The case involves a criminal complaint against Noe S. Andaya, who was the president and general manager of the Armed Forces and Police Savings and Loan Association, Inc. (AFPSLAI). Andaya sought to increase the association’s capitalization and established a Finder’s Fee Program, which allowed officers, members, or employees who could solicit investments to receive a finder’s fee. However, Andaya was accused of fraudulent implementation of the program and misappropriating a finder’s fee.
|Information (Offense Charged)||Conviction (Offense Proved)|
|Third element “Damage” to a third party (i.e. AFPSLAI)||RTC Judge: Third element “Damage” is towards the government because the falsification was intended for tax evasion.|
whether Andaya’s conviction for the falsification of a private document, despite variance in the information, is valid.
The trial court found Andaya guilty of falsification of a private document. Andaya filed a motion for a new trial, which was denied by the trial court. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court, and Andaya then petitioned the Supreme Court to review his conviction. The Supreme Court granted the petition and reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals.
|SC: This is variance and this is fatal to the case because it is prejudicial to the petitioner. This violates the right of Accused Andaya to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. The defense he would prepare for each situation above would differ. Hence, the accused/petitioner must be acquitted based on reasonable doubt.|
In its ruling, the Supreme Court emphasized the importance of informing the accused of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. They highlighted that an accused cannot be convicted of an offense unless it is clearly charged in the complaint or information. The Court found that there was a variance between the means of committing the violation alleged in the information and the means found by the trial court, thereby violating Andaya’s constitutional right to be informed of the nature of the accusation against him.
Therefore, based on reasonable doubt, the Supreme Court acquitted Andaya of the falsification of private document charge and ordered the cancellation of his bail bond.