The office of the city prosecutor in Makati released a resolution dismissing the qualified theft case Kris Aquino filed against her former projects manager and managing director of Kris C. Aquino Productions, Nicko Falcis. Dated February 18, 2019, the resolution signed by Assistant City Prosecutor Paolo C. Barcelona and approved by senior deputy city prosecutor Emmanuel D. Medina dismissed the case for lack of probable cause. Six other similar cases remain pending.
This has been a back-and-forth of legal and communication wits, which blew up publicly late last year. Since then, each side has issued statement after statement that revealed shocking developments, everything from the actress having Lupus to Falcis’ family receiving physical threats.
The four-page resolution lays out all of the assertions and accusations between both camps, starting with Aquino alleging that Falcis got her to invest in Nacho Bimby Pilipinas Corporation and Patatas Prime Ventures, Inc. The celebrity narrated that Falcis worked as her projects manager, then managing director for the company that she established, Kristina C. Aquino Productions (KCAP).
Kris Aquino arrives at the QC Hall of Justice and appears before Prosecutor Rolando Ramirez accompanied by lawyer Eloi Sy of the Divina Law Office.
To facilitate payments to KCAP’s suppliers, Aquino said that she authorized the issuance of a Banco de Oro corporate credit card (with a P2 million limit) in Falcis’ name. She added that the card was solely intended for company-related expenses. While going through the card’s billing statement, however, she said she noticed Falcis made unauthorized purchases with it. Aquino specified that Falcis made 13 transactions using the said card amounting to P404,794.34.
Finally, Aquino narrated that Falcis delivered a Metrobank check amounting to P437,597.67 to her as partial reparation for the use of the KCAP card.
While Falcis failed to appear at the preliminary investigation, he submitted before the Office of the Prosecutor an Omnibus Motion that the case may be dismissed due to forum shopping—or the practice adopted by litigants to get their cases heard in a particular court that is likely to provide a favorable judgment. Aquino contested this, saying this does not apply in criminal cases. Falcis replied to her claims, and she answered with a rejoinder. He then submitted a surrejoinder and Aquino filed her comment to the same.
Not enough evidence
After laying down the facts of the case, the Office of the Prosecutor gave their verdict: that it is “inclined to dismiss the complaints as there is no sufficient evidence to engender a well-founded belief that Falcis committed the crimes charged.”
The resolution goes to say that it disagrees with Aquino’s assertion that the violation of trust she has given to Falcis with regards the use of the KCAP card counts as qualified theft. “At the onset, it is important to note that no evidence was presented with regard to any agreement between Aquino and Falcis as regards (to) the use of the subject credit card,” the resolution explains. “The complainant cannot rely on mere conjectures and suppositions. If the complainant fails to substantiate her allegations, her complaint must be dismissed for lack of merit.”
The resolution goes on to say that the card is the sole property of the issuer, in this case BDO, and that it is an undisputed fact that it was issued under Falcis’ name. “As cardholder, Falcis is personally liable to BDO for any and all amounts charged to the card… thus, should Falcis not pay his credit card bill, BDO can directly initiate legal actions against him to compel him to pay.”
Given this, Falcis using the card for personal expenses does not make him liable for theft according to the statement, and that he is only liable to the bank for the transactions that he had made using it. “No proof was presented that he used the card with intent to gain or intent to defraud. Accordingly, he is, at most, only liable to pay his credit card bill that has become due.”
The resolution says that the fact that Aquino paid Falcis’ credit card bill is of no moment. “This will only make [the] latter civilly liable to the former as she is entitled to reimbursement for the amount that she has paid,” it reads. The Office then says that, with regard to Republic Act 8484 which Aquino’s case cites, it finds no probable cause to charge Falcis.
You may also like: