Kris Aquino was dealt another blow to her side today as the qualified theft case she filed against former colleague Nicko Falcis received another dismissal. In an 11-page resolution signed on February 26, 2019, the Office of the City Prosecutor of Pasig dismissed the charges against Falcis. This is the second ruling that didn’t favor the actress; Four days ago, the Makati city prosecutor ruled similarly for lack of evidence.
Aquino filed similar cases against Falcis in every city that she says he made unauthorized transactions using a BDO credit card issued to him in May of last year. Apart from Makati and Pasig, she also cites Manila, Mandaluyong, Taguig, San Juan, and Quezon City.
In her affidavit, Aquino says that she issued the card to him to facilitate payments for the expenses of her company, Kristina C. Aquino Productions (KCAP), of which Falcis oversaw operations. In his counter-affidavit, Falcis denied the allegations against him, saying that the card is under his name. He says that he and Aquino did not have a prior agreement that he was supposed to get the latter’s approval every time the card was used, and, therefore, it was at his discretion.
“Furthermore, there was never any limitation or restriction imposed on him by Ms. Aquino on the use of the credit card and believes that the reason for filing the complaint against him was in order to pressure, intimidate and coerce,” the ruling, which is signed by Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Aileen Sabarre, Reviewing Prosecutor Rey Camilo Dumlao II, and City Prosecutor Jacinto Ang, says.
Both camps have been at it since news broke September of last year. While Aquino filed a case for qualified theft, the Falcis camp charged the celebrity with grave threats.
The resolution states that Aquino, in her reply, claimed that the credit card was issued directly for business expenses and all expenses charged was subject to her approval. The Falcis camp did not submit supporting documents to prove that the credit card charges were legitimate business expenses. Likewise, Aquino stated that she did not force or coerce Falcis to do anything.
While the Pasig prosecutor’s office denied point-by-point the Falcis camp’s omnibus motion to dismiss the case outright, it favored them in the chief charge of qualified theft.
“Apart however from the complainant’s allegation that these purchases were not authorized by her or did not redound to the benefit of KCAP… no other evidence was submitted to support the same,” it reads. “Moreover, it could not be established that all these personal properties charged to the credit card are owned by the complainant or KCAP since it has been admitted that [the] respondent charged his own purchases on the said credit card.” It continues to say that the use of the card for unauthorized purchases is not theft unless it can be proven that Falcis stole the credit card and used it for his own personal benefit. The credit card, the resolution says, was voluntarily issued to Falcis under his own name for KCAP expenses.
Aquino’s legal team based their complaint as violation on RA 8484 or the Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998. They specifically cite that Falcis’ actions constitute as an “intent to defraud, an unauthorized access device.” The RA defines this part as “any access device that is stolen, lost, expired, revoked, cancelled, suspended, or obtained with intent to defraud.”
According to the resolution, since the credit card in question was neither “stolen, lost, expired, revoked, cancelled, suspended, or obtained with intent to defraud.” It was voluntarily issued to Falcis, and the purchases he made with it in Pasig could not be considered as unauthorized within the tenets cited by law.
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