Kidnapping and serious illegal detention

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Definition

The crime of kidnapping is defined in Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Section 8 of Republic Act No. 7659, effective 31 December 1993.[1]

Art 267. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention. Any private individual who shall detain or kidnap another, or in any other manner, deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death:
1. If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than five days.
2. If it shall have been committed simulating public authority.
3. If any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained; or if threats to kill him shall have been made.
4. If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, female or public officer.
The penalty shall be death where the kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person, even if none of the circumstances above-mentioned were present in the commission of the offense.


Elements of Kidnapping

The elements of kidnapping under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code are as follows:[2]

1. That the offender is a private individual.
2. That he kidnaps or detains another, or in any other manner deprives the latter of his liberty.
3. That the act of detention or kidnapping must be illegal.
4. That in the commission of the offense, any of the following circumstances is present:
(a) That the kidnapping or detention lasts for more than five (5) days; or
(b) That it is committed simulating public authority; or
(c) That any serious physical injuries are inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained or threats to kill him are made; or
(d) That the person kidnapped or detained is a minor, female, or a public officer.

An accused charged with kidnapping for ransom may properly be convicted with an offense included in it, particularly robbery. See Variance between the offense charged and that proved.

Lockup or detention

The primary element of kidnapping is actual confinement or restraint of the victim.[3] Without this element, the crime is not kidnapping. It may fall under other crimes under the Revised Penal Code, including grave coercion. The Spanish version of Article 267 uses the terms "lockup" (encerrar) rather than "kidnap" (secuestrar or raptar). Lockup is included in the broader term of "detention," which refers not only to the placing of a person in an enclosure which he cannot leave, but also to any other deprivation of liberty which does not necessarily involve locking up. Likewise, the Revised Penal Code was originally approved and enacted in Spanish. Consequently, the Spanish text is controlling in cases of conflict with the English version, as provided in Section 15 of the Revised Administrative Code.[4]

The prosecution must adequately establish actual confinement or restraint of the victim. In the case of People vs. Astorga[5], for instance, the Supreme Court ruled that the intention of the accused, as shown by the evidence, is to bring the victim against her will towards another place. There is no evidence of actual confinement or restriction on the victim. There was no "lockup."

In the determination of the crime for which the accused should be held liable in those instances where his acts partake of the nature of variant offenses, his motive and specific intent in perpetrating the acts complained of are invaluable aids in arriving at a correct appreciation and accurate conclusion thereon.[6] In People vs. Puno,[7], there is no showing whatsoever that appellants had any motive, nurtured prior to or at the time they committed the wrongful acts against complainant, other than the extortion of money from her under the compulsion of threats or intimidation.[8] With respect to the specific intent of appellants vis-a-vis the charge that they had kidnapped the victim, there must be indubitable proof that the actual intent of the malefactors was to deprive the offended party of her liberty, and not where such restraint of her freedom of action was merely an incident in the commission of another offense primarily intended by the offenders. As early as United States vs. Ancheta,[9] and consistently reiterated thereafter,[10] it has been held that the detention and/or forcible taking away of the victims by the accused, even for an appreciable period of time but for the primary and ultimate purpose of killing them, holds the offenders liable for taking their lives or such other offenses they committed in relation thereto, but the incidental deprivation of the victims' liberty does not constitute kidnapping or serious illegal detention. The accused clearly had no intention whatsoever to kidnap or deprive the victim of her personal liberty.[11]


Kidnap for ransom

Ransom, in municipal criminal law, is the money, price or consideration paid or demanded for redemption of a captured person or persons, a payment that releases from captivity. It can hardly be assumed that when the victim readily gave the cash and checks demanded from her at gun point, what she gave can be equated with or was in the concept of ransom in the law of kidnapping. These were merely amounts involuntarily surrendered by the victim upon the occasion of a robbery or of which she was summarily divested by the accused. The crime committed is robbery as defined in Article 293 of the Revised Penal Code.[12]

Not affected by the Anti-Piracy and Anti-Highway Robbery Law of 1974

Presidential Decree No. 532, also known as the Anti-Piracy and Anti-Highway Robbery Law of 1974, is not a modification of Article 267 of the [[[Revised Penal Code]] on kidnapping and serious illegal detention, but of Articles 306 and 307 on brigandage.[13] See also Highway robbery.


External links


References

  1. People vs. Kulais, G.R. Nos. 100901-08, 16 July 1998
  2. People vs. Astorga, G.R. No. 110097, 22 December 1997
  3. People vs. Astorga, G.R. No. 110097, 22 December 1997, citing People vs. Godoy, 250 SCRA 676, 728, December 6, 1995; People vs. Cua, 232 SCRA 507, 516, May 25, 1994; People vs. Puno, 219 SCRA 85, 93-94; February 17, 1993; United States vs. Ancheta, 1 Phil. 165 (1902); United States vs. De Leon, 1 Phil. 163 (1902); People vs. Remalate, 92 Phil. 48 (1952); People vs. Guerrero, 103 Phil. 1136 (1958); People vs. Ong, et al., 62 SCRA 174, January 30, 1975; People vs. Ty Sui Wong, et al., 83 SCRA 125, May 12, 1978; People vs. Jimenez, et al., 105 SCRA 721, July 24, 1981.
  4. People vs. Astorga, G.R. No. 110097, 22 December 1997
  5. People vs. Astorga, G.R. No. 110097, 22 December 1997
  6. People vs. Puno, G.R. No. 97471, 17 February 1993
  7. G.R. No. 97471, 17 February 1993
  8. People vs. Puno, G.R. No. 97471, 17 February 1993
  9. 1 Phil. 165 (1902), cited in People vs. Puno, G.R. No. 97471, 17 February 1993
  10. People vs. Puno, G.R. No. 97471, 17 February 1993, citing People vs. Remalante, 92 Phil. 48 (1952); People vs. Guerrero, 103 Phil. 1136 (1958); People vs. Ong, et al., 62 SCRA 174 (1975); People vs. Ty Sui Wong, et al., 83 SCRA 125 (1978); People vs. Jimenez, et al., 105 SCRA 721 (1981)
  11. People vs. Puno, G.R. No. 97471, 17 February 1993
  12. People vs. Puno, G.R. No. 97471, 17 February 1993
  13. People vs. Puno, G.R. No. 97471, 17 February 1993
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