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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS

Crimes Against Property


TICKLER: Nokia 3210, Blaster, Road 10

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. ARNEL BALUTE y VILLANUEVA


G.R. No. 212932 January 21, 2015
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.:

FACTS:
Around 8 oclock in the evening, SPO1 Raymundo B. Manaois was on board his owner-type
jeepney with his wife Cristita and daughter Blesilda while traversing Road 10 in Tondo, Manila.
While the vehicle was on a stop position at a lighted area due to heavy traffic, two persons, later
on identified as Arnel Balute and a certain Leo Blaster, suddenly appeared on either side of the
jeepney. Balute poked a gun at the side of SPO1 Manaois and said "putang ina, ilabas mo!"
Thereafter, Balute grabbed SPO1 Manaoiss mobile phone, a Nokia 3210 valued at Php 6,000.00,
from the latters chest pocket and shot him at the left side of his torso. SPO1 Manaois reacted by
drawing his own firearm and alighting from his vehicle, but he was unable to fire at the assailants
as he fell to the ground. He was taken to Mary Johnston Hospital where he died despite
undergoing surgical operation and medical intervention. As such, an information was filed before
the RTC charing Balute of Robbery with Homicide under Art. 294 (1) of the RPC.

RTC: Robbery with Homicide with the aggravating circumstance of treachery.


CA: Robbery with Homicide BUT treachery was no longer considered as the prosecution failed
to allege the same.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Arnel Balute is guilty of the crime of Robbery with Homicide.

RULING:
YES. A special complex crime of robbery with homicide takes place when a homicide is
committed either by reason, or on the occasion, of the robbery. To sustain a conviction for
robbery with homicide, the prosecution must prove the following elements:
(1) the taking of personal property belonging to another;
(2) with intent to gain;
(3) with the use of violence or intimidation against a person; and
(4) on the occasion or by reason of the robbery, the crime of homicide, as used in its generic
sense, was committed.

A conviction requires certitude that the robbery is the main purpose, and [the] objective of the
malefactor and the killing is merely incidental to the robbery. The intent to rob must precede the
taking of human life but the killing may occur before, during or after the robbery. Homicide is
said to have been committed by reason or on occasion of robbery if, for instance, it was
committed: (a) to facilitate the robbery or the escape of the culprit; (b) to preserve the possession
by4Fthe culprit of the loot; (c) to prevent discovery of the commission of the robbery; or (d) to
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eliminate witnesses in the commission of the crime. 1
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In the instant case, the prosecution was able to establish the fact that Balute poked his gun at
SPO1 Manaois, took the latters mobile phone, and thereafter, shot him, resulting in his death
despite surgical and medical intervention. This is buttressed by Cristita and Blesildas positive
identification of Balute as the one who committed the crime. This is especially true when the
eyewitnesses are the relatives of the victim such as Cristita and Blesilda who are the wife and
daughter of SPO1 Manaois, respectively since "[t]he natural interest of witnesses, who are
relatives of the victim, in securing the conviction of the guilty would actually deter them from
implicating persons other than the true culprits.

SC: Robbery with Homicide

PEOPLE VS OROSCO

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Tickler: Russian Poker


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. JUAN CABBAB, JR.
G.R. NO. 173479, July 12, 2007

FACTS:
In the morning of 22 April 1988, father and son Vidal Agbulos and Winner Agbulos, together
with Eddie Quindasan, Felipe Abad and Police Officer (PO) William Belmes, went to Barangay
Kimmalasag, San Isidro, Abra to attend a "fiesta" celebration. Upon arrival in the area, they
found out that the fiesta celebration was already over, thus, they decided to go home in
Villaviciosa, Abra. Since it was already lunchtime, the group took their lunch at Sitio Turod,
located in the same area of Barangay Kimmalasag. After taking their lunch and on their way
home, they were met by accused-appellant Juan Cabbab, Jr. and Segundino Calpito who invited
them to play "pepito," a local version of the game of "russian poker."

Only Winner Agbulos and Eddie Quindasan played "pepito" with the group of accused-appellant.
Winner Agbulos played the dealer/banker in the game while accused-appellant and Segundino
Calpito acted as players therein. Around 3:00 o'clock p.m., PO William Belmes told Winner
Agbulos and Eddie Quindasan that they should be going home after three (3) more deals. About
3:30 p.m., Winner Agbulos's group wrapped-up the game and were set for home together with
his group. Winner Agbulos won the game.

While walking on their way home from Sitio Turod, PO William Belmes, who was behind
Winner Agbulos and Eddie Quindasan picking-up guava fruits from a tree, saw accused-
appellant, accused Segundino Calpito and a companion running up a hill. Suddenly, he heard
gunshots and saw Winner Agbulos and Eddie Quindasan, who were then walking ahead of the
group, hit by the gunfire.

By instant, PO William Belmes dove into a canal to save himself from the continuous gunfire of
accused-appellant. PO William Belmes ran towards Vidal Agbulos and Felipe Abad, who were
walking behind the group, and informed the two that Winner Agbulos and Eddie Quindasan were
ambushed by accused-appellant and Segundino Calpito. The three (3) proceeded to the crime
scene
where they saw the dead body of Winner Agbulos together with Eddie Quindasan whom they
mistook for dead. The three sought help from the police authorities of Pilar, Abra and returned to
the scene of the crime where they found Eddie Quindasan who was still alive and who narrated
that it was Juan Cabbab, Jr. and Segundino Calpito who ambused them and took the money,
estimated at P12,000.00, of Winner Agbulos which he won in the card game. Eddie Quindasan
was brought to the Abra Provincial Hospital but died the following day.

CHARGED: Juan Cabbab, Jr., along with his cousin-in-law Segundino Calpito, was charged
with the crimes of Double Murder and Attempted Murder with Robbery
RTC: acquitted Segundino Calpito but found appellant Juan Cabbab, Jr. guilty of two crimes, i.e.
(1) robbery with double homicide and (2) attempted murder.
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CA: (2016-2017)
Special complex crime of Robbery with Homicide and (2) Attempted murder. 3
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SC: GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of Robbery with Homicide. ACQUITTED of the separate
crime of attempted murder against the person of PO William Belmes.
The crime committed by appellant was correctly characterized by the appellate court as Robbery
with Homicide under Article 294, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) which reads:

Art. 294. Robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons Penalties.


Any person guilty of robbery with the use of violence against any person shall
suffer:
1. The penalty of reclusion perpetua to death, when by reason or on occasion of
the robbery, the crime of homicide shall have been committed, or when the
robbery shall have been accompanied by rape or intentional mutilation or
arson.

To warrant conviction for the crime of Robbery with Homicide, the prosecution is burdened to
prove the confluence of the following elements:
(1) the taking of personal property is committed with violence or intimidation against
persons;
(2) the property taken belongs to another;

(3) the taking is characterized by intent to gain or animo lucrandi; and


(4) by reason of the robbery or on the occasion thereof, homicide is committed.

In Robbery with Homicide, so long as the intention of the felon is to rob, the killing may occur
before, during or after the robbery. It is immaterial that death would supervene by mere accident,
or that the victim of homicide is other than the victim of robbery, or that two or more persons are
killed. Once a homicide is committed by reason or on the occasion of the robbery, the felony
committed is the special complex crime of Robbery with Homicide.

Here, the prosecution adduced proof beyond reasonable doubt that appellant, having lost to
Winner Agbulos in the game of poker, intended to divest Agbulos of his winnings amounting to
P20,000.00. In pursuit of his plan to rob Agbulos of his winnings, appellant shot and killed him
as well as his companion, Eddie Quindasan.

The prescribed penalty for Robbery with Homicide under Article 294 of the RPC, as amended by
R.A. No. 7659 (Death Penalty Law), is reclusion perpetua to death. In the application of a
penalty composed of two indivisible penalties, like that for Robbery with Homicide, Article 63 of
the RPC provides that "when in the commission of the deed there is present only one aggravating
circumstance, the greater penalty shall be applied." In this case, the aggravating circumstance of
treachery attended the commission of the crime, as appellant's attack on the victims who were
then unsuspectingly walking on their way home was sudden and done without any provocation,
thus giving them no real chance to defend themselves.

However, considering that the crime was committed in 1988 or prior to the effectivity of R.A.
No. 7659, the trial court and the CA correctly imposed upon appellant the lesser penalty of
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reclusion perpetua. 4
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The Court feels, however, that the two courts below erred in convicting appellant of the separate
crime of attempted murder for the shooting of PO William Belmes. Attempted homicide or
attempted murder committed during or on the occasion of the robbery, as in this case, is absorbed
in the crime of Robbery with Homicide which is a special complex crime that remains
fundamentally the same regardless of the number of homicides or injuries committed in
connection with the robbery.

PEOPLE VS ESUGON

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People vs. Suyu


G.R. No. 170191, August 16, 2006

Accused: Rodolfo Suyu, Rommel Macarubbo, Francis Cainglet, Willy Suyu


FACTS:

Clarissa Angeles, a third-year student of St. Paul University, was with her boyfriend, William
Ferrer. They were eating snacks inside a pick-up truck parked in a vacant lot near the Office of
the COA and DECS in Tuguegarao. A tricycle passed by the truck. The two were alarmed when
they saw shadows of persons. William opened the window on his side halfway to check if there
were persons outside. Suddenly Rommel Macarubbo appeared in front of the truck, pointed a
gun at them and said: This is a holdup. If you will start the engine of the car, I will shoot you.
Willy Suyu, lifted the lock on Williams side and entered the pick-up. Willy then took Ferrers
wallet which contained around P150.00. Francis Cainglet, took Clarissas jewelry valued at
around P2,500.00 and cash amounting to P10.00. Thereafter, Willy clubbed William and dragged
him out of the truck. William was able to escape and immediately went to the police station to
report the incident.

Meanwhile, Willy lifted the lock of the pick-up truck at Clarissas side. Macarubbo then opened
the door. They dragged her to a hilly place. Macarubbo and Willy held her by the arms, while
Cainglet poked a fan knife at her. She pleaded for mercy as she was brought to a house near a
muddy place. At that point, Rodolfo Suyu, the half-brother of Willy, came out of the house.
Rodolfo pushed Clarissa and said: You stay there because I will be the first one. He then
started embracing and kissing Clarissa and fondling her breast. He removed her pants, the ring
she kept hidden inside her pants fell to the ground. She felt a knife, flashlight and pliers at his
back. She reached for the knife. They briefly struggled and Clarissa kicked his groin. She tried to
run, but she stumbled and she was grabbed by the hair. He then punched her stomach twice.

Rodolfo passed Clarissa to Cainglet. Cainglet kissed her but she pushed him away. He continued
to kiss her and then pushed his tongue inside her mouth. She bit hard at his tongue, causing it to
bleed down her shirt. Then the three others came shouting, They are coming. A beam of light
illumined them. Cainglet and Rodolfo then brought her to the top of the hill. She attempted to
shout but she feared for her life as a knife was thrust against her. She was forced to lie down on
her back. Willy and Macarubbo served as lookouts, as Cainglet punched her on the thighs.
Cainglet pinned her hands on the ground as Rodolfo removed her pants and undergarments.
Rodolfo then tried to insert his fully erected penis inside her vagina but the girl kicked him. He
rolled down but was able to recover immediately. He resumed molesting her. Rodolfo inserted
two fingers inside her and inserted his penis inside her vagina.

Cainglet then climbed on top of Clarissa while Rodolfo Suyu held her by the hands. Cainglet was
able to insert half an inch of his penis into her vagina. After pleading for mercy and promising
not to report them to the police authorities, she was allowed by the culprits to leave.
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At the Don Domingo Police Station, Clarissa saw William. The authorities asked her if she had 6
been sexually abused, she declared that there was merely an attempt to rape her. At that time, she
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was ashamed to admit in front of her boyfriend that she had been abused. The examining
physician, Dr. Elsie A. Pintucan, found hematoma and contusions.

Macarubbo, assisted by his counsel Atty. Gabriel O. Valle and his mother, Angelina, signed a
sworn statement, in the form of questions and answers before Municipal Judge Elpidio Atal. He
confessed to his participation and implicated Rodolfo and Willy Suyu, and Cainglet, in the
robbery and the rape of Clarissa.

CRIME CHARGE: Robbery with Rape


RTC: Robbery with Rape (RP; pay, jointly and severally, the amount of P1,510.00 representing
the value of the jewelry (earring) and cash belonging to Clarissa Angeles; indemnify, jointly and
severally, Clarissa Angeles the amount of P50,000.00 as civil indemnity)
CA: Affirmed (Modification: ROMMEL MACARUBBO is concerned, he is hereby sentenced to
suffer an indeterminate penalty of from Eight (8) years and One (1) day of prision mayor, in its
medium period, as minimum, to Fifteen (15) years of reclusion temporal, in its medium period,
as maximum)

Appellants aver that the testimony of Clarissa is postmarked with inconsistencies. She executed
no less than five sworn statements before the MTC. These statements were substantially
inconsistent. In her January 13, 1996 statement made immediately after the alleged commission
of the crime, she declared to the police investigator that appellants attempted to rape her, but she
actually succeeded in thwarting all attempts. In her second sworn statement dated January 18,
1996, she maintained the said story. The police blotter did not even carry an allegation of rape.
However, in her January 19, 1996 statement, Clarissa declared that she had been raped.

The trial court found Clarissas testimony to be consistent, believable, and credible, hence, is
worthy of full faith and credit. While it is true that the victim initially did not reveal to the
authorities the fact that she was raped after the robbery, this does not cast doubt on her testimony
for it is not uncommon for a rape victim right after her ordeal to remain mum about what really
transpired.

Appellants further fault the trial court in not declaring as inadmissible the alleged extrajudicial
confession of Macarubbo, as it was not affirmed in open court and the latter even denied having
executed the statement. The contention of appellants has no merit. The trial court never admitted
Macarubbos sworn statement for the purpose offered by the prosecution, but only as part of the
testimony of SPO4 Cudal. Appellants were not convicted based on the said sworn statement, but
rather on the credible testimony of the victim, and her positive identification of the culprits.

Appellants also assert that the medical report issued by Dr. Pintucan does not conclusively
suggest that Clarissa was raped, for during the examination, her deportment was not of that of a
rape victim and the examination of her cervix did not even suggest forcible assault. The said
argument is, however, without merit. Hymenal lacerations which are usually inflicted when there
is complete penetration are not essential in establishing the crime of rape as it is enough that a
slight penetration or entry of the penis into the lips of the vagina takes place.
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The common defense of alibi used by the appellants cannot, moreover, prevail over Clarissas
clear and convincing narration of the events that transpired and her positive identification of her
assailants. It is a time-honored rule that alibi is a weak defense when unsubstantiated by credible
and plausible testimonies. To merit approbation, clear and convincing evidence must be adduced
that the accused was in a place other than the situs of the crime at the time the crime was
committed, such that it was physically impossible for him to have committed the crime.

Conspiracy to commit the crime was also correctly appreciated by the trial court. Indeed,
at the time of the commission of the crime, accused acted in concert, each doing his part
to fulfill their common design to rob the victim and although only two of them, through
force and intimidation, raped Clarissa, the failure of Macarubbo and Willy to prevent its
commission although they were capable would make their act to be the act of all. We have
previously ruled that once conspiracy is established between several accused in the
commission of the crime of robbery, they would all be equally culpable for the rape
committed by any of them on the occasion of the robbery, unless any of them proves that he
endeavored to prevent the other from committing rape.

To be convicted of robbery with rape, the following elements must concur: (1) the taking of
personal property is committed with violence or intimidation against persons; (2) the
property taken belongs to another; (3) the taking is characterized by intent to gain or
animus lucrandi; (4) the robbery is accompanied by rape.

The intent to rob must precede the rape. In robbery with rape, the intention of the felony is
to rob and the felony is accompanied by rape. The rape must be contemporaneous with the
commission of the robbery. We note that aside from raping the victim, appellant Rodolfo
inserted his finger in her sexual organ. Appellant Suyu, thus, committed sexual assault as
defined and penalized in Article 266-A, paragraph 2 of Republic Act No. 8353. Also, aside
from Rodolfo Suyu, Cainglet raped the victim. Nevertheless, there is only one single and
indivisible felony of robbery with rape and any crimes committed on the occasion or by
reason of the robbery are merged and integrated into a single and indivisible felony of
robbery with rape.

The Decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED WITH THE MODIFICATION that all
the appellants are also ordered to, jointly and severally, pay Clarissa Angeles P50,000.00 as
moral damages and P50,000.00 as civil indemnity for the rape by Rodolfo Suyu; P50,000.00
as moral damages and P50,000.00 as civil indemnity for the rape by Francis Cainglet; and
P30,000.00 as moral damages and P30,000.00 as civil indemnity for the sexual assault by
Rodolfo Suyu.

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PEOPLE vs. BARRA


TICKLER: SCC OF ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE vs. ATTEMPTED RWH;
poked a gun to the forehead
FACTS:

Ricardo de la Pea testified that he knew appellant for a long time. He stated that he was on his
way home to the neighboring barangay, when, at around 9:00 p.m. on October 9, 2003, in the
light of a bright moon, he saw appellant enter the house of Lagdaan, which was lit with a lamp,
and poked a gun to the victims right forehead and demanded money. De la Pea hid behind a
tree ten meters away. When the victim stated that the money was not in his possession, appellant
shot him. He went home and reported the incident the following morning
CC: SCC of ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE
RTC: robbery with homicide.
CA: attempted robbery with homicide.
Appellant argues that his identity as the perpetrator of the crime was not sufficiently established
by the prosecution. Appellant stated that the testimonies of the prosecutions witnesses were rife
with inconsistencies. Moreover, appellant argued that the elements for the special complex crime
of robbery with homicide were not proven particularly the element of taking of personal property
SC: ATTEMPTED ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE
Requisites to be proven by the prosecution for appellant to be convicted of robbery with
homicide, to wit:
1. The taking of personal property is committed with violence or intimidation against persons;
2. The property taken belongs to another;
3. The taking is animo lucrandi; and
4. By reason of the robbery or on the occasion thereof, homicide is committed.
In the present case, the crime of robbery remained unconsummated because the victim refused to
give his money to appellant and no personal property was shown to have been taken. The
element of taking was not complete, making the crime one of attempted robbery with homicide
as opposed to the crime appellant was convicted in the RTC. Appellant is, therefore, liable under
Article 297 of the Revised Penal Code, not under Article 294.
The elements of Robbery with Homicide as defined in Art. 297 of the Revised Penal Code are:
(1) There is an attempted or frustrated robbery. (2) A homicide is committed.
Since the RTC and the Court of Appeals found appellant's crime to be aggravated by disregard of
dwelling, the Court of Appeals correctly imposed the maximum penalty of reclusion perpetua.

TICKLER: Frustrated Theft, Tide Detergent


Valenzuela v. People
GR No. 160188, June 21, 2007

FACTS:
Petitioner Valenzuela was seen by the security guard Lago wearing an identification card with
the mark "Receiving Dispatching Unit (RDU)," hauling a push cart and unloading cases of
detergent of the well-known "Tide" brand outside the supermarket and thereafter returned inside
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the supermarket, five minutes later, emerged with more cartons of Tide Ultramatic and again 9
unloaded these boxes to the same area in the open parking space. Petitioner hailed a taxi, boarded
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS

the same and directed it towards the parking space where Calderon was waiting. The cartons of
Tide Ultramatic were placed inside the taxi.
Lago proceeded to stop the taxi and asked petitioner for a receipt of the merchandise, petitioner
and Calderon reacted by fleeing on foot, but Lago fired a warning shot to alert his fellow security
guards of the incident. Petitioner and Calderon were apprehended at the scene.
Petitioner and Calderon both claimed having been innocent bystanders within the vicinity.
Petitioner testified he and his cousin had been at the parking lot when they saw the security
guard Lago fire a shot. The gunshot caused him and the other people at the scene to start running,
at which point he was apprehended by Lago and brought to the security office.

CC: Theft
RTC RULING: Convicted both petitioner and Calderon of the crime of consummated theft.
CA RULING: Affirmed.

(Petitioner argued that he should only be convicted of frustrated theft since at the time he was
apprehended, he was never placed in a position to freely dispose of the articles stolen. However,
in its Decision, the Court of Appeals rejected this contention and affirmed petitioners
conviction. Hence the present Petition for Review, which expressly seeks that petitioners
conviction "be modified to only of Frustrated Theft.)

ISSUE: Whether the accused was guilty of frustrated theft only since he was never placed in a
position to freely dispose of the stolen articles.

HELD: No. The accused is guilty of consummated theft.


The determination of whether a crime is frustrated or consummated necessitates an initial
concession that all of the acts of execution have been performed by the offender. The critical
distinction instead is whether the felony itself was actually produced by the acts of execution.
The determination of whether the felony was "produced" after all the acts of execution had been
performed hinges on the particular statutory definition of the felony. It is the statutory definition
that generally furnishes the elements of each crime under the Revised Penal Code, while the
elements in turn unravel the particular requisite acts of execution and accompanying criminal
intent.
Art. 308. Who are liable for theft. Theft is committed by any person who, with intent to gain
but without violence against or intimidation of persons nor force upon things, shall take personal
property of another without the latters consent.
Theft is likewise committed by:
1. Any person who, having found lost property, shall fail to deliver the same to the local
authorities or to its owner;
2. Any person who, after having maliciously damaged the property of another, shall remove or
make use of the fruits or object of the damage caused by him; and
3. Any person who shall enter an inclosed estate or a field where trespass is forbidden or which
belongs to another and without the consent of its owner, shall hunt or fish upon the same or shall
gather cereals, or other forest or farm products.
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Article 308 provides for a general definition of theft, and three alternative and highly
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idiosyncratic means by which theft may be committed. n the present discussion, we need to
concern ourselves only with the general definition since it was under it that the prosecution of the
accused was undertaken and sustained. On the face of the definition, there is only one operative
act of execution by the actor involved in theft the taking of personal property of another. It is
also clear from the provision that in order that such taking may be qualified as theft, there must
further be present the descriptive circumstances that the taking was with intent to gain; without
force upon things or violence against or intimidation of persons; and it was without the consent
of the owner of the property.

Indeed, we have long recognized the following elements of theft as provided for in Article 308 of
the Revised Penal Code, namely: (1) that there be taking of personal property; (2) that said
property belongs to another; (3) that the taking be done with intent to gain; (4) that the taking be
done without the consent of the owner; and (5) that the taking be accomplished without the use
of violence against or intimidation of persons or force upon things.

So, in order to ascertain whether the theft is consummated or frustrated, it is necessary to inquire
as to how exactly is the felony of theft "produced." Parsing through the statutory definition of
theft under Article 308, there is one apparent answer provided in the language of the law that
theft is already "produced" upon the "tak[ing of] personal property of another without the latters
consent."
The ability of the offender to freely dispose of the property stolen is not a constitutive element of
the crime of theft. It finds no support or extension in Article 308, whether as a descriptive or
operative element of theft or as the mens rea or actus reus of the felony. Such factor runs
immaterial to the statutory definition of theft, which is the taking, with intent to gain, of personal
property of another without the latters consent.
Unlawful taking, or apoderamiento, is deemed complete from the moment the offender gains
possession of the thing, even if he has no opportunity to dispose of the same. Thus, Article 308
of the Revised Penal Code, theft cannot have a frustrated stage. Theft can only be attempted or
consummated.
The adoption of the rule that the inability of the offender to freely dispose of the stolen
property frustrates the theft would introduce a convenient defense for the accused which does
not reflect any legislated intent, since the Court would have carved a viable means for offenders
to seek a mitigated penalty under applied circumstances that do not admit of easy classification.
It is difficult to formulate definite standards as to when a stolen item is susceptible to free
disposal by the thief.

MEDINA VS PEOPLE
TICKLER: STOLEN PARTS OF JEEP, REPAIR SHOP

FACTS:
Henry Lim (Lim) is the registered owner of a Sangyong Korando Jeep with Plate No. WPC-207,
which was involved in an accident that caused damage to its roof and door. He engaged the services
of Medina, who is a mechanic and maintains a repair shop. At the time the jeep was delivered to
Medina's shop, it was still in running condition and serviceable because the under chassis was not
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affected and the motor engine, wheels, steering wheels and other parts were still functioning. 11
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A reasonable time elapsed, but no repairs were made on the jeep. So Purita Lim (Purita), Lim's sister,
instructed Danilo Beltran (Beltran) to retrieve the jeep from Medina's shop on the agreement that he
would instead repair the vehicle in his own auto shop. Beltran, however, was not able to get the jeep
since its alternator, starter, battery, and two tires with rims worth P5,000.00, P5,000.00, P2,500.00,
and P10,000.00, respectively, could not be found. Upon inquiry, Medina told him.that he took and
installed them on Lim's another vehicle, an Isuzu pick-up, which was also being repaired in the shop.
Beltran went back in the afternoon of the same day and was able to get the jeep, but without the
missing parts. He had it towed and brought it to his own repair shop. Before placing the jeep therein,
he reported the incident to Purita. Later, the jeep was fully repaired and put back in good running
condition.

A criminal complaint5 for simple theft was filed by Purita, representing her brother. The City
Prosecutor found probable cause to indict Medina.

ISSUE: WON MEDINA IS GUILTY OF SIMPLE THEFT

CC: SIMPLE THEFT


RTC: GUILTY
CA: GUILTY

While the trial court was not convinced with Medina's justification that he installed the jeep's missing
parts to the pick-up also owned by Lim, the CA opined that his excuse is "so lame and flimsy." The
CA agreed with the lower court's findings that Medina admitted that the jeep is more valuable than
the pickup; that unlike the pick-up, the needed repairs on the jeep is only minor in nature; that
Medina failed to prove that the pick-up was completely repaired and was placed in good running
condition; and that he failed to prove that the pick-up is owned by Lim. The CA also held that the
positive testimony of Beltran deserves merit in contrast with the self-serving testimony of Medina.
Finally, no credence was given to Medina's assertion that the missing auto parts were turned over to
Crispin Mendoza, who is alleged to be an employee of Lim. For the CA, the trial court correctly
ruled that such claim was unsubstantiated in view of Medina's failure to formally offer in evidence
the purported acknowledgment receipt. Assuming that the exception in Mato v. CA11 is taken into
account, the receipt could not still be considered because it was not incorporated in the records of the
case.

SC: GUILTY

Theft is committed by any person who, with intent to gain, but without violence against or
intimidation of persons nor force upon things, shall take personal property of another without the
latter's consent.13 As defined and penalized, the elements of the crime are: (1) there was taking of
personal property; (2) the property belongs to another; (3) the taking was done with intent to gain; (4)
the taking was without the consent of the owner; and (5) the taking was accomplished without the use
of violence against, or intimidation of persons or force, upon things. 14 Intent to gain or animus
lucrandi is an internal act that is presumed from the unlawful taking by the offender of the thing
subject of asportation.15 Although proof as to motive for the crime is essential when the evidence of
the theft is circumstantial, the intent to gain is the usual motive to be presumed from all furtive taking
of useful property appertaining to another, unless special circumstances reveal a different intent on
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the part of the perpetrator.16 As to the concept of "taking" 12
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The only requirement for a personal property to be the object of theft under the penal code is that it
be capable of appropriation. It need not be capable of "asportation," which is defined as "carrying
away." Jurisprudence is settled that to "take" under the theft provision of the penal code does not
require asportation or carrying away.

To appropriate means to deprive the lawful owner of the thing. The word "take"' in the Revised Penal
Code includes any act intended to transfer possession which x x x may be committed through the use
of the offenders' own hands, as well as any mechanical device x x x.
In this case, Medina acknowledged without hesitation the taking of the jeep's alternator, starter,
battery, and two tires with magwheels, but he put up the defense that they were installed in the pick-
up owned by Lim.18Even bearing in mind the testimony of Tumamao, he failed to substantiate,
through the presentation of supporting documentary evidence or corroborative testimony, the claims
that: (1) Lim was the owner of the pick-up; (2) the missing parts of the jeep were exactly the same
items that were placed in the pick-up; (3) Lim consented, expressly or impliedly, to the transfer of
auto parts; and (4) Mendoza witnessed the removal of the spare parts from, the jeep and their
placement to the pick-up. Neither did Medina adduce any justifying 19 or exempting20 circumstance to
avoid criminal liability.

On the contrary, Lim firmly testified that when he entrusted to Medina the jeep's repair it was still in
running condition and complete with alternator, starter, battery, and tires, which went missing by the
time the vehicle was recovered from the auto shop. 21 Likewise, the testimony of Beltran is definite
and straightforward. He concluded that they were lost because he inspected the jeep. 26

Abundo v. Sandiganbayan,27 which was relied upon by Medina, does not apply. In said case, the
element of lack of owner's consent to the taking of the junk chassis was absent since the records
showed that Abundo made a request in writing to be allowed to use one old jeep chassis among the
pile of junk motor vehicles. His request was granted. A memorandum receipt was issued and signed.
Pursuant thereto, the chassis was taken out. There was no furtive taking or unlawful asportation. The
physical and juridical possession of the junk chassis was transferred to Abundo at his request, with
the consent or acquiescence of the owner, the Government, represented by the public officials who
had legal and physical possession of it. We noted that the crime of theft implies an invasion of
possession; therefore, there can be no theft when the owner voluntarily parted with the possession of
the thing. The Court agreed with the observation of the Solicitor General that a thief does not ask for
permission to steal. Indeed, a taking which is done with the consent or acquiescence of the owner of
the property is not felonious.28

Under Article 309 of the RPC, an accused found guilty of simple theft when the value of the stolen
property exceeds P22,000.00 shall be sentenced to:
Art. 309. Penalties. - Any person guilty of theft shall be punished by:

1. The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum and medium periods, if the value of the thing
stolen is more than 12,000 pesos but does not exceed 22,000 pesos; but if the value of the thing
stolen exceed the latter amount, the penalty shall be the maximum period of the one prescribed
in this paragraph, and one year for each additional ten thousand pesos, but the total of the penalty
which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years. In such cases, and in connection with the
accessory penalties which may be imposed and for the purpose of the other provisions of this Code,
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the penalty shall be termed prision mayor or reclusion temporal, as the case may be. 13
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Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the maximum of the indeterminate penalty is that which,
taking into consideration the attending circumstances, could be properly imposed under the RPC. 48
As the value of the auto parts stolen from Lim is in excess of P22,000.00, the penalty imposable is
the maximum period of the penalty prescribed by Article 309, which is the maximum of prision
mayor in its minimum and medium periods.
The minimum of the indeterminate penalty shall be anywhere within the range of the penalty next
lower in degree to that prescribed for the offense, without first considering any modifying
circumstance attendant to the commission of the crime. 49 In this case, the penalty next lower in
degree to that prescribed for the offense is prisicn correccional in its medium and maximum periods,
or anywhere from Two (2) years, Four (4) months and One (1) day to Six (6) years.

Thus, the trial court did not err when it sentenced Medina to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of
Three (3) years, Six (6) months and Twenty-One (21) days of prision correccional, as minimum, to
Eight (8) years, Eight (8) months and One (1) day of prision mayor, as maximum.50

TICKLER: Accounting Clerk & Bookkeeper, pre-signed checks for stores disbursements,
joint-venture bank account/current account at BPI Family Bank
MIRANDA V. PEOPLE
G.R. No. 176298 January 25, 2012

FACTS:
During the period of April 28, 1998 to May 2, 2002, petitioner was the accounting clerk and
bookkeeper of Video City Commercial, Inc. (VCCI) and Viva Video City, Inc. (Viva), sister
companies which managed a chain of stores known as Video City. One of her duties was to
disburse checks for the accounts she handled. She was assigned to handle twelve (12) Video
City store franchise accounts, including those of Tommy Uy, Wilma Cheng, Jefferson Tan and
Sharon Cuneta. As regards the franchisee Jefferson Tan, who was out of the country most of the
time, Tan pre-signed checks to cover the stores disbursements and entrusted them to petitioner.
The pre-signed checks by Jefferson Tan were from a current account maintained jointly by VCCI
and Jefferson Tan at BPI Family Bank, Sta. Mesa. There was also an existing agreement with the
bank that any disbursement not exceeding P20,000.00 would require only Tans signature.

Taking advantage of Tans constant absence from the country, petitioner was able to use Tans
joint-venture bank account with VCCI as a clearing house for her unauthorized transfer of
funds. Petitioner deposited VCCI checks coming from other franchisees accounts into the
said bank account, and withdrew the funds by writing checks to her name using the checks
pre-signed by Tan. It was only after petitioner went on maternity leave and her subsequent
resignation from the company in May 2002 that an audit was conducted since she refused to turn
over all the financial records in her possession. The audit was made on all the accounts handled
by petitioner and it was discovered that she made unauthorized withdrawals and fund transfers
amounting to P4,877,759.60.

The prosecution, in proving that petitioner had unlawfully withdrawn P797,187.85 for her own
benefit, presented as its witness Jose Laureola, the assistant manager/acting cashier of BPI
Family Bank, Sta. Mesa Branch. Laureola presented a microfilm of the checks, the encashed
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checks and deposit slips. He also presented the bank statement of VCCI which showed 14 the
encashment of forty-two (42) checks from the account of VCCI and Jefferson Tan amounting to
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P797,187.85. In the face of the prosecutions evidence, petitioner chose not to present any
evidence during trial.

CHARGE:
RTC: QUALIFIED THEFT
CA: AFFIRMED
SC: AFFIRMED

The RTC found that the prosecution was able to establish that the checks deposited to the joint
account of VCCI and Jefferson Tan at BPI Family Bank were unlawfully withdrawn by the
petitioner without VCCIs consent. Petitioner took advantage of her position with VCCI and her
access to the checks and its bank accounts.

The CA held that contrary to petitioners claim that the prosecution failed to show who was the
absolute owner of the thing stolen, there was no doubt that the personal property taken by
petitioner does not belong to her but to Jefferson Tan and his joint venture partner VCCI. Thus,
petitioner was able to gain from taking other peoples property without their consent. More, she
was able to perpetrate the crime due to her position in VCCI which gave her access to the joint
venture account of VCCI and Jefferson Tan, both of whom reposed trust and confidence in her.
She exploited said trust and confidence to their damage in the amount of P797,187.85.

Petitioner insists that she should not have been convicted of qualified theft:
a) as the prosecution failed to prove the private complainants absolute ownership of the thing
stolen.
b) Further, she maintains that Jefferson Tans signatures on the checks were not identified by any
witness who is familiar with his signature.
c) She likewise stresses that the checks and vouchers presented by the prosecution were not
original copies and that no secondary evidence was presented in lieu of the former.

ISSUE:
Whether the phrase "x x x shall take the personal property of another without the Latter's consent
x x x" in article 308 of the RPC in relation to article 310 of the same code would require as an
element of "qualified theft" an established proof of "ownership" of the property allegedly stolen.

HELD:
No.

The elements of the crime of theft as provided for in Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code are
as follows:
(1) that there be taking of personal property;
(2) that said property belongs to another;
(3) that the taking be done with intent to gain;
(4) that the taking be done without the consent of the owner; and
(5) that the taking be accomplished without the use of violence against or intimidation of persons
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or force upon things. 15
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Theft becomes qualified when any of the following circumstances under Article 310 is present:
(1) the theft is committed by a domestic servant;
(2) the theft is committed with grave abuse of confidence;
(3) the property stolen is either a motor vehicle, mail matter or large cattle;
(4) the property stolen consists of coconuts taken from the premises of a plantation;
(5) the property stolen is fish taken from a fishpond or fishery; and
(6) the property was taken on the occasion of fire, earthquake, typhoon, volcanic eruption, or any
other calamity, vehicular accident or civil disturbance.

Here, the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the amount of P797,187.85
taken does not belong to petitioner but to VCCI and that petitioner took it without VCCIs
consent and with grave abuse of confidence by taking advantage of her position as accountant
and bookkeeper. The prosecutions evidence proved that petitioner was entrusted with checks
payable to VCCI or Viva by virtue of her position as accountant and bookkeeper. She deposited
the said checks to the joint account maintained by VCCI and Jefferson Tan, then withdrew a total
of P797,187.85 from said joint account using the pre-signed checks, with her as the payee. In
other words, the bank account was merely the instrument through which petitioner stole from her
employer VCCI.

Moreover, we agree with the CA when it gave short shrift to petitioners argument that full
ownership of the thing stolen needed to be established first before she could be convicted of
qualified theft. As correctly held by the CA, the subject of the crime of theft is any personal
property belonging to another. Hence, as long as the property taken does not belong to the
accused who has a valid claim thereover, it is immaterial whether said offender stole it from
the owner, a mere possessor, or even a thief of the property. In any event, as stated above, the
factual findings of the courts a quo as to the ownership of the amount petitioner stole is
conclusive upon this Court, the finding being adequately supported by the evidence on record.

However, notwithstanding the correctness of the finding of petitioners guilt, a modification is


called for as regards the imposable penalty. On the imposition of the correct penalty, People v.
Mercado is instructive. Pursuant to said case, in the determination of the penalty for qualified
theft, note is taken of the value of the property stolen, which is P797,187.85 in this case. Since
the value exceeds P22,000.00, the basic penalty is prision mayor in its minimum and medium
periods to be imposed in the maximum period, that is, eight (8) years, eight (8) months and one
(1) day to ten (10) years of prision mayor.

To determine the additional years of imprisonment to be added to the basic penalty, the amount
of P22,000.00 is deducted from P797,187.85, which yields a remainder of P775,187.85. This
amount is then divided by P10,000.00, disregarding any amount less than P10,000.00. The end
result is that 77 years should be added to the basic penalty. However, the total imposable penalty
for simple theft should not exceed 20 years. Thus, had petitioner committed simple theft, the
penalty would be 20 years of reclusion temporal. As the penalty for qualified theft is two degrees
higher, the trial court, as well as the appellate court, should have imposed the penalty of
reclusion perpetua.
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TICKLER: Qualified theft, 15 checks, house help


People vs. Nielles
G.R. No. 200308, February 23, 2015

FACTS:
The prosecution established that private complainant Juanita Flores was engaged in the business
of guaranteeing purchase orders and gift checks of Shoemart and Landmark and of disposing,
selling or transferring them for consideration. Appellant initially worked as Flores house help
but was eventually hired to work at Flores office performing clerical jobs like sorting invoices.
When Flores business grew, appellant was assigned to bill and collect from sub-guarantors, and
to encash and deposit checks. On July 15, 2004, appellant collected P640,353.86 from the sub-
guarantors. However, appellant did not remit the amount to Flores or deposit it in her (Flores)
account. Instead, she issued 15 personal checks totaling P640,353.86 and deposited them to
Flores account. All the checks were dishonored upon presentment due to account closed.
Appellant thereafter absconded.

Crime Charged: Qualified Theft


RTC: Qualified Theft
CA: Qualified Theft (Affirmed)

ISSUE:
Whether or not the issuance of the checks proves there was unlawful taking (qualified theft)

HELD:
We concur with the findings of the trial court and the Court of Appeals that the prosecution
satisfactorily established all the elements of qualified theft, to wit: 1) taking of personal property;
2) that said property belongs to another; 3) that the said taking was done with intent to gain; 4)
that it was done without the owners consent 5) that it was accomplished without the use of
violence or intimidation against persons, or of force upon things; and 6) that it was done with
grave abuse of confidence. Private complainant testified that accused-appellant took the amount
of P640,353.86 from her without her consent by failing to turn over the amount she collected
from the formers sub-guarantors. Instead, she issued 15 personal checks and deposited the same
to private complainants account which, however, all bounced for the reason account closed.
The taking of the amount collected by accused-appellant was obviously done with intent to gain
as she failed to remit the same to private complainant. Intent to gain is presumed from the act of
unlawful taking. Further, the unlawful act was accomplished by accused-appellant without the
use of violence or intimidation against persons, or of force upon things as the payment to her of
the said amount was voluntarily handed to her by the sub-guarantors as she was known to be
entrusted with the collection of payments. The circumstance of grace abuse of confidence that
made the same as qualified theft was also proven. Accused-appellant testified that as a cashier,
her functions and responsibilities include billings and collections from their agents and making
of deposits and withdrawals in behalf of Private Complainant. Moreover, when the payment for
the purchase orders or gift checks becomes due, she would fill up 4 blank checks given by the
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sub-cashier who comes into possession of the monies she collected enjoys the confidence 17
reposed in her by her employer, as in the instant case. Private complainant testified that when
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appellant arrived from Hong Kong, the latter went to Flores office and admitted to having
converted the collections to her personal use. Significantly, when appellant was placed on the
witness stand, she did not even make any attempt to explain her issuance of the 15 checks. In
fact, during her entire testimony, she never made any mention about the personal checks that she
issued and deposited in Flores account. It was only in her Memorandum filed with the trial court
and her Brief submitted to the appellate court that the same was discussed. All that appellant
could claim is that the issuance of the checks only proves that the same was for a consideration -
but omitted to explain what the consideration was.

ZAPANTA VS PEOPLE
GR 170863 March 20, 2013
Tickler: Qualified Theft / steal beams

Facts: In 2001, A. Mojica Construction and General Services (AMCGS) undertook the Porta
Vaga building construction in Session Road, Baguio City. AMCGS subcontracted the fabrication
and erection of the buildings structural and steel framing to Anmar, owned by the Marigondon
family. Anmar ordered its construction materials from Linton Commercial in Pasig City. It hired
Junio Trucking to deliver the construction materials to its project site in Baguio City. It assigned
the petitioner as project manager with general managerial duties, including the receiving,
custody, and checking of all building construction materials.

On two occasions in October 2001, the petitioner instructed Bernardo, Junio Truckings truck
driver, and about 10 Anmar welders, including Cano and Buen, to unload about 10 to 15 pieces
of 20 feet long wide flange steel beams at Anmars alleged new contract project along Marcos
Highway, Baguio City. Sometime in November 2001, the petitioner again instructed Bernardo
and several welders, including Cano and Buen, to unload about 5 to 16 pieces of 5 meters and 40
feet long wide flange steel beams along Marcos Highway, as well as on Mabini Street, Baguio
City.

Sometime in January 2002, Engr. Nella Aquino, AMCGS project manager, informed Engr.
Marigondon that several wide flange steel beams had been returned to Anmars warehouse on
October 12, 19, and 26, 2001, as reflected in the security guards logbook. Engr. Marigondon
contacted the petitioner to explain the return, but the latter simply denied that the reported return
took place. Engr. Marigondon requested Marcelo, her warehouseman, to conduct an inventory of
the construction materials at the project site. Marcelo learned from Cano that several wide flange
steel beams had been unloaded along Marcos Highway. There, Marcelo found and took pictures
of some of the missing steel beams. He reported the matter to the Baguio City police
headquarters and contacted Anmar to send a truck to retrieve the steel beams, but the truck came
weeks later and, by then, the steel beams could no longer be found. The stolen steel beams
amounted to P2,269,731.69.

In his defense, the petitioner vehemently denied the charge against him. He claimed that
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AMCGS, not Anmar, employed him, and his plan to build his own company had been Engr. 18
Marigondons motive in falsely accusing him of stealing construction materials.
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CRIME CHARGED: QUALIFIED THEFT

RTC: Guilty of Qualified Theft

CA: Affirmed RTC's ruling but deleted award for moral damages

Arguments of petitioner:
1. That while the information charged him for acts committed "sometime in the month of
October, 2001," he was convicted for acts not covered by the information, i.e., November
2001, thus depriving him of his constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of
the accusation against him.
2. The prosecution failed to establish the fact of the loss of the steel beams since the corpus
delicti was never identified and offered in evidence.

SC: Affirmed

The crime of qualified theft was committed with grave abuse of discretion
The elements of qualified theft, punishable under Article 310 in relation to Articles 308 and 309
of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), are: (a) the taking of personal property; (b) the said property
belongs to another; (c) the said taking be done with intent to gain; (d) it be done without the
owner's consent; (e) it be accomplished without the use of violence or intimidation against
persons, nor of force upon things; and (f) it be done under any of the circumstances enumerated
in Article 310 of the RPC, i.e., with grave abuse of confidence.18

All these elements are present in this case. The prosecutions evidence proved, through the
prosecutions eyewitnesses, that upon the petitioners instruction, several pieces of wide flange
steel beams had been delivered, twice in October 2001 and once in November 2001, along
Marcos Highway and Mabini Street, Baguio City; the petitioner betrayed the trust and
confidence reposed on him when he, as project manager, repeatedly took construction materials
from the project site, without the authority and consent of Engr. Marigondon, the owner of the
construction materials.

Corpus delicti is the fact of the commission of the crime


The petitioner argues that his conviction was improper because the alleged stolen beams or
corpus delicti had not been established. He asserts that the failure to present the alleged stolen
beams in court was fatal to the prosecutions cause.

The petitioners argument fails to persuade us. "Corpus delicti refers to the fact of the
commission of the crime charged or to the body or substance of the crime. In its legal sense, it
does not refer to the ransom money in the crime of kidnapping for ransom or to the body of the
person murdered" or, in this case, to the stolen steel beams. "Since the corpus delicti is the fact of
the commission of the crime, this Court has ruled that even a single witness' uncorroborated
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testimony, if credible, may suffice to prove it and warrant a conviction therefor. Corpus delicti 19
may even be established by circumstantial evidence."19 "In theft, corpus delicti has two
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elements, namely: (1) that the property was lost by the owner, and (2) that it was lost by
felonious taking."

In this case, the testimonial and documentary evidence on record fully established the corpus
delicti. The positive testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, particularly Bernardo, Cano and
Buen, stating that the petitioner directed them to unload the steel beams along Marcos Highway
and Mabini Street on the pretext of a new Anmar project, were crucial to the petitioners
conviction. The security logbook entry, delivery receipts and photographs proved the existence
and the unloading of the steel beams to a different location other than the project site.

Penalty: To determine the additional years of imprisonment, we deduct P22,000.00 from


P2,269,731.69, which gives us P2,247,731.69. This resulting figure should then be divided by
P10,000.00, disregarding any amount less than P10,000.00. We now have 224 years that should
be added to the basic penalty. However, the imposable penalty for simple theft should not exceed
a total of 20 years. Therefore, had petitioner committed simple theft, the penalty would be 20
years of reclusion temporal. As the penalty for qualified theft is two degrees higher, the correct
imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua.

The petitioner should thus be convicted of qualified theft with the corresponding penalty of
reclusion perpetua.

PEOPLE VS CAHILIG

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TICKLER: Partnership, joint venture, brothers, ESTAFA or THEFT?


ERNESTO PIDELI vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 163437 February 13, 2008

FACTS: Sometime in March 1997, Placido Cancio (Placido) and Wilson Pideli (Wilson) entered
into a verbal partnership agreement to subcontract a rip-rapping and spillway project in Benguet.
Both agreed to undertake the project in favor of ACL Construction (ACL), the contractor
awarded the development project by the Department of Public Works and Highways. Petitioner
Ernesto Pideli (petitioner), brother to Wilson and neighbor and friend to Placido, offered the duo
the use of his credit enabling them to secure an assortment of construction materials for the
project with Mt. Trail Farm Supply and Hardware (MTFSH). After the completion of the project,
ACL summoned all its subcontractors to a meeting. Placido, Wilson and petitioner were in
attendance. At the meeting, ACL management informed Placido and Wilson that the final
payment for the work that they have done would be withheld. It was learned that they failed to
settle their accountabilities with the MTFSH.
Placido, Wilson and petitioner made representations with the accountable ACL personnel, a
certain Boy Candido, to facilitate the release of their payment. They assured Boy that the matter
of the unpaid obligations to MTFSH has been resolved. Boy acceded to the request and
proceeded to release the final payment due to them.
When they were about to split their net income, Ernesto Pideli advised the two to first settle their
accountabilities for the construction materials taken from the hardware store. Placido and Wilson
did as told and entrusted the full amount to petitioner, with express instructions to pay MTFSH
and deliver the remaining balance to them.
The following day, Placido attempted but failed to contact petitioner. He had hoped to obtain his
share of the partnership income. Placido got hold of petitioner the next morning. Unexpectedly,
petitioner informed Placido that nothing was left of the proceeds after paying off the
supplier. Despite repeated demands, petitioner refused to give Placido his share in the net income
of the contract.
This prompted Placido to file a complaint for THEFT against petitioner Ernesto Pideli.
Crime Charged: Theft
RTC: Convicted Ernesto Pideli of Theft
The defense tried to prove that there was no partnership between private complainant and Wilson
Pideli. Thus, the latter is not entitled to any proceeds from the project. The defense presented
Wilson Pideli as a witness who testified that it was he and his laborers who implemented the
project awareded to him by ACL Construction and that private complainant had no participation
in the project. The testimony of Wilson Pideli was glaringly inconsistent on material points. If
the private complainant had no real participation in the project subject of this case, why would
Wilson Pideli be entrusting such amounts to the former. If really private complainant has no
involvement whatsoever in the project, why was he present at the: 1. Mido Restaurant where
Josephine Bentres was disbursing final payments to the subcontractors of the project, and 2. At
the Rose Bowl Restaurant when the Pideli brothers were computing the expenses incurred in the
project and also presenting his list of expenses. The only plausible and logical conclusion is,
private complainant and Wilson Pideli were partners in a joint venture. Thus, it is safe for the
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court to conclude that as a partner in the joint venture, Placido Cancio is entitled to 1/2 share21
in
the net proceeds, i.e. P130,000.00 + 2 = P65,000.00.
CA: Affirmed the trial court disposition.
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Petitioner raised/alleged the following:


a. Private complainant did not own the property allegedly stolen since the money
pertained to the partnership;
b. There was no unlawful taking of property;
c. There was error on the part of CA in alleging that the alleged taking by petitioner was
with intent to gain.
Issue: What was the crime committed by the accused? Theft or Estafa?
Ruling of SC:
Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code provides for the concept of the crime of theft, viz.:
ART. 308. Who are liable for theft. Theft is committed by any person who, with intent
to gain but without violence against or intimidation of persons nor force upon things,
shall take personal property of another without the latters consent. x x x
Accordingly, the elements of theft are as follows:
1. That there be taking of personal property;
2. That said property belongs to another;
3. That the taking be done with intent to gain;
4. That the taking be done without the consent of the owner; and
5. That the taking be accomplished without the use of violence against or intimidation of
persons or force upon things.
There is, here, a confluence of the elements of theft. Petitioner received the final payment due
the partners Placido and Wilson under the pretext of paying off their obligation with the MTFSH.
Under the terms of their agreement, petitioner was to account for the remaining balance of the
said funds and give each of the partners their respective shares. He, however, failed to give
private complainant Placido what was due him under the construction contract.
In an effort to exculpate himself, petitioner posits that he cannot be held liable for theft of the
unaccounted funds. The monies subject matter of the complaint pertain to the partnership. As an
agent of partner Wilson, intent to gain cannot be imputed against petitioner.
The CA correctly debunked petitioners postulation in the following tenor:
We likewise find no merit in appellants contention that the money did not belong to the
private complainant as the latter was only claiming for his share of P65,000.00; that it
was owned by the partnership and was for payment of materials obtained from the
supplier. Complainants share in the amount of P65,000.00 manifestly belonged to and
was owned by the private complainant.
Appellants argument that since the money belonged to the partnership, hence, cannot be
the object of the crime of theft as between the partners, and that appellant as their agent
acted in good faith and without intent to gain, holds no water. Parenthetically, this
argument is inconsistent with the assertion of the defense witnesses that complainant had
no participation at all in the project, and, hence, had no right to a share in its payment. In
any case, appellant was not complainants partner but his brother. As for his alleged
acting in good faith and without intent of gain, it is jurisprudentially settled that intent is a
mental state, the existence of which is made manifest by overt acts of the person. The
intent to gain is presumed from the taking of property appertaining to another.Appellant
had but the material/physical or de facto possession of the money and his act of depriving
private complainant not only of the possession but also the dominion (apoderamiento) of
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his share of the money such that he (the appellant) could dispose of the money at will 22
constitutes the element of "taking" in the crime of theft.
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Although there is misappropriation of funds here, petitioner was correctly found guilty of theft.
As early as U.S. v. De Vera, the Court has consistently ruled that not all misappropriation
is estafa. Chief Justice Ramon C. Aquino, in his commentary on the Revised Penal Code,
succinctly opined:
The principal distinction between the two crimes is that in theft the thing is taken while
in estafa the accused receives the property and converts it to his own use or benefit.
However, there may be theft even if the accused has possession of the property. If he was
entrusted only with the material or physical (natural) or de facto possession of the thing,
his misappropriation of the same constitutes theft, but if he has the juridical possession of
the thing, his conversion of the same constitutes embezzlement or estafa.
Now, on the penalty. Article 309 of the Revised Penal Code penalizes theft in the following
tenor:
Art. 309. Penalties. Any person guilty of theft shall be punished by:
1. The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum and medium periods, if the value of the
thing stolen is more than 12,000 pesos but does not exceed 22,000 pesos; but if the value
of the thing stolen exceed the latter amount, the penalty shall be the maximum period of
the one prescribed in this paragraph, and one year for each additional ten thousand pesos,
but the total of the penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years.
Both the trial court and the CA sentenced petitioner to an indeterminate penalty of four (4) years
of prision correccional medium, as minimum term, to twelve (12) years of prision
mayor maximum, as maximum term. The SC sustain it.

PEOPLE VS LAGAT

PEOPLE VS JOEL AQUINO

TICKLER: 44 FIRESTONE TRUCK TIRES; FENCING LAW


ONG VS PEOPLE
G.R. No. 190475 April 10, 2013

Facts:

Theversionoftheprosecution
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Privatecomplainantwastheowneroffortyfour(44)FirestonetrucktiresdescribedasModel
T4941100by20by14.Privatecomplainantmarkedthetiresusingapieceofchalkbefore
storingtheminsidethewarehouse.

Afterappellantsoldsix(6)tiressometimeinJanuary1995,thirtyeight(38)tiresremained
insidethewarehouse.

OnFebruary17,1995,privatecomplainantlearnedfromcaretakerJoseCabalthatallthirtyeight
(38)trucktireswerestolenfromthewarehouse,thegateofwhichwasforciblyopened.Private
complainant,togetherwithcaretakerCabal,reportedtherobbery.

OnFebruary24,1995,privatecomplainantchanceduponJong'sMarketing,astoresellingtires
inPaco,Manila,ownedandoperatedbyappellant.Privatecomplainantinquiredifappellantwas
sellinganyModelT4941100by20by14plyFirestonetires,towhichthelatterrepliedinthe
affirmative.

Appellantbroughtoutatirefittingthedescription,whichprivatecomplainantrecognizedasone
ofthetiresstolenfromhiswarehouse,basedonthechalkmarkingandtheserialnumberthereon.
Privatecomplainantaskedappellantifhehadanymoreofsuchtiresinstock,whichwasagain
answeredintheaffirmative.

Privatecomplainantthenleftthestoreandreportedthemattertothepolice.

OnthatsamedayofFebruary27,1995,thebuybustteamarrivedthereatataround3:00inthe
afternoon.PoseurbuyerTitoAtienzaproceededtothestorewhiletherestoftheteamposted
themselvesacrossthestreet.AtienzaaskedappellantifhehadanyT4941100by20by14
Firestonetrucktiresavailable.Thelatterimmediatelyproducedonetirefromhisdisplay,which
AtienzaboughtforP5,000.00.Atienzaaskedappellantifhehadanymoreinstock.

Afterthetwelve(12)trucktireswerebroughtin,privatecomplainantenteredthestore,
inspectedthemandfoundthattheywerethesametireswhichwerestolenfromhim,basedon
theirserialnumbers.

Overall,thebuybustteamwasabletoconfiscatethirteen(13)tires,includingtheoneinitially
boughtbyposeurbuyerTitoAtienza.Thetireswereconfirmedbyprivatecomplainantasstolen
fromhiswarehouse

Versionofthedefense.

Heallegethathehadbeenengagedinthebusinessofbuyingandsellingtiresfortwentyfour
(24)yearsanddenyingthathehadanyknowledgethathewassellingstolentiresinJong
Marketing.Hefurtheraverredthaton18February1995,acertainRamonGo(Go)offeredtosell
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thirteen(13)forP3,500each.OngboughtallthetiresforP45,500,forwhichhewasissueda 24
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS

SalesInvoicedated18February1995andwiththeletterheadGoldLinkHardware&General
Merchandise(GoldLink).

CrimeCharged:ViolationofAntiFencingLaw.
RTC:Guilty
CA:affirmed

Issue:Whetherornottheaccuseisliableforthecrimecharged?
Ruling:YES.

FencingisdefinedinSection2(a)ofP.D.1612asthe"actofanypersonwho,withintenttogain
forhimselforforanother,shallbuy,receive,possess,keep,acquire,conceal,sellordisposeof,
orshallbuyandsell,orinanymannerdealinanyarticle,item,objectoranythingofvaluewhich
heknows,orshouldbeknowntohim,tohavebeenderivedfromtheproceedsofthecrimeof
robberyortheft.

Theessentialelementsofthecrimeoffencingareasfollows:(1)acrimeofrobberyorthefthas
beencommitted;(2)theaccused,whoisnotaprincipaloronaccompliceinthecommissionof
thecrimeofrobberyortheft,buys,receives,possesses,keeps,acquires,conceals,sellsor
disposes,orbuysandsells,orinanymannerdealsinanyarticle,item,objectoranythingof
value,whichhasbeenderivedfromtheproceedsofthecrimeofrobberyortheft;(3)theaccused
kneworshouldhaveknownthatthesaidarticle,item,objectoranythingofvaluehasbeen
derivedfromtheproceedsofthecrimeofrobberyortheft;and(4)thereis,onthepartofone
accused,intenttogainforoneselforforanother.

Alltheelementsarepresent.
First,theownerofthetires,privatecomplainantFranciscoAzajar(Azajar),whosetestimonywas
corroboratedbyJoseCabalthecaretakerofthewarehousewherethethirtyeight(38)tireswere
stolen testifiedthatthecrimeofrobberyhadbeencommittedon17February1995.

AzajarwasabletoproveownershipofthetiresthroughSalesInvoiceNo.4565dated10
November1994andanInventoryList.Witnessesfortheprosecutionlikewisetestifiedthat
robberywasreportedasevidencedbytheirSinumpaangSalaysay.

Second,althoughtherewasnoevidencetolinkOngastheperpetratoroftherobbery,henever
deniedthefactthatthirteen(13)tiresofAzajarwerecaughtinhispossession.Thefactsdonot
establishthatOngwasneitheraprincipalnoranaccompliceinthecrimeofrobbery,butthirteen
(13)outofthirtyeight(38)missingtireswerefoundinhispossession.ThisCourtfindsthatthe
serialnumbersofstolentirescorrespondstothosefoundinOngspossession.Onglikewise
admittedthatheboughtthesaidtiresfromGoofGoldLinkinthetotalamountof45,500
wherehewasissuedSalesInvoiceNo.980.
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CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS

Third,theaccusedkneworshouldhaveknownthatthesaidarticle,item,objectoranythingof
valuehasbeenderivedfromtheproceedsofthecrimeofrobberyortheft.Thewords"should
know"denotethefactthatapersonofreasonableprudenceandintelligencewouldascertainthe
factinperformanceofhisdutytoanotherorwouldgovernhisconductuponassumptionthat
suchfactexists.Ong,whowasinthebusinessofbuyandselloftiresforthepasttwentyfour
(24)years,oughttohaveknowntheordinarycourseofbusinessinpurchasingfromanunknown
seller.Admittedly,GoapproachedOngandofferedtosellthethirteen(13)tiresandhedidnot
evenaskforproofofownershipofthetires.Theentiretransaction,fromtheproposaltobuyuntil
thedeliveryoftireshappenedinjustoneday.Hisexperiencefromthebusinessshouldhave
givenhimdoubtastothelegitimateownershipofthetiresconsideringthatitwashisfirsttimeto
transactwithGoandthemanneritwassoldisasifGowasjustpeddlingthethirteen(13)tiresin
thestreets.

Moreover,Ongknewtherequirementofthelawinsellingsecondhandtires.1wphi1Section6
ofP.D.1612requiresstores,establishmentsorentitiesdealinginthebuyingandsellingofany
good,article,item,objectoranythingelseofvalueobtainedfromanunlicenseddealeror
supplierthereoftosecurethenecessaryclearanceorpermitfromthestationcommanderofthe
IntegratedNationalPoliceinthetownorcitywherethatstore,establishmentorentityislocated
beforeofferingtheitemforsaletothepublic.

***Inhisdefense,OngarguedthathereliedonthereceiptissuedtohimbyGo.1wphi1
Logically, andforallpracticalpurposes,theissuanceofasalesinvoiceorreceiptisproofofa
legitimatetransactionandmayberaisedasadefenseinthechargeoffencing;however,that
defenseisdisputable.Inthiscase,thevalidityoftheissuanceofthereceiptwasdisputed,andthe
prosecutionwasabletoprovethatGoldLinkanditsaddresswerefictitious.Ongfailedto
overcometheevidencepresentedbytheprosecutionandtoprovethelegitimacyofthe
transaction.Thus,hewasunabletorebuttheprimafaciepresumptionunderSection5ofP.D.
1612.

Finally,therewasevidentintenttogainforhimself,consideringthatduringthebuybust
operation,Ongwasactuallycaughtsellingthestolentiresinhisstore,JongMarketing.

Fencingismalumprohibitum,andP.D.1612createsaprimafqciepresumptionoffencingfrom
evidenceofpossessionbytheaccusedofanygood,article,item,objectoranythingofvalue,
whichhasbeenthesubjectofrobberyortheft;andprescribesahigherpenaltybasedonthevalue
oftheproperty.

PEOPLE VS DIMAT

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TICKLER: ESTAFA, ART 315 par I(b), buy-and-sell palay


CARGANILLO vs PEOPLE
G.R. No. 182424, September 22, 2014

FACTS:
Teresita Lazaro, a rice trader in Rizal, Nueva Ecija, gave the petitioner the amount of
P132,000.00 for the purpose of buying palay. The petitioner, who was alleged to be an "ahente"
or agent in the buy-and-sell of palay, agreed to deliver the palay to the Lazaro Palay Buying
Station on or before November 28, 1998.
According to the "Kasunduan" signed by the petitioner, the parties agreed that for every kilo of
palay bought the petitioner shall earn a commission of twenty centavos (P0.20). But if no palay
is purchased and delivered on November 28, the petitioner must return the P132,000.00 to
Teresita within one (1) week after November 28. After failing to receive any palay or the
P132,000.00 on November 28 and one (1) week thereafter, respectively, Teresita made oral and
written demands to the petitioner for the return of the P132,000.00 but her demands were simply
ignored. She thus filed an affidavit-complaint for estafa against the petitioner before the Fiscals
Office. Thereafter, an Information for the crime of estafa was filed in court. The petitioner
pleaded not guilty to the crime and denied that she entered into a "principal-agent" agreement
with, and received the P132,000.00 from, Teresita. She alleged that she owed Teresita a balance
of P13,704.32 for the fertilizers and rice that she purchased from the latter and that, in November
1996, she was made to sign a blank "Kasunduan" that reflected no written date and amount. She
likewise denied personally receiving any written demand letter from Teresita.

Crime Charged: Estafa


RTC: convicted the petitioner of the crime estafa
CA: affirmed; In debunking petitioners claim that her agreement with Teresita was merely a
money loan, the CA stated that: In this case, the Kasunduan dated September 23, 1998, which-
accusedappellant admittedly signed, is clear in its tenor and the failure to comply therewith
makes out a case for estafa. Accused-appellants insistence that she signed the said Kasunduan in
blank is belied by her admission of "the existence or authenticity of the documentary exhibits x x
x" during the prosecutions formal offer of evidence and her own testimony x x x. Further, the
CA ruled as immaterial the petitioners defense that she did not personally receive a written letter
of demand from Teresita. The CA held that even a verbal query as to the whereabouts of the
money suspected to be misappropriated is already tantamount to a demand.

ISSUE:
Is petitioner guilty of estafa?

HELD:
Yes. The petitioner maintains that she is not engaged in the business of buying and selling palay
and that the "Kasunduan" between her and Teresita does not contain their real agreement of a
simple money loan. She argues that the prosecution failed to establish all the elements of estafa
because she never received the P132,000.00 from Teresita; that an element of the crime is that
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27
"the offender receives the money, or goods or other personal property in trust, or on commission,
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS

or for administration, or under any other obligations involving the duty to deliver, or to return,
the same."

Under Article 315, paragraph 1(b) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, the offense of estafa
committed with abuse of confidence requires the following elements:
(a) that money, goods or other personal property is received by the offender in trust or on
commission, or for administration, or under any other obligation involving the duty to make
delivery of or to return the same[;]

(b) that there be misappropriation or conversion of such money or property by the offender, or
denial on his part of such receipt[;]
(c) that such misappropriation or conversion or denial is to the prejudice of another; and
(d) there is demand by the offended party to the offender.

The Court find that all the elements of estafa are present in this case: that the petitioner received
in trust the amount of P132,000.00 from Teresita for the purpose of buying palay and
misappropriated it when she failed to return the said amount to Teresita upon demand. As the CA
and the RTC did, the Court find worthy of credit and belief the "Kasunduan" presented in
evidence by the prosecution that was admittedly signed by the petitioner and which contained the
terms of agreement between her and Teresita. This document clearly stated that the petitioner
received in trust the amount of P132,000.00 from Teresita for the purpose of buying palay with
the corresponding obligations to (1) deliver the palay to the Lazaro Palay Buying Station on or
before November 28, 1998, and (2) return the P132,000.00 to Teresita one week after November
28 in the event that the petitioner failed to make palay purchases.

In this case, the petitioner alleges that the subject "Kasunduan" failed to express the real
agreement between her and Teresita; that theirs was a plain and simple loan agreement and not
that of a principal-agent relationship in the buy-and-sell of palay. The documentary and
testimonial evidence presented by the petitioner, however, fail to support her claims. The RTC
found that the receipts presented by the petitioner to prove her loan obligation with Teresita were
vague, undated and unsigned. Also, the RTC observed that the witnesses who testified that they
saw the petitioner sign the "Kasunduan" were not even certain of the real transaction between the
petitioner and Teresita.

Also, the Court cannot sustain the petitioners claim that she had been the victim of a fraud
because Teresita deceived her into signing a blank document; that she signed the "Kasunduan,"
even if it had no date and amount written on it, because Teresita led her to believe that the
document would be used merely for show purposes with the bank. For fraud to vitiate consent,
the deception employed must be the causal (dolo causante) inducement to the making of the
contract, and must be serious in character. It must be sufficient to impress or lead an ordinarily
prudent person into error, taking into account the circumstances of each case. In this case, the
Court find no vitiated consent on the part of the petitioner. In her Memorandum to this Court, she
narrated that after she signed the "Kasunduan," Teresita subsequently made her execute a deed of
sale over her property, which deed she refused to sign. This statement negates the petitioners
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self-serving allegation that she was tricked by Teresita into signing a blank "Kasunduan," as 28
she
was fully aware of the possible implications of the act of signing a document.
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS

TICKLER: SELL JEWELRY ON COMMISSION BASIS; CASINO


G.R. No. 180016, April 29, 2014
CORPUZ v. PEOPLE

FACTS: Tangcoy was engaged in the business of lending money to casino players. He met
Corpuz at Royale Admiral Casino, upon hearing that the former had some pieces of jewelry for
sale, petitioner approached him on May 2, 1991 and offered to sell the said pieces of jewelry on
commission basis. Tangcoy agreed, and he turned over to him the following items: an 18k
diamond ring for men; a woman's bracelet; one (1) men's necklace and another men's bracelet,
with an aggregate value of P98,000.00, as evidenced by a receipt of even date. They both agreed
that Corpuz shall remit the proceeds of the sale, and/or, if unsold, to return the same items,
within a period of 60 days (until June 5,1991). The period expired without petitioner remitting
the proceeds of the sale or returning the pieces of jewelry. When Tangcoy was able to meet
Corpuz, the latter promised the former that he will pay the value of the said items entrusted to
him, but to no avail.

CRIME CHARGED: ESTAFA

DEFENSE: Petitioner and private complainant were collecting agents of Balajadia, who is
engaged in the financing business of extending loans to Base employees. For every collection
made, they earn a commission. Petitioner denied having transacted any business with private
complainant. However, he admitted obtaining a loan from Balajadia sometime in 1989 for which
he was made to sign a blank receipt. He claimed that the same receipt was then dated May 2,
1991 and used as evidence against him for the supposed agreement to sell the subject pieces of
jewelry, which he did not even see.

RTC: Estafa under Article 315, paragraph one (1), subparagraph (b) of the Revised Penal Code;
CA: AFFIRMED RTC DECISION

ISSUE:
(1)WON the information is sufficient to charge Estafa under Article 315(1)(b) of the RPC.
(2)WON the presence of the element of estafa which is the demand to return the subject jewelry
if unsold or remit the proceeds are proved.

HELD: Yes. The information filed against the accused was substantially complete. He contends
that the Information does not contain the period when the pieces of jewelry were supposed to be
returned and that the date when the crime occurred was different from the one testified to by
private complainant. This argument is untenable. It is true that the gravamen of the crime of
estafa under Article 315, paragraph 1, subparagraph (b) of the RPC is the appropriation or
conversion of money or property received to the prejudice of the owner and that the time of
occurrence is not a material ingredient of the crime, hence, the exclusion of the period and the
wrong date of the occurrence of the crime, as reflected in the Information, do not make the latter
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fatally defective. 29
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It must be remembered that petitioner was convicted of the crime of Estafa under Article 315,
paragraph 1 (b) of the RPC, which reads:

ART. 315. Swindling (estafa). Any person who shall defraud another by any of the means
mentioned hereinbelow.

1. With unfaithfulness or abuse of confidence, namely:

xxxx

(b) By misappropriating or converting, to the prejudice of another, money, goods, or any other
personal property received by the offender in trust or on commission, or for administration, or
under any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of or to return the same, even
though such obligation be totally or partially guaranteed by a bond; or by denying having
received such money, goods, or other property; x x x

The elements of estafa with abuse of confidence are as follows: (a) that money, goods or other
personal property is received by the offender in trust, or on commission, or for administration, or
under any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of, or to return the same; (b) that
there be misappropriation or conversion of such money or property by the offender or denial on
his part of such receipt; (c) that such misappropriation or conversion or denial is to the prejudice
of another; and (d) that there is a demand made by the offended party on the offender.

(2) Yes. In his testimony, private complainant narrated how he was able to locate petitioner after
almost two (2) months from the time he gave the pieces of jewelry and asked petitioner about the
same items with the latter promising to pay them.

No specific type of proof is required to show that there was demand. Demand need not even be
formal; it may be verbal. The specific word demand need not even be used to show that it has
indeed been made upon the person charged, since even a mere query as to the whereabouts of the
money [in this case, property], would be tantamount to a demand.

The law is silent with regard to the form of demand in estafa under Art. 315 1(b), thus: When the
law does not qualify, We should not qualify. Should a written demand be necessary, the law
would have stated so. Otherwise, the word "demand" should be interpreted in its general
meaning as to include both written and oral demand. Thus, the failure of the prosecution to
present a written demand as evidence is not fatal.

In view of the foregoing and based on the records, the prosecution was able to prove the
existence of all the elements of the crime. Private complainant gave petitioner the pieces of
jewelry in trust, or on commission basis, as shown in the receipt dated May 2, 1991 with an
obligation to sell or return the same within sixty (60) days, if unsold. There was misappropriation
when petitioner failed to remit the proceeds of those pieces of jewelry sold, or if no sale took
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place, failed to return the same pieces of jewelry within or after the agreed period despite 30
demand from the private complainant, to the prejudice of the latter
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS

BELEN REAL vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


GR 152065 JAN. 29, 2008

TICKLER: Jewelry business, agent, kumadre

FACTS:
Petitioner Belen Real was an agent of private complainant Benjamin Uy in his jewelry
business. On several occasions, Uy entrusted to petitioner pieces of jewelry with the obligation
on the part of the latter to remit the proceeds of the sale or to return the pieces of jewelry if
unsold within a specific period of time.

On January 10, 1989, around 8:30 a.m., petitioner arrived at Uys house at Nueva Villa
Subdivision, Barangay Alangilan, Batangas City and requested Uy to lend her some pieces of
jewelry as she had a buyer at that time. Because petitioner is his kumadre, since Uy was one of
the sponsors in the wedding of petitioners daughter, and because petitioner was his agent for
quite a time, Uy agreed. He showed petitioner some pieces of jewelry and allowed the latter to
select from them.

Petitioner selected seven (7) pieces of jewelry. Uy prepared a receipt for the items selected by
petitioner and handed the same to the latter. After checking the receipt, petitioner wrote the name
Benjamin Uy at the upper portion thereof and affixed her signature at the lower portion including
her address.

Ten days thereafter, Uy went to petitioners house and asked about their transaction. Petitioner
informed Uy that the pieces of jewelry were already sold but the payment was in the form of
check. Petitioner showed Uy 5 pieces of checks all dated January 31, 1989 and requested the
latter to collect on said date. Uy acceded, but when he returned on January 31, 1989, petitioner
again requested him to return the following day as she had not encashed the checks yet. Uy again
agreed but when he demanded the payment the following day, petitioner called him makulit and
could not sleep for that matter. Petitioner further remarked that the more she would not pay Uy.

Constrained, Uy brought the matter to his lawyer, Atty. Dimayacyac, who thereafter sent a
demand letter to petitioner. Despite receipt thereof, petitioner failed to make good her
obligation. Consequently, Uy lodged a criminal complaint against petitioner before the City
Prosecutor of Batangas.

CRIME CHARGED: Estafa under Article 315, par. 1 (b) of the RPC

RTC: Guilty of Estafa under Art. 315 par.1(b) of the RPC

RTCs rationale:
From the evidence adduced during the trial of this case, it has been clearly established that all the elements
of the crime of estafa with abuse of confidence are present in the commission of the offense and that the
guilt of the accused has been proven beyond reasonable doubt.
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Undoubtedly, accused had received the seven (7) pieces of jewelry from Benjamin Uy on January 10, 1989
31
at around 8:30 oclock in the morning at Nueva Villa Subdivision, Alangilan, Batangas City in trust or on
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS

commission[,] with the obligation on her part to return the said pieces of jewelry if unsold, or to deliver the
proceeds of the sale, if sold within ten (10) days from receipt. This agreement is clearly embodied in the
receipt dated January 10, [1989] signed by the accused.

That there was misappropriation or conversion of such money or property by the accused is very evident in
this case. The fact that the accused had failed to deliver the proceeds of the sale of said jewelry items nor
had she returned the same jewelry items when demanded to do so by the private complainant shows that
accused had misappropriated or converted to her personal use the amount of P371,500.00. In fact, she even
required the private complainant to return to her house for several times so that she could remit the
proceeds of the sale to him. However, accused did not comply with her obligation.

In a litany of cases, the Supreme Court held that the failure to account upon demand, for funds or property
held in trust is a circumstantial evidence of misappropriation. In an agency for the sale of jewelry, it [is] the
agents duty to return the jewelry upon demand by the owner and the failure to do so is evidence of that
conversion of the property by the agent.

It was also established that there was a demand made by the private complainant from the accused, verbal
and written[,] as shown by the letter of demand which was received by the accused.

Notably in the instant case[,] accused enjoyed the full trust and confidence of Benjamin Uy when the latter
entrusted the pieces of jewelry to the accused, it being a fact that the latter is a kumadre of Benjamin Uy,
the latter having been a sponsor in marriage of a daughter of the accused, aside from the fact that previous
to January 10, 1989 there had been transaction between Benjamin Uy and accused involving a great amount
of money.

Obviously, accused abused the trust and confidence reposed upon her by Benjamin Uy when she refused
and failed to comply with her obligation. Her intention to defraud Benjamin Uy of P371,500.00 is[,]
therefore, definitely clear.

DEFENSE: Petitioner argues that a reading of the trial courts decision reveals its total silence on
the presence of damage or prejudice caused to private complainant Uy; ergo, she could not be
held guilty of estafa under Art. 315, par. 1 (b) of the RPC.

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner is guilty of Estafa.

RULING: YES

The elements of estafa under Art. 315, par. 1 (b) of the RPC [10] are as follows: (1) that money,
goods or other personal property is received by the offender in trust, or on commission, or for
administration, or under any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of or to return
the same; (2) that there be misappropriation or conversion of such money or property by the
offender or denial on his part of such receipt; and (3) that such misappropriation or conversion or
denial is to the prejudice of another.[11]

Although the trial court only mentioned in passing that damage was caused to private
complainant Uy, it cannot be denied that there exists a factual basis for holding that petitioners
refusal to account for or return the pieces of jewelry had prejudiced the rights and interests of Uy.
Certainly, disturbance of property rights is equivalent to damage and is in itself sufficient to
constitute injury within the meaning of Art. 315, par. 1 (b) of the RPC. [12] In this case, Uy, who is
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a businessman, not only failed to recover his investment but also lost the opportunity to realize 32
profits therefrom. Anxiety also set in as he ran the risk of being sued by the person who likewise
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS

entrusted him the same pieces of jewelry.To assert his legal recourse, Uy further incurred
expenses in hiring a lawyer and in litigating the case.

TICKLER: JEWELRY SELLER, ESTAFA BY MISAPPROPRIATION

PAZ CHENG y CHU vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


GR No. 174113, January 13, 2016

FACTS:
Private complaint Rowena Rodriguez and Paz Cheng entered into an agreement whereby
Rodriguez shall deliver pieces of jewelry to Cheng for the latter to sell on commission basis.
After one month, Cheng is obliged to either: (a) remit the proceeds of the sold jewelry; or (b)
return the unsold jewelry to the former. On different dates (i.e., July 12, 1997, July 16, 1997, and
August 12, 1997), Rodriguez delivered various sets of jewelry to Cheng in the respective
amounts of P18,000.00, P36,000.00, and P257,950.00. Upon delivery of the last batch of jewelry,
Cheng issued a check worth P120,000.00 as full security for the first two (2) deliveries and as
partial security for the last. When Cheng failed to remit the proceeds or to return the unsold
jewelry on due date, Rodriguez presented the check to the bank for encashment, but was
dishonored due to insufficient funds. Upon assurance of Cheng, Rodriguez re-deposited the
check, but again, the same was dishonored because the drawee account had been closed.
Rodriguez then decided to confront Cheng, who then uttered "Akala mo, babayaran pa kita?"
Thus, Rodriguez was constrained to file the instant charges.

CRIME CHARGED: Three separate charges of Estafa defined and penalized under
Article 315 (1) (b) of the RPC
*Defense: Cheng denied receiving any jewelry from Rodriguez or signing any document
purporting to be contracts of sale of jewelry, asserting that Rodriguez is a usurious
moneylender. She then admitted having an unpaid loan with Rodriguez and that she
issued a check to serve as security for the same, but was nevertheless surprised of her
arrest due to the latter's filing of Estafa charges against her.

RTC RULING: Guilty as charged. (Three counts of estafa by misappropriation)


CA RULING: Affirmed the ruling of the RTC
**In a desperate attempt to absolve herself from liability, Cheng insists that the
transaction between them is not an agency on commission basis, but a plain sale of
jewelry with Rodriguez as the seller and Cheng as the buyer. As such, Cheng's non-
payment of the purchase price of the jewelry would only give rise to civil liability and not
criminal liability.

ISSUE: Whether Cheng is guilty of three counts of estafa?

RULING:
Yes. The SUPREME COURT AFFIRMED THE DECISION OF THE CA.
4F elements
The (2016-2017)
of Estafa under Article 315 (1) (b) are as follows: 33
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(1) the offender's receipt of money, goods, or other personal property in trust, or on
commission, or for administration, or under any other obligation involving the duty to
deliver, or to return, the same;
(2) misappropriation or conversion by the offender of the money or property received, or
denial of receipt of the money or property;
(3) the misappropriation, conversion or denial is to the prejudice of another; and
(4) demand by the offended party that the offender return the money or property received.
In the case of Pamintuan v. People, the Court had the opportunity to elucidate further on the
essence of the aforesaid crime, as well as the proof needed to sustain a conviction for the same,
to wit:
The essence of this kind of [E]stafa is the appropriation or conversion of money or
property received to the prejudice of the entity to whom a return should be made.
The words "convert" and "misappropriate" connote the act of using or disposing of
another's property as if it were one's own, or of devoting it to a purpose or use
different from that agreed upon. To misappropriate for one's own use includes not
only conversion to one's personal advantage, but also every attempt to dispose of the
property of another without right. In proving the element of conversion or
misappropriation, a legal presumption of misappropriation arises when the accused
fails to deliver the proceeds of the sale or to return the items to be sold and fails to
give an account of their whereabouts.

In this case, a judicious review of the case records reveals that the elements of Estafa, as defined
and penalized by the afore-cited provision, are present, considering that: (a) Rodriguez delivered
the jewelry to Cheng for the purpose of selling them on commission basis; (b) Cheng was
required to either remit the proceeds of the sale or to return the jewelry after one month from
delivery; (c) Cheng failed to do what was required of her despite the lapse of the aforesaid
period; (d) Rodriguez attempted to encash the check given by Cheng as security, but such check
was dishonored twice for being drawn against insufficient funds and against a closed account; (e)
Rodriguez demanded that Cheng comply with her undertaking, but the latter disregarded such
demand; (j) Cheng's acts clearly prejudiced Rodriguez who lost the jewelry and/or its value.

NB: The Court disregarded the contention of petitioner that the transaction between them is
converted to a contract of sale when she issued the check as payment. The transaction is an
agency on a commission basis whereby Rodriguez, as the owner of the jewelry, is the principal,
while Cheng is the agent who is tasked to sell the same on commission. In the eyes of the Court,
Rodriguez merely accepted the check as full security for the first and second batches of jewelry
and as partial security for the last batch. It was only when Cheng defaulted in her undertaking
pursuant to their agreement that Rodriguez was constrained to treat the check as the former's
remittance of the proceeds of the sale of jewelry - albeit deficient - by presenting it for
encashment on October 20, 1997, or more than two (2) months after the delivery of the last
batch of jewelry.

TICKLER: qualified theft NOT estafa, accountant, acted as a cashier and a teller
San Diego v. People
4F (2016-2017)
G.R. No. 176114, April 8, 2015 34
Peralta, J.
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FACTS:
Petitioner Grace San Diego had been the accountant of Obando Fisherman's Multi-
Purpose Cooperative, Inc. (OFMPCI) from January 1993 to March 11, 1997. Petitioner was in
charge of accounting all business transactions of the cooperative and performed the functions of
cashier and teller, granted loans and did check discounting and trading. She also recorded and
reported the cash in bank transactions and summarized the bank transactions for the day and was
also entrusted with a set of blank checks pre-signed and was authorized to fill up the checks,
particularly the date, the amount in words and in figures, and the payee.
Petitioner acted as cashier when Teresita Gonzales was on maternity leave and acted as
teller when Flordeliza Ocampo was on her honeymoon. She then, on both occasions, had
complete access to the cash vaults and filing cabinets of the cooperative where its documents
were kept.
On March 12, 1997, petitioner stopped reporting for work. Narciso Correa, the General
Manager of the cooperative, then instructed the bookkeeper, Angelita Dimapelis, to prepare bank
book balance based on the cash transactions during the day at the office. They tried to establish
the accountability of San Diego by comparing the cash position she prepared and certified as
correct against the balances of the bank. Dimapelis asked the different depository banks for their
bank balances since their savings account passbooks and bank statements were missing at that
time.
It was only after Corres and Dimapelis reconciled the cash position with the bank
balances that they discovered the discrepancies in petitioner's report. The audited figure showed
the cash on hand in bank to be Php3,712,442.80 as of March 11, 1997. However, petitioner
reported and certified the cash on hand of the cooperative with the total amount of
Php9,590,455.17 to be correct. Dimapelis reported the said discrepancies to Correa and the
Board of Directors. It was then that they decided to file a criminal complaint against San Diego.
Thus, an Information was filed against petitioner for the crime of qualified theft.

CRIME CHARGED: Qualified Theft


RTC: Qualified Theft
CA: Qualified Theft
SC: Qualified Theft

Petitioner then insists that the proof adduced plausibly indicates commission of estafa and
not qualified theft. Petitioner argued that if the thing is not taken away, but received and then
appropriated or converted without the consent of the owner, the crime committed is estafa.

ISSUE:
Is the petitioner guilty of qualified theft or estafa?

HELD:
Qualified Theft. This Court is not persuaded by her argument. One of the elements of
estafa with abuse of confidence is that the money, goods or other personal property be received
by the offender in trust, or on commission, or for administration, or under any other obligation
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involving the duty to make delivery of, or to return, the same. When the thing is received by 35
the
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offender from the offended party in trust or in commission or for administration, the offender
acquires both material or physical possession and juridical possession of the thing received.
Juridical possession means a possession which gives the transferee a right over the thing
transferred and this he may set up even against the owner. It was established in the trial that
petitioner never received the sum of money in trust, or on commission or for administration.
Correa outlined the procedure followed by the cooperative in the deposit of its funds with the
cooperative's depository banks, thus:

A: There were cash summarized for the day and the checks collected during the day for the
different depository banks are summarized and prepared by Grace San Diego and this(sic) were
being brought to the different depository banks and sent through our liaison office Mr. Al
Gonzales.

xxx

When asked how said funds were withdrawn from said banks by the cooperative, Correa
answered:

A: Normally, withdrawals are made by checks and if there are no cleared checks in the bank the
accountant because she knew the cash position in the bank if there is a need of cash, a check is
converted into cash in the depository bank and sent through the liaison officer and handed to the
chief accountant because she was the one responsible.

xxx

As to how checks were prepared as far as withdrawals were concerned was, Correa's answer was:

A: Because we have so many things to do, we were busy we were preoccupied, we prepared set
of blank check resigned and we entrusted this to Ms. Grace San Diego and she filled up the
checks particularly the date, the words, the amount in words and in figure numbers, sir. Clearly,
the above testimonies show that petitioner did not have juridical possession of the sum of money.
She did not have the right over the sum of money she may have received in the course of her
functions as accountant, teller and cashier of the cooperative. The CA was correct when it
described the possession of the petitioner was akin to that of a receiving teller of funds received
from third persons paid to the bank. Payment by third persons to the teller is payment to the bank
itself; the teller is a mere custodian or keeper of the funds received, and has no independent,
autonomous right to retain the money or goods received in consequence of the agency, as when
the principal fails to reimburse him for advances he has made, and indemnify him for damages
suffered without his fault.

4F (2016-2017)
36
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Wilma Suliman vs. People


Tickler: ESTAFA, owner and general manager, offered Ireland as alternative
G.R. No. 190970
November 24, 2014

FACTS: Peitioner is the owner and general manager of Suliman International. In six (6)
Informations,http://www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri2014/nov2014/gr_190970_2014.
html - fnt3 petitioner and one Luz P. Garcia were charged before the (RTC) of Manila with
two (2) counts of illegal recruitment under Section 6, paragraphs (a), (l) and (m) of Republic Act
No. 8042, otherwise known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, as well
as four (4) counts of estafa under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code.

It was alleged that petitioner and her co-accused misrepresented and falsely pretended that they
had the capacity to deploy the private complainants for employment either in South Korea, Saudi
Arabia and Canada; that they separately charged the private complainants the amounts
of P132,460.00, P120,000.00 and P21,400.00 as placement fees; that they failed to actually
deploy the private complainants without valid reasons, and; they failed to reimburse the said
complainants after such failure to deploy. Petitioner also offered the private complainants an
alleged alternative employment in Ireland when their original deployment did not materialize.

Only petitioner was brought to trial as her co-accused, Garcia, remained at large.

RTC: Guilty. two (2) counts of illegal recruitment and three (3) counts of estafa.
CA: Affirmed. As petitioner nor her counsel filed a motion for reconsideration within the 15-day
reglementary period ,the CA Decision became final. Hence the instant petition.
DEFENSE: Petitioner argues that she could not be held liable because she was not privy nor was
she aware of the recruitment activities done by her coaccused. Petitioner avers that when her co-
accused received several amounts of money from the private complainants, she acted in her
personal capacity and for her own benefit without the knowledge and consent of petitioner.

ISSUE: Whether of not petitioner is guilty of illegal recruitment and estafa.

HELD: Yes. Petitioner is guilty of the crimes of illegal recruitment and estafa.

In the present case, both the RTC and the CA found that the prosecution has established that
petitioner and her co-accused committed the acts enumerated under the provisions of Section 6
(a), (l) and (m) of RA 8042 when: (1) they separately charged the private complainants the
amounts of P132,460.00, P120,000.00 and P21,400.00 as placement fees; (2) they failed to
actually deploy the private complainants without valid reasons, and; (3) they failed to reimburse
the said complainants after such failure to deploy.

As to the charge of estafa, the act complained of in the instant case is penalized under Article
315, paragraph 2(a) of the RPC, wherein estafa is committed by any person who shall defraud
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another by false pretenses or fraudulent acts executed prior to or simultaneously with 37 the
commission of the fraud. It is committed by using fictitious name, or by pretending to possess
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power, influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions, or


by means of other similar deceits. The elements of estafaby means of deceit are the following,
viz.:
(a) that there must be a false pretense or fraudulent representation as to his power,
influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions;
(b) that such false pretense or fraudulent representation was made or executed prior to or
simultaneously with the commission of the fraud;
(c) that the offended party relied on the false pretense, fraudulent act, or fraudulent means
and was induced to part with his money or property; and
(d) that, as a result thereof, the offended party suffered damage.
In the instant case, all the foregoing elements are present. It was proven beyond reasonable
doubt, as found by the RTC and affirmed by the CA, that petitioner and her co-accused
misrepresented and falsely pretended that they had the capacity to deploy the private
complainants for employment either in South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada. The
misrepresentation was made prior toprivate complainants' payment of placement fees. It was the
misrepresentation and false pretenses made by petitioner and her co-accused that induced the
private complainants to part with their money. As a result of such false pretenses and
misrepresentations, the private complainants suffered damages as the promised employment
abroad never materialized and the various amounts of money they paid were never recovered.

Petitioner argues that she could not be held liable because she was not privy nor was she aware
of the recruitment activities done by her coaccused. Petitioner avers that when her co-accused
received several amounts of money from the private complainants, she acted in her personal
capacity and for her own benefit without the knowledge and consent of petitioner. The Court is
not persuaded. As owner and general manager, petitioner was at the forefront of the recruitment
activities of Suliman International. Undoubtedly, she has control, manage mentor direction of the
business of the said company. Petitioner's denial is an intrinsically weak defense, especially in
the face of positive assertions made by the private complainants who had no ill motive to falsely
testify against her. Indeed, of marked relevance is the absence of any showing that the private
complainants had any ill motive against petitioner other than to bring her to the bar of justice to
answer for the crime of illegal recruitment. In any case, petitioner cannot deny participation in
the recruitment of the private complainants because the prosecution has established that
petitioner was the one who offered the private complainants an alleged alternative employment
in Ireland when their original deployment did not materialize. WHEREFORE, the instant petition
is DENIED. The Resolutions of the Court of Appeals, AFFIRMED.

PEOPLE VS MATEO

4F (2016-2017)
38
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People vs Palmy Tibayan and Rico Puerto


G.R. Nos. 209655-60, January 14, 2015
TICKLER:

FACTS: The SEC conducted an investigation on Tibayan Group Investment Company, Inc
(TGICI) and its subsidiaries and discovered that TGICI was selling securities to the public
without a registration statement in violation of the SRC and that TGICI submitted a fraudulent
Treasurers Affidavit before the SEC which prompted the revocation of TGICIs corporate
registration for being fraudulently procured.

This led to the filing of multiple criminal cases for Syndicated Estafa against the incorporators
and directors of TGICI, including accused-appellants.

It was alleged that private complainants were enticed to invest in TGICI due to the offer of high
interest rates, as well as the assurance that they will recover their investments, receiving post-
dated checks, representing the amount of the principal investment and the monthly interest
earnings, respectively.

Upon encashment, the checks were dishonored as the account was already closed. This prompted
private complainants to bring the bounced checks to the TGICI office to demand payment. The
TGICI employees took the said checks, gave private complainants acknowledgement receipts,
and reassured that their investments, as well as the interests, would be paid. However, the TGICI
office closed down without private complainants having been paid and, thus, they were
constrained to file criminal complaints against the incorporators and directors of TGICI.

Accused-appellants denied having conspired with the other TGICI incorporators to defraud
private complainants.

DEFENSE:
Puerto claimed that his signature in the Articles of Incorporation of TGICI was forged and that
since January 2002, he was no longer a director of TGICI.

Tibayan also claimed that her signature in the TGICIs Articles of Incorporation was a forgery, as
she was neither an incorporator nor a director of TGICI

CRIME CHARGED: Syndicated Estafa


RTC in 6 separate decisions: Tibayan (13 counts) Puerto (11 counts) of Estafa under Item 2
(a), Paragraph 4, Article 315 of the RPC in relation to PD 1689
Simple Estafa only, as the prosecution failed to allege in the information that accused-
appellants and the other directors/ incorporators formed a syndicate with the intention of
defrauding the public, or it failed to adduce documentary evidence substantiating its claims that
the accused-appellants committed Syndicated Estafa
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39
CA: Syndicated Estafa
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TGICI and its subsidiaries were engaged in a Ponzi scheme which relied on subsequent
investors to pay its earlier investors and is what PD 1689 precisely aims to punish. CA
concluded that as incorporators/directors of TGICI, accused-appellants and their cohorts
conspired in making TGICI a vehicle for the perpetuation of fraud against the unsuspecting
public. As such, they cannot hide behind the corporate veil and must be personally and
criminally liable for their acts. The CA then concluded that since the TGICI
incorporators/directors comprised more than five (5) persons, accused-appellants criminal
liability should be upgraded to that of Syndicated Estafa, and their respective penalties increased
accordingly

SC: The Court sustains the convictions of accused-appellants of Syndicated Estafa.

Item 2 (a), Paragraph 4, Article 315 of the RPC provides:

Art. 315. Swindling (estafa). Any person who shall defraud another by any means mentioned
hereinbelow shall be punished by:

xxxx

2. By means of any of the following false pretenses or fraudulent acts executed prior to or
simultaneously with the commission of the fraud:
(a) By using fictitious name, or falsely pretending to possess power, influence,
qualifications, property, credit, agency, business, or imaginary transactions; or by means
of other similar deceits.

xxxx

The elements of Estafa by means of deceit under this provision are the following:
(a) that there must be a false pretense or fraudulent representation as to his power,
influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions;
(b) that such false pretense or fraudulent representation was made or executed prior to or
simultaneously with the commission of the fraud;
(c) that the offended party relied on the false pretense, fraudulent act, or fraudulent means
and was induced to part with his money or property; and
(d) that, as a result thereof, the offended party suffered damage.

In relation thereto, Section 1 of PD 1689 defines Syndicated Estafa as follows:

Section 1. Any person or persons who shall commit estafa or other forms of swindling as
defined in Articles 315 and 316 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, shall be punished by life
imprisonment to death if the swindling (estafa) is committed by a syndicate consisting of five or
more persons formed with the intention of carrying out the unlawful or illegal act, transaction,
enterprise or scheme, and the defraudation results in the misappropriation of moneys contributed
by stockholders, or members of rural banks, cooperatives, samahang nayon(s), or farmers
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associations, or funds solicited by corporations/associations from the general public. 40
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS

Thus, the elements of Syndicated Estafa are:


(a) Estafa or other forms of swindling, as defined in Articles 315 and 316 of the RPC, is
committed;
(b) the Estafa or swindling is committed by a syndicate of five (5) or more persons; and
(c) defraudation results in the misappropriation of moneys contributed by stockholders, or
members of rural banks, cooperative, samahang nayon(s), or farmers associations, or of funds
solicited by corporations/associations from the general public.

TGICIs modus operandi of inducing the public to invest in it on the undertaking that their
investment would be returned with a very high monthly interest rate ranging from three to five
and a half percent (3%-5.5%). Under such lucrative promise, the investing public are enticed to
infuse funds into TGICI. However, as the directors/incorporators of TGICI knew from the start
that TGICI is operating without any paid-up capital and has no clear trade by which it can pay
the assured profits to its investors, they cannot comply with their guarantee and had to simply
abscond with their investors money. Thus, the CA correctly held that accused-appellants, along
with the other accused who are still at large, used TGICI to engage in a Ponzi scheme, resulting
in the defraudation of the TGICI investors.

Ponzi scheme is a type of investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to
existing investors from funds contributed by new investors. Its organizers often solicit new
investors by promising to invest funds in opportunities claimed to generate high returns with
little or no risk. In many Ponzi schemes, the perpetrators focus on attracting new money to make
promised payments to earlier-stage investors to create the false appearance that investors are
profiting from a legitimate business. It is not an investment strategy but a gullibility scheme,
which works only as long as there is an ever increasing number of new investors joining the
scheme. It is difficult to sustain the scheme over a long period of time because the operator needs
an ever larger pool of later investors to continue paying the promised profits to early investors.
The idea behind this type of swindle is that the con-man collects his money from his second or
third round of investors and then absconds before anyone else shows up to collect. Necessarily,
Ponzi schemes only last weeks, or months at the most.

In this light, it is clear that all the elements of Syndicated Estafa, committed through a Ponzi
scheme, are present in this case, considering that:
(a) the incorporators/directors of TGICI comprising more than five (5) people, including herein
accused-appellants, made false pretenses and representations to the investing public - in this
case, the private complainants - regarding a supposed lucrative investment opportunity with
TGICI in order to solicit money from them;
(b) the said false pretenses and representations were made prior to or simultaneous with the
commission of fraud;
(c) relying on the same, private complainants invested their hard earned money into TGICI; and
(d) the incorporators/directors of TGICI ended up running away with the private complainants'
investments, obviously to the latter's prejudice.

4F (2016-2017)
HAO VS PEOPLE 41
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PEOPLE VS WAGAS

4F (2016-2017)
42
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Tickler: Jewelry

People v. Villanueva
G.R. No. 163662; February 25, 2015

Bersamin, J.:

Facts:
Private complainant Loreto Madarang was engaged in the business of selling jewelry. He met the
accused Julie Grace Villanueva through a townmate since the latter wanted to buy jewelty. Thus,
Madarang went to Villanuevas residence and was able to sell to her five sets of jewelry
amounting to P1.01 M. Villanuerva made 9 checks, 8 of which were postdated, to cover the
payment of the jewelry. However, only 2 checks were honored and the remaining 7 were
dishonored either because the account was closed or for insufficiency of funds. Madarang tried to
go to Villanuevas residence but he was barred by security guards from reaching Villanueva. He
also sent demand letters but the same proved to be futile. Thus, Madarang filed a case for estafa
against Villanueva.

Crime Charged: Estafa under Art 315, par. 2(d) of the RPC
RTC Ruling: Convicted as charged
CA Ruling: Affirmed with modification as to Villanuevas indeterminate sentence

Issue:
Is Villanueva guilty of the crime of estafa as charged in the RTC and affirmed by the CA?

Held:
YES.

The estafa charged in the information may be committed, therefore, when: (1) the offender has
postdated or issued a check in payment of an obligation contracted at the time of the postdating
or issuance; (2) at the time of postdating or issuance of said check, the offender has no funds in
the bank, or the funds deposited are not sufficient to cover the amount of the check; (3) the payee
has been defrauded. The deceit here should be the efficient cause of the defraudation, and should
either be prior to, or simultaneously with, the act of the fraud.

All the elements of estafa were present. The first element was admitted by Villanueva, who
confirmed that she had issued the checks to Madarang in exchange for the jewelry she had
purchased. There is no question that Madarang accepted the checks upon the assurance of
Villanueva that they would be funded upon presentment. It is clear that Madarang would not
have parted with and entrusted the pieces of valuable jewelry to Villanueva whom she barely
knew unless Villanueva gave such assurance to her. The second element was likewise
established because the checks were dishonored upon presentment due to insufficiency of funds
or because the account was already closed. The third element was also proved by the showing
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that Madarang suffered prejudice by her failure to collect from Villanueva the balance43 of
P995,000.00.
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In her defense, Villanueva adverts to an agreement with Madarang whereby the latter would
deposit or encash the checks only after being informed of the sufficiency of funds in Villanuevas
account. Villanueva posits that the receipt Prosecution presented in evidence did not embody
such agreement.

This defense of Villanueva is actually anchored on the rule that estafa will not lie when the
parties waive the negotiable character of a check, and instead treat the same as proof of an
obligation. For instance, when there is an agreement between the parties at the time of the
issuance and postdating of the checks that the obligee shall not encash or present the same to the
bank, the obligor cannot be prosecuted for estafa because the element of deceit is lacking. When
the payee was informed that the checks are not covered by adequate funds, bad faith or estafa
shall not arise.

Villanueva does not impress. Her defense crumbles because she did not present proof of the
supposed agreement. The receipt signed by her proved the transaction and her issuance of the
postdated checks by listing the items bought and the postdated checks issued as payment. If the
parties really agreed for Madarang to deposit the checks only after notice of the sufficiency of
funds, then such agreement should have been incorporated in the receipt as an integral part of the
transaction, or simply written in another document with Madarang's express conformity for
Villanueva's protection. We simply cannot accept that Villanueva signed the receipt despite not
including the supposed agreement that would shield her from probable criminal prosecution. In
that regard, her being a businesswoman presumably made her aware of the consequences of
issuing unfunded checks. All that she is claiming here is that the receipt did not express the true
intention of the parties, implying that no written document substantiated her alleged defense.
She did not claim at all that she had been coerced or intimidated into signing the receipt as
written. Her self-serving statements on the agreement were entirely inadequate to establish her
assertions, for they were not proof.

De Castro v. People
GR No. 171672, February 2, 2015
Bersamin, J.

Accused: Marieta De Castro


Victim: Amparo Matuguina and Milagrosa Cornejo

FACTS:
De Castro is a bank teller of the BPI Family Savings Bank in Pasay. Matuguina and Cornejo left
their savings account passbooks with the accused within October to November 1993. Cynthia
Zialcita, branch manager, sensed something wrong was going on. Learning of Matuguinas
problem, Zialcita told the accused to return the passbook. Zialcita reviewed Matuguinas account
and found three withdrawal slips containing signatures radically different from the specimen
signatures of the depositor and covering a total of P65,000. It was apparent that the accused had
intervened in the posting and verification of the slips because her initials were affixed thereto.
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Matuguina insisted that the signatures were not her, forcing the accused to admit that 44 the
passbook was still with her and kept in her house. Ebora, the teller who posted and released the
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS

withdrawal readily pointed to the accused as the person who gave the slip to her. As to Cornejo,
according to her, she went to the bank to deposit a check and left the passbook with the accused
because there were many people. She returned to get it back but the accused told her that she left
it at home. Cornejo likewise denied that the signature in a withdrawal slip was hers. Accused
confessed her guilt and her employment was terminated. The bank paid Matuguina P65,000
while Cornejo got her refund directly from the accused.

Crime Charged: Four counts of estafa though falsification of a commercial document.


RTC: guilty as charged
CA: Affirmed RTC
Defense: Conviction was invalid because her constitutional rights against self incrimination, due
process and to counsel were denied.

ISSUE: Is the accused guilty of 4 counts of estafa though falsification of a commercial


document?

RULING: Guilty of 4 counts of estafa though falsification of a commercial document.

The guilt of the petitioner for four counts of estafa through falsification of a commercial
document was established beyond reasonable doubt. As a bank teller, she took advantage of the
bank depositors who had trusted in her enough to leave their passbooks with her upon her
instruction. Without their knowledge, however, she filled out withdrawal slips that she signed,
and misrepresented to her fellow bank employees that the signatures had been verified in due
course. Her misrepresentation to her co-employees enabled her to receive the amounts stated in
the withdrawal slips. She thereby committed two crimes, namely: estafa, by defrauding BPI
Family Savings, her employer, in the various sums withdrawn from the bank accounts of
Matuguina and Cornejo; and falsification of a commercial document, by forging the signatures of
Matuguina and Cornejo in the withdrawal slips to make it appear that the depositor concerned
had signed the respective slips in order to enable her to withdraw the amounts. Such offenses
were complex crimes, because the estafa would not have been consummated without the
falsification of the withdrawal slips.

According to Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code, the penalty for a complex crime is that
corresponding to the most serious crime, the same to be applied in its maximum period.
Otherwise, the penalty will be void and ineffectual, and will not attain finality.

In the four criminal cases involved in this appeal, the falsification of commercial documents is
punished with prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods (i.e., two years, four
months and one day to six years) and a fine of P5,000.00. In contrast, the estafa is punished
according to the value of the defraudation, as follows: with the penalty of prision correccional in
its maximum period to prision mayor in its minimum period (i.e., four years, two months and
one day to eight years) if the amount of the fraud is over P12,000.00 but does not exceed
P22,000.00, and if such amount exceeds P22,000.00, the penalty is imposed in the maximum
period, adding one year for each additional P10,000.00, but the total shall not exceed 20 years, in
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which case the penalty shall be termed prision mayor or reclusion temporal, as the case may 45 be,
in connection with the accessory penalties that may be imposed and for the purpose of the other
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provisions of the Revised Penal Code; with the penalty of prision correccional in its minimum
and medium periods (i.e., six months and one day to four years and two months) if the amount of
the fraud is over P6,000.00 but does not exceed P12,000.00; with the penalty of arresto mayor in
its maximum period to prision correccional in its minimum period (i.e., four months and one
day to two years and four months) if the amount of the fraud is over P200.00 but does not exceed
P6,000.00; and with the penalty of arresto mayor in its medium and maximum periods (i.e., two
months and one day to six months) if the amount of the fraud does not exceed P200.00.

TICKLER: 14 Checks, notice of dishonor through registered mail

MA. ROSARIO P. CAMPOS vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and FIRST WOMENS
CREDIT CORPORATION
G.R. No. 187401 September 17, 2014
REYES, J.:

FACTS:
Ma. Rosario P. Campos obtained a loan, payable on installments, from First Women's Credit
Corporation (FWCC) in the amount of P50,000.00. She issued several postdated checks in favor
of FWCC to cover the agreed installment payments. Fourteen of these checks, totaling Php
46,666.62, drawn against her current account with BPI Family Bank-Head Office, however, were
dishonored when presented for payment. The checks were declared by the drawee bank to be
drawn against a "closed account." After Campos failed to satisfy her outstanding obligation with
FWCC despite demand, she was charged before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Pasay
City, Branch 48, with violations of B.P. 22. Campos was tried in absentia, as she failed to attend
court proceedings after being arraigned.

MeTC: 14 Counts of violations of B.P. 22


RTC: 14 Counts of violations of B.P. 22
CA: 14 Counts of violations of B.P. 22

Hence, the petition for review. In her petition, Campos argues that the crimes element requiring
her knowledge at the time of the checks issuance that she did not have sufficient funds with the
drawee bank for the payment of the check in full upon presentment was not established by the
prosecution. She denies having received a notice of dishonor from FWCC. Insisting on an
acquittal, Campos discredits the MeTCs reliance on a supposed notice of dishonor that was sent
to her by FWCC through registered mail. She also invokes good faith as she allegedly made
arrangements with FWCC for the payment of her obligation after the subject checks were
dishonored.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Ma. Rosario Campos is guilty of violating B.P. 22.

RULING:
YES. To be liable for violation of B.P. 22, the following essential elements must be present:
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(1) the making, drawing, and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value; 46
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(2) the knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue he does not have
sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full upon its
presentment; and
(3) the subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or
creditor dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the
bank to stop payment.

The presence of the first and third elements is undisputed. As to the second element, the Court
has emphasized the importance of proof of receipt of such notice of dishonor, although not as an
element of the offense, but as a means to establish that the issuer of a check was aware of
insufficiency of funds when he issued the check and the bank dishonored it, in relation to the
second element of the offense and Section 2 of B.P. 22. Considering that the second element
involves a state of mind which is difficult to establish, Section 2 of B.P. 22 creates a presumption
of knowledge of insufficiency of funds, as it reads:

Sec. 2. Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. The making, drawing, and issuance of a
check payment of which is refused by the drawee because of insufficient funds in or credit with
such bank, when presented within ninety days fromthe date of the check, shall be prima facie
evidence of knowledge of such insufficiency of fundsor credit unless such maker or drawer pays
the holder thereof the amount due thereon, or makes arrangements for payment in full by the
drawee of such check within five (5) banking days after receiving notice that such check has not
been paid by the drawee.

In the instant case, the required notice of dishonor from FWCC was received by Campos.
Campos, nonetheless, still maintains that her personal receipt of the notice was not sufficiently
established, considering that only a written copy of the letter and the registry return receipt
covering it were presented by the prosecution. The mere presentation of registry return receipts
that cover registered mail was not sufficient to establish that written notices of dishonor had been
sent to or served on issuers of checks. The authentication by affidavit of the mailers was
necessary in order for service by registered mail to be regarded as clear proof of the giving of
notices of dishonor and to predicate the existence of the second element of the offense.

In still finding no merit in the present petition, the Court, however, considers Campos' defense
that she exerted efforts to reach an amicable settlement with her creditor after the checks which
she issued were dishonored by the drawee bank, BPI Family Bank. Campos categorically
declared in her petition that, "[she] has in her favor evidence to show that she was in good faith
and indeed made arrangements for the payment of her obligations subsequently after the
dishonor of the checks." Clearly, this statement was a confirmation that she actually received the
required notice of dishonor from FWCC. Campos would not have entered into the alleged
arrangements if she had not received a notice of dishonor from her creditor, and had no
knowledge of the insufficiency of her funds with the bank and the dishonor of her checks.

Campos could have avoided prosecution by paying the amounts due on the checks or making
arrangements for payment in full within five (5) days after receiving notice. Unfortunately for
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Campos, these circumstances were not established in the instant case. She failed to sufficiently
47
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disclose the terms of her alleged arrangement with FWCC, and to establish that the same had
been fully complied with so as to completely satisfy the amounts covered by the subject checks.

SC: 14 Counts of violations of B.P. 22

GRIFFITH VS CA

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TICKLER: Check for Campaign Donation


ARIEL T. LIM VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
G.R. No. 190834, November 26, 2014

Records reveal that petitioner issued Bank of Commerce Check Nos. 0013813 and 0013814,
dated June 30, 1998 and July 15, 1998, respectively, payable to CASH, in the amount of One
Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00) for each check. He gave the checks to Mr. Willie Castor
(Castor) as his campaign donation to the latter's candidacy in the elections of 1998. It was Castor
who ordered the delivery of printing materials and used petitioner's checks to pay for the same.
Claiming that the printing materials were delivered too late, Castor instructed petitioner to issue
a "Stop Payment" order for the two checks. Thus, the checks were dishonored by the bank
because of said order and during trial, when the bank officer was presented on the witness stand,
he admitted that said checks were drawn against insufficient funds (DAIF). Private complainant
Magna B. Badiee sent two demand letters to petitioner, dated My 20, 1998 and July 23, 1998
and, subsequently, private complainant filed a complaint against petitioner before the Office of
the Prosecutor. After the lapse of more than one month from receipt of the demand letters, and
after receiving the subpoena from the Office of the Prosecutor, petitioner issued a replacement
check dated September 8, 1998 in the amount of Two Hundred Thousand Pesos (P200,000.00).
Private complainant Magna B. Badiee was able to encash said replacement check.

CHARGED: On March 19, 1999, or six (6) months after petitioner had paid the amount of the
bounced checks, two Informations were filed against him before the Metropolitan Trial Court of
Manila (MeTC).

MeTC: guilty of two (2) counts of violation of B.P. Big. 22.


RTC: Modified the lower court decision with respect to criminal case no. 327138 (07-249931),
because the lower court of Manila has no jurisdiction to try and decide cases where the essential
ingredients of the crime charged happened in Quezon City. The decision of the lower court with
respect to criminal case no. 327138 (07-249931) is ordered vacated and set aside for lack of
jurisdiction. The lower court findings that accused is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt for
Violation of BP 22 with respect to criminal case no. 07-24992 is affirmed and is ordered to pay a
fine of P100,000.00 plus costs.
CA: Affirming in toto the RTC judgment

ISSUE: Does the payment of the amount of the dishonored checks even before the Informations
against him were filed in court warrant the dismissal of the case?

Supreme Court: Yes

Petitioner mainly relies on Griffith v. Court of Appeals. The Office of the Solicitor General
(OSG) likewise recommends the acquittal of petitioner, opining that Griffith is applicable to the
present case.
4F Court
The (2016-2017)
finds the petition meritorious. 49
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In Griffith, the Court acquitted the accused therein due to the fact that two years before the filing
of the Information for violation of B.P. No. 22, the accused had, in effect, paid the complainant
an amount greater than the value of the bounced checks. The CA held that the factual
circumstances in Griffith are dissimilar from those in the present case. The Court disagrees with
such conclusion.
The CA found Griffith inapplicable to the present case, because the checks subject of this case
are personal checks, while the check involved in Griffith was a corporate check and, hence, some
confusion or miscommunication could easily occur between the signatories of the check and the
corporate treasurer. Although the factual circumstances in the present case are not exactly the
same as those in Griffith, it should be noted that the same kind of confusion giving rise to
petitioner's mistake very well existed in the present case. Here, the check was issued by
petitioner merely as a campaign contribution to Castor's candidacy. As found by the trial court, it
was Castor who instructed petitioner to issue a "Stop Payment" order for the two checks because
the campaign materials, for which the checks were used as payment, were not delivered on time.
Petitioner relied on Castor's word and complied with his instructions, as it was Castor who was
supposed to take delivery of said materials. Verily, it is easy to see how petitioner made the
mistake of readily complying with the instruction to stop payment since he believed Castor's
word that there is no longer any valid reason to pay complainant as delivery was not made as
agreed upon. Nevertheless, two months after receiving the demand letter from private
complainant and just several days after receiving the subpoena from the Office of the Prosecutor,
accused issued a replacement check which was successfully encashed by private complainant.

The CA also took it against petitioner that he paid the amount of the checks only after receiving
the subpoena from the Office of the Prosecutor, which supposedly shows that petitioner was
motivated to pay not because he wanted to settle his obligation but because he wanted to avoid
prosecution. This reasoning is tenuous, because in Griffith, the accused therein did not even
voluntarily pay the value of the dishonored checks; rather, the complainant was paid from the
proceeds of the invalid foreclosure of the accused's property. In said case, the Court did not
differentiate as to whether payment was made before or after the complaint had been filed with
the Office of the Prosecutor. It only mattered that the amount stated in the dishonored check had
actually been paid before the Information against the accused was filed in court. In this case,
petitioner even voluntarily paid value of the bounced checks. The Court, therefore, sees no
justification for differentiating this case from that of Griffith. Records show that both in Griffith
and in this case, petitioner had paid the amount of the dishonored checks before the filing of the
Informations in court. Verily, there is no reason why the same liberality granted to the accused in
Griffith should not likewise be extended to herein petitioner. The precept enunciated in Griffith is
herein reiterated, to wit:

While we agree with the private respondent that the gravamen of violation of B.P.
22 is the issuance of worthless checks that are dishonored upon their presentment
for payment, we should not apply penal laws mechanically. We must find if the
application of the law is consistent with the purpose of and reason for the law.
Ratione cessat lex, el cessat lex. (When the reason for the law ceases, the law
ceases.) It is not the letter alone but the spirit of the law also that gives it life.
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This is especially so in this case where a debtor's criminalization would not 50
serve the ends of justice but in fact subvert it. The creditor having collected
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already more than a sufficient amount to cover the value of the checks for
payment of rentals, via auction sale, we find that holding the debtor's president to
answer for a criminal offense under B.P. 22 two years after said collection is no
longer tenable nor justified by law or equitable considerations.

In sum, considering that the money value of the two checks issued by
petitioner has already been effectively paid two years before the informations
against him were filed, we find merit in this petition. We hold that petitioner
herein could not be validly and justly convicted or sentenced for violation of
B.P. 22. x x x (Emphasis supplied)

In the more recent case of Tan v. Philippine Commercial International Bank, the foregoing
principle articulated in Griffith was the precedent cited to justify the acquittal of the accused in
said case. Therein, the Court enumerated the elements for violation of B.P. Big. 22 being "(1)
The accused makes, draws or issues a check to apply to account or for value; (2) The accused
knows at the time of the issuance that he or she does not have sufficient funds in, or credit with
the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full upon its presentment; and (3) The check is
subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit, or it would
have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid reason, ordered
the bank to stop payment." To facilitate proving the second element, the law created a prima
facie presumption of knowledge of insufficiency of funds or credit, which is established when it
is shown that the drawer of the check was notified of its dishonor and, within five banking days
thereafter, failed to fully pay the amount of the check or make arrangements for its full payment.
If the check, however, is made good or the drawer pays the value of the check within the five-day
period, then the presumption is rebutted. Evidently, one of the essential elements of the violation
is no longer present and the drawer may no longer be indicted for B.P. Blg. 22. Said payment
within the period prescribed by the law is a complete defense.

Generally, only the full payment of the value of the dishonored check during the five-day grace
period would exculpate the accused from criminal liability under B.P. Blg. 22 but, as the Court
further elaborated in Tan:

In Griffith v. Court of Appeals, the Court held that were the creditor had collected
more than a sufficient amount to cover the value of the checks representing rental
arrearages, holding the debtor's president to answer for a criminal offense under
B.P. Big. 22 two years after the said collection is no longer tenable nor justified
by law or equitable considerations. In that case, the Court ruled that albeit made
beyond the grace period but two years prior to the institution of the criminal
case, the payment collected from the proceeds of the foreclosure and auction sale
of the petitioner's impounded properties, with more than a million pesos to spare,
justified the acquittal of the petitioner.

xxxx
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In the present case, PCIB already extracted its proverbial pound of flesh by 51
receiving and keeping in possession the four buses - trust properties surrendered
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by petitioner in about mid 1991 and March 1992 pursuant to Section 7 of the
Trust Receipts Law, the estimated value of which was "about P6.6 million." It
thus appears that the total amount of the dishonored checks - P1,785,855.75 -, x
x x was more than fully satisfied prior to the transmittal and receipt of the July
9,1992 letter of demand. In keeping with jurisprudence, the Court then considers
such payment of the dishonored checks to have obliterated the criminal liability of
petitioner.

It is consistent rule that penal statutes are construed strictly against the State and
liberally in favor of the accused. And since penal laws should not be applied
mechanically, the Court must determine whether the application of the penal law
is consistent with the
purpose and reason of the law. x x x (Underscoring supplied)

Thus, although payment of the value of the bounced check, if made beyond the 5-day period
provided for in B.P. Blg. 22, would normally not extinguish criminal liability, the aforementioned
cases show that the Court acknowledges the existence of extraordinary cases where, even if all
the elements of the crime or offense are present, the conviction of the accused would prove to be
abhorrent to society's sense of justice. Just like in Griffith and in Tan, petitioner should not be
penalized although all the elements of violation of B.P. Blg. 22 are proven to be present. The fact
that the issuer of the check had already paid the value of the dishonored check after having
received the subpoena from the Office of the Prosecutor should have forestalled the filing of the
Information in court. The spirit of the law which, for B.P. Big. 22, is the protection of the
credibility and stability of the banking system, would not be served by penalizing people who
have evidently made amends for their mistakes and made restitution for damages even before
charges have been filed against them. In effect, the payment of the checks before the filing of the
informations has already attained the purpose of the law.

It should be emphasized as well that payment of the value of the bounced check after the
information has been filed in court would no longer have the effect of exonerating the accused
from possible conviction for violation of B.P. Big. 22. Since from the commencement of the
criminal proceedings in court, there is no circumstance whatsoever to show that the accused had
every intention to mitigate or totally alleviate the ill effects of his issuance of the unfunded
check, then there is no equitable and compelling reason to preclude his prosecution. In such a
case, the letter of the law should be applied to its full extent.

Furthermore, to avoid any confusion, the Court's ruling in this case should be well differentiated
from cases where the accused is charged with estafa under Article 315, par. 2(d) of the Revised
Penal Code, where the fraud is perpetuated by postdating a check, or issuing a check in payment
of an obligation when the offender had no funds in the bank, or his funds deposited therein were
not sufficient to cover the amount of the check. In said case of estafa, damage and deceit are the
essential elements of the offense, and the check is merely the accused's tool in committing fraud.
In such a case, paying the value of the dishonored check will not free the accused from criminal
liability. It will merely satisfy the civil liability of the crime but not the criminal liability.
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52
In fine, the Court holds that herein petitioner must be exonerated from the imposition of penalties
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for violation of B.P. Big. 22 as he had already paid the amount of the dishonored checks six (6)
months before the filing of Informations with the court. Such a course of action is more in
keeping with justice and equity.

ESTRELLADO-MAINAR VS PEOPLE

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Dante Buebos and Sarmelito Buebos vs. People


G.R. No. 163938, March 28, 2008

FACTS:
On January 1, 1994 around 3:00 oclock in the morning, Adelina B. Borbe was in her house at
Hacienda San Miguel, Tabaco, Albay watching over her sick child. She was lying down when
she heard some noise around the house. She got up and looked through the window and saw the
four accused, Rolando Buela, Sarmelito Buebos, Dante Buebos and Antonio Cornel, Jr.
congregating in front of her hut. When she went out, she saw the roof of her nipa hut already on
fire. She shouted for help. Instead of coming to her immediate succor, the four fled.

At some distance away, Olipiano Berjuela heard Adelina scream for help. Olipiano immediately
ran to the place and saw a number of people jumping over the fence. When he focused his
flashlight on them, he was able to identify Sarmelito Buebos, Dante Buebos and Antonio Cornel,
Jr. He also saw Rolando Buela running away.

On complaint of Adelina, petitioners Dante and Sarmelito Buebos, together with Rolando Buela
and Antonio Cornel, Jr., were indicted for arson in an Information bearing the following
accusations:
That on or about the 1st day of January, 1994 at 3:00 oclock in the Barangay Hacienda, Island of
San Miguel, Municipality of Tabaco, Province of Albay, Philippines and within the jurisdiction
of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, conspiring, confederating and helping one
another, with intent to cause damage, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously and
maliciously set on fire the nipa roof of the house of ADELINA B. BORBE, to the latters damage
and prejudice.

The defense contended that the accused were at different places at the time of the incident.

CRIME CHARGE: Arson


RTC: Guilty (indeterminate penalty ranging from six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor,
as minimum, to fourteen (14) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal as
maximum)
CA: Affirmed with Modification (indeterminate penalty of imprisonment ranging from six (6)
years of prision correccional as minimum to ten (10) years of prision mayor as maximum)

In downgrading the penalty, the CA opined that the accused could only be convicted of simple
arson, punishable by prision mayor, and not for burning of an inhabited house, which is
punishable by imprisonment ranging from reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua. According to
the appellate court, the information failed to allege with specificity the actual crime committed.
Hence, the accused should be found liable only for arson in its simple form.

After a careful review of the evidence presented by both parties, We find that the circumstantial
evidence extant in the records is sufficient to identify petitioners as the authors of the burning of
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the hut of private complainant Adelina Borbe: 54
1. Private complainant heard some noise emanating from outside her house at around 3:00 a.m.;
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2. When she went out to check the disturbance, private complainant saw petitioners, together
with their two other co-accused, standing in front of the house;
3. Moments later, the roof of her house caught fire;
4. Petitioners and their cohorts absconded while private complainant desperately shouted for
help.

Conspiracy evident from coordinated action of petitioners. In the case at bench, conspiracy was
evident from the coordinated movements of petitioners Dante and Sarmelito Buebos. Both of
them stood outside the house of private complainant Adelina. They were part of the group
making boisterous noise in the vicinity. Petitioners also fled together while the roof of Adelinas
house was ablaze. These acts clearly show their joint purpose and design, and community of
interest.

The information charges accused-appellants with "violation of P.D. 1613" without specifying the
particular provision breached. The information having failed to allege whether or not the burnt
house is inhabited, and not having been established that the house is situated in a populated or
congested area, accused-appellants should be deemed to have only been charged with plain arson
under Section 1 of the decree. Under Section 1 of the decree, the offense of simple arson
committed is punishable by prision mayor.

There being neither aggravating nor mitigating circumstances in the case at bar accused-
appellants should be sentenced to suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its medium period as
provided under Article 321, paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, by Presidential
Decree No. 1613. Applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, the minimum penalty should be
anywhere within the range of prision correccional.

The legal basis of the trial court in convicting petitioners of arson is Section 3, paragraph 2 of
P.D. No. 1613. The said provision of law reads:

SECTION 3. Other Cases of Arson. The penalty of reclusion temporal to reclusion perpetua
shall be imposed if the property burned is any of the following:
xxxx
2. Any inhabited house or dwelling;

The elements of this form of arson are: (a) there is intentional burning; and (b) what is
intentionally burned is an inhabited house or dwelling. Admittedly, there is a confluence of the
foregoing elements here. However, the information failed to allege that what was intentionally
burned was an inhabited house or dwelling. That is fatal.

Perusing the information, there was no allegation that the house intentionally burned by
petitioners and their cohorts was inhabited. Rather, the information merely recited that "accused,
conspiring, confederating and helping one another, with intent to cause damage, did then and
there wilfully, unlawfully, feloniously and maliciously set on fire the nipa roof of the house of
ADELINA B. BORBE, to the latters damage and prejudice. Petitioners can be convicted only of
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simple arson, under Section 1, paragraph 1 of P.D. No. 1613, punishable by prision mayor. The 55
appealed judgment is AFFIRMED in full.
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Note:
1. Overview of the law on arson
Previously, arson was defined and penalized under nine different articles of the Revised Penal
Code: Article 320 (destructive arson), Article 321 (other forms of arson), Article 322 (cases of
arson not included in the preceding articles), Article 323 (arson of property of small value),
Article 324 (crimes involving destruction), Article 325 (burning ones own property to commit
arson), Article 326 (setting fire to property exclusively owned by the offender, Article 326-a (in
cases where death resulted as a consequence of arson), and Article 326-b (prima facie evidence
of arson).

P.D. 1613 supplanted the penal code provisions on arson. The law on arson was again revisited
via P.D. No. 1744. The new law expanded the definition of destructive arson by way of
reinstating Article 320 of the Revised Penal Code. The amendatory legislation also paved the
way for the reimposition of the capital punishment on destructive arsonists. When Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 7659 (An Act to Impose the Death Penalty on Certain Heinous Crimes) was passed,
Article 320 again underwent a revision. As it now stands, Article 320 of the Revised Penal Code.

2. The nature of Destructive Arson is distinguished from Simple Arson by the degree of
perversity or viciousness of the criminal offender. The acts committed under Art. 320 of The
Revised Penal Code constituting Destructive Arson are characterized as heinous crimes "for
being grievous, odious and hateful offenses and which, by reason of their inherent or
manifest wickedness, viciousness, atrocity and perversity are repugnant and outrageous to the
common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered
society." On the other hand, acts committed under PD 1613 constituting Simple Arson are
crimes with a lesser degree of perversity and viciousness that the law punishes with a lesser
penalty. In other words, Simple Arson contemplates crimes with less significant social,
economic, political and national security implications than Destructive Arson. However, acts
falling under Simple Arson may nevertheless be converted into Destructive Arson depending
on the qualifying circumstances present.

3. People v. Malngan
As previously discussed, there are two (2) categories of the crime of arson: 1) destructive arson,
under Art. 320 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659; and 2) simple
arson, under Presidential Decree No. 1613.

Said classification is based on the kind, character and location of the property burned, regardless
of the value of the damage caused, 48 to wit:
Article 320 of The Revised Penal Code, as amended by RA 7659, contemplates the malicious
burning of structures, both public and private, hotels, buildings, edifices, trains, vessels, aircraft,
factories and other military, government or commercial establishments by any person or group of
persons. The classification of this type of crime is known as Destructive Arson, which is
punishable by reclusion perpetua to death. The reason for the law is self-evident: to effectively
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discourage and deter the commission of this dastardly crime, to prevent the destruction56 of
properties and protect the lives of innocent people. Exposure to a brewing conflagration leaves
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only destruction and despair in its wake; hence, the State mandates greater retribution to authors
of this heinous crime. The exceptionally severe punishment imposed for this crime takes into
consideration the extreme danger to human lives exposed by the malicious burning of these
structures; the danger to property resulting from the conflagration; the fact that it is normally
difficult to adopt precautions against its commission, and the difficulty in pinpointing the
perpetrators; and, the greater impact on the social, economic, security and political fabric of the
nation.

If as a consequence of the commission of any of the acts penalized under Art. 320, death should
result, the mandatory penalty of death shall be imposed.

On the other hand, PD 1613 which repealed Arts. 321 to 326-B of The Revised Penal Code
remains the governing law for Simple Arson. This decree contemplates the malicious burning of
public and private structures, regardless of size, not included in Art. 320, as amended by RA
7659, and classified as other cases of arson. These include houses, dwellings, government
buildings, farms, mills, plantations, railways, bus stations, airports, wharves and other industrial
establishments. Although the purpose of the law on Simple Arson is to prevent the high incidence
of fires and other crimes involving destruction, protect the national economy and preserve the
social, economic and political stability of the nation, PD 1613 tempers the penalty to be meted to
offenders. This separate classification of Simple Arson recognizes the need to lessen the severity
of punishment commensurate to the act or acts committed, depending on the particular facts and
circumstances of each case.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Appellee, vs. ALAMADA MACABANDO, Appellant.


TICKLER: DESTRUCTIVE ARSON vs. SIMPLE ARSON; intentional burning of house

FACTS: Around 4:00 p.m. on December 21, 2001, the appellant broke bottles on the road while
holding a G.I. pipe, and shouted that he wanted to get even ("manabla ko").3 Afterwards, he
uttered that he would burn his house. At 6:35 p.m. of the same day, Cornelio Feliciano heard his
neighbors shout that there was a fire. When Cornelio went out of his house to verify, he saw
smoke coming from the appellants house. He got a pail of water, and poured its contents into the
fire.5 Eric Quilantang, a neighbor whose house was just 10 meters from that of the appellant, ran
to the barangay headquarters to get a fire extinguisher. When Eric approached the burning house,
the appellant, who was carrying a traveling bag and a gun, told him not to interfere; the appellant
then fired three (3) shots in the air.6 The appellant also told the people around that whoever
would put out the fire would be killed.
He admitted that he felt angry at around 2:00 p.m. on December 21, 2001 because one of his
radio cassettes for sale had been stolen.13 The appellant claimed that he went to sleep after
looking for his missing radio cassette, and that the fire had already started when he woke up. He
denied making a threat to burn his house, and maintained that he did not own a gun. He added
that the gunshots heard by his neighbors came from the explosion of firecrackers that he intended
to use during the New Year celebration.
CC: DESTRUCTIVE ARSON under Art. 320
RTC: guilty
4F affirmed
CA: (2016-2017)
in toto 57
SC: SIMPLE ARSON under Sec. 3(2) of PD 1613
CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW CASE DIGESTS

P.D. No. 1613 contemplates the malicious burning of public and private structures, regardless of
size, not included in Article 320 of the RPC, as amended by Republic Act No. 7659. This law
punishes simple arson with a lesser penalty because the acts that constitute it have a lesser degree
of perversity and viciousness. Simple arson contemplates crimes with less significant social,
economic, political, and national security implications than destructive arson.
The elements of simple arson under Section 3(2) of P.D. No. 1613 are: (a) there is intentional
burning; and (b) what is intentionally burned is an inhabited house or dwelling.
Both these elements have been proven in the present case.
That the appellants act affected many families will not convert the crime to destructive arson,
since the appellants act does not appear to be heinous or represents a greater degree of
perversity and viciousness when compared to those acts punished under Article 320 of the RPC.
The established evidence only showed that the appellant intended to burn his own house, but the
conflagration spread to the neighboring houses.
The nature of Destructive Arson is distinguished from Simple Arson by the degree of perversity
or viciousness of the criminal offender. The acts committed under Art. 320 of The Revised Penal
Code constituting Destructive Arson are characterized as heinous crimes "for being grievous,
odious and hateful offenses and which, by reason of their inherent or manifest wickedness,
viciousness, atrocity and perversity are repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and
norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered society." On the other hand, acts
committed under PD 1613 constituting Simple Arson are crimes with a lesser degree of
perversity and viciousness that the law punishes with a lesser penalty. In other words, Simple
Arson contemplates crimes with less significant social, economic, political and national security
implications than Destructive Arson.

INTESTATE ESTATE

4F (2016-2017)
58

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