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Inding v. SB (Main) Otherwise, under PD No.

1606, the RTC


not the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction.
On January 27, 1999, an Information was The Office of the Special Prosecutor asserted
filed with the Sandiganbayan charging that the petitioner was, at the time of the
petitioner Ricardo S. Inding, a member of commission of the crime, a member of
the Sangguniang Panlungsod of DapitanCity, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dapitan City,
with violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act Zamboanga del Norte, one of those public
No. 3019,[2] committed as follows: officers who, by express provision of Section 4
a.(1)(b) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended by Rep.
That from the period 3 January 1997 up to 9 Act No. 7975,[5] is classified as SG 27. Hence,
August 1997 and for sometime prior or the Sandiganbayan, not the RTC, has original
subsequent thereto, in Dapitan City, Philippines, jurisdiction over the case, regardless of his salary
and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable grade under Adm. Order No. 270.
Court, the above-named accused Ricardo S. Issue:
Inding, a high-ranking public officer, being a
Councilor of Dapitan City and as such, while
in the performance of his official functions, W/N the Sandiganbayan has original
particularly in the operation against drug abuse, jurisdiction over Petitioner, a member of
with evident bad faith and manifest partiality, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dapitan City,
did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and who was charged with violation of Section 3(e)
criminally, faked buy-bust operations against of Rep. Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the
alleged pushers or users to enable him to Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
claim or collect from the coffers of the city
government a total amount of P30,500.00, as Held:
reimbursement for actual expenses incurred The Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the
during the alleged buy-bust operations, knowing case of Inding, the Petitioner.
fully well that he had no participation in the
said police operations against drugs but GR: Generally, the jurisdiction of a court to try a
enabling him to collect from the coffers of the criminal case is to be determined by the law in
city government a total amount of P30,500.00, force at the time of the institution of the
thereby causing undue injury to the government action, not at the time of the commission of the
as well as the public interest.[3] crime.
XPN: However, Rep. Act No. 7975, as well as
The case was docketed as Criminal Case Rep. Act No. 8249, constitutes an exception
No. 25116 and raffled to the Second Division thereto as it expressly states that to determine the
of the Sandiganbayan. jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan in cases
The Petitioner filed a motion for the dismissal of involving violations of Rep. Act No. 3019, the
the case for the lack of jurisdiction and for the reckoning period is the time of the commission
referral of the case to the RTC or the MTC. of the offense.

Rep. Act No. 7975, entitled An Act to Strengthen


The Petitioner alleges that under the Functional and Structural Organization of the
Administrative Order No. 270, he is he is a Sandiganbayan, Amending for that Purpose
member of the Sangguniang Presidential Decree No. 1606, took effect
Panlungsod of Dapitan City with Salary Grade on May 16, 1995.
(SG) 25.
Rep. Act. No. 8249 took effect on February 23,
Inding asserted that under RA 7975, the
1997.
Sandiganbayan exercises original jurisdiction
to try cases involving crimes committed by In this case, as gleaned from the
officials of local government units only if such Information filed in the Sandiganbayan, the
officials occupy positions with SG 27 or crime charged was committed from the period
higher. of January 3, 1997 up to August 9, 1997.The
applicable law, therefore, is Rep. Act No.
7975.
Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975 expanded
the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan as defined
in Section 4 of P.D. No. 1606, thus: It can be gleaned upon from the
aforementioned provision that any violation of
Rep. Act No. 3019 committed by officials in the
xxxxx executive branch with SG 27 or higher, and the
officials specifically enumerated in (a) to (g) of
Sec. 4. Jurisdiction. The Sandiganbayan shall Section 4 a.(1) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended
exercise original jurisdiction in all cases by Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 7975, regardless
involving:[18] of their salary grades, likewise fall within the
original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.
a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as
amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Indeed, it is a basic precept in statutory
Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379, construction that the intent of the legislature is
and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the the controlling factor in the interpretation of a
Revised Penal Code,[19] where one or more of statute.[37] From the congressional records and
the principal accused are officials occupying the text of Rep. Acts No. 7975 and 8294, the
the following positions in the government, legislature undoubtedly intended the officials
whether in a permanent, acting or interim enumerated in (a) to (g) of Section 4 a.(1) of P.D.
capacity, at the time of the commission of the No. 1606, as amended by the aforesaid
offense: subsequent laws, to be included within the
original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.
(1) Officials of the executive branch occupying In this case, there is no dispute that the
the positions of regional director and higher, petitioner is a member of the Sangguniang
otherwise classified as grade 27 and higher, of Panlungsod of Dapitan City and he is charged
the Compensation and Position Classification with violation of Section 3 (e) of Rep. Act No.
Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. 3019. Members of the Sangguniang
6758), specifically including: Panlungsod are specifically included as among
those within the original jurisdiction of the
(a) Provincial governors, vice-governors, Sandiganbayan in Section 4 a.(1) (b) of P.D. No.
members of the sangguniang panlalawigan, 1606, as amended by Section 2 of Rep. Act No.
and provincial treasurers, assessors, engineers, 7975,[41] or even Section 4 of Rep. Act No.
and other provincial department heads; 8249[42] for that matter. The Sandiganbayan,
therefore, has original jurisdiction over the
(b) City mayors, vice-mayors, members of petitioners case docketed as Criminal Case No.
the sangguniang panlungsod, city treasurers, 25116.
assessors, engineers, and other city department
heads;[20]
Bondoc v. Sandiganbayan (Back-up)
xxxxxx
Two (2) employees of the Central Bank
In cases where none of the principal accused are [Government employees] Manuel Valentino
occupying positions corresponding to salary and Jesus Estacio and nine (9) private
grade 27 or higher, as prescribed in the said individuals, were charged with several felonies
Republic Act No. 6758, or PNP officers of estafa thru falsification of public
occupying the rank of superintendent or higher, documents in three (3) separate informations
or their equivalent, exclusive jurisdiction thereof filed by the Tanodbayan with the Sandiganbayan
shall be vested in the proper Regional Trial on April 15, 1982. The actions were docketed as
Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Criminal Cases Numbered 5949 to 5951. They
Court, and Municipal Circuit Trial Court, as the were assigned to the Second Division of the
case may be, pursuant to their respective Sandiganbayan.
jurisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg.
129 Before the prosecution rested its case, the
Tanodbayan filed with the Sandiganbayan on
xxxx August 23, 1984, another set of three (3)
indictments, this time against Carlito P. (1) Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as
Bondoc (Assistant Manager of the Greenhills amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and
Branch of CITIBANK) and Rogelio Vicente, Corrupt Practices Act, Republic Act No. 1379,
also a private individual, charging them with and Chapter II, Section 2, Title VII of the
the same crimes involved in Cases No. 5949 to Revised Penal Code;
5951 as principals by indispensable
cooperation. The actions against Bondoc and (2) Other offenses or felonies committed by
Vicente were docketed as Criminal Cases public officers and employees in relation to their
Numbered 9349 to 9351. They were assigned to office, including those employed in government-
the Third Division of the Sandiganbayan. owned or controlled corporations, whether
simple or complexed with other crimes, where
Bondoc moved to quash the informations on the penalty prescribed by law is higher
January 3, 1985 on the basic theory that as a than prision correccional or imprisonment for
private individual charged as co-principal with six (6) years, or a fine of P6,000.00.
government employees, he should be tried
jointly with the latter pursuant to Section 4 Now, the crime with which Bondoc is charged
(paragraph 3) of PD 1606, as amended, supra; as co-principal by indispensable
hence, the separate proceedings commenced cooperation with the Central Bank employees
against him were invalid, for lack of above mentioned (Valentino and Estacio)in
jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over the each of the three (3) indictments against him is
offenses and his person. the complex felony of estafa thru falsification
of public documents under Article 171 7 in
The Third Division of the Sandiganbayan denied relation to Articles 315 8 and 48 9of the
Bondocs motion. However, in order to obviate Revised Penal Code.
his objection to a separate trial, , the Third
Division, in the same resolution, referred The crimes are "offenses or felonies committed
Bondoc's cases (No. 9349 to 9351) to the Second by public officers and employees in relation to
Division for consolidation with Cases Numbered their office," in confabulation and conspiracy
5949 to 5951. with him (Bondoc) and other private persons.
The Second Division denied the consolidation The penalty prescribed by law for each of the
and returned the Criminal Case to the third three offenses is higher than the penalty set out
division. in Section 4 of PD 1606 above cited, i.e., prision
correccional or six years, or a fine of
The Third Division set the case for arraignment P6,000.00. 10 Each offense is therefore within
and trial. the exclusive original jurisdiction of the
Sandiganbayan.
The Solicitor General, asserts that Section 4 (3),
PD 1606 merely prescribes the procedure when a Held:
private individual is charged with a public officer
or employee; once jurisdiction is acquired, it is The Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the case
not lost by procedural error (Ramos, et al., v. CB, of the Petitioner.
41 SCRA 565; Dioquino v. Cruz, et al., 116
SCRA 451). It is indisputable that the Sandiganbayan
acquired jurisdiction of the offenses charged in
Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1606 vests the informations against Bondoc and his co-
the Sandigan-bayan with exclusive original accused, based on the nature of the crimes as
jurisdiction over specific crimes and, as the described in the indictments and the penalty
Sandiganbayan has pointed out, supra, provides prescribed therefor by law. Also
against split jurisdiction as regards the civil incontrovertible is that the Sandiganbayan
liability arising from the crime. It declares that acquired jurisdiction of the persons of the
the Sandiganbayan shall have accused through their arrest by virtue of a
warrant, or voluntary submission to the
Exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases Court's authority.
involving:
It must at once be evident that the seeming
impossibility of a joint trial cannot and does
not alter the essential nature of the crimes in
question, as felonies perpetrated by public
officers or employees in confabulation with
private persons. It should be as obvious, too,
that assuming it is correct to construe the law in a
strictly literal sense, the indicated course of
action would be to insist on holding a joint trial
regardless of whatever circumstances may
appear to make such a joint trial inappropriate,
inconvenient, unfeasible.

The provision in question should thus be read as


requiring that private individuals accused in the
Sandiganbayan, together with public officers or
employees, must be tried jointly with the latter
unless the attendant circumstances have made
impossible or impracticable such a joint trial, as
in the cases at bar, in which event the trial of
said private persons may proceed separately
from the public officers or employees whose
own trials have been concluded.

Firaza v. People (Main)


Petitioner, appointed as a confidential agent of "CODIFYING THE LAWS ON
the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), ILLEGAL/UNLAWFUL POSSESSION,
Caraga Regional Office on August 18, 1999, was MANUFACTURE, DEALING IN,
issued a firearm and a mission to gather and ACQUISITION OR DISPOSITION OF
report to the NBI such information as may be FIREARMS, AMMUNITION OR
relevant to investigations undertaken by it. EXPLOSIVES OR INSTRUMENTS USED IN
THE MANUFACTURE OF FIREARMS,
In his private capacity, petitioner served as AMMUNITION OR EXPLOSIVES, AND
manager for RF Communications in connection IMPOSING STIFFER PENALTIES FOR
with which he dealt with Christopher Rivas, CERTAIN VIOLATIONS THEREOF, AND
Provincial Auditor of Surigao del Sur, for the FOR RELEVANT PURPOSES."
establishment of a Public Calling Office in the
Municipality of Lianga, Surigao del Sur. By Decision of February 20, 2003, the MCTC
convicted petitioner.
On August 11, 2000, in the course of a meeting
between petitioner and Rivas at the latters On appeal, the Regional Trial Court upheld
restaurant regarding the delivery of a defective petitioners conviction.
machine for the Public Calling Office, a heated
exchange ensued during which petitioner is On petition for review, the Court of Appeals, by
alleged to have pointed a gun at Rivas. Petitioner Decision of April 20, 2007,[3] affirmed
was thereupon accosted by P/Insp. Alberto A. petitioners conviction.
Mullanida, Acting Chief of Police of Lianga,
Surigao del Sur and PO2 Nilo Ronquillo, who Issue:
discovered that his permit to carry firearm
outside residence had expired more than a month Whether or not Petitioner can
earlier or on July 5, 2000. be convicted of an offense different
from that charged in the Complaint.
Hence, a criminal complaint was filed against
petitioner before the 6th Municipal Circuit Trial Held:
Court (MCTC) of Barobo-Lianga, Barobo,
Surigao del Sur for UNATHORIZED Petitioner prefaces his arguments in
CARRYING OF LICENCE [sic] FIREARM support of his appeal by claiming that the
OUTSIDE RESIDENCE. Complaint charged him with illegal possession
of firearms, hence, he cannot be convicted
That on or about the 11th day of August of carrying firearms outside of residence, the
2000 at about 4:00 oclock in the phrase in the Complaint reading with expired
afternoon more or less in Poblacion, license or permit to carry outside residence . .
Municipality of Lianga, Province of .being merely descriptive of the alleged
Surigao del Sur Philippines and within unlicensed nature of the firearm.
the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court
the above named accused, willfully, Petitioner concludes that since he had
unlawfully, and authority to carry firearm, it was error to
feloniously possess [sic] one (1) unit convict him. This was based on the
Pistol Caliber 45 with serial number disquisition of the appellate court
670320 entered inside the residence of crediting his defense.
Christopher Rivas at Lianga, Surigao
del Sur with expired license or permit Petitioners argument fails.
to carry outside residence
renewed [sic] from the government Section 6, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court
authority concerned. provides:

CONTRARY TO LAW. (Violation of SEC. 6. Sufficiency of complaint or


RA 8294 as amended) information. A complaint or
RA 8294AN ACT AMENDING THE information is sufficient if it states the
PROVISIONS OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE name of the accused; the designation of
NO. 1866, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED the offense given by the statute; the
acts or omissions complained of as
constituting the offense; the name of
the offended party; the approximate
date of the commission of the offense;
and the place where the offense was
committed.

When an offense is committed by more


than one person, all of them shall be
included in the complaint or
information. (Emphasis and
underscoring supplied)

The allegations in a Complaint or Information


determine what offense is charged. The alleged
acts or omissions complained of constituting the
offense need not be in the terms of the statute
determining the offense, but in such form as is
sufficient to enable a person of common
understanding to know what offense is being
charged as well as the qualifying and aggravating
circumstances and for the court to pronounce
judgment.

The earlier-quoted Complaint alleged that the


accused willfully, unlawfully and feloniously
possess [sic] one (1) unit Pistol Cal. 45 with
serial number 670320 [and] entered . . . the
residence of Christopher Rivas at Lianga,
Surigao del Sur with expired license or permit to
carry outside residence.[6] The words used to
indicate or describe the offense charged that
petitioner unlawfully carried his
firearm outside his residence because he had no
permit for the purpose are clear. They are self-
explanatory.

Sanrio v. Edgar Lim (Back-up)


Evidence on record shows that respondent
bought his merchandise from legitimate sources,
Petitioner Sanrio Company Limited, a Japanese as shown by official receipts issued by JC Lucas
corporation, owns the copyright of various Creative Products, Inc., Paper Line Graphics,
animated characters such as "Hello Kitty," "Little Inc. and Melawares Manufacturing Corporation.
Twin Stars," "My Melody," "Tuxedo Sam" and While it appears that some of the items seized
"Zashikibuta" among others.4 While it is not during the search are not among those
engaged in business in the Philippines, its products which [GGI] authorized these
products are sold locally by its exclusive establishments to produce, the fact remains
distributor, Gift Gate Incorporated (GGI).5 that respondent bought these from the
abovecited legitimate sources. At this juncture,
it bears stressing that respondent relied on the
As such exclusive distributor, GGI entered into
licensing agreements with JC Lucas Creative representations of these manufacturers and
Products, Inc., Paper Line Graphics, Inc. and distributors that the items they sold were
Melawares Manufacturing Corporation.6 These genuine.
local entities were allowed to manufacture
certain products (bearing petitioner's copyrighted Thus, as far as respondent is concerned, the
animated characters) for the local market. items in his possession are not infringing
copies of the original [petitioner's] products.
Sometime in 2001, due to the deluge of
counterfeit Sanrio products, GGI asked IP Therefore, the Task Force on Anti-Intellectual
Manila Associates (IPMA) to conduct a market Rights Piracy (TAPP) dismissed the Petitioners
research. The research's objective was to identify complaint.
those factories, department stores and retail
outlets manufacturing and/or selling fake Sanrio Petitioner moved for reconsideration but it was
items.7 denied.22 Hence, it filed a petition for review in
the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor of the
After conducting several test-buys in various DOJ.23 In a resolution dated August 29,
commercial areas, IPMA confirmed that 2003,24 the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor
respondent's Orignamura Trading in Tutuban affirmed the TAPP resolution. The petition was
Center, Manila was selling imitations of dismissed for lack of reversible error.
petitioner's products.8
Aggrieved, petitioner filed a petition for
Agents of the NBI searched the premises of certiorari in the CA. On May 3, 2005, the
Orignamura Trading. As a result thereof, they appellate court dismissed the petition on the
were able to seize various Sanrio products. ground of prescription.

Petitioner, through its attorney-in-fact Teodoro It based its action on Act 3326 which states:
Y. Kalaw IV of the Quisumbing Torres law firm,
filed a complaint-affidavit13 with the Task-Force Section 1. Violations penalized by special acts
on Anti-Intellectual Property Piracy (TAPP) of shall, unless otherwise provided in such acts,
the Department of Justice (DOJ) against prescribe in accordance with the following rules:
respondent for violation of Section 217 (in (a) after a year for offenses punished only by a
relation to Sections 17714 and 17815) of the fine or by imprisonment for not more than one
Intellectual Property Code (IPC) month, or both; (b) after four years for those
punished by imprisonment for more than one
Respondent asserted in his counter- month, but less than two years; (c) after eight
affidavit16 that he committed no violation of the years for those punished by imprisonment for
provisions of the IPC because he was only a two years or more, but less than six years; and
retailer.17 Respondent neither reproduced nor (d) after twelve years for any other offense
manufactured any of petitioner's copyrighted punished by imprisonment for six years or more,
item; thus, he did not transgress the economic except the crime of treason, which shall prescribe
rights of petitioner.18 Moreover, he obtained his after twenty years; Provided, however, That all
merchandise from authorized manufacturers of offenses against any law or part of law
petitioner's products. administered by the Bureau of Internal Revenue
shall prescribe after five years. Violations of criminal responsibility.32 Thus, the
penalized by municipal ordinances shall prescriptive period for the prosecution of the
prescribe after two months. alleged violation of the IPC was tolled by
petitioner's timely filing of the complaint-
Section 2. Prescription shall begin to run from affidavit before the TAPP.
the day of the commission of the violation of
the law, and if the same may not be known at the In The Absence Of Grave Abuse Of
time, from the discovery thereof and the Discretion, The Factual Findings Of The DOJ
institution of judicial proceedings for its In Preliminary Investigations Will Not Be
investigation and punishment. Disturbed

The prescription shall be interrupted when In a preliminary investigation, a public


proceedings are instituted against the guilty prosecutor determines whether a crime has been
person, and shall begin to run again if the committed and whether there is probable cause
proceedings are dismissed for reasons not that the accused is guilty thereof.33 Probable
constituting jeopardy. (emphasis supplied) cause is defined as such facts and circumstances
that will engender a well-founded belief that a
According to the CA, because no complaint was crime has been committed and that the
filed in court within two years after the respondent is probably guilty thereof and should
commission of the alleged violation, the offense be held for trial.34 Because a public prosecutor is
had already prescribed. the one conducting a preliminary investigation,
he determines the existence of probable
cause.35 Consequently, the decision to file a
Issue:
criminal information in court or to dismiss a
complaint depends on his sound discretion.36
W/N the CA erred in concluding that the alleged
violations of the IPC had prescribed.
As a general rule, a public prosecutor is afforded
a wide latitude of discretion in the conduct of a
Held: preliminary investigation. For this reason, courts
generally do not interfere with the results of such
Although we do not agree wholly with the CA, proceedings. A prosecutor alone determines the
we deny the petition. sufficiency of evidence that will establish
probable cause justifying the filing of a criminal
Filing Of The Complaint In the DOJ Tolled information against the respondent.37 By way of
The Prescriptive Period exception, however, judicial review is allowed
where respondent has clearly established that the
Section 2 of Act 3326 provides that the prosecutor committed grave abuse of
prescriptive period for violation of special laws discretion.38 Otherwise stated, such review is
starts on the day such offense was committed and appropriate only when the prosecutor has
is interrupted by the institution of proceedings exercised his discretion in an arbitrary,
against respondent (i.e., the accused). capricious, whimsical or despotic manner by
reason of passion or personal hostility, patent and
gross enough to amount to an evasion of a
Petitioner in this instance filed its complaint-
positive duty or virtual refusal to perform a duty
affidavit on April 4, 2002 or one year, ten
enjoined by law.
months and four days after the NBI searched
respondent's premises and seized Sanrio
merchandise therefrom. Although no information
was immediately filed in court, respondent's
alleged violation had not yet prescribed.30 Samson Ching v. CA (Main)

In the recent case of Brillantes v. Court of On October 21, 1997, petitioner Ching, a
Appeals,31 we affirmed that the filing of the Chinese national, instituted criminal complaints
complaint for purposes of preliminary for eleven (11) counts of violation of BP 22
investigation interrupts the period of prescription against respondent Nicdao. Consequently, eleven
(11) Informations were filed with the First
Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Respondent Nicdao was surprised to be notified
Dinalupihan-Hermosa, Province of Bataan. by HSLB that her check in the amount
of P20,000,000.00 was just presented to the bank
At about the same time, fourteen (14) other for payment. She claimed that it was only then
criminal complaints, also for violation of BP 22, that she remembered that sometime in 1995, she
were filed against respondent Nicdao by Emma was informed by her employee that one of her
Nuguid, said to be the common law spouse of checks was missing. At that time, she did not let
petitioner Ching. Allegedly fourteen (14) checks, it bother her thinking that it would eventually
amounting to P1,150,000.00, were issued by surface when presented to the bank.
respondent Nicdao to Nuguid but were
dishonored for lack of sufficient funds. Respondent Nicdao could not explain how the
said check came into petitioner Chings
At her arraignment, respondent Nicdao entered possession. She explained that she kept her
the plea of "not guilty" to all the charges. checks in an ordinary cash box together with a
stapler and the cigarette wrappers that contained
Nuguids computations. Her saleslady had access
Petitioner Ching averred that the checks were
to this box.
issued to him by respondent Nicdao as security
for the loans that she obtained from him. Their
transaction began sometime in October 1995 The MCTC found Nicdao guilty of violation of
when respondent Nicdao, proprietor/manager of BP22.
Vignette Superstore, together with her husband,
approached him to borrow money in order for On appeal, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
them to settle their financial obligations. They Dinalupihan, Bataan, Branch 5, in separate
agreed that respondent Nicdao would leave the Decisions both dated May 10, 1999, affirmed in
checks undated and that she would pay the loans toto the decisions of the MCTC convicting
within one year. However, when petitioner Ching respondent Nicdao of eleven (11) and fourteen
went to see her after the lapse of one year to ask (14) counts of violation of BP 22 in Criminal
for payment, respondent Nicdao allegedly said Cases Nos. 9433-9443 and 9458-9471,
that she had no cash. respectively.

After a number of demands by Ching, Nicdao The CA reversed the decision of the RTC and
was not able to pay the full amount of acquitted Nicdao.
P20,000,000. All she could muster was
P2,000,000 and P5,000,000 from her daughter The CA gave credence to the testimony of
because that was the amount she told the latter. respondent Nicdao that when she had fully paid
Ching proceeded with depositing the blank her loans to Nuguid, she tried to retrieve her
checks with the bank, but realized such was checks. Nuguid, however, refused to return the
DAIF. checks to respondent Nicdao. Instead, Nuguid
and petitioner Ching filled up the said checks to
On direct-examination,17 respondent Nicdao make it appear that: (a) petitioner Ching was the
stated that she only dealt with Nuguid. She payee in five checks; (b) the six checks were
vehemently denied the allegation that she had payable to cash; (c) Nuguid was the payee in
borrowed money from both petitioner Ching and fourteen (14) checks. Petitioner Ching and
Nuguid in the total amount of P22,950,000.00. Nuguid then put the date October 6, 1997 on all
Respondent Nicdao admitted, however, that she these checks and deposited them the following
had obtained a loan from Nuguid but only day. On October 8, 1997, through a joint demand
for P2,100,000.00 and the same was already fully letter, they informed respondent Nicdao that her
paid. As proof of such payment, she presented a checks were dishonored by HSLB and gave her
Planters Bank demand draft dated August 13, three days to settle her indebtedness or else face
1996 in the amount of P1,200,000.00. The prosecution for violation of BP 22.
annotation at the back of the said demand draft
showed that it was endorsed and negotiated to With the finding that respondent Nicdao had
the account of petitioner Ching. fully paid her loan obligations to Nuguid, the CA
declared that she could no longer be held liable
for violation of BP 22. It was explained that to be
held liable under BP 22, it must be established, Check No. 002524 and cannot assert any cause
inter alia, that the check was made or drawn and of action founded on said check," 41 and that
issued to apply on account or for value. respondent Nicdao "has no obligation to make
According to the CA, the word "account" refers good the stolen check and cannot, therefore, be
to a pre-existing obligation, while "for value" held liable for violation of B.P. Blg. 22." 42
means an obligation incurred simultaneously
with the issuance of the check. In the case of With respect to the ten (10) other checks, the CA
respondent Nicdaos checks, the pre-existing established that the loans secured by these
obligations secured by them were already checks had already been extinguished after full
extinguished after full payment had been made payment had been made by respondent Nicdao.
by respondent Nicdao to Nuguid. Obligations are In this connection, the second element for the
extinguished by, among others, payment.30 The crime under BP 22, i.e., "that the check is made
CA believed that when petitioner Ching and or drawn and issued to apply on account or for
Nuguid refused to return respondent Nicdaos value," is not present.
checks despite her total payment
of P6,980,000.00 for the loans secured by the
Second, in acquitting respondent Nicdao, the CA
checks, petitioner Ching and Nuguid were using
did not adjudge her to be civilly liable to
BP 22 to coerce respondent Nicdao to pay a debt
petitioner Ching. In fact, the CA explicitly stated
which she no longer owed them.
that she had already fully paid her obligations.

On the other hand, its finding relative to


the P20,000,000.00 check that it was a stolen
Issue: check necessarily absolved respondent Nicdao of
any civil liability thereon as well.
W/N despite the acquittal of Respondent Nicdao
of the violation of BP 22, she is still liable for the
P20,000,000 to the Petitioner?

Held:

No.

The Court holds that respondent Nicdao cannot


be held civilly liable to petitioner Ching.

The acquittal of respondent Nicdao likewise


effectively extinguished her civil liability

A painstaking review of the case leads to the


conclusion that respondent Nicdaos acquittal
likewise carried with it the extinction of the
action to enforce her civil liability. There is
simply no basis to hold respondent Nicdao
civilly liable to petitioner Ching.

First, the CAs acquittal of respondent Nicdao is


not merely based on reasonable doubt. Rather, it
is based on the finding that she did not commit
the act penalized under BP 22. In particular, the
CA found that the P20,000,000.00 check was a
stolen check which was never issued nor
delivered by respondent Nicdao to petitioner
Ching. As such, according to the CA, petitioner
Ching "did not acquire any right or interest over