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Collector faces 95 counts of qualified theft

By Jaymee T. Gamil
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 16:57:00 02/17/2011

Filed Under: Judiciary (system of justice), Crime and Law and Justice, Robbery and theft

MANILA, Philippines?A string of small misdeeds have led to terrible consequences for a salesman and collector who is now facing 95 counts of qualified theft?each one punishable by up to 20 years in prison?at the Manila Regional Trial Courts after his company discovered his unremitted collections in 2008.

John Michael Corpuz of Barangay 334, Zone 33, in Manila, an employee of Knights Distribution Inc., was charged by the City Prosecutor?s Office on the complaints of company president and general manager Phillip Guy Ng of Sta. Ana, Manila.

Ng alleged that Corpuz, in charge of the company?s product deliveries and payment collections, failed to remit a total of P201,091.13 in 95 deliveries made from April to October 2008. Corpuz?s long list of separate, unremitted collections ranged from amounts as small as P183.95 to P7,000.

In a handwritten note annexed to the city prosecutor?s indictment, Corpuz admitted to the crime, apologized to Ng and promised to pay back the amount he pocketed.

?Alam kong mali ang aking ginawa sapagkat sa kagipitan ng aking pamilya, wala naman po akong mapagkukunan ng ganon kalaking halaga,? (?I know what I did was wrong, but because my family was in dire straits, I had no other way to get that kind of money,?) Corpuz wrote in November 2008.

?Ako rin po ay nangangako na hindi ko tatakbuhan ang obligasyon sa pagbabayad,? (?I promise I will not evade obligations to pay you back?) he said.

More than two years later, however, the promises remained unfulfilled and Ng was unappeased. The City Prosecutor?s Office recommended a bail of P24,000 for each count of qualified theft filed with the Manila RTC against Corpuz last February 14.

?Corpuz not only failed to refute the accusation but even admitted his culpability. The position of the respondent as collector entailed trust and confidence and the grave abuse of such confidence facilitated the commission of the crime,? assistant city prosecutor Alexander P. Ramos said in his resolution.

Ramos explained that Corpuz needed to be charged with 95 counts of qualified theft ?as he was impelled by separate and distinct criminal intent for each act of unlawful taking. Theft is not a continuing crime.?

The case was raffled to Manila RTC Branch 41 on Thursday afternoon.

According to Clerk of Court V Marlon N. Ramos, though the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines states the maximum penalty for a count of qualified theft is 20 years? imprisonment, the penalty in Corpuz?s case, should he be found guilty, is still subject to the judge?s discretion based on ?attendant circumstances of the crime.?



Copyright 2014 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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