CASE 2021-0003: CONCHITA M. DELA CRUZ VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES/MAXIMO A. BORJE, ET AL. VS PEOPLE (G.R. NO. 236807, G.R. NO. 236810, 12 JAN 2021) (SUBJECT/S: ESTAFA; PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL IN CONSPIRACY WITH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS) (BRIEF TITLE: DELA CRUZ VS PEOPLE AND BORJE VS PEOPLE)

DISPOSITIVE:

“WHEREFORE, premises considered, the consolidated petitions for review filed by petitioners Maximo A. Borje (G.R. No. 236810) and Conchita M. Dela Cruz (G.R. No. 236807), dated March 12, 2018, and March 9, 2018, respectively, are DENIED for lack of merit. Consequently, the Decision of the Sandiganbayan dated November 10, 2016, in the consolidated Criminal Case No. 28100 and Criminal Case No. 28253, and its Resolution dated January 15, 2018 are AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that in Criminal Case No. 28100 for Estafa through Falsification of Official/Commercial Documents, petitioners are sentenced to suffer imprisonment of from six ( 6) months and one ( 1) day of prisi6n correccional, as minimum, to ten (10) years and one (1) day of prisi6n mayor-, as maximum, and to pay a FINE in the amount of P5,000.00, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.

SO ORDERED.”

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

CAN A  PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL BE CONVICTED UNDER A LAW PUNISHING ACTS OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS?

YES IF THE PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL IS IN CONSPIRACY WITH THE PUBLIC OFFICIALS.

“As discussed above, petitioner Dela Cruz is in conspiracy with the other co-accused. Without the participation of petitioner Dela Cruz in the falsification of Cash Invoices through her sole proprietorship DEB, the reimbursements amounting to PS, 166,539.00 would not have been facilitated. Thus, since petitioner Dela Cruz is in conspiracy with the other co-accused, it is of no moment that she is not a public officer. She is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Section 3(e) ofR.A. No. 3019.”

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