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People vs Wagas FACTS: 1.

April 30, 1997: Mystery man (allegedly Wagas) to Ligaray over the phone said he wants to buy 200 bags of rice and he will just issue a postdated check. 2. Ligaray was hesitant but mystery man said he had the means to pay because he had a lending business and money in the bank, 3. Check (payable to cash-> doesnt need to be indorsed) was given to Ligaray 4. April 30, 1997: Person who gave the BPI check (payable to cash and P200,000) and received the stocks was Canada (Wagas brother-in-law) 5. Ligaray deposited the check to Solid Bank but it bounced due to insufficiency of funds. 6. Demand was also made over the phone. Guy says hell pay after he returns from Cebu. More demands-> still didnt pay 7. DEFENSE: Admitted that he signed the check but he issued it to Canada and not to Ligaray. The purpose was to pay for a portion of Caadas property that he wanted to buy, but when the sale did not push through, he did not anymore fund the check. 8. CROSS-EXAMINATION: Wagas admitted that he signed a letter addressed to the counsel of Ligaray admitting that he owed him P200,000. He says that he signed the letter only because his sister and her husband had pleaded with him to assume the obligation and to avoid jeopardizing Caadas application for overseas employment (he was a seafarer). 9. RTC: Wagas-> Guilty .The RTC held that the Prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt all the elements constituting the crime of estafa, namely: (a) that Wagas issued the postdated check as payment for an obligation contracted at the time the check was issued; (b) that he failed to deposit an amount sufficient to cover the check despite having been informed that the check had been dishonored; and (c) that Ligaray released the goods upon receipt of the postdated check and upon Wagas assurance that the check would be funded on its date. 1. To suffer an indeterminate penalty of from twelve (12) years of pris[i]on mayor, as minimum, to thirty (30) years of reclusion perpetua as maximum; 2. To indemnify the complainant, Albert[o] Ligaray in the sum of P200,000.00; 3. To pay said complainant the sum of P30,000.00 by way of attorneys fees; and 4. the costs of suit. MR: arguing that the Prosecution did not establish that it was he who had transacted with Ligaray and who had negotiated the check to the latter; that the records showed that Ligaray did not meet him at any time; and that Ligarays testimony on their alleged telephone conversation was not reliable because it was not shown that Ligaray had been familiar with his voice. Wagas also sought the reopening of the case based on newly discovered evidence, specifically: (a) the testimony of Caada who could not testify during the trial because he was then out of the country, and (b) Ligarays testimony given against Wagas in another criminal case for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22.-> DENIED. Appeal directly to SC ISSUES: 1. WON it was really him who contracted with Ligaray and not Caada? 2. WON deceit has been established because it hasnt been proved that it was him who transacted with Ligaray over the telephone?

HELD: NOT ADEQUATELY ESTABLISHED-> ACQUITTED. Provision used: 315 2(d)-> estafa by postdating a check/ issuing check which has no funds in the bank Here, the act of postdating or issuing a check in payment of an obligation must be the efficient cause of the defraudation. ->This means that the offender must be able to obtain money or property from the offended party by reason of the issuance of the check, whether dated or postdated. In other words, the Prosecution must show that the person to whom the check was delivered would not have parted with his money or property were it not for the issuance of the check by the offender. It is the criminal fraud or deceit in the issuance of a check that is punishable, not the non-payment of a debt.-> Wagas could not be held guilty of estafa simply because he had issued the check used to defraud Ligaray. The proof of guilt must still clearly show that it had been Wagas as the drawer who had defrauded Ligaray by means of the check.

Prosecution established: Ligaray released the goods to Caada because of the postdated check the latter had given to him; and that the check was dishonored when presented for payment because of the insufficiency of funds. Prosecution didnt establish: the identity of the offender (which must also be identified BRD) nor was it established that Caada was acting on behalf of Wagas. Note: Telephone conversation may be admissible evidence if proven by direct or circumstantial evidence. Mere statement of identity-> not enough in the absence of corroborating evidence. Events following the conversation may serve to sufficiently identify the caller.-> up to the court to decide if its enough. DISPOSITION: ACQUITS Gilbert R. Wagas of the crime of estafa on the ground of reasonable doubt, but ORDERS him to pay Alberto Ligaray the amount of P200,000.00 as actual damages, plus interest of 6% per annum from the finality of this decision. (You may be acquitted but you can still be civilly liable because of preponderance of evidence. Here, he must pay the amount of the dishonoured check plus legal interest.)