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Art. 315 MIGUEL COSME, JR. vs.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


G.R. No. 149753 November 27, 2006

FACTS: Judith Rodriguez and the private complainant, Paul Bunda, entered into a Memorandum
Agreement concerning lots nos. 1 and 2 situated at Barrio Almanza, Las Pias, Metro Manila. Under the
agreement, Judith agreed to assign and convey 40% of the aforementioned lots in favor of the complainant
as consideration for the payment by the latter of the accrued real estate taxes on the property. The
complainant then visited the property and, for the first time, met the accused who represented himself as
the overseer of the property where he also resided. Subsequently, the complainant and the accused met
at the Aurelio Hotel on Roxas Blvd., Manila and the accused convinced the complainant to entrust to him
Two Million Pesos for the payment of the accrued real estate taxes on the property, telling the complainant
that he was a nephew of the then incumbent mayor of Las Pias and had good connections with the
Mayor's Office as well as with the Offices of the Treasurer and of the Assessor of Las Pias. The
complainant again met the accused in 2 different occasions and gave to the latter a total of P200, 000.00.
Both payments were unreceipted.

When the accused failed to comply, information for estafa was filed against the former. Upon being
arraigned, petitioner pleaded not guilty. Thereafter, RTC rendered its decision convicting the accused with
the crime of estafa under Article 315 (1) (b) of the Revised Penal Code. Petitioner appealed the case to
the CA. The latter found petitioner guilty of Estafa as defined under Article 315 (2) (a) of the RPC.

ISSUE: Whether accused is guilty of estafa under Article 315 (2) (a) as ruled by the CA.

HELD: No. As correctly enumerated by the CA, the elements of Estafa by means of deceit as defined
under Article 315 (2) (a) of the RPC are as follows: (1) that there must be a false pretense, fraudulent act
or fraudulent means; (2) that such false pretense, fraudulent act or fraudulent means must be made or
executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud; (3) that 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 (d) that as a
result thereof, the offended party suffered damage.

The CA ruled that the deceit employed by petitioner consisted in his act of pretending "that he had the
authority and capability to cover the payment of the realty taxes for he is influential in Las Pias and has
connections with the Assessor's & Treasurer's Offices being an alleged nephew of then incumbent Mayor
Casimiro of Las Pias City."

However, a reading of the Information filed against petitioner shows that while it contains conclusions that
petitioner committed fraud against private complainant, there are no allegations indicating specific acts
which constitute fraud as contemplated under Article 315 (2) (a) of the RPC, more particularly petitioner's
alleged act of falsely pretending that he had the needed connections to settle the realty taxes due on the
subject property.

In People v. Almendral, the Court held thus: The information filed against an accused is intended to inform
him of the accusations against him in order that he could adequately prepare his defense. It is thus textbook
doctrine that an accused cannot be convicted of an offense unless it is clearly charged in the complaint or
information. It must embody the essential elements of the crime charged by setting forth the facts and
circumstances that have a bearing on the culpability and liability of the accused so that he can properly
prepare for and undertake his defense.

In the present case, the Information filed against petitioner did not specify the alleged fraudulent acts or
false pretenses that supposedly induced private complainant to part with his money. Hence, petitioner may
not be convicted of Estafa as defined under Article 315 (2) (a) of the RPC since the prosecution failed to
allege the essential elements of this kind of offense.

However, the RTC correctly found that petitioner has been properly charged with estafa as defined under
Article 315 (1) (b) of the RPC. In Lee v. People, this Court held that the elements of Estafa by conversion
or misappropriation as defined under Article 315 (1) (b) of the RPC are as follows: (1) that money, goods,
or other personal properties are 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 is
a 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.

Clearly, the aforequoted Information filed by the prosecution against petitioner was able to allege all the
essential elements of estafa under Article 315 (1) (b) of the RPC.

Art. 315. Swindling (estafa). Any person who shall defraud another by any of the means mentioned
hereinbelow shall be punished by:
xxxx
1. With unfaithfulness or abuse of confidence, namely:
xxxx
(b) By misappropriating or converting, to the prejudice of another, money, goods or any other personal
property 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, even though such obligation be
totally or partially guaranteed by a bond; or by denying having received such money, goods, or other
property;
xxxx
On the other hand, the CA found petitioner guilty of Estafa as defined under Article 315 (2) (a) of the
Revised Penal Code, to wit:
2. By means of any of the following false pretenses or fraudulent acts executed prior to or simultaneously
with the commission of the fraud:
(a) By using a fictitious name, or falsely pretending to possess power, influence, qualifications, property,
credit, agency, business or imaginary transactions; or by means of other similar deceits.

G.R. No. 130067 September 16, 1999


PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
ANICETA "ANNIE" MORENO, accused-appellant.

Facts: This is an appeal from the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City, Branch 6, finding
accused-appellant, Aniceta "Annie" Moreno, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of illegal recruitment
committed in large scale in Criminal Case No. 12190-R and for two counts of estafa by way of false
pretenses in Criminal Cases Nos. 12191-R and 12192-R. Accused-appellant was sentenced to suffer the
penalty of life imprisonment and pay a fine of one hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) in the illegal
recruitment case.She was sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of six (6) months and one (1) day of
prision correccional as minimum to six (6) years, eight (8) months and twenty (20) days of prision mayor
as maximum for each charge of estafa, to indemnify the offended parties 1 and pay the cost of suit.The
above-named accused, representing herself to have the capacity to contract, enlist and hire and transport
Filipino workers for employment abroad, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously collect fees,
recruit and promised employment/job placement to the following persons: Virginia S. Bakian, Florence P.
Juan, Josephine Sotero, Felisa Bayan in Canada without first securing or obtaining license or authority
from the proper governmental agency. Accused-appellant argues that she can not be convicted of illegal
recruitment or estafa as it was Magdalena Bolilla who initiated, facilitated and made representations that
complainants can be deployed as overseas workers.
Issue: Whether or not the accused is guilty of the crime of illegal recruitment and estafa.
Held: Yes, accused guilty of illegal recruitment and estafa. All the foregoing elements of illegal recruitment
in large scale are present in the case at bar. It elaborated that:
First[ly], accused Aniceta Moreno has no license nor authority to recruit. This is shown by Exhibit A, the
Certification issued by the POEA, Baguio and testified to by Jose Matias of the same office . . . .
Second[ly], accused Moreno undertook acts or activities coming within the definition of recruitment and
placement defined in Article 13 (b) of the Labor Code as amended. She enlisted, canvassed, promised
and recruited Virginia Bakian, Florence Juan, Josephine Sotero and Felisa Bayani and others in Baguio
by representing [that] she has the capacity to recruit. She promised them work abroad or promised to
deploy them for work abroad particularly in Canada or in Hong Kong for a fee. She failed ultimately to
deploy complainants abroad despite their repeated follow-ups and being made to wait.
Third[ly], there were at least four (4) persons individually or as a group, . . ., who were recruited by the
accused. The four declared in court that they were recruited for a fee by accused, actually paid their
placement fees . . ., pointed to, and positively identified, accused Moreno as the one they transacted with
. . . . 19
Guilty of the estate ,Trial court pointed out that she employed false pretenses by representing herself as
having the power, capacity and authority to deploy workers abroad.