G.R. No. 237982: October 14 2020
Offense Involved: Qualified Theft (Article 310, RPC)
FACTS: Yolanda P. Santos, accused-appellant, was the Officer In Charge (OlC)-Property Accountant of Dasman Realty for its Dasman Residences project. Prompted by a report alleging that accused-appellant failed to account for and remit various payments received by her from clients to Dasman Realty, the latter issued a Memorandum dated July 11, 2013 authorizing Bañares to conduct a recording and bookkeeping review of the sale transactions and payment receipts due to the corporation under the accountability of accused-appellant. Upon evaluation of the original receipts and acknowledgment receipts as well as records of transactions, Bañares discovered that within the period of August 2011 to July 2013, fourteen (14) receipts, the aggregate value of which amounted to PI,029,893.33 under the accountability of the accused-appellant were unremitted to Dasman Realty. On July 11, 2014, fourteen (14) Informations for qualified theft under Article 310 of the RPC were filed against accused-appellant in RTC Pasay City. The RTC found the accused-appellant guilty of qualified theft. Aggrieved, the accused-appellant appealed, but the CA affirmed the RTC decision. Hence, this case.
- Whether the Court of Appeals erred in convicting accused-appellant of the crime of qualified theft despite failure of the prosecution to prove her guilt beyond reasonable doubt?
- No. The Court of Appeals did not err in convicting accused-appellant of the crime of qualified theft. The prosecution was able to establish the presence of all the elements of qualified theft under Article 310 in relation to Article 308 of the RPC. Accused-appellant, as part of her duty as OIC-Property Accountant of Dasman Realty, admitted that she received the payments from Dasman Realty’s clients for the period September 2011 to May 2013 in the total amount of P1,029,893.33, thus, she had actual possession of the monies, yet failed to remit the same to Dasman Realty. As an employee tasked to merely collect payments from Dasman Realty’s clients, she did not have a right over the thing as she was merely entrusted to collect the cash collections in behalf of Dasman Realty.