Anti-fencing law | Manila weather

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Dear PAO,

My brother loaned his laptop to his colleague when they had to work from home because the latter said he didn’t have one to use. He has asked her several times to return her laptop, but he has continued to give different excuses. It turned out that his colleague sold the laptop to her ex-girlfriend without my brother’s knowledge and consent. Afterwards, we went to the “ex-girlfriend’s” house and asked for the return of the laptop. We showed him proof that my brother owned the laptop and his conversations with his colleague. Unfortunately, she refused because she claimed that it had already been sold to her by her “ex” / my brother’s colleague. My brother intends to file a fencing complaint against the woman. Can you enlighten us on the anti-fencing law?

Genna

Dear Genna,

Presidential Decree (PD) 1612, also known as the “anti-fencing law”, was passed as part of the law of the land due to the widespread theft and theft which has become business for many without faith or law, since there are those who are willing to buy stolen goods which are, more often than not, at much lower prices.

Article 2 of PD 1612 defines a “fence” as “any person, company, association, company or partnership or other organization who / who commits the act of fencing”. “Fencing”, on the other hand, has been defined as “the act of any person who, with the intention of winning for himself or for another, buys, receives, possesses, keeps, acquires, conceals, sells or disposes of, or buys and sells, or in any other way deals with any article, article, object or thing of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of theft or theft . Under Article 5 of PD 1612, the mere possession of any property, article, article, object or anything of value which has been the subject of theft or theft is considered proof. prima facie closing.

Our Supreme Court also enumerated the essential elements of the crime of fencing and stressed that “fencing” is a malum prohibitum, namely:

“(A) a crime of theft or theft has been committed; (b) the accused, who is not a perpetrator or an accomplice in the commission of the crime of theft or theft, buys, receives, possesses, keeps, acquires, hides, sells or alienates, or buys and sells, or deal in any way with any article, article, object or thing of value, which has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; (c) the accused knew or must have known that such article, article, object or anything of value was derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; and (d) there is an intention on the part of an accused to win for himself or for another.In particular, fencing is a malum prohibitum, and PD 1612 creates a prima facie presumption of fencing based on proof of possession by the accused of any property, article, article, object or anything of value, which has been the subject of theft or theft; and prescribes a higher penalty based on the value of the property ”(Cahlogan vs People, GR 22 5695, March 21, 2018, Ponente: associate judge Estela Perlas-Bernabe).

To determine whether there is theft in order to prove the illegal act of fencing, it is first necessary to know its essential elements within the meaning of article 308 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) which are as follows:

(1) There is taking of personal property; (2) the property belongs to another; (3) the kidnapping was done with intent to win; (4) the removal was made without the consent of the owner; and (5) the kidnapping is carried out without violence or intimidation against the person or force on things.

In the situation you have presented, it is clear that the laptop in question has been sold to another by the person who is not the owner of it and without the knowledge and consent of that owner. Assuming that your brother allowed his coworker to borrow his laptop, it doesn’t mean that he can sell the said item to other people without your brother’s permission. This act constitutes an illicit withdrawal, which deprives the true owner of his personal property.

In the meantime, if your brother wishes to file an anti-fencing complaint against his colleague’s ex-girlfriend, he must prove the essential elements of the fencing offense as elucidated in the aforementioned case law. Based on our initial assessment of the facts you presented, the “earning intent” of the person in possession of the laptop is manifested in their relentless refusal to return the property despite repeated requests from the owner.

We hope we have been able to answer your questions. This advice is based solely on the facts you have related and our assessment of them. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or developed.

Editor’s Note: Dear PAO is a daily column for the DA’s office. Questions for Chef Acosta can be sent to [email protected]


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