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203466, February
25, 2015 estafa, Swindling, juridical possession, Rule
122 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, Effect
of appeal by any of several accused
OCTOBER 19, 2017


Petitioner Benabaye was the Loans Bookkeeper of Siam Bank and was
authorized to collect and/or accept loan payments of Siam Bank’s clients
and issue provisional receipts therefor, accomplish a cash transfer slip at the
end of each banking day detailing the amounts of money that she has
received, and remit such payments to Tupag, her supervisor.

Sometime in 2001, Siam Bank conducted an audit investigation of its loan

transactions and found out that fraud and certain irregularities attended the
same. It discovered the non-remittance of some loan payments received
from its clients based on the provisional receipts issued by its account
officers, as well as the daily collection reports corresponding to the said
provisional receipts.

Siam Bank directed Benabaye to explain the discrepancies between the

provisional receipts she had issued and the unremitted money involved, and
made a final demand upon her to return the amount of the money involved.
In her written explanation, Benabaye claimed that the discrepancies could be
clarified by her supervisor, Tupag, to whom she had submitted her daily
cash transfer slips together with the corresponding provisional receipts.

Tupag admitted his accountability and, while claiming that some of his co-
employees were privy to the acts which resulted in the discrepancies, he did
not disclose their identities.

Siam Bank terminated the employment of both Benabaye and Tupag and
subsequently filed a criminal case for Estafa.

The RTC found both Benabaye and Tupag guilty beyond reasonable doubt
of Estafa under Article 315, paragraph 1 (b).
The CA affirmed Benabaye’s conviction in toto, similarly finding that all
the elements of Estafa through misappropriation have been established.

The CA ruled that conspiracy between Benabaye and Tupag was sufficiently
established, considering that both had access and facility to determine if
payments made by Siam Bank’s clients were properly remitted.


1. Whether or not the CA erred in sustaining Benabaye’s

conviction for the crime of Estafa through misappropriation.
2. What is the effect of the perfected appeal of Benabaye on
her co-accused Tubag?


1. The first element of Estafa through misappropriation has not

been established.

Article 315, paragraph 1 (b) of the RPC, as amended, under which Benabaye
was charged and prosecuted, states:
Art. 315. Swindling (estafa). – Any person who shall defraud another by any
means mentioned herein below shall be punished by:

1st. The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period to prision

mayor in its minimum period, if the amount of the fraud is over 12,000
pesos but does not exceed 22,000 pesos; and if such amount exceeds the
latter sum, the penalty provided in this paragraph shall be imposed in its
maximum period, adding one year for each additional 10,000 pesos; but the
total penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years. In such
cases, and in connection with the accessory penalties which may be imposed
and for the purpose of the other provisions of this Code, the penalty shall be
termed prision mayor or reclusion temporal, as the case may be[.]


1. With unfaithfulness or abuse of confidence, namely:

(b) By misappropriating or converting, to the prejudice of another, money,
goods or any other personal property received by the offender in trust, or on
commission, or for administration, or under any other obligation involving
the duty to make delivery of, or to return the same, even though such
obligation be totally or partially guaranteed by a bond; or by denying having
received such money, goods, or other property[.]

The elements of Estafa under this provision are:

(a) the offender’s receipt of money, goods, or other personal property in

trust, or on commission, or for administration, or under any other obligation
involving the duty to deliver, or to return, the same;

(b) misappropriation or conversion by the offender of the money or property

received, or denial of receipt of the money or property;

(c) the misappropriation, conversion or denial is to the prejudice of another;


(d) demand by the offended party that the offender return the money or
property received.

Under the first element, when the money, goods, or any other personal
property is received by the offender from the offended party (1) in trust or
(2) on commission or (3) for administration, the offender acquires both
material or physical possession and juridical possession of the thing
received. Juridical possession means a possession which gives the transferee
a right over the thing which the transferee may set up even against the

It bears to stress that a sum of money received by an employee on behalf of

an employer is considered to be only in the material possession of the
employee. The material possession of an employee is adjunct, by reason of
his employment, to a recognition of the juridical possession of the employer.
So long as the juridical possession of the thing appropriated did not pass to
the employee-perpetrator, the offense committed remains to be theft,
qualified or otherwise.

Hence, conversion of personal property in the case of an employee having

mere material possession of the said property constitutes theft, whereas in
the case of an agent to whom both material and juridical possession have
been transferred, misappropriation of the same property constitutes Estafa.
In this case, Benabaye maintains that the first element of Estafa through
misappropriation has not been established, insisting that her possession of
the collected loan payments was merely material and not juridical; therefore,
she cannot be convicted of the said crime.

The Court agrees.

Records show that Benabaye was merely a collector of loan payments from
Siam Bank’s clients. At the end of every banking day, she was required to
remit all cash payments received together with the corresponding cash
transfer slips to her supervisor, Tupag. As such, the money merely passes
into her hands and she takes custody thereof only for the duration of the
banking day. Hence, as an employee of Siam Bank, specifically, its
temporary cash custodian whose tasks are akin to a bank teller, she had no
juridical possession over the missing funds but only their physical or
material possession.

As a bank cash custodian, the Court ruled that she had no juridical
possession over the missing funds. Relative thereto, in Guzman v. CA,where
a travelling sales agent was convicted of the crime of Estafa for his failure to
return to his principal the proceeds of the goods he was commissioned to
sell, the Court had occasion to explain the distinction between the
possession of a bank teller and an agent for purposes of determining
criminal liability for Estafa, viz.:

There is an essential distinction between the possession of a receiving teller

of funds received from third persons paid to the bank, and an agent who
receives the proceeds of sales of merchandise delivered to him in agency by
his principal. In the former case, payment by third persons to the teller is
payment to the bank itself; the teller is a mere custodian or keeper of the
funds received, and has no independent right or title to retain or possess the
same as against the bank. An agent, on the other hand, can even assert, as
against his own principal, an independent, autonomous, right to retain the
money or goods received in consequence of the agency; as when the
principal fails to reimburse him for advances he has made, and indemnify
him for damages suffered without his fault.

Thus, being a mere custodian of the missing funds and not, in any manner,
an agent who could have asserted a right against Siam Bank over the same,
Benabaye had only acquired material and not juridical possession of such
funds and consequently, cannot be convicted of the crime of Estafa as
charged. In fine, the dismissal of the Estafa charge against Benabaye should
come as a matter of course, without prejudice, however, to the filing of the
appropriate criminal charge against her as may be warranted under the
circumstances of this case.

Separately, in light of the foregoing, Benabaye’s supervisor and co-accused

in this case, Tupag, who likewise was not appointed as an agent of Siam
Bank and thus had no juridical possession of the subject sums, must also be
discharged of the same Estafa charge in view of Section 11 (a), Rule 122 of
the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, as amended, which states:

SEC. 11. Effect of appeal by any of several accused.—

(a) An appeal taken by one or more of several accused shall not affect those
who did not appeal, except insofar as the judgment of the appellate court is
favorable and applicable to the latter.

While it is true that only Benabaye was able to successfully perfect her
appeal, the rule is that an appeal in a criminal proceeding throws the whole
case open for review of all its aspects, including those not raised by the

Considering that under Section 11 (a), Rule 122 of the Revised Rules of
Criminal Procedure as above-quoted, a favorable judgment, as in this case,
shall benefit the co-accused who did not appeal or those who appealed from
their judgments of conviction but for one reason or another, the conviction
became final and executory, Benabaye’s discharge for the crime of Estafa is
likewise applicable to Tupag. Note that the dismissal of the Estafa charge
against Tupag is similarly without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate
criminal charge against him as may be warranted under the circumstances
pertinent to him.

The criminal charges against petitioner Benabaye and her co-accused Tupag
are DISMISSED without prejudice.


FACTS:Arturo Parducho (Parducho), Director and President of Samfit Philippines, Inc. (SPI), a
corporationprimarily engaged in the manufacture of underwires for brassieres. According to him,
petitioner was theformer managing director of SPI tasked with the management of the company as well
as the
management, care and custody of SPI’s personal properties. At the time that he was holding said
position, petitioner was likewise a majority stockholder of TAC Manufacturing Corporation (TAC),
anentity engaged in the fabrication of wire bending machine similar to that being used by SPI. Sometime
inNovember 1996, petitioner was divested of his duties and responsibilities as SPI’s managing director
dueto alleged conflict of business interest. Because of this, Parducho conducted an audit and inventory
SPI’s properties and reviewed its financial statements, vouchers, books of account and other
pertinentrecords. He also interviewed some of SPI’s em
ployees. These revealed that several properties of SPI suchas wire materials, electronic transformer,
electronic and computer boxes, machine spare parts, whilestill under the management, care and
custody of petitioner, went missing and were left unaccountedfor.
Further investigation revealed that some of SPI’s wire bending machines, computer and ele
ctronicboxes were inside the premises of TAC. This was confirmed by Daniel Gutierrez, a former
employee of TAC, who likewise admitted that TAC copied the wire bending machines of SPI. In a letter
dated January
14, 1997,12 SPI’s counsel formally demanded u
pon petitioner to turn over to SPI all its equipment underhis care and custody. Ignoring the demand,
petitioner was thus indicted with the present case. SPI alsofiled a replevin case against him for the
recovery of the electronic and computer boxes. Subsequently,and by virtue of the Writ of Replevin,
an electronic box found inside TAC’s premises was recovered from
petitioner while a computer box was later on surrendered to the Sheriff. On June 5, 1997, petitioner
wascharged with Estafa before the RTC. Petitioner pleaded not guilty upon arraignment and the case
wasset for pre-trial and trial on the merits. After trial, the RTC found that the prosecution had
establishedthe guilt of petitioner for the crime of Estafa under paragraph 1(b), Article 315 of the Revised
PenalCode (RPC). Aggrieved, petitioner seasonably appealed to the appellate court. In a Decision18
March 31, 2006, the CA denied petitioner’s appeal and affirmed with modification
Petitioner’s Motion
for Reconsideration20 was likewise denied in a Resolution21 dated August 17, 2006. Hence, a
Petitionfor Review on Certiorari is filed by the petitioner

The Supreme Court denied the petition and affirmed The Decision and Resolution of the Courtof Appeals
with modification in the penalty. The essential elements of Estafa under Article 315,paragraph 1(b) of
the RPC: 1. That money, goods or other personal properties are received by theoffender in trust or on
commission, or for administration, or under any other obligation involving theduty to make delivery of
or to return, the same; 2. That there is a misappropriation or conversion of such money or property by
the offender or denial on his part of such receipt; 3. That suchmisappropriation or conversion or denial
is to the prejudice of another; and 4. That there is a demandmade by the offended party on the
The Court cannot agree with petitioner’s postulation that
he did not acquire juridical possession of SPI’s properties since his relation with the same was only
byvirtue of his official function as SPI’s corporate officer. As borne out by the records, the equipment
subject matter of this case were received in trust by petitioner from SPI to be utilized in the
fabricationof bending machines. Petitioner was given absolute option on how to use them without
anyparticipation on the part of SPI. Thus, petitioner acquired not only physical possession but also
juridicalpossession over the equipment. As the Supreme Court held in Chua-Burce v. Court of Appeals:
Whenthe money, goods or any other personal property is received by the offender from the offended
party(1) in trust or (2) on commission or (3) for administration, the offender acquires both material
orphysical possession and juridical possession of the thing received. Juridical possession means
apossession which gives the transferee a right over the thing which the transferee may set up
evenagainst the owner. With regard to the element of misappropriation or conversion, the prosecution
wasable to prove this through circumstantial evidence. "Misappropriation or conversion may be proved
bythe prosecution by direct evidence or by circumstantial evidence."27 The "failure to account
upondemand, for funds or property held in trust, is circumstantial evidence of misappropriation."28
Asmentioned, petitioner failed to account for, upon demand, the properties of SPI which were received
byhim in trust. This already constitutes circumstantial evidence of misappropriation or conversion of
properties to petitioner’s own personal use. Even if petitioner merely retained the properties for the
purpose of preserving his right of lien over them, same is immaterial because, to reiterate, failure
toreturn upon demand the properties which one has the duty to return is tantamount to appropriating
thesame for his own personal use. As correctly noted by the CA.

Recuerdo vs. People


G.R. No. 168217 June 27, 2006

Petitioner Recuerdo, a dentist, was charged with the crime of Estafa under Art. 315 of Revised Penal
Code for, with intent to gain and by means of deceit, false pretenses and fraudulent manifestations, and
pretending to have sufficient funds with the Unitrust Makati Commercial Center Branch, PCI Bank
Makati-De La Rosa Branch, and Prudential Bank Legaspi Village Branch, did willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously prepare, draw, make and issue checks amounting to P132,000, P78,000, and P600,000, to
complaining witness Yolanda G. Floro, who is engaged in the business of buying and selling of jewelry, as
payment for jewelry she obtained from the said complainant, knowing fully well at the time the checks
were issued that her representations were false for she had no sufficient funds in the said bank, so much
that upon presentment of the said checks with the said bank for encashment, the same were
dishonored and refused payment for having been drawn against an “Account Closed”, and in spite of
repeated demands to deposit with the said bank, the said accused failed and refused to do so.
Recuerdo argued that her act of issuing the dishonored checks does not constitute the offense of Estafa
considering that the subject checks were not issued and delivered to Floro simultaneous to the purchase
of the pieces of jewelry, but only several days thereafter, when she had already thoroughly examined
the jewelry and is fully satisfied of its fine quality; that out of the 17 subject checks, nine were honored
by the drawee banks; that she made partial payments of the amounts of the subject checks while the
case was pending in the CA, contrary to the findings of the courts that she acted with deceit when she
drew and delivered the checks.

Whether or not petitioner Recuerdo committed the crime of estafa.

Yes, Recuerdo committed the crime of estafa.
Estafa through false pretense or fraudulent act under Paragraph 2(d) of Article 315 of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 4885, is committed as follows:
By 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 three (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 shall be prima facie evidence of deceit constituting false
pretense or fraudulent act.
The essential elements of the felony are: (1) a check is postdated or issued in payment of an obligation
contracted at the time it is issued; (2) lack or insufficiency of funds to cover the check; and (3) damage to
the payee thereof. It is criminal fraud or deceit in the issuance of a check which is made punishable
under the Revised Penal Code, and not the non-payment of a debt. Deceit is the false representation of
a matter of fact whether by words or conduct by false or misleading allegations or by concealment of
that which should have been disclosed which deceives or is intended to deceive another so that he shall
act upon it to his legal injury. Concealment which the law denotes as fraudulent implies a purpose or
design to hide facts which the other party ought to have. The postdating or issuing of a check in
payment of an obligation when the offender had no funds in the bank or his funds deposited therein are
not sufficient to cover the amount of the check is a false pretense or a fraudulent act.
Petitioner’s defense of good faith is even belied by the evidence of the prosecution and her own
evidence. When the postdated checks issued by petitioner were dishonored by the drawee banks and
the private complainant made demands for her to pay the amounts of the checks, she intransigently
refused to pay; she insisted that she issued and delivered the postdated checks to the private
complainant after the subject pieces of jewelry had been delivered to her. Petitioner never offered to
pay the amounts of the checks after she was informed by the private complainant that they had been
dishonored by the drawee banks. It was after the CA promulgated its decision affirming the decision of
the trial court, that petitioner made several payments to the private complainant; however, there is no
showing as to which checks they were made in payment for. In fine, it was the spectre of a long prison
term which jolted petitioner into making remittances to the private complainant, after the CA affirmed
the decision of the trial court and increased the penalty meted on her, and not because she had acted in
good faith in her transactions with the private complainant. To reiterate, petitioner rejected the
demands of the private complainant to pay the amounts of the dishonored checks.
While it is true that nine of the 17 postdated checks petitioner issued and delivered to the private
complainant were honored by the drawee banks, such a circumstance is not a justification for her
acquittal of the charges relative to the dishonored checks. The reimbursement or restitution to the
offended party of the sums swindled by the petitioner does not extinguish the criminal liability of the
latter. Estafa is a public offense which must be prosecuted and punished by the State on its own motion
even though complete reparation had been made for the loss or damage suffered by the offended party.
The consent of the private complainant to petitioner’s payment of her civil liability pendente lite does
not entitle the latter to an acquittal. Subsequent payments does not obliterate the criminal liability
already incurred. Criminal liability for estafa is not affected by a compromise between petitioner and the
private complainant on the former’s civil liability.

IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is DENIED. The Decision and Resolution of the Court of
Appeals are AFFIRMED. No costs.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


FACTS: Instant petition for review on certiorari seeking to reverse the Decision1 and the Resolution
of the Court of Appeals entitled "People of the Philippines, plaintiff-appellee, versus Anicia Ramos-
Andan and Potenciana Nieto, accused, Anicia Ramos Andan, accused-appellant."

On February 4, 1991, Anicia Ramos-Andan, herein petitioner, and Potenciana Nieto approached
Elizabeth E. Calderon and offered to buy the latter’s 18-carat heart-shaped diamond ring. Elizabeth
agreed to sell her ring. In turn, Potenciana tendered her three (3) postdated checks.

Inasmuch as the three checks (PDB Check Nos. 14173188, 14173189, and 14173190) were all
payable to cash, Elizabeth required petitioner to endorse them. The latter complied.

When Elizabeth deposited the checks upon maturity with the drawee bank, they bounced for the
reason "Account Closed." She then sent Potenciana a demand letter to pay, but she refused.

On July 10, 1997, Elizabeth filed with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Bulacan a Complaint
for Estafa against petitioner and Potenciana. Finding a probable cause for Estafa against them, the
Provincial Prosecutor filed the corresponding Information for Estafa with the Regional Trial Court
(RTC), Branch 8, Malolos, Bulacan. Subsequently, petitioner was arrested but Potenciana has
remained at large. When arraigned, petitioner entered a plea of not guilty to the charge.

During the hearing, petitioner denied buying a diamond ring from Elizabeth, maintaining that she
signed the receipt and the checks merely as a witness to the transaction between Elizabeth and
Potenciana. Thus, she could not be held liable for the bounced checks she did not issue.

After hearing, the trial court rendered its Decision finding petitioner guilty as charged and imposing
upon her an indeterminate prison term of six (6) years and one (1) day of prision mayor, as minimum,
to fourteen (14) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day of reclusion temporal, as maximum, and to
indemnify Elizabeth E. Calderon in the amount of P73,000.00 representing the purchase price of the
diamond ring.

The trial court held that while it was Potenciana who issued the checks, nonetheless, it was petitioner
who induced Elizabeth to accept them and who endorsed the same. Accordingly, petitioner cannot
escape liability.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals rendered its Decision affirming with modification the RTC Decision.
The maximum penalty imposed was increased to seventeen (17) years, four (4) months and one (1)
day of reclusion temporal and the indemnity was reduced to P23,000.00 considering the RTC’s finding

Complainant, however, was able to present in Court only Planters Development Bank (Check) No.
14173188, dated June 30, 1991, in the amount of P23,000.00 and the fact of its being dishonored.
The other two checks were neither presented nor the fact of being dishonored proven. Likewise, the
two checks were not mentioned in the demand letter marked as Exhibit ‘C.’ Although, therefore, it is
clear from the records, in fact admitted by the accused, that the total amount of P23,000.00 as
purchase price of the diamond ring has not been paid, the accused should only be held liable for the
dishonor of the check above-stated as the dishonor of the two other checks was not proven in Court.

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, but this was denied by the Appellate Court.

Hence a petition to the Supreme Court.

ISSUE: Whether or not the accused is guilty under Art.315

HELD: The elements of the offense as defined and penalized by Article 315, paragraph 2(d) of the
Revised Penal Code, as amended, are:

(1) postdating or issuance of a check in payment of an obligation contracted at the time the check was
(2) lack of or insufficiency of funds to cover the check; and
(3) the payee was not informed by the offender and the payee did not know that the offender had no
funds or insufficient funds.

All these elements are present in this case. The prosecution proved that the checks were issued in
payment of a simultaneous obligation, i.e., the checks were issued in payment for the ring. The checks
bounced when Elizabeth deposited them for the reason "Account Closed." There is no showing
whatsoever that before petitioner handed and endorsed the checks to Elizabeth, she took steps to
ascertain that Potenciana has sufficient funds in her account. Upon being informed that the checks
bounced, she failed to give an adequate explanation why Potenciana’s account was closed. In Echaus
v. Court of Appeals, we ruled that "the fact that the postdated checks…were not covered by sufficient
funds, when they fell due, in the absence of any explanation or justification by petitioner, satisfied the
element of deceit in the crime of estafa, as defined in paragraph 2 of Article 315 of the Revised Penal


Facts:Manuel Nagrampa purchased porcelain excavator equipment from Fedcor Trading

Corporation on an installment basis. He then issued checks to be drawn against Security Bank and
Trust Company. The checks were dishonored on the ground that the account was already closed.
He was then charge with violation of BP 22. In his defense he claimed that he is not guilty of estafa
because no damage was caused to FEDCOR and the back hoe being unserviceable was returned to

The trial court found him guilty and was ordered to pay FEDCOR the Court of Appeals affirmed the
decision in toto.

Issue:Whether or not he is liable for violation of BP 22 despite no notice of dishonor was given.

Held:Yes, because the account was closed for four years prior to the transaction. He knew fully well
that the check he issued would be dishonored and the 90-day grace period given to him by law is


Ramon Rocamora, manager of Metrobank, requested Fructuoso Penaflor, 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, all of these
concluded that there was a shortage of P150,000.00, and the person primarily responsible was the
banks Cash Custodian, Cristeta Chua-Burce, the herein accused. Accused was terminated from service.
To recover the missing amount, Metrobank filed a civil case against petitioner and her husband,
Antonio Burce. A crime for estafa was also filed against the petitioner. 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. The 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 trial court rulings. Hence, this petition.
Whether or not the element of juridical possession is present for petitioner to be convicted for estafa
The first element is absent. When the money, goods, or any other personal property
is received by
the offender from the offended party (1) in
or (2) on
or (3) for
, the offender acquires both material or physical possession and
juridical possession
of the thing received. Juridical possession means a possession which gives the transferee a right over
the thing which the transferee may set up even against the owner. In this case, petitioner was a cash
custodian who was primarily responsible for the cash-in-vault. Her possession of the cash belonging to
the bank is akin to that of a bank teller, both being mere bank employees. Petitioner herein being a
mere cash custodian had no juridical possession over the missing funds. Hence, the element of juridical
possession being absent, petitioner cannot be convicted of the crime of estafa under Article 315, No. 1
(b) of the Revised Penal Code. The petition is granted and petitioner is ACQUITTED of the crime of estafa
under Article 315 (1) (b) of the Revised Penal Code.

Buaya v Polo
Solemnidad Buaya is an insurance agent of private complainant of Country Bankers Insurance
Corporation. Private respondent Buaya, was authorized to transact and underwrite insurance business
and collect the corresponding premiums for and in behalf of the private respondent. Under the terms of
the agency agreement, the petitioner is required to make a periodic report and accounting of her
transactions and remit premium collections to the principal office of private respondent located in the
City of Manila. Allegedly, an audit was conducted on petitioner's account which showed a shortage. She
was charged with estafa before the Regional Trial Court of Manila. Private respondent filed a motion to
dismiss, alleging that the Regional Trial Court of Manila has no jurisdiction over the offense since the
collection was done in Cebu City and the offense complained of is purely civil in nature. The RTC denied
the motion to dismiss.
1) Whether or not RTC Manila has jurisdiction over the case. 2) Whether of not the offense complained
is purely civil in nature, hence warrants the dismissal of the criminal case.
The Supreme Court reiterated that the averments in the complaint or information characterize the
crime to be prosecuted and the court before which it must be tried. Thus, in order to determine the
jurisdiction of the court in criminal cases, the complaint must be examined for the purpose of
ascertaining whether or not the facts set out therein and the punishment provided for by law fall within
the jurisdiction of the court where the complaint is filed. The jurisdiction of courts in criminal cases is
determined by the allegations of the complaint or information, and not by the findings the court may
make after the trial.
Further, Section 14(a), Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Court provides: In all criminal

prosecutions the action shall be instituted and tried in the court of the municipality or province wherein
the offense was committed or any of the essential elements thereof took place. The subject information
charges petitioner with estafa committed "during the period 1980 to June 15, 1982 inclusive
in the City of Manila, Philippines .
. . ." Clearly then, from the very allegation of the information the Regional Trial Court of Manila has
jurisdiction. Besides, the crime of estafa is a continuing or transitory offense which may be prosecuted
at the place where any of the essential elements of the crime took place. One of the essential elements
of estafa is damage or prejudice to the offended party. The private respondent has its principal place of
business and office at Manila. The failure of the petitioner to remit the insurance premiums she
collected allegedly caused damage and prejudice to private respondent in Manila. As to the second
issue, the contention that the subject matter is purely civil in nature, suffice it to state that evidentiary
facts on this point have still to be proved.


Mitra vs. People

623 SCRA 673

G.R. NO. 191404 (July 5, 2010)

Digested by: ANM Cabreros
Petitioner Mitra was the treasurer and Cabrera (now deceased) was the President of Lucky Nine Credit
Corporation (LNCC), a corporation engaged in money lending activities. Private respondent Felicisimo
Tarcelo (Tarcelo) invested money in LNCC. As the usual practice in money placement transactions,
Tarcelo was issued checks equivalent to the amounts he invested plus the interest on his investments.
When Tarcelo presented the checks for payment, they were dishonored for the reason "account closed."
Tarcelo made several oral demands on LNCC for the payment of said checks but he was frustrated. So he
filed seven information for violation of Batas Pambansa blg. 22 (BP 22) in the amount of P925,000.00
before the MTCC. Court decided in favor if Tarcelo. So petitioners appealed to RTC contending that :
They signed the seven checks in blank with no name of the payee, no amount stated and no date of
maturity; that they did not know when and to whom those checks would be issued; that the seven
checks were made to sign at that time; and that they signed the checks so as not to delay the
transactions of LNCC because they did not regularly hold office there. Petition was still denied.
Meanwhile Cabrera died. Mitra alone file a petition for review claiming among others, that there was no
Notice of Dishonor on her. CA denied for lack of merit, hence this petition;
the elements of violation of BP 22 must be proved beyond reasonable doubt as against the corporation
who carries the account where the subject checks were drawn before liability attaches to the
signatories. 2.
there is proper service of Notice of Dishonor and demand to pay to the petitioner and the late Cabrera.
HELD: Petition DENIED.
The convenience afforded by checks is damaged by unfunded checks that adversely affect confidence in
commercial and banking activities, and ultimately injure public interest. 1.
The 3rd paragraph of sec.1 of BP 22 reads: "Where the check is drawn by a corporation, company or
entity, the person or persons who actually signed the check in behalf of such drawer shall be liable
under this act." This provision recognizes the reality that a corporation can only act through its officers.
Hence its wording is unequivocal and mandatory that the person who actually signed the corporate
check shall be held liable for violation of BP 22. This provision does not contain any condition,
qualification or limitation. 2.
There is no dispute that Mitra signed the checks and that the bank dishonored the checks because the
account had been closed. Notice of Dishonor was properly given, but Mitra failed to pay the checks or
make arrangements for their payment within 5 days from notice. (Cite elements of violation of BP22)
He cannot escape from civil andd criminal liabilities.

Josef vs. People G.R. No. 146424 November 18, 2005

malum prohibitum, bouncing checks, BP 22
OCTOBER 6, 2017


From June to August, 1991, petitioner, a Marikina-based manufacturer and

seller of shoes, purchased materials from respondent Agustin Alarilla, a
seller of leather products from Meycauayan, Bulacan, for which the former
issued a total of 26 postdated checks against his account with the Associated
Bank and Far East Bank & Trust Company (Marikina Branches). When
private respondent presented these checks for encashment, they were
dishonored because the accounts against which they were drawn were
closed. Private respondent informed petitioner of the dishonor and
demanded payment of their value. After some negotiations, petitioner drew
and delivered a new set of postdated checks in replacement of the
dishonored ones. Private respondent, in turn, returned to petitioner the
originals of the dishonored postdated checks but retained photocopies
thereof. When private respondent deposited the replacement checks in his
account with the Westmont Bank, these were also dishonored by the drawee
bank. As a result, the private respondent filed criminal complaints against
petitioner for violation of BP 22 with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor
of Bulacan. After preliminary investigation, the Provincial Prosecutor filed
26 Informations against petitioner with the RTC of Bulacan for violation of
BP 22. Petitioner admits having issued the 26 dishonored
checks. However, he claims the following defenses: 1) he has already paid
private respondent the amount of the checks in cash; 2) the trial court was
incorrect to accept as evidence photocopies of the original checks and 3) he
acted in good faith.

Issue: a.) is petitioner liable under the violation of BP 22?

b.) was the acceptance of photocopied original checks by the trail court

c.) Is petitioner not liable since he acted in good faith?

Ruling: All petitions of the petitioner is incorrect.

 All three elements are present here. The elements of

violation of BP 22 are:

1) making, drawing and issuing any check to apply on account or for value;

2) knowledge of the maker, drawer or issuer that at the time of issue he

does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the
payment of the check in full upon its presentment; and
3) subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of
funds or credit, or dishonor of the check for the same reason had not the
drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment

 By admitting that the originals were in his possession and

even producing them in open court, petitioner cured
whatever flaw might have existed in the prosecution’s
evidence. The fact that these originals were all stamped
“account closed” merely confirmed the allegations of the
respondent that the checks were dishonored by reason of the
account being closed. Because they were entirely consistent
with its main theory, the prosecution correctly adopted these
originals as its own evidence. In addition, by petitioner’s
own admission, five of the original checks were lost, thus
rendering the photocopies thereof admissible as exceptions
to the Best Evidence Rule.

 Regarding petitioner’s allegation of good faith, suffice it to

say that such a claim is immaterial, the offense in question
being malum prohibitum. The gravamen of the offense is
the issuance of a bad check and therefore, whether or not
malice and intent attended such issuance is unimportant.

Yulo v People
Facts:1.Josefina Dimalanta and Lilany Yulo went to Myrna Roque.2.Dimalanta told Roque that Yulo is her
BFF and that she is a good payer; and asked Roque if shecan have Yulo's checks encashed.3.Relying on
this, she agreed. She received 3 checks from Yulo in return. However, such checkswere dishonored later
on since the account was already closed.4.After failed demands, she finally filed a crim case against Yulo
for violation of BP225.Yulo was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt in RTC. Yulo appealed to the CA,
but thedecision was affirmed in toto.6.She filed an MR, but the MR was only resolved after 3 years after
filing.(affirmed againt thedecision in toto)


Lee v Court of Appeals G.R. NO. 117913. February 1, 2002

A trust receipt is considered as a security transaction intended to aid in financing importers and retail
dealers who do not have sufficient funds or resources to finance the importation or purchase of
merchandise, and who may not be able to acquire credit except through utilization, as collateral of the
merchandise imported or purchased.

Facts: Charles Lee, as President of MICO wrote private respondent Philippine Bank of Communications
(PBCom) requesting for a grant of a discounting loan/credit line in the sum of Three Million Pesos
(P3,000,000.00) for the purpose of carrying out MICO’s line of business as well as to maintain its volume
of business. On the same day, Charles Lee requested for another discounting loan/credit line of Three
Million Pesos (P3,000,000.00) from PBCom for the purpose of opening letters of credit and trust
receipts. nother loan of One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) was availed of by MICO from PBCom which
was likewise later on renewed. Charles Lee, Chua Siok Suy, Mariano Sio, Alfonso Yap and Richard
Velasco, in their personal capacities executed a Surety Agreement in favor of PBComwhereby the
petitioners jointly and severally, guaranteed the prompt payment on due dates or at maturity of
overdrafts, promissory notes, discounts, drafts, letters of credit, bills of exchange, trust receipts, and
other obligations of every kind and nature, for which MICO may be held accountable by PBCom. Charles
Lee, in his capacity as president of MICO, wrote PBCom and applied for an additional loan in the sum of
Four Million Pesos (P4,000,000.00). The loan was intended for the expansion and modernization of the
company’s machineries. Upon approval of the said application for loan, MICO availed of the additional
loan of Four Million Pesos (P4,000,000.00).

To secure the trust receipts transactions, MICO and Lee executed a real estate mortgage in favor of
PBCOM over several properties it owns. Upon maturity of all credit availments obtained by MICO from
PBCom, the latter made a demand for payment.[For failure of petitioner MICO to pay the obligations
incurred despite repeated demands, PBCom extrajudicially foreclosed MICO’s real estate mortgage and
sold the said mortgaged properties in a public auction sale. Lee contends that the letters of credit,
surety agreements and loan transactions did not ripen into valid and binding contracts since no part of
the proceeds of the loan transactions were delivered to MICO or to any of the petitioners-sureties.
Petitioners-sureties allege that Chua Siok Suy was the beneficiary of the proceeds of the loans and that
the latter made them sign the surety agreements in blank. Thus, they maintain that they should not be
held accountable for any liability that might arise therefrom.


1) whether or not the proceeds of the loans and letters of credit transactions were ever delivered to

2) whether or not the individual petitioners, as sureties, may be held liable under the two (2) Surety


1) whether or not the proceeds of the loans and letters of credit transactions were ever delivered to

The letter of credita, as well as the security agreements, have not merely created a prima facie case but
have actually proved the solidary obligation of MICO and the petitioners, as sureties of MICO, in favor of
respondent PBCom.
While the presumption found under the Negotiable Instruments Law may not necessarily be applicable
to trust receipts and letters of credit, the presumption that the drafts drawn in connection with the
letters of credit have sufficient consideration. Under Section 3(r), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court there is
also a presumption that sufficient consideration was given in a contract.

Hence, petitioners should have presented credible evidence to rebut that presumption as well as the
evidence presented by private respondent PBCom. The letters of credit show that the pertinent
materials/merchandise have been received by MICO. The drafts signed by the beneficiary/suppliers in
connection with the corresponding letters of credit proved that said suppliers were paid by PBCom for
the account of MICO. On the other hand, aside from their bare denials petitioners did not present
sufficient and competent evidence to rebut the evidence of private respondent PBCom.

2) whether or not the individual petitioners, as sureties, may be held liable under the two (2) Surety

A perusal of the By-Laws of MICO, however, shows that the power to borrow money for the company
and issue mortgages, bonds, deeds of trust and negotiable instruments or securities, secured by
mortgages or pledges of property belonging to the company is not confined solely to the president of
the corporation. The Board of Directors of MICO can also borrow money, arrange letters of credit,
execute trust receipts and promissory notes on behalf of the corporation.[35] Significantly, this power of
the Board of Directors according to the by-laws of MICO, may be delegated to any of its standing
committee, officer or agent.[36] Hence, PBCom had every right to rely on the Certification issued by
MICO’s corporate secretary, P.B. Barrera, that Chua Siok Suy was duly authorized by its Board of
Directors to borrow money and obtain credit facilities in behalf of MICO from PBCom.

Santos [Negotiable Instruments]


Alicia Rubia arrived at the grocery store of Dolores Evangelista and subsequently asked the latter to
rediscount her PSBank check amounting to Php 55,000

The check was drawn by Leodegario Bayani, petitioner herein, against his account with PSBank and then
post-dated August 29, 1992

Considering that both Rubia and Bayani were long-time customers and knowing the fact that Bayani is a
good man, Evangelista agreed to rediscount the check
However, when Evangelista deposited the check in her account with the Far East Bank and Trust
company on September 11, 1992, the check was dishonored for the reason that Bayani had closed the
said account with PSBank

The dishonoring of the check was evidenced by a stamp at its dorsal portion

Evangelista then informed Rubia that the said check was dishonored and demanded the return of her
Php 55,000

Rubia, in her reply, stated that she was only requested by Bayani to have the check rediscounted

A series of finger pointing ensued but ultimately it led to Evangelista filing a case against Bayani for
violating BP22

Bayani, in his defense stated that there was no valuable consideration when Evangelista issued the
check. He did not receive the Php 55,000.

It must be noted that Bayani merely stated the fact that he did not receive the money from Evangelista;
no further effort was given by Bayani to prove so.

RTC: ruled against Bayani

CA: confirmed the decision by the RTC

Whether or not Bayani’s
defense of lack of valuable consideration is valid

Petitioner cannot evade criminal liability by merely stating that he did not receive the money

It was shown during the trial that Evangelista rediscounted the check and gave the Php 55,000 to Rubia
after the latter endorsed the same; therefore, it must be considered that Evangelista is a holder in due

According to Section 28 of the NIL, absence or failure of consideration is a matter of defense only as
against any person not in due course

Moreover in Section 24 of the NIL, it is presumed that there is a valid consideration; mere denial of
receipt of the money cannot overcome this presumption.

G.R. No. 129764 March 12, 2002

petitioner, vs.
respondents. Facts: 1)

Phelps Dodge Philippines, Inc. leased its lot and factory building to Lincoln Gerard, Inc. for a term of two
years. 2)

Geoffrey F. Griffith, in his capacity as president of Lincoln Gerard, Inc., issued two checks amounting to
215, 442,65 to Phelps Dodge Phils. 3)

Before the due date of the check, Griffith wrote Phelps Dodge not to present the said checks for
payment on May 30, 1986 because they could not be funded due to a four-week labor strike that
affected their company. 4)

On June 2, 1986,
when no further communication was received from Lincoln Gerard, Phelps Dodge presented the two
checks for payment but these were dishonored by the bank for having been drawn against insufficient
funds. Three days later, Phelps Dodge sent a demand letter to Lincoln Gerard. 5)

on June 19, 1986, Phelps Dodge notified Lincoln Gerard that its properties would be foreclosed. Phelps
Dodge went ahead with the foreclosure and auction sale on June 20, 1986. 6)

On May 10, 1988, two informations for violation of B.P. 22 were filed against the petitioner. The motion
for reconsideration filed by Griffith was dismissed, and so were his petition for review filed before the
Department of Justice and later on his motion to quash filed before the RTC. Griffith then filed a petition
before the Court of Appeals that was likewise denied. 7)

Lincoln Gerard lodged a complaint for damages before the RTC of Pasig, against Phelps Dodge and the
notary public who conducted the auction sale.On July 19, 1991, the trial court ruled that the foreclosure
and auction sale were invalid, but applied the proceeds thereof to Lincoln Gerard's arrearages. It also
ordered Phelps Dodge to return to Lincoln Gerard the P1,072,586.88 as excess. 8)

On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC decision, and this became final and executory. 9)

On August 25, 1994, the criminal cases against Griffith pending before the RTC were remanded to the
Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC). 10)

On July 25, 1995, the MeTC, in Criminal Cases Nos. 41678 and 41679, found Griffith guilty on both
counts for violation of B.P. 22. 11)

On appeal, the RTC affirmed

in toto
the lower court's decision. Petitioner then appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeals which was
denied. An MR was also denied. Issue: Whether or not Geoffrey F. Griffith, has been erroneously
convicted and sentenced for violation of the BP 22. Held: We should not apply penal laws mechanically.
We must find if the application of the law is consistent with the purpose of and reason for the law. The
creditor having collected already more than a sufficient amount to cover the value of the checks for
payment of rentals,
auction sale, we find that holding the debtor's president to answer for a criminal offense under B.P. 22
two years after said collection, is no longer tenable nor justified by law or equitable considerations.


Ignacio Garcia gave petitioner a loan. Petitioner issued and delivered 18 postdated checks. When the checks
were drawn, all were dishonored due the account being closed. Garcia supposedly wrote a letter to demand.

Petitioner contends that he did not receive a demand letter and the checks were not issued as payment but
as evidence of indebtedness. The lower court convicted petitioner.

ISSUE: Whether verbal notice is enough for conviction of petitioner.


The SC said that verbal notice is not enough as written notice of dishonor should be received by petitioner to
convict him. A mere oral notice or demand to pay would appear to be insufficient for conviction under the
law. The spirit of the law is not only for the person to be punished but also to be duly notified of the checks
dishonor. The supposed letter of demand was not given weight because prosecution failed to formally offer
it as evidence.

The SC acquitted petitioner but ordered her to pay the amount plus interest.


Betty King discounted with complainant Ellen Fernandez several Equitable Bank checks postdated from
July 23 to 29, 1992 in the total amount of P1, 070,000.00 in exchange for cash in the amount of P1,
000,000.00. When the checks were deposited for payment, they were dishonored by the drawee bank
because they were drawn against an account without sufficient funds. Betty King failed to make good
the checks despite demand. During the hearing on the merits of this case on September 17, 1998, the
prosecution offered in evidence its documentary evidence. Betty King admitted the genuineness and
due execution of the documents presented.

As noted earlier, Betty King filed a Demurrer to Evidence without leave of court. In doing so, she waived
her right to present evidence and submitted the case for judgment on the basis of the documentary
exhibits adduced by the prosecution.

In affirming the trial court, the Court of Appeals explained that the prosecution proved all the elements
of the crime. The CA also pointed out that the failure of Betty King to sign the pretrial order was not
fatal to the prosecution, because her conviction was based on the evidence presented during the trial.
Ellen Fernandez sent Betty King a registered mail, informing the latter that the checks had been
dishonored. But the records show that petitioner did not receive it. In fact, Postmaster Wilfredo Ulibarri
’s letter addressed to complainant’s counsel certified that the subject registered mail was returned to
sender on September 22, 1992.

We emphasized that "the full payment of the amount appearing in the check within five banking days
from notice of dishonor is a complete defense.

The absence of a notice of dishonor necessarily deprives an accused an opportunity to preclude a

criminal prosecution. Accordingly, procedural due process clearly enjoins that a notice of dishonor be
actually served on petitioner. Petitioner has a right to demand and the basic postulates of fairness
require that the notice of dishonor be actually sent to and received by her to afford her the opportunity
to avert prosecution under BP 22.

Notwithstanding the clear import of the postmaster’s certification, the prosecution failed
to adduce any other proof that petitioner received the post office notice but unjustifiably refused to
claim the registered mail. It is possible that the drawee bank sent petitioner a notice of dishonor, but
the prosecution did not present evidence that the bank did send it, or that petitioner actually received
it. It was also possible that she was trying to flee from complainant by staying in different addresses.
Speculations and possibilities, however, cannot take the place of proof. Conviction must rest on proof
beyond reasonable doubt. Clearly, the evidence on hand demonstrates the indelible fact that petitioner
did not
receive notice that the checks had been dishonored. Necessarily, the presumption that she knew of the
insufficiency of funds cannot arise. Thus, in order to create the
prima facie
presumption that the issuer knew of the insufficiency of funds, it must be shown that he or she received
a notice of dishonor and, within five banking days thereafter, failed to satisfy the amount of the check or
make arrangement for its payment. Petitioner Betty King is
for failure of the prosecution to prove all the elements of the crimes charged.