G.R. No. 1650. April 28, 1905

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4 Phil. 485

[ G.R. No. 1650. April 28, 1905 ]




The cause of the complaint in this suit was the forgery of the
signature of “Jean M. Poizat” on a check which was a part of a genuine
check book kept by a person so called. This signature was so perfectly
imitated that on its presentation in the offices of the Guaranty Trust
Company of New York in the city of Manila it “might have passed in the
rush of business,” as stated by the assistant cashier of said office,
Mr. John Martin, who also affirms that “it is a good imitation of the
signature of Mr. Poizat, although the handwriting is a little bit
different, for which reason the check was suspected.”

Accompanying the check was found a note subscribed, it seems, by the
same maker of the check, in which note was requested sixty bank notes
of fifteen dollars each, there being no issue of bank notes of that
denomination. The one who presented the check for collection and the
note regarding the bank notes was the defendant Lino Litonjua, an
employee of the house of Mr. Poizat. The latter, having been notified
by the bank, did not acknowledge the signature on the check or that of
the note. When Litonjua was placed in the hands of the police there was
found on him a paper with the signature of Mr. Poizat traced on same,
inverted, and a certificate of good conduct, apparently issued and
signed by Mr. Poizat in favor of the defendant, and in the desk of
Litonjua, in Mr. Poizat’s office; several documents were found, among
them the stub of the check presented for payment and another note
similar to that which was presented, together with the check to obtain
the bank notes of the denomination of fifteen dollars.

The charges are fully proven against Lino Litonjua. Against Cirilo
Santiago the evidence which has been taken into consideration is the
imputation of his codefendant, Litonjua, when he tried to excuse
himself, saying that the former had given him the check; and “the style
of the hand writing and shape of the figures on the falsified check are
similar to the handwriting and shape of the figures on the stubs of the
check, written previously by Santiago.” The statement of the
codefendant, which is not only incriminating but also exculpatory of
the very fact, does not deserve any credit in itself. It could have
been taken into consideration if it had been really corroborated by the
other data taken into consideration in the judgment, but, even though
there is resemblance in the character and form of the authentic
handwriting of Cirilo Santiago with the handwriting and figures in the
falsified check, this does not permit of the affirmation that the
figures and the hand-writing in the check are the work of the same
person who wrote the authentic notes in the stubs which served as a
means of comparison.

Therefore we affirm the judgment appealed from as regards Lino Litonjua, sentencing him to ten years depresidio
and a fine of 2,000 pesetas, with one-half of the costs in both
instances, and we reverse the sentence as regards Cirilo Santiago, whom
we acquit with the other half of the costs de oficio. So ordered.

Torres, Mapa, Johnson, and Carson, JJ., concur.

Date created: April 24, 2014


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