No kidnapping where earnest desire exists to help child, a high regard for her welfare

Essentially, the word deliberate as used in the article must imply something more than mere negligence; it must be premeditated, obstinate, headstrong, foolishly daring or intentionally and maliciously wrong. In the case at bar, it is evident that there was no deliberate refusal or failure on the part of the accused-appellants to restore the custody of the complainant's child to her. When the accused-appellants learned that complainant wanted her daughter back after five (5) long years of apparent wanton neglect, they tried their best to help herein complainant find the child as the latter was no longer under the clinic's care. Accused-appellant Dr. Ty did not have the address of Arabella's guardians but as soon as she obtained it from Dr. Fe Malonga who was already working abroad, she personally went to the guardians' residence and informed them that herein complainant wanted her daughter back. When the guardians refused to return the child, accused-appellant Dr. Ty sought the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) which conducted a conference among the parties but since a case was yet to be filed, the custody of the minor remained with the guardians. The efforts taken by the accused-appellant to help the complainant in finding the child clearly negate the finding that there was a deliberate refusal or failure on their part to restore the child to her mother. Evidence is simply wanting in this regard. It is worthy to note that accused-appellants' conduct from the moment the child was given up for guardianship was motivated by nothing more than an earnest desire to help the child and a high regard for her welfare and well being. [G.R. No. 121519. October 30, 1996]