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SAN MIGUEL v. PUZON, JR.

G.R. No. 167567


September 22, 2010
Related law: Sec. 16; Sec. 12; NIL; Delivery for the purpose of giving eect to an instrument (i.e.
for payment)
FACTS:
Puzon was a dealer of San Miguel Corporation (SMC). Puzon purchased SMC products on credit.
SMC requires him to issue postdated checks equivalent to the value of the products purchased
to ensure payment. The checks are to be return to Puzon once he settles his credit.
In one instance, Puzon went to SMC Sales Oce and allegedly requested to see particular
checks that he gave to SMC. When he got hold of them, he allegedly immediately left the oce
with the checks.
SMC demanded for the return of the checks which Puzon ignored. As such, SMC filed a
complaint against him for theft. The prosecutor however found no probable cause for theft
because of SMC and Puzons relationship as one of creditor-debtor and recommended dismissal.
Hence, this petition.
ISSUE/S:
1. Was there probable cause for theft?
HELD:
1. None.
One of the essential elements of theft is the taking of a personal property belonging to
another. A such, it is necessary to ascertain whether the ownership of the checks were
transferred to SMC. If SMC owns the checks, then there is probable cause for theft, otherwise,
there is none.
According to the Sec. 12 of the NIL, the person to whom an instrument is delivered
acquires the title to it. The delivery mentioned in Sec. 12 must be read in conjunction with Sec. 16
of the NIL which says that the delivery must be for the purpose of giving eect to the
instrument.
Since the checks were given merely as security and not as payment for the credit, then
the checks were not delivered so as to give eect to them. As such, ownership was not
transferred to SMC.
Hence, the checks that Puzon allegedly took were not properties belonging to another.
Consequently, there is no probable cause for theft.

Prepared by: Daniel John A. Fordan

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