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People v.

Galano
Date of Promulgation: December 2, 1967
Ponente: De Leon, J.
Petitioner/Appellant: Galano
Respondent: People of the Philippines
Nature: .Appeal
Digest By: RLAurellano
Doctrine: Forgery is punished because such documents are prejudicial to the interests of society and
state. Said offense produces lack of confidence of the holders of genuine documents and intends to
destroy the public credit. The forger usurps one of the supreme attributes of government which is the
exclusive maker of currency..
Brief: Accused used a one-peso bill which is no longer in circulation to pay off complainant. The former
wrote Victory at the back of the bill to make it appear as legal tender which the SC ruled as forgery under
Par 1 of Art 166.
Facts:

Patrolman Villanueva followed a bunch of people chasing a man in Manila. By the time he caught up
with the pursuers, the latter already nabbed Galano who was the person being pursued.

Villanueva was informed by Lilia Cruz, a balut vendor, that Galano paid her a false pre-war one-peso bill
for 4 balut eggs. Both parties were brought to the police station.

Cruz stated that when Galano paid her, she discovered that the word "victory" at the back of the
money was only written in ink. Accused then started running after Cruz tried to get his attention.

Villanueva turned them over to Patrolman Torres who alleged that Galano admitted during the
investigation that he did write the word "victory" in ink.

The bill is a genuine treasury certificate that was withdrawn from circulation which is redeemable if
presented to the Central Bank.

After pleading not guilty in trial, he was convicted. He appealed to the SC stating that his admission to
Torres was due to fear of getting hurt after the latter intimidated him.

Fourth division of SC convicted Galano stating that the defense of Torres intimidating him for his
confession is flimsy. When Galano ran, it clearly showed a guilty conscience. The police officers also have
no reason why they would implicate Galano..

However, there was a question of whether or not Galano is guilty of estafa or forgery? And if forgery,
what specific provision in Article 166 is applicable.
SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES
Issue: WON accused is liable for forgery under Art 166 of the RPC
Held: YES
Ratio:

Forgery may be committed by: (a) Giving to a treasury or bank note or any instrument payable to bearer
or to order mentioned therein, the appearance of a true and genuine document; and (b) erasing, substituting,
counterfeiting, or altering by any means the figures, letters, or signs contained therein.

Majority of the special division of the SC believes that Galano committed


forgery falling squarely under the first paragraph of Art 166. It cannot come within the 2nd paragraph
because no figure or letter or word has been erased, substituted, counterfeited, or altered. The forgery only
consisted of addition of a word in an effort to give the bill the appearance of the true and genuine certificate.
Neither can it be considered estafa since it involves falsification of a government obligation.

Majority also believes that the first provision does not only contemplate situations where a fake
document is given the appearance of a genuine document but also to genuine documents which have been
withdrawn.
Dispositive:
Accused is still guilty but considering the severe penalty imposed, a copy of the decision will be furnished to
the President for the possible chance of clemency.
DISSENTING by Castro, J.
Forgery is punished to maintain the integrity of the currency, to secure the credit standing of the government,
and to prevent the imposition on the public and the government of worthless notes or obligations of any kind
purporting to be genuine. For a conviction for forgery to be valid, government must be defrauded or at the
very least, the culprit has intention to defraud the government. In the case at bar, the questioned bill is no
longer of legal tender but it is a genuine pre-war series one-peso bill. Its value is still at one peso since it can
be replaced by the Central Bank as long as the holder requests so. Therefore, in no way can the
government be defrauded by Galanos action since the latters intent was only to pass said bill as legal
tender to avoid spending time for replacement. What the accused is guilty of is estafa. In passing the
questioned bill, the accused committed wrong recognized by law as swindling or a form of cheating under

Art 318. He deceived the complainant that the bill is of legal tender and at the expense of the formers time
and money for the replacement of such.
Notes:
From the A2017 digests, which was the most complete digest I can find, since this case is OG din