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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
 

   
June-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 125297 June 6, 2003 - ELVIRA YU OH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143675 June 9, 2003 - SPS. ROMEO and EMILY GUDA v. ALAN A. LEYNES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145338 June 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZALDY P. LABIANO

  • A.C. No. 4738 June 10, 2003 - VIOLETA FLORES ALITAGTAG v. VIRGILIO R. GARCIA

  • Bar Matter No. 1036 June 10, 2003 - DONNA MARIE S. AGUIRRE v. EDWIN L. RANA

  • A.M. No. 99-6-81-MTCC June 10, 2003 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE MTCC OF PALAYAN CITY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1203 June 10, 2003 - NELIA A. ZIGA v. RAMON A. AREJOLA

  • A.M. No. P-96-1214 June 10, 2003 - BERNARDINO M. FABIAN, ET AL. v. LEILA (LAILA) M. GALO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1751 June 10, 2003 - ANDREA D. DOMINGO v. ERNESTO P. PAGAYATAN

  • G.R. No. 111159 June 10, 2003 - NORDIC ASIA LIMITED, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116463 June 10, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. thru the DPWH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119293 June 10, 2003 - SAN MIGUEL CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123054 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FAUSTO B. OBEDO

  • G.R. No. 125778 June 10, 2003 - INTER-ASIA INVESTMENTS INDUSTRIES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125838 June 10, 2003 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126281 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERGIO A. CARATAO

  • G.R. No. 131842 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO JACKSON

  • G.R. No. 139561 June 10, 2003 - SPS. FEDERICO & SARAH ATUEL, ET AL. v. SPS. BERNABE & CONCHITA VALDEZ

  • G.R. No. 141115 June 10, 2003 - POSADAS-MOYA and ASSOC. CONST. CO. v. GREENFIELD DEV’T. CORP.

  • G.R. No. 142467 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABELARDO DE CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143076 June 10, 2003 - PHILIPPINE RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES ASSOCIATION, ET AL. v. SECRETARY, DILG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143125 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL .vs. DIOSDADO R. CORIAL

  • G.R. No. 144157 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LOWELL SALUDES

  • G.R. Nos. 144523-26 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO QUIJANO SR.

  • G.R. Nos. 145452-53 June 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LARRY CARITATIVO

  • G.R. Nos. 146749 & 147938 June 10, 2003 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 149154 June 10, 2003 - RODOLFO S. DE JESUS, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 150611 June 10, 2003 - JACINTO SAGUID v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153660 June 10, 2003 - PRUDENCIO BANTOLINO, ET AL. v. COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1724 June 12, 2003 - RODOLFO O. MACACHOR v. ROLINDO D. BELDIA JR.

  • G.R. No. 138541 June 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE LARRY COLONIA

  • G.R. No. 148327 June 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO P. DESALISA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1679 June 16, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. BEL EDUARDO F. NITAFAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. SCC-03-08 June 16, 2003 - ERMELYN A. LIMBONA v. CASAN ALI LIMBONA

  • G.R. No. 95901 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO B. SIBONGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138692 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR AREO

  • G.R. Nos. 141280-81 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY L. SODSOD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144589 June 16, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUANITO PACUANCUAN

  • G.R. No. 149683 June 16, 2003 - ILOILO TRADERS FINANCE INC. v. HEIRS OF OSCAR SORIANO JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149750 June 16, 2003 - AURORA ALCANTARA-DAUS v. SPS. HERMOSO & SOCORRO DE LEON

  • A.M. No. MTJ-96-1106 June 17, 2003 - CELESTINA B. CORPUZ v. ORLANDO ANA F. SIAPNO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1710 June 17, 2003 - EVANGELINA C. SAMSON v. JULES A. MEDIA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1784 June 17, 2003 - MANUEL M. ROSALES v. ROMULO S.G. VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 123146 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALONA BULI-E, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128225 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE A. NARRA

  • G.R. No. 137042 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE MUSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144225 June 17, 2003 - SPS. GODOFREDO and CARMEN ALFREDO v. SPS. ARMANDO and ADELIA BORRAS

  • G.R. No. 145993 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUFINO I. MALLARI

  • G.R. No. 148668 June 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TONY L. PEDRONAN

  • G.R. No. 151440 June 17, 2003 - HEIRS OF SIMPLICIO SANTIAGO v. HEIRS OF MARIANO E. SANTIAGO

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1493 June 18, 2003 - RENE BOY GOMEZ v. MANUEL D. PATALINGHUG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123161 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LIBERATO SOLAMILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125305 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNABE MONTEMAYOR

  • G.R. Nos. 127756-58 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN P. MEDINA SR.

  • G.R. Nos. 131926 & 138991 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL U. PAGALASAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134981 June 18, 2003 - FREDELITO P. VITTO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135857 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ADRIANO ARCA

  • G.R. Nos. 140439-40 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIX HERMOSA

  • G.R. No. 144975 June 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AMADOR SAPIGAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149147 June 18, 2003 - FELIX BAROT v. COMELEC CITY BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF TANJAY CITY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150327 June 18, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. MARILYN A. PERALTA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 01-6-314-RTC June 19, 2003 - RE: REQUEST OF JUDGE ROBERTO S. JAVELLANA, RTC-BR. 59, SAN CARLOS CITY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-92-710 June 19, 2003 - PEDRITA M. HARAYO v. JUDGE MAMERTO Y. COLIFLORES

  • G.R. No. 154411 June 19, 2003 - NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY v. HEIRS OF ISIDRO GUIVELONDO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1701 June 20, 2003 - BALTAZAR LL. FIRMALO v. MELINDA C. QUIERREZ

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1594 June 20, 2003 - PASTOR SALUD v. FLORENTINO M. ALUMBRES

  • G.R. No. 122766 June 20, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE ESPONILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127275 June 20, 2003 - PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130759 June 20, 2003 - ASIATRUST DEVELOPMENT BANK v. CONCEPTS TRADING CORP.

  • G.R. No. 139332 June 20, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NOLI A. NOVIO

  • G.R. No. 140698 June 20, 2003 - ROGELIO ENGADA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142503 June 20, 2003 - ROMUALDO C. PEREZ v. APOLONIO CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 142820 June 20, 2003 - WOLFGANG O. ROEHR v. MARIA CARMEN D. RODRIGUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143604 June 20, 2003 - PRISCO LANZADERAS, ET AL. v. AMETHYST SECURITY AND GENERAL SERVICES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146595 June 20, 2003 - CARLO A. TAN v. KAAKBAY FINANCE CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152436 June 20, 2003 - NPC v. SPS. IGMEDIO CHIONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152766 June 20, 2003 - LILIA SANCHEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 140872 June 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PABLITO T. INGGO

  • G.R. Nos. 142683-84 June 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SERGIO JOROLAN

  • G.R. Nos. 143760-63 June 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO B. MANLUCTAO

  • G.R. No. 144018 June 23, 2003 - FAR EAST BANK AND TRUST CO. v. TOMAS TOH, SR., ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 3849 June 25, 2003 - FELICIDAD VDA. DE BERNARDO v. JOSE R. RESTAURO

  • G.R. Nos. 105416-17, 111863 & 143715 June 25, 2003 - PHILIPP BROTHERS OCEANIC, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122109 June 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS TORIO

  • G.R. No. 123896 June 25, 2003 - ROSALINDA SERRANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126113 June 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO B. GUIHAMA

  • G.R. No. 135323 June 25, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDELMA LAGATA

  • G.R. No. 136773 June 25, 2003 - MILAGROS MANONGSONG v. FELOMENA JUMAQUIO ESTIMO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146018 June 25, 2003 - EDGAR COKALIONG SHIPPING LINES v. UCPB GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY

  • G.R. Nos. 147589 & 147613 June 25, 2003 - ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1472 June 26, 2003 - ADRIANO V. ALBIOR v. DONATO A. AUGUIS

  • A.M. No. P-02-1544 June 26, 2003 - ERNESTO LUMANTA v. WILFREDO M. TUPAS

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1670 June 26, 2003 - SPS. CAROLINA AND VILLAMOR GRAGERA v. PABLO B. FRANCISCO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1736 June 26, 2003 - SPS. ARTURO and JOSEFINA DE GUZMAN v. FERNANDO VIL PAMINTUAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1519 June 26, 2003 - GREGORIO LIMPOT LUMAPAS v. CAMILO E. TAMIN

  • G.R. No. 137296 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO Q. VICENTE

  • G.R. No. 140967 June 26, 2003 - EMERITA ACOSTA v. EMILIO ENRIQUEZ

  • G.R. No. 141863 June 26, 2003 - BASILIO RIVERA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144090 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL S. MAGUING

  • G.R. No. 145305 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REDANTE C. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 145731 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO GERAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148730 June 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE D. DELA CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 154705 June 26, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA, ET AL. v. JAMES VINZON

  • G.R. No. 121828 June 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENE GAYOT PILOLA

  • G.R. Nos. 124830-31 June 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERARDO P. EVINA

  • G.R. No. 138993 June 27, 2003 - PHILIPPINE VETERANS BANK v. SANTIAGO G. ESTRELLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 139217–24 June 27, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELSON ESPERANZA

  • G.R. No. 143643 June 27, 2003 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. SPS. JOSE & MA. CLARA CAMPOS

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 125297   June  6, 2003 - ELVIRA YU OH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 125297. June 6, 2003.]

    ELVIRA YU OH, Petitioner, v. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:


    Before this Court is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision 1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. CR No. 16390, promulgated on January 30, 1996, affirming the conviction of petitioner Elvira Yu Oh by the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 99, Quezon City and the resolution dated May 30, 1996 which denied her motion for reconsideration.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The facts as borne by the records are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Petitioner purchased pieces of jewelry from Solid Gold International Traders, Inc., a company engaged in jewelry trading. Due to her failure to pay the purchase price, Solid Gold filed civil cases 2 against her for specific performance before the Regional Trial Court of Pasig. On September 17, 1990, petitioner and Solid Gold, through its general manager Joaquin Novales III, entered into a compromise agreement to settle said civil cases. 3 The compromise agreement, as approved by the trial court, provided that petitioner shall issue a total of ninety-nine post-dated checks in the amount of P50,000.00 each, dated every 15th and 30th of the month starting October 1, 1990 and the balance of over P1 million to be paid in lump sum on November 16, 1994 which is also the due date of the 99th and last postdated check. Petitioner issued ten checks at P50,000.00 each, for a total of P500,000.00, drawn against her account at the Equitable Banking Corporation (EBC), Grace Park, Caloocan City Branch. Novales then deposited each of the ten checks on their respective due dates with the Far East Bank and Trust Company (FEBTC). However, said checks were dishonored by EBC for the reason "Account Closed." Dishonor slips were issued for each check that was returned to Novales. 4

    On October 5, 1992, Novales filed ten separate Informations, docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 92-26243 to 92-36252 before the RTC of Quezon City charging petitioner with violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22, otherwise known as the Bouncing Checks Law. 5 Except for the dates and the check numbers, the Informations uniformly allege:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    That on or about the . . . in Quezon City, Philippines, the said accused did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously make or draw and issue to JOAQUIN P. LOVALES III to apply on account or for value Equitable Banking Corp. Grace Park Caloocan Branch Check No. . . . dated . . . payable to SOLID GOLD INTERNATIONAL TRADERS, INC. in the amount of P50,000.00, Philippine Currency, said accused well knowing that at the time of issue she/he/they did not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for payment of such check in full upon its presentment, which check when presented for payment was subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds/Account Closed and despite receipt of notice of such dishonor, said accused failed to pay said SOLID GOLD INTERNATIONAL TRADERS, INC. the amount of said check or to make arrangement for full payment of the same within five (5) banking days after receiving said notice.

    CONTRARY TO LAW. 6

    The cases were consolidated and subsequently raffled to Branch 99 of the said RTC. Upon arraignment, Accused pleaded not guilty. 7 Trial then ensued. On December 22, 1993, the RTC rendered its decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, this Court finds the accused GUILTY of ten counts of violation of BP 22 and hereby sentences her to a penalty of one year imprisonment for each count, or a total of ten years, to be served in accordance with the limitation prescribed in par. 4, Article 70 of the Revised Penal Code and to indemnify complainant the amount of the checks in their totality, or in the amount of P500,000.00.

    SO ORDERED. 8

    Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals alleging that: the RTC has no jurisdiction over the offense charged in the ten informations; it overlooked the fact that no notice of dishonor had been given to the appellant as drawer of the dishonored checks; it failed to consider that the reason of "closed account" for the dishonor of the ten checks in these cases is not the statutory cause to warrant prosecution, much more a conviction, under B.P. Blg. 22; it failed to consider that there is only one act which caused the offense, if any, and not ten separate cases; and it disregarded the definition of what a ‘check’ is under Sec. 185 of the Negotiable Instruments Law. 9

    Finding the appeal to be without merit, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court with costs against Appellant.

    Hence, herein petition raising the following errors:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I


    THAT THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT RESOLVING THE JURISDICTIONAL ISSUE IN FAVOR OF THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT BY UNJUSTLY DEPRIVING HER OF THE LEGAL BENEFITS OF GIVING RETROACTIVE EFFECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF R.A. NO. 7691 EXPANDING THE JURISDICTION OF THE INFERIOR COURTS TO COVER THE OFFENSES INVOLVED IN THESE CASES PURSUANT TO ART. 22 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE, THUS IN EFFECT RENDERING THE JUDGMENT OF CONVICTION PROMULGATED BY THE TRIAL COURT BELOW AND AFFIRMED BY THE COURT OF APPEALS PATENTLY NULL AND VOID FOR HAVING BEEN RENDERED WITHOUT OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION.

    II


    THAT THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT RESOLVING IN FAVOR OF ACCUSED-APPELLANT THE FACT THAT NO NOTICE OF DISHONOR HAD BEEN GIVEN HER AS DRAWER OF THE DISHONORED "CHECKS" PURSUANT TO THE REQUIREMENT EXPRESSLY PROVIDED UNDER BATAS PAMBANSA BILANG 22.

    III


    THAT THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN CONSTRUING THE PROVISIONS OF BATAS PAMBANSA BILANG 22 CONTRARY TO THE WELL-ESTABLISHED RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION THAT "PENAL STATUTES, SUBSTANTIVE AND REMEDIAL OR PROCEDURAL, ARE, BY THE CONSECRATED RULE, CONSTRUED STRICTLY AGAINST THE STATE, OR LIBERALLY IN FAVOR OF THE ACCUSED" AND THAT "IT IS ALWAYS THE DUTY OF THE COURT TO RESOLVE THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF EVIDENCE UPON A THEORY OF INNOCENCE RATHER THAN UPON A THEORY OF GUILT WHERE IT IS POSSIBLE TO DO SO", AND IN SO DOING THE DECISION APPEALED FROM INDULGED ITSELF IN "JUDICIAL LEGISLATION" TO FAVOR THE PROSECUTION AND TO WORK GRAVE INJUSTICE TO THE ACCUSED.

    Simply worded, the issues of this case may be stated as follows: (1) whether or not the appellate court erred in not granting retroactive effect to Republic Act No. 7691 10 in view of Art. 22 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC); (2) whether or not notice of dishonor is dispensable in this case; and (3) whether or not the appellate court erred in construing B.P. Blg. 22.

    We will resolve the first and third issues before considering the second issue.

    First issue — Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in not giving retroactive effect to R.A. 7690 in view of Article 22 of the RPC.

    Petitioner argues that: the failure of the appellate court to give retroactive application to R.A. 7691 is a violation of Art. 22 of the Revised Penal Code which provides that penal laws shall have retroactive effect insofar as they favor the person guilty of the felony; R.A. 7691 is a penal law in the sense that it affects the jurisdiction of the court to take cognizance of criminal cases; taken separately, the offense covered by each of the ten Informations in this case falls within the exclusive original jurisdiction. of the Municipal Trial Court under Sec. 2 of R.A. 7691; and the Court of Appeals is guilty of judicial legislation in stating that after the arraignment of petitioner, said cases could no longer be transferred to the MTC without violating the rules on double jeopardy, because that is not so provided in R.A. 7691. 11

    The Solicitor General, in its Comment, counters that the arguments of petitioner are baseless contending that: penal laws are those which define crimes and provides for their punishment; laws defining the jurisdiction of courts are substantive in nature and not procedural for they do not refer to the manner of trying cases but to the authority of the courts to hear and decide certain and definite cases in the various instances of which they are susceptible; R.A. No. 7691 is a substantive law and not a penal law as nowhere in its provisions does it define a crime neither does it provide a penalty of any kind; the purpose of enacting R.A. No. 7691 is laid down in the opening sentence thereof as "An Act Expanding the Jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Courts, Municipal Circuit Trial Courts and the Metropolitan Trial Court" whereby it reapportions the jurisdiction of said courts to cover certain civil and criminal case, erstwhile tried exclusively by the Regional Trial Courts; consequently, Art. 22 of the RPC finds no application to the case at bar; jurisdiction is determined by the law in force at the time of the filing of the complaint, and once acquired, jurisdiction is not affected by subsequent legislative enactments placing jurisdiction in another tribunal; in this case, the RTC was vested with jurisdiction to try petitioner’s cases when the same were filed in October 1992; at that time, R.A. No. 7691 was not yet effective; 12 in so far as the retroactive effect of R.A. No. 7691 is concerned, that same is limited only to pending civil cases that have not reached pretrial stage as provided for in Section 7 thereof and as clarified by this Court in People v. Yolanda Velasco, 13 where it was held:" [a] perusal of R.A. No. 7691 will show that its retroactive provisions apply only to civil cases that have not yet reached the pre-trial stage. Neither from an express proviso nor by implication can it be understood as having retroactive application to criminal cases pending or decided by the RTC prior to its effectivity." 14

    On this point, the Court fully agrees with the Solicitor General and holds that Article 22 of the Revised Penal Code finds no application to the case at bar.

    Said provision reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ART. 22 Retroactive effect of penal laws. — Penal laws shall have a retroactive effect insofar as they favor the person guilty of a felony, who is not a habitual criminal, as this term is defined in Rule 5 of Article 62 of this Code, although at the time of the publication of such laws a final sentence has been pronounced and the convict is serving sentence.

    A penal law, as defined by this Court, is an act of the legislature that prohibits certain acts and establishes penalties for its violations. It also defines crime, treats of its nature and provides for its punishment. 15 R.A. No. 7691 does not prohibit certain acts or provides penalties for its violation; neither does it treat of the nature of crimes and its punishment. Consequently, R.A. No. 7691 is not a penal law, and therefore, Art. 22 of the RPC does not apply in the present case.

    B.P. Blg. 22, which took effect on April 24, 1979, provides the penalty of imprisonment of not less than thirty days but not more than one year or by a fine of not less than but not more than double the amount of the check which fine shall in no case exceed P200,000.00, or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.

    R.A. No. 7691 which took effect on June 15, 1994, amended B.P. Blg. 129, and vested on the Metropolitan, Municipal and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts jurisdiction to try cases punishable by imprisonment of not more than six (6) years. 16 Since R.A. No. 7691 vests jurisdiction on courts, it is apparent that said law is substantive. 17

    In the case of Cang v. Court of Appeals, 18 this Court held that "jurisdiction being a matter of substantive law, the established rule is that the statute in force at the time of the commencement of the action determines the jurisdiction of the court." 19 R.A. No. 7691 was not yet in force at the time of the commencement of the cases in the trial court. It took effect only during the pendency of the appeal before the Court of Appeals. 20 There is therefore no merit in the claim of petitioner that R.A. No. 7691 should be retroactively applied to this case and the same be remanded to the MTC. The Court has held that a "law vesting additional jurisdiction in the court cannot be given retroactive effect. 21

    Third issue — Whether or not the Court of Appeals erroneously construed B.P. Blg. 22.

    Petitioner insists that: penal statutes must be strictly construed and where there is any reasonable doubt, it must always be resolved in favor of the accused; 22 the Court of Appeals, in construing that B.P. Blg. 22 embraces cases of "no funds" or "closed accounts" when the express language of B.P. Blg. 22 penalizes only the issuance of checks that are subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for "insufficiency" of funds or credit, has enlarged by implication the meaning of the statute which amounts to judicial legislation; 23 a postdated check, not being drawn payable on demand, is technically not a special kind of a bill of exchange, called check, but an ordinary bill of exchange payable at a fixed date, which is the date indicated on the face of the postdated check, hence, the instrument is still valid and the obligation covered thereby, but only civilly and not criminally; 24 the trial court also erroneously cited a portion in the case of Lozano v. Martinez 25 that the "language of B.P. Blg. 22 is broad enough to cover all kinds of checks, whether present dated or postdated, or whether issued in payment of pre-existing obligations or given in mutual or simultaneous exchange for something of value," since the same is mere obiter dictum; 26 in the interpretation of the meaning of a "check", where the law is clear and unambiguous, the law must be taken as it is, devoid of judicial addition or subtraction. 27

    The Solicitor General counters that a postdated check is still a check and its being a postdated instrument does not necessarily make it a bill of exchange "payable at a fixed or determinable fixture time" since it is still paid on demand on the date indicated therein or thereafter just like an ordinary check. 28 It also points out that the doctrine laid down in Lozano v. Martinez was reiterated in People v. Nitafan, 29 hence, it can no longer be argued that the statement in the case of Lozano regarding the Scope of "checks" is mere obiter dictum.

    Again, we agree with the Solicitor General and find petitioner’s claim to be without merit.

    The rationale behind B.P. Blg. 22 was initially explained by the Court in the landmark case of Lozano v. Martinez 30 where we held that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The gravamen of the offense punished by B.P. Blg. 22 is the act of making and issuing a worthless check or a check that is dishonored upon its presentation for payment . . . The thrust of the law is to prohibit, under pain of penal sanctions, the making or worthless checks and putting them in circulation. Because of its deleterious effects on the public interest, the practice is proscribed by law. The law punished the act not as an offense against property, but an offense against public order. 31

    x       x       x


    The effects of the issuance of a worthless check transcend the private interests of the parties directly involved in the transaction and touches the interests of the community at large. The mischief it creates is not only a wrong to the payee or holder but also an injury to the public. The harmful practice of putting valueless commercial papers in circulation, multiplied a thousandfold, can very well pollute the channels of trade and commerce, injure the banking system and eventually hurt the welfare of society and the public interest. 32

    The same is reiterated in Cueme v. People 33 where we pronounced that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    . . . B.P. Blg. 22 was purposely enacted to prevent the proliferation of worthless checks in the mainstream of daily business and to avert not only the undermining of the banking system of the country but also the infliction of damage and injury upon trade and commerce occasioned by the indiscriminate issuances of such checks. By its very nature, the offenses defined under B.P. Blg. 22 are against public interest. 34

    In Recuerdo v. People, this Court also held that the terms and conditions surrounding the issuance of the checks are irrelevant since its primordial intention is to ensure the stability and commercial value of checks as being virtual substitutes for currency. 35

    Petitioner’s claim that cases of "closed accounts" are not included in the coverage of B.P. Blg. 22 has no merit considering the clear intent of the law, which is to discourage the issuance of worthless checks due to its harmful effect to the public. This Court, in Lozano v. Martinez, was explicit in ruling that the language of B.P. Blg. 22 is broad enough to cover all kinds of checks, whether present dated or postdated, or whether issued in payment of pre-existing obligations or given in mutual or simultaneous exchange for something of value. 36

    In People v. Nitafan, 37 the Supreme Court reiterated this point and held that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    B.P. Blg. 22 . . . does not distinguish but merely provides that" [a]ny person who makes or draws and issues any check knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank . . . which check is subsequently dishonored . . . shall be punished by imprisonment . . . Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguere debemus.

    But even if We retrace the enactment of the "Bouncing Check Law" to determine the parameters of the concept of "check", we can easily glean that the members of the then Batasang Pambansa intended it to be comprehensive as to include all checks drawn against banks. 38

    In this light, it is easy to see that the claim of petitioner that B.P. Blg. 22 does not include ‘postdated checks’ and cases of ‘closed accounts’ has no leg to stand on. The term "closed accounts" is within the meaning of the phrase "does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank" .

    Anent the second issue: whether or not notice of dishonor is dispensable in the case at bar. Petitioner failed to show any cogent reason for us to disturb the findings of the RTC and the Court of Appeals.

    B.P. Blg. 22 or the Bouncing Check’s Law seeks to prevent the act of making and issuing checks with the knowledge that at the time of issue, the drawer does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the bank for payment and the checks were subsequently dishonored upon presentment. 39 To be convicted thereunder, the following elements must be proved:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. The accused makes, draws or issues any check to apply to account or for value;

    2. The accused knows at the time of the issuance that he or she does not have sufficient funds in, or credit with, the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full upon its presentment; and

    3. The check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or it would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid reason, ordered the bank to stop payment. 40

    For liability to attach under B.P. Blg. 22, it is not enough that the prosecution establishes that checks were issued and that the same were subsequently dishonored. The prosecution must also prove that the issuer, at the time of the check’s issuance, had knowledge that he did not have enough funds or credit in the bank of payment thereof upon its presentment. 41

    Since the second element involves a state of mind which is difficult to establish, Section 2 of B.P. Blg. 22 created a prima facie presumption of such knowledge, as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 2. Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. — The making, drawing and issuance of a check payment of which is refused by the drawee because of insufficient funds in or credit with such bank, when presented within ninety (90) days from the date of the check, 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.

    Based on this section, the presumption that the issuer had knowledge of the insufficiency of funds is brought into existence only after it is proved that the issuer had received a notice of dishonor and that within five days from receipt thereof, he failed to pay the amount of the check or to make arrangement for its payment. 42 The presumption or prima facie evidence as provided in this section cannot arise, if such notice of non-payment by the drawee bank is not sent to the maker or drawer, or if there is no proof as to when such notice was received by the drawer, since there would simply be no way of reckoning the crucial 5-day period. 43

    In this case, it is not disputed that checks were issued by petitioner and said checks were subsequently dishonored. The question however is, was petitioner furnished a notice of dishonor? If not, is it sufficient justification to exonerate petitioner from her criminal and civil liabilities for issuing the bouncing checks?

    The trial court ruled that the second element is present because:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    . . . the accused knew at the time of issuance of the checks that she did not have sufficient funds in or credit with her drawee bank for the payment of the checks in full upon their presentment [as] admitted by her in the Counter-Affidavit she executed during the preliminary investigation of these criminal cases (italics ours), to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    4. That the time of the issuance of the said checks, due notice and information had been so given to Solid Gold anent the actual status of the checks that the same might not be able to cover the amount of the said checks so stated therein . . . (Exhibit "N", "1", Emphasis supplied).

    This fact became evident again during the cross-examination by the accused’s counsel of the prosecution’s witness, Joaquin Novales III:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    ATTY. TAGANAS:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Q: And the reason you agreed to the terms and conditions for the issuance of post-dated checks because you are also aware the particular time the accused Mrs. Elvira Yu Oh did not also have enough funds or money in the bank within which to cover the amount of the checks?

    A: I am not aware, sir.

    x       x       x


    Q: To your knowledge when the accused had already admitted to you that she had not enough money to pay you?

    A: That is the terms and promise and agreed upon, sir.

    Q: But inspite of the fact that she already told you about that, that you never suspected that she did not have enough money to cover the checks agreed upon and issued to you?

    A: Yes, sir.

    Q: And inspite of the fact she told you you never suspected that she did not have enough money to cover you . . .

    Q: You still believe that although she does not have enough money she still issued checks to you?

    A: Yes, sir. (TSN, April 6, 1993, pp. 24–26)

    At any rate, there is already prima facie evidence of knowledge of insufficiency of funds on the part of the accused from her failure to pay the amount due on the checks or to make arrangements for payment in full by the drawee bank within five banking days after she received notice of their dishonor, each of the checks having been presented within ninety days from their respective dated (B.P. Blg. 22, Sec. 2). The defense did not controvert this evidence. (italics ours) 44

    Although the trial court in its decision, mentioned that herein petitioner received notices of dishonor, nowhere in the records is there proof that the prosecution ever presented evidence that petitioner received or was furnished a notice of dishonor. The notices of dishonor that were presented in court and marked as Exhibits "D-2", "E-2", "F-2", "G-2", "H-2", "I-2", "J-2", "K-2", "L-2", "C-2" 45 were all sent to the private complainant, Solid Gold, and not to petitioner. In convicting petitioner, the trial court, gave probative weight on the admission of petitioner in her Counter-Affidavit which she submitted during the preliminary investigation that at the time of issuance of the subject checks, she was aware and even told private complainant that the checks might not be able to cover the amount stated therein.

    The Court of Appeals sustained the RTC, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    . . . Neither can We agree that accused-appellant was still entitled to notice of dishonor of the bouncing checks as she had no more checking account with the drawee bank at the time of the dishonor of the ten checks in question. Accused-appellant must have realized that by closing her checking account after issuing the ten postdated checks, all of said checks would bounce. Knowing that she’ had already closed her checking account with the drawee bank, certainly accused-appellant would not have expected, even in her wildest imagination, that her postdated checks would be honored by the drawee bank. Thus, Accused-appellant need not be notified anymore of the obvious dishonor of her rubber checks. (italics ours) 46

    Based on the law and existing jurisprudence, we find that the appellate court erred in convicting petitioner.

    In cases for violation of B.P. Blg. 22, it is necessary that the prosecution prove that the issuer had received a notice of dishonor. Since service of notice is an issue, the person alleging that the notice was served must prove the fact of service. Basic also is the doctrine that in criminal cases, the quantum of proof required is proof beyond reasonable doubt. Hence, for cases of B.P. Blg. 22 there should be clear proof of notice. 47

    Indeed, this requirement cannot be taken lightly because Section 2 provides for an opportunity for the drawer to effect full payment of the amount appearing on the check, within five banking days from notice of dishonor. The absence of said notice therefore deprives an accused of an opportunity to preclude criminal prosecution. In other words, procedural due process demands that a notice of dishonor be actually served on petitioner. In the case at bar, appellant has a right to demand and the basic postulate of fairness requires — that the notice of dishonor be actually sent to and received by her to afford her to opportunity to aver prosecution under B.P. Blg. 22. 48

    The Solicitor General contends that notice of dishonor is dispensable in this case considering that the cause of the dishonor of the checks was "Account Closed" and therefore, petitioner already knew that the checks will bounce anyway. This argument has no merit. The Court has decided numerous cases where checks were dishonored for the reason, "Account Closed" 49 and we have explicitly held in said cases that "it is essential for the maker or drawer to be notified of the dishonor of her check, so she could pay the value thereof or make arrangements for its payment within the period prescribed by law" 50 and omission or neglect on the part of the prosecution to prove that the accused received such notice of dishonor is fatal to its cause. 51

    A perusal of the testimony of the prosecution witness Joaquin Novales III, General Manager of complainant Solid Gold, discloses that no personal demands were made on appellant before the filing of the complaints against her. 52 Thus, absent a clear showing that petitioner actually knew of the dishonor of her checks and was given the opportunity to make arrangements for payment as provided for under the law, we cannot with moral certainty convict her of violation of B.P. Blg. 22. The failure of the prosecution to prove that petitioner was given the requisite notice of dishonor is a clear ground for her acquittal. 53

    Moreover, as understood by the trial court itself in the herein aforequoted portion of its decision, General Manager Novales knew of the non-availability of sufficient funds when appellant issued the subject checks to him. This Court has held that there is no violation of B.P. 22 if complainant was told by the drawer that he has no sufficient funds in the bank. 54

    For these reasons, we reverse the ruling of the Court of Appeals affirming the trial court’s conviction of petitioner for violation of B.P. Blg. 22. This is without prejudice, however, to her civil liability towards private complainant Solid Gold in the amount of P500,000.00 plus interest thereon at the rate of 12% per annum from date of finality of herein judgment. 55

    WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Petitioner Elvira Yu Oh is ACQUITTED of the offense of violation of B.P. Blg. 22 on ten counts for insufficiency of evidence. However, she is ordered to pay complainant Solid Gold International Traders, Inc. the total amount of Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00) with 12% interest per annum from date of finality of herein judgment.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo, Quisumbing and Callejo, Sr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Penned by Justice Lourdes K. Tayao-Jaguros and concurred in by Justices Jorge A. Imperial and B.A. Adefina-dela Cruz (former Ninth Division).

    2. Docketed as Civil Cases No. 58907–59366.

    3. Records, pp. 25–29.

    4. Rollo, pp. 65–66.

    5. Effective April 24, 1979.

    6. Records, pp. 1–20.

    7. Records, p. 78.

    8. Rollo, p. 55.

    9. Id., pp. 42–43.

    10. AN ACT EXPANDING THE JURISDICTION OF THE METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS, AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 129, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE "JUDICIARY REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1980", Approved March 25, 1994.

    11. Rollo, pp. 17, 19–21.

    12. Rollo, pp. 70–73.

    13. G.R. No. 110592, 252 SCRA 135 (1996).

    14. Rollo, p. 74.

    15. Lacson v. Executive Secretary, Et Al., G.R. No. 128096, 301 SCRA 298, 323 (1999).

    16. Sec. 2, Rep. Act No. 7691.

    17. DENR v. Damaran, G.R. No. 125797, February 15, 2002, and Office of the Court Administrator v. Matas, Adm. Matter No. RTJ-92-836, 247 SCRA 9, 18 (199) and DOH v. NLRC, G.R. No. 113212, 251 SCRA 700, 707 (1995).

    18. G.R. No. 105308, 296 SCRA 128 (1998).

    19. Id., p. 141. See also Republic v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 92326, 205 SCRA 256, 362 (1992).

    20. Rollo, p. 14, Petition, p. 6.

    21. Largado v. Masaganda, L-17624, 5 SCRA (1962).

    22. Rollo, p. 25.

    23. Id., p. 27.

    24. Rollo, p. 31.

    25. 146 SCRA 323 (1986).

    26. Rollo, pp. 32–33.

    27. Id., pp. 33–34.

    28. Id., p. 78.

    29 215 SCRA 83 (1992).

    30. G.R. No. L-63419, 146 SCRA 323 (1986).

    31. Id., p. 338.

    32. Id., p. 340.

    33. G.R. No. 133325, 334 SCRA 795 (2000).

    34. Id., p. 803.

    35. G.R. No. 133036, January 22, 2003, citing Meriz v. People, G.R. No. 134498, November 13, 2001.

    36. Supra, p. 330.

    37. G.R. No. 75954, 215 SCRA 79 (1992).

    38. Id., p. 83.

    39. Lagman v. People, G.R. No. 146238, December 7, 2001.

    40. Danao v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 122353, 358 SCRA 450, 457–458 (2001).

    41. Victor Ting "Seng Dee" v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 140665, 344 SCRA 551, 557–558 (2000).

    42. Id.

    43. Danao v. Court of Appeals, supra, pp. 458–459.

    44. Rollo, pp. 52–53.

    45. Records, pp. 132–141.

    46. Rollo, p. 44.

    47. Ting v. Court of Appeals, supra, p. 561.

    48. Id., p. 559 citing Lina Lim Lao v. Court of Appeals, 274 SCRA 572 (1997).

    49. Caras v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 129900, 366 SCRA 371, 380 (2001); Danao v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 122353, 358 SCRA 450 (2001); Ting v. Court of Appeals, supra, n. 15; Domagsang v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 139292, 347 SCRA 75 (2000) and King v. People, G.R. No. 131540, 319 SCRA 654 (1999).

    50. Caras case, supra.

    51. Id., p. 381.

    52. TSN, April 6, 1993, pp. 18–19.

    53. Id., pp. 383–384, citing King v. People, G.R. No. 131540, 319 SCRA 654, 670 (1999).

    54. Eastern Assurance and Surety Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 322 SCRA 73, 79 (2000).

    55. Magno v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 96132, 210 SCRA 471, 482 (1992).

    G.R. No. 125297   June  6, 2003 - ELVIRA YU OH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.


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