ASTORGA VS.

PEOPLE 412 SCRA 512 (2003) FACTS: Complainants filed a criminal complaint for arbitrary detention against Mayor Astorga and his men. Mayor Astorga was subsequently arraigned on July 3, 2000, wherein he pleaded not guilty to the offenses charged. On July 5, 2001, the Sandiganbayan promulgated its Decision finding accused guilty of Arbitrary Detention. The accused filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was denied by the Sandiganbayan in a Resolution dated September 28, 2001. A second Motion for Reconsideration was also filed and this was similarly denied in a Resolution dated July 10, 2002. ISSUE: Whether or not Mayor Astorga is guilty of Arbitrary Detention? RULING: Arbitrary detention is committed by any public officer or employee who, without legal grounds, detains a person. The elements of the crime are: 1) That the offender is a public officer or employee; 2) That he detains a person; 3) That the detention is without legal grounds. The Court affirmed in toto the judgment of the Sandiganbayan finding petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Arbitrary Detention. Article 124 (1) of the Revised Penal Code provides that, where the detention has not exceeded three days, the penalty shall be arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period, which has a range of four (4) months and one (1) day to two (2) years and four months. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, petitioner is entitled to a minimum term to be taken from the penalty next lower in degree, or arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods, which has a range of one (1) month and one (1) day to four (4) months. Hence, the Sandiganbayan was correct in imposing the indeterminate penalty of four (4) months of arresto mayor, as minimum, to one (1) year and eight (8) months of prision correccional, as maximum.

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