Under Article 267 of the revised Penal Code, SERIOUS ILLEGAL DETENTION is committed when the following elements of the crime are pr...

Under Article 267 of the revised Penal Code, SERIOUS ILLEGAL DETENTION is committed when the following elements of the crime are present:

1.      Offender is a private individual who is not any of the parents of the victim
2.      He kidnaps or detains another, or in any other manner deprives the latter of his liberty
3.      Act of detention or kidnapping must be illegal
4.      In the commission of the offense, any of the following circumstances is present:
a.       Kidnapping or 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 or detained or threats to kill him are made
d.      The person kidnapped or detained is a minor, female, or a public officer.

The essence of this offense is the actual deprivation of the victim’s liberty coupled with the intent of the accused to effect it. There must be indubitable proof that the actual intent of the malefactor was to deprive the offended party of liberty. The restraint however need not be permanent. (People v. Pavillare, G.R. No. 129970, Apr. 5, 2000)

It is not necessary that the victim be placed in an enclosure. It may consist not only in placing a person in an enclosure but also in detaining him or depriving him in any manner of his liberty.

Death penalty shall be imposed in the following:
1.      If the purpose of the kidnapping is to extort ransom.
2.      When the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention.
1.      When the victim is raped.
2.      When the victim is subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts.

If the victim is a woman or a public officer, the detention is always serious no matter how short the period of detention is.

The issue on bail depends on the crime charge in the information. Where the maximum penalty is reclusion perpetua (like serious illegal detention), then bail is NOT a matter of right and may be given only if the evidence is not strong. Otherwise, where the maximum penalty is lower than reclusion perpetua, then bail must be given as a matter of a right.

In the case of Janet Napoles, Denice Cornejo and Cedric Lee, the crime charged was “serious illegal detention”. From the information (Cornejo and Lee), there are two elements that can qualify the charge of serious illegal detention: (a) serious physical injuries were afflicted; (b) extorting ransom, which made it non-bailable.

The author takes no responsibility for the validity, correctness and result of this work. The information provided is not a legal advice and it should not be used  as a substitute for a competent legal advice from a licensed lawyer. See the disclaimer

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