Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Mark Clemente y Martinez v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 194367, June 15, 2011.

Illegal possession and use of false bank notes. The elements of the crime committed under Article 168 of the Revised Penal Code are the following: (a) that any treasury or bank note or certificate or other obligation and security payable to bearer, or any instrument payable to order or other document of credit not payable to bearer is forged or falsified by another person; (2) that the offender knows that any of the said instruments is forged or falsified; and (3) that he either used or possessed with intent to use any of such forged or falsified instruments. 

Illegal possession and use of false bank notes. In this case, the Supreme Court, citingPeople v. Digoro, reversed and set aside the findings of the lower courts and acquitted petitioner of the crime of Illegal possession and use of false bank notes defined and penalized under Article 168 of the Revised Penal Code. In Digoro, possession of false treasury or bank notes alone, without anything more, is not a criminal offense. For it to constitute an offense under Article 168 of the RPC, the possession must be with intent to use said false treasury or bank notes. In the case at bar, the prosecution failed to show that petitioner used the counterfeit money or that he intended to use the counterfeit bills. Francis dela Cruz, to whom petitioner supposedly gave the fake P500 bill to buy soft drinks, was not presented in court. According to the jail officers, they were only informed by Francis dela Cruz that petitioner asked the latter to buy soft drinks at the Manila City jail bakery using a fake P500 bill. In short, the jail officers did not have personal knowledge that petitioner asked Francis dela Cruz to use the P500 bill. Their account, however, is hearsay and not based on the personal knowledge. Mark Clemente y Martinez v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 194367, June 15, 2011.

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