Forcible abduction, A342 Revised Penal Code


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Forcible abduction – refers to the offense of abducting a woman against her will and with lewd designs.

1. Concept

Forcible abduction – refers to the offense of abducting a woman against her will and with lewd designs.

a. Legal basis

Article 342. Forcible abduction. – The abduction of any woman against her will and with lewd designs shall be punished by reclusion temporal.
The same penalty shall be imposed in every case, if the female abducted be under twelve years of age.

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2. Modes of commission

The following are the modes of committing the offense:

1) Taking a woman against her will

a. Mode 1: Lorem

Elements of the offense:

1) The victim is a woman, regardless of age, civil status, or reputation;

2) She is taken against her will; and

3) The abduction was done with lewd designs. (People v. Pingol, G.R. No. 219243, November 4, 2020, Per Leonen, J.)

1) Element 1: Woman as victim

The offended party is specified to be a woman, regardless of age, civil status, or reputation. That being the case, the opposite sex is excluded. Otherwise stated, a man or male cannot be the offended party.

People v. Ablaneda, G.R. No. 131914, April 30 2001, Per Ynares-Santiago, J.:

• All these elements were proven in this case. The victim, who is a woman, was taken against her will, as shown by the fact that she was intentionally directed by accused-appellant to a vacant hut. At her tender age, Magdalena could not be expected to physically resist considering that the lewd designs of accused-appellant could not have been apparent to her at that time. Physical resistance need not be demonstrated to show that the taking was against her will. The employment of deception suffices to constitute the forcible taking, especially since the victim is an unsuspecting young girl. Considering that it was raining, going to the hut was not unusual to Magdalena, as probably the purpose was to seek shelter. Barrio girls are particularly prone to deception. It is the taking advantage of their innocence that makes them easy culprits of deceiving minds. Finally, the evidence shows that the taking of the young victim against her will was effected in furtherance of lewd and unchaste designs. Such lewd designs in forcible abduction is established by the actual rape of the victim.

2) Element 2: Unconsented taking

That the woman is taken against her will means that she was physically removed from one place and relocated to another without her consent.

a) Conscious

The taking may be done over a woman who is conscious, i.e., awake and aware of what is happening. It may have been facilitated by the offended party by physically grabbing her or by means of a weapon to threat and intimidate the woman.

a) Unconscious

It may also be possible that the woman was unconscious, i.e., asleep or made unconscious. For the latter, the offender may have employed various means, such as lacing her food or drink (e.g. roofie), using substances such as chloroform, hitting her on the head, and analogous thereto.

NB: The mere fact of transporting a woman who is unconscious would not necessarily give rise to the offense of forcible abduction because there is the third element to consider, i.e., that the abduction was done with lewd designs.

People v. Tayag, G.R. No. 132053, March 31, 2000, Per Puno, J.:

• Accused-appellant’s contention that it is unbelievable that no one witnessed Lazel’s abduction has no merit. Lazel’s testimony explains why no one witnessed her abduction. Accused-appellant grabbed her from a distance of about five meters at the back of the crowd watching the party. She did not call for help because she thought it was her sister who clutched her hand behind her body. Her fear had already paralyzed her when she realized she was mistaken. While being pulled away from the crowd, she tried to free herself but failed as accused-appellant held her tightly and covered her mouth with a towel. This prevented her from shouting despite the presence of houses along their way. She did not see any people on the path they travelled for it was dark.

• Although the prosecution has proven that Lazel was sexually abused, the evidence preferred is inadequate to prove she was raped. Evidence of carnal knowledge is necessary in rape. Lazel entertained the belief that she was raped because when she regained consciousness, she felt pain all over her body and her private part. The trial court found that Lazel was sexually abused because of her belief.

• In the case at bar, there is no evidence of entrance or introduction of the male organ into the labia of the pudendum. The medico-legal finding and Lazel’s testimony did not establish that there was penetration by the sex organ of accused-appellant or that he tried to penetrate her. Dr. [M.] Lagonera, a colleague of Dr. Cenido, who interpreted the medico-legal report testified that the victim was still a virgin during the time of the examination because her hymen was intact. Her hymen bore a slight reddening that was possibly caused by trauma, by a blunt object, by scratching or self-manipulation, or by a male sex organ. He opined that possibly, there was slight penetration.

• Lazel recounted that after accused-appellant tied her around the coconut tree, he kissed and bit her lips. He followed it up with a blow on her stomach that knocked her out. When she recovered, accused-appellant delivered to her another blow which again caused her to black-out. When Lazel woke up, her panty has been taken off and she felt pain all over her body including her private part. She did not, however, see the accused-appellant naked or penetrate her. When accused-appellant left her and she succeeded in freeing herself, she put on her panty, ran home and slept. She woke up in the morning and changed her stained underwear. She believed that accused-appellant sexually abused her but does not know how he did it.

• Removal of underwear, a reddening hymen, an aching private part and blood on the underwear do not prove carnal knowledge. The removal of the victim’s underwear is at most a preparation to engage in sexual intercourse. The reddening hymen could have been caused by a male sex organ but that is just a possibility. In the case at bar, considering the age of the victim and the condition of her hymen, there should be laceration if there was penetration by an adult male sex organ. The aching private part could well be part of the over-all effect of her beating. The blood on the panty discovered by Lazel after she woke up could have come from the wound inflicted on her leg. It is easy to speculate that Lazel was raped. But in criminal cases, speculation and probabilities cannot take the place of proof required to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. Suspicion, no matter how strong, must not sway judgment.

• It is unjust to convict accused-appellant for forcible abduction with rape simply because he can only offer the defense of alibi. Alibi is not weak if it has the ring of truth. Moreover, criminal cases are decided not on the basis of the weakness of the defense but on the strength of the evidence mustered by the prosecution. This is founded on the presumption of innocence accorded to every accused.

• Accused-appellant is not, however, off the hook. The prosecution proved the crime of forcible abduction. It established that accused-appellant took Lazel against her will and with lewd designs. The word “lewd” is defined as obscene, lustful, indecent, lascivious, lecherous. It signifies that form of immorality which has relation to moral impurity; or that which is carried on in a wanton manner. The medico-legal finding and Lazel’s testimony, although insufficient to prove rape, buttress the conclusion that accused-appellant had lewd designs when he abducted Lazel.

3) Element 3: Lewd designs

That the abduction was done with lewd designs is the gravamen of the offense.

The word lewd is defined as obscene, lustful, indecent, lascivious, lecherous. It signifies that form of immorality which has relation to moral impurity; or that which is carried on in a wanton manner. (People v. Egan, G.R. No. 139338, May 28, 2002, Per Bellosillo, J.)

While abduction may be with lewd design, the primary purpose should not be rape. If the primary purpose for abduction is rape, then the proper offense is rape. That is because rape absorbs forcible abduction. (See related discussions below on complex crime.)

People v. Egan, G.R. No. 139338, May 28, 2002, Per Bellosillo, J.:

• All the elements of forcible abduction were proved in this case. The victim, who is a young girl, was taken against her will as shown by the fact that at knife-point she was dragged and taken by accused-appellant to a place far from her abode. At her tender age, Lenie could not be expected to physically resist considering the fact that even her companion, Jessica Silona, had to run home to escape accused-appellant’s wrath as he brandished a hunting knife. Fear gripped and paralyzed Lenie into helplessness as she was manhandled by accused-appellant who was armed and twenty-four (24) years her senior.

• The evidence likewise shows that the taking of the young victim against her will was done con miras deshonestas or in furtherance of lewd and unchaste designs… Such lewd designs were established by the prurient and lustful acts which accused-appellant displayed towards the victim after she was abducted. This element may also be inferred from the fact that while Lenie was then a naïve twelve (12)-year old, accused-appellant was thirty-six (36) years old and although unmarried was much wiser in the ways of the world than she.

3. Things to note

The following are some additional things to note about this offense.

a. Common provisions

This offense shares common provisions with other offenses under Title XI of the Revised Penal Code – Crimes Against Chastity. See: Crimes Against Chastity

b. Marital rape

As explained in People v. Jumawan, husbands have no property rights over the bodies of their wives. Hence, a non-consensual sexual act—even within the confines of marriage—constitutes rape. In convicting the accused of the rape charges committed against his wife, this Court in Jumawan dismissed the accused’s claim that “consent to copulation is presumed between cohabiting husband and wife unless the contrary is proved.” This Court stressed that such archaic view has been overtaken by the present global values on equality of rights and regard for human dignity… (People v. Pingol, supra.)

c. Parties as sweethearts

[E]ven if accused-appellant and the victim were lovers, the law does not excuse the use of force and intimidation to satisfy carnal urges and desires. Being sweethearts does not determine consent, since “a love affair does not justify rape, for the beloved cannot be sexually violated against her will.” “Even married couples, upon whom the law imposes the duty to cohabitate, are protected from forced sexual congress.” (People v. Pingol, supra.)

People v. Egan, G.R. No. 139338, May 28, 2002, Per Bellosillo, J.:

• Accused-appellant would however insist that he and Lenie had been engaged under Manobo rituals to marry each other and that her companionship was willful and voluntary. Proof of this, he said, was the alleged dowry of one (1) horse, two (2) pigs, ten (10) sacks of palay, and P2,000.00, with two (2) wild horses forthcoming, he had given her father in exchange for her hand in marriage. In moving from one place to another to look for the horses which the old man Palmones had demanded, it was allegedly only his intention to realize his matrimonial aspiration with Lenie.

• The testimony of the victim negated this contrived posture of accused-appellant which in reality is simply a variation of the sweetheart defense. If they were, surely, Lenie would not have jeopardized their relationship by accusing him of having held her against her will and molesting her and, on top of it all, by filing a criminal charge against him. If it had been so, Lenie could have easily told her father after the latter had successfully traced their whereabouts that nothing untoward had happened between her and the accused. Her normal reaction would have been to cover-up for the man she supposedly loved and with whom she had a passionate affair. But, on the contrary, Lenie lost no time in denouncing accused-appellant and exposing to her family and the authorities the disgrace that had befallen her. If they had indeed been lovers, Lenie’s father would not have shown so much concern for her welfare and safety by searching for the couple for four (4) months, desperately wanting to rescue her from captivity and seeking the intervention of the datus in resolving the matter.

• Verily it is evident that accused-appellant was a rejected suitor of Lenie with no hope of having her in marriage and whose persistent offers of love and marriage had been decidedly spurned. It was in the sleepy mid-afternoon of 6 January 1997 when he took the girl by force and at that time no marriage was proved to have been offered by accused-appellant much less considered by Lenie or her elders. The accused dragged the victim to walk with him and to proceed to unknown destinations by warning her of a present and grave danger to her life should she refuse. In the night which followed, he forcibly embraced, kissed, and handled her against her will. No protestation of noble intentions can obviate the conclusion that all these acts proved lewd designs.

• [E]ven assuming that the accused and the complainant were engaged by virtue of the dowry he had offered, this fact alone would not negate the commission of forcible abduction. An indigenous ritual of betrothal, like any other love affair, does not justify forcibly banishing the beloved against her will with the intention of molesting her. It is likewise well-settled that the giving of money does not beget an unbridled license to subject the assumed fiancée to carnal desires. By asserting the existence of such relationship, the accused seeks to prove that the victim willingly participated in the act. But, as shown above, she certainly did not. Lenie was a Manobo with whom the accused ardently fell in love but was never her lover. The evidence clearly does not speak of consensual love but of criminal lust which could not be disguised by the so-called sweetheart defense or its variant as in the instant case. Finally, as held in People v. Crisostomo, the intention to marry may constitute unchaste designs not by itself but by the concurring circumstances which may vitiate such an intention, as in the case of abduction of a minor with the latter’s consent, in which the male knows that she cannot legally consent to the marriage and yet he elopes with her. In the case at bar, there is no denying the fact that Lenie was incapacitated to marry accused-appellant under Manobo or Christian rites since she was still a minor59 thereby demonstrating the existence of lewd designs.

3A. Procedural

a. Information

People v. Sabredo, En Banc, G.R. No. 126114, May 11, 2000, Per Quisumbing, J.:

• Was appellant’s conviction by the trial court for the complex crime of forcible abduction with rape correct? The elements of forcible abduction are: (1) that the person abducted is any woman, regardless of age, civil status, or reputation; (2) that the abduction is against her will; and (3) that the abduction is with lewd designs. The prosecution’s evidence clearly shows that the victim was forcibly taken at knifepoint from Borbon, Cebu by appellant and through threats and intimidation brought to various towns in Masbate, where he passed her off as his “wife”. That appellant was moved by lewd designs was shown in regard to rape by his having carnal knowledge of private complainant, against her will, on July 4, 1994 at Cagba, Tugbo, Masbate. While it may appear at first blush that forcible abduction, as defined and penalized by Article 342 of the Revised Penal Code was also committed, we are not totally disposed to convict appellant for the complex crime of forcible abduction with rape. We note that while the information sufficiently alleges the forcible taking of complainant from Cebu to Masbate, the same fails to allege “lewd designs.” When a complex crime under Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code is charged, such as forcible abduction with rape, it is axiomatic that the prosecution must allege and prove the presence of all the elements of forcible abduction, as well as all the elements of the crime of rape. When appellant, using a blade, forcibly took away complainant for the purpose of sexually assaulting her, as in fact he did rape her, the rape may then absorb forcible abduction. Hence, the crime committed by appellant is simple rape only.

4. Distinguish from other offenses

This offense is distinguished from other offenses or crimes below.

a. Forcible abduction vs Consented abduction

FactorsForcible AbductionConsented Abduction
Offended PartyWoman13- to 17-year-old
OffenderAny personAny person
Overt ActsOffender takes away the offended party with her consent, after solicitation or cajolery from the offender, and with lewd designs.Offender abducts offended party with her consent, and with lewd designs

The main difference between the two is on consent and the status of the offended party.

In forcible abduction, no consent was given by the offended party. On the other hand, in consented abduction, the offended party consents to the abduction or taking away.

For forcible abduction, the offended party is specifically identified as a woman regardless of her age and thus may include minors. Meanwhile, in consented abduction, the offended party is a minor who is 17- to 17-year-old without any specific reference to gender (although the pronoun “her” is used in the provision).

For more information, see: Consented abduction

b. Forcible abduction vs Kidnapping

FactorsForcible abductionKidnapping
Offended PartyWomanAny person
OffenderAny personAny person
Overt ActsOffender abducts offended party without her consent, and with lewd designsOffender forcibly transports or abducts individuals (whether male or female) against their will

The primary difference between the two is on the offended party. In forcible abduction, the offended party is limited to a woman. On the other hand, in kidnapping, the offended party may be of either gender.

c. Forcible abduction vs Rape

FactorsForcible abductionRape
Offended PartyWomanAny person
OffenderAny personAny person
Overt ActsOffender abducts offended party without her consent, and with lewd designsOffender has sexual intercourse with the offended party or commits acts of penetration in relation to sexual intercourse, without the latter’s consent

For forcible abduction the offended party is limited to a woman. On the other hand, in rape, the offended party may be of either gender.

In addition, forcible abduction is taking of a woman against her will with lewd designs but short of penetration in relation to sexual intercourse (e.g., sexual abuse, kissing, etc.). However, in rape, there is penetration in relation to sexual intercourse without the offended party’s consent.

5. Complex crime

a. Forcible abduction with rape

There is no complex crime of forcible abduction with rape if the primary objective of the accused is to commit rape. (People v. Domingo, G.R. No. 225743, June 7, 2017, Per Bersamin, J.)

Forcible abduction is deemed complexed by rape when the culprit has carnal knowledge of the woman “and there is (1) force or intimidation; (2) the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious; or (3) she is under 12 years of age or demented.” However, forcible abduction is absorbed by rape when the primordial intent is to have carnal knowledge of the victim. “There is no complex crime of forcible abduction with rape if the primary objective of the accused is to commit rape.” (People v. Pingol, supra.)

People v. Domingo, G.R. No. 225743, June 7, 2017, Per Bersamin, J.:

• Although the elements of forcible abduction obtained, the appellant should be convicted only of rape. His forcible abduction of AAA was absorbed by the rape considering that his real objective in abducting her was to commit the rape. Where the main objective of the culprit for the abduction of the victim of rape was to have carnal knowledge of her, he could be convicted only of rape.

People v. Pingol, G.R. No. 219243, November 4, 2020, Per Leonen, J.:

• Here, it was through the pretense that she would be brought to work that AAA was induced to board the company car with accused-appellant. Indubitably, there was no valid consent on her part, as the deceit became the constructive force that amply constituted the crime of forcible abduction.

• Nevertheless, accused-appellant can only be convicted of rape. From the trial court’s findings, it can be reasonably deduced that his main objective for the taking was to have carnal knowledge of AAA:

In the case at when complainant [AAA] was fetched at her residence at Barangay ██████████, Laguna by accused Antonio Pingol at about 8:30 in the evening of January 29, 1999, it was former’s understanding that she will be brought by the accused to her workplace in Canlubang in time for her 9 o’clock evening duty and not to Pampanga. As a matter of fact, when [AAA] noticed that, they were heading towards Manila (and not to Canlubang) and later to North Express Way (sic), she repeatedly questioned the accused where they were going and when accused simply ignored her continuing queries, she beg[ged] that she should be brought to her workplace or if not drop her somewhere so that she will just commute to her workplace in Canlubang. Notwithstanding her pleas, accused persisted to bring her to Pampanga and while there, accused brought her to a motel where she was being forced to alight from the car and when she resisted, accused succeeded in raping her inside the car[.]

People v. Villanueva, G.R. No. 230723, February 13, 2019, Per Del Castillo, J.:

• Accused-appellant was charged and convicted for forcible abduction with rape, in relation to Section 5(b)22 of RA 7610 and Section 5(a)23 of RA 8369.

• In the present case, the elements of the crimes of forcible abduction and rape existed.

• The trial court found that AAA was able to clearly testify on the events surrounding her abduction at around 4 o’clock in the afternoon of July 27, 2006. At that time, the victim was only fifteen (15) years old, as evidenced by her Certificate of Live Birth.

• During her testimony, AAA narrated that on July 27, 2006, while she was walking near Gate 2, San Isidro, Antipolo City, two men whose faces were covered, accosted her and told her not to turn her back or say anything as they had two other male companions behind them. She was able to confirm that two other men were indeed following suit when she stole a look while the men who accosted her were talking. One of the men following them even winked at her as she looked behind. Thereafter, the men covered her eyes and forced her to board the side car of a tricycle where the men pinned her legs and arms down on both sides as the tricycle started to move.

• AAA further testified that, after around 10 minutes of travel, the tricycle stopped and the men brought her out of the tricycle. She was made to sit down in a place and was not even sure if it was a house. All throughout, she could hear the same voices of four men, including those of the men who abducted her. Then, two persons started forcing themselves on her and kissing her neck. She tried to avoid their advances and when she felt someone walking in front of her, she kicked the person, causing the person sitting beside her to slap her twice. Someone then forcibly opened her mouth and made her drink a bitter liquid substance. Afterwards, two persons held down her arms while two others again forced her to drink the bitter liquid. When she refused to drink, someone hit her in the abdomen twice which made her become dizzy and lose consciousness.

• When AAA woke up the following morning at around 5:45 a.m., she found herself inside a moving tricycle being driven by a man she later recognized during a police line-up. Her entire body, more particularly her chest, legs, and thighs, was aching and her bra had been unclasped. She also noticed that she had scratches on her chest and some of her belongings, such as her ring and earring, were missing. She asked the tricycle driver what happened to her, but he did not answer and only told her to report the incident to the barangay. He then dropped her off near her house.

• Upon reaching the house, AAA’s mother met her and slapped her since it was already early morning. This prompted AAA to cry and reveal what had happened to her. Initially, BBB did not believe her, but she later cried with AAA. At this time, AAA noticed that her panty had blood. She was then brought to Camp Crame, where a physical examination was conducted on her. She thereafter went to the Women’s Desk of the Antipolo Police Station where she narrated her ordeal and she was made to identify her assailants in a police line-up. During the police line-up, AAA was able to recognize accused-appellant as one of the men following her when she was abducted, as well as the tricycle driver who brought her near her house the following morning.

• Based on the foregoing, we find that the R TC and the CA were correct in declaring AAA’s testimony as credible and straightforward. Although she was unable to recall the actual act of rape committed upon her, it was confirmed by the PNP Medico-Legal Officer, PC/Insp. Ebdane, during the physical examination conducted on AAA. In her report, PC/Insp. Ebdane declared that there was a deep fresh laceration at the 6:00 o’clock position and a contusion at the 12:00 o’clock position. PC/Insp. Ebdane also found that there were external physical injuries on AAA’s right pectoral region, abrasions on the vertebral region and proximal 3rd of her right arm, and a contusion on her deltoid. When asked about the possible causes of the lacerations, PC/Insp. Ebdane deduced that they may have been caused by an erect penis, a finger, or any blunt object which may cause an injury.

People v. Amaro, G.R. No. 199100, July 18, 2014, Per Perez, J.:

• Appellant was properly charged of the complex crime of forcible abduction with rape. AAA’s abduction was a necessary means to commit rape. Sexual intercourse with AAA was facilitated and ensured by her abduction.

People v. Sabadlab, G.R. No. 175924, March 14, 2012, Per Bersamin, J.:

• We next deal with the characterization of the crime as forcible abduction with rape. The principal objective of Sabadlab and his two cohorts in abducting AAA from Dapitan Street and in bringing her to another place was to rape and ravish her. This objective became evident from the successive acts of Sabadlab immediately after she had alighted from the car in completely undressing her as to expose her whole body (except the eyes due to the blindfold), in kissing her body from the neck down, and in having carnal knowledge of her (in that order). Although forcible abduction was seemingly committed, we cannot hold him guilty of the complex crime of forcible abduction with rape when the objective of the abduction was to commit the rape. Under the circumstances, the rape absorbed the forcible abduction.

1) After the first rape

[W]hen the first act of rape was committed by appellant, the complex crime of forcible abduction with rape was then consummated. Any subsequent acts of intercourse would be only separate acts of rape and can no longer be considered separate complex crimes of forcible abduction with rape. (People v. Fortich, G.R. No. 80399-404, November 13, 1997, Per Romero, J.)


Title XI – Crimes Against Chastity, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code

/Updated: May 20, 2023

Disclaimer: All information is for educational and general information only. These should not be taken as professional legal advice or opinion. Please consult a competent lawyer to address your specific concerns. Any statements or opinions of the author are solely his own and do not reflect that of any organization he may be connected.

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