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People v Nielles were issued and deposited by her.

Furthermore, she did not provide


any reason or motive why Juanita would file the present case against
G.R. No. 200308, February 23, 2015 her. Accordingly, her denial has no basis and deserves no consideration.

FACTS: Juanita Flores (Flores) was engaged in the business of RTC Judgment reads:
guaranteeing purchase orders and gift checks of Shoemart and Wherefore, the Court finds the accused, Mera “Joy” Eleuterio Nielles
Landmark and disposing, selling or transferring them for a.k.a. Mera Nielles Delos Reyes, GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of Qualified Theft and hereby sentences her to suffer the penalty
consideration. Appellant initially worked as Flores’ househelp but was
of imprisonment of four (4) years of prision correccional, as minimum
eventually hired to work at Flores’ office performing clerical jobs like to twenty (20) years of reclusion temporal, as maximum. She is ordered
sorting invoices. When Flores’ business grew, appellant was assigned to pay private complainant Juanita J. Flores P640,353.86 as actual
to bill and collect from sub-guarantors, and to encash and deposit damages.
checks. On July 15, 2004, appellant collected P640,353.86 from the
sub-guarantors. However, appellant did not remit the amount to Flores Appellant asserted that since private complainant Flores was abroad on
or deposit it in her (Flores’) account. Instead, she issued 15 personal July 15, 2004, she could not have personally known whether appellant
checks totaling P640,353.86 and deposited them to Flores’ account. All indeed collected amounts from the sub-guarantors. She posited that
the checks were dishonored upon presentment due to “account mere issuance of the 15 checks is not proof that she received/collected
closed.” Appellant thereafter absconded. payments from the sub-guarantors or that she failed to remit the
monies belonging to Flores. She insisted that the prosecution failed to
For her part, appellant denied having stolen the amount of P640,353.86. establish that she indeed collected monies from the sub-guarantors
amounting to P640,353.86. Appellant also theorized that she might
Ruling of the Regional Trial Court (RTC): have issued the checks in favor of the sub-guarantors for whatever
transactions they have between them; and that thereafter, when she
Trial court found appellant guilty of the crime of qualified theft. went to these sub-guarantors to collect their dues for private
complainant, these sub-guarantors used the same checks she
Given the foregoing, accused Nielles took P640,353.86 belonging to
private complainant Juanita J. Flores, without the latter’s consent. The previously issued as their payment for private complainant. For that
taking was done with intent to gain because when the accused’s checks reason her personal checks were deposited in private complainant’s
bounced, she failed to remit or return the amount. The accused’s act account.
was accomplished without the use of violence against or intimidation of
persons or force upon things, but rather by the use of abuse of Ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA):
confidence reposed [by] private complainant [upon] her. Thus, the
elements of theft, as well as the circumstances that made the same as Court of Appeal was not impressed by appellant’s protestations. It held
qualified theft, are present in the instant case. that the fact that Flores was out of the country during the commission
of the offense is irrelevant since the prosecution has satisfactorily
Accused Nielles, on the other hand, denied having stolen and carried established that upon her arrival in the Philippines, she immediately
away P640,353.86. Aside from her bare denial, she did not present any investigated the matter and talked to the sub-guarantors. Flores also
evidence to support this claim. In fact, she did not deny that the checks confirmed that indeed appellant issued 15 personal checks in lieu of the
amounts collected and deposited the same to Flores’ account but were persons, [or] of force upon things as the payment to her of the said
all dishonored upon presentment. Significantly, the CA noted that aside amount was voluntarily handed to her by the sub-guarantors as she
from her bare denial, appellant did not present any evidence to support was known to be entrusted with the collection of payments.
her claim that she did not steal the amount of P640,353.86 from
Flores. In fine, the CA found all the elements for the crime of qualified The circumstance of grave abuse of confidence that made the same as
theft to be present. qualified theft was also proven. Accused-appellant herself testified that
as a cashier, her functions and responsibilities include billings and
Thus, the CA affirmed with modification the ruling of the trial court, collections from their agents and making of deposits and withdrawals
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant Appeal is hereby in behalf of Private Complainant. Moreover, when the payment for the
DENIED. Accordingly, the assailed 26 March 2008 Decision of the purchase orders or gift checks becomes due, she would fill up the four
Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 132 in Criminal Case No. 04- (4) blank checks given by the sub-guarantor with the knowledge and
3643 is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. Accused-appellant is hereby consent of Private Complainant. It is beyond doubt that an employee
sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. She is further like a cashier who comes into possession of the monies she collected
ordered to pay Private Complainant the amount of P640,353.86. enjoys the confidence reposed in her by her employer, as in the instant
case.

ISSUE: Whether or not the appellant should be held guilty of We are one with the trial court and the appellate court in finding that
qualified theft the element of taking of personal property was satisfactorily
established by the prosecution. During her cross-examination, private
RULING: Yes. The court held that the prosecution satisfactorily
complainant Flores testified that upon having been apprised of the
established all the elements of qualified theft, to wit: 1) taking of
unremitted collections, she conducted an investigation and inquired
personal property; 2) that said property belongs to another; 3) that the
from her sub-guarantors who admitted making payments to appellant.
said taking was done with intent to gain; 4) that it was done without
She also testified during cross-examination that when appellant arrived
the owner’s consent; 5) that it was accomplished without the use of
from Hongkong, the latter went to Flores’ office and admitted to having
violence or intimidation against persons, or of force upon things; and 6)
converted the collections to her personal use. Interestingly, when it was
that it was done with grave abuse of confidence. As correctly found by
her turn to testify, appellant did not rebut Flores’ testimony.
the appellate court:

Private complainant testified that Accused-appellant took the amount


of P640,353.86 from her without her consent by failing to turn over the
amount she collected from the former’s sub-guarantors. Instead, she
issued fifteen (15) personal checks and deposited the same to Private
Complainant’s account which however, all bounced for the reason
“account closed”. The taking of the amount collected by Accused-
appellant was obviously done with intent to gain as she failed to remit
the same to Private Complainant. Intent to gain is presumed from the
act of unlawful taking. Further, the unlawful act was accomplished by
Accused-appellant without the use of violence or intimidation against