Add TAGS to your cases to easily locate them or to build your SYLLABUS.
Please SIGN IN to use this feature.
Highlight text as FACTS, ISSUES, RULING, PRINCIPLES to generate case DIGESTS and REVIEWERS.
Please LOGIN use this feature.
Show printable version with highlights

[ GR No. L-7562, Jan 30, 1956 ]



98 Phil. 241

[ G.R. No. L-7562, January 30, 1956 ]




Victoriano Francisco y Martin appeals from a judgment of the  Court  of First  Instance  of  Manila finding  him guilty, of estafa and sentencing him to  an indeterminate term of from 4 months and 1 day of arresto mayor to 1 year and 8 months of prision  correctional and to pay an indemnity of P2,525  to Naric, with subsidiary  imprisonment in case of insolvency. As only questions of law are raised in the appeal, the case has been certified  to us by the  Court of Appeals.

It appears that on September 17,1947 one Tomas Catitis appeared at a barbershop on  Pureza Street, Sta. Mesa, where appellant was working as a barber and asked the latter to help him bring out 100  sacks  of  rice from the Naric compound.  Catitis told appellant that the latter was to sign the name  of  "M.  de Guzman" on a. sales invoice or receipt (Exhibit B) before an employee of the Narie and thereby help bring  out the rice  therefrom. Catitis was to  accompany appellant  and give him instructions on what to do.  He promised to pay appellant compensation for thus securing  the rice.   Appellant agreed, so he and Catitis went to the Naric compound.  There appellant presented the sales invoice, Exhibit B, before  a clerk and in the  latter's presence signed the name "M.  de  Guzman" thereon on the blank for  the signature  of the purchaser or his agent.   The invoice was then brought by them to another employee  who prepared a trucking, receipt, Exhibit C.  Appellant  again  signed  M. de Guzman on the blank for the driver.  A gate  pass, Exhibit D, was also prepared on which appellant  again signed the name of M. de Guzman. With these accomplished, the 100 sacks of rice  were delivered to appellant who took the same in a truck.

Appellant's contention is that the invoice Exhibit B, in the name of M. de  Guzman, was  already paid for and only lacked the signature of  M. de Guzman, when he signed the latter's name;  and that there is no sufficient proof of the existence of deceit or of intent to cause damage, both essential  elements of  the  crime of  estafa  as  appellant merely  complied with the  instructions of  Catitis.   It is  also claimed that appellant merely followed the instructions of Catitis as agreed upon in all good faith, not to defraud the  Naric  for his benefit  (evidently because  the rice was already fully paid for).

Exhibit  B, besides being an invoice of the sale of 100 sacks of rice, is also a receipt therefor.  The buyer's  name is Mario de Guzman.   It contains above the signed name of M. de Guzman, a statement that the signer has "received the  above  articles in good  condition."   When, therefore, appellant signed M. de Guzman's name in the receipt, the import or meaning of his act of signing was that he himself was M. de Guzman,  the buyer  of the rice mentioned in the receipt. Appellant may  not have  told  the  Naric warehouseman that he was M. de Guzman himself, but his act  of signing De Guzman's name  on the receipt carried an implied  representation on his part that he was M.  de Guzman, the buyer of the rice.  This fact, together with his failure to disclose his real name and person, constitutes the  deceit through which the rice was obtained.

Appellant's contention  that there  was no proof of criminal intent, because he testified without contradiction that he only followed Catitis instructions and no proof of said intent was  adduced by the prosecution, is without merit. Appellant's act in signing somebody else's name, without permission  or  authority  from  the  person  concerned,  to secure rice that belonged to the latter is a  criminal act, even if  done upon instruction's  of another, because  he thereby deceitfully represented himself as the person whose name he signed. As the act is criminal, criminal intent is presumed.   (Rule 123, section 69[b].)

The claim that there was no proof of  damage to the Naric because the rice was fully paid for is also without merit.  As  the real buyer, M. de Guzman, was not the one who received the 100 sacks of rice paid for, the Naric was still liable to deliver the  said 100 sacks  of rice to M.  de Guzman.  The rice given to appellant and his confederate was thus lost to Naric  and  constitutes  the element  of damage in the offense of estafa committed.

The judgment of conviction is hereby affirmed, although the penalty imposed therein is  modified in the sense that the minimum of the penalty imposed should be four months of arresto mayor instead of four months  and  one day. With costs against appellant.

ParĂ¡s, C. J.,  Padilla, Montemayor, Reyes, A., Bautista Angelo,  Concepcion,  Reyes, J.  B.  L, and Endencia, JJ., concur.