My former boyfriend owes me money amounting to more than P300, 000.00 because at the early stage of our relationship, he was able to convince me to invest in the stock market. One time, I asked him to show me the Stocks Certificate as proof that he bought stocks for me but he was not able to show me anything. Recently, we broke up because I found out that he was engaged in another relationship. I asked him to return my money and he said that he will but he never did return anything despite repeated demands.
Currently, I am working abroad and I want to file a case against my former boyfriend. What possible cases can I file against him? How can I file these cases?
From the facts that you stated, it is very clear that you entrusted your money to your boyfriend for the purpose of investing into stocks. His failure to present to you any stock certificate when you demanded it from him is a clear indication that he never used your money to invest in the stock market.
For his failure to account to you the money that you entrusted to him, your former boyfriend may be held liable for estafa by misappropriation under Article 315 (b) of the Revised Penal Code. Under the said provision, a person may be charged of estafa if he/she “misappropriates or converts, to the prejudice of another, money, goods, or any other personal property received by the offender in trust or on commission, or for administration, or under any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of or to return the same, even though such obligation be totally or partially guaranteed by a bond or by denying having received such money, goods, or other property”. The penalty for the said offense depends on the amount of money or property misappropriated.
You may also opt to file a case for collection of sum of money against your former boyfriend. This is a civil case, the purpose of which is to be able to recover your money including all the interests that is due to it.
If you choose to file a criminal complaint for estafa, you need to be personally present because you have to subscribe to the criminal complaint you are instituting against your former boyfriend. A criminal complaint under the rules is a sworn written statement charging a person with an offense, subscribed by an offended party, any peace officer, or other public officer charged with the enforcement of the law violated (Section 3, Rule 110, 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure).
If you choose to file a collection case, you may execute a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) in favor of anyone you trust to file the said collection case. The SPA must be executed before the Philippine Consulate in the place where you are working as an overseas worker. After executing the SPA, you may send the same to the person named therein as your attorney-in-fact so that he/she can file the collection case in your behalf.
We hope that we were able to address your query. Please be reminded that our opinion was based on the facts that you have stated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary if other facts are added 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