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It is axiomatic that good faith is always presumed unless convincing evidence

to the contrary is adduced. It is incumbent upon the party alleging bad faith to
sufficiently prove such allegation. Absent enough proof thereof, the
presumption of good faith prevails. In the case under examination, the burden
of proving bad faith therefore lies with petitioners (plaintiffs below) but they
failed to discharge such onus probandi. Without a clear and persuasive
substantiation of bad faith, the presumption of good faith in favor of
respondents stands (Gregorio v. CA et al., G.R. No. 117609, December 29,
The following are instances when good faith is a valid defense:
1. Good faith is a valid defense to falsification of public documents by making
untruthful statements in a narration of facts [U.S. v. San Jose, 7 Phil. 604
(1907)]; G.R. No. L-3247. March 5, 1907
G.R. No. 6486, U.S. V. Catolico, 18 Phil. 504 US vs. Catolico
People vs. Pacan G.R. No. L-22642 December 19, 1924

2. It is settled that good faith is a valid defense in a prosecution for

malversation for it would negate criminal intent on the part of the accused.
Thus, in the two (2) vintage, but significant malversation cases of US v.
Catolico and US v. Elvina, the Supreme Court stressed that: To constitute a
crime, the act must, except in certain crimes made such by statute, be
accompanied by a criminal intent, or by such negligence or indifference to
duty or to consequences as, in law, is equivalent to criminal intent. The maxim
is actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea a crime is not committed if the
mind of the person performing the act complained of is innocent. The rule was

reiterated in People v. Pacana, although this case involved falsification of

public documents and estafa: Ordinarily, evil intent must unite with an unlawful
act for there to be a crime. Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea. There can
be no crime when the criminal mind is wanting. American jurisprudence
echoes the same principle. It adheres to the view that criminal intent in
embezzlement is not based on technical mistakes as to the legal effect of a
transaction honestly entered into, and there can be no embezzlement if the
mind of the person doing the act is innocent or if there is no wrongful purpose.
The accused may thus always introduce evidence to show he acted in good
faith and that he had no intention to convert;
3. A fair and true report, made in good faith, without any comments or
remarks, of any judicial, legislative or other official proceedings which are not
of confidential nature, or of any statement, report or speech delivered in said
proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers in the exercise of
their functions (Article 354 of the Revised Penal Code).