4/6 The second element of the offense is likewise present. Under the civil service rules and regulations, specifically the Guidelines in the Preparation of Appointment for Original Appointment (Exhs. "D" and "D-3"), a certification of the availability of funds for the position to be filled up is required to be signed by the head of office or any officer who has been delegated the authority to sign. As an officer authorized by law to issue this certification which is designated as Civil Service Form No. 203, as revised, the petitioner has a legal obligation to disclose the truth of the facts narrated by him in said certification which includes information as to the availability of the funds for the position being filled up. Contrary to petitioner's claim, the existence of a wrongful intent to injure a third person is not necessary when the falsified document is a public document. This has already been authoritatively decreed in the 1955 case of People v. Po Giok To [96 Phil. 913 (1955)]. The Court in the aforementioned case explicitly stated that wrongful intent on the part of the accused to injure a third person is not an essential element of the crime of falsification of public document. The rationale for this principal distinction between falsification of public and private documents has been stated by the Court in this wise: "In the falsification of public or official documents, whether by public officials or private persons, it is unnecessary that there be present the Idea of gain or the intent to injure a third person, for the reason that, in contradistinction to private documents, the principal thing punished is the violation of the public faith and the destruction of truth as therein solemnly proclaimed" [People v. Po Giok To, supra at 918, citing People v. Pacana, 47 Phil. 48 (1924)]. In falsification of public documents therefore, the controlling consideration is the public character of a document and the existence of any prejudice caused to third persons or, at least, the intent to cause such damage becomes immaterial [People v. Pacana, supra ]. Petitioner's plea for acquittal on the ground that the evidence for the prosecution shows the absence of criminal intent on his part must be denied. While this Court has declared good faith as a valid defense to falsification of public documents by making untruthful statements in a narration of facts [U.S. v. San Jose, 7 Phil. 604 (1907)], such defense cannot serve to exonerate the petitioner since the element of good faith has not clearly been shown to exist in the case at bar. Under the applicable law at the time, petitioner, as municipal mayor of Angadanan, Isabela presides at all meetings of the municipal council [Section 2621 (d), Revised Administrative Code] and signs all ordinances and resolutions passed by the municipal council [Section 2624 (c), Revised Administrative Code]. He was thus aware that (1) for failure to enact a budget for the Fiscal Year 1975-1976, Ordinance No. V of the Municipal Council of Angadanan,
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- Fall '19
- Supreme Court of the United States, Appellate court, Jesusa Carreon