Kidnapping and serious illegal detention

Posted by Admin | Posted in Felonies (Revised Penal Code), Law on Crimes | Posted on 01-06-2010

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The crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention is found in Article 267 of our Revised Penal Code.  The following are its essential elements:

1) The offender is a private individual.

2) He kidnaps or detains another, or in any other manner deprives the latter of his liberty.

3) The act of detention or kidnapping is illegal.

4) Any of the following circumstances is present in the commission of the crime:

a) the kidnapping/detention lasts for more than 3 days

b) it is committed simulating public authority

c) any serious physical injuries are inflicted upon the person kidnapped/detained or threats to kill him are made

d) the person kidnapped is a minor, female or public officer [Reyes, Luis B., The Revised Penal Code, Book II]

If the offender is a public officer, it could be arbitrary detention (under Article 124, RPC) or some other forms of deprivation of liberty.

The deprivation of liberty does not always mean actual physical restraint on the person of the victim.  The victim need not be locked in a room, house or any enclosure.  The victim need not be tied or handcuffed.  It is enough that the acts of the accused “produce fear in the mind of the victim” such that the victim’s “actions and movements are in accordance with the wishes of the accused” (Astorga vs. People of the Philippines, GR No. 154130, October 1, 2003).