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SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. 125059. March 17, 2000.]


FRANCISCO T. SYCIP, JR., petitioner, vs. COURT OF
APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
Delos Angeles Aguirre Olaguer & Sto. Domingo for petitioner.
The Solicitor General for public respondents.
SYNOPSIS
Petitioner Francisco T. Sycip, Jr. agreed to buy, on installment, from
Francel Realty Corporation (FRC), a townhouse unit in the latter's project at
Bacoor, Cavite. Upon execution of the contract to sell, Sycip, as required, issued to
FRC, forty-eight (48) postdated checks, each in the amount of P9,304.00, covering
48 monthly installments. After moving in his unit, Sycip complained to FRC
regarding defects in the unit and incomplete features of the townhouse project.
FRC ignored the complaint. Dissatisfied, Sycip served on FRC two (2) notarial
notices to the effect that he was suspending is installment payments on the unit
pending compliance with the project plans and specifications, as approved by the
Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). Notwithstanding the notarial
notices, FRC continued to present for encashment Sycip's postdated checks in its
possession. Sycip sent "stop payment orders" to the bank. When FRC continued to
present the other postdated checks to the bank as the due date fell, the bank
advised Sycip to close his checking account to avoid paying bank charges every
time he made a "stop payment" order on the forthcoming checks. Due to the
closure of petitioner's checking account, the drawee bank dishonored six postdated
checks. FRC filed a complaint against petitioner for violations of B.P. Blg. 22, the
Bouncing Checks Law, involving said dishonored checks. After trial, petitioner
was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 1 of B.P. Blg. 22.
Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals but the appellate court affirmed the
decision of the trial court. The appellate court held that petitioner had no basis to
rely on the provision of P.D. 957 to justify the non-payment of his obligation, the
closure of his checking account and the notices sent by him to private complainant
that he will stop paying his monthly amortizations. Petitioner moved for
reconsideration, but was likewise denied. Hence, the present petition.
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The Supreme Court reversed and set-aside the decision of the Court of
Appeals and acquitted petitioner of the crime charged. The Court ruled that while
B.P. Blg. 22 was enacted to safeguard the interest of the banking system,
protection must also be afforded the interest of townhouse buyers under P.D. No.
957. A statute must be construed in relation to other laws so as to carry out the
legitimate ends and purposes intended by the legislature. Courts will not strictly
follow the letter of one statute when it leads away from the true intent of
legislature and when ends are inconsistent with the general purpose of the act.
More so, when it will mean the contravention of another valid statute. Both laws
have to be reconciled and given due effect. In the present case, petitioner's exercise
of a statutory right to suspend installment payments granted by P.D. 957 is
considered by the Court a valid defense against his purported violations of B.P.
Blg. 22.

SYLLABUS
1. CRIMINAL LAW; BATAS PAMBANSA BILANG 22; ELEMENTS
OF THE CRIME; KNOWLEDGE ON THE PART OF THE ISSUER AT THE
TIME OF THE CHECK'S ISSUANCE THAT HE DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH
FUNDS OR CREDIT IN THE BANK FOR PAYMENT THEREOF UPON ITS
PRESENTMENT NOT ESTABLISHED. Under the provisions of the Bouncing
Checks Law (B.P. No. 22), an offense is committed when the following elements
are present: (1) the making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply for
account or for value; (2) the knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the
time of issue he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank
for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment; and (3) the subsequent
dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or
dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered
the bank to stop payment. In this case, we find that although the first element of the
offense exists, the other elements have not been established beyond reasonable
doubt. To begin with, the second element involves knowledge on the part of the
issuer at the time of the check's issuance that he did not have enough funds or
credit in the bank for payment thereof upon its presentment. B.P. No. 22 creates a
presumption juris tantum that the second element prima facie exists when the first
and third elements of the offense are present. But such evidence may be rebutted.
If not rebutted or contradicted, it will suffice to sustain a judgment in favor of the
issue, which it supports. As pointed out by the Solicitor General, such knowledge
of the insufficiency of petitioner's funds "is legally presumed from the dishonor of
his checks for insufficiency of funds." But such presumption cannot hold if there is
evidence to the contrary. In this case, we find that the other party has presented
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evidence to contradict said presumption. Hence, the prosecution is duty bound to


prove every element of the offense charged, and not merely rely on a rebuttable
presumption. Admittedly, what are involved here are postdated checks. Postdating
simply means that on the date indicated on its face, the check would issued only
then. The checks in this case were issued at the time of the signing of the Contract
to Sell in August 1989. But we find from the records no showing that the time said
checks were issued, petitioner had knowledge that his deposit or credit in the bank
would be insufficient to cover them when presented for encashment. On the
contrary, there is testimony by petitioner that at the time of presentation of the
checks, he had P150,000.00 cash or credit with Citibank.
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; PETITIONER'S EXERCISE OF A STATUTORY
RIGHT TO SUSPEND INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS GRANTED BY SECTION
23 OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 957 IS A VALID DEFENSE AGAINST
HIS PURPORTED VIOLATIONS OF BATAS PAMBANSA BILANG 22.
While B.P. Blg. 22 was enacted to safeguard the interest of the banking system, it
is difficult to see how conviction of the accused in this case will protect the
sanctity of the financial system. Moreover, protection must also be afforded the
interest of townhouse buyers under P.D. No. 957. A statute must be construed in
relation to other laws so as to carry out the legitimate ends and purposes intended
by the legislature. Courts will not strictly follow the letter of one statute when it
leads away from the true intent of legislature and when ends are inconsistent with
the general purpose of the act. More so, when it will mean the contravention of
another valid statute. Both laws have to be reconciled and given due effect. Note
that we have upheld a buyer's reliance on Section 23 of P.D. 957 to suspend
payments until such time as the owner or developer had fulfilled its obligations to
the buyer. This exercise of a statutory right to suspend installment payments, is to
our mind, a valid defense against the purported violations of B.P. Blg. 22 that
petitioner is charged with. Given the findings of the HLURB as to incomplete
features in the construction of petitioner's and other units of the subject
condominium bought on installment from FRC, we are of the view that petitioner
had a valid cause to order his bank to stop payment. To say the least, the third
element of "subsequent dishonor of the check. . . without valid cause" appears to
us not established by the prosecution. As already stated, the prosecution tried to
establish the crime on a prima facie presumption in B.P. Blg. 22. Here that
presumption is unavailing, in the presence of a valid cause to stop payment,
thereby negating the third element of the crime. Offenses punished by a special
law, like the Bouncing Checks Law, are not subject to the Revised Penal Code, but
the Code is supplementary to such a law. We find nothing in the text of B.P. Blg.
22, which would prevent the Revised Penal Code from supplementing it.
Following Article 11 (5) of the Revised Penal Code, petitioner's exercise of a right
of the buyer under Article 23 of P.D. No. 957 is a valid defense to the charges
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against him.

SaETCI

DECISION

QUISUMBING, J :
p

For review on certiorari is the decision of the Court of Appeals, dated


February 29, 1996, in CA-G.R. CR No. 15993, which affirmed the judgment of the
Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 95, in Criminal Cases Nos.
Q-91-25910 to 15, finding petitioner guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating
B.P. Blg. 22, the Bouncing Checks Law.
dctai

The facts in this case, as culled from the records, are as follows:
On August 24, 1989, Francisco T. Sycip agreed to buy, on installment, from
Francel Realty Corporation (FRC), a townhouse unit in the latter's project at
Bacoor, Cavite.
Upon execution of the contract to sell, Sycip, as required, issued to FRC,
forty-eight (48) postdated checks, each in the amount of P9,304.00, covering 48
monthly installments.
After moving in his unit, Sycip complained to FRC regarding defects in the
unit and incomplete features of the townhouse project. FRC ignored the complaint.
Dissatisfied, Sycip served on FRC two (2) notarial notices to the effect that he was
suspending his installment payments on the unit pending compliance with the
project plans and specifications, as approved by the Housing and Land Use
Regulatory Board (HLURB). Sycip and 12 out of 14 unit buyers then filed a
complaint with the HLURB. The complaint was dismissed as to the defects, but
FRC was ordered by the HLURB to finish all incomplete features of its townhouse
project. Sycip appealed the dismissal of the complaint as to the alleged defects.
Notwithstanding the notarial notices, FRC continued to present for
encashment Sycip's postdated checks in its possession. Sycip sent "stop payment
orders" to the bank. When FRC continued to present the other postdated checks to
the bank as the due date fell, the bank advised Sycip to close his checking account
to avoid paying bank charges every time he made a "stop payment" order on the
forthcoming checks. Due to the closure of petitioner's checking account, the
drawee bank dishonored six postdated checks. FRC filed a complaint against
petitioner for violations of B.P. Blg. 22 involving said dishonored checks.
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On November 8, 1991, the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office filed with the
RTC of Quezon City six Informations docketed as Criminal Cases No. Q-91-25910
to Q-91-25915, charging petitioner for violation of B.P. Blg. 22.
The accusative portion of the Information in Criminal Case No. Q-91-25910
reads:

cdll

"That on or about the 30th day of October 1990 in Quezon City,


Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said
accused, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously make,
draw and issue in favor of Francel Realty Corporation a check 813514 drawn
against Citibank, a duly established domestic banking institution in the
amount of P9,304.00 Philippine Currency dated/postdated October 30, 1990
in payment of an obligation, knowing fully well at the time of issue that
she/he did not have any funds in the drawee bank of (sic) the payment of
such check; that upon presentation of said check to said bank for payment,
the same was dishonored for the reason that the drawer thereof, accused
Francisco T. Sycip, Jr. did not have any funds therein, and despite notice of
dishonor thereof, accused failed and refused and still fails and refused (sic)
to redeem or make good said check, to the damage and prejudice of the said
Francel Realty Corporation in the amount aforementioned and in such other
amount as may be awarded under the provisions of the Civil Code.
"CONTRARY TO LAW." 1(1)

Criminal Cases No. Q-91-25911 to Q-91-25915, with Informations


similarly worded as in Criminal Case No. Q-91-25910, except for the dates, and
check numbers 2(2) were consolidated and jointly tried.
When arraigned, petitioner pleaded "Not Guilty" to each of the charges.
Trial then proceeded.
The prosecution's case, as summarized by the trial court and adopted by the
appellate court, is as follows:
"The prosecution evidence established that on or about August 24,
1989, at the office of the private complainant Francel Realty Corporation (a
private domestic corporation engaged in the real estate business) at 822
Quezon Avenue, QC, accused Francisco Sycip, Jr. drew, issued, and
delivered to private complainant Francel Realty Corporation (FRC
hereinafter) six checks (among a number of other checks), each for
P9,304.00 and drawn pay to the order of FRC and against Francisco's
account no. 845515 with Citibank, to wit: Check No. 813514 dated October
30, 1990 (Exh. C), Check No. 813515 dated November 30, 1990 (Exh. D),
Check No. 813518 dated February 28, 1991 (Exh. E), Check No. 813516
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dated December 30, 1990 (Exh. F), Check No. 813517 dated January 30,
1991 (Exh. G) and Check No. 813519 dated March 30, 1991 (Exh. H), as
and in partial payment of the unpaid balance of the purchase price of the
house and lot subject of the written contract executed and entered into by
and between FRC as seller and Francisco as buyer on said date of August 24,
1989 (Exh. B, also Exh. 1). The total stipulated purchase price for the house
and lot was P451,700.00, of which Francisco paid FRC in the sum of
P135,000.00 as down payment, with Francisco agreeing and committing
himself to pay the balance of P316,000.00 in 48 equal monthly installments
of P9,304.00 (which sum already includes interest on successive monthly
balance) effective September 30, 1989 and on the 30th day of each month
thereafter until the stipulated purchase price is paid in full. The said six
Citibank checks, Exhs. C thru H, as earlier indicated were drawn, issued, and
delivered by Francisco in favor of FRC as and in partial payment of the said
48 equal monthly installments under their said contract (Exh. B, also Exh.
1). Sometime in September 1989, the Building Official's certificate of
occupancy for the subject house a residential townhouse was issued
(Exh. N) and Francisco took possession and started in the use and occupancy
of the subject house and lot.
"When the subject six checks, Exhs. C thru H, were presented to the
Citibank for payment on their respective due dates, they were all returned to
FRC dishonored and unpaid for the reason: account closed as indicated in
the drawee bank's stamped notations on the face and back of each check; in
fact, as indicated in the corresponding record of Francisco's account no.
815515 with Citibank, said account already had a zero balance as early as
September 14, 1990 (Exh. 1-5). Notwithstanding the fact that FRC, first thru
its executive vice president and project manager and thereafter thru its
counsel, had notified Francisco, orally and in writing, of the checks' dishonor
and demanded from him the payment of the amount thereof, still Francisco
did not pay or make good any of the checks (Exhs. I thru K). . ." 3(3)

The case for the defense, as summarized also by the trial court and adopted
by the Court of Appeals, is as follows:
"The defense evidence in sum is to the effect that after taking
possession and starting in the use and occupancy of the subject townhouse
unit, Francisco became aware of its various construction defects; that he
called the attention of FRC, thru its project manager, requesting that
appropriate measures be forthwith instituted, but despite his several requests,
FRC did not acknowledge, much less attend to them; that Francisco thus
mailed to FRC a verified letter dated June 6, 1990 (Exh. 2) in sum giving
notice that effective June 1990, he will cease and desist 'from paying my
monthly amortization of NINE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED FOUR
(P9,304.00) PESOS towards the settlement of my obligation concerning my
purchase of Unit No. 14 of FRC Townhomes referred to above, unless and
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until your Office satisfactorily complete(s) the construction, renovation


and/or repair of my townhouses (sic) unit referred to above' and that should
FRC 'persist in ignoring my aforesaid requests, I shall, after five (5) days
from your receipt of this Verified Notice, forthwith petition the [HLURB]
for Declaratory Relief and Consignation to grant me provisional relief from
my obligation to pay my monthly amortization to your good Office and
allow me to deposit said amortizations with [HLURB] pending your
completion of FRC Townhomes Unit in question'; that Francisco thru
counsel wrote FRC, its president, and its counsel notices/letters in sum to the
effect that Francisco and all other complainants in the [HLURB] case against
FRC shall cease and desist from paying their monthly amortizations unless
and until FRC satisfactorily completes the construction of their units in
accordance with the plans and specifications thereof as approved by the
[HLURB] and as warranted by the FRC in their contracts and that the
dishonor of the subject checks was a natural consequence of such suspension
of payments, and also advising FRC not to encash or deposit all other
postdated checks issued by Francisco and the other complainants and still in
FRC's possession (Exhs. 3 thru 5); that Francisco and the other complainants
filed the [HLURB] case against FRC and later on a decision was handed
down therein and the same is pending appeal with the Board (Exhs. 6, 7, &
12 thru 17, also Exh. 8); that as of the time of presentation of the subject
checks for payment by the drawee bank, Francisco had at least P150,000.00
cash or credit with Citibank (Exhs. 10 & 11) and, that Francisco closed his
account no. 845515 with Citibank conformably with the bank's customer
service officer's advice to close his said account instead of making a
stop-payment order for each of his more than 30 post-dated checks still in
FRC's possession at the time, so as to avoid the P600.00-penalty imposed by
the bank for every check subject of a stop-payment order." 4(4)

On March 11, 1994, the trial court found petitioner guilty of violating
Section 1 of B.P. Blg. 22 in each of the six cases, disposing as follows:
"WHEREFORE, in each of Crim. Cases Nos. Q-91-25910,
Q-91-25911, Q-91-25912, Q-91-25913, Q-91-25914 and Q-91-25915, the
Court finds accused Francisco T. Sycip, Jr. guilty beyond reasonable doubt
of a violation of Sec. 1 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 and, accordingly, he is
hereby sentenced in and for each case to suffer imprisonment of thirty (30)
days and pay the costs. Further, the accused is hereby ordered to pay the
offended party, Francel Realty Corporation, as and for actual damages, the
total sum of fifty-five thousand eight hundred twenty four pesos
(P55,824.00) with interest thereon at the legal rate from date of
commencement of these actions, that is, November 8, 1991, until full
payment thereof.
cdasia

"SO ORDERED." 5(5)


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Dissatisfied, Sycip appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals. His


appeal was docketed as CA-G.R. CR No. 15993. But on February 29, 1996, the
appellate court ruled:
"On the basis of the submission of the People, We find and so hold
that appellant has no basis to rely on the provision of PD 957 to justify the
non-payment of his obligation, the closure of his checking account and the
notices sent by him to private complainant that he will stop paying his
monthly amortizations." 6(6)

Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration on March 18, 1996, but it was
denied per Resolution dated April 22, 1996.
Hence, the instant petition anchored on the following assignment of errors:
I
"THE APPELLATE COURT ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE DECISION
OF
THE
LOWER
COURT
FINDING
THAT
THE
ACCUSED-APPELLANT DID NOT HAVE ANY JUSTIFIABLE CAUSE
TO STOP OR OTHERWISE PREVENT THE PAYMENT OF THE
SUBJECT CHECKS BY THE DRAWEE BANK.
II
"THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE
ACCUSED-APPELLANT MUST BE DEEMED TO HAVE WAIVED HIS
RIGHT TO COMPLAIN AGAINST THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE
TOWNHOUSE UNIT AND THE TOWNHOUSE PROJECT.
III
"THE APPELLATE COURT ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE DECISION
OF THE LOWER COURT THAT THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT DID
NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT FUNDS WITH THE DRAWEE BANK TO
COVER THE SUBJECT CHECKS UPON PRESENTMENT FOR
PAYMENT THEREOF.
IV
"THE APPELLATE COURT ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE DECISION
OF THE LOWER COURT CONVICTING THE ACCUSED-APPELLANT
AND AWARDING DAMAGES IN FAVOR OF PRIVATE
COMPLAINANT." 7(7)

The principal issue before us is whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in
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affirming the conviction of petitioner for violation of the Bouncing Checks Law.
Petitioner argues that the court a quo erred when it affirmed his conviction
for violation of B.P. Blg. 22, considering that he had cause to stop payment of the
checks issued to respondent. Petitioner insists that under P.D. No. 957, the buyer of
a townhouse unit has the right to suspend his amortization payments, should the
subdivision or condominium developer fail to develop or complete the project in
accordance with duly-approved plans and specifications. Given the findings of the
HLURB that certain aspects of private complainant's townhouse project were
incomplete and undeveloped, the exercise of his right to suspend payments should
not render him liable under B.P. Blg. 22.
The Solicitor General argues that since what petitioner was charged with
were violations of B.P. Blg. 22, the intent and circumstances surrounding the
issuance of a worthless check are immaterial. 8(8) The gravamen of the offense
charged is the act itself of making and issuing a worthless check or one that is
dishonored upon its presentment for payment. Mere issuing of a bad check is
malum prohibitum, pernicious and inimical to public welfare. In his view, P.D. No.
957 does not provide petitioner a sufficient defense against the charges against
him.
Under the provisions of the Bouncing Checks Law (B.P. No. 22), 9(9) an
offense is committed when the following elements are present:
(1)

the making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply for account
or for value;

(2)

the knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue
he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank
for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment; and

(3)

the subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for


insufficiency of funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had
not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop
payment. 10(10)

In this case, we find that although the first element of the offense exists the
other elements have not been established beyond reasonable doubt.
cdrep

To begin with, the second element involves knowledge on the part of the
issuer at the time of the check's issuance that he did not have enough funds or
credit in the bank for payment thereof upon its presentment. B.P. No. 22 creates a
presumption juris tantum that the second element prima facie exists when the first
and third elements of the offense are present. 11(11) But such evidence may be
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rebutted. If not rebutted or contradicted, it will suffice to sustain a judgment in


favor of the issue, which it supports. 12(12) As pointed out by the Solicitor
General, such knowledge of the insufficiency of petitioner's funds "is legally
presumed from the dishonor of his checks for insufficiency of funds." 13(13) But
such presumption cannot hold if there is evidence to the contrary. In this case, we
find that the other party has presented evidence to contradict said presumption.
Hence, the prosecution is duty bound to prove every element of the offense
charged, and not merely rely on a rebuttable presumption.
Admittedly, what are involved here are postdated checks. Postdating simply
means that on the date indicated on its face, the check would be properly funded,
not that the checks should be deemed as issued only then. 14(14) The checks in
this case were issued at the time of the signing of the Contract to Sell in August
1989. But we find from the records no showing that the time said checks were
issued, petitioner had knowledge that his deposit or credit in the bank would be
insufficient to cover them when presented for encashment. 15(15) On the contrary,
there is testimony by petitioner that at the time of presentation of the checks, he
had P150,000.00 cash or credit with Citibank.
As the evidence for the defense showed, the closure of petitioner's Account
No. 845515 with Citibank was not for insufficiency of funds. It was made upon the
advice of the drawee bank, to avoid payment of hefty bank charges each time
petitioner issued a "stop payment" order to prevent encashment of postdated
checks in private respondent's possession. 16(16) Said evidence contradicts the
prima facie presumption of knowledge of insufficiency of funds. But it establishes
petitioner's state of mind at the time said checks were issued on August 24, 1989.
Petitioner definitely had no knowledge that his funds or credit would be
insufficient when the checks would be presented for encashment. He could not
have foreseen that he would be advised by his own bank in the future, to close his
account to avoid paying the hefty banks charges that came with each "stop
payment" order issued to prevent private respondent from encashing the 30 or so
checks in its possession. What the prosecution has established is the closure of
petitioner's checking account. But this does not suffice to prove the second element
of the offense under B.P. Blg. 22, which explicitly requires "evidence of
knowledge of insufficient funds" by the accused at the time the check or checks are
presented for encashment.
To rely on the presumption created by B.P. No. 22 as the prosecution did in
this case, would be to misconstrue the import of requirements for conviction under
the law. It must be stressed that every element of the offense must be proved
beyond reasonable doubt, never presumed. Furthermore, penal statutes are strictly
construed against the State and liberally in favor of the accused. Under the
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10

Bouncing Checks Law, the punishable act must come clearly within both the spirit
and letter of the statute. 17(17)
While B.P. Blg. 22 was enacted to safeguard the interest of the banking
system, 18(18) it is difficult to see how conviction of the accused in this case will
protect the sanctity of the financial system. Moreover, protection must also be
afforded the interest of townhouse buyers under P.D. No. 957. 19(19) A statute
must be construed in relation to other laws so as to carry out the legitimate ends
and purposes intended by the legislature. 20(20) Courts will not strictly follow the
letter of one statute when it leads away from the true intent of legislature and when
ends are inconsistent with the general purpose of the act. 21(21) More so, when it
will mean the contravention of another valid statute . Both laws have to be
reconciled and given due effect.
Note that we have upheld a buyer's reliance on Section 23 of P.D. 957 to
suspend payments until such time as the owner or developer had fulfilled its
obligations to the buyer. 22(22) This exercise of a statutory right to suspend
installment payments, is to our mind, a valid defense against the purported
violations of B.P. Blg. 22 that petitioner is charged with.
Given the findings of the HLURB as to incomplete features in the
construction of petitioner's and other units of the subject condominium bought on
installment from FRC, we are of the view that petitioner had a valid cause to order
his bank to stop payment. To say the least, the third element of "subsequent
dishonor of the check . . . without valid cause" appears to us not established by the
prosecution. As already stated, the prosecution tried to establish the crime on a
prima facie presumption in B.P. Blg. 22. Here that presumption is unavailing, in
the presence of a valid cause to stop payment, thereby negating the third element of
the crime.
Offenses punished by a special law, like the Bouncing Checks Law, are not
subject to the Revised Penal Code, but the Code is supplementary to such a law.
23(23) We find nothing in the text of B.P. Blg. 22, which would prevent the
Revised Penal Code from supplementing it. Following Article 11 (5) 24(24) of the
Revised Penal Code, petitioner's exercise of a right of the buyer under Article 23 of
P.D. No. 957 is a valid defense to the charges against him.
prcd

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. Petitioner Francisco T.


Sycip, Jr., is ACQUITTED of the charges against him under Batas Pambansa Blg.
22, for lack of sufficient evidence to prove the offenses charged beyond reasonable
doubt. No pronouncement as to costs.
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11

SO ORDERED.
Bellosillo, Mendoza, Buena and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.
Footnotes
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

10.
11.
12.
13.

Records, p. 1.
Id. at 3-12.
Rollo, pp. 102-103.
Id. at 103-104.
Supra Note 1 at 113.
Supra Note 3 at 121.
Id. at 16.
Lazaro v. Court of Appeals, 227 SCRA 723, 726-727 (1993).
The pertinent provisions of B.P. Blg. 22 provide:
"SECTION 1. Checks without sufficient funds. Any person who makes or
draws and issues any check to apply on account or for value, knowing at the time
of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank
for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment, which check is
subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or
would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without any
valid reason, ordered the bank to stop payment, shall be punished by
imprisonment of not less than thirty days but not more than one (1) year or by a
fine of not less than but not more than double the amount of the check which fine
shall in no case exceed Two hundred thousand pesos, or both such fine and
imprisonment at the discretion of the court.
The same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who having sufficient
funds in or credit with the drawee bank when he makes or draws and issues a
check, shall fail to keep sufficient funds or to maintain a credit to cover the full
amount of the check if presented within a period of ninety (90) days from the date
appearing thereon, for which reason it is dishonored by the drawee bank.
Where the check is drawn by a corporation, company, or entity, the person or
persons who actually signed the check in behalf of such drawer shall be liable
under this Act.
"SECTION 2. Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. The making,
drawing and issuance of a check payment of which is refused by the drawee
because of insufficient funds in or credit with such bank, when presented within
ninety (90) days from the date of the check, shall be prima facie evidence of
knowledge of such insufficiency of funds or credit unless such maker or drawer
pays the holder thereof the amount due thereon, or makes arrangements for
payment in full by the drawee of such check within five (5) banking days after
receiving notice that such check has not been paid by the drawee (Italics supplied).
Vaca v. Court of Appeals, 298 SCRA 656, 661 (1998).
Magno v. Court of Appeals, 210 SCRA 471, 480 (1992).
People v. Nuque, 58 O.G. 8442, 8445.
Rollo, p. 272.

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14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.

20.
21.

22.
23.

24.

People v. Tongko, 290 SCRA 595 (1998).


TSN, December 1, 1993, pp. 9-14.
Supra.
Idos v. Court of Appeals, 296 SCRA 194, 202-203 (1998).
Magno v. Court of Appeals, supra.
"SEC 23. Non-Forfeiture of Payments. No installment payment made by a
buyer in a subdivision or condominium project for the lot or unit he contracted to
buy shall be forfeited in favor of the owner or developer when the buyer, after due
notice to the owner or developer, desists from further payment due to the failure of
the owner or developer to develop the subdivision or condominium project
according to the approved plans and within the time limit for completing the
same. Such buyer may, at his option, be reimbursed the total amount paid
including amortization interests but excluding delinquency interests with interest
thereon at the legal rate."
King v. Hernaez, 114 Phil. 730, 740 (1962); Mejia v. Balolong, 81 Phil. 497, 501
(1948).
Hidalgo v. Hidalgo, supra, Taada v. Cuneco, 103 Phil. 1051, 1086 (1957);
Torres v. Limjap, 56 Phil. 141, 145 (1931); People v. Concepcion, 44 Phil. 126,
130 (1922); US v. Toribio, 15 Phil. 85, 90 (1910).
Antipolo Realty Corp. v. National Housing Authority, 153 SCRA 399, 409, 411
(1987).
"ART. 10. Offenses not subject to the provisions of this Code. Offenses which
are or in the future may be punishable under special laws are not subject to the
provisions of this Code. This Code shall be supplementary to such laws, unless the
latter should specially provide the contrary."
"ART. 11. Justifying circumstances. The following do not incur any criminal
liability:
xxx

xxx

xxx

5. Any person who acts in the fulfillment of a duty or in the lawful exercise of
a right or office."

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Endnotes
1 (Popup - Popup)
1.

Records, p. 1.

2 (Popup - Popup)
2.

Id. at 3-12.

3 (Popup - Popup)
3.

Rollo, pp. 102-103.

4 (Popup - Popup)
4.

Id. at 103-104.

5 (Popup - Popup)
5.

Supra Note 1 at 113.

6 (Popup - Popup)
6.

Supra Note 3 at 121.

7 (Popup - Popup)
7.

Id. at 16.

8 (Popup - Popup)
8.

Lazaro v. Court of Appeals, 227 SCRA 723, 726-727 (1993).

9 (Popup - Popup)
9.

The pertinent provisions of B.P. Blg. 22 provide:


"SECTION 1. Checks without sufficient funds. Any person who makes or
draws and issues any check to apply on account or for value, knowing at the time
of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank
for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment, which check is

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subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or


would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without any
valid reason, ordered the bank to stop payment, shall be punished by
imprisonment of not less than thirty days but not more than one (1) year or by a
fine of not less than but not more than double the amount of the check which fine
shall in no case exceed Two hundred thousand pesos, or both such fine and
imprisonment at the discretion of the court.
The same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who having sufficient
funds in or credit with the drawee bank when he makes or draws and issues a
check, shall fail to keep sufficient funds or to maintain a credit to cover the full
amount of the check if presented within a period of ninety (90) days from the date
appearing thereon, for which reason it is dishonored by the drawee bank.
Where the check is drawn by a corporation, company, or entity, the person or
persons who actually signed the check in behalf of such drawer shall be liable
under this Act.
"SECTION 2. Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. The making,
drawing and issuance of a check payment of which is refused by the drawee
because of insufficient funds in or credit with such bank, when presented within
ninety (90) days from the date of the check, shall be prima facie evidence of
knowledge of such insufficiency of funds or credit unless such maker or drawer
pays the holder thereof the amount due thereon, or makes arrangements for
payment in full by the drawee of such check within five (5) banking days after
receiving notice that such check has not been paid by the drawee (Italics supplied).

10 (Popup - Popup)
10.

Vaca v. Court of Appeals, 298 SCRA 656, 661 (1998).

11 (Popup - Popup)
11.

Magno v. Court of Appeals, 210 SCRA 471, 480 (1992).

12 (Popup - Popup)
12.

People v. Nuque, 58 O.G. 8442, 8445.

13 (Popup - Popup)
13.

Rollo, p. 272.

14 (Popup - Popup)
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14.

People v. Tongko, 290 SCRA 595 (1998).

15 (Popup - Popup)
15.

TSN, December 1, 1993, pp. 9-14.

16 (Popup - Popup)
16.

Supra.

17 (Popup - Popup)
17.

Idos v. Court of Appeals, 296 SCRA 194, 202-203 (1998).

18 (Popup - Popup)
18.

Magno v. Court of Appeals, supra.

19 (Popup - Popup)
19.

"SEC 23. Non-Forfeiture of Payments. No installment payment made by a


buyer in a subdivision or condominium project for the lot or unit he contracted to
buy shall be forfeited in favor of the owner or developer when the buyer, after due
notice to the owner or developer, desists from further payment due to the failure of
the owner or developer to develop the subdivision or condominium project
according to the approved plans and within the time limit for completing the
same. Such buyer may, at his option, be reimbursed the total amount paid
including amortization interests but excluding delinquency interests with interest
thereon at the legal rate."

20 (Popup - Popup)
20.

King v. Hernaez, 114 Phil. 730, 740 (1962); Mejia v. Balolong, 81 Phil. 497, 501
(1948).

21 (Popup - Popup)
21.

Hidalgo v. Hidalgo, supra, Taada v. Cuneco, 103 Phil. 1051, 1086 (1957); Torres
v. Limjap, 56 Phil. 141, 145 (1931); People v. Concepcion, 44 Phil. 126, 130
(1922); US v. Toribio, 15 Phil. 85, 90 (1910).

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22 (Popup - Popup)
22.

Antipolo Realty Corp. v. National Housing Authority, 153 SCRA 399, 409, 411
(1987).

23 (Popup - Popup)
23.

"ART. 10. Offenses not subject to the provisions of this Code. Offenses which
are or in the future may be punishable under special laws are not subject to the
provisions of this Code. This Code shall be supplementary to such laws, unless the
latter should specially provide the contrary."

24 (Popup - Popup)
24.

"ART. 11. Justifying circumstances. The following do not incur any criminal
liability:
xxx

xxx

xxx

5. Any person who acts in the fulfillment of a duty or in the lawful exercise of
a right or office."

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