People vs. Pangilinan.docx - SECOND DIVISION PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES Petitioner G.R No 152662 Present CARPIO Chairperson BRION PEREZ SERENO and REYES

People vs. Pangilinan.docx - SECOND DIVISION PEOPLE OF THE...

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SECOND DIVISION PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner , - versus - MA. THERESA PANGILINAN, Respondent. G.R. No. 152662 Present: CARPIO, Chairperson, BRION, PEREZ, SERENO, and REYES, JJ . Promulgated: June 13, 2012 x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x DECISION PEREZ, J .: The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed this petition for certiorari [1] under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, praying for the nullification and setting aside of the Decision [2] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No. 66936, entitled Ma. Theresa Pangilinan vs. People of the Philippines and Private Complainant Virginia C. Malolos. The fallo of the assailed Decision reads: WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. Accordingly, the assailed Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 218, is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and Criminal Cases Nos. 89152 and 89153 against petitioner Ma. Theresa Pangilinan are hereby ordered DISMISSED. [3] Culled from the record are the following undisputed facts:
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On 16 September 1997, Virginia C. Malolos (private complainant) filed an affidavit-complaint for estafa and violation of Batas Pambansa (BP) Blg. 22 against Ma. Theresa Pangilinan (respondent) with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City. The complaint alleges that respondent issued nine (9) checks with an aggregate amount of Nine Million Six Hundred Fifty-Eight Thousand Five Hundred Ninety-Two Pesos (P 9,658,592.00) in favor of private complainant which were dishonored upon presentment for payment. On 5 December 1997, respondent filed a civil case for accounting, recovery of commercial documents, enforceability and effectivity of contract and specific performance against private complainant before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Valenzuela City. This was docketed as Civil Case No. 1429-V-97. Five days thereafter or on 10 December 1997, respondent filed a Petition to Suspend Proceedings on the Ground of Prejudicial Question before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City, citing as basis the pendency of the civil action she filed with the RTC of Valenzuela City. On 2 March 1998, Assistant City Prosecutor Ruben Catubay recommended the suspension of the criminal proceedings pending the outcome of the civil action respondent filed against private complainant with the RTC of Valenzuela City. The recommendation was approved by the City Prosecutor of Quezon City. Aggrieved, private complainant raised the matter before the Department of Justice (DOJ). On 5 January 1999, then Secretary of Justice Serafin P. Cuevas reversed the resolution of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City and ordered the filing of informations for violation of BP Blg. 22 against respondent in connection with her issuance of City Trust Check No. 127219 in the amount of P 4,129,400.00 and RCBC Check No. 423773 in the amount of P 4,475,000.00, both checks totaling the amount of P 8,604,000.00. The estafa and violation of BP Blg. 22 charges involving the seven other checks included in the affidavit-complaint filed on 16 September 1997 were, however, dismissed.
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