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Serious illegal detention
"Josie was apprehended by the police for taking my minor son and bringing him to her province. She claimed that my son was not really kidnapped because he was not physically restrained of his liberty. In fact, he was free to go out of the house, fed and treated well, and could interact with other people. She further alleged that she is not liable for the crime. Is she correct?Josie Dear Josie,Josie may be held liable for kidnapping. This crime is punishable under Article 267 (4) of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, as amended, which states that: “Any private individual who shall kidnap or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death: xxx“(4) If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, xxx.” The elements of the above-stated crime were enumerated in the case of People vs. Pepino (GR 174471, Jan. 12, 2016, Ponente: Associate Justice Arturo Brion),  viz:“The elements of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, are: (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 must be illegal and (4) in the commission of the offense, any of the following circumstances is present: (a) the kidnapping or detention lasts for more than three days or (b) it is committed by simulating public authority or (c) serious physical injuries are inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained or threats to kill him are made or (d) the person kidnapped or detained is a minor, female, or a public officer. If the victim of kidnapping and serious illegal detention is a minor, the duration of his detention is immaterial.” The fact that the kid was not physically restrained of his movement is immaterial. This was explained in the case of People of the Philippines vs. Fabro or Manalastas (GR 208441, July 17, 2017), where the Supreme Court speaking through Associate Justice Noel Tijam said:“The argument fails. The prevailing jurisprudence on kidnapping and illegal detention is that the curtailment of the victim’s liberty need not involve any physical restraint upon the victim’s person. For kidnapping to exist, it is not necessary that the offender kept the victim in an enclosure or treated him harshly.“In People v. Bisda, the Court upheld the conviction of kidnapping for ransom even though the abducted five-year old child was, during her detention, free to roam around the place of detention, to practice on her drawing and to watch television, and was regularly fed and bathed. Citing United States v. McCabe, the Court stated that ‘to accept a child’s desire for food, comfort as the type of will or consent contemplated in the context of kidnapping would render the concept meaningless.’ Should the child even want to escape, said the Court, she could not do so all by herself given her age she was under the control of her abductors and was merely waiting and hoping that she would be brought home or that her parents would fetch her.”Applying the above-quoted decision in your situation, Josie is still liable for kidnapping because she is a private individual who took the minor without the consent of the parents and brought the kid to her province. The fact that the kid was not physically restrained, fed or treated well is inconsequential because the kid was under the control of Josie. We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net"

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"Serious illegal detention" was written by Mary under the Legal Advice category. It has been read 150 times and generated 0 comments. The article was created on and updated on 15 September 2021.
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