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Vallarta v. CA RPC.

She also argues that at any rate, what


Victoria R. Vallarta v. CA and the Honorable Judge prompted Cruz to deliver the jewelry was the
Francisco Llamas (Digest by Robby Solis) social standing of petitioner Vallarta and not
(Cortes, J.; 29 May 1987) the postdated check.
o Court erred that the jewelries were entrusted
Relevant Provision: Art. 1502 CC on Nov. 20, 1968, but sale was perfected in
Dec. 1968, and finding that there was deceit in
Art. 1502. When goods are delivered to the buyer "on the issuance of the postdated check.
sale or return" to give the buyer an option to return the
goods instead of paying the price, the ownership  Based on the transcript of stenographic notes,
passes to the buyer of delivery, but he may revest the Vallarta changed the ruby ring because it was not
ownership in the seller by returning or tendering the acceptable to her, and chose another ring. Price to
goods within the time fixed in the contract, or, if no be paid for the jewelry was finally agreed upon only
time has been fixed, within a reasonable time. (n) in Dec. 1968. There was a meeting of the minds
between the parties as to object of the contract
When goods are delivered to the buyer on approval or and consideration therefore only in Dec. 1968, the
on trial or on satisfaction, or other similar terms, the same time that the check was issued. Delivery
ownership therein passes to the buyer: made on Nov. 1968 was only for purpose of
(1) When he signifies his approval or enabling Vallarta to select what jewelry she
acceptance to the seller or does any other act wanted.
adopting the transaction;
(2) If he does not signify his approval or  The transaction between Cruz and Vallarta was not
acceptance to the seller, but retains the goods a "sale or return." It was a "sale on approval " (aka
without giving notice of rejection, then if a time "sale on acceptance," "sale on trial." or "sale on
has been fixed for the return of the goods, on satisfaction". In a "sale or return," ownership
the expiration of such time, and, if no time has passes to the buyer on delivery (Subsequent return
been fixed, on the expiration of a reasonable of the goods reverts ownership in the seller).
time. What is a reasonable time is a question of Delivery, or tradition. as mode of acquiring
fact. (n) ownership must be in consequence of a contract.

Facts:  No meeting of the minds on Nov. 20, 1968 as there


 Rosalinda Cruz and Victoria Vallarta are long time was yet no contract of sale which could be the
friends and business acquaintances. basis of delivery or tradition. Thus, delivery made
 Nov. 20, 1968, Cruz entrusted to Victoria Vallarta 7 on Nov. 20, 1968 was not a delivery for purposes of
pieces of jewelry. transferring ownership — the prestation incumbent
 Dec. 1968, Vallarta decided to buy some items, on the vendor. If ownership over the jewelry was
exchanged one item with another, and issued a not transmitted on that date, then it could have
post-dated check worth P5,000 dated Jan. 30, been transmitted only in Dec. 1968, date when
1969. check was issued. It was a "sale on approval" since
 Rosalinda Cruz deposited said check with the bank. ownership passed to the buyer. Vallarta, only when
However, upon presentment, the check was she signified her approval or acceptance to the
dishonored and Cruz was informed that Vallarta's seller, Cruz, and the price was agreed upon. Thus,
account had been closed. when the check which later bounced was issued, it
 Cruz apprised Vallarta of the dishonor and the was not in payment of a pre-existing obligation.
latter promised to give another check. Later, Instead the issuance of the check was
Vallarta pleaded for more time. Still later, she simultaneous with the transfer of ownership over
started avoiding Cruz. the jewelry.
 As a result, Cruz instituted a criminal action.
 TC: found Vallarta guilty beyond reasonable doubt (THIS IS MORE ON CRIM ASPECT OF CASE, READ ON,
of the crime of estafa.CA: Affirmed. BUT DON’T DWELL ON IT)

Issue/s:  Was there deceit? (1) the check was dishonored as


1. WON the transaction between her and Cruz Vallarta's account had been earlier closed; (2) she
constitutes a “sale or return” under Art. 1502 - was notified by Cruz of the dishonor: and, (3)
2. WON Vallarta is guilty of estafa – YES (ISSUE CRIM Vallarta failed to make it good within three days.
LAW) Deceit is therefore presumed.

Held/Ratio:  Petitioner lays stress on her being an alumna of a


 Vallarta contentions: reputable school, on her having a husband who is a
o Transaction between her and Cruz was a "sale bank manager, and on the big land-holdings of her
or return," perfected and consummated on father, and argues that it was these qualifications
Nov. 20, 1968 when the 7 pieces of jewelry and not the post-dated check which prompted Cruz
were delivered. The check issued in Dec. 1968 to deliver the jewelry (Rollo, pp. 78-79: Motion for
was in payment of a pre-existing obligation. Reconsideration, pp. 10-11). Hence, there was no
Thus, even if it was dishonored, petitioner deceit. It is thus suggested that a person of
claims that she can only be held civilly liable, petitioner's social standing cannot be guilty of
but not criminally liable under Art. 315 (2) (d), deceit, at least in so far as issuing bouncing checks
is concerned. This reasoning does not merit serious
consideration. If accepted, it could result in a law
that falls unequally on persons depending on their
social position.

 Art. 315 (2) (d) RPC, as amended by RA 4885,


which penalizes any person who shall defraud
another "(b)y 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.The failure of the drawer of
the check to deposit the amount necessary to
cover his check within 3 days from receipt of notice
from the bank and/or the payee or holder that said
check has been dishonored for lack or insufficiency
of funds" is deemed prima facie evidence of deceit
constituting false pretense or fraudulent act. Estafa
here is the act of post-dating or issuing a check in
payment of an obligation must be the efficient
cause of defraudation, and as such it should be
either prior to, or simultaneous with the act of
fraud.

 Presumption of deceit in RA 4885 is not conclusive,


but rebuttable. People v. Villapando: good faith is a
defense to a charge of estafa by postdating a
check, as when the drawer, foreseeing his inability
to pay check at maturity, made arrangement with
his creditor as to manner of payment of the debt.

 People v. Mingoa: "there is no constitutional


objection to the passage of a law providing that the
presumption of innocence may be overcome by a
contrary presumption founded upon the experience
of human conduct, and enacting what evidence
shall be sufficient to overcome such presumption of
innocence"

 Petitioner also argues that Rep. Act No. 4885


violates the constitutional injunction against
imprisonment for non-payment of debt. Ironically,
she does not question the constitutionality of Art.
315 (2) (d) RPC. But in People v. Sabio: RA 4885
has not changed the rule established in Art. 315 (2)
(d) prior to the amendment; it merely established
the prima facie evidence of deceit, and eliminated
the requirement that the drawer inform the payee
that he had no funds in the bank or the funds
deposited by him were not sufficient to cover the
amount of the check. Thus, even with the
amendment, it is still criminal fraud or deceit in the
issuance of a check which is made punishable
under RPC, and not the non-payment of the debt.

Dispositive: AFFIRMED. Costs against the petitioner.