Sunday, October 16, 2011

People of the Philippines v. Aida Marquez,G.R. No. 181440, April 13, 2011.

Kidnapping and failure to return a minor; elements. (J. Abad)

Article 270 of the Revised Penal Code considers it a crime when a person who has been entrusted with the custody of a minor later on deliberately fails to return said minor to his parent or guardian. The two essential elements of this crime are: 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.


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 isnot the kidnapping but the deliberate failure of that person to restore the minor to his parents or guardians. It has been held that “deliberate” must imply something more than mere negligence – it must be premeditated, headstrong, foolishly daring or intentionally and maliciously wrong. In this case, it does not matter, for the first element to be present, how long said custody lasted as it cannot be denied that Marquez was the one entrusted with the custody of the minor Justine. Thus, the first element of the crime is satisfied. Furthermore, Marquez’s deliberate failure to return Justine, when demanded to do so by the latter’s mother, shows that the second element is likewise undoubtedly present in this case.


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