I. Introduction: Art. 270 lays down the penalty for kidnapping and enumerates when the detention becomes serious. The concept is of American origin


1. To kidnap is to forcibly take a person from he has a right to be ( such as his place of work, residence, rest and recreation, school, street, park or public place) and bring him to another. The taking is always without the consent of the victim. Kidnapping need not be followed by detention as where the talking was only to briefly restrain the victim. It is usually for ransom.

2. To “detain” is to deprive a person of his liberty or restrict his freedom of locomotion or movement, and may not involve a kidnapping. This includes the following situations:

a). Lock up or actual physical deprivation of the personal liberty by confinement in an enclosure

b). immobilizing the victim though he has not been placed din an enclosure

c). by placing physical, moral or psychological restraint on his freedom of locomotion or movement


Example:  The Mayor confronted a DENR Inspection team, calls for reinforcements, refuses their request to leave, orders them to go with him and allows them to leave only the following day.

Held: “The curtailment of the victim’s liberty need not involve any physical restraint upon the victim’s persons. If the acts and actuations of the accused produced such fear in the mind of the victim sufficient to paralyze the latter, to the extent that he victim is compelled to limit his own actions and movements in accordance with the wishes of the accused, then the victim is detained against his will” ( Aslega vs. People, Oct. 01, 2003) 


d). The detention may either be Serious Art. 267 or Slight ( Art. 268)

II. Persons Liable.

A. The offender is a private person and not a Public Officer else the crime is Arbitrary Detention, unless the latter has no duty to arrest or order the detention of another.

B. One who furnished the place of detention is liable as an accomplice unless he was in conspiracy with the other accused.


III. The circumstances which make the detention serious are:

1. The kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than 3 days

2. It is committed by simulating public authority

Example: a person represents himself to be a police investigator who tells victim he will bring him to the police station, but brings him elsewhere

3. If serious physical injuries were inflicted or threats to kill were made

4. If victim is a minor, female or public officer. In case of minors, the kidnapper should not be the parent.

IV.. Kidnapping for Ransom. The victim is held hostage until demands of the kidnapper are met.


1. The penalty is death

2. Ransom is any consideration, whether in the form of money, articles of value, or services or favors, for the release of a person.

3. It need not be given or received it being sufficient that a demand was made

4..Examples: (i).The son of the Judge will be released if the Judge dismisses a case or allows the bail to be reduced (2) The grandson of a physician will be released if the physician will perform an operation on the mother of a friend of the kidnappers (3) The wife of a politician will be released if the husband makes a public apology (4) The pupils of a school will be released if the school lowers its tuition fees.


V. New Special Complex/Composite Crimes


1. Kidnapping/Serious Illegal Detention with Homicide

a). The person killed is the victim of the kidnapping or illegal detention. If the person killed is a third person, such as the bodyguard, the driver or an innocent person, it is article 48 which applies and the crime is an ordinary complex crime.

 b). Hence previous decisions which say the crime is either murder or kidnapping depending on the intention of the accused do not anymore hold water. It is enough the victim was killed whether the original intention was to kill or to detain.


2. Kidnapping/Serious Illegal Detention with Rape. The victim of rape is the victim of kidnapping and not a third person else the rape is a separate offense.

     a) Includes a situation where several rapes are committed

     b) The taking way must not be with lewd designs


3. Kidnapping /Serious Illegal Detention with Physical Injuries as a result of torture or dehumanizing acts


(i). Question: A Woman was kidnapped, ransom was demanded, and then later was killed. What crime was committed? (Answer): Kidnapping for Ransom with Murder. ( PP. vs. Ramos: Oct. 12, 1998)

(ii). Question: Suppose the victim was also raped before being killed? (Answer). It is still Kidnapping for ransom with Murder. The rape will be considered as an aggravating circumstance


(iii). Question: The robbers held hostage the customers of a bank as human shield against the police. Are they also liable for detention? (Answer) The detention in robbery is absorbed unless the victims are detained to compel delivery of money    


VI. Distinguished from Other Crimes Which Involved Detention and Taking Away of a Person


1. From coercion- where there is no intent to detain or deprive a person of his liberty. Examples:

a).  dragging a woman to a waiting car but was let go due to her remonstrations or because she was able to wrest herself free.

b). a debtor was forcible taken from his store and brought to a house to compel him to pay

c). A woman was taken to a house and kept there in order to break her will and agree to marry the accused

d). Where a woman was seen dragging along a missing boy who was crying and refusing to go with her


2. Abduction- where the taking away of the woman against her will (Forcible Abduction) or by artifice upon a minor girl (Consented Abduction)) was with lewd designs, which was present at the very moment of the taking away, as it was the purpose thereof.


Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention