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Republic of the Philippines

National Capital Judicial Region


METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT
Branch 47, Pasay City

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,


Plaintiff,

-versus- CRIM. CASE NO. 07-29-CFM


For: Other Deceits under
Article 318 of the RPC
SPO4 RESURRECION LAGASCA,
Accused.

x--------------------------------------------x

DECISION

The burden of proof rests upon the prosecution and unless it succeeds in proving
overwhelming evidence of the guilt of the accused, the presumption of innocence
prevails. Did the prosecutions evidence pass the test of moral certainty?

THE CHARGE

Accused SPO4 SPO4 RESURRECION LAGASCA RONALDO MONDAGA, stands


charged with the crime of Other Deceits under Article 318 of the Revised Penal Code,
the accusatory portion of the Information reads as follows:

That on or about during the months of April to November, 2005,


In Pasay City, Metro-Manila, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction
of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, SPO4 RESURRECION
LAGASCA, thru false representation that he has been authorized by his
fellow police officers to obtain cash advances from the complainant of
their productivity pay checks with the undertaking to deliver to the latter
the productivity pay checks of the said police officers, when in truth and in
fact, as said accused knew fully well that no such authority was given to
him, did and there wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously apply a cash
advance in the total amount of Php 98,000.00 from herein complainant
ALFREDO DAVID, who relying on said representation, had in fact gave
and delivered said amount to the accused, who, thereafter, failed to deliver
any productivity check to the complainant, to the damage and prejudice of
the latter in the amount of Php 98,000.00.
Contrary to law.

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STATEMENT OF THE CASE

On June 6, 2007, accused SPO4 Resurrecion Lagasca assisted by Atty. Remmel


Balinbin of the Public Attorneys Office, entered a plea of not guilty. This case was
referred to the Philippine Mediation Center which resulted to unsuccessful mediation.
During the pre-trial conference on July 9, 2007, a warrant of arrest was issued against
the accused. On October 9, 2007, the pre-trial was terminated. Trial on the merits
ensued. On May 28, 2008, the formal offer of evidence was made by the prosecution. On
July 1, 2010, the formal offer of evidence was made by the defense. Thereafter, the case
was submitted for decision.

EVIDENCE FOR THE PROSECUTION

Testimonial Evidence

The prosecution presented as its lone witness:

ALFREDO DAVID testified that sometime during the months of April 2005
to November 2005, accused SPO4 Resurrecion Lagasca came to his office an
represented to him that he is the Finance Officer of the NCRPO R2 of Camp Bagong
Diwa, Taguig who is authorized to collect productivity checks of policemen. 1 To further
convince him and hide his true and pre-conceived intention in defrauding him, he told
him that he is authorized to make cash advances for the productivity checks of the
policemen. He told him that he is authorized to sign for and on behalf of the policemen
for cash advances. Because of his representations and after verifying that he is indeed
the Finance Officer of NCRPO R-2, Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig, he readily agreed to the
accused SPO4 Resurrecion Lagascas request. He advised the accused to come back a
week after as he will source out and accumulate the needed amount. When accused
came back in the 4 th week of April, 2005, he handed to him P6,000.00 representing the
1st batch of policemen claiming the cash advances of the productivity checks. Said
accused came back on several occasions from April, 2005 to November, 2005. He gave
to the accused the total amount of P98,000.00 on several occasions as cash advances of
the policemens productivity. Accused SPO4 Resurrecion Lagascas took advantage of
the trust and confidence given to him by herein complainant. He abused the trust and
confidence by not giving the productivity checks of the policemen advanced and
received by him from the complainant. A written demand was given to the accused who
ignored it.2

1
TSN dated January 28, 2008, p. 7.
2
TSN dated January 28, 2008, p. 6.

2
During his cross-examination, he admitted conducting an investigation that the
accused is a Finance Officer of the NCRPO and authorized to collect the productivity
checks of the police.3 The transactions he had with the accused were evidenced by
receipts.4 He made several demands to pay from the accused who ignored them. 5

During his re-direct examination, he answered that the acknowledgment receipts


were received and signed by the accused.6

Documentary Evidence

The prosecutions pieces of evidence are: (1) Complaint-Affidavit of Alfredo


David marked as Exhibit A with sub-markings, ; (2) Demand letter marked as
Exhibit B with sub-markings; and (3)Acknowledgment receipts marked as Exhibit
C with sub-markings.

EVIDENCE FOR THE DEFENSE

Testimonial Evidence

The defense presented as its lone witness who is the accused himself:

SPO4 RESURECCION LAGASCA denied the accusation against him. He is a


police officer assigned at NCRPO-R2 Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig. He met the
complainant Alfredo David when someone introduced him to the latter. He was
informed by the complainant that he can change and encash the checks to its customer. 7
This meant that he was ordered by the complainant to buy the productivity pay of
policemen. He talked to complainant who told him that he is willing to buy the
productivity pay of his fellow officers for consideration. He told his fellow officers if they
are interested. On several occasions, he talked to the complainant who agreed to buy
the productivity pay of his fellow officers. As a Finance Officer, he was told by his fellow
police officers that they are wiling to give their names to the complainant and authorized
him to get the money from the complainant. There was no deceit because it was the
complainant who advised and ordered him to enter such transaction. 8

During cross-examination, he admitted that if someone wanted to advance a


productivity pay, he will approach the complainant. This transaction was unauthorized
3
TSN dated May 14, 2008, p. 6.
4
TSN dated May 14, 2008, p. 9.
5
TSN dated May 14, 2008, p. 14.
6
TSN dated My 14, 2008, p. 16.
7
TSN dated October 2, 2008, p. 7.
8
TSN dated October 2, 2008, p. 8.

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by their office.9 He does not recall executing a compromise agreement in this case. He
identified his signature on the compromise agreement. Not all transactions transpire
between him on behalf of his fellow policemen and private complainant because some
policemen, around five (5) go directly to the complainant. 10

Documentary Evidence

The defense evidence consisted of the Counter-Affidavit of the accused marked


as Exhibit 1 with sub-markings.

ISSUE

The issue is whether or not accused SPO4 R Resurrecion Lagasca is guilty as


charged.

APPLICABLE LAW

Article 318 of the Revised Penal Code: Other deceits the penalty of arresto
mayor and a fin of not less than the amount of the damage caused and not more than
twice such amount shall be imposed upon any person who shall defraud or damage
another by any other deceit not mentioned in the preceding articles of this chapter.

RULING

The elements of Other Deceits under Article 318 of the Revised Penal Code are:
(1)There is a fraud; (2) There is a damage; (3) The fraud and damage were committed
by deceit; and (4) The deceit is not among those mentioned under Articles 315, 316 and
317 of the Revised Penal Code. These elements are present in this case.

Intent to deceive is apparent when the series of transactions between


complainant Alfredo David and accused SPO4 Resurrecion Lagasca were coupled with
the desire to commit fraud that resulted to damage, such fraud is proven by obtaining
cash advances by the accused on behalf of the policemen who in turn did not give the
productivity pays of the policemen to the complainant who was deceived to believe that
he will receive them, and without such belief because of the representation of the
accused that turned out to be false, he would not have parted his money. The fraud
consisted of the representation of the accused SPO4 Resurrecion Lagasca that he is
authorized to collect productivity checks of policemen and that he is authorized to
make cash advances for the productivity checks of the policemen with authority to sign
for and on behalf of the policemen for cash advances, which in effect, he will deliver
the cash advance to the policemen , and in turn, he will deliver the productivity pays to

9
TSN dated May 21, 2009, p. 5.
10
TSN dated May 21, 2009, p. 6.

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the complainant, when these are not so and these did not happen in this case.
Complainant Alfredo David was induced into entering such kind of series of
transactions with the accused and gave his money to the latter for the cash advances
of the policemen he is representing. This inducement is a fraud. There was no evidence
to show that the policemen granted the accused their authority to obtain cash
advances from the complainant. Neither was there an evidence that the policemen
benefited from these cash advances obtained by the accused in their favor from the
complainant. The non-remittance of the productivity pays by the herein accused to the
herein complainant is a proof of fraud. The absence of the explanation on the part of
the accused in not giving the productivity pays of the policemen to the complainant who
gave the money to him for the cash advances of the policemen, for this reason and for
this motivation alone, raises the presumption of misappropriation on the part of the
accused. This misappropriation is an Estafa. A jurisprudence close to this instant case
by analogy is People vs. Panlileo G.R. No. 35536, April 8, 1932, where our Supreme
Court held, A person who presents himself to another to serve as domestic helper and
obtains money in advance and later, on some pretext, leaves the service is guilty of
Other Deceits. In the same manner, when SPO4 Resurrecion Lagasca presents himself
to be authorized to make and receive cash advances in behalf of policemen and
productivity pay in behalf of the complainant, he obtains the money with representation
that the equivalent productivity pay will be delivered, then did not give the productivity
pay is guilty of the same crime of Other Deceits.

Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not connote absolute certainty; it means
that degree of proof which, after investigation of the whole record , produces moral
certainty in an unprejudiced mind of the culpability of the accused; it signifies such
proof that convinces and satisfies the reason and conscience of those who are to act
upon it that accused is guilty of the crime charged. 11 The prosecution was able to
discharge this burden of proof.

Considering that this Court granted the motion for execution of the Compromise
Agreement between the private complainant and the accused, no civil liability will be
awarded.

DISPOSITIVE PORTION

WHEREFORE, in light of the foregoing, this Court finds accused SPO4 R


Resurrecion Lagasca GUILTY BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT of the crime of
Other Deceits under Article 318 of the Revised Penal Code and sentences him to suffer
the penalty of Six (6) months of Arresto Mayor and to pay the fine of One Hundred

11
People vs. Carriaga et al., G.R. No. 135029, September 12, 2003.

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Ninety Six Thousand Pesos (P196,000.00) with subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency.

Costs against the accused.

SO ORDERED.

Pasay City, July 15, 2010.

ELIZA B. YU
Judge

Copy furnished:
ACP John Giselher Imperial
City Prosecutors Office
Hall of Justice, Pasay City

Atty. Remmel Balinbin


Public Attorneys Office
Hall of Justice, Pasay City