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Manotok Bros. v.

CA
FACTS:
Manotok Bros. (Petitioner) owned a parcel of land and building which were
formerly leased by City of Manila and used by Claro M. Recto High chool. By
means of a letter! Manotok authori"ed al#ador aligumba(respondent) to
negotiate with the City of Manila for the sale of the property for not less than
$%&' with &( commission in the e#ent that the sale is consummated.
)his authority was e*tended for +%, days and another +%, days. -nother
letter signed by the President of the Corp. authori"ed respondent to .nali"e
and consummate the sale for not less than $+,' and e*tended the authority
for another +/, days. )he City of Manila passed an ordinance appropriating
for the payment of the $+,' before the e*piration of the authority of the
respondent. Howe#er! the City Mayor signed it after 0 days of e*piration of
the authority.
)he sale was consummated but respondent ne#er recei#ed any
commission. )his was because the petitioner refused to pay him as they did
not recogni"e the respondent1s role as agent in the transaction. Respondent
.led a case against the petitioner for the negotiation. 2n answer! petitioner
insisted that the respondent is not entitled because3 (+) the sale was not
consummated within the period of his authority4 and (%) the P)- president
was the one responsible for the negotiation. R)C3 ordered Manotok to pay
respondent the commission fees with legal interest from the date of .ling of
complaint.
C-3 a5rmed R)C decision.
HELD:
C3 a5rmed R)C 6 C- decision.
+. )hough the sale was consummated upon e*piration of his authority! he is
still entitled to commission. 7t is within the e*ception as in the case of Prats #.
C-!
8 petitioner had diligently taken steps to bring back 9oronilla and the .
:** Prats1 e;orts somehow instrumental in bringing them together ***
although the .nali"ation was after the e*piration of Prats1 e*tended authority
<7n the case of Prats! agent was not e#en the e5cient procuring cause
bringing about the sale! unlike in the case at bar! it was still held therein that
the agent was entitled to compensation.
7n the case at bar! respondent is the e5cient procuring cause for without his
e;orts! the municipality would not ha#e anything to pass and the Mayor
would not ha#e anything to appro#e.
%. =hen there is a close pro*imate and causal connection between the
agent1s e;orts and labor an the principal1s sale of his property! the agent is
entitled to acommission.
0. =hile it may be true that the P)- president followed>up the matter with the
author of the ordinance and Mayor ?illegas! his inter#ention regarding the
purchase came only after the ordinance had already been passed.
=ithout the e;orts of the respondent then! the Mayor would ha#e had
nothing to appro#e
DOMINGO vs. DOMINGO
@R Ao. B>0,&C0 D 2ct. %E! +EC+D Makasiar DPetition for Re#iew of C-
9ecision+ Petitioners3 ?icente 9omingo represented byhis heirs
Respondents3 @regorio 9omingo F?icente9omingoGs agent 6 brokerH
7nter#enor3 )eo.lo Purisima F@regorio9omingoGs sub>agentH
Iuick ummary3
Facts:
@regorio 9omingo! ?icente 9omingoGs broker and agent! recei#ed P+!,,,
from 2scar de Beon as gift or propina. 2scar ga#e him said amount after
@regorio succeeded in persuading ?icente to accept his o;er to buy the lot
for P+.%,instead of P%.
Held:
-n agent who takes a secret pro.t in the nature of a bonus! gratuity or
personal bene.t from the #endee! without re#ealing the same to his principal!
the #endor! is guilty of a breach of his loyalty to the principal and forfeits his
right to collect the commission from his principal! e#en if the principal does
not su;er any inJury by reason of such breach of .delity! or that he obtained
better results or that the agency is a gratuitous one! or that usage or custom
allows it. )he fact that the principal may ha#e been bene.ted by the
#aluable ser#ices of the said agent does not e*culpate the agent who has
only himself to blame for such a result by reason of his treachery or per.dy.
-s a necessary conseKuence of such breach of trust! @regorio 9omingo must
forfeit his right to the commission and must return the part of the commission
he recei#ed from his principal.
Facts:
?icente 9omingo granted to @regorio 9omingo! a real estate broker!
the e*clusi#e agency to sell his Bot Ao. //0!Piedad Lstate in a
document. aid lot has an area of //!$CC sK. m. -ccording to the
document! said lot must be sold for P% per sK. m. @regorio is entitled to
&( commission on the total price if the property is sold3 by ?icente or
by anyone else during the 0,>day duration of the agency or by
?icente within 0 months from the termination of the agency to a
purchaser to whom it was submitted by @regorio during the e;ecti#ity
of the agency with notice to ?icente. )his contract is in triplicate with
the original and another copy being retained by @regorio.
)he last copy was gi#en to ?icente. ubseKuently! @regorio
authori"ed )eo.lo Purisima to look for a buyer without notifying
?icente. @regorio promised )eo.loM of the &( commission. )eo.lo
introduced 2scar de Beon to @regorio as a prospecti#e buyer. 2scar
submitted a written o;er which was #ery much lower than the P% per
sK. m. price. ?icente directed @regorio to tell 2scar to raise his o;er.
-fter se#eral conferences between @regorio and 2scar! 2scar raised
his o;er toP+.%, per sK. m. or P+,E!,,, in total. ?icente agreed to
said o;er. Npon ?icenteGs demand! 2scar issued a P+!,,, check to
him as earnest money. ?icente! then! ad#anced P0,, to @regorio.
ubseKuently! ?icente asked for an additional P+!,,, as earnest
money! which 2scar promised to deli#er to ?icente.)he written
agreement! L*hibit C! between the parties was amended. 2scar will
#acate on or about eptember +&! +E&O his house and lot at 9en#er
t.! IC! which is part of the purchase price Bater on! it was again
amended to state that 2scar will #acate his house and lot on 9ec.+!
+E&O because his wife was pregnant at that time. 2scar ga#e @regorio
P+!,,, as a gift or propina for succeeding in persuading ?icente to sell
his lot at P+.%, per sK. m .gregorio did not disclose said gift or
propinato ?icente. Moreo#er! 2scar did not pay ?icente the
additional P+!,,, ?icente asked from him as earnest money.
)he deed of sale was not e*ecuted since 2scar ga#e up on the
negotiation when he did not recei#e his money from his brother in the
N! which he communicated to @regorio. @regorio did not see 2scar
for se#eral weeks thus sensing that something .shy might be going on.
o! he went to ?icenteGs house where he read a portion of the
agreement to the e;ect that ?icente was still willing to pay him &(
commission! P&!$&,. )hereafter! @regorio went to the Register of
9eeds of IC! where he disco#ered that a 9eed of sale was
e*ecuted by -mparo de Beon! 2scarGs wife! o#er their house and lot in
fa#or of ?icente. -fter disco#ering that ?icente sold his lot to 2scarGs
wife! @regorio demanded in writing the payment of his commission.
@regorio also conferred with 2scar. 2scar told him that ?icente went to
him and asked him to eliminate @regorio in the transaction and
that he would sell his property to him for P+,$!,,,. 7n his reply!
?icente stated that @regorio is not entitled to the &(commission
because he sold the property not to @regorioPs buyer! 2scar de Beon!
butto another buyer! -mparo 9ia"! wife of 2scar de Beon.
C-3 e*clusi#e agency contract is genuine. )he sale of the lot to -mparo
de Beon is practically a sale to 2scar.
Issue: =2A @regorioGs act of accepting the gift or propina from 2scar
constitutes a fraud which would cause the forfeiture of his &( commissionF
HELD: ES
@regorio 9omingo as the broker! recei#ed a gift or propina from the
prospecti#e buyer 2scar de Beon! without the knowledge and consent of his
principal! ?icente 9omingo.
His acceptance of said substantial monetary gift corrupted his duty to ser#e
the interests only of his principal and undermined his loyalty to his principal
! who ga#e him partial ad#ance of P0,,, on his commission. -s a
conseKuence! instead of e*erting his best to persuade his prospecti#e buyer
to purchase the property on the most ad#antageous terms desired by his
principal! @regorio 9omingo! succeeded in persuading his principal to
accept the counter>o;er of the prospecti#e buyer to purchase the property at
P+.%, per sK. m. )he duties and liabilities of a broker to his employer are
essentially those which an agent owes to his principal.
-n agent who takes a secret pro.t in the nature of a bonus! gratuity or
personal bene.t from the #endee! without re#ealing the same to his
principal! the #endor! is guilty of a breach of his loyalty to the principal and
forfeits his right to collect the commission from his principal! e#en if the
principal does not su;er any inJury by reason of such breach of .delity! or
that he obtained better results or that the agency is a gratuitous one! or that
usage or custom allows it.
!at"onale: pre#ent the possibility of any wrong not to remedy or repair an
actual damage agent thereby assumes a position wholly inconsistent with
that of being an agent for his principal! who has a right to treat him! insofar
as his commission is concerned! as if no agency had e*isted. )he fact that the
principal may ha#e been bene.ted by the #aluable ser#ices of the said agent
does not e*culpate the agent who has only himself to blame for such a
result by reason of his treachery or per.dy. -s a necessary conseKuence of
such breach of trust! @regorio 9omingo must forfeit his right to the
commission and must return the part of the commission he recei#ed from his
principal.
9ecisi#e Pro#isions -rticle +/E+ and +E,E CC
)he modi.cation contained in the .rst paragraph -rticle +/E+ consists in
changing the phrase Qto payQ to Qto deli#erQ! which latter term is more
comprehensi#e than the former. Paragraph % of -rticle +/E+is a new addition
designed to stress the highest loyalty that is reKuired to an agent in
condemning as #oid any stipulation e*empting the agent from the duty
and liability imposed on him in paragraph one thereof.
-rticle +E,E demand the utmost good faith! .delity! honesty! candor and
fairness on the part of the agent! the real estate broker in this case! to his
principal! the #endor. )he law imposes upon the agent the absolute
obligation to make a full disclosure or complete account to his principal
of all his transactions and other material facts rele#ant to the agency! so
much so that the law as amended does not countenance any stipulation
e*empting the agent from such an obligation and considers such an
e*emption as #oid. )he duty of an agent is likened to that of a trustee. )his is
not a technical or arbitrary rule but a rule founded on the highest and truest
principle of morality as well as of the strictest Justice.
ituations where the duty mandated by -rt +/E+ does not apply agent or
broker acted only as a middleman with the task of merely bringing together
the #endor and #endee! who
L#ery agent is bound to render an account of his transactions and to
deli#er to the principal whate#er he may ha#e recei#ed by #irtue of the
agency! e#en though it may not be owing to the principal. L#ery stipulation
e*empting the agent from the obligation to render an account shall be #oid.
)he agent is responsible not only for fraud! but also for negligence! which
shall be Judged with more or less rigor by the courts! according to whether
the agency was or was not for a compensation. themsel#es thereafter will
negotiate on the terms and conditions of the transaction agent or broker had
informed the principal of the gift or bonus or pro.t he recei#ed from the
purchaser and his principal did not obJect
)eo.lo PurisimaGs entitlement to his share in the &( commission )eo.lo can
only reco#er from @regorio his M share of whate#er amounts @regorio
9omingo recei#ed by #irtue of the transaction as his sub>agency contract was
with @regorio 9omingo alone and not with ?icente 9omingo! who was not
e#en aware of such sub>agency. ince @regorio already recei#ed a total of
P+!0,, from 2scar and ?icente!PO&, of which should be paid by @regorio to
)eo.lo. 9ispositi#e3 C- decision re#ersed
ANTONIO B. BALTA#A! v. HONO!ABLE OMB$DSMAN% E$LOGIO M.
MA!IANO% &OSED. &IMENE#% &!.%TO!IBIO E. ILAO% &!. and E!NESTO !.
SALENGA '()SC!A *+ Dece,-er .% /)). 0Ho1 su-2ect ,atter
ornature o3 t4e act"on deter,"ned5
FACTS:
Paciencia Regala owns a se#en (C)>hectare .shpond located at asmuan!
Pampanga.Her -ttorney>in>Ract Raustino R. Mercado leased the .shpond to
Lduardo Bapid for a three (0)>year period. Bessee Lduardo Bapid in turn sub>
leased the .shpond to Rafael Bope" during the last se#en (C) months of the
original lease. Lrnesto alenga was hired by Lduardo Bapid as .shpond
watchman (bante>encargado). 7n the sub>lease! Rafael Bope" rehired
respondent alenga. Lrnesto alenga alenga! sent the demand letter to
Rafael Bope" and Bourdes Bapid for unpaid salaries and non>payment of the
+,( share in the har#est.
alenga was prompted to .le a Complaint before the Pro#incial -grarian
Reform -dJudication Board (P-R-B)! Region 777!an Rernando! Pampanga
docketed as 9-R-B Case Ao. &&%>PGE0 entitled Lrnesto R. alenga #. Rafael B.
Bope" and Bourdes B. Bapid for Maintenance of Peaceful Possession! Collection
of um of Money and uper#ision of Har#est. Pending resolution of the
agrarian case! the instant case was instituted by petitioner -ntonio Balta"ar!
an alleged nephew of Raustino Mercado! through a Complaint>-5da#it
against pri#ate respondents before the 25ce of the 2mbudsman which was
docketed as 2MB>+>E$>0$%& entitled -ntonio B. Balta"ar #. Lulogio Mariano!
Sose Simene"! Sr.!)oribio 7lao! Sr. and Lrnesto alenga for #iolation of R- 0,+E.
Petitioner maintains that respondent 7lao! Sr. had no Jurisdiction to hear and
act on 9-R-B Case Ao. &&%>PGE0 .led by respondent alenga as there was no
tenancy relation between respondent alenga and Rafael B. Bope"! and thus!
the complaint was dismissible on itsface.
ISS$E3=2A the petitioner has legal standing to pursue the instant petitionT
=2A the 2mbudsman likewise erred in re#ersing his own resolution where it
was resol#ed that accused as Pro#incial -grarian -dJudicator has no
Jurisdiction o#er a complaint where there e*ist no tenancy relationshipT
HELD3
)he Qreal>party>in interestQ is Qthe party who stands to be bene.ted or
inJured by the Judgment in the suit or the party entitled to the a#ails of the
suit. )he Complaint>-5da#it .led before the 25ce of the 2mbudsman! there
is no Kuestion on his authority and legal standing. )he 2mbudsman can act
on anonymous complaints and motu proprio inKuire into alleged improper
o5cial acts or omissions from whate#er source! e.g.! a newspaper. Raustino
Mercado! is an agent himself and as such cannot further delegate his agency
to another.
-n agent cannot delegate to another the same agency. Re>delegation of
the agency would be detrimental to the principal as the second agent has no
pri#ity of contract with the former. 7n the instant case! petitioner has no
pri#ity of contract with Paciencia Regala! owner of the .shpond and principal
of Raustino Mercado. )he facts clearly show that it was not the 2mbudsman
through the 2P who allowed respondent 7lao! Sr. to submit his Counter>
-5da#it. 7t was the andiganbayan who granted the prayed for re>
in#estigation and ordered the 2P to conduct the re>in#estigation .
)he 2P simply followed the graft courtGs directi#e to conduct the re>
in#estigation after the Counter>-5da#it of respondent 7lao! Sr. was .led.
7ndeed! petitioner did not contest nor Kuestion the -ugust %E!+EEC 2rder of
the graft court. Moreo#er! petitioner did not .le any reply>a5da#it in the re>
in#estigation despite notice.
)he nature of the case is determined by the settled rule that Jurisdiction o#er
the subJect matter is determined by the allegations of the complaint. )he
nature of an action is determined by the material a#erments in the complaint
and the character of the relief sought not by the defenses asserted in the
answer or motion to dismiss. Respondent alengaGs complaint and its
attachment clearly spells out the Jurisdictional allegations that the is an
agricultural tenant in possession of the .shpond and is about to be eJected
from it! clearly!respondent 7lao! Sr. could not be faulted in assuming
Jurisdiction as said allegations characteri"e an agricultural dispute.
Besides! whate#er defense asserted in an answer or motion to dismiss is not
to be considered in resol#ing the issue on Jurisdiction as it cannot be made
dependent upon the allegations of the defendant.
=HLRLR2RL! the instant petition is 9LA7L9 for lack of merit! and the 2rder
and the 2ctober 0,! +EE/ Memorandum of the 25ce of the pecial
Prosecutor in Criminal Case Ao. %0OO+(2MB>+>E$>0$%&) are hereby -RR7RML9
-9R7-A2 @. B-H7-A SR.Page +
?7R@7L LR2A-! petitioner! #s. H2A. C2NR) 2R -PPL-B and )HL PL2PBL 2R
)HL PH7B7PP7AL! respondents.
9 L C 7 7 2 A
UA-RL>-A)7-@2! S.3
9uring the period from Suly +EE% to eptember +EE%! Beonida Iuilatan
deli#ered pieces of Jewelry to petitioner ?irgie erona to be sold on
commission basis. By oral agreement of the parties! petitioner shall remit
payment or return the pieces of Jewelry if not sold to Iuilatan! both within 0,
days from receipt of the items. Npon petitionerGs failure to pay on eptember
%$! +EE%! Iuilatan reKuired her to e*ecute an acknowledgment receipt
(L*hibit B) indicating their agreement and the total amount due! to wit3
-ko! si ?irginia erona! nakatira sa Mother Larth ubd.! Bas Pinas! ay kumuha
ng mga alahas kay @ng. Beonida Iuilatan na may kabuohang halaga na
P&OC!C&,.,, para ipagbili para ako magkakomisyon at ibibigay ang benta
kung mabibili o ibabalik sa kanya ang mga nasabing alahas kung hindi
mabibili sa loob ng 0, araw. Bas Pinas! eptember %$! +EE%.F+H
)he receipt was signed by petitioner and a witness! Ru.na @. Aa#arette.
Nnknown to Iuilatan! petitioner had earlier entrusted the Jewelry to one
Marichu Babrador for the latter to sell on commission basis. Petitioner was
not able to collect payment from Babrador! which caused her to likewise fail
to pay her obligation to Iuilatan. ubseKuently! Iuilatan! through counsel!
sent a formal letter of demandF%H to petitioner for failure to settle her
obligation. Iuilatan e*ecuted a complaint a5da#itF0H against petitioner
before the 25ce of the -ssistant Pro#incial Prosecutor. )hereafter! an
information for estafa under -rticle 0+&! paragraph +(b)F$H of the Re#ised
Penal Code was .led against petitioner! which was raVed to Branch %&& of
the Regional )rial Court of Bas Pinas. )he information alleged3
)hat on or about and sometime during the period from Suly +EE% up to
eptember +EE%! in the Municipality of Bas Pinas! Metro Manila! Philippines!
and within the Jurisdiction of this Honorable Court! the said accused recei#ed
in trust from the complainant Beonida L. Iuilatan #arious pieces of Jewelry in
the total #alue of P&OC!C&,.,, to be sold on commission basis under the
e*press duty and obligation of remitting the proceeds thereof to the said
complainant if sold or returning the same to the latter if unsold but the said
accused once in possession of said #arious pieces of Jewelry! with
unfaithfulness and abuse of con.dence and with intent to defraud! did then
and there willfully! unlawfully and feloniously misappropriate and con#ert the
same for her own personal use and bene.t and despite oral and written
demands! she failed and refused to account for said Jewelry or the proceeds
of sale thereof! to the damage and preJudice of complainant Beonida L.
Iuilatan in the aforestated total amount of P&OC!C&,.,,.
Petitioner pleaded not guilty to the charge upon arraignment.FOH )rial on the
merits thereafter ensued. Iuilatan testi.ed that petitioner was able to remit
P+,,!,,,.,, and returned P$0!,,,.,, worth of Jewelriy4FCH that at the start!
petitioner was prompt in settling her obligation4 howe#er! subseKuently the
payments were remitted late4F/H that petitioner still owed her in the amount
of P$%$!C&,.,,.FEH
2n the other hand! petitioner admitted that she recei#ed se#eral pieces of
Jewelry from Iuilatan and that she indeed failed to pay for the same. he
claimed that she entrusted the pieces of Jewelry to Marichu Babrador who
failed to pay for the same! thereby causing her to default in paying Iuilatan.
F+,H he presented handwritten receipts (L*hibits + 6 %)F++H e#idencing
payments made to Iuilatan prior to the .ling of the criminal case.
Marichu Babrador con.rmed that she recei#ed pieces of Jewelry from
petitioner worth P$$+!,0&.,,. he identi.ed an acknowledgment receipt
(L*hibit 0)F+%H signed by her dated Suly &! +EE% and testi.ed that she sold the
Jewelry to a person who absconded without paying her. Babrador also
e*plained that in the past! she too had directly transacted with Iuilatan for
the sale of Jewelry on commission basis4 howe#er! due to her outstanding
account with the latter! she got Jewelry from petitioner instead.F+0H
2n Ao#ember +C! +EE$! the trial court rendered a decision .nding petitioner
guilty of estafa! the dispositi#e portion of which reads3 =HLRLR2RL! in the
light of the foregoing! the court .nds the accused ?irgie erona guilty beyond
reasonable doubt! and as the amount misappropriated is P$%$!C&,.,, the
penalty pro#ided under the .rst paragraph of -rticle 0+& of the Re#ised Penal
Code has to be imposed which shall be in the ma*imum period plus one (+)
year for e#ery additional P+,!,,,.,,.
-pplying the 7ndeterminate entence Baw! the said accused is hereby
sentenced to su;er the penalty of imprisonment ranging from R2NR ($)
UL-R and 2AL (+) 9-U of prision correccional as minimum to )LA (+,)
UL-R and 2AL (+) 9-U of prision mayor as ma*imum4 to pay the sum of
P$%$!C&,.,, as cost for the unreturned Jewelries4 to su;er the accessory
penalties pro#ided by law4 and to pay the costs. Petitioner appealed to the
Court of -ppeals! which a5rmed the Judgment of con#iction but modi.ed the
penalty as follows3
=HLRLR2RL! the appealed decision .nding the accused>appellant guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of estafa is hereby -RR7RML9 with the
following M297R7C-)72A3 Considering that the amount in#ol#ed is
P$%$!C&,.,,! the penalty should be imposed in its ma*imum period adding
one (+) year for each additional P+,!,,,.,, albeit the total penalty should not
e*ceed )wenty (%,) Uears (-rt. 0+&). Hence! accused>appellant is hereby
LA)LACL9 to su;er the penalty of imprisonment ranging from Rour ($) Uears
and 2ne (+) 9ay of Prision Correccional as minimum to )wenty (%,) Uears of
Reclusion )emporal. Npon denial of her motion for reconsideration!F+OH
petitioner .led the instant petition under Rule $&! alleging that3 RLP2A9LA)
C2NR) 2R -PPL-B LR72NBU LRRL9 7A C2ACBN97A@ )H-) )HLRL =- -A
-BNL 2R C2AR79LACL 2A )HL P-R) 2R PL)7)72ALR 7A LA)RN)7A@ )HL
NBSLC) SL=LBR7L (sic) )2 HLR NB>-@LA) R2R -BL 2A C2MM772A )2
PR2PLC)7?L BNULR.
RLP2A9LA) C2NR) 2R -PPL-B LR72NBU LRRL9 7A C2ACBN97A@ )H-)
)HLRL =- M7-PPR2PR7-)72A 2R C2A?LR72A 2A )HL P-R) 2R
PL)7)72ALR =HLA HL R-7BL9 )2 RL)NRA )HL NBSLC) SL=LBR7L (sic) )2
PR7?-)L C2MPB-7A-A).F+CH
Petitioner argues that the prosecution failed to establish the elements of
estafa as penali"ed under -rticle 0+&! par. +(b) of the Re#ised Penal Code. 7n
particular! she submits that she neither abused the con.dence reposed upon
her by Iuilatan nor con#erted or misappropriated the subJect Jewelry4 that
her gi#ing the pieces of Jewelry to a sub>agent for sale on commission basis
did not #iolate her undertaking with Iuilatan. Moreo#er! petitioner deli#ered
the Jewelry to Babrador under the same terms upon which it was originally
entrusted to her. 7t was established that petitioner had not deri#ed any
personal bene.t from the loss of the Jewelry. ConseKuently! it cannot be said
that she misappropriated or con#erted the same.
=e .nd merit in the petition. )he elements of estafa through
misappropriation or con#ersion as de.ned in -rticle 0+&! par. +(b) of the
Re#ised Penal Code are3 (+) that the money! good or other personal property
is recei#ed by the o;ender in trust! or on commission! or for administration!
or under any other obligation in#ol#ing the duty to make deli#ery of! or to
return! the same4 (%) that there be misappropriation or con#ersion of such
money or property by the o;ender or denial on his part of such receipt4 (0)
that such misappropriation or con#ersion or denial is to the preJudice of
another4 and ($) that there is a demand made by the o;ended party on the
o;ender.F+/H =hile the .rst! third and fourth elements are concededly
present! we .nd the second element of misappropriation or con#ersion to be
lacking in the case at bar.
Petitioner did not ipso facto commit the crime of estafa through con#ersion or
misappropriation by deli#ering the Jewelry to a sub>agent for sale on
commission basis. =e are unable to agree with the lower courtsG conclusion
that this fact alone is su5cient ground for holding that petitioner disposed of
the Jewelry Was if it were hers! thereby committing con#ersion and a clear
breach of trust.XF+EH
7t must be pointed out that the law on agency in our Jurisdiction allows the
appointment by an agent of a substitute or sub>agent in the absence of an
e*press agreement to the contrary between the agent and the principal.F%,H
7n the case at bar! the appointment of Babrador as petitionerGs sub>agent was
not e*pressly prohibited by Iuilatan! as the acknowledgment receipt! L*hibit
B! does not contain any such limitation. Aeither does it appear that petitioner
was #erbally forbidden by Iuilatan from passing on the Jewelry to another
person before the acknowledgment receipt was e*ecuted or at any other
time. )hus! it cannot be said that petitionerGs act of entrusting the Jewelry to
Babrador is characteri"ed by abuse of con.dence because such an act was
not proscribed and is! in fact! legally sanctioned.
)he essence of estafa under -rticle 0+&! par. +(b) is the appropriation or
con#ersion of money or property recei#ed to the preJudice of the owner. )he
words Wcon#ertX and WmisappropriatedX connote an act of using or disposing
of anotherGs property as if it were oneGs own! or of de#oting it to a purpose or
use di;erent from that agreed upon. )o misappropriate for oneGs own use
includes not only con#ersion to oneGs personal ad#antage! but also e#ery
attempt to dispose of the property of another without right.F%+H
7n the case at bar! it was established that the inability of petitioner as agent
to comply with her duty to return either the pieces of Jewelry or the proceeds
of its sale to her principal Iuilatan was due! in turn! to the failure of Babrador
to abide by her agreement with petitioner. Aotably! Babrador testi.ed that
she obligated herself to sell the Jewelry in behalf of petitioner also on
commission basis or to return the same if not sold. 7n other words! the pieces
of Jewelry were gi#en by petitioner to Babrador to achie#e the #ery same end
for which they were deli#ered to her in the .rst place. ConseKuently! there is
no con#ersion since the pieces of Jewelry were not de#oted to a purpose or
use di;erent from that agreed upon.
imilarly! it cannot be said that petitioner misappropriated the Jewelry or
deli#ered them to Babrador Wwithout right.X -side from the fact that no
condition or limitation was imposed on the mode or manner by which
petitioner was to e;ect the sale! it is also consistent with usual practice for
the seller to necessarily part with the #aluables in order to .nd a buyer and
allow inspection of the items for sale.
7n People #. Aepomuceno!F%%H the accused>appellant was acKuitted of estafa
on facts similar to the instant case. -ccused>appellant therein undertook to
sell two diamond rings in behalf of the complainant on commission basis! with
the obligation to return the same in a few days if not sold. Howe#er! by
reason of the fact that the rings were deli#ered also for sale on commission to
sub>agents who failed to account for the rings or the proceeds of its sale!
accused>appellant likewise failed to make good his obligation to the
complainant thereby gi#ing rise to the charge of estafa. 7n absol#ing the
accused>appellant of the crime charged! we held3
=here! as in the present case! the agents to whom personal property was
entrusted for sale! conclusi#ely pro#es the inability to return the same is
solely due to malfeasance of a subagent to whom the .rst agent had actually
entrusted the property in good faith! and for the same purpose for which it
was recei#ed4 there being no prohibition to do so and the chattel being
deli#ered to the subagent before the owner demands its return or before such
return becomes due! we hold that the .rst agent can not be held guilty of
estafa by either misappropriation or con#ersion. )he abuse of con.dence that
is characteristic of this o;ense is missing under the circumstances.F%0H
-ccordingly! petitioner herein must be acKuitted. )he lower courtsG reliance
on People #. RloresF%$H and N.. #. PanesF%&H to Justify petitionerGs con#iction
is misplaced! considering that the factual background of the cited cases di;er
from those which obtain in the case at bar. 7n Rlores! the accused recei#ed a
ring to sell under the condition that she would return it the following day if
not sold and without authority to retain the ring or to gi#e it to a sub>agent.
)he accused in Panes! meanwhile! was obliged to return the Jewelry he
recei#ed upon demand! but passed on the same to a sub>agent e#en after
demand for its return had already been made. 7n the foregoing cases! it was
held that there was con#ersion or misappropriation.
Rurthermore! in Bim #. Court of -ppeals!F%OH the Court! citing Aepomuceno
and the case of People #. )rinidad!F%CH held that3 7n cases of estafa the pro.t
or gain must be obtained by the accused personally! through his own acts!
and his mere negligence in permitting another to take ad#antage or bene.t
from the entrusted chattel cannot constitute estafa under -rticle 0+&!
paragraph +>b! of the Re#ised Penal Code4 unless of course the e#idence
should disclose that the agent acted in conspiracy or conni#ance with the one
who carried out the actual misappropriation! then the accused would be
answerable for the acts of his co>conspirators. 7f there is no such e#idence!
direct or circumstantial! and if the proof is clear that the accused herself was
the innocent #ictim of her sub>agentGs faithlessness! her acKuittal is in order.
F%/H
Babrador admitted that she recei#ed the Jewelry from petitioner and sold the
same to a third person. he further acknowledged that she owed petitioner
P$$+!,0&.,,! thereby negating any criminal intent on the part of petitioner.
)here is no showing that petitioner deri#ed personal bene.t from or
conspired with Babrador to depri#e Iuilatan of the Jewelry or its #alue.
ConseKuently! there is no estafa within contemplation of the law.
Aotwithstanding the abo#e! howe#er! petitioner is not entirely free from any
liability towards Iuilatan. )he rule is that an accused acKuitted of estafa may
ne#ertheless be held ci#illy liable where the facts established by the e#idence
so warrant. )hen too! an agent who is not prohibited from appointing a sub>
agent but does so without e*press authority is responsible for the acts of the
sub>agent.F%EH Considering that the ci#il action for the reco#ery of ci#il
liability arising from the o;ense is deemed instituted with the criminal action!
F0,H petitioner is liable to pay complainant Iuilatan the #alue of the unpaid
pieces of Jewelry. =HLRLR2RL! the petition is @R-A)L9. )he decision of the
Court of -ppeals in C->@.R. CR Ao. +C%%% dated -pril 0,!+EEC and its
resolution dated -ugust %/! +EEC are RL?LRL9 and L) -79L. Petitioner
?irgie erona is -CIN7))L9 of the crime charged! but is held ci#illy liable in
the amount of P$%$!C&,.,, as actual damages! plus legal interest! without
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insol#ency.