THE Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed a decision rendered by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila) against pyramiding queen Rosario Baladjay in connection with an investment scheme designed to entice investors to put their money with Multinational Telecom Investors Corp. (Multitel).
In a February 5, 2015 decision affirming the RTC ruling and penned by Associate Justice Victoria Isabel Paredes and concurred in by Associate Justices Isaias Dicdican and Elihu Ybañez, the CA’s 9th Division denied the appeal filed by Baladjay.
“The decision dated October 9, 2012 of the [RTC for estafa], finding appellant guilty beyond reasonable doubt is affirmed with further modification that the prison term imposed on appellant is four (4) years and two (2) months of prision correccional as minimum, to thirteen (13) years of reclusion temporal as maximum,” the appellate court said.
Records of the case showed that one Florentina Bondoc encouraged the complainant Moises Butac and his wife Augustina Butac to invest in Multitel and earn huge interests.
Mrs. Butac invested her money on April 23, 2002 while her husband invested his own money on March 25, 2002.
At the start, they were receiving interests but after five or six months, the money stopped coming.
When Mrs. Bondoc told them that Baladjay was already in hiding, they opted to terminate their investment to get back their money.
But when it was not returned, they filed a complaint with the Department of Justice (DOJ), which caused the filing of the case with the RTC.
The lower court held that the prosecution has proven the guilt of Baladjay as it sentenced her to suffer the penalty of imprisonment and ordered her to pay Butac the amount of P100,000 and the costs of the suit, which prompted Baladjay to seek redress with the appelate court.
In its decision, the CA held that the RTC was right when it handed its guilty verdict against Baladjay.