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IMPOSSIBLE CRIMES

Gemma Jacinto vs. People of the Philippines


G.R. No. 162540

FACTS: Baby Aquino handed petitioner Gemma Jacinto a (BDO) Check in


the amount of P10,000.00 as payment for Baby Aquino's purchases from
Mega Foam Int'l., Inc. where the petitioner was then the collector.

The check was deposited in the Land Bank account of Generoso Capitle, the
husband of Jacqueline Capitle; the latter is the sister of petitioner and the
former pricing, merchandising and inventory clerk of Mega Foam. Later,
Rowena Ricablanca, another employee of Mega Foam, received a phone
call from an employee of Land Bank,who was looking for Generoso to
inform that the check deposited in his account had been dishonored.

Joseph Dyhengco, owner of Mega Foam talked to Baby Aquino to tell that
the BDO Check bounced. However, Baby said that she had already paid
Mega Foam P10,000 cash in August 1997 as replacement for the dishonored
check.

Gemma Jacinto along with Anita Busog de Valencia y Rivera and Jacqueline
Capitle was then charged before RTC with the crime of Qualified Theft.
However, the CA modified the decision that
a) the sentence against accused Gemma Jacinto stands;
(b) the sentence against accused Anita Valencia is reduced to 4 months arresto
mayor medium, and
(c) The accused Jacqueline Capitle is acquitted.

Hence,the present Petition for Review on Certiorari filed by petitioner alone,

ISSUE: WON there exist a crime of qualified theft provided that the
petitioner unlawfully took a postdated check without value?

RULING: NO. In the case at bar, petitioner performed all the acts to
consummate the crime of qualified theft, which is a crime against
property. Petitioner's evil intent cannot be denied, as the mere act of
unlawfully taking the check meant for Mega Foam showed her intent to gain
or be unjustly enriched. Were it not for the fact that the check bounced, she
would have received the face value thereof, which was not rightfully
hers. Therefore, it was only due to the extraneous circumstance of the check
being unfunded, a fact unknown to petitioner at the time, that prevented the
crime from being produced. The thing unlawfully taken by petitioner turned
out to be absolutely worthless, because the check was eventually dishonored,
and Mega Foam had received the cash to replace the value of said
dishonored check.

Petitioner Gemma T. Jacinto is found GUILTY of an IMPOSSIBLE


CRIME .

Misappropriation/ Conversion
Wilma Tabaniag vs PP
Gr 165411

FACTS: The RTC and CA found the accused WILMA TABANIAG guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Estafa as defined and penalized
under Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code.

Petitioner received from Victoria Espiritu several pieces of jewelry


amounting to Php106,000.00 and 64,515.00 respectively, as evidenced by
trust receipts. However, Victoria alleged that she made several verbal
demands[17] to petitioner to return the pieces of jewelry, which led her to file
a complaint against petitioner, Jane Bisquera (Bisquera) and Olandia
for estafa and violations of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 (BP 22).
Petitioner, in her defense, alleged that she entrusted the pieces of
jewelry to Bisquera who issued Security Bank Check as payment. Petitioner
claimed that Victoria knew that she was planning to sell the pieces
of jewelry to Bisquera.[20] Moreover, petitioner contends that she and
Olandia delivered the said Security Bank checks to Victoria, who then
deposited the same to her account. The checks issued by Bisquera bounced
as the accounts were closed and thus Victoria asked petitioner to do
something about it. Petitioner claimed that she filed cases for estafa and
violation of BP 22 against Bisquera. Likewise, petitioner asked the court for
the issuance of an alias warrant of arrest and a hold departure order against
Bisquera. Petitioner admitted that the cases she filed against Bisquera did
not involve the same checks which are the subject matter of the case at bar.

ISSUE: WON the petitioner misappropriated the proceeds of the sale and/or
to return the said jewelries thus should be charged guilty of the crime of
estafa ?
RULING: NO. Petitioner cannot be criminally held liable
for estafa. Although it cannot be denied that she received the pieces of
jewelry from complainants, evidence is wanting in proving that she
misappropriated or converted the amount of the pieces of jewelry for her
own personal use. Likewise, the prosecution failed to present evidence to
show that petitioner had conspired or connived with Bisquera. The mere fact
that petitioner failed to return the pieces of jewelry upon demand is not proof
of conspiracy, nor is it proof of misappropriation or conversion.
Lastly, although petitioner may have admitted that the cases she filed
against Bisquera do not involve the same checks, which are the subject
matter of the case at bar, the same does not necessarily manifest a criminal
intent on her part. On the contrary, what it shows is that petitioner too may
be an unwilling victim of this day-to-day malady of bouncing checks,
common in our business field. Certainly, petitioner may have been negligent
in entrusting the pieces of jewelry to Bisquera, but in no way can such
constitute estafa as defined in the RPC.

Petitioner Wilma Tabaniag is ACQUITTED of the crime charged,


without prejudice, however, to the recovery of civil liability.

COMPLEX CRIMES
G.R. No. 184500
PP vs. WENCESLAO NELMIDA @ "ESLAO," and RICARDO AJOK
@ "PORDOY,"

FACTS: Wenceslao Nelmida and Ricardo Ajok, with 10 other accused, allegedly
ambushed the vehicle of Mayor Tawan-tawan of Salvador, Lanao del Norte. Together
with the Mayor are his security escorts, 2 of which died due to the ambush while the
other 7 have been injured, although not severely, but needed to be
hospitalized.

ISSUE: WON the appellants must be charged for the separate crimes of two
(2) counts of murder and seven (7) counts of attempted murder or of the
complex crime of double murder with multiple frustrated murder and double
attempted murder.
RULING: Appellants are charged for the separate crimes of two (2) counts
of murder and seven (7) counts of attempted murder.

The concept of a complex crime is defined in Article 48 of the Revised


Penal Code which explicitly states that:79
ART. 48. Penalty for complex crimes. – When a single act constitutes two or
more grave or less grave felonies, or when an offense is a necessary means
for committing the other, the penalty for the most serious crime shall be
imposed, the same to be applied in its maximum period.

Evidently, there is in this case no complex crime proper. And the


circumstances present in this case do not fit exactly the description of a
compound crime.
From its factual backdrop, it can easily be gleaned that the killing and
wounding of the victims were not the result of a single discharge of firearms
by the appellants and their co-accused. To note, appellants and their co-
accused opened fire and rained bullets on the vehicle boarded by Mayor
Tawan-tawan and his group.

Obviously, appellants and their co-accused performed not only a single act
but several individual and distinct acts in the commission of the crime. Thus,
Article 48 of the Revised Penal Code would not apply for it speaks only of a
"single act."

SPECIAL COMPLEX CRIME


PP VS DILLATAN SR
GR 212191

FACTS:Herein private complainants, the spouses Henry and Violeta Acob,


together with their son, Homer were on their way home. They were
approaching the entrance to their barangay when they noticed two persons,
whom they later identified as herein accused-appellants, near a motorcycle.
When they passed, accused-appellants rode the motorcycle and tailed them.
Accused-appellants eventually caught up with them, whereupon, accused
Dillatan forced them to stop and immediately declared a holdup. Violeta
embraced Homer, while Dillatan grabbed her belt bag which contained
70,000.00 cash.
Thereafter, Dillatan uttered, "barilin mo na." Garcia then fired at the victims
hitting, first, the left hand of Violeta. The bullet went through the left hand
of Violeta and pierced Homer's chest causing the latter to fall down together
with the motorcycle. Henry, on the other hand, was able to get off the
motorcycle and tried to escape but Garcia also fired at
him thereby hitting his right knee. Accused-appellants, thereafter, fled
through their motorcycle. Several people then came to the aid of the private
complainants and brought them to the hospital where Homer later expired by
reason of his gunshot wound. Violeta and Henry were treated for their
wounds.

The RTC rendered its Decision finding accused appellants guilty of the
crime of robbery with homicide.The RTC held that: all the elements of the
crime of robbery are present in the instant case; robbery was the main
purpose of accused-appellants; the killing of Homer and the infliction of
injuries upon Violeta and Henry are only committed on the occasion or by
reason of the robbery; hence, these crimes are merged into a special complex
crime of robbery with homicide, as defined and penalized under Article 294
of the Revised PenalCode (RPC).

The CA affirmed the ruling of the RTC that the prosecution was able to
establish the presence of all the elements of robbery with homicide by
proving that Dillatan declared a holdup and grabbed Violeta's belt bag, while
Garcia fired at the private complainants in order to facilitate the taking of the
bag and their escape from the crime scene.

ISSUE: WON the accused-appellants are guilty of robbery with homicide?

RULING: YES. Guided by the foregoing principle, the Court finds no


cogent reason to disturb the RTC's factual findings, as affirmed by the CA.
Robbery with homicide exists when a homicide is committed either by
reason, or on occasion, of the robbery.

To sustain a conviction for robbery with homicide, the prosecution must


prove the following elements:
(1) the taking of personal property is committed with violence or
intimidation against persons;
(2) the property belongs to another;
(3) the taking is animo lucrandi or with intent to gain; and
( 4) on the occasion or by reason of the robbery, the crime of homicide, as
used in the generic sense, was committed.

Under the given facts, the Court finds no error in the findings of both the
RTC and the CA that the prosecution was able to clearly establish that:
(1) accused-appellants forced Homer, Henry and Violeta to stop their
motorcycle; (2) Dillatan declared the holdup and grabbed the belt bag in
Violeta's possession; and
(3) thereafter, Garcia fired at the victims in order to preserve their possession
of the stolen item and to facilitate their escape.

At this stage, the Court notes that, on the occasion of the robbery, aside from
Homer being killed, the Spouses Acob also sustained injuries by reason of
the gunshots fired by Garcia. It bears to reiterate at this point that the
component crimes in a special complex crime have no attempted or
frustrated stages because the intention of the offender/s is to 'commit the
principal crime which is to rob but in the process of committing the said
crime, another crime is committed. "Homicide," in the special complex
crime of robbery with homicide, is understood in its generic sense and forms
part of the essential element of robbery, which is the use of violence or the
use of force upon anything. Stated differently, all the felonies committed by
reason of or on the occasion of the robbery are integrated into one and
indivisible felony of robbery with homicide. Thus, as in the present case
where, aside from the killing of Homer, the Spouses Acob, on the occasion
of the same robbery, also sustained injuries, regardless of the severity, the
crime committed is still robbery with homicide as the injuries sustained by
the Spouses Acob are subsumed under the generic term "homicide" and,thus,
become part and parcel of the special complex crime of robbery with
homicide. Nonetheless, it is also settled that in robbery with homicide, the
victims who sustained injuries, but were not killed, shall also be
indemnified. Hence, the nature and severity of the injuries sustained by these
victims must still be determined for the purpose of awarding civil indemnity
and damages.
DRUGS
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs ROMY LIM y MIRANDA,
G.R. No. 231989

FACTS: The PDEA executed a buy-bust operation and prepared a P500.00


bill as buy-bust money (with its serial number entered in the PDEA blotter),
the Coordination Form for the nearest police station, and other related
documents. When the CI introduced IO1 Carin as shabu buyer, Lim nodded
and told Gorres to get one inside the bedroom. Gorres stood up and did as
instructed. After he came out, he handed a small medicine box to Lim, who
then took one piece of heat-sealed transparent plastic of shabu and gave it to
101 Carin. In tum, 101 Carin paid him with the buy-bust money.

After examining the plastic sachet, IO1 Carin executed a missed call to 101
Orellan, which was the pre-arranged signal. The team members immediately
rushed to Lim's house where IOI Orellan conducted a body search. When he
frisked Lim, no deadly weapon was found, but something was bulging in his
pocket which is the buy-bust money and a transparent rectangular plastic
box about 3x4 inches in size. They could see that it contained a plastic
sachet of a white substance. As for Gorres, no weapon or illegal drug was
seized. IOI Orellan took into custody the 500.00 bill, the plastic box with the
plastic sachet of white substance, and a disposable lighter. 101 Carin turned
over to him the plastic sachet that she bought from Lim. While in the house,
IOI Orellan marked the two plastic sachets. Despite exerting efforts to
secure the attendance of the representative from the media and barangay
officials, nobody arrived to witness the inventory-taking. Likewise, IOI
Orellan made the Inventory Receipt of the confiscated items. It was not
signed by Lim and Gorres. Also, there was no signature of an elected public
official and the representatives of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the
media as witnesses.

The RTC and CA handed a guilty verdict on Lim for illegal possession and
sale of shabu and acquitted Gorres for lack of sufficient evidence linking
him as a conspirator. Accused ELDIE GORRES y NAVE is hereby
ACQUITTED of the offense charged for failure of the prosecution to prove
his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

ISSUE: WON Lim is guilty of illegal possession and sale of shabu?


RULING: NO. Lim should be acquitted based on reasonable doubt. It is
evident that there was an absence of an elected public official and
representatives of the DOJ and the media to witness the physical inventory
and photograph of the seized items. In fact, their signatures do not appear in
the Inventory Receipt.

Under the original provision of Section 21 ( 1) of R.A. No. 9165, after


seizure and confiscation of the drugs, the apprehending team was required to
immediately conduct a physical inventory and to photograph the same in the
presence of ( 1) the accused or the person/s from whom such items were
confiscated and/or seized, or his/her representative or counsel, (2) a
representative from the media and (3) the DOJ, and (4) any elected public
official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be
given a copy thereof.

Verily, mere statements of unavailability, absent actual serious attempts to


contact the required witnesses are unacceptable as justified grounds for non-
compliance.These considerations arise from the fact that police officers are
ordinarily given sufficient time - beginning from the moment they have
received the information about the activities of the accused until the time of
his arrest - to prepare for a buy-bust operation and consequently, make the
necessary arrangements beforehand knowing full well that they would have
to strictly comply with the set procedure prescribed in Section 21 of RA
9165.

As such, police officers are compelled not only to state reasons for their non-
compliance, but must in fact, also convince the Court that they exerted
earnest efforts to comply with the mandated procedure, and that under the
given circumstances, their actions were reasonable.

In this case, IOI Orellan testified that no members of the media and
barangay officials arrived at the crime scene because it was late at night and
it was raining, making it unsafe for them to wait at Lim's house. IO2 Orcales
similarly declared that the inventory was made in the PDEA office
considering that it was late in the evening and there were no available media
representative and barangay officials despite their effort to contact them.

The prosecution likewise failed to explain why they did not secure the
presence of a representative from the Department of Justice (DOJ). While
the arresting officer, 101 Orellan, stated in his Affidavit that they only tried
to coordinate with the barangay officials and the media, the testimonies of
the prosecution witnesses failed to show that they tried to contact a DOJ
representative.

The testimonies of the prosecution witnesses also failed to establish the


details of an earnest effort to coordinate with and secure presence of the
required witnesses. They also failed to explain why the buy-bust team felt
"unsafe" in waiting for the representatives in Lim's house, considering that
the team is composed of at least ten (10) members, and the two accused were
the only persons in the house.

Accordingly, accused-appellant Romy Lim y Miranda is ACQUITTED on


reasonable doubt, and is ORDERED IMMEDIATELY RELEASED from
detention, unless he is being lawfully held for another cause.