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Notice Of Dishonor in Bouncing Checks Cases (Notes And Cases)

 

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What is the notice of dishonor in B.P. 22 cases? What role does it play in the prosecution or defense of a violation of B.P. 22?

 

In Meriz vs People, the Court ruled that for an accused  to be liable for B. P. 22, the following elements must be proven by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. The making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply to account or for value;

  2. The knowledge of the maker, drawer or issuer that at the time of issue he does not have sufficient funds or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment; and

  3. Subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment.

Both the spirit and letter of the Bouncing Checks Law require, for the act to be punished under said law, not only that the accused issued a check that was dishonored, but that likewise the accused was actually notified in writing of the fact of dishonor. The consistent rule is that penal statutes have to be construed strictly against the State and liberally in favor of the accused.”⁠1

The purpose of a notice of dishonor is to give the accused an opportunity to satisfy the check and avert prosecution.  It is only upon receipt of the notice of dishonour that the five-day period to pay the amount of the check or make arrangement for its payment starts, failing which, the presumption of knowledge of insufficiency of funds or credit on the part of the issuer of the check arises.

“To hold a person liable under B.P. Blg. 22, the prosecution must not only establish that a check was issued and that the same was subsequently dishonored, it must further be shown that accused knew at the time of the issuance of the check that he did not have sufficient funds or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment.

This knowledge of insufficiency of funds or credit at the time of the issuance of the check is the second element of the offense. Inasmuch as this element involves a state of mind of the person making, drawing or issuing the check which is difficult to prove, Section 2 of B.P. Blg. 22 creates a prima facie presumption of such knowledge. Said section reads:

SEC. 2. Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. – The making, drawing and issuance of a check payment of which is refused by the drawee because of insufficient funds in or credit with such bank, when presented within ninety (90) days from the date of the check, shall be prima facie evidence of knowledge of such insufficiency of funds or credit unless such maker or drawer pays the holder thereof the amount due thereon, or makes arrangements for payment in full by the drawee of such check within five (5) banking days after receiving notice that such check has not been paid by the drawee.

For this presumption to arise, the prosecution must prove the following: (a) the check is presented within ninety (90) days from the date of the check; (b) the drawer or maker of the check receives notice that such check has not been paid by the drawee; and (c) the drawer or maker of the check fails to pay the holder of the check the amount due thereon, or make arrangements for payment in full within five (5) banking days after receiving notice that such check has not been paid by the drawee. In other words, the presumption is brought into existence only after it is proved that the issuer had received a notice of dishonor and that within five days from receipt thereof, he failed to pay the amount of the check or to make arrangements for its payment. The presumption or prima facie evidence as provided in this section cannot arise, if such notice of nonpayment by the drawee bank is not sent to the maker or drawer, or if there is no proof as to when such notice was received by the drawer, since there would simply be no way of reckoning the crucial 5-day period.”⁠2(Citations omitted)

In People vs Betty King⁠3, the Court noted that

“To hold a person liable under BP 22, it is not enough to establish that a check issued was subsequently dishonored. It must be shown further that the person who issued the check knew “at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment.” Because this element involves a state of mind which is difficult to establish, Section 2 of the law creates a prima facie presumption of such knowledge, as follows:

Sec. 2. Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. — The making, drawing and issuance of a check payment of which is refused by the drawee because of insufficient funds in or credit with such bank, when presented within ninety (90) days from the date of the check, shall be prima facie evidence of knowledge of such insufficiency of funds or credit unless such maker or drawer pays the holder thereof the amount due thereon, or makes arrangements for payment in full by the drawee of such check within five (5) banking days after receiving notice that such check has not been paid by the drawee.

In other words, the prima facie presumption arises when a check is issued. But the law also provides that the presumption does not arise when the issuer pays the amount of the check or makes arrangement for its payment “within five banking days after receiving notice that such check has not been paid by the drawee.” Verily, BP 22 gives the accused an opportunity to satisfy the amount indicated in the check and thus avert prosecution”

Lao vs CA⁠4 is instructive on the nature and purpose of a notice of dishonour:

It has been observed that the State, under this statute, actually offers the violator a “compromise by allowing him to perform some act which operates to preempt the criminal action, and if he opts to perform it the action is abated.” This was also compared “to certain laws allowing illegal possessors of firearms a certain period of time to surrender the illegally possessed firearms to the Government, without incurring any criminal liability.” In this light, the full payment of the amount appearing in the check within five banking days from notice of dishonor is a “complete defense.” The absence of a notice of dishonor necessarily deprives an accused an opportunity to preclude a criminal prosecution. Accordingly, procedural due process clearly enjoins that a notice of dishonor be actually served on petitioner. Petitioner has a right to demand — and the basic postulates of fairness require — that the notice of dishonor be actually sent to and received by her to afford her the opportunity to avert prosecution under BP 22.

Thus, in order to create the prima facie presumption that the issuer knew of the insufficiency of funds, it must be shown that he or she received a notice of dishonor and, within five banking days thereafter, failed to satisfy the amount of the check or make arrangement for its payment.

To prove that petitioner knew of the insufficiency of her funds, the prosecution presented Exhibits “Q” to “T.” Based on these documents, the Court of Appeals concluded that “[p]rivate complainant sent a demand letter to appellant to make good said checks . . .. Appellant failed to pay the face value of the eleven checks or make arrangement for the full payment thereof within 90 days after receiving the notice.”

The element of “knowledge” involves a state of mind that obviously would be difficult to establish; hence, the statute itself creates a prima facie presumption of knowledge on the insufficiency of funds or credit coincidental with the attendance of the two other elements. Section 2 of the Act provides:

“Sec. 2. Evidence of knowledge of insufficient funds. – The making, drawing and issuance of a check payment of which is refused by the drawee bank because of insufficient funds in or credit with such bank, when presented within ninety (90) days from the date of the check, shall be prima facie evidence of knowledge of such insufficiency of funds or credit unless such maker or drawer pays the holder thereof the amount due thereon, or makes arrangements for payment in full by the drawee of such check within five (5) banking days after receiving notice that such check has not been paid by the drawee.” ⁠5

A disputable presumption of knowledge of insufficiency of funds in or credit with the bank is assumed from the act of making, drawing, and issuing a check, payment of which is refused by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds when presented within 90 days from the date of issue. However, such presumption does not arise when the maker or drawer pays or makes arrangements for the payment of the check within five banking days after receiving notice that such check had been dishonored. In order for the maker or drawer to pay the value thereof or make arrangements for its payment within the period prescribed by law, it is therefore necessary and indispensable for the maker or drawer to be notified of the dishonor of the check. ⁠6

“Indeed, this requirement cannot be taken lightly because Section 2 provides for an opportunity for the drawer to effect full payment of the amount appearing on the check, within five banking days from notice of dishonor. The absence of said notice therefore deprives an accused of an opportunity to preclude criminal prosecution. In other words, procedural due process demands that a notice of dishonor be actually served on petitioner. In the case at bar, appellant has a right to demand – and the basic postulate of fairness requires – that the notice of dishonor be actually sent to and received by her to afford her to opportunity to aver prosecution under B.P. Blg. 22.⁠7

Is it required that the notice of dishonor be in writing?

 

 

“While, indeed, Section 2 of B.P. Blg. 22 does not state that the notice of dishonor be in writing, taken in conjunction, however, with Section 3 of the law, i.e., “that where there are no sufficient funds in or credit with such drawee bank, such fact shall always be explicitly stated in the notice of dishonor or refusal,” a mere oral notice or demand to pay would appear to be insufficient for conviction under the law. The Court is convinced that both the spirit and letter of the Bouncing Checks Law would require for the act to be punished thereunder not only that the accused issued a check that is dishonored, but that likewise the accused has actually been notified in writing of the fact of dishonor. The consistent rule is that penal statutes have to be construed strictly against the State and liberally in favor of the accused.

Evidently, the appellate court did not give weight and credence to the assertion that a demand letter was sent by a counsel of the complainant because of the failure of the prosecution to formally offer it in evidence. Courts are bound to consider as part of the evidence only those which are formally offered for judges must base their findings strictly on the evidence submitted by the parties at the trial. Without the written notice of dishonor, there can be no basis, considering what has heretofore been said, for establishing the presence of “actual knowledge of insufficiency of funds.”⁠8 (Citations omitted)

What if no notice of dishonor was received by the accused?

 

 

The absence of proof that petitioner received any notice informing her of the fact that her checks were dishonored and giving her five banking days within which to make arrangements for payment of the said checks prevents the application of the disputable presumption that she had knowledge of the insufficiency of her funds at the time she issued the checks. Absent such presumption, the burden shifts to the prosecution to prove that petitioner had knowledge of the insufficiency of her funds when she issued the said checks, otherwise, she cannot be held liable under the law.

What if the notice of dishonor gave the accused three days only, less than the required 5-day period, to pay the face value of the check or make arrangements for its payment, yet the accused failed to pay even after more than five days from receipt of the notice of dishonor?⁠9

 

 

“X X X While petitioner may have been given only three days to pay the value of the check, the trial court found that the amount due thereon remained unpaid even after five banking days from his receipt of the notice of dishonor. This negated his claim that he had already paid Cenizal and should therefore be relieved of any liability.”⁠10

“The absence of a notice of dishonor necessarily deprives an accused an opportunity to preclude a criminal prosecution. Accordingly, procedural due process clearly enjoins that a notice of dishonor be actually served on petitioner. Petitioner has a right to demand — and the basic postulates of fairness require — that the notice of dishonor be actually sent to and received by her to afford her the opportunity to avert prosecution under B.P. 22

Section 2 of B.P. 22 creates the presumption that the issuer of the check was aware of the insufficiency of funds when he issued a check and the bank dishonored it. This presumption, however, arises only after it is proved that the issuer had received a written notice of dishonor and that, within five days from receipt thereof, he failed to pay the amount of the check or to make arrangements for its payment.

Indeed, the prima facie presumption in Section 2 of B.P. Blg. 22 “gives the accused an opportunity to satisfy the amount indicated in the check and thus avert prosecution.”This opportunity, as this Court stated in Lozano vs. Martinez, serves to “mitigate the harshness of the law in its application.”

In other words, if such notice of non-payment by the drawee bank is not sent to the maker or drawer of the bum check, or if there is no proof as to when such notice was received by the drawer, then the presumption or prima facie evidence as provided in Section 2 of B.P. Blg. 22 cannot arise, since there would simply be no way of reckoning the crucial 5-day period.

In the present case, no proof of receipt by petitioner of any notice of non-payment of the checks was ever presented during the trial. As found by the trial court itself, “(t)he evidence however is not clear when Macasieb (private complainant) made the demands. There is no proof of the date when DANAO received the demand letter (Exh. F).”

Obviously, in the instant case, there is no way of determining when the 5-day period prescribed in Section 2 of B.P. Blg. 22 would start and end. Thus, the presumption or prima facie evidence of knowledge by the petitioner of the insufficiency of funds or credit at the times she issued the checks did not arise.

It is clear that the essential element of knowledge of insufficiency of funds or credit on the part of petitioner is absent in the case at bar, not having been proved by the prosecution. On this ground alone, petitioner should be acquitted.”⁠11 (Citations omitted)

“In fine, the failure of the prosecution to prove the existence and receipt by petitioner of the requisite written notice of dishonor and that he was given at least five banking days within which to settle his account constitutes sufficient ground for his acquittal.”⁠12

“For failure of the prosecution to show that notices of dishonor of the three postdated checks were served on the petitioner, or at the very least, that she was sent a demand letter notifying her of the said dishonor, the prima facie presumption under Section 2 of B.P. Blg. 22 that she knew of the insufficiency of funds cannot arise. Thus, there can be no basis for establishing the presence of “actual knowledge of insufficiency of funds.”⁠13

“Because no notice of dishonor was actually sent to and received by the petitioner, the prima facie presumption that she knew about the insufficiency of funds cannot apply. Section 2 of BP Blg. 22 clearly provides that this presumption arises not from the mere fact of drawing, making, and issuing a bum check; there must also be a showing that, within five banking days from receipt of the notice of dishonor, such maker or drawer failed to pay the holder of the check the amount due thereon or to make arrangement for its payment in full by the drawee of such check.

It has been observed that the State, under this statute, actually offers the violator “a compromise by allowing him to perform some act which operates to preempt the criminal action, and if he opts to perform it the action is abated.” xx xx The absence of a notice of dishonor necessarily deprives an accused an opportunity to preclude a criminal prosecution. Accordingly, procedural due process clearly enjoins that a notice of dishonor be actually served on petitioner. Petitioner has a right to demand – and the basic postulates of fairness require – that the notice of dishonor be actually sent to and received by her to afford her the opportunity to avert prosecution under BP Blg. 22. (Underscoring supplied.)(Lao vs. Court of Appeals, 274 SCRA 572, 585 (1997).)” ⁠14

Thus, if the drawer or maker is an officer of a corporation, the notice of dishonor to the said corporation is not notice to the employee or officer who drew or issued the check for and in its behalf.15

“Assuming that the petitioner had knowledge that he had insufficient funds in the drawee bank when he issued the questioned checks, he could still have paid the checks or made arrangements with the drawee bank for the payment of the said checks if he had been duly notified of their dishonor. In not sending a notice or letter of dishonor to the petitioner as required by law, the COLF deprived the petitioner of his right to avoid prosecution for violation of B.P. Blg. 22. “⁠16

Is the testimony of the drawee bank’s representative indispensable to prove the dishonor of the check due to insufficiency of evidence?

 

“It is not required, much less indispensable, for the prosecution to present the drawee bank’s representative as a witness to testify on the dishonor of the checks because of insufficiency of funds. The prosecution may present, as it did in this case, only complainant as a witness to prove all the elements of the offense charged. She is a competent and qualified witness to testify that she deposited the checks to her account in a bank; that she subsequently received from the bank the checks returned unpaid with a notation “drawn against insufficient funds” stamped or written on the dorsal side of the checks themselves, or in a notice attached to the dishonored checks duly given to complainant, and that petitioner failed to pay complainant the value of the checks or make arrangements for their payment in full within five (5) banking days after receiving notice that such checks had not been paid by the drawee bank.  Otherwise stated, complainant’s sole testimony suffices to identify the dishonored checks with the drawee bank’s notation stamped or written on the dorsal side “drawn against insufficient funds” or in a notice attached thereto and such notice of dishonor given to the drawer. A legal presumption arises that petitioner had knowledge of the making of the checks, the due presentment to the drawee bank for payment, the dishonor and the reason therefor written, stamped or notice of dishonor attached by the drawee bank to the returned checks. Such prima facie presumption proves that petitioner has knowledge of the insufficiency of funds. Unless rebutted, the prosecution may rely on such presumption to establish that element of the offense charged. It is for petitioner, as accused, to rebut the presumption, disputable as it is. Otherwise, the presumption would be sufficient basis to convict. ⁠17(Citations omitted)

Is it enough for the notice of dishonor to be sent thru registered mail?

 

 

“Aside from the above testimony, no other reference was made to the demand letter by the prosecution. As can be noticed from the above exchange, the prosecution alleged that the demand letter had been sent by mail. To prove mailing, it presented a copy of the demand letter as well as the registry return receipt. However, no attempt was made to show that the demand letter was indeed sent through registered mail nor was the signature on the registry return receipt authenticated or identified. It cannot even be gleaned from the testimony of private complainant as to who sent the demand letter and when the same was sent. In fact, the prosecution seems to have presumed that the registry return receipt was proof enough that the demand letter was sent through registered mail and that the same was actually received by petitioners or their agents.

As adverted to earlier, it is necessary in ca ses for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22, that the prosecution prove that the issuer had received a notice of dishonor. It is a general rule that when service of notice is an issue, the person alleging that the notice was served must prove the fact of service (58 Am Jur 2d, Notice, § 45). The burden of proving notice rests upon the party asserting its existence. Now, ordinarily, preponderance of evidence is sufficient to prove notice. In criminal cases, however, the quantum of proof required is proof beyond reasonable doubt. Hence, for Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 cases, there should be clear proof of notice. Moreover, it is a general rule that, when service of a notice is sought to be made by mail, it should appear that the conditions on which the validity of such service depends had existence, otherwise the evidence is insufficient to establish the fact of service (C.J.S., Notice, § 18). In the instant case, the prosecution did not present proof that the demand letter was sent through registered mail, relying as it did only on the registry return receipt. In civil cases, service made through registered mail is proved by the registry receipt issued by the mailing office and an affidavit of the person mailing of facts showing compliance with Section 7 of Rule 13 (See Section 13, Rule 13, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure). If, in addition to the registry receipt, it is required in civil cases that an affidavit of mailing as proof of service be presented, then with more reason should we hold in criminal cases that a registry receipt alone is insufficient as proof of mailing. In the instant case, the prosecution failed to present the testimony, or at least the affidavit, of the person mailing that, indeed, the demand letter was sent.

Moreover, petitioners, during the pre-trial, denied having received the demand letter (p. 135, Rollo.). Given petitioners’ denial of receipt of the demand letter, it behooved the prosecution to present proof that the demand letter was indeed sent through registered mail and that the same was received by petitioners. This, the prosecution miserably failed to do. Instead, it merely presented the demand letter and registry return receipt as if mere presentation of the same was equivalent to proof that some sort of mail matter was received by petitioners. Receipts for registered letters and return receipts do not prove themselves; they must be properly authenticated in order to serve as proof of receipt of the letters (Central Trust Co. v. City of Des Moines, 218 NW 580).

Likewise, for notice by mail, it must appear that the same was served on the addressee or a duly authorized agent of the addressee. In fact, the registry return receipt itself provides that “[a] registered article must not be delivered to anyone but the addressee, or upon the addressee’s written order, in which case the authorized agent must write the addressee’s name on the proper space and then affix legibly his own signature below it.” In the case at bar, no effort was made to show that the demand letter was received by petitioners or their agent. All that we have on record is an illegible signature on the registry receipt as evidence that someone received the letter. As to whether this signature is that of one of the petitioners or of their authorized agent remains a mystery. From the registry receipt alone, it is possible that petitioners or their authorized agent did receive the demand letter. Possibilities, however, cannot replace proof beyond reasonable doubt. There being insufficient proof that petitioners received notice that their checks had been dishonored, the presumption that they knew of the insufficiency of the funds therefor cannot arise.

As we stated in Savage v. Taypin (G.R. No. 134217, May 11, 2000), “penal statutes must be strictly construed against the State and liberally in favor of the accused.” Likewise, the prosecution may not rely on the weakness of the evidence for the defense to make up for its own blunders in prosecuting an offense. Having failed to prove all the elements of the offense, petitioners may not thus be convicted for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22.⁠18”(Citations omitted)

“The mere presentment of the two registry return receipts was not sufficient to establish the fact that written notices of dishonor had been sent to or served on the petitioner as the issuer of the check. Considering that the sending of the written notices of dishonor had been done by registered mail, the registry return receipts by themselves were not proof of the service on the petitioner without being accompanied by the authenticating affidavit of the person or persons who had actually mailed the written notices of dishonor, or without the testimony in court of the mailer or mailers on the fact of mailing. The authentication by affidavit of the mailer or mailers was necessary in order for the giving of the notices of dishonor by registered mail to be regarded as clear proof of the giving of the notices of dishonor to predicate the existence of the second element of the offense.”⁠19

The presentation of the registry card, with an unauthenticated signature, does not meet the required proof beyond reasonable doubt that the petitioner received such notice, especially considering that he denied receiving it. As there is insufficient proof that the petitioner received notice of dishonor, the presumption that he had knowledge of insufficiency of funds cannot arise.

“The evidence for the prosecution failed to prove the second element. While the registry receipt, which is said to cover the letter-notice of dishonor and of demand sent to petitioner, was presented, there is no proof that he or a duly authorized agent received the same. Receipts for registered letters including return receipts do not themselves prove receipt; they must be properly authenticated to serve as proof of receipt of the letters.⁠21

Similarly in the present case, there is no way to ascertain when the five-day period under Section 22 of BP 22 would start and end since there is no showing when Chua actually received the demand letter dated November 30, 1993. The MeTC cannot simply presume that the date of the demand letter was likewise the date of Chua’s receipt thereof. There is simply no such presumption provided in our rules on evidence. In addition, from the inception of this case Chua has consistently denied having received subject demand letter. He maintains that the paper used for the purported demand letter was still blank when presented to him for signature and that he signed the same for another purpose. Given Chua’s denial, it behooved upon the prosecution to present proof of his actual receipt of the November 30, 1993 demand letter. However, all that the prosecution did was to present it without, however, adducing any evidence as to the date of Chua’s actual receipt thereof. It must be stressed that ‘[t]he prosecution must also prove actual receipt of [the notice of dishonor] because the fact of service provided for in the law is reckoned from receipt of such notice of dishonor by the accused.”37 “The burden of proving notice rests upon the party asserting its existence. Ordinarily, preponderance of evidence is sufficient to prove notice. In criminal cases, however, the quantum of proof required is proof beyond reasonable doubt. Hence, for B.P. Blg. 22 cases, there should be clear proof of notice” which the Court finds wanting in this case.⁠22

 

 

Failure to identify the demand letter during trial, although included in the formal offer of evidence, is fatal to a prosecution for BP 22

 

 

“Since the prosecution failed to present evidence during trial that a written demand had been sent to and received by petitioner, the second element, that the accused had knowledge of the insufficiency of funds, had not been established. ⁠23

Instances where notice of dishonor was proved and or admitted:

Notice of dishonor proved by registry receipt signed by accused himself

“Worth mentioning also is the fact that in the Lao case, the notice of dishonor was never personally received by petitioner, thus the prima facie presumption of knowledge of insufficiency of funds never arose. Here, as correctly found by the RTC, petitioner was duly notified of the dishonor of the subject check as shown by Exh. “C,” a letter, specifically mentioning that the subject check was dishonored for reason “Account Closed,” with the corresponding registry return receipt showing that petitioner received the notice on August 16, 1993 which petitioner did not impugn⁠24.”(Citations omitted)

Where petitioner admitted knowledge of dishonor of check, he cannot pretend that he did not receive a notice of dishonour of his check. ⁠25
When accused admitted receipt of notice of dishonor, the same is binding on him, although only his representative received the notice of dishonour 

That only a representative of petitioner signed the registry return receipt in the case at bar is of no consequence because of the unqualified admission by the latter that he received private complainant’s demand letter with notice of dishonor. Said admission binds him considering that he never denied receipt of the notice of dishonor. Neither did he contradict said judicial admission of receipt of the notice nor alleged a palpable mistake in making the same. Thus, petitioner’s receipt of the notice of dishonor without paying the value of the checks or making arrangements for its payment within five (5) days from receipt of said notice, established the prima facie presumption that he had knowledge of the insufficiency of his funds in or credit with the bank at the time of the issuance of the checks. Failing to overcome this legal presumption, the findings of the courts below must be sustained.⁠26

When petitioner made representation with plaintiff for payment of obligation, notice of dishonor was deemed served ⁠27

In still finding no merit in the present petition, the Court, however, considers Campos’ defense that she exerted efforts to reach an amicable settlement with her creditor after the checks which she issued were dishonored by the drawee bank, BPI Family Bank. Campos categorically declared in her petition that, “[she] has in her favor evidence to show that she was in good faith and indeed made arrangements for the payment of her obligations subsequently after the dishonor of the checks.” Clearly, this statement was a confirmation that she actually received the required notice of dishonor from FWCC. The evidence referred to in her statement were receipts dated January 13, 1996, February 29, 1996, April 22, 1998 and May 26, 1998 issued by FWCC to Campos for payments in various amounts ranging from P2,500.00 to P15,700.00. Campos would not have entered into the alleged arrangements beginning January 1996 until May 1998 if she had. not received a notice of dishonor from her creditor, and had no knowledge of the insufficiency of her funds with the bank and the dishonor of her checks.” (Citations omitted)

A foreign check may be the subject of a B.P. 22 case:

 

“But it will be noted that the law does not distinguish the currency involved in the case. As the trial court correctly ruled in its order dated July 5, 1988:

Under the Bouncing Checks Law (B.P. Blg. 22), foreign checks, provided they are either drawn and issued in the Philippines though payable outside thereof . . . are within the coverage of said law.

It is a cardinal principle in statutory construction that where the law does not distinguish courts should not distinguish.1âwphi1 Parenthetically, the rule is that where the law does not make any exception, courts may not except something unless compelling reasons exist to justify it (Phil. British Assurance Co., Inc. vs. IAC, 150 SCRA 520 [1987]).

More importantly, it is well established that courts may avail themselves of the actual proceedings of the legislative body to assist in determining the construction of a statute of doubtful meaning (Palanca vs. City of Manila, 41 Phil. 125 [1920]). Thus, where there is doubts as to what a provision of a statute means, the meaning put to the provision during the legislative deliberation or discussion on the bill may be adopted (Arenas vs. City of San Carlos, 82 SCRA 318 [1978]).⁠28

 

1 Meriz vs People, G.R. No. 134498      November 13, 2001,

2 Dico vs Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 141669,  February 28, 2005:

3 King vs People, G.R. No. 131540 December 2, 1999

4 Lao vs CA, G.R. No. 119178 June 20, 1997

5 Meriz vs People, G.R. No. 134498      November 13, 2001

6 Ambito, et al. vs People of the Philippines and CA, G.R. No. 127327, February 13, 2009

7 Yu Oh vs CA, G.R. No. 125297, June 6, 2003,

8 People vs Domagsang, G.R. No. 139292  , December 5, 2000

9 Caras vs People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 129900, October 2, 2001

10 Areco vs People of the Philipines, G.R. No. 142641             July 17, 2006

11 San Mateo vs People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 200090, March 6, 2013,

12 Rico vs People

13 Cabrera vs People, G.R. No. 150618, July 24, 2003

14 Danao vs People of the Philippines,

15 Marigomen vs People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 153451             May 26, 2005

16 Sia vs People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 149695, April 28, 2004

17 Tadeo vs People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 129774 December 29, 1998,

18 VICTOR TING “SENG DEE” and EMILY CHAN- AZAJAR,  vs. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,  G.R. No. 140665             November 13, 2000,

19 Resterio vs People, G.R. No. 177438,  September 24, 2012,; Alferez vs People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 182301, January 31, 2011, San Mateo vs People, G.R. No. 200090, March 6, 2013

20 Suarez vs People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 172573             June 19, 2008

21 Svendsen vs People, G.R. No. 175381, February 26, 2008

22 Chua vs People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 196853

23 Tan vs People of the Philippines, G.R. NO. 145006 August 30, 2006,

24 Lee vs CA and People of the Philipiines, G.R. No. 145498, January 17, 2005

25 People vs Rigor, G.R. No. 144887, November 17, 2004)

26 Ongson vs People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 156169. August 12, 2005

27 Campos vs PP and FWCC, G.R. No. 187401, September 17, 2014)

28 De Villa vs CA and Judge Madayad, et al. G.R. No. 87416, April 8, 1991

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