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Kenneth Ngo vs. PEOPLE [G.R.

No 155815] AUTHOR: Christian Gigante


TOPIC: Presentment for Payment
PONENTE: PANGANIBAN, J.
CASE LAW/ DOCTRINE: The crime punished under BP 22 is the mere issuance of the check with knowledge that he had no sufficient funds or credit with the
drawee bank. The cause or reason for the issuance of the check is immaterial. The gravamen of the offense punished by BP 22 is the act of making and
issuing a worthless check; that is, a check that is dishonored upon its presentation for payment.
FACTS:
Kenneth Ngo allegedly issued postdated checks in the amount of Php75,000 in favor of Paul Gotianse as payment for an obligation. These said checks were
dishonored when presented for the reason of Drawn Against Insufficient Funds. Kenneth Ngo refused and failed to pay for the checks despite the notice of dishonor
and demands against him by Paul Gotianse.this being so, the criminal cases were filed against Kenneth Ngo for violation of B.P. 22. Upon arraignment
on September 29, 1989, petitioner entered a plea of not guilty to all the charges.
Joint trial proceeded where the prosecution presented evidence to show that complainant Paul Gotianse is a businessman and an officer of Northern Hill
Development Corporation. Sometime in October 1988, in Davao City, Kenneth Ngo, in settlement of the indebtedness he had incurred with Northern Hill
Development Corporation, issued eight postdated checks payable to complainant and all drawn against the Equitable Banking Corporation. The first five checks
were honored by the drawee bank but the three postdated checks were dishonored for the reason drawn against insufficient funds.

On September 3, 1990, the petitioner filed a Motion to dismiss which is actually a demurrer to evidence without prior leave of Court. When it was denied, the
petitioner was not allowed to present evidence and the cases were deemed submitted for decision.

On January 24, 1991, the lower court rendered a decision convicting the petitioner on the three (3) criminal cases.

The CA affirmed the lower court and found that all the elements of violating BP 22 are present. However, Kenneth Ngo contends that in the two criminal cases the
information indicated the checks were issued in favor of Paul Gotianse but the evidence presented by the prosecution proves that it was in favor of Northern Hill.
Kenneth Ngo alleges that due to this, the prosecution failed to prove the elements of the offense.
The CA noted the undisputed fact that three (3) checks issued by petitioner had been dishonored for payment, According to the appellate court, instead of
presenting evidence, he opted instead to file a Motion to Dismiss, which the trial court treated as a Demurrer to Evidence without prior leave of court. Thus, the CA
decided the appeal based on the prosecutions evidence, which stood unrebutted.

ISSUE(S): 1) WON, not the elements of the offense in BP 22 are present


HELD: YES
RATIO:

It is fundamental that every element of the offense must be alleged in the complaint or information and proved beyond reasonable doubt by the
prosecution. Whatever facts and circumstances must be stated are determined by reference to the definitions and the essentials of the specific crimes.

There are two ways of violating BP 22: 1) by making or drawing and issuing a check to apply on account or for value, knowing at the time of issue that the
check was not sufficiently funded; and 2) by having sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank at the time of issue, but failing to keep sufficient funds or
credit with the said bank to cover the full amount of the check when presented to the drawee bank within a period of ninety (90) days.
Pertinent to the present case, the elements of the offense under the first situation of BP 22 are the following:
(1) the making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply on account or for value;
(2) the maker, drawer or issuer knows at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in
full upon its presentment; and
(3) the check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the
drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment.
In the instant case, we find no reason to depart from the CAs findings, which petitioner does not rebut. Present are all these elements constituting a violation of
BP 22:
1) [Petitioner] issued EBC Check Nos. [2]2976156 and 22976157 in partial settlement of his obligation to Northern Hill Development;
2) The checks were deposited by the complainant but were subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds;
3) [Petitioner] knew that at the time he issued the postdated checks, he had no sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank; x x x [and he failed] to
redeem the checks within five (5) days from written demand by the complainant for payment.
Kennth Ngos contentions are immaterial and irrelevant. The crime punished under BP 22 is the mere issuance of the check with knowledge that he had nosufficient
funds or credit with the drawee bank. The cause or reason for the issuance of the check is immaterial. The gravamen of the offense punished by BP 22 is the act of
making and issuing a worthless check; that is, a check that is dishonored upon its presentation for payment.

The claim that the prosecution failed to prove that the check had been issued to apply on account or for value in favor of Paul Gotianse is irrelevant. The law does
not require that the payee of a check be the same as the obligee of the obligation in consideration for which the check has been issued. Pertinent is a criminal law
authoritys explanation of the term to apply on account or for value:

WHEREFORE, this Petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.