Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention

1.      When is the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention committed?

The crime is committed when a private individual, not any of the parents of the victim, unlawfully kidnaps or detains another, or in any manner depriving the latter of his liberty, and that any of the following circumstances is present:

  • That the kidnapping or detention lasts for more than 3 days; or
  • That it is committed simulating public authority; or
  • That any serious physical injuries are inflicted upon the victim or threats to kill him are made; or
  • That the victim is a minor, female or a public officer.

2.      What if there is kidnapping or detention but none of the circumstances enumerated above is present, what crime is committed?

If any private individual kidnaps or detains another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, but without any of the four circumstances mentioned above, the crime is slight illegal detention. However, if the kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom, even without actual demand for ransom, then the crime will still be kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

On the other hand, if the purpose of the locking up or detaining the victim is to deliver him to the proper authorities, the offense committed is only unlawful arrest.

3.      What if the offender is a public officer, what crime is committed?

The crime will be arbitrary detention. It is still essential that there is actual confinement or restriction of the person of the offended party. The deprivation of liberty must be proved; just as the intent of the accused to deprive the victim of his liberty must also be established. But the public officer must have a duty under the law to detain a person, such as a policeman. If he has no such duty, like a clerk in the government office, and he detains a person he is liable of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

4.      Is leaving a 5-year old child in the house of another, where he has freedom to move around but not the freedom to leave it at will constitute illegal detention?

Yes. Illegal detention 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. Because of his tender age and assuming he did not know the way back home, he was then and there in a way deprived of his liberty. It is like putting him in a prison or in an asylum where he may have freedom of locomotion but not the freedom to leave it at will.

5.      What if a 20-year old girl was left in a house and was ordered not to go out or peep out of the window, does this also constitute the crime of illegal detention?

No. if the girl had freedom to leave the premises where she was confined, the crime of illegal detention cannot rise because she was not deprived of her liberty. It is essential in the crime of illegal detention that there be an actual confinement or restriction of the person of the offended party.

However, if the doors and windows of the house are locked up, then the crime is kidnapping and serious illegal detention.