G.R. No. 181692, August 14, 2013 - ADELAIDA SORIANO, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
G.R. No. 181692, August 14, 2013
ADELAIDA SORIANO, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
VILLARAMA, JR., J.:
That on September 9, 1994, at more or less 2:00 o'clock [sic] in the afternoon, and days thereafter, at Piaping Puti, Macabalan, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, with intent to defraud and cause damage and prejudice by means of deceit, and false pretenses or fraudulent acts executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud, did then and there wil[l]fully, unlawfully and feloniously represent and pretend to the offended party, Consolacion Alagao y Regala, who was then canvassing for buyers of her one (1) truck load of corn grits containing 398 sacks, that she (accused Adelaida Soriano) was engaged in the business of buying corn grits, among others from the public under the business style of A & R Soriano Trading, paying it in cash, with place of business located at Piaping Puti, Macab[a]lan, this City; that due to accused[’s] representation, said offended party was persuaded and convinced to sell her own corn grits to the former, which cereals came all the way from Old Nungnungan, Don Carlos, Bukidnon; that after unloading said 398 sacks of corn grains in the establishment of said Adelaida Soriano, said accused did not pay offended party for the said goods delivered, but instead she let offended party to sign a Cash Voucher, making it appear thereat that offended party has received the sum of P85,607.00, when in truth and in fact accused has not paid the same; that inspite of that misrepresented entries in the Cash Voucher above-cited, the accused further directed to collect the same amount from a neighbor of the offended party in OId.Nungnungan, above-mentioned; that perplexed about the actions of Mrs. Adelaida Soriano, offended party proceeded to demand payment from her but the accused failed to pay her monetary obligation [to] the offended party as the accused and her business establishment disappeared from Piaping Puti, Macabalan, this City after the incident, and transferred to an unknown location; that she couId.not also get back the said 398 sacks of corn grits anymore because the accused had disposed of it already; thus misapplying, misappropriating and converting the said sum of P85,607.00 the value of 398 sacks of corn grits, to her own gain and benefit, to the damage and prejudice of the said offended party, in the aforestated sum of P85,607.00, Philippine currency.When arraigned, petitioner pleaded not guilty.4cralaw virtualaw library
Contrary to and in violation to Article 315, par. 2(a), of the Revised Penal Code, as amended.3cralaw virtualaw library
1. Parties admitted that on September 9, 1993, private complainant Consolacion Alagao borrowed cash from the accused in the amount of P10,000, guaranteed by a titled land, owned by her daughter Evelyn Alagao;chanr0blesvirtualawlibraryTrial on the merits ensued.
2. Parties also agreed that the aforesaid debt was fully paid with corn grains by the private complainant in February, 1994;chanr0blesvirtualawlibrary
3. Parties also agreed that subsequent to this transaction, private complainant’s daughter Evelyn Alagao executed a Contract of Loan secured by Real Estate Mortgage now marked Exh. “1” for the defense, to secure the payment of P40,000.00 which private complainant admitted to have received P51,730.00 in the form of fertilizers and cash advances[:]and several cash advances as follows:
Fertilizers & Pioneer corn seeds P17,910.00 (Exh. "A") 110 bags chicken dung 6,600.00 (Chicken manure) Hauling expense of th[e]se materials 1,570.00 Additional fertilizers 9,550.00 (As shown in Exh. "B") 4. That private complainant claimed that x x x on August 17, 1994, she delivered a 10-wheeler corn grains (sic) to the accused which parties agreed [was] worth more than P80,000.00. And the private complainant claimed having paid the accused partially in the amount of P8,060.00 which accused denied. The latter claimed that no payment was ever made because the corn grains were owned by private complainant and another person and that private complainant and companion were paid of the worth of the delivery;chanr0blesvirtualawlibrary
2-7-94 P4,000.00 2-14-94 2,000.00 3-3-94 2,000.00 No date 100.00 5-1-94 2,000.00 5-6-94 2,000.00 7-19-94 500.00 7-20-94 500.00 (but which accused claimed [to be] P1,500.00) 9-10-94 3,000.00 16,100.00 Total P51,730.00
5. Parties agreed that on September 9, 1994 at 2:00 o’clock (sic) in the afternoon[,] there was a delivery by the private complainant with her companions, corn grains worth P85,607.00. Private complainant claimed that she was only paid P3,000.00 and which accused claimed that she did not pay her because that delivery was in payment of her account and the P3,000.00 which she received was advanced payment of whatever remaining after paying her previous accounts to the accused;chanr0blesvirtualawlibrary
6. Parties agreed that there was a Cash Voucher of the amount of corn grains delivered to the accused on September 9, 1994, now marked [as] Exh. “C.”5 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied.)
WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING PREMISES, accused Adelaida Soriano is hereby found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Estafa as defined and penalized under Article 315, par. 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code, and is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment of Four (4) Years, Two (2) Months and One (1) day of Prision Correccional, as minimum, to Thirteen (13) Years, Four (4) Months of Reclusion Temporal, as maximum and, is hereby further ordered to pay the offended party in this case the amount of P85,607.00 representing the value of the 398 sacks of corn grains. Costs against the accused.Petitioner’s conviction, however, was set aside by the CA in the assailed decision. The CA disposed as follows:
SO ORDERED.13cralaw virtualaw library
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the assailed Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Misamis Oriental, Branch 40, dated 16 March 1999 in Criminal Case No. 95-41 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Appellant ADELAIDA SORIANO is ACQUITTED of the crime charged on the ground of reasonable doubt. However, Appellant ADELAIDA SORIANO is hereby ordered to pay private complainant CONSOLACION R. ALAGAO the sum of seventy-four thousand, eight hundred seven pesos (P74,807.00) as payment for the remaining balance of the cash value of the 398 sacks of corn grains, plus, legal interest at the rate of 12% per annum computed from 9 September 1994 until fully paid.The CA ruled that the prosecution failed to establish that petitioner made false pretenses, fraudulent acts or fraudulent means to induce Alagao to deliver to her the 398 sacks of corn grains. In fact, in Alagao’s testimony, she admitted that she delivered the corn grains to petitioner because the latter was demanding payment from her and she wanted to pay her obligation of P40,000 to petitioner so that she couId.get back the title of her daughter’s mortgaged property and the balance of the total cash value of the 398 sacks of corn. Thus, the CA heId. in the absence of deceit, petitioner’s liability is only civil.
SO ORDERED.14cralaw virtualaw library
Petitioner argues that while the CA found her indebted to Alagao in the sum of P85,607, it only offset P40,000 instead of P51,730 which was the amount stipulated during pre-trial. Petitioner contends that the compensation should be as follows:
1) The Court of Appeals committed error in the computation of petitioner’s civil liability as it failed to apply correctly the principle of set-off or compensation. 2) The Court of Appeals, in applying set-off or compensation, erroneously placed private complainant’s indebtedness to petitioner at P40,000.00 instead of P51,730.00 as found by it and as stipulated during pre-trial. 3) The Court of [A]ppeals omitted to off-set the amount equivalent to ¼ share of the harvest (or P57,200.00) against petitioner’s indebtedness to private complainant in the amount of P85,607.00 despite admission by private complainant.15cralaw virtualaw library
Thus, deducting Alagao’s indebtedness of P43,930 from petitioner’s indebtedness amounting to P74,807, petitioner’s remaining indebtedness shouId.only be P30,877.
Petitioner’s indebtedness: [Alagao’s] Indebtedness: P85,607.00 (value of 398 sacks) P51,730.00 (instead of P40,000.00) - 3,000.00 (cash payment) - 7,800.00 (value of 64 sacks) P82,607.00 P43,930.00 - 7,800.00 (value of 64 sacks) P74,807.00 (as correctly found by the Court of Appeals)16
ART. 1279. In order that compensation may be proper, it is necessary:cralawlibraryThis Court rules that all the above requisites for compensation are present in the instant case.
(1) That each one of the obligors be bound principally, and that he be at the same time a principal creditor of the other;chanr0blesvirtualawlibrary
(2) That both debts consist in a sum of money, or if the things due are consumable, they be of the same kind, and also of the same quality if the latter has been stated;chanr0blesvirtualawlibrary
(3) That the two debts be due;chanr0blesvirtualawlibrary
(4) That they be liquidated and demandable;chanr0blesvirtualawlibrary
(5) That over neither of them there be any retention or controversy, commenced by third persons and communicated in due time to the debtor.
ART. 1290. When all the requisites mentioned in Article 1279 are present, compensation takes effect by operation of law, and extinguishes both debts to the concurrent amount, even though the creditors and debtors are not aware of the compensation.Thus, the computation of petitioner's civil liability should be as follows:
With respect to the 114 share in the harvest due to petitioner as provided in the contract of loan, the same cannot be considered in the legal compensation of the debts of the parties since it does not consist in a sum of money, said share being in the form of harvests. More importantly, it is not yet liquidated. There is still a dispute as to how many harvests were made from the time of the execution of contract of loan up to the time the action was commenced against petitioner and even when the principal obligation became due in February 1996. Thus, the harvests due petitioner is not capable of determination.
Value of the 398 sacks of corn grains P85,607 Cash payment by petitioner upon delivery - 3,000 P82,607 Alagao's debt - 51,730 Petitioner's net civil liability to Alagao P30.877
* Designated additional member per Special Order No. 1497 dated July 31, 2013.
1Rollo, pp. 18-36. Penned by Associate Justice Myrna Dimaranan-Vidal with Associate Justices Teresita Dy-Liacco Flores and Edgardo A. Camello concurring.
2 Id. at 38-39. Penned by Associate Justice Edgardo A. Camello with Associate Justices Teresita Dy Liacco Flores and Mario V. Lopez concurring.
3 Records, pp. 1-2.
4 Id. at 57.
5 Id. at 59-60.
6 Exh. “1,” Exhibits for Accused, pp. 1-2.
7 Exh. “E,” Exhibits for Plaintiff, pp. 5-6.
8 TSN, September 11, 1996, p. 14.nadcralawlibrary
9 Records, p. 59.redcralaw
10 TSN, September 10, 1996, pp. 8-9; Exh. “C,” Exhibits for Plaintiff, p. 3.
11 TSN, November 5, 1996, pp. 16-17.
12 Records, pp. 170-177. Penned by Acting Judge Rodrigo F. Lim, Jr.
13 Id. at 177.
14Rollo, p. 35.
15 Id. at 12.
17 Computed as follows: P13,765.95 = P85,607.00, x 64 sacks. Rollo, pp. 73-74. 3
18Nadela v. Engineering and Construction Corporation of Asia (ECCO-ASIA), 510 Phil. 653, 666 (2005), citing PNB MADECOR v. Uy, 415 Phil. 348, 359 (2001), Art. 1278, CIVIL CODE and Compañia General de Tabacos v. French and Unson, 39 Phil. 34, 51 (1918).
19Raquel-Santos v. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos. 174986, 175071 & 181415, July 7, 2009, 592 SCRA 169, 196.
20Toshiba Information Equipment (Phils.), Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 157594, March 9, 2010, 614 SCRA 526, 545.
21 Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Circular No. 799, Series of2013 issued on June 21, 2013.