SC junks bid to dismiss civil charges vs woman-A A +A
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
THE Supreme Court (SC) junked the petition for review of certiorari for a civil case filed by a woman tagged in a dismissed criminal case filed before local courts in Davao City for bouncing checks.
In a decision posted on the official website of the SC, Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo denied the petition to reverse and set aside the rulings of the Court of Appeals (CA) filed by Emilia Lim, owner of H & E Commercial in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur.
The decision read that Lim "contends that since her acquittal [on the violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 (BP 22) or the Bouncing Checks Law] was based on insufficiency of evidence, thus the civil aspect of the case should also be dismissed."
The case stemmed from the case filed by Mindanao Wines and Liquor Galleria (Mindanao Wines) against Lim after the latter issued four postdated checks worth P25,000 each as payment for the delivery of several cases of liquors to Lim’s establishment. However, two of the four checks bounced.
The Mindanao Wines, thru its proprietress Evelyn Valdevieso, filed a case before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch 2 in Davao City.
The MTCC dropped the criminal case against Lim since the prosecution has only presented a single witness and no bank representative testified.
However, the court still found her civilly liable because the court considered it as "part of her obligation" with Mindanao Wines.
Lim appealed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 13 in Davao City, arguing that “the court may only award damages for the civil aspect of BP 22 if the criminal cases have been dismissed on ‘reasonable doubt’ upon proof of preponderance of evidence.”
Still, the RTC junked her appeal prompting her to file a petition for review before the court of Appeals (CA), which also denied it.
Thus, Lim, as her final resort for the case, appealed before the SC.
However, the SC still found her civilly liable and that Lim should pay Mindanao Wines.
"We see no reason to disturb the ruling of the CA anent Emilia’s civil liability. As may be recalled, the CA affirmed the lower courts’ factual findings on the matter. Factual findings of the trial court, when affirmed by the CA, will not be disturbed. While Emilia is acquitted of violations of BP 22, she should nevertheless pay the debt she owes,” the SC ruled.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 17, 2012.