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Sec. 17 Digest People vs. Gallarde Facts: Homicide. 10 year old girl allegedly raped, killed & buried.

Accused was photographed at the police HQ w/o the presence of counsel. Issue: WON said photograph is inadmissible in evidence. Held: No. We cannot agree with the trial court's rejection of the photographs (Exhibits "I," "J" and "K") taken of GALLARDE immediately after the incident on the ground that "the same were taken while [GALLARDE] was already under the mercy of the police." The taking of pictures of an accused even without the assistance of counsel, being a purely mechanical act, is not a violation of his constitutional right against selfincrimination. The constitutional right of an accused against self-incrimination26 proscribes the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communications from the accused and not the inclusion of his body in evidence when it may be material. Purely mechanical acts are not included in the prohibition as the accused does not thereby speak his guilt, hence the assistance and guiding hand of counsel is not required.27 The essence of the right against selfincrimination is testimonial compulsion, that is, the giving of evidence against himself through a testimonial act.28Hence, it has been held that a woman charged with adultery may be compelled to submit to physical examination to determine her pregnancy;29 and an accused may be compelled to submit to physical examination and to have a substance taken from his body for medical determination as to whether he was suffering from gonorrhea which was contracted by his victim;30 to expel morphine from his mouth;31 to have the outline of his foot traced to determine its identity with bloody footprints;32 and to be photographed or measured, or his garments or shoes removed or replaced, or to move his body to enable the foregoing things to be done.

People vs. Malimit Facts: robbery with homicide. Malaki (store owner) victim. Malimit was asked to produce the wallet of the victim by the police. Appellant
sought for their exclusion because during the custodial investigation, wherein he pointed to the investigating policemen the place where he hid Malaki's wallet, he was not informed of his constitutional rights.

Held: The right against self-incrimination is simply a prohibition against legal process to extract from the accuseds own lips, against his will, admission of his guilt. It does NOT apply when the evidence sought is NOT an incriminating statement but an object evidence; Miranda rights covers only inadmissibility of extrajudicial confession or admission made during custodial investigation; other evidence (like IDs, wallet, keys, etc) is not affected even if obtained or taken in the course of custodial investigation.

Bagadiong vs. Gonzales Facts: On January 12, 1966, the herein plaintiffs-respondents filed a aforementioned Civil Case No. 546 for prohibition with preliminary prohibitory and mandatory injunction with the Court of First Instance of Catanduanes against defendants Jorge V. Almojuela, Dominador Monjardin, Fermin A. Bagadiong (the herein petitioner) and Armando Ala who are the Governor, Vice Governor, Provincial Treasurer and Provincial Auditor of the Province of Catanduanes, respectively. It is alleged that defendants, including the herein petitioner, are authorizing, approving and effecting the disbursements of public funds of the province for purposes stated in the alleged annual Provincial Budget of the Province for the Fiscal Year 1965-1966 purporting on its face to have been approved by the Provincial Board on August 23, 1965 under Resolution No. 62-A; that the aforesaid budget is falsified document because the Provincial Board never approved the same, the alleged Provincial Board Page 1 of 9

Resolution No. 62-A which is claimed to have approved the said Budget does not exist. When the Civil Case No. 546 was called for trial on April 18, 1966, counsel for plaintiffs called one of the defendants, the herein petitioner, Fermin A. Bagadiong, to the witness stand as one of the witnesses for the plaintiffs. Counsel for the defendants raised the objection that the said party cannot be called as a witness for the plaintiffs because it would violate his constitutional right against self-incrimination. On the other hand, counsel for the plaintiffs contended that this being purely a civil action, the right against self-incrimination is not involved, and if any testimony elicited from the herein petitioner would tend to incriminate himself, there would be ample time for the herein petitioner to raise the proper objection. The respondent Judge in his order 6 held that the position taken by the counsel for the plaintiffs is legally correct, thereby, ruling that the petitioner may testify as a witness for the plaintiffs. After a verbal motion to reconsider the aforesaid order was denied by the respondent Judge, the herein petitioner filed with this Court the instant petition, claiming as earlier stated, that the respondent Judge acted in excess of his jurisdiction and/or with grave abuse of discretion in allowing the herein petitioner to testify for the respondents in Civil Case No. 546, and that there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Issue: The principal issue raised in the instant case is whether or not respondent Judge acted in excess of his jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion in allowing the herein petitioner to testify as a witness for the herein respondents, despite his claim of violating his right against self-incrimination. Held: There is no legal impediment for a party to call any of the adverse parties to be his witness, as clearly provided in Section 6, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court which expressly provides:

A party may interrogate any unwilling or hostile witness by leading questions. A party may call on adverse party or an officer, director, or managing agent of a public or private corporation or of a partnership or association which is an adverse party, and interrogate him by leading questions and contradict and impeach him in all respects as if he had been called by the adverse party, and the witness thus called may be contradicted and impeached by or on behalf of the adverse party also, and may be cross-examined by the adverse party only upon the subject-matter of his examination in chief. It is in a criminal case, when the accused may not be compelled to testify, or to so much as utter a word, even for his own defense. 7 But while the constitutional guaranty against selfincrimination protects a person in all types of cases, be they criminal, civil or administrative, 8 said privilege, in proceedings other than a criminal case against him who invokes it, is considered an option to refuse to answer incriminating question, and not a prohibition of inquiry. People vs. Olvis Facts: Murder. Mayor Olvis acquitted. The police thereafter made the three other accused re-enact the crime. Patrolman Dionisio Capito directed Sorela to lead them to the grounds where Discredit Bagon was supposed to have been buried. But it was Villarojo who escorted them to a watery spot somewhere in the ricefields, where the sack-covered, decomposing cadaver of Bagon lay in a shallow grave. Issue: WON said re-enactment is admissible in evidence. Held: Mechanical acts the accused is made to execute not meant to unearth undisclosed facts but to ascertain physical attributes determinable by simple observation. This includes requiring the accused to submit to a test to extract virus from his body, 22 or compelling him to expectorate morphine from his mouth 23 or making her submit to a Page 2 of 9

pregnancy test 24 or a footprinting test, 25 or requiring him to take part in a police lineup in certain cases." In each case, the accused does not speak his guilt. It is not a prerequisite therefore that he be provided with the guiding hand of counsel. But a forced re-enactment is quite another thing. Here, the accused is not merely required to exhibit some physical characteristics; by and large, he is made to admit criminal responsibility against his will. It is a police procedure just as condemnable as an uncounselled confession. Accordingly, we hold that all evidence based on such a re-enactment to be in violation of the Constitution and hence, incompetent evidence. It should be furthermore observed that the three accused-appellants were in police custody when they took part in the re-enactment in question. It is under such circumstances that the Constitution holds a strict application. As for the accused Dominador Sorela, we cannot accept the trial judge's finding that he acted "with unexpected spontaneity" 27 when he allegedly "spilled the beans 28 before the law enforcers on September 9, 1975. What is to be borne in mind is that Sorela was himself under custody. Any statement he might have made thereafter is therefore subject to the Constitutional guaranty. PASCUAL VS. BME Facts: Petitioner Arsenio Pascual, Jr. filed an action for prohibition against the Board of Medical Examiners. It was alleged therein that at the initial hearing of an administrative case for alleged immorality, counsel for complainants announced that he would present as his first witness the petitioner. Thereupon, petitioner, through counsel, made of record his objection, relying on the constitutional right to be exempt from being a witness against himself. Petitioner then alleged that to compel him to take the witness stand, the Board of Examiners was guilty, at the very least, of grave abuse of discretion for failure to respect the constitutional right against self-

incrimination. The answer of respondent Board, while admitting the facts stressed that it could call petitioner to the witness stand and interrogate him, the right against self-incrimination being available only when a question calling for an incriminating answer is asked of a witness. They likewise alleged that the right against selfincrimination cannot be availed of in an administrative hearing. Petitioner was sustained by the lower court in his plea that he could not be compelled to be the first witness of the complainants, he being the party proceeded against in an administrative charge for malpractice. Hence, this appeal by respondent Board. Issue: Whether or Not compelling petitioner to be the first witness of the complainants violates the Self-Incrimination Clause. Held: The Supreme Court held that in an administrative hearing against a medical practitioner for alleged malpractice, respondentBoard of Medical Examiners cannot, consistently with the self-incrimination clause, compel the person proceeded against to take the witness stand without his consent. The Court found for the petitioner in accordance with the well-settled principle that "the accused in a criminal case may refuse, not only to answer incriminatory questions, but, also, to take the witness stand." If petitioner would be compelled to testify against himself, he could suffer not the forfeiture of property but the revocation of his license as a medical practitioner. The constitutional guarantee protects as well the right to silence: "The accused has a perfect right to remain silent and his silence cannot be used as a presumption of his guilt." It is the right of a defendant "to forego testimony, to remain silent, unless he chooses to take the witness stand with undiluted, unfettered exercise of his own free genuine will."

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The reason for this constitutional guarantee, along with other rights granted an accused, stands for a belief that while crime should not go unpunished and that the truth must be revealed, such desirable objectives should not be accomplished according to means or methods offensive to the high sense of respect accorded the human personality. More and more in line with the democratic creed, the deference accorded an individual even those suspected of the most heinous crimes is given due weight. The constitutional foundation underlying the privilege is the respect a government ... must accord to the dignity and integrity of its citizens. Section 19 Right against excessive fines, cruel, degrading, or inhumane punishment. People vs. Puda Facts: Murder. Chinese boy killed. THE TRIAL
COURT ERRED IN IMPOSING THE DEATH PENALTY FOR BEING VIOLATIVE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION (1935 CONSTITUTION) AGAINST THE IMPOSITION OF CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT. Held: The penalty complained of is neither cruel, unjust nor excessive. In Ex-parte Kemmler, 136 U.S. 436, the United States Supreme Court said that 'punishments are cruel when they involve torture or a lingering death, but the punishment of death is not cruel within the meaning of that word as used in the constitution. It implies there something inhuman and barbarous something more than the mere extinguishment of life.' The Court, however, agrees with the accused's contention that the penalty should not be imposed on him since he has been detained and continues to be in the death row for about 24 years now since as stated earlier, it took eleven years after his trial and conviction before the records of this case were discovered and transmitted to this Court for automatic review. For lack of the needed votes, the penalty of death is reduced to reclusion perpetua. (People v. Advincula, 96 SCRA 875; People v. Saravia, 127 SCRA 100) WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the penalty of death is reduced to reclusion perpetua and the indemnity for the heirs of the victim increased to THIRTY THOUSAND (P30,000.00) PESOS.

In view of the long period of time during which the accused-appellant has been in Death Row this case is referred to the Board of Pardons and Parole for a thorough study of all aspects of the case, including the accused's conduct while in prison, with the end in view of recommending executive clemency if warranted by the facts.

People vs. Dionisio Facts: Unlawful horserace bet collection. When the case was finally called for trial, accused voluntarily waive his right to be assisted by counsel, withdrew his former plea of not guilty and pleaded guilty to the information charging him with violation of Rep. Act No. 3063. The Court a quo found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt and, accordingly, sentenced him "to suffer one month imprisonment." Violation of the Act is sanctioned by "a fine of not less than one thousand pesos nor more than two thousand pesos or by imprisonment for not less than one month or more than six months, or both, in the discretion of the Court." Appellant argues that the provided penalty is harsh

Issue: WON the penalties prescribed for violation of the said act is violative of Sec. 19 of the Constitution. Held: Neither fines nor imprisonment constitute in
themselves cruel and unusual punishment, for the constitutional stricture has been interpreted as referring to penalties that are inhuman and barbarous, or shocking to the conscience (Weems vs. U.S. 217 U. S. 349) and fines or imprisonment are definitely not in this category. It takes more than merely being harsh, excessive, out of proportion, or severe for a penalty to be obnoxious to the Constitution. What evils should be corrected as pernicious to the body politic, and how correction should be done, is a matter primarily addressed to the discretion of the legislative department, not of the courts; and the view that unsupervised gambling is definitely detrimental to the nation and its citizens counts with respectable support. "The hope of large or easy gain, obtained without special effort, turns the head of the workman, and habitual gambling is a cause of laziness and ruin." (Planiol, Droit Civil, Vol. 2, No. 2110). "The social scourge of gambling must be stamped out. The laws against gambling must be enforced to the limit."

People vs. Estoista Facts: Servant shot while setting up roosters trap. Prosecuted in the Court of First Instance of Lanao for

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homicide through reckless imprudence and illegal possession of firearm under one information, the appellant was acquitted of the first offense and found guilty of the second, for which he was sentenced to one year imprisonment. This appeal is from that sentence raising factual legal and constitutional questions. The constitutional question, set up after the submission of the briefs, has to do with the objection that the penalty from 5 to 10 years of imprisonment and fines provided by Republic Act No. 4 is cruel and unusual.

People v. Echegaray death penalty; constitutional Courts are not the fora for a protracted debate on the morality or propriety of the death sentence where the law itself provides therefor specific and well defined criminal acts; Congress has the power to re-impose the death penalty for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes; This entails: 1) define and describe what heinous crimes mean; 2) specify and penalize by death only crimes that qualify as heinous; 3) Congress be move by compelling reasons involving heinous crimes.

Held: The sentence imposed by the lower court is


much below the penalty authorized by Republic Act No. 4. The judgment is therefore modified so as to sentence the accused to imprisonment for five years. However, considering the degree of malice of the defendant, application of the law to its full extent would be too harsh and, accordingly, it is ordered that copy of this decision be furnished to the President, thru the Secretary of Justice, with the recommendation that the imprisonment herein imposed be reduced to six months. The appellant will pay the costs of both instances.

Section 20 Non imprisonment for debt. SERAFIN VS. LINDAYAG [67 SCRA 166; ADM. MATTER. NO. 297-MJ; 30 SEPT 1975] Facts: Plaintiff failed to pay a simple indebtedness for P1500 Carmelito Mendoza, then municipal secretary and his wife Corazon Mendoza and therefore an estafa case was filed against her. Complainant admitted complaint. Now complainant filed a case against respondent Judge for not dismissing the case and issuing a warrant of arrest as it falls on the category of a simple indebtedness, since elements of estafa are not present. Further she contended that no person should be imprisoned for non-payment of a loan of a sum of money. Two months after respondent dismissed plaintiffs case. (Judge here committed gross ignorance of law. Even if complainant desisted case was pursued.) Issue: Whether or Not there was a violation committed by the judge when it ordered the imprisonment of plaintiff for non-payment of debt? Held: Yes. Since plaintiff did not commit any offense as, his debt is considered a simple loan granted by her friends to her. There is no collateral or security because complainant was Page 5 of 9

Del Rosario vs. Bengzon Facts: Petitioners have also assailed Section 12,

paragraphs b, c and d, of the Generics Act prescribing graduated penalties (ranging from a reprimand to a fine of not less that P10,000 and the suspension of the physician's license to practice his profession for one [1]) year or longer, at the discretion of the court) for violations of its provisions. Held: Petitioners' allegation that these penalties violate the constitutional guarantee against excessive fines and cruel and degrading punishment has no merit. Penal sanctions are indispensable if the law is to be obeyed. They are the "teeth" of the law. Without them, the law would be toothless, not worth the paper it is printed on, for physicians, dentists and veterinarians may freely ignore its prescriptions and prohibitions. The penalty of suspension or cancellation of the physician's license is neither cruel, inhuman, or degrading. It is no different from the penalty of suspension or disbarment that this Court inflicts on lawyers and judges who misbehave or violate the laws and the Codes of Professional and Judicial Conduct.

an old friend of the spouses who lent the money and that when they wrote her a letter of demand she promised to pay them and said that if she failed to keep her promise, they could get her valuable things at her home. Under the Constitution she is protected. Judge therefore in admitting such a "criminal complaint" that was plainly civil in aspects from the very face of the complaint and the "evidence" presented, and issuing on the same day the warrant of arrest upon his utterly baseless finding "that the accused is probably guilty of the crime charged," respondent grossly failed to perform his duties properly.

(2) The sheriff's return shows that the judgment debtor was insolvent. Hence the Orders of 9 and February 1, 1965, in effect, authorized his imprisonment for debt in violation of the Constitution. (3) The disobidience to a judgment considered as indirect contempt in Section 3(b)of Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, does not refer to a judgment which is a final disposition of the case and which is declaratory of the rights of the parties, but to a special judgment, which is defined in Section 9, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court as a judgment "which requires the performance of any other act than the payment of money, or the sale or delivery of real or personal property."

Sura vs. Martin Ajeno vs. Judge Inserto Facts: Father failed to give support to his child as ordered by the court because of insolvency. The judge issued a warrant of arrest of the father for contempt of court. Held: The orders for the arrest and imprisonment of the defendant, Vicente Martin, Sr., for contempt of court for failure to satisfy the judgment were illegal, in view of the following considerandos: (1) The judgment ordering the defendant to pay past and future support at P100 per month was a final disposition of the case and was declaratory of the obligation of the defendant. The writ of execution issued on the judgment with respect to past support in the amount of about P6,000 required "the sheriff or other proper officer" to whom it was directed (Rule 39, Section 8, Rules of Court) to satisfy the amount out of all property, real and personal, of the judgment debtor in the manner specified in Rule 39, Section 15, of the Rules of Court. The writ of execution was, therefore, a direct order to the sheriff or other proper officer to whom it was directed, and not an order to the judgment debtor. In view thereof, the judgment debtor could not, in the very nature of things, have committed disobidience to the writ. Facts: In a verified complaint dated October 25, 1975, complainant Ludovico Ajeno of Barotac, Nuevo, Iloilo, charged Judge Sancho Y. Inserto of the Court of First Instance, Iloilo City for ignorance of the law, particularly Article 39 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 5465 1 and Article IV, Section 13 of the 1973 Constitution 2 by sentencing complainant "to suffer an imprisonment of four (4) months of arresto mayor, to Idemnify Solomon Banagua, Jr. in the sum of P200.00 with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay the cost of the suit." 3 Complainant claims that the indemnity of Two Hundred (P200.00) Pesos is a civil liability and to order his imprisonment for nonpayment thereof is in violation of the constitutional provision that "no person shall be imprisoned for debt." 4 He thus prays this Court to remove respondent Judge from office "for incompetence and for lack of the highest degree of intellectual responsibility and integrity required of him by the nature of his office. ... " 5 In his comment to the charge of complainant, respondent Judge admitted his error in imposing upon the complainant the subsidary imprisonment of forty (40) days in case of Page 6 of 9

insolvency, to pay the indemnity of P200.00 to Solomon Banagua, Jr. and alleged among others that he realized his oversight when the case was appealed to the Court of Appeals; that it was never his intention to oppress anyone, much less the complainant; that at the time he committed the mistake he was relying on the doctrine that what the Constitution prohibits is imprisonment for debt arising exclusively from action ex contractu and does not include damages arising from action ex delictu, fines, penalties imposed in criminal proceedings, citing the case of People vs. Cara, 41 Phil. 828. Issue: In a verified complaint dated October 25, 1975, complainant Ludovico Ajeno of Barotac, Nuevo, Iloilo, charged Judge Sancho Y. Inserto of the Court of First Instance, Iloilo City for ignorance of the law, particularly Article 39 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 5465 1 and Article IV, Section 13 of the 1973 Constitution 2 by sentencing complainant "to suffer an imprisonment of four (4) months of arresto mayor, to Idemnify Solomon Banagua, Jr. in the sum of P200.00 with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency and to pay the cost of the suit." 3 Complainant claims that the indemnity of Two Hundred (P200.00) Pesos is a civil liability and to order his imprisonment for nonpayment thereof is in violation of the constitutional provision that "no person shall be imprisoned for debt." 4 He thus prays this Court to remove respondent Judge from office "for incompetence and for lack of the highest degree of intellectual responsibility and integrity required of him by the nature of his office. ... " 5 In his comment to the charge of complainant, respondent Judge admitted his error in imposing upon the complainant the subsidary imprisonment of forty (40) days in case of insolvency, to pay the indemnity of P200.00 to Solomon Banagua, Jr. and alleged among others that he realized his oversight when the case was appealed to the Court of Appeals; that it was never his intention to oppress anyone, much less the complainant; that at the time he

committed the mistake he was relying on the doctrine that what the Constitution prohibits is imprisonment for debt arising exclusively from action ex contractu and does not include damages arising from action ex delictu, fines, penalties imposed in criminal proceedings, citing the case of People vs. Cara, 41 Phil. 828. 6 Held: . In the criminal case filed against him, complainant "was sentenced to four (4) months imprisonment and to indemnify the victim Solomon Banagua, Jr. in the sum of P200.00 for alleged medical expenses. It is clear here that the sum of P200.00 was intended to answer for the indemnity to the offended party. Therefore non-payment there of can not subject the accused to subsidiary imprisonment because under the amendment introduced by Republic Act No. 5465, it is only for non-payment of the fine that the accused may be required to serve subsidiary imprisonment. But it is erroneous on the part of the complaint to claim that the error committed by the respondent Judge was in violation of the constitutional provision that "no person shall be imprisoned for debt," because the debt contemplated in the constitutional provision refers only to a contractual obligation or an obligation to pay money arising from a contract and not to an obligation arising from a crime. The obligation of the complainant to pay the sum of P200.00 to Solomon Banagua, Jr. does not arise from a contract but from a crime and is therefore beyond the scope of the constitutional provision mentioned. If at all, the error of the respondent Judge is his failure to observe the amendatory law, Republic Act No. 5465, in imposing the penalty to complainant. It was through his own negligence that he imposed forty (40) days of subsidiary imprisonment to complainant in case of nonpayment of the P200.00 indemnity to the offended party. He was negligent when he failed to exercise the care that the circumstances justly demanded. He failed to use that diligence which is expected of judges like him to determine whether the provision of law he is enforcing is still applicable, whether it has Page 7 of 9

been amended or not, or whether there are recent doctrines of the Supreme Court pertinent to the case. Had respondent Judge been more careful and cautious in this regard, he would have spared the complainant from the trouble and expense of prosecuting his case in the appellate court to correct the error. But what really mitigates respondent Judge's offense is the frank admission of his error and his honest disclaimer of bad faith in its commission. Lozano vs. Martinez Facts: Among the constitutional objections raised against BP 22, the most serious is the alleged conflict between the statute and the constitutional provision forbidding imprisonment for debt. It is contended that the statute runs counter to the inhibition in the Bill of Rights which states, "No person shall be imprisoned for debt or non-payment of a poll tax." 16 Petitioners insist that, since the offense under BP 22 is consummated only upon the dishonor or non-payment of the check when it is presented to the drawee bank, the statute is really a "bad debt law" rather than a "bad check law." What it punishes is the non-payment of the check, not the act of issuing it. The statute, it is claimed, is nothing more than a veiled device to coerce payment of a debt under the threat of penal sanction. Issue: Is B P 22 a valid law? Held: The gravamen of the offense punished by BP 22 is the act of making and issuing a worthless check or a check that is dishonored upon its presentation for payment. It is not the non-payment of an obligation which the law punishes. The law is not intended or designed to coerce a debtor to pay his debt. The thrust of the law is to prohibit, under pain of penal sanctions, the making of worthless checks and putting them in circulation. Because of its deleterious effects on the public interest, the practice is proscribed by the law. The law punishes the act not as an offense against property, but an offense against public order.

Lee vs. Rodil Facts: That on or about July 26,1982 in the City of Manila, Philippines, the said accused, did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously defraud the Philippine Bank of Communications, a banking institution duly organized and existing under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines, in the following manner, to wit: the said accused, being then the duly authorized representative of C.S. Lee Enterprises, Inc., after opening letter of credit with the said bank under L/C No. 63251 dated July 26, 1982, for the amount of P 154,711.97, coveting the purchase price of a certain merchandise consisting of 23 ctns. Lab. Culture Media in favor of said bank, received from the latter the necessary document and thereafter the said merchandise and forthwith, executed trust receipt for, the aforesaid merchandise dated July 26, 1982, by virtue of which, the said accused obligated herself to hold said merchandise in trust with liberty to sell the same in cash for the account of the said bank and to account for the proceeds of the sale thereof, if sold or of returning the said merchandise to said bank in case of failure to sell the same, on or before October 24, 1982, but the said accused, once in possession of the said merchandise, far from complying with her aforesaid obligation and despite the lapse of a long period of time and repeated demands made upon her to that effect, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously, with intent to defraud, misappropriate, misapply and convert the said merchandise or the value thereof, to her own personal use and benefit, to the damage and prejudice of the said Philippine Bank of Communications in the amount of P154,711.97, Philippine currency. The petitioner questions the constitutionality of Sec. 13 of P.D. 115. She contends that it is violative of the constitutional right that "No person shall be imprisoned for debt or nonpayment of a poll tax".

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Issue: WON Sec. 13 of P.D 115 is unconstitutional in view of Sec 20 of the Constitution. Held: No. The criminal liability springs from the violation of the trust receipt. We bear in mind the nature of a trust receipt agreement. This Court pronounced in the Vintola cases, 150 SCRA 578 (1987); G.R. No. 78671, March 25,1988 that: ... A letter of credit-trust receipt arrangement is endorsed with its own distinctive features and characteristics. Under that set-up, a bank extends a loan covered by the letter of credit, with the trust receipt as a security for the loan. In other words, the transaction involves a loan feature represented by the letter of credit, and a security feature which is in the covering trust receipt. (Emphasis supplied) Therefore, the loan feature is separate and distinct from the trust receipt. The violation of a trust receipt committed by disposing of the goods covered thereby and failing to deliver the proceeds of such sale has been squarely made to fall under Art. 315 (1) (b) of the Revised Penal Code, which provides: ... Swindling (estafa).-Any person who shall defraud another by any of the means mentioned herein below shall be punished by: xxx xxx xxx a. With unfaithfulness or abuse of confidence, namely: xxx xxx xxx b. By misappropriating or converting, to the prejudice of another, money, goods, or any other personal property received by the offender in trust or on commission, or for administration, or under any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of or to return the same, even though such obligation be totally or partially guaranteed by a bond; or by denying having received such money, goods, or other property.

People vs. Nitafan Facts: Failing in his argument that B.P. 22, otherwise
known as the "Bouncing Check Law", is unconstitutional, 1 private respondent now argues that the check he issued, a memorandum check, is in the nature of a promissory note, hence, outside the purview of the statute. Here, his argument must also fail. The facts are simple. Private respondent K.T. Lim was charged before respondent court with violation of B.P. 22 in an Information alleging That on . . . January 10, 1985, in the City of Manila . . . the said accused did then and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously make or draw and issue to Fatima Cortez Sasaki . . . Philippine Trust Company Check No. 117383 dated February 9, 1985 . . . in the amount of P143,000.00, . . . well knowing that at the time of issue he . . . did not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank . . . which check . . . was subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds, and despite receipt of notice of such dishonor, said accused failed to pay said Fatima Cortez Sasaki the amount of said check or to make arrangement for full payment of the same within five (5) banking days after receiving said notice. 2

On 18 July 1986, private respondent moved to quash the Information of the ground that the facts charged did not constitute a felony as B.P. 22 was unconstitutional and that the check he issued was a memorandum check which was in the nature of a promissory note, perforce, civil in nature. On 1 September 1986, respondent judge, ruling that B.P. 22 on which the Information was based was unconstitutional, issued the questioned Order quashing the Information. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari filed by the Solicitor General in behalf of the government. Held: A memorandum check, upon presentment, is generally accepted by the bank. Hence it does not matter whether the check issued is in the nature of a memorandum as evidence of indebtedness or whether it was issued is partial fulfillment of a preexisting obligation, for what the law punishes is the issuance itself of a bouncing check and not the purpose for which it was issuance. The mere act of issuing a worthless check, whether as a deposit, as a guarantee, or even as an evidence of a pre-existing debt, is malum prohibitum.

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