H. Crimes against personal liberty and security

Frequency: ★★★★★

CHAPTER 1: CRIMES AGAINST LIBERTY

SECTION 1 – ILLEGAL DETENTION

1. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention

ELEMENTS:

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 (3) 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.) (People v. Fabro, G.R. No. 208441, 17 July 2017)

ACTUAL RESTRAINT NOT NECESSARY: 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. (Ibid.)

SPECIAL COMPLEX CRIME IF DEATH RESULTS: Where the person kidnapped is killed in the course of the detention, regardless of whether the killing was purposely sought or was merely an afterthought, the kidnapping and murder or homicide can no longer be complexed under Art. 48, nor be treated as separate crimes, but shall be punished as a special complex crime under the last paragraph of Art. 267, as amended by RA No. 7659. (People v. Ramos, G.R. No. 118570, 12 October 1998)

NOTABLE JURISPRUDENCE:

1) 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. 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. (Cited in People v. Fabro, supra.)

REMINDERS:

1) A public officer (such as policeman) who has a duty under the law to detain a person but detains a person without legal ground is liable for arbitrary detention defined and penalized under Article 124 of the Revised Penal Code. Thus, a public officer who has no legal duty to detain a person may be prosecuted for illegal detention and kidnapping. (Footnote 8 in People v. Mamantak, En Banc, G.R. No. 174659, 28 July 2008)

2) If the original

a. CONTRASTING WITH OTHER CRIMES

1) Kidnapping w/ Rape v. Forcible Abduction w/ Rape

FactorsKidnapping w/ RapeForcible abduction w/ Rape
IntentionNo lewd designsWith lewd designs
Special / ComplexA special complex crimeA compex crime under (via Article 48)
AttemptedAttempted rape is a separatee crimeAttempted rape not separated but part of lewd designs
Multiple rapes1 special complex crime regardess of multiple rapes1 complex crime for 1 rape; others are separate crimes

2. Slight illegal detention

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender is a private individual;

2) He commits the crimes described in the next preceding article; and,

3) He commits such acts without the attendance of any of circumstances enumerated therein. (Article 268, Ibid.)

3. Unlawful arrest

BREAKDOWN:

1) The offender arrests or detains another for the purpose of delivering him to the proper authorities; and,

2) He commits such acts in any case other than those authorized by law, or without reasonable ground therefor.

ELEMENTS:

1) That the offender arrests or detains another person;

2) That the arrest or detention is to deliver the person to the proper authorities; and,

3) That the arrest or detention is not authorized by law or that there is no reasonable ground to. (Duropan v. People, G.R. No. 230825, 10 June 2020)

REMINDER:

1) The offender is either a private person or a public officer with no authority to detain.

2) If committed by a public officer with authority to detain, the crime is arbitrary detention.

SECTION 2 – KIDNAPPING OF MINORS

4. Kidnapping and failure to return a minor

BREAKDOWN:

1) The offender is entrusted with the custody of a minor person; and,

2) He deliberately fails to restore the latter to his parents or guardians.

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender is entrusted with the custody of a minor person; and,

2) The offender deliberately fails to restore the said minor to his parents or guardians. (People v. Marquez, G.R. No. 181440, 13 April 2011)

DELIBERATE FAILURE, PUNISHED: while one of the essential elements of this crime is that the offender was entrusted with the custody of the minor, what is actually being punished is not the kidnapping but the deliberate failure of that person to restore the minor to his parents or guardians. (Ibid.)

REMINDERS:

1) If the offender was not entrusted with the custody of the minor, the crime is kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

5. Inducing a minor to abandon his home

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender induces a minor; and,

2) The inducement is to abandon the home of his parent or guardians or the persons entrusted with his custody.

SECTION 3 – SLAVERY AND SERVITUDE

6. Slavery

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender purchases, sells, kidnaps or detains a human being;

2)  The purpose is enslaving him. (Article 272, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

7. Exploitation of child labor

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender retains him in his service a minor;

2) It is against the minor’s will; and,

3) It is under the pretext of reimbursing himself of a debt incurred by an ascendant, guardian or person entrusted with the custody of the minor.(Article 273, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

8. Services rendered under compulsion in payment of debt

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender compels the debtor to work for him, against his will, as household servant or farm laborer; and,

2) It is in order to require or enforce the payment of a debt. (Article 274, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

CHAPTER 2: CRIMES AGAINST SECURITY

SECTION 1 – ABANDONMENT OF HELPESS PERSONS AND EXPLOITATION OF MINORS

IMPOSITION OF OTHER PERNALTIES: The imposition of the penalties prescribed under this section, shall not prevent the imposition upon the same person of the penalty provided for any other felonies defined and punished by this Code. (Article 279, Ibid.)

9. Abandonment of person in danger and abandonment of one’s own victim

ELEMENTS:

1ST MODE (FAILURE TO RENDER ASSISTANCE) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender fails to render assistance to any person whom he shall find in an uninhabited place wounded or in danger of dying; and,

2) He can render such assistance without detriment to himself, unless such omission shall constitute a more serious offense. (Article 275, Ibid.)

2ND MODE (SAME; OFFENDER CAUSE INJURY) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender fails to help or render assistance to another whom he has accidentally wounded or injured. (Ibid.)

3RD MODE (ABANDONED CHILD) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender found an abandoned child under seven years of age;

2) He: (a) fails to deliver said child to the authorities or to his family; or, (b) fails to take him to a safe place. (Ibid.)

10. Abandoning a minor

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender abandons a child under seven (7) years of age; and,

2) The custody of which is incumbent upon him. (Article 276, Ibid.)

IF IT CONSTITUTES A MORE SERIOUS OFFENSE: The provisions contained in the two preceding paragraphs shall not prevent the imposition of the penalty provided for the act committed, when the same shall constitute a more serious offense. (Paragraph 3, Article 276, Ibid.)

11. Abandonment of minor by person entrusted with his custody; indifference of parents

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender has charge of the rearing or education of a minor;

2) He delivers said minor to a public institution or other persons;

3) He commits such acts: (a) without the consent of the one who entrusted such child to his care; or, (b) in the absence of the latter, without the consent of the proper authorities. (Article 277, Ibid.)

12. Exploitation of minors

ELEMENTS:

1ST MODE (DANGEROUS FEATS) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender causes any boy or girl under 16 years of age; to perform any dangerous feat of balancing, physical strength, or contortion. (Article 277, Ibid.)

2ND MODE (ACROBATS) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender is an acrobat, gymnast, rope-walker, diver, wild-animal tamer or circus manager or engaged in a similar calling; and,

2) He employs in exhibitions of these kinds children under sixteen years of age who are not his children or descendants. (Ibid.)

3RD MODE (SAME; DESCENDANT UNDER 12 Y.O.) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender is engaged in any of the callings enumerated in the next paragraph preceding; and,

2) He employs any descendant of his under twelve years of age in such dangerous exhibitions. (Ibid.)

4TH MODE (GUARDIAN) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender is an ascendant, guardian, teacher or person entrusted in any capacity with the care of a child under sixteen years of age; and,

2) He delivers such child gratuitously to any person following any of the callings enumerated in the 2nd Mode, or to any habitual vagrant or beggar. (Ibid.)

5TH MODE (SAME; INDUCEMENT) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender induces any child under sixteen years of age to abandon the home of its ascendants, guardians, curators, or teachers to follow any person engaged in any of the callings mentioned in the 2nd Mode, or to accompany any habitual vagrant or beggar. (Ibid.)

SECTION 2 – TRESPASS TO DWELLING

13. Qualified trespass to dwelling

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender is a private person;

2) That he enters the dwelling of another; and,

3) Such entrance is against the latter’s will. (Marzalado, Jr. v. People, G.R. No. 152997, 10 November 2004)

NON-APPLICABILITY; EXEMPT: The provisions of this article shall not be applicable to any person who shall enter another’s dwelling: (a) for the purpose of preventing some serious harm to himself, the occupants of the dwelling or a third person, (b) nor shall it be applicable to any person who shall enter a dwelling for the purpose of rendering some service to humanity or justice, (c) nor to anyone who shall enter cafes, taverns, inn and other public houses, while the same are open. (Paragraph 3, Article 280, Ibid.)

REMINDERS:

1) A dwelling is where someone uses as a residence, whether permanent or temporary.

2) If committed by a public officer, the crime is violation of domicile.

14. Other forms of trespass

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender enters the closed premises or the fenced estate of another, while either or them are uninhabited:

2) The prohibition to enter is manifest; and,

3) The trespasser has not secured the permission of the owner or the caretaker thereof. (Article 281, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

SECTION 3 – THREATS AND COERCION

15. Grave threats

ELEMENTS:

1) That the offender threatened another person with the infliction upon his person of a wrong;

2) That such wrong amounted to a crime; and,

3) That the threat was not subject to a condition. (Reyes v. People, En Banc, G.R. Nos. L-21528 and L-21529)

16. Light threats

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender threatens to commit a wrong not constituting a crime; and,

2) It is made in the manner expressed in subdivision 1 of the next preceding article. (Article 283, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

BAIL: In all cases falling within the two next preceding articles (i.e. grave threats and light threats), the person making the threats may also be required to give bail not to molest the person threatened, or if he shall fail to give such bail, he shall be sentenced to destierro. (Article 284, Ibid.)

17. Other light threats

ELEMENTS:

1ST MODE

1) The offender is not included in the provisions of the next preceding article;

2) He threatens another with a weapon or draw such weapon in a quarrel, unless it be in lawful self-defense. (Article 285, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

2ND MODE

1) The offender orally threatens another with some harm not constituting a crime; and,

2) By subsequent acts, he shows that he did not persist in the idea involved in his threat, provided that the circumstances of the offense shall not bring it within the provisions of Article 282 of this Code; and,

3) He commits such acts in the heat of anger. (Ibid.)

3RD MODE

1) The offender orally threatens to do another any harm not constituting a felony. (Ibid.)

18. Grave coercions

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender: (a) prevents another from doing something not prohibited by law; or (b) compel him to do something against his will, whether it be right or wrong;

2) He commits suc acts by means of violence,  threats or intimidation; and,

3)  He is without authority of law. (Article 286, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

19. Light coercions

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender seizes anything belonging to his debtor;

2) It is for the purpose of applying the same to the payment of the debt; and,

3) He commits such acts by means of violence. (Article 287, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

20. Any other coercions or Unjust Vexation

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender commits any other coercion or unjust vexations; and,

2) They are not covered by grave or light coercion. (Paragraph 2, Article 287, Ibid.)

NO COMPULSION OR RESTRAINT REQUIRED: The second paragraph of Article 287 is broad enough to include any human conduct which, although not productive of some physical or material harm, could unjustifiably annoy or vex an innocent person. Compulsion or restraint need not be alleged in the Information, for the crime of unjust vexation may exist without compulsion or restraint. (Maderazo v. People, G.R. No. 165065, 26 September 2006)

MALICE: In unjust vexation, being a felony by dolo, malice is an inherent element of the crime. (Ibid.)

GOOD FAITH: Good faith is a good defense to a charge for unjust vexation because good faith negates malice. (Ibid.)

TEST: The paramount question to be considered is whether the offender’s act caused annoyance, irritation, torment, distress or disturbance to the mind of the person to whom it is directed. (Ibid.)

PURPOSE: The main purpose of the law penalizing coercion and unjust vexation is precisely to enforce the principle that no person may take the law into his hands and that our government is one of law, not of men. It is unlawful for any person to take into his own hands the administration of justice. (Ibid.)

21. Other similar coercions

1ST MODE (COMPULSORY PURCHASE OF MERCHANDISE) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender is an agent or officer of any association or corporation; and,

2) He forces or compels, directly or indirectly, or knowingly permit any laborer or employee employed by him or by such firm or corporation to be forced or compelled, to purchase merchandise or commodities of any kind. (Article 288, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

2ND MODE (WAGE PAYMENT BY TOKENS) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender pays the wages due a laborer or employee employed by him; and,

2) It is by means of tokens or objects other than the legal tender currency of the Philippine Islands, unless expressly requested by the laborer or employee. (Ibid.)

21. Formation, maintenance and prohibition of combination of capital or labor through violence or threats

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender employs violence or threats in such a degree as to compel or force the laborers or employers in the free and legal exercise of their industry or work;

2) It is for the purpose of organizing, maintaining or preventing coalitions or capital or labor, strike of laborers or lock-out of employees; and,

3) The acts do not constitute a more serious offense in accordance with the provisions of the Revised Penal Code. (Article 289, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

CHAPTER 3: DISCOVERY AND REVELATION OF SECRETS

22. Discovering secrets through seizure of correspondence

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender is a private individual;

2) He seizes another’s papers or letters and reveal the contents thereof;

2) This is in order to discover the secrets of the other person. (Article 290, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

PARENTS, GUARDIANS, PERSONS ENTRUSED WITH CUSTODY OF MINORS: The provision shall not be applicable to parents, guardians, or persons entrusted with the custody of minors with respect to the papers or letters of the children or minors placed under their care or study, nor to spouses with respect to the papers or letters of either of them. (Paragraph 3, Article 290, Ibid.)

23. Revealing secrets with abuse of office

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender is a manager, employee, or servant;

2) In such capacity, he learns the secrets of his principal or master; and,

3) He reveals such secrets. (Article 291, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

24. Revelation of industrial secrets

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender is a person in charge, employee or workman of any manufacturing or industrial establishment; and,

2) To the prejudice of the owner thereof, he reveals the secrets of the industry of the latter. (Article 292,, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

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