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CASES NOS.

17-20

Mobilia Products Inc. vs. Umezawa

452 SCRA 736

Facts: While Umezawa was working in Mobilia Products, Inc., he established another company, Astem
Philippines Corporation with his wife and sister without the knowledge of the Company. Astem Company
engaged inthe same business as Mobilia Products. They also recruited the former Production Manager of
Mobilia Products to work in their company.

Umezawa and others wanted to accelerate the market potentials of Astem by participating in a Furniture
Fair in Singapore. The fair required that the furniture for the exhibits arrive at a certain date before the
exhibit. Pressed with time, as Astem had yet no equipment and machinery, no staff and no ready personnel,
Umezawa, with grave abuse of the confidence reposed in him as the president and manager of Mobilia
Products, stole prototype furniture from Mobilia for the exhibit.

Information #1: contained all the items stolen from the corporation’s factory with the total value of Three
Million Pesos. They also filed a motion for a writ of preliminary attachment covering the properties of
Umezawa.

Information #2: included Umezawa, his wife, the production manager, Umazewa’s cousin, and Henry Chua
(owner of due foam where the furniture was stored) for qualified theft

Prosecutor: issued a joint resolution finding PC Qualified Theft and Estafa

Sec: Umezawa filed a petition with the SEC for the nullification of the board resolution authorizing the
filing of criminal complaints against him.

Motion to Quash Information:

That the charge should be estafa and not qualified theft.

Informations merely alleged that MPI was his employer.

That there was no valid charge against him because the resolution authorizing the filing of the case was
approved by a mere minority of the members of the MPI Board of Directors.

RTC Ruling: Dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. The dispute between the private complainant and
the accused over the ownership of the properties subject of the charges is intra corporate in nature, and was
within the exclusive jurisdiction of the SEC.

CA Ruling: petition granted and nullifying Orders of the RTC. It ruled that the issue of ownership of the
properties subject of the Information was not an intra-corporate dispute.

Umezawa, although president, was not a joint owner or co-owner of the personal properties subject of the
charges.

CA on motion for reconsideration (decision 2): granted the motion and reversed the CA decision. It affirmed
the RTC decision that the court does not have jurisdiction and SEC should try the case.

MPI filed a petition for review on certiorari.

People of the Philippines filed a separate petition for review on certiorari.


SC Ruling:

Issue: Whether or not petition for certiorari of the People in the CA assailing the decision of the decision
of the TC was time-barred.

CA held that the People filed its petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus well beyond the 60-day
period therefor. Also, motion for reconsideration filed by MPI of the Joint Order of the RTC is pro forma,
the public prosecutor not having signified his written conformity thereto.

People insists that while the public prosecutor did not expressly conform to the motion for reconsideration
of the January 29, 1999 Joint Order of the trial court filed by the private prosecutor , through the public
prosecutor’s presence during the hearing of the said motion, his supervision and control over the private
prosecutor during the said hearing, he in effect adopted and conformed to the said motion for
reconsideration.

Held: Yes. However, Court still holds that the CA erred in dismissing the petition of the People of the
Philippines simply because the public prosecutor erred in not himself filing a motion for reconsideration of
the joint order of the trial court, on his perception that by being present during the hearing of the motion for
reconsideration of MPI, he thereby adopted the said motion as of the State’s. the settled rule is that the State
is not stopped by the mistakes of its officers and employees.

Institution of Criminal and Civil Actions; All criminal actions commenced by complaint or information
shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the public prosecutor; The offended party may
intervene in the criminal action personally or by counsel, who will then act as private prosecutor for the
protection of his interest and the interest of the speedy and inexpensive administration of justice.

The intervention of the private offended party, through counsel, and his prosecution of the case shall be
under the control and supervision of the public prosecutor until the final termination of the case.

The public prosecutor may turn over the actual prosecution of the criminal case, in the exercise of his
discretion, but he may, at any time, take over the actual conduct of the trial.

The private complainant or offended party may not undertake such motion for reconsideration or appeal
on the criminal aspect of the case; the offended party or private complainant may file a motion for
reconsideration of such dismissal or acquittal or appeal therefrom but only insofar as the civil aspect
thereof is concerned; The private complainant or offended party need not secure
conformity of the public prosecutor.

Public and private prosecutors are not precluded whenever feasible, from filinf a joint motion for the
reconsideration of the dismissal of the case or the acquittal of the accused, on the criminal and civil aspects
of the cases.

Issue: W/N the Informations sufficiently charge the felonies of qualified theft and estafa. If in the
affirmative, W/N all the elements of qualified theft and estafa are alleged in the Informations.

We find and so hold that the Informations state all the essential elements of estafa and qualified theft.It was
adequately alleged that respondent Umezawa, being the President and General Manager of petitioner MPI,
stole and misappropriated the properties of his employer, more specifically, petitioner MPI.

First decision of CA is AFFIRMED. Ownership of the properties subject of the Information was not
anintra-corporate dispute. Umezawa, although president, was not a joint owner or co-owner of the personal
properties subject of the charges.
PEOPLE vs TAN

549 SCRA 489

FACTS:

Ruiz Co was kidnapped in exchange of 40 Million Pesos and his mother, Sonia Co, immediately asked
assistance to then Vice President Joseph Estrada, and was referred to General Panfilo Lacson, who
instructed Superintendent Cesar Mancao to dispatch teams and monitor the kidnappers.

An operation was held at Palmera Subd., Taytay, Rizal which came from a call tipping the location. Mancao
recounted that seven (7) persons were arrested – five (5) males and two (2) females. In addition to those
already identified by Ruiz, the other persons were identified by Mancao as Roberto, Benito and Armando.
Several high-powered firearms were recovered from the house.

Appellants were charged with the crime of kidnapping for ransom. Appellants maintained that among the
circumstances allegedly established by the prosecution’s evidence, the only link to the accused is that they
were all arrested at the place where the kidnap victim was rescued. Appellants argued that the circumstantial
evidence presented by the prosecution failed to prove that they conspired and actually participated in the
kidnapping of the victim. Furthermore, appellants contended that mere presence at the crime scene cannot
be considered as proof of conspiracy. All told, appellants proffered that their guilt was not established
beyond reasonable doubt; hence, they must be acquitted.

The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for its part recommended that appellants be held guilty of serious
illegal detention instead of kidnapping for failure of the prosecution to prove the abduction. Likewise, the
prosecution failed to prove that demands for ransom had been made by any, some or all of the appellants.

The CA confirmed the ruling of the RTC but modified the penalty to Reclusion Perpetua with the accessory
penalties prescribed under Article 40 of the Revised Penal Code in lieu of the Death Penalty.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the accused were guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

HELD:

For the accused to be convicted of kidnapping and serious illegal detention under Article 267 of the Revised
Penal Code, the prosecution is burdened to prove beyond reasonable doubt all the elements of the crime,
namely: (1) the offender is a private individual; (2) he kidnaps or detains another, or in any manner deprives
the latter of his liberty; (3) the act of detention or kidnapping must be illegal; and (4) in the commission of
the offense any of the following circumstances is present: (a) the kidnapping or detention lasts for more
than three days; (b) it is committed by simulating public authority; (c) serious physical injuries are inflicted
upon the person kidnapped or detained or threats to kill him are made; or (d) the person kidnapped and kept
in detained is a minor, the duration of his detention is immaterial. Likewise, if the victim is kidnapped and
illegally detained for the purpose of extorting ransom, the duration of his detention is immaterial.

Based on the victim’s account, the ordeal he had gone through can be divided into three distinct segments,
namely: (1) the forcible taking, (2) the asportation, and (3) the protracted detention. The first segment was
the Mamatid (in Cabuyao, Laguna) episode where he was held by armed men at gunpoint and forcibly
boarded in a car. The second segment covered the entire forced journey of the victim from Mamatid to the
detention house in Taytay, Rizal. And the third segment was the Taytay episode. It covered the full length
of the victim’s involuntary confinement spanning eight (8) days until his stirring rescue. There is no doubt
that the victim was deprived of his liberty throughout all the episodes.
The public prosecutor was not allowed by the trial court judge to question the victim although he asked for
leave to ask additional questions after the private prosecutor was done with his questions on direct
examination. Instead of granting the requested leave outright, the trial judge consulted the defense counsel
and the private prosecutor who both manifested that whatever questions the public prosecutor had in mind
should be coursed through and asked by the private prosecutor. Thus, the trial judge directed the private
prosecutor to propound whatever questions the public prosecutor would suggest. At this juncture, we find
it necessary to remind trial court judges that under Section 5, Rule 110 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure,
all criminal actions are prosecuted under the direction and control of the public prosecutor. The public
prosecutor may turn over the actual prosecution of the criminal case to the private prosecutor, in the exercise
of his discretion, but he may, at any time, take over the actual conduct of the trial.

The primary element of the crime of kidnapping is actual confinement, detention and restraint of the victim.
There must be a showing of actual confinement or restriction of the victim, and that such deprivation was
the intention of the malefactor. Hence, having proven that detention was perpetrated by appellants, it is
sufficient to convict them of the crimes of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

The appealed decision is MODIFIED in that appellants are found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
kidnapping and serious illegal detention. By virtue of this modification, and not Republic Act No. 9346,
the imposition of the penalty of reclusion perpetua on each of the appellants in the appealed decision is
AFFIRMED.

CHUA-BURCE V. CA

311 SCRA 1

FACTS:

Ramon Rocamora, manager of Metrobank, requested FructuosoPenaflor, Assistant Cashier, to conduct a


physical bundle count of cash inside the vault, which should total to P4 million. They found out that there
was a shortage of P150,000. After 4 investigations conducted by the bank and NBI, the reports concluded
that Cristeta Chua-Burce, Cash Custodian, was primary responsible for the shortage. Unable to explain the
shortage, the services of the accused was terminated.

Chua-Burce, together with her husband Antonio Burce, were charged with the crime of estafa. A civil case
was also instituted. The accused prayed for suspension of criminal case due to a prejudicial question. It was
first granted but denied by the CA. The CRIMINAL and CIVIL cases continued.

The CRIMINAL CASE ruled that she was guilty of estafa. CIVIL CASE also found her liable for the
shortage of P150,000. She appealed both rulings to the CA but the court affirmed the two TC rulings.

Hence this case.

ISSUE:

(1) W/N there was a valid trial

(2) W/N the elements of estafa were proven beyond reasonable doubt.

RULING:

(1) Yes, there was a valid trial.

The accused allege that the public prosecutor did not intervene with the case (violation of Sec 5 RULE 110
) and did not present evidence for the criminal case (no evidence for the accused to be convicted).
But the fact showed that the public prosecutor actively participated with the criminal case. And both parties,
during the pre-trial, agreed to adopt their respective evidences in the CIVIL CASE to the CRIMINAL
CASE. The agreement was reduced into writing, inconformity with the Rules of Court. Being bound by the
pre-trial agreement, it is now too late in the day to challenge its contents.

(2) No, the crime of estafa was not proven.

The elements of Estafa, ART. 315 (1) (b), are the following:

a) The personal property is received in trust, on commission, for administration, or any other circumstances,
with the duty return.

b) There is a conversion/diversion of such property or denial that he received it.

c) Such conversion/diversion is to the injury of another

d) There is demand for such property

The 1st element is absent. The 1st element gives the tranferee both material and juridical possession of the
personal property. Juridical possession means the transferee has a right over the thing which he may even
set up against the owner.The possession of the accused of the money had no juridical possession. Being a
cash custodian, her possession is akin to that of a bank teller. And possession of a bank teller is possession
of the bank. she was a mere custodian.

*She should have been charged with qualified theft, but double jeopardy is already in play.

*Difference between an agent and teller. TELLER – payment to the teller is a payment to the bank, he is a
mere custodian. AGENT – he can assert his independent, autonomous right to retain money, even against
the owner.

GO vs LOOYUKO
537 SCRA 445

Facts:
Go filed a criminal case for estafa against Looyuko, alleging that the latter misappropriated the stock
certificates belonging to him by causing the transfer of the aforementioned stock certificates to Looyuko’s
name after receiving the same in trust from Go. Suring the pendency of the criminal case, the prosecution
on behalf of Go, wanted to present certain witnesses to strengthen the case of the prosecution. However,
the trial court felt no need for the testimonies of the aforementioned witnesses. This prompted Go to file a
petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 alleging that the trial court
committed grave abuse of discretion amount to lack or excess in jurisdiction by not allowing the
prosecution’s witnesses to testify for their case.

Issue:
Did the trial court gravely abused its discretion in disallowing the prosecution’s witnesses to testify?

Held:
Yes. The matter of deciding who to present as a witness for the prosecution is not for the defendant or the
trial court to decide, as it is the prerogative of the prosecutor. It cannot be overemphasized that the trial
court must accord full opportunity for the prosecution, more so in criminal cases, to adduce evidence to
prove its case and to properly ventilate the issues absent patent showing of dilatory or delaying tactics. The
reason is obvious: it is tasked to produce and adduce evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Sans such
evidence, a dismissal of the criminal case on a demurrer to the evidence is proper. In the case at bar, there
was no showing that the presentation of the three (3) witnesses previously approved by the trial court would
be dilatory and manifestly for delay.

First, the testimonies of of the witnesses would bolster and tend to prove whatever fact the prosecution is
trying to establish. Second, the superfluity of a testimony vis-a-vis what has already been proven can be
determined with certainty only after it has been adduced.