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A common predicament faced by businessmen is violating the Batas Pambansa Blg.

22 also
known as the Bouncing Checks Law. Evidently, businessmen issue checks as a matter of
practice, and sometimes when the due dates of these checks fall, either by inadvertence or
unavailable finances, the check bounces.
BP 22 punishes a person for issuing a worthless check. A check is obviously worthless when, at
the time it is encashed for payment, which must be within ninety days from issuance, it is
dishonored by the issuing bank because of insufficient funds, or even when the account against
which the check was drawn was already closed. In any of these cases, the issuer of the check
commits a violation of BP 22, and may be held liable for imprisonment of thirty days to one year
or a fine a double the value of the check or both at the discretion of the court. Moreover, the
issuer of the check may also be liable for imprisonment, even if only a fine is imposed by the
court, if the issuer has no sufficient property to pay the fine imposed, in which case he or she
shall be liable to serve a prison term at the rate of one day for each eight pesos of the unpaid fine.
Another manner in which a person becomes liable under BP 22 is when the issuer orders his or
her bank to make a stop payment of the check without any valid reason and the check would
have been dishonored for insufficiency of funds had it not been for the stop payment order given
by the issuer.
It must also be remembered that prosecution under BP 22 is not a bar for prosecution for Estafa,
and the issuer of the check may be held liable for one or both crimes, singly or simultaneously
when the complaints are filed in separate courts.
But the issuer of the check is not left with remedies. Our Supreme Court has sanctioned
numerous defenses which have acquitted individuals charged with a violation of BP 22. Possible
defenses in an indictment include 1) payment of the value of the dishonored check within five
banking days from receipt of the notice of dishonor; 2) payment of the value of the check before
filing of the criminal case in court; 3) failure to serve a written notice of dishonor of the check to
the issuer; 4) novation or change in the underlying obligation of the parties before the filing of
the criminal case in court; 5) a stop payment order pursuant to a valid reason such as nondelivery of goods or services; and 6) knowledge by the payee that the check was not supported
by sufficient funds when the issuer issued the check.
A violation of BP 22 is not really a wrong in itself or involves wrongful or immoral conduct.
Since committing a violation of BP 22 is not an inherently wrong act, the Supreme Court has, in
numerous cases, merely imposed a penalty of fine, understanding the nature of the offense and
the problems that every businessman encounters.

A check bounces either because there is not enough money or credit in a bank to
cover its amount, as in DAIF (drawn against insufficient funds check), NSF (nonsufficient funds check) and closed account.
Batas Pambasa Blg. 22 punishes any person who, KNOWING at the time he
issues a check in payment of obligation that he does not have sufficient funds or
credit with the drawee bank. The gravamen of this special penal law is the
issuance of check, not the non-payment of the obligation. (Lozano vs. Martinez,
146 SCRA 323). Checks form part of the banking system for being substitutes for
money. Hence, BP Blg. 22 is neither violative of the constitutional provision
against imprisonment of non-payment of debt nor the non-impairment clause.
In the case of Que vs. People, the Supreme Court settled that B.P.22 applies
even in cases where the dishonored checks were issued merely in the form of a
DEPOSIT or a GUARANTY and not as actual payment. The law does not make any
distinction. Criminal liability attaches to the drawer of the check whether it was
issued in payment of an obligation or merely to guarantee the said obligation.
PRESCRIPTION, which is the termination of the right to prosecute is a defense in
B.P. 22. The lapse of four (4) years AFTER the expiration of the five (5) banking
days from notice of dishonor is the prescriptive period for filing bounced check
case.
Whereas, if a person, at the time the check was issued, had the intention
of stopping payment of check, shall be guilty of estafa under the Revised Penal
Code. In estafa, the issuance of a post-dated or check without funds is intended
to defraud and to cause damage to the payee.
Deceit is an element of estafa while the same is not required in BP Blg. 22.
A person therefore, who issues a check in payment of an obligation can be held
liable at the same time for violation of B.P. 22 and estafa under Article 315, par. 2
(d) of the Revised Penal Code. Foreign checks, provided either they are drawn
and issued in the Philippines, though payable outside, are within the coverage of
the law. (De Villa vs. CA, 195 SCRA 722).
The signatory/ies are the ones liable under the law whether the bounced
check is issued by natural or juridical person because the corporation cannot be
subject to arrest and criminal liability.

Republic of the Philippines
Supreme Court
Manila

THIRD DIVISION

ALICIA F. RICAFORTE,

G.R. NO. 154438

Petitioner,
Present:

YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.,
Chairperson,
- versus -

AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,
CHICO-NAZARIO,
NACHURA, and
REYES, JJ.

. 08A096028P dated July 25... in the amount of P431.. SP No..... respondent filed a Complaint for estafa and violation of Batas Pambansa (B.... He alleged that he operates and manages a rice mill in Bulacan.R.. that sometime in June 1996. 1997. 2002 and the Resolution dated July 29... 66293...: Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to annul and set aside the Decision dated April 26.x DECISION AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ..... Promulgated: September 5. which were both issued by petitioner and when presented for payment were dishonored. to wit: FEBTC Check No.... JURADO..... Ruby Aguilar (Aguilar) procured rice from him and in payment thereof gave him two Far East Bank and Trust Company (FEBTC) checks....LEON L.... .. 2007 x...) Blg.... 1996.. Ricaforte (petitioner) with the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.. 08A096029P dated August 25.555..P... 1996 and Check No. 2002 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. Respondent.00 each.. 22 against Alicia F. J... On February 10....

that she willingly lent her checks to Aguilar on condition that these checks will be replaced with Aguilar’s own checks once her new checkbook is issued to her by Metrobank. that these were delivered to respondent not as payment but as a guarantee and on condition that Aguilar will replace petitioner’s checks with her own.555. that the checks were not issued to account or for value. 1997. which Aguilar did prior to the maturity of petitioner’s checks. She alleged that Aguilar who had lost her Metrobank checkbook borrowed her checks to pay off Aguilar’s obligations with Leon Jurado (respondent). Blg. that in accordance with the arrangement. Respondent filed his Reply denying that petitioner’s checks were merely accommodation checks. Court of Appeals. that the subject checks were issued only to accommodate Aguilar.00 each. petitioner demanded from respondent the return of her checks but respondent refused. The prosecutor found that petitioner did not have any business transaction with respondent. Maceren dismissed the complaint for estafa and B. that upon maturity of Aguilar’s replacement checks and after respondent presented them for payment and were subsequently dishonored. thus she was constrained to request her bank to issue an order of stop payment. it was then that petitioner’s checks were also presented by respondent for encashment. that when Aguilar issued the replacement checks. petitioner denied the accusation. . there can be no finding of prima facie evidence of the charges against him relying on Magno v. Aguilar issued two replacement checks in favor of respondent in the amount of P431. that Aguilar then used petitioner’s checks to pay her rice procurement with respondent. Aguilar executed an Affidavit corroborating petitioner’s defense. 22 for insufficiency of evidence. Petitioner filed her rejoinder as well as supplement to rejoinder.In her Counter-Affidavit.P. thus. In a Resolution dated November 24. that Aguilar’s replacement checks are now subject of another litigation pending in the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City. that the sequence of events showed that indeed petitioner’s checks were not intended as payment to respondent because petitioner had no obligation to respondent. Assistant City Prosecutor Luis Zenon Q.

Blg. Blg.P. that when Aguilar replaced petitioner’s checks with her own.P. 22. i. petitioner should be indicted for B.P. the Secretary found that while petitioner has no business transactions with respondent and merely issued the checks as a guarantee for Aguilar’s obligation to respondent. Blg. In so ruling.e. Aguilar.P.Respondent’s Motion for Reconsideration was denied in a Resolution dated May 27. that the gravamen of the offense punished by B. 22 is the act of making and issuing worthless checks or those dishonored upon their presentment for payment. 22 on the basis of that arrangement would frustrate the very purpose for which the law was enacted. The Secretary of Justice issued a Resolution dated September 21. that to require the arrangement surrounding the issuance of the checks be first looked into and thereafter exempt such issuance from the punitive provisions of B. will also issue her own checks. 1998. Blg.P. Blg. 22 still requires that the checks should be issued with consideration. Respondent appealed the dismissal of his complaint to the Department of Justice. which element was lacking in this case. petitioner’s checks had no more consideration since these were issued upon agreement that the real debtor. The Justice Secretary found that while the dismissal of estafa is correct. the fact remains that petitioner issued the subject checks and failed to pay respondent the amount due thereon or make arrangements for their full payment within five banking days after receiving a notice of dishonor. 22. 2000 modifying the Resolution of the City Prosecutor and directing him to file an information against petitioner for violation of B. that even respondent admitted in his Complaint-Affidavit that petitioner had no transaction with him by alleging that Aguilar handed to him petitioner’s two checks in payment of rice procurement representing these as Aguilar’s collection checks and with assurance that they are good. Blg.P. to stop the proliferation of unfunded checks. that B. 22 applies even when dishonored checks were issued merely in the form of deposit or guarantee. . B. The prosecutor found that although the issuance of a worthless check is malum prohibitum. that the thrust of the law is to prohibit the making of worthless checks and putting them in circulation.

The CA ruled that mere issuance of a bouncing check constitutes a probable cause for violation of B. 2002. 22 which will only be determined during trial. i. that in the preliminary investigation phase. is not applicable to the instant case. It ruled that trial on the merits must ensue since it is on said occasion that petitioner is granted opportunity for a full and exhaustive presentation of her evidence and not during the preliminary investigation phase where the investigating officer acts upon probable cause and reasonable belief. the CA issued its assailed Decision denying the petition for lack of merit. On April 26. Petitioner filed with the CA a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 assailing the resolutions of the Secretary of Justice for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion. whether they were drawn or issued “to apply on account or for value” as required under B. Blg. that the crux of the matter rests upon the reasons for the drawing of the postdated checks by petitioner. 2001. Blg. Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration was denied in a Resolution dated July 29. since the issue in that case was whether or not the Ombudsman followed the proper procedure in conducting a preliminary investigation and the corollary issue of whether or not petitioner was . although petitioner is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. 22. which is invoked by petitioner. The CA found no grave abuse of discretion committed by the Justice Secretary in his assailed Resolutions..e.P.P. that Sales. that preliminary investigation is not a trial and is not intended to usurp the function of the trial court.The Justice Secretary denied petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration in a Resolution dated May 30. 2002. it is not yet clear whether petitioner could be considered as having actually committed the offense charged and sought to be punished. that whether or not the accused is guilty thereof is determined in the trial proper.

afforded an opportunity to be heard and to submit controverting evidence which are not the issues in this case. BLG.P. ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THAT IT IS UNDISPUTED THAT PETITIONER HAD NO BUSINESS DEALINGS WHATSOEVER WITH THE RESPONDENT REGARDING RICE PROCUREMENTS. THE SAID PROSECUTION OFFICE HAD FOUND THAT NO PRIMA FACIE OR PROBABLE CAUSE EXISTS TO WARRANT THE FILING OF THE COMPLAINTS OF ESTAFA AND VIOLATION OF B. IV THE AFFIRMANCE BY THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE MODIFIED RESOLUTION OF THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE DIRECTING THE FILING OFAN INFORMATION AGAINST .P. herein petition on the following grounds: I THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE REVERSIBLE ERROR IN NOT HOLDING THAT THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF JUSTICE COMMITTED A GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN ISSUING HIS MODIFIED RESOLUTION FINDING PROBABLE CAUSE AGAINST PETITIONER FOR VIOLATION OF B. 22. DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE HONORABLE SECRETARY HAS AGREED WITH THE FINDING OF THE QUEZON CITY PROSECUTION OFFICE DISMISSING THE CHARGE OF ESTAFA AGAINST PETITIONER. 22 AGAINST THE PETITIONER. II THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A SERIOUS REVERSIBLE ERROR IN NOT GIVING WEIGHT AND CREDENCE TO PETITIONER’S CLAIM THAT THE SUBJECT CHECKS WERE NOT ISSUED TO ACCOUNT OR FOR VALUE BUT SOLELY TO GUARANTEE RUBY AGUILAR’S CHECKS. III THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A SERIOUS REVERSIBLE ERROR IN NOT HOLDING THAT THERE IS NO NEED TO GO TO TRIAL IN THE INSTANT CASE BECAUSE EVEN DURING THE PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION CONDUCTED BY THE QUEZON CITY PROSECUTION OFFICE. BLG. Hence.

P. the second element is also absent because it is undisputed that at the time petitioner issued the checks. Petitioner cites Tan v. 1996.P. that the subject checks were not intended for encashment.. IN THE FORM OF IMPOSITION OF A FINE WHICH IS DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF THE BOUNCED CHECKS.PETITIONER FOR VIOLATION OF B. BLG. her checks were already replaced by Aguilar’s checks dated July 20. in . The main issue to be resolved is whether the CA erred in ruling that the Secretary of Justice did not commit grave abuse of discretion in finding that there is probable cause for the filing of information against petitioner for violation of B. 1996. Blg. 22 OVERLOOKED THE FACT THAT RESPONDENT WOULD BE UNJUSTLY ENRICHED AT THE EXPENSE OF PETITIONER AND THE DEBTOR. 1996 and August 20. i. that the reason for the dishonor was “stop payment.e. MS RUBY AGUILAR.P. since the arrangement was brought to his attention through a letter dated July 19. 22 were present. for P431. since the subject checks were not intended to apply on account or for value in favor of respondent. that Aguilar lost her Metrobank checkbook and borrowed her check and that she issued the subject checks on the condition that the same will be replaced when Aguilar’s new checkbook is issued. Petitioner insists that none of the elements of the offense of B. that such substitution was with respondent’s knowledge. as petitioner had no business transaction on rice procurements with respondent.” because she requested the bank to do so due to a valid reason. People. thus the subject checks are merely accommodation or guarantee checks. the first element is absent. Blg.00 each as replacement for the subject checks.. that it was Aguilar who tendered them to respondent in payment of her rice procurements from him. 1996 and August 20. she had substantial deposits with FEBTC which can readily fund her checks upon presentment or maturity.555. 1996. that Aguilar subsequently issued her own checks dated July 20. i.e. Petitioner alleges that the CA should not have sustained the modified resolution of the Secretary of Justice because the Secretary misappreciated her defense. 22.

the question whether or not an accused can be bound over for trial can already be determined. thus. In a preliminary investigation. then it is useless to still hold a trial to determine the guilt of the accused. and that the respondent is probably guilty thereof and should be held for trial. Probable cause implies probability of guilt and requires more than bare suspicion but less than .e. can be determined. if it was determined at the preliminary investigation that an accused had not committed the crime charged. 22 is present should not be shifted to the trial court. that it erred in ruling that it is only during trial that the presence or absence of the first element of B. that preliminary investigation should be given due importance and the determination of whether the first element of B. Blg.which the petitioner was acquitted of violation of B. a case in which it was ruled that at the preliminary investigation proper. We are not persuaded.. she should also be absolved of violation of B. and it is on said occasion when petitioner is granted the opportunity for a full and exhaustive display of her evidence. Blg. Petitioner claims that the CA overlooked the fact that the Secretary of Justice absolved her of estafa. that contrary to the CA’s finding.P.P. Sales is applicable. since both offenses arose from the same subject checks.P. Petitioner contends that the CA misappreciated the importance of a preliminary investigation when it ruled that the trial on the merits must ensue. 22. i. since it can already be determined at the preliminary investigation. the public prosecutor merely determines whether there is probable cause or sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed. whether the subject checks were issued to apply to account or for value. there were sufficient funds in her account. Blg. Blg.P. 22. 22 because in ordering the stop payment of her check.

shall fail to keep sufficient funds or to maintain a credit to cover the full amount of the check if presented within a period of ninety (90) days from the date appearing thereon. without any valid reason. credence is given to the finding and determination of probable cause by the Secretary of Justice in a preliminary investigation. a crime has been committed by the suspect. shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than thirty days but not more than one (1) year or by a fine of not less than but not more than double the amount of the check which fine shall in no case exceed Two Hundred Thousand Pesos.P. Where the check is drawn by a corporation. 22. 22. 22 provides: SECTION 1. the person or persons who actually signed the check in behalf of such drawer shall be liable under this Act. A preliminary investigation does not require a full and exhaustive presentation of the parties’ evidence. respondent sufficiently established the existence of probable cause for violation of B. Blg. Contrary to petitioner’s claim. company or entity. or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court. ordered the bank to stop payment. the following elements must be present: . having sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank when he makes or draws and issues a check. A finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that more likely than not. It is enough that in the absence of a clear showing of arbitrariness.P. Checks without sufficient funds. The complainant need not present at this stage proof beyond reasonable doubt. The same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who. . for which reason it is dishonored by the drawee bank. Blg.evidence which would justify a conviction. Blg.Any person who makes or draws and issues any check to apply on account or for value. knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment. It does not call for the application of rules and standards of proof that a judgment of conviction requires after trial on the merits. To be liable for violation of B.P. Section 1 of B. which check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer.

The mere act of issuing a worthless check -.P. as a guarantee or even as evidence of pre-existing debt -. there were no sufficient funds to cover the same. the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full upon its presentment. In addition. they were dishonored for reason of the stop payment order issued by petitioner. Nitafan. but an offense against public order. or credit with. Notably. ordered the bank to stop payment. The law is not intended or designed to coerce a debtor to pay his debt. the making and circulation of worthless checks. The thrust of the law is to prohibit.whether as a deposit.is malum prohibitum. a certification from the bank showed that they returned the checks for that reason. and 3) The check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or it would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer. at the time the said checks were presented for deposit/payment. Blg. The gravamen of the offense punished by B. a check that is dishonored upon its presentation for payment. Blg. Martinez.1) The accused makes. In People v. In Lozano v.P. 2) The accused knows at the time of the issuance that he or she does not have sufficient funds in. that is. we have declared that it is not the non-payment of an obligation which the law punishes. 22. petitioner issued the two subject checks in favor of respondent. and when respondent presented them for payment. The law punishes the act not as an offense against property. without any valid reason. draws or issues any check to apply to account or for value. we said that a check issued as an evidence of debt — though not intended to be presented for payment — has the same effect as an ordinary check and would fall within the ambit of B. under pain of penal sanctions. contrary to the claim of petitioner. the practice is proscribed by the law. 22 is the act of making and issuing a worthless check. In this case. . Because of its deleterious effects on the public interest.

in respondent’s complaint-affidavit. petitioner’s argument that respondent was aware of the fact that the subject checks were only accommodation checks in favor of Aguilar is not a defense against a charge for violation of B. A finding of probable cause does not ensure a conviction or a conclusive finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. People of the Philippines.P. In fact. The allegations adduced by the prosecution will be put to test in a full-blown trial in which evidence shall be analyzed. The validity and merits of a party’s defense and accusation. 1996. and that in return for petitioner’s issuance and delivery of the said check.Petitioner claims that the subject checks were merely accommodation checks in favor of Aguilar. Aguilar acquired a temporary reprieve on her obligation. as they were not issued to account or for value. petitioner admitted that she issued the checks for the rice procurement of Aguilar from respondent which was a valuable consideration. are better ventilated during trial proper than at the preliminary investigation level. a letter in which the counsel wrote that the check which was in partial payment of the obligation due from Aguilar. he alleged that the subject checks were given to him by Aguilar in payment of the latter’s rice procurements. given credence or disproved. where the accused interposed the defense of accommodation party. Notably. 22. Blg. In Ruiz v. with the representation that the subject checks were her collection checks and assuring respondent that they would be good upon presentment. 08A096028P dated July 25. 1996 of respondent’s counsel to petitioner on the matter of petitioner’s subject FEBTC Check No. since she had no business transactions with respondent-payee. we held: . On record is a letter dated July 31. as well as admissibility of testimonies and evidence. However. weighed.

It is a policy that can easily be eroded if one has yet to determine the reason for which checks are issued. The mere act of issuing a worthless check. it must be ascertained in the light of the surrounding facts and circumstances. The Court has since said that a "check issued as an evidence of debt. BP 22 does not appear to concern itself with what might actually be envisioned by the parties. 22. And even assuming she was such party. we held: It is now settled that Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 applies even in cases where dishonored checks are issued merely in the form of a deposit or a guarantee. whether a person is an accommodation party is a question of intent. the drawee bank gives it the usual course whether issued in payment of an obligation or just as a guaranty of an obligation." Once a check is presented for payment. Hence.P. the agreement surrounding the issuance of a check is irrelevant to the prosecution and conviction of the petitioner. Also. by the mere act of issuing a bad check. the tests applied are the purpose test and the proceeds test. this circumstance is not a defense to a charge for violation of B. without making any exception from the operation thereof in favor of a guarantee. whether merely as an accommodation. The enactment in question does not make any distinction as to whether the checks within its contemplation are issued in payment of an obligation or merely to guarantee the said obligation. is covered by B. its primordial intention being to instead ensure the stability and commercial value of checks as being virtual substitutes for currency. When the intent of the parties does not appear on the face of the check. no such distinction can be made by means of interpretation or application.e. Furthermore.. the history of the enactment of subject statute evinces the definite legislative intent to make the prohibition all-embracing. This intent may be . People of the Philippines. Invariably. x x x. in Cruz v. before an appropriate application of the legislative enactment can be made. although not intended for encashment.P. In accordance with the pertinent rule of statutory construction. The only valid query then is whether the law has been breached. Court of Appeals. The gravamen of the offense under BP 22 is the act of making or issuing a worthless check or a check that is dishonored upon presentment for payment. What the law punishes is the issuance itself of a bouncing check and not the purpose for which it was issued or of the terms and conditions relating to its issuance. In Meriz v. inasmuch as the law has not made any distinction in this regard. without so much regard as to the criminal intent of the issuer. The act effectively declares the offense to be one of malum prohibitum. 22.It bears stressing that. i. or the terms and conditions for their issuance. has the same effect like any other check" and must thus be held to be "within the contemplation of BP 22. we held: The Court has consistently declared that the cause or reason for the issuance of the check is inconsequential in determining criminal culpability under BP 22.

that the bill was introduced to discourage the issuance of bouncing checks.700. supra. was provided with credit facilities by LS Finance and Management Corporation (LS Finance) to enable him to lease from MANCOR the needed equipments. Accused then asked the LS Finance Vice President Joey Gomez to look for a third party who could lend him the equivalent amount of the warranty deposit as he did not have such amount. The accused subsequently issued checks to collateralize an accommodation made by Teng amounting to Twenty Nine Thousand Seven Hundred Pesos (P29. all without distinction as to the purpose of the issuance of the checks.gathered from the statement of the sponsor of the bill (Cabinet Bill No. pp. On a Petition for Review on Certiorari. As part of their arrangement. the accused. Volume II. to prevent checks. who was in the process of putting up a car repair shop. unknown to the accused. 9) which was enacted later into Batas Pambansa Bilang 22. however.00) as warranty deposit. thus the accused was prosecuted and the lower courts convicted him of B. In Magno. we however acquitted the accused and held that the "cash out" made by Teng was not used by the accused who was just paying rental on the equipments. Blg. Court of Appeals where the accused therein was acquitted of B. 1035-1036). had contained a proviso excluding from the coverage of the law a check issued as a mere guarantee. To charge him for the refund of a "warranty deposit" he did not withdraw. 22 for issuing checks to collateralize an accommodation and not to cover the receipt of actual account or for value. LS Finance required a 30% warranty deposit of the "purchase/lease" value of the equipments to be transacted upon. Blg. 22.P. the said checks bounced. when it was introduced before the Batasan Pambansa. Petitioner invokes our ruling in Magno v. it was Corazon Teng (Vice President of MANCOR) who advanced the deposit in question on condition that the same would be paid as a short term loan at 3% interest. First Regular Session. the final version of the bill as approved and enacted by the Committee on the Revision of Laws in the Batasan deleted the abovementioned qualifying proviso deliberately for the purpose of making the enforcement of the act more effective (Batasan Record. December 4. 9. because it was not his . Consequently. Subsequently.P. what are important are the facts that the accused had deliberately issued the checks in question to cover accounts and that the checks were dishonored upon presentment regardless of whether or not the accused merely issued the checks as a guarantee. 1978. The legislative intent as above said is made all the more clear when it is considered that while the original text of Cabinet Bill No. from becoming ‘useless scraps of paper’ and to restore respectability to checks.

This is evidentiary in nature which must be presented during . herein case is still in the preliminary investigation stage which is merely inquisitorial. and at the same time privately finance those who desperately needed petty accommodations as obtaining in said case. victimized unsuspecting businessmen who likewise needed protection from the law by availing themselves of the deceptively called “warranty deposit. since he did not actually receive the amount involved.own account and it remained with LS Finance. and it is often the only means of discovering the persons who may be reasonably charged with a crime. when it was a scheme designed to skim off a business client. Blg. we refrain from prejudging the applicablity or inapplicability of Magno in this case. We are in accord with the Justice Secretary’s finding that there is reasonable ground to believe that a violation of B. It is not the occasion for the full and exhaustive display of the parties’ evidence. On the other hand.P. which was not established in that case. We also held that this is a scheme whereby Teng as the supplier of the equipment in the name of Mancor. 22 has been committed by petitioner. that this modus operandi. in so many instances. and the proof needed to convict the accused was proof beyond reasonable doubt. It bears stressing that Magno was decided after a full-blown trial. would be able to sell or lease its goods as in this case. It is not a trial of the case on the merits and has no purpose except that of determining whether a crime has been committed and whether there is probable cause to believe that the accused is guilty. it is for the presentation of such evidence only as may engender a well-grounded belief that an offense has been committed and that the accused is probably guilty thereof. to enable the fiscal to prepare his complaint or information." to say the least. would be to make him pay an unjust "debt. thus.” not realizing that they would fall prey to a leasing equipment under the guise of a lease-purchase agreement. she has substantial funds in the bank to cover the value thereof. Petitioner alleges that at the time she issued the subject checks.

P. While deceit and damage are essential elements in estafa. since both offenses arose from the same subject checks. it suffices to sustain a conviction. Section 2 of B. Aguilar had made substantial payments to respondent through cashier’s checks totalling P313. If not rebutted. Blg.P. Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. respondent still wanted to collect . drawing and issuance of a check payment of which is refused by the drawee bank because of insufficient funds in or credit with such bank. they are not required in B. 22.trial more so in the light of the bank certification that there were no sufficient funds to cover the checks when presented for deposit/payment. 22.P. under B. when presented within ninety (90) days from the date of the check. We do not subscribe to petitioner’s argument that for Aguilar’s rice procurements from respondent. she should also be absolved of violation of B. mere issuance of a check that is dishonored gives rise to the presumption of knowledge on the part of the drawer that he issued the same without sufficient funds and is hence punishable. Blg.P.255. or makes arrangements for payment in full by the drawee of such check within five (5) banking days after receiving notice that such check has not been paid by the drawee. shall be prima facie evidence of knowledge of such insufficiency of funds or credit unless such maker or drawer pays the holder thereof the amount due thereon. We also find no merit in petitioner’s claim that since the Secretary of Justice absolved her of estafa.00. that despite these substantial payments. Such knowledge is legally presumed from the dishonor of the checks for insufficiency of funds. 22 provides: Section 2. As already aforestated. — The making. Blg. 22. The law itself creates a prima facie presumption of knowledge of insufficiency of funds. Blg.

then the trial court may impose a fine double the amount of the checks. In fine. the CA did not commit any error in upholding the findings of the Secretary of Justice that probable cause exists that the crime of violation of B. It is during the trial of this case that evidence may be introduced to prove petitioner’s contentions. it has been established that when the subject checks were deposited. which fine may amount to millions of pesos.from petitioner’s subject checks the total amount of P863. Furthermore. 2002 and the Resolution dated July 29. The Decision dated April 26. Blg.110. As of now.P.P. the petition is DENIED. the allegation of petitioner that if the information for B. Costs against petitioner.00. they were all dishonored. that respondent wanted to collect from both petitioner and Aguilar for the latter’s rice procurement. 22 would be filed and in the remote event that petitioner would be found guilty thereof. . SO ORDERED. Suffice it to state that the fine that may be imposed by the court is not awarded to the private complainant. WHEREFORE. Fine is imposed as a penalty and not as payment for a specific loss or injury. 22 has been committed by petitioner. and that this is unjust enrichment on respondent’s part at the expense of petitioner and Aguilar deserves scant consideration. Blg. 2002 of the Court of Appeals are hereby AFFIRMED.

ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ Associate Justice WE CONCUR: CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO Associate Justice Chairperson MINITA V.MA. NACHURA Associate Justice . CHICO-NAZARIO Associate Justice ANTONIO EDUARDO B.

CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO Associate Justice Chairperson. REYES Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.RUBEN T. Third Division .

CA rollo. Docketed as I.S. concurred in by Justices Cancio C. pp. at 180-182. delos Santos.C E R T I F I C AT I O N Pursuant to Section 13. PUNO Chief Justice Penned by Justice Eliezer R. Garcia (now Associate Justice of this Court) and Marina L. No. CA rollo. 81-82. it is hereby certified that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. 97-3205. REYNATO S. and the Division Chairperson’s attestation. pp. Buzon. Article VIII of the Constitution. 155-159. Id. .

. Ngo v. No. Drilon v. 481 SCRA 609. at 923. 230 Phil. CA rollo. 75954. 2005. Tuquero. per Secretary Artemio G. October 22. 438 SCRA 224. Id.R. 1992. Rollo. 2006. at 17-19. People of the Philippines v. 210 SCRA 471. 361 Phil. supra note 20. Court of Appeals. People of the Philippines. Ching v. Court of Appeals. Secretary of Justice. Lucero. citing People of the Philippines v. 155815. 413 (1999). supra note 16. 207. citing Recuerdo v.R. 777 (2003).R. 2nd Assistant City Prosecutor.R. Id. 2004. 401. Court of Appeals. Drilon v. 443 Phil. CA rollo. Ang v. 344 Phil. G. 419 Phil 544. 24-25. 927 (1996). June 26. Ang v. No. No. G.R. 833 (2001). July 14. G. People of the Philippines. Commission on Audit. Id. 629. January 21. Court of Appeals. pp. 82-83. People of the Philippines. 140946. People of the Philippines v. No.R. September 21. at 20.. supra note 11. citing Nava v.G. 215 SCRA 79. Perez. 1987. per Rosalina R. No. No. . Inc. at 421. 96132. 530531. 24. Quezon City. per Justice Secretary Hernando B. G. February 6. Lucero. 164317. 165. 554 (2001). 2004. 770. 143169. Court of Appeals. 25. citing Que v. Maxicorp. 226 (1997). pp. Id. CA rollo. 406. 327 Phil. p. September 13. Nitafan. G. 449 SCRA 157. 154 SCRA 160. 1992. Lozano v. 168. 402 Phil. 93-94. 236. at 84. citing Ledesma v. Id. G.R. Datiles. Nos. 421 (1986). L-75217-18. 916. 434 SCRA 522. p. citing Microsoft Corporation v. Martinez. supra note 11.

Id. No. Id. 233 SCRA 301. 175 SCRA 37. Ty v. 420 Phil. 236. 718. 149275. Lawphil Main Menu Lawphil Main Menu > Constitution > Constitution > Statutes . 1994. 24 (1942). citing Lim v. 108738. Id. Court of Appeals. 59241-44. Supra note 5.R. at 618. 475 SCRA 476. 1989. Id. People of the Philippines. No. People of the Philippines v. 731 (1926). at 308. 394 Phil.R. at 923. 2004. People of the Philippines. 844. No. Resultas. 608 (2001). November 18. People of the Philippines. G. Badilla. G. at 617.. September 27. 160893. July 5. at 491-492.R. at 927. G. citing Meriz v. supra note 28. Nos.Id. 23. Tandoc v. 74 Phil. G. 852 (2000). supra note 16. Ching Kuan. 48 Phil. June 17. 43.R. Id. 2005. Drilon v. 439 SCRA 220. citing People of the Philippines v.

vs.R. corresponding to the value of the checks involved. CR 118561 which affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City. G. respondents. 117857 February 2.500. No. 22 (the Bouncing Checks Law) violations. 2012 Search Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. and to pay private respondent the amounts of P5. convicting petitioner on three (3) counts of Batas Pambansa Blg.: For review on certiorari is the decision dated October 28.A. Branch 17.> Statutes > Jurisprudence > Jurisprudence > Judicial Issuances > Judicial Issuances > Executive Issuances > Executive Issuances > Treatise > Treatise > Legal Link > Legal Link lawphil Today is Wednesday. 2001 LUIS S. respectively.375.R. with the legal rate of interest from the time of filing of the criminal charges.00. P6. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. and sentencing him to imprisonment of four (4) months for each count.00 and P3. 1994 of the Court of Appeals in C. as well as to pay . WONG. QUISUMBING. petitioner. November 14. J.410.00.

1986.00 (Exh.375. (4) ABC Check No. On November 6.P.100. the parties agreed to apply the checks to the payment of petitioner’s unremitted collections for 1984 amounting to P18. petitioner was charged with three (3) counts of violation of B. . a manufacturer of calendars. petitioner prevailed upon LPI not to deposit the checks and promised to replace them within 30 days. petitioner reneged on his promise. petitioner’s customers were required to issue postdated checks before LPI would accept their purchase orders. complainant through counsel notified the petitioner of the dishonor. These checks were initially intended to guarantee the calendar orders of customers who failed to issue post-dated checks. on June 5. PA660143465-C for P1. (5) ABC Check No. (6) ABC Check No.00 (Exh. 660143460-C for P540. 224 under three separate Informations for the three checks amounting to P5.3 LPI waived the P52.500. P3. Wong issued six (6) postdated checks totaling P18. Instead. 1986. 1987.00 (Exh.375. "D"). (LPI).the costs. In early December 1985. PA660143451-C for P5.00 (Exh.025.00. 1985 and for sometime subsequent thereto.00. Petitioner failed to make arrangements for payment within five (5) banking days.00. had a history of unremitted collections. Thereafter. "B"). as follows: (1) Allied Banking Corporation (ABC) Check No. however.410. CBU-12055 reads as follows:6 That on or about the 30th day of December. then give them to agents to present to customers. Petitioner.100. following company policy. The checks were returned for the reason "account closed. (3) ABC Check No. (2) ABC Check No.00. "G"). The agents would get the purchase orders of customers and forward them to LPI. and P6. After printing the calendars.410.500. PA660143463-C for P3. LPI would ship the calendars directly to the customers. However." The dishonor of the checks was evidenced by the RCBC return slip.nêt The factual antecedents of the case are as follows: Petitioner Wong was an agent of Limtong Press.00 (Exh.5 The Information in Criminal Case No.07. LPI deposited the checks with Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC). in the City of Cebu. Blg. "C"). the agents would come around to collect the payments. LPI refused to accept the checks as guarantees.00 (Exh.07 difference. On June 20. "E").1âwphi1. all dated December 30. Inc.077. However. LPI would print sample calendars. PA660143452-C for P1. Before the maturity of the checks. "F"). 1985 and drawn payable to the order of LPI.2 Hence. Hence. which he duly acknowledged in a confirmation receipt he co-signed with his wife. 660143464-C for P6.

100. but failed to do so. New Asia Restaurant P3. According to Limtong. and up to the present time still fails and refuses to do so.00). upon advice of counsel. Contrary to law. Limtong which check was issued in payment of an obligation of said accused. New Society Rice and Corn Mill (P5. Limtong averred that he refused to accept the personal checks of petitioner since it was against company policy to accept personal checks from agents. Wong pleaded not guilty.00) Pesos and Three Thousand Three Hundred Seventy-Five (P3.00).410. make or draw Allied Banking Corporation Check No.00) Pesos corresponding to the amounts indicated in Allied Banking Checks Nos. Golden Friendship Supermarket. the trial court issued its decision.00. Wong requested him to defer the deposit of said checks for lack of funds. this Court finds the accused Luis S. premises considered.375.00 Philippine Currency. 1994. he issued the checks not as payment for any obligation. petitioner claimed LPI did not return the said checks to him."8 Petitioner appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeals. 660143463 in the amount of P3. knowing at the time of issue of the check she/he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment. Limtong.Philippines. Pelrico Marketing (P1.00)." The version of the defense is that petitioner issued the six (6) checks to guarantee the 1985 calendar bookings of his customers.375.00).500. Upon arraignment. the said accused. to pay Private Complainant Manuel T. Wong promised to replace them within thirty days. he and petitioner simply agreed to use the checks to pay petitioner’s unremitted collections to LPI. Manuel T.00). with intent of gain and of causing damage. Limtong in the amount of P5. namely. 1985 together with the legal rate of interest from the time of the filing of the criminal charges in Court and pay the costs. 12057 for ABC Check No.500. Limtong the sums of Five Thousand Five Hundred (P5. Petitioner was similarly charged in Criminal Case No. the face value of the six (6) postdated checks tallied with the total amount of the calendar orders of the six (6) customers of the accused. Hence. it affirmed the trial court’s decision in . On October 28. did then and there issue.410. Six Thousand Four Hundred Ten (P6.500. 660143464 for P6. Wong GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the offense of Violations of Section 1 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 in THREE (3) Counts and is hereby sentenced to serve an imprisonment of FOUR (4) MONTHS for each count. Inc.00). In fact. According to petitioner. and New China Restaurant (P1.00 payable to Manuel T. On August 30. but when the said check was presented with said bank.500.00) Pesos. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. and in Criminal Case No.100.00. he deposited the checks which were subsequently returned on the ground of "account closed. with deliberate intent. to the damage and prejudice of said Manuel T. Trial ensued. Both cases were raffled to the same trial court.410.375. disposing as follows:7 "Wherefore. the same was dishonored for reason ‘ACCOUNT CLOSED’ and despite notice and demands made to redeem or make good said check. 660143451. Although these customers had already paid their respective orders. 12058 for ABC Check No. general manager of LPI. 660143451 dated 12-30-85 in the amount of P5. 1990. (P6. 66[0]143464 and 660143463 all issued on December 30. Hence. a few days before maturity of the checks. testified on behalf of the company. but to guarantee the orders of his customers. Cuesta Enterprises (P540. said accused failed and refused.

16 we held that "[t]o determine the reason for which checks are issued.12 the Solicitor General concedes that the checks might have been initially intended by petitioner to guarantee payments due from customers. is it not then the duty of complainant – knowing he is no longer a holder for value – to return the checks and not to deposit them ever? Upon what legal basis then may such a holder deposit them and get paid twice? Is petitioner. according to the Solicitor General. or will it be then necessary for the prosecution to show actual proof of "lack of funds" during the 90-day term? Petitioner insists that the checks were issued as guarantees for the 1985 purchase orders (PO’s) of his customers. or the terms and conditions for their issuance.if there is no more consideration or price or value – ever the binding tie that it is in contracts in general and in negotiable instruments in particular – behind the checks? – if even before he deposits the checks. in Llamado v. they found the checks were eventually used to settle the remaining obligations of petitioner with LPI.10 Petitioner raises the following questions of law -11 May a complainant successfully prosecute a case under BP 22 --. So what the law punishes is the issuance of a bouncing check and not the purpose for which it was issued nor the terms and conditions relating to its issuance. as the drawer of the guarantee checks which lost their reason for being. still bound under BP 22 to maintain his account long after 90 days from maturity of the checks? May the prosecution apply the prima facie presumption of "knowledge of lack of funds" against the drawer if the checks were belatedly deposited by the complainant 157 days after maturity. his testimony was found sufficient to prove all the elements of the offense charged. the parties had agreed that the checks would be used to pay off petitioner’s unremitted collections.15 Moreover. Petitioner’s contention that he did not demand the return of the checks because he trusted LPI’s good faith is contrary to human nature and sound business practice. our review is confined to allege errors of law. will greatly erode the faith the public reposes in the stability and commercial value of checks as currency substitutes. In cases elevated from the Court of Appeals." In his Comment. anymore" and "We have no more record. but upon the refusal of LPI to accept said personal checks per company policy. The issue as to whether the checks were issued merely as guarantee or for payment of petitioner’s unremitted collections is a factual issue involving as it does the credibility of witnesses. Instead of depositing the checks. as above stated. He contends that private respondent is not a "holder for value" considering that the checks were deposited by private respondent after the customers already paid their orders. Absent any showing that the findings by the respondent court are entirely devoid of any substantiation on record. Petitioner further assails the credibility of complainant considering that his answers to cross-examination questions included: "I cannot recall. As repeatedly held. private respondent should have returned the checks to him. and bring about havoc in trade and in banking communities.14 The lack of accounting between the parties is not the issue in this case. the same must stand.13 We find no cogent reason to depart from findings of both the trial and appellate courts.9 Hence. Although initially intended to be used as guarantee for the purchase orders of customers. he has ceased to be a holder for value because the purchase orders (PO’s) guaranteed by the checks were already paid? Given the fact that the checks lost their reason for being. Court of Appeals. The mere . this Court is not a trier of facts. Although Manuel Limtong was the sole witness for the prosecution. the present petition. Said factual issue has been settled by the trial court and Court of Appeals.toto. Its findings of fact are generally conclusive.

drawer. 22 case by claiming that the checks were issued as guarantee and the obligations they were supposed to guarantee were already paid.P.P. are:18 "(1) The making. Likewise. drawing and issuance of a check payment of which is refused by the drawee because of insufficient funds in or credit with such bank. Section 2 of B.21 Petitioner avers that since the complainant deposited the checks on June 5. 22: (1) by making or drawing and issuing a check to apply on account or for value knowing at the time of issue that the check is not sufficiently funded. Blg. He attempts to distinguish his situation from the usual "cut-and-dried" B. the maker’s knowledge is presumed from the dishonor of the check for insufficiency of funds. for what B. 22. 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 such check in full upon its presentment. or 157 days after the December 30. This flawed argument has no factual basis. the RTC and CA having both ruled that the checks were in payment for unremitted collections. drawing and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value.P.20 Thus." Petitioner contends that the first element does not exist because the checks were not issued to apply for account or for value.P. 1985 maturity date.P.P. There are two (2) ways of violating B. ordered the bank to stop payment. The only issue for our resolution now is whether or not the prosecution was able to establish beyond reasonable doubt all the elements of the offense penalized under B. the argument has no legal basis. and not as guarantee. B.P. shall be prima facie evidence of knowledge of such insufficiency of funds or credit unless such maker or drawer pays the holder thereof the amount due thereon. An essential element of the offense is "knowledge" on the part of the maker or drawer of the check of the insufficiency of . 22 punishes is the issuance of a bouncing check and not the purpose for which it was issued nor the terms and conditions relating to its issuance." Nothing herein persuades us to hold otherwise. 22 should not apply to him. the presumption of knowledge of lack of funds under Section 2 of B. Blg. and (2) by having sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank at the time of issue but failing to keep sufficient funds therein or credit with said bank to cover the full amount of the check when presented to the drawee bank within a period of ninety (90) days. – The making. pertinent to the present case. 22 creates a presumption juris tantum that the second element prima facie exists when the first and third elements of the offense are present. 22 provides: Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. when presented within ninety (90) days from the date of the check. He further claims that he should not be expected to keep his bank account active and funded beyond the ninety-day period.act of issuing a worthless check is malum prohibitum.17 The elements of B. (2) The knowledge of the maker. 22 under the first situation. and (3) The subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer.19 As to the second element. Blg. Blg. Blg.P. or makes arrangements for payment in full by the drawee of such check within five (5) banking days after receiving notice that such check has not been paid by the drawee. Blg. Blg. without any valid cause. 1986.

his funds in or credit with the bank to cover the check upon its presentment. Since this involves a state of mind difficult to
establish, the statute itself creates a prima facie presumption of such knowledge where payment of the check "is refused by
the drawee because of insufficient funds in or credit with such bank when presented within ninety (90) days from the date of
the check." To mitigate the harshness of the law in its application, the statute provides that such presumption shall not arise
if within five (5) banking days from receipt of the notice of dishonor, the maker or drawer makes arrangements for payment
of the check by the bank or pays the holder the amount of the check.22
Contrary to petitioner’s assertions, nowhere in said provision does the law require a maker to maintain funds in his bank
account for only 90 days. Rather, the clear import of the law is to establish a prima facie presumption of knowledge of such
insufficiency of funds under the following conditions (1) presentment within 90 days from date of the check, and (2) the
dishonor of the check and failure of the maker to make arrangements for payment in full within 5 banking days after notice
thereof. That the check must be deposited within ninety (90) days is simply one of the conditions for the prima facie
presumption of knowledge of lack of funds to arise. It is not an element of the offense. Neither does it discharge petitioner
from his duty to maintain sufficient funds in the account within a reasonable time thereof. Under Section 186 of the
Negotiable Instruments Law, "a check must be presented for payment within a reasonable time after its issue or the drawer
will be discharged from liability thereon to the extent of the loss caused by the delay." By current banking practice, a check
becomes stale after more than six (6) months,23 or 180 days. Private respondent herein deposited the checks 157 days after
the date of the check. Hence said checks cannot be considered stale. Only the presumption of knowledge of insufficiency of
funds was lost, but such knowledge could still be proven by direct or circumstantial evidence. As found by the trial court,
private respondent did not deposit the checks because of the reassurance of petitioner that he would issue new checks. Upon
his failure to do so, LPI was constrained to deposit the said checks. After the checks were dishonored, petitioner was duly
notified of such fact but failed to make arrangements for full payment within five (5) banking days thereof. There is, on
record, sufficient evidence that petitioner had knowledge of the insufficiency of his funds in or credit with the drawee bank
at the time of issuance of the checks. And despite petitioner’s insistent plea of innocence, we find no error in the respondent
court’s affirmance of his conviction by the trial court for violations of the Bouncing Checks Law.
However, pursuant to the policy guidelines in Administrative Circular No. 12-2000, which took effect on November 21,
2000, the penalty imposed on petitioner should now be modified to a fine of not less than but not more than double the
amount of the checks that were dishonored.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. Petitioner Luis S. Wong is found liable for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22
but the penalty imposed on him is hereby MODIFIED so that the sentence of imprisonment is deleted. Petitioner is
ORDERED to pay a FINE of (1) P6,750.00, equivalent to double the amount of the check involved in Criminal Case No.
CBU-12057, (2) P12,820.00, equivalent to double the amount of the check involved in Criminal Case No. CBU-12058, and
(3) P11,000.00, equivalent to double the amount of the check involved in Criminal Case No. CBU-12055, with subsidiary
imprisonment24 in case of insolvency to pay the aforesaid fines. Finally, as civil indemnity, petitioner is also ordered to pay
to LPI the face value of said checks totaling P18,025.00 with legal interest thereon from the time of filing the criminal
charges in court, as well as to pay the costs.1âwphi1.nêt
SO ORDERED.
Bellosillo, Mendoza, Buena, and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.
Footnotes:

1

Penned by Associate Justice Alfredo L. Benipayo, concurred in by Justices Ricardo P. Galvez and Eugenio
S. Labitoria.
2

Records, p. 119.

3

Id. at 130.

4

Otherwise known as "An Act Penalizing the Making or Drawing and Issuance of a Check without Sufficient
Funds or Credit and for Other Purposes."
5

As to the three (3) remaining checks, petitioner was also charged with violation of B.P. Blg. 22 in the
Municipal Trial Court of Cebu City, Branch 3 in Criminal Cases Nos. 25078-R, 25079-R, and 28440-R. The
MTC convicted petitioner but on appeal, the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, Branch 14, acquitted him for
lack of proof beyond reasonable doubt.
6

Records, p. 89.

7

Rollo, pp. 185-199.

8

Id. at 198-199.

9

Id. at 88-108.

10

Id. at 11-86.

11

Id. at 17.

12

Id. at 290-321.

13

Tadeo v. People, 300 SCRA 744, 749 (1998).

14

Bunag Jr. vs. Court of Appeals, 211 SCRA 440, 447-448 (1992); Morales vs. Court of Appeals, et. al., 197
SCRA 391, 401 (1991).
15

Aleria v. Velez, 298 SCRA 611, 618 (1998).

16

270 SCRA 423, 431 (1997).

17

Section 1, B.P. Blg. 22.

18

Lim v. People, G.R. No. 130038, September 18, 2000, p. 7.

19

Dichaves v. Apalit, A.M. No. MTJ-00-1274, June 8, 2000, p. 6.

20

Sycip Jr. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 125059, March 17, 2000, p. 8.

21

Vaca v. Court of Appeals, 298 SCRA 657, 661 (1998).

22

Lozano v. Martinez, 146 SCRA 323, 330-331 (1986).

23

Pacheco v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 126670, December 2, 1999, p. 9.

24

Lim v. People, G.R. No. 130038, September 18, 2000, p. 11.

The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation

THIRD DIVISION

SAMSON CHING,

G.R. No. 141181
Petitioner,
Present:

YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.,
Chairperson,
- versus -

AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ,
CALLEJO, SR.,
CHICO-NAZARIO, and
NACHURA, JJ.

CLARITA NICDAO and
HON. COURT OF APPEALS,

Promulgated:

950. SR. 23055. eleven (11) Informations were filed with the First Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Dinalupihan- . 1997.: Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari filed by Samson Ching of the Decision dated November 22. she should be held liable to pay petitioner Ching the amounts of the dishonored checks in the aggregate sum of P20. petitioner Ching. J. 1999 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. CR No. a Chinese national. 2007 x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION CALLEJO.” The instant petition pertains and is limited to the civil aspect of the case as it submits that notwithstanding respondent Nicdao’s acquittal. April 27.Respondents. Factual and Procedural Antecedents On October 21.00.000. otherwise known as “The Bouncing Checks Law..R. instituted criminal complaints for eleven (11) counts of violation of BP 22 against respondent Nicdao. The assailed decision acquitted respondent Clarita Nicdao of eleven (11) counts of violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang (BP) 22. Consequently.

Hermosa, Province of Bataan, which, except as to the amounts and check numbers, uniformly
read as follows:

The undersigned accuses Clarita S. Nicdao of a VIOLATION OF BATAS
PAMBANSA BILANG 22, committed as follows:
That on or about October 06, 1997, at Dinalupihan, Bataan,
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said
accused did then and there willfully and unlawfully make or draw and
issue Hermosa Savings & Loan Bank, Inc. Check No. [002524] dated
October 06, 1997 in the amount of [P20,000,000.00] in payment of her
obligation with complainant Samson T.Y. Ching, the said accused
knowing fully well that at the time she issued the said check she did not
have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment
in full of the said check upon presentment, which check when presented
for payment within ninety (90) days from the date thereof, was
dishonored by the drawee bank for the reason that it was drawn against
insufficient funds and notwithstanding receipt of notice of such dishonor
the said accused failed and refused and still fails and refuses to pay the
value of the said check in the amount of [P20,000,000.00] or to make
arrangement with the drawee bank for the payment in full of the same
within five (5) banking days after receiving the said notice, to the
damage and prejudice of the said Samson T.Y. Ching in the
aforementioned amount of [P20,000,000.00], Philippine Currency.
CONTRARY TO LAW.
Dinalupihan, Bataan, October 21, 1997.
(Sgd.) SAMSON T.Y. CHING
Complainant

The cases were docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 9433 up to 9443 involving the following
details:

Check No.

Amount

Date

002524
008856
012142
004531
002254
008875
008936
002273
008948
008935
010377

P 20,000,000
Oct. 6, 1997
150,000 Oct. 6, 1997
100,000
Oct. 6, 1997
50,000
Oct. 6, 1997
100,000
Oct. 6, 1997
100,000 Oct. 6, 1997
50,000 Oct. 6, 1997
50,000 Oct. 6, 1997
150,000
Oct. 6, 1997
100,000 Oct. 6, 1997
100,000 Oct. 6, 1997

Private
Complainant
Samson T.Y. Ching
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"

Reason for
the Dishonor
DAIF*
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"

At about the same time, fourteen (14) other criminal complaints, also for violation of BP
22, were filed against respondent Nicdao by Emma Nuguid, said to be the common law spouse
of petitioner Ching. Allegedly fourteen (14) checks, amounting to P1,150,000.00, were issued by
respondent Nicdao to Nuguid but were dishonored for lack of sufficient funds. The Informations
were filed with the same MCTC and docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 9458 up to 9471.

At her arraignment, respondent Nicdao entered the plea of “not guilty” to all the charges.
A joint trial was then conducted for Criminal Cases Nos. 9433-9443 and 9458-9471.

For the prosecution in Criminal Cases Nos. 9433-9443, petitioner Ching and Imelda
Yandoc, an employee of the Hermosa Savings & Loan Bank, Inc., were presented to prove the
charges against respondent Nicdao. On direct-examination, petitioner Ching preliminarily
identified each of the eleven (11) Hermosa Savings & Loan Bank (HSLB) checks that were
allegedly issued to him by respondent Nicdao amounting to P20,950,000.00. He identified the
signatures appearing on the checks as those of respondent Nicdao. He recognized her signatures
because respondent Nicdao allegedly signed the checks in his presence. When petitioner Ching
presented these checks for payment, they were dishonored by the bank, HSLB, for being “DAIF”
or “drawn against insufficient funds.”

Petitioner Ching averred that the checks were issued to him by respondent Nicdao as
s.0ecurity for the loans that she obtained from him. Their transaction began sometime in October
1995 when respondent Nicdao, proprietor/manager of Vignette Superstore, together with her
husband, approached him to borrow money in order for them to settle their financial obligations.
They agreed that respondent Nicdao would leave the checks undated and that she would pay the
loans within one year. However, when petitioner Ching went to see her after the lapse of one
year to ask for payment, respondent Nicdao allegedly said that she had no cash.

Petitioner Ching claimed that he went back to respondent Nicdao several times more but
every time, she would tell him that she had no money. Then in September 1997, respondent
Nicdao allegedly got mad at him for being insistent and challenged him about seeing each other
in court. Because of respondent Nicdao's alleged refusal to pay her obligations, on October 6,
1997, petitioner Ching deposited the checks that she issued to him. As he earlier stated, the
checks were dishonored by the bank for being “DAIF.” Shortly thereafter, petitioner Ching,
together with Emma Nuguid, wrote a demand letter to respondent Nicdao which, however, went
unheeded. Accordingly, they separately filed the criminal complaints against the latter.

On cross-examination, petitioner Ching claimed that he had been a salesman of the La
Suerte Cigar and Cigarette Manufacturing for almost ten (10) years already. As such, he
delivered the goods and had a warehouse. He received salary and commissions. He could not,
however, state his exact gross income. According to him, it increased every year because of his
business. He asserted that aside from being a salesman, he was also in the business of extending
loans to other people at an interest, which varied depending on the person he was dealing with.

Petitioner Ching confirmed the truthfulness of the allegations contained in the eleven (11)
Informations that he filed against respondent Nicdao. He reiterated that, upon their agreement,
the checks were all signed by respondent Nicdao but she left them undated. Petitioner Ching

When asked to produce the piece of paper on which he allegedly wrote the amounts that he lent to respondent Nicdao.000. With respect to the P20.000. Petitioner Ching claimed that he was confident that he would be paid by respondent Nicdao because he had in his possession her blank checks.admitted that he was the one who wrote the date. 1997.00. .00 and P50. he reasoned that it was not with him at that time. According to petitioner Ching. 9433-9443 pertained to respondent Nicdao’s loan transactions with him beginning October 1995. petitioner Ching returned the checks to respondent Nicdao. 002524).000. as security therefor.00 until the total amount reached P20.00 check (Check No. He did not ask respondent Nicdao to acknowledge receiving these amounts. October 6. petitioner Ching explained that he wrote the date and amount thereon when.000.00 and.00. He likewise intimated that prior to 1995. He lent them P300. the money that he regularly lent to respondent Nicdao beginning October 1995 reached the said sum. the latter allegedly had no cause to fear that he would fill up the checks with just any amount because they had trust and confidence in each other. On the other hand.000. Petitioner Ching maintained that the eleven (11) checks subject of Criminal Cases Nos. upon his estimation. in the amount of P1.000. respondent Nicdao similarly issued in his favor checks in varying amounts of P100. he included it in the other amounts that respondent Nicdao owed to him which totaled P20. he regularly delivered money to respondent Nicdao. petitioner Ching could not present it. on those checks when respondent Nicdao refused to pay him.000.200. He also mentioned an instance when respondent Nicdao’s husband and daughter approached him at a casino to borrow money from him.000.000.00 and wrote the said amount on one of respondent Nicdao’s blank checks that she delivered to him.000. since this amount was also unpaid.000. Petitioner Ching explained that from October 1995 up to 1997. they had another transaction amounting to P1.00.000. When the said amount was fully paid.

he admitted writing the date. who was married to a foreigner. she said that she had no cash.000. petitioner Ching angrily told respondent Nicdao that she should not have allowed her debt to reach P20. on all these checks. .000. respondent Nicdao allegedly went to his house and told him that Janette was only willing to pay him between P3.000. October 6.000. She assured petitioner Ching. Petitioner Ching claimed that he offered to accompany respondent Nicdao to her daughter in order that they could apprise her of the amount that she owed him. On hearing this. In all these instances.00 and P5. that her debt to him was only between P3. he went to her several times to collect payment. He explained that he no longer informed her about depositing her checks on his account because she already made that statement about seeing him in court. Petitioner Ching identified the demand letter that he and Nuguid sent to respondent Nicdao.00.000.00 knowing that she would not be able to pay the full amount. however.It was also averred by petitioner Ching that respondent Nicdao confided to him that she told her daughter Janette.000.000. that he would be paid by her daughter.000. as far as her daughter was concerned. Finally.00 because. that was the only amount borrowed from petitioner Ching. 1997. in September 1997. Again.000. Petitioner Ching reiterated that after the lapse of one (1) year from the time respondent Nicdao issued the checks to him.00 and P5.000. Respondent Nicdao refused for fear that it would cause disharmony in the family.

respondent Nicdao stated that she only dealt with Nuguid.000. 1997 for being “DAIF” and her account was closed the following day. She vehemently denied the allegation that she had borrowed money from both petitioner Ching and Nuguid in the total amount of P22. . Melanie Tolentino and Jocelyn Nicdao. 1997. 1997. per the bank’s records. 1996 in the amount of P1.00. as of October 8.00. The eleven (11) checks were purportedly issued in favor of petitioner Ching while the other fourteen (14) were purportedly issued in favor of Nuguid. On even date. On October 6. that she had obtained a loan from Nuguid but only for P2.000. the defense proffered the testimonies of respondent Nicdao. As such. her account with the bank was considered inactive.100.950. only a balance of P300. On direct-examination. on October 8. Yandoc explained that respondent Nicdao or her employee would usually call the bank to inquire if there was an incoming check to be funded. 94339443 and affirmed that stamped at the back of each was the annotation “DAIF”.Another witness presented by the prosecution was Imelda Yandoc.200. Respondent Nicdao admitted. she presented a Planters Bank demand draft dated August 13. she received several checks issued by respondent Nicdao. Yandoc identified the checks subject of Criminal Cases Nos. As proof of such payment.83 in her savings account. For its part.00 was left in respondent Nicdao’s checking account and P645. she received the checks that were drawn against the bank and verified if they were funded.00 and the same was already fully paid. She informed the trial court that there were actually twenty-five (25) checks of respondent Nicdao that were dishonored at about the same time.000. Further. She knew respondent Nicdao because the latter maintained a savings and checking account with them. she testified that she worked as a checking account bookkeeper/teller of the bank. Yandoc stated anew that respondent Nicdao’s checks bounced on October 7. On cross-examination. however. an employee of HSLB. On direct-examination. 1997. The annotation at the back of the said demand draft showed that it was endorsed and negotiated to the account of petitioner Ching.

Respondent Nicdao said that she purposely left the checks undated because she would still have to notify Nuguid if she already had the money to fund the checks.000. Nuguid came to the grocery store everyday to collect the interest payments. except for the P20. Respondent Nicdao denied ever confiding to petitioner Ching that she was afraid that her daughter would get mad if she found out about the amount that she owed him.00. she went to them to retrieve her checks. Nuguid allegedly wrote the payments for the daily interests at the back of the cigarette wrappers that she gave to respondent Nicdao. The principal loan amount of P2.000.00 with 12% interest per day.000.000. respondent Nicdao admitted that the signature thereon was hers but denied that she issued the same to petitioner Ching.000. Anent the other ten (10) checks.100.In addition.100. What allegedly transpired was that when she already had the money to pay them (presumably referring to petitioner Ching and Nuguid). the other ten (10) checks were handed to Nuguid on different occasions. However.00 and P150. they had another transaction. She explained that Nuguid went to the grocery store everyday to collect interest payments. The principal loan was P2.00 check. With respect to the P20. Respondent Nicdao refuted the averment of petitioner Ching that prior to 1995.000. she likewise admitted that the signatures thereon were hers while the amounts and payee thereon were written by either Jocelyn Nicdao or Melanie Tolentino. respondent Nicdao also presented and identified several cigarette wrappers at the back of which appeared computations.000.000. petitioner . who were employees of Vignette Superstore and authorized by her to do so. Respondent Nicdao clarified that.00 check.00 was allegedly delivered by Nuguid to respondent Nicdao in varying amounts of P100.

respondent Nicdao was surprised to be notified by HSLB that her check in the amount of P20. On the other hand. respondent Nicdao said that she never dealt with petitioner Ching because it was Nuguid who went to the grocery store everyday to collect the interest payments. Respondent Nicdao averred that it was Nuguid who offered to give her a loan as she would allegedly need money to manage Vignette Superstore.00 check. With respect to the .000. she also admitted that the signatures thereon were hers and that the amounts thereon were written by either Josie Nicdao or Melanie Tolentino. her employees whom she authorized to do so. When shown the P20. At that time. she was informed by her employee that one of her checks was missing. She explained that she kept her checks in an ordinary cash box together with a stapler and the cigarette wrappers that contained Nuguid’s computations. Respondent Nicdao denied any knowledge that the money loaned to her by Nuguid belonged to petitioner Ching. it was Nuguid who regularly delivered the cash to respondent Nicdao or. Her saleslady had access to this box. if she was not at the grocery store. but they refused. respondent Nicdao admitted that the signature thereon was hers but she denied issuing it as a blank check to petitioner Ching.Ching and Nuguid refused to return the checks claiming that she (respondent Nicdao) still owed them money. According to respondent Nicdao. its previous owner.000. Nuguid used to run the said store before respondent Nicdao’s daughter bought it from Nuguid’s family. She demanded that they show her the checks in order that she would know the exact amount of her debt. After the said incident. she did not let it bother her thinking that it would eventually surface when presented to the bank. Respondent Nicdao could not explain how the said check came into petitioner Ching’s possession.000. to her saleslady.000. At the continuation of her direct-examination. with respect to the other ten (10) checks. It was at this point that she got angry and dared them to go to court. She claimed that it was only then that she remembered that sometime in 1995.00 was just presented to the bank for payment.

The latter allegedly went to the grocery store everyday to collect the interest payments. that the P20.00 check was the one that was reported to her as lost or missing by her saleslady sometime in 1995. .000. In connection thereto.000. Respondent Nicdao asserted that she recognized her handwriting because Nuguid sometimes wrote them in her presence. Further. respondent Nicdao refuted the prosecution’s allegation that the demand draft was payment for a previous transaction that she had with petitioner Ching. She clarified that the payments that Nuguid collected from her everyday were only for the interests due. the figures at the back of the cigarette wrappers were written by Nuguid. however. Respondent Nicdao maintained that she had already paid Nuguid the amount of P1. respondent Nicdao explained that Josie Nicdao and Melanie Tolentino were caretakers of the grocery store and that they manned it when she was not there.payee. She never reported the matter to the bank because she was confident that it would just surface when it would be presented for payment.200. She did not ask Nuguid to make written acknowledgements of her payments.00 as evidenced by the Planters Bank demand draft which she gave to the latter and which was subsequently negotiated and deposited in petitioner Ching’s account.000. it was purposely left blank allegedly upon instruction of Nuguid who said that she would use the checks to pay someone else. She stressed. Again. respondent Nicdao identified the cigarette wrappers which indicated the daily payments she had made to Nuguid. She likewise confirmed that she authorized them to write the amounts on the checks after she had affixed her signature thereon. On cross-examination.

Tolentino added that she could not recall respondent Nicdao issuing a check to petitioner Ching in the amount of P20. Tolentino would be the one to write the amount on the checks. used to borrow money from her. Tolentino stated that she acted as its caretaker and was entrusted with the custody of respondent Nicdao’s personal checks. As an employee of the grocery store. In some instances. The latter came to the grocery store everyday to collect the interest payments. in turn.Melanie Tolentino was presented to corroborate the testimony of respondent Nicdao. She confirmed that they lost a check sometime in 1995. Sometimes. upon respondent Nicdao’s instruction. Respondent Nicdao told her that perhaps she issued it to someone and that it would just . Tolentino handed to Nuguid checks that were already signed by respondent Nicdao. Nuguid. wrote the amounts on pieces of paper which were kept by respondent Nicdao. On cross-examination. in the course of chronologically arranging respondent Nicdao’s check booklets.000.00. respondent Nicdao told her that the check could have been issued to someone else. she noticed that a check was missing. Tolentino recounted that Nuguid came to the grocery store everyday to collect the interest payments of the loan. Tolentino identified her own handwriting on some of the checks especially with respect to the amounts and figures written thereon. Tolentino claimed that in 1995. and that it would just surface when presented to the bank.000. Tolentino stated that she worked at the Vignette Superstore and she knew Nuguid because her employer. Tolentino confirmed that she was authorized by respondent Nicdao to fill up the checks and hand them to Nuguid. When informed about it. She said that Nuguid instructed her to leave the space for the payee blank as she would use the checks to pay someone else. respondent Nicdao. On direct-examination. She knew petitioner Ching only by name and that he was the “husband” of Nuguid.

On cross-examination. Jocelyn Nicdao also took the witness stand to corroborate the testimony of the other defense witnesses. she averred that she was a saleslady at the Vignette Superstore from August 1994 up to April 1998. Tolentino confirmed that the P20. Tolentino got a call from respondent Nicdao. in some instances.000. Tolentino was certain that the missing check was the same one that petitioner Ching presented to the bank for payment in the amount of P20. most of the time. . After the checks were dishonored in October 1997. Jocelyn Nicdao identified the cigarette wrappers as the documents on which Nuguid acknowledged receipt of the interest payments.000. Jocelyn Nicdao further testified that respondent Nicdao was indebted to Nuguid. Jocelyn Nicdao identified the checks on which she wrote the amounts and. Jocelyn Nicdao reiterated that she handed the checks to Nuguid at the grocery store. The latter came to the grocery store everyday to pick up the interest payments. Jocelyn Nicdao used to fill up the checks of respondent Nicdao that had already been signed by her and give them to Nuguid. Jocelyn Nicdao stated that she was a distant cousin of respondent Nicdao.00. On direct-examination. Tolentino stated that she left the employ of respondent Nicdao sometime in 1996. She explained that she was the one who wrote the minus entries and they represented the daily interest payments received by Nuguid. However. Nuguid allegedly instructed her to leave as blank the space for the payee. After she was shown a fax copy thereof. She stopped working for her in 1998 because she wanted to take a rest.000.000. the name of Nuguid as payee.00 check was the same one that she reported as missing in 1995. She knew Nuguid as well as petitioner Ching.turn up in the bank.

.

After due trial. and (c) subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer. The MCTC gave credence to petitioner Ching’s testimony that respondent Nicdao borrowed money from him in the total amount of P20.00. 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 such check in full upon its presentment. According to the MCTC.00 every month to respondent Nicdao from 1995 up to 1997 until the sum reached P20. the person in possession thereof has a prima facie authority to complete it by filling up the blanks therein. respondent Nicdao still borrowed money from petitioner Ching.000. Petitioner Ching delivered P1. without any valid cause. the MCTC rendered judgment in Criminal Cases Nos. respondent Nicdao issued checks to petitioner Ching. When the latter deposited the checks (eleven in all) on October 6. 1997.950. And a signature on a blank paper delivered by the person making the signature in order that the paper may be converted into a negotiable instrument operates as a prima facie authority to fill it up as such for any amount x x . (b) the knowledge of the maker. The MCTC also found that subsequent thereto. As security for these loans. drawn and issued the checks. On the first element. they were dishonored by the bank for being “DAIF.00. respondent Nicdao was found by the MCTC to have made. drawing and issuance of any check to apply to account or for value. ordered the bank to stop payment. The fact that she did not personally write the payee and date on the checks was not material considering that under Section 14 of the Negotiable Instruments Law. 9433-9443. 1998.000. on December 8.000. 9433-9443 convicting respondent Nicdao of eleven (11) counts of violation of BP 22. “where the instrument is wanting in any material particular.” The MCTC explained that the crime of violation of BP 22 has the following elements: (a) the making.000. all the foregoing elements are present in the case of respondent Nicdao’s issuance of the checks subject of Criminal Cases Nos.000.

As to the third element. as maker.000. It observed that ordinary prudence would dictate that a lost check would at least be immediately reported to the bank to prevent its unauthorized endorsement or negotiation. The MCTC further ruled that there was no evidence to show that petitioner Ching was not a holder in due course as to cause it (the MCTC) to believe that the said check was not issued to him. Even if the said check was indeed lost.” Respondent Nicdao admitted that she authorized her employees to provide the details on the checks after she had signed them. the MCTC faulted respondent Nicdao for being negligent in keeping the checks that she had already signed in an unsecured box.” The bank representative likewise testified to the fact of dishonor. Respondent Nicdao made no such report to the bank. had knowledge that at the time of issue she did not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment in full of the checks upon their presentment. The second element was also found by the MCTC to be present as it held that respondent Nicdao. Respondent Nicdao’s admission of indebtedness was sufficient to prove that there was consideration for the issuance of the checks. the MCTC established that the checks were subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for being “DAIF” or drawn against insufficient funds.00 check was the same one that she lost in 1995.x. drawer or issuer. The MCTC disbelieved respondent Nicdao’s claim that the P20. .000. Stamped at the back of each check was the annotation “DAIF.

1999. once dishonored.000. The petition involving the eleven (11) checks purportedly issued to petitioner Ching was docketed as CA-G. Incidentally. the MCTC likewise rendered its judgment in Criminal Cases Nos. in view of the foregoing. in separate Decisions both dated May 10. 1999. On the . on January 11. CR No. Branch 5. 9458-9471 and convicted respondent Nicdao of the fourteen (14) counts of violation of BP 22 filed against her by Nuguid. respectively. the same gave rise to the prosecution for and conviction of BP 22. the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Dinalupihan. On appeal. Bataan.Under the foregoing circumstances. She is likewise ordered to suffer imprisonment equivalent to 1 year for every check issued and which penalty shall be served successively.950. It stressed that the mere act of issuing a worthless check was malum prohibitum. Respondent Nicdao forthwith filed with the CA separate petitions for review of the two decisions of the RTC. 9433-9443 and 9458-9471. hence. and is hereby ordered to pay the private complainant the amount of P20. the accused is found guilty of violating Batas Pambansa Blg. SO ORDERED. even if the checks were issued in the form of deposit or guarantee. the MCTC declared that the conviction of respondent Nicdao was warranted. 23055 (assigned to the 13 th Division). The prayer for moral damages is denied for lack of evidence to prove the same. 22 in 11 counts.00 plus 12% interest per annum from date of filing of the complaint until the total amount had been paid.R. The decretal portion of the MCTC decision reads: WHEREFORE. affirmed in toto the decisions of the MCTC convicting respondent Nicdao of eleven (11) and fourteen (14) counts of violation of BP 22 in Criminal Cases Nos.

The OSG prayed that CA-G. the CA (13th Division) rendered the assailed Decision in CA-G. Acting on the motion for consolidation. 1999. 23055 a motion for its consolidation with CA-G. 3rd Judicial Region. 1999 advising the OSG to file the motion in CA-G.P. 23054 (originally assigned to the 7 th Division but transferred to the 6th Division). 23054. CR No. 9433 to 9443 of violation of B. affirming the decision dated December 8. 23054 in accordance with the Revised Internal Rules of the Court of Appeals (RIRCA). the OSG filed in CA-G. CR No. Bataan. CR No. 23055 acquitting respondent Nicdao of the eleven (11) counts of violation of BP 22 filed against her by petitioner Ching.R. CR No. Branch 5. 23055 pending before the 13th Division be transferred and consolidated with CA-G. CR No. CR No.other hand. . Subsequently.R. CR No. the CA in CA-G. being meritorious. Bataan. Respondent Nicdao opposed the consolidation of the two cases. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed its respective comments on the said petitions. 23054 as it bore the lowest number. The decretal portion of the assailed CA Decision reads: WHEREFORE. the petition for review is hereby GRANTED. the decision dated May 10.R.R. CR No. She likewise filed her reply to the comment of the OSG in CA-G.R. 22 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and another judgment rendered ACQUITTING her in all these cases. 23055. 23055 issued a Resolution dated October 19. with costs de oficio. 1998. Blg. the petition involving the fourteen (14) checks purportedly issued to Nuguid was docketed as CA-G.R. CR No. of the Regional Trial Court. Nicdao in Criminal Cases No. On November 22. SO ORDERED. convicting petitioner Clarita S.R. 1999.R. of the First Municipal Circuit Trial Court of DinalupihanHermosa. Accordingly.R.

In addition. Complainant [petitioner herein] Samson Ching is a Chinese national.100. to cover for any delivery of merchandise sold at the store. Nicdao. the CA issued an Entry of Judgment declaring that the above decision has become final and executory and is recorded in the Book of Judgments. the CA made the following factual findings: Petitioner [respondent herein] Clarita S. After Emma Nuguid succeeded in befriending petitioner. Nuguid was able to gain access to the Vignette Superstore where petitioner’s blank and pre-signed checks were kept. the checks given by . In acquitting respondent Nicdao in CA-G. she knew that petitioner would be in need of credit to meet the daily expenses of running the business. has a daughter.00 secured by twenty-four (24) checks drawn against respondent Nicdao’s account with HSLB. Emma Nuguid. pre-signed checks. Since then. Janette Boyd. Nuguid represented to petitioner that as former manager of the Vignette Superstore. who is married to a wealthy expatriate. Melanie Tolentino and Jocelyn Nicdao. She sold this grocery store. the CA also made the finding that respondent Nicdao borrowed money from Nuguid in the total amount of P2. which were left blank as to amount and the payee. Emma Nuguid befriended petitioner and offered to lend money to the latter which could be used in running her newly acquired store. complainant’s live-in partner. Nuguid used to own a grocery store now known as the Vignette Superstore.000. Janette Boyd. a middle-aged mother and housekeeper who only finished high school. petitioner began managing said store. payee and date.On even date. Upon Nuguid’s instruction. Gorres and Velayo. which was about to be foreclosed. since petitioner could not always be at the Vignette Superstore to keep shop. is a CPA and formerly connected with Sycip. to petitioner’s daughter. 23055.R. she entrusted to her salesladies. The blank and personal checks were placed in a cash box at Vignette Superstore and were filled up by said salesladies upon instruction of petitioner as to amount. Soon thereafter. However. who claimed he is a salesman of La Suerte Cigar and Cigarette Factory. particularly in the daily purchases of merchandise to be sold at the store. CR No.

00 and they were transacted between respondent Nicdao and Nuguid only. based on the evidence.00 which. the CA declared that. the CA also stated that respondent Nicdao made interest payments on a daily basis to Nuguid as evidenced by the computations written at the back of the cigarette wrappers.150.000. petitioner Ching failed to adduce evidence to prove the existence of a previous transaction between him and respondent Nicdao.000. under Article 1956 of the Civil Code. the CA ratiocinated that no interests could be collected because.000.respondent Nicdao as security for the loans were left blank as to the payee and the date.R. by his own admission. as of July 21.” . Based on these computations. the CA referred to the Planters Bank demand draft in the amount of P1.00 covered by fourteen (14) checks subject of the criminal complaints filed by Nuguid (CA-G. 1997. The CA negated petitioner Ching’s contention that the payments as reflected at the back of the cigarette wrappers could be applied only to the interests due.100.00 for the principal loan amount of only P2. Respondent Nicdao never dealt with petitioner Ching. “no interest shall be due unless it has been expressly stipulated in writing.R.000.100.00 covered by ten (10) checks subject of the criminal complaints filed by petitioner Ching (CA-G.200. CR No. The appellate court debunked petitioner Ching’s allegation that the said demand draft was payment for a previous transaction. 23054). CR No.000. respondent Nicdao had made a total of P5. Since the transactions were not evidenced by any document or writing. Adding up this amount and that of the Planters Bank demand draft.980.780. Apart from the demand draft. In particular. 23055).000. the CA placed the payments made by respondent Nicdao to Nuguid as already amounting to P6. According to the CA. petitioner Ching had received. and (b) P1. respondent Nicdao had already fully paid the loans. Against the foregoing factual findings.00. The loans totaled P2.000. The loans consisted of (a) P950.00 payments to Nuguid for the interests alone.

Nuguid and petitioner Ching filled up the said checks to make it appear that: (a) petitioner Ching was the payee in five checks. the pre-existing obligations secured by them were already extinguished after full payment had been made by respondent Nicdao to Nuguid. 1997 on all these checks and deposited them the following day. the word “account” refers to a pre-existing obligation.00 and. payment.000. The CA believed that when petitioner Ching and Nuguid refused to return respondent Nicdao’s checks despite her total payment of P6.00 every month to respondent Nicdao until the amount reached P20. the CA declared that she could no longer be held liable for violation of BP 22.000.980. With the finding that respondent Nicdao had fully paid her loan obligations to Nuguid. the CA was not convinced by petitioner Ching’s claim that he delivered P1.The CA gave credence to the testimony of respondent Nicdao that when she had fully paid her loans to Nuguid. In disbelieving petitioner Ching. 1997.00 check. that the check was made or drawn and issued to apply on account or for value. the CA pointed out that. It was explained that to be held liable under BP 22. when she refused to pay the same.00 for the loans secured by the checks. they informed respondent Nicdao that her checks were dishonored by HSLB and gave her three days to settle her indebtedness or else face prosecution for violation of BP 22.000. while “for value” means an obligation incurred simultaneously with the issuance of the check. Obligations are extinguished by. refused to return the checks to respondent Nicdao. Nuguid. he filled up the check. it must be established. Petitioner Ching and Nuguid then put the date October 6.000. he was never .000. In the case of respondent Nicdao’s checks. (b) the six checks were payable to cash. With respect to the P20. On October 8. petitioner Ching and Nuguid were using BP 22 to coerce respondent Nicdao to pay a debt which she no longer owed them.000. through a joint demand letter. Instead. which she earlier delivered to him as security for the loans. According to the CA. among others. she tried to retrieve her checks. inter alia.000. contrary to his assertion. (c) Nuguid was the payee in fourteen (14) checks. however. by writing thereon the said amount.

The CA emphasized that the P20. SEC.000. the CA applied Sections 15 and 16 of the Negotiable Instruments Law: SEC. he did not own the house where he and Nuguid lived. the CA characterized as incredible and contrary to human experience that petitioner Ching would.. Delivery. when effectual.000.000. as against any person whose signature was placed thereon before delivery.000.000. Nuguid. as he claimed. was an incomplete and undelivered instrument when it was stolen and ended up in petitioner Ching’s hands. as previous manager/owner of the grocery store. according to the CA.000.00 thereon and deposited it in his account. it will not. To the mind of the CA. the delivery. e. Likewise applicable. had access thereto. in cahoots with Nuguid. it found plausible respondent Nicdao’s version of the story that the P20. Specifically.00 check was the same one that was missing way back in 1995. the inference that the check was stolen was anchored on competent circumstantial evidence.000. Moreover.000. 16.00 to respondent Nicdao without any documentary proof thereof. On this point. As between immediate parties and as regards a remote party other than a holder in due course. The CA opined that this missing check surfaced in the hands of petitioner Ching who. deliver a total sum of P20. was the presumption that the person in possession of the stolen article was presumed to be guilty of taking the stolen article. amount and payee. As such. when presumed. On the other hand. written acknowledgment that she received the same. be a valid contract in the hands of any holder. – Where an incomplete instrument has not been delivered.00 check was never delivered by respondent Nicdao to petitioner Ching.employed by the La Suerte Cigar and Cigarette Manufacturing per the letter of Susan Resurreccion. 15. the said check without the details as to the date. wrote the amount P20. – Every contract on a negotiable instrument is incomplete and revocable until delivery of the instrument for the purpose of giving effect thereto.g. Vice-President and Legal Counsel of the said company. in order to . as admitted by petitioner Ching. if completed and negotiated without authority. Moreover. Incomplete instrument not delivered.

petitioner Ching did not acquire any right or interest therein and could not assert any cause of action founded on the stolen checks. The CA held that the P20.000. the delivery may be shown to have been conditional. she should be held liable to pay petitioner Ching the amounts of the dishonored checks in the aggregate sum of P20. Hence.000.000.be effectual. it was incomplete and undelivered. drawing. The Petitioner’s Case As mentioned earlier. the instant petition pertains and is limited solely to the civil aspect of the case as petitioner Ching argues that notwithstanding respondent Nicdao’s acquittal of the eleven (11) counts of violation of BP 22. or for a special purpose only.950. and. in such case. Under these circumstances.00. a valid and intentional delivery by him is presumed until the contrary is proved. But where the instrument is in the hands of a holder in due course.00 check was filled up by petitioner Ching without respondent Nicdao’s authority. and not for the purpose of transferring the property. Further. accepting or indorsing. . as the case may be. And where the instrument is no longer in the possession of a party whose signature appears thereon. the CA concluded that respondent could not be held liable for violation of BP 22. must be made either by or under the authority of the party making. a valid delivery thereof by all parties prior to him so as to make them liable to him is conclusively presumed.

or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action. – When a criminal action is instituted. Such civil action includes the recovery of indemnity under the Revised Penal Code. prior to its amendment. and damages under Articles 32. the Supreme Court has the jurisdiction and authority to resolve and rule on her civil liability. Petitioner Ching vigorously argues that notwithstanding respondent Nicdao’s acquittal by the CA. the civil action for the recovery of civil liability is impliedly instituted with the criminal action. 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. provided. in part: SEC. 33. He invokes Section 1. Further. the CA’s factual findings are in conflict with those of the RTC and MCTC. unless the offended party waives the civil action. x x x .He urges the Court to review the findings of facts made by the CA as they are allegedly based on a misapprehension of facts and manifestly erroneous and contradicted by the evidence. Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Court which. 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines arising from the same act or omission of the accused. reserves his right to institute it separately.

he asks the Court to take judicial notice that for a monetary loan secured by a check. 57-97 dated September 16. x x x Petitioner Ching theorizes that. which is the recovery of the amount of the dishonored check representing the civil obligation of the drawer to the payee.00. . Moreover. she referred to her creditors in plural form. and no reservation to file such civil action separately shall be allowed or recognized. respondent Nicdao also transacted with him. 1997 is also cited as it provides in part: 1. The criminal action for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. not only with Nuguid.Supreme Court Circular No. most checks that I issued I will inform them if I have money. and 2176 arising from the same act or omission of the accused is impliedly instituted with the criminal action. the check itself is the evidence of indebtedness. The existence of the same is allegedly established by his testimony before the MCTC. 22 shall be deemed to necessarily include the corresponding civil action. Petitioner Ching pointed out that during respondent Nicdao’s testimony. e. 33. Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Court. who turned out to be petitioner Ching. In seeking to enforce the alleged civil liability of respondent Nicdao. Also. 34. they testified that Nuguid instructed them at times to leave as blank the payee on the checks as they would be paid to someone else. under the above-quoted Circular.” Even respondent Nicdao’s employees allegedly knew him. petitioner Ching maintains that she had loan obligations to him totaling P20. the civil action for the recovery of damages under Articles 32. under Section 1. “[I] told them.950. contrary to her protestation.g. He insists that. the criminal action for violation of BP 22 necessarily includes the corresponding civil action.000.

00 was in payment for respondent Nicdao’s previous loan transaction with him. Further.780.950.000.200.100.950. Petitioner Ching maintains that. Jocelyn Nicdao. she is allegedly estopped from questioning the interests because she willingly paid the same. contrary to the CA’s finding. Petitioner Ching clarified that what he meant when he testified before the MCTC was that he was engaged in dealership with La Suerte Cigar and Cigarette Manufacturing.000.000.000.00) were allegedly issued by respondent Nicdao to petitioner Ching as security for the loans that she obtained from him from 1995 to 1997. the Planters Bank demand draft for P1. He insists that they were for the interests alone. Apart from the P20. He stresses that he owns a warehouse and is also in the business of lending money.000. Further.00 to respondent Nicdao.000. Through the said letter. they notified her that the twenty-five (25) . her loan obligations amounted to much more than P2. Even respondent Nicdao’s testimony allegedly showed that they were daily interest payments. contrary to respondent Nicdao’s claim.000. the other ten (10) checks (totaling P950. The existence of another loan obligation prior to the said period was allegedly established by the testimony of respondent Nicdao’s own witness. Petitioner Ching further avers that the interest payments totaling P5. is allegedly non sequitur.000.It was allegedly erroneous for the CA to hold that he had no capacity to lend P20. and not merely its sales agent. the CA’s reasoning that he could not possibly have lent P20. Petitioner Ching also takes exception to the CA’s ruling that the payments made by respondent Nicdao as reflected on the computations at the back of the cigarette wrappers were for both the principal loan and interests. who testified that when she started working in Vignette Superstore in 1994. Petitioner Ching also harps on respondent Nicdao’s silence when she received his and Nuguid’s demand letter to her.00 to respondent Nicdao since petitioner Ching and Nuguid did not own the house where they live.00.00 check.00 can only mean that. she noticed that respondent Nicdao was already indebted to Nuguid.

as affirmed by the RTC. petitioner Ching assails the CA’s ruling that it was stolen and was never delivered or issued by respondent Nicdao to him.00.000. that the signatures thereon were hers and that she had issued them to petitioner Ching. He informs the Court that latter case is still pending with the CA. it is petitioner Ching’s view that the CA gravely erred in disregarding the findings of the MCTC. 23054.000.000.e. allegedly constitutes an admission of the statements contained therein. vis-à-vis the demand letter. and submits that there is more than sufficient preponderant evidence to hold respondent Nicdao civilly liable to him in the amount of P20. the MCTC’s decision. her failure to report the alleged theft to the bank to stop payment of the said lost or missing check is allegedly contrary to human experience. On the other hand.00 check.950. CR No. Further.000. her failure to deny or protest the same by way of reply. Petitioner Ching describes respondent Nicdao’s defense of stolen or lost check as incredible and.checks valued at P22. otherwise. Aside from the foregoing substantive issues that he raised. petitioner Ching also faults the CA for not acting and ordering the consolidation of CA-G. He thus prays that the Court direct respondent Nicdao to pay him the said amount plus 12% interest per annum computed from the date of written demand until the total amount is fully paid.100.R. therefore. i.R. The issue of the said check being stolen was allegedly not raised during trial.. it has been established that the checks were respondent Nicdao’s personal checks. Respondent Nicdao’s silence. CR No. 23055 with CA-G. as affirmed by the RTC. . false. is allegedly based on the evidence on record. In fine. With respect to the P20. and that she had three days to settle her ndebtedness with them. face prosecution.00 were dishonored by the HSLB.

petitioner Ching did not acquire any right or interest over the said check and could not assert any cause of action founded on the said check.Except in the cases provided for in Section 3 hereof. She refers to the ruling of the CA that the P20. She posits preliminarily that it is barred under Section 2(b). .The Respondent’s Counter-Arguments Respondent Nicdao urges the Court to deny the petition. the CA held that respondent Nicdao had no obligation to make good the stolen check and cannot be held liable for violation of BP 22. 2. after the criminal action has been commenced. . the assailed CA decision has already made a finding to the effect that the fact upon which her civil liability might arise did not exist.000. the civil action which has been reserved cannot be instituted until final judgment in the criminal action. According to respondent Nicdao. Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Court which states: SEC. considering that the loan obligations secured by these checks had already been extinguished by her full payment thereof. unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did not exist. xxxx (b) Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil. hence.000. Consequently.00 check was stolen. Institution of separate of civil action. She also refers to the CA’s pronouncement relative to the ten (10) other checks that they were not issued to apply on account or for value.

as security for the loans. they then maliciously filled up the checks making it appear that petitioner Ching was the payee in the five checks and the six others were payable to “cash”.000. these pronouncements are equivalent to a finding that the facts upon which her civil liability may arise do not exist.00 check was the same one that she lost sometime in 1995) was corroborated by the respective testimonies of her employees. petitioner Ching and Nuguid deposited the checks and caused them to be dishonored by HSLB.000. Moreover. respondent Nicdao tried to retrieve her checks but Nuguid and petitioner Ching falsely told her that she still owed them money.000.00 check was a stolen check and that she never made any transaction with petitioner Ching.To respondent Nicdao’s mind.000. Another indication that it was stolen was the fact that among all the checks which ended up in the hands of petitioner Ching and Nuguid. . respondent Nicdao issued checks to Nuguid. In any case.000. It is pointed out by respondent Nicdao that her testimony (that the P20. which seeks to enforce her civil liability based on the eleven (11) checks. in 1995.00 check was fully typewritten.000. Nuguid beguiled respondent Nicdao to obtain loans from her. payee and date. the salesladies were given the authority to fill up the said checks as to the amount. The instant petition. is thus allegedly already barred by the final and executory decision acquitting her. one of the salesladies reported that a check was missing. Nuguid had access to the grocery store. when the salesladies gave the checks to Nuguid. in 1997. and knowing fully well that these checks were not funded because respondent Nicdao already fully paid her loans. she instructed them to leave blank the payee and date. respondent Nicdao contends that the CA did not commit serious misapprehension of facts when it found that the P20. These findings are allegedly supported by the evidence on record which consisted of the respective testimonies of the defense witnesses to the effect that: respondent Nicdao had the practice of leaving pre-signed checks placed inside an unsecured cash box in the Vignette Superstore. only the P20. when she had fully paid her loans to Nuguid. payee and date. the other ten (10) checks were not issued to apply on account or for value. the rest were invariably handwritten as to the amounts.

00.00) because as respondent Nicdao asseverates. As evidenced by the Planters Bank demand draft in the amount of P1.00 check was stolen on the ground that an appeal in a criminal case throws open the whole case to the appellate court’s scrutiny. she merely issued them to Nuguid as security for her loans obtained from the latter beginning October 1995 up to 1997. Accordingly.000.00 check was an incomplete and undelivered instrument in the hands of petitioner Ching and he did not acquire any right or interest therein. petitioner Ching’s attempt to collect payment on the said check through the instant petition must fail. Considering that it was stolen. Neither could she be held liable for the ten (10) other checks (in the total amount of P950. In relation thereto.000. she already made payment in 1996.00 without any documentary proof of the loan transactions. she maintains that she had been consistent in her theory of defense and merely relied on the disputable presumption that the person in possession of a stolen article is presumed to be the author of the theft. the P20. It is underscored that he has not adequately shown that he possessed the financial capacity to lend such a huge amount to respondent Nicdao as he so claimed. In any event.000. She submits that it is contrary to human experience for loan transactions involving such huge amounts of money to be devoid of any documentary proof.000. Respondent Nicdao describes as downright incredible petitioner Ching’s testimony that she owed him a total sum of P20. respondent Nicdao underscores that petitioner Ching lied about being employed as a salesman of La Suerte Cigar and Cigarette Manufacturing. he cannot assert any cause of action founded on the said stolen check.000. The said demand draft was negotiated to petitioner Ching’s account and he admitted receipt thereof.000.950.000. Respondent Nicdao belies his claim that the demand draft was payment .Respondent Nicdao defends the CA’s conclusion that the P20.200. respondent Nicdao argues.000. Further.

Respondent Nicdao emphasizes that the ten (10) other checks that she issued to Nuguid as security for her loans had already been discharged upon her full payment thereof. respondent Nicdao insists that petitioner Ching received. In addition to the Planters Bank demand draft.000. On this point.00) and those reflected at the back of the cigarette wrappers (P5.00 check.for a prior existing obligation.000. hence. She asserts that petitioner Ching was unable to present evidence of such a previous transaction. respondent Nicdao had already paid petitioner Ching and Nuguid a total sum of P6. and claims that this is illegal. through Nuguid.00). the CA allegedly correctly held that. nor did he dispute their authenticity and accuracy. she invokes Article 1956 of the Civil Code. no written stipulation for the payment of interests thereon. Petitioner Ching cannot insist that the daily payments she made applied only to the interests on the loan obligations. cash payments as evidenced by the computations written at the back of the cigarette wrappers. .000.000.00 for her loan obligations totaling only P950. computing the amount of the Planters Bank demand draft (P1. Respondent Nicdao rebuts petitioner Ching’s argument (that the daily payments were applied to the interests). considering that there is admittedly no document evidencing these loans. Nuguid went to the Vignette Superstore everyday to collect these payments.780. Petitioner Ching allegedly never disputed the accuracy of the accounts appearing on these cigarette wrappers.000.200.00. The other defense witnesses corroborated this fact. It is her belief that these checks can no longer be used to coerce her to pay a debt that she does not owe.000.980. which proscribes the collection of interest payments unless expressly stipulated in writing. as secured by the ten (10) HSLB checks excluding the stolen P20. Based on the foregoing evidence.

.

the CA’s acquittal of respondent Nicdao is premised on the finding that.” Under the pertinent provision of the Revised Rules of Court.R. the civil action is generally impliedly instituted with the criminal action. petitioner Ching is entitled to appeal the civil aspect of the case within the reglementary period It is axiomatic that “every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable. CR No. respondent Nicdao proffers the explanation that under the RIRCA. The Court’s Rulings The petition is denied for lack of merit. consolidation of the cases is not mandatory. At the time of petitioner Ching’s filing of the . Moreover. respondent Nicdao urges the Court to deny the petition as it failed to discharge the burden of proving her civil liability with the required preponderance of evidence. the ten (10) other checks were not made to apply to a valid. in effect. Notwithstanding respondent Nicdao’s acquittal. 23054. This. In fine. due and demandable obligation. apart from the stolen check.R. 23055 and CA-G.On the CA’s failure to consolidate CA-G. is a categorical ruling that the fact from which the civil liability of respondent Nicdao may arise does not exist. CR No.

In either case. or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action. Such civil action includes the recovery of indemnity under the Revised Penal Code. Institution of criminal and civil actions. xxxx As a corollary to the above rule. 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines arising from the same act or omission of the accused. unless the offended party waives the civil action. Section 2(b) of the same Rule. quoted earlier. – When a criminal action is instituted. the civil action for the recovery of civil liability is impliedly instituted with the criminal action. 33.Informations against respondent Nicdao. Rule 111 of the Revised Rules of Court. provided in part: SEC. provided in part: (b) Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil. reserves his right to institute it separately. an acquittal does not necessarily carry with it the extinguishment of the civil liability of the accused.” . also quoted earlier. unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did not exist. and damages under Articles 32. It is also relevant to mention that judgments of acquittal are required to state “whether the evidence of the prosecution absolutely failed to prove the guilt of the accused or merely failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. the judgment shall determine if the act or omission from which the civil liability might arise did not exist. 1. Section 1.

the civil action based on the delict is extinguished if there is a finding in the final judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist or where the accused did not commit the act or omission imputed to him. If in a criminal case the judgment of acquittal is based upon reasonable doubt. The Court likewise expounded in Salazar v. and (c) where the civil liability is not derived from or based on the criminal act of which the accused is acquitted. the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to answer for damages in case the complaint should be found to be malicious. it may be inferred from the text of the decision whether or not the acquittal is due to that ground. Moreover. (b) where the court expressly declares that the liability of the accused is not criminal but only civil in nature. Thus.In Sapiera v. In the absence of any declaration to that effect. the Court enunciated that the civil liability is not extinguished by acquittal: (a) where the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt. (c) the civil liability of the accused does not arise from or is not based upon the crime of which the accused is acquitted. a civil action for damages for the same act or omission may be instituted. under Article 29 of the Civil Code – ART. Upon motion of the defendant. (b) the court declared that the liability of the accused is only civil. People the consequences of an acquittal on the civil aspect in this wise: The acquittal of the accused does not prevent a judgment against him on the civil aspect of the criminal case where: (a) the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required. . However. When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. the prosecution cannot appeal from the judgment of acquittal as it would place the accused in double jeopardy. If the accused is acquitted on reasonable doubt but the court renders judgment on the civil aspect of the criminal case. Court of Appeals. the court shall so declare. 29. Such action requires only a preponderance of evidence.

” the period to appeal granted to petitioner Ching is the same as that granted to the accused. Following the long recognized rule that “the appeal period accorded to the accused should also be available to the offended party who seeks redress of the civil aspect of the decision. as the offended party. however. the Court thus has the jurisdiction and authority to determine the civil liability of respondent Nicdao notwithstanding her acquittal. it must establish that the judgment of the CA acquitting respondent Nicdao falls under any of the three categories enumerated in Salazar and Sapiera. Salazar also enunciated that the civil action based on the delict is extinguished if there is a finding in the final judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil . the offended party or the accused or both may appeal from the judgment on the civil aspect of the case within the period therefor. In order for the petition to prosper. to wit: (a) where the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt as only preponderance of evidence is required. From the foregoing. With petitioner Ching’s timely filing of the instant petition for review of the civil aspect of the CA’s decision. (b) where the court declared that the liability of the accused is only civil. and (c) where the civil liability of the accused does not arise from or is not based upon the crime of which the accused is acquitted. petitioner Ching correctly argued that he.the aggrieved party. may appeal the civil aspect of the case notwithstanding respondent Nicdao’s acquittal by the CA. The civil action was impliedly instituted with the criminal action since he did not reserve his right to institute it separately nor did he institute the civil action prior to the criminal action.

002524 and cannot assert any cause of action founded on said check. the CA found that the P20.000.000.” and that respondent Nicdao “has no obligation to make good the stolen check and cannot. therefore. As such. be held liable for violation of B. petitioner Ching “did not acquire any right or interest over Check No. The acquittal of respondent Nicdao likewise effectively extinguished her civil liability A painstaking review of the case leads to the conclusion that respondent Nicdao’s acquittal likewise carried with it the extinction of the action to enforce her civil liability. according to the CA. First.00 check was a stolen check which was never issued nor delivered by respondent Nicdao to petitioner Ching. it is based on the finding that she did not commit the act penalized under BP 22.” . Rather. There is simply no basis to hold respondent Nicdao civilly liable to petitioner Ching. Blg. the Court holds that respondent Nicdao cannot be held civilly liable to petitioner Ching. In particular. the CA’s acquittal of respondent Nicdao is not merely based on reasonable doubt. For reasons that will be discussed shortly. 22.P.liability may arise did not exist or where the accused did not commit the act or omission imputed to him.

000.000.00 demand draft received by Emma Nuguid. it would appear that petitioner [respondent herein] had already made payments in the total amount of P6. i.000.00 check that it was a stolen check necessarily absolved respondent Nicdao of any civil liability thereon as well. petitioner Ching miserably failed to prove by preponderant evidence the existence of these unpaid loan obligations.000.000.000.000.00 in the case at bar and P1. the second element for the crime under BP 22. On the other hand. In fact.” is not present. In this connection. adding the payments recorded at the back of the cigarette cartons by Emma Nuguid in her own handwriting totaling P5. CR No. 23054).780.150. the CA found as follows: . however. it can be inferred from the following findings of the CA in its decision acquitting respondent Nicdao that the act or omission from which her civil liability may arise did not exist.00 and the P1.With respect to the ten (10) other checks.000. in acquitting respondent Nicdao.00 in CA-G.00 (P950. Third.e.. its finding relative to the P20. the CA did not adjudge her to be civilly liable to petitioner Ching.00 for her loan obligation of only P2. while petitioner Ching attempts to show that respondent Nicdao’s liability did not arise from or was not based upon the criminal act of which she was acquitted (ex delicto) but from her loan obligations to him (ex contractu).200. the CA explicitly stated that she had already fully paid her obligations.00 check.000. On the P20.R. Significantly.100.980. “that the check is made or drawn and issued to apply on account or for value.000. the CA established that the loans secured by these checks had already been extinguished after full payment had been made by respondent Nicdao. Second. The CA computed the payments made by respondent Nicdao vis-à-vis her loan obligations in this manner: Clearly.

and the date of the check). Jan. 002524 and cannot assert any cause of action founded on said check. The fact already established is that Emma Nuguid . Annex DD. indeed. the possession of a thing that was stolen . filled up the blank check with his name as payee and in the fantastic amount of P20. the missing pre-signed and undated check no. pp. Petition. 740). and presented it to the bank on October 7. at the time check no. . the amount of the check. since it has been established that check no. Petition).P. 7. assert any cause of action founded on said stolen check (Development Bank of the Philippines v. 002524 in his possession was a blank check (TSN. 1997. it is admitted by complainant Ching that said check in his possession was a blank check and was subsequently completed by him alone without authority from petitioner. 002524. Sima We. Sept. 1997. Zafra. It goes without saying that since complainant Ching did not acquire any right or interest over check no. Annex J. be held liable for violation of B. pp. 1998.00. the said check was blank in its material aspect (as to the name of payee. 237 SCRA 664). Check no. for payment. dated it October 6. it is abundantly clear that said check was never delivered to complainant Ching. Inasmuch as check no. as in this case.000. 002524 was an incomplete and undelivered instrument when it was stolen and ended up in the hands of complainant Ching. Sections 15 and 16 of the Negotiable Instruments Law provide: xxxx In the case of check no. 43-46. previous owner of the store. 22. therefore. 1998. but was already pre-signed by petitioner. Annex EE. Moreover. 219 SCRA 736. the inference that the check was stolen is anchored on competent circumstantial evidence. As previously shown. Sept. Moreover. therefore. complainant Ching himself admitted that check no. in cahoots with his paramour Emma Nuguid. 002524 was incomplete and undelivered in the hands of complainant Ching. 002524 was stolen. 9.True.000. absent a credible reason. 24-27. along with the other checks. 002524 had been missing since 1995 (TSN. 1998. 14-15. petitioner has no obligation to make good the stolen check and cannot. Blg. pp. 002524 surfaced in the possession of complainant Ching who. Petition). TSN. 10. he did not acquire any right or interest therein and cannot. In fact. gives rise to the presumption that the person in possession of the stolen article is presumed to be guilty of taking the stolen article (People v. had access to said store. Therefore.

As of July 21.200.that the P20. Generally checks may constitute evidence of indebtedness.000. However. However.00.000.000.00 in CA-G.000. the authenticity and accuracy of which were never denied by either complainant Ching or Emma Nuguid. in view of the CA’s findings relating to the eleven (11) checks . it is also not disputed that petitioner made cash payments to Emma Nuguid who collected the payments almost daily at the Vignette Superstore.000. must be established by preponderant evidence other than the discredited checks.R.200. complainant Ching failed to adduce any evidence to prove the existence of the alleged obligation of the petitioner prior to those secured by the subject checks. Samson Ching admitted having received the demand draft which he deposited in his bank account. Clearly.00 for her loan obligation of only P2. All of these cash payments were recorded at the back of cigarette cartons by Emma Nuguid in her own handwriting.780.980. Emma Nuguid collected cash payments amounting to approximately P5. Such civil liability. 1997.Anent the other ten (10) checks. CR No.000.980. .00 and the P1.000 to pay for the loans guaranteed by said checks and other checks issued to her.00 demand draft received by Emma Nuguid.000. adding the payments recorded at the back of the cigarette cartons by Emma Nuguid in her own handwriting totaling P5. It is not controverted that petitioner gave Emma Nuguid a demand draft valued at P1. 23054).100.00 was a stolen check and the obligations secured by the other ten (10) checks had already been fully paid by respondent Nicdao – they can no longer be given credence to establish respondent Nicdao’s civil liability to petitioner Ching. the CA made the following findings: Evidence sufficiently shows that the loans secured by the ten (10) checks involved in the cases subject of this petition had already been paid.000. Apart from the payment to Emma Nuguid through said demand draft. However. complainant Samson Ching claimed that the said demand draft represents payment for a previous obligation incurred by petitioner.00 in the case at bar and P1. therefore. it would appear that petitioner had already made payments in the total amount of P6.000.00 for her loan in the total amount of P6.000.150.00 (P950.780.

In gist. the Court holds that the existence of respondent Nicdao’s civil liability to petitioner Ching in the amount of P20. petitioner filled up the checks in his possession with the corresponding amounts and date and deposited them in his account. the party having the burden of proof must establish his case by a preponderance of evidence. how determined. the court may consider all the facts and circumstances of the case.950. When respondent Nicdao allegedly refused to pay her obligations despite his due demand. not upon him who denies.” Preponderance of evidence is a phrase which. amounts and payee. In determining where the preponderance or superior weight of evidence on the issues involved lies. It is evidence which is more convincing to the court as worthy of belief than that which is offered in opposition thereto. their intelligence.000. Rule 133 of the Revised Rules of Court offers the guidelines in determining preponderance of evidence: SEC. qui dicit. respondent Nicdao obtained loans from him in the total amount of P20.950. the party having the burden of proof must establish his case by a preponderance of evidence. Preponderance of evidence is the weight. 1. in the last analysis. Section 1. the witnesses’ manner of testifying. their means and opportunity of knowing the facts to which they are testifying. They were subsequently dishonored by the HSLB for being “DAIF” and petitioner Ching accordingly filed the criminal complaints against respondent Nicdao for violation of BP 22.After a careful examination of the records of the case. It is a basic rule in evidence that the burden of proof lies on the party who makes the allegations – Et incumbit probatio. he who denies a fact cannot produce any proof). Preponderance of evidence.00.000. – In civil cases. since. credit. In civil cases. he testified that from October 1995 up to 1997. cum per rerum naturam factum negantis probatio nulla sit (The proof lies upon him who affirms. the nature of the . and value of the aggregate evidence on either side and is usually considered to be synonymous with the term “greater weight of evidence” or “greater weight of the credible evidence. she issued eleven (11) checks which were invariably blank as to the date. by the nature of things. non qui negat. As security for her obligations. means probability of the truth. Petitioner Ching mainly relies on his testimony before the MCTC to establish the existence of these unpaid obligations.00 representing her unpaid obligations to the latter has not been sufficiently established by preponderant evidence.

Bare allegations. In support thereof.200. petitioner Ching did not proffer any documentary evidence to prove the existence of the said previous transaction. 1996.facts to which they testify. among others. Jocelyn Nicdao and Tolentino. and also their personal credibility so far as the same may legitimately appear upon the trial. The court may also consider the number of witnesses. respondent Nicdao’s defense consisted in. However. the probability or improbability of their testimony. he failed to adduce any other documentary evidence to prove that respondent Nicdao still has unpaid obligations to him in the said amount. petitioner Ching’s testimony alone does not constitute preponderant evidence to establish respondent Nicdao’s civil liability to him amounting to P20. unsubstantiated by evidence.950. based on these computations. The said demand draft was negotiated to petitioner Ching’s account and he admitted receipt of the value thereof. it is logical to conclude that. As found by the CA.000.00. respondent Nicdao submitted as evidence the cigarette wrappers at the back of which were written the computations of the daily payments that she had made to Nuguid. Apart from the discredited checks. absent any evidence to the contrary. other than his self-serving claim. Considering that the Planters Bank demand draft was dated August 13. Additionally. The fact of the daily payments was corroborated by the other witnesses for the defense. it formed part of respondent Nicdao’s payment to petitioner Ching on account of the loan obligations that she obtained from him since October 1995.00. respondent . Unfortunately.000. are not equivalent to proof under our Rules. she presented the Planters Bank demand draft for P1. In contrast. though the preponderance is not necessarily with the greater number. their interest or want of interest. namely. Petitioner Ching tried to controvert this by claiming that it was payment for a previous transaction between him and respondent Nicdao. her allegation that she had already paid her obligations to petitioner Ching through Nuguid.

the requisite quantum of evidence .000. However.indubitably lies with respondent Nicdao. With respect to the P20.” Neither could respondent Nicdao be considered to be estopped from denying the validity of these interests. under Article 1956 of the Civil Code.000. 1997. As earlier .00 to Nuguid as of July 21.000. Tolentino and Jocelyn Nicdao.000. the payments made. Hence. as between petitioner Ching and respondent Nicdao. as reflected at the back of these cigarette wrappers.00 were properly considered by the CA as applying to the principal amount of her loan obligations. were not disputed by petitioner Ching. Even respondent Nicdao testified that the daily payments that she made to Nuguid were for the interests due. no interests could be properly collected in the loan transactions between petitioner Ching and respondent Nicdao because there was no stipulation therefor in writing.00 cannot be considered as interest payments only.000.Nicdao had made a total payment of P5. “no interest shall be due unless it has been expressly stipulated in writing.000. namely.00 check. these payments as well as the amount of the Planters Bank demand draft establish that respondent Nicdao already paid the total amount of P6.780.780. To reiterate. the defense of respondent Nicdao that it was stolen and that she never issued or delivered the same to petitioner Ching was corroborated by the other defense witnesses.00 to Nuguid and petitioner Ching. the daily payments made by respondent Nicdao amounting to P5.980. All told. Clearly.preponderance of evidence . The Court agrees with the CA that the daily payments made by respondent Nicdao amounting to P5. as correctly ruled by the CA. Consequently. Again. Estoppel cannot give validity to an act that is prohibited by law or one that is against public policy.780. the collection of interests without any stipulation therefor in writing is prohibited by law.

23055 and CA-G.R. premises considered. not mandatory.R. Consolidation of Cases. Thus. nature of the above provision. 23055. under the circumstances which have just been discussed lengthily. 23054 During the pendency of CA-G. The CA committed no reversible error in not consolidating CA-G.R. she cannot be held civilly liable to petitioner Ching for her acquittal. (a) At the instance of any party or Justice to whom the case is assigned for study and report. and with the conformity of all the Justices concerned. CR No. CR No. – Whenever two or more allied cases are assigned to different Justices. CR No. CR No. the Petition is DENIED for lack of merit.R. The use of the word “may” denotes the permissive. . no grave error could be imputed to the CA when it proceeded to render its decision in CA-G. without consolidating it with CA-G. 23055 and CA-G. CR No. WHEREFORE.intimated. they may be consolidated for study and report to a single Justice.R. the pertinent provision of the RIRCA on consolidation of cases provided: SEC. 7. such acquittal carried with it the extinction of her civil liability as well.R. the consolidation may be allowed when the cases to be consolidated involve the same parties and/or related questions of fact and/or law. CR No. 23054. 23054 in the CA.

SR. CALLEJO.SO ORDERED. CHICO-NAZARIO . Associate Justice WE CONCUR: CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO Associate Justice MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ Associate Justice MINITA Associate Justice V. ROMEO J.

No.ANTONIO EDUARDO B. or exemplary damages without specifying the amount thereof in the complaint or information. 219 SCRA 736. Citing Development Bank of the Philippines v. Section 1. 1. the Supreme Court amended the Rules on Criminal Procedure. Rules and Guidelines in the Filing and Prosecution of Criminal Cases under Batas Pambansa Bilang 22. Rule 111 now reads in full: SEC. . 1. Revised Penal Code. 667. Citing People v. Institution of criminal and civil actions. . – (a) When a criminal action is instituted. nominal. 237 SCRA 664. 1994. 110079. 85419. the civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall be deemed instituted with the criminal action unless the offended party waives the civil action. par. temperate. reserves the right to institute it separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action. October 19. G. Zafra. 741. the filing fees therefor shall constitute a first lien on the judgment awarding such damages. When the offended party seeks to enforce civil liability against the accused by way of moral. March 9. No. NACHURA Associate Justice ATTESTATION Criminal Case No. Article 100.R. Sima Wei. The reservation of the right to institute separately the civil action shall be made before the prosecution starts presenting its evidence and under circumstances affording the offended party a reasonable opportunity to make such a reservation. G.R. 1993. In 2000. 9435.

be consolidated with the criminal action in the court trying the criminal action. – After the criminal action has been commenced. it may be consolidated with the criminal action upon application with the court trying the latter case. The suspension shall last until final judgment is rendered in the criminal action. the same may. the filing fees based on the amount awarded shall constitute a first lien on the judgment. However. the corresponding filing fees shall be paid by the offended party upon the filing thereof in court. other than actual. the offended party shall pay additional filing fees based on the amounts alleged therein. is specified in the complaint or information. Section 2. No counterclaim. but any cause of action which could have been the subject thereof may be litigated in a separate civil action. As amended. the separate civil action arising therefrom cannot be instituted until final judgment has been entered in the criminal action. Except as otherwise provided in these Rules. Where the complaint or information also seeks to recover liquidated. When separate civil action is suspended. nominal.Where the amount of damages. No reservation to file such civil action separately shall be allowed. If the criminal action is filed after the said civil action has already been instituted. the civil action based on delict shall be deemed extinguished if there . before judgment on the merits is rendered in the civil action. moral. no filing fees shall be required for actual damages. If the amounts are not so alleged but any of these damages are subsequently awarded by the court. 2. Upon filing of the aforesaid joint criminal and civil actions. which shall be considered as the actual damages claimed. The consolidated criminal and civil actions shall be tried and decided jointly. the latter shall be suspended in whatever stage it may be found before judgment on the merits. (b) The criminal action for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. the trial of both actions shall proceed in accordance with section 2 of this Rule governing consolidation of the civil and criminal actions. Rule 111 now reads: SEC. During the pendency of the criminal action. Nevertheless. The extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil action. If the application is granted. the running of the period of prescription of the civil action which cannot be instituted separately or whose proceeding has been suspended shall be tolled. temperate or exemplary damages. Where the civil action has been filed separately and trial thereof has not yet commenced. In case of consolidation. the evidence already adduced in the civil action shall be deemed automatically reproduced in the criminal action without prejudice to the right of the prosecution to cross-examine the witnesses presented by the offended party in the criminal case and of the parties to present additional evidence. the offended party shall pay in full the filing fees based on the amount of the check involved. 22 shall be deemed to include the corresponding civil action. cross-claim or third-party complaint may be filed by the accused in the criminal case. upon motion of the offended party.

2004. among others. Rodriguez. 738 (2001). Orfinada.. p. 449 SCRA 380. 109 citing. Perez. Sr. People v.R. 3. CA Decision. . 708 (2003). p. 153201. 442 SCRA 342. No... at 62. Teves. 9. G. G. 446 Phil. last paragraph. 5. 728. No. Sanchez v. rollo (vol. 458 Phil. January 26. Sec. 690. I). CA Decision. rollo. id. No. 8-9. People v. Id. March 31. Sr. G. 97 Phil. Far East Bank and Trust Company. questions of facts are not taken up in a petition for review in certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.R. 2. 504. the findings of the CA in this case are contrary to those of the MCTC and RTC. Consolidation of Cases. 454 SCRA 555. 414 Phil. G. they may be consolidated and assigned to one Justice. 349. 148376. November 12.is a finding in a final judgment in the criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil liability may arise did not exist. Revised Rules of Court. Ordinarily. 373 Phil. In the 2002 RIRCA. Jr. 66. Menchavez v. at 61-62. 252 (1934). Go v. 150. 153 (1999). Rule 3) on consolidation now reads: SEC. p. 2005. at 5. November 15. 62. 159048. 2005. 475 SCRA 97. Bacaron. for example. CA Decision. rollo (Vol. id. Ouano v. Id. Ursua. I). Rule 120. Manzano v. G. Rule 3 of the 1994 Revised IRCA. See. – When related cases are assigned to different Justices. 115308. as they fall under one of the recognized exceptions to this rule. 351-352. 60 Phil. 569. October 11. 141145. at 4-5. the Court has been constrained to review the factual issues in this case. 515 (2003). 65-66.R. in particular. However.R No. 395. No. Acabal. pp. Court of Appeals. Acabal v. id. 349 (1955). Republic v. 2005. the pertinent provision (Section 3. p. pp. Id. 472 SCRA 339..R. 2005.

J.(a) At the instance of a party with notice to the other party.R.. SECOND DIVISION PACIFICO B. 142641 Petitioner. . PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. G. . JJ.versus - CORONA. consolidation may be allowed when the cases involve the same parties and/or related questions of facts or law. Chairperson.. AZCUNA and GARCIA. and with the conformity of the Justice to whom the cases shall be consolidated. No. upon notice to the parties. or at the instance of the Justice to whom the case is assigned. JR. Present: PUNO. SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. ARCEO.

1999 decision and March 27. CR No.00 from [Cenizal]. Several weeks thereafter.000. 2006 x------------------------------------------x DECISION CORONA. [Petitioner] then issued in favor of Cenizal. Arceo. 19601 affirming the trial court’s judgment finding petitioner Pacifico B. J.Respondent. Bank of the . 2000 resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.000. Jr. otherwise known as the “Bouncing Checks Law. obtained a loan from private complainant Josefino Cenizal [] in the amount of P100. (BP) 22. [petitioner] obtained an additional loan of P50.” The facts of the case as found by the trial court and adopted by the Court of Appeals follow. 1991. On March 14. Promulgated: July 17.: This petition for review on certiorari assails the April 28.00. [petitioner]. liable for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg.

[Cenizal] executed an Affidavit of Loss regarding the loss of the check in question and the return slip. 1992. Hence. at Cenizal’s house located at 70 Panay Avenue.000. When his patience ran out. he appealed to the Court of Appeals. Quezon City. 1992. So. the appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision in toto. However. The check in question and the return slip were however lost by [Cenizal] as a result of a fire that occurred near his residence on September 16. this case for [v]iolation of [BP 22] was filed against [petitioner] on March 27. [Cenizal] executed on January 20.00. on April 28. [Cenizal] referred the matter to a lawyer who wrote a letter giving [petitioner] three days from receipt thereof to pay the amount of the check. As a consequence. this petition. [Cenizal] brought the check to the bank for encashment. for P150. postdated August 4. When August 4. [Cenizal] did not deposit the check immediately because [petitioner] promised [] that he would replace the check with cash. The head office of the Bank of the Philippine Islands through a letter dated December 5. Thereafter. . Such promise was made verbally seven (7) times. Aggrieved. 1991. [Petitioner] still failed to make good the amount of the check. Petitioner sought reconsideration but it was denied. [Cenizal] went to the house of [petitioner] to inform him of the dishonor of the check but [Cenizal] found out that [petitioner] had left the place. petitioner was found guilty as charged. 1991. 1999.Philippine Islands [(BPI)] Check No. 1991 came. After trial. After due investigation. informed [Cenizal] that the check bounced because of insufficient funds. 1992 before the office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City his affidavit and submitted documents in support of his complaint for [e]stafa and [v]iolation of [BP 22] against [petitioner]. 163255.

not five banking days as required by law. Finally. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE 90-DAY PERIOD FOR PRESENTMENT OF THE CHECK Petitioner asserts that there was no violation of BP 22 because the check was presented to the drawee bank only on December 5. 1991 or 120 days from the date thereof (August 4. He also contends that he should not be held liable for the dishonor of the check because it was presented beyond the 90-day period provided under the law. 1991). petitioner asserts that he had already paid his obligation to Cenizal. Petitioner’s contentions have no merit. He argues that this was beyond the 90-day . Petitioner further questions his conviction since the notice requirement was not complied with and he was given only three days to pay.Petitioner claims that the trial and appellate courts erred in convicting him despite the failure of the prosecution to present the dishonored check during the trial.

Where the check is drawn by a corporation. for which reason it is dishonored by the drawee bank. Checks without sufficient funds. without any valid reason. . shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than thirty days but not more than one (1) year or by a fine of not less than but not more than double the amount of the check which fine shall in no case exceed Two Hundred Thousand Pesos. Section 1 of BP 22 provides: SECTION 1. having sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank when he makes or draws and issues a check. company or entity. shall fail to keep sufficient funds or to maintain a credit to cover the full amount of the check if presented within a period of ninety (90) days from the date appearing thereon. or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court. ― Any person who makes or draws and issues any check to apply on account or for value. the person or persons who actually signed the check in behalf of such drawer shall be liable under this Act. ordered the bank to stop payment. We disagree. The same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who.period provided under the law in connection with the presentment of the check. knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment. which check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer.

Petitioner was freed neither from the obligation to keep sufficient funds in his account nor from liability resulting from the dishonor of the check. the Court ruled that the 90-day period provided in the law is not an element of the offense. Neither does it discharge petitioner from his duty to maintain sufficient funds in the account within a reasonable time from the date indicated in the check. According to current banking practice. the check becomes stale and the drawer is discharged from liability thereon to the extent of the loss caused by the delay.In Wong v. Court of Appeals. APPLICABILITY OF THE BEST EVIDENCE RULE . Cenizal’s presentment of the check to the drawee bank 120 days (four months) after its issue was still within the allowable period. Thus. the reasonable period within which to present a check to the drawee bank is six months. Thereafter.

Here. otherwise known as the best evidence rule. The City Prosecutor found a prima facie case against petitioner for violation of BP 22 and filed the corresponding information based on the documents. Petitioner anchors his argument on Rule 130. the return slip and other pertinent documents before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City when he executed his complaint-affidavit during the preliminary investigation. the best evidence rule does not apply and testimonial evidence is admissible. The gravamen of the offense is the act of drawing and issuing a worthless check. not its content. Hence. Section 3. Where the issue is the execution or existence of the document or the circumstances surrounding its execution. the due execution and existence of the check were sufficiently established. the subject of the inquiry is the fact of issuance or execution of the check. Cenizal testified that he presented the originals of the check. of the Rules of Court.Petitioner’s insistence on the presentation of the check in evidence as a condition sine qua non for conviction under BP 22 is wrong. However. the rule applies only where the content of the document is the subject of the inquiry. Although the check and the return slip were among the .

the making. The elements of the offense are: 1. existence and loss of the check and the return slip in an affidavit of loss as well as in his testimony during the trial of the case. drawing and issuance of any check to apply to account or for value. . petitioner was charged for violating the first paragraph of BP 22. petitioner himself admited that he issued the check.documents lost by Cenizal in a fire that occurred near his residence on September 16. He never denied that the check was presented for payment to the drawee bank and was dishonored for having been drawn against insufficient funds. Moreover. PRESENCE OF THE ELEMENTS OF THE OFFENSE Based on the allegations in the information. 1992. he was nevertheless able to adequately establish the due execution.

ordered the bank to stop payment. 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. 1991 in the amount of P150.2. knowledge of the maker. it was dishonored by the drawee bank for having been drawn against insufficient funds. There was sufficient evidence on record that petitioner knew of the insufficiency of his funds in the drawee bank at the time of the issuance of the check. 163255 postdated August 4. drawer. he requested the . All these elements are present in this case.000 in consideration of a loan which he obtained from Cenizal. subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit. In fact. on maturity date. and 3. this was why. When the check was deposited. Both the trial and appellate courts found that petitioner issued BPI check no. or dishonor of the check for the same reason had not the drawer. without any valid cause.

petitioner still failed to pay the amount of the check. He made this request and assurance seven times but repeatedly failed to make good on his promises despite the repeated accommodation granted him by the payee.payee not to encash it with the promise that he would replace it with cash. . Cenizal. contrary to petitioner’s claim. Cenizal’s counsel had informed petitioner in writing of the check’s dishonor and demanded payment of the value of the check. NOTICE OF DISHONOR TO PETITIONER AND PAYMENT OF THE OBLIGATION The trial court found that. Despite receipt of the notice of dishonor and demand for payment.

Petitioner cannot claim that he was deprived of the period of five banking days from receipt of notice of dishonor within which to pay the amount of the check. Moreover. Instead. . This Court has no reason to rule otherwise. He presented no proof to support it. These findings (due notice to petitioner and nonpayment of the obligation) were confirmed by the appellate court. the trial court found that the amount due thereon remained unpaid even after five banking days from his receipt of the notice of dishonor. Well-settled is the rule that the factual findings of the trial court. the check remained in the possession of the payee who demanded the satisfaction of petitioner’s obligation when the check became due as well as when the check was dishonored by the drawee bank. This negated his claim that he had already paid Cenizal and should therefore be relieved of any liability. While petitioner may have been given only three days to pay the value of the check. If indeed there was payment. are not to be disturbed. petitioner should have redeemed or taken the check back in the ordinary course of business. when affirmed by the appellate court. petitioner’s claim of payment was nothing more than a mere allegation.

R. RENATO C. 1999 decision and March 27. CR No. SO ORDERED.WHEREFORE. CORONA Associate Justice WE CONCUR: . the petition is hereby DENIED. Costs against petitioner. 19601 are AFFIRMED. The April 28. 2000 resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.

PUNO Associate Justice Chairperson ANGELINA SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ Associate Justice ADOLFO S. GARCIA Associate Justice ATTESTATION I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.REYNATO S. AZCUNA Associate Justice CANCIO C. REYNATO S. PUNO .

Second Division CERTIFICATION Pursuant to Section 13. pp. Penned by Associate Justice Bernardo P. Florenz D. 555. PANGANIBAN Chief Justice Penned by Associate Justice Jainal D. p. 1995. rollo. Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. No. 351 SCRA 100. CA decision. 02 February 2001. Volume II. 17-24. pp. Abesamis (retired) of the Third Division of the Court of Appeals. . REMEDIAL LAW COMPENDIUM. 26. 760 (2002).Associate Justice Chairperson. Buzon of the Former Third Division of the Court of Appeals. Mendez. Tan v. ARTEMIO V. Rasul (retired) and concurred in by Associate Justices Conchita Carpio Morales (now a member of the Supreme Court) and Bernardo P. Seventh Revised Edition. p. 432 Phil.. rollo. Jr. G.R. 117857. Abesamis (retired) and concurred in by Associate Justices Conchita Carpio Morales (now a member of the Supreme Court) and Marina L. rollo. Regalado. I certify that the conclusions in the above decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division. 17-24.

] a duly established domestic banking institution[. CONTRARY TO LAW. ― The making. the said accused. accused Pacifico B. Jr.] in the amount in the amount of P150. the same was dishonored for the reason that the drawer thereof. pp. accused failed and refused and still fails and refuses to redeem or make good said check. Philippines. to the damage and prejudice of the said Josefino Cenizal in the amount aforementioned and in such other amount as may be awarded under the provisions of the Civil Code.00 Philippine Currency. in Quezon City. when presented within ninety (90) days from the date of the check. 17-18. (Rollo. 187 (1998). 1991.000. in payment of an obligation. ARCEO. or makes arrangements for . that upon presentation of said check to said bank for payment. drawing and issuance of a check payment of which is refused by the drawee because of insufficient funds in or credit with such bank. committed as follows: That on or about the 15th day of April 1991. did then and there. did not have sufficient funds therein. knowing fully well at the time of issue that [he] did not have the payment of such check. shall be prima facie evidence of knowledge of such insufficiency of funds or credit unless such maker or drawer pays the holder thereof the amount due thereon. unlawfully and feloniously make. Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. Arceo. Section 2 of BP 22 provides: Section 2. and despite notice of dishonor thereof. 359 Phil. 163255 drawn against the Bank of the Philippine Island[.. draw and issue in favor of JOSEFINO CENIZAL a check no. postdated August 4. JR. 22. of violation of Batas Pambansa Blg.) Vaca v.The information read: The undersigned Assistant City Prosecutor accuses PACIFICO B. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. Court of Appeals. willfully.

(Saludo) filed a complaint against petitioner Damian G.[1] Saludo accused Mercado of issuing to him in payment of a loan the following three Philippine National Bank (PNB) checks that were drawn against what turned out to be a closed account: (1) (2) (3) Check 0156076 dated April 15. SALUDO. it turned out. Mercado v. that it surprised him that on January 11. for your information.P. The Facts and the Case On April 14. On July 8. 146513. Southern Leyte. 2004 for P5 million. Mendez. Aniceto G.5 million.5 million. Mercado alleged that he lost in April 2001 several pre-signed blank checks. 2004 for P3 million. 22. Check 0156098 dated April 16. 2005.R.P. 2005 respondent Saludo demanded of him payment of P10. 435 SCRA 532.R. Jr. No. moral. MERCADO V. petitioner Mercado filed his . People. Sirs/Mesdames: Quoted hereunder. Miranda v. allegedly malicious. 2005 petitioner Mercado filed an action against respondent Saludo for "declaration of absolute nullity of commercial documents with damages" before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Maasin City. is a resolution of this Court dated 09 December 2009: G.. In turn. 420 Phil. 30 July 2004.payment in full by the drawee of such check within five (5) banking days after receiving notice that such check has not been paid by the drawee. 2009] DAMIAN G. and Check 0009019 dated July 21. G. Lim v. he reported his loss to the Maasin Police and placed a stop-payment instruction to his bank.). were among those that he reported lost in April 2001.5 million for three dishonored checks which. Saludo. JR. 2005 respondent Aniceto G. Jr. 180975 (Damian G. Tan v. ANICETO G.This case is about a civil suit for damages arising from a pending criminal action. 506 (2001). No. Jr. Saludo. SECOND DIVISION [G. on July 7. Mercado (Mercado) for violation of Batas Pambansa 22 (B. No. Mercado asked the RTC to declare the checks void and to order Saludo to pay him actual.R. 180975 : December 09. the day following the filing of the civil action. 2004 for P2. and exemplary damages and attorney's fees totalling P6. Besa. supra. that the plaintiff filed against his accuser. and that respondent Saludo had maliciously prosecuted him for violation of B. that on failing to find them. 22) before the City Prosecutor of Pasay City.

Such a situation is intolerable and will make a mockery of the court as a final arbiter of the legal . the Department of Justice (DOJ) reversed the city prosecutor's resolution and directed the latter to file the corresponding informations against petitioner Mercado. On September 13. and (3) the failure of the complaint to state a cause of action.P. assailing the RTC's denial of his motion to dismiss. 22 criminal action that respondent Saludo brought against him. 22.P. on December 13. On March 27. 2006 the RTC issued an order[4] denying respondent Saludo's motion to dismiss the civil action against him.[7] There is no reason for two cases involving the same issue or issues to proceed independently of each other and possibly spawn opposite outcomes. The Issue Presented The core issue in this case is whether or not petitioner Mercado's civil action for declaration of nullity of the checks and damages that he filed against respondent Saludo in Civil Case R-3432 may be dismissed on the ground of the pendency of the criminal action for violation of B. Meanwhile. he sought the suspension of the preliminary investigation on the ground that the resolution of his pending civil action constitutes prejudicial question on his liability in the criminal case. suspending the proceedings in Criminal Cases 06-309 to 311.[2] The latter court reversed the DOJ ruling and directed the filing in court of the subject informations. however. such that the second action becomes unnecessary and vexatious. respondent Saludo. 2008 the CA denied Mercado's motion for reconsideration. the DOJ reversed itself. 2006 the CA issued an order. the CA rendered judgment. filed a motion to dismiss the complaint in the case"[3] on the grounds of (1) the pendency of the criminal case for violation of B. it refers to that situation in which another action is pending between the same parties for the same cause of action. thus. 22 complaint. His motion for reconsideration having been similarly denied. Further.[5] Saludo instituted a petition for special civil action of certiorari before the Court of Appeals (CA) of Cebu City in CA-G. 2007. On June 1. 2005 the City Prosecutor dismissed respondent Saludo's B. as defendant in Civil Case R-3432 of the RTC of Pasay City. CEB-SP 02263. Mercado restated by way of defense the allegations of his complaint in Civil Case R-3432. The Ruling of the Court Litis pendentia is a Latin term which literally means "a pending suit.P. 22 that Saludo earlier filed against Mercado in Criminal Cases 06-309 to 311. On petition for review. 2006 and dismissed Civil Case R3432." As such. the action for declaration of nullity of the subject checks on the ground of litis pendentia. however. prompting Saludo to come up to the Court of Appeals (CA) on a petition for certiorari. (2) the violation of the requirement of certification against forum shopping. The CA set aside the RTC's orders dated June 1 and September 12. This was done and the informations were docketed as Criminal Cases 06-309 to 311 of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Pasay City.[6] Subsequently. Here.counter-affidavit in the B. like one party winning in one case and the opposite party in the other. granting respondent Saludo's petition.P. On July 3. however.R. the present recourse to this Court. Petitioner Mercado opposed the motion. Upon the latter's motion for reconsideration.

The question of whether or not Mercado issued the checks in due course is. when a criminal action is instituted. like the giving of notice to make good the checks. according to him.[10] This is especially true in criminal actions for violation of B.P. as a rule. Here. regardless of which party wins. even if the civil action results in a finding by final judgment that the checks were not stolen and were issued for a valid consideration. (b) the rights asserted and the reliefs desired are the same. Strictly speaking. The following are the requisites of litis pendentia: (a) the parties in both actions are the same or. petitioner Mercado makes a valid point but only to the extent that one case is purely criminal and the other is civil. represent the same interests.[11] Consequently. such finding will not ensure the issuer's conviction for violation of B. Consequently.[12] A classic example of this is the question of whether or not the person accused with bigamy had a valid preexisting marriage. If. respondent Saludo filed the criminal case for violation of B. The civil suit must be begun prior to the filing of the criminal suit[13] .P. 22 before petitioner Mercado file his civil action for annulment of the checks. 22 since the judgment in one case will not necessarily have the effect of res judicata in the other. the second case will often amount to forum shopping. at least. litis pendentia applies only when both pending actions are civil in nature. A prejudicial question is a question based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but so intimately connected with it that it determines the guilt or innocence of the accused. the determination of the issue of the validity of the prior marriage is a prejudicial question to the resolution of the subsequently filed bigamy case.P. and (c) the two cases are so similar that the judgment. Southern Leyte. such reliefs being founded on the same facts. amount to res judicata on the other. rendered in one would.P. But a prejudicial question is understood in law as that which must precede the filing of the criminal action and which requires a decision before a final judgment can be rendered in the criminal action with which such question is closely connected. best threshed out first in the civil action for annulment of the subject checks that he filed against respondent Saludo in Maasin City.P.dispute before it. For instance. Where these requisites exist. But every person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable. 22. Saludo cannot claim the benefit of a prejudicial question pending in the civil suit . 22. the civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall be deemed instituted with the criminal action. Petitioner Mercado also insists that the application of the principle of prejudicial question is more appropriate in this case. Some other element of the latter crime might prove absent in the case. 22 case is not guilty of the offense constitutes res judicata to a civil action for the recovery of civil indemnity arising from the offense. it is a certainty that a finding that the accused in a B.[9] And. after the accused filed a civil action for the declaration of nullity of his prior marriage. According to Mercado. he is criminally charged with bigamy. The criminal action shall be deemed to include the corresponding civil action and no reservation to file such civil action separately shall-be allowed.[8] Petitioner Mercado insists that litis pendentia cannot exist between the civil action for annulment of the subject checks and criminal action for violation of B.

2005).P. It is rooted in Mercado's allegation that Saludo was "lying to the teeth" in prosecuting the B. suit or other proceeding in favor of the defendant therein. CEB-SP 02263. with preference to retaining the first action that was filed. civil suit or other legal proceeding has been instituted maliciously and without probable cause.[17] (Emphasis supplied) WHEREFORE. when confronted with an issue of litis pendentia. respondent Saludo initiated the criminal action (April 14. it appears that the plaintiff filed the civil action as an afterthought to delay the ongoing criminal action. The action is the appropriate vehicle for litigating the issues between the parties. a mere ploy to delay the progress of the criminal case filed against him. The date of filing. and a scheme to defeat it by laying the basis in a different venue for its dismissal or suspension based on a supposed prejudicial question. Malicious prosecution has been defined as an action for damages brought by one against whom a criminal prosecution. Besides. This Court agrees with the CA's finding that Mercado's civil action was just an afterthought. . after the termination of such prosecution. 2007 and resolution dated December 13. Court of Appeals[15] The Court held in that case that. the following factors should be taken into determining which of the two cases to dismiss: 1. and 3. 22 case. It is thus clear that Mercado's claim for damages is founded solely on his allegations of malicious prosecution. 2007 of the Court of Appeals of Cebu City in CA-G. the CA correctly adopted the formula used by this Court in disposing of a similar problem in Allied Banking Corp. The fact that the action sought to be dismissed had been filed merely to preempt a subsequent action or anticipate its filing and lay the basis for its dismissal.[16] Here. the suspension on the ground of existence of a prejudicial question cannot be allowed if. SO ORDERED. civil suit. 2. the Court finds that petitioner Mercado's civil action for annulment of the checks is essentially a suit for damages against respondent Saludo for malicious prosecution. as in this case.that he filed against Mercado. the Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the decision dated March 27. As thus defined. Finally. 2005) ahead of petitioner Mercado's civil action (July 7. the fact of termination of the criminal prosecution.R. v. But this Court has held that no case for malicious prosecution can prosper while the subject criminal case is still pending. Costs against petitioner. should precede the complaint for malicious prosecution. or legal proceeding maliciously filed and without probable cause.[14] In settling the issues in the two cases. A reading of the complaint in the civil case shows that the causes of action and matters raised in it could very well be pleaded as defenses at the trial of the criminal case.

[11] Id.. at 178-188. 582. Docketed as CA-G. . [9] REVISED PENAL CODE. [3] Id. [5] Id. 280. which found that no prejudicial question existed as to warrant the suspension of Criminal Cases 06-309 to 311. [14] First Producers Holdings Corporation v. 13. 352-357. 2009. 471 Phil. Sec. v. 1(b). at 211-212. Teresita J. 776). [16] Rollo. 322 Phil. Court of Appeals. [10] Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. pp.O. [8] First Philippine International Bank v. 710(1996). Members. [12] Sabandal v. [7] Agilent Technologies Singapore (PTE) Ltd. Mariano C. 419 Phil. [6] Id. Abad. 58. LAUREA Clerk of Court Endnotes: [1] Docketed as I. 783 (2002). p. Very truly yours. 441. Second Division. [2] Rollo. 807 in lieu of Brion. 2008.. Leonardo-De Castro (designated additional member per S. Co. 448 (2000). J. Chairperson.R. at 66. Integrated Silicon Technology Philippines Corporation. at 209-210. 306 (1996).O. Article 100. No. No. on leave). LUISA L.) MA. (Sgd. Rule III. l(a). [15] 328 Phil. 391 Phil.S. this 9th day of December. [13] Torres v. Tongco. Carpio. Honorable Conchita Carpio Morales (designated additional member per S. Garchitorena. Sec. the petition was resolved via the appellate court's Decision dated March 27. SP 97393. 05-D-222S to 05-D-2230. 442 Phil.WITNESS the Honorable Antonio T. [4] Id. 18(2001). Del Castillo and Roberto A. 765.596(2004).

[17] Lao v. be held criminally liable for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 [B.: May an employee who. as part of her regular duties. DECISION PANGANIBAN. when checks so signed are dishonored due to insufficiency of funds? Does a notice of dishonor sent to the main office of the corporation constitute a valid notice to the said employee who holds office in a separate branch and who had no actual knowledge thereof? In other words. 583. therefore. 22]. P. Petitioner. 1995 assailing the Decision [1] of Respondent Court of Appeals [2] promulgated . 608 (2000) Manila THIRD DIVISION LINA LIM LAO. 382 Phil. G. 119178 June 20. does so without actual knowledge of whether such checks are funded. but not of the signatory-employee. Court of Appeals. is constructive knowledge of the corporation. sufficient? These are the questions raised in the petition filed on March 21. 1997 -versusCOURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. R. J. No. Respondents. signs blank corporate checks with the name of the payee and the amount drawn to be filled later by another signatory and.

the Court hereby declares her innocent of the crime charged and she is hereby acquitted with cost de oficio. 84-26967 to 84-26969 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila. The dispositive portion of the said RTC decision affirmed by the respondent appellate court reads: [3] "WHEREFORE.00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of of (sic) insolvency. "For Criminal Case No. in order that the cases as against him may not remain pending in the docket for an indefinite period. For Criminal Case No. let the same be archived without prejudice to its subsequent prosecution as soon as said accused is finally apprehended. 14240 dismissing the appeal of petitioner and affirming the decision dated September 26. 84-26969 where she is declared acquitted is hereby ordered cancelled (sic). for failure of the prosecution to adduce evidence against the accused. after a careful consideration of the evidence presented by the prosecution and that of the defense. R.000. the Court renders judgment as follows: "In Criminal Case No. 84-26968. "For the two cases the accused is ordered to pay the cost of suit.000. "The cash bond put up by the accused for her provisional liberty in Criminal Case No. Branch 33.on December 9. 84-26969 where no evidence was presented by the prosecution notwithstanding the fact that there was an agreement that the cases be tried jointly and also the fact that the accused Lina Lim Lao was already arraigned. "With reference to the accused Teodulo Asprec who has remained at large. .00 without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. the Court finds the accused Lina Lim Lao guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of ONE (1) YEAR imprisonment and to pay a fine of P150. 84-26967. CR No. 1990 in Criminal Cases Nos. 1994 in CA-G. the Court finds the accused Lina Lim Lao guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged and is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of ONE (1) YEAR imprisonment and to pay a fine of P150.

"F". 1993. Father Palijo was authorized to invest donations to the society and had been investing the society's money with Premiere [TSN. Mr. 1983 P 150. June 23.00." The Facts Version of the Prosecution The facts are not disputed. 1983 [Exh. 7. Father Palijo had invested a total of P514. "C"] Oct. as follows: Check 299961 299962 323835 Date Amount Oct. When Father Palijo presented the checks for encashment. p. Father Palijo immediately made demands on premiere to pay him the necessary amounts. 82-6994 [Exh "A"] dated July 8. pp. 1987.000.000. supra. TSN.010. as follows: Appellant [and now Petitioner Lina Lim Lao] was a junior officer of Premiere Investment House [Premiere] in its Binondo Branch. 5.484. Father . 11-16]. 7.00 [Exh. 1983 P 26. Further evidence of the transaction was the acknowledgment of postdated checks dated July 8. 9-10]."Let a warrant issue for the arrest of the accused Teodulo Asprec which warrant need not be returned to this Court until the accused is finally arrested. the provincial treasurer of the Society of the Divine Word through Mrs.00 [Exh. "B"] Oct.04. as evidenced by the Confirmation of Sale No. at pp. 1993 (sic) P 150. who was the head of operations. In the course of the business. 6]. As such officer.000.73 All the checks were issued in favor of Artelijo A. 1990. Father Palijo was also issued Traders Royal Bank [TRB] checks in payment of interest. he was paid P5. Cariño. the same were dishonored for the reason "Drawn Against Insufficient Funds" [DAIF]. she met complainant Father Artelijo Pelijo. For his efforts. Rosemarie Lachenal. "SO ORDERED. He first went to the Binondo Branch but was referred to the Cubao Main Branch where he was able to talk with the President. We thus lift them from the assailed Decision. 7. a trader for Premiere. she was authorized to sign checks for and in behalf of the corporation [TSN. Since no other payments followed. Palijo and signed by appellant (herein petitioner) and Teodulo Asprec. August 16. "D"] and the cash disbursement voucher [Exh.

CONTRARY 2. 1983 in the City of Manila. supra. Philippines. that despite notice of such dishonor. In TO Criminal Case LAW. Philippines.000. [4] Thereafter. the said accused did then and there wilfully and unlawfully draw and issue to Artelijo A.000. 1983 well knowing that at the time of issue he/she did not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for full payment of the said check upon its presentment as in fact the said check. Palijo dated October 7. Palijo the amount of the said check or to . 22 were filed by Assistant Fiscal Felix S. 299962 for P150. 84-26968: That on or about October 7. [5] three Informations charging Lao and Asprec with the offense defined in the first paragraph of Section 1. 299961 for P150. when presented within ninety (90) days from the date thereof. Premiere was placed under receivership (TSN. B.Palijo wrote Premiere a formal letter of demand Subsequently. In Criminal Case No. Palijo the amount of the said check or to make arrangement for full payment of the same within five (5) banking days from receipt of said notice. No. 84-26967: That on or about October 7. Palijo to apply on account or for value a Traders Royal Bank Check No. was dishonored by the drawee bank for the reason: "Insufficient Funds". at pp. said accused failed to pay said Artelijo A. After preliminary investigation. on January 24. the said accused did then and there wilfully and unlawfully draw and issue to Artelijo A.00 payable to Fr. 16-19). Palijo to apply on account or for value a Traders Royal Bank Check No. 22. 1983 in the City of Manila. Artelijo A. when presented within ninety (90) days from the date thereof. was dishonored by the drawee bank for the reason: "Insufficient Funds". 1984. [6] worded as follows: 1. Palijo dated October 7.00 payable to Fr. 1984. Private Complainant Palijo filed an affidavitcomplaint against Petitioner Lina Lim Lao and Teodulo Asprec for violation of B. '83 well knowing that at the time of issue he/she did not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for full payment of the said check upon its presentment as in fact the said check. Artelijo A. that despite notice of such dishonor.P. said accused failed to pay said Artelijo A.P. Caballes before the trial court on May 11.

in 1983. Palijo dated October 7. T S N. 84-26967 and 84-26968 but acquitted her in Criminal Case No. and even now on appeal. Cubao. the said accused did then and there wilfully and unlawfully draw and issue to Artelijo A. [Ocampo. [7] On appeal. petitioner assisted by counsel pleaded "not guilty. CONTRARY TO LAW. CONTRARY TO LAW. 84-26969. 323835 for P26. the Regional Trial Court convicted Petitioner Lina Lim Lao in Criminal Cases Nos. Palijo the amount of the said check or to make arrangement for full payment of the same within five (5) banking days from receipt of said notice. 16 August 1990. assigned not at its main branch but at the corporation's extension office in [Binondo] Manila. an employee of Premiere Financing Corporation [hereinafter referred to as the "Corporation"]. Artelijo A.make arrangement for full payment of the same within five (5) banking days from receipt of said notice. p. with principal business office at Miami. Upon being arraigned." Asprec was not arrested. he has remained at large since the trial. a corporation engaged in investment management. After due trial. 14] . was dishonored by the drawee bank for the reason: "Insufficient Funds". 1983 well knowing that at the time of issue he/she did not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for full payment of the said check upon its presentment as in fact the said check.010.03 payable to Fr.cralaw Version of the Defense Petitioner aptly summarized her version of the facts of the case thus: Petitioner Lina Lim Lao was. that despite notice of such dishonor. Philippines. when presented within ninety (90) days from the date thereof. said accused failed to pay said Artelijo A. Palijo to apply on account for value a Traders Royal Bank Check No. the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. Quezon City. 1983 in the City of Manila. however. 84-26969: That on or about July 8. She was a junior officer at the corporation who was. 3. And finally in Criminal Case No.

Lao. Mr. Veronilyn Ocampo. she was required to cosign checks drawn against the account of the corporation. who subsequently filled in the names of the payee. TSN. 19. In his transactions with the corporation. 6. pp. p. as head of office. (Palijo. 21-23) All bank statements regarding the corporate checking account were likewise sent to the main branch in Cubao. 19 July 1990. and not in Binondo. p. 28-29. 28 September 1989. 21]. p. TSN. Ms. Ocampo. pp. and that the Court of Appeals affirmed said decision in toto) . (Lao. TSN. it was normal procedure for her to sign the checks in blank. TSN. Manila.cralaw The foregoing circumstances attended the issuance of the checks subject of the instant prosecution. petitioner had no knowledge of the actual funds available in the corporate account.In the regular course of her duties as a junior officer. the amounts and the corresponding dates of maturity. TSN. they were signed in advance and in blank. Since part of her duties required her to be mostly in the field and out of the office. [Lao. who alone decided to whom the checks were to be ultimately issued and delivered. Mr. Marqueses. and he never knew nor in any way dealt with petitioner Lina Lim Lao at any time before or during the issuance of the delivery of the checks.cralaw In signing the checks as part of her duties as junior officer of the corporation. pp. 15 May 1990.cralaw When the checks were co-signed by petitioner. 32-34. duty and responsibility of monitoring and assessing the balances against the checks issued. TSN. headed then by the Treasurer. 17. TSN. Quezon City. without the names of the payees. 17. pp. 5) Petitioner Lina Lim Lao was not in any way involved in the transaction which led to the issuance of the checks. 28 September 1989. (Ocampo. The power. 19 July 1990. TSN. and funding the checks thus issued. devolved on the corporation's Treasury Department in its main office in Cubao. the amounts and the dates of maturity. where petitioner was holding office. 8-11. 12]. After Mr. p. The other cosignor was her head of office. Lao. The checks were issued to guarantee payment of investments placed by private complainant Palijo with Premiere Financing Corporation. p. It was likewise Mr. 28 September 1989. that is. Teodulo Asprec. delivered to the Head of Operations. TSN. 22 November 1988. 19]. 28 September 1989. Asprec. T SN. 4. note also that the trial court in its decision fully accepted the testimony of petitioner [Decision of the Regional Trial Court. they were delivered to private complainant Palijo. [Lao. private complainant dealt exclusively with one Rosemarie Lachenal. Asprec signed the checks. 23 June 1987. p. 8). (Ocampo. 24. 9-11. Teodulo Asprec. a trader connected with the corporation. Quezon City. p.

. (Palijo. 25-26. Lao. Please refer also to Exhibit "1". p. pp. TSN. the order of receivership issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission) Despite the Treasury Department's and (Ms. Palijo. which ultimately led to the corporation's being placed under receivership by the Securities and Exchange Commission. 24 July 1987. Lao. TSN. At the time petitioner signed the checks. 9-10) In her testimony. (Ocampo.) Private complainant never contacted. 28 September 1989. as a consequence of which event a majority of the corporation's clients pre-terminated their investments. duties or responsibilities to monitor and assess the balances against the issuance. TSN. 29) Petitioner never had notice of the dishonor of the checks subject of the instant prosecution. 28 September 1989. 23) All statements of account were sent to the Treasury Department located at the main office in Cubao. p. Quezon City. TSN. much less was it within her (duties and responsibilities) to make sure that the checks were funded. at p. (Lao. (Ocampo. never informed. (Id. she had no knowledge of the sufficiency or insufficiency of the funds of the corporate account. petitioner after the checks had bounced. 19. 7-8) The dishonor of the check came in the wake of the assassination of the late Sen.cralaw The Treasurer of Premiere Financing Corporation. A period of extreme illiquidity and financial distress followed. however. (Ocampo. (Please refer to Exh.Petitioner Lina Lim Lao was not in any way involved in the completion. 24-25) Petitioner Lina Lim Lao did not have knowledge of the insufficiency of the funds in the corporate account against which the checks were drawn. private complainant sent a notice of said dishonor to Premier Financing Corporation at its head office in Cubao. Ms. TSN. "E". 16 August 1990.cralaw When the checks were subsequently dishonored. Quezon City. 51) Private complainant did not send notice of dishonor to petitioner. 21). TSN. 4. 19 July 1990 pp. Quezon City. and the subsequent delivery of the check to private complainant Palijo. 19 July 1990. she justified her omission by saying that the checks were actually the responsibility of the . TSN. 23 June 1987. p. p. Quezon City never informed petitioner Lina Lim Lao or anybody in the Binondo office for that matter. TSN. TSN. p. Ms. Petitioner was holding office at the extension in Binondo Manila. 28 September 1990. and never talked with. 28 September 1989. Premiere Financing Corporation had a Treasury Department headed by a Treasurer. (Lao. Ocampo's) knowledge of the dishonor of the checks. Veronilyn Ocampo. pp. which received notice of dishonor of the bounced checks. p. TSN. 10) He did not follow up his investment with petitioner. It was not within her powers. 16 August 1990. (Id. which alone had access to information as to account balances and which alone was responsible for funding the issued checks. the main office in Cubao. (Ocampo. Veronilyn Ocampo testified that it was the head office in Cubao. 8. Benigno Aquino. p.

"1") As he himself admits. 9-10) As a result of the financial crisis and distress. TSN. appointing a rehabilitation receiver for the purpose of settling claims against the corporation. the Regional Trial Court of Manila. 15 May 1990. (Palijo.. thus. On 26 September 1990. at pp. 24 July 1987. 18) Private complainant then filed the instant criminal action. p. Branch 33. it was futile to inform the Binondo office since the main office was strapped for cash and in deep financial distress. p. 6) and that. p. TSN.00. private complainant filed a claim for the payment of the bounced check before and even after the corporation had been placed under receivership. On appeal. the petitioner argues that the notice of dishonor sent to the main office of the corporation. p. and not to petitioner herself who holds office in that corporation's branch office. petitioner contends that the public respondent committed a reversible error in concluding that lack of actual knowledge of insufficiency of funds was not a defense in a prosecution for violation of B.P. The Court's Ruling The petition is meritorious. (Exh. Additionally. 16 August 1990. 22. [8] The Issue In the main. does not constitute the notice mandated in Section 2 of BP 22. the Court of Appeals affirmed said decision. 19 July 1990. Strict Interpretation of Penal Statutes . 10-17) A check was prepared by the receiver in favor of the private complainant but the same was not claimed by him.main office (Ocampo. TSN. rendered a decision convicting petitioner. and sentencing the latter to suffer the aggregate penalty of two (2) years and to pay a fine in the total amount of P300. the confusion which came in the wake of the Aquino assassination and the consequent panic withdrawals caused them to lose direct communication with the Binondo office. (Id. the Securities and Exchange Commission placed Premier Financing Corporation under receivership. this petition for review. there can be no prima facie presumption that she had knowledge of the insufficiency of funds. at that time of panic withdrawals and massive pre-termination of clients' investments. Hence.000. (Lao. (Ocampo. TSN. 7-9) Moreover.

Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. "Sec. The making. shall be prima facie evidence of knowledge of such insufficiency of funds or credit unless such maker or drawer pays the holder thereof the amount due thereon. "they must come clearly within both the spirit and the letter of the statute. "The same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who having sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank when he makes or draws and issues a check. so much so that the scope of a penal statute cannot be extended by good intention. for Petitioner Lina Lim Lao's acts to be penalized under the Bouncing Checks Law or B. 2. as follows: "(1) the making. Checks without sufficient funds. without any valid reason. Any person who makes or draws and issues any check to apply on account or for value.P. 22 read: "Sec.P." This Court listed the elements of the offense penalized under B. shall fail to keep sufficient funds or to maintain a credit or to cover the full amount of the check if presented within a period of ninety (90) days from the date appearing thereon." [9] The salient portions of B. or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court. the person or persons who actually signed the check in behalf of such drawer shall be liable under this Act. ordered the bank to stop payment. Where the check is drawn by a corporation. 22. 1. or makes arrangements for payment in full by the drawee of such check within five (5) banking days after receiving notice that such check has not been paid by the drawee. which check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer.P. company or entity. when presented within ninety (90) days from the date of the check. knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment. drawing and issuance of any check to apply to . 22. drawing and issuance of a check payment of which is refused by the drawee because of insufficient funds in or credit with such bank. Thus. or even equity consideration. shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than thirty days but not more than one (1) year or by a fine of not less than but not more than double the amount of the check which fine shall in no case exceed Two hundred thousand pesos. implication.It is well-settled in this jurisdiction that penal statutes are strictly construed against the state and liberally for the accused. for which reason it is dishonored by the drawee bank.

22. 171 SCRA 305. also enumerated the elements of the offense defined in the first paragraph of Section 1 of B. 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 such check in full upon its presentment." [10] Justice Luis B. "(s)uch alleged lack of knowledge is not material for petitioner's liability under B. 22. 181 SCRA 1)" [12] The Court of Appeals also stated that "her alleged lack of knowledge or intent to issue a bum check would not exculpate her from any responsibility under B.account or for value. and lack of personal notice of dishonor to her. (2) the knowledge of the maker. (People vs.P. without any valid cause. [11] Crux of the Petition Petitioner raised as defense before the Court of Appeals her lack of actual knowledge of the insufficiency of funds at the time of the issuance of the checks. affirmed the RTC decision. That the person who makes or draws and issues the check knows at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment. The respondent appellate court. Dacuycuy. Laggui. ordered the bank to stop payment. 22. an eminent authority in criminal law. without any valid reason." [14] . Auxencio C. Reyes. Nieras vs. or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer. Blg. thus: 1. 2. 3.P. and (3) subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer." [13] In the words of the Solicitor General. Hon. That the check is made or drawn and issued to apply on account or for value. That the check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit. That a person makes or draws and issues any check. reasoning that "the maker's knowledge of the insufficiency of funds is legally presumed from the dishonor of his checks for insufficiency of funds.P. since the act of making and issuing a worthless check is a malum prohibitum. Blg. however. 4. ordered the bank to stop payment.

and even at the time the checks were subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank. including the acts that give rise to the prima facie presumption. however. President of Premiere.P.cralaw After a thorough review of the case at bar. The one in charge is the Treasury Division up to the Treasury Disbursement and then they give it directly to Jose Cabacan. Will you please tell us whose (sic) responsible for the funding of checks in Premiere? "A.P. the Court finds that Petitioner Lina Lim Lao did not have actual knowledge of the insufficiency of funds in the corporate accounts at the time she affixed her signature to the checks involved in this case. if such knowledge of insufficiency of funds is proven to be actually absent or non-existent. petitioner. the accused should not be held liable for the offense defined under the first paragraph of Section 1 of B. The prosecution has a duty to prove all the elements of the crime." [18] . one of which is knowledge of the insufficiency of funds. but it does not render her automatically guilty under B. Veronilyn Ocampo. It is important to stress. [16] Therefore. the fact alone that petitioner was a signatory to the checks that were subsequently dishonored merely engenders the prima facie presumption that she knew of the insufficiency of funds.cralaw The scope of petitioner's duties and responsibilities did not encompass the funding of the corporation's checks. 22. testified thus: "Q. on the other hand. issuing or making a check.cralaw In the present case. 22. former Treasurer of Premiere. at the time the same were issued. [15] There is a prima facie presumption of the existence of this element from the fact of drawing.Lack of Actual Knowledge of Insufficiency of Funds Knowledge of insufficiency of funds or credit in the drawee bank forthe payment of a check upon its presentment is an essential element of the offense. the payment of which was subsequently refused for insufficiency of funds. the prosecution is not thereby excused from its responsibility of proving beyond reasonable doubt all the elements of the offense. that this is not a conclusive presumption that forecloses or precludes the presentation of evidence to the contrary. has a right to rebut the prima facie presumption. Although the offense charged is a malum prohibitum. funding of checks was the sole responsibility of the Treasury Department. [17] Under the organizational structure of Premiere Financing Corporation. her duties were limited to the marketing department of the Binondo branch.

That is why I am asking that last question if that is a practice of your office. her signature was required in addition to that of Teodulo Asprec. the Regional Trial Court itself found that. Is that your practice? Witness "A. sir. cosignature? "A. Your Honor. It is in order to facilitate the transaction. she signed the checks in blank as to name of the payee and the amount to be drawn. sir. "Q. who alone placed the name of the payee and the amount to be drawn thereon. sir. Procedure. As a co-signer. There were no payee. "A. So the check cannot be encashed without your signature. No amount. "COURT That is quiet (sic) unusual. . no amount and no date? "A. I signed the check in blank. Yes. sir. "Q. Will you please or will you be able to tell us the condition of this check when you signed this or when you first saw this check? Witness "A. since Petitioner Lina Lim Lao was often out in the field taking charge of the marketing department of the Binondo branch. and without knowledge of the transaction for which they were issued.Furthermore. no date. Why did you sign this check in blank when there was no payee. [19] As a matter of company practice. "xxx xxx xxx "COURT (to witness) "Q. This is clear from her testimony: "Q. I sign first.

"Q. Yes. one of the accused in all these cases? "A. Does he all the time? "(to witness) "A. Yes. Is this Teodoro Asprec the same Teodoro Asprec.are you telling the Honorable Court that it was Teodoro Asprec who determines to whom to issue the check? Does he do that all the time? "Court "Q. "Atty. Asprec is the one in-charge in. (to witness) Gonzales . Teodoro Asprec. sir. Now. Your Honor. "Q. "Atty. you sign. who signs the check? "A. Your Honor. So the check can be negotiated? So. Mr. sir. Yes. Who determines to whom to issue or to whom to pay the check after Teodoro Asprec signs the check? "Witness A. Mr. in the distribution or issuance of checks which according to you. the check can be good only upon his signing? Without his signing or signature the check cannot be good? "A. (to witness) Gonzales "Q. He is the one. "Q. Gonzales "Q."Atty. you said that you sign first. Now. as a co-signee. after you sign.

in order to facilitate the transaction I sign so if I am not around they can issue the check. "COURT "(for clarification to witness) "Witness may answer.all that is needed is for the other co-signee to sign? "A. Yes.I withdraw that question. When did you come to know the accused Lina Lim Lao? ."Q. Because most of the time I am out in the field in the afternoon. "COURT (To counsel) "Proceed. you signed this check in order to facilitate the transaction. "Q." [20] Petitioner did not have any knowledge either of the identity of the payee or the transaction which gave rise to the issuance of the checks. It was her cosignatory. I will reform. so you signed the other checks? "Witness "A. Your Honor.: "ATTY. That Petitioner Lina Lim Lao did not have any knowledge or connection with the checks' payee. is clearly evident even from the latter's testimony. So that when ever there is a transaction all is needed. Your Honor. Yes. "Q. GONZALES: "Q. Why is it necessary for you to sign? "A. completed and issued the checks. "Atty. Artelijo Palijo. viz. You made reference to a transaction which according to you. so. Teodulo Asprec. (to witness) Gonzales "Q. Only to facilitate your business transaction. who alone filled in the blanks.

I cannot remember the exact date because in their office Binondo. "Q. Yes. And your coming to know Lina Lim Lao the accused in these cases was by chance when you happened to drop by in the office at Binondo of the Premier Finance Corporation. Yes. You indicated to the Court that you were introduced to the accused Lina Lim Lao. And that was also before the transaction confirmation of sale marked in evidence as Exhibit A? involving that "A. I was introduced. "xxx xxx xxx "Q. "Q. is that correct? "A. there was no occasion. After the transactions. sir. is that correct? "A. None. "Q. "Q. "Q. It must have been late 1983. And so you came to know the accused Lina Lim Lao when all those transactions were already consummated? "A. More or less? "A. And there has never been any occasion where you transacted with accused Lina Lim Lao. And that must or that was after the transactions involving alleged checks marked in evidence as Exhibits B and C? "A. is that what you mean? "A. "ATTY. sir. GONZALES: "Q."A. sir. After that plain introduction there was nothing which transpired between you and the accused Lina Lim Lao? . "COURT: (before witness could finish) "Q. It was also.

Nestor failed to deliver.P. Not satisfied. Thus. Intermediate Appellate Court [23] where we stressed that knowledge of insufficiency of funds at the time of the issuance of the check was an essential requisite for the offense penalized under B.P. Paz appealed the judgment to the then Intermediate Appellate Court which modified the same by reducing the penalty of imprisonment to thirty days. knowledge she was not expected or obliged to possess under the organizational structure of the corporation. Ang categorically stated that it was Nestor Dingle who received his two (2) letters of demand." [22] The element of knowledge of insufficiency of funds having been proven to be absent. Nowhere in his testimony is the name of Paz Dingle ever mentioned in connection with the transaction and with the issuance of the check. This position finds support in Dingle vs. 22. signed by him and his wife Paz." Nestor transacted the sale of 400 tons of silica sand to the buyer Ernesto Ang who paid for the same. . In that case. 22 before the trial court which found them both guilty." Nestor thereafter issued to Ernesto another check. For in the final analysis. 22. In fact. it was established that he dealt exclusively with Nestor Dingle.P.P. which was likewise subsequently dishonored. This lends credence to the testimony of Paz Dingle that she signed the questioned checks in blank together with her husband without any knowledge of its issuance. Paz filed an appeal to this Court "insisting on her innocence" and "contending that she did not incur any criminal liability under B. penal statutes such as B. much less of the transaction and the fact of dishonor. 22 "must be construed with such strictness as to carefully safeguard the rights of the defendant. 22 because she had no knowledge of the dishonor of the checks issued by her husband and. signed by him and his wife as authorized signatories for PMD Enterprises."A. the spouses Paz and Nestor Dingle owned a family business known as "PMD Enterprises. No payment was ever made." The Court ruled in Dingle as follows: The Solicitor General in his Memorandum recommended that petitioner be acquitted of the instant charge because from the testimony of the sole prosecution witness Ernesto Ang. she may not be held liable under B. hence. to represent the value of the undelivered silica sand. These checks were dishonored for having been "drawn against insufficient funds. even the transaction of her husband with Ang. for that matter. he issued to Ernesto two checks. There was none." [21] Since Petitioner Lina Lim Lao signed the checks without knowledge of the insufficiency of funds. petitioner is therefore entitled to an acquittal.P. the spouses were charged with a violation of B.

The notice of dishonor may be sent by the offended party or the drawee bank.In the case of Florentino Lozano vs. the Court in Nierras vs. 1986. As observed earlier. Dacuycuy [28] held mainly that an accused may be charged under B. Respondent Court of Appeals cited People vs. it even supports the petitioner's position. it was held that an essential element of the offense is knowledge on the part of the maker or drawer of the check of the insufficiency of his funds. however. promulgated December 18. the drawee bank for the payment of the same in full on presentment. The accused in both cases issued personal not corporate checks and did not aver lack of knowledge of insufficiency of funds or absence of personal notice of the check's dishonor. On the contrary. Dacuycuy. WHEREFORE.cralaw Lack of Adequate Notice of Dishonor There is another equally cogent reason for the acquittal of the accused. [26] These. on reasonable doubt. People vs. The statement in the two cases that mere issuance of a dishonored check gives rise to the presumption of knowledge on the part of the drawer that he issued the same without funds does not support the CA Decision. Laggui [27] the Court ruled mainly on the adequacy of an information which alleged lack of knowledge of insufficiency of funds at the time the check was issued and not at the time of its presentment. The trial court itself found absent a personal notice of dishonor to Petitioner Lina Lim Lao by the drawee bank based on the unrebutted testimony of Ocampo "(t)hat the checks bounced when presented with the drawee bank but she did not inform anymore the Binondo branch and Lina Lim Lao as there was no need to inform them as . hence. in People vs. Laggui [25] and Nierras vs. there is here only a prima facie presumption which does not preclude the presentation of contrary evidence. Martinez. 22 and Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code for the same act of issuing a bouncing check. Furthermore. Laggui clearly spells out as an element of the offense the fact that the drawer must have knowledge of the insufficiency of funds in. are inapplicable here. Hon. There can be no prima facie evidence of knowledge of insufficiency of funds in the instant case because no notice of dishonor was actually sent to or received by the petitioner.P. the assailed decision of the Intermediate Appellate Court (now the Court of Appeals) is hereby SET ASIDE and a new one is hereby rendered ACQUITTING petitioner on reasonable doubt. or of credit with. On the other hand. [24] In rejecting the defense of herein petitioner and ruling that knowledge of the insufficiency of funds is legally presumed from the dishonor of the checks for insufficiency of funds.

there must also be a showing that. within five banking days from receipt of the notice of dishonor. Will you please tell us if Father Artelejo Palejo (sic) ever notified you of the bouncing of the check or the two (2) checks marked as Exhibit "B" or "C" for the prosecution? "Witness "A.the corporation was in distress. Your Honor. "COURT (to witness) "Q. Furthermore. sir? "A.P. making and issuing a bum check. the prima facie presumption that she knew about the insufficiency of funds cannot apply. sir. Her testimony on this point is as follows: "Atty. this factual matter is borne by the records. 22 clearly provides that this presumption arises not from the mere fact of drawing. I was never given a notice. the same had not been transmitted to Premiere's Binondo Office where petitioner had been holding office. such maker or drawer failed to pay the holder of the check the amount due thereon or to make arrangement for its payment in full by the drawee of such check. Quezon City. . What do you mean no. Pursuant to prevailing jurisprudence. this finding is binding on this Court. [30] Indeed. Section 2 of B. "Q. Of the bouncing check. Likewise no notice of dishonor from the offended party was actually sent to or received by Petitioner Lao." [31] Because no notice of dishonor was actually sent to and received by the petitioner. No. Notice of what? "A. I was never given notice from Father Palejo (sic). The records show that the notice of dishonor was addressed to Premiere Financing Corporation and sent to its main office in Cubao." [29] The Court of Appeals affirmed this factual finding. Gonzales "Q.

22 for the issuance of a bouncing check. who is the latter's agent for purposes of receiving notices and other documents." This was also compared "to certain laws [32] allowing illegal possessors of firearms a certain period of time to surrender the illegally possessed firearms to the Government. without incurring any criminal liability.P." [35] is erroneous. 22. does not constitute notice to the latter. 22 was intended by the legislature to enhance commercial and financial transactions in the Philippines by penalizing makers and issuers of worthless checks. Epilogue In granting this appeal.P. as an officer of the corporation. It is but axiomatic that notice to the corporation. personal knowledge of the notice of dishonor is necessary.P.cralaw In this light. [37] These rights must be read into ." [33] In this light. Moreover. 22 is personal to the accused. actually offers the violator "a compromise by allowing him to perform some act which operates to preempt the criminal action.P. it is petitioner. are deemed convenient substitutes for currency. the postulate of Respondent Court of Appeals that "(d)emand on the Corporation constitutes demand on appellant (herein petitioner).It has been observed that the State. the full payment of the amount appearing in the check within five banking days from notice of dishonor is a "complete defense. constructive notice to the corporation is not enough to satisfy due process. procedural due process clearly enjoins that a notice of dishonor be actually served on petitioner. which has a personality distinct and separate from the petitioner.P. this Court deeply cherishes and is in fact bound by duty to protect our people's constitutional rights to due process and to be presumed innocent until the contrary is proven. Premiere has no obligation to forward the notice addressed to it to the employee concerned. hence. especially because the corporation itself incurs no criminal liability under B.P. the Court is not unaware of B. under this statute. Responsibility under B. 22 is thus clearly palpable from its intended purpose. and not the other way around. Accordingly. B. 22's intent to inculcate public respect for and trust in checks which. 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 B. although not legal tender. and if he opts to perform it the action is abated. Consequently. [36] At the same time." [34] The absence of a notice of dishonor necessarily deprives an accused an opportunity to preclude a criminal prosecution. The public interest behind B.

the senior official Teodulo Asprec who appears responsible for the issuance. Verily. Upon the other hand. Her signature is completely unnecessary for it serves no fathomable purpose at all in protecting the employer from unauthorized disbursements. The Clerk of Court is hereby ORDERED to furnish the Secretary of Justice and the Secretary of Interior and Local Government with copies of this Decision. Artelijo Palijo. as well as the expenses. not to mention the stigma of prosecution on her career and family life as a young mother. the public policy to uphold civil liberties embodied in the Bill of Rights necessarily outweighs the public policy to build confidence in the issuance of checks. the Court enjoins the Secretary of Justice and the Secretary of Interior and Local Government to see that essential justice is done and the real culprit[s] duly-prosecuted and punished. 22 must not be applied in a manner which contravenes an accused's constitutional and statutory rights." Hence.P.cralaw SO ORDERED.cralaw There is also a social justice dimension in this case. [38] Important to remember also is B.J.P. . Davide. J. The first is a basic human right while the second is only proprietary in nature. C. Thus. No costs. and the People of the Philippines.. is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Jr. Why she was required by her employer to countersign checks escapes us. Because of the pendency of this case. this Court exhorts the prosecutors and the police authorities concerned to exert their best to arrest and prosecute Asprec so that justice in its pristine essence can be achieved in all fairness to the complainant.cralaw Narvasa.P. is on leave. the questioned Decision of the Court of Appeals affirming that of the Regional Trial Court. Fr. JJ.. B. By this Decision. Petitioner Lina Lim Lao is ACQUITTED. 22. Lina Lim Lao is only a minor employee who had nothing to do with the issuance. concur. Francisco.. and Melo. funding and delivery of the worthless checks has escaped criminal prosecution simply because he could not be located by the authorities. 22's requirements that the check issuer must know "at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank" and that he must receive "notice that such check has not been paid by the drawee. The case against him has been archived while the awesome prosecutory might of the government and the knuckled ire of the private complainant were all focused on poor petitioner.cralaw WHEREFORE. effort and aches in defending her innocence. Lina Lim Lao stood in jeopardy for over a decade of losing her liberty and suffering the wrenching pain and loneliness of imprisonment.any interpretation and application of B. funding and delivery of checks.

No. 146424 Petitioner. Promulgated: November 18. J.R. Chairman SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES** and AGUSTIN ALARILLA. G.* -versus- CORONA. 2005 . Respondents. CARPIO MORALES and GARCIA.. JJ. Present: PANGANIBAN.THIRD DIVISION ALBINO JOSEF.

in filing this petition.: This is a petition for review on certiorari[1] of a decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.[4] Nonetheless.x--------------------------------------------x DECISION CORONA. J. . 23234. petitioner.R. Rule 125 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure.[2] which affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Malolos Bulacan convicting Albino Josef of 26 counts of violation of BP 22. CR no.[3] By way of a preliminary clarification. also known as the Anti-Bouncing Checks Law. It is therefore a criminal case and the People of the Philippines should be impleaded as a respondent in line with Section 2. this is a petition for review of the CA’s decision affirming Albino Josef’s conviction for 26 counts of violation of BP 22.

incorrectly entitled it Albino Josef v. Agustin Alarilla. In accord with Section 6,
Rule 1 of the Rules of Court,[5] we have allowed petitioner Josef to
subsequently implead the People of the Philippines as respondent in this
case.

Now, the facts.

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, entitled People v. Josef, Criminal Case Nos.
2113-M-93 to 2138-M-93, for the original 26 postdated checks.[6]

The trial court convicted petitioner on all counts and imposed the penalty
of six months for each conviction. The Court of Appeals, in the assailed
decision, affirmed the trial court.

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. He
likewise adopts the dissenting opinion of CA Justice Martin Villarama, Jr.,[7]
which states that the penalty of imprisonment was incorrectly imposed on
petitioner in the light of Administrative Circular No. 12-2000.[8]

The petition is without merit.

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.[9]

All three elements are present here.

in disposing of this contention. It bears stressing that the raison d’etre of the proscription . the trial court should not have admitted in evidence the photocopies of the checks until after he had been given reasonable notice to produce the originals. (we) find and so declare that the Court a quo did not commit any reversible error in admitting in evidence the photostatic copies of the subject checks in lieu of the originals thereof in the possession of the [Petitioner].[12] While petitioner alleges to have paid private respondent the amount of the checks. his unsubstantiated claim of cash payment contradicts his earlier defense that he had replaced the checks. He has likewise failed to rebut the statutory presumption[11] of knowledge of insufficient funds. The Court of Appeals. the second element.[10] the first and third elements. petitioner claims that.Petitioner categorically admits the fact of issuance of the checks and their dishonor. he failed to specify if he had done so within five banking days from receiving notice of the checks’ dishonor and to present any evidence of such payment. said:[13] However. which attaches if the check is presented and dishonored within 90 days from its issuance. in the light of the factual milieu in the present recourse. Moving onto the procedural aspects of the case. In addition. under the Best Evidence Rule.

In point of fact. the [Petitioner] thereby admitted that the photostatic copies of the checks marked and offered in evidence by the Prosecution were the faithful reproductions of the originals of . by his counsel. he was shown.000. the photostatic copies of the subject checks… and admitted that the originals of said checks were in his possession on his claim that he had paid the Private Complainant the amount of P600. in lieu thereof.against the admission of secondary evidence in lieu or in substitution of the original thereof is to prevent the commission of fraud on the part of the offeror who is in possession of the best evidence but. adduced secondary evidence: xxx xxx xxx When he testified in the Court a quo. when he testified in the Court a quo. which he claimed as missing and the Prosecution even adopted the original checks as its evidence: xxx xxx xxx The [Petitioner] admitted. before the Court a quo. the [Petitioner] brought out the originals of the checks and even marked the same in evidence as Exhibits “1” to “21”. The [Petitioner] never alleged that the photostatic copies of the checks marked and offered in evidence by the Prosecution were not faithful copies of the originals of the checks.00 in cash and the balance in the form of checks which he drew and issued to the Private Complainant by way of replacement of the aforesaid other checks: xxx xxx xxx By his testimony. except five (5) of the subject checks. that the originals of the subject checks were in his possession.

Rule 130 of the Revised Rules of Evidence. In addition.[14] . Hence. albeit impliedly. the Prosecution may mark and offer in evidence the photostatic copies of the checks. xxx xxx xxx Having admitted. the Petitioner was thus estopped from invoking Section 3. petitioner cured whatever flaw might have existed in the prosecution’s evidence. We agree with the Court of Appeals. Because they were entirely consistent with its main theory. by petitioner’s own admission. that the photostatic copies of the checks admitted in evidence by the Court a quo were the faithful reproduction of the original copies in his possession. five of the original checks were lost.the checks in his possession. 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. By admitting that the originals were in his possession and even producing them in open court. the prosecution correctly adopted these originals as its own evidence. thus rendering the photocopies thereof admissible as exceptions to the Best Evidence Rule.

v. Otherwise they could simply have accepted the judgment of the trial court and applied for probation to evade a prison term. The Circular provides. suffice it to say that such a claim is immaterial. par. petitioner adopts the interpretation of Justice Villarama to the effect that the circular mandates judges to impose fines rather than imprisonment on violators of BP 22. modified the sentence imposed for violation of B. they brought this appeal. Court of Appeals the Supreme Court (Second Division) per Mr. No.P. Blg. It would best serve the ends of criminal justice if in fixing the penalty within the range of discretion allowed by §1. In affirming the sentence imposed by the trial court. whether or not malice and intent attended such issuance is unimportant.Regarding petitioner’s allegation of good faith. 22.C. the majority pointed out that it is only under certain conditions that trial court judges may impose fines rather than imprisonment. They are Filipino entrepreneurs who presumably contribute to the national economy. 12-2000.[16] In invoking of A. in part: In its decision in Eduardo Vaca. Justice V. the same . Blg. the offense in question being malum prohibitum. the Court said: Petitioners are first-time offenders. 22 by deleting the penalty of imprisonment and imposing only the penalty of fine in an amount double the amount of the check. In justification thereof.P. 1.[15] The gravamen of the offense is the issuance of a bad check and therefore. Apparently. Mendoza. believing in all good faith. although mistakenly that they had not committed a violation of B.

many came to believe that the policy enunciated in this circular was to altogether remove imprisonment as an alternative penalty for violation of BP 22.P. 22.P..C. The circular created so much confusion. the Supreme Court en banc. In this case we believe that a fine in an amount equal to double the amount of the check involved is an appropriate penalty to impose on each of the petitioners.philosophy underlying the Indeterminate Sentence Law is observed. No. Considerable confusion arose as a result of this circular. Administrative Circular No. i. in fact. applying Vaca also deleted the penalty of imprisonment and sentenced the drawer of the bounced check to the maximum of the fine allowed by B.” All courts and judges concerned should henceforth take note of the foregoing policy of the Supreme Court on the matter of the imposition of penalties for violations of B. that of redeeming valuable human material and preventing unnecessary deprivation of personal liberty and economic usefulness with due regard to the protection of the social order. P200. Like Justice Villarama. and concluded that “such would best serve the ends of criminal justice. Blg. 22. People of the Philippines. that less than three months later. we had to issue yet another circular. namely. 13-2001.000. In order to put all doubts to rest. Blg. the second circular provides: . 12-2000 were. In the recent case of Rosa Lim v.[17] for the specific purpose of clarifying exactly what the implications of A.e.

Blg. 12-2000 is not to remove imprisonment as an alternative penalty. 22. Clearly. the application of the circular is selective and it is entirely up to the trial court judge to make that distinction.C. the imposition of a fine alone should be considered as the more appropriate penalty. 22 such that where the circumstances of both the offense and the offender clearly indicate good faith or a clear mistake of fact without taint of negligence. Blg. Needless to say. Neither does it defeat the legislative intent behind the law.The clear tenor and intention of Administrative Order No. Thus. the determination of whether the circumstances warrant the imposition of a fine alone rests solely upon the Judge. but to lay down a rule of preference in the application of the penalties provided for in B. Justice Villarama premised his dissent on the absence of a distinction in A. 12-2000 ought not to be deemed a hindrance (emphasis ours).P. the imposition of either a fine or imprisonment remains entirely within the sound discretion of the judge trying the case. Administrative Circular No. As A. based on his assessment of the offender and the facts.P. The pursuit of this purpose clearly does not foreclose the possibility of imprisonment for violators of B. Blg. Should the Judge decide that imprisonment is the more appropriate penalty. 12-2000 between which offenders deserve the relatively lenient penalty of a fine and which deserve imprisonment. 13-2001 states. 12-2000 establishes a rule of preference in the application of the penal provisions of B.C. Administrative Circular No. 22. . No. No.P.

23234 is hereby AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. CR No. the petition is hereby DENIED.R. . This brings us to the factual issue of petitioner’s worthiness of the lighter penalty. WHEREFORE. Costs against petitioner.given the circumstances obtaining. On this. we see no reason to disturb the findings of the trial court.