A former co-worker borrowed P60,000 from me. He promised to return the money after four months with 10-percent interest. It is now almost one year since he undertook to return my money, but he has not returned a single centavo. I went to his office and their house so many times, but to no avail. He even arrogantly told me to just sue him in court because I won’t get anything from of him.
My question is: can I file a criminal case against him? I just want to put him in jail for all the inconvenience he has put me through.
It can be deduced from the tenor of your letter that there exists a contract of loan between you and your former co-worker, whereby you obligated yourself to deliver to him, as you did, the amount of P60,000, while he is under the obligation to return the said amount with a ten-percent interest.
Considering that what binds you and your former co-worker is a civil obligation, we believe that it is not possible for you to file a criminal complaint against him. Neither can you put him in jail for his infraction as it does not appear from the facts of your case that he has violated any of the provisions of our Revised Penal Code or special laws imposing criminal liability. At best, the appropriate legal remedy available to you is to file a civil action against him in court, particularly a small claims case.
You mentioned that you have already made several demands from him and these efforts proved futile. While he may be bound by those verbal demands, he can easily deny that you have actually made them. Thus, it would be more prudent for you to give him a written demand letter, specifically indicating therein the period that you are granting him in order to settle his civil obligations.
Should he still renege from his responsibility, you may then consider filing civil action before the Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Municipal Trial Court or Municipal Circuit Trial Court that has jurisdiction over the place of your residence. It will be best for you to include all your supporting documents and evidence in your verified statement of claim and certification of non-forum shopping because, as a rule, evidence that is not attached to or submitted together with the statement of claim will not be accepted during the hearing of the case, unless good cause is shown for its admission (Section 5, SC En Banc Resolution, dated October 27, 2009 in A.M. 08-8-7-SC).
If you are able to prove your former co-worker’s obligation and his unjustified failure to comply with what is incumbent upon him, the court shall render a decision in your favor and the same shall be final and unappealable (Section 23, SC En Banc Resolution, dated October 27, 2009 in A.M. 08-8-7-SC).
We hope that we were able to answer your query. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org