I. Crimes against property

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

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CHAPTER 1: ROBBERY IN GENERAL

ELEMENTS – ROBBERY IN GENERAL:

1) There is taking of personal property;

2) The personal property belongs to another;

3) The taking is with animus lucrandi; and,

4) The taking is with violence against or intimidation of persons or with force upon things. (Ablaza v. People, G.R. No. 217722, 26 September 2018)

SECTION 1 – ROBBERY WITH VIOLENCE OR INTIMIDATION OF PERSONS

1. Robbery with violence or intimidation of persons

ELEMENTS – ROBBERY WITH VIOLENCE OR INTIMIDATION OF PERSONS:

1) There is taking of personal property;

2) The personal property belongs to another;

3) The taking is with animus lucrandi; and,

4) The taking is with violence against or intimidation of persons. (Ibid.)

5 CLASSES OF ROBBERY: There are five classes of robbery:

1) Robbery with homicide;

2) Robbery with rape, intentional mutilation or the physical injuries;

3) Robbery with physical injuries;

4) Robbery committed with unnecessary violence or with physical injuries; and,

5) Robbery in other cases, or simply robbery, where the violence against or intimidation of persons cannot be subsumed by or where it is not sufficiently specified so as to fall under, the first four. (People v. Alfeche, Jr., G.R. No. 102070, 23 July 1992)

SAME; VIOLENCE AGAINST PERSONS: Nos. 1 to 4 indisputably involve the use of violence against persons. The actual physical force inflicted results in death, rape, mutilation or the physical injuries therein enumerated. The simple robbery under No. 5 may cover physical injuries not included in Nos. 1 to 4. Thus, when less serious physical injuries or slight physical injuries arc inflicted upon the offended party on the occasion of a robbery, the accused may be prosecuted for and convicted of robbery under paragraph five. (Ibid.)

SAME; INTIMIDATION OF PERSONS: Intimidation is not encompassed under Nos. 1 to 4 since no actual physical violence is inflicted; evidently then, it can only fall under No. 5. (Ibid.)

SAME; SAME; CONCEPT OF INTIMIDATION: It is defined in Black’s Law Dictionary as “’unlawful coercion; extortion; duress; putting in fear”. To take, or attempt to take, by intimidation means “wilfully to take, or attempt to take, by putting in fear of bodily harm.” Material violence is not indispensable for there to be intimidation, intense fear produced in the mind of the victim which restricts or hinders the exercise of the will is sufficient. (Ibid.)

WHEN COMMITTED BY A BAND: When more than three armed malefactors take part in the commission of a robbery, it shall be deemed to have been committed by a band. When any of the arms used in the commission of the offense be an unlicensed firearm, the penalty to be imposed upon all the malefactors shall be the maximum of the corresponding penalty provided by law, without prejudice of the criminal liability for illegal possession of such unlicensed firearms.  (Article 296, Ibid.)

MEMBER OF A BAND: Any member of a band who is present at the commission of a robbery by the band, shall be punished as principal of any of the assaults committed by the band, unless it be shown that he attempted to prevent the same. (Paragraph 2, Article 296, Ibid.)

EXECUTION OF DEEDS BY MEANS OF VIOLENCE OR INTIMIDATION: Any person who, with intent to defraud another, by means of violence or intimidation, shall compel him to sign, execute or deliver any public instrument or documents, shall be held guilty of robbery and punished by the penalties respectively prescribed in this Chapter. (Article 298, Ibid.)

a. CONTRASTED WITH OTHER CRIMES

1) Robbery v. Theft

The distinguishing element between the crimes of robbery and theft is the use of violence or intimidation as a means of taking the property belonging to another; the element is present in the crime of robbery and absent in the crime of theft. (Del Rosario v. People, G.R. No. 235739, 22 July 2019)

b. SPECIAL COMPLEX CRIME

1) Robbery with homicide

ELEMENTS:

1) The taking of personal property belonging to another;

2) With intent to gain;

3) With the use of violence or intimidation against a person; and,

4) On the occasion or by reason of the robbery, the crime of homicide, as used in its generic sense, was committed. (People v. Sugan, G.R. No. 192789, 23 March 2011)

INDIVISIBLE OFFENSE: Robbery with homicide is an indivisible offense, a special complex crime. (People v. Paran, G.R. No. 241322, 08 September 2020)

ROBBERY AS MAIN PURPOSE: A conviction requires certitude that the robbery is the main purpose and objective of the malefactor, and the killing is merely incidental to the robbery. The intent to rob must precede the taking of human life but the killing may occur before, during or after the robbery. (People v. Sugan, supra.)

EVEN IF BYSTANDER WAS THE VICTIM: There is robbery with homicide even if the victim killed was an innocent bystander and not the person robbed. The law does not require that the victim of the robbery be also the victim of the homicide. (People v. Barut, G.R. No. L-42666, 13 March 1979)

EVEN IF DEATH IS DUE TO ACCIDENT: It is immaterial that the death would supervene by mere accident, provided that the homicide be produced by reason or on occasion of the robbery, inasmuch as it is only the result obtained, without reference or distinction as to the circumstances, causes, modes or persons intervening in the commission of the crime, that has to be taken into consideration. (People v. Mangulabnan, En Banc, G.R. No. L-8919, 28 September 1956)

NO ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE THRU RECKLESS IMPRUDENCE OR SIMPLE NEGLIGENCE: There is no such felony of robbery with homicide through reckless imprudence or simple negligence. The constitutive elements of the crime, namely, robbery and homicide, must be consummated. (People v. Hernandez, G.R. No. 139697, 15 June 2004)

NO ROBBERY WITH HOMICIDE COMMITTED BY A BAND: There is no crime of robbery with homicide committed by a band. If robbery with homicide is committed by a band, the indictable offense would still be denominated as robbery with homicide under Article 294(1) of the Revised Penal Code. The element of band would be appreciated as an ordinary aggravating circumstance. (Ibid.)

CONSPIRACY; ALL EQUALLY LIABLE EVEN IF NON-PARTICIPATION BY ONE: When homicide is committed by reason or on the occasion of robbery, all those who took part as principals in the robbery would also be held liable as principals of the single and indivisible felony of robbery with homicide although they did not actually take part in the killing, unless it clearly appears that they endeavored to prevent the same. (People v. Hernandez, supra.)

2) Robbery with rape

ELEMENTS:

1) The taking of personal property is committed with violence or intimidation against persons;

2) The property taken belongs to another;

3) The taking is done with animo lucrandi; and,

4) The robbery is accompanied by rape. (People v. Bragat, G.R. No. 222180, 22 November 2017)

ROBBERY AS ORIGINAL INTENT: Robbery with rape contemplates a situation where the original intent of the accused was to take, with intent to gain, personal property belonging to another and rape is committed on the occasion thereof or as an accompanying crime, and not the other way around. (Ibid.)

3) Robbery with arson

CONSPIRACY; ALL EQUALLY LIABLE EVEN IF NON-PARTICIPATION BY ONE: An accused is as guilty as his companions of the crime of arson, even if it be conceded that he was not the one who actually poured the kerosene and ignited it to burn the victim’s house. When there is a conspiracy, the act of one is the act of all and visits equal guilt upon every conspirator. (People v. Ancheta, G.R. No. 70222, 27 February 1987)

4) Robbery with physical injuries

REMINDERS:

1) It has to be serious physical injuries.

2) If only slight or less serious physical injuries, the crime is simple robbery.

SECTION 2 – ROBBERY BY THE USE OF FORCE UPON THINGS

ELEMENTS – ROBBERY BY THE USE OF FORCE UPON THINGS:

1) There is taking of personal property;

2) The personal property belongs to another;

3) The taking is with animus lucrandi; and,

4) The taking is with force upon things. (Ablaza v. People, G.R. No. 217722, 26 September 2018)

2. Robbery in an inhabited house or public building or edifice devoted to worship

1ST MODE (INHABITED HOUSE/ETC.) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender commits robbery in an inhabited house or public building or edifice devoted to religious worship; and,

2-A) If the malefactors shall enter the house or building in which the robbery was committed, by any of the following means:

(a) Through a opening not intended for entrance or egress.

(b) By breaking any wall, roof, or floor or breaking any door or window.

(c) By using false keys, picklocks or similar tools.

(d) By using any fictitious name or pretending the exercise of public authority. (Article 299[a], Ibid.)

– OR –

2-B) The robbery be committed under any of the following circumstances:

(a) By the breaking of doors, wardrobes, chests, or any other kind of locked or sealed furniture or receptacle; or,

(b) By taking such furniture or objects to be broken or forced open outside the place of the robbery. (Article 299, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

INHABITED HOUSE:  Inhabited house means any shelter, ship or vessel constituting the dwelling of one or more persons, even though the inhabitants thereof shall temporarily be absent therefrom when the robbery is committed. (Article 301, Ibid.)

DEPENDENCIES OF AN INHABITED HOUSE, PUBLIC BUILDING OR BUILDING DEDICATED TO RELIGIOUS WORKSHIP: All interior courts, corrals, waterhouses, granaries, barns, coach-houses, stables or other departments or inclosed places contiguous to the building or edifice, having an interior entrance connected therewith, and which form part of the whole, shall be deemed dependencies of an inhabited house, public building or building dedicated to religious worship. (Paragraph 2, Article 301, Ibid.)

ORHCARDS AND OTHER LANDS FOR CULITIVATION OR PRODUCTION: Orchards and other lands used for cultivation or production are not included in the terms of the next preceding paragraph, even if closed, contiguous to the building and having direct connection therewith. (Paragraph 3, Article 301, Ibid.)

PUBLIC BUILDING: The term “public building” includes every building owned by the Government or belonging to a private person not included used or rented by the Government, although temporarily unoccupied by the same. (Last paragraph, Article 301, Ibid.)

FALSE KEYS: The term “false keys” shall be deemed to include:

1. The tools mentioned in the next preceding articles.

2. Genuine keys stolen from the owner.

3. Any keys other than those intended by the owner for use in the lock forcibly opened by the offender. (Article 354, Ibid.)

REMINDERS:

1) The stolen property must be a personal property. If real property or real right is occupied/usurped, the crime is usurpation.

2) If owner unlawful takes personal property from lawful possessor, the crime is estafa under Article 316(3), RPC.

2) The stolen property may be under the custody of the owner or the possessor.

3) If violence is committed against both a person and propert, it is a complex crime.

3. Robbery in an uninhabited place or in a private building

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender commits robbery in an uninhabited place or in a building other than those mentioned in the first paragraph of Article 299; and,

2) Any of the following circumstances is present:

(a) If the entrance has been effected through any opening not intended for entrance or egress.

(b) If any wall, roof, flour or outside door or window has been broken.

(c) If the entrance has been effected through the use of false keys, picklocks or other similar tools.

(d) If any dorm, wardrobe, chest or by sealed or closed furniture or receptacle has been broken.

(e) If any closed or sealed receptacle, as mentioned in the preceding paragraph, has been removed even if the same to broken open elsewhere. (Article 302, Ibid.)

4. Possession of picklocks or similar tools

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender has in his possession picklocks or similar tools especially adopted to the commission of the crime of robbery;

2) He does so without lawful cause. (Article 304, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

5. Manufacturing of picklocks or similar tools

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender makes picklocks or similar tools especially adopted to the commission of the crime of robbery;

2) He does so without lawful cause. (Paragraph 2, Article 304, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

CHAPTER 2: BRIGANDAGE

6. Brigandage

CONCEPT: The seizure of any person for ransom, extortion or other unlawful purposes, or the taking away of the property of another by means of violence against or intimidation of person or force upon things of other unlawful means, committed by any person on any Philippine Highway. (Section 2[d], Presidential Decree No. 532)

NB: Brigandage under the RPC has been superseded by P.D. 532.

7. Aiding and abetting a band of brigands

CONCEPT: Any person who knowingly and in any manner aids or protects highway robbers/brigands, such as giving them information about the movement of police or other peace officers of the government, or acquires or receives property taken by such pirates or brigands or in any manner derives any benefit therefrom; or any person who directly or indirectly abets the commission of highway robbery or brigandage, shall be considered as an accomplice of the principal offenders and be punished. (Section 4, Ibid.)

PRESUMPTION: It shall be presumed that any person who does any of the acts provided in this Section has performed knowingly, unless the contrary is proven. (Paragraph 2, Section 4, Ibid.)

NB: Brigandage under the RPC has been superseded by P.D. 532.

CHAPTER 3: THEFT

a. PERSONS EXEMPT FROM CRIMINAL LIABILITY

No criminal, but only civil liability, shall result from the commission of the crime of theft, swindling or malicious mischief committed or caused mutually by the following persons:

1. Spouses, ascendants and descendants, or relatives by affinity in the same line.

2. The widowed spouse with respect to the property which belonged to the deceased spouse before the same shall have passed into the possession of another; and

3. Brothers and sisters and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, if living together. (Article 332, Ibid.)

The exemption established by this article shall not be applicable to strangers participating in the commission of the crime. (Paragraph 2, Article 332, Ibid.)

8. Theft

1ST MODE (ASPORTATION) – ELEMENTS:

1) The taking of personal property;

2) The property belongs to another;

3) The taking away was done with intent of gain;

4) The taking away was done without the consent of the owner; and,

5) The taking away is accomplished without violence or intimidation against person or force upon things. (People v. Rodrigo, En Banc, G.R. No. L-185701, 31 March 1966)

2ND MODE (LOST PROERPTY) – ELEMENTS:

1) The finding of lost property; and,

2) The failure of the finder to deliver the same to the local authorities or to its owner.  (Ibid.)

INTENT TO GAINl In this kind of theft, intent to gain is inferred from the deliberate failure to deliver the lost property to the proper person, the finder knowing that the property does not belong to him. (Ibid.)

3RD MODE (DAMAGE TO PROPERTY) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender maliciously damaged the property of another; and,

2) He removes or makes use of the fruits or object of the damage caused by him. (Article 308[2], Revised Penal Code)

4TH MODE (HUNTING OR GATHERING) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender enters an inclosed estate or a field where trespass is forbidden or which belongs to another;

2) He does so without the consent of its owner; and,

3) He hunts or fishes upon the same or gathers cereals, or other forest or farm products. (Article 308[3], Ibid.)

PRESUMPTION OF INTENT TO GAIN: Intent to gain is an internal act that is presumed from the unlawful taking by the offender of the thing subject of asportation.  (Medina v. People, G.R. No. 182648, 17 June 2015)

CONCEPT OF TAKE: The only requirement for a personal property to be the object of theft under the penal code is that it be capable of appropriation. It need not be capable of “asportation,” which is defined as “carrying away.” To “take” under the theft provision of the penal code does not require asportation or carrying away. To appropriate means to deprive the lawful owner of the thing. The word “take” in the Revised Penal Code includes any act intended to transfer possession which may be committed through the use of the offenders’ own hands, as well as any mechanical device. (Ibid.)

9. Qualified Theft

QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCES:

1) He/she is a domestic servant; or,

2) With grave abuse of confidence; or,

3) If the property stolen is motor vehicle, mail matter or large cattle or consists of coconuts taken from the premises of the plantation or fish taken from a fishpond or fishery; or,

4) If property is taken on the occasion of fire, earthquake, typhoon, volcanic erruption, or any other calamity, vehicular accident or civil disturbance. (Article 310, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

2ND QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE – ELEMENTS:

1) Taking of personal property;

2) That the said property belongs to another;

3) That the said taking be done with intent to gain;

4) That it be done without the owner’s consent;

5) That it be accomplished without the use of violence or intimidation against persons, nor of force upon things; and,

6) That it be done with grave abuse of confidence. (People v. Mejares, G.R. No. 225735, 10 January 2018)

10. Theft of the property of the National Library and National Museum

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender commits act of theft (in any of the modes described); and,

2) The property stolen is any property of the National Library or the National Museum. (Article 311, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

CHAPTER 4: USURPATION

11. Occupation of real property or usurpation of real rights in property

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender (a) takes possession of any real property, or (b) usurps any real rights in property belonging to another; and,

2) He does so by means of violence against or intimidation of persons. (Article 312, Ibid.)

12. Altering boundaries or landmarks

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender alters the boundary marks or monuments of towns, provinces, or estates, or any other marks intended to designate the boundaries of the same. (Article 313, Ibid.)

CHAPTER 5: CULPABLE INSOLVENCY

12. Fraudulent insolvency

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender absconds with his property to the prejudice of his creditors. (Article 314, Ibid.)

CHAPTER 6: SWINDLING AND OTHER DECEITS

13. Estafa (Swindling)

ESTAFA IN GENERAL – ELEMENTS:

1) That an accused defrauded another by abuse of confidence, or by means of deceit; and,

2) That damage and prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation is caused the offended party or third person. (Sy v. People, G.R. No. 183879, 14 April 2010)

a. THE 2 WAYS OF COMMITTING ESTAFA

2 WAYS OF COMMITTING ESTAFA:

1) By means of abuse of confidence; or,

2) By means of deceit. (Ibid.)

1) By means of abuse of confidence

1ST MODE (ALTERING SUBSTANCE/ETC.) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender defrauds another qith unfaithfulness or abuse of confidence; and,

2) It is by altering the substance, quantity, or quality of anything of value which the offender shall deliver by virtue of an obligation to do so, even though such obligation be based on an immoral or illegal consideration. (Article 315[1], Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

2ND MODE (BY MISAPPROPRIATION/ETC.) – ELEMENTS:

1) That the money, goods or other personal property be received by the offender in trust, or on commission, or for administration, or under any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of, or to return, the same;

2) That there be misappropriation or conversion of such money or property by the offender, or denial on his part of such receipt;

3) That such misappropriation or conversion or denial is to the prejudice of another; and,

4) That there is a demand made by the offended party to the offender. (Asejo v. People, G.R. No. 157433, 24 July 2007)

3RD MODE (ALTERING SUBSTANCE/ETC.) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender defrauds another qith unfaithfulness or abuse of confidence; and,

2) It is by taking undue advantage of the signature of the offended party in blank, and by writing any document above such signature in blank, to the prejudice of the offended party or any third person. (Article 315[1], Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

2) By means of deceit

ELEMENTS:

1) There must be a false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means;

2) Such false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means must be made or executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud;

3) The offended party must have relied on the false pretense, fraudulent act, or fraudulent means, that is, he was induced to part with his money or property because of the false pretense, fraudulent act, or fraudulent means; and,

4) As a result thereof, the offended party suffered damage. (Montano v. People, G.R. No. 141980, 07 December 2001)

FALSE PRETENSES OR FRAUDULENT ACTS: False pretenses or fraudulent acts executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud may be committed:

1) By using fictitious name, or falsely pretending to possess power, influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions, or by means of other similar deceits;

2) By altering the quality, fineness or weight of anything pertaining to his art or business;

3) By pretending to have bribed any Government employee, without prejudice to the action for calumny which the offended party may deem proper to bring against the offender. In this case, the offender shall be punished by the maximum period of the penalty;

4) By postdating a check, or issuing a check in payment of an obligation when the offender had no funds in the bank, or his funds deposited therein were not sufficient to cover the amount of the check. The failure of the drawer of the check to deposit the amount necessary to cover his check within three (3) clays from receipt of notice from the bank and/or the payee or holder that said check has been dishonored for lack or insufficiency of funds shall be prime facie evidence of deceit constituting false pretense or fraudulent act; or,

5) By obtaining any food, refreshment or accommodation at a hotel, inn, restaurant, boarding house, lodging house, or apartment house and the like without paying therefor, with intent to defraud the proprietor or manager thereof, or by obtaining credit at hotel, inn, restaurant, boarding house, lodging house, or apartment house by the use of any false pretense, or by abandoning or surreptitiously removing any part of his baggage from a hotel, inn, restaurant, boarding house, lodging house or apartment house after obtaining credit, food, refreshment or accommodation therein without paying for his food, refreshment or accommodation. (Article 315[2], Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

DAMAGE: Damage as an element of estafa may consist in:

1) The offended party being deprived of his money or property as a result of the defraudation;

2) Disturbance in property right; or,

3) Temporary prejudice. (Tan v. People, G.R. No. 153460, 29 January 2007)

b. CONTRASTED WITH OTHER CRIMES

1) Estafa v. Illegal Recruitment

Illegal recruitment and estafa cases may be filed simultaneously or separately. The filing of charges for illegal recruitment does not bar the filing of estafa, and vice versa. The acquittal in the illegal recruitment case does not prove that she is not guilty of estafa. Illegal recruitment and estafa are entirely different offenses and neither one necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the other. A person who is convicted of illegal recruitment may, in addition, be convicted of estafa under Article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the RPC. In the same manner, a person acquitted of illegal recruitment may be held liable for estafa. Double jeopardy will not set in because illegal recruitment is malum prohibitum, in which there is no necessity to prove criminal intent, whereas estafa is malum in se, in the prosecution of which, proof of criminal intent is necessary. (Sy v. People, supra.)

2) Estafa v. Theft

FactorEstafaTheft
Nature of possession1) Material/physical possession 2) Juridical possession1) Material/physical possession

JURIDICAL POSSESSION: Juridical possession refers to a possession which gives the transferee a right over the thing transferred and this, he may set up even against the owner.

SAME; KEY DISTINCTION “The principal distinction between the two crimes is that in theft the thing is taken while in estafa the accused receives the property and converts it to his own use or benefit. However, there may be theft even if the accused has possession of the property. If he was entrusted only with the material or physical (natural) or de facto possession of the thing, his misappropriation of the same constitutes theft, but if he has the juridical possession of the thing, his conversion of the same constitutes embezzlement or estafa.” (CJ Ramon C. Aquino, Commentary on the Revised Penal Code, cited in Pideli v. People, G.R. No. 163437, 13 February 2008)

NOTABLE JURISPRUDENCE

1) Guman v. People: There is an essential distinction between the possession by a receiving teller of funds received from third persons paid to the bank, and an agent who receives the proceeds of sales of merchandise delivered to him in agency by his principal. In the former case, payment by third persons to the teller is payment to the bank itself; the teller is a mere custodian or keeper of the funds received, and has no independent right or title to retain or possess the same as against the bank. An agent, on the other hand, can even assert, as against his own principal, an independent, autonomous, right to retain the money or goods received in consequence of the agency; as when the principal fails to reimburse him for advances he has made, and indemnify him for damages suffered without his fault.

Therefore, as it now stands, a sum of money received by an employee in behalf of an employer is considered to be only in the material possession of the employee. Notably, such material possession of an employee is adjunct, by reason of his employment, to a recognition of the juridical possession of the employer. As long as the juridical possession of the thing appropriated did not pass to the employee, the offense committed is theft, qualified or otherwise. (En Banc, G.R. No. L-9572, 31 July 1956)

3) Estafa v. B.P. 22

FactorsEstafaB.P. 22
 1) The offender has postdated or issued a check in payment of an obligation contracted at the time of the postdating or issuance; 2) At the time of postdating or issuance of said check, the offender has no funds in the bank or the funds deposited were not sufficient to cover the amount of the check; and, 3) The payee has been defrauded.1) The making, drawing, and issuance of any check to apply for 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 the check in full upon its presentment; and, 3) The 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.
NatureMalum in seMalum prohibitum
 Damage and deceit are essential elements of the offense and must be established with satisfactory proof to warrant conviction, while the false pretense or fraudulent act must be committed prior to, or simultaneous with, the issuance of the bad check.The gravamen of the offense is the act of making and issuing a worthless check or any check that is dishonored upon its presentment for payment and putting them in circulation.

(People v. Cuyugan, G.R. Nos. 146641-43, 18 November 2022; People v. Juliano, supra.; San Mateo v. People, G.R. No. 200090, 06 March 2013)

Estafa via postdated checks: To constitute estafa under this provision the act of postdating or issuing a check in payment of an obligation must be the efficient cause of defraudation, and as such it should be either prior to, or simultaneous with the act of fraud. The offender must be able to obtain money or property from the offended party because of the issuance of a check whether postdated or not. That is, the latter would not have parted with his money or other property were it not for the issuance of the check. (Ibid.)

Same; Presumption: The drawer of the dishonored check is given three days from receipt of the notice of dishonor to cover the amount of the check, otherwise, a prima facie presumption of deceit arises. (Ibid.)

14. Syndicated estafa

ELEMENTS:

1) Estafa or other forms of swindling, as defined in Articles 315 and 316 of the RPC, is committed;

2) The Estafa or swindling is committed by a syndicate of five (5) or more persons; and,

3) The defraudation results in the misappropriation of moneys contributed by stockholders, or members of rural banks, cooperatives, “samahang nayon(s),” or farmers’ associations, or of funds solicited by corporations/associations from the general public. (People v. Baladjay, G.R. No. 220458, 26 July 2017)

15. Other forms of swindling

1ST MODE (PRETENDING TO BE OWNER OF REAL PROPERTY) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender pretended to be owner of any real property;  and,

2) He conveys, sells, encumbers or mortgages the same. (Article 316[1], Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

2ND MODE (ENCUMBERED REAL PROPERTY) – ELEMENTS:

1) That the thing disposed of be real property;

2) That the offender knew that the real property was encumbered, whether the encumbrance is recorded or not;

3) That there must be express representation by the offender that the real property is free from encumbrance; and,

4) That the act of disposing of the real property be made to the damage of another.

3RD MODE (UNLAWFUL TAKING FROM LAWFUL POSSESSOR) – ELEMENTS:

3) The owner of any personal property who shall wrongfully take it from its lawful possessor, to the prejudice of the latter or any third person. (Article 316[3], Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

4TH MODE (FICTITIOUS CONTRACT) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender executes any fictitious contract; and,

2) It is done to the prejudice of another. (Article 316[4], Ibid.)

5TH MODE (INCORRECT PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender accepts any compensation given him;

2) It was under the belief that it was in payment of services rendered or labor performed by him, when in fact he did not actually perform such services or labor. (Article 316[5], Ibid.)

6TH MODE (SURETY DISPOSAL/ETC.) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender is a surety in a bond given in a criminal or civil action;

2) He sell, mortgage, or, in any other manner, encumber the real property or properties with which he guaranteed the fulfillment of such obligation; and,

3) He does so without express authority from the court or before the cancellation of his bond or before being relieved from the obligation contracted by him. (Article 316[6], Ibid.)

16. Swindling a minor

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender induces a minor to assume any obligation or to give any release or execute a transfer of any property right in consideration of some loan of money, credit or other personal property, whether the loan clearly appears in the document or is shown in any other form; and,

2) The offender does so by taking advantage of the inexperience or emotions or feelings of a minor, to his detriment.

17. Other deceits

ELEMENTS:

1ST M0DE (OTHER DECEITS) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender defrauds or damages another;

2) He does so by any other deceit not mentioned in the preceding articles of this chapter.

2ND MODE (DREAM READING, FORTUNE TELLING/ETC.) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender interprets dreams, make forecasts, tell fortunes, or take advantage of the credulity of the public in any other similar manner; and,

2) He does so for profit or gain.

CHAPTER 7: CHATTEL MORTGAGE

18. Removal, sale or pledge of mortgaged property

ELEMENTS:

1ST MODE (REMOVAL DEOM PROVINCE/CITY) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender knowingly removes any personal property mortgaged under the Chattel Mortgage Law to any province or city other than the one in which it was located at the time of the execution of the mortgage; and,

2) He does so without the written consent of the mortgagee, or his executors, administrators or assigns.

2ND MODE (SELLING/PLEDGING OF PLEDGED PROPERTY) – ELEMENTS:

1) The offender is a mortgagor;

2) He sells or pledges personal property already pledged, or any part thereof, under the terms of the Chattel Mortgage Law; and,

3) He does so without the consent of the mortgagee written on the back of the mortgage and noted on the record hereof in the office of the Register of Deeds of the province where such property is located.

CHAPTER 8: ARSON AND OTHER CRIMES INVOLVING DESTRUCTIONS

19. Simple arson

ELEMENTS:

1) There is intentional burning; and,

2) What is intentionally burned is an inhabited house or dwelling. (People v. Macabando, G.R. No. 188708, 31 July 2013)

NB: Simple arson under the RPC has been superseded by P.D. 1613.

20. Destructive arson

ELEMENTS:

Arson is committed on:

1) One (1) or more buildings or edifices, consequent to one single act of burning, or as a result of simultaneous burnings, committed on several or different occasions;

2) Any building of public or private ownership, devoted to the public in general or where people usually gather or congregate for a definite purpose such as, but not limited to, official governmental function or business, private transaction, commerce, trade, workshop, meetings and conferences, or merely incidental to a definite purpose such as but not limited to hotels, motels, transient dwellings, public conveyances or stops or terminals, regardless of whether the offender had knowledge that there are persons in said building or edifice at the time it is set on fire and regardless also of whether the building is actually inhabited or not;

3) Any train or locomotive, ship or vessel, airship or airplane, devoted to transportation or conveyance, or for public use, entertainment or leisure;

4) Any building, factory, warehouse installation and any appurtenances thereto, which are devoted to the service of public utilities;

5) Any building the burning of which is for the purpose of concealing or destroying evidence of another violation of law, or for the purpose of concealing bankruptcy or defrauding creditors or to collect from insurance;

6) Any arsenal, shipyard, storehouse or military powder or fireworks factory, ordnance, storehouse, archives or general museum of the Government; or,

7) In an inhabited place, any storehouse or factory of inflammable or explosive materials.

21. Other forms of arson

ELEMENTS:

Arson is committed on:

1) Any building used as offices of the government or any of its agencies;

2) Any inhabited house or dwelling;

3) Any industrial establishment, shipyard, oil well or mine shaft, platform or tunnel;

4) Any plantation, farm, pastureland, growing crop, grain field, orchard, bamboo grove or forest;

5) Any rice mill, sugar mill, cane mill or mill central; and,

6) Any railway or bus station, airport, wharf or warehouse. (Section 3, P.D. 613)

SPECIAL AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES IN ARSON: The penalty in any case of arson shall be imposed in its maximum period:

1) If committed with intent to gain;

2) If committed for the benefit of another;

3) If the offender is motivated by spite or hatred towards the owner or occupant of the property burned; or,

4) If committed by a syndicate. (Section 4, Ibid.)

SYNDICATE: The offense is committed by a syndicate if its is planned or carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons. (Ibid.)

WHERE DEATH RESULTS FROM ARSON: If by reason of or on the occasion of the arson death results, the penalty of Reclusion Perpetua to death shall be imposed. (Section 5, Ibid.)

PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE OF ARSON: Any of the following circumstances shall constitute prima facie evidence of arson:

1) If the fire started simultaneously in more than one part of the building or establishment;

2) If substantial amount of flammable substances or materials are stored within the building note necessary in the business of the offender nor for household us;

3) If gasoline, kerosene, petroleum or other flammable or combustible substances or materials soaked therewith or containers thereof, or any mechanical, electrical, chemical, or electronic contrivance designed to start a fire, or ashes or traces of any of the foregoing are found in the ruins or premises of the burned building or property;

4) If the building or property is insured for substantially more than its actual value at the time of the issuance of the policy;

5) If during the lifetime of the corresponding fire insurance policy more than two fires have occurred in the same or other premises owned or under the control of the offender and/or insured;

6) If shortly before the fire, a substantial portion of the effects insured and stored in a building or property had been withdrawn from the premises except in the ordinary course of business; or,

7) If a demand for money or other valuable consideration was made before the fire in exchange for the desistance of the offender or for the safety of the person or property of the victim. (Section 6, Ibid.)

CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT TREASON: Conspiracy to commit arson shall be punished by Prision Mayor in its minimum period. (Section 7, Ibid.)

CONFISCATION OF OBJECT OF ARSON: The building which is the object of arson including the land on which it is situated shall be confiscated and escheated to the State, unless the owner thereof can prove that he has no participation in nor knowledge of such arson despite the exercise of due diligence on his part. (Section 8, Ibid.)

CHAPTER 9: MALICIOUS MISCHIEF

22. Malicious mischief

ELEMENTS:

1) That the offender deliberately caused damage to the property of another;

2) That such act does not constitute arson or other crimes involving destruction; and,

3) That the act of damaging another’s property be committed merely for the sake of damaging it. (Taguinod v. People, G.R. No. 185833, 12 October 2011)

SPECIAL CASES OF MALICIOUS MISCHIEF:

The offender:

1) Causes damage to obstruct the performance of public functions; or,

2) Uses any poisonous or corrosive substance; or,

3) Spreads any infection or contagion among cattle; or,

4) Causes damage to the property of the National Museum or National Library, or to any archive or registry, waterworks, road, promenade, or any other thing used in common by the public. (Article 328, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

23. Other Mischiefs

ELEMENTS:

1) The offender commits a malicious mischief; and,

2) It is not included in the next preceding article.

DAMAGE AND OBSTRUCTION TO MEANS OF COMMUNICATION: The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed upon any person who shall damage any railway, telegraph or telephone lines. (Article 330, Ibid.)

SAME; DAMAGE RESULTED IN DERAILMENT OF CARS, ETC.: If the damage shall result in any derailment of cars, collision or other accident, the penalty of prision mayor shall be imposed, without prejudice to the criminal liability of the offender for the other consequences of his criminal act. (Paragraph 2, Article 330, Ibid.)

ELECTRIC WIRES, TRACTION CABLES, ETC.: For the purpose of the provisions of the article, the electric wires, traction cables, signal system and other things pertaining to railways, shall be deemed to constitute an integral part of a railway system. (Paragraph 3, Article 330, Ibid.)

DESTROYING OR DAMAGING STATUES, PUBLIC MONUMENTS OR PAINTINGS: Any person who shall destroy or damage statues or any other useful or ornamental public monument shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period to prision correccional in its minimum period. (Article 331, Ibid.)

SAME; PUBLIC NATURE: Any person who shall destroy or damage any useful or ornamental painting of a public nature shall suffer the penalty of arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court. (Paragraph 2, Article 331, Ibid.)

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Subjects

Political Law, Labor Law

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