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Malversation of public funds or property, A217 Revised Penal Code

1. Concept

Article 217. Any public officer who, by reason of the duties of his office, is accountable for public funds or property, shall appropriate the same or shall take or misappropriate or shall consent, through abandonment or negligence, shall permit any other person to take such public funds, or property, wholly or partially, or shall otherwise be guilty of the misappropriation or malversation of such funds or property, shall suffer:
1. The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods, if the amount involved in the misappropriation or malversation does not exceed two hundred pesos.
2. The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum and medium periods, if the amount involved is more than two hundred pesos but does not exceed six thousand pesos.
3. The penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period to reclusion temporal in its minimum period, if the amount involved is more than six thousand pesos but is less than twelve thousand pesos.
4. The penalty of reclusion temporal, in its medium and maximum periods, if the amount involved is more than twelve thousand pesos but is less than twenty-two thousand pesos. If the amount exceeds the latter, the penalty shall be reclusion temporal in its maximum period to reclusion perpetua.
In all cases, persons guilty of malversation shall also suffer the penalty of perpetual special disqualification and a fine equal to the amount of the funds malversed or equal to the total value of the property embezzled.
The failure of a public officer to have duly forthcoming any public funds or property with which he is chargeable, upon demand by any duly authorized officer, shall be prima facie evidence that he has put such missing funds or property to personal use. (Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

a. Public officer

“Public officer” –refers to any person who, by direct provision of the law, popular election or appointment by competent authority, shall take part in the performance of public functions in the Government of the Philippine Islands, of shall perform in said Government or in any of its branches public duties as an employee, agent or subordinate official, of any rank or class, for purposes of Titles 1 to 6, Book 2 of the Revised Penal Code. (Article 203, Act No. 3815, Revised Penal Code)

2. Mode of commission

Elements of the offense:

1) That the offender be a public officer;

2) That he had custody or control of funds or property by reason of the duties of his office;

3) That those funds or property were public funds or property for which he was accountable; and

4) That he appropriated, took, misappropriated or consented, or through abandonment or negligence, permitted another person to take them. (Zoleta v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 185224, 29 July 2015)

3. Presumption of malversation

Prima facie evidence.The failure of a public officer to have duly forthcoming any public funds or property with which he is chargeable, upon demand by any duly authorized officer, shall be prima facie evidence that he has put such missing funds or property to personal use. (Last paragraph, Article 217, Ibid.)

References

Title 7 – Crimes Committed by Public Officers, Book 2, Revised Penal Code

/Updated: December 30, 2022

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