza was accused of the crime of assault upon a person in authority when, being a student of one Illuminada Tinio, she attacked and lay hands upon her person by slapping the latter on one of her cheeks while she was engaged in the performance of her duties as a teacher and while she was within the premises of the high school building exercising the functions inherent in such capacity.
Whether or not a teacher is a person in authority
No. A teacher is not a person in authority on the ground that he does not possess the necessary requisite thereof prescribed by law. In applying the provisions of the preceding and other articles of this Code, any person directly vested with jurisdiction, whether as an individual or as a member of some court or governmental corporation, board or commission, shall be deemed a person in authority. The word “authority” has been given a restricted meaning, so as to include only persons who perform some of the functions of the Government of the Philippine Islands and who according to the aforesaid article, are directly vested with jurisdiction. By “directly vested jurisdiction” is meant “the power or authority to govern and execute the laws, particularly the authority vested in the judges to administer justice, that is, to try civil or criminal cases or both, and to render judgment thereon in accordance with the law”; and “authority” as well as “directly vested jurisdiction” are two things which should be conferred by law.