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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
November-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 137968 November 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRE DELOS SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 123138-39 November 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. HONESTO LLANDELAR

  • A.M. MTJ-01-1375 November 13, 2001 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT IN THE MTCs of CALASIAO. BINMALEY

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1601 November 13, 2001 - ELIEZER A. SIBAYAN-JOAQUIN v. ROBERTO S. JAVELLANA

  • G.R. No. 104629 November 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIUS KINOK

  • G.R. No. 134498 November 13, 2001 - CELIA M. MERIZ v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL

  • G.R. Nos. 135454-56 November 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RODERICK SANTOS

  • A.M. No. CA-01-10-P November 14, 2001 - ALDA C. FLORIA v. CURIE F. SUNGA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1518 November 14, 2001 - ANTONIO A. ARROYO v. SANCHO L. ALCANTARA

  • G.R. No. 122736 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FROILAN PADILLA

  • G.R. No. 123819 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. STEPHEN MARK WHISENHUNT

  • G.R. No. 133877 November 14, 2001 - RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION v. ALFA RTW MANUFACTURING CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 133910 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE VIRREY y DEHITO

  • G.R. No. 135511-13 November 14, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ENTICO MARIANO y EXCONDE

  • G.R. No. 137613 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSALITO CABOQUIN

  • G.R. No. 138914 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN MANTES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142870 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DINDO F. PAJOTAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 143513 & 143590 November 14, 2001 - POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS and FIRESTONE CERAMICS

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1599 November 15, 2001 - TRANQUILINO F. MERIS v. JUDGE FLORENTINO M. ALUMBRES

  • G.R. No. 123213 November 15, 2001 - NEPOMUCENA BRUTAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126584 November 15, 2001 - VALLEY LAND RESOURCES, INC., ET AL. v. VALLEY GOLF CLUB INC.

  • G.R. No. 127897 November 15, 2001 - DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129018 November 15, 2001 - CARMELITA LEAÑO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136017 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERRY BANTILING

  • G.R. No. 136143 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AGAPITO CABOTE a.k.a. "PITO"

  • G.R. No. 137255 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL MAMALAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137369 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALIAS KOBEN VISTA

  • G.R. No. 141811 November 15, 2001 - FIRST METRO INVESTMENT CORPORATION v. ESTE DEL SOL MOUNTAIN RESERVE

  • G.R. No. 145275 November 15, 2001 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LA CAMPANA FABRICA DE TABACOS

  • G.R. No. 148326 November 15, 2001 - PABLO C. VILLABER Petitioner v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and REP. DOUGLAS R. CAGAS

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1382 November 16, 2001 - MARIO W. CHILAGAN v. EMELINA L. CATTILING

  • A.M. No. P-00-1411 November 16, 2001 - FELICIDAD JACOB v. JUDITH T. TAMBO

  • G.R. No. 120274 November 16, 2001 - SPOUSES FRANCISCO A. PADILLA and GERALDINE S. PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS and SPOUSES CLAUDIO AÑONUEVO and CARMELITA AÑONUEVO

  • G.R. No. 127003 November 16, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. FAUSTINO GABON

  • G.R. Nos. 132875-76 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO G. JALOSJOS

  • G.R. No. 132916 November 16, 2001 - RUFINA TANCINCO v. GSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133437 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RONALD SAMSON

  • G.R. No. 134486 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLEMENTE DAYNA

  • G.R. No. 135038 November 16, 2001 - ROLANDO Y. TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142654 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ROLANDO MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 143802 November 16, 2001 - REYNOLAN T. SALES v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129175 November 19, 2001 - RUBEN N. BARRAMEDA, ET AL. v. ROMEO ATIENZA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130945 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO CONDINO

  • G.R. No. 132724 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RENIEL SANAHON

  • G.R. Nos. 138358-59 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO B. DELA PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 138661 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERSON E. ACOJEDO

  • G.R. No. 140920 November 19, 2001 - JUAN LORENZO B. BORDALLO, ET AL. v. THE PROFESSIONAL REGULATIONS COMMISSION AND THE BOARD OF MARINE DECK OFFICERS

  • G.R. No. 148560 November 19, 2001 - JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA v. SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Division) and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 91486 November 20, 2001 - ALBERTO G. PINLAC v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122276 November 20, 2001 - RODRIGO ALMUETE ET AL., v. MARCELO ANDRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126204 November 20, 2001 - NAPOCOR v. PHILIPP BROTHERS OCEANIC

  • G.R. Nos. 126538-39 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODELIO MARCELO

  • G.R. No. 129234 November 20, 2001 - THERMPHIL v. COURT OF APPEALS ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140032 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANGEL C. BALDOZ and MARY GRACE NEBRE

  • G.R. No. 140692 November 20, 2001 - ROGELIO C. DAYAN v. BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144401 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL GALISIM

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1207 November 21, 2001 - NBI v. FRANCISCO D. VILLANUEVA

  • A.M. No. P- 01-1520 November 21, 2001 - MARILOU A. CABANATAN v. CRISOSTOMO T. MOLINA

  • A.M. Nos. RTJ-00-1561 & RTJ-01-1659 November 21, 2001 - CARINA AGARAO v. Judge JOSE J. PARENTELA

  • G.R. No. 125356 November 21, 2001 - SUPREME TRANSLINER INC. v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132839 November 21, 2001 - ERIC C. ONG v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 133879 November 21, 2001 - EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT v. MAYFAIR THEATER

  • G.R. No. 136748 November 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUANITO ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137457 November 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSAURO SIA

  • G.R. No. 141881 November 21, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. VIRGILIO BERNABE y RAFOL

  • A.M. No RTJ-01-1664 November 22, 2001 - ALFREDO CAÑADA v. VICTORINO MONTECILLO

  • G.R. No. 109648 November 22, 2001 - PH CREDIT CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS and CARLOS M. FARRALES

  • G.R. Nos. 111502-04 November 22, 2001 - REYNALDO H. JAYLO, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 113218 November 22, 2001 - ALEJANDRO TECSON v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113541 November 22, 2001 - HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORP. EMPLOYEES UNION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118462 November 22, 2001 - LEOPOLDO GARRIDO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123893 November 22, 2001 - LUISITO PADILLA , ET AL. v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129660 November 22, 2001 - BIENVENIDO P. JABAN and LYDIA B. JABAN v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130628 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAULINO LEONAR

  • G.R. No. 132743 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCIAL CAÑARES Y ORBES

  • G.R. No. 133861 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO SO

  • G.R. Nos. 135853-54 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OPENIANO LACISTE

  • G.R. No. 135863 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VlRGILIO LORICA

  • G.R. Nos. 136317-18 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO YAOTO

  • G.R. No. 136586 November 22, 2001 - JON AND MARISSA DE YSASI v. ARTURO AND ESTELA ARCEO

  • G.R. No. 139563 November 22, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.. v. AMADOR BISMONTE y BERINGUELA

  • G.R. Nos. 139959-60 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DEOGRACIAS BURGOS

  • G.R. No. 141602 November 22, 2001 - PACSPORTS PHILS. v. NICCOLO SPORTS, INC.

  • G.R. No. 142316 November 22, 2001 - FRANCISCO A.G. DE LIANO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143939 November 22, 2001 - HEIRS OF ROSARIO POSADAS REALTY v. ROSENDO.BANTUG

  • G.R. No. 145475 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EUSEBIO PUNSALAN

  • G.R. No. 145851 November 22, 2001 - ABELARDO B. LICAROS v. THE SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146683 November 22, 2001 - CIRILA ARCABA v. ERLINDA TABANCURA VDA. DE BATOCAEL, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1562 November 23, 2001 - CAVITE CRUSADE FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT v. JUDGE NOVATO CAJIGAL

  • G.R. No. 126334 November 23, 2001 - EMILIO EMNACE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128886 November 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS JULIANDA, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142044 November 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TOBECHUKWU NICHOLAS

  • G.R. No. 144309 November 23, 2001 - SOLID TRIANGLE SALES CORPORATION and ROBERT SITCHON v. THE SHERIFF OF RTC QC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1662 November 26, 2001 - VICTOR TUZON v. LORETO CLORIBEL-PURUGGANAN

  • G.R. No. 138303 November 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELROSWELL MANZANO

  • G.R. Nos. 100940-41 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AGUSTIN LADAO y LORETO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128285 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. ANTONIO PLANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130409-10 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSUE B. DUMLAO

  • G.R. No. 130907 November 27, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. HON. CESAR A MANGROBANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130963 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIANO PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 133381 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMULO VILLAVER, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 140858 November 27, 2001 - SPOUSES PAPA and LOLITA MANALILI v. SPOUSES ARSENIO and GLICERIA DE LEON

  • G.R. No. 142523 November 27, 2001 - MARIANO L. GUMABON, ET AL. v. AQUILINO T. LARIN

  • G.R. No. 144464 November 27, 2001 - GILDA G. CRUZ and ZENAIDA C. PAITIM v. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

  • A.M. No. 00-8-05-SC November 28, 2001 - RE: PROBLEM OF DELAYS IN CASES BEFORE THE SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 128516 November 28, 2001 - DULOS REALTY and DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET. AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1485 November 29, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. MARIE YVETTE GO, ET AL

  • A.M. No. P-01-1522 November 29, 2001 - JUDGE ANTONIO J. FINEZA v. ROMEO P. ARUELO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1665 November 29, 2001 - ROSAURO M. MIRANDA v. JUDGE CESAR A MANGROBANG

  • G.R. No. 119707 November 29, 2001 - VERONICA PADILLO v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 121703 November 29, 2001 - NATIVIDAD T. TANGALIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126524 November 29, 2001 - BPI INVESTMENT CORP. v. D.G. CARREON COMMERCIAL CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129282 November 29, 2001 - DMPI EMPLOYEES CREDIT COOPERATIVE v. ALEJANDRO M. VELEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129609 & 135537 November 29, 2001 - RODIL ENTERPRISES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130326 & 137868 November 29, 2001 - COMPANIA GENERAL DE TABACOS DE FILIPINAS AND MANILA TOBACCO TRADING v. THE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. Nos. 132066-67 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALAS MEDIOS

  • G.R. No. 132133 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. WILLIAM ALPE y CUATRO

  • G.R. No. 136848 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO T. RAMIREZ

  • G.R. No. 137815 November 29, 2001 - JUANITA T. SERING v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138489 November 29, 2001 - ELEANOR DELA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 139470 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SPO2 ANTONIO B. BENOZA

  • G.R. No. 140386 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY ACOSTA

  • G.R. No. 141386 November 29, 2001 - COMMISSION ON AUDIT OF THE PROVINCE OF CEBU v. PROVINCE OF CEBU

  • G.R. Nos. 141702-03 November 29, 2001 - CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS v. NLRC and MARTHA Z. SINGSON

  • G.R. No. 142606 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NESTOR MUNTA

  • G.R. No. 143127 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL RUBARES Y CAROLINO

  • G.R. No. 143703 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. JOSE V. MUSA

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    G.R. No. 134498   November 13, 2001 - CELIA M. MERIZ v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 134498. November 13, 2001.]

    CELIA M. MERIZ, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    VITUG, J.:


    A maxim in statutory construction mandates that penal statutes should be strictly construed against the state and liberally in favor of the accused. The phrase, truly, may not be a mere cliché but, so also, it is not meant to wrongly shield an accused from criminal liability.

    On appeal to this Court is the decision, dated 06 July 1999, of the Court of Appeals (6th Division), in CA-G.R. No. 18985 affirming in toto the decision of the court a quo in Criminal Case No 90-5598 to Criminal Case No. 5601, inclusive, which found Celia M. Meriz, herein petitioner, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of having transgressed Batas Pambansa ("BP") Bilang 22.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Petitioner was engaged in the business of manufacturing garments for export using the name and style of "Hi-Marc Needlecraft." During the course of her business undertakings, she obtained a number of loans from Amelia Santos (Santos) and Summit Financing Corporation. Sometime in 1988, petitioner issued in favor of Santos four Pilipinas Bank Checks in the aggregate amount of P188,400.00. Santos deposited the checks with her bank. The checks, however, were later returned, with the notation "Insufficient Funds" stamped on the dorsal portion of each check, 1 by the depositary bank.

    On 15 December 1988, Santos, through her counsel, sent a telegram to petitioner, reading —

    "Unless your bounced checks for Two Hundred Twenty-Six Thousand Three Hundred Pesos paid in cash in three (3) days, [we] shall institute criminal action." 2

    Despite the warning, petitioner failed to settle her account. On 05 January 1990, another demand letter was sent; it read:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Your account with Mr. and Mrs. Leonardo G. Santos as of December 1, 1989 has amounted to P285,773.90.

    "In this connection we demand that you settle this account within seven (7) days from receipt hereof. Failing to do so, we might be constrained to take legal action, including damages and attorney’s fees." 3

    On 12 January 1990, petitioner acknowledged the letter-demand, she wrote thusly:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Dear Mr. Santos,

    "RE: OUR OUTSTANDING ACCOUNT OF P285,733.90

    With reference to the DEMAND LETTER dated January 5, 1990 [sent] to us by your counsel Vicente P. Fernando, we would like to request from you to please give us a little more time to settle said account with you.

    "Business has not been good the past year and up to now we haven’t collected yet from our buyer. We’ve been doing all possible means to generate funds and be able to settle our account. For the meantime, all we ask from you is give us more time.

    "We thank you for the consideration.

    "Very truly yours,

    "(Sgd.) CELIA M. MERIZ" 4

    Still, petitioner did not settle the obligation.

    In due time, four informations for violation of BP 22 were filed before Branch 147 of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City; to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Criminal Case No. 90-5598 —

    "That on or about the 30th day of September, 1988, in the Municipality of Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused being then the authorized signatory of Hi-Marc Needle Craft, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously make or draw and issue to Amelia A. Santos, to apply on account or for value the check described below:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Check No. 01587894

    Drawn Against Pilipinas Bank — 135 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave.

    Makati, Metro Manila

    In the amount of P47,100.00

    Dated September 30, 1988

    Payable to Amelia Santos

    said accused well knowing fully that at the time of issue Hi-Marc Needlecraft had no sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment in full of the face amount of such check upon its presentment which check when presented for payment within ninety (90) days from the date thereof was subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for the reason ‘Drawn against insufficient funds/Account Closed’ and despite receipt of notice of dishonor, the accused and or Hi-Marc Needlecraft failed to pay said payee the face amount of said check or to make arrangement for full payment thereof, within five (5) banking days after receiving notice." 5

    Criminal Case No. 90-5599 —

    "That on or about the 31st day of October, 1988, in the Municipality of Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused being then the authorized signatory of Hi-Marc Needle Craft, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously make or draw and issue to Amelia A. Santos, to apply on account or for value the check described below:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Check No. 01587895

    Drawn Against Pilipinas Bank — 135 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave.

    Makati, Metro Manila

    In the amount of P47,100.00

    Dated October 31, 1988

    Payable to Amelia Santos

    said accused well knowing fully that at the time of issue Hi-Marc Needlecraft had no sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment in full of the face amount of such check upon its presentment which check when presented for payment within ninety (90) days from the date thereof was subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for the reason ‘Drawn against insufficient funds/Account Closed’ and despite receipt of notice of dishonor, the accused and or Hi-Marc Needlecraft failed to pay said payee the face amount of said check or to make arrangement for full payment thereof, within five (5) banking days after receiving notice." 6

    Criminal Case No. 90-5600 —

    "That on or about the 30th day of November, 1988, in the Municipality of Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused being then the authorized signatory of Hi-Marc Needle Craft, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously make or draw and issue to Amelia A. Santos, to apply on account or for value the check described below:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Check No. 01587896

    Drawn Against Pilipinas Bank — 135 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave.

    Makati, Metro Manila

    In the amount of P47,100.00

    Dated November 30, 1988

    Payable to Amelia Santos

    said accused well knowing fully that at the time of issue Hi-Marc Needlecraft had no sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment in full of the face amount of such check upon its presentment which check when presented for payment within ninety (90) days from the date thereof was subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for the reason ‘Drawn against insufficient funds’ and despite receipt of notice of dishonor, the accused and or Hi-Marc Needlecraft failed to pay said payee the face amount of said check or to make arrangement for full payment thereof, within five (5) banking days after receiving notice." 7

    Criminal Case No. 90-5601 —

    "That on or about the 15th day of December, 1988, in the Municipality of Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused being then the authorized signatory of Hi-Marc Needle Craft, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously make or draw and issue to Amelia A. Santos, to apply on account or for value the check described below:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Check No. 01587897

    Drawn Against Pilipinas Bank — 135 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave.

    Makati, Metro Manila

    In the amount of P47,100.00

    Dated December 15, 1988

    Payable to Amelia Santos

    said accused well knowing fully that at the time of issue Hi-Marc Needlecraft had no sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment in full of the face amount of such check upon its presentment which check when presented for payment within ninety (90) days from the date thereof was subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for the reason ‘Drawn against insufficient funds’ and despite receipt of notice of dishonor, the accused and or Hi-Marc Needlecraft failed to pay said payee the face amount of said check or to make arrangement for full payment thereof, within five (5) banking days after receiving notice." 8

    Pleas of "not guilty" were entered by the accused at the arraignment. Trial ensued with both parties submitting their respective cases. On 16 March 1994, the trial court, following the reception of evidence, rendered its judgment convicting petitioner of all the charges; it held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Court, finding the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crimes charged, hereby sentences her to suffer an imprisonment of one (1) year in each of these cases, and to indemnify the complainant the sum of P47,100.00 in each case. With costs. 9

    Aggrieved, petitioner elevated the case, docketed CA-G.R. CR No. 18985, to the Court of Appeals. In its decision of 06 July 1998, the appellate court affirmed in toto the decision of the trial court.

    Petitioner, in the instant appeal, would have it that there was an absolute lack of consideration for the subject checks which were issued only as a condition for the grant of loan in her favor and that the requisite element of notice was not complied with.

    The petition is bereft of merit.

    The essential elements of the offense penalized under BP 22 are" (1) the making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply to account or for value; (2) the 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 such 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 for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment." 10

    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. The Court has since said 11 that a "check issued as an evidence of debt, although not intended for encashment, has the same effect like any other check" and must thus be held to be "within the contemplation of BP 22." Once a check is presented for payment, the drawee bank gives it the usual course whether issued in payment of an obligation or just as a guaranty of an obligation. 12 BP 22 does not appear to concern itself with what might actually be envisioned by the parties, 13 its primordial intention being to instead ensure the stability and commercial value of checks as being virtual substitutes for currency. It is a policy that can easily be eroded if one has yet to determine the reason for which checks are issued, or the terms and conditions for their issuance, before an appropriate application of the legislative enactment can be made. 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. The act effectively declares the offense to be one of malum prohibitum. The only valid query then is whether the law has been breached, i.e., by the mere act of issuing a bad check, without so much regard as to the criminal intent of the issuer. 14

    The element of "knowledge" involves a state of mind that obviously would be difficult to establish; hence, the statute itself creates a prima facie presumption of knowledge on the insufficiency of funds or credit coincidental with the attendance of the two other elements. Section 2 of the Act provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Sec. 2. Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. — The making, 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, when presented within ninety (90) days from the date of the 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, 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."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The Court has elucidated in one case 15 thusly —

    "To begin with, the second element involves knowledge on the part of the issuer at the time of the check’s issuance that he did not have enough funds or credit in the bank for payment thereof upon its presentment. B.P. No. 22 creates a presumption juris tantum that the second element prima facie exists when the first and third elements of the offense are present (Magno v. Court of Appeals, 210 SCRA 471). But such evidence may be rebutted. If not rebutted or contradicted, it will suffice to sustain a judgment in favor of the issue, which it supports (People v. Nuque, 58 O.G. 8442). As pointed out by the Solicitor General, such knowledge of the insufficiency of petitioner’s funds ‘is legally presumed from the dishonor of his checks for insufficiency of funds.’"

    The prima facie presumption that the drawer has knowledge of the insufficiency of funds or credit at the time of the issuance, or on the presentment for payment, of the check might be rebutted by payment of the value of the check either by the drawer or by the drawee bank within five banking days from notice of the dishonor given to the drawer. The payment could thus be a complete defense that would lie regardless of the strength of the evidence offered by the prosecution. 16 It must be presupposed then that the issuer receives a notice of dishonor and that, within five days from receipt thereof, he would have failed to pay the amount of the check or to make arrangement for its payment.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Anent the notice of dishonor, petitioner bewails the inaccuracy thereof. She underscores the fact that the questioned checks have not been sufficiently identified. There is nothing in the law, however, that prescribes the contents of a notice of dishonor except that the same be in writing as opposed to a mere oral notice. 17

    Both the Court of Appeals and the trial court found that a telegram, dated 15 December 1988, and a demand letter, dated 05 January 1990, were sent to petitioner. The latter, in reply to the 05 January 1990 letter, acknowledged her liability and indeed sought an extension within which to satisfy her account. A review of the findings of facts of the Court of Appeals is not a function that the Supreme Court undertakes, and there is here no cogent reason to depart from the rule.

    All told, the judgment of conviction must be upheld. Given the circumstances, however, the Court deems it appropriate to modify the sentence of the trial court by deleting the prison sentence of one (1) year and, in its stead, imposing a fine of P94,200.00 in each of the cases.

    WHEREFORE, the assailed decision is MODIFIED by deleting the prison sentence of one year and, in its stead, imposing, as the Court so hereby imposes, a fine of P94,200.00 in each of the cases, herein involved, on petitioner Celia M. Meriz. The award of civil indemnity made by the trial court in favor of private complainant is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

    SO ORDERED.

    Melo, Panganiban, Sandoval-Gutierrez and Carpio, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. TSN, 20 February 1992, pp. 6-7.

    2. Exh. E, Records, p. 115.

    3. Exh. F, Records, p. 120.

    4. Exh. G, Records, p. 121.

    5. Records, p. 1.

    6. Records, p. 5.

    7. Records, p. 9.

    8. Records. p. 13.

    9. Rollo, p. 40.

    10. Lao v. Court of Appeals, 274 SCRA 572.

    11. Cruz v. Court of Appeals, 233 SCRA 301.

    12. Dico, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, 305 SCRA 637.

    13. Que v. People, 154 SCRA 160.

    14. Cueme v. People, 334 SCRA 795.

    15. Sycip, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, 328 SCRA 447.

    16. People v. Laggui, 171 SCRA 305, Navarro v. Court of Appeals, 234 SCRA 639; Llamado v. Court of Appeals, 270 SCRA 423; and Cueme v. People 334 SCRA 795.

    17. Domagsang v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 139292, 05 December 2000.

    G.R. No. 134498   November 13, 2001 - CELIA M. MERIZ v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL


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