Lex Rex Ph

Ong vs. CA Digest

Facts

Petitioner Edward Ong represented ARMAGRI Corp., applied for a letter of credit for P2.5M with SOLIDBANK Corp, executed and signed alone the trust receipt acknowledging receipt from the Bank. Then again, with Benito, applied for a P2,050,000 loan. Both signed. Trust receipts became due and demandable, ARMAGRI failed to pay.

Petitioner Edward Ong was charged with the crime of Estafa by fiscal and lower courts. Edward appealed to SC contending that he did not assume personal responsibility for the undertakings of ARMAGRI Corp.

Issue

Can a natural person who merely signed for the trustee corporation and acted as an agent be responsible for a violation of Law (Trust Receipts)?

Ruling

Yes. Section 14 of TRL “If the violation is committed by a corporation, …the penalty provided for in this Decree shall be imposed upon the directors, officers, employees… without prejudice to the civil liabilities (liability of Edward) arising from the offense.”

The existence of a corporate entity does not shield the agent who commits a crime at the instance of the corporation. Ong did not use it as a defense that he is no longer associated with the corporation.

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