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CASE DIGEST: G.R. No. 119000 July 28, 1997 ROSA UY, petitioner, vs.

COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. FACTS: Consolacion Leong and Rosa Uy formed a partnership. It was an agreement between them that, the former would finance the expansion of the lumber business and the latter would be an industrial partner. Various sums of money amounting to 500,000 were given. But soon after, she found out that the partnership papers were never processed. This prompted Consolacion to withdraw her investment but the checks issued by Rosa for the purpose were dishonored for insufficiency of funds. A complaint for estafa and for violation of bouncing checks law was filed before the regional trial court. The offenses were subsequently consolidated and tried jointly. After a joint trial, the Manila Regional Trial Court acquitted petitioner of estafa but convicted her of the charges under B.P. 22. On appeal, respondent appellate court affirmed the decision of the trial court. Issue: Whether the RTC of Manila acquired jurisdiction over the violations of the bouncing checks law. Held: There is no scintilla of evidence to show that jurisdiction over the violation of B.P. Blg. 22 had been acquired. On the contrary, all that the evidence shows is that complainant is a resident of Makati; that petitioner is a resident of Caloocan City; that the principal place of business of the alleged partnership is located in Malabon; that the drawee bank is likewise located in Malabon and that all the subject checks were deposited for collection in Makati. Verily, no proof has been offered that the checks were issued, delivered, dishonored or knowledge of insufficiency of funds occurred in Manila, which are essential elements necessary for the Manila Court to acquire jurisdiction over the offense. The general rule that the question of jurisdiction of a court maybe raised at any stage of the proceedings must apply. Petitioner is therefore not estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the trial court. Hence, the assailed decision of respondent Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the trial court is REVERSED and SET ASIDE, without prejudice to the filing of appropriate charges against petitioner with the court of competent jurisdiction when warranted.

G.R. No. 122353 June 6, 2001 EVANGELINE DANAO, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents Facts: Evangeline Danao borrowed money from Luviminda Macasieb; the loan amounted to 29,750.00. When she received the said amount from Estrada, the latters agent, she issued two post dated checks in the total amount of 29,750.00. The first check was worth 14,750 and the other was worth 15,000.00 . Upon maturity of the checks, private respondent brought it to the drawee bank. The check was subsequently dishonored for the reason that the account was closed. The Appellant does not deny that she issued the two post-dated checks. She claims, however, that she has fully paid private respondent. The Trial court did not accept Evangelines defense and was convicted. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed in toto the trial courts decision. Her motion for reconsideration was also denied. Issue: Whether or not Evangeline Danao violated B.P 22. Held: In King vs. People, it is not enough to establish that a check issued was subsequently dishonored. It must be shown further that the person who issued the check knew 'at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment.' In the present case, no proof of receipt by petitioner of any notice of non-payment of the checks was ever presented during the trial. There is no way of determining when the 5-day period prescribed in Section 2 of B.P. Blg. 22 would start and end. Thus, the presumption or prima facie evidence of knowledge by the petitioner of the insufficiency of funds or credit at the times she issued the checks did not arise. It is clear that the essential element of knowledge of insufficiency of funds or credit on the part of petitioner is absent in the case at bar, not having been proved by the prosecution. We find that the payment made by Evangeline in the total amount of P30,514.00 has been sufficiently and convincingly established by the very testimony of complainant herself. In sum, we find that the prosecution failed to prove by evidence beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of herein petitioner for violations of B.P. 22. WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.

G.R. No. 138669 June 6, 2002 STEVE TAN and MARCIANO TAN, petitioners, vs. FABIAN MENDEZ, JR., respondent. FACTS: Petitioners Steve Tan and Marciano Tan, owners of Master Tours and Travel Corporation and Philippines Lawin Bus Corporation, opened a credit line for their buses lubricants and fuel consumption with respondent Fabian Mendez(owner of three gasoline stations). At the same time, Mendez was designated by the petitioners as booking and ticketing agent of Philippine Lawin Bus Co. As the agent he remitted the proceeds of the ticket sales to the petitioners. The petitioners issued several checks to pay for the oil and fuel products. But a particular check amounting to 58,237.00 was dishonored for insufficiency of funds. Mendez then demanded that they make good the checks. But no action was taken. Thus, an information for violation of B.P. 22 was filed against petitioners upon the complaint of the respondent. Petitioners contend that the amount subject of the check was already extinguished by offset or compensation against the collection from ticket sales from the booking offices. He presented a memorandum showing the return to respondent of various unencashed checks in the total amount of P66,839.25 representing remittance of ticket sales in the Iriga and Baao offices that were earlier sent by respondent. Issue: Whether or not petitioners can be held liable under B.P. 22 and Whether or not payment through compensation or offset can preclude prosecution for violation of B.P. 22. Held: We find all the foregoing elements present in this case. Petitioner Marciano admitted that he drew the subject check as payment for the fuel and oil products of respondents. He knew at that time that there were no sufficient funds to cover the check because he had uncollected receivables.17 The check was thus dishonored upon presentment to the bank for payment. We also note that no compensation can take place between petitioners and respondent as respondent is not a debtor of petitioners insofar as the two checks representing collections from the Baao ticket sales are concerned.25 Article 1278 of the Civil Code26 requires, as a prerequisite for compensation, that the parties be mutually and principally bound as creditors and debtors.27 If they were not mutually creditors and debtors of each other, the law on compensation would not apply.28 In this case, the memorandum shows that some unencashed checks returned to respondent to allegedly offset the dishonored check were from the Baao ticket sales which are

separate from the ticket sales of respondent. Respondent only acted as an intermediary in remitting the Baao ticket sales and, thus, is not a debtor of petitioners Finally, while we sustain the conviction of petitioners, we deem it appropriate to modify the penalties imposed. We delete the penalty of imprisonment and in lieu thereof, we impose upon petitioners a fine amounting to double the value of the subject check, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency or non-payment.

A.C. No. 5700

January 30, 2006

PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT AND GAMING CORPORATION, represented by Atty. Carlos R. Bautista, Jr., Complainant, vs. ATTY. DANTE A. CARANDANG, Respondent. Facts: PAGCOR filed a disbarment case against Atty. Carandang because of his issuance of bouncing checks. Complainant alleges that Atty. Carandang is liable for serious misconduct, violation of the Attorneys Oath and violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Atty Carandang, president of Bingo Royale Incorporated, issued 24 checks amounting to 7.2m to PAGCOR to satisfy the debts incurred by the company. The checks were later on dishonored by reason of Bingo Royales closed account. Respondent contends that the dishonor of the checks were a result of business reverses or inability of BRI to generate funds. Issue: Whether or not Atty. Dante Carandang is liale under B.P. 22 and whether or not respondent is to be disbarred. Held: Sec.1 , B.P. Blg. 22 provides: Where the check is drawn by a corporation, company or entity, the person or persons who actually signed the check on behalf of such drawer shall be liable under this Act. Atty. Carandang being the president and the person who issued the check is guilty of violating B.P. 22. Moreover, mere insolvency of the company does not warrant exclusion from this special law. By issuing checks in violation of the provisions of the law, the respondent is guilty of serious misconduct. It was held that Atty. Dante A. Carandang is guilty of serious misconduct and violations of the Attorneys Oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility. He was suspended from the practice of law for six (6) months

G.R. No. 142641

July 17, 2006

PACIFICO B. ARCEO, JR., petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent. Facts: Pacifico B. Arceo obtained a loan from private respondent Josefino Cenizal in the amount of 150,000.00. Petitioner then issued a check worth 150,000.00 to serve as a security. When the maturity of the loan came, Pacifico demanded from Cenizal that the check was not to be encashed for he would replace it in cash. Such promise was made verbally seven times. Because of petitioners failure to pay the debt, Cenizal encashed the check and it was subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank. Cenizal demanded from Pacifico, through his lawyer, to make good the check within three days of receipt of the complaint. He was later convicted, by both the trial court and the appellate court, because of his violation of B.P. 22 He then contends before the Supreme Court that he should not be held liable for the dishonor of the check for it was presented past the 90-day period aloted for the presentment of the check. Furthermore, he seeks to be saved from the decision by arguing about the failure of the prosecution to present the dishonored check. Issue: Whether or not Pacifico B. Arceo, Jr. is liable under B.P. 22 Held: The 90-day period is not an element of the offense; nor does liberate him from his duty to maintain sufficient funds in the drawee bank. 6 months is a reasonable period to maintain sufficient funds according to current banking practices. Therefore, Cenizal is still within the time frame in which he can expect that the drawn check has enough funds. In view of the foregoing, the supreme court maintained the decision of the appellate court.

G.R. No. 149858

September 5, 2007

FRANCISCO M. BAX, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and ILYON INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION, respondents. FACTS: This case is a petition for review on Certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Appeals and its resolution affirming in toto the decision of the RTC of Pasig City declaring petitioner guilty of nine counts of violations under B.P. 22. Petitioner in behalf of VACHMAN industries purchased 80 metric tons of caustic soda flakes from Ilyon Industrial Corporation. The latter was able to deliver 27 metric tons of caustic soda flakes twice. The deliveries were made on different dates. Thereafter, petitioner issued 10 checks amounting to 464,750.00 in favor of ILYON. The checks were subsequently dishonored for insufficiency of funds. Thus, petitioner was charged with 10 counts of violations of B.P. 22. He was convicted by both the Court of Appeals and the RTC. Petitioner now contends that he must be acquitted because the prosecution failed to prove all the elements, specifically, the second element. Because he did not receive any notice of dishonor. Issue: whether the prosecution was able to prove the guilt of the petitioner beyond reasonable doubt. Held: A mere oral notice of dishonor is not enough to warrant conviction under the law. The petitioner should have been given a notice in writing that his checks were dishonored and he needs to comply with his obligations. Since he was not given a notice, the court has no way of determining the 5-day period prescribed in section 2 of B.P. 22. Francisco M. Bax is acquitted of the charges pressed against him by reason of failure of the prosecution to prove his guild beyond reasonable doubt. The decision of the Court of appeals is reversed. He is ordered, however, to pay the face value of the checks issued by him to Ilyon.

G.R. No. 117857

February 2, 2001

LUIS S. WONG, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents. FACTS: The Court of appeals confirmed in toto the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu convicting petitioner on three counts of violations of B.P. 22. He was sentenced to imprisonment of four months for each count, and to pay the amount of the bum checks he issued. Petitioner Wong was an agent of Limtong Press Inc, a manufacturer of calendars. During the conduct of business, petitioner issued 6 checks to LPI. Those checks guaranteed the purchase order of the companies that ordered from Wong. Before maturity, Wong asked LPI not to deposit the checks and promised to replace them within 30 days. He failed. Hence, LPI deposited the checks and it was dishonored by the drawee bank because the account was already closed. The complainant, through his counsel, notified Wong of the dishonor. The latter failed to make arrangements for payment within 5 banking days Issue: Whether petitioner is liable under B.P. 22. Held: The 90-day presentment period is merely a method by which knowledge of insufficiency of funds can be proven or a means to have a prima facie evidence against those who violated B.P. 22. Hence, it is not an element of the offense. Knowledge can also be proven through factual findings and circumstantial evidence. A person issuing a check should maintain in his account sufficient funds to satisfy his obligations. Compliance with the current banking practices should be observed. The reason behind the issuance of a check is immaterial to the case, it is the act of issuing worthless that the law punishes. In view of the foregoing, the petition was denied.

G.R. No. 143375 July 6, 2001 RUTH D. BAUTISTA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, OFFICE OF THE REGIONAL STATE PROSECUTOR, REGION IV, and SUSAN ALOA, respondents. FACTS: Petitioner Ruth D. Bautista issued to private respondent Susan Alona a check worth 1,500,000.00. According to private respondent petitioner assured her that the check would be sufficiently funded on the maturity date. Susan presented the check to the drawee bank and it was dishonored because it was drawn against insufficient funds. The private respondent demanded from the petitioner to make arrangements for the payment of her obligation within 5 working days upon receipt thereof. Petitioner failed to comply. In her defense, she contended that the 90-day presentment period is an element of the offense, and as such, the failure of Susan to present it to the drawee bank within the 90-day prescribed period alleviates her of the offense. Issue: Whether the drawer of a check which is dishonored due to lack of sufficient funds can be prosecuted under BP 22 even if the check is presented for payment after ninety (90) days from its due date. Held: The check involved in the first offense is worthless at the time of issuance since the drawer had neither sufficient funds in nor credit with the drawee bank at the time, while that involved in the second offense is good when issued as drawer had sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank when issued. Under the first offense, the ninety (90)-day presentment period is not expressly provided, while such period is an express element of the second offense. From the allegations of the complaint, it is clear that petitioner is being prosecuted for violation of the first paragraph of the offense. Petition was denied.

G.R. No. 141066

February 17, 2005

EVANGELINE LADONGA, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent. FACTS: Evangeline Lodonga seeks a review of the decision of the Court of Appeals that affirmed the decision of the RTC of Bohol. She was convicted on three accounts of violating B.P. Blg 22. She and her husband was a regular costumer of Alfredo Oculam in his pawnshop business. The spouses, on three separate occasions, loaned from the latter. They issued checks to guarantee the loan. The checks were dishonored upon presentment. They contended that the checks were merely a guarantee. They asked Oculam to not encash those checks. The RTC decided in favor of Oculam; the spouses were convicted. Upon the decision, Adronico applied for probation while Evangeline brought the case to the court of appeals. She alleges that the RTC erred in finding her criminally liable for conspiring with her husband as the principal by conspiracy is inapplicable to B.P. 22 which is a special law. Issue: Whether or not the applicability of the suppletory character of the revised penal code to special laws like B.P. 22 is applicable. Held: B.P. Blg. 22 does not expressly proscribe the suppletory application of the provisions of the RPC. Thus, in the absence of contrary provision in B.P. Blg. 22, the general provisions of the RPC which, by their nature, are necessarily applicable, may be applied suppletorily. In the present case, the prosecution failed to prove that petitioner performed any overt act in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy. As testified to by the lone prosecution witness, complainant Alfredo Oculam, petitioner was merely present when her husband, Adronico, signed the check subject of Criminal Case No. 7068.36 With respect to Criminal Case Nos. 7069-7070, Oculam also did not describe the details of petitioners participation. He did not specify the nature of petitioners involvement in the commission of the crime, either by a direct act of participation, a direct inducement of her co-conspirator, or cooperating in the commission of the offense by another act without which it would not have been accomplished. Apparently, the only semblance of overt act that may be attributed to petitioner is that she was present when the first check was issued. However, this inference cannot be stretched to mean concurrence with the criminal design. The petition was granted.

G.R. No. 129764

March 12, 2002

GEOFFREY F. GRIFFITH, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, RTC JUDGE EDWIN A. VILLASOR, MTC JUDGE MANUEL D.L. VILLAMAYOR and PHELPS DODGE PHILS., INC., respondents. FACTS: Assailed in this petition is the decision of the Court of Appeals in affirming the Regional Trial Court's decision finding petitioner Geoffrey F. Griffith guilty on two counts for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 (the Bouncing Checks Law), and sentencing him to suffer imprisonment for a period of six months on each count, to be served consecutively. Also assailed is the Court of Appeals' resolution dated July 8, 1997 denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration. Phelps Dodge Philippines, Inc. leased its lot and factory building to Lincoln Gerard, Inc. for a term of two years at a monthly rental of P75,000. When Lincoln Gerard, Inc. incurred rental arrearages, Geoffrey F. Griffith, in his capacity as president of Lincoln Gerard, Inc., issued the checks. In the present case, the checks were conditionally issued for arrearages on rental payments incurred by Lincoln Gerard, Inc. The checks were signed by petitioner, the president of Lincoln Gerard. It was a condition written on the voucher for each check that the check was not to be presented for payment without clearance from Lincoln Gerard, to be given at a specific date. However, Lincoln Gerard was unable to give such clearance owing to a labor strike that paralyzed its business and resulted to the company's inability to fund its checks. Still, Phelps Dodge deposited the checks, per a note on the voucher attached thereto that if written approval was not received from Lincoln Gerard before May 30, 1986, the checks would be presented for payment. "This is final and irrevocable", according to the note that was written actually by an officer of Phelps Dodge, not by petitioner. The checks were dishonored and Phelps Dodge filed criminal cases for violation of B.P. 22 against petitioner. But this filing took place only after Phelps Dodge had collected the amount of the checks, with more than one million pesos to spare, through notarial foreclosure and auction sale of Lincoln Gerard's properties earlier impounded by Phelps Dodge. Issue: whether petitioner Geoffrey F. Griffith, president of Lincoln Gerard, Inc., has been erroneously convicted and sentenced for violation of the Bouncing Checks Law (Batas Pambansa Blg. 22) Held: While we agree with the private respondent that the gravamen of violation of B.P. 22 is the issuance of worthless checks that are dishonored upon their presentment for payment, we should not apply penal laws mechanically.35 We must find if the application of the law is consistent with the purpose of and reason for the law. Ratione cessat lex, et cessat lex. (When the reason for the

law ceases, the law ceases.) It is not the letter alone but the spirit of the law also that gives it life. This is especially so in this case where a debtor's criminalization would not serve the ends of justice but in fact subvert it. The creditor having collected already more than a sufficient amount to cover the value of the checks for payment of rentals, via auction sale, we find that holding the debtor's president to answer for a criminal offense under B.P. 22 two years after said collection, is no longer tenable nor justified by law or equitable considerations. In sum, considering that the money value of the two checks issued by petitioner has already been effectively paid two years before the informations against him were filed, we find merit in this petition. We hold that petitioner herein could not be validly and justly convicted or sentenced for violation of B.P. 22. Whether the number of checks issued determines the number of violations of B.P. 22, or whether there should be a distinction between postdated and other kinds of checks need no longer detain us for being immaterial now to the determination of the issue of guilt or innocence of petitioner. The Petition was granted.

[G.R. Nos. 104238-58. June 3, 2004] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, appellee, vs. CORA ABELLA OJEDA, appellant. FACTS: The Regional Trial Court of found accused Cora Abella Ojeda guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of estafa. She was also convicted on fourteen counts for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 (bouncing checks law). Appellant Cora Abella Ojeda used to buy fabrics from complainant Ruby Chua. For the three years approximately she transacted business with Chua, appellant used postdated checks to pay for the fabrics she bought. On November 5, 1983, appellant purchased from Chua various fabrics and textile materials worth P228, 306 for which she issued 22 postdated checks bearing different dates and amounts. Chua later presented to the bank for payment check no. 033550 dated November 5, 1983 in the amount of P17,100 but it was dishonored due to Account Closed. On April 10, 1984, Chua deposited the rest of the checks but all were dishonored for the same reason. Demands were allegedly made on the appellant to make good the dishonored checks, to no avail. Estafa and BP 22 charges were thereafter filed against appellant. The criminal cases were consolidated and appellant, on arraignment, pleaded not guilty to each of the charges. On the whole, appellants defense was grounded on good faith or absence of deceit, lack of notice of dishonor and full payment of the total amount of the checks. Issue: Whether Lack of notice of dishonor and full payment of the total amount of the checks will still constitute a violation of B.P. 22 Held: 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 insufficiently 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. Without proof of notice of dishonor, knowledge of insufficiency of funds cannot be presumed and no crime (whether estafa or violation of BP 22) can be deemed to exist. The decision of the trial court was reversed and set aside. Appellant Cora Abella Ojeda was ACQUITTED.