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April 28, 1941


PHILIPPINES, plaintiff and appellee, vs. SANTIAGO S.
VELASQUEZ, defendant and appellant.

D. Vicente Bengzon for appellant.
Mr. Attorney General Assistant Attorney Ozaeta Mr. Cuyugan on
behalf of the Government.
The present case involes only a matter of law. Hence the Hon.
Court of Appeals has certified to this superiority.
That question is this: In view of the facts admitted by the
appellant, is it may or may not find him guilty of embezzlement of
public funds, defined and punished by Article 227 of the Revised
Penal Code?
From the original ruling of the trial court the following facts:
Towards the period from September 9, 1937 to December 6, 1938,
the appellant was a public official, who held the position of
assistant cashier at the provincial treasury of Pangasinan, with
office in the town of Lingayen in the same province. In that time,
the appellant, in his capacity of assistant cashier of Pangasinan
provincial treasury, received in the town of Lingayen, municipal
treasuries of Malasiqui, Tayug, Binalonan, San Quintin, Rosales
and Manaoag, various amounts of money, which amounted to the
sum total of P1,701.26, without any receipt issued by the
aforementioned amounts. These funds were the "Red Cross", the
"Anti-Tuberculous" and "Boy Scouts". The December 6, 1938,
delegates auditors, Messrs. Blas Pedro Velasco Giron and by
making the review and tonnage of funds in the custody of the
appellant, in the above capacity P1,701.26 found a deficit, the
appellant could not explain. So this, on several occasions, from
December 9, 1938 until January 30, 1939, was paid to the
provincial treasury of the defrauded amount Pangasinan.
In an appeal, the appellant argues that the amounts were not
misappropriated public funds, so you can not find defendant guilty
of the crime.
Having admitted that he had received the amount in question, in
the performance of their official several municipal treasuries of
the province by the amounts mentioned are public funds, it has to
answer, according to Article 609 of the Revised Administrative
Code, which provides:
ART. 609. Disposition of funds collected by public officials . -
Except as otherwise specifically provides it, it must account for all
funds officially received by a public official in any capacity or on
any occasion, as government funds.
This Court repeatedly has already decided that when a public
official receives some money for safekeeping, the characters
acquired public funds (GR No. 44363, December 17,
1937, People vs.Castro, GR No. 41747, August 30 , 1935 ,
People vs. Sibulo, RG No. 40714, August 7, 1939). In view of
these decisions, it is clear that the appellant, to receive the amount
of P1,701.26 that funds were "Red Cross", the "Anti-Tuberculous"
and "Boy Scouts" was responsible for this sum .Unable to thus
give a satisfactory explanation of the lack of money, when the test
and calibration of his books were made by the auditors, has been
guilty of the crime of embezzlement of public funds, the
prosecutor alleged in complaint.
We are with the Hon. Attorney General that has lead to estimate
the return made by the appellant in the amount defrauded as
special mitigating circumstance without any aggravating than
compensates. This well, the appellant must be ordered to suffer in
its minimum degree the penalty prescribed by law.
With the only modification, therefore, the appellant shall be
understood condemned to suffer an indeterminate penalty of six
months and one day to four years, two months and one day of
prision correctional, we uphold the original ruling, in all other
parts, with costs against the appellant. So it is ordered.
Imperial, Diaz, Laurel, and Moran, JJ., Are compliant.