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THIRD DIVISION

[G.R. No. 114398. October 24, 1997]


CARMEN LIWANAG, petitioner, vs. THE HON. CORT O! A""EAL# $%& THE "EO"LE O! THE
"HILI""INE#, re're(e%te& b) t*e #o+,c,tor Ge%er$+, respondents.
- E C I # I O N
ROMERO, J..
Petitioner was charged with the crime of estafa before the Regional Trial Court (RTC! "ranch #$!
%ue&on Cit'! in an information which reads as follows(
)That on or between the month of *a' +#! +#,, and -ugust! +#,, in %ue&on Cit'! Phili..ines and within
the /urisdiction of this Honorable Court! the said accused! with intent of gain! with unfaithfulness! and
abuse of con0dence! did then and there! willfull'! unlawfull' and feloniousl' defraud one ISIDOR-
ROS-12S! in the following manner! to wit( on the date and in the .lace aforementioned! said
accused recei3ed in trust from the o4ended .art' cash mone' amounting to P 5$6!657877! Phili..ine
Currenc'! with the e9.ress obligation in3ol3ing the dut' to act as com.lainant:s agent in .urchasing local
cigarettes (Phili. *orris and *arlboro cigarettes! to resell them to se3eral stores! to gi3e her commission
corres.onding to ;7< of the .ro0ts= and to return the aforesaid amount of o4ended .art'! but said
accused! far from com.l'ing her aforesaid obligation! and once in .ossession thereof! misa..lied!
misa..ro.riated and con3erted the same to her .ersonal use and bene0t! des.ite re.eated demands
made u.on her! accused failed and refused and still fails and refuses to deli3er and>or return the same to
the damage and .re/udice of the said ISIDOR- ROS-12S! in the aforementioned amount and in such other
amount as ma' be awarded under the .ro3ision of the Ci3il Code8
CONTR-R? TO 1-@8A
The antecedent facts are as follows(
Petitioner Carmen 1iwanag (1iwanag and a certain Thelma Tabligan went to the house of com.lainant
Isidora Rosales (Rosales and asBed her to /oin them in the business of bu'ing and selling
cigarettes8 Con3inced of the feasibilit' of the 3enture! Rosales readil' agreed8 Cnder their agreement!
Rosales would gi3e the mone' needed to bu' the cigarettes while 1iwanag and Tabligan would act as her
agents! with a corres.onding ;7< commission to her if the goods are sold= otherwise the mone' would be
returned to Rosales8 ConseDuentl'! Rosales ga3e se3eral cash ad3ances to 1iwanag and Tabligan
amounting to P6$$!6578778
During the 0rst two months! 1iwanag and Tabligan made .eriodic 3isits to Rosales to re.ort on the
.rogress of the transactions8 The 3isits! howe3er! suddenl' sto..ed! and all e4orts b' Rosales to obtain
information regarding their business .ro3ed futile8
-larmed b' this de3elo.ment and belie3ing that the amounts she ad3anced were being
misa..ro.riated! Rosales 0led a case of estafa against 1iwanag8
-fter trial on the merits! the trial court rendered a decision dated Eanuar' #! +##+! 0nding 1iwanag
guilt' as charged8 The dis.ositi3e .ortion of the decision reads thus(
)@H2R2FOR2! the Court holds! that the .rosecution has established the guilt of the accused! be'ond
reasonable doubt! and therefore! im.oses u.on the accused! Carmen 1iwanag! an Indeterminate Penalt' of
SIG (6 ?2-RS! 2IHHT (, *ONTHS -ND T@2NT? ON2 (I+ D-?S OF PRISION CORR2CCION-1 TO FOCRT22N
(+; ?2-RS -ND 2IHHT (, *ONTHS OF PRISION *-?OR -S *-GI*C*! -ND TO P-? TH2 COSTS8
The accused is liBewise ordered to reimburse the .ri3ate com.lainant the sum of P5I6!657877! without
subsidiar' im.risonment! in case of insol3enc'8
SO ORD2R2D8A
Said decision was aJrmed with modi0cation b' the Court of -..eals in a decision dated No3ember I#!
+##$! the decretal .ortion of which reads(
)@H2R2FOR2! in 3iew of the foregoing! the /udgment a..ealed from is hereb' aJrmed with the
correction of the nomenclature of the .enalt' which should be( SIG (6 ?2-RS! 2IHHT (, *ONTHS and
T@2NT? ON2 (I+ D-?S of .rision ma'or! as minimum! to FOCRT22N (+; ?2-RS and 2IHHT (, *ONTHS
of reclusion temporal, as ma9imum8 In all other res.ects! the decision is -FFIR*2D8
SO ORD2R2D8A
Her motion for reconsideration ha3ing been denied in the resolution of *arch +6! +##;! 1iwanag 0led
the instant .etition! submitting the following assignment of errors(
)+8 R2SPOND2NT -PP211-T2 COCRT HR-V21? 2RR2D IN -FFIR*INH TH2 CONVICTION OF TH2 -CCCS2DK
P2TITION2R FOR TH2 CRI*2 OF 2ST-F-! @H2N C12-R1? TH2 CONTR-CT TH-T 2GIST (sic "2T@22N TH2
-CCCS2DKP2TITION2R -ND CO*P1-IN-NT IS 2ITH2R TH-T OF - SI*P12 1O-N OR TH-T OF - P-RTN2RSHIP
OR EOINT V2NTCR2 H2NC2 TH2 NON R2TCRN OF TH2 *ON2? OF TH2 CO*P1-IN-NT IS PCR21? CIVI1 IN
N-TCR2 -ND NOT CRI*IN-18
I8 R2SPOND2NT -PP211-T2 COCRT HR-V21? 2RR2D IN NOT -C%CITTINH TH2 -CCCS2DKP2TITION2R ON
HROCNDS OF R2-SON-"12 DOC"T "? -PP1?INH TH2 L2%CIPOIS2 RC12:8A
1iwanag ad3ances the theor' that the intention of the .arties was to enter into a contract of
.artnershi.! wherein Rosales would contribute the funds while she would bu' and sell the cigarettes! and
later di3ide the .ro0ts between them8
M+N
She also argues that the transaction can also be inter.reted as a
sim.le loan! with Rosales lending to her the amount stated on an installment basis8
MIN
The Court of -..eals correctl' re/ected these .retenses8
@hile factual 0ndings of the Court of -..eals are conclusi3e on the .arties and not re3iewable b' the
Su.reme Court! and carr' more weight when these aJrm the factual 0ndings of the trial court!
M$N
we deem
it more e9.edient to resol3e the instant .etition on its merits8
2stafa is a crime committed b' a .erson who defrauds another causing him to su4er damages! b'
means of unfaithfulness or abuse of con0dence! or of false .retenses of fraudulent acts8
M;N
From the foregoing! the elements of estafa are .resent! as follows( (+ that the accused defrauded
another b' abuse of con0dence or deceit= and (I that damage or .re/udice ca.able of .ecuniar'
estimation is caused to the o4ended .art' or third .art'!
M5N
and it is essential that there be a 0duciar'
relation between them either in the form of a trust! commission or administration8
M6N
The recei.t signed b' 1iwanag states thus(
)*a' +#! +#,, %ue&on Cit'
Recei3ed from *rs8 Isidora P8 Rosales the sum of FIV2 HCNDR2D T@2NT? SIG THOCS-ND -ND SIG
HCNDR2D FIFT? P2SOS (P5I6!657877 Phili..ine Currenc'! to .urchase cigarrets (sic (Phili. O *arlboro to
be sold to customers8 In the e3ent the said cigarrets (sic are not sold! the .roceeds of the sale or the said
.roducts (shall be returned to said *rs8 Isidora P8 Rosales the said amount of P5I6!657877 or the said
items on or before -ugust $7! +#,,8
(SHD O ThumbedmarBed (sic
C-R*2N 1I@-N-H
I6 H8 Palira'a St8
%ue&on Cit'
Signed in the .resence of(
(Sgd Illegible (Sgd Doming Q8 "aligadA
The language of the recei.t could not be an' clearer8 It indicates that the mone' deli3ered to 1iwanag
was for a s.eci0c .ur.ose! that is! for the .urchase of cigarettes! and in the e3ent the cigarettes cannot be
sold! the mone' must be returned to Rosales8
Thus! e3en assuming that a contract of .artnershi. was indeed entered into b' and between the
.arties! we ha3e ruled that when mone' or .ro.ert' ha3e been recei3ed b' a .artner for a s.eci0c
.ur.ose (such as that obtaining in the instant case and he later misa..ro.riated it! such .artner is guilt'
of estafa8
MRN
Neither can the transaction be considered a loan! since in a contract of loan once the mone' is
recei3ed b' the debtor! ownershi. o3er the same is transferred8
M,N
"eing the owner! the borrower can
dis.ose of it for whate3er .ur.ose he ma' deem .ro.er8
In the instant .etition! howe3er! it is e3ident that 1iwanag could not dis.ose of the mone' as she
.leased because it was onl' deli3ered to her for a single .ur.ose! namel'! for the .urchase of cigarettes!
and if this was not .ossible then to return the mone' to Rosales8 Since in this case there was no transfer
of ownershi. of the mone' deli3ered! 1iwanag is liable for con3ersion under -rt8 $+5! .ar8 +(b of the
Re3ised Penal Code8
WHERE!ORE! in 3iew of the foregoing! the a..ealed decision of the Court of -..eals dated No3ember
I#! +##$! is -FFIR*2D8 Costs against .etitioner8
SO ORD2R2D8