• Compromise in criminal case an implied admission of guilt


    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    I am a computer analyst working in Cubao, and was charged with qualified theft by my previous employer of 13 years. My problem began sometime in July 2016, when several office equipment in my custody and control, suddenly went missing. The company investigated the incident and accused me of stealing the equipment, because the guards testified that they saw me leaving late the night before. I was immediately terminated, and I filed a labor case against the company.

    To my surprise, they charged me with qualified theft, which is now pending in court. Luckily, my brother from the US wanted to help me and asked if I can just request the company to compromise on the criminal case by allowing him to pay for the value of the lost equipment, so I will not have a criminal record. My friend does not want me to make an offer of compromise. Can I just ask my brother to offer it on my behalf?

    Dear Carlo,
    It is best to follow the advice of your friend, because an offer of compromise especially in criminal cases may have an adverse effect on your case. To be sure, Section 27, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court provides that an offer of compromise by the accused may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt, to wit:

    “Section 27. Offer of compromise not admissible. — In civil cases, an offer of compromise is not an admission of any liability, and is not admissible in evidence against the offeror.

    In criminal cases, except those involving quasi-offenses (criminal negligence) or those allowed by law to be compromised, an offer of compromise by the accused may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt.”

    Based from the foregoing, should you proceed with making an offer of compromise to your previous employer for the value of the lost equipment, such act may consequently be presented by the prosecution as your implied admission of guilt and may lead to your conviction. Since you are maintaining your innocence, such an offer may have a negative effect on your case.

    The same also appears to hold true even if your brother would be the one to personally make the offer of compromise for and on your behalf. Taking cue from the case of People vs. Dominador Manzano, (GR L-38449; 25 November 1982; ponente: former associate justice Juvenal Guerrero), the Supreme Court ruled that even the offer of the parents of an accused may be admitted as an implied admission of guilt of the accused himself, to wit:

    “It may be true that Demetrio Braganza, Mayor of Mabini, advised the mother of the accused to settle the case amicably, which was also corroborated by Councilor Zozimo Ariston, a witness for the prosecution. But the fact remains that the parents of the accused took steps in approaching the parents of the offended party for a possible compromise settlement. And under the Rules of Court, an offer of compromise may be received in evidence as an implied admission of guilt.”

    Applying the foregoing by analogy to your case, whether it be your brother or your parents, any offer of compromise for and on your behalf may indeed be taken as an admission of your guilt based on the legal authorities cited above.

    We find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated. We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.

    Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net




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