Criminal Law

CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC INTEREST

2008 Bar

No. X. 

Upon opening a letter containing 17 money orders, the mail carrier forged the signatures of the payees on the money orders and encashed them. What crime or crimes did the mail carrier commit? Explain briefly.

SUGGESTED ANSWER: 

In Pp. v. Villanueva, the Supreme Court held that the mail carrier is guilty of malversation and falsification. In US v, Gorospe, the Supreme Court ruled the crime is infidelity in the custody of documents. He can be charged with qualified theft since the property stolen is mail matter (Marcelo v. Sandiganbayan).

He may also be charged with forgery under Art. 169 (2) RPC, because there was a material alteration on a genuine document (Luis B. Reyes, The Revised Penal Code, Volume II, page 198, 16th Edition [2006] citing US v. Solito, 36 Phil 785). He may be charged with falsification under Art. 171 (1), (2) RPC, because he counterfeited signatures to make it appear that the payees signed the money order and received payment.

2013 Bar

44. A foreigner residing in Hong Kong counterfeits a twenty-peso bill issued by the Philippine Government. May the foreigner be prosecuted before a civil court in the Philippines? 

a. No. The provisions of the Revised Penal Code are enforceable only within the Philippine Archipelago. 

b. No. The Philippine Criminal Law is binding only on persons who reside or sojourn in the Philippines. 

c. No. Foreigners residing outside the jurisdiction of the Philippines are exempted from the operation of the Philippine Criminal Law. 

d. Yes. The provisions of the Revised Penal Code are enforceable · also outside the jurisdiction of the Philippines against those who should forge or counterfeit currency notes of the Philippines or obligations and securities issued by the Government of the Philippines. 

SUGGESTED ANSWER: 

D. The provision of the Revised Penal Code shall be enforced outside the jurisdiction of the Philippines against those who should forge or counterfeit any Philippine currency note or obligations and securities issued by the government (Article 22).

Counterfeiting the great seal of the Government of the Philippine Islands, forging the signature or stamp of the Chief Executive. [Article 161] 

Committed by:

Any person who shall forge the Great Seal of the Government of the Philippine Islands or the signature or stamp of the Chief Executive.

Using forged signature or counterfeit seal or stamp [Art. 162]

Committed by:

Any person who shall knowingly make use of the counterfeit seal or forged signature or stamp mentioned in the preceding article.

Making and importing and uttering false coins [Art. 163] 

Committed by:

Any person who makes, imports, or utters, false coins, in connivance with counterfeiters, or importers

1. Counterfeited coins are silver coins of the Philippines or coins of the Central Bank of the Philippines of ten centavo denomination or above.

2. Counterfeited coins be any of the minor coinage of the Philippines or of the Central Bank of the Philippines below ten-centavo denomination.

3. Counterfeited coins are the currency of a foreign country. (As amended by R.A. No. 4202, approved June 19, 1965).

Mutilation of coins; Importation and utterance of mutilated coins [Art. 164]

Committed by:

Any person who shall mutilate coins of the legal currency of the United States or of the Philippine Islands or import or utter mutilated current coins, or in connivance with mutilators or importers.

Selling of false or mutilated coin, without connivance [Art. 165]

The person who knowingly, although without the connivance mentioned in the preceding articles, shall possess false or mutilated coin with intent to utter the same, or shall actually utter such coin

Forging treasury or bank notes on other documents payable to bearer; importing, and uttering such false or forged notes and documents [Art. 166]

 — The forging or falsification of treasury or bank notes or certificates or other obligations and securities payable to bearer and the importation and uttering in connivance with forgers or importers of such false or forged obligations or notes

1.  The document which has been falsified, counterfeited, or altered, is an obligations or security of the United States or of the Philippines Islands.

The word “obligation or security of the United States or of the Philippine Islands” shall be held to mean all bonds, certificates of indebtedness, national bank notes, fractional notes, certificates of deposit, bills, checks, or drafts for money, drawn by or upon authorized officers of the United States or of the Philippine Islands, and other representatives of value, of whatever denomination, which have been or may be issued under any act of the Congress of the United States or of the Philippine Legislature.

2. The falsified or altered document is a circulating note issued by any banking association duly authorized by law to issue the same.

3. The falsified or counterfeited document was issued by a foreign government.

4. The forged or altered document is a circulating note or bill issued by a foreign bank duly authorized therefor.

Illegal possession and use of false treasury or bank notes and other instruments of credit [Art. 168]

Committed by:

Any person 

How committed:

Knowingly use or have in his possession, with intent to use any of the false or falsified instruments referred to in this section.

Art. 169. How forgery is committed. — The forgery referred to in this section may be committed by any of the following means:

1. By giving to a treasury or bank note or any instrument, payable to bearer or order mentioned therein, the appearance of a true genuine document.

2. By erasing, substituting, counterfeiting or altering by any means the figures, letters, words or signs contained therein.

Section Four. — Falsification of legislative, public, commercial, and private documents, and wireless, telegraph, and telephone message. 

Art. 170. Falsification of legislative documents

Committed by:

Any person 

How committed:

Without proper authority therefor alters any bill, resolution, or ordinance enacted or approved or pending approval by either House of the Legislature or any provincial board or municipal council.

Art. 171. Falsification by public officer, employee or notary or ecclesiastic minister. 

Committed by:

Any public officer, employee, or notary [taking advantage of his official position]

How committed:

Falsify a document by committing any of the following acts:

1. Counterfeiting or imitating any handwriting, signature or rubric;

2. Causing it to appear that persons have participated in any act or proceeding when they did not in fact so participate;

3. Attributing to persons who have participated in an act or proceeding statements other than those in fact made by them;

4. Making untruthful statements in a narration of facts;

5. Altering true dates;

6. Making any alteration or intercalation in a genuine document which changes its meaning;

7. Issuing in an authenticated form a document purporting to be a copy of an original document when no such original exists, or including in such a copy a statement contrary to, or different from, that of the genuine original; or

8. Intercalating any instrument or note relative to the issuance thereof in a protocol, registry, or official book.

Any ecclesiastical minister who shall commit any of the offenses enumerated in the preceding paragraphs of this article, with respect to any record or document of such character that its falsification may affect the civil status of persons.

Art. 172. Falsification by private individual and use of falsified documents.

1. Any private individual who shall commit any of the falsifications enumerated in the next preceding article in any public or official document or letter of exchange or any other kind of commercial document; and

2. Any person who, to the damage of a third party, or with the intent to cause such damage, shall in any private document commit any of the acts of falsification enumerated in the next preceding article.

Any person who shall knowingly introduce in evidence in any judicial proceeding or to the damage of another or who, with the intent to cause such damage, shall use any of the false documents embraced in the next preceding article, or in any of the foregoing subdivisions of this article, shall be punished by the penalty next lower in degree.

Section Five. — Falsification of medical certificates, certificates of merit or services and the like.

Art. 174. False medical certificates, false certificates of merits or service, etc. 

1. Any physician or surgeon who, in connection, with the practice of his profession, shall issue a false certificate; and

2. Any public officer who shall issue a false certificate of merit of service, good conduct or similar circumstances.

The penalty of arresto mayor shall be imposed upon any private person who shall falsify a certificate falling within the classes mentioned in the two preceding subdivisions.

Art. 175. Using false certificates. — The penalty of arresto menor shall be imposed upon any one who shall knowingly use any of the false certificates mentioned in the next preceding article.

Section Six. — Manufacturing, importing and possession of instruments or implements intended for the commission of falsification.

Art. 176. Manufacturing and possession of instruments or implements for falsification. 

Committed by:

— Any person who shall make or introduce into the Philippine Islands any stamps, dies, marks, or other instruments or implements intended to be used in the commission of the offenses of counterfeiting or falsification mentioned in the preceding sections of this Chapter. 

— Any person who, with the intention of using them, shall have in his possession any of the instruments or implements mentioned in the preceding paragraphs.

OTHER FALSIFICATIONS

Usurpation of authority, rank, title, and improper use of names, uniforms and insignia.

Art. 177. Usurpation of authority or official functions

Committed by

Any person 

How Committed:

— Knowingly and falsely represent himself to be an officer, agent or representative of any department or agency of the Philippine Government or of any foreign government, or 

— Under pretense of official position, shall perform any act pertaining to any person in authority or public officer of the Philippine Government or any foreign government, or any agency thereof, without being lawfully entitled to do so, shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods.

Art. 178. Using fictitious name and concealing true name 

Committed by:

— Any person who shall publicly use a fictitious name for the purpose of concealing a crime, evading the execution of a judgment or causing damage.

— Any person who conceals his true name and other personal circumstances

Art. 179. Illegal use of uniforms or insignia

— Any person who shall publicly and improperly make use of insignia, uniforms or dress pertaining to an office not held by such person or to a class of persons of which he is not a member.

Section Two. — False testimony

Art. 180. False testimony against a defendant

Committed by:

 — Any person 

How committed:

Giving false testimony against the defendant in any criminal case shall suffer:

1. the defendant in said case shall have been sentenced to death;

2. the defendant shall have been sentenced to reclusion temporal or reclusion perpetua;

3. the defendant shall have been sentenced to any other afflictive penalty; and

4. the defendant shall have been sentenced to a correctional penalty or a fine, or shall have been acquitted.

Art. 183. False testimony in other cases and perjury in solemn affirmation. 

Committed by:

Any person, who knowingly makes untruthful statements and not being included in the provisions of the next preceding articles, shall testify under oath, or make an affidavit, upon any material matter before a competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the law so requires.

— Any person who, in case of a solemn affirmation made in lieu of an oath, shall commit any of the falsehoods mentioned in this and the three preceding articles of this section.

Art. 184. Offering false testimony in evidence 

Committed by:

 Any person who shall knowingly offer in evidence a false witness or testimony in any judicial or official proceeding

Chapter Three

F R A U D S

Section One. — Machinations, monopolies and combinations

Art. 185. Machinations in public auctions

Committed by

— Any person who shall 

*solicit any gift or promise as a consideration for refraining from taking part in any public auction, and 

* attempt to cause bidders to stay away from an auction by threats, gifts, promises, or any other artifice, 

**with intent to cause the reduction of the price of the thing auctioned

Art. 186. Monopolies and combinations in restraint of trade 

Committed by:

1. Any person who shall enter into any contract or agreement or shall take part in any conspiracy or combination in the form of a trust or otherwise, in restraint of trade or commerce or to prevent by artificial means free competition in the market;

2. Any person who shall monopolize any merchandise or object of trade or commerce, or shall combine with any other person or persons to monopolize and merchandise or object in order to alter the price thereof by spreading false rumors or making use of any other article to restrain free competition in the market;

3. Any person who, being a manufacturer, producer, or processor of any merchandise or object of commerce or an importer of any merchandise or object of commerce from any foreign country, either as principal or agent, wholesaler or retailer, shall combine, conspire or agree in any manner with any person likewise engaged in the manufacture, production, processing, assembling or importation of such merchandise or object of commerce or with any other persons not so similarly engaged for the purpose of making transactions prejudicial to lawful commerce, or of increasing the market price in any part of the Philippines, of any such merchandise or object of commerce manufactured, produced, processed, assembled in or imported into the Philippines, or of any article in the manufacture of which such manufactured, produced, or imported merchandise or object of commerce is used.

If the offense mentioned in this article affects any food substance, motor fuel or lubricants, or other articles of prime necessity, the penalty shall be that of prision mayor in its maximum and medium periods it being sufficient for the imposition thereof that the initial steps have been taken toward carrying out the purposes of the combination.

Any property possessed under any contract or by any combination mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, and being the subject thereof, shall be forfeited to the Government of the Philippines.

Whenever any of the offenses described above is committed by a corporation or association, the president and each one of its agents or representatives in the Philippines in case of a foreign corporation or association, who shall have knowingly permitted or failed to prevent the commission of such offense, shall be held liable as principals thereof.

Section Two. — Frauds in commerce and industry

Art. 187. Importation and disposition of falsely marked articles or merchandise made of gold, silver, or other precious metals or their alloys 

— Any person who shall knowingly import or sell or dispose of any article or merchandise made of gold, silver, or other precious metals, or their alloys, with stamps, brands, or marks which fail to indicate the actual fineness or quality of said metals or alloys.

Art. 188. Subsisting and altering trade-mark, trade-names, or service marks. 

Committed by:

1. Any person who shall substitute the trade name or trade-mark of some other manufacturer or dealer or a colorable imitation thereof, for the trademark of the real manufacturer or dealer upon any article of commerce and shall sell the same;

2. Any person who shall sell such articles of commerce or offer the same for sale, knowing that the trade-name or trade- mark has been fraudulently used in such goods as described in the preceding subdivision;

3. Any person who, in the sale or advertising of his services, shall use or substitute the service mark of some other person, or a colorable imitation of such mark; or

4. Any person who, knowing the purpose for which the trade-name, trade-mark, or service mark of a person is to be used, prints, lithographs, or in any way reproduces such trade-name, trade-mark, or service mark, or a colorable imitation thereof, for another person, to enable that other person to fraudulently use such trade-name, trade-mark, or service mark on his own goods or in connection with the sale or advertising of his services.

A trade-name or trade-mark as herein used is a word or words, name, title, symbol, emblem, sign or device, or any combination thereof used as an advertisement, sign, label, poster, or otherwise, for the purpose of enabling the public to distinguish the business of the person who owns and uses said trade-name or trade-mark.

A service mark as herein used is a mark used in the sale or advertising of services to identify the services of one person and distinguish them from the services of others and includes without limitation the marks, names, symbols, titles, designations, slogans, character names, and distinctive features of radio or other advertising.

Art. 189. Unfair competition, fraudulent registration of trade-mark, trade-name or service mark, fraudulent designation of origin, and false description 

Committed by:

1. Any person who, in unfair competition and for the purposes of deceiving or defrauding another of his legitimate trade or the public in general, shall sell his goods giving them the general appearance of goods of another manufacturer or dealer, either as to the goods themselves, or in the wrapping of the packages in which they are contained or the device or words thereon or in any other features of their appearance which would be likely to induce the public to believe that the goods offered are those of a manufacturer or dealer other than the actual manufacturer or dealer or shall give other persons a chance or opportunity to do the same with a like purpose.

2. Any person who shall affix, apply, annex or use in connection with any goods or services or any container or containers for goods a false designation of origin or any false description or representation and shall sell such goods or services.

3. Any person who by means of false or fraudulent representation or declarations orally or in writing or by other fraudulent means shall procure from the patent office or from any other office which may hereafter be established by law for the purposes the registration of a trade-name, trade-mark or service mark or of himself as the owner of such trade-name, trade-mark or service mark or an entry respecting a trade-name, trade-mark or service mark.

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