"x x x.
Kidnapping and serious illegal detention is defined and punished under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as amended by Republic Act (RA) 7659:
ART. 267. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention. - 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:
1. If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than three 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, except when the accused is any of the parents, female or a 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 abovementioned were presented in the commission of the offense.
When the victim is killed or dies as a consequence of the detention or is raped, or is subjected to torture or dehumanizing acts, the maximum penalty shall be imposed.
The crime has the following elements: (1) the offender is a private individual; (2) he kidnaps or detains another, or in any manner deprives the latter of his liberty; (3) the act of detention or kidnapping is 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; (b) it is committed by simulating public authority; (c) any 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 official.
Records show that the prosecution established the above elements.
It is undisputed that appellant is a private individual. As to the second, third and fourth elements, we agree with the trial court, as affirmed by the CA, that Jomaries and Marissas testimonies adequately showed that indeed, appellant kidnapped Jomarie, a minor, and detained her for more or less an hour.
The essence of the crime of kidnapping is the actual deprivation of the victims liberty, coupled with the intent of the accused to effect it. It includes not only the imprisonment of a person but also the deprivation of his liberty in whatever form and for whatever length of time. It involves a situation where the victim cannot go out of the place of confinement or detention, or is restricted or impeded in his liberty to move.
In this case, appellant dragged Jomarie, a minor, to his house after the latter refused to go with him. Upon reaching the house, he tied her hands. When Jomarie pleaded that she be allowed to go home, he refused. Although Jomarie only stayed outside the house, it was inside the gate of a fenced property which is high enough such that people outside could not see what happens inside. Moreover, when appellant tied the hands of Jomarie, the formers intention to deprive Jomarie of her liberty has been clearly shown. For there to be kidnapping, it is enough that the victim is restrained from going home.Because of her tender age, and because she did not know her way back home, she was then and there deprived of her liberty. This is irrespective of the length of time that she stayed in such a situation. It has been repeatedly held that if the victim is a minor, the duration of his detention is immaterial. This notwithstanding the fact also that appellant, after more or less one hour, released Jomarie and instructed her on how she could go home.
x x x."
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
JERRY JACALNE y GUTIERREZ,
G.R. No. 168552
VELASCO, JR., J., Chairperson,
October 3, 2011